I just finished a book that absolutely captivated me this week; in honor of that, I’d like to share my favorite books of the year (basically…the only ones I read that I can recall, lol). I have only four. Four! Oh what a terrible number. Oh well, I shall share them just the same, in order of impact.
- Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti by Chad Eastham, Bill & Pam Farrel. This book dives into the differences between the way guys and girls work, to give a better understanding of the opposite sex. While I can’t say I was terribly surprised by much of it (because I’ve learned these things before in talking to my guys and reading other books), Chad is absolutely hilarious and puts everything in the best terms I have ever heard it. His other book Guys Like Girls Who… is also an amazing read (but it was 2008, so, it doesn’t count this year :/). It really encouraged me to be myself, so pick up that one too, lol.
- Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris. So stinking sweet. It’s absolutely packed full of love stories too adorable to be penned but by the hand of our marvelous Creator. He speaks on subjects a bit out of my grasp–getting prepared for marriage and engagement–seeing as I am not in the position for this commitment. But it was still a great read; it very much held my attention. I think reading about marriage and relationships ahead of time (when written in a Godly, wait for God’s timing fashion) is calming, preparatory, and just plain fun. Be careful though that, as I said, your books are saturated in seeking the will of God, not what “feels good” or your own selfish passions.
- I can’t believe I’m putting this book at number two instead of number one…probably because I finished number one moments ago. At any rate, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This book radically enhanced my life. I have always held to the principles Joshua Harris outlines in this book, but I was never able to articulate why, or exactly what my feelings were. Reading this book was just like…having words put to the inexpressible achings and convictions in my soul. This book…everyone needs to read it. It’s so driven to finding God in our situations, and living to please Him, waiting without waiting around…it’s fantastic, I think I’m actually going to read it for a third time starting today since I’m out of books that interest me, lol. This might sound kind of weird, but upon my first completion of this book, I actually have a literal “I kissed dating goodbye” date, and official…well not official, but official to me, recognition of this. And that was January 4, 2009. I made a covenant that day (or renewed, or officialized, or whatever) not to date willy-nilly, but with the intent of someone I could marry. I made a covenant not to kiss anyone until my wedding day. It’s my promise to my husband, that he is a special man, and believe you me, he will be :)
- My absolute favorite book this year…Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot. Wow. It’s like she lived my life before me (to a very minute scale, seeing as I am not in a predicament quite like hers at all). But still. The emotions she expressed at times very much paralleled my own; I sat in tears reading until one or two in the morning. The undying dedication to God above what their hearts so craved is absolutely amazing to me, and so inspiring. There is a strength in reading that, that I will be okay, and that God will work things out. She asked God and herself the very same questions I find myself asking, and it was so wonderful to read the wisdom she had for dealing with everything. See? I’m even crying now as I write about it. It hit very close to home, and to my heart, and I absolutely loved it. Definitely will be a re-read.
Yes, very chicky books I realize. But they each played such an important part in my life. (The last I’m sure will be more so as time has parted me from its pages more than a few mere moments.) The waffle and spaghetti book, more importantly the guys like girls who… book, really challenged me in becoming the woman of God that I need to be. I’ve grown a lot this year in terms of acceptance of myself. I’d go through times where I was like, well, nobody has ever asked me out, there has to be something wrong with me. I’m fat. I’m ugly. I’m not bubbly enough. My personality is boring. I’m just not good enough.
God used His marvelous, redeeming, perfect Word to refute these thoughts, and He spoke through these books to show me that…it’s not me, it’s the timing. I know all my fears sound shallow and stupid, which is one of the reasons I think I have such a hard time admitting them. How thankful I am for friends who immediately refute my fears upon learning of them! I really…don’t know what I would have done without them.
Now perhaps you understand better my passion for the way girls view themselves. If I could have gone through such periods of feeling inadequate, with a secure knowledge of Jesus, and the best friends out there, and a loving family…how do the girls…without Jesus, with fickle shallow friends, and parents who don’t care…how do they feel?
This isn’t really where I had intended to go with this post. But I guess sometimes my mind wanders. I think the best way to close off would be…with the things that God used to show me that…I am who He created. My image, my value, my w0rth is in the cross and in His perfect design. I can’t say I remember that all the time, there are bad days like everybody else, but I’m learning. I’m learning to trust. Learning to lean. Learning to be comfortable with who I am, even if voices are screaming at me that I’m not enough. In fact, I rather like Lindsey Noelle, and I wouldn’t change me for anything, because this is who God made, and God doesn’t make mistakes.
- “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” -1 Peter 3:3-4. I know, I use it all the time. It changed my life, what can I say?
- “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” -Proverbs 31:30. The whole end of Proverbs 31 is pretty remarkable to be honest.
- “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” -1 Timothy 2:9-10
- Psalm 139. God just lays out how crazy He is about us. Therefore, it is absolutely ridiculous to consider ourselves sub-par.
- “The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. … for the LORD will take delight in you..” -Isaiah 62:2-4
- “Lender! Don’t even feel that way. I’ve seen the pictures you posted and I still think you’re pretty. Everyone breaks out, no big deal. You’re still beautiful :)”
- I’m sure there are numerous songs, and numerous quotes…but I’d like to leave this post with this one thought that encouraged me:
“Girls are like apples…the best ones are at the top of the trees. The boys don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples that are on the ground that aren’t as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think there is something wrong with them, when, in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who’s brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree…” -anonymous