Reading

Reading Challenge — Exciting News!

Hello readers!

Guess who has some exciting news?

As many of you know, I host an annual reading challenge. This challenge, 52 Books in 52 Weeks, is a yearly list compiled of (you guessed it) fifty-two unique prompts. Find a book that matches each prompt, read it, and check it off the list. The result is a fun way to mix up your reading, all the while trying new authors and genres.

I created this challenge back in 2018 and invited all of you to join along. This year was now my third year creating and running the challenge — and I’ve been blown away by the response. Each year, our little group of participants has grown and grown. This year, we have over 13,000 challenge members on our Facebook group. It’s an active and incredible community of readers. Not only is it a place to find new reads, it’s also a great way to connect with fellow bookworms.

Because of all this amazing growth, I am excited to announce that the challenge is now getting its own space!

Welcome to The 52 Book Club! (www.the52book.club)

Moving forward, all future challenges will be released and found via our new website, The 52 Book Club. This new branding will hopefully make it easier for future participants to find, as well as help clarify what we’re all about. (You can head over there now to see a full list of past and current challenges, as well as a collection of frequently asked questions and “how to’s.”)

This rebrand has also given us a bit of opportunity to expand. You can now find and join in with the challenge on Instagram! (www.instagram.com/the52bookclub)

We are so excited for this new “chapter” and invite you all to join in!

Happy reading!

– Liz

10 Books for the Mama Who Miscarried

The grave was impossibly small: a flattened bit of earth and grass that covered the infant-sized casket beneath. I was twenty-two years old and burying my baby. There was no preparation for something like this — no guideline for how grief should look and feel. I felt alone and overwhelmed by the intensity of my grief: What was normal? What was okay? What did the Bible say about loss?

I needed to feel the weight of shared pain and knowledge, a sacred story of motherhood that had been held by more than just me.

I needed to know that this grief was more than just pain, it was love.

I needed to find the voices of those who had walked this road before me: to weep and remember within a community.

These are some of the books I found throughout my grief journey. They’ve encouraged and challenged me, reminded me to keep my eyes fixed on Christ, and allowed me to see the beauty within every story. I hope they will do the same for you. Continue reading

Book Review: Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost

When it comes to the church, we all have stories. Some stories are of ones where we feel welcomed and included, comfortable and free to worship; while others are stories of pain and confusion, uncertainty or discomfort.

I remember my first few months away at college, hopping from church to church in a small prairie town, trying to find the one that felt most like home. One Sunday evening, while out for a walk with a friend, we encountered two elderly ladies on their way to an evening service in the school gym. I’ll never forget how excited they were when we agreed to join them, how overjoyed they were to show us off to the other attendees during after-gathering cookies and coffee. The love of Christ radiated off our new, white-haired friends. That church wasn’t the one for me, but I’ll never forget that feeling of being welcomed so warmly. That was what I was looking for in a church family: community, a warm and open invitation, and most of all, Jesus.

In Traci Rhoades new book, “Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost,” readers are invited to look past the denominational differences that separate us and instead find Jesus amidst the differing worship styles. As she says, “We don’t all practice our faith the exact same way, but our God is big enough to embrace all the ways we encounter Jesus. And Jesus sits at the head of the table. Always.”

Continue reading

“Praying Women” Book Review

“God is calling His warrior women to invest their lives in something that is bigger than themselves: the kingdom of God. These kinds of women give their lives to relentless prayer.”
– Sheila Walsh, “Praying Women”

If we’re honest, we’ve all had times in our lives where prayer has been a struggle. We may find ourselves in seemingly impossible situations, wondering if God actually hears us. Can He truly fix this? Why hasn’t He answered? Or perhaps, we enter into prayer time with the best intentions but immediately find ourselves daydreaming or drifting off to sleep. We equate prayer time with a chore, a box to check.

When it comes to prayer, we all come to the table with baggage and history. With wounds and scars. Thankfully, prayer isn’t about perfect people. It’s not about knowing the right words or being doubt-free.

It’s about our hearts. It’s about step-by-step transformation. It’s about trust, even in the silence. It’s about coming and laying it all before Him. 

Continue reading

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