Reviews by Alison
On 4/15 Alison wrote: If you're anything like me, I don't always know what to do when I have a few moments to myself. Particularly in this season with young children, and as an #ennagram9, it can be difficult to know what I need or what would be the best way to be filled up when I have a free hour. Sometimes I sit down with ... An invitation to extend grace to our own hearts.
On 3/20 Alison wrote: I loved this story of three women: grandmother, mother & daughter. I loved the complexity, closeness and depth of relationships. I loved the compelling story while still staying homey and down-to-earth. I felt like I knew these people and their struggles. I loved the sermon on second chances and transitions ... A joy to read
On 2/28 Alison wrote: This is the story of three women, two modern and one many years earlier, but they are each finding the courage to tell their story. I loved what this book said about truth-telling, especially as part of the healing process. One of the characters is a counselor and feels utterly ashamed for having fallen ... A lovely bookish read about growth & healing.
On 1/22 Alison wrote: I wasn’t sure what this book would be like but I kept seeing it recommended so I thought I would give it a try. And I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. This book reads like a series of related essays about culture and faith. Some of the humor worked for me, like all the footnotes sprinkled ... Fun but a little disjointed
On 11/15 Alison wrote: My husband and I read “Love Does” aloud to each other while I was pregnant with our daughter, so it feels especially sweet to share the children’s edition of this book with her now. The illustrations are so lovely and only enhance Bob’s whimsical storytelling. I love the shorter chapters, as ... Whimsical storytelling is PERFECT for kids
On 10/23 Alison wrote: I can’t remember the last time I was this encouraged AND convicted by a book. I underlined most of it’s pages. Shannan writes about the redemption to be found by showing up & paying attention to where the Lord has placed us. Practical, funny, deep and vulerable, this book cuts past the excuses and ... encouraging AND convicting
On 10/11 Alison wrote: In a season filled with accusations and opinions in our country, my heart is craving more stories. I want to listen and learn and hear from those who are different from me. If I’m paying attention to anything right now, it is that fact that I know very little about what it means to be anything other ... An invitation to listen to another's story
On 9/4 Alison wrote: I wasn’t sure I wanted to sign up for reading a book about homelessness. I thought it might just make me feel guilty. How glad I am to be wrong about The Hundred Story Home.This book is the story of one woman’s reluctant obedience to a God she wasn’t even sure was real. This book is the story of ... Powerful & beautiful
On 8/23 Alison wrote: Boundaries for Your Soul has been a gift to me. So often we hear of boundaries within the external relationships we have with others, but this book offers help with knowing and engaging with the state of your own soul. Instead of ignoring, dismissing or disliking the difficult emotions or thoughts that ... Wisdom for unwanted emotions
On 7/23 Alison wrote: This was such a lovely fiction book, and as a bonus, it arrived the day before my birthday so the timing of it made it feel like a special present . I hadn’t read anything by Catherine West before, and was pleasantly surprised to see her delve into grief, adultery, suicide and brokenness with none ... Messy & redemptive
On 5/16 Alison wrote: What a treasure this little book is. There are 100 devotions, split into 50 for always enough and 50 for never too much. I love how the layout reflects the split, as you read the first half and flip the book to read the second half. Each entry highlights a time when we feel too much or not enough and ... A treasure!
On 4/30 Alison wrote: I’ve enjoyed this devotional of Ann Voskamp. It feels like snapshots of her writing from her blog and her book, The Broken Way. Because of this, much of what I’m reading is familiar, but I’m appreciating the smaller chunks to sit with and reflect on. There are questions and verses for each entry, ... A book for those who long
On 3/2 Alison wrote: The past few years I find myself in the Psalms more than any other book. The invitation to honestly share my heart with the Lord is what I’ve needed time and time again. Kristen Kill shares my love for the Psalms, and chronicles her reflections on living a full, exhausted life as a busy mama in Manhattan ... an invitation to really rest
On 1/30 Alison wrote: As someone who didn’t grow up in the part of Christian culture that talked about spiritual warfare often, I’ve been wanting to grow in this area, and was so glad to discover this book. Stronger Than the Struggle is a book that truly takes away the mystery and complications that often surround issues ... Funny, tender & bold
On 1/16 Alison wrote: How I loved this book. As a 9 on the Enneagram, I’m easily distracted and know all too well the price I pay when my private world isn’t ordered. Gordon MacDonald has a pastor’s heart, and I deeply appreciated his maturity and kindness in addressing how to invite the Lord into our mundane. He is ... Practical & kind guide towards growth.
On 12/2 Alison wrote: I only got this book in my hands in the last few days, but I’m already loving this devotional. Not only is the book itself a beautiful one, but the call to courage is gentle and tender and honest. Annie Downs shares her own stories and anecdotes in her journey to brave living. As someone who hasn’t ... Coffee with a friend
On 11/3 Alison wrote: I’ve loved feeling like I’ve been mentored through Alicia Britt Chole’s other books. Every time I’ve read her words, I’ve come away feeling like I know myself and Jesus a little more. I was so excited to discover she was releasing a new book and have not been disappointed as I slowly read this ... A call to slow down & honesty
On 9/29 Alison wrote: I love Jen Hatmaker’s honest and call to courageous living. She gives permission in a way that my heart breathes deeply of. This book felt a little mixed for me though. Some chapters hit HOME and made me so grateful to be reading these words in this season. I particularly loved Jen’s first chapter ... Good but not my favorite of Jen's.
