Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Suggestions

Something wonderful is happening right now as I type. Jackson went to Mother's Day Out today, where he took a measly one hour nap. That's good for MDO, but compared to the three hours of sleep he gets by way of naps on a normal day, THAT IS NOT ENOUGH. He has been shaking his afternoon nap a lot lately and it is impossible to get him down in the late afternoon after MDO. Today he was so fussy and nothing would help. Not tater tots. Not strawberry limeade. Not a bottle. Not Beckham licking him. Nothing. So I held him with his head on my shoulder while checking my work email and he fell asleep. Amazing. He's napping in his crib even now. The Lord loves me.

Speaking of the Lord, He is giving me some quiet time victory. I've said this before, but if before having a baby you had told me I would end up struggling with this in my adulthood, I would not have believed it. I thought myself long past that. Ha! I've learned not to put anything beyond myself.

Anyway, I got a new devotional book that is big and pretty with awesome thick paper with rough edges. It has all my favorite elements: a daily Scripture portion to look up, several (PAUSE: NAP IS OVER) questions to journal answers to, a devotional reading, and a prayer journal area. It's called David: 90 Days With a Heart Like His. I am only sharing this in case you're also needing some quiet time victory and you happen to like this format.

Doesn't it look cool? It's huge and it has an old feel to it.


If you have a favorite quiet time book, let me know. Maybe I'll make a list for when my 90 days are over.

Also, I'm taking suggestions for the best Christian fiction novel EVER! I'm planning on catching up on some reading this summer. Possibly even on a Mexican beach in, oh, 20 days. I've already read most of Francine Rivers (please go buy the Mark of the Lion trilogy RIGHT NOW). I'm not feeling very Amish right now, so maybe not that genre.

Baby Boy needs me. See ya.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

Francine Rivers has a new book coming out in a few weeks called "The Scribe". I also like books by Beth Webb Hart. I really enjoy your blog and seeing pictures of your sweet boy.

Alana said...

For Christian Fiction, if you have never read the Redemption Series by Gary Smalley and Karen Kingsbury, you should definitely give that a try!

kittyhox said...

I love my Oswald Chambers devotional/journal. I've had his classic devotional forever (my favorite!), but never with room to write. I hate hand writing things, for some reason, but it forces me to stop and reflect more than I would otherwise.

I've never read a Christian novel before. How interesting. I'm looking forward to your readers' suggestions and will try the book you recommended.

:)

Jackie said...

I have been reading David too. Before that I would read over "laughter and lattes" it is a good, lighthearted read to start my day (also with a 2 yr old, I needed quick- I have to catch my quiet times when she chooses to nap!) Then I would read something with more "substance" when I could get more that 5 minutes. I can't wait to see what others suggest... I am always looking for good new books.

Jessica said...

I have to give major props to the Redemption Series by Karen Kingsbury. You will not be able to put it down. I had never read Christian fiction before, until a co-worker suggested this series. I read the whole series in like 2 months. This would be great summer reading....

Nancy Mon said...

For reading I love Robert Whitlow books...kind of like a Christian John Grisham type read. His first book The List was just about impossible to put down. I gave it to Roy and he stayed home one Saturday cause he could not put it down. Another author I like and is not labeled Christian, but she is a Christian is Augusta Trobaugh. Her stories are interesting and revolve for the most part around 3 women... black and white. Her first book Resting in the Bosom of the Lamb is awesome. I usually don't enjoy Christian fiction, now that just looks like an oxymoron, because it seems too contrived, but the above authors rise above that and keep you glued to the book.

Shelly said...

