Uncommon Marriage Adventure by Tony and Lauren Dungy | Book Review

Oh look, I’m reviewing a devotional book for couples on marriage. How did this go down? Well….so….you see…what happened was… I saw the this book as a review option from Tyndale and that it was by Tony and Lauren Dungy, so requested it without further investigation. I figured it was a book about their relationship, plus, I mean, it’s the Dungy’s.

Turns out this is a devotional for married couples.

That’s what we call a win for a single person.

But I stay committed to fulfilling my book review promises, so without further ado, let’s chat about all things marriage. :)

Marriage is an adventure unlike any other. At times, you and your spouse may feel so close, connected, and in love that you’re ready to take on the world together. But other times, things grow distant, and you wonder where all the joy and excitement has gone. What is the secret to a happy, healthy, God-honoring marriage—one that will last through anything that comes your way?

Join Tony and Lauren Dungy in The Uncommon Marriage Adventure, a series of daily reflections for couples. With transparency, wisdom, and humor, the Dungys share what they’ve learned over 30 years of marriage about faith, teamwork, conflict, communication, and more. Through each day’s reading, you and your spouse will go deeper in loving, understanding, and learning to serve each other. Dare to embark on your own marriage adventure—and discover how to make your relationship truly uncommon.

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Well, with this book the Dungy’s stay strong in my list of favorite famous couples. I loved the stories, the honesty, the chuckles, the serious moments and the truth they aren’t afraid to share. For married couples, this is a gem. They have short daily devotions that couples can read together and a question/action to go through. I love that their heart for people shines through the pages. They truly desire to see people in strong and growing marriages and it’s awesome.

The devotional is based on core principles of an uncommon marriage and many are just as applicable to a non-married person. Some include include: Focus on the Bible and Christ, communicate well and often, not running away from conflict and serving others. Good stuff right? Plus, you don’t have to like sports or football to benefit from this book!

I may or may not get married and it’s something I don’t like to worry about or focus on, but this book was a beautiful reminder that if I do, I want to be with a man who loves the Lord with his whole heart. It’s easy to settle when the wait seems long (do I have a story or two….), but when it comes to relationships, what the Lord has planned is always worth the wait. So fellow singles, be encouraged by the Dungy’s marriage and how amazing a relationship can be when centered fully on Christ!

What’s another book about marriage or relationships you would recommend?

(Thank you to Tyndale for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | | Christian Books

One Thousand Gifts Devotional by Ann Voskamp | Book Review

“Is thankfulness really but the deep, contented breath of peacefulness?”

I’m always looking for a quality devotional, especially as each year comes to a close. I love knowing I can start over with new wisdom and insight. Having come across Ann Voskamp’s new devotional based off her bestselling book, I can say I’m excited to have this in my library, but share it with others as well!

Following the New York Times Bestseller, One Thousand Gifts — a guide to giving thanks and finding joy in all aspects of life — Ann Voskamp returns with this companion One Thousand Gifts Devotional. How in the world do we find real joy and experience grace in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and all these daily duties?

These sixty reflections, each one like a singular tree, invite you to take wing into a forest of graces. Glimpses of grace that will lead you into your own lifestyle of Christ-focus and communion. Into how your desperate need of Him every moment is wildly met with His extravagant love for you. As practical as profound, this devotional offers real life transformation with intentional space to begin the radical habit of thanking God for your own one thousand gifts.

The endless grace of our overflowing God, it’s meant to be experienced directly. The most important thing is simply to begin.

Pick up a pen and this book — and change your life. Take the dare to fully live!

God’s just waiting to bless you with the greatest gift of all—more and more of Himself….

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With each daily devotion starting with a scripture and ending with a prayer and space to write thoughts and prayers (although depending on the length of the devotional, there were a few that didn’t have space or the lines were few), this devotional is truly a gift. It’s a gift to bring you to a place (whether for the first time or back again), where you once again can see and respond to God’s goodness.

“We give thanks to God not because of how we feel but because of who He is.”

Through Voskamp’s beautiful and touching writing, a reader can’t help but be drawn more to God and experience more of Him. There’s also a journal pages full of quotes in the back with numbered lines, so if you haven’t, you can join in the original challenge of writing out 1,000 gifts. I’m new to Voskamp’s books these past few months, so I’m excited about focusing on this in the coming year.

Did you go through a devotional this year? I’d love to know what you you’ve gone through, have loved or are looking forward to!

