7 Books on my To-Be-Read List of 2020

Friday, December 27, 2019

In just five days, we will be entering a brand new year! Today, I've been spending some time day-dreaming and purposefully planning the upcoming year. I don't know about you, but I have lots of looming goals in 2020; some pertaining to large-scale travel, others dealing with the day-to-day nitty gritty. One thing remains true each trip around the sun: I need Jesus. I desire for the most-read book on my shelf to always be His Word. I need the Bible more than I will ever need any other work of human thought. It's easy to grab for a trendy devotional with a couple reflective thoughts, but my soul craves the food only found in the Living Word. Yes, we should read books written by other Christians (and non-Christians too, at times), but most importantly, in order to grow in my walk with Jesus, I must be in His Word. 

I reflect on the past year and regret not being in it enough; since I'm on a bit of a crazy schedule, trying to go back and forth from night shift, there have been times I've chosen sleep, relaxation, cleaning, and accomplishing other goals over being in His Word some days. That's a definite regret, looking back. But do you know the great thing about regrets, with their annoying ache? They cause us to consider how a wrong could be right. They lead us to ponder what was wasted and how to cultivate what is truly meaningful. If you're in a similar place, realizing that some days you dumped your time in the word for things that were second-rate at best, will you consider with me what your day-to-day could look like if it was about Christ, first and foremost?

For me, this means writing a daily schedule and choosing to discipline my natural wish to be spontaneous and free, accomplishing things at my own pace. Instead, I will have to wake up a bit earlier and read no matter how I feel. Maybe it's hard to make sense of the passage I'm reading for the day; if so, the Author of the Word is with me, even so; why should I be hesitant?

After basking in His Word each day, I also hope to explore these seven books this upcoming year! As I look forward to reading these and others, the themes of Christian living, nursing/healthcare, abortion, and goal setting are most notable. I desire to grow in my walk with Christ, better understand embryonic and fetal development, prepare to serve to the best of my ability as a nurse someday, argue effectively on behalf of the unborn, and set goals with open hands, in light of eternity! Without further ado, here are 7 books on my to-be-read list of 2020:

1. Love Unleashes Life by Stephanie Gray- I wrote two papers on abortion argumentation for English Comp (don't my professors love me), and it made me think how easy it is to be unintentional about learning more on effectively discussing this life and death issue. In sidewalk counseling thus far, I have never once had a debate with an abortion-bound woman. These ladies are often focused on the crisis at hand and need to hear how we can help; if they need us to be persuasive, we are ready, but many times it's actually the pro-choice protesters these conversations develop with. This book will help me better refine my argumentation on behalf of the unborn.

2. 7 Women and the Secret of their Greatness by Eric Metaxas- I already started this book and the chapters on Joan of Arc and Susanna Wesley are my favorites! The author's tone is so intriguing; it's not very often I stop and think about how amazing someone's sentence structure is, but that's just a fact of this writer's style. We all need someone to look up to, and that's really what this book is; the account of several women's lives and how they lived for God's glory in the mundane thereby soaring far above average in their existence.

3. Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? by Randy Alcorn- this book is written by a journalist and also contains lots of medical information. This is not a "sermon," but simply examines the medical (and ethical) question "can an embryo die as a result of the use of hormonal birth control?" I've read parts of this before, but it's time to read all the way through!

4. Make it Happen by Lara Casey- I'm rather Type-A, so I'm always trying to accomplish goals, but Lara has this idea of "cultivating what matters," a system she has created that isn't the typical burn-out style of goal setting. She shares: "Nowhere in the Bible did God say, 'Follow your dreams' or 'Follow your heart.' He simply said, 'Follow me." The bit I've read so far has been personal and very applicable.

5. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology- this textbook is one of the coolest ever. I have always been fascinated by embryonic and fetal development, and this is a very detailed work, expounding on every week of development!! Why are little humans so cool?!

6. You Can Trust God to Write Your Story by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Robert Wolgemuth - I don't know about you, but my life story has taken several "detours" from the ideal I painted in my mind to what I know to be God's higher and better fate for me. Even when we're aware that God's ways are higher than ours, as Scripture tells us, it's still immensely encouraging to pick up a book like this one and be freshly reminded about God's sovereign hand over each unfolding detail of our lives. I look forward to hearing testimonies, exhortations, and solid Biblical teaching from this book. (And I'll continually be trying the words of each book to Scripture, like a Berean). I have a half hour drive to work each day, and I hope to have this work playing on Audiobook on my way there!

7. Expectant by Heather Cofer - Thus far, I only have a little experience in the "birth world" through a short season as a midwife assistant, but I hope to work with expectant mothers in the future in healthcare, so the season of pregnancy is one I regularly think about. Sometimes the emphasis in pregnancy and birth care can teach the patient to have a self-focus: "Women are strong!" We want women to feel encouraged and uplifted as we care for them through the beautiful and challenging season of pregnancy, but in order to effectively support them, we must encourage them with truth. God's Word shows us we are not strong, in and of ourselves: "When we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). But when we put our confidence in God's strength through the season of pregnancy and every other, we find true empowerment. I look forward to reading Heather's brand new book, in which she shares a refreshing, Christ-centered perspective on pregnancy.

Let me know in the comments, what books are on your list for the year?

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