I used Oswald Chambers for years, but it doesn't necessarily give you the 'forced' interaction of journaling and questions to answer. So what you've already got sounds wonderful, except that you'll be done with it soon :( Kay Arthur has one entitled 'Beloved,' but I haven't started it yet. It's going to be similar to the Oswald format. They'll both step on your toes if you let them though :)

And it's not fictional (I'm breaking the rules), but 'The Heavenly Man' by Brother Yun is an incredible true story of a Chinese Christian brother. The thought of reading it didn't grab me initially, but it has held my heart now. It's a heroic story of a radical Christian in the house churches of China...and like a modern day version of the Book of Acts. It can be incredibly humbling and difficult to read at times, but worth it. I recommend this book to anyone! Hmm...but don't know if it'll be your summer sun, cool breeze, waves crashing, kind of read :)

Since you've already read Francine Rivers, you stole my first thoughts! Sorry I couldn't be more help; I didn't get much spare reading time outside of college reading. Booh! Maybe I'll go make that Mark of the Lion trilogy purchase soon!

Jungle Mom said...

Morning and evening by Spuergeon.

I love novels as well. I love Micheal Philips.

Sam McClure said...

one of my favorite devos is A.W. Tozer's "Pursuit of Man" it is a 60 day one and I do it over and over!

I was addicted to a series by Liz Curtis Higgs last summer; it is based on the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel, but is set in the 16th century in Scotland...amazing. The first of the series is "Thorn In My Heart."

CrownLaidDown said...

"Book of Hours" by T Davis Bunn
"Thr3e" by Ted Dekker

QT: I like to read "Streams in the Desert" by Mrs. Charles Cowman
Also I have really enjoyed Lisa Whelchel's Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer
Whispers of Hope I enjoyed, too! I'd like to get it again.

BTW I went in to the doctor this morning for a cold and came out with an MRI on my head scheduled for next Tues at 6:45 pm...Please pray.
Love ya!
Holly

The Sanders House said...

I am feeling you on the 1 hour nap! It makes for a long afternoon! I LOVE Francine Rivers and you just reminded me that I have not read that trilogy yet!

Anonymous said...

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger is excellent! I don't think it was released by a Christian publisher but it could have been. It is a beautiful story and the writing is superb. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Amanda....you would love the Kristen Billerbeck chrisian "chic lit" books..the look cheesy but they are pretty good and fun...she has the Ashley Stockingdale Series (one is called "what a girl wants" i think there is three altogether) and she also has a "spa girls" series which again sounds cheesy but i loved it..you can find them at BN or Lifeway probably...have fun on the beach!

Holly

cattailmama said...

Absolutely anything by Karen Kingsbury! She is awesome!

Megan said...

Oh, thanks for recommending the devo. I am definately needing one.

I just started the first book in the Kritsin Billerbeck series. It was recommended to me and I'm loving it. It's one of those great books to take to the beach and on a plane.

Kelly Fisher said...

Amanda,
Mom told me about "Uncharted" by Angela Hunt. In fact, I think several other girls at LPM have read it, too. Wild ending! And a great read!

Anonymous said...

Anything by Karen Kingsbury!!!

Jenny said...

elieveTed Dekker is the best writer! Blessed Child has to be the most awesome of all his books!

Anonymous said...

I started out reading Francine Rivers and after reading her books I was introduced to Karen Kingsbury. Once I started reading her books they were so good that I could not put them down until I finished them. Also if you are interested in Christian mystery type books Dee Henderson is great. Hope this help. The summer time is a great time to catch up on reading.

Blessed Assurances said...

I am a huge reader so I would suggest, Yada Yada Prayer Series and the Redemption Series by Karen Kingsbury...she wrote a follow up series titled Fame so you will be reading for a while with that one and it is such a sweet series too.

Enjoy your reading, let us know what you decide to do

christie said...

Karen Kingsbury's "Even Now" is really great. Don't read the next one of the set though, "Ever After." It's good but I bawled all the way through it (soldier dies...too close to home for me!)probably not what you want to do at the beach. Anyways, "Even Now" is a must read.

Travis said...

Amanda - I am doing 90 Days WIth A Heart Like His, too, and I love it. I am going through it with a buddy, and it is awesome. I am on Day 24.

I recommend it to all the fellas out there. There has only been one chick-specific day so far. It is rocking my quiet time world.

Cathy said...

Not fiction, but one of my all-time favorite books is by Donald Miller called "Blue Like Jazz".

