2 children’s books and 1 for the grown-ups

You never think that it will happen to someone you know. Until it does.

While my book is still in production, our reality is that children are being abused right now. I can’t wait to share these two books with you that I think are great resources for teaching kids about body safety. Click on the links to read more about them on Amazon.

I Said No! A Kid-to Kid Guide for Keeping Private Parts Private by Zack and Kimberly King

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I Said No! by Zack and Kimberly King. Illustrations by Sue Rama.
I Said No! by Zack and Kimberly King. Illustrations by Sue Rama.

and Lauren’s Kingdom by Lauren Book

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Lauren's Kingdom by Lauren Book. Illustrations by Marco Barreto.
Lauren’s Kingdom by Lauren Book. Illustrations by Marco Barreto.

For the grown-ups, I’ve been reading The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu.

I realized last weekend that I was still holding onto some things. I was holding onto anger and unforgiveness. I asked friends to pray for me last week that I would be able to forgive.

It felt impossible.

I felt like I would always be broken.

Tutu says, “Forgiveness is the journey we take toward healing the broken parts. It is how we become whole again.”

Thursday morning, as I started to pray, my heart forgave.

I know that unforgiveness will tempt me again and I will have to choose forgiveness again and again, but on Thursday a weight lifted and in exchange for the unforgiveness and anger that I had been carrying, I had peace and freedom.

I didn’t even get past the introduction of the Tutu’s book before I started underlining all kinds of wisdom like “Forgiveness is nothing less than the way we heal the world.” and “Forgiveness is the way we return what has been taken from us…”

Tutu says that the first step on the path to forgiving is to tell our story. This really resonated with me because that is exactly what I felt the Lord had spoken to me as I began working through my past.

“Telling the story is how we get our dignity back after we have been harmed. It is how we begin to take back what was taken from us, and how we begin to understand and make meaning out of our hurting.” -Desmond Tutu

“If I tuck my secrets and my stories away in shame or fear or silence, then I am bound to my victimhood and my trauma.” -Desmond Tutu

“When you tell your story, you no longer have to carry your burden alone.” -Desmond Tutu

I can not recommend this book enough for anyone who is struggling with forgiving. And also, do not underestimate the power of prayer. Ask friends, enemies and anyone you run into at the grocery store to pray for you! And, if you aren’t ready to forgive, ask God to help you. He wants you to be whole and He wants you to help heal the world.

The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu
The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu

what i’ve been reading lately.

IMG_2312These are some of my favorite books right now:

LOOP by Jennifer J. Camp is a devotional that I LOVE! I love it so much that I wish I could pass it out to all of you like candy but who do you think I am? Oprah? You will have to get your own. Seriously though, I read this almost every morning and I think you will love it as much as I do.


SCARY CLOSE by Donald Miller. I read this in February right after it was released and I regret not telling you about it sooner. It is good. I am obsessed with everyone’s story and Don (that is what I call him because I have known him since way back when he wrote BLUE LIKE JAZZ and I have met him NEVER but that is beside the point) opens up about his past relationships, learning to be himself and loving Betsy. I was a wreck by the end of the book because of all of the things that he said about love and relationships.

He says stuff like:

“How can we be loved if we are always hiding?”

“Sometimes the story we are telling isn’t half as endearing as the one that lives inside us.”

“What if part of God’s message to the world was you? The true and real you?”

and “Children learn what’s worth living for and what’s worth dying for by the stories they watch us live.”

He said all of these things and it hurt so good!


DARING GREATLY by Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW. Brené brought me to tears more than once as I read through and processed all of her research on shame and vulnerability. I also went to YouTube and watched several of her TEDx talks because I could not get over how big a role I had allowed shame to play in my life and in my relationships. I had to conquer it.

Brené says crazy brave things like:

“Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out of fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.”

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

I underlined so much of this book and even included her definition of shame in my own book: “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”

Brené talks about how we are hardwired to connect with others and that is what gives meaning and purpose to our lives. She says, “It is human nature to want to feel worthy of love and belonging. When we experience shame, we feel disconnected and desperate for worthiness.” She goes on to talk about how disconnection causes real emotional pain.

I love it when she says “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” I know that to be true.

I wish I could tell you everything I loved about this book – I would especially write out the entire chapter on parenting but I am concerned with copyright laws and I cannot afford to go to jail again. Do they put you in jail for breaking copyright laws?

Okay fine, I will tell you one quote from the parenting chapter “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?”

See there. This is good stuff. DARING GREATLY was just recently released in paperback and I get zero dollars for recommending it to you but it changed my life and I have to tell you about it.


I also loved YAWNING AT TIGERS: You Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying by Drew Dyck, THE ART OF WORK: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins and THE ARTISAN SOUL: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art by Erwin McManus.

The Book with No Pictures
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

One more: THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES by B.J. Novak. This is a children’s book that Faith asks me to read over and over again. I even brought it to her school one day and read it to the class. It is hilarious and I only suggest reading it if you like to laugh.

What are you reading? I must know so that I can read #allofthebooks