**UPDATE** Congrats to Brooksie who won and bless her heart has moved three times in three years!! Thanks to you all for fabulous book selections. I'll be adding them all to my list on GoodReads very soon!
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-01-16 14:15:09 UTC
Last year I read a book that as I was reading it I thought to myself that I should read this book every year because it's such a great reminder of God working through change in our lives. It seems that I somehow hit a stage in life where every year seems to bring change. New kids. New homes. New schools. New grades. New friends having miscarriages. New marriages. (not me, but friends!) New problems in marriage. (not me of course … yeah right, I wish) New … new … new … change … change … change.
In Shauna's book, BITTERSWEET, she takes changes that went on in her life and brought the good out of them. Even when changes seem so hard and difficult it's when we stop and see the good in them that we can truly begin to benefit from the change. To stop and see God in them will change the way you view your difficult seasons.
Oh my does that bring up a lump in anyone's throat, or is it just me? I can be so guilty of sitting in my difficult season and begging God to take it away, instead of begging God to move me, change me and make me stronger through the difficult seasons.
This book hit me smack in the face last year when I read it. I'm let you read two paragraphs from the very first chapter and you can see how good this book is.
I believe that God is making all things new. I believe that Christ overcame death and that pattern is apparent all through life and history: life from death, water from a stone, redemption from failure, connection from alienation. I believe that suffering is part of the narrative, and that nothing really good gets built when everything's easy. I believe that loss and emptiness and confusion often give way to new fullness and wisdom.
But for a long season, I forgot all those things. I didn't stop believing in God. It wasn't a crisis of faith. I prayed and served and pursued a life of faith the way I had before that season and the way I still do now. But I realized all at once, sitting in a church on a cold dark night, that the story I was telling was the wrong one – or at the very least, an incomplete one. I had been telling the story about how hard it was. That's not the whole story. The rest of the story is that I failed to live with hope and courage and lived instead a long season of whining, self-indulgence, and fear. This is my confession.
Oh my gosh I remember when I read that for the first time that my eyes swelled up with tears and I thought this too is my confession. I have lived life in fear and not confidence. I have lived a self-indulgent and selfish life when I should have been bursting with the seams with hope and courage.
I loved this book so much that I want to give one to you! I emailed Shauna and fortunately for me she didn't store my email under the stalker file that I'm sure she has. I raved to her about her book and I guess she took it as sincere appreciation and not a crazy woman stalking her life! She offered me one to give to you. Isn't she nice?! I'm fairly certain that in real life we would be friends, as well as Sandra Bullock, Julie Roberts, Jennifer Garner and Elizabeth Hasselbeck .. we could all have lunch together. BFF's for life.
So to win this book you MUST leave me a comment telling me the book that I just have to read in 2012 and do not say The Hunger Games … I know already and will be starting them soon!
That'll get you one entry for sure. Next are things that you can do if you want, but are not required to win. For each one that you chose to do, be sure and leave a separate comment for each thing, so that you will have more chances to win!
- Since this book is about change, tell me the hardest change in your life over the past five years & what did you learn from it!
2. Visit Shauna on facebook, or her blog, or twitter and wish her a happy day!
3. Head on over to DREAMING BIG DREAMS on facebook and “like” it and while you are there tell me HI too! I love new friends.
4. Share this contest with your friends! I know you want to win, and don't want to share, but come on … share the love. Either share via fb or twitter and let me know how you did in your comment! You could use this: Here's a book giveaway that I want to win: BITTERSWEET from @sniequist that @jamie_ivey is giving away! Or make up your own line for twitter & facebook!
FIVE chances that you have to win. FIVE ways to win a new book, and not just a random, ordinary book, but a book that I can guarantee will make you stop in mid sentence and reflect and sometimes even cry. It's just that good and that soul stirring. Good luck!
Contest ends January 15th at midnight (CST) – GOOD LUCK!!!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Wow the topic of this book really resonates with me. This has been a year of changes. I’ve been struggling through losses and difficult changes through out this past year. I’ve been reading Jill Biscoe’s, Faith Enough to Finish. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. It’s a guide through the Book of Hebrews, discoverin what it means to endure. It reminded me of the goodness in life.