This book has had an incredible impact on many college students I've given it to. Might think about it for the youth you work with.

Cathy

Sharon said...

The best ever--I have bought several copies just to give away---it's thick so it will last more than a few hours--it will increase your love for Jesus--increase your love for Godly men---make you feel good about yourself----
......interested?
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
The best ever.
Next almost anything by Frank Perretti

I love Oswald Chambers

Janelle & Ella said...

Girl, I am still struggling with my quiet time as we have talked about! You are an answered prayer. I have to get your mom's Daniel devotional book. Maybe it's the answer I've been looking for.
I'm so glad you suggested Mark of the Lion to your blogging audience. Best series ever! And I have no other suggestions, but I will be reading yours. I'm excited about the new book "The Scribe" that someone suggested.

Anonymous said...

KAREN KINGSBURY!!!!!!!!!!
Especially the Redemption Series.
You will not regret it. Oh, how I love them.

Liz said...

Pretty much every book I was going to mention was already mentioned! :) Of course my first thought was Francine Rivers (Not too much can compare to hers) and next Karen Kingsburry.

For Mystery I have enjoyed the Cape Refuge series by Terri Blackstock. One of my all time favorite fiction books is "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss It is an old book but very rich.

For devotional I have been reading "The complete Green Letters" by Miles J. Stanford. It's not a journal type but it's full of meat! I am going to look into the one you are reading...that sounds really good.

I know what you mean about the naps. When my 14 month old doesn't get a good 3 hour nap...it makes for a rough evening!

sim said...

Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson and Robert Benson. I cannot say enough about this book! When I worked at Logos Bookstore, I recommended this to everyone looking for a devotional. (JD Chippery visit every afternoon...)

The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock is amazing!!!! Also, those Kristin Billerbeck books are fun - snack food, I call them.

Nise' said...

If you want recommendations on Christian Fiction you must go to A Peek At My Bookshelf!
Favorite Devotionals: My Beloved, Praying God's Word, My Utmost For His Highest.

BooMama said...

Hey - I heard the woman who wrote that David book is pretty cool.

And I'm actually in the market for a new quiet time book - I'll be at the Lifeway in the morning. :-)

Lindsee said...

Since you've already read most of Francine Rivers, whom I absolutely LOVE (especially Redeeming Love and Atonement Child!). I would recommend The Redemption Series to you by Karen Kingsbury. Absolutely amazing. You CANNOT put it down. But, be sure to have the next one ready, you just can't wait to see what happens next.

Also by her, "A Time to Dance" is wonderful! And "Even Now" is great!! Basically, anything by her is wonderful. (As you can see by my recommendations...and other folk's!)

I LOVE to read! It's thrills my heart.

Thanks for your recommendation, I've always wanted to do that one, but have just never picked it up. I shall give it a try because I am def. needing some quiet times, they are few and far between lately!!

Charis said...

I loved the David study, maybe it's time to revisit it...

I just finished Trish Perry's two books...
The Guy I'm Not Dating &
Too Good to Be True...
both are laugh out loud funny, light reading.

Anything by Karen Kingsbury is a hit with me. Start the Redemption series and you will be reading awhile. There's the redemptin series which spawns off into the firstborn series. Now a new series has started off of that one with Sunrise. No complaints here though. I love the Baxter family!

Melissa in Tulsa said...

Amanda, I love your blog!!! You are so real, and honest. Thank you for that.

I am the world's worst about my quiet time when I am not taking a structured bible study. I will have to try DAVID!

I LOVE the two books by ???? (I've given my copies away, and I can't for the life of me remember the author): Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, and A Day with a Perfect Stranger. They were so good and I read each of them in one session.

Amanda's got Baby Bangs said...

Ladies, thank you! I think it's clear that I need to be reading Karen Kingsbury! Simri, I don't even want to know what size I'd be wearing if I worked around the corner from JD's. God sovereignly placed me 30 minutes away from those cookies.

David Campbell said...

