"We are committed to helping you grow in grace-filled, daily discipline! The habit of a Quiet Time looks different in every season, and we hope that these articles will encourage you to just keep going by the grace of Jesus!"

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.
Instagram-color Created with Sketch.

more about our writers

Naomi

on instagram

IN THE SHOP

June 15, 2021

10 Lesser-Known Worship Songs for Your Quiet Time Playlist

By: Grace McCready 

When you think of worship music, perhaps you think of old hymns, contemporary hits, or something in between. Different churches worship differently, and so do individuals. And that’s okay! However, no matter how you choose to worship, know that it isn’t optional. 

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. (Psalm 96:1-4 NASB) 

Singing is a super simple way to worship God by praising Him for who He is and what He has done. Worship also serves as a reminder about the character of God and the promises of God. There are many Christian artists who praise God for who He is, even if those artists don’t fit into the “worship” category of Christian music. Here are 10 of my favorites that you can add to your quiet time playlist: 

1. “After You” by Britt Nicole 

This is a sweet melody with beautiful words and beautiful music. Though Britt Nicole’s songs are usually bubblier, this slower song reminds listeners to chase after the One who truly matters. 

2. “Christ in Me” by Jeremy Camp 

The words in this tune are fantastic. Jeremy Camp’s song is full of redemption, hope, and truth for the believer. 

3. “Falling Into Place” by Love & The Outcome 

This song is perfect for anybody and everybody who feels like life is out of control. Love & The Outcome really gets to the heart of listeners with this tune by showing them that the world isn’t chaotic from God’s perspective. 

4. “If We Only Knew” by Unspoken 

This song by Unspoken is so deep and so well-written. It causes listeners to think about everything that Jesus has done for them that they wouldn’t think about normally. 

5. “In Awe” by Hollyn 

This song is reverent and peaceful. Hollyn’s words that God doesn’t need people but that He still loves them are so needed. 

6. “Need You More” by For King & Country 

This song provides a reminder that listeners need God. For King & Country sing the phrase “I need you more” over and over in this beautiful God-centered song. 

7. “Still Rolling Stones” by Lauren Daigle 

This song is so upbeat yet so powerful. Lauren Daigle shares that God still does very powerful miracles. 

8. “Trenches” by Tauren Wells 

This beautifully arranged song by Tauren Wells compares believers’ redemption story to being in the trenches of war. It helps listeners see their salvation in a new light. 

9. “Where the Light Is” by Dan Bremnes 

This song is a ballad that probably rings true for most Christians who have strayed from their faith. However, Dan Bremnes points to the fact that only God can bring listeners back to Him. 

10. “You Carry Me” by Moriah Peters 

This upbeat tune by Moriah Peters speaks of the faithfulness of God. His constant love is the theme. 

Even though the above artists don’t fit into the specific “worship” category of Christian music, they still have plenty of Jesus-centered songs that are worth listening to! And this list isn’t exhaustive! There are many other Christian artists whose songs praise Jesus. Whether you listen to their music during your quiet time or not, I hope this enriches your worship of Jesus. 


Grace McCready is a recent college grad who studied business administration and communications. She enjoys writing, spending time with her family, and hanging out with friends. Her passion is for young women to live transparently and thrive during their single years. She blogs about the Christian life at Tizzie’s Tidbits of Truth.

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

share

May 25, 2021

Fixing My Mind on Christ with Podcasts

By: Nicole Lisa Schrader 

My understanding of God’s Word is enhanced when it is reinforced. I guess, like the disciples, I need direct teaching, object lessons, and parables to understand the full meaning of Jesus’ words. 

God speaks to me in prayer. God speaks to me through his inspired Word (the Bible). God speaks to me through other believers. God speaks to me through the written words of others—both fiction and non-fiction. I’m convinced the Holy Spirit infuses all these means to take the truth and move it from my head to my heart. 

Most days I have a quiet time in the morning and focus on scripture and God’s will. But I’m easily distracted. My mind veers to things wholly unrelated to the eternal at the slightest interruption. And when my mind strays from the truth I’m more likely to become anxious, judgmental, insensitive, etc. 

One way I’ve learned to guard my mind is to turn on Christian podcasts. These help me to refocus on what is true whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV) 

My daughter introduced me to the Bible Project podcasts during our car trips together. The How to Read the Bible* series of podcasts/videos have opened my eyes to aspects of the Bible which have deepened my appreciation and love for God and how he decided to communicate with us. 

