What I've Been Reading Lately: Books for Seasons of Waiting
I'm going to start this post with a little bit of a confession...
I don't know about you all, but my reading life has suffered a bit in the last few years. We live in a culture addicted to distraction and go, go, go, and in recent years, I've found myself struggling to stick with a book.
It doesn't help that it's my nature to start lots of books at once (I just get so excited about each one!), but then in the midst of the chaos of everyday life, distraction seems to often win out, and a great number of those books end up half read and discarded, or worse yet, not read at all. Yikes!
In 2016, I'm working to slow down a bit and really be present with each book (and my life in general!). I want more open space in all areas of my life, and I want to put away my phone, keep the TV off, stay away from social media, and really connect more with the written word — a medium that has inspired, encouraged, and uplifted me since I was a little girl.
The stack above includes a mix of books I've finished, begun, and hope to start soon (I told you I haven't been able to ditch the "more than one at a time" habit just yet. ;) I also have a 2016 Reading Board on Pinterest, if you'd like to swap reading lists. :)
Today, I'd like to focus on a few books that have been encouraging me in my current season of waiting and hoping: Waiting Here for You by Louie Giglio and the In The Wait study by Heidi Anderson, Courtney Bobko, Holly Holt, Amanda Jass, and Chelsea Ritchie.
I received this book through the BookLook Blogging program, and it has honestly been the best Advent devotional I have ever read! (I know Advent season has obviously passed, but I highly recommend getting yourself a copy of this for next year!)
Waiting Here for You is a collection of daily devotional readings that include a passage of scripture, a reflection, a meditation, and a prayer. Author Louie Giglio invites readers to discover that waiting is not wasted when you're waiting on the Lord.
This is a devotional that really encourages you to interact with its pages. I found myself making notes, highlighting sections, and writing out personal prayers amidst the pages. Each reading focused my heart on Jesus and the story of Advent, while also speaking to my own current season of waiting and encouraging me to cultivate a deeper hope and trust in the Lord as I continued to wait.
There were so many sections that I loved, but I was especially encouraged by the reminder that God is not only working throughout our seasons of waiting, but that He is also WITH US while we wait. And that even though our circumstances may say otherwise, God WILL come through for us, on time and on schedule, to fulfill His long-appointed plans for us.
As I read through this devotional throughout the Advent season, I felt The Lord impressing on my heart over and over that He is worth waiting for. That His plan for me is still in progress. That it's good. And that I haven't missed out on anything. I heard Him loud and clear that unless He is orchestrating it, it's not worth it — and I try and strive in vain.
He continues to remind me that He will make a way...through this moment, this day, this season, and into the next.
There are so many things I look forward to, and I am choosing to be convinced and confident of this: that when I'm following Him and waiting on Him, I won't miss out on anything, but instead, will find out just what a wonderful counselor, planner, and provider He is. This Advent study was reminder for me that He both PLANS and DOES incredibly miraculous things. ❤️
I am only finished with week one of this study, but I am loving it so far! It's a fresh breath of truth for my heart at the beginning of a brand new year. And similar to my experience reading Waiting Here for You, I have already marked up many of the pages with prayers and reflections and notes. I think a book that you can't resist marking up is the very best kind of book. :)
My favorite quote so far:
"The only certain thing we can wait for and expect is this: For God to lead and guide us."
I am learning to wait expectantly for His voice and His guidance, building a deeper trust that I truly am right where I am meant to be and that His plan for me is right on time.
::In the wait photo via Holly Holt::