Summing up the year in books

I’ve neglected the blog this autumn and early winter. Now its January already. I thought I’d give a run down of some of the best books I read this past year.

Firstly are two books by Brenè Brown.

Daring Greatly

In this Brenè weaves in stories and takeaways to put into action about vulnerability and shame. The main takeaway for me was realising areas in life where I let shame take over instead of being vulnerable. She talks in depth how to practically outwork shame resilience in both our personal lives and at work. She has really built on the work in The Gifts of Imperfection.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” Brenè Brown

And also this..

“The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.” Brenè Brown

Its how I endeavour to begin each day and especially on days when I’m finding things tough.

 

The Gifts of Imperfection

I’ve just finished reading this. It was my final read of the year. It had been on my to read list for a few years. I love how open and honest Brenè is. Aside from practicing being vulnerable one of the main areas I’m looking to work on is what meaningful work looks like for me.

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” Brenè Brown

Also this quote inspires me to choose bravery over fear in my everyday life. Often we can let fear run amok instead of just being who we are.

 

Come Matter Here: Your invitation to be here in a getting there world by Hannah Brencher

This was one of my most favourite books. So much so that I gave my copy away to a friend. Its got me to understand the value of staying present both physically and mentally too.

“I think we worship these stories of leaving it all behind and going somewhere new, but I’m beginning to see that every one of those stories has the same truth holding up this romantic idea of leaving: The stuff you’re not facing will follow you. It will get in the car too. It will pack a bag too. Leaving isn’t the key; changing is. I’m learning that life isn’t about the destinations we can boast about getting to; it’s about all the walking in between that feels pointless when you try to take a picture of it because no one will understand it like you do. It’s the in between stuff that fleshes out a story—gives it guts and transformation.
It’s not about the scenery changing or the person you say good night to. The traveler must be the one to change. That’s what makes the story good.” Hannah Brencher

This I can relate to so much. I’m learning to see the value and learning in staying in the little town I currently call home. Also right now that looks like having the unknown coming for the ride to. I’m learning to continue to live life curiously and be open to what comes along the way. It’s not the easiest way but worth it. Also learning to not take people’s expectations for my life to heart. I find that when I do that the consequences are that I feel like a failure. Which is not true but it’s what the little voice in my head says.

 

Everybody Always by Bob Goff

Oh I just love Bob’s stories and his latest book is a cracker.

“Jesus talked to His friends a lot about how we should identify ourselves. He said it wouldn’t be what we said we believed or all the good we hoped to do someday. Nope, He said we would identify ourselves simply by how we loved people. It’s tempting to think there is more to it, but there’s not. Love isn’t something we fall into; love is someone we become.” Bob Goff

It really got me to see that even the people I can’t stand need loving too. That is still very much a work in progress. Also that loving people is no one of thing but what life is about.

Searching for Sunday Rachel Held Evans

I so loved reading this.

“Imagine if every church became a place where everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable. Imagine if every church became a place where we told one another the truth. We might just create sanctuary.”
Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

This was the main point that I took away from reading this. Its one of the things I love about the little community I have here. Its so good to have a place where I can be myself and feel included and valued.