God speaks to me through podcasts! 

The tagline for the Bible Project is, “We believe the Bible is a unified story which points to Jesus.” At the end of every broadcast, I find my mind is full of Christ—which spills out in conversation with others. Praise God! 

I encourage you to set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2) and fix your mind on Christ the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). 

*https://bibleproject.com/podcast/series/how-to-read-the-bible-series/ 

“Learn the Bible for Free Online: BibleProject™.” BibleProject, bibleproject.com/.  


Nicolelisa is a retired homeschool mother of three and currently lives in central Florida with her husband, Greg. Nicolelisa loves to read to and with children and actively encourages mothers of young children online, in homeschool groups, churches, and in her community. She gave her life to Christ as a teenager and was discipled in a Japanese-American church in Chicago. Whether writing stories for children or posts for Wholehearted, her goal is to revere Jesus Christ as Lord and share the hope she has with gentleness and respect. For more about Nicolelisa, go to www.nicolelisamaria.com.

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

share

April 24, 2021

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

We are so excited to share our first ever Wholehearted Mother’s Day Gift Guide! We wanted to create a curated list to help make shopping for someone special a bit easier this year. We hope this list will help you bless and encourage those around you. Scroll through to see some ideas that any mom is sure to love!

Gifts:

Vintage Terracotta Quiet Time Companion

Quiet Time Companion

Wholehearted

An organizer, planner, and journal for your daily time with Jesus.

$60.00 | Shop it here!

this job is a gift t shirt

This Job is a Gift Shirt

Sola Gratia

What a beautiful privilege the role of mothering tiny blessings is. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

$26.00 | Shop it here!

Books of the Bible Tabs

Find Wondrous Things

Tabs for all 64 books of the bible (1,2,3 john combined) + 1 “Prayers” tab.

$20.00 | Shop it here!

She Reads Truth Bible, Rose Leathertouch

Christian Standard Bible

The CSB She Reads Truth Bible aims to live at the intersection of beauty, goodness, and Truth.

$49.99 | Shop it here!

the gathering box, celebrate

The Gathering Box

Faith and Family Collective

The Gathering Box includes everything you need to ignite important faith-filled conversations and create family traditions that will be passed down for years to come.

$35.00 | Shop it here!

Scripture Card set

Scripture Cards

Common Silver

Set of 12 scripture cards, original watercolor illustrations printed on thick/high-quality paper.

$16.00 | Shop it here!

Daily planner notepad

“This is the Day” Daily Planner Notepad

Loveall Design Co

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

$13.99 | Shop it here!

praying scripture for motherhood journal

Praying Scripture for Motherhood Journal

Daily Grace Co

The journal features passages to pray printed directly in the journal, guided instructions on praying the Bible, commentary on the passage, guided prayers, and questions to prompt prayer. 

$24.00 | Shop it here!

ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal: Gospels Set

Crossway

The ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal: Gospels Set pairs the entirety of the individual Gospels with lightly dotted blank pages opposite each page of Bible text, allowing readers to take notes or record insights directly beside the text of Scripture

$27.99 | Shop it here!

refined necklace and promise box

Refined Necklace and Promise Box Gift Set

Dayspring

A beautiful reminder of God’s pure, trustworthy and everlasting promises, this ‘Refined’ Necklace and Promise Box Gift Set is an meaningful gift designed to encourage the soul and make a fashionable statement of faith.

$40.00 | Shop it here!

hymns for a mothers heart devotional book

Hymns for a Mother’s Heart

Daily Grace Co

Hymns for a Mother’s Heart is a devotional for moms. It is filled with hymns and reflections on the truths contained in them and how they point us to Jesus in our mothering.

$16.00 | Shop it here!

Mother's day print

Mother’s Day Print

Salt Stains

“A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30b

$18.00 | Shop it here!

Called necklace, based on Isaiah 43:1

Called Necklace

Dear Mushka

“Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine.” – Isaiah 43:1 (shortened)

$42.00 | Shop it here!

Spanish tile leather touch over board Bible cover

Legacy Notetaking Bible, Spanish Tile

Christian Standard Bible

The CSB Legacy Notetaking Bible was designed to share wisdom and reflections from your own journey with God to a family member, friend, or anyone important to you. 

