Happy New Year! I set goals of different kinds at the beginning of each calendar year and each new school year. I meet many of the goals. I miss many of the goals, as well. I am so very alright with that because I achieve so many more things than I would if I never set a goal at all. My favorite goals are always my book goals! Always.
I say this every year, but I suppose it’s worth repeating. I won’t read every book on this list. I get very excited about new releases and while I try to keep an eye on the books coming down the pipes, I will inevitably be surprised along the way. Then, I will jump on the new release train and need to read that book right away. I’ll discover an author and read everything she’s ever written. I’ll become very interested in a topic and read everything I can find. I’ll become delightfully hooked on a series and read seven in a row.
Like any goal, I am perfectly content with reaching half of what I plan on January 1st because a year is made up of 364 other days and I’m a human seeking the will of a sovereign God. Change and surprises are welcome in my life, even when I think I’d prefer to stay in my comfort zone. I am not in control of this life. God is the author and the greatest joys have been the surprises, twists and turns, and unexpected gifts outside of my own comfort zone and plans. Maybe you needed to soak up that disclaimer about resolutions and goals today.
Goals are worth setting. Good fruit comes from making plans. Better fruit comes from following God’s perfect plan. (To be clear, the Jodi Picoult books on my list are not necessarily the good fruit of which I’m speaking. That’s convicting. Hmmm…this is just general goal setting talk. Let’s not tie it too closely to the actual book list.) Good fruit does come from this first section on my TBR, that is “To Be Read,” list!
Books of the Bible: Let’s begin here. Last year, I began reading books of the Bible one study at a time on the She Reads Truth app. I read: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Romans. (Yes, I skipped over Acts to do a study in Romans with my teacher bestie, but I’m circling back to Acts this year.) Thanks for studying the Bible with me, Leah.
This year, I plan to read Acts through Philippians using She Reads Truth studies. I’m also going to do a study on Psalms that my sweet sister-in-law gifted me. This study was curated by Alabaster Co. They’re new to me and I can’t wait to give it a go! Thanks, Jen!
Books of the Bible Goals:
◦ 1st and 2nd Corinthians
The God of the Garden by Andrew Peterson My husband and I have already started reading this book together and it is inspiring, well-written, beautiful, and everything wonderful. I love everything written by Andrew Peterson.
◦ Find Your People Jennie Allen I love everything written by Jennie Allen, too. My favorite book by Jennie is titled Anything and you should read it immediately if you haven’t done so. It is one of my favorite books of all time.
◦ Jesus Followers by Anne Graham Lotz and Rachel-Ruth Lotz Wright
◦ Growing Slow by Jennifer Dukes Lee
◦ Strong Mothers, Strong Sons by Meg Meeker I will actually read it this year, Molly.
◦ Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
◦ The Narnian, the Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Alan Jacobs
◦ Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeline L’Engle
◦ Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons
◦ Called to Care: Opening Your Heart to Vulnerable Children through Foster Care, Adoption, and other Life-giving Ways by Bill Blaquiere and Kris Faasse This could be our year but this isn’t an announcement. Please pray for our family as we continue seeking to obey the call God placed on our hearts long before our biological children were thought of or born. This isn’t a new calling. This is a slow obedience in the same direction. Again, this isn’t an announcement of any kind. Please continue to pray for us as we follow God’s will for our lives.
◦ Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Lysa Terkeurst
◦ Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms by Justin Whitmel Earley
◦ Psalms- Alabaster Co.
◦ When Strivings Cease by Ruth Chou Simons
◦ Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey My principals loaned this book to me when I began graduate work for a masters degree in Educational Administration this fall. I’ve already begun studying this book and have done rather extensive research on the topic the past few months, but I haven’t fully finished reading the book. I am loving what I have learned from Dr. Becky Bailey thus far. Also, thanks Brooke and Andy.
◦ Restoration House by Kennesha Buycks
◦ Going There by Katie Couric
◦ Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf
◦ Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday by Carrie Gress
◦ Good Apple: Tales of a Southern Evangelical in New York by Elizabeth Passarella
◦ Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren
Juvenile Fiction Goals:
◦ Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvatch
◦ Out of my Heart by Sharon M Draper The first book in this duo titled Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper is one of my all time favorites for children in upper elementary. I read it to my class of 5th and 6th grade students about four years ago and we had such rich discussions. We all loved it! Read it first.
◦ Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
◦ Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri
◦ When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson
◦ All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor This book was in the Scholastic Book Fair this fall. I am going to need to preview it extensively before determining whether or not I will share it with children. The premise is intriguing but it could very likely be heavy. We will see!
◦ Jayber Crowe by Wendell Berry
◦ The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
◦ Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
◦ Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
◦ The Book Woman of Troublescome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
◦ Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
◦ Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings
◦ Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams
◦ Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
From my reading heart to yours, I pray that 2022 is a refreshing year for all of us. Seek His will. Oh! And may your reading diet be well balanced with a bit less Jodi Picoult and a much higher volume of scripture. If we’re going to read Elin Hilderbrand, we’re going to need much more Ann Voskamp and certainly a good dose of the Apostle Paul. You heard that literary formula here first, friends.
Happy New Year,