5 Books That Will Change Your Life

Books are a uniquely portable magic. – Stephen King

Here’s a little life-changing math for you. If you read for 15 minutes every day, that would end up being just over 90 hours of reading over the course of a year. HOLY COW. I did a little googling, and it turns out it takes about 7 hours to read an average 250 page book. That means, if you read just 15 minutes a day, you could read 13 WHOLE BOOKS in your extra time over the course of a year.

—> rumor has it you can get through a book more quickly listening to it than reading it. Audible is a great option and you can get two free books right now!

You could catch those 15 minutes while you wait at the doctor, while you wait for the subway, while you’re waiting in the car-line to pick up your kids. You could catch 5 minutes while you eat breakfast and 10 minutes at lunch. However you want to do it, great, but I’m guessing you have 15 stray minutes that you could wrangle.

Keep a book in your purse, or do what I do and load the FREE Kindle app on your phone. I use KINDLE UNLIMITED (<—free 30 day trial!) to download free or cheap e-books and I always check Anne Bogel’s blog for discounted e-reads. This means I always have a book to read, even if I forget everything…because I never forget my phone. 🤷‍♀️

So, this is a life-changing habit as it is, yeah? Well, these 5 books are also practically guaranteed to push you, prod you, soothe you, and encourage you to keep going on your path. These are 5 of my current very favorites.

  1. The Gift of Being Yourself — This is a short (but DENSE) read that has shifted my life ENORMOUSLY. Pick this one up and shove it in your purse.

  2. You Are The Girl For The Job — If you are feeling stuck or tired or unsure, Jess is the best hype-girl and cheerleader that will always point you to Jesus.

  3. The Next Right Thing — The only thing better than the podcast. ;)

  4. Beginner’s Pluck — This book is hilarious and reminds me that purpose isn’t something to find but something to do every day. This book will pull you out of a funk fast…the plucky yellow cover with Liz on a Vespa helps, obviously.

  5. Made For This — Jennie Allen does big things. She’s a vision-caster and she has the nerve to build what she sees. In this book, Jennie helps YOU uncover what you’re made for.

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From My Many Open Tabs 5


I got to surprise my girl Jess Connolly at the first stop on her tour for her newest book You Are The Girl For The Job. It’s SUCH a special and important book, and I mean that with every bit of myself…Jess has always, always been the cheerleader for this truth in my life.

Surprising her in Nashville was a last-minute decision. I got a bee in my bonnet about it, and Mike said GO. YOU MUST. So I did. One of our cars doesn’t have air conditioning, the windows don’t work, and the radio is non-functional. That’s the car I drove. ;) But, that drive down to Nashville was precious to me. I had a notebook on the passenger seat, and I scrawled so many little notes as I kept my eyes on the road. I’m trying to re-transcribe those notes now, and OH MY GOSH WHAT DO THEY SAY?! I know they were genius thoughts for my next book. 😂

If you haven’t preordered You Are The Girl For The Job, go now. There are also a ton of special pre-order gifts.


Stop what you’re doing and start the 1619 Podcast from The New York Times. The listening is a pleasure (quiet, lovely, engaging)…the subject matter is devastatingly important.

She was an Internet prodigy. Practically a preteen at her first Fashion Week. Now, she answers, “Where Would I Be Without Instagram?”

I’ll Sparkle Pop Rampage, yes please. Rend Collective came out with kids music that does not annoy! ALLLLLL the praise hands.

Ruth Reichl is a national treasure.

Very convenient that my hobby may help me live for a good long time.

I’m leading a book club! Of my own book! It’s been a year since Preach to Yourself was published, and I’m celebrating by teaching through it for a whole month. Join in on the life change. If you need a copy, get a $10 signed copy! Do you already have a copy and/or $10 to spare? SPONSOR a copy for a woman who has indicated need!

From My Many Open Tabs 4


I love a good Canadian Tuxedo moment (anytime/anywhere, TBH) and twinkly lights and indigo skies make me feel like I’m in a movie. I got a dose of both during girls’ night with some of my oldest friends last Sunday evening. Well, by evening I mean we had a reservation at 4:45pm. It’s fine though, because that meant we got to sneak out of dinner and bedtime with our kids. ;) I think between us we have 27 kids! HOLY COW THANK YOU LORD FOR ALL THOSE TINY ONES! And, also for husbands who are also great fathers.

I don’t have many hard and fast parenting thoughts anymore (simply because the longer I’m a mom the more I know how little I really know…oy humility!). However, here’s pro-mom tip I’m really serious about:

When you have a baby, let/encourage/gently force (😉) your partner be an equal parent from the beginning.

The stakes are so low when it’s diaper changing and picking them up from a crib. I’ve found dads to be among the best swaddlers, in fact. But, they need to build the confidence that they aren’t going to break that little baby…and you need to build YOUR confidence in THEM that they aren’t going to break that little baby. :) I’ve seen too many dads sit on the sidelines of early parenting because they were kind of edged out in the early days and didn’t get their feet wet when both mom AND dad were newbies and learning. It’s an easy (necessary) way to ensure that you’ll feel like you can leave the house when they’re older and there are more of them! Empower your husbands to rise to equal parenting…and then empower your kids to age-appropriate independence. I promise, promise, promise…no matter how safe and sure and under-your-control it feels to do everything as the mom, that is not a sustainable life habit. I’m 13 years into this mom thing and that’s nowhere near a seasoned parent, however, it does make me a survivor of the tiny years. ;)

Okay, I didn’t mean to go on a parenting rant because I am no expert…but that’s a soapbox I’m willing to stand on.


Tracee Ellis Ross (yes, Diana’s daughter!) talks hair and taking up space.

Why ARE American homes so big? A fascinating nugget from this brainy article: “[A] nation of homeowners, of people who own a real share in their own land, is unconquerable,” Franklin D. Roosevelt said in 1942. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a nation of homeowners must own big houses, but a slew of policies—from the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 to the zoning mandates of individual towns and cities—fueled the growth of suburbs, and in turn the growth of the houses of which they were composed.”

If you need a heart-warming, feel good read, head here. Just promise me you’ll read to the end.

Gen Z and how they might change what we hear at church.

I’m planning to listen to this sermon series The World, The Flesh, and The Devil from Bridgetown Church. I’ve always admired John Mark Comer and the way he thinks and communicates (his mom is rad, too!). I was pointed to that sermon series from this thread started by Sharon Hodde Miller on the emergence of talk on “brain science” in contemporary Christian writing. Since I wrote quite a bit on brain science in Preach to Yourself, color me interested.

You can count on the fact that I’ll be wearing this sweater 3/7 days of the week this winter. I bought the heather black color last year. Should I get the almond or heather gray this year? I always go for neutrals in pricier items. ALTHOUGH, that mustard is singing to me. The rose is so pretty, too. OH NO. I love Everlane, period.

Finally, next week look for more info on my Sept/Oct Book Club reading my book Preach to Yourself! I’ve lassoed in two friends who are licensed therapists + authors to weigh in with their Professional Two Cents!