The hardest thing for me this year was leaving our ministry, a small house church of 20/30 somethings, that my husband and I both lead and giving the reigns of that church to the younger leaders. (We’re in our 40’s.) Wow, it was so difficult, since serving there was my plan to occupy me as my sons are now teens. Who did I have to nurture? Who did I have to love? I wrote a blog on this.
I commented on Shauna’s blog through contacting her.
I liked you on Facebook and commented on your FB page.
I shared the giveaway on FB. Good luck to all.
Shangai girls by Lisa See. Just a great read. 🙂
The Other Wes Moore (by Wes Moore) is an amazing book!
I friended Shauna on facebook and sent her a message (yay!)
I liked your website on facebook and commented.
A big change for me was starting college this past fall. I’m going to school about 2,000 miles away from my parents. It’s been rough adjusting to new everything without being able to go sit on my mom’s bed and play with our dogs on the weekends. I realized that I had a lot of growing up to do from high school but I spent the semester learning what it takes to succeed in college level courses, and how to make new friends. I also did something crazy and joined my school’s sailing team (I’ve never sailed before) and have loved every minute of learning this new sport. The team gave me a safety net of friends and upperclassmen to help me through rough patches. I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience life at such an amazing school, and am learning a lot during my time here.
I told my best friend about the contest via twitter!
I’m planning to read “Is Everyone Hanging out Without me,” the book by Mindy Kaling, who plays Kelly on “The Office.” It looks hilarious.
I would recommend reading Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. One of my favorite books. He is a fantastic writer and has a gift writing about Christianity, spirituality, and life in a refreshingly honest way. Defiantly worth the time!
I’ve been really wanting to read this book! The best book I read last year was One Thousand Gifts, but right now, I’m reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker – it’s challenging me much more than I expected!
The hardest change in my life was our foster/adoption of our youngest two children. The attachment issues, the trauma, the needs…we’re living completely differently than before. (Die to self. Die to self. Die to self.) It was hard. It still is hard, but oh, so worth it.
I visited Shauna at her blog.
The hardest change has been overcoming the expectation and plan that I had for my life and faithfully following and finding joy in God’s plan. I had this expectation, since of entitlement maybe, that I knew what was best for me but the plan God is revealing is so much better and is bringing so much joy even through days of tears.
I am a college student so didn’t do a lot of reading other than my college books but one book that I read year after year is reedeming love, because it is a beautiful reminder of how God pursues us.
I am reading Kisses from Katie right now. It is really good.
I suggest that you read Forgotten God by Francis Chan, if you haven’t already. It’s great!
Commented on Shauna’s blog.
I tweeted a “nice day” message to Shauna. 🙂
Seth Godin’s Poke the Box. I wrote a short blog about it yesterday on my site. excellant book.
I visited your Facebook page, but have “liked” it in the past. 🙂
I shared on Twitter.
I “liked” dreaming big dreams on facebook.
I tweeted and invited friends on Facebook to join in on this fantastic contest. Yay!
I tweeted @sniequist.
Ok so I’m about to turn 21, and I’m a student at Texas A&M. So five years ago I was 15/16. The hardest thing that I have dealt with and had to accept change in was this: I grew up in a Christian home and before I knew it I was completely comfortable in faith. When I got to college I realized I wasn’t growing in my faith. So my pray became that the Lord would just work on my heart and have a passion for Him. Well, that can be a very scary thing to pray I realized! I feel called to go to seminary and get a masters degree in Christian counseling…something I wouldn’t have ever chose and still doubt sometimes. So accepting His future plan instead of my future plan is the change that has been difficult for me. But what a beautiful journey this is!
The hardest change in my life recently has been learning to live with another person (I got married). I’m very independent and although we get along great, I’ve had to learn to make sacrifices. I’ve also learned that wives shouldn’t dump all their emotional baggage on their husbands. Sometimes we just need to take things to our Savior and not burden our loved ones with it.
I liked your Facebook page.
I read two of the books posted above (excellent choices!!!), so I will recommend another one: http://www.amazon.com/Scent-Water-Grace-Every-Broken/dp/0310327377
Tweeted to Shauna!
Hardest Change: Almost 3 years ago my brother was diagnosed with Brain cancer at the age of 26. These last few years have been the hardest of my life, but my family has grown closer and I’ve grown closer to Christ through it. We’ve been blessed by a very supportive extended family and church family that have come beside us during this rough time. It’s also changed my perspective on life & helped me reevaluate my goals and priorities .
