Saturday, 25 June 2011

Five Books that changed who I am …

FootprintsAustralia tagged me (which means should I choose to play, I in turn tag 5 people etc & so on..) in a meme listing 5 books that have changed who I am. I'm not really good at playing by the rules, and I thought it would be fun to open it up to everyone, not just 5 people. I can't wait to read the 5 books that changed who you are! Want to play?

As a book lover, it was hard for me to choose just 5, and even harder to choose 5 that have changed who I am. That is a big claim - for a book to change who I am. The books I have listed below have in some way or another inspired me to think differently, or make different choices in the way I live my life.

The book (or rather books, as it is a collection of books) that has impacted me and changed my life the most has been the Bible. But this is no ordinary book. I believe that circumstances saw that these particular 66 books that make up the Bible now were planned by God, not man. They have stood the test of time and all scripture is God-breathed. I believe that the Bible is living as the Holy Spirit breathes into our hearts when we read it, highlighting things that God would want to speak to us on an intimate level about as individuals.

1/ Silver Boxes by Florence Littauer
This book was first introduced to my household when I was a teenager. My father was in Amway at the time, and this was on the recommended reading list.

Although this is written by a Christian author and my father wasn't a Christian, he loved this book. He was a natural encourager. When my father died suddenly in a road accident at age 49, we decided to surround him with silver boxes - symbols of the gift of encouragement.

It was a few years later when I entered into a relationship with God through His Son, that I picked this book up and read it. The author's passion for encouraging others, and the stories she shared of how words of encouragement can impact people's lives inspired me. Littauer's contagious passion made me see just how powerful a few words of encouragement can mean to a person.
The book is based on the scripture Ephesians 4:29:
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
I have just started reading it again, to remind myself how the simple gift of encouragement can be like giving someone a silver box with a pretty bow on top.

2/ You Are Special by Max Lucado
The first time I read this book I cried. I was 26 years old and found this children's book on the shelf at my friend's house. I opened it and read it and found myself within the pages of the book.

You Are Special is the story of wooden people called the Wemmicks. Everyday the Wemmicks would give shiny stars to the Wemmicks that did amazing things and gave black dots to Wemimicks that did things wrong.

One particular Wemmick, Punchinello kept getting dots put on him, as he was a little clumsy. One day Punchinello met a Wemmick who had no stars or dots on her, and he becomes friends with her. She takes Punchinello to the woodcarver who tells him how special he is - and is not determined on the stars and dots or how he performs or fails.

This story  made me realise how much weight I put on other people's opinions of me. I constantly performed for the stars and felt so down when someone gave me a dot. I think most of us do. Sometimes I still find myself performing for the stars and trying to avoid the dots. This book showed me that other people's opinions do not determine how special I am - what God thinks of me does. And He thinks I'm so special just the way I am. I love reading this book to my boys.

3/ Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge
This book actually made me feel 'normal' as a Christian woman. It helped me to understand that every woman's three core desires are: to be romanced, to play a role in her own adventures and to display beauty.

It released me in my journey of discovering my true womanhood and explore my femininity. After reading this book, it encouraged me to embrace the fact that I was created female. It helped recognise the lies about my womanhood that I had believed for years, and I was able to replace it with the truth about my gender.

It articulated a woman's role and how it was just as important as a man's role - just different. I have read this book so many times over the years and every time I read it, I gain a new revelation of my womanhood.

4/ warriorchicks by Holly Wagner
When I heard God whisper to me to trust Him with my healing of depression, and that it was time to come off the anti-depressants I had been on for 3 years, I read this book.

The title caught my eye. I knew that I had a battle ahead of me physically, spiritually and mentally in overcoming depression. I was not disappointed by this book.

Holly Wagner wrote this book as she battled with breast cancer. I learned so much about what it means to be a warrior from this book, from a female perspective.

The wisdom in this book prepared and helped me in my battle with depression and helped me slay the dragon for good.

5/ The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr Laura Schlessinger
What I loved most about this book was the slap up the side of my head I felt while reading how women demand so much from our husbands, with little care for their husband's needs.

Reading this book was a real eye-opener to me and marriage. Dr Laura explains
that men are really not that complicated. They need the 'Three A's' - acceptance, approval, and affection. If those three things are met, men are usually satisfied.
After reading this book, it gave me a clear picture of a man's needs and has enhanced my marriage by putting her advice into pratice.

So how about you?
What 5 books have changed who you are?
I'd love for you to write a post of your own and come back and link it here.{It's my first link-up!}

Still Taking Lessons From the King,


  1. Jo!! How are you gorgeous? I love this idea of the books, will have to have a think and get back to you on that though ;)
    Also love the pic of your family on the blog header - beautiful! What a handsome crew you have there :)
    Hope you're doing well, will have to read your posts to catch up!
    Mel x

  2. Thank you for this idea! I will post something similar! :)

  3. ooh snap on that last book! isn't it an eye opener!!
    Will hopefully get around to posting my top 5 too

  4. I love anything by Florence Littauer ... her books have been such a help and encouragement to me over the years. "Captivating" also touched me, I have kept several quotes from it. Also Laura Schlessinger's book "Bad Childhood, Good Life: how to blossom and thrive in spite of an unhappy childhood". I love the variety of books you have chosen!

  5. For example! From "Captivating" p103“Forgiveness is a choice. It is not a feeling – don’t try and feel like forgiving. It is an act of the will . . . We acknowledge that it hurt, that it mattered, and we choose to extend forgiveness to our fathers, our mothers, those who hurt us . . . It might help to remember that those who hurt you were also deeply wounded themselves.”

  6. Oooo oooo ooo and this one! p 192 “Antidepressants are stigmatised in the church. Some call them “happy pills”. Others say that if you are filled with the Holy Spirit and walking with God in faith, you will not need them. They shame those who are responsibly taking them. But we don’t shame diabetics who need insulin. Why do we shame people with a chemical imbalance who need to take something to help them? . . . There is no shame in needing to take medicine whether to help in a short, difficult period or for the bulk of your life.”

  7. Ooh some great books listed. Will have to add some to my reading list. Will thunk about my top 5 books.

  8. What a great idea. Have linked up. My books are totally different to yours but seemed to do the same things! My journey to better health helped me get off my anti-depressants after 8 years! Plus God stepping in supernaturally. God is GOOD all the time.

  9. Oooh..I've only read one out of the five. So I have lot's of reading to do :) Thanks for sharing. Bless you xx

  10. Have you still got Silver Boxes? .. I think that might be one of mine too... but serviously I'm stuggling to narrow it down to 5!!

  11. What a great idea! I don't recognize any one of those, so I will look into them! :)

  12. Wow now I need to go to Koorong!! Think I need to read some of the books you have listed, even the children's book!
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. I LOVE these types of posts. I always find some amazing gems.

    One recent book that changed my life is called "Culture of Honor" by Danny Silk.

    Another one is called "Humility" by Andrew Murray.

    There are probably many others but those are the first two off the top of my head.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Jo Princess Warrior xo