To celebrate the start of summer and the end of Season 1 of The Heart Rest Podcast, I want to share with you some of my favorite Christian nonfiction books. I pray these books help you find heart rest and answer “yes” to summertime’s invitation to read.
I started sharing my favorite Christian nonfiction books on the blog in 2017. Links below. This list is extra curated because it’s been two years since I’ve shared my favorites.
The “about the book” descriptions come from Amazon where I am a grateful affiliate. Followed with one of my favorite quotes from each book. The best quotes stick with you long after you turn the last page.
About the Book: Do you know what behaviors are life-draining for you, separating you from God? Simplicity is about choosing the engaging, relational life we were meant to live. It means shedding obligation and pretension. It means spending time, energy, and money in ways that help us become clear-headed. It means being intentional about what we do and how we live. These choices allow God’s power to move through us and bless others as we have space to do good.
A Favorite Quote: “The point of simplicity is not efficiency, increased productivity or even living a healthier, more relaxed life. The point is making space for treasuring God’s own self.”
About the Book: We long to make a break from the fast pace of life, but if we’re honest, we’re afraid of what we’ll miss if we do. Yet when going big and hustling hard leaves us stressed, empty, and out of sorts, perhaps this can be our cue to step into a far more satisfying, sustainable pace. In this crafted, inspiring read, beloved author Jennifer Dukes Lee offers a path to unhurried living by returning to the rhythm of the land and learning the ancient art of Growing Slow.
A Favorite Quote: “the little things are the big things, and these are the things that change the world.”
About the Book: When life gets too busy, too impersonal, and too much to handle, it’s time to turn to God for some peace and quiet. Keep a Quiet Heart is a unique collection of some of Elisabeth’s best work from her newsletter. More than 100 short passages offer a bit of relief from everyday life as they point the reader toward the everlasting love and peace of God.
A Favorite Quote: “YES, LORD. Your will is my conscious choice. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else.”
About the Book: Are you a Martha who feels guilty for not being a Mary? Do you want to sit at Jesus’s feet as Mary did—but you feel the need to get things done? In Made Like Martha, Katie M. Reid invites you to exchange try-hard striving for hope-filled freedom without abandoning your doer’s heart in the process.
A Favorite Quote: “Just because I am good at something does not mean I am obligated to say yes. Christ has specific assignments for me just as God had specific assignments for Christ (Ephesians 2:10).
About the Book: Research shows what introverts may see as struggles can be their greatest strengths! Instead of wondering if you need to change, what if you could fully be yourself with nothing holding you back? Let The Powerful Purpose of Introverts show you that you’re exactly who God created you to be! Understand who you are. Overcome your struggles. Maximize your God-given strengths. Live your powerful purpose.
A Favorite Quote: “Our social schedules aren’t a measuring stick for our spirituality. If you want to grow in love, measure nothing. Instead, make one connection, have one conversation, show kindness to one person at a time.”
About the Book: Brother Lawrence was a seventeenth century Christian who had a dramatic spiritual awakening at the age of eighteen. Seeing a tree in winter, his soul suddenly opened to the presence of God. Within six years he had entered a Carmelite monastery in Paris, where he worked chiefly in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning. He practiced a simple and natural method. He merely turned his attention to the Divine Presence available at all times during any activity. He reports that he was as fully present with God while washing dishes in the kitchen as he was when partaking of the sacrament in worship.
A Favorite Quote: “All that is needed to bring us to union with God is love. … the shortest way to God was to go straight to Him by a continual exercise of love and doing everything for His sake.”
About the Book: Rest Now offers permission to breathe. It exposes the lies that distract, tire, and bully us, so we don’t strive for rest but love from it, like Jesus did. Learn how to create boundaries that allow you to overflow with love, say no so you don’t hate yourself later, ditch passive-aggressive behaviors in favor of healthy conversations, and embrace permission-giving thoughts to create mental space for God.
A Favorite Quote: “To have humility is to be no more or no less than who I am today. I can’t be more loved than I already am. I can’t be more beautiful than I am in Christ. I can’t be more whole than wholly loved.”
About the Book: Spiritual disciplines are activities that open us to God’s transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. Picking up on the monastic tradition of creating a “rule of life” that allows for regular space for the practice of spiritual disciplines, Ruth Haley Barton takes you more deeply into understanding seven key disciplines along with practical ideas for weaving them into everyday life.
A Favorite Quote: “Your desire for more of God than you have right now, your longing for love, your need for deeper levels of spiritual transformation than you have experienced thus far is the truest thing about you.”
About the Book: Find true peace in Christ among the busyness, noise, and pressures of life. This 31-day devotional explores what it means, and what it looks like in very practical ways, to lead the “quiet life” Paul speaks of in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. Readers will come to see that a quiet life doesn’t mean escaping from the world around them but centering their hearts on Christ so that they can live with a clear focus, a quiet confidence, and a steady peace.
A Favorite Quote: “Part of cultivating a quiet heart is to live in a way that is free from the pursuit of more: to cherish what we already have and to be at rest in a place of deep contentment.”
About the Book: Deeply personal, Ann shares the moments of her life where the WayMaker transformed brokenness into beauty. Learn to encounter the WayMaker in surprising ways in your own life and begin to see Him working in every miraculous detail. Even now, the Way is making the way to walk through waves and into a life more deeply fulfilling than your wildest dreams.
A Favorite Quote: “When you know you are fully known and still fully loved, nothing can scare you. There is a reason that God is Love and He is with us: Because this is all we need.”
Whether you find yourself resting in a hammock, in the cool of the ac, or toes in the sand, I pray you also have the pleasure of a book in your hand. Happy summer reading!
Question to Journal About or Simply Contemplate:
Each episode I want to offer you a question to journal about or simply contemplate: What helps you set aside your to-do list so you make time to read and recreate yourself?
I hope this simple encouragement of books to help you find heart rest can help you cultivate a rhythm of rest. Because while it’s true that life is complicated, our hearts find rest when we keep first things first and release the rest.
That’s a wrap of Season 1. I would love to know what episode was your favorite or touched you the most. Let me know in the reviews. And make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the start of Season 2. See you soon.
As we close, I want to leave you with a quote from Charles E. Jones: “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
Thank you for listening, sweet friend. Until next time rest in Christ.
NEXT STEPS & ADDITIONAL RESOURCESExchange your weariness for oneness with Christ so you can rest close to His heart.
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