Updated: Aug 31, 2022
You know how you can read a book of advice, a miraculous story or a motivational book and it makes you just want to jump off the sofa and change the world?! Well, that's what I've decided to call "Real Life" books. Here's my list of books that empowered me to jump off the sofa and do something!
I love sharing stories of people who are doing amazing things with their life and talents and that's exactly why I recommend this book! Rye share's his journey from his first visit to Africa (To Nairobi, Kenya the exact city that I fly into on my trips to Kijabe!) to his second visit and about his heart change that effected every part of his life. What's interesting about his story is that he was headed to the Marines when he visited Kenya, his dream wasn't to fall in love with a people group on the other side of the world. But the two passions ended up blending together in a beautiful way and his experiences will teach you so much about the realities of poverty in Kenya and what we, in America, can do about it.
Levi Lusko is one of my favorite authors and speakers when it comes to Christian wisdom and motivation. He has a gift with words and a nerdy heart for research which he blends into his writing about life and scripture. This book is one of my favorites of his, all about taking possession of your life by making small changes.
If you have a habit, lazy spirit or have been getting distracted by something that you want to shake, this book is for you! Levi gives encouragement, practical advice and words of motivation that will leave you ready to chase dreams, live boldly and kick wasteful habits to the curb.
Are you going through something really hard, like something that no one in your life understands? Michele has been there and has wonderful words of wisdom for your heart! This book is like sitting down with an incredible woman that has almost been broken by extreme hardship multiple times and is still smiling. Its hard, refreshing, inspiring and encouraging.
If you have a loved one going through something seemingly impossible, I encourage you to give this book a chance too. It helps to hear how lonely severe pain or difficulty can be, so you know when and how to lean in to their hurt to love them well.
This book is almost written as a journal from a mega-church pastor who hiked the mountains of Nepal and had his world rocked. It's another collection of powerful stories that you won't hear just going about life or even watching the news, he has a really interesting perspective. Hearing the voices of people in different cultures and situations in life will mature and humble you in ways you'll never expect.
You'll never know what can change and impact the lives of others until you realize that something needs to change.
Katie Davis has one of the most precious hearts you will ever encounter in life, but the best part of this book are the stories she tells! Prepare to have your heart stretched as you pour over pages of the incredible things God is doing in Katie's home in Uganda!
This is actually her second book, so if you haven't heard the story of how she ended up in Uganda (and adopting 13 daughters!!), check out Kisses From Katie.
I just finished this book and it's become one of my favorites to recommend to Christian women! Jess has so much practical, deep and wise advice for daily life with Jesus. Her words are encouraging but challenging at the same time. I wrote down so many quotes from this book that I loved, it's one that I will come back to and re-read, just because I know I didn't absorb all the good stuff the first time around!
Max Lucado is an incredible writer, his wisdom and analogies are mind blowing, even in his children's books (my favorite is You Are Special). But if you find that fear and anxiety hold you back from living with a bold confidence, then this book is for you! He writes truth with such a delicate manner, that you feel like a child being cherished, loved and encouraged while you read this wisdom.
This is more of a relationship/marriage advice book, but I still assure you that you will finish this ready to love your guy better! The author writes words of advice, encouragement, and understanding in letter form to her daughters. So the entire book feels like you're just having coffee with a loving mother who wants the best for you and your marriage! It is truly the sweetest.
This book has so much information about the realities of poverty world-wide, what different organizations are doing and have tried to do that worked well and some that didn't. The author does a phenomenal job at presenting the truth and providing honest hope for how things can get better in a way that will educate readers. If you haven't had much exposure to third world countries or severe poverty, I would highly recommend this book! The only way change can be effective is if enough people know something is wrong.
I think the tagline on this book can be a little deceiving because it almost sounds like Beth just has some quick tips for a great life. But her book is more about how the hard things in life create the most growth in our character and walk with God.
She recently went on a trip to Florence and that sparked an interest in the science and patterns of growing grapes. At first though you may not think that's very interesting, but I found her research and how it correlates to statements made in scripture about vineyards extremely eye-opening! She provides lessons she learned from her vineyard obsessions in every chapter that will blow your mind. And I know you're thinking, really? grapes? But my answer is YES! Really, grapes! Read this book!
This book was recommended to me a few times before I finally read it and I can't believe I waited! Talk about motivating, everything about Goggin's story will empower you to take advantage of your time and energy.
From childhood all through his adult life, Goggins has had to face challenges, some he chose and some life handed him. The lessons he has learned about hardship will blow your mind and effect the way you see challenges, workouts, relationships, and work. This one is a must read for anyone at any stage of life!
I will also warn that I read the "clean version" of this book, there is a significant amount of language in the original version.