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A Peek Into My Life This Past Week (+ win a stack of books from me!)

Welcome to my weekly Sunday post where we take a break from money-related posts and I share about what I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.

So, this was a bit of a rough week. I tried out something new in regards to our schedule (exercising and showering in the late afternoon/evening instead of the morning like I’ve done for most all my life) and it sort of flopped on its head and I felt out of sorts most all of the week. But hey, you never know if something will work if you don’t try it, right?

We also declared this week a Screen-Free Week at our house for the kids… because watching movies or playing on devices was becoming too much of a default.

The first 24 hours are always a bit rough, but it’s amazing how creative they become after we make it through the initial boredom and whining!

Silas said this afternoon, “Remember that peanut butter apple dip you used to make? I wish you could make it again!” I realized we happened to have all of the ingredients, so I suggested he make it.

A little oversight and 25 minutes later, this boy had made some apple dip for dinner. And he was beaming with pride at doing it almost entirely himself! (Note: Here’s the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Apple Dip recipe in case you are interested.)

I think this Screen-Free thing might be sticking around for longer than a week!! I can’t believe how much calmer and happier and industrious everyone has been this week as a result!

(Note: Our only exception to the Screen-Free declaration is for family movies/shows watched together. We love to watch 1-2 movies/shows together each week and we decided we’d continue to allow that this week!)

Then, I ended up coming down with some sort of sickness mid-week (congestion, fever, headache) that decided to hang around for a few days).

In all honesty, I struggle with frustration when I’m sick. I don’t like to be down and out. I don’t like to be needy.

I used to get sick almost every month because I wasn’t taking care of myself and was running myself ragged. Now, I’m so much healthier, but anytime I do get sick, I start hyper-analyzing my life and wondering if I’m overdoing it.

I’m trying to remind myself that sometimes — despite your best efforts — you just get sick. It’s okay. Don’t stress over it. Just let yourself be grateful that you can cancel and rearrange some things in order to rest. And then just truly rest.

What I’m Loving

Having a rough day? Or feeling a little on edge?

I have fallen in love with these Calm-a-Mama products!! And they really do seem to work!

They are made with herbs and flower essences and taste and smell great! You just take a few drops when you need a little pick me up!

Funny story: I was having a rough day the other day and someone close to me (who shall remain nameless!) helpfully suggested I just try drinking the whole bottle of one of these! 😉

(A big thank you to Megan Tietz from Sorta Awesome for recommending these! I got mine from Amazon. Here’s the link. You can also read more about them directly on the company’s website.)

What I’m Reading

So. I’m going through tell you something I never thought I’d say again: I’m writing another book.

Yup. For real.

After my 3rd book launched, I felt like there was a good chance I’d never write another book. I was all “book-marketed” out and felt like I’d given all the book words I had to the world.

But something has been stirring inside of me over the past few months and when I read Published I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to take up book-writing again. I tried to talk myself out of it. I tried to convince Jesse that it was a bad idea.

But we both knew I needed to act on it — especially since it’s my Year of Yes!

I’m self-publishing this time and plan to take it slowly — just writing for 15 minutes every morning after my morning run (when I’m always crazy inspired!) I’m excited about it — especially because I won’t have the publisher deadlines this time!

Anyone else want to write a book with me? Or are you thinking of maybe writing a book some day? If so, you MUST download this book. It will inspire you that you can actually do it. Yes, you. Even if you don’t have a writing background, a marketing degree, a social media platform, or even love to write.

This book is FREE through midnight tonight!! Just sign up for the free video here and you’ll also get a free download of the ebook! And leave a comment to let me know if you are planning to try to follow the book’s outline to write a book in 90 days!

In addition to reading Published, I also read Be RealHope in Front of MeThe Cozy Life, and I Got This. (I was able in get in more reading time since I was sick!)

This week, I’m reading: Answers to Prayer (an old Christian reprint), No More Faking Fine (a spiritually encouraging book), Gathering Blue (a story-driven book), and Chasing Slow (a book on life improvement).

I’m hoping to finish Answers to PrayerGathering Blue and Chasing Slow this week. I’ll let you know how that goes next week! {See my Reading Goals for 2017. Also, see the 20 books I’ve read so far in 2017 here.}

What I’m Pondering

In the past few weeks, I’ve wondered a lot whether I have what it takes to parent my kids. I’ve worried that I’m failing them. That I’m messing up in a big way.

One child has been going through a really stubborn phase. Another child has been struggling with their faith and questioning a lot of things. And then there’s the child who had to go to the principal’s office recently.

I’ve made a commitment to never publicly talk negatively about specific kids online. But just because you only see the good and the beautiful that I share doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of hard behind-the-scenes.

My husband and I have been crying out to God for wisdom on how to parent these kids and I’m realizing anew that there are no quick fixes or 3-Step Formulas.

But there is this that my Heavenly Father keeps whispering to me: “Love them like I love you. Don’t shame them for their mistakes. Don’t let it be about your reputation. Don’t parent to please others. Don’t parent for behavioral modification. Focus on their hearts. Forgive. Heap on the grace. Walk with them. Love them where they are at. Celebrate the good and the beautiful. And always point them to Jesus and the Gospel.”

I don’t have what it takes in my own strength, but He does. “Love through me, love of God.”

In Case You Missed It

My Posts From This Past Week:

My YouTube Videos From This Past Week:

Also, I’m back to doing my Morning Show on Facebook Live between 9 and 9:15 a.m. every week day morning. I’d love for you to tune in on Facebook and join me live. I share some inspirational encouragement + we talk about deals. And I often take questions live or just share a little peek into my life, too!

Want to win this stack of books?

I thought it would be fun for me to do a giveaway here every once in awhile on Sundays — giving away some of our our products, items I’ve been sent two of, books I’ve already read and want to pass on, or other items I have that we no longer need and would like to pass onto a great home!

Today’s stack includes one of my books, a few books I got for free with credit on that I have and have loved, a few items I was sent two of, a few books I’ve recently read and would love to pass onto someone else, plus a tea I love!

To win this stack this week, leave a comment letting us know what you are reading, loving, or pondering. I’d love to hear!

I’ll choose one winner from all of the comments and will email that winner personally + post the winner next week on my Peek Into My Life This Week Post.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • Barbara says:

    Bless your heart, parenting is not easy. Having said that, your kids sound perfectly normal to me. Somewhere there is a child who never questioned God, never argued with their parents and never got in troulbe at school. I however, have never met that child and I am an educator. I would actually suggest that it is a testament to their maturity and to your openenss that they feel comfortable questioning at that age or standing up for themselves (not speaking to the principle). Children are often closer to tween age when they begin that behavior, but it is not abmornal and does not reflect on you as a mom.

    Having said that, I am the girl who let her kid build a fort with his friend by themselves at age eight with hammers and real nals and all that entails and no adult help except for the hinges on the door-because I personally belief that kids should fail and fail again and question and misbehave while they are at home and we can catch them-I’ve met too many kids who were’nt allowed that freedom of expression at home and get to college and flare out.

  • Kelly says:

    Currently reading Uninvited by Lysa Terkurst and A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman. Loving the one; the other is okay (the first in the series was better).

    I’m pondering healthy choices, especially regarding eating and movement. I really struggle with these areas and want to be a better example for my daughter.

    I’m loving a surprise gift from a friend.

    Thank you for posting your honesty about your kids, while still respecting their privacy. It’s encouraging to know I’m not alone, and I’ll be praying with you and your family.

  • Melissa says:

    I’m reading uninvited by Lisa Tyrkeurst. I’m loving my little family and I’m pondering how I can earn an income and stay home with my little one.

  • Sarah says:

    I always love these posts! I’m reading Chasing Slow too and also Mathematical Mindsets (I’m a math teacher and also in graduate school! I definitely feel that I’m Chasing Slow rather than living slow right now!).

    I’ve been loving the warm weather we have had this weekend in NC and it makes me so ready for spring!

    Thank you for being so real and honest in your posts.

  • Katie says:

    I’m currently reading 5 Conversations to Have With Your Daughter. (Mine is 9 yrs old).

    I’m loving that this past week is over because it was exhausting!!! Three late days at work and an all day event Saturday at church!

    I’m pondering whether to start a girls ministry at my church. ??

    Thank you for your honest posts.

    ? Ya girl!

  • Mandy Quattlebaum says:

    I’m currently reading the sequel to Me Before You. I just had my third baby 3 weeks ago and it was so nice having some quiet time to read in the hospital! Now I’m enjoying some newborn snuggles and trying to sneak in some reading during feedings. 🙂

  • Reva says:

    Reading through the New testament and pondering what project is going to be next for me.

  • Yvie says:

    I’m reading Real Boys – preparing for the teen years that start soon – as well as the Amish Orchards and Vine series – which is really good! We are transitioning from the road to a homestead, and I’m also reading books for ways to earn a living from home.

  • Diane says:

    I just downloaded Chandler Bolt’s book. Thank you for sharing this opportunity. I wrote two Kindle books a few years ago, and then I felt as if I had nothing else to write about. Perhaps this book will inspire me to try again!

  • Lorena Keech says:

    With all of the nastiness and negativity in the news lately, I decided I needed to read something “mindless.” So I have started reading the Perry Mason books from book 1. I love them, baring some of the politics of the era.

  • Laura says:

    I’ve been loving tray dinners, where I just roast some veggies along with either beans or tempeh or chicken, all on one tray! A little salt and lemon pepper and it’s delicious!

    I’m pondering similar things as you actually, and it’s so helpful to know I’m not alone in that!

  • Kristine Burgeson says:

    I just finished reading Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley. God definitely used the book to grow me. It showed me I need to show myself more grace, to stop enjoy the moment with my daughter, and to get back to being more simple.

  • Jodi says:

    I just finished Univited by Lysa Terkurst and currently on Eyes Wide Open by Steve Dewitt.

  • Christina says:

    Thank you for this post.

    I’ve been pondering how hard it is to work full time, go to school online full time, and try to simplify my life so I can spend more time with my husband and son. Its really hard, but I try to focus on the finish line. I also want to open a new Etsy shop. I feel such an urge to get it going.

    I appreciate the opportunity to win this stack of goodies! I’d love to be considered.

  • Megan Herlihy says:

    I’m reading a Little House on the Prairie sequel to my kids and had to read ahead last night because I was so excited to see what happened!:) praying for you!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m reading Uninvited. It’s really been a blessing to me. As a teacher and mom of 6, I don’t have a lot of time to read, but I love seeing your book recommendations and have read a few of them. Thank you!

  • Vicki says:

    I’m a librarian, but I only recently decided to start doing a Goodreads annual challenge. So, this year I’m challenging myself to not only read a book a week but also to blog about my reading (!). I am still figuring out WordPress, but I think I installed my theme okay (I’m using the free “enamored” theme from Beautiful Dawn Designs, and I like it a lot).

    At the moment, I’m reading Richard Rohr’s “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective,” and next up is “Feminist Fight Club” by Jessica Bennett. Also on my nightstand are “Happy As A Dane”, “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard,” “#Girlboss”, “Nonviolent Communication (3rd ed.)”, “The Telomere Effect”, “Love, Life, Goethe,” and “Rilke: New Poems” (one of my 2017 goals is to take up learning German again).

    I also purchased a copy of the recently released “CEB Women’s Bible” so I look forward to delving into that soon too.

  • Lori Sharp says:

    Right now I’m reading break free by Beth Moore. I’ve been dealing with what I can only call a “friend divorce” where you finally realize someone in your life is doing more harm than good. So i’m breaking free of all the mind games and emotional drama . I was so torn up over it, it was consuming my every thought. I opened up my kindle to find a distraction and boom.. Beth Moore was right there. God led me in the direction I needed and I reconnected with him through her.

    By the way I saw your book in my Library the other day and got so tickled. It was like Elf “…I KNOW HER I KNOW HER”. I’ve been following your blog for years and just wanted to say I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished 🙂

  • Danica says:

    Thanks for your thoughts about your kids. While mine are younger than yours I have to constantly remind myself that parenting them is not about our reputation, but leading them toward Christ. So now I am pondering that, but what I’m loving is that we’re getting rain here in California after a major drought, which gives us such hope.

  • Cassie says:

    Just finished reading The Five Elements, by Dondi Dahlin, and am in the middle of reading John Adams by David McCullough, as well as Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder to my kids.

    I love your posts; I think this is the first time I’ve ever commented on one, but I regularly read your e-mails and enjoy them! I am inspired by your commitment to your kids (and your admission that you are not perfect and don’t know everything) and it usually makes me want to be a better mother myself!

  • Megan Darling says:

    I am a recently new member to following your blog, Crystal!! I am so in love with all of it!! I always followed you on Instagram!!
    And I am reading (finishing) Hope Unfolding by Becky Thompson. Have you ever gotten to the end of the book and you don’t want it to end so you procrastinate finishing it. I am guilty of this burden this time!
    This book, I have been pondering a lot and sharing it with my amazing husband who is also very into God filled messages that I (and husband) needed to hear. I hope you have a wonderful week!! Thank you encouraging words and honest words this week!!
    I felt your pain and joy with the kid posts this week and good luck with the book adventure!!

  • Lisa Brown says:

    I just finished Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman – and loved it!!!

  • Tyna says:

    You are doing a great job. Glad you’re feeling better. I’m reading The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m currently reading the Beyond Suffering Bible and pondering what it is that I want most out of my life. I have a job but I’m not fulfilled. Praying for guidance and healing – 2016 was a rough year after two surgeries for me. I have lost a little momentum but am back at it now!

  • Laura says:

    We stayed home for New Year’s, but I was up late and running on empty. I got sick and it stuck around for almost a month! I didn’t want to admit I was sick to anyone for fear of being shamed. In our health-conscious, immortality-seeking world, being sick is your own fault for not doing something right. It is an open invitation for others to tell me what I need to improve. Most people don’t know I already live a pretty healthy life. I had to admit my people-pleasing tendency and just give myself grace. My family took great care of this mom. Anyway, I had to take a hard look at the downside of our health-obsessed culture. We seek to be healthier but we have less tolerance for those who are not healthy. It reminded me to have grace for others who are not feeling well, especially with more chronic conditions. I’m glad you are feeling better! Great, honest, real-life post!

  • Tanya says:

    I am going through the 40 Day Devotion Center Your Life of Jesus. So much to ponder in this little book!

    I will be attending Jennie Allen’s book tour for “Nothing to Prove” in less than 2 weeks and can’t wait to get my hands on that book! I feel like I constantly commit to things because I feel like I should – not because I actually feel called by God to do those things. Hoping her book will help me put things into perspective.

  • Brooke S says:

    I am currently reading The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. I want to make time to do more reading this year. I am off to a rough start due to daily chaos and all the electronic distractions in the world today.

  • Sheri says:

    I am reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I have been wanting to really declutter and purge items in my house as we have been here 22 years. I am really finding it helpful to me as I declutter. It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates in that amount of time. Looking forward to the end result.

  • Rhoda says:

    We have been dealing with a lot of sickness the past while, and I am loving cuddling with my kiddos when they are feeling under the weather! Time is short and kiddos are precious 🙂

  • Nicki Bishop says:

    Right now I’m studying through Genesis and reading Unblemished by Sara Ella & The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maas.

    I’m loving some down time with my hubby this week and I’m pondering my work list/meal list for the week. ?

    Thanks, Crystal, for sharing from your life. Always blessed by your honesty on your journey.

    Grace to you,

  • Jill McCarty says:

    I’m reading Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie. My word for this year is rest, and this book has been oh so good for me….both encouraging and convicting. I have 4 kiddos (7, 6, 4, and 2), and I felt like I’d gotten to a place of feeling tense and anxious and impatient with my kids all day. I’m working on resting in the Lord in the midst of the chaos.

  • Kathryn Egly says:

    Thanks for inspiring us Crystal. I also appreciate your honesty. I have four sons and feel like I’m a failure at times too. It reminds me that I need to ask for God’s help and be led by him. He cares about our kids more than we do.

    It’s fun to read about your week and get your feedback on books you’re reading. I just finished ‘left to tell’ and ‘led by faith.’ Two amazing books about a lady who survive the Rwandan genocide. It really inspired me and encourage me in my faith. It showed me how God loves to answer our prayers no matter how trivial they seem.

  • Michelle Reaves says:

    Its not normally this much, but here goes:
    Jira for Beginners
    Boys Should Be Boys
    Power Thoughts
    And The Story

  • Heather Eavers says:

    I just finished the 2nd book in the Peculiar Children series. I want to read a coaching book next, since soccer season starts next week.

  • Emily says:

    I am pondering if my actions and thoughts reflect my desire to make much of God or my desire for God to make much of me. We are studying James so I am also contemplating the benefits of being slow to speak and slow to become angry, especially as regards my kids since I homeschool and we are together 24/7.

  • Beth says:

    Crystal I am sending you warm thoughts and encouragement. Please know you are not alone. All I’ve learned from parenting my 3 children aged: 20,12 and 9 is that I am not an expert. I think God makes them different and they each present us with unique challenges so we don’t mistake ourselves for experts?
    I am reading An Unfinished Marriage. It’s written by a woman named Joan Anderson. Its well written but I’m not sure I can relate to her marriage sabbatical and subsequent reunion.
    I am thinking about snow a lot because it’s been snowing a whole lot here in Massachusetts. I am also thinking about my 20 year old daughter away at college in South Carolina and missing her little self. I guess to circle back to my first paragraph, even the hard times pass. Good luck!

  • Rebecca says:

    I’m reading The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz.

  • Muriel says:

    I’m reading Feeling Good and pondering how to balance discipline with also letting my kids have freedom. Parenting is hard, but I absolutely love it.

  • Julie says:

    I am currently reading Hope Heals by Katherine and Jay Wolf. I am halfway through and could read the rest tonight but I’m sure my family would like to see my eyeballs eventually! 😉 Such an inspiring story. God is surely using them in a miraculous way. So glad they shared their story.