$49.99 | Shop it here!

dear mama devotional book

Dear Mama Devotional

Well Watered Women

This devotion is full of practical wisdom and helpful instruction for seeking after Jesus as you raise young disciples. We pray and hope that mothers of all seasons and life stages will be encouraged by its content!

$20.00 | Shop it here!

the community companion

The Community Companion

Wholehearted

A planner for keeping track of the important details in your friends’ lives.

$15.00 | Shop it here!

blessed is she clay earrings

Blessed is She Clay Earrings

Dear Heart Co

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” – Luke 6:20-21

$36.00 | Shop it here!

Prayers for my children verse cards

Prayers for my Children Scripture Cards

Daily Grace Co

This set of 8 cards includes a cover card and 7 cards designed to help you pray for your children.

$12.00 | Shop it here!

ESV Journaling Bible: Leona Theme

Hosanna Revival

The breathtaking “super bloom” poppy fields of California’s Leona Valley inspired this beautiful floral Bible. The cover features gold foil pressed into the blue sky above the rolling poppy fields.

$59.90 | Shop it here!

verse of the week decor

Verse of the Week Framed Tabletop and Wall Decor

Dayspring

This Verse of the Week Framed Tabletop and Wall Decor encourages your heart to reflect on the kindness of God.

$21.00 | Shop it here!

Books:

Risen Motherhood: Gospel Hope for Everyday Moments

Emily Jensen & Laura Wifler

Discover how closely the gospel connects with today’s motherhood. Join Emily and Laura as they walk through the redemptive story and reveal how the gospel applies to your everyday life, bringing hope, freedom, and joy in every area of motherhood.

$10.99 | Shop it here!

Expectant: Cultivating a Vision for Christ-Centered Pregnancy

Heather Cofer

This book shares about the unique opportunity we have to showcase the beauty of the gospel during pregnancy, allowing God to transform every aspect of it for His glory.

$14.99 | Shop it here!

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers

Dane C. Ortlund

In Matthew 11, Jesus describes himself as “gentle and lowly in heart,” longing for his people to find rest in him. This book reflects on his words, diving deep into Bible passages that speak of Christ’s affections for sinners and encouraging believers as they journey, weary and faltering, toward heaven.

$19.99 | Shop it here!

Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday: Say Goodbye to Stressed, Tired, and Anxious, and Say Hello to Renewed Joy in Motherhood

Valerie Woerner

Take a holiday from Grumpy Mom, and enjoy life as the mom God made you to be.

$16.69 | Shop it here!

The Well-Watered Woman: Rooted in Truth, Growing in Grace, Flourishing in Faith

Gretchen Saffles

Discover the bottomless, refreshing Well of God’s Word―and experience a fullness and peace beyond your circumstances.

$11.60 | Shop it here!

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms

Gloria Furman

Showing how to pursue a vibrant relationship with God―even when discouragement sets in and the laundry still needs to be washed―this book will help you treasure Christ more deeply no matter how busy you are.

$10.20 | Shop it here!

The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World

Brett McCracken

At a time when so much of our daily media diet is toxic and making us spiritually sick, The Wisdom Pyramid suggests that we become healthy and wise when we reorient our lives around God—the foundation of truth and the eternal source of wisdom.

$17.99 | Shop it here!

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

share

March 23, 2021

Nicole’s Recommended Devotionals

By: Nicole Lisa Schrader 

Early in my Christian life, my Bible, a devotional book, and my prayer journal were all I brought to my quiet times with the Lord. I leaned heavily on devotionals because I felt I needed the guidance and insights they provided. 

devotional is a book with passages from the Bible accompanied by short interpretations or thought-provoking questions and applications. Often devotionals are divided into the days of the year—a daily devotional. 

As I grew in my relationship with God, I began to study the Bible. Devotionals fell to the wayside and Bible study guides took their place. I learned how to read, understand, and apply passages I read on my own. But Bible study takes uninterrupted time and concentration, and there are seasons in life when time is anything but uninterrupted—parenting babies and young children, home-schooling, experiencing major transitions, caring for sick family members, etc. 

It was during those seasons I rediscovered the value of devotionals in my quiet times. I especially appreciate the ability to share a daily devotion with others. I read them to my children to begin each home-school day. My husband and I have read them together. I’ve shared them in emails and on social media. They are an easy way to engage others with the words of God and create an environment ready for the gospel. 

But not all devotionals are the same. When I look for a devotional book, I seek those which focus on scripture rather than personal stories. I want a devotional to point me to longer passages from the Bible—so I can study if I have the time. I also prefer devotionals with questions to stimulate deeper consideration. 

