Category: Books

Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy

Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy

Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy by Nicole Johnson

Does it feel like you are too busy to even catch a breath? If you have found yourself in the midst of living a crazy busy life, this book might be for you. In Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy, Nicole Johnson shares her story of realizing her life had gone out of control. There was no time even to talk with God. It was then that she started on this journey of creating calm in her life.

In Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy, Nicole Johnson shares her process of discovering the parts of her life that created craziness. She shares about finding the things that helped her to create calm. These are not clear cut ways and steps to take, but rather some practices and disciplines that will help to find calm in the midst of the busy life.

Lately, my life has definitely been filled with some amounts of crazy as I am involved in different ministries and I will be starting my internship in less than a month now. So I was looking for a book that would help me to create calm and be still even now. Yet I found that this book did not really inspire me. There were stories of things that helped Nicole Johnson, yet I did not really find there things that would help me right now that I didn’t already know. I also found myself skimming some parts of the book, as the author did not really keep my attention. All that being said, it could be that you can find this book useful to you if you have found yourself in a situation like this.

See more of my book reviews here.


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. All the opinions here are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

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My Morning Reading Routine

Are you fascinated by how other people’s lives look like? What their morning routine is like? Because I am. Therefore I decided to share my morning reading routine with you, in case you are at all like I am. This is what most of my mornings look like. I allow at least half an hour for my morning devotions. If I am not busy, I usually spend at least an hour doing my devotions. If I have time after doing my devotions, I usually read a spiritual book to help me grow in my faith. Recently I have been (re-)reading Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin, which is such a great book.

Morning Reading Routine

The One Year Bible (NKJV)

The One Year Bible has been a part of my morning routine for the last four years. I find that it is the best reading plan for me, at least right now. The One Year Bible goes through the whole Bible in one year. Every day has a passage from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms and a verse or two from Proverbs. This works great for me. There are different versions of The One Year Bible with different translations. NKJV is the translation I read almost always, which is why I have this one in NKJV as well.

Another added bonus for me is that this is an actual book. I do not like marking my Bible in any way. However, I like writing my insights and underlining verses in this one. It is sweet reading through the same book, and see what I have learned throughout these years. (Which, I’m sure, is how people feel about Bible journaling. There’s just something that stops me from marking my actual Bible.)

My Utmost For His Highest

I got My Utmost For His Highest devotional — the classic version — only last year, and I cannot believe I did not get it earlier. This is easily one of my favorite reads. The words of Oswald Chambers challenge me, encourage me, and inspire me to grow in my faith. There is so much wisdom in this devotional, and in my opinion it is one of the best reads for a Christian. Every reading in My Utmost For His Highest is fairly short, so it is a quick read. However, as short as these are, they still go very deep and have me thinking through the day.

Journal

Right now, I have a Moleskine journal. I do not write on my journal every day, but I write on most days. I write down the verses that speak to me. I write down the things that God puts on my heart. Sometimes I write quotes that have really spoken to me. Sometimes I write down prayer requests or the received answers to prayers. Some days, I also just journal if that is what I feel like. But mostly my journal contains writings from my devotions.

The Bible

During my devotional times I usually just read The One Year Bible. Sometimes, I want to study something deeper or I might even be studying through a book of the Bible. (Currently I am actually leading a small group Bible study through the book of Ruth.) These times I have my actual Bible with me as well. I have had the same Bible through all the years I have been saved. My brother bought this Bible for me, with my name graved on the front and I absolutely love my Bible. It is the NKJV Bible; but sometimes I also use the NLT as I like the way it words and gives me better understanding of a passage.

What do you read during your devotions right now? Do you have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!

Linking up: Monday’s MusingsGlimpses Link UpGood Morning Mondays#MomentsofHopeModest MondayCoffee For Your HeartWise Woman Linkup

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Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Bread of Angels tells the story of Lydia, a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, from Acts 16. Purple was a foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world around the time of Jesus — a world where men dominated, and women did not really have the possibility of succeeding with a business of their own. Lydia was a merchant’s daughter, who loved her father, their home, and making dye. A betrayal robs her of all of these, and Lydia flees to Philippi, where she struggles to build a life again. The deep hurt and fear brought on by the betrayal linger and remain a constant battle to Lydia — until she meets the apostle Paul and her life changes.

Tessa Afshar is one of my favorite authors, and I have loved all of her novels before. Bread of Angels might just be my new favorite out of all her novels. Afshar has a way of taking a character from the Bible and creating this beautiful, intriguing, amazing story around that character — a story that will stick with you for a long time. The characters have great depth into them, making it easy to relate to the story. Bread of Angels tells a story first and foremost of betrayal and fear, and how these two can keep a person captive. Yet the Lord can turn even the worst into something purposeful, and this story is a great example of that.

I loved this story about Lydia, a seller of purple. There is so much here about making purple, giving so much more insight into the world in the time of Jesus. On top of that, I loved that the apostle Paul was included and Afshar tied it all together, from the story of Lydia to the heart of Paul for the lost, and the sweet gospel telling about the work of Jesus.

I would recommend Bread of Angels to anyone who loves reading Christian fiction. Tessa Afshar has been one of my favorite authors since the time I read her first novel. She still keeps taking these characters out of the Bible and creating amazing and fascinating stories, which are full of wit, moments of chuckling, great characters, and wisdom about the Lord. This is truly a great read that I would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone looking for a book to read.

“…and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.” (Acts 16:12-15)

Grab a copy of the book here. See my other book reviews here.


I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House. All the opinions expressed are my own.

Twenty-Two by Allison Trowbridge

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Twenty-Two — Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning

In Twenty-Two, Allison Trowbridge writes a series of personal letters to Ashley, a young woman searching for a mentoring relationship. These letters cover so many topics and questions that rise in the hearts of young women — from relationships, work, purpose, and fear to wisdom learned from the course of life. All of this is woven together not just by wisdom but a heart that seeks to bring God to every circumstance and season of life.

Twenty-Two is an inspiring read, one that had my maybe more experienced heart say “oh yes” so many times. I found that these letters covered topics and themes that I have been wondering over the course of my life, from searching for identity to facing failure and fear. I loved the heart behind these letters, the wisdom that Trowbridge so clearly tries to impart on the reader but in a personal, “learn from my experiences and mistakes” sort of a way.

Maybe it is because I have already experienced many of these seasons that require making difficult decisions, that I found there were more of those things that stirred my thoughts and heart, rather than spoke right into my circumstances. But that is one of the reasons why I so liked this book — as I believe it would speak to so many who are facing a season of change and the challenges of adulthood. At the same time, there is much wisdom in these pages and the way that Trowbridge writes will have you thinking about these topics for long after reading about them.

I would recommend Twenty-Two for all young women who are about to embark on a new journey in life — like graduating from high school and thinking about college, changing majors in university, trying to find a job after college, or even facing new relationships. Allison Trowbridge writes with wisdom, trying to guide the reader with wisdom while still giving the freedom for them to choose and live — and this, I find, is like true mentorship.

Get yourself a copy here.


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. The opinions are all my own.