What matters to you? How should you prioritize your time and efforts? This life is only a vapor, how are you using it? When these questions go unasked, often the answers become convoluted and chaotic. Intentional living requires hard introspective work. And let’s face it, when we are left to our own devices for too long we get bogged down by fears, doubts, anger and pride. Reading is an important way to keep learning and growing. These four books will help you take inventory on your own life, weed out the things that are hindering you, and give you tools to nurture a healthy relationship with God, others and the physical things that surround you.
A word to the wise: read your Bible first. Don’t ever let the voices of your favorite authors (or bloggers, instagram personalities, youtubers…) be louder in your life the Word of God!
The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
This book teaches us how to evaluate our lives, make wise decisions and say no to the overwhelmed busy life in order to say yes to what really matters. Lisa TerKeurst unpacks and dives deep into profound spiritual truths and simple practical applications. Her words are full of wit, relatable, and cut deep into the heart. If you have goals and dreams that have been sidelined by a full schedule or if you struggle with the fear of disappointing others, then this book is for you.
A few quotes from the book:
Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.
My imperfections will never override God’s promises. God’s promises are not dependent on my ability to always choose well, but rather on His ability to use well.
Together is a really good word. Together is what we need when we hit tough patches in life. Making decisions when life is making you cry shouldn’t be done alone.
From the back cover:
Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you
- Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
- Escape the shame and guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no
- Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom-based decision-making process.
- Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.
His Word In My Heart by Janet Pope
One of the most important ways to focus your heart, gain wisdom and commit to your relationship with the Lord is by memorizing scripture. It’s a lost art and neglected discipline. Janet Pope has written this insightful and practical book challenging our Sunday school method of memorizing key verses and instead has devoted her life to memorizing large contextual chunks of scripture – even whole books. She emphasizes the sanctifying transformative power of hiding God’s Word in our hearts. She gives day by day plans and practical systems for memorization through several chapters of scripture.
From the Back Cover:
Speaking from practical experience, Janet Pope shares how her life was changed by the process of thinking and meditating on specific truths learned by memorizing Scripture. Janet reveals how she trained herself to incorporate Scripture memorization into her daily routines. This book is a must-read for those who hunger for God and want to learn how to discipline their minds and trade their thoughts…for His.
From the fourth chapter:
But how can we fulfill this supreme command to love God if we don’t know the Object of our affection? How can we love God if we don’t know Him? And what about the intensity of love demanded? If our knowledge of God is shallow, can our love be deep?
Memorizing Scripture holds our minds captive so we can focus on God and His thoughts. It disciplines our minds to learn things we want to know. When we memorize books, we inevitably memorize portions we would not otherwise have chosen to memorize, and in doing so our picture of God expands.
The 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal
List making brings clarity to our thoughts and plans. The 52 Lists Project is a a journal with list prompts. Each list asks a meaningful question and gives you plenty of space to list out your answers. The prompts range in mood and depth, but they are all designed to help you discover the beauty, joy, creativity and power you already have. Each lists ends with an motivational action suggestion.
Take it a step further: Use the lists to remember God’s blessings, thank Him for answered prayers and surrender your dreams.
A Peek Inside
- List 9: List the things you treasure most.
- Take Action: How can you actively honor the things and people you love most? Spend time this week thinking of ways to surround yourself with treasured items, people, etc.
- List 21: List the things you want to make.
- Take Action: Start one new project this week and set a date to complete it by.
- List 30 : List the qualities you admire most in others.
- Take Action: Choose one of these qualities to focus on this week. Make it a goal each day to act out the quality that most inspires you.
The 52 Lists Project is designed to be a year of weekly journaling inspiration – but don’t let that stop you from starting it halfway through the year! You can pick up midway into the book or just jump around in whatever order you like. The book is beautifully designed with fun illustrations and inspiring images. If you are into journaling does list making or you want to be but need some prompts to get started, then you can’t go wrong with this book.
The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno
Obsessive consumerism is pretty close to unavoidable in the culture we live in but that shouldn’t be an excuse to let our lives be controlled by material possessions. The 100 Thing Challenge is a story of what happened in Dave Bruno’s life when he commits a whole year to living radically simply.
Do you know how many things you own? Have you ever counted? Dave Bruno limited his personal possessions to 100 for a whole year. He counted each article of clothing, pencil, and online subscription he had to his name. In this book he documents the journey of simplifying his life as he downsizes his personal possessions. He also gives process suggestions for starting your own version of the challenge. He holds a mirror up to his own life and you will recognize so much of yourself in it.
The story will inspire you to think carefully about how much you buy and what you own without pressuring you to mimic Bruno’s extreme year. If you’ve been needing to purge your junk drawers, streamline your wardrobes, declutter your desk, organize your closets, or get rid of that wedding present you never used but lack motivation then read this book. It will give you the kick in the pants you need to take control over your physical possession.
But more than that, The 100 Thing Challenge will cause you to rethink your own priorities, examine what you surround yourself and how you define your worth. The mundane everyday, the ordinary life – it’s how God created you. You do not need the next big thing to be fully loved by God; and to live a contented, full, focused life.
What are your favorite books to help you refocus and prioritize well? Have any thoughts on the four in this post? Let us know in the comments!