    I am loving making heart shaped cookies with my daughter and getting Valentines ready for friends and family. Her 6 year old heart is just so tender and thoughtful. And she loves to be crafty…so there’s that too! 🙂

  • Leah Day says:

    What a generous giveaway! Nothing quite like a good book! My current readings- finishing up the OT Book of 1 Samuel, then on to Isaiah & his amazing prophecies of our then-coming & now soon-returning Messiah! as we enter the special season leading to Resurrection Sunday. Also reading newly-released “Adorned” by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth & “Letters to My Daughters” (I’ve been blessed with 4) by Barbara Rainey. Both of these Godly ladies are such consistent examples of Spiritual purity & meekness, without weakness.

  • Katie says:

    I can identify with the parenting struggles. I feel like in the last week I keep making the wrong choices about how to handle parenting situations thay have come up. Thankful God gives us second, and third, and fourth chances.

  • Diona says:

    I’d like to read Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson. I appreciate your authentic confessions of being a wife and mother doing the best you can. It’s seems unnecessarily hard sometimes. Maybe you could add me to your prayer list someday?

  • Leigh says:

    I have read nothing in several months other than to my kids. It is our first year homeschooling and I just haven’t had much extra time. We are getting into a pretty good routine and I’m hoping to get some time to go get some books. I miss it.

  • Megan says:

    I’m reading a “murder mystery” for the first time ever and I’m actually really liking it! It’s fun to break out from our normal genres sometimes! I’ve been pondering writing… my goal this year is to start focusing a lot more on creative writing to see what comes out of it by the end of the year.

  • Mel says:

    You are such an amazing mum! And I’m so glad you are feeling better now.
    I’m reading medical medium, why cleaning has meaning and kite runner.

  • Rebecca says:

    I’m currently reading Stewarding Life by Paul Chappell. I’m also enjoying being back into the life of David in my Bible reading.

    I appreciate your comments and transparent stories on child rearing. The comment of “loving them like God loves you,” hit home tonight.

  • Hope says:

    I’m honestly in a reading funk right now. ? Nothing I read catches my attention for longer than a few sentences. I’m desperately looking for something to inspire and motivate me these days. I LOVE to read but it’s been rough lately in that department lol.

  • Becky J says:

    Hi Crystal….I am reading the book of Acts, Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening and Roots and Sky….your stack ‘o books looks great…I would love to share the Charlotte Mason with a dear younger homeschooling mom who has been struggling lately…keep on loving those dear kiddos of yours and the fruit you reap down the road will be so worth ALL the hard work…so says this older Momma of a 24, 21 and 17 year old… Blessings!

  • Robin Lynch says:

    Love reading the Sunday post about a peek in to your life, because it offers me more encouragement to keep going with what I am working on too. I love this side of your blogging!
    I am currently readying Moll Anderson’s book What’s your color story. I was lucky to be selected as a part of the launch team and get a peek before it is released. I love color and now I am learning more about why I love some colors more than others.

  • Stephanie Donahue says:

    Your posts about you and your children’s struggles have really helped me. I see a lot of my own struggles in what you have struggled with. The reason why I continue to be an avid reader is for your real posts like this one and your authentic words. You have been a positive influence and encouragement over the years. I am in the works of getting my own blog up because of you. It will be called Aroma Mama! Your blog was the first one I ever read and still is my favorite! I am into health and wellness, and am always reading books on the topic. Currently, I am reading No Grain, No Pain by Dr. Peter Osborne.

  • Kristen Johnson says:

    I have been pondering my schedule and if something needs to be put on hold. I’m a writer and have a lot of other interests that take up time, but I worry that they take too much of my attention and energy and that my family suffers. However, I feel called to do all these other things as well. I know family takes priority, so it’s a matter of shifting things so that everything fits. And that is a task that will be a constant to-do. Anyway, that’s what I’m pondering this week.

  • Kayla says:

    Trying to read Finding Whitespace. It has been a tough read for me. I am almost afraid of reading the next page and seeing where it leads me in my personal journey.

    In the middle of lots of teen/ young adult drama with nine that fall in that age range.

    Super excited about the mild weather and warm temperatures in this week’s forecast.

  • Wendy says:

    I am currently rereading I am not, but I know I AM, by Louie Giglio.

    Prayers for your family as you seek His wisdom in parenting. Know that you are not alone. I am doing a bible study on wisdom from Love God Greatly and another on love from Rachel Wojo. They both echo exactly what God has placed on your heart.

  • lizzy says:

    your humility and honesty is such a blessing to us and really allows Him to shine through you~

  • Debbie B. says:

    I just read Things We Couldn’t Say by Diet Eman (story of a Dutch lady in the Resistance during WWII) and am currently working through Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey) and I downloaded the book by Chandler.

    I have also been dealing a lot with insecurities and feeling like I am failing in parenting … hormones from pregnancy with #3 are not helping. I think you are incredible lady and I appreciate your transparency and honesty so much. I can’t wait to see where this year takes you! You and your husband are giving so much good to your children … even though it is hard to see in the midst of the struggle. Hugs to you!

  • Janet says:

    I would love to get the books. I never find time to read but after reading how you find time to read I would like to try to start finding time to read. I have zero books and no kindle so I would love to win a stack of books.

  • Shelli Mader says:

    I’m reading City of Ember with my daughter for her Battle of the Books competition.

  • Jess says:

    I’m reading the Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. It’s an amazing book that changes the way you think about life. I love seeing what books you are reading- I love getting new book titles to read!

  • Lise says:

    I am currently reading Intuitive Eating by Tribole & Resch.
    Thanks for the opportunity and Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Dana says:

    I’m currently between books. I need some motivation to start another!

  • Pam F says:

    I am reading Ann Voskamp’s newest book, A Broken Way. What a treasure she is! I loved One Thousand Gifts, so I am excited to delve into this one as well.

  • Arlene Wangsness says:

    Hi Crystal, tag us so much for being honest in your posts-it really is an encouragement to allof us moms who struggle through each day! I’m a mentor mom for a group of young moms-we are reading/studying “All Things New” by Kelly Minter-and we are all being challenged to live out 2 Corinthians. I’m also reading Penetrating the Darkness by Jack Hanford-just started it. Love Pastor Jack!! (If I win, I’m going to distribute the books tomy group! Love my mommas!). THANK YOU!!!!

  • Monika B. says:

    I am currently reading Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier and More Resilient, by Valorie Burton.

    I am currently working on developing leadership skills to participate in the leadership development program at work and helping my 14-year old daughter build self-confidence and self-esteem. This book has helped me learn that I have allowed my thoughts to take over and have caused me to miss out on some opportunities and blessings that God was giving me.

  • Tanis says:

    I am reading Hands-Free Mama. Admittedly, I am not doing a good job of implementing it yet, but getting more inspired!

  • Sarah T says:

    I have just finished a few books and have now picked up Wolf Hall & A Long Walk to Water.

  • Shallon says:

    I’m not currently reading any books for pleasure. I find that I get so caught up in the book that I end up neglecting important things. For homeschooling, I’m reading to the kids The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Meet Kirsten (American Girl).

    I’m pondering how to convince my husband that it’s a good idea for me to start a used curriculum store:)

  • Sher Noot says:

    I love reading about your parenting and how you noticed a change in your family with the screen time break. I too was sick for the past few days and need to get back on track to getting healthy. I started your 15 day plan and then life took over and illness and well, you know the drill. I need to get back on track.

    Because I was sick, I finished a couple of books, Knit Two (Friday Night Knitting Club #2) by Kate Jacobs and Driving Lessons: A Novel by Zoe Fishman. Both great books about women and friendship.

    Many thanks for all you do!

  • Lindsey says:

    I just finished reading gathering blue and it was really good! I can’t wait to read the next book in the giver series! I’m currently reading Four by Veronica Ross and Jane Eyre.

  • Jenny says:

    I enjoy Christian fiction. I recently read JuneBug by Chris Fabry. I highly recommend it! Thanks for adding me to the giveaway!

  • Jana says:

    I’m reading “Finding Truth” by Nancy Pearson. It is really challenging and thought-provoking.

  • Suzanne says:

    Reading “parenting the whole hearted child”, “power of half”, and “life giving home”.

  • Lili says:

    I’m pondering how to parent better and eat healthier.

  • Jennifer Hirth says:

    I’m currently reading energy bus. But looking for lovely is on my list and I love the cookbook title!

  • Danielle Jones says:

    I am loving my Happy planner and my evening chai tea.

  • Hannah Lindsay says:

    I always appreciate your honesty and grace. I’m reading through Show Them Jesus: Teaching them Gospel to Kids. It just stirs my heart and brings me tears at the amazing love of our Savior. Everyone working or volunteering in children’s ministry should read it but it’s also a necessary read for parents. We are our kids primary Bible teachers and to have that Gospel focused perspective is so very important.

  • Tracey M. says:

    I am currently reading books about artists and composers from the Renaissance time period with my daughter. I am also recently started reading Renewed by Lucille Zimmerman. I have been rereading monthly sections of Everyday Confetti by Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer.

    I am pondering a new job and worried about my future. The company I work for is changing their platform and I will take a huge financial hit next year if I can’t figure something out soon. I am trying to figure out how I can be a single work-at-home homeschooling mom. It’s been tough this year trying to balance everything with such a tight budget. This weighs heavily on my heart right now.

    I am loving that this weekend was stress free and relaxing. We never left the house. 🙂 My 9-year-old daughter and I enjoyed each other’s company while we cuddled on the couch making the most out of being sick together. I am also loving the cute Valentine countdown sweets she’s left me each day. I love that she is so generous and giving. She spent part of her Christmas money to spoil me even though she knows she does not have to.

  • Amanda says:

    I’m reading Jesus outside the Lines by Scott Souls and listening to the NPR politics podcast 😉

  • Lisa says:

    This past Wednesday we welcomed our precious eighth child into the world, so I’ve been doing a lot of pondering while resting. I’ve thought about ways to grow my business to pay down our debt so we can continue on in the application process to become domestic missionaries. Also pondering how life will change with this new little one, marveling at how different they all are, and just being so thankful!

  • Beth says:

    I finally finished All the Light We Cannot See.

  • Michelle says:

    I have already read Money Making Mom but I am reading it again with my husband since he was recently laid off from his job. While he is looking for more work we feel now is the time for the both of us to find other ways to make money.

  • pat says:

    I’m reading “Uninvited”, “Knowledge of the Holy” by Tozer and a Lamplighter book, ” A Peep Behind the Scenes” with my daughter.

  • Susan says:

    I’m currently reading Lilian Boxfish Takes a Walk. It’s my January selection for the Book of the Month club.

    I’m pondering something pretty similar to you. Parenthood can be hard!

  • Avenlea says:

    Hi, Crystal!
    I have been pondering starting a blog and all that goes into that. I would love to hear any advice you have 🙂

  • Naomi says:

    I am reading any Agatha Christie-like murder mystery I can get my hands on! I want to get to the end of the book and see all the clues were there for me to solve it and I want the good guys to win!

  • Kathy M says:

    I am currently reading The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I am 49 years old and I used to watch the TV show with Melissa Gilbert when I was little. It was my favorite show growing up, but I never read the books. I am finally reading them and I love them!!!

  • Jen W. says:

    I am also dealing with the same challenges with my son. Your post came at a perfect time. Thanks for the inspiration. I sure could use that stack of books for my sanity!

  • Lynette says:

    I am currently reading “Statistics for Nursing: A Practical Approach” by Elizabeth Heavey. I am working on my BSN and am taking an online statistics class. I have a break coming up in a few weeks and would love to win these books to give me something new to read!

  • Tracy says:

    I am currently reading Unglued by Lysa TerKuerst. Love your posts!

  • Luann Brunner says:

    I am reading “Lost In Translation” at the recommendation of my daughters. Have been pondering transitions in life and how they influence us and others. This book fits right into my “ponderings”. Also met someone at work who has been in the U.S. for only 18 months and was recently reunited with his wife and children. He served as a translator for our military for 6 years and our country rightly gave him a visa to live here. Transitions are everywhere.

  • julie says:

    I’m reading the Life Giving Home. I just finished Essentialism.

  • Leah Joanis says:

    I’m always looking for some good books. Especially ones that help me see life from a clearer, calmer, healthier and more spiritual perspective – ways to nourish the body and soul. This is only part of the reason that I’m loving your Sunday emails. Your perspective and suggestions are wonderful!

  • Bethany says:

    I am reading Prayer by Timothy Keller. I am pondering on 1st grade homeschool curriculum for my son. This was our first year homeschooling so kindergarten is almost over. For me personally I am praying that God will open up a door for me to go back to school to earn a degree. And I am loving how transparent you were about the kids in this Sundays post.

  • Deanna says:

    I’m reading A Scandalous Freedom and loving it. Really makes you think and rethink how you view things.

  • Lisa says:

    I am reading The Seekers. I look forward to your emails and encouraging words of wisdom.

  • Becky says:

    I am currently reading Grapes of Wrath for myself and A Dog’s Purpose with my family. We are looking forward to the movie but always love to read the books first.

  • Debbie says:

    I’m actually reading a cookbook, Mama Dip’s Kitchen!

  • Dana says:

    Currently reading Emma, by Jane Austin; many off and on again books on homeschooling. Pondering my “word for the year” and how to gain more momentum towards it.
    LOVE the no screen time idea. I think more adults need to unplug and engage.

  • Julie says:

    I’m currently reading “Parenting” by Paul David Tripp!

  • Karin Rhoads says:

    I’m reading Jim Gaffigan’s Dad is Fat book. I would recommend it especially if you are a parent since there is a lot you can relate to that will make you laugh 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    I just finished reading Carrying Albert Home. A little bizarre, but fun. Now, I’m reading the young adult book, Wintering.

  • Trisha says:

    I just finished French Kids Eat Anything- it was so interesting! I never thought of all of the cultural differences that can be found in something as basic as eating. It made me question why I have some the eating habits that I do and especially the eating habits my kids have.

    Thanks for your honesty with parenting- good to know that we are all in the same boat 🙂 Hang in there mama!

  • Ashlie says:

    I ponder the same thing you do… am I being a good enough mom? What else could I be doing? Is God proud of the mom that I am to my two daughters?

  • Liz says:

    Im currently working through a collection of Andrew Murray books that I got on my Kindle.

    I’ve also been pondering parenting. I have an 11 year old who is growing up too fast and I’ve been looking for ways to help keep communication open between us. I think the Lord gave me an idea to journal with/to him. I (or my husband) write to him and then he writes to me and his father. So far, I’ve only introduced the idea and written to him.

  • Saralyn says:

    I think you already made your book list for the year, but another book to consider is A Confident Heart by Renee Swoop. It’s so good. I even ordered a copy for my sister in law and best friend.

  • Renee Kammer says:

    I am reading Keep it Shut by Karen Ehman! Its a great book!

  • Susan says:

    I just finished reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett for book group and I really enjoyed it.

  • Noelle Dehmlow says:

    I love your blog and instagram inspirations! I am currently reading a book my sister got me over a year ago! It’s Kiss by ted Dekker, one of my favorite fiction authors! I don’t get much time to read, but the one or two chapters I get a day make me feel calm and refreshed which I’ve never realized about reading before.

    I am LOVING roasted cocoa almonds. They are my go to pick me up snack. A big success from a year ago when I would reach for the Ben and Jerry’s instead!

    I don’t know how you read so many books at a time? Do you have a system to keep them all straight? I’m intrigued by all the books you post.

  • Jenel says:

    Reading Chase the Lion, and One Word. Both great books for going into the new year and focusing your vision!

  • Mae Lynn Ziglar says:

    I am reading No Little Women and really enjoying it!

  • Deanna says:

    What a sweet idea! I am currently reading “Different” by Sally Clarkson and an inspirational fiction novel that I can’t remember the name of right now. Thank you for the opportunity to win awesome books!

  • Emily says:

    I would love to win these books!!! Right now I am reading a bunch of baby books because our first baby is due on the 21st!! I just finished What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and am reading Essentials of Breastfeeding and Touchpoints right now.

  • Ayla Fontaine says:

    Currently pondering what life is going to be life since my husband and I have decided to expand our family.

  • Margaret says:

    I have suddenly begun reading again and finished two books this week!! (Which for this homeschooling mama is a lot).
    Also so appreciate hearing about your parenting struggles. I admire your loyalty to the kids but so good to hear the “real life” occasionally too. (Done in a very tactful way). We are in the midst of much the same and it has been a good reminder to me too to not parent for appearances sake but for their heart and to direct them to the LORD!

  • Theresa says:

    I just received “No More Faking Fine” and plan on starting that this week. I have been reading “Thrashing About with God” and am about 1/2 way through. It helps to read about someone else struggling with the same things as I do sometimes.
    Also, thanks for sharing about wondering if you are doing a good job as a parent. It helps to know I’m not the only one.

  • Tamboliya says:

    I’m reading the book SHAKEN right now.

  • Amanda Seibert says:

    I am pondering how to be a good stay at home mom. I quit my job a few weeks ago and am struggling with finding a balance of baby, house duties, hobbies and etc. I keep praying and thinking about what I should say “yes” and “no” to. I enjoyed hearing your honesty with your kids, parenting is hard and we can’t do it all ourselves. We have to parent with god in mind!

  • Niki says:

    I am reading a Liane Moriarity book and actually doing the LOVE DARE again. My word for this year was Cherish and I want my hubby to feel that every day. my kids too actually!! I love your blog. I have unsubscribed to almost all I used to follow. Too many ads…but not you. Praying for your precious kiddos…parenting is hard. Praying for you and your hubby too! Thanks for the chance! How cool would it be to win!

  • Michelle says:

    I’m reading a couple of books from the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2016 – DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes and Real Food on a Read Budget. I’m also working on some professional continuing education in areas that are of interest to me. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Stephanie says:

    I’m reading Korie Robertson’s Strong and Kind and What to Expect When Your Expecting as we prepare for our first child. I’ve also been pondering names, what a joy and responsibility in naming a person!

  • Alisa says:

    The first thing I noticed in the pic was the Chai Rooibos- I’m sure you know about Rooibos being from South Africa! ? My husband is from South Africa, I like to follow your blog about that beautiful country.

    The stack of books is very interesting- all different genres! Thanks for adding me to ge drawing.

  • Brianna says:

    Great and relatable post. I often feel like a failure as a parent. I am stretched so thin with work and home that my kids get the last and worst part of me. Bilbo Baggins said it best when he said “I feel thin. Like too little butter spread on too much bread.” Also, hope you are on the mend. I was sick almost all of January, and I was rough!

