Here's my collection of the best of the best resources that I have found incredibly helpful and invaluable for me as a mom and a woman.
Let's face it, we moms need to stick together if we are going to make it through the long nights of relentless crying (and our kids are even worse!). From infancy through college graduation, every stage of motherhood brings with it new challenges and struggles alongside of the amazing delights and heart-swelling smiles.
Life is not stagnant, and the fluid nature of stability keeps us on our toes and in greater need of community and support than ever, so let's never forget to give a kind word, lend a hand, extend grace and compassion, and, above all, "always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere."
Disclosure: To be clear, many of the links and recommendations contained below are affiliate links, which means that if you click through and decide to purchase what I recommend, I will receive a small commission from the seller of the product/content. This ultimately means I want to hug you for helping this small business owner of the 21st century to keep life moving. For more on my disclosure policy, click here.
These books are by far my very favorite books ever. I have personally read (or listened to...thank you Audible) every one of these and learned an enormous amount from each one. I hope they are a valuable resource for you, too, as you continue on your journey to wholeness.
Strong Women, Soft Hearts - by Paula Rinehart, 2005. This was the very first book I co-led to teach. I was somewhere in my mid-20s and felt totally inadequate. But, my Titus 2 friend saw a candle flickering that she wanted to ignite. I'm humbled that she asked me to partner with her. I learned SO much.
The Critical Journey - by Janet O. Hagberg, 2004. This gem came into my life during my Master's program when I took some classes for Life Coaching and I have read and referred it to others so many times since then. The patterns the authors were able to identify and put to words changed the way I saw everything pertaining to the Faith Journey, and helped me to better understand others for where they are along it, too. I HIGLY recommend this book to any curious Journeyman.
Daring Greatly - by Brené Brown, 2015. Brené's books have been impact fully challenging for me, in the best of senses. I have not found a book of hers thus far that I did not walk away challenged to grow and develop another level more in addressing my inner world. You will not be disappointed.
The Gift of Imperfection - by Brené Brown, 2010. Another Brené gem that had me in tears more than once, and ready to jump into my imperfect skin and flaunt it like it's hot. Truly, though, as a recovering perfectionist, this book was speaking my language, and I probably need to put it on auto-play at least once a month just to help keep me sane.
Boundaries - by Henry Cloud, 1992. Another book I likely need to have on repeat, this book was one of my first introductions to the healthy idea of boundaries. Up until this point, boundaries were an elusive idea to me, and I really needed help understanding how to implement them without controlling everyone and everything around me. I still have much to learn, but it is because of this book (and the few others Cloud has written in the series, on marriage and parenting) I have finally begun to pave the way for healthier boundaries and a better life because of them.
Without Rival - by Lisa Bevere, 2016. I stumbled onto this book from a Facebook ad and was immediately drawn in. Lisa was talking about specific topics that the Lord was really pressing my heart about, specifically about my identity in Him. I snatched up this book as fast as I could and devoured it over the next week. For every woman who loves God but still struggles with the lie that your value or worth is in question, this book is a must read.
Essentialism - by Greg McKeown, 2014. Right when our family was in the throws of veteran unemployment, career transition, and a pretty significant season of poverty, this book became a lifeline reminder of the blessing of less that we were enabled to endure. There is a great blessing of learning the difference between wants and needs, and especially taking the steps to live a life of balance in the midst of the constant calls for more. This book was a breath of fresh air for avid people-pleasers like me who tend to drown in a sea of pressing demands. A must-read for anyone feeling suffocated by all the stuff of life.
This is a collection of my most favorite health-related businesses, products, information providers, etc. I always prefer quality companies that are centered on using their business to make a change in the world. We surely need more positive changes spurred forward by those who have Love as the center of their lives in Him.
Young Living Essential Oils - I have so thoroughly enjoyed using essential oils and learning about how our Abba has built so much benefit into His creation. It constantly blows me away. I love and adore Young Living oils, and have decided to partner with them as a distributor to share the love and help others benefit from not only oils, but living a toxin-free life.
BeautyCounter - This amazing company came into my life in the beginning of 2017, and I have not looked back. If there is one thing I love even more than a quality product, it is a quality mission, and BeautyCounter has the best of both worlds! Not only is this company taking SAFE seriously, but they are going one step further and taking on advocacy and political action to actually CHANGE the laws in this country! Since the Beauty Product Laws have not been changed since the 1930s, we are WAY due for a total make-over...pun intended. Jump onboard with this fast moving train! You will NOT regret it.
