Saturday, January 27, 2024

January Book Recommendations

I’ve always been a bookworm, and I love sharing with others about good books I’ve read. So I thought it’d be fun to do a post each month with some book recommendations. I hope you’ll find these helpful. And feel free to post comments with some of your favorite book recommendations as well! 

Most of the books I’ll recommend can be found in your local library (paperback, ebook, or audio editions). Many of them are also available in Kindle Unlimited, if you have a subscription to that. (I’ll include a (KU) notation by those ones.) 


Fiction – 

Gaal the Conqueror by John White

This book might be harder to find, but it’s one of my favorites. I’ve read it several times through the years. Written for children, it's the 4th book in a series similar to the Narnia books. It’s full of spiritual truths and encouraging wisdom for readers of any age. If you have kids, it might be fun to read it with them. Otherwise, you can also enjoy the world of Anthropos, meet Gaal the Shepherd, and be reminded of life-giving truths.


Non-Fiction – 

Encountering Our Wild God by Kim Meeder (KU)

This book is so powerful! It’s well-written, with a compelling personal story in each chapter. Kim does a great job reminding us who our God is and encouraging us to draw near and experience Him every day. I absolutely love this book and have already given away copies to others. I hope you’ll be blessed by it as well! 


Devotional – 

What Your Mind Needs for Anxious Moments by Holley Gerth

I really appreciated both the spiritual wisdom and practical suggestions in this book for dealing with anxiety and growing in God's peace. I love Holley’s books. She’s personable, real, encouraging, and upbeat. This book made a great daily devotional. I highly recommend it! 


Happy reading! 


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Hope, Somedays, and New Year’s Vision

I think I’m finally ready. It’s only taken me 26 years…. 26 years of waiting for “someday. 

“Someday, I’ll have a horse again…” or, “Someday, I’ll be ready to let go.” 

Well, “someday” finally came, and I’m ready to let go. I’m ready to sell my saddle – the one tangible connection left to the horse I loved and lost. 

Grief is a strange thing. I’ve lost several loved ones in my lifetime, but with each of them I grieved with hope. I knew they were now with Jesus. They were healed and living in a perfect eternity. And I know I will see them again, in just the blink of an eye. 

With my horse, I don’t have the same confidence. I sure hope she is in heaven, galloping around, spreading joy. I hope the day I arrive and give my signature whistle, she’ll come running up to meet me like she always did. 

I know Jesus created her. I believe He loved her and delighted in her even more than I did. I know He gave her to me for the time I needed her. He didn’t just give me a horse – He gave me a sweet, sassy, smart, loyal friend, in a season when I didn’t have any friends. He knew that horse would trot into my heart and never leave, even when she died. I still can’t think about her without tears, even though I also can’t help but smile whenever I remember her. She was special. My God-given equine kindred spirit. 

Maybe she’s romping around heaven, I hope so…but I don’t know for sure. And that’s what makes it so hard. That’s probably why I’ve held on to her saddle all these years.

As my mom and I prepare to clean out closets and get rid of some things, I’ve been thinking about this idea of “someday.” I have several large tupperwares full of things that are waiting for “someday.” 

“Someday I’ll host dinners and use those nice dishes.”

“Someday I’ll scrapbook 20 years worth of photos.” 

“Someday I’ll read all the books I’ve collected through the years.” 


You know what I’m talking about. I’m sure you have your own stash of “someday” stuff. 

So here I am, much older than I thought I’d be, and I still haven’t reached many of the “somedays” I’d hoped to. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. God has taken me on adventures and blessed me with experiences I never planned or expected. I’ve also faced challenges and suffering that I didn’t want, but I ended up grateful for the good Jesus brought from them. I know He is writing the best story for me through it all.  

At this point in my life, my prayer has become, “Lord, help me know which ‘somedays’ to keep praying and believing for. And help me know which ones to let go.” 

It’s a simple prayer. It’s a painful process. But as I’ve learned, living each day by faith is the only way for me to live. I want to keep trusting God’s plan for me and following one step at a time. 

God has already answered this simple prayer in one way – by helping me to finally let go of my “someday” saddle. By helping me to see how good He was to give me such a special horse when I needed her. By giving me hope that some other girl might use my saddle and experience countless hours of joy with her equine kindred spirit. I certainly hope so.  

As we begin a new year, we have our list of “somedays.” We have big dreams. We want circumstances to get better, even while knowing they may get worse. We face many unknowns. How do we move forward with confident vision?

God gave me the following poem as I thought about this new year. It’s the hope-filled vision I want to keep, whatever comes. I hope it encourages you as well. 



New Year’s Vision


New year – same Savior.

Old challenges – fresh grace.

New needs – more faith.

Still sorrow – same comfort.

New joys – more praise.

Same friends – sure love.

New trials – more miracles.

A lost world – same truth.

New experiences – more growth.

Whatever comes – His peace.

Hallelujah – Amen. 



May God give us wisdom with each of our “somedays” – knowing when to hold on and when to let go. And may we remember daily who He is and that He is our Hope. 


Blessed new year!