For me, 2015 was a year of seeking God. At the beginning of the year I had this strong desire to listen and soak up everything I could from the Lord. I wanted to hear and feel God. I wanted to experience His Presence every single day. I wanted to just be with God.
One of the ways I did this was through reading. Aside from reading the Bible (which I did and is the number one way to hear God speak to you), I dove into every Bible study and every book I could manage to read.
Here are the books I read in 2015, all of which were excellent and I highly recommend if you are a woman desiring to serve the Lord.
I began the year reading “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. I joined in with other women from my church in doing this Bible study. And all I can say is “Wow”. This book opened my eyes to see how much Satan attacks our minds. As a person who has dealt with anxiety, worry, and fear, I learned those are all tactics Satan uses to distract us from what we are to do: worship, serve, and obey God. Using Scripture and personal experiences, Joyce provides ways to conquer the battle in your mind and break free from the lies that Satan feeds us.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“God has given us His Word, use it! Learn Scriptures like this one (Philippians 4:6) and when the enemy attacks, counter his attack with the same weapon that Jesus used: the Word!”
“We can choose to be peaceful by choosing to think on things that promote peace rather than things that open a door for worry and anxiety.”
“I had no revelation that Satan could inject thoughts into my mind. Much of what was in my head was either lies that Satan was telling me or just plain nonsense – things that really were not worth spending my time thinking about. The devil was controlling my life because he was controlling my thoughts.”
The Best Yes By: Lysa TerKeurst
If you are a woman who loves to please other people and hates to disappoint anyone, then this book is for you. When I first heard about this book, I knew that I fit this description perfectly. I want to say yes to everything because I want everyone to be happy. I don’t want to make anyone upset because I don’t do something they ask of me. This includes my kids, spouse, co-workers, family members; anyone that wanted me to do something, I made sure to find a way to do it.
Well, I learned that I couldn’t do that anymore because I was overwhelmed. Lysa takes us on a journey through her experience of pleasing others. She helps us to see how we need to “not let the awkward disappointment of others keep us from our Best Yes appointments with God.”
Other favorite quotes:
“Saying yes all the time won’t make me Wonder Woman. It will make me a worn-out woman.”
“From that cracked-open-heart place, a God breathed strength will rise. Rise. Rise. And help you spit on Satan’s face as you declare: ‘You picked the wrong woman to mess with!”
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith By: Lysa TerKeurst
This is the first book I did in the Online Bible Studies (OBS) that Proverbs 31 Ministries hosts (which I highly recommend doing any of their studies). What a joy this book was! Lysa shows us that when we walk in faith, we go through five different phases: Leaving, Famine, Believing, Death, and Resurrection. This is a great book for any woman who is struggling with God’s call on your life. It helped me see that I must boldly step out and trust Him in everything.
Some of my favorite quotes from this book:
“Jesus taught us that we must walk according to God’s will. When we are doing that, we have nothing to fear. It is better to walk in obedience than to live in fear of stumbling.”
“We must remember that our bitterness turns people away. Being filled with God’s sweet fragrance of acceptance will attract and bless and, most importantly, draw people to God.”
“Don’t try to make your whole dream come true at once. Just fulfill the small part of the mission He’s asking you to do today. Just carry that one rock. Ask God, ‘What is my assignment for today?’ Do that part and be satisfied that God is pleased. Be encouraged and continue to press on!”
I was feeling overwhelmed at everything I had to do in my life. When I heard about this Proverbs 31 OBS, I quickly jumped in because I felt like my to-do list needed taming for sure. Glynnis writes about procrastination, perfectionism, fears, and organizing our time. What I liked most about this book was at the end of every chapter, she included a practical application. This was identifying a regular task and a personal goal in your life and working on them. I enjoyed this book and recommend for any woman who is sinking in the waves of your to-do list demands.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Don’t worry about the results. Just leave those to God. I’m convinced God will be pleased with your obedience.”
“Jesus finished the assingment God gave Him.”
“Without addressing the issues of procrastination, my days can be filled with busy work and not my best work.”
For the Love By: Jen Hatmaker
What an awesome book. Jen made me laugh and cry so much. Her openness and honesty about her life made me feel free. It was like she was saying things that I felt, but maybe never wanted to share. In some of her chapters I felt like she was writing about me. Her chapters centered around herself, family, friends, and church. Her writing is just amazing and I cannot recommend this book enough.
I had many favorite quotes from this book, but here are just a few:
“Every song I love ends up being on a Kidz Bop CD.” (So true!!)
“Most pastors live with a chronic sense of disappointing people.” (I would say this could be true for anyone who works in a church).
“We forget that no is an acceptable answer to our kids in a world of the unbridled yes.” (Boy, isn’t that the truth.)
What Happens When Women Say Yes To God By: Lysa TerKeurst
Can you tell I love books by Lysa TerKeurst? She is an excellent writer and this has probably been my favorite book of hers so far. I just
finished this one last week. I picked this book because I want to be a woman with a heart sold out for God. I want to say “Yes” to anything thing He asks of me, but sometimes I fear the things He wants me to do. She shows us that when we are radically obedient, God will radically bless us. I learned to not be afraid, to let go of those fears, to say yes to God no matter what, and to be ready for an abundance of blessings when I do.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“Radical obedience is hearing from God, feeling His nudges, participating in His activity, and experiencing His blessings in ways few people do.”
“No longer is your day just one humdrum task after another, but rather a string of divine appointments and hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.”
“If you’ve settled in your heart to say yes to God and completely trust Him, then you don’t have to worry about the future.”