I don’t know about you, but I love to read books that help me grow. I made the goal to read 12 non-fiction learning books in the year 2016. I surpassed that goal and actually read 15 books in 2016. That number doesn’t include about a handful of fiction or the books I read to my children. Today, I want to share 5 of my favorite books of the year in no particular order.
Here are my Top 5 Reads from 2016:
- What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter
This book isn’t a “Christian” book, but it was life-changing for me. Last year, I read Dr. Caroline Leaf’s “Switch on Your Brain” and was truly inspired to change the way I thought about myself. I didn’t totally follow her method so I wasn’t as successful as I could have been, though I grew a lot through that book.
“What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” was the very first book that I read together with my accountability/online book club this year. The biggest thing that the book helped me to change is that I began saying positive words and scriptures over myself at least 5 days a week. Let me tell you, when you begin to speak positively over yourself that often, you eventually actually begin to believe it! Yes, I still get the negative thoughts at times, but now it’s a lot easier to tell them where to go. 😉
- The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron
I borrowed this book from our Public Library because a friend suggested reading up on sensitive people. I have a child who was highly difficult when they were younger. My husband and I expected this child to act exactly like their siblings. It was hard to understand why this child hated loud noises, overreacted so easily, and was so sensitive. Over the years, we’ve learned (slowly) what makes this little person tick and things have gotten a lot better at our house. This book was so helpful to me! One of the coolest things about this book was that it talked about the differences between our nervous systems. Sensitive people actually have heightened nervous systems! That was eye opening for me in regards to my child as well as myself. Sensitive people are generally the artists, musicians, and writers. Our child is very sensitive to the feelings of others.
- Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst
I picked up this book because a friend told me how good “The Best Yes” by Lysa was. For some reason, though, I was drawn to this book instead when I was browsing in the bookstore. Though I finished this book before the end of the year, I’m currently re-reading it because it is that good. The whole premise of the book is how the enemy will Steal, Kill, and Destroy us and how he often does it through rejection. We all feel rejection at different times throughout life, for different reasons. Perhaps you walk into a room and no one talks to you. Lysa talks about submitting her first book proposal and being rejected over and over. People treating us a certain way will bring back rejection from childhood. She also talks about the Goodness of God and encourages us to tell ourselves that God is always good. It doesn’t matter what happens, we need to settle it in our hearts that he is good.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Way back in Bible College, several professors recommended this book. Because it wasn’t required reading and I wasn’t into reading teach books back then, I never read it. Enter last winter. I saw this book for sale at the Library’s annual book sale, so I bought it. This book wasn’t easy to get into but I gleaned a lot from it so I feel that it was worth it. It is not a quick read, but it definitely teaches a lot about human behavior. Stephen says that everything in life will fit into 4 different Quadrants. The author mentions that procrastination can often turn tasks that were important but not urgent, into tasks that are urgent. I totally relate to this. For example, I have the tendency to think “oh such and such isn’t happening until next week and then forget about it.” Guess what happens then? The day before the event or deadline I am scrambling to be ready. Because I know that many of us struggle with procrastination, this stops us from really living out our lives to the fullest. What a big case for not procrastinating.
- A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George
I picked this book up at my local thrift store for $1.50 in almost brand new condition. I had eyed it in a catalog before, so I was all over it when I saw it at the thrift store. It ended up being a great book for me, personally. I especially loved the focus on fixing ourselves instead of trying to fix everyone. My tendency can sometimes be to try and control everyone around me. It’s a little silly because (obviously) most people aren’t all that excited about someone controlling everything they do. A few years ago, I remember crying out to the Lord and surrendering my husband to him. Up until that point, I still prayed for Bernd believing that when he changed this and this happened. That day I said out loud, “Today, I’m choosing to love my husband whether he changes or not.” It was so scary for me to do at the time. In fact, it felt like I was giving God permission to never change him. (as if I have any control over God) Yet there was liberty and freedom in that. This book reminded me of that prayer again because even though I prayed it and meant it, it’s easy to have the tendency to pick up those controlling ways all over again.
Well, there you have it! Those are my 5 favorite reads from 2016. What were your favorite reads from 2016? I’d love if you’d take a minute to share them in the comments below.
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