Monday, August 1, 2016

10 Books For Every Christian Young Lady



Hi, everyone!!

So, if you're new to me and my blog, it might be news to you that I am the eldest of seven children- all boys except six!! ;)

As the big sister of five blossoming young women, I don't take the responsibility of setting a good example lightly. I just know that at least a few of them will always follow every move I make. Even the prospect of getting into a romantic relationship someday is daunting, because I have all of these people that are watching, just waiting to reenact my every move.

I try to set a good example in my taste of things, including clothes, music, movies, blogs, and books.

BOOKS!

I really love books.

Even though my sister right under me in the line-up, Kristen, isn't much on books, she's turning 16 this week (wait.. what?!), and I'm writing this just with her in mind. Basically, I'm taking all of the books I've ever read and narrowing it down to only ten that I believe really molded me into who I am today, and helped me out when I was waist-deep and not making up any ground in the murky waters of teenagerhood.

With all of the junk "literature" out there these days, I really want to be able to steer my siblings in the right direction. So, I decided to compile a list of books that I recommend to my sisters as they take my place as the teenagers of the family, and I'm sharing this with the world, because the internet really needs more worthwhile book lists.



ON WITH THE LIST.


10 Books For Every Christian Young Lady


(So, they're listed 1-10 by priority. If you've read none, I'd recommend starting at 1 and working your way downwards. Otherwise, the lower the number, the higher the recommendation, but go with what you need in this season of your life!)

     1. The Bible

Ding ding! You saw that one coming, didn't you? We, as a generation, have made it the norm to mope and complain about not knowing what to do because "after all, life doesn't come with an instruction manual..." But, but... YES, IT DOES! It's called the Bible. And if you obey it to the letter, you won't have any desire to follow your own whims and hope it turns out okay, let alone the time!

If you consider yourself a Christian, and you have been for more than a year or two (I'll give you "or two" just in case you're a slow reader), then I expect that you've read the Book in full. If you haven't, this should be a serious life priority. Even though Leviticus and Habakkuk seem hard, every word is there for us, placed there by God, Himself. Take it seriously.

[Anyone able to read.]

      2. Joyfully at Home

Whew! So I finally got around to reading this for the first time this past January. It had always been one of those books on my reading list that kept getting bumped to accommodate others. And, boy, do I wish I had read it sooner!

Jasmine Bauchem wrote this book (and I am honored to claim that I know people who know her), and I recommend it to all young Christian ladies around 14+. It's just SO good. Challenging, but not pushy, the way you might expect. She spends most of the book just trying to get you to analyze why you do as you do, believe as you do, or etc. Although her arguments for daughters staying at home post-High School are stupendous (and not to mention that they're all taken straight from the Bible!), she does not anywhere try to press that this is the only possible way to please God, or anything like that.

Whether you haven't made any plans for High school yet, you already have your life planned out, you are an acting Stay-at-Home Daughter currently, or you're out pursuing an education, career, or anything else, I want to strongly suggest that all unmarried daughters locate a copy of this book to read for herself. You won't regret it.

[Unmarried Girls, 14+. (Psst. 24 wouldn't be too old.)]

     3. It's (Not That) Complicated

Okay. I read this book, by Ana Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, back in 2014 (I think it was? Maybe 2013?). I requested it via Inter-Library Loan, and it took fooorreeevverrr to come in, and when it finally did, I tore through the entire thing in like two days. Maybe three.

The thing is, at that specific time in my dramatic teenage existence, I had a lot of questions about how I was supposed to be handling the very, extremely small number of close-in-age males that were floating around in my day-to-day life (I'm telling you, though, I could count all of those on one hand). I was being raised so differently than my parents were, so I couldn't exactly just take after their example...

Like, is it even possible to say "hi" without insinuating that I want to marry him?! But, yeah. This book helped me in a lot of practical ways to make sure I had my priorities straight, and kind of be able to be semi-near guys without having a minor panic attack. A big thank you to the Botkin sisters for a great book that helped me, and I feel confident recommending to not only my sisters, but also my many sisters-in-Christ!

[Girls, 14-18.]

     4. Before You Meet Prince Charming

Written by Sarah Mally, although I find this book a bit less practical than the similar ones afore mentioned (Joyfully at Home and It's (not that) Complicated), I still believe this one deserves a solid mention.

It challenges your perspective of "I just can't wait to find Mr. Right!!!" and encourages more of an "Am I being a Mrs. Right that would attract a Mr. Right?", if that makes sense. I've read this book THREE times now, which is unusual, since I have a pretty sharp memory, and don't soon forget books I've read. So, I'd say that that fact in itself earns the book's spot on my list.

