Thursday, January 5, 2017

Favorite Books of 2016 (& How We MADE Time to Read)

I used to think I didn't have time to read. Looking back, I realize that even though I was a busy gal, that was a lie I was believing. I used to teach middle school & work about a million side jobs. This was before kids, but I was very involved in both our school and church and was a class plate-overfiller. I didn’t read much (even though I wanted to) because I thought I didn’t have time. Jonathan didn’t read much at all because he (*thought*) he didn’t like to read.

Still, several mentors in our life told us over and over that “leaders are readers” and encouraged us to start reading more. We finally gave in and now we are both avid readers, even with a “busy life.” (Although I don't work in a workplace anymore, I do still have a very full day. I run a pretty large business with my husband, I have 2 kiddos under 3 and the 3rd on the way, and I cook & clean a LOT. So, my time is consumed. Y’all know how it is.)

Image result for charlie jones quote books you read

We started small though, and here’s how we did it. We decided to start with either 10 minutes/10 pages a night. (I honestly can’t remember which it was.) That's it...That small. That’s not too overwhelming, right? We committed to that, & it worked! We did it consistently (usually ended up reading more than that) and it became a habit. A few months later we had cable shut off completely (saved over $1200/year) and had even MORE time to read. Then we added the Audible app and started listening different times of the day as well. Jonathan listens during his commute or his workout and I listen in while making meals/cleaning. We recently bought a Sony BlueTooth speaker so I can hear it even while doing other things. (Most of the time we listen more than once, & I still buy books to keep on my nightstand and read at night too.) We both prefer to read our Bible in the morning and other books (listening included) throughout the day or before bed.

If you track the time you spend on social media & watching tv, you'll be amazed at just how much time you can waste there! (That was true for me anyway. Both were a total time suck because I would get lost in it.) I have found that reading has added so much more value to our life than those two things. (Not that you have to eliminate either completely, but just being more conscientious of how much time you spend doing those two things creates MORE time for important things you think you "don't have time for.") It has been especially neat to see my non-reader husband become an avid reader and see how that has helped him grow. Most people who know him well would agree that his thinking/attitude/mindset/faith/leadership has grown tremendously since he started reading. Even though he’s always been awesome (that’s why I married him, duh!), I am so proud of his growth.

I wanted to make a long list of the books we read in 2016, but our library is packed up in storage & I can’t remember all of them. Honestly, that has been one of the most annoying things about having everything in storage. It doesn’t really bother me and I’m learning we can live with wayyyy less (it’s actually kind of nice), but I did like always having access to my books so I could reference them when needed. (Especially the parenting/pregnancy related books!) Anyway…Here are some books we read in 2016. Some are my reads, some are Jon’s, and some we both read.

Next on my list is Good or God & Triggers. Jonathan is listening to & loving The Magic of Thinking Big.

Would LOVE to hear your FAVORITE book of 2016 and your biggest takeaway from it!

Anything we need to add to our list for 2017? We’d love some recommendations!


Pate said...

I LOVE all books by Karen Kingsbury. She is a Christian author-you should definitely check her out. My personal favorites by her are the Baxter family series, but I love them all! Go to :-)

Champion on a journey said...

I would have to say that the book that had the biggest impact on me in 2016 was God Is Able by Priscilla Shirer. She breaks down Ephesians 3:20 in such a way that it blew my mind. She is also very humble and witty. One of the issues I have struggled with my entire adult life was not so much thinking God wasn't able. but that He wasn't willing for me. In my mind, He would be there for other people but not for me. I would think things like " I KNOW He's able to do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or imagine but He has to want to and since He's not very fond of me, I doubt He's going to want to." This how a legalistic upbringing can completely screw up your mind and make it a jolly play ground for the enemy. The Lord started breaking down all the legalistic doctrine I had been filled with and started replacing it with a desire to understand His love and grace when I read that book. I am very thankful for that book. I saw alot of BIG prayers answered after I read that book.