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While I don't tend to make recommendations lightly, I find myself sharing these 10 particular books often. Each one has impacted how I mother, moving me from a place of fear to a place of freedom and rest. Five are specifically about parenting, and five are not!
THE FIVE BEST BOOKS ON PARENTING & MOTHERHOOD
Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe
by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae
Don't tell me you don't feel desperate, because I know you do. I do too, but a lot less so after reading this book! I was just explaining to my mom why it's so wonderful to hear older, experienced voices sharing their thoughts and experiences on motherhood--it is lifegiving.
Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches
by Rachel Jankovich
If you like a succinct, direct writing style, or are a fan of DesiringGod.org, you will love this book. Written by a Desiring God writer and mom of many small ones, it challenges me to call my "small" unkind behaviors what they are: sin. The nugget that impacts me daily: I cannot be unkind to my children, just because they're in my way.
If you've ever felt that your journey to motherhood has not been...traditional...and that maybe how do motherhood is not quite how everyone else does it, I think you're going to love Lisa-Jo as much as I do. Her hard fought love and grace for herself gives me the courage to find it for myself. Plus, now I want to visit South Africa.
Shepherding a Child's Heart
by Ted Tripp
This is one of those books that deserves a reread at every stage of parenthood. One of the earlier books I read, and it shaped how I came to see discipline as my infants turned into toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners. What I'm after, now, is my child's heart. I'm not interested in them becoming moral people; what I'm after is a relationship with them that will point them to Christ.
Parenting With Love & Logic
by Foster Cline and Jim Fay
If you're desperate for more of a how-to manual, this is your book. It's practical. Delightfully, consistently practical. It has helped me immensely as I've navigated the troubled waters of toddler and preschooler tantrums!
THE FIVE BEST BOOKS TO SHAPE WHO YOU ARE AS A MOTHER
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul
by John & Stasi Eldredge
I read this in college, long before I became a mother. But it made such an impact on me: I am not too much. I am not too little. I am just right! I am worth pursuing and I am pursued. Foundational truths that have shaped I view myself in the midst of the storms, doubts, and uncertainties of motherhood.
Victory Over the Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ
by Neil T. Anderson
I grew up in the church, but as an adult I've realized how many Christians settle for salvation as the end goal. Such a tragedy, when Christ has freedom and a life full of joy and purpose for us to live now! I've seen the principals in this book applied over and over again in peoples' lives--to great success. It's simple, basic, biblical--but it changes your life. I am overjoyed that I get to share this principals with my kids, now. They don't have to wait till they're adults!
I Come Quietly to Meet You: An Intimate Journey In God's Presence
by Amy Carmichael
A recent find, this little book of devotions is cobbled together from Amy Carmichael's letters and notes to friends and family. They are startling in their enjoyment of the Lord. I love to start my day with one, and am encouraged, no matter how many times I've read the devotion before, to delight in my sweet Savior.
Keep a Quiet Heart
by Elisabeth Elliot
Oh, it's so hard to choose just one Elisabeth Elliot book that's shaped how I live and how I mother, but I love this one for it's quiet (short!!) and poignant reflections on ministry, motherhood, womanhood, and so much else. It's a nightstand classic, for sure!
God is Good: He's Better Than You Think
by Bill Johnson
I'll be frank: I haven't finished reading this. But even halfway through, I'm experiencing new understandings of the scripture, Jesus, and the Kingdom of Heaven that have already changed how I think. I have a new hope and energy that I didn't have before, and have experienced the Lord's love in a fresh way! Joy!