On 9/11 Alison wrote: I didn’t want to read this one because I had a feeling it would convict me & challenge me in some specific ways, and if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted to sign up for that. But I felt Jesus ask me to read this book, so I did. I couldn’t be more grateful. Shauna Shanks writes about what it ... Challenging & encouraging.
On 9/5 Alison wrote: I loved Sara Hagerty’s first book, Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, and was not disappointed by her second book. Woven in the midst of stories of her adopted children adjusting to family life and Sara’s own heart is the theme that we are seen by God, even if we are not seen by others. I love this glimpse ... Gentle truth-telling
On 6/19 Alison wrote: Friends, I haven't stopped talking about The Lucky Few since I finished reading. Heather's (& her husband, Josh's) humility and courage prompts me toward living with similar humility and courage for the things Jesus asks of me. (And it has only renewed my hope to adopt someday, although probably ... Wholeheartedly RECOMMEND
On 6/2 Alison wrote: Kate’s is a story you would never pick for yourself. Her young daughter dies of cancer. Her book is a story of not mere survival or struggle after the tragedy, but a full life with true joy. She shares her own reflections on women of the Bible who also suffered deeply, yet could come away with joy. ... Suffering made beautiful
On 2/3 Alison wrote: I honestly had never heard of Erin Loechner and her show on HGTV, but the title was enough to draw me in. I expected more of the same (but good) message of what it looks like to rest and be slow. And while Erin does share that, her blog-like way of writing and her vulnerable story telling was incredibly ... The choice to see the beauty in the mess
On 1/8 Alison wrote: This devotional by Max Lucado came at the perfect time for me. The cover is beautiful to look at and touch with its brown leather, which makes me want to read it. (Who doesn’t want to pick up a beautiful book?) The entries are short and simple, but enough to slow my heart and help me invite Jesus into ... simple but kind words.
On 12/3 Alison wrote: Having read some of Jen Hatmaker’s books, I was eager to read her husband’s side of their story. Brandon calls the reader beyond church attendance and activities to a wider, deeper, redemptive way of living. I appreciated that he didn’t crouch in mystery what he was talking about. He’s upfront ... A Mile Wide
On 10/21 Alison wrote: I’ve read Shannan Martin’s blog for a while now, but felt like I got to see behind the scenes of what God has been doing over the past years as I read her vulnerable, brave book, Falling Free. She lets you see how much like us she is. This isn’t the story of how great and noble her family is to ... A beautiful, convicting, hilarious and honest book
On 9/5 Alison wrote: I could picture Melanie Dale sitting next to me on the couch for this whole book. She feels like the friend who hugs you tight, quotes too many movies, says mildly inappropriate (but funny) things, who lets you cry when life is hard, is honest and kind and points you to the Lord. If you’re looking ... It's Not Fair
On 8/16 Alison wrote: This book is for anyone who is tired and empty, anyone who has “fake-rested” while others were really resting, anyone who hates disappointing people, anyone who has ignored their body and/or spirit, anyone who feels like they have to earn or prove they deserve to rest. This book was for me (and I’m ... an invitation to being whole and healthy and human.
On 6/14 Alison wrote: In the previous Hard, there were a precious few things I held tightly to in order to make it out. There were certain people who spoke truth to me in a way I could hear it. There were things that made me feel alive and have hope that this wouldn’t last. There were sweet verses or quotes that felt cut-to-fit ... On holding fast when your life feels shipwrecked.
On 6/1 Alison wrote: Christine’s stories of shame drew me in from the first pages. She is brave and vulnerable, sharing some of her first memories of shame and beyond, and how Jesus has worked in and through her to take that shame away. She offers Scripture and her own personal practices of intentionality to invite the ... the voice of a friend
On 5/10 Alison wrote: This book captured my heart in the first pages. I couldn’t put it down. This couple takes turns telling the story of Katherine’s stroke that changed their lives. It was so vulnerable, honest and insightful to hear from each of them, as they experienced different sides of the same suffering. The Lord ... Beautiful, vulnerable and a story for us all.
On 3/1 Alison wrote: I loved Alli’s writing about living well, beyond the frantic pace for productivity. She shares much of her own story, wading through seasons of self-employment, mothering, blogging, helping run a company. She asked herself and the reader good, hard questions. She is She is honest and funny. Her practical ... the nuggets of February.
On 2/2 Alison wrote: I like the idea of my 19 month old daughter helping me in the kitchen. I like the idea of little hands gripping the spoon with me and learning how to bake. I like the idea of a baby standing on a chair to see what is being mixed in the bowl. But the reality is so different than that image of a clean ... Flour on my forehead
On 1/5 Alison wrote: What is your greatest risk right now? As I try to answer this question for myself, my mind initially floats to dreams of writing a book or other task related goals, like the practical aspects of living more simply. But I can’t help but wonder if these are truly my biggest risks. Vicki Courtney shares ... a risk worth taking.
On 12/11 Alison wrote: A few years ago, I desperately wanted a new job and I was doing everything in my power to make it happen. After feeling permission from the Lord to pursue another direction, I applied for jobs like a crazy person on my days off, hoping and praying for a change. During those days, I also wrote my two-weeks-notice ... The holiday of waiting & longing.