This year, I committed to reading and studying more. It has been challenging because I struggle with discipline a whole lot! However, when I started this blogging journey, I soon realized that I needed a stronger foundation to educate my audience. I could not simply base my blog post on my own opinions but needed a deeper knowledge in the Word to fully impact you all. Therefore, I decided to read and study more. Here are some of my favorite books and devotionals that I have read this past year!
10 Ways to Fall in Love With Your Bible by Shanna Noel
If I am honest, it is so hard for me to read and study The Bible every day. Before reading this book, I got so lost in the passages and tended to feel disconnected from stories within The Bible. However, 10 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Bible and Stay in Love gave me practical ways to study, understand, and apply what I read from the Word. Moreover, it made me not to think of reading The Bible as a burden but as something that fueled the way I lived and walked with The Lord. Each chapter provides a method to stay and fall in love with the bible and then at the end of the chapter you have the opportunity to journal and reflect on the chapter. One of the tips that Shanna Noel presents us with is:
Get Your Daily Dose – It can be overwhelming when you see everyone around you studying and highlighting their Bible each day for hours. I would feel bad, when I missed my morning alarms and did not start the day with completing a devotional or reading a passage in The Bible. This chapter in the book taught me that even though, I may not be a morning person…I must find time to spend with The Lord each day. This time in The Lord, will become a daily habit and convert into how I interact and behave in my daily life. For me, the best time to spend in The Word is right before I go to bed…I am able to spread all my devotional books out on my bed and truly devote to my spiritual studies without time constraints.
Awaken Devotional by Priscilla Shirer
One of the devotionals that I read every night is by Priscilla Shirer titled, Awaken. My mother gifted me this book last fall however I just started reading it daily this year. The 90-day devotional has broken The Bible into smaller pieces, which has truly helped me connect with The Word personally. The book is geared to women and is able to provide scriptures and lessons that truly apply to our lives. Each day Shirer presents readers with a scripture and small story that leads to a lesson for the day. You are then tasked to answer questions regarding the devotional or reflect on the lessons that you have learned.
One of my favorite days is, Day 15 – Ego Monster which is based from the Proverbs 29:23. This scripture says “a man’s pride will bring him low but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” Throughout the devotional, Shirer discusses how the “ego monster” slowly creeps in our lives as we seek approval and recognition from our peers. We become envious when we are not recognized for our work or do not get the applause we believe that we deserved. To overcome the “ego monster” we must seek humility which stems from God’s spirit. Additionally, we are reminded the applause and recognition will not help fulfill our God giving calling, but it is the strength of the Lord that will help us fulfill our purpose. The devotional then tasks readers to reflect and journal on how pride has been creeping into her life and think of proactive steps to combat your own “ego monster.”
Not Married Yet by Marshall Segal
When I was reading Not Married Yet, I literally tried to encourage my best friends to buy and read the book. It truly changed how I viewed singleness and marriage. Marshall Segal does a great job relating to his readers and provides so much biblical context throughout the book. In my opinion, this book does not teach you how to become a wife or husband. However, it reveals that this journey towards marriage has been carefully designed by God. It then forces you to look at singleness and marriage in God’s eyes and from a biblical standpoint.
The book is broken into two parts: The Not-Yet-Married Life and When the Not Yet Married Yet. For me, the first part truly made me appreciate my singleness. It breaks down, how you have this time to freely deepen you relationship with God through service. On your own, you are able to select how you serve in your church, what small groups you will attend and how you would like to give your money. The first also challenged me to look at God as someone who is invested and compassionate about singleness. Often times, we become bitter and angry at God, however this book taught me that God knows exactly what He is doing and that I should be confident in the journey He is taking me on. The second part, teaches the readers how to pursue dating in a biblical sense. One of my favorite lessons from this section was on boundaries. Segal says that many people believe that we should just set boundaries physically, but we must also set emotional and spiritual boundaries. These boundaries allow us not to make an idol of our spouse and become the only source of our emotional and spiritual strength.
There were many lessons that I have learned from these books and devotionals that I did not share in this blog post. However, I encourage you to read these books and embark in these devotionals and share what you took away from them! Moreover, find books that help you seek wisdom and knowledge for yourself so that you can better walk in God’s purpose for you.