  • Sarah S says:

    I’m down with a bad cold too! I try so hard to be healthy, so when I’m sick, I’m frustrated. Thank you for your encouraging post.

    I’ve been reading On Guard by Deepak Reju. Not exactly fun reading, but helpful to think through. I’m also loving the PBS series Victoria while I’m down sick. 🙂

  • Ashley says:

    Firstly, I really enjoy these posts. I love the frugal posts, but the motherhood/lifestyle encouragement is nectar to my soul. I am currently reading “Desperate” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. I bought it a few weeks ago when you posted about it being on super sale. My husband was traveling for work, and I was left alone to parent our 3 year old and 7 month old sons. I was in a depressed place and the first chapter of that book really spoke to me. Thank you for posting about that book, as I really needed those words that it contained!

  • Crissy says:

    I’m pondering whether my husband and I should adopt or if we are meant to be childless. I feel so selfish and don’t know that I would be a great mother, but I also feel like there is so much joy that I am missing out on.

  • Sherry says:

    I am reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan, after recently reading his book “The Forgotten God” I wanted more. Excellent so far.

  • Jen H says:

    I have been pondering about my son who will be in middle school next year. I pray he continues to distance himself from those who are a bad influence and stays open with me.

  • Gina F says:

    Thank you so much for your little paragraph about what you feel Heavenly Father wants you to do for your children! I so needed to hear those exact things as I am struggling with my children right now, too. I have been feeling that they just really need to be loved and having you say those similar things really reinforced that. Thank you for being so close to God that you can receive that inspiration and for being so willing to share it with others.

  • Jill says:

    I’m reading Consumer Reports magazine right now and pondering how I can make time for more reading.

  • Julie C says:

    Every day I feel as if I’m not doing a great job as a parent, but I know that the kids are going to turn out o.k. Praying helps me a lot. Just finished To kill a mockingbird and Go set a watchman. I didn’t have to read them in high school so they were finally at the library and I snagged them. Will pray for you & the kids.

  • KT says:

    I’m reading Ann Voskamp’s new book, The Broken Way, and the Boxcar Children #2 to my boys (and piles of picture books!).
    Thanks for encouraging us to read (and read to our kids, and love our kids!).

  • Crystal dieffenwierth says:

    Love Does by Bob Goff! Makes me want to live big ans love strong!

  • Heidi says:

    I am reading The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Eberything You Own. Wanting to simplify so much. Finding time is the challenge. I am enjoying it. Thanks for the opportunity! I love your posts.

  • Jane says:

    I’m reading Raising Kids with Good manners by Donna Jones. It’s so eye opening and helpful for me to love my child as God loves us.

  • Niki Blake says:

    I’m not sure my comment posted so I am leaving it again. 🙂 I love your blog. I have unsubscribed to most because there is so much advertising. Your blog is so real and so good. Parenting is hard and I will be praying for all of you! Thank you so much for the chance to win these awesome books! I am reading something by Liane Moriarty right now and re-doing THE LOVE DARE. My word for this year is Cherish and I want my hubby and kiddos to know they are my first priority.

  • Melissa says:

    I think I pondering the same thing you are as far as my parenting skills lately. Thanks for your honesty.

  • Tina says:

    Reading The happiness dare, I think it was a book you recommended.

  • Jennifer says:

    What I am pondering… I need to let part of my business go now that I have shifted from full time business owner to full time employee with a business on the side. I cannot do it all but I need to accept that in my heart. Other than my children, my business is my greatest source of joy. Thank goodness for girlfriends that will be honest with me and give it to me straight as I go through this struggle.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m reading Adopted for Life, which draws deep connections to being adopted in Christ to adoption of children, which we’re waiting for right now!

  • Tana Henry says:

    I’m currently reading The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp and A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz. Both are great!

  • Mary says:

    I am pondering how to best encorage my college graduate son who is looking for a job and feeling frustrated. Lots of prayers!

  • Katherine says:

    I’m reading Lights Out by Ted Koppel, which is a little bit freaky look at what could happen if twrrorists knocked out the power grid in the U.S. So, you know, light reading. Ha!
    Pondering: I’ve been working this week on taking more time to just relax. For some people that’s easy. For me I always feel like I should be doing something (I know you can relate!). So I’ve been sitting and listening to podcasts or knitting or just watching my kids play. It has been nice! And I’ve still managed to get things done.

  • Courtney says:

    I’m reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. I’m loving it!

  • Kathy says:

    Love this post! Thanks for your honesty! I’m loving cuddling my 8 week old baby and spending time with my 2 year old. Pondering how I can be a good mom even with minimal sleep. 😉

  • Sandi Holman says:

    I’m reading Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson, again. I’ve got 3 girls and 2 boys and they are always changing and growing up so I’m trying to stay ahead of the changes.

  • Amy says:

    My husband and I were approached by our adopted daughter’s birth mom about adoption her half sibling due in May. Financially we aren’t able to, but we keep sensing God is moving us into a different future than we had been envisioning. This has led us to spend time seeking his will…spending more time in prayer, in the word, in worship and also watching different speakers on (Some of Francis Chan’s messages have really challenged us. It’s been a growing…stretching season.

  • Katie says:

    Reading ‘Anything’ by Jennie Allen and it is rocking my soul!!! Thank you for your honesty…we all struggle and our kids are human and will struggle too. Keep modeling loving the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength. They are in his hands!!!

  • Mona says:

    I just finished reading Damaged by Lisa Scottoline and just started The Woman In Cabin 10. Would love to win some books. Wonderful idea!

  • Shannon B says:

    I am currently reading A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans and then will start Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson soon. This year I am committing to reading more and taking time for myself.
    A lot has changed in the past few months in my life, a little scary and nervewracking at times, but I know it’s for the best. Thank you for being open and sharing your life with us. I think people are more alike than we realize and if we all did realize this, then I think the world would have a little more compassion and understanding for one another.

  • Michelle says:

    I am reading Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way. There is so much to sip and savor!

  • Naomi says:

    I am currently reading The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. And Home Management, Plain and Simple by Kim Brenneman. I enjoy reading your Sunday updates! Thank you for sharing.

  • Sue D says:

    I read on my exercise bike. I am not at home right now for the exact titles I am currently reading but one is Larry Burkett on biblical principals about money, and the other is a book of my mom’s about the life of Paul.

  • Emily says:

    I’m reading How People Change by Paul Tripp and Ted Lane. It’s a life changing book and I want to recommend it to everyone!

  • Becca says:

    I am reading an Agatha Christie book- Halloween Party.

  • Rochelle says:

    I’m currently reading “Calm My anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow. I’ve never really considered myself one to get too anxious about things but as I read the book, it is making me think about the “smaller things” that I do tend to get stuck on and perhaps steal me from focusing on “the now.” My one word for this year is MOMENTOUS, as in making the most of each moment and not being so focused on getting to future ones. This book is definitely helping me to consider how to really capture the current!

  • Leslie says:

    I’m reading To Kill a Mockingbird to prepare for a high school class with some of my boys and their friends. I’m very much enjoying this book and pondering how the themes might apply to today. So much to consider and learn from.

  • Adrienne says:

    I love your new blog format. I enjoy reading your Sunday night post as I look forward to my coming week.

    I am working on two books by Gloria Furman, missional motherhood and pastor’s wife. I keep one upstairs and one in my kitchen so I can read when I have a few minutes. I am enjoying them.

    I am pondering how to finish our homeschool year we’ll. Almost done! Yeah!

  • Jen says:

    I am trying to finish reading Insurgent but I am struggling a little bit right now trying to get through it. I love your blog and your honesty.

  • Chris says:

    I just discovered Scribd. I have been reading vociferously! My my recent favorite is In a Dark Dark Wood.

  • Andrea Blankenship says:

    Crazy week for sure, full moon weeks always seem to be around our house! I just finished reading “The Brethren” by John Grisham.
    I’m absolutely loving this spring like weather we are having in SWMO – starting to plan my garden and just put in my order for more baby chicks!
    I’ve been pondering what I want to be when I “grow up”. Ugh! I just turned 36 and I would LOVE to have my own green house and roadside stand with all of our garden goodies and our Farm fresh beef but there are always 10 road blocks for every move forward. I need to have more quite time and prayer time to work through this and see what His plans are for me, but I’ve always been an impatient student!
    Have a blessed week!!

  • Crystal Shaffner says:

    I am currently reading Word Filled Families but have at least 85 books on Kindle and wish list to read/buy. I love readying and always really enjoy your book recommendations! Thank you.

  • Allison says:

    Just finished These is My Words by Nancy Turner (really enjoyed it!)

  • Haley says:

    I am reading unstuffed by Ruth sukup and as a read aloud we’re reading word of mouse by James Patterson!

  • Emily says:

    I recently read The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert. So good!!

  • Jennifer M says:

    I’m reading 4 books right now:
    -Money Making Mom (just have the Kindle version so I’d love the real one!)
    -People Over Profit by Dale Partridge
    -Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup
    – Trim Healthy Mama No More Fads (original book – I’ve been on plan 10 months but only read the newer book)

  • Brooke says:

    I’m reading “ADog’s Purpose,” which I read years ago but loved so much I thought I’d read it again.

  • Emily Nielsen says:

    I just started reading Lady, Maybe by Julie Klassen!

  • Holly says:

    I am reading The Magnolia Story and More than enough.

  • Christina LoPresti says:

    Currently reading the Little house on the Prairie Series.

  • Sarah says:

    Just finished All the Lights we Cannot See by Doerr. Going to spend some time away from books until I get taxes done and catch up on some notes to friends and family. We need to do a week of unplugged here, but we are cycling through sickness and some days my energy is gone by two and it is the easiest form of entertainment.

  • Ofg says:

    Nothing but children’s books lately. I checked out the happiness dare but I never found the time to read it 🙁

  • Kim says:

    I am a missionary and will be coming home for our first furlough in a month and a half. It would be fun to have some books to read when we arrive in the US.
    I wish I could say I was contiplating deep thoughts, but really I am trying to just get through the day, love my family well, reach out to others and for fun watch local tv to practice my language skills.

  • Kate says:

    I’ve been reading The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis… and pondering how to help a child from a hard place in my Sunday School class.

  • Jen says:

    I just started the Odyssey, which I never read before, but was inspired to pick it up after studying the ancient world with my kids and reading some condensed versions with them.

  • Lisa says:

    I am currently reading Spark Joy by Marie Kondo in hopes to simplify our life. I am also hoping to adopt the Screen Free week in our home as well…Although, I’m nervous about it but something that needs to happen! You are an inspiration! I enjoy reading about your week every Sunday!

  • Carrie says:

    I am reading (and loving) “Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks your comfortable Christianity” by Jen Hatmaker. It’s an easy read, filled with her great humor, but it’s also challenging and incredibly good to ponder.

  • Savannah says:

    I’m currently reading the 299 Days trilogy – it’s a preparedness/survival series that has been very eye opening!

  • Rebecca says:

    I am currently reading Surprised by motherhood and the Life giving Home. There’s so much I need to learn as a new mother.

  • Kim B says:

    I am currently reading “Desperate: Hope for the mom who needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. I first heard about it here on your blog 🙂 Love hearing your recommendations of what you have been enjoying!

  • Meg says:

    I just finished The Hiding Place.

  • Cat R says:

    Currently reading “MID LIFE CAREER RESCUE – The Call For Change” by Cassandra Gaisford.

  • Beverly says:

    I just purchased No More Faking Fine today but haven’t started reading it yet! I’ve been dealing with something very personal and need spiritual encouragement although all I really need is found in my favorite, my Bible.

  • Tara says:

    I am reading The 10 Greatest Gifts I Give My Children.

  • Hannah S says:

    I’m reading One More Step by Rachel Wojo. Just finished The End of Me and Gods at War (both by Kyle Idleman and both were great!).

  • Misty says:

    Our family finished reading The Magnolia Story recently. Looking for a new one to begin soon!

  • Jackie Lawrence says:

    Thanks for sharing a little bit of your life every week! It is encouraging to read each week. Parenting is not easy, but the time flys by. Enjoy every minute good and bad. Someday you will turn around, and your three children will be 23, 25, & 27 like my three. Then a sweet thing happens- grandchildren! I am reading The Very Next Thing- Follow God. Where You Are. Right Now. by Mark Hall from Casting Crowns. It is more a devotional format, but very good. I also loved the Trixie Belden series growing up, and have been thinking about reading them again this year just for enjoyment! Prayers for a blessed week for you and your family! Isaiah 41:10

  • sara says:

    I’m reading about adrenal fatigue and lots and lots of children’s books.

  • Terri S. says:

    Reading Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown – the second time around. Great read about 4 women who embark on a sacred journey to find more of Jesus. It was convicting.

  • Carol says:

    I am reading a book that’s been on the top seller list for years–the Bible! 🙂 I honestly don’t have time to read anything else in this season of life. If I can’t make time for Bible reading, then I REFUSE to make time for any other book. 🙂

  • kathy says:

    You will go through hard times with your children at all ages, just keep praying for them and you and Jesse will be fine. Raising children is one of the hardest and most rewarding things we will ever do.

    I am reading Seven secrets to Power praying by Jane Glenchur and Still Missing by Chevy Stevens. I love books.

  • Debbi says:

    I just finished reading The Slight Edge, if you haven’t read it I would love to know what you think. Basically small things add up to big results, which I already know, but don’t always do. I was having a hard time getting into a good fiction book, (I think the endo of winter blue have been getting me down) so I am also reading a collection of short stories, “A Valentine Collection, A Timeless Romance Anthology”. I love a couple of the authors who write from these series and then stories are alway short and sweet (and clean!).

  • Jenn Khurshid says:

    Like you, I have been thinking about how to parent our children. It’s such a hard job, but such a blessing!
    Also, just picked up “Strengths Based Marriage” by Jimmy Evans & Allan Kelsey today at our church bookstore. Looking forward to starting it soon!

  • Danielle says:

    What I’m pondering… im 34 weeks pregnant with my first baby. As excited as I am, I am equally nervous and anxious. As a type A person who likes to plan and prepare for as much as possible, I’m realizing there is only so much I can plan! I worry how I will balance learning motherhood, budgeting, taking care of a house and eventually going back to work. I worry will I parent her correctly? Will instincts kick in? Will the budget go out the window? Will I know when to give myself grace? I truly love reading this blog because it touches on all of the areas that speak to me so thank you for being so transparent and real.

    • You are so welcome. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! And I so get what it’s like to be a planner and to wonder and worry about so many things that feel out of your control!

  • Heather says:

    Thank you for being honest about your feelings regarding parenting. I’ve had similar struggles for a few months which have been very discouraging. Often people think I “have it all together” or I’m so patient but inside I feel like I’m crumbling every day because of my failures and frustrations in this department. Ohh how I wish there were some quick fixes! Your sweet reminders have encouraged me and pointed me to Truth when often our mom minds are filled with lies.

  • Carmel says:

    I’ve been trying to read the bible in 90 days through a bible app youversion. I’m not going to make it, but the experience has been good. I’ve also been loving the Bible Road Trip with the kids. We are doing year 3- the New Testament.

  • Mercy says:

    I am reading Happy Wives Club by Fawn Weaver. I love her heart and her writing but sometimes I think “of course it would be easy to love my husband if he was THAT great!”

    I have always struggled with my self-esteem when it comes to mothering. I am sure I’m doing it wrong and messing up my children. Thank you for being honest and open with that aspect of your week. I am praying for your family!

  • Katrina says:

    I’m trying to finish up a few different books (because they’re due back at the library!), one on Pulitzer Prize winning photos and another on spiritual pauses.

  • Jennifer Madigan says:

    I’m reading Sisi and loving it. I love historical fiction.

  • Elle says:

    I too have been thinking about parenthood. Our oldest is a junior in high school and we are discussing things like driver’s licenses and career choices. On the other end of the spectrum I have a four month old. Parenthood is hard. And can be discouraging. But I wouldn’t trade it! I was encouraged by reading your post.☺ Thank you!

  • Tonya says:

    I just got done reading Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. It is about two families intertwined started by an affair. Although I didn’t like that the affair started the story, it really is about all the relationships and strong bonds that form from it.

    I love your blog. I have saved money from your ideas and love the new Sunday “a peek into your life.”

  • Michelle says:

    I’m in desperate need of an eye exam and new prescription, (Scheduled for tomorrow) so I haven’t been reading anything, but can’t wait to dive back into reading. I would love to have some fun new books to read.

  • Laura says:

    Holy Bible,especially Psalms and Proverbs

  • Michelle Habig says:

    Hi – I love reading about what others are reading right now. Fun idea!
    Currently I’m reading:
    1. The Happiness Dare (per your recommendation) – love it!
    2. The Diary of Anne Frank – for a homeschool book club I co-lead
    3. Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – for my adult/friends book club 🙂

  • Amanda says:

    I’m always reading a bunch of books! Happy Herbivore, What Falls From the Sky, The Ragamuffin Gospel, and A Lucky Child.

  • Stephanie says:

    Currently reading ‘The Connected Child’ to hopefully find helpful suggestions for a struggling little one. Thanks for the opportunity to win good books!

  • Cori says:

    I am currently reading aHarry Potter book and I’ve started The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. But our life has been full, so I’ve not had enough reading time. I’ve been pondering how to fix this.

  • Sarah Pyle says:

    I’m reading “Deep Run Roots” by Vivian Howard and “Will Write for Food” by Dianne Jacob.

  • Julie says:

    I just finished Magnolia Story. I loved Trim Healthy Mama.

  • Ashley says:

    Currently reading The Land, which is the prequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

  • Michelle says:

    I’m currently reading the “Bailey Flanigan” series by Karen Kingsbury – a nice, quick read. I’m interested in the books you posted as well!

  • Sarah says:

    I’m reading the “Grand Tour” series by Lisa T. Bergren. I just finished the first book “Glamorous Illusions” and am on the second book ” Grave Consequences”. I’m new to this Christian fiction author and I’ve really enjoyed this series so far!

  • Rebekah says:

    Reading “The Praying Life” right now and Genesis with the kids. Also reading some Aesop’s fables with our 4 boys as well as Charlotte’s web. We’ve all bee sick this week, so sadly have not had much energy even for reading, but I think we are on the upswing! Been wanting to read the Charlotte Mason book as we are considering home schooling our boys starting next year.