Liked your facebook page & said hello 🙂
God’s Favor – Breath Of Heaven Michele Wolley
Without a doubt, chronic illness has been the hardest change/hurdle that has flipped my life upside down. I have gone through every emotion possible, and spent more than one moment begging God to take it from me. As hard as it’s been, I do catch glimpses as to why He allows me to continue in this struggle. They are teeny tiny glimpses, but I find myself clinging to God’s promises and faithfulness in my battles. I cannot help but wonder if I would cling so tightly to my Father, if I was cruising through life. If this illness brings me closer to Jesus, then it’s worth every single moment of every single struggle.
We moved last year after 50+ years in the same city. We are part of and supporting a church plant that is truly blessed by God and growing quicker than we ever dreamed or imagined. It is really a great transition but really hard work on top of a full time job. To God be the Glory!
The book I have wanted to, bought and hope to read soon is Frances Chan’s Crazy Love.
The hardest change for me was my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer last fall. Still trying to wrap my head around all of that…and it’s been a couple of months. I think that one of the biggest things that I learned through this was how God has placed specific people around me in this season of life to hold me up when I feel like I can’t stand. To pray for me when I don’t have the words. To let me talk if I need to…or be silent when I need to – and to know when I need each of those. To get me out of the house. To make me laugh. To point me to Jesus and to the cross. And I am grateful that I have seen these little characteristics come out in the people in my life. My “family” that is in Austin.
In 2012 you have to read any book by Michael Wells, I recomend starting with Problems, God’s Presence & Prayer “Recommended for believers who have experienced a variety of problems, question the silence of God, and would like an improved prayer life.”
I just finished one called Heavenly Discipleship and it was a beutiful journey. While i was reading i had a beutiful sensation of freedom, joy, hope and love. Please take a time to read any book by Mike. You will love it. (
Sorry for my english xD greetings from Argentina)
I liked your facebook page too =)
Hey Jamie! I would recommend “The Normal Christian Life” by Watchman Nee. It describes the Christian life the Christ died to give us and contrasts it with how we as Christians typically live. It has challenged pretty much every corner of my life.
These past five years have been full of so many trials (and many many evidences of God’s grace carrying me through them). Watching my Mom battle cancer and lose so much of who she was in the process, battling through infertility for 3 long years, losing my mom last year and the ocean of grief that I’m still living in, and now trying to prepare my heart for my Dad’s very fast remarriage to someone I really struggle with. I haven’t lost my faith in the midst of all of this, but I definitely tend to sit and wallow in my pain rather than choose to see God’s hand. This book sounds so good and so applicable to where I am right now!
I commented on Shauna’s Blog 🙂
I liked your FB page.
I shared your link on my FB page too!
This book sounds perfect…The one that has had the most impact for me and inspired the most introspection would be “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. It’s one to read over and over. Thanks for sharing this!
Change is never easy, even when it is by choice. There’s a saying of John Maxwell’s that I try to always remember: Change will only occur when the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change. When the change is not our choice, it becomes even more difficult.
Three and one half years ago, my husband and I began divorce proceedings. Within one week of filing the papers, my mother was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Six months later, she died. My son was thirteen at the time, and I could have never imagined the impact of either of those events for him. Faith and tenacity carried my through. Then, at 6:30 am on May 27th of 2011, my phone rang, and I knew it couldn’t be good news. My former husband was injured in a work explosion. He lived for seven tortuous weeks. Preparing my son for and guiding him through his father’s death have been overwhelming, as my own grief has been. Divorce does not separate the spiritual union that is created in marriage!
One book you must read this year….Northanger Abbey. It’s one of Jane Austen’s less known books but one of my favorites!
The hardest change over the past 5 years, happened 8 months ago when our family moved to Houston from Ohio for my husbands job. We left everything we loved behind for a new opprotunity. This ‘adventure’ is still teaching me a lot but thus far I’ve learned that alls I ever need is God and my family; everything else is just fluff.
You MUST read Radical by David Platt. It changed my life and since reading it, I’ve been looking for equally life-changing books (Bittersweet?).
The hardest change I’ve had to face was the death of my nephew. He passed suddenly on Oct 24, 2011. The loss is still so fresh and raw that I’m not sure what I’ve learned from it yet. Maybe this book can shed some light. Looks like I’m buying it even if I don’t win!
