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3 Books That Changed My Life

There are books I read for entertainment. Books I read as a free ticket to places I've never been. Books I read for a good laugh. Books that leave me googly eyed for the charming beau. 

And then there are books I read that completely bulldoze my heart and transform me irrevocably. 

Can I be transparent with you all? (covers eyes) lol 

After I graduated from undergrad, I attempted to navigate my way through adulthood. All of a sudden, my next steps weren't laid out for me. For 16 years, I was hammocked in the safety net of the education system and always knew what came next. After elementary school is middle school (worst years of my life! That's another story lol). Then high school, SATs and finally college. But then what?

 What's next? Where do I want to work? Will I get a job in my career? How do I deal with so many changing relationships? What do I believe? Where do I turn? What type of woman do I want to be? 

And that was it. I wanted to discover who I was. Who I wasn't. And who I wanted to become. I began a journey of being introduced to Jenn and naturally turned to books to serve as a compass on this exciting adventure! 


I'm not sure when I learned it, but at some point in life, I began to allow other people's issues & emotions to dramatically affect me. 

This book is beloved for a reason. Melody Battle truly addresses how we can become enmeshed in our relationships and lose necessary boundaries. I've seen this happen in my life more than once. I was a bit disengaged when I first began reading because Battle heavily orates the prevalence of co-dependency in relationships where an alcoholic is involved.  I almost chucked the book thinking it wouldn't prove helpful to me. I had questions: was codependency only in relation to those who loved those who struggled with some form of addiction? 

Once upon a time, this was the popular perspective but it's evolved since then.

Codependency describes one who feels compelled to help others to the point of hurting themselves and the intended compassionate recipient.

The biggest takeaway I have from this book is that self love is not selfish. 

I have wanted to help so many people in my life. Though noble, we must know when to draw the line in the sand and make sure we're showing love to ourselves also.

Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul 

In this book, Stasi guides her readers in getting past our messiness to find the woman deep inside. 

This book was a slow read for me initially. I'd heard so much about it and was fearful it'd be a let down or prove to be another overgeneralized book of womanhood.  Thankfully, it was not a "Step 1, 2, 3 for being a woman." (whew!) This book is a call for women to embrace parts of ourselves that we've learned are "too much." 

"I am not enough and I am too much at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy." -Captivating

This was perhaps the first first quote that prompted me to keep reading. It was true for me. Society calls for women to look a certain way, but there is no one size fits all! We are all so unique and yet share similarities that lend to the feminine strength we possess. Stasi reiterates that there is so much more than what meets the eye when it comes to women. I needed that. I needed to know that how I'd been made wasn't "too much." I am what I am and I am still evolving! I needed to know that my beauty transcends what I'm wearing or how great my makeup looks. 

My beauty, your beauty, is within you! And mine, specifically, had been bullied through various life experiences. 

I will say this: I don't agree with everything in this book. There are interpretations of Scripture that made me furrow my brow but I feel the pulse behind the words was spot on. They truly push home the fact that God loves us and not in a Barney "I love you, you love me" kind of way. They help the reader to see how God's love transforms

This book may resonate more with those who appreciate poetic prose and romanticized metaphors. Those who tend to lean more towards crisp, concise, 'get to it already' may find this too drawn out. It seems people either love or hate this book. However, I found it to be exactly what I needed at a time when I needed it! 

I can see this being a book I pull from my shelf once a year :) 

Ahhh!!!! I loved this book! This is a fictionalized story of the Gospel message so it was only right to mention on Easter Sunday (Happy Easter everyone!) This is a novel written from the perspective of God and although Gene Edwards definitely took many creative liberties while writing it, I found it delectable and moving. 

This is a past read of my book club and I'm so glad it was! In case you haven't noticed, I LOVE when authors masterfully weave words together to aid your imagination in grasping the awesomeness that is taking place. That is what I saw happen here. It transformed how I view the people of the Gospel. To be honest, it can be easy to be far removed from the stories in the Bible, but here Edwards makes them feel so real in the form of a novel. *high fives Edwards* 

The story unraveled beautifully and conversations between the characters, angels and even God to His people were a treat to listen in on. There were so many parts of this novel that held life altering concepts for me. It opened my eyes to the weight of God's love for me and how potent it was, is and always will be :-) 

What books have you read that have changed you?
I'd love to hear them! 



  1. I love your takeaway from Codependent No More. It's hard to remember that especially as we have more and more responsibilities and people who need our time. I don't read much Self-Help but I did read and get so much out of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I'm very task oriented and it's so easy to get caught up in crossing items off my to-do list that I was forgetting to do things that made me happy. Another is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. The story itself is so amazing and I love her perspective on things. I try to read it every few years to remind myself of what goodness truly is. Wonderful topic!

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! I started reading more self help and non-fiction about 3 years ago and I've found some true gems. I love diving back into a novel when I can :)

      Thanks for the love and support. You're great!

  2. Such a great, honest post, Jenn! Anything by Brene Brown is something I really turn to. I also really enjoyed The Happiness Project :)

    1. Thanks Jennifer! I will look into her work. And that's 2 points for "The Happiness Project." Will be getting that also!


  3. Beautiful Affliction by Lene Fogelberg is one that I love. It's a memoir that reminds me to live the best day every day, as you never know what may happen.

  4. I've never heard of The Divine Romance! It may be my one novel of 2016 ;)

    1. Whoop! Whoop! I think you'll like it! Like I said, Edwards definitely took creative liberty while writing it but man I loved every minute of it :)

  5. Wow this is a great post! I love when a book can alter your life in some way. For me, The Road by Cormac McCarthy illustrated the unconditional love between a father and son and inspired me to be closer with by own father. Welcome to the blogging world!

    1. That sounds awesome! Father and son relationships are so special. Glad it inspired you! Thanks for the welcome and the recommendation!


  6. I hope I ll find this book in my language. I like ur blog, Im waiting u, look at my blog page :)

  7. The Divine Romance sounds like my kind of read! I have to look into the rest of the books!

    1. It is truly one of my favs!! I love the way Gene Edwards writes *swoons* lol
      Check it out and let me know what you think :)