  • Kristy Rosenberger says:

    I just finished reading No Other God’s by Kelly Minter and am getting ready to lead a Bible Study on it at our church. Awesome book, incredibly challenging on so many levels. Excited for the chance to win some of your fav reads, Crystal!

  • I am reading “Different” by Sally Clarkson and “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple. I’m also listening to “Hillbilly Elegy” as an audiobook. I’d love to win this stack!! I’m pregnant with baby #5 and the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook would be so helpful for keeping me fueled with good food for the rest of this pregnancy, and to hopefully shed some weight once this little one is born in June. 🙂 Love your blog, Crystal.

  • Hi, I am in between churches right now and just contemplating what God has for me and my family. I feel him calling me to love him more and to show his love to others.

  • Lindsey says:

    I’m reading Parenting in the Pew.

  • Sandi says:

    After reading one of your blogs about books you had read, I read Be Real by Rick Bezet, and enjoyed it. I’ve also started re-reading the Mitford Series by Jan Karon.

  • Jessica says:

    I’m reading the sequel to Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, it is called Catriona.

  • Sylvia Baker says:

    Currently reading Dr. Suzuki’s Nurtured by Love, Boundaries and Great Expectations.
    And constantly pondering how in the world to raise these children!

  • Naomi says:

    I just finished Healing Hearts and A Man Called Ove. Yesterday I started Twenty Wishes. I have always wanted to write a book; I would like to read the book you mentioned. I have been pondering motherhood too. I have a 4 and 2 year old, and I want them to know they are loved for who they are. My parents were very strict, and at times their love was conditional based on my behavior. I am trying to love my children unconditionally and give them a lot of grace but also teach them right and wrong. It’s challenging! God is my strength in my weaknesses.

  • Melissa Crawford says:

    Hands Free Mama and Made to Crave. Both incredibly good!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I am reading The Girl with no Past by Kathryn Croft. Looking for books to read as I recover from a c-section after my 7th baby!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’m currently reading Desiring the Kingdom by James K A Smith. As I read, I’m pondering the idea that we are primarily lovers by nature and that we need to have practices/habits that keep our desires aimed toward God and His kingdom. We’re not just “brains on a stick” that need to get filled up with the right ideas or knowledge. Good stuff!

  • Nicole says:

    I’m reading The Woman in Cabin 10 it’s great!

  • Natalie says:

    I’m reading How to Manage Your Home without Losing Your Sanity by Dana White. For the first time ever I feel like I’ve found someone who actually gets my housekeeping struggles! The more I read the more convinced I am that we are kindred spirits!

  • Lisa S. says:

    I’m reading The Best Yes by Lisa Terkurst and struggling with the best way to parent my high energy, distractable 8 year old son. It’s so discouraging when I give in to frustration while helping him with a class project. I’m struggling with wanting him to care about doing well as much as I do vs letting him do it his way and suffer the consequences. I want his best effort but I need God’s help with my lack of patience and gentleness. Nothing like going back to work on Monday knowing my plans of awesome parenting/togetherness didn’t exactly play out like I hoped. A swing and a giant miss. Sigh. Your post was a great encouragement to me, I’ve been a reader for years. You make it look so easy, but I know you have challenges too. In this moment, I’m thankful for grace–and the chance to try again tomorrow. Here goes…

  • Lisa says:

    Currently reading Chris Hogan’s Retire Inspired.

  • Faith Yoder says:

    Just borrowed The Connected Child. Haven’t started it yet, but think it will be fantastic!

  • Kris says:

    Just finished reading Bella’s Gift by Rick & Karen Santorum. Highly recommend! My best friend from high school just had a baby girl born in November & she was diagnosed with trisomy 18 which is what Bella was diagnosed with. Very inspiring story!

  • Jennifer says:

    Crystal, Thank you for your encouragement to read. This year, I have started reading for pleasure again (after 25 years). This week, I have been stuck on the decision about what to read next. I have been looking for something inspirational and something that will captivate me, and the right book has not caught my eye yet. I am hopeful that I will soon.

  • Anne Lawson says:

    In the middle of many books but the one I’m enjoying the most is an old novel called “The Robe” by Lloyd Douglas, about events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion.

  • Ashley Godbey says:

    I’m reading my Bible, have never read it all the way through so this year is going to be that year I dive into it! Also reading all I can about American Sign Language. I just started a position at the deaf school here, I’m needing to learn!

  • Sara says:

    Just finished Someone by Alice McDermott and A Man called Ove.

  • Rebecca says:

    I’m reading through the Bible, chronologically. I’m also
    s-l-o-w-l-y reading Mere Christianity.

  • Leah says:

    I’m currently reading “The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst and “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp – both excellent so far. Thanks for this giveaway!

  • Deb says:

    I’m reading the latest in a series of books by Jamie Langston Turner, a college professor from SC. It’s called To See the Moon Again. i’ve enjoyed all her novels.

  • I’ve started reading “Parenting: 14 gospel Principals that can radically change your family” and so far I love it. Practical and inspiring at the same time. Over Christmas I read “The Christmas Shoes” and cried buckets over the beautiful story of how God touches our lives.

  • Shelly C says:

    I read freebies on my kindle. I am reading the newest Harry Potter book at home now and Wonder to my kids at school.

  • Rachel says:

    I feel for your parenting issues. I’m right there with you. I have read 2 books this year, Shatteted Dreams and a Favorite Wife. Both about ex Mormom women.

  • I’m reading “Sabotaged” in the 5th book in the Alaskan Courage Series by Dani Pettrey. I’m always trying to sneak in a page here and there just to find out what happens! It’s good!

  • Steph Wehrm says:

    Reading Jane eyre, Good and Angry, and Confessions of a Food Catholic.

  • Laurie Jackson says:

    I am reading A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins with an IG group and really enjoying it.
    I’ve been researching Charlotte Mason for our homeschool so that one looks good!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m currently reading “Love Your Life, Not Theirs” by Rachel Cruze.

  • Carolina B says:

    What an amazing stack!
    I’m working through Large Family Logistics right now!

  • Genny says:

    I’m currently reading A Life Giving home by sally Clarkson and a novel that I picked up from the library.

  • Robin schreiber says:

    I am reading “Prayers that changed history”. My 12 year old son loves it. He is an avid, and advanced, reader. He has loved the special read aloud quiet time that we are sharing. Each story is about 5 minutes long and geared toward a 10 year old and up level. I highly recommend!!

  • Ali says:

    If it is open to Canadians, I’d love it. I just finished reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and loved it!! Now I’m on Total Money Makeover because it is part of the reading challenge I’m doing, part your recommendation from your book and part because it has sat on our book selves for nearly 7 years and it was time to crack it open. I’m also really excited for that Katherine Reary. I loved her other books, also because of your recommendation!

  • Theres says:

    I am currently reading, “God’s Passion for His Glory,” by John Piper. It is his commentary on Jonathan Edwards text, “The End for Which God Created the World.” I read it about 10 years ago and still enjoy it just as much. I just finished a segment on the importance of reading difficult books to challenge our minds.

    I am loving spending time with my friend’s 3 kids. We made home-made play-doh for their Valentine’s day party at pre-school yesterday. They had a blast!

  • JoDi says:

    The parenting struggle is real! I’m not commenting to enter the contest, but I wanted to share the name of a book I recently read that you might want to check out. It’s called “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber. It had so many good insights for how we can improve our communication with our children. I wish I’d had it when I was raising my son! He’s long grown, but was very stubborn as a child, and I know if I had this information then, I could have helped make things so much better.

  • Amy Lauren says:

    I need some new books to read! I’m reading Sweat Equity right now… I like sports/athletic/biography books though. That apple dip looks delicious too :).

  • Serena says:

    Right now I’m reading The Episcopal Handbook.

  • Laura A. says:

    I would love a chance to win the books. I’m attempting to finish up Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace by Joel Beeke, which I started months ago. It’s fantastic! And I just started reading Blessing Your Husband by Debra Evans for the ladies book study at my church.

  • Brooke says:

    I am reading a bunch of books right now! I just started Loveology, and I am in the middle of Teaching from Rest and a few others. Neat idea to do a giveaway!

  • Rhonda says:

    I am reading “How to be a Best Friend Forever” by Dr. John Townsend. Also reading the “Whole 30” book and “It Starts With Food” by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig. Always looking for a new book to read:)
    Pondering over my now adult children and how quickly time has gone by! My son was married in December and one of my daughters is planning a June wedding. Busy, fun, wonderful times and memories in the making:)

  • Tara S. says:

    For fun I’m reading The Magnolia Story. Can’t get enough of the Gaines!

  • DebbiebRike says:

    I’m reading Thirteen reasons Why and I am intrigued taking a look at how we impact others lives without even knowing.

  • Liz says:

    I’m reading Les Miserables!

  • Ashlee g. says:

    Your entire blog is inspiring but I love the book reviews you post and your weekly updates. From this week especially – parenting is hard stuff – recognizing that it’s hard and wondering how to do better mean you are on the right path. If you weren’t questioning your parenting it would mean you didn’t care. Keep at it and keep inspiring us all!

  • Amber says:

    Hi! I’m currently reading Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis. So far it’s an amazing read!
    I’m currently loving Downton Abbey Season 4! (I know, I’m soo behind ;))
    And I’m currently pondering how many children (both biological and adoptive) God has in store for our family.
    Thanks so much for being such a positive encouragement and hosting such an amazing giveaway 🙂

  • Heather h. says:

    I’m reading a couple of textbooks right now and the Magnolia Story. Would love some more books.

  • Jennifer says:

    This is so thoughtful and great. I would love to win this.
    I am currently finishing up the Maze Runner series and Little Women. Also reading/using 365 days to reading the Bible. One of my goals was to read the Bible completely.

  • Christine says:

    I am reading The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. I used to think that I needed to be all put together before I could be used by Him. This book has convicted me that broken things can become blessed things, and that brokenness can drive us ever closer to Him.

  • Valerie Finlay says:

    I’m reading The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp. I really enjoy her writing!

  • Holly says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I always enjoy your updates. Thanks for keeping it real and I hope that you are feeling better soon!
    This year, I set a goal to read 25 books (inspired partially by you and by another favorite blogger of mine). So far, I’ve read Heaven (Randy Alcorn), Just Jane (Nancy Moser), Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full (Gloria Furman), and Bread & Wine (Shauna Niequest). Next on my list are The Life-giving Home (Sally & Sarah Clarkson) & Hands Free Mama (Rachel Macy Stafford) along with one of Jan Karon’s Mitford books. (Your posts on how to get audiobooks for free and discounted ebooks have really helped me to meet my reading goals)! 🙂
    I’m currently loving the fact that I only have 4 weeks left of pregnancy and am trying to soak up the time that I have left with my 19 month old as an only child. I’ve also really been enjoying the Daily Radio Bible podcast… and of course, Jamie Ivey’s The Happy Hour podcast.
    As for what I’ve been pondering lately: trying to think of creative ways to add to our family income as a SAHM/WAHM, thinking about blogging again, and working at choosing contentment with our small 850 square foot home as we wait for the right house to pop up at the right time.
    I’ve also been profoundly touched by people around me experiencing grief this year… and have been challenged by Jesus’ exhortation “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1). I’m working on giving Him the burdens of those around me rather than trying to carry them all myself.
    Phew. Sorry for the super long comment. Just wanted to cover all of the bases. 🙂

  • Angela says:

    I’m currently reading Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. A great book so far.

  • Need A Nap2 says:

    I just finished The Shadow of Your Smile – Deep Haven series by Susan May Warren.

  • JC says:

    I’m pondering parenting as well. My 19 month old tried to hit another little girl at the library because she wanted the doll that child was playing with. No one has ever hit my child, and she has never seen someone hit someone else, so why is she hitting?! And then I think, this is only the first parenting issue. there will be many more to come. We will make it through.

  • Melissa says:

    I am reading through the Wellness Mama cookbook, trim healthy mama book, IEW Writing Books(for my son for homeschool but I think I am enjoying the process more than him) and for my lovely daughter we have read many many times a Trolls book she got for her birthday.

  • Carolyn says:

    I am reading “Penny Wise” for myself… a fiction book, by my favorite authors Dave and Neta Jackson. Love, Love, Love their writing style and encouraging story lines. And to the kids we just started “My Side of the Mountain” By Elizabeth … something :/ Only two chapters into that one, but so far the kids are loving it.

  • Rosanne says:

    I just finished a book Dragon of Stars and Ashes, and it was SO good – think a dragon version of Black Beauty. It was really excellent. I haven’t started a new fiction book yet, but I am reading a book on small businesses/taxes. I know – fun right? lol Right now, I am pondering how to step fulling into being God’s daughter and what that all means. I’m pondering how to practically live out my faith in the midst of the mundane.

  • Anna Funk says:

    Hi! I’m reading Wonder and a book on Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin and a book on New Mexico Myths and Legends. Eclectic mix right now!

  • Carrie says:

    Thank you for offering the giveaway! I am currently reading Love Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruz. It has really great messages that I need to be reminded of!! Hang in there, I’m sure you are doing a great job as a parent! It gets so hard sometimes!! Have a great week!

  • Star Kirby says:

    I am reading “Healing Spices” right now, which is full of such great info. I just finished Laura Vanderkams “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.”. I used to do really well with a strong morning routine and getting necessary things accomplished each day, but after having a very difficult baby who became a early riser/attention seeking toddler/preschooler I find that my day is a mess. I have a hard time getting started in the morning and a hard time getting things done all day because of it. As far as pondering… I’ve been thinking a lot about income earning ideas, and I actually had your book on my list of things to check out!

  • Kaylee says:

    I am reading the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series as well as Call the Midwife. I’m loving the new Masterpiece series Victoria!!

  • Felicia says:

    Im reading The Friendship Factor and the Love Dare. Im trying to squeeze in all the the books Ive been meaning to read for years. Lol

  • Kris says:

    I am branching out and open to ideas and encouragement wherever they come from:) I am currently reading “Family First” by Dr.Phil, and catching up on unread issues of “Birds and Blooms” magazine while dreaming of Spring. Thanks for being there for us everyday, Crystal!

  • Iva says:

    I just finished You Matter More Than You Think by Dr. Leslie Parrott. I’m actually re-reading it, highlighting and making notes in it. I plan on gifting it to a very good friend who is in need of encouragement. In fact, I’m thinking about doing this will all of the books I read that really resonate with me or make me think about a friend who needs encouragement. I think it’s an excellent way to keep fresh books on my shelf and keep the clutter down while blessing friends and family.

  • Melissa says:

    I’m currently reading Present Over Perfect from your recommendation! Very good so far. 🙂

    Thanks for hosting a giveaway of books! My favorite!!

  • Dawn says:

    I’m reading “discerning the voice of
    God” by Priscilla Shirer. I too am struggling with my job as a parent.I have a 13-year-old who is also going through a stubborn rebellious phase,but also is turning away from God and her youth group.? And a 10-year-old who is struggling with lying, and possible food addiction. I pray daily for God’s wisdom to help me. Neither one was brought up to act this way. I too always try to remember love and grace.

  • Nicki says:

    I’m reading Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University

  • Oldita says:

    Love this giveaway! Love your blog! Thank you Crystal!! In my current stack is “Unstuffed” by Ruth Soukup, really need to keep decluttering this year ??? “Uninvited” by Lysa Terkeurst (your recommendation and I got with a great Amazon deal you posted at Christmas time! Woohoo) also trying recipes from Rocco Dispirito’s “Now Eat This Italian” currently doing Whole30 and pondering a radical change in my health and fitness level this month, Spring, Year! The time is now. Thanks again ???

  • Davette says:

    I’m reading “Give Your Child the World” — and making lists of more & more books as a result! 🙂

  • Kailynne says:

    Right now I’m reading The Longest Ride and The Happiness Dare. I love to read and would love to win these books! 🙂

  • Melisha says:

    I’m reading/studying Beth Moore’s new “Entrusted” study, and “Bread and Wine” by Niequist.

  • Susie Maxfield says:

    I’m reading John and Betty Stam (Missionary Martyrs) and Hope for Mr. Darcy. I’m hoping to start Rare Bird soon. I love hearing what you a reading! Keep the Sunday recaps coming! They are encouraging and real.

  • Holly Powell-Patrick says:

    I just finished reading “Loving Our Kids on Purpose” by Danny Silk and just got back from an evening of discussing it with some of the fellow moms from my church. What you shared about how God has been speaking to you is really similar to what the book is about! It is all about the heart connection and it has really inspired me to look at how I am parenting my 3-year old and whether or not I am capturing her heart or just looking for obedience and compliance. Thank you for your authenticity!

  • Melissa says:

    Yes I would LOVE to write a book alongside you! It’s been on my heart for many years and I feel like right now God is really etching our story out into something unique and interesting. I don’t have any idea what it would look like (a book, that is) but it would be my hope and desire to encourage others to use what God has put right in front of them for good!!

  • Erin says:

    I’m currently reading through Lysa TerKeurst’s book Unglued as a group from my church is going through the study about it. Also, the pastor of my church challenged us to read through Ephesians every day for a month. I’m loving essential oils and pondering many things about marriage and parenting…

  • Laura Bowman says:

    I just bought The Pound a Day Diet by Rocco Dispirito (from the bargain bin!) I love the whole idea of losing quickly and eating good stuff, and it looks like most of the recipes are fairly normal and looks good. I would be grateful to win this give away because I’ve been wanting to try the Trim Healthy Mama program.
    Love your blog, Crystal.

  • heather says:

    I am loving the 21 day fix exercise and eating plan. It was great for me to get back on track with eating healthy and exercising. I was getting headaches everyday and feeling exhausted every day. Eating better has really turned my frown upside down. I just needed a jump start.

  • Sarah D. says:

    Reading – Bride of a Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd. Kind of Jane Eyre-ian.
    Pondering – Some of the same parenting issues as you. Your words from God resonate with me.
    Loving – Adrenevive supplement from OrthoMolecular. I am sleeping like a baby with this supplement that keeps my typically high cortisol from driving me crazy at bedtime!

