BOOKS for PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT and MEMOIR:
The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery by David G. Benner, 2015. I have read this three times already, and every time the Lord has something new to say. Christians often equate self-awareness and introspection with selfish self-help rather than a way to encounter the Holy Spirit within us. Benner gracefully and excellently unravels these tensions and walks you into the freedom of knowing yourself as God knows you.
True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created by Michelle DeRusha, 2019. Using the art of fukinaoshi, Japanese open-center pruning, as an overarching metaphor, Michelle demonstrates the steps toward living your life as God intends. She weaves in science and Biblical lessons to create a gracefully compelling invitation to you to do the same. At the end of each chapter a questions for personal reflection.
The Cultivated Life: From Ceaseless Striving to Receiving Joy by Susan S. Phillips, 2015. Presenting the journey of spiritual formation as a one of cultivation as opposed to the hustle of a circus, Susan Phillips guides you through ways of being refreshed, attentive, attached, and a friend to Jesus and others. She incorporates practices with metaphor and teaching so that you can grasp these essential lessons.
A Good Way Through: My Journey with God from Disappointment to Hope by Kristen Leigh Kludt, 2017. This is a memoir of Kristen's spiritual growth that came from the pain of infertility. She is a highly creative person and encounters God in nature and art expression. I especially liked how she has reflection questions and creative practices for seasons of life like disappointment, disillusion, and hope.
Champagne for the Soul: Rediscovering God's Gift of Joy by Mike Mason, 2003. In 2015, Jesus ushered me into a year of quiet rest with the sole focus of seeking joy. This book was my companion and guide for the first ninety days, and one I return to frequently. He has delightful meditations that reveal the deep truth that joy is present always, even and especially in suffering. Pick this one up when you are ready to pursue joy in your life.
The Artisan Pace by Jeana Saeedi, 2018. This is a 14-day devotional intended to draw our hearts into the gentle rhythm of God's love. Along with each reflection she provides a botanical drawing that you can color while you consider what the Lord is saying to you through the devotional.
Field Guides for the Way, by Kristen Leigh Kludt. I have not done these yet, but would very much like to! She has created kits for each season of the year in which are supplies for artistic creation and reflection as a spiritual practice. If you are one who likes to create then these would be a good fit for you.
Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community by Ruth Haley Barton, 2014. One of the temptations of our current cultural take on spirituality is to be private and isolated about it. The introspection that is so key to transformation then becomes a parasitic look into ourselves rather than a healing practice. Ruth Haley Barton has done a stellar work of explaining the crucial role spiritual community is to our growth and to God's kingdom. She guides you and your group into deep, essential areas, that, if entered together, is transformational.
The Next Right Thing, by Emily P. Freeman These are short podcasts that are easy to slide into a stressful day, or while you're doing dishes, to orient you into a place of peace to make your decisions—big and small. She encourages attention to your soul in the midst of day-to-day life.
Renovare, hosted by Nathan Foster. Founded by Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline, Freedom of Simplicity and many more), Renovare offers resources for spiritual formation that spans retreats, book clubs, books, training, blogs, and this podcast. In it, Nathan Foster interviews "ordinary saints on spiritual formation and spiritual disciplines." They run 20-50 minutes and introduce you to people and ideas to aid your spiritual formation.
The Invitation, by Josh Banner. Conversations, meditations, even laments—The Invitation draws you into making space to encounter God in your life.