I have so many addictions in life that it is embarrassing. I am grateful to say, however, that many of my addictions are healthy and perhaps even holy addictions.
You didn’t know that you could use the words “addiction” and “holy” in the same sentence, did you?!
For starters, I am a Christmas-aholic.
I am addicted to the beach … the delicious company of children … and a steaming, hot cup of coffee laced with cream.
I can’t live without a piece or two of chocolate … a sweet phone call or quick text message from one of my kids … and the sheer human delight of watching college basketball games.
My soul aches for the sound of a symphony, worship music and a well-played piece by a classical pianist. Preferably Gershwin or Chopin.
The reason I get up every morning is to read my Bible. That is the greatest and most life-changing addiction charged to my personal account.
However, today, in this week’s blog of museful thoughts, I want to share with you a different addiction altogether.
I am a read-aholic.
I love books.
There is no shame in the fact that I have been known to barter with myself, “O.K., Carol, if you will do the dishes you can read for 20 minutes.”
“Carol … if you will clean your bathroom then you can allow yourself 30 minutes to read that book.”
My addiction started early in life …
I read the entire “Little House in the Big Woods” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder in the second grade. It took me one month. The entire series. I was 7 years old.
I have an addiction.
When I was in the fifth grade, I had already read every single book in the elementary school library and so Mrs. Palevich, the librarian, made special arrangements for me to begin to check books out of the high school library.
I have an addiction.
When my children were babies and were up often during the night and then consumed every waking hour of every day, I would often drag myself out of bed at 5:30 in the morning so that I could read for an hour before they got up.
I would rather read than sleep.
I have an addiction.
In this age of e-readers, tablets, Kindles, Nooks, notebooks, and iPads, I still find it thrilling to hold a new book in my hands. I am talking about the kind of book that actually has a cover and is filled with yet unread pages.
I can actually open a never-before-opened copy of a book and feel my endorphins rise.
Oh! The joy of a new read!
My gift to you during this first month of 2015 is to gift you with a reading list. These are some of the books that have changed my life. I have also included a simple description of each book so that you will know what you are getting yourself into when you open the cover of said book!
These are the books that have wiggled their way down in my soul and have made a home for themselves in the deepest parts of me.
These are the books that have taught me how to live … have challenged my rigid thinking … and have softened my heart.
These are the books that I think about during the night and ponder during my daily walks.
These are the books that never grow dusty upon my numerous bookshelves.
These are among the published books that I wish I would have written!
(Side note … I have so many bookshelves in my house that it is a wonder there is anywhere to sit … or to eat … or to sleep. A lesser woman would be embarrassed. But not me … I am proud of my addiction!)
Here we go … 15 Books for 2015!
1 – “The Way of the Warrior Series” by Graham Cooke – Everyone is a soldier in the Body of Christ but not everyone is a warrior. These 3 devotional books serve as a training manual in the art of spiritual warfare. Don’t let the words “spiritual warfare” scare you away from ingesting these books. Graham powerfully presents a vital and victorious way to live! We all need that, don’t we?!
2 – “Fasting” by Jentezen Franklin – If you have been praying for years with no breakthroughs, then this book is for you. Anyone in the Bible who was used by God significantly was well acquainted with the practical power of fasting.
3 – “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young – A daily devotional that will keep you focused on hearing the voice and heart of God. I don’t go a day without reading these short devotionals!
4 – “The Zion Covenant Series” by Brock and Bodie Thoene – If you love historical fiction, prepare to be lost in Europe during the years preceding and then during World War II! This 9 book series presents factual research and story-weaving at its finest!
5 – “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon VanAuken – This book never fails to humble me and bring me to my knees. Who is more important in my life? My God or my spouse? This is a true story written by a contemporary of C. S. Lewis.
6 – “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream” by Holly Gerth – If you are struggling with purpose and why you were born, struggle no longer, my friend! Holly Gerth has just given you permission to dream with God!
7 – “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson – God honors bold prayers and bold prayers honor God!
8 – “Two From Galilee” by Marjorie Holmes – I read this book as a senior in college in 1976 and it forever changed the way that I celebrate Christmas. This is the love story of Mary and Joseph told in a fictional account.
9 – “Face to Face with God” by Bill Johnson – To behold God and remain unchanged is impossible. This is a book that dares you to live a life of intimacy with your Creator and Savior.
10 – “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom – The autobiography of one of the greatest women of the 20th Century. Never married and a concentration camp survivor, God used this woman to teach on the power of forgiveness. My life has forever been changed by the life of Corrie ten Boom.
11 – “Ruth: A Portrait” by Patricia Cornwell – The biography of Ruth Bell Graham. Her life, her words, her integrity, her love for the Word of God are a beautiful challenge for everyone who desires to know what it means to relentlessly live for God.
12 – “Until the Day Breaks and the Shadows Flee” – by Christine Christopher. Christy is one of my dearest friends and is a prayer warrior like no other. This devotional is a love letter from the heart of the Father to those who are desperate for encouragement.
13 – “Cure for the Common Life: Living In Your Sweet Spot” by Max Lucado. God made you in His image to accomplish a great purpose. It’s time for you to discover that purpose.
14 – “A Disruptive Faith” by A. W. Tozer. – God interrupts a life in order to build genuine faith. Not for the faint of heart.
15 – “Surprised by Joy!” by C. S. Lewis. If you are searching for joy, allow the life story of C. S. Lewis to help you find it!
Now that I have shared with you some of my favorite books … why don’t you share yours with me? Go!