  • Karise says:

    I’m loving the experience of my first pregnancy, feeling the movements of my little boy inside me, and pondering with my husband the wonder of God’s mercy and creative work in how He knits little people together in their mothers’ wombs. 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    Retire Inspired by Chris Hogan

  • Mikaela says:

    Rereading “same kind of different as me”. My favorite Christian book! I’m happy and in tears all the way through it.

  • DeLeisa says:

    Hi! I am ALWAYS reading recipes in the TRIM HEALTHY MAMA Cookbook, and I just got Briana Thomas’ book, Necessary Food this week(half way through it and have tried a few recipes already…you MUST try her Horsetracks Ice Cream…it is yummy and IT’S SUGAR FREE!!!
    Also reading I FIVE TOU AUTHORITY by Charles H. Kraft and THE POWER IF A PARENT’S BLESSING by Craig Hill.

  • Mikaela says:

    Rereading “same kind of different as me”. My favorite Christian book! I’m happy and in tears all the way through it.

  • tania says:

    I am reading seeing and savoring Jesus Christ, Teaching from Rest and Raising Boys and Adopted For Life. I am pondering Foster Care, how long we will wait for our baby, how our family will adjust, What she will be like, how long we will have her.

  • Kim says:

    Like you, I am also pondering and praying about how to be a good mom to all my children who all need different things from me. What a challenge and what a blessing they all are!

  • Courtney says:

    It’s a big goal for me this year to really get back to reading more – it’s something I used to love doing but I’ve really fallen out of the habit, and just haven’t made it a priority, in years.

    So, here’s what I’m reading! I just finished A Wrinkle in Time, one of my husband’s absolute favorite books and he’s been trying to get me to read it for years. I’m also reading Wild and Free, partly because I had seen it on Amazon and it looked interesting and then I read your recommendation and snatched it up on sale! I’ve only read the first couple chapters but so far, it is so encouraging! I am also starting Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. I found these books on Amazon and was instantly intrigued, since I’ve always been a fan of Pride & Prejudice.

    Love reading your weekly posts with a Peak into Your Life! Have a great week! 🙂

  • Jessica W says:

    After reading your post about reading Year of Yes, I decided to dive in and give it a read. I suffer from inflammatory bowel disease and didn’t realize how much I say “no” to life. It’s been an inspiring read so far!

  • Becky says:

    I am planning on finishing the Happiness Dare this week. I found this book from your recommendations. Thank you!

  • Carolyn says:

    Parenting is hard work. I am always quick to remember and focus on how I think I have failed. I forget about the moments I get it right. I am working hard to raise 2 godly young men.

  • Beth Looper says:

    I have been pondering Jesus’words in John 5:44: “How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” If I’m honest, I spend too much time trying to impress people with myself – whether it’s via social media or in conversations with friends. All of this just feeds my ego and it’s on attempt to bring myself glory. I want to introduce people to Jesus and impress them with Him! I want to let His love, words, and work to flow through me, bringing Him glory. I have decided to stop posting to Facebook (even the cutest pics of my babies!) and to only scroll through Facebook once a day, so as to not be distracted from these thoughts about self-glorification. I have been investing in the lives of those around me (family and the church), reading more (the Bible and others) and pursuing further the idea of ‘seeking the glory that comes from God.’

    PS: I just finished reading For the Childrens’ Sake about Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education and was excited to see a Charlotte Mason book in the give away stack!

  • Kathleen says:

    I am thinking about what you wrote (esp about parenting and screen time). Our screen time has crept up and I think it is time to pull back. I loved your comment about it only being bad for 24 hours-seems much more doable.

  • Jen says:

    I just finished reading Chasing Slow (great read!) and Different is next on the list.
    Pondering what the Lord is trying to teach us through current struggles.
    Loving the way my husband cares for me and our family and sweet baby snuggles.
    Excellent giveaway, excellent thoughts!

  • Rebecca Coulter says:

    I’m reading City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence. It’s a look at the lives of nine people living inside the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya. It’s fascinating and sad and uplifting all at once.

  • Amy Villarreal says:

    I have been reading “The Best Yes” with my neighborhood Bible study group and also Beth Moore’s first fiction book “The Undoing of Saint Silvanus.” Also, my husband and I just started watching a TV series on Netflix called The Kindness Project and we are really enjoying it. The first 2 episodes made us cry tears of happiness and I hope the show stays on this path…. you never know with series these days!

  • Vickie says:

    I’m trying to read Unoffendable and Bridgette Jones. I’m not too successful as it’s just busy being super mom. I often wonder if I’m parenting correctly too. I have a teen driving and will soon be on his own. I worry that I haven’t done enough. I think we always will feel that way. I don’t know how you do all that you do but I’m glad you do. I enjoy your posts

  • Gina H. says:

    I’m reading one of your books, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, right now! I was super excited to find it for $4 (and use a 15% off coupon!) at a new-to-me store called Ollie’s. I’m also reading Get Off the Bench and Get Into the Game (personal development) by Justin Harrison.

  • Kristan says:

    I’m pondering how to parent well too. My kiddos are similar ages to yours and it doesn’t get easier like I thought it would when they were babies. I do LOVE spending time with them though. My Alden is about the same age as your Silas and is a mama snuggler too, so the photos of you and him always make me smile. 🙂

  • Autumn Beach says:

    Crystal! I just finished Money Making Mom. (I know! What took me so long?!) And I have a stack of books on my nightstand waiting to be read, so I am not trying to win the books.

    BUT. I HAD to comment, because – YES – I feel like everything you said God keeps whispering to you, I am sensing the same!

    In fact, I recently stumbled across Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp on Amazon. I bought the Kindle version and have been gobbling it UP. Nodding my head and saying, “Yes!” out loud as I read it!

    So much more to say, but I’ll cut this short. Hope you’re feeling better this week!

  • Ashley says:

    I just started Having a Martha Home the Mary Way! I’m excited!!

    And, can I just say, that this little part hit me right in my gut:

    But there is this that my Heavenly Father keeps whispering to me: “Love them like I love you. Don’t shame them for their mistakes. Don’t let it be about your reputation. Don’t parent to please others. Don’t parent for behavioral modification. Focus on their hearts. Forgive. Heap on the grace. Walk with them. Love them where they are at. Celebrate the good and the beautiful. And always point them to Jesus and the Gospel.”

    So perfect and beautiful and EXACTLY what my heart needed to hear!!!

  • Kali says:

    Just started reading Uninvited and I love it! Very encouraging to all women ❤

  • Elizabeth says:

    I just finished reading “City of Thorns: nine lives in the world’s largest refugee camp” by Ben Rawlence. It isn’t the type of book I typically read but I found it intriguing since I’ve traveled to Kenya multiple times. With all of the talk about policies regarding refugees floating around in the US, it was helpful to see the complexity of the situation from the perspective of those living in refugee camps.

  • Danielle says:

    I am reading Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham. It is a great read thus far!

  • Emily says:

    Reading: Your Child’s Profession of Faith
    Loving: Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal
    Pondering: Goals for the week (Thanks for the example, Crystal-of goal setting, and if seeking the Lord in your parenting.)

  • Emily h says:

    I’m reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Children.
    Crystal, the very fact that you care about how you parent means you are a good one. Hang in there, we don’t see much of our efforts until our kids are grown. I’m not there yet either 🙂

  • Serena says:

    Pondering how to be the best mom to two toddlers, one with special needs, the days after sleepless nights with my son. Praying to be filled with more grace so even when squeezed only grace and love pours out of me. It is hard but nothing is impossible with God.

  • Cindy says:

    Just finished reading “My Mother’s Chamomile” by Susie Finkbeiner. She also wrote a “Cup of Dust” another good read.

  • Carrie says:

    I’m reading Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, which sounds dreadfully dry, but really is quite lively and applicable.

  • Jessica says:

    Reading my way through The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, book 5 of the Septimus Heap series and The Thirteenth Child.

  • Karla says:

    I’m attempting to read Finding I Am. However that hasn’t been going well due to time. I’ve been struggling with work since my hours and wage will be going down (not by choice) and I’m even going to be starting this whole blended family thing. It feels like I’m a bad Mom do doing this and yet my life can’t be put on hold. Yet it feels worn to do something you know will hurt your child. It’s just different. Not bad of course. Just a ton of changes amd change can hurt. Giving up some of your mama time to share mom can hurt too.
    Fun stuff!

  • Terry Jane Velasquez says:

    I have recently been diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis, and my life will never be the same again. I am filled with regrets of things I thought I still had time to do. I alternate between crying and feeling sorry for myself, and trying to show a brave face for a new normal. Unfortunately, I take out my frustrations on my husband, so I am reading THE KINDNESS CHALLENGE by Shaunti Feldhahn. I would very much like to win the books from you to read for comfort, escapism, replenishment and insight. (I love your Sunday peek and especially enjoy your book recommendations.)

  • Kelly says:

    Currently reading and loving the Outlander series ?

  • Jamie says:

    I’m pondering how I’m going to get it all done this week! We’re still adjusting to life with a newborn and all the life changes that brings!

  • Leah Spencer says:

    Well, I’m reading Published at the moment! 🙂

  • Winter says:

    I have recently starting reading the Seven Brides For Seven Bachelors books by Sherry Goyer. I am loving them! I have also found a newfound love for Positively Posh products! As far as contemplation… I am currently comtemplating how quickly I can be tucked into bed for the night. 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    I’m reading a new to me author, Hannah Alexander. I love contemporary Christian fiction but really I just love to read!!

  • Wendy says:

    I’ve started reading Mother and Son, the respect effect and Keep It Shut. I’ve been pondering the same thing as you, how well are we parenting our kids. Its a challenge, generally a fun one, but still a challenge.

  • Cathy says:

    I’m reading The Orphanmaster and Thinner Leaner Stronger. I’m enjoying both so far.

  • Karen Musclow says:

    I just finished listening to “The Foundling” by Georgette Heyer. A church friend introduced me to her books last year and I am so grateful!!

  • Janet says:

    I think we’re all in the same boat, Crystal. Thank you for sharing.

  • Mel says:

    I really enjoyed this from you, so thank you!

    But there is this that my Heavenly Father keeps whispering to me: “Love them like I love you. Don’t shame them for their mistakes. Don’t let it be about your reputation. Don’t parent to please others. Don’t parent for behavioral modification. Focus on their hearts. Forgive. Heap on the grace. Walk with them. Love them where they are at. Celebrate the good and the beautiful. And always point them to Jesus and the Gospel.”

    I’d love to win this stack of books. I have been enjoying the audio Bible

  • sarah lagnese says:

    I’ve been pondering what books to bring with me on vacation.

  • Brittany says:

    Pondering how to better be present and juggle all the roles (wife, mom, friend, daughter, etc.), and still make time to care for myself ;). Trying to figure out how to clear headspace, and reflect more, too.

  • Michelle Vander Velden says:

    I’m reading Fervent by Priscilla Schrier as part of a bible study through my church. I’m really liking it so far!

  • Rebecca says:

    I just finished (today) reading Anything but Silent: Our Family’s Journey through Childhood Apraxia of Speech. We have a child with suspected CAS (childhood apraxia of speech) and I have been pondering what this journey could mean for our family’s time, resources, finances, etc. Ultimately, I have to trust our resources and path to the Lord, for He cannot make a mistake.

  • Brandy says:

    I’m reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens to see if it’s something appropriate for my almost 13 year old.

    I’m loving the Girl Scout cookies in my freezer, the warm weather, and the sweet family time our little crew had tonight.

    I’m pondering the same as you. This parenting gig is no joke. I read your last paragraph to my husband because it was exactly what we were discussing a few hours ago.

  • Jenny says:

    When my children were small, I read many, many books from so-called experts on parenting. When I tried to follow their parenting guidelines, I failed miserably and I was unhappy and my children were unhappy. I finally learned that I was the best expert for my kids. I was called to the principal’s office many times to discuss my kids. My kids are now young adults and turned out just fine. Stubborn? Questions everything? Those were/are my kids and you know what? Those characteristics are serving them well in life.

  • Kori Lewis says:

    I am just getting back the point of adding more reading into my routine now that my baby is 15 months old. I just finished reading “The Storyteller” by Jodi Picoult…loved it! I need to pick out my next book.

  • Liz says:

    I’ve been reading Looking for Lovely and The Happiness Project after seeing your post about them. I am also finishing up Girl on the Train. Your blog has inspired me to make more time for reading!

  • Kim Fry says:

    I am about to begin reading For The Love by Jen Hatmaker, heard great things about it!!

  • Shanda says:

    Currently reading Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way and loving how it’s speaking to me in this season of life.

  • Melinda says:

    Reading Power of a Praying Wife and also Lovingthe Little Years. Just finished Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode and For the Children’s Sake. All good and convicting and encouraging.

  • Stephani Austin says:

    I’m pondering trusting God for provision. There are several needs regarding cars recently as well as hospital bills. It looks like God may be providing a new job for my husband, but the home prices in our area are terrible. But if God provides the job, he will provide what we need to get there!

    • Victoria McConnell says:

      I’m currently reading Hands Free Mama by Rachel Stafford per your recommendation and love it! I have a 1 year old and I’m 6 months pregnant with baby girl # 2 so being able to get a bit of a mental reading break has been so helpful! (Even when it’s only having energy to finish a couple of pages a night ha!)

  • Whitney says:

    Just finished Magnolia Story by Joanna & Chip Gaines. Love their soul & persistence. So inspiring!

  • Jenn Y says:

    I’m reading “Hands Free Mama” currently, pondering how to help my son with special needs at school, and loving the breaks of sunshine we are having in WA!

  • I’m reading A Man Called Ove and I’m loving it! I just finished Small Great Things, byJodi Piccault, it was excellent!

  • Alicia says:

    I just got down with an intense reading phase, so I’m not reading anything at the moment, but I love reading so I’m sure I’ll start something up again soon. Also we just found out we are pregnant with out FOURTH baby, so I am also questioning and thinking/praying over not only my parenting abilities, but my ability to parent that many children ! Needless to say we are excited, but also a tad scared!

  • Karen says:

    I just finished reading Carry On Mr. Bowditch aloud to my kids. Now we’re reading the biography of William Carry. I just finished a Mrs Pollifax book, and am reading Desperate by Sally Clarkson & Sarah Mae, Every Body Matters by Gary Thomas, and Cheaper By the Dozen.

  • Karen says:

    Hi Crystal!
    I am reading breaking busy, chazown and when helping hurts. Also, reading Acts this week as well. I am finally using a planner inkwell and love it. Thank you for all your encouragement ?

  • Emily says:

    I recently finished reading A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. I plan to finish another book I started reading called Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.

  • Angie Y. says:

    I’m reading Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey. It’s a good book and also has a mention of you, Crystal. I was happy to read that and know that you are someone I follow and admire.

  • Brie says:

    Reading the gospel of John.
    Pondering joining a moms book club with my church.
    Loving to watch my 16 month old learn so much right now! Not loving the new and more frequent tantrums…but it is what it is 🙂

  • This might sound crazy but I’m just now reading Harry Potter series. My youngest son who will turn 28 next month, really wanted me to read his most favorite books ever! He was 11 at the time they came out and I was always reading other books. Okay honestly, I wasn’t interested at the time (bad mom moment).
    I’m so glad he encouraged me to pick up that first book, I love Harry Potter! He kept each book in great condition and he loves the fact that I’m reading his actual books. I think they’ll stay in the family a while.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win a stack of books. I do love reading and have passed it on to our boys. Our 1st grandson (just 4 months old) will also have a love for books, I’m already reading to him, 3 days a week he’s at our house.

  • Julia says:

    I am reading ‘The Life-Giving Home’ by th Clarkson ladies and it’s been so inspiring… loved reading more last year & definitely looking for more good books for this year. My pondering has been on th love chapter, 1 Cor 13… love. it touches evry area of our life & too often we casually just read over it but it is so powerful!!
    Loving on my 3 new foster babies right now, it can b overwhelming but such a blessing!

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi Crystal,

    Thank you for posting about Chandler Bolt’s free book download. My 16 yo son is an aspiring author. He has been perfecting his craft since he was a little boy and will spend hours writing new books and genres. He’s not interested in sports or video games, but instead spends any free time he has writing. He and I could not be anymore different! Anyway, last year when you did a webinar with Chandler, we attended it and ever since he has been wanting to enroll in his self publishing school. Unfortunately, at the moment we’re not in a financial position to invest the money for the course. However, when you posted about his free book download this week, I jumped on the opportunity and my son has started reading it. So, thank you for the recommendations you make about different products you endorse. I appreciate that you are so honest about the pros and cons of different recommendations.

    I, also, am feeling like a parenting failure lately. I have my 16 yo son, a 14 yo son and a 5 yo daughter. We homeschool and I’m finding that trying to navigate my way through high school, middle school and kindergarten with three children and three completely different personality types is very challenging right now. I need your reminders about loving them where they’re at right now and not shaming them for their mistakes. I am naturally wired to be a problem solver and want to just make a check list of how to fix everything all at once. But children and relationships don’t work that way, do they?! ?

  • Stacy says:

    I’m not getting to do a lot of reading but Guideposts keeps me inspired, so I at least squeeze in some uplifting articles! If you want to talk about pondering, I have one child that just graduated high school and another graduating in May. I worry if I have raised them to be strong enough while still making sound decisions and showing compassion when needed. It’s scary to know I have to let them go soon and step back to let them carve their own path!

  • Naomie says:

    I’ve discovered some pretty nice books at Dollar Tree this week,so I’m starting The Aviator’s Wife. I’ve been working a lot and allowing myself a little to read feels like a treat. Also, we have been listening to Harry Potter in the van on the way home from school with the kids.

  • Angela says:

    I have been loving: cooking with the Instant Pot, baking muffins in my jumbo muffin pan, and Silk plain unsweetened coconut milk beverage. I have been asking myself how I didn’t discover these three items a long time ago. 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    I am listening to The Spear by Louis de Wohl. This book has really helped me see what it was like to live during the time when Jesus was teaching and eventually crucified.

  • Dena says:

    I would encourage you to find an older woman in your church to mentor you as a mom. I’m a grandma now, but when my children were young, I asked an older woman in our church to help me. We met 2-3 times a month and she poured into me.
    I still had my peers but it just wasn’t the same as it is with an older woman. She calmed my fears and was funny and encouraging.