Most daily devotionals include dates for each devotion. This may be helpful to some, but I usually miss a day here and there and then feel ‘behind.’ So, I prefer those without dates. (If there are dates, I’ve learned to simply read the devotion for the day—even if I’ve missed a few in-between.) 

Currently, I’m reading through Paul David Tripp’s New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. If you’re in a season of change or simply want to add a devotional to your quiet time toolkit I’ve listed some below I highly recommend: 

  • For Personal Devotion— 

Tripp, Paul David. New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. Crossway Books, 2019. 

Chambers, Oswald, and James Reimann. My Utmost for His Highest. Discovery House, 2018. 

  • For Couples— 

Chapman, Gary D. The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional. Tyndale House Pub., 2009. 

  • For Kids— 

W., Stott John R. The Birds, Our Teachers: Essays in Orni-Theology. Hendrickson Publishers, 2014. 

Wolgemuth, Bobbie, et al. Hymns for a Kid’s Heart. Crossway Books, 2003. 


Nicolelisa is a retired homeschool mother of three and currently lives in central Florida with her husband, Greg. Nicolelisa loves to read to and with children and actively encourages mothers of young children online, in homeschool groups, churches, and in her community. She gave her life to Christ as a teenager and was discipled in a Japanese-American church in Chicago. Whether writing stories for children or posts for Wholehearted, her goal is to revere Jesus Christ as Lord and share the hope she has with gentleness and respect. For more about Nicolelisa, go to www.nicolelisamaria.com.

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

share

February 23, 2021

Jordan’s Book List

By: Jordan Sparnroft 

One woman is living the horrors of Nazi-occupied Europe. One woman is struggling with same-sex attraction in a culture that is telling her to submit to her desires. Another has been robbed of all physical mobility in a horrific diving accident at the young age of 17. What do all of these women have in common? The same timeless God, Who is in the business of making beauty out of piles and piles of ashes. Here are three of my favorite books on women who radiate the glory and power of God to me: 

The Hiding Place; Corrie Ten Boom 

I could probably write an entire blog post on this book alone. But I’ll let you dive in for yourself. Corrie is a beautiful example of how God used the mundane day-to-day faithfulness throughout her early years to shape and prepare her for the biggest battles of her life that didn’t come until she was in her 40’s and 50’s. 

Corrie was the daughter of a watchmaker in the Netherlands. She operated one of the biggest underground programs to provide safe hiding places for Jews, which landed her in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Her biggest victory was not the saving of the lives of dozens of Jews but instead later  ministering to the very people who killed many of her loved ones and the Jews she was trying to save. Corrie’s story of faithfulness proves that you are never too young or too old for God to use you. Most importantly her story radiates the radical forgiveness of Christ and how it can be given to anyone, including a Nazi. 

Gay Girl, Good God; Jackie Hill Perry 

Jackie is an extremely gifted African-American poet, writer, speaker, and Bible teacher who just so happens to struggle with Same Sex Attraction. She shares her story of how God captured her heart in the midst of her suffering, temptation, and sin and by His grace aligned her heart with His. (Notice I didn’t say God took her temptation of same-sex attraction away). Her gift with words makes this book a pleasure to read. Jackie’s transparency, bravery, boldness, faith, and love for Christ in the midst of a culture that tells her to submit to her desires and not to her God, are refreshing to the mind, heart, and soul.

Joni; Joni Eareckson Tada 

I stumbled across this book in a local cafe in my small town for three dollars. The cover is extremely cheesy and dated (It was published in 1976). But the story inside proved to be priceless and timeless. At the age of 17, Joni suffered a diving accident which resulted in permanent paraplegia. She shares about her physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual sufferings and how God chose to reveal himself to her. It’s fun to read her perspectives and some of her fears at the time she published this autobiography while knowing how much more beauty God had in store for the next 45 years of her life. Joni is a gifted artist, speaker, and author. She is founder of a non-profit titled, “Joni and Friends” that provides wheelchairs and adaptive equipment to those who cannot afford them. 

In the words of my friend, Andy, “When God moves, we share. When we share, God moves.” These three women decided to share their tales of God’s glory in their individual stories and I’m so glad they did! What are your piles of ashes? Are you sharing with others what God is doing in your life? 

