2017 BEST READS

One thing I’ve always wanted to do on my blog is to review the books that I enjoy. I consider myself a bit of a book snob — there aren’t many that I read and fall in love with. Books don’t usually rock my world or change my life, but I love to read, so I just keep trying to find ones that I love. I’ve always wanted to reserve a space on my blog for the ones that do end up changing my life. So whatever you read here, you know that it must be pretty great.

Love, Skip, Jump: Start Living the Adventure of Yes

I started out 2017 by reading a book called Love, Skip, Jump by Shelene Bryan. Being a Christian lifestyle blogger, I follow a lot of other bloggers who do the same thing. I follow them for inspiration, ideas, & just for plain fun! I love to read about how God is influencing His daughters in practical ways that might also apply to me & to my life. In December, Lindsay, author & creator of The Faith Feast, posted a list of her favorite reads from 2016 on Instagram. Love, Skip, Jump was on it, & luckily my local library had it in stock so I picked it up just in time for my vacation week just after Christmas. I had it read in just three days; I couldn’t put it down!

Love, Skip, Jump, is a book written to inspire the reader based on the events of the author’s life, the decisions she made, & how saying “yes” to God completely rocked her world (in a good way). The subtitle of this book introduces it so accurately — “Start living the adventure of Yes.” Shelene addresses the decision she made to say “yes” to God and step out of her comfort zone, & how doing so has brought on a series of open doors & opportunities to continue to say yes to God. Through all of these yesses, God used Shelene for His Kingdom purpose & some of the things He did completely blow my mind!

I think some people read books like this and think,”Wow, what a cool woman. She seems so perfect. But I could never do any of this stuff. God doesn’t work in my life that way because I’m just nowhere near as Spiritual as her.” But Shelene is inspiring. Her stories don’t evoke those types of feelings because she adds so much honesty & humor into them. She captivates your attention with the blunt reality of the situations in her life & her practical determination to just pray & follow God in it all. She makes it seem so attainable because she doesn’t portray her life as any more special than ours (besides the fact that she lives in Silicone Valley)! Shelene opens up to her readers about the stereotypes she’s had & her past judgements towards homeless people, as well as her ability to shut God down because of worries & anxiety. If God can use Shelene’s obedience despite her fleshly nature, than He can surely use me despite my weaknesses.

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Favorite Quotes and Themes::

“Often we cannot hear God’s gentle whisper because we allow the noise of our surrounding to choke out any possibility of recognizing His voice.”  – Chapter 2.

“Jumping” is a term that Shelene uses throughout her book.“Jumping is an act of your will to use your God-given gifts to affect others,” – Chapter 4.

“God is more concerned with my full attention on Him than He is interested in me getting a job done for Him.” – Chapter 19.

 Shelene addresses the busy culture that we live in, & how we often see life through the lens of our to-do list. — “For Jesus, the person standing in front of Him was His ministry. Many times we see the person standing in front of us as an obstacle.”