Riding Shot-Gun: books & music that I love & a giveaway

I’m a resource freak.  My salon chair, Panera, church, the gynecologist, the oil change place, Dollar Tree, definitely Target – all places that I’ve given out unsolicited resource lists.  I started feeling guilty when I realized how many times in a week I say I’ll txt you the link to that and then forget.

I used to buy books and mix CDs to give to friends.  Pretty self-important really, thinking that what helped me is just exactly what my friend needs…. I stopped doing that when I realized that I need to keep my eyes on my own paper and worry about my own trash heap of issues.

But, I have this little site.  And if you’re reading this, you just might be interested in what I’ve been reading or listening to, and if you’re not……no worries, you can read about Ukraine again here (they don’t have a lot of resources over there, but they do have a lot of cool kids).

I’m listing books and music that have encouraged me in some way in the last several years.  If you click through and decide to purchase any of them, you should know that I’m an Amazon Affiliate and will get a small percentage from your purchase, not enough to buy another ticket to Ukraine or redecorate my living room though.

One last thing, I’m giving away Cold Tangerines by Shauna Neiquist and How Mercy Looks from Here by Amy Grant to one person as a way to celebrate my little 31 day accomplishment.

List a book or CD  that’s encouraged you in the comments by Monday night at 6 and you’ll be entered to win. My kids will draw a winner on Tuesday.  There aren’t a lot of comments here, so you stand a really good chance of winning and I promise commenting doesn’t hurt one bit!

I adore anything written by Shauna Niequist.  She’s funny, insightful and nothing if not real.  Cold Tangerines is her first book. It’s like having coffee, or fruit,  with an old friend.

Grace for the Good Girl rocked my world.  Emily P. Freeman has a style that’s poetic and gentle.  She exposes the unspoken lies that Good Girls believe and encourages readers to let go of the Try-Hard Life.

You’re probably the worlds most patient mom but I, am not.  I first heard Julie Barnhill speak when my children were teeny.  Her honesty and humor helped me work through some serious anger issues and lighten up a little. (something I will work on my entire life)  She’s fantastic and I think you’ll love her keepin it real style!!

Most days, it’s a stretch for me to see the glass half empty – which is to say I’m not naturally a thankful person.   Ann Voskamp’s encouragement to seek thankfulness comes from her own authentic journey through deep loss. I struggled with her style until I heard her speak.  Her voice is like a warm blanket of hope.  I’ll link a Youtube clip below, I promise!

I had to memorize loads of scripture at the Christian school when I was a kid, but I never, ever heard that speaking it out loud had power.  This book lists scripture by category (anger,anxiety,depression, loneliness,self-control) and rephrases it into short prayers that helped reform some of my thinking.

Sometimes I put God in a box.  This book shredded the box and engaged my heart with God in a new way!

Ann Patchett’s characters have a way of teaching me about relationships in my own life. Bel Canto is my very favorite novel that she’s written.

Ann shares how seemingly insignificant details in her life have all played a part of her life as a successful author.  All of the high school seniors in my life will be getting a copy in May.

Add to the Beauty is by far my favorite Sara Groves collection.  Her songs explore the stuff of everyday life as well as some of the darker corners of our hearts.  My blog is named after her song Something Changed.

Better Not to Know and How Mercy Looks from Here are my favorite tracks on Amy Grant’s newest CD.  I’ve loved her since junior high when I had a life-sized cut-out of her in my room.  I was a gawky 13 year old with a mullet and she made me just a little bit cooler. She treads through life honestly without pretense, I like that.

These songs are among the most played on my ipod.

  • Beautiful Things – Gungor
  • Come Undone – FFH
  • Clear the Stage – Jimmy Needham
  • Home – Phillip Phillips
  • Help Me Find It – Sidewalk Prophets
  • Honesty – Billy Joel (I just noticed that in Jimmy Needham’s  pose he looks a lot like Billy)
  • Come Into My World- Amy Grant
  • Overnight – Amy Grant
  • Find What You’re Looking For -Amy Grant
  • Coming Out of the Dark – Gloria Estefan
  • Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
  • Roar – Katy Perry (This song made me a KP convert)
  • Steal My Show – TobyMac
  • White Flag – Passion with Chris Tomlin
  • Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

I hope you’ll leave your suggestions for books and music that you love in the comments below.  Come back on Wednesday, I’ll announce the winner then!

The first two minutes of this video introduce Ann Voskamp.  At 2:02 you catch a glimpse of her heart when she shares the tragic story that changed her life.  Grab some kleenex!

6 thoughts on “Riding Shot-Gun: books & music that I love & a giveaway

  1. I seem to be drawn to the song Oceans by Hillsong lately or songs by Meredith Andrews or Jesus Culture. Book – The Jesus hearted woman by Jodi Detrick. I love your selections too!


  2. My favorite recent read is “The Heart Mender” by Andy Andrews. It is a true story with great history from WWII era America and also a great lesson in forgiveness. One of my all-time favorite books is “Safely Home” by Randy Alcorn.
    Thanks for all the good suggestions! Love ya! ~Lisa.


  3. “Broken Hallelujah ” by Mandesia has been a song that has helped me a lot in the past few years. Thanks for sharing your heart this past month Marcie!


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