Hebrews 13:7-8 exhorts; “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  
I pray that I can imitate Corrie’s faith as I face a difficult situation to forgive or when God calls me to be obedient even if it means significant danger. I pray I can imitate Jackie’s faith as I face a temptation that seems impossible to resist; and have Joni’s faith, when I don’t think I can endure after God has taken something precious from me.   

Not only have these stories prompted my heart to imitate the faith of these women but, more importantly, these stories have prompted my heart to glorify the God who authored their stories; the God who makes all things new and loves to transform ashes into beauty.   


Jordan grew up on a farm located in a small town in Virginia. She married her NY native husband 8 years ago. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Jordan was a professional mental health therapist. Apart from raising her 2.5 year old daughter with a complex medical diagnosis, Jordan also teaches English to kids in China online. Through numerous trials involving grief and loss she endured in her 20s, Jordan fell more in love with Jesus and realizes her need for Him everyday. Her passion for studying God’s word and knowing Him more deeply grows with each passing day.

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

share

January 19, 2021

Christi’s Book List

By: Christi Grimm 

It’s a new year – complete with 365 new opportunities for growth!  At the beginning of each year, I write down a list of goals, desires, and longings for that year.  Included in these are a list of books I would like to read.  Inevitably, I read some of them, I shelve some of them, and I read some that were never on the list.  However, giving myself permission to explore my options and write them down gets me excited for the opportunities of growth and catapults me into that next season.  As I explore and become curious about the literature that is out there, I do my best to keep an open mind and not discard a book simply because it’s not my typical style.  Some of the best books I’ve read have come about because of considering those unlikely misfits!  Now, of course, I don’t share the exact theology about every book I’ve read, however, if I’d thrown the baby out with the bathwater, I would have missed out on some real gems.  This is yet another reason to be grounded in the Word of God and to fully trust the Holy Spirit that resides inside you to lead you in the way of righteousness.  I encourage you to make a list of reading possibilities for the year!  Get excited about it and pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s promptings- if He impresses on you to read a book and it seems odd, just obey!  You never know what nuggets of God’s Wisdom you will come away with.   

Enjoy a few of my most loved books…. 

Devotional: 

Cultivate Books (there are 5) by Cageless Birds These books are aesthetically beautiful and appear like a heavy-duty magazine. Each devotion is written conversationally- telling a personal story that then relates to a biblical truth and teaching.  Each book has a different theme some of which include marriage, quiet seasons, parenting, etc. The devotion ends with some questions to prompt you in your journaling time with Jesus.  I love these because they take you deeper into the heart of God and provoke deep intimacy with Him through the journaling prompts. I also love that these books are fantastic to do conjointly with my husband! 

His Princess: Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd This small book is a great book for those times you are short on time or you are in an extremely busy season, but you still want to connect with your Father.  They are written as a short “letter” from God to you using one scripture for each devotion.  Every time I read one, it never fails that it is the exact one I needed to hear that day! A great choice to just pick up anytime! 

Resources: 

Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter by Linsday Hardin Freeman I love this resource because it has every word a woman ever spoke in scripture compiled into one book, categorized by each woman, with an explanation of why it was included in scripture, their significance in the story, what I can gain from it, etc.  It is a fantastic resource for every woman and for anyone who feels called into ministry to women. 

The Spiritual Journey: 

The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot Anything by Elliot is worth reading, and this one is no different!  This book is for those who are in a season of loneliness or a wilderness season in their walk with God.  I felt particularly cared for by Elliot’s words and that she was a type of “spiritual mother” as I heard her life stories and partook in her Godly Wisdom.   

Experiencing the Presence of God by A.W. Tozer This book is fantastic for developing reverence for God and a desire to be in His Presence every single day.  The quality of writing is refreshing, yet still allows one to read easily.  Tozer takes you through the book of Hebrews to help you have a deeper understanding of God’s remarkable presence.  Highly recommend! 

The Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen and Alex Kendrick This book, inspired by the movie War Room, is a very practical book for developing a deeper prayer life.  This is a great one to read in a small group or book club setting.  It includes discussion questions in the back as well as many other fantastic resources.   

Healing and Wholeness: 

Seven Longings of the Human Heart by Mike Bickle Although this book is only 7 chapters long, it took me several months to finish it!  This book was a game changer for me!  It delves into 7 ideas that every person longs for and how Jesus fulfills each longing.  Highly recommend… read and re-read each chapter slowly! You will definitely need a highlighter for this one. 

