Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Favorite "Pull Myself Out Of A Rut" Books

Sometimes I have needed a pick me up-when I feel overwhelmed, or when I've let myself get in a negative thought pattern about mothering or marriage or housekeeping, or life in general-those are what I call "ruts".

I feel like nothing helps to lift me up and get me going more than a good book that offers a chance to change my attitude or brings me some new (trivial or not) wisdom or just a fresh perspective and a little encouragement and get-up-and-go (so much of caring for a house and little ones is the constant repetition which can wear on a spirit).  They bring me appreciation and remind me to be grateful too. Sometimes honestly it's just the little kick in the bee-hind that I have needed.

This is a short list that I can come up with off the top of the head of books that will always be "special" to me.

Some of these are old  (remember I've been doing this for 23 years) but they are still on my bookshelf and I am pretty sure always will be.

Mitten Strings For God by Katrina Kenison
Gentle, calming, reflective-this book always helps me remember the bigger things, and also sets me back on track of appreciating the slow long days of little ones.

Happy Housewives by Darla Shine
This book must have a preface with it, because it's definitely a kick-in-the-behind book.  Written by a feisty New Jersey mom who gave up a big career to stay home and had to make a big time attitude adjustment.  It's a light read, but a great story.  I read it long long ago and it is has always stayed with me.  (She also has some great recipes in the book that I still use.)

Parenting With Dignity by Mac Blesdoe
I've linked to this several times because I love it so much.  It has helped me step back and look at the big picture of the mothering work I am trying to do here every day and also motivates me to work hard to establish a close relationship with each child.  It's excellent.

The Happiness Project and Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin
I love Gretchen Rubin-I love the Type A way she writes, and her specific detailed thought processes. This book really really helps me remember what brings joy to my life and makes me happy and that it is so worth our time to stop and figure this out.  I adore both of these books.

Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley
And old book about housecleaning.  It is a little funny in that, forgive me, some people really need to start at rock bottom when it comes to cleaning and decluttering, but it is good motivation to get a system going and conquer little bits at a time.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger
Just a great book for getting out of negative cycles of nagging and criticizing.  And we've all been there, I'm sure (or at least all the friends I've had can relate.)  Another kick-in-the-butt straight talk sort of book.

The Five Love Languages and
The Five Love Languages for Children 
The Five Love Languages for Teenagers
by Gary Chapman
So sweet and attitude changing towards loving husband and children.  I'm so happy I read all of these and often pull them out for little reminders.

Happiness Is A Serious Problem by Dennis Prager
I just read this one and it will stay on my shelves.  Light read, quick but meaningful and thought provoking and for lack of a better word-forgiving.  Taught me about expectations and perfection in a different way that was eye-opening.

Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly
I don't have a copy on my book shelves because I lent it out but this book changed my spiritual life-it was really a switch for me to truly loving and understanding the depth of Catholicism-but it is a light read if that makes any sense.  I wish I would have read this in college.


  1. I want to read every single book you link to, and I have bought some! But I have a hard time getting through books with limited reading time. Would love deeper notes on them...but you probably don't have the time either 😂

    1. That's a good idea Carolyn-maybe I can do that with each one coming up-I'll see. (And I'm the same way-I just said to my husband, "I have too many books I want to read right now!"

  2. Thank you! I love your book lists for children which I've used to buy gifts for my many grandchildren. I enjoy your blog so much in the way you raise your children (with your husband, of course) and the way you keep your house, too. Seems like a good balance in it all. Keep loving the Lord and honoring Him in your life.

  3. I love your posts with book recommendations! Thanks for taking the time to share them. ��

  4. Love your book recommendations- I always screen shot them!!!
    And I come to your blog for inspiration in those areas!! Will take these recommendations to heart-- watch out Amazon!

  5. I too want to read them all. Seems like fall is the perfect time for more reading! Thanks for the list!

  6. Lots of familiar titles here. I should re-read some of these. I didn't discover Katrina Kenison until her second and third books, which were perfect when I was raising my teenagers and then found myself in an empty nest. I should read Mitten Strings, now that I have grandkids and sometimes feel that I'm starting over again, understanding those little ones. Oh, it's so sweet to relive the days!

  7. I can relate to your Flylady comment! All the adults in my life were wonderful in their own ways, but, basically too impatient to teach people how to do hardly anything. I remember eagerly reading how to clean your kitchen sink and stopping to think "What is the world?? Why is this news to me???" After that, I made sure I tried to teach my children how to do all kinds of random things, large and small. Everything Matthew Kelly writes is great, profound ideas conveyed so simply. I especially like "Resisting Happiness" right now.

  8. Thanks so much for these! I love Gretchen Rubin's books, too. I have branched out and started to listen to her "Happier" podcasts on my walks, and love them. They might be fun to listen to during the day at home while cooking, cleaning, etc....too.

    1. Thank you Steph! I had no idea and have just started listening to podcasts on my walks-yay!

  9. Have you read 1000 gifts by Ann Voscamp? It's a yearly read for me and excellent. Thank you for such a great list!

  10. Sarah-love all of these and have read many at your suggestion. I think you would like Fearless Parenting by Jimmy Myers and George Barna. I thought it was awesome! Dog-earred almost every page. Jimmy and his son Josh have a podcast called Pairadocs which is so so awesome too!