My husband is telling me that you need to read anything by Joel Rosenberg. I am sorry I do not have any more information than that, as I have never read anything he has written. I would have suggested anything by Francine Rivers.My husband is a fan of Francine Rivers as well, which is great because we can talk about what we have read. I wonder if she reads your blog! She has some serious fans:)

MamaCass said...

I too struggle with my quiet time since becoming a mom. Some days the only prayer I have is when I put Tobey to bed. I have read your mom's A heart Like His and loved it but I haven't done the devotional. Right now I am trying to work my way through Ann Spangler's Praying the Names of God. As far as Christian fiction my favorite is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers which I am sure you have already read. I will have to read Mark of the Lion=)

Marc and Charity said...

My husband bought the 90 Days book for me right before we moved overseas in January and I just started it last week. I love how big it is (maybe b/c I'm Texan) and I love the rough edges. It's something I look forward to each naptime...sitting down with my Bible, big 90 days book, and a cuppa.

Billie said...

I agree...the Mark of the Lion series is the BEST hands down. However, a VERY close 2nd is the Redemption Series mentioned already by Gary Smalley and Karen Kingsbury. There are 5 in that series and then she picks up with one of the characters in that series for another 5 book series called Fame and from that another series has just began called Sunrise. But the Redemption...a MUST!

Busy Mommy said...

I think someone has already said this, but my new favorites are the Karen Kingsbury/Smalley series. There are I think 5 in the redemption series and 4(? haven't had time yet to really get into these) in the Forgiven Series. Boy are they good. Have you read the Jannette Oke books? They are always a good read!

Susan said...

Karen Kingsbury is an amazing author! The first book in the Redemption series began a little slow, but then I couldn't put it down. The spinoff series called Firstborn was really good. And now I have begun the spinoff of the spinoff. Just can't the thought of leaving the Baxter family.

I have also enjoyed the Yada Yada Prayer Group series. The diverse personalities in that series really keeps it interesting.

Most of the Sister Chick books are good. I think the first two books were the best.

Mindy said...

I've not read all of Francine Rivers book but my favorite Christian fiction book so far is by her. "The Last Sin Eater".
It was fabulous!
I'm sure you've long since read it but I just wanted to suggest it if uyou haven't!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Karen Kingsbury, and also with the suggestion of Kristen Billerbeck - very light and funny. But my favorite chick lit books are the Savannah series by Denise Hildreth. I feel like Savannah is my long lost twin, and I think you will love her.

Boundbrook Lane said...

Amanda, I have a whole library of novels at my house. . .just come on over and pick one for your trip. .. or I'll bring you a few to try! This morning, as I so struggled to get up for my quiet time, the Holy Spirit graceFULLY, handed me the weapons of Eph. 6:10-Be strong in the Lord- and of Eph. 1:19-20--the imparibly great power of God, who RAISED Christ from the dead, is at work within ME--and I got up, praise the Lord! Be blessed today!
Star

Kelly said...

I have no suggestions to offer, but I've surely picked up a few!

And if you have time, I know I would appreciate hearing about your quiet time victory. I'm really struggling lately! Encourage me!

Amanda said...

One of my favorite series (especially for summer) is the Glenbrooke series by Robin Jones Gunn. Wonderful 8 books, friends, love, everything you'd want for some light reading.

Three Fold Cord said...

Amanda,
I LOVE Karen Kingsbury. I am in the final books of the Firstborn series. The first one is Fame. I get them from the Library and cannot put them down. I love the fact that she dialogues the interaction that each of us have throughout the day when the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Sometimes it is scripture other times it is personal encouragement. I believe she does a beautiful job of drawing you into the realization that there is a relationship to be had with our Lord not just a religion.
I have laughed, cried and wanted to go to the the first moments of my salvation experience all over again through her books.
Have Fun!!
Charlotte

Grace said...

Coming out from lurking on your blog (hi!) to say that you must read Terri Blackstock's Restoration Series. The first book is called Last Light. It's about this family who lives in normal today-times, but then everything electrical stops working--EVERYTHING! Two books are out right now, and the third is coming out in July!