  • Carrie says:

    I’m actually in a reading slump right now, so would love to be inspired by some good books! I’m a mama to 4 kiddos, with the youngest twin boys. I love to curl up to read before I go to sleep.

    I can recommend a great nonfiction book I read in 2016 – The Sound of Gravel. Tells the story of living in and escaping a polygamist cult along with her younger siblings.

  • lyss says:

    Pondering the same things. Parenting indeed is hard. The Lord has been showing me that I must look to the Holy Spirit for guidance. Only He can help us parent how we should. And don’t forget, God gave your kids the mom he wanted them to have. I have to remind myself that a lot when I feel like I’m failing. Also burdened for my adopted siblings who are going through some real struggles right now. Taking it to the Lord.

  • Kristi says:

    Thanks for your post! I, too, have been pondering parenting–and have been for quite some time. Our strong-willed oldest just became a teenager and this week the importance and compassion has been on my mind and heart. I have been reading “Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart” by Jim & Lynne Jackson, which I have loved. Last week our family took a vacation together and I was able to read Joel Rosenberg’s “The Aushwitz Escape” which was a great piece of historical fiction.

  • Lori Moats says:

    I am reading Divine Direction by Craig Groeschel and for just some easy fun reading I have been reading some Danielle Steel books. I am now reading “Blue”. I love to read.

    • tracy smolsnik says:

      I just need to read more. thank u for everything!!

    • Megan says:

      I’m always pondering life’s most difficult questions…this time it’s whether I should go back to work and let hubby stay home with the kids. If not, how I can let my passions continue to shine in the crazy 24/7 world of parenting and homeschooling 🙂

  • Rachel Brown says:

    The broken way by Ann v. And children raising parents.

  • Danielle says:

    I’m a total bookworm! Would love to win these! I have been pondering living more minimal/simple so I can better focus my attention on those I love instead of always cleaning up things!

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Crystal! I hope you are feeling better! Currently, I am reading Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst. I know that you highly recommended it. Last year, my relationship with God was almost non-existent. Too many heartbreaks and stress. This year, my soul yearns for quiet time with God. I used to push these “Christian” books, shows, people, and music away. But I realize how loved I feel after spending time in God’s word and reading uplifting books. So I guess I am trying to get rid of the negative in my life. I enjoy your blog and videos so much because you encourage me to do my best with what God gave me and to be real. Thanks Crystal!

  • Vanessa says:

    I’m reading A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent and I’m also reading Glimpses Grace by Gloria Furman

  • Tina says:

    Reading: “When You and Your Mother Can’t Be Friends” in an attempt to gain some insight and help heal from my childhood.
    Loving: My new mug. It’s a half-gallon size and says “I Like Big Mugs and I Can Not Lie” on the side.
    Pondering: Running for PTA President. I have already discussed it with my husband, daughter and close friends. All are encouraging me to go for it.

  • Libby says:

    I’m reading “Audacious” by Beth Moore.

  • Tina H. says:

    I’m reading Home Education by Charlotte Mason. I read this years ago, but it is great to be re-reading it.

  • Nicole says:

    I’ve been making reading more of a focus this year and it’s been so life-giving and refreshing! Currently I have a couple on the go – Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (it’s a childhood favorite – have you read it? I think you’d really enjoy it!) and just finished a book on friendships. 🙂 Blessings to you this week and thank you for thinking of us for this giveaway! I’d love to read the Charlotte Mason companion!

  • chantel says:

    My 12 year old, that has always been raised in a Christian home and attends church every Sunday, has recently been questioning her believe in God. I’m not sure if it’s an age thing or what. I guess I would rather have her question her beliefs now rather than 10 years down the road. Odd that you are experiencing the same situation with one of your kiddos. Blessing to your family.

  • Michele says:

    I just finished reading Shannan Martin’s “Falling Free” and Chip & Joanna Gaines “Magnola” book. A few of the books in your stack have been on my wish list!

  • Codee says:

    I use to read a lot when I was in high school but haven’t made it a priority lately. I like how you say that you are never too busy to do something, that it just depends on what you make a priority. Well I plan on making reading a priority again! I checked out a Deen Koontz book over a month ago and plan to start on it ASAP. I have always loved mysteries.

  • Tracy says:

    I am reading Breaking Busy and loving it! Almost done & looking for some new reading material:).

  • Alyssa Olson says:

    I am just starting to read a book our pastor wrote (it just came out!). It’s called Dream Big Think Small, By Jeff Manion.

  • Mary says:

    I love to read! I am still trying to finish a Christmas Book. Also have been reading Letting go. I have A Dog’s Purpose and also Sonoma Rose that I just received for my birthday to read. I would love to win some more books!

  • Helen says:

    One of my favorite fiction authors, JD Robb, had some new ones so I’ve been catching up on her books.

  • Alex says:

    I always love reading these posts! I am currently reading “The Artist’s Way”. Very interesting and inspiring. It’s not a book I ever would have thought to read but I’m glad I am! I’m realizing that there is so much creativity inside everyone and we are our own worst critic. It has been very eye opening! It’s also been great for me to realize that I say some of the same demoralizing things to my daughter that quenched my creativity. Just things like “oh don’t make that big of a mess”, “be careful those supplies cost lots of money”, etc. nothing mean but just enough to possibly discourage someone from creating a potential masterpiece!!!

  • Quinn says:

    Reading Unfinished Angel I heard about through Heal the World Book-Club
    Listening to God-Centered Mom podcast. Love her podcasts! So spirit filled!! Back to listening to Sorta Awesome podcast. Fun listen! Be listening to some Happily Housewife YouTube videos.
    And pondering and putting together systems to bring more peace in our home.

  • Michele says:

    I am reading The Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson and Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig.

  • Quinn says:

    Such a treat to read these posts especially on a stomach sick flu day like today.

  • Rhonda says:

    I am reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

  • Anna Freeland says:

    I’m finishing up “The Broken Way”, love it! And I’m a few chapters in to “Different”, love it too and wish I had had it years ago.

  • L Laredo says:

    Hi! I love to read and am slowly learning to try and make time for some things I like. I’m pondering what is the right part time job for me and my family. I have several jobs going on and can’t decide which is right for us. I’m hoping the answer will show itself soon!

  • Jennifer says:

    I love how much, and how quickly, you read! It inspires me. I’m slowly getting started reading, Mother & Son, by Emerson Eggerichs. I’m a homeschooling Mom of three, and also have an 18 month old, so I often fall asleep reading.
    Hope you’re feeling better this week!

  • Amanda K says:

    I have been making it through several of your recommended reading lists this past year! I recently finished “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time,” and it had such a big effect on me that I actually decided to purchase it (using gift cards off Swagbucks, of course). I also have been greatly impacted by “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Finally, “Me Before You” was a phenomenal piece of fiction I would have never ventured to read if it wouldn’t have been for your suggestion, and I have recommended that book to MANY others.

    Right now I am reading “The Magic of Thinking Big”… before I get ready to switch to reading mostly career/major-specific information the next few years, as I get ready to start a grad-entry NP program!

    Thank you for all your great material!

  • Dee says:

    Currently reading “Over-the-Counter Natural Cures” by Shane Ellison. I would love to read the stack of books!! Thank you for the opportunity 🙂

  • Monica says:

    I just started reading published, I love it!

  • Karen says:

    I’m reading several books by Jon Gordon right now. Very inspiring, and helps remind me to be positive each day in every situation.

  • Amanda says:

    I loved this post. Motherhood is not easy. I think many of us question ourselves. Hang in there and know that you are not alone. I am currently reading Magnolia story! I’m a huge Fixer Upper fan.

  • Julia says:

    I’ve had a heavy heart about my children and some behavior issues we are working through. Currently I’m reading a book about whinning, and a couple others.

  • Heather Revels says:

    I relate so much to your struggle with parenting lately. Thank you for sharing your heart. It really encouraged me.

  • Karen says:

    Our Bible study is just starting “the best yes” by Lisa T. Very good read….one of my favorite hobbies!!

  • Robyn says:

    I am pondering exactly how you say goodbye to grown children? Both my daughters will be leaving home in 3 months, within 1 day of each other. Excited for them, but ouch to this mama’s heart!

  • Andrea Roberts says:

    I’m reading Moby Dick and the gospel of John this week. If I don’t finish Moby Dick this week, I may never finish it!

    I’m loving that my husband is home from the hospital after 11 days and pondering when we might get that season of rest!

  • Kimmie says:

    I am reading “A Little Salty to Cut be Sweet”. I’m loving coffee with Caramel Syrup and I’ve been pondering on how I can be a better mother!!

  • Kate says:

    I’m pondering how I’m going to handle being a first time mom. I’m 7 months pregnant with my first, and quite honestly, terrified. Hoping & praying I have the strength to make it through.

  • Ashley says:

    Thank you for being so real. I am currently reading “The Story” and “teaching from a place of rest” I’ve been praying and pondering on Gods will and managing life and all of its demands with grace.

  • Ashley Wright says:

    Right now I’m prepping for my state’s bar exam, so I’m not reading anything exciting right now. However, in a few weeks I’m planning to start reading “fun” books again – not sure which ones yet!

  • Cheryl says:

    I am reading “The Happiness Dare”. Enjoying it a lot.

  • denise says:

    I got to read an advanced copy of Katie Ganshert’s new one that releases in April called Life After. It is amazing. I highly recommend it. I have a review up ony blog!

    And I’ve been pondering life. Things have been really rough for me lately. We are looking for a church and I’m feeling down about stuff at work and praying that God has something better for me!

  • Michelle Murphy says:

    I’ve been reading the book Mom’s Who Changed the World. It’s taking me a while but I’m determined to finish it before the month is over.

  • Jenny says:

    I’ve been reading through Beverly Lewis books recently. The current one I’m on is called The Photograph.

  • Hope you’re feeling better physically & more encouraged about your children tonight.

    I just finished What Alice Forgot. That book has made me think!

    I’m currently reading a Bible Q&A book for a reading challenge our church is doing, and this book is challenging, indeed!

    Have a great week and thank you for the giveaway!

  • Jamie S says:

    I found a mystery series on audible that I’m completely obsessed with called Her Royal Spyness set in 1930s London (plus other places in Europe). The reader does an amazing job on all the voices and foreign accents. Think I’m on the 5th book right now. Fortunately they’re audio or nothing would get done in my house until I finished the series!

  • Allison says:

    I’ve just started reading Teaching from Rest by Sarah MacKenzie. I’m loving the read-a-louds I’ve been doing with my kids this year. We’ve read Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan, All of a Kind Family, Five Little Pepper’s and How They Grew, The Golden Goblet, The Boy of the Pyramids, and we are a few chapters away from finishing Bambi.

  • Jin Gill says:

    I’m reading Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman.

  • Jennifer M says:

    I am currently reading the book titled, “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsed. It is a very useful book. I have really enjoyed what I have read so far. It is enlightening and educational in the area of relationships with anyone. I recommend that everyone read it.

  • Krystal says:

    I love seeing your posts!!!! Just about every single one of them. Most of the time I read children’s books! My kids both love books and I read quite a few each day to them. All that I have been reading for myself is my bible. I’m going to find a book to begin this week:)

  • I have watched videos 1&2 from Chandler Bolt and plan to start reading his book Published. I have been inspired to write a book. Something I have never thought about doing! Scary and exciting at the same time!

    When will you be launching your new blogs?! Looking forward to them ?

  • Allison says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to win some great books, Crystal! I have had some conversations with one of my children about his belief in God. Just thought I’d mention a movie that will be out in theaters one night only next week I think. It’s called Is Genesis History? I’m trying to expose him to others ways of increasing his faith in God besides Bible study & reading. Blessings to you & yours!

  • Johanna Rhoades says:

    I am reading Fatal Grace by Louise Penny. And thinking about how to love and parent my babies well. I’m feeling very thankful that He loves us so patiently.

  • Sue says:

    I’m reading ? hidden figures…

  • Brooke says:

    I just finished reading Just Mercy about the criminal justice system in America. It was so, so good. I’m loving my 2 week old baby! It took us 3 miscarriages and lots of waiting, hoping, disappointment, and praying to finally get pregnant with our fourth son. Now I am treasuring and soaking in every sweet, new, sleepless moment!!

  • Jennifer says:

    I love what you said about “love them like I love you”… I am going to meditate on that. I love it! Thank you!

  • Suzanne says:

    I’m also pondering how to be a good parent. I work outside the home as well as being a mom and feel guilty about 1. Not being there “enough” and 2. Wishing for a little solitude once in a awhile. Life is mostly happy ? but it can also be hard.

  • Tasha says:

    Next on my list is Lisa Terkeurst’s book Uninvited. I’ve felt uninvited through several stages of life. I am looking forward to some encouragement and truth to be spoken into the insecurities I have.

  • Katie says:

    Grace Based Parenting for inspiration on loving and focusing on my child as his own person and how to support that and All the Light We Cannot See because I still haven’t finished it 🙂

  • Kate says:

    I’m reading “I Blame Eve: Freedom from Perfectionism, Control Issues, and the Tendency to Listen to Talking Snakes” by Susanna Foth Aughtmon and “31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife” by Arlene Pellicane.

  • Brenda says:

    I appreciate your openness. It can be hard to share what you are going through and still respect your children’s right to privacy. I have also been struggling with whether or not I am parenting well. My children are older than yours and I spend much time pondering and praying for them. I love the screen free week idea and it’s something I used to do when they were younger. It was difficult but rewarding. I hope you feel better soon!

  • Kim Guenther says:

    My 11 year old daughter and I just finished a Jeanette Oke series – we loved them! Now she is reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books and I need to find something new! We love that the library is a block away!! ☺

  • Jennifer says:

    Thanks for for your transparency about parenting! I have been thinking many similar thoughts recently. Parenting is not for the faint of heart! I was reminded today through the book The Choice is Yours by Terrie Chappell that in order to be able to show God’s love to others and minister to others, I need to be prioritizing time with God in my life. I’m really making an effort to get up before them in the morning to read my Bible and pray. I hope this coming week goes more smoothly for you! Your kids are blessed to have you as their mom ?

  • Rachel says:

    I’m reading “Own Your Life” by Sally Clarkson!

  • Katherine says:

    “The TAO of MARTHA: My Year of LIVING, or Why I’m Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog” by Jen Lancaster is what I am reading at the moment.

  • Heather Koczan says:

    Now you’re talking my language….books and tea! You know the way to my heart! 🙂 N<3

  • jennifer p says:

    I have been reading freedom by jaycee dugard.she is amazing and has an unbelievable story.

  • Erin says:

    I have recently started reading again mainly because I have begun taking care of my grandmother who loves to read but is unable to now bacause of her eye sight so I read books and tell her about them so she can decide if it’s one she wants the audiobook for. It also allows me a little time to myself I have 3 kids and I take care of my grandma and the finances for 3 households my mother lives here too so it’s my stress relief lol

  • Julie says:

    I’m just about finished with “No More Faking Fine”. It’s not what I expected, but so much better! In fact it’s my favorite book so far this year! I know God sent it along for me to read at just the right time. Much healing coming from Esther’s words.

    I’ve also been feeling the weight of my lack of ability to parent my kids as I think I should. Praying for you! Thankful we serve a God of wisdom, love and grace.

  • Erin VerHines says:

    Right now, I’m reading lots of read aloud chapter books to my preschool aged children. I’m enjoying them too!

  • camille says:

    I am reading Bonhoffer and Good News for Weary Women. I am contemplating, doing less, but doing it better, and keeping my priorities correct.

  • Rebecca says:

    I am currently readying the UK version of Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban. I haven’t reread it since elementary school! I am loving remembering the story and trying to catch the subtle differences between versions.

  • Karen says:

    The part of your post about your kids touched my heart. We have 2 kiddos (3 & 9) and have been struggling with each child in different ways. I loved the words you shared about how you felt the Lord was speaking to you. Thank you!
    I am really trying this year to truly connect with each of my kids-especially the oldest, a boy. Trying to changing how I react & speak to him so he doesn’t feel corrected or put down constantly. He makes it very hard some days & I don’t always do well those days but I am trying!
    I am currently reading The Cursed Child, the autobiography of Shirley Temple & Winning Him Without Words.
    Good luck with the new book!!

  • Sarah says:

    Just finished “Beyond Justice” by Cara Putnam for my book review. Then need to finish “Cleaning House” as a recommendation from you haha! Too much craziness in life right now so my pondering isn’t very inspirational or positive but God’s got it. 🙂

  • Sadie Stoltzfoos says:

    I’m currently reading It All Starts With Food by Melissa & Dallas Hartwig, Finding God by Larry Crabb, & The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp.
    Excited to hear more about your book!

  • Rachel says:

    I’m reading “God Can Do It Again” by Katherine Kuhlman– An outstanding book!

  • Linda says:

    This week I am planning on lots of reading for school. I have a calling to teach and am so close I can taste it. I am also thinking more about the type of mother I am. I want to be and do better. I am thinking about ways I can do that.

  • Michelle says:

    I am reading, “How to let God solve your problems,” by Charles F Stanley.

  • Laurie says:

    I am currently reading : The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. Loving: that it is almost spring. Pondering: moving back to the south – we lived in Huntsville, Alabama and while we were living there I fell in love with Nashville.

  • Chris says:

    My comment is simply “thank you” for this post about the kids. I am really, really struggling with a my 10 year old’s ‘stubborn’ phase. I need this reminder of focused prayer and loving on her and focusing on the positive. Again , thank you.

  • Linda says:

    I am reading Fatima for Today and pondering penance.

  • Renee says:

    I just finished, about an hour ago, One Thousand Gifts, I also finished last week, Uninvited, and I’m also currently in a Women’s Bible Study, on 2 Corinthians.
    Things I’m Pondering: How can I be a better wife, momma, daughter, sister, friend, etc. Sometimes, it seems like I can’t get it right. I have those days, where I might raise my voice, or get frustrated so easily. Seeking God on those situations.

  • Sarah Steele says:

    I’m reading The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr. At its most basic level, it’s a book on an ancient personality typology (not Myers Briggs). It goes beyond strengths and weaknesses and dives deep into heart level motivation. The basic premise is that your area of greatest gifting is also your area of greatest sin. And this author (there are many other books on this) shows how Jesus fulfills the redeemed version of each of the nine types. As someone who is still healing from the effects of her sin, it feels like a counseling session every time I read this book.

