christine clling

My Favorite Summer 2018 Books & Resources

Here are a bunch of my favorite books, bibles, and resources I read or used this summer. I’ve used affiliate links where they were applicable. This post was not sponsored or written in exchange for a review. I truly just loved these books & resources and wanted to share them with you all. I hope you find it helpful and maybe find your new favorite book! Parenting (listed below, by Paul David Tripp) instantly became one of my all time favorite books. But every single one of these are great and worth your time reading.


Redefined – Defining Identity Through the Mirror of God’s Word (Bible Study)

This is a study from Well Watered Women Co that walks you through where your identities truly lie as a christian woman. It begins by taking us through the Bible to see what we were created to look like before sin entered the world, how God created us to truly be, and then goes over the effects of the fall. “We weren’t meant to look to the mirror on the wall to discover our purpose and identity, but instead to look to the mirror of the Word of God. Knowing who we are begins with knowing who Jesus is (41).”

It has you think about lies you’ve believed about yourself, like “rejected”, “judged”, “unworthy”. It talks about how when shame entered the world, we needed a covering. Eventually Jesus came to cover us, but we still use things to attempt to cover ourselves. Anything that tries to hide our shame. Some things we can use to cover ourselves are our physical appearance, the cleanliness of our homes, or our relationship status.

I highly recommend this study, if you are a mature christian, a new christian, or are not a christian. For all types of women it teaches what it means to truly find your identity in Christ and not in the world or within yourself.


Loving the Little Years – Rachel Jankovic

I honestly haven’t even finished this book yet, even though it’s tiny. But it’s so good I wanted to include it in here. It’s a small, quick read but it’s packed full of wisdom and humor. Often at the same time. For example: “Sometimes parents can discipine behaviors over and over and over like we’re playing whack-a-mole. There is a sin! Get it! This can be very frustrating when it doesn’t seem to be helping anything. We think we are being so diligent! But the real problem is that the child doesn’t know what to do with it (28).”

The author discusses a different topic in each chapter, and each chapter is short. Perfect for parents of young children. Somehow they are full of sound wisdom even though they are so short. I love that this book is written by a mother who is in the same season of life she is writing about. I feel like she truly understands both me, the reader, and also the wisdom she is sharing. This book would be a very helpful resource for any parents of young children, and will give them practical and useful things to implement right away.


Parenting – Paul David Tripp

This is one of those books that became an immediate favorite and completely changed my outlook on parenting. Actually, on life in general. If you replace any parenting related word with “yourself” or “others” you will be able to apply any of the principles in this book to your life. And you should, because they are such solid, biblical principles that I think everyone should read this book, whether or not you have kids. I would summarize Tripps main point as: We cannot change our children (or others), nor is it our job to do so. Instead we are unfinished people being used by God as agents of change in the lives of unfinished people.

This book is not about how to change your children; this book is about how to change yourself to learn how to parent biblically. And how we’re not dealing with bad behavior, but a life-long condition (sin, which we struggle with equally) that won’t be healed until heaven. This book is so good I feel like I can’t come close to giving a good review on it, so just go read it. Please.


Read Aloud Family – Sarah Mackenzie

I borrowed this book from the library, but I intend to buy it for my own collection. I wasn’t expecting to learn about a theology of education, but this book discussed that and so much more. I’ve always loved reading, and did a decent amount of it with my kids, but it really inspired me to prioritize reading above all other educational activities. It even discussed how reading is more important than learning math or science (because principles learned in reading can be applied later to math and science). I especially loved that, because I hated both of those subjects in school but loved reading. The author also talked about how it’s important to read aloud to kids of all ages, not just young kids. I loved that the book included a huge list of book titles appropriate for different age groups.


Life Giving Home – Sally & Sarah Clarkson

I loved this book. It was warm and comforting, which is funny because it’s basically about how to create a warm and comforting home that will draw your family and others to Christ. This book is written for people with families, but anyone could learn from this book. It talked about how to create a strong family culture through traditions, daily family time at the table, and celebrations.

The book gave so many ideas and so much inspiration for starting your own family traditions, family table time, and celebrations. It stressed how important it is for children to have meals together as a family. I loved all of the tradition ideas, like a harvest festival, passover celebration, family movie nights, and holiday open house.


The Broken Way – Ann Voskamp

Anything Ann writes instantly becomes well-liked, and for good reason. “Brokenness was made into abundance (200).” This book is welcoming, comforting, and like being welcomed by a friend into her home. She discusses why people are afraid of people exposed, vulnerable, and broken. She concludes that the only way to abundant life is the broken way of risk. She tackles topics like “How to passionately love when your heart is breaking” and “Why love is worth breaking your heart.”

This book is for people in the midst of suffering, who have ever suffered from loss, who expect to deal with loss, or who are walking with someone facing loss. In other words, everyone.


Liturgy of the Ordinary – Tish Harrison Warren

This book brought so many new ideas to my attention. Did you know what “liturgy” meant? I didn’t. That’s probably a little embarrassing. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as: “a form or formulary according to which public religious worship, especially Christian worship, is conducted.” Or the repetitive patterns of our worship. This book talks about the little things throughout the day that we see as unimportant but are actually very important parts of our worship. I had truly never considered this before. I had also never considered how: “The liturgical calendar reminds us that we are a people that live by a different story. And not just by a story, but in a story (113).” I had never realized that when we celebrate the liturgical year (advent, passover, easter, Christmas, etc) we are living inside of the story of redemption. We are reliving it year after year, and like the author teaches, this profoundly impacts our christian lives. This also became one of my favorites I will keep, refer back to, and recommend frequently to others.


Journeywomen Podcast

This podcast is one of my favorites. It continually brings the gospel to every day subjects, and I always learn so many new things in each episode. Some of my favorite episodes are:

Same Sex Attraction, Identity, and the Christian Life, Episode 65

The Theology of Identity, Episode 18

Wisely Navigating Smartphone Use, Episode 57


Apologetics Study Bible

Apologetics is defined as “the defense of the Christian faith.” This bible helps answer hard questions. The commentary at the bottom gives answers to things like “If God said…., if God prohibited…..”. There are probably close to one hundred short articles/essays by leading theologians throughout the Bible that briefly answer tough questions like “How should we assess global warming?,” “Is the Bible sexually oppressive?”, “What does the Bible say about economic justice?,” and ” Who are you to judge others?”. There are small commentaries throughout the Bible called “Twisted Scripture,” that describe how it’s been misinterpreted and explain how it’s supposed to be interpreted.

This is a Christian Standard Bible version, the same version as the popular She Reads Truth Bible. It is very easy to read, and I find it easier and more enjoyable than other versions I have read. I recommend this Bible as an every day Bible because of it’s ease of reading, and the added explanations for common misunderstandings.


Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible NIV

I love this Bible for so many reasons. It has helpful maps throughout it, it’s full of notes at the bottom of every page, and is filled with graphs and charts for covenants, chronologies, calendars. There are small articles throughout that talk about topics ranging from The Flood to the Fall of Jericho to Scrolls in the Ancient World. There are pictures of artifacts relating to passages and of places where biblical events took place. Each book starts with a history, a literary setting, and key concepts.

I love that this Bible helps me understand cultural implications that I would never know just reading through the Bible. Understanding the cultural backgrounds give so much more meaning and understanding to what is trying to be conveyed in the chapter or verse.


September 4, 2018


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