October reads

Winter descended on us quickly. The yellow and orange leaves that I so adore quickly fell to the ground, scattering the street for a few October days, looking like handfuls of confetti, the aftermath of a parade. Now snow falls softly from the sky, covering everything in a quiet blanket of white.

This month was filled to the brim with change. I’m no longer working full time at my content marketing job; instead I’m increasing my margin to invest in our future church plant, doing more freelance work, and living out my long-time dream of working at a coffee shop 🙂

With all of those changes, my time for reading seemed to dwindle, so this month’s lists of books is a little sparse. Nonetheless, I’m excited to share these October reads – and I’m looking forward to getting to the ever-growing stack of books on my nightstand next month!

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

Brene Brown

Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice, by Brene Brown: I’m late to the Brene-Brown-is-amazing train, but I am now wholeheartedly on board. This is an audio of a talk she did based on her book, Rising Strong. I already want to listen to it again to soak it all in. Brene is so knowledgable on the topics she covers, and I was especially struck by her thoughts on forgiveness: “In order for there to be forgiveness – something has to die. It’s about death and rebirth” (see the hints of Gospel-centered goodness there?!)

“…a foster home is meant to be only a temporary holding place while parents get the support they need to get back to being parents again. The foster family should provide bonding and love and then, wrenching as it is, let the child go. The biological parents may be imperfect—they may feed the kids inappropriate foods or leave the TV on too long—but as long as there’s no abuse, a child belongs with his blood.”

Cris Beam

To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care: This book was a heartbreaking and challenging read, but I feel that the stories shared are so incredibly important. The Lord has pressed thoughts of foster care into my mind lately, and I have found myself wanting to learn more and pray more for this oft-overlooked population. Cris Beam dived into the world of foster care and tells stories of foster kids and foster parents in a truthful and compelling way. This is one you definitely want to read.

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott: This book was gifted to me by a dear friend and it has been such a good one to dive into. As you can see from the quote, Anne has a beautiful and poetic way with words, but she isn’t just a beautiful and poetic writer. She also writes with a clarity and an intimacy that made me feel like I was talking to a friend who just “got” me. This book was rich with advice to the writer and wisdom from an author who has faced the perils of writing and emerged on the other side. I highly recommend this read to all my writer friends!

See ya next month with more book recs!

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