I wished her a happy day via her blog!
I “like” Dreaming Big Dreams”!
I shared on Facebook!
A book You MUST read, well i was going to say hunger games, but a million miles in a thousand years was a GREAT book i read last year.
And as far as the hardest change in my life, well i think its currently happening. I Just transfered to UTSA this semester. I got here yesterday, and I’m from Round Rock. Its been change, and I don’t know anyone. Im currently praying and searching for a church and community to connect with, and i’m not even sure where a chick-fil-a is yet!
Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver (definitely just changed my life) or The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer. 🙂
The hardest change in the past five years would have to be moving from a small town called Sylacauga to where I live now. It was really hard to trust that God was working, that it was all part of his plan. But from this change I have great supportive friends and awesome Christians in my life who will teach me and hold me accountable. I have learned that, even when it’s hard to understand, God’s plan is always good–and he always has a plan! 🙂
Liked Dreaming Big Dreams on fb! 🙂
Hope you’re having a wonderful day. I liked and commented on your facebook page. The book looks wonderful.
i absolutely LOVED the book “the book thief” – absolute must read! beautifully written, engaging story.
the change that is happening in my life is our adoption process – and the waiting…the seemingly never ending waiting. i’m a control freak and a scheduler, so this is a major change in my life! there is absolutely NOTHING i can do – whereas i get my hands involved in everything else in my life, i am now out of control! and as painful and heartbreaking as it is to wait, i am learning that it is good for me and that God is using it to refine me and strengthen me and teach me greater self-control and really appreciate the gift that he will be blessing us with…in the not close future. 🙂
shared on FB! 😉
THe hardest change for me was leaving our church of 10 years. God clearly told us it was time to go, but it has been one of the hardest things ever for me.
I just finished reading The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns. Life changing stuff!
Hardest change…A year and a half ago, after my husband had been out of work for several years and was dealing with challenging, no answers health issues, we made a prayerful decision for him to return to school. It was one of those covered in prayer but against all ‘common sense’ decisions (you know, those ones your extended family really loves). The catch is the school is 3 hours away from home, so he lives away from me and the boys during the week. This has been by far, the hardest AND, most rewarding year and a half of our marriage. My husband is blossoming and finding purpose and we are makin’ it on the homefront!
Just came across your blog and I can tell I’m going to be a fan : )
The hardest thing I went through this year was watching my Grandmother, who has Alzheimers, take a turn for the worse, and have to be placed in a nursing home. She has always been my best friend, and it has been so hard to go through this change. But, I am thankful that I still get to see her everyday!
I loved “The Help”! Another book that I recently read, that has really stayed with me is “Night” by Elie Wiesel. It’s very impactful!
Book to read: Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas. So good i am rereading it all over again!
Hardest change: moving to Denver and dating a guy who challenges me in every way possible. I am becoming more sanctified, but boy do I feel the fire of this crucible
I said howdy to you!!! Buenas noches mi amiga!
Hi Jamie. I just wanted to let you know I talked about you on my blog today. I hope you don’t mind my frankness. 🙂 I think you should read “There is No Me Without You” by Melissa Fay Greene.
Night by Elie Wiesel is a great, short read. It’s about the author’s experience with the concentration camps. It will bring tears to your eyes for sure. Of course, one of my favorites is She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. Good book.
And, I’m a fan of yours on FB already 🙂
Seven Sacred Pauses
Ah! I love this book! Reading it right now – Reading Shauna has been a great way to end 2011 and to start 2012 – Here is a post I wrote about “Cold Tangerines.” http://katieschnack.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/cold-tangerines-and-stuffy-dress-pants/
PS! I go to The Stone and my friend sometimes babysits your kids – Mallory! Is that weird? haha.
Change for us has meant moving three times in as many years. I’ve learned to give myself time to adjust and am currently in that season…
Also, liked you on Facebook and shared via Twitter!
The one book I’d recommend is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
The biggest change I’ve been through recently is my mom’s advancing Alzheimers. It’s been heart-wrenching and a blessing at the same time.
I bought a cheap book on Amazon and it was surprisingly good. Been a tough year with husband laid off and health problems. I can’t tell you how my faith was recharged. This gal is a counselor and what a life…My dreams are getting bigger! Wow! My favorite new author… Gods favor breath of heaven; Michele woolley