Courage to be Healed by Mark Rutland All of us have experienced emotional pain and this book uses the story of the sick man lowered through the roof to Jesus to show us how we can heal from these pains. The subject matter includes shame, unforgiveness, rejection, condemnation, and fear.  This is a great introduction to emotional healing and wholeness!   

Parenting and Family: 

Foundations: 12 Biblical Truths to Shape a Family by Ruth and Troy Simons This family devotional is a fantastic book to teach the foundations of following Jesus.  Each week focuses on a different biblical truth with 5 devotions for the week.  There are questions to discuss at the end of each devotion and suggested scripture memory included.  A great read for all ages! 

Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart by Jim and Lynne Jackson This book is amazing for parents to get out of the “control mindset” and into a “heart mindset” over their children.  I repeatedly return to this book to help me understand a better way of parenting.  They have many resources, videos, classes, etc. at their website:  connectedfamilies.org 

Happy Reading! 


Christi is a fifth generation Florida girl who loves the sand, the sea, and the sunshine! When she is not busy mothering her 6 children, she enjoys her garden, traveling, experiencing new cultures, and indulging in warm chocolate chip cookies while reading a good book or journaling. Christi is passionate about bringing women alongside her into a life of freedom in Christ, and does so by leading Beauty for Ashes Women’s Retreats. 

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

share

December 15, 2020

Vanessa’s Reading List

By: Vanessa Bonilla

Reading is one of my favorite things to do. I understand how hard it is to find time to read, which is why it is important for me to find books that can be brought into my quiet time. There are some books that have really changed me in different areas of my life. These books, and the power of the Word of God, have helped mold me more into the image of Jesus. I hope they do the same for you. 

Motherhood 

Desperate: Hope for the Mom who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson 

This book is written in such a unique way. It is a conversation between one mom who is in the middle of the small kid chaos of parenting to an older mentor whose kids are grown. This was a book that fed my mommy soul when I needed it most. 

Hospitality 

The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield 

This book definitely challenged my view of what hospitality means and what it looks like. It calls us into “radically ordinary hospitality”, which definitely sounds like an oxymoron, and feels like one too when you begin to apply it. 

Marriage 

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? by Gary L. Thomas 

Read that title one more time! This book transformed my marriage. Although I’ve only been married for eight years now, around year four it was getting real hard for me. This book readjusted my view on marriage and saved me years of pain. 

God 

None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin 

MUST READ! This book is so small and pack full of goodness. Recognizing our limits and God’s limitlessness makes it easier to trust God and not lean on our own understanding. 

Finances 

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason 

Simple book about financial planning, thrifting, and personal wealth. Written in parable form, this is one you can use as a read aloud with your family. 

Hope you will be blessed by these book suggestions. In the words of Charles Spurgeon “Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.” 


Vanessa is the daughter of a Pastor, baby of six and a homeschooling mom of five. Married to her wonderful husband of eight years, they serve in their local church together. She loves fresh fruit, nights by the fire pit, and time with friends and family. Vanessa has watched God do amazing things in her life. Assaulted at a young age, teen mom and the survivor of an abusive marriage left her life in pieces. Today she stands restored and uses the testimony of brokenness to help build others and encourage women to discover the fullness of a relationship with God.

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

share

December 1, 2020

Nicole’s Book List

By: Nicole Lisa Schrader

Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  
Romans 12:2 NIV 

The Word of God (the Bible) is always the focus of my quiet times, but God also uses fiction and non-fiction to transform my mind. Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives me greater understanding of God’s truth through stories and the experiences of brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Below is a list of books which significantly impacted my walk with Jesus Christ: 

These two beautiful Bible studies can be done in a group or by yourself. Identity focuses on who God is and who he calls us (women) to be. Story looks at the story of the Bible and how we fit into God’s plan. Both come with workbooks for personal introspection. 

  • The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis 

Ten addresses by C. S Lewis given during World War II are compiled in this thought-provoking book. I had to stop after each address to work through my questions and Lewis’ wonderful reasoning. “To please God…to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness…to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so, it is.”(The Weight of Glory, by C. S. Lewis, William Collins, 2013, p. 39.) 

  • Love Walked Among Us by Paul Miller 

Miller walks us through the gospels, showing us how Jesus moved toward people in love—seeing them, responding with compassion, and loving them in practical and supernatural ways. You’ll fall in love with Jesus all over again! 

