1. Bible - pretty self explanatory. "My" first official copy was a white hardback with a painting of Jesus on the front. I believe it was the Good News version - but mostly I remember the stickers in the back (earned during Sunday School). Current version is NIV/Message Parallel.
2. Experiencing God (Blackaby) - I did this study when D was only a few months old. We met in a friend's home, and there were something like 12 of us ladies and over 30 kids under the age of 6. Yeah. But despite the insanity, this study grabbed onto my heart. And I swear that I'd never heard Hebrews 12:7-11 before.
3. Fit to be Tied (Hybels) - someone (I think it might have been one of the librarians I worked with in college?) gave me this book shortly after the now-hubby & I became engaged. He was 22 and I was 21, and we were engaged 15 months (it seemed like an eternity!) Lots of excellent advice on what being married really means. Hmmm, think I may need to pull it out again, now that I think about it.
4. Professionalizing Motherhood (Savage) - I worked in the "corporate world" seven years before leaving to become a full-time Mom. I was excited about that transition, but also weirdly adrift/disappointed because I no longer had measurements of productivity. This was a book that helped me adjust my perspective, and I've recommended it repeatedly to other new moms.
5. The Search for Significance (McGee) - I first learned of this book during high school and read part of it, then in college (after changing my major to Psychology) I finished working through it (the author is the founder of Christian counseling center). Picked up the updated version when pregnant with our son, and it was still an excellent read.
6. Trim Healthy Mama (Barrett, Campbell) - I was introduced to this a year ago, but it's absolutely a life changer. So thankful to feel positive about the direction I'm headed physically!
7. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (Lewis) - I honestly can't remember a time I didn't love books, but I DO vividly thinking I hated anything that was sci-fi or fantasy, but this book changed my perspective. My parents purchased the Narnia box set on a Scholastic order in 3rd grade for $20 (we didn't normally order from there, and I can remember being shocked that my parents would spend that much money). I still have that box set, and it is very worn (I still remember being very angry with my brother when he read them and didn't treat them with the proper respect).
8. The Secret Garden (Burnett) - another childhood favorite. I received a beautifully bound copy of this book as a Christmas gift from an aunt & uncle, and I had not even heard of it. I remember being somewhat confused when I started reading, but was soon drawn into the story. Dark and gothic, yet corny & uplifting.
9. Deadline (Alcorn) - read shortly after we were married, and I was surprised that a Christian novel could be so well-written, and I also found my comfortable existence shaken up a bit. I've read several of Alcorn's other books, and I was torn whether to include this one or Safely Home (I chose the one that was published earlier).
10. What Alice Forgot (Moriarty) - an amazing novel that I read two years ago because I was sick of seeing it on so many "You Really Should Read This!" lists. And know what, you should! Although not a Christian novel, it made me stop and think about how many blessings I take for granted...
11. Threads of Change Trilogy (Baart) - I just discovered these amazing books this year, and have recommended them to several friends. Christian novels that aren't afraid to tackle hard issues and don't provide trite answers, but a beautiful depiction of grace.
12. Snuggle Puppy (Boynton) - Yes, this is a board book. I read this to both kids and made up my own song. I can still sing it - and both kids occasionally request it. "The way I feel about you is a kind of a song..."
It was so difficult to narrow this down, as I do love me some books. Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, several series by Janette Oke, If God Loves Me Why Can't I Get My Locker Open?, I'm Glad I'm a Woman, A Grief Observed, Addicted to Mediocrity, Outland comics (better known as Opus & Bill) - as well as Calvin & Hobbes and later Baby Blues, Naked Fruit (about the fruits of the spirit - ha!), Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad, Life Artist, Storybound...
Oh, how awesome to lose oneself in a well-written story, or find yourself changed by a few well written sentences!
On that note, I do believe I shall share this tidbit from the book currently on my nightstand, God's Heart for You:
Real friends tell you when you have something in your teeth. They love you enough to speak the truth, and Jesus is our most faithful friend of all. He sees deep within our hearts and tells us when something is stuck there that doesn't belong. His correction always comes with grace, not condemnation. ~Holley Gerth