  • Sarah says:

    I’m between books right now – we were sick recently too. I do love to read and would enjoy some new reading material! I read your other books but haven’t read money making mom yet, so that would probably be the first one I read!

  • Maria Miller says:

    I am reading a book that a sweet teenage girl in my church wrote and self-published.

  • Jennifer says:

    I am currently loving my oil diffuser and sweet orange essential oil. The sweet orange really helps me calm and center myself, and I’ve noticed that it is calming for my teenagers as well!

  • Elizabeth M says:

    I’m reading a stack of books, and those include Let me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot, Following God with all your Heart by Elizabeth George, Creating Stories for Storytelling by Marsh Cassady and Elements of Style (4th edition) by Strunk and White. I’ve been pondering more on the writing process and quality and thinking about priorities. We’ve had some big changes come to our family this year, so I’m trying to make better choices on how to spend my time and money. I’m also writing some and working on a family legacy book.

  • Lisa says:

    Sort of disappointed I don’t have anything on my reading docket. An emailed everyday devotional from Christine Caine, but I need to go deeper. Pondering more of a clutter free space and how to change the house some rather than spend more money to make it look/feel better. Glad you shared your week with us, take care

  • Lori says:

    I’m reading – The Undoing of Saint Silvanus and Fervent

    I’m pondering how to stop having so much noise in my life. Mainly my phone and tv with such easy access to distractions.

    I’m loving getting back into running and yoga again. I’m also loving the results of drinking a gallon of water a day.


    Good Morning, I am getting ready to read” The Shack” trying to read it before the movie comes out. I pray your feeling better I have recently come down with something. I would love to have your stack of books I will read them then share them at my job. I work at UNIV, HOSPITAL here in CINTI. OHIO in the SICU Waiting room and we just started a small library. Need a book take a book and share if you have a spare. The people waiting for their family members have something to read and they seem to love it. Remember to keep the faith God really does have it. Have a wonderful week.

  • Myra says:

    I just finished Holocaust Rescuers: True Holocaust Survivor Stories Of The Liberators Of Auschwitz (good info, poorly written), I am now reading Sherlock Holmes: The Collection (for fun), A Word to the Wise: Practical Advice from the Book of Proverbs by Paul Chappell (with my husband for family devotions), and just got out Living Beyond Your Capacity: Understanding the Spirit-Filled Life (also by Paul Chappell) to begin reading. I am also rereading my teaching books, as I work on teacher training for our Sunday School teachers.

  • Bethany Mitchell says:

    I’m actually not reading anything at the moment. I used to be such a bookworm that I wouldn’t do anything else. I knew that was wrong, so I put down all books so I could focus on my home and family. I have been pondering trying to balance reading with the rest of my life. Thank you, for all of your insight and encouragement!

  • Sarah says:

    I’m reading Little Beach Street Bakery and pondering a book to read for some quiet time.

  • beth says:

    I just started a new biography of Lincoln

  • Christy says:

    Loving Present over perfect right now and Great small things by Jodi Piccoult

  • Alison says:

    I’m reading “Shepherding a Child’s Heart”.

  • Elizabeth Snyder says:

    Hi! I’m reading Happiest Toddler on the Block and Hands Free Mama. Too many books to name on hold at the library!

  • Jessica says:

    I’m re-reading 1000 Gifts. I needed inspiration.

  • Jenny Patrick says:

    Dear Crystal, I am a widow who lives with a crazy Chihuahua named Chico. I am a teachers aide in a kindergarten class with 16 ,full of energy, 6 year olds. When I come home Chico and I grab my old quilt ,a cup of tea and anything I can get my hands on to read!!! I have always read my whole life as that was my way of escaping a difficult childhood. I read newspapers, magazines and usually a book in every room. I love Janet Evanovich, Sandra Brown AND Fern Michaels just to name a few. I also love to read true stories and biographies! I read Benjamin Franklins auto biography this past summer twice because the language he used was difficult to understand. I always pass my books along so others can enjoy them also so your books would go to many others. I love your site, never miss it and have recommended it to many others. You have given me a lot of ideas and things to think about. So glad you are feeling better!! As my late husband would say LIFE IS GOOD!!!!!

  • Rachel says:

    Pondering this quote
    “Make each day count
    Live like there is no tommorow
    Do things that will live on after you die”
    -Mark Batterson

  • Lauren says:

    I’m currently reading The Magnolia Story, Your Powerful Prayers by Susie Larson, The Nesting Place and I’m going back and reading parts of The Lifegiving Home because it’s so good! All are great books so far!

  • Stephanie says:

    I’m reading Tender Mercy for a Mother’s Soul. I’m not very far in, but I think it is just what I need. I’m pondering how to best single parent my son. I need to provide for all of his needs…physical and emotional. It’s a daunting task that I’m not sure I’m completely qualified to attempt. I’m loving that my Heavenly Father know all about it and will give me the tools to accomplish anything that He gives me to grow me into the mother He knows I can be.

  • Brittany says:

    I’m reading Essentialism right now and living it!

  • Laurie Moudy says:

    I am reading through the book of Luke as well as our readings each week for our Sunday school class that my husband teaches, The Simple Life of Bees and Operation Christmas Child (even though we are so passed Christmas ;o)). I am pondering about our new normal since returning from the mission field as well.

  • Jessica Mauro says:

    I am currently reading Goodbye to Survival Mode! My 1yr old just started sleeping through the night and I am 1. Able to read without falling asleep 2. Able to get our house back together now that I don’t need to catch up on sleep during every free moment. I am excited to be back to reading daily!

  • C Bowman says:

    Thank you for all your encouragement and transparency. I read but mostly the Bible, I would enjoy the stack of books you have there. I’m loving my husband of 40 years and praying for others with broken or hard marriages.

  • Jeannie says:

    I just finished reading Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. Great book I am looking to see which of her other books my library loans out to get another read for this week.

  • Michelle says:

    I just finished I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. He wrote the Book Thief, which I loved, and this one was pretty good too. I’m just starting Girl on the Train and am in the middle of It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh.

  • Nancy Tiber says:

    “I am” bible study

  • Nikki says:

    Hi! I would love to win these books:) as a new mom I love finding my me time for reading. Currently reading behind her eyes by Sarah pinborough.

  • Rachel says:

    I am currently looking for my next book to read. I have been super busy trying to be mom and wife and pondering how I can be better at both when I feel like I am failing more at both than winning.

  • Amy Brunner says:

    I am reading The Happiness Dare. Love how I’m learning to find my little bit of happiness each day!

  • Did you enjoy “The Cozy Life”? It’s one that I have on my booklist to read.

    That’s so exciting that you are writing another book and self-publishing too, you’re going to do great!

  • Rose says:

    I do not need to win these books as I already own some of them, however, wanted to share the book I’ve been reading lately. Its an older book by Rosemary Whittle McKnight. Called ” I Love Me, I Love Me Not…a study of the Christian woman’s self esteem”
    Wow, such a good book . I am going to use it as a discussion book in my “coffee and conversation” group : )

  • Kellie Estep says:

    Would love to win! Currently I’m really into cook books and organizing books. Trying to build up the family recipe collection and get my life in order 🙂

  • Jaimee says:

    I have been pondering making a healthy lifestyle change because I feel like the crazy rush my life is right now is running me ragged.

  • Halsy says:

    I’m currently reading a new devotional…Beth Moore’s Whispers of Hope. I’ve recently come to the realization I just can’t parent on my own strength and I’m not meant to. I’ve known this all along but would only half give over control of that aspect of my life. This is the area I also had the hardest time forgiving myself for anytime I felt like I made a parenting mistake. Boy am I thankful for Grace and the ever pursuing love of my Savior!

  • heather says:

    I have been pondering a similar idea around parenting- Why do I let their (my children) decisions and attitudes reflect my ego/self. They are humans that make mistakes, they aren’t perfect and either am I. Just let it go and love unconditionally (like God). Easier said than done….

  • Shawnda says:

    I’m deep into some non-fiction this week.

  • Franziska says:

    Hi! I love to read books (my husband said I have to stop buying books though) and always look for your book reviews and suggestions. I’m in the middle of a bible study using Lysa Terkeurst’s book “Uninvited”. This book is so good and honest and I’m learning about myself and GOD. Highly recommend it! I’m also reading “The Shack” for my book club, another great one. I read “Dear Mr. Knightley by K. Reay last year and it was my favorite book of the year. Would love to read more of her books.

  • Julie says:

    I’m reading The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George for a book club and rereading Animal Farm by George Orwell.

  • Sandy says:

    I hope I win!!
    I’m reading The Best Yes. And I love it.

  • Angela W. says:

    I’m finishing Natalie Grant’s “Finding Your Voice.” I spy some books on my to-read list in this stack. I hope I win!

  • Meagan S says:

    I’m reading Jennie Allen’s new book Nothing to Prove. I’m soaking in every word and feeling like it was written just for me. I know that’s not true :), but I know God used Jennie’s words at just the right time in my life.

  • Misty says:

    I just read the book ” And it was beautiful”

  • Paula says:

    Reading Unoffendable by Brant Hansen and Jesus Always by Sarah Young. The first is helping me understand how to be more Christlike by not getting offended or angry, yet if I do, then to get rid of the anger. The second is a devotional that is focusing on joy from Jesus’ presence everyday. The combo is putting my perspective on uprooting and replacing anger with joy. Thank you for sharing honestly about your struggle with parenting. It helps me to be more realistic with goals and the need to see my boys through eyes of grace.

  • Angela O says:

    I’m reading The Conversation by Leigh Bortins and How We Invented the Airplane by Orville Wright. And thank you for this encouraging post, especially the words about parenting.

  • Marshan says:

    Well this weekend I just finished reading The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines which just made me love them even more. They are so inspiring. And I also finished reading The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans which was an easy delightful read. I have about 4 other books I’m reading too, but that’s just too many to list. 🙂 Love your blog!

  • Leah says:

    I love my family and just like you ponder whether I’m doing things right as a mother.

  • Christy says:

    I’m currently reading Yell Less Love More (embarrassing but my mouth gets the better of me sometimes), Wild & Free and a Gillian Flynn novel.

  • Kari says:

    I’m reading Facing Terror. It’s really good and inspires you to follow hard after Jesus.

  • Alana says:

    Awesome giveaway! I’m not reading anything (except daily Bible devotions & starting a new read aloud with the kids) right now because I’m working thru last year’s Clean and Organize Challenge from How Jen Does It. I am easily side-tracked when I start reading. After suffering from physical problems for several years, I’m doing better and I’m ready to get my house back on track. When I finish the challenge, I will revive my zone cleaning. I’m also dropping sugar and flour from my diet. After 8 kids (1-21), my body has retained about 50 lbs. too much “baby fat”. ? I’m hoping that dropping them, but not necessarily replacing them, and adding in walking and toning exercises will do the trick. And that’s what I’m pondering this week.

  • Jess Golden says:

    I just finished reading “And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer.” It is a beautiful novella that helps to understand what it might feel like to have Alzheimer’s.

  • Tiffany Martin says:

    Hello! Right now I am listening to your book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. I had to listen to chapters 1& 2 over again because it’s so huge and then will continue in the book. I have also been reading The Purpose of Man by AW Tozer and it is changing my life by learning what it means to really worship God. When I am finished with it then I will be reading his book Prayer.

  • Amy W says:

    I’m currently reading “Until We Reach Home” by Lynn Austin. I love historical fiction. Also looking to add a non-fiction to the mix – probably something focusing on marriage or parenting. Loved what you said about heaping on the grace and walking with your kids through things. Need to work on that daily.

  • Sara Clepper says:

    Love your blog! I read it everyday, but this is my first comment. I’m currently reading 1000 gifts and Outliers.

  • Rachel says:

    I’m reading Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes. I would love to win this stack of books! Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Chris says:

    I’m reading “Idols Of The Heart” by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I also plan on reading her other book that you recommended. Just finished Presence Over Perfect as well. Thanks for the giveaway. Looks like a great stack of really good reads!

  • Fran says:

    I’m reading The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.

  • Jennifer A W says:

    I’m reading Longing for Paris and just finished The Artist’s Daughter.

  • Emily says:

    Thank you for your honesty about how difficult parenting is! I saw this quote somewhere and it really touched my heart:

    “I have been perfectly designed and assigned by GOD to be the mom that my kids need”

    I have looked at it OFTEN and reminded myself that God has specifically chosen each one of us as the mother of our children and we really do have to trust Him and try to push away the guilt.

    I pray for anyone else struggling with this. May God’s love and peace be with us all.

  • Betty says:

    I’m reading Radical by David Platt. There is much to ponder on here! Would love to share the books around with friends!

  • Sophie says:

    I’m reading you are loved: embracing Gods love for you by Sally clarkson. It’s soooo good.

    Um I need to write down this stack of books. So fun!!

    Thanks for the give away 🙂

  • Marina says:

    I’m reading Overwhelmed by Kathi Lipp – I highly recommend it!

  • Stacey says:

    Pondering on how to parent as well. Thanks for your good thoughts on that. Hope you are feeling better!!

  • Maura Light says:

    I am reading Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels with my small group. It’s a book on evangelism. We have been having great discussions on our interactions with people and ways we have seen God move through small, simple things.

  • Andrea says:

    I just started reading Year of Yes! Watching you go through last year and now make your transition to your year of yes has really inspired me to reevaluate my life and priorities!

  • Susan H. says:

    Currently reading: My Women’s ESV Study Bible – set a goal to read it cover to cover in 2017. So far so good!

    Pondering: My little guy will be in Kindergarten soon. Pondering my plan for life, work, etc. after he goes to school.

  • Lana says:

    I’m finally getting around to reading a book I’ve had for a while – Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. I hope to do better about carving out time to read this year.

  • Stephanie says:

    I am reading “You’re Already Amazing” by Holley Gerth. I love the simple but profound encouragement to just be the person God created you to be. I would absolutely love to win this stack. Thanks you.

  • sarah says:

    I’m currently reading Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Until We Meet Again: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Holocaust.

  • I’m trying to make time for more reading this year, so I’ve found I can sneak in some time while I’m on the elliptical. (Took a bit to get used to the bouncing words. :)) I just recently finished The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.

  • April V says:

    I’m currently reading, “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp.

  • Nicole T says:

    I’ve been pondering how to motivate my son to help out more around the house as well as make him really learn the value of a $1. He acts as though he is the adult of the family and is sometimes disrespectful, I’m having a hard time turning that around.

  • Tammy says:

    I read your blog every morning. Its one of the 1st i read each day. It has been helpful to me the last couple years in my domestic endeavors. I would like to win this set of books as i KNOW i need to spend more time on me. The last 4 years I lost my Mother, 2 Sisters, and a Best Friend. I know death is a part of life but thru all this i know i must take time for myself to get thru all this. Thank you for the many encouraging posts.

  • Tina says:

    Pondering how fast life/time goes.

  • Charity says:

    I am currently pondering how to live a life that honors God with my health and wellness decisions I am focusing on making healthy changes in the food I eat, the products I use on my skin, products used in my home. I want to be a witness if healthy and life to others.

  • Jennie says:

    I am currently reading Parenting With Grace. Pondering too much, my heart aches!

  • Krystal says:

    Hi! I have often pondered the same question about my kids. I worry about the mistakes I have and might be making. It is something I have to continually surrender to the Lord.
    I am currently reading Caught up in a Story by Sarah Clarkson. I would love to win that stack of books! Thank you for your honesty and wisdom that you share with your readers!

  • Leslie says:

    I’m reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

  • Beth says:

    I’m currently reading Quiet, which I believe is a book that is on your “to read” list coming up. I’m also working on Spark, which is a great read on the benefits of exercise relating to mood, anxiety, and cognitive functions like memory and attention. Good stuff!

    As we have recently been matched to adopt a baby, I too am pondering if I am “enough”–enough to be a mom to a second child, to a baby, to an adopted child. Enough to make sure that the birth family doesn’t feel exploited or betrayed. Of course, the answer is no, but also yes. I’m learning to lean on God right along with you. I love your list, very encouraging!

  • Karin H says:

    I’m currently reading Rachel Macy Stafford’s new book, Only Love Today and highly recommend it! I am also in a difficult season of parenting and this book has helped me to stop and think about what’s important. Only Love Today will be released on March 7th but you can preorder here:

  • Katy says:

    I just finished The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and started the THM plan. I swear that sometimes reading your blog is like a mirror image of what is going on in my brain. I too have been internally reflecting upon my parenting. Parenting is always an adventure!

  • Amanda says:

    I just finished reading “Why” exploring about why the holocaust happened. It was a big read, but I feel like I learned a lot through it and am glad I read it.

    I love hearing your struggles as well. We had a sick week at our house and I feel like I am constantly struggling trying to figure out the best way to parent my boys. It’s nice to know that others are in the struggle as well.

  • Carol says:

    My 14-year-old daughter and I are reading Oliver Twist together. I’ve seen the movie “Oliver” many times and loved it, but I have never made it through any Dickens book. (I’ve always found his writing style tedious to read!) I’m really enjoying Oliver Twist, though, and planning to try David Copperfield next.

  • Banni says:

    I just had to return the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook to the library. Buying books isn’t in our budget right now so I have to depend on the library – and I’m SO very, very thankful for our public library! – but I kept thinking how I would love to have a copy of this cookbook for myself so I didn’t have to return it after only 3 weeks and I didn’t have to be so extremely careful when I’m making a recipe from it so that I don’t get any food on the library’s copy! 🙂

  • Christina says:

    I just copied your thoughts onto an index card (“Love them like I love you”, etc.) Beautiful ambitions – THANK YOU!

    I’ve been pondering how many people in my life put on a front, despite deep struggles in their lives. I’ve been trying to figure out where the line is drawn between those individuals who dump heaps of TMI on you during the smallest of life’s storms, vs. those who keep things tucked so deeply inside their hearts you would never know their challenges through the smiles on their faces.