  • Working from a Place of Rest by Tony Horsfall 

I am quick to accept most requests for ministry without truly listening to God. Rarely do I work from a place of rest. In this book, Horsfall looks at Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) and shows us what it truly looks like to listen and obey God. 

  • Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? by Gary Thomas 

In this book, Gary Thomas altered my understanding of marriage. Our marriages are to reflect the relationship of Christ and his Church. Thomas identified common wrong attitudes in marriage which need to be redeemed by God’s word. Hard, but so good! 

Recommendations for Children: 

  • The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally-Lloyd Jones (for Young Children) 
  • The Birds Our Teachers: Biblical Lessons from a Lifelong Bird Watcher by John Stott (for Middle Schoolers) 
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis (for High Schoolers) 

Nicolelisa is a retired homeschool mother of three and currently lives in central Florida with her husband, Greg. Nicolelisa loves to read to and with children and actively encourages mothers of young children online, in homeschool groups, churches, and in her community. She gave her life to Christ as a teenager and was discipled in a Japanese-American church in Chicago. Whether writing stories for children or posts for Wholehearted, her goal is to revere Jesus Christ as Lord and share the hope she has with gentleness and respect. For more about Nicolelisa, go to www.nicolelisamaria.com.

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

share

April 27, 2020

Emily’s Go-To Online Resources

By: Emily Miller

I spend most of my time at home, alone with my two very young children; and that was a fact before we went into lockdown almost two months ago. My hands are kept busy with diaper changing, food making, and cleaning, so sitting down with a good book is a difficult luxury to fit into my days. I grew up listening to Adventures in Odyssey and Radio Theater dramas and, as an adult, I love listening to podcasts and news commentary. But hours of entertainment and news can easily burden and dry out my soul. So, I’ve developed the habit of listening to sermons and reading articles on theology throughout my day. 

While this has been very helpful to me there is a danger that comes with this practice. As I look for teachers to listen to throughout the week, I want to avoid becoming a 2 Timothy 4:3 girl: “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” 

To guard against this I belong to a local church, meet with them regularly, and listen to my pastor’s teaching. I do not compare my pastor to others I find helpful and I’m accountable to my church’s authority over me. I compare a teacher’s teaching to what I read in the Bible instead of evaluating whether I like what they’re teaching. I also have a few wise counselors (mainly my parents!) who I check my doctrine with regularly. With all the resources out there it’s easy to treat the teaching of God’s word like a consumer instead of a disciple. 

That warning given, here are my go to resources: 

RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries) ( https://www.rzim.org/ ) 

The tagline for this ministry is “Helping the thinker believe, and the believer think.” This group is made up of international Christians: former Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists etc., who all know why they believe in Jesus. As someone who lived as a westerner in Asia for most of my life and has wrestled with several different world views, this has been an invaluable resource for my faith. I’ve also been really helped in figuring out how to express the wonderful Good News of Jesus to others patiently, humbly, and winsomely. Phrases like “every question has a questioner” has changed my mindset from being able to slam people with the right answers to really trying to see the person behind any given conversation. 

The Gospel Coalition ( https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/ ) 

This is a great resource. Great articles, podcasts, and teaching series from a large number of pastors and teachers. But my favorite thing is their resource library. I use their resource library to listen to sermons on the scriptures I’m currently reading through in my daily Quiet Time. This is a powerful way to think on what I’ve read in the morning all throughout my day. 

Camas Valley Christian Fellowship (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN_ARMIIjvaZ_TFxtVa4TSg/feed ) 

The first two resources in this list are huge, global organizations. This final resource is a church of about 400 people in a little town in Oregon. I know them because the pastor guest-taught at my husband’s church while we were first dating. This pastor has an unusual gift in teaching through scripture in a way that helps me connect the whole Bible together and fans my love for Jesus. I’m refreshed by the time of worship they include in their videos and, if you’re deaf, they have sign language for both the worship and the sermons. I also have a soft spot for them because this church is deeply involved with working with the persecuted church in many parts of the world. 


Emily is a mother of two young children and has little time for much else. She began a daily quiet time at age thirteen, and her relationship with Jesus has remained a constant for Emily as she went from being a missionary kid in Mongolia, to working as a barista in Oregon, to marrying and starting a family in Florida. Emily enjoys writing poetry, dancing while doing housework, watching storms, and laughing at her husband, children, and herself.

Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.

share