Warrior in Pink, Author: Vivian Mabuni
Vivian’s cancer story is different than mine, but the beginning in much the same. As I read the first couple chapters of her book, I was right back in those first days, remembering the fear, the sadness, the helplessness, the desperate prayers. . . Her words, though hard to read, played a role in my emotional healing. That, along with her willingness to be open and raw in the telling of her cancer story and the God who brought her through it, put this book on my favorites list this year.
Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal, Author: Michael Kelley
This this book played a role in giving me permission to grieve the loss of my breasts. Pretty weird, considering it’s a book about a father walking through Luekemia with his little boy, but this statement stopped me in my tracks.
“We often think about the grieving process exclusively in terms of people. You lose someone close to you, and you lament that loss in personal and profound ways. But the same process happens, I believe, to other areas of life, too…in the end, grieving is about loss and finding your way through life without the thing that’s not there anymore.” Michael Kelley, Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal
This book helped me grieve, but is about so much more than grieving. It’s about living with the things God allows in our lives. It’s about watching for the bigger things God’s doing when we think He might be letting us down. It’s about learning to live through the pain, when what you want most is for the pain to just go away. It’s about the battle to trust God, when what you want to go to your room, shut the door and never come out again.
Making Marriage Beautiful, Author: Dorothy Greco
A few years ago, I met Dorothy online through our mutual connection to Today’s Christian Woman. I watched her from afar as she wrote and had her first book published last year. And then I read it. It’s not only filled with wisdom from her 25 years of marriage, but includes input from many married couples of diverse backgrounds.
But the most meaningful thing to me from this book is that it helped me put words to a challenge Corey and I faced in our marriage last year. Cancer caused suffering in our house. And the suffering brought Corey and I to a hard hard place. But we are stronger for it. And Dorothy’s words brought me encouragement that all the past and future suffering we have endured and will endure together were and will be worth it.
“God’s priorities for us don’t always coincide with our priorities. We want happy marriages. He wants us to have marriages characterized by joy that is not dependent upon what our spouses do or don’t do. We want effortless marriages. He calls us to another broken human being who will force us to our knees in fervent prayer.” Dorothy Greco, Making Marriage Beautiful
The Magnolia Story, Authors: Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Digostino
This book brought me joy from page 1 to page 208. Though my life is much different than Chip and Joanna’s, there were so many stories in this book that brought pieces of my own life with Corey out of the cobwebs of my mind. All the moving. All the crazy construction projects. All the trusting that he knows what he’s doing even when my conservative, non-risk taking self wants to resist his plans. But Corey hasn’t failed me yet. I even survived the purchase of a duplex with grease dripping down the walls, poop overflowing from the toilet and a mouse using the stovetop as his personal playland. Corey is the perfect combination of wisdom, humor and construction guy extraordinaire. And this book made me very thankful for the past 19 years with him.
The New Testament, Author: God 🙂
I sat on my deck overlooking my amazing backyard many mornings this summer and fall. I saw chipmunks and cardinals and woodpeckers. And I listened to an owl who hides somewhere in our trees. I drank my coffee, and read through the New Testament and was reminded each day of the gift of this home. God has given me a lot of gifts, but this house is one of those gifts that he handpicked for me and presented to me in the most precious way. Reading His inspired words while sitting in my own private woods in the middle of town gave me great joy over and over again.