One of my greatest joys in ministry is connecting women with resources that have made an impact on my own walk as a wife, mother, and daughter of God. I believe there is great value in keeping yourself “fed” spiritually, and gaining fresh perspective from authors that have walked through similar seasons. Scroll below for some of my hand-picked favorites, from my bookshelf to yours.
The Smart Stepmom:
Practical Steps to Help You Thrive!
By Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbridge
The stepmother's role often is ambiguous and underappreciated, and frequently it carries unrealistic expectations. The book answers women's concerns and questions, including: How can I be a caretaker and a key emotional connector in the family if the children don't accept my influence? How shoud I cope with children who are confused about their family and torn between loyalty to their biological mother and me? When should I step back in conflicts and when should I insist that my husband stand up for me? In addition it addresses the spiritual and emotional climate of the home, providing perspective and guidelines to help stepmothers and their families thrive.
By Henry Cloud and John TownsendHaving clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to the tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.
By Dr. Richard Warshak
Your ex-spouse is bad mouthing you to your children, constantly portraying you in a negative light, perhaps even trying to turn them against you. If you handle the situation ineffectively, your relationship with your children could suffer. You could lose their respect, lose their affections-even, in extreme cases, lose all contact with them. The conventional advice is to do nothing, that fighting fire with fire will only result in greater injury to the children. But after years of consulting parents who heeded such advice with no success, Dr. Richard Warshak is convinced that this approach is wrong. It doesn't work, and parents are left feeling helpless and hopeless. Divorce Poison instead offers a blueprint for effective response. In it, you will learn how to distinguish different types of criticism, how and why parents manipulate their children, how to detect these maneuvers, and how these practices damage children. Most importantly, you'll discover powerful strategies to preserve and rebuild loving relationships with your children.
Women At War
By Jan Greenwood
Many women have been deeply wounded by relationships with a friend, sister, or female coworker that have turned competitive, slanderous, or even vengeful. From a young age many girls experience the rejection, hurt, and mistrust that occurs when women war against one another. Women at War will revolutionize the value women place on their own gender and the way they treat one another.
The Five Love Languages
By Gary Chapman
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love—that’s the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life. You’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.
A Career Girl's Guide
to Becoming a Stepmom
By Jacquelyn B. Fletcher
You have an exciting, fulfilling job. You've fallen in love with the man of your dreams—and met his three kids! Now what? Jacquelyn B. Fletcher shows how any professional woman turned wife and instant stepmother can build on the skills she employs at work—organization, team-building, goal-setting, and planning—to succeed at home in her new role as stepmom. Drawing on the latest research, her own experiences, and those of other real-life stepmothers, Fletcher offers advice, hope, encouragement, and much-needed answers to common conundrums. A Career Girl's Guide to Becoming a Stepmom is essential reading for the professional woman who has it all—and then suddenly has more than she expected.
Christian Chick's Guide
to Surviving Divorce
By Suzanne Reeves
Christian Chick's Guide to Surviving Divorce is what your girlfriend would tell you, preferably over coffee and crepes, if she knew what to say. With a good dose of humor, it's full of life-giving encouragement as well as practical guidance. A book full of hope - from someone who has been there. Divorced does not have to be your label. You can heal and come out on the other side in triumph. Every year, 900,000 women of faith go through a divorce. This book is full of the wisdom and encouragement that Suzanne received, as well as the lessons she learned while the Lord was exchanging His beauty for her ashes. There is life on the other side. A life full of hope, healing, and triumph.
Stumbling Into Grace:
Confessions of a Sometimes
Spiritually Clumsy Woman
By Lisa Harper
Women of Faith® speaker and author Lisa Harper relates from experience — life can be uncertain, sometimes even scary. But with a witty twinkle in her eye and a Bible in her hand, she describes what it’s like to find real security in the arms of a Savior who doesn’t just notice us but who moves heaven and earth on our behalf. Part diary, part devotional, Stumbling Into Grace weaves hilarious and poignant stories from Lisa’s own life with intimate and transformational encounters from the life of Christ. Prayers, reflection questions, and journal prompts help women dig deep into biblical truths to better understand how our Redeemer’s compassion, affection, and constancy make every single moment of life not only more enjoyable but well worth living!
Better Than Blended:
Taking Your Family From
Surviving to THriving!
By Willie and Rachel G. Scott
A blended family is a gift from God, but one that brings with it distinct challenges—other people’s opinions, our children’s difficulty adjusting, and our own unmet expectations, to name a few. Not to mention trying to keep romance alive! But God intends for your blended family to join together as one in Him—and not only to survive but also to thrive! If you are a blended family or about to become one, this workbook is for you. Willie and Rachel Scott have taken their personal experience as a blended family and created this six-week study for families seeking to blend gracefully into one new unit. Intended for a group or family setting, the Better than Blended Workbook covers various topics—from discovering your unique family journey to dealing with hurts from your past to helping your kids adjust—and helps you to be intentional about developing unity and drawing closer to God as a one cohesive family unit.