Lisa writes... said...

I admit to being a pretty picky reader; of course I prefer to claim my standards are just high. Anyway, I've been something of an occasional lurker but I'm jumping out of the shadows to give you my recommendations for Christian fiction--all MUST READS:
Anything by Charles Martin. When Crickets Cry and The Dead Don't Dance are probably my two favorite, but everything he's written is wonderful. Good Southern characters, redemptive, well written, you'll laugh, you'll cry...everything you could want in a novel. You won't be disappointed!

The Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker. I'm no fantasy fan, but these books are wonderful. You'll have to get all three though--you won't be able to stop after the first!

For something "light" I enjoyed Kristin Billerbeck's Ashley Stockingdale novels, or Ray Blackston's Flabbergasted.

Happy reading!

{Karla} said...

I've been working through David too. I love the thick pages...

I love anything by angela Hunt.

blessings,
karla

My Dear Family said...

I do not get to read much Christian fiction but a friend gave us this book and in turn we have given it to many people. You will not be able to put it down. It is "Safely Home" by Randy Alcorn. Every Christian should read this book.

stephanie said...

Oh you've already read Mark of the Lion. I was going to recommend that. I was so hooked that I felt like I no longer got to spend time with close friends after finishing them. Me, Atretes, Julia, Hadassah, etc. were buds. Is that weird to feel like you're friends with book characters? I also do that with favorite TV shows too. Jim and Pam? Cristina Yang? Preston Burke? (Oh wait, did I just publicly admit to my addiction to Grey's Anatomy?)

pinkmommy said...

I love this post...what great comments it generated! I love to read, but have been convicted lately of what I have been reading (smut). I will have to go out and get some of these suggestions for my summer reading!

I am also going to run out and get the 90 days book as soon as I am finished with Patriarchs!

Emily Doss said...

Novels-
Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock
The Note by Angela Hunt
Safely Home by Randy Alcorn


Devotionals-
The Women of Faith Study Guide Series has different topics that are good for a quick dive into the Word.

WillBlog said...

I will be checking out that book very soon... thanks for sharing!

BTW, the Wog is a huge nap issue. I struggle with that every day!

The Preacher's Wife said...

Do you love Ted Dekker? You can never go wrong with anything by him...

My mom has your mom's David devotional..You are so right in how great it feels in the hand...Love it!

Sunny said...

I love all of Karen Kingsbury's books for Christian fiction! She is awesome. Try some of her books, you can get them cheap on ebay!

Holloway Family said...

Try the Robin Jones Gunn series called Sisterchicks. It is so funny!

Debra said...

Redeeming Love is my all time favorite. I have only read two Christian fiction books...so to have an all time favorite is big stuff.

Anonymous said...

very perceptive boomama...i kept reading looking for this!!!!

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

I'm so glad I left you a comment, or else I'd never have known from your first comment that Rivers has a new book! Hallelujah, I've been waiting for a new one from her!!

Okay, this doesn't quite count as Christian fiction, but it's written about a Christian, so I'm giving my vote, anyway: Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger. LOVED IT. And another fantastic read, again not Christian fiction but containing miracles, is Wish You Well, by David Baldacci. My two favorite reads this year. :)

Sue said...

My hubby bought me the David book as a surprise. it sure is light for such a HUGE book, isn't it. One of my new favorite books is The Divine Romance by Gene Edwards. Fantastic!

Jennifer said...

Okay, I agree with everyone else on the Karen Kingsbury, but for something different you could try the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson. It is mystery, but also love and romance. Plus Sophie's Heart by Lori Wick is a real tear jerker.

Anonymous said...

For good reading, I recommend anything by Lori Wick, Kristin Billerbeck (light, fun chick lit), Mindy Starnes Clark (mysteries), Karen Kingsbury, or Ted Dekker (great suspense books)! Enjoy!

Lucy said...