[Unmarried Girls, 15+.]

     5. Kisses From Katie

Ohh, this book is so good, too!!

It's a first-hand account of Katie Davis (who is now married, so should I say Katie Davis-Majors?), who left to help the orphans in Uganda right out of High School and never looked back.

Some might find that this promotes female solo missionary-ing, which I don't really support, but nevertheless, it's on my must-read list, because it is so inspiring as to what God can do with an eager and willing vessel!

I can't completely ignore Katie's immaturity that is evident through her writing (this was published when she was only 21). Of course, she is nothing but a great example for all young ladies out there, but the viewpoint from which she wrote from at 21 is probably not what she would write today, a few years more mature. I think re-reading it now would be a less enjoyable experience for me, especially now that I've seen third-world poverty and hugged on the orphans myself, but it's what I needed at 15, and I would really encourage my sisters to read it, too.

As a side-note, this book might be credited a little bit as one of the tools God used to soften my heart for missions. That's when I started getting eager about saving up specifically for a missions trip, and almost the entire ticket of my Burma/Thailand trip was covered out of those savings.

[Girls (and guys, too, but not really meant for them), 14-18.]

     6. Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations

My missions trip this past Spring (which you can read about here, here, and here) really, truly changed my life forever. As with 'Kisses from Katie', I feel like 'Do Hard Things', by the Harris brothers, really challenged me to step outside of my bubble, first. These two books really touched my heart in such a way that I could never completely ignore missions ever again, years before I even had an opportunity to pursue such things.  

I picked up the book from the library when I was about 14 or 15, and just beginning to seriously think about what I wanted to do with my life after High School. When I read about what these real-life people (and homeschoolers! like me!) were doing during High School I was kind of taken aback. What was I doing? What was I contributing? They were bright and shining stars for Christ, and I was a candle under a bushel.

I can also look back and link together how Do Hard Things, coupled with The Rebelution blog, molded this blog into existence. So I guess you can say it was inspiring!!

[Guys and girls both, 13-19.]


     7. The Hiding Place

Maybe you recognize this title as Corrie ten Boom's autobiography? I recognized the title, and had heard about the book for years, before I finally succumbed to reading what I thought was destined to be a bore of a biography. I had only read biographies and autobiographies for school assignments, up to that point, and I didn't know what all I was missing out on!

I really was encouraged in the Faith by Ms. ten Boom's bravery, dedication, and vigilance in the work the Lord had giver her to do. Even when so many people would have been discouraged, knowing that it was the end, this brave Christian lady fought on for Christ's Kingdom. Even though not everything in her life worked out the way she might have chosen, God worked miracles in and through her life that have echoed on through the generations since.

I am now a huge fan of Christian and missionary biographies and auto-biographies!! My favorites include William Carey, Amy Carmichael, and Adoniram Judson.

[All readers, 13+ (PG for realistic, first-hand accounts of living in a Holocaust camp).]

      8. Love Comes Softly

Oh, fiction.

I prayed about weather or not to include anything fiction on this list, but because it did make up most of my teenage reading list, and because I think it should be within every young lady's power to find a good book in any section of the library, I really believe I have God's blessing on this.

Janette Oke is a fantastic author, as is evident by the fact that Hollywood is always trying their hand at making less-Christ-focused movie and television renditions of her books.

I started reading Love Comes Softly at age 12 (maybe 13? but I think 12), and within a few years I had read almost every novel Mrs. Oke had ever written. I don't read as much Christian fiction these days, but that was a season of my life when I was starting to grow out of The Mandie Collection (by Lois Gladys Leoppard), and books like Pride and Prejudice were still way too sophisticated.

I still enjoy an occasional Christian fiction now and again, and am looking forward to the release of Mrs. Oke's next novel, Where Hope Prevails, the third book in the Return to the Canadian West series, which is the series that the current television series 'When Calls the Heart' is based upon (contrary to the popular belief that the show is based upon the When Calls the Heart books; those are two totally different series Hollywood unfortunately mixed names of). Anyways, that book comes out August 2nd (!!!), and I am really hoping the library doesn't make me wait too long for it.

Love Comes Softly.

It's just a good book. A good series (if you like LCS, there are 11 others in that series to follow it!). By a good author. I recommend all of Janette Oke's books, especially to those not sure where to turn next in their literary conquests.

If you've already read Love Come Softly (all 12 books, really?!), my recommended follow-ups are Roses for Mama, A Gown of Spanish Lace, and the Seasons of the Heart series, all also by Mrs. Oke.