Praying Circles Around
the Lives of Your Children
By Mark Batterson
Mark Batterson has a surprising secret weapon to parenting: prayer. He shares a perfect blend of biblical yet practical advice that will revolutionize parents’ prayer lives by giving them a guide describing seven important ways to pray for their children, such as praying for a hedge of protection and forming prayer circles. Using stories and experience, Batterson shares seven prayer circles that will help parents pray for their kids.
A Wife's Secret to Happiness
By Jen Weaver
The path to marital happiness is different than you think. When our plans for marriage improvement begin with "If my husband would . . ." or "If, as a couple, we could . . ." we're missing the secret. Despite her man's flaws and failures, the Lord plans to bless a wife's marriage through her husband. A Wife's Secret to Happiness shares eleven powerful, practical blessings that God wants to pour into your lap like sweet spiritual confetti, and the wifestyle habits that will attract or reject this divine provision. No matter your title—from stay-at-home mom to business executive to ministry leader—you can celebrate God's role for you as a wife. Through thoughtful exploration of biblical promises, humorous hope-filled stories, and compelling testimonies, Jen shares how God empowers her life as a submissive millennial wife, and inspires readers to experience the same freedom.
By Jimmy Evans and Frank Martin
Even under the best of circumstances, marriage in a blended family is challenging. From parenting to ex-spouses to past hurts, couples face many obstacles. In Blending Families, eighteen successful stepfamilies will show you how they've learned to overcome their everyday challenges. Whether you ve been married for years or just preparing for the journey, Blending Families is the essential resource to help you breakthrough and have a successful family that will thrive for years to come.
You'll Get Through This
By Max Lucado
You fear you won't make it through. We all do. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. In the pits, surrounded by steep walls and aching reminders, we wonder: Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten? In You'll Get Through This, pastor and New York Times best-selling author, Max Lucado offers sweet assurance. "Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras: bold, brassy, and everywhere." Max reminds readers God doesn't promise that getting through trials will be quick or painless. It wasn't for Joseph--tossed in a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongfully imprisoned, forgotten and dismissed--but his Old Testament story is in the Bible for this reason: to teach us to trust God to trump evil. With the compassion of a pastor, the heart of a storyteller, and the joy of one who has seen what God can do, Max explores the story of Joseph and the truth of Genesis 50:20. What Satan intends for evil, God redeems for good.
Stepparenting With Grace:
A Devotional For Blended Families
By Gayla Grace
These devotions provide companionship, encouragement, understanding, and biblical insights from a veteran stepmom. This trusted resource will help you gain strength, wisdom, and comfort as you navigate the rocky terrain of creating a blended family. Each devotion begins with Scripture along with an encouraging thought for the day and closes with prayer.
Uninvited: Living Loved
When You Feel Less Than,
Left Out, and Lonely
By Lysa TerKeurst
The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love. In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.
By Wednesday Martin
When faced with often overwhelming challenges, what woman with stepchildren is unfamiliar with that “stepmonster” feeling? Half of all women in the United States will live with or marry a man with children. To guide women new to this role—and empower those who are struggling with it—Wednesday Martin draws upon her own experience as a stepmother. She's frank about the harrowing process of becoming a stepmother, she considers the myths and realities of being married to a man with children, and she counteracts the cultural notion that stepmothers are solely responsible for the problems that often develop. Along the way, she interviews other stepmothers and stepchildren and offers up fascinating insights from literature, anthropology, psychology, and evolutionary biology that explain the little-understood realities of this unique parent-child relationship and—in an unexpected twist—shows why the myth of the Wicked Stepmother is the single best tool for understanding who real stepmothers are and how they feel.
The Miracle in the Middle
By Charlotte Gambill
If you've ever been on a long trip with small children you've no doubt heard, "Are we there yet?" Maybe you've even said those exact words or felt that same way as you have journeyed with God. Midway is where these feelings of frustration and impatience are most commonly felt. It's also where our hidden doubts find their voice. Where most beginnings start with energy and expectation for all that is ahead, and endings bring the joy of completion as you arrive at your desired destination, the middle is very different. This midpoint can too quickly become a low point, as energy is lacking and enthusiasm wanes. Yet how well you handle the middle reveals what is in the middle of you. The disciples found—in the middle of a lake—a revelation of Jesus that they had never seen on the shore. In the middle is where new navigational skills are found. It's also where some of the most significant lessons are learned. Join Charlotte Gambill in this compelling, story-driven message that shows through biblical teaching and life application how those who persist through the middle will find that miracles await them on the other side.