    My word for this year is Genuine. I often feel so rushed through life that I don’t feel like I’m earnestly listening to those around me as I should. I want to let people into my heart so they can pray for me when I need it, so I’m trying to “let my crazy show” a little bit – but, again, how much is too much? I’d love to inspire other people in my life to do the same. There’s just too much smiling-through-pain around me (though, of course, I believe in celebrating all seasons of life with a grateful heart…so again, where’s the line?!).

    Well – there’s a very complex emotional brain dump for you, LOL! 🙂

  • Lauren says:

    I have been reading the book Sybil and many other books right now. But trying to finish the last 100 pages of this book! Interesting read of multiple personalities from an earlier view!

  • Stephanie says:

    I’m reading a novel called The First Daughter that chronicles the life of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Patsy. It’s really interesting and well-written.

  • Katy says:

    Currently reading “Mother & son. The respect effect”. Pondering how to be a better mom to 3 boys.

  • Erica P says:

    I’m reading “The Zookeeper’s Wife”. It’s a good read so far!
    Pondering Romans 11:33 and Psalm 33:11

  • Jess says:

    I’m reading Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping, and on another note, have been thinking of healthy food choices since I just finished Whole 30.

  • Becky R says:

    I’m just starting The Magnolia Story this week. I have heard all good reviews so far.

  • Patricia says:

    Oh that looks like an amazing stack! I’m jumping back on the THM ship. Ice been waiting for “Full” to come to my library and reading The Connected Child and The Life Giving home, both which I highly recommend!

  • Chabree says:

    I’m just about to the end of Lysa Terkehurst’s “Unglued”. I cannot believe how personalized toward me it feels! 🙂 I love that she says we cannot just change things instantly, we just have to work hard at “imperfect progress”. I want to do better about how I deal with my littles. Especially since I we are a month or less away from our baby girl’s arrival! (We have 2 boys-3.5 and 1.5)

  • Erin says:

    I am reading ‘Wicked Women Of The Bible Devotion: There is Always a Way Back to God.’
    I am pondering ways to do a better job at homemaking and the THM concept appeals.

  • Emily says:

    For pleasure I have been reading Swan House, for growth Gideon Bible study.

  • Angie says:

    I am reading Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams. It’s a great adventure!

  • Courtney says:

    Reading “The Magicians Nephew” for a book club I’m apart of. Haven’t read through the Narnia books in a long time! Pondering a lot about school for my 3rd grader(kid #3 out of 5) this coming fall. She would be moving up to the intermediate school(4th-6thgrade) and really trying to seek God on whether to keep her going or homeschool(for a number of different reasons). Praying for wisdom and direction and reminding myself who we are in Christ and that I don’t make decisions out of a place of fear or anxiety. You know when you have to preach to yourself every now and then ?.

  • Leigh F says:

    I, too, question every day if I am screwing up my kids. I feel like a failure every day. I appreciate your honestly with your struggles as well.

  • Dianne says:

    I love to read, if it isn’t too late to comment.

  • Heather says:

    I am currently reading Faith and the Modern Family by Craig Jutila and Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge.
    I am pondering how quickly my kids are growing up and how much I seemed to have missed between age 5 and 17.

  • Erin says:

    Last night I finished reading The Nesting Place and started reading Anchored. I’m trying to read more than I watch TV this year! 🙂

  • Jena Bowen says:

    I’m reading “None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different From Us (and why that’s a good thing)” by Jen Wilkin. We are using this book for a ladies small group book study at our church. I’m also reading “Awe” by Paul David Tripp. I started it a while ago and never finished it so I’m going after it again. 🙂

  • Amy Owen says:

    Reading several books at the moment.

  • Sharon says:

    I’m reading the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. This is a continuation of the Percy Jackson series. These books are fun, quick reads, and I really enjoy them, even though they are technically for kids (and I don’t have any).

  • Kerry says:

    I’m working my way through The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. It’s slow going for me, but I’m determined to finish. I’d love to win this stack of books!

  • Betsy says:

    I am reading, No Man’s Land by David Baldacci.

  • Christine says:

    Just finished reading a pre-release copy of You are Free by Rebekah Lyons and have a few more chapters to go in Anything by Jennie Allen.

  • Wendy says:

    I am reading the Broken Way and unloved. However I have really been reading seed catalogs and garden reference books as I plan our garden. Then. I will get back to my other books…


  • Milissa says:

    I am currently reading But What If We’re Wrong by Chuck Klosterman.

    I find it interesting you had trouble with afternoon workouts. I have trouble with morning workouts…I’m much better in the afternoon or evenings. I’m awake in the am…up before 6a everyday withOUT an alarm clock. I’ve tried 5a workouts & while I can get through them, but I just don’t have the intensity & energy needed that early. So I’m grateful I can workout in the afternoons or evenings. 🙂

    Right now, I’m struggling to think of something new/different/fun as a gift for my husband. Valentines tomorrow & his birthday in a couple months. I think we are great at daily appreciation & small things. I’d love to do something totally unexpected, but my ideas are stuck in my own mental box. I have a couple months for his bday…hopefully something comes to me.

  • Heather says:

    I’m reading the Awakening of Miss Prim

  • Destiny says:

    I’m reading The Life Giving Home . I’m taking it very slowly to absorb all that Sally has to say.

  • Vickie says:

    I wish kids come with instructions but since the don’t we can only do what we feel is best. They will grow up to be fine young women and men with your prayers.
    Right now I’m readng Raging Storm by vanetta Chapman. It’s very good. Like watching an action packed movie!

  • Arianna says:

    I’ m reading ” Uninvited”, something that really speaks to me right now as it resonates so much with my life. I think I saw it advertised on your blog, so thank you 😉

  • Katie N. says:

    I’m reading “What We Talk About When We Talk About God” by Rob Bell. It’s outside of what I normally read, but still thought provoking.

  • Mireille says:

    One of my kids was sent to the principal to this year: it allowed us some important conversations. I love having a screen free week every so often! Like you I am always surprised how after the initial withdrawals how well they play and how they bring out toys they haven’t played with

  • Emily C says:

    This month I’m reading my church’s growing your business resources and loving the idea of dedicating everything I make and do to the Lord.

  • Molly says:

    I’m reading a book about sweatshops in the early 20th century in America. There are a lot of real budgets from the workers, descriptions about work, etc, and I’m very much enjoying it.

  • Denise says:

    I am reading some mysteries from the library and pondering the fact that I just turned 50 but don’t feel grown up yet.

  • Linzi says:

    Of late, I have been very miserable due to allergies. I have been having a very hard time breathing and all the coughing is leaving me exhausted. Yesterday, I was gearing up to clean the house when my 10 year old son came up to me and asked me to go lay down while he vacuumed the whole house and my 8 year old wiped down all the counters and the base boards. It took them both a couple of hours and they came and checked on me several times as well. So even though it was a miserable week health wise, I realized how blessed I was to have two incredible sons.

    • Lynn says:

      Wow that is terrific Linzi. In my opinion, the fact that your two boys offered to clean the house while you were resting was a good indication that you are doing a good job teaching kindness and compassion and they were concerned for their Mom. I have wonderful young adult kids now who would do anything I need if I were down for the count but I’m not sure they would have offered when they were young (I’m was a stay at home mom so I did almost everything house related). Fortunately, my kids turned out great! I hope you feel better soon!!!

  • Holly Lynd says:

    Hey! I am currently reading Sarah Clarkson’s book about building a storyformed life, along with The Girl of the Limberlost and Robin Hood with my kiddos. Interesting mix! But I love it. Most of the books in the stack you are giving are on my Amazon Wishlist! Love it!

  • Lindsey says:

    Thank you for speaking so honestly about parenting. I am mother to one strong-willed toddler, and I have been needing to remind myself a lot to show grace to her (and to my hubby) and also that this is just a season.

    On another note, my husband and I recently watched A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix, and we loved it! It was really well done. After watching it, I decided to go back and read the books as well. I read them when I was a kid, so it’s fun to read them now, as an adult.

  • Kimberly in NC says:

    I’ve recently re-discovered Francine Rivers. Her books are so interesting and full of details that keep me reading to see what happens next. She’s a Christian fiction author, in case anyone else is interested in looking her up. I’ll also mention that we have three boys and our middle son is our hardest. He has a good heart, but he requires the most of our patience!

    • Rachel says:

      Oh, I’d forgotten all about Francine Rivers. I loved those books 15 years ago! Thanks for the reminder!

      • Kimberly in NC says:

        Absolutely!!! I always love to find a good author and am always open to suggestions!

      • Rachel says:

        Well, I went and looked it up, and I guess I was mistaken, I’ve never read Francine Rivers. But I did find what I was thinking of; Francena Arnold. I know I’ve read “The Light in My Window” plus one or so others. That one is beyond incredible. And I’m one of those people that can hardly stand to read fiction! 🙂 It just reads like real life.

        • Kimberly in NC says:

          Well, I’ve reserved a Francena Arnold book at my local library to see if I will enjoy her books. Thanks for the reply.

  • Lacey Cummings says:

    Currently reading “Present Over Perfect” and “Audacious.”
    Thanks for the fun giveaway 🙂

  • Alvesa Moctezuma says:

    Just finished reading Spillway by Deborah Jentsch, a great book about faith. I am currently loving Jimmy Dean Breakfast bowls. And I’m pondering becoming a PTA 🙂 Happy Monday!!!

  • Amanda says:

    Alexander Dumas’ “recently” published “The Red Sphinx” is what I’m currently devouring. This big ole tome of a book makes me so happy because I cut my teeth on “The Count of Monte Cristo.” My six-year old loves books and asked if I could find her a children’s book of similar heft. Love it!

  • Jessica Wilbanks says:

    Oh, I’d love to read this stack of books! I recently finished Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. So beautifully written!

  • Courtney says:

    I just finished reading “If I Run” by Terri Blackstock, and just loved it. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, “If They Find Me”, but it doesn’t come out for a month. . .That’s why I don’t like reading series until they’re all out! And I would love to win a copy of “Money Making Mom”.

  • Kristina says:

    I just read A Portrait of Emily Price that’s I your stack and would love to have my own copy! I think it was Kathrine Reay’s best book yet.

  • Desire says:

    Just finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult and still ruminating on it.
    Last week was parent teacher conference for my oldest and we had amazing affirming news and then all this weekend I found myself being short and sometimes grumpy towards the kids that I had been sooo exited to spend time with.
    Parenting is hard, and amazing, special and stretching and oh so intense.
    Prayers for you and your kiddos!

  • Gigi says:

    My fiance and I just spent the weekend attending a Love and Respect conference, and we’re reading _Men Are Like Waffles; Women Are Like Spaghetti_. Great stuff! 🙂

  • Rachel Brown says:

    I’ve been listening to a bunch of audiobooks on Overdrive checked out from my local library. Just finished two Nicholas Sparks books (always fun!), The Longest Ride & See Me.

  • Miriam Boyken says:

    Right now, I am in a stressful situation (buying my first home), so I am reading light stuff. At the moment, I am reading a book called “Wait Until Dark” by Christy Barritt (Christian Romantic Suspense).

  • Theresa says:

    I’m reading “Behold Your Mother” by Tim Staples, a beautiful look at the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  • Summer Brown says:

    I am reading “What is is like to be married to me – and other dangerous questions.” It is great!

  • Katie says:

    I feel like I ponder how to raise the kids all the time. This week I’m pondering my life. I feel like I need a change, but I’m not sure which way to go/what to do.

  • Jen says:

    Good morning, thank you for being such an inspiration to me. Your posts are a breath of fresh air. This year has been a new journey for me, focusing and dedicating a lot of my free time to my personal and spiritual growth. Needless to say I’ve been spending a lot of time in reading and studying my Bible and personal growth books. Thank you for all that you do. You’ve been a blessing to me in so many ways!

  • Jen says:

    I’m trying to incorporate some non-fiction into my life but always fall asleep when reading it so listening to Mystery of History in my car!

  • Deb Harris says:

    I’m reading Crown of Blood by Nicola Tallis. It’s about Lady Jane Grey. I enjoyed it. I used to read a lot of historical nonfiction but this is the first one I’ve read in a few years. Thanks for your honesty, I think a lot of us feel the same at times.

  • Elise says:

    I read It Starts With Food last month (but haven’t quiiiite finished it), and it’s been life changing! I had no idea how badly my family’s eating habits had gotten off track, but I’m so glad we’re working at getting them back now!

  • Mitzi says:

    I love free giveaways, & books, & tea!!!
    This is a great idea! Thanks so much for doing it!!

  • Christine says:

    I love that pic of you and your little guy. I am having to learn some of the same things about parenting that you mentioned. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate how real and honest you are.

  • Christine F. says:

    I’m reading “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul” – it is helping me a lot!

  • Kindra says:

    I’m just starting The Glass Castle… it got great reviews in goodreads so I’m anxious to get into it.

    Appreciate these Sunday posts!

  • R. Infante says:

    I’m reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Very good so far, a short read and great story line. Definitely recommend.

  • Lynne Tretow says:

    Thanks…what a great idea!!

  • Danielle says:

    Currently reading, Into The Woods by Tana French. It is my first of her books and I am excited!

  • Heather says:

    This week I am loving all the fun I’m having with my almost 11 month old son. After a week of being sick, he is better and back to his happy, sweet self and I am loving this stage he is in.

  • Michelle Wohlfert says:

    I’m reading Prayer by Philip Yancey & Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. The Lord is working on my prayer life in a big way!

  • Connie says:

    I am pondering my season in life. Hubby was diagnosed with cancer in the fall and we’re learning and living with the ups and downs of treatment. His prognosis is good, and maybe that just makes it so much harder to figure out? Regardless, I’m trying to work on supporting him, being a mom to my getting-older kids, and adjusting to a new reporting structure at work. I am thankful God is there every step of the way!

  • Heather Lucas says:

    I have been reading some Colleen Coble fiction books lately and working on Raising Grateful Kids. Would love to win some books!

  • Jen says:

    I am currently reading “Descent”, a fictional work about an 18 year old girl who goes missing in the Rockies while on vacation with her family. I am about halfway through and am enjoying it so far.

  • AMY says:

    I’m reading Different, by Sally and Nathan Clarkson right now. I have two boys (5 & 6), and it’s been a rough year of transition for them, as we had to close the church plant we pastored, and have recently moved from our hometown in Missouri to the Nashville area. I’ve come up against a lot of challenging parenting moments lately, and this book has spoken such encouragement to me to keep persevering with my children.

  • lorie says:

    I am reading natural childbirth by Ina May because I’m trying to have a VBA2C. also reading the Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson. love it! I would love this stack of books especially THM cookbook and Charlotte Mason companion since I’m starting homeschool with my first child this fall and I like her method.

  • J says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty concerning your children and for sharing what you feel God has been saying to you. You can’t imagine how much I needed to hear that or how much that applies to my life right now. I have a 15 year old son who is a wonderful, compassionate child but that at the same time is 15. I find myself wanting him to be the best at everything, not only for him but for me too. Although I am proud of him always, I find myself wanting to brag and feeling embarrassed when he doesn’t live up to my expectations. Far too often I attempt to “shame” the behaviors that are unappealing out of him somehow hoping that if he feels bad enough about it that he won’t do it anymore. In reality all I am doing is tearing him down and being mean. I don’t want to be that type of mom; I just don’t know what else to do sometimes. I have copied the words you wrote and this will be my prayer and my goal when dealing with him. Thank you for sharing!

  • Geri says:

    My husband and I are expecting our first grandchild! I am pondering what kind of a grandmother I will be and what kind of changes we will see in our lives.

  • Sara S says:

    I love reading and I usually have more than one book going at a time. I am currently reading 168 Hours: You have more time than you think, Money Making Mom, 5 Love Languages of Children & the one for Couples, Walking with Purpose, and I ususally have at least one or 2 fiction books going too. But I haven’t decided which one of those I’m going to read next. I’m loving the ones I’m currently working on though.

  • I’m reading Life Giving Home and Uninvited. Both are really speaking to me in this season of life.

    We all have those moments with our children. Thank you for being real. Those weeks happen and I love no-screen days, too!

    • SK Bell says:

      Read and loved both of those!
      I wanted to chime in and say I always appreciate that honesty too. I think it’s so easy to feel like we’re the only parents who aren’t as picture-perfect as an Instagram account makes it seem!

  • Anna says:

    You have inspired to read more this year! So thank you for that. I have already read The Non Runners Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Davis, and Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruz and halfway through Killing It by Sheryl O’Loughlin. Next up is Strong Mothers Strong Sons by Meg Meeker, and It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.

  • Anna says:

    Oops! As I sent my last comment I realized I spelled my email wrong. Will have the correct one

  • Rachel says:

    I’m working through the Conquer Your Clutter Bundle at the moment, I’m actually reading Makeover Your Mornings at the moment! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway, looks fun!

  • Jane says:

    What I’m reading – A Man Called OVE, (daily), and anything WeightWatchers. I have started a journey to create a better me in order to stay fit and active through these years – my 60’s. thank you for being the encouragement i need!

  • Dori says:

    I am a piano teacher and am reading “What Great Teachers Do Differently.” It’s interesting, but not my favorite. Also, I am excited to begin reading the “Master Puppeteer” to my kids for homeschool today! This is one I’ve not read before!

  • Kate says:

    I’m loving the new blankets I made for my kiddos!

  • Grace says:

    Hey there Crystal! I work FT and have three young kids and like to read some news everyday … so it’s really a challenge to get to books which I miss. But you’re inspiring me! I saw Quiet on your 2017 stack and I think you’ll really enjoy it. I did and have recommended it to others (mostly introverts). I just read both The Glass Castle and The Year of Magical Thinking, both memoirs and both of which I enjoyed. Don’t check when they were written — you’ll see how behind I am!

  • Linda says:

    I love all your encouragement through your blog (and instagram). You inspire me to not settle for the way things are, but always strive for better! Thank you!

  • Lesley Jones says:

    I’m getting ready to start a new bible study with some friends from church. We’ve decided to do “Counter Culture” by David Platt. Excited to dig in. And enjoying beautiful warm weather in SC. Thanks!

  • Katie K says:

    I’m currently reading “First They Killed My Father” – one child’s account of the Cambodian massacre in the 1970s. Fascinating and heart-breaking!

  • cathy says:

    I enjoy reading your blog! I am reading Soul Keeping caring for the most important part of you by John Ortberg. Great read:)