I'm halfway through 90 days and it is positively freaky how many times God will use the particular page I'm on to speak directly into my heart on the very day I need Him to. There are days when I sit at my kitchen table with my mouth hanging wide open and I'm thinking, "I'm not believing this is hitting home AGAIN!" On the inside front cover I've written the words "This book is for Sarah." My husband knows that if I meet my Maker before he does that he is to give that book to our daughter as an inside peak into her mother's heart and prayer life.

John and Alison............. said...

ANYTHING by Karen Kingsbury is a must-read! The Redemption series is awesome! By the time you are done with that series the Baxter family will be your "friends"! Enjoy!

Amy T said...

Lucy, that's an awesome idea!

Amanda- I can only second what the others have said. Karen Kingsbury, Terri Blackstock, and Dee Henderson on some of my favorites. Also, Debbie Macomber is a secular writer, but is very clean and she has a series that takes place in a yarn shop that has strong Christian themes, especially the last one which she jsut released. Enjoy your trip and the reading and the lounging!

Deena said...

"The Restorer" by Sharon Hinck. It's new, it's fantasy for adults...it's Narnia meets Lord of the Rings meets you right where you are...

My review is at
http://deenasbooks.blogspot.com

It seriously is the best I've ever read...

The Bergers said...

I know I'm late in getting to the punch, but Fracine Rivers' "Redeeming Love" is the best book ever. I think I have read it 4 times now and I cry and worship the Lord every time I read it. You have probably read it too, but I wanted to share that!
Hope all is well.

Love,
Christi

Anonymous said...

have you read "the red tent" by anita diamant? if you like francine rivers' lineage of grace series, you'll love this book!

Lauren said...

I didn't read through all the comments, so I don't know whether someone already suggested this, but Father Elijah by Michael D. O'Brien is probably my favorite Christian novel ever.

Allison said...

Hi Amanda! I saw some adorable pictures of your sweet Jackson in Boone. What a blessing.

I know this is a late comment, but you should definitely check out "Safely Home" by Randy Alcorn. It's about the persecuted church in China and is a very, VERY well-written novel....and worth passing on to others!!

Asher's mommy said...

Amanda,

Your blog is such a blessing! (I'm a newbie to it, and until now, a serious LEECH.) Thanks to your suggestion, I have restored daily, sweet time with my God by beginning 90 Days With a Heart Like His. This book is perfect and has instigated a change in my heart--a change that a heart lacking daily, constant communication with God desperately needs. I too have been exceedingly blessed with a precious son, who is 19 months old and the dearest, most undeserved gift I could have ever received. It's astounding what motherhood does to a heart! I so identify with a previous post, "On Dying." It describes me too. Thank you for putting words out there for me to read and see myself in...so I can change. I have tasted the exhilaration of running! So how could the deadness of a crawl engulf me once again? I did "Breaking Free" (and boy, did I) in college 8 years ago, and now I'm reading "Get out of that Pit." This time, I want to stay out and forever feel that glorious breeze of Jesus on my face. I long for my son to see Jesus in me. You have no idea the changes your blog has stirred, but I pray you'll be blessed for your willingness to be open and to minister.
I also love reading about sweet little Jackson and can relate to so much! (I'm a 27-year-old first-time mom of a rambunctious toddler, and my husband and I have been married nearly six years.)

THANK YOU again for your encouragement.

Kyler

teagirl said...

My must reads:
Dee Henderson's O'Malley series
Kathy Herman- any of her series
Terri Blackstock's Cape Refuge series
Randall Arthur's Wisdom Hunter
anything by Susan May Warren

Cathy Davis said...

Isn't nice to know that we read and remember your posts? I'm looking for a post you wrote about devotionals and you specifically referenced Whispers of Hope.

I've been working through Whispers of Hope and I love the format! Besides the other devos your mama has out there, do you have any other recommendations? I really like WoH format...it's all that I need in a neat package.

I just really got some good quiet time/prayer time going in the past few months and I want to make sure I keep on!

I hope you're having a good time in the ATL and more importantly enjoying some Amanda/Curtis time!