Book Review 2018

It’s really a difficult adjustment when you have been accustomed to a full-speed-ahead life and then you realize that you are sacrificing your health, friendships and time with God for money and stress you really don’t need. Don’t get misunderstand me, it’s nice to go on vacations and buy nice things, BUT is it really worth the sacrifice?  We are truly trying to  fill the holes in our soul with things.  We are so busy, it’s becomes uncomfortable to sit quietly, reflecting and just be.  Try it, try it for 15 minutes. Don’t look at your phone, computer, nothing. Just sit quietly and be.

I decided in to leave my “full-time”, stress-filled job in June of 2017 to search for a more fulfilling, more simple life.  There are several changes, all small, intentional steps to reverse this fast-paced life I had allowed to take control.

One of the steps was to slow down and read more. I’m still not reading as much as I would like, but I like to think I made a dent. I want to share with you tidbits of what I have learned from my reflection on the books I’ve read.

Works Rules – I bought this book because I saw the author, Laszlo Bock, at the Global Leadership Conference

This was an okay book for me. It probably would have interested me more if I still worked in a corporate setting. If you are a Human Resources person or own a company with growing employees then you would love this book. Laszlo was hired by Google in 2006 as the head of People Operations. Google grew from six thousand employees to almost sixty thousand employees in a fairly short period of time.  Google also has a reputation for having dedicated employees. This book is his attempt to explain Google’s success and why they do things the way they do. Mostly, a very unconventional way of thinking.

Scared Selfless – Author Michelle Stevens

I purchase a book on every vacation. I love true survivor stories and this is one of the most moving books I’ve read. What fascinated me most is that she was able to tell the story of unbelievable abuse from the child’s perspective, from the knowledge of a perpetrator and from a clinical perspective.  Because of her life and where she ended up, I don’t want to give anything away, she is able to give a very insightful evaluation of abuse.  This book is candid, raw and riveting. I absolutely could not put it down.

The Energy Bus – Jon Gordon

This was highly recommended by a teacher in a class I took. I know it sounds corny, doesn’t it?  I thought it would be too, but nope! it wasn’t! It is a reminder that you are the driver of your bus and you need to decide where the bus is going.

*You are the driver of your bus.

*Desire, vision and focus-move your bus in the direction you want it to go.

*Positive energy!!

*Make sure you choose your tribe wisely. Invite people in that share your vision.

*Don’t waste your energy on people who don’t want on your bus.

*NO ENERGY VAMPIRES or joy suckers as I like to call them.

*Enthusiasm is contagious!

*Love your people, love them well.

*Have a purpose. Everyone needs a purpose.


Failing Forward – John Maxwell

This book was encouraged by my Young Living Essential Oils Team leader. What is the main difference between people who achieve and people who are average? The difference between greatness and mediocrity? Their response to failure. How they view a mistake.  When you make a mistake and learn from it, grow from it there you will find success. If you continue to make the same mistake over and over again, then you stay stuck.  You ARE NOT a failure; however, you may have failed at doing something! There is a big difference. Focus on others and not yourself. Be more concerned with what you can give rather than get. When you make a mistake, learn from it and move forward. Don’t stay focused on the “failure” which is actually an opportunity to grow. Fail Forward! These types of books help me to find news avenues of thinking. I loved this book!

168 Hours – Laura Vanderkam

Another book suggested in a class that I took. I LOVED this book! It helped me think about time differently. Core competencies became more relevant.  Do you know there are millionaires with 6 kids out in the world taking hikes in the middle of the day? I know right? How do they do that? She explains it in this very easy to read book. I learned to block my time (read the book). Most importantly, figuring out what my core competencies were and focusing on them.  After reading this book I set aside every Tuesday as “date day” with my husband. We get away from our desks and “normal” life to go do something FUN TOGETHER.  I pass off things I am not good at to people that may LOVE to do that particular thing. I now block my time by trying to schedule appointments and trips to town together.  Highly recommend this book!

The Power of a Woman’s Words- Sharon Jaynes

We went through this book in our Sunday School class. It was a reminder of how powerful our words are to our children, spouse and others. How harmful gossip, criticism an indifference is to relationships. Included are 25 things to never say to your husband like “I told you so!” and 25 things a husband longs to hear like “I believe in you.”.  Even if you know these truths it’s good to have a reminder, a refresher to evaluate what can be done better. I mean maybe not for you, but for ME!

Uninvited- Lysa TerKeurst

I can not say enough about this book. A group of us ladies did this in my home as a Bible Study. I’m actually going to read it every year because it is that powerful. When we first started the study she asks that you think about times when you have felt rejected and I sat there and could’t think of anytime. Now keep in mind I am someone that needs to  reflect and slowly process information over time.  You and I could have a conversation and I will still be thinking it through two weeks later. I was on the last chapter when God started pouring into my mind FOUR long pages of times that I felt rejected. I sat there stunned.  This book has been very impactful in how I see myself and others.  I strongly suggest this for everyone man or woman.

The Bible -God

I must add this as it has been the most influential collection of books I have ever read. I read it most every day and everyday I learn something new. All the above books have very important lessons and thought processes; however, the Bible covers every one of them. When my life has been unstable or stable; when I have been at my lowest, or my highest; when I have been happy or sad; when the world is a dark tunnel, or a bright light; when humans are hurtful or loving; I have found this is the source of my peace, my joy, my ability to love, my ability to forgive and my ability to go on. It’s all found in the pages of this brilliantly written love letter to me and you.

Til next SHINE,


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