Trim Healthy Mama - I stumbled onto Trim Healthy Mama years ago when it was a little known book written by the daughters of lovely magazine author I read. I read the book, understood the material, wrote a blog post giving some clear pointers, and BOOM it went gangbusters. Little did I know how big this thing would grow, and now thousands upon thousands of women all across the world are being blessed by the collective wisdom of these two sisters. I consider this book an excellent middle ground of balance. Definitely worth a look.
Tasteaholics - Since a lot of Trim Healthy Mama women also are trying to find the balance of the low-card lifestyle, this site is another excellent resource for THM-friendly recipes to help expand the palette and keep things lively.
Best for Parenting/Kids
This is a collection of my most favorite sources for content that I can comfortably and confidently utilize in either helping me as a mom, or allow my children to use without constant worry and concern. We personally have enjoyed using everything listed here and continue to add and expand this list as new resources come into our lives (especially as my oldest children grow and mature).
PureFlix - Our family signed up for PureFlix to help expand our access to safe and quality programs for our children, since Netflix is sadly not dependable in this area. We have not been disappointed. Some of our favorites have included the Veggie Tales shows, SuperBook series, and loads of excellent family-friendly movies to provide a great family movie night. The cost is negligible, especially in consideration for all we know we get from the subscription. And, bonus, we get to support a small business in the process. WIN WIN!
Epic! - As much as we adore a good paper book in hand, with our tiny living situation we have also come to appreciate the value of the digital age. Enter Epic! This excellent app has provided a fun and engaging experience for all of our readers to access wonderful reading material that is age appropriate and fun to enjoy. We also receive a report on each child's profile account to see clearly how they are spending their time on the app and determine if any particular area needs more oversight or restriction. We have all loved this app and the freedom it has allowed the kids as they enter into more autonomous reading.
Celebrate Calm - Ever since I heard about this resource at a Homeschooling Convention several years ago I have loved this father's encouragement and wisdom in the parenting journey. He helps break parental boundaries down to a magical degree, bringing clarity and peace to otherwise tricky situations. I snatched up a bundle of his CDs and regularly return to them when I feel like it's time for a pick-me-up. Excellent advice and wisdom, especially for moms like me who are basically just fried in frustration a lot of the time.
Best for Skill Development
This is a collection of my most favorite sources for personal growth and skill development! I ADORE learning new skills and expanding my other love; design. Especially for creatively minded individuals, these are excellent resources to continue to grow and expand skills!
Blitsy - Talk about a one-stop-shop for all things crafty! I could spend all day poking around on here! Think of it like a Michael's or Jo-Ann Fabrics, but online and in your living room....dangerous..... <3<3<3
SkillShare - I LOVE learning new skills, and SkillShare sucked me in with their 3 free months promo! From calligraphy to graphic design to business skills to drawing, creatives of all kinds will experience incredible delight and joy with all the classes that are accessible with such a simple subscription! Now all you have to do is put those skills to use!
Lynda.com - For the last three years my husband has been in the process of a major career transition. Both of us have enjoyed learning from this platform immensely! The breath of skills and training that are included in this site constantly astounds me. It is absolutely a go-to resource for anyone who is looking to break into the tech side of the workforce of today. And truly, the monthly fee is nominal in comparison to the high quality education that this site provides! I can not recommend it enough.
Best for Growing in Self-Awareness
This is a collection of my most favorite sources for personal growth and self-awareness. I have enjoyed getting to know myself more and more as the years have progressed onward. What I have found is that the more I know about myself, my design, my gifts, and my strengths, the more I stand in awe of our Abba and praise Him for all of His amazing blessings. Valuing what He has bestowed upon me helps me to then also project that outwards into a deep love and appreciation for the various giftings that others have received. Our Abba is amazingly creative, and it is SO fun to learn about some of the many different ways He has infused Himself into mankind.
16Personalities - Check out this free test for the Myers-Briggs personality assessment. I LOVE learning this kind of information about myself and others. I am an INFJ, but have tested in years prior as an INTJ...I resonate more with INFJ for sure. I continue to learn and grow each time I dive a little deeper to understand how my design works best, and this knowledge fuels me to step out into potential areas of discomfort, trusting that I am being led there for a reason. I find that the things I am the most scared to do are greatly associate to my greatest strengths. Have fun!
Dressing Your Truth - Years ago I learned about the DYT program and once I learned more about my "type" it was like the whole earth realigned and the puzzle pieces of my inner world came together. It just fit. I am a Type 4 with a high functioning 2 and 3...my 1 is dead last, lol. And suddenly my deep love for the most "boring" colors and classic styles just made sense. I mean, I've dreamed of wearing a pants suit to work since I first saw Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion a few decades ago! Now, I confidently don my pitch black tee, or canary yellow shirt without a moment's hesitation of "does it look okay?" And, even better, I feel GREAT. There's nothing better than that!