In the summer I go into sponge mode. By “sponge mode” I mean that I take the time to inhale every single book, Bible study, dance class, and learning experience that I can get my hands on. Owning a business that is also a ministry is an amazing thing that I love, but it also means that I give everything of myself and don’t take as much time to be poured into as I should. In order to be able to effectively pour into my students, I need to also get poured into. It doesn’t always happen throughout the school year, so I make sure it happens in the summer.
Here’s a glimpse of what I dove into this summer…
Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch : Kristen is the author of We Are THAT Family Blog and the founder of Mercy House Kenya, an organization that rescues pregnant women off the street in Kenya by offering them a place to live, education, and spiritual training. It’s an organization that I love, and this book tells her story.
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin: A wonderful novel, set in the time of Nazi-occupied Czech. It is a modern-day story of Esther and it kept me interested and excited until the very last chapter!
Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz: Novel #2 in The Ballantyne Legacy focused on the next generation of Ballantyne’s as they forged a life in the post-Revolution west. I loved how it talked about the Abolitionist movement in the early 1800s, and I was challenged by the honor and sacrifice displayed by those who fought for what was right.
Dancing Through It by Jenifer Ringer: LOVED these memoirs of former NYCB principal dancer, Jenifer Ringer. It is a detailed, interesting book that shows how Jenifer–a Christian–navigated the murky, dark waters of a professional ballet career. If you recall, she was the dancer who a reviewer from the New York Times called obese, but this book shares how she overcame all her body image issues to truly shine. GREAT read.
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers: Francine Rivers ALWAYS delivers. I try to re-read the Mark of the Lion series every year or so because I wish I could read it again for the first time (you know those kinds of books). Her new book Bridge to Haven is a fantastic read based on the book of Ezekiel and set in the 1950s.
In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar: Anytime I am looking to read some Biblical fiction, I always look to Tessa Afshar. Her latest book is about Ruth and Boaz, and it’s told in a beautiful, heartwarming way that makes the beautiful, familiar story new to the reader again.
When You Need a Miracle by Linda Evans Shepherd: I had the opportunity to sit under Linda’s teaching at a conference a few weeks ago, and she is the real deal! She is gracious and authentic and a true reminder that ministry can happen wherever you are. This book isn’t a magic formula about praying for a miracle, it’s about drawing closer to God’s heart so that you can be open to His response to you.
Wherever the River Runs: How a Forgotten People Renewed My Hope in the Gospel by Kelly Minter: I just love Kelly Minter’s studies. I have participated in many and led a couple women’s studies for groups over the years and find her to be very authentic and candid. She does a great deal of ministry to the people of the Amazon, and this book is that story!
Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman: Can you see a pattern in my reading this summer? I was in sore need of encouragement to relinquish my perfectionist ways and receive the grace that the Lord has given me to be imperfect, but wholeheartedly seeking Him. I have no trouble extending grace to others, but I have a hard time giving it to myself. This book was a really great read, and there are questions in the back if you want to do it as a small group!
What did you read this summer?