These books that I finished this month are powerhouses.
They both also happened to be about biblical womanhood: gentle and strong, generous and loyal, humble and confident, wild and free.
13. Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan
Wild women know that the aroma of Christ and the wind of the Holy Spirit flowing through their home make it sweeter than any candle they could find at Anthropologie. -Jess Connolly
If you need a book that doesn’t sugarcoat cramps, this insecure generation of Spandex wearers, all the other joys and insecurities of being a woman, and the truth of the Gospel – don’t look any farther. I was nervous about digging into this one, because I had heard so much hype online about how it was already working in so many hearts in the first few weeks of it being released. I don’t read many books involving women’s interests these days, but this one was worth the hype for me. It’s about loving people well and wearing red lipstick. It’s about glorifying God and not being disgusted in your own skin. It’s about living freely and being yourself in the security of your identity. In addition to this book’s debunking of the lies we believe of being not enough or too much, it was so fun to read a quote from John Piper, see lyrics from Lauren Daigle, and read a story about Corrie ten Boom — all of which are some of my favorites. I will be keeping this one nearby for awhile so that I can revisit highlights and journal through the rough patches. I hope Jess and Hayley go on to write more books, individually or together!
Recommendation status: I could have shared hundreds of quotes with you, but instead I say: Read this book. I’ll be anxious to hear what God does through it in your life.
14. Seven Women by Eric Metaxas
Perhaps the best thing about biographies is that they enable us to slip the strictures of time and provide a bracing corrective to our tendency to see everything in the dark glass of our own era, with all its blind spots, motes, beams, and distortions. We must be honest enough to recognize that each era cannot help having a pinched, parochial view of things, and of course the largest part of that parochialism is that each era thinks it is not parochial at all. Each era has the fatal hubris to believe that it has once and for all climbed to the top of the mountain and can see everything as it is, from the highest and most objective vantage point possible. But to assert that ours is the only blinker-less view of things is to blither fatuousness. We need to delve into the past to know that we have not progressed to any point of perfection and objectivity, and in examining the lives of these seven women, we are doing just that. We see that our view of many things, not least our view of how women can be great, is fatally tinged by our own cultural assumptions. The Bible says we are to humble ourselves, and in reading the stories of great men and women from the past, we inevitably do just that. But in humbling ourselves in that way we ironically gain a far greater objectivity and a far better vantage point from which to see things.
When I picked up this book, I already knew I loved biographies, Eric Metaxas, and most of the women in the book, so I knew it would quickly become a favorite. In short and sweet fashion, we visit the lives of Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Rosa Parks, and Mother Teresa. The stories range from the beginning with Joan of Arc in 1412 to Rosa Park’s death in 2005. Some women I already knew of well, some I didn’t know of at all. Some shocked me, and some relit a fire in me to become more like them. I look forward to studying a few of their lives more intensely in the future, and I am grateful for this easy-to-follow book that was my kickstart. It stepped on my toes in all of the necessary and holy ways.
Recommendation status: If you love history and want to grow as a woman of God, this will be a perfect fit for you.
Books I’ve put down and rejected this month:
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Her writing, I will say first and foremost, is elegant and beautiful. I was okay with reading a few cuss words here and there, but when she called God a faulty name, I knew the rest would not be worth my attention. I’m sad that she had to include that, because I was looking forward to reading more of her beautiful words.
Up Next On The Reading List . . .
Ethics by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Surprised by Laughter by Terry Linovall, PH.D.
No Baggage by Clara Bensen