What I’m Reading This Summer

We are heading out for a few glorious days at the beach. We are driving to the nearest coast and collapsing in some sand. I am realizing just how badly we need to get away –because Galveston, Texas ain’t exactly known for post cards. But there’s water and sand and relaxation and no complaints around here.

read

I am bringing a bag full of books. I’ve started all of these (multitask much?) and am anxious to read and relax.

Here’s what I’m reading this summer (click the cover to buy a copy):

Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement:: This book intrigued me and I just pulled it out of the mail last week. I think the title says it all. Can’t wait to dig in.

A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet:: Boomama makes me laugh and just a few pages in, her book is full of sentimental stories and a lot of chuckles.

There You Will Find Me {Beach Reading}:: My niece gave this inspirational young adult book to my daughter while she was cooped up in bed from her oral surgery. She read it in 2 days and bought the next one on Kindle for $3. They talked me into reading it…perfect easy reading for the beach!

The $100 Startup:: I bought this book for my husband who gets the entrepreneur itch every once in awhile. Who doesn’t love the idea of starting something for a $100?

At the table

Dinner time is our family time to talk and read together. Here’s what’s on the our table this summer:

Running for My Life :: My husband read this book in two days and couldn’t put it down. He said it was amazing and an unimaginable story of survival and faith from one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.  I can’t wait to get started. It’s up next for our read around the table with our kids.

End of the Spear :: This isn’t a new book, but after recently hearing Steve Saints testimony after a life-changing injury, I was reminded of this great man’s unbelievable story. I’ve seen the movie and I can’t wait to read the book with my family. A friend sent it to me and said it reads like Robinson Crusoe.

My Life: A Guided Tour :: My dad read this autobiography (of the man who started Tyndale Publishers and wrote the Living Bible) during his recovery recently and couldn’t put it down. He said he cried like a baby. I can’t wait to dig into it!

What is your must-read of the summer?

[These affiliate links will take you to Amazon, my favorite place to buy books]

What’s Inspiring Me This Week

Do you ever wake up feeling like I was made for more than this?

This overwhelming pile of laundry.

This underpaid job I hate.

This sadness I can’t shake.

You feel that was because you were made for more.

“As long as you are alive, God wants you to go further, dig deeper, and draw closer to him. Every dream or desire you have that comes from God is an invitation for more intimacy with him.” -Holley Gerth.

This is the book–the guide– I needed 3 years ago, when I took the first step towards the dream that was so much bigger than my ability. I’ve had a lot of time to catch up on my ever-growing pile of nightstand books this week. You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You is inspiring me this week! I’m highlighting and nodding my head and learning. Because dreaming isn’t just for the crazy (me) or brave (not so much), it’s for everyone who breathes. God has more for you and when you dream, you are changed. And when you stare in the face of something so big is scares the soup out of you, He is there and nothing is bigger than God. Even the impossible.

I’m a firm believe in filling up on the Word, and books that inspire me to love God more.

Also on my nightstand this week:

Table Life – Savoring the Hospitality of Jesus in Your Home -Table Life is a call to transform the daily routine of eating meals into a celebration of loving connections and spiritual nourishment.

Redeeming Love -It’s been years since I’ve read this fictional retelling of Hosea and Gomer. I love this story of redemption. For every non-fiction book I read,  I always have an open fiction book, too.

What are you reading?

Introducing Colton Dixon {Giveaway}

Updated with random winner, comment #185 Ann McCarville

You might remember him from American Idol?

Colton Dixon is a new artist with an old message. He could have probably had any number of record deals, but he’s following his passion and his heart by singing the good news of Jesus. His debut album The Messenger is just that: a message.

ColtonDixon_PR_01

And I don’t know about you, but I like these kind of young leaders for my son to look up to.

Colton Dixon is 21 years old, has a stunning voice and some wild hair.

I love this. Powerful.

Today, I’m giving away Colton’s new album, The Messenger, a cool messenger bag, journal and a $25 iTunes gift card to winner.

Colton2

 

Listen.

Leave a comment to win!

Burning Lights

Some days music is the only thing that keeps me going.

When there aren’t words or I’ve used too many, it’s worship I need.

I’m feasting on music this week, letting it seep into my soul.

I’ve been listening to Chris Tomlin long enough to make me old. His new album Burning Lights does not disappoint. It’s rich and beautiful and it’s like a vehicle that drives you right into God’s presence.

Listen to this song with guest Kari Jobe:

It might be exactly what you need too.

It’s Christmas {Mandisa Giveaway}

UPDATE: The winner is comment #61! Congratulations, Tara.

Our tree is trimmed with the oh-so-classy theme of kiddie ornaments from the last 4 decades. My hubby and I have favorites from our childhood and my kids have carefully placed their “special” ones at eye-level. I just can’t do anything fancy or grown up. And all these people who have multiple trees HOW? It was all I could do to get one together.

But my tree does spin.

So, there’s that.

I bought the tree stand spinner when it seemed crucial one year to true Christmas happiness. Every year when my hubby drags it out and we roll our eyes at my silliness for buying something so unnecessary, he says, “I’m so thankful you were rescued from wealth.” But we have it, so we use it.

I sort of have a thing for Nativities too. I just love them. But besides the festive colors and twinkly lights, it’s the music that makes it really feel like Christmas in our house. I love Christmas music in the background of our busy life.

My new favorite Christmas album is by Mandisa, called It’s Christmas. It has an great selection, including the song Somebody’s Angel. Have you heard it? The movie footage in the video below is from the Gospel Music Channels original movie Christmas Angel that premiered this month. It will be playing throughout the Christmas season. This song is a simple reminder in a hectic time, to be somebody’s angel this year.

I know there are so many needs right around us if we’ll just look. I’m so excited about our family adopting a local single mom to secretly deliver gifts and groceries too.

I want my kids to feel the magic of Christmas, get something from their list and enjoy the wonder of it all. But more than anything, I want them to remember the reason we celebrate.

It’s Christmas.

It’s about Him.

Today, I am giving away Mandisa’s new Christmas album PLUS the Christmas Angel DVD and her entire collection of albums to one lucky winner:

What If We Were Real

Freedom

True Beauty

Remixed: Get Movin’

Leave a comment as your entry.

This giveaway ends Thursday. Winners are announced on giveaway posts once they close.