What Women Fear: Walking in Faith that Transforms & Chasing God both by Angie Smith. Honestly, when it dawned on me how much I missed and needed a church and spiritual life, Angie Smith's blog happened to cross my path and it helped me immensely. I started reading her blog when it was only a few pages (and had a different name), reading about her great love for Beth Moore before she met her. This was long before she started writing her books but I've grown more due to her than any writer of faith so far. Questions/thoughts derived from her blog and books: If she can remain steadfast in her faith after the loss of her daughter, reconcile with her past, still have moments of being confused by God, but still remain so in love with it all, I can too...eventually. Quote
"When we spend more of our time searching for assurance than we do acting out of belief, we are chasing God."
Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn't Good Enough This book must have been hard for them to write! The husband, Justin, had an affair with one of her best friends. This book has chapters from both of their perspectives, starting from how they met to the finding out of the affair, how they decided to make it work, and what they are now doing to make their marriage work. In her shoes, could I have forgiven him? Eventually. Would I have stayed with him? Honestly, I hope I never have to be tested on this but it would be one of the hardest decisions I'd ever have to make in my life.
Quote "Ordinary marriages go to great lengths to avoid marriage valleys, yet it is often in the valleys that God meets us and sets us up for extraordinary."
"There is an irony in Christians' struggle with forgiveness. As believers in Jesus, we have been saved by grace. We have been offered forgiveness. When we least deserved it, God forgave us. Yet many of us fail to forgive our friends, parents, siblings, coworkers, and yes, even our spouses."
Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning -I wrote a blog post on this a few weeks, but I still really enjoyed this book (eventually...). Anxiety happens! Quote
"If we invest in earthly treasures, Jesus seemed to be saying, our hearts will shrivel with them. When we derive meaning from fleeting objects, our spirits decay and become a meal for moths. But if we invest in eternal treasures, our hearts will be satisfied. My recent struggles confirmed the truth in His Words."
Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War -the author is from Liberia. She grew up somewhat privileged, but once the wars starting in on her turf, her life was torn apart. She overcame so much and has spread her faith and love for her country around the world. Her faith is what got her through the hardships and continue to shape her.
"Women are the sponges, I thought. We take it all in-the trauma of separated families, the death of loved ones. We listen to what our husbands and children tell us, we look at the destruction of our communities and belief systems, and soak p that pain , too. We hold it all because we need to be strong, and complaining-or even sharing-is a sign of weakness. But holding in that kind of misery was as crippling as holding on to rage."
Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith -Faith is hard. It can be really hard and the author, Michelle, DeRusha, does a great job at showing just how hard it can be when you aren't sure what you believe. Quote
"You can't expect to have a healthy relationship with your spouse if you talk to her once a week, he noted. Likewise, praying once a week in church wouldn't amount to much of a relationship with God either."
Have a Little Faith: A True Story -I enjoyed the contrast between the two religions, the bluntness of some of their, the pastor and rabbi's, words. Quote
"But what if someone from another faith won't recognize yours? Or wants you dead for it." "That is not faith. That is Hate." He sighed. "And if you ask me, God sits up there and cries when that happens."You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be by Holley Gerth has definitely made me think...a LOT! I'm only half way through this book and one other by her but because they make me reflect, I prefer to take them slowly. Honestly? This isn't all of them. I have moved in the last year and a half, and I'm sure there are others I'm leaving out. In some books, there are only a few quotes I loved that really stood out versus the whole book having meaning for me. Those will be in a separate post because I am a quote junkie and think they deserve their own space!