5 Life-Giving Books for Moms

“She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” -Annie Dillard

Reading has always been life-giving to me; a way to adventure through someone else’s world for a little while. I was the kid who checked out a chapter book from the library in the third grade and was finished with it by the time I went to bed that night. 

When I became a mom, the reading came to a halt. I found out really quick that chasing toddlers around all day, putting out fires between siblings, preparing meals, doing the laundry, and maintaining some sense of order to life took up every ounce of my energy. All I wanted to do by the end of the day was lay on the couch and watch Netflix in order to shut off my brain.

I’m sure you understand this sentiment and would rather partake in mindless activities instead of pushing yourself to be challenged, too. But over the last few years I have found that, while enjoyable and fun every now and then, mindless activities (like Netflix) aren’t really what I need at the end of a long day. I have realized that I need to be challenged. I need to be encouraged. I need to stretch my brain beyond the plotlines of Friday Night Lights

So I began taking a few minutes (even if it’s only 5) out of every day, usually before I go to bed, to read. Over the last few years I have encountered several books that have been exactly what I needed to read. Some have stepped on my toes, confronting and convicting my soul. Some have been life-changing, reminding me of what really matters in life. So in case you need some life-giving words, here are a few books that I would highly suggest:

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Living the busy life, but intrigued by simplicity? This one will spin your world upside down. We tend to fill up our days with more and more things, leaving us overwhelmed and ineffective in everything that we do. Niequist presents several ideas for how we can find freedom from our cluttered lives and live more simply, more present. Just reading this one helps me take a deep breath and realize how much of life I actually miss because of the pace at which I run through my days.

Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie

Being a homeschool mom, I was drawn to this book because it was written by a mother who also homeschools. I always recommend it to all of my friends, homeschooling or not. Even if you don’t homeschool your children or if your children aren’t school-age just yet, you will 100% relate to juggling all of the things and feeling plum exhausted. It’s full of grace and permission to let go of the pressures that we place on ourselves and embrace our role as mothers: “to love and guide [our children] with grace.”

Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen

Whether we are raising infants, toddlers, school-age kiddos, or teenagers, we all want approval of the methods we are using and the decisions we are making. Set motherhood aside (if you can recognize life outside of raising kids) and you’ll still find areas in your life where you want to be approved of–in your marriage, your friendships, your career. There’s nothing wrong with striving for greatness in any of these areas, but there is also a mound of freedom waiting for us when we realize that we actually don’t have to–and ultimately can’t–prove anything. Like Allen says, “We can stop trying so hard.”

Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins

A former homeschool mom, Rollins has raised nine children and is full of funny stories and wisdom. Like Teaching from Rest, I highly recommend this book to all mothers, not just those who homeschool. To read the stories of another mother experiencing the shenanigans of child-raising not only provides a good laugh, but also gives a window into the bigger picture. You will be reminded, or maybe told for the first time, that what your kids will remember most is how you let them crawl up in your lap and be read to; how you sought adventure with them by exploring the outdoors; how you encouraged them through your uplifting words. These are the things that really matter.

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

“Less than, Left Out, and Lonely.” Those are the taglines in this phenomenal book and I bet you’ve felt (and could be currently feeling) those exact same feelings. Mom-life can be rough. Marriage is challenging. Friendships are complicated. Throw these relationships into a pandemic and you’ve got a full-blown emotional battleground. Though I read this book several years ago when social distancing wasn’t a thing, I think it would be even more relatable today. 

None of these are self-help books, nor do they lay out a step-by-step plan to making your life more meaningful. They do, however, provide amazing perspectives into the things that really matter in life. What are some of your favorite life-giving books?

Previous article3 Low-Pressure, High-Reward Resolutions You Can Still Commit to Now
Next articleWhen We Don’t Enjoy Parenting
Born and raised in Central Arkansas, Lynzie is a pastor's wife, business owner, adoptive and homeschool mom, and new Okie. She and her husband love visiting local restaurants, taking walks to the park, and cheering on the Thunder with their six kids. Give her a good book and some apple pie and all will be right with the world!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here