Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
I loved how Anna’s writing style was so conversational and felt like you were sitting on the couch having a conversation with a friend. The memoir is a collection of essays about different moments in her story – everything from different insights into her acting career to relationships with her family and boys and the struggles she has endured to be where she is now. If you’re a fan of her acting or just looking for a light, fun read, I highly recommend checking this one out!
Courage to Soar by Simone Biles with Michelle Burford
This was a sweet, easy read. The whole country fell in love with Simone, her talent and her story watching her at The Olympic Games in Rio, so I enjoyed reading about her path to that point and her experience at the games. The book is very conversational in style and seems like it would be best as an audio book. Simone’s parents seem like the sweetest, most supportive family she could have ever hoped for and the support she has around her with her siblings, friends and coaches just makes your heart happy. If you love The Olympics, gymnastics, or fun memoirs, than this is the book for you!
No More Faking Fine by Esther Fleece
When I started working at Focus on the Family, Esther Fleece is someone I looked up to as an example of someone who had a strong faith and a courageous voice in sharing her story. In her new book, No More Faking Fine, Esther explores the emotion of lament and what it means to welcome people into your pain and suffering, and use that to glorify God. Much of the Old Testament shows individuals lamenting openly, yet in our current culture, that emotion is often pushed down because its an uncomfortable place to join someone – even when they’re your dearest of loved ones.
I love the idea of allowing ourselves to experience the hurts of the world and not need to rush through them to appease societal expectations, but to truly experience a very real human emotion and how to turn to God through that, and the community he has intentionally placed around you. Much of my passion for wanting to make this topic an open conversation stems from the calling I feel to work in and advocate for the mental health community. If we ask people to rush through hard emotions too quickly or to not acknowledge them at all, we risk causing irreparable harm to their psyche and how they handle future events.
Friends, I encourage you to read through this book, then read through the hard parts of the Old Testament – Job, Lamentations, Esther… dig into the messy lives in scripture that are captured to show us God’s sovereignty and faithfulness even in the mess. Then I encourage you to reach out to friends or loved ones who may be struggling with something and ask them how they’re really doing – dig deep and don’t accept a surface-level conversation. Be willing to join them in their lament and offer them the empathy and community that can be so difficult to find in those seasons of life.