(Thank you to Zondervan for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | | Christian Books

Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs | Book Review

Let’s start off with a random fun fact. I like jumping out of a planes (I highly recommend it as a way to celebrate any year of birth), am always up for an adventure and even move states away, but I don’t feel so brave in other parts of life. Sometimes it’s the little things that are the hardest for me to be brave about. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but all that to say, I think that no matter what you like to do or what you’re willing (or not so willing) to try, there’s something in each of our lives where we could all use a little more bravery.

Annie Downs admits she’s not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents’ home in Georgia, she’s never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she’s on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging the reader to do the same.

As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire.

How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn’t just for one person—it’s for everyone. Let’s All Be Brave is more than a book, it’s a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward—even when it’s scary.

This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage—nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance.

Let’s All Be Brave features:
• Funny/interesting stories that draw readers into each chapter
• God’s surprising answers to finding courage and boldness
• Challenging questions and advice to help readers make real-life changes to live fully and glorify God more every day.

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“To believe in yourself means to believe that God made you and there is no one like you, that you have a unique call to courage, and that you can do the thing that is staring at you in the face.”

One of the biggest takeaways from this book was Downs’ honesty. She shared from her heart about things that aren’t so easy to share with the entire world and by her simply writing the book encouraged me to continue to be brave and stay faithful to the journey and path the Lord has me on. So Internet high five Annie!

“Courage is for every age.”

It’s a fun read as well, with stories and pieces of Annie’s life to encourage and inspire. I haven’t read Annie’s blog before this book, but I think I might have to add it to my list. So if you’re looking to be inspired by one woman’s story, go ahead and grab this book.

I’d love to hear from you! If you’re willing to share, where could you use more bravery or where have you recently been brave? I’d love to be encouraged by you!

(Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | | Christian Books

50 Women Every Christian Should Know by Michelle DeRusha | Book Review

Everyone has a story. Every life lived or currently being lived is making an impact on the people they come in contact with, whether good or bad. Me? I love reading the inspiring stories, the ones where you know the effect of a life well lived will have long lasting rippling effects. That’s one of the reasons I jumped at reviewing this release from Baker Publishing.

Throughout history, countless women have boldly stepped out in faith and courage, leaving their indelible mark on those around them and on the kingdom of God. In lively prose Michelle DeRusha tells their stories, bringing into focus fifty incredible heroines of the faith. From Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Anne Hutchison to Susanna Wesley, Harriet Tubman, and Corrie ten Boom, women both famous and admirable live again under DeRusha’s expert pen. These engaging narratives are a potent reminder to readers that we are not alone, the battles we face today are not new, and God is always with us in the midst of the struggle.

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What I love about collections like this, is that you come away inspired. Whether you only read a few entries or the whole book, each story shares of a life devoted to something greater and faith, even in the darkest of times.

With easy to read and entries that aren’t overwhelming, the stories are from different time periods and from all over the world. There were a few people I knew about or bits of their story, like Corrie ten Boom, Harriet Tubman, Ruth Bell Graham or Florence Nightingale, but the majority I have never heard of or knew nothing more than their name in passing, so it made for some excellent reading. If you’re looking for some awesome stories of faith, I definitely recommend checking this one out.

“Some have been on earth scores of years, yet die in infancy.” Sojourner Truth

Who is someone that inspires you?

(Thank you to Baker Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | | Christian Books

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp | Book Review

I love Christmas. Everything about Christmas. I know I’ve gushed before, but I can’t help it. It’s such a beautiful time of year. I love the family times that come with the holidays too. The traditions, the laughter and the love. So when I come across something that makes all those things even deeper, I’m happy to share about it!

Based on the overwhelming success of The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp has expanded her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree so families can celebrate together. Each day, families can read the provided Scripture passage (in connection with the original book), engage with a specially written devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme.

This special edition is beautifully illustrated. It can serve as a precious guide to help recapture the sacredness of the Advent season and to help the entire family understand and celebrate the epic pageantry of humankind from Adam to the Messiah.

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This is such a beautiful and lovely book for a family to go through at Christmas. Discussing important life lessons and key bible stories, this will definitely provide a deeper and more real understanding of God, Jesus and the Gospel for young kids. With beautiful and bold colors and illustrations, it’s a fabulous book I can see drawing families closer together every holiday season.

Each day has a scripture reading, a short devotional, thoughts to discuss and family activities. Not only that, but when you buy the book, you get access to ornaments for your family’s advent tree. So yes, this is wonderful book to add to your family traditions!

What’s a family tradition you have during the Christmas season?

(Thank you to Tyndale for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | | Christian Books