The rainy, moodiness of Spring has past and Summer is officially upon us. Summertime injects vibrancy into the mundanity of life. All of a sudden, we punish ourselves for wanting to stay in on a sunny, 80 degree day. Parks call our names, vacations get booked and long-weekends are the perfect remedy for burnt out city dwellers. While hazy summer days pass us by, it can sometimes be hard to remember that Summer always flies by a little too quickly. I often find myself looking up at the tail-end of August thinking: “Where did the time all go?” While it’s easy to get caught up in picnics, BBQs and beach days, Summer is also a wonderful time for self-reflection, growth, and pursuing knowledge. Summer is reading is not just for the kiddos, and this year I have four books that are topping the list for this year’s essential reading.
1. The Holy Bible (King James Version)
I make it a point to read the Bible all year-round. It’s the first thing that I grab for every morning, and I don’t start my day without personal devotion time. However, there is a difference between personal daily devotion and actually “studying to show thyself approved.” This summer I want to study the book of Romans to ground myself in the Truth of God’s word, and also to engage others with confidence and deeper understanding in the faith I live by.
2. Boundaries – Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
“No” is one of the hardest words to say. In our youth especially, we’re taught to say “yes” to everything. Open-mindedness is an extremely important thing, but it’d be a lie to act like burnout isn’t real. We can sometimes feel like saying “no” to people, particularly those we love, is selfish and inconsiderate, but let’s be honest: boundaries are important. I have to accept that I’m only one person, and that in order to make the most of my time, abilities and talent, there are some things I have to say no to. Not only is that self-care, it will only make me more successful in the course of my career but it will also make a better Christian, wife and person. Saying “no” will aid in discerning what is important, what should be a priority and what shouldn’t be.
3. The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama
I miss my president. I know we have a different president now, but Barack Obama was my president. He is a man, who like myself, had a single mother. He knew what struggle looked like and never forgot about those struggles as he took the highest office in the land. Now that he’s served his full eight years, and has been out of office for close to six months, it’s a good time to start looking back at the impact of his administration. The book was published two years before he became America’s first Black president, I’m excited to see how his accomplishments in office aligned with his original vision for America in his best-selling book.
4. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom’s Cabin was one of the best selling novels of the 19th century, and is often credited as helping to lay the foundation for the Civil War. There’s no denying the social, political and historical relevance of this book. In our current political climate of injustice, it’s important to revisit the foundations of the systemic racial issues our nation faces today.
Are you planning to read this summer? Please share your selections and/or recommendations below. Happy reading!