[Girls, 12+.]

     9. Legacy (Journeys of the Stranger #1)

Another Christian fiction, set in a similar time period to Mrs. Oke's novels, but not really the same. Instead of Canadian prairies, Mr. Lacy gives you the Southern Colorado desert. Instead of picnics and carriage rides, Mr. Lacy gives you quick-draw shootouts and pneumonia epidemics. It shouldn't even be in the same genre.

What I appreciate most about Dr. Al Lacy's writing in the 'Journeys of the Stranger' series is that in every single book, the entire Gospel message is presented in a clear, straightforward manner. But not necessarily the exact same way you hear it in church every Sunday; no, as far as I remember the Story is told in completely different ways in every book, and if you read through the entire series, there is no way that you don't come across a version of the Gospel being presented that doesn't ring with your heart and prick your conscience.

My second favorite part about the book is the suspense. You never know who's going to die, or get kidnapped, or fall in love, or whatever, next. It really keeps you hanging, and the stories do continue throughout the entire series, so if you fall in love with the characters, you're probably going to have the chance to see more of them, if you just keep reading.

[Pretty sure that the books are intended for either gender, 13+.] 

     10. Pride and Prejudice

Hmm. Classic fiction. Yes, I prayed about this one, too.

You see, the thing is, every Christian Young Lady deserves to be just as well-rounded and well-spoken as anyone else in the world, In fact, being that more people watch her, waiting for her to mess up, just because she is a Christian, it is probably even more imperative for her to be well-read, and capable of polite, educated conversation, than the rest of the world, for whom there are no real standards.  

Here's the deal. Jane Austen is a literary heroine. Pride and Prejudice, arguably her best work, is read widely still to this day (200+ years later), and multiple movies have been made based upon the book, throughout the world. I think it's safe to say the classic won't be dying off anytime soon.

P&P, though not Christian, nor a biography, is still something I hope all of my sisters read for enjoyment sometime in their futures. Besides, the olde English be good for ye brain!

I only wish I had discovered my love for Jane Austen novels a few years earlier, when I had more time to read 400+ page novels that are gripping, always turning, and continuously keeping you excited for what's next.

[All, but especially girls, 16+ (I'm saying 16 mostly for the sometimes-difficult-to-follow English that we aren't used to; I didn't read it until I was 18, so...).]

~ ~ ~


Well, that's it for today, folks!

Thank you for reading! And.. reading. Both the blog and the books!! Ha!

I love to read, and this is a post that has been on my heart for several months, because I know that I have read enough to be a help to the young ladies coming up that aren't sure where to turn.

I just want to leave a little reminder out there that just because I read it, or your friends loved it, or you saw some kind of 5-star review on Goodreads, doesn't mean you should necessarily read it. Books can be bad. God created them, and they're good, but everything that God creates, the Devil spins into something bad: music, clothes, books...

Follow the guidance of your parents, trusted youth leaders, and responsible older siblings. Ask God to show you what He would have you to read! He will answer! And if you ever see anything on any of my lists that you know you aren't supposed to read, don't! Trust me, no book is worth a defiled conscience! The only Book in the world worth reading despite threatening repercussions is the Bible.

What books would you recommend to the Christian Young Ladies of today? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and be a blessing to others!!


Psst! Like book lists/posts? Check out the other book-related posts I've done, here.

P.S. Please subscribe while you're here!! Thank you!!

5 comments:

  1. These books sound really good! The Hiding Place is SUPER good! I didn't read it for a long time because I thought it would be too sad, but I'm glad I finally did!

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    1. Me too!! I was super into mysteries and adventures when I was younger, though, so succumbing to a *biography* was a tremendous leap for me at 13/14 years of age. So glad I got over all that!! Real-life adventures are just as exciting as those fictitious charades! Who knew?!

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  2. I would HIGHLY recommend Praying For Your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer it's great!!!

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  3. Thanks so much for posting Kimberly! You may remember me from Kaylyn's BRIGHT Lights group a couple years ago. ;) I really enjoyed reading this post. Another I might add would be Will Our Generation Speak, by my friend Grace Mally. If was great finding this!

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    1. Hi, Brooke!! So good to hear from you! Of course I remember you, and Kaylyn recently told me you and Lauren had started up your own Bright Lights group?! I was so excited to hear about that! I'm really glad it didn't die out. :)

      I haven't read Will Our Generation Speak, but it is on my ever-long to-read list!! Love the Mallys!

      I hope you have a great week, Brooke, and I hope to see you around here commenting more often!! <3

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