This past year was one of the most life-changing of my thirty years…and tomorrow, I will be 31. Sigh. I still feel like I’m 22! And I’m an adult! With two kids!

Who am I!?!

Well, this year, I learned a lot more than I probably anticipated I would about myself. My word of the year was intention and I pray that I lived with intention like I hoped and that you, my friends, felt some of that. I wanted what I put here on this blog to have meaning, to have a pure intent that wasn’t just about me.

I do this because I believe in you.

And because I want to be transparent. And because I want you to know that you can do this. You can live in a beautiful home on a tight budget. You can be content right where you are. You can be happy because our Joy comes from Above.

You, my friend, you’ve got this. 

And since the playroom projects we started on aren’t quite finished, I decided to share with you some of the books I’ve read this year that have totally shifted my perspective.

Books (1 of 3)Disclaimer: I’m not saying these books are the end all be all. The Bible should be our ultimate guide. (Hence, why God led me to Genesis.) However, these women, and men, just put words together in a way that makes sense to me and reminds me that a) I’m not totally crazy for these wild dreams and b) there are other people like me that don’t actually have it all together.



So, know that, too, okay? These are just books I enjoyed and that shifted my perspective.



Seven: Staging an Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

This is the Bible study for the parent book. I started with Seven after a friend recommended it and I pretty much told her she was crazy and that whoever this author was that only ate seven foods for a month and wore seven items of clothing must be nuts.. Now, I’m hooked and it all but makes me want to compost every table scrap and wear the same thing every day.

 Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

Wow. This girl rocked my world. She selflessly sacrificed everything here in the United States for what God called her to do and in the process, adopted 14 girls in Uganda.

 Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker

Need I say more? Look at the title. Life–interrupted…sometimes I get way too comfortable being mediocre in my walk.

 What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

I’m still working on that YES part of what Lysa calls for but it’s because of the next book…What is my Best Yes (by Lysa TerKeurst)?

 Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs

This was such an inspiring book. Annie truly calls on us to be brave right where we are.Books (2 of 3)

Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Haggerty

Sara’s touching story of how God led her from her as a barren woman through adoption but she so carefully ensures that it is not all about her barrenness but our deep need for God.

Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Live  by Leanna Tankersley

This girl is a rock star. Her husband is a Navy Seal and you can’t even imagine what she has been through. This is that sense of hope when we just need to breathe. When she tells us in the story that she inadvertently left all the car doors open when she walked into Marshall’s, I thought, yes. Thank you for being real!

 The Nesting Place by Myquillin Smith

LOVE this inspiring book that reminded me to just hang the darn picture already! You can patch up a nail hole!

Restless Arrow Christmas Tour (41 of 49)

(thrift store frame, thrift store shutter, $5 frame from Michael’s, discount fabric store fringe) 

 I Am A Church Member by Thom S. Rainer

Our church read this book and as we walked through it together it was an imperative reminder that we ALL have a job to do so we don’t need to just tell what others what we think they should do. It is also a reminder that we do not have the right to criticize those in the church or anyone else for that matter. It was an excellent read.

Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith is No Longer Enough by Kristin Welch

Man. For the people-pleaser in me, it was refreshing to learn the essence of decisions we make and understand it isn’t to please man, but to please God. Kristin helped me tremendously step out of this box I put myself in for far too long. And also, she truly reminds us that we can ALL do something. <\p>

 Radical by David Platt

Again, the title says it all.

 Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen

What started this entire shift into Restless Arrow. And yes, I e-mailed Jennie Allen for permission to use the word, “Restless.” She now thinks I’m nuts. 🙂

What are you reading that I need to get my hands on?



These little blue links include affiliate links to Amazon. Please know you don’t pay a penny more. It just helps pay for a few of these little blog things that go on if you happen to buy one of these books that I recommended because I loved them. I wouldn’t have if I didn’t.