Ready to Change Your Life? Read These Books by Our Grit and Grace Life Writers

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At Grit and Grace Life, we strive to bring you great articles every day. Over the years, we’ve had the honor of sharing practical tips and helpful wisdom with our readers. We couldn’t do this without our team of talented writers. Like you, these women are learning to navigate the ups and downs of life with grit and grace.

What you may not know is that many of our writers have dug a bit deeper and written books that can help you (or someone you love) on your journey. Are you ready to change your life? Below are a few to help you get started.

The Last Ordinary Hour: Living Life Now That Nothing Will Ever Be The Same by Kathy Izard

Whether your world has been shattered by an untimely death, unfair diagnosis or unexpected disaster, this inspirational true story will help you live wholeheartedly even after life breaks your heart.

On February 22, 2013, Kathy Izard’s world was shattered when her healthy husband, Charlie, suffered a catastrophic heart attack. Although he was miraculously still alive, there could be no return to normal living after doctors diagnosed Charlie with an incurable disease: Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD). Living with an exceedingly rare condition and facing the unfathomable prospect of life as a young widow, Kathy had to learn to accept the radical uncertainty that life often brings completely without warning. Through heart-pounding and heart-warming storytelling, Kathy recounts how she and Charlie navigated numerous cardiac crises using wisdom gained from both science and faith. Ultimately, this hopeful story is not about dying, it is about living.

Favorite quote: May we all rediscover the wonder in our lives, recognize the holy in our every day, and remember—always—that there is no such thing as an ordinary hour.” Kathy Izard

A Year of Self-Care: Daily Practices and Inspiration for Caring for Yourself (A Year of Daily Reflections) by Dr. Zoe Shaw

By using simple daily exercises, you can gain a more positive outlook and improve your overall sense of well-being.

A Year of Self-Care is a supportive, inspiring guided journal that will lead you through 365 simple, thought-provoking exercises created to help you stay committed to self-care. You’ll spend a year focusing on positive thinking and self-love with:

  • Bite-sized self-care tips—You don’t need a huge time commitment to start living a healthier life. These 15-minute motivational exercises make it easy to stick to a routine no matter how busy you are. That’s 91 hours of self-care over the course of a year!
  • Supportive Strategies—Research-backed exercises include writing down what gives you gratitude, nourishing your heart and soul by creating a playlist of music that touches you, and more.
  • Daily practice—After practicing self-care every day for a year, you’ll be empowered with the knowledge and tools to continue the journey on your own.

Jump-start your self-care practice and feel stronger, happier, and healthier with A Year of Self-Care.

Cultivating a Missional Life: A 30-Day Devotional to Gently Help You Open Your Heart, Home, and Life to Your Neighbors by Twyla Franz

Have you ever wished that the people who live next to you were not just your neighbors, but your friends? The sort of friends who know the messy stuff and walk with you through it. Share meals, watch each other’s kids, generously lend tools or that ingredient you can’t cook dinner without, time…

Maybe it doesn’t have to be complicated. Even for introverts. Those who close the garage door before getting out of the car. Long-timers who’ve never met their neighbors. Lonely moms with young kids and never-clean houses.

Cultivating a Missional Life provides 30 bite-sized devotions that will help you discover a simple and straightforward way to open your heart, home, and life to your neighbors. Learn how to let the work God is doing inside you overflow as you practice noticing, valuing, and connecting with your neighbors.

Favorite quote: Missional living is about the direction, not the pace, and the posture of our hearts affects the direction of our journey.” Twyla Franz

The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength by Jenni Catron

You have the capacity to become an extraordinary leader—if you are willing to embrace a deeper definition of leadership and take action to apply it.

In The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership, Jenni Catron, executive church leader and author of Clout, reveals the secrets to standout leadership found in the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Weaving a winsome narrative filled with inspiring real-life stories, hard-won wisdom, and practical applications, Catron unpacks four essential aspects of growing more influential: your heart for relational leadership, your soul for spiritual leadership, your mind for managerial leadership, and your strength for visionary leadership.

Leadership isn’t easy, but it is possible to move from ordinary to extraordinary. Jenni Catron shows the way.

Favorite quote: When I consider my life as a leader, it means leading with all of who I am for the benefit of others.” Jenni Catron

Less Is More by Krista Larson

Based on true events, Krista Larson’s debut novel, Less Is More, takes the reader up to and through a life of love, loss, humor, joy and, yes, Hoarding Disorder.

As unique as is every person who ever lived, we all share more than is imaginable. This book invites you to take a closer look at what you were handed down through generations. What shaped you? What circumstances were you dealt, and what did you do with them? It is never too early or late to consider your own legacy.

Favorite quote: “The birds singing in the morning are God’s way of saying you’re welcome for giving you another day.” Krista Larson

The Warrior Wives Club: Fighting for your marriage one week at time by Ashby Duval

This book is about how 100 women fought together for their marriages (and how you can too!). 

A small piece of marriage advice and the three simple rules outlined in this book have forever changed the course of many marriages. The results were amazing: Marriages turned away from divorce, spouses found freedom from pornography and substance abuse, cold roommates became loving spouses again, forgiveness and grace replaced resentment and anger, and respect and love became the new normal.

The exact emails and prayers from this group are now available with the hope that more marriages would deepen and grow as a result of prayer and accountability. Whether you want to strengthen your own marriage or see the marriages of those around you strengthened by starting your own group, this book will give you the tools you need.

Favorite quote: Weed your own garden. One of the biggest mistakes we can make in our marriage is to focus on what is wrong with our spouse. Since we have enough weeds in our own garden to keep us busy for a lifetime, let’s focus on the areas we need to work on and stop wasting energy on what you THINK your spouse needs to change.” Ashby Duval

The Hundred Story Home: A Memoir of Finding Faith in Ourselves and Something Bigger by Kathy Izard

In 2007, Kathy Izard was a graphic designer, wife, mother of four daughters and a soup kitchen volunteer. Everything was good—more than good—but she had a constant restlessness that the life she was leading was not what she was meant to be doing. After she met New York Times bestselling author Denver Moore who wrote Same Kind of Different as Me, Kathy was inspired to do more than just serve soup. Kathy quit her job and ended up raising $10 million to build an apartment building with over 100 apartments for formerly homeless in Charlotte, NC. Kathy believes we are all capable of more than we imagine and this true story is written to help you find what’s calling you.

Note: This book can be paired with A Good Night for Mr. Coleman (see below) for a parent-child read to understand homelessness.

Favorite quote: Each of us has a call patiently waiting and whispering. You might already have heard it but are afraid to admit it. My advice to you: trust the whisper. When you do the life you can’t see is infinitely richer and more significant than the life you can see and thought you could plan.” Kathy Izard

A Good Night For Mr. Coleman by Kathy Izard

This is a story about believing in yourself and something bigger.

A Good Night For Mr. Coleman is an inspiring, imaginatively illustrated children’s book written by Kathy Izard, award-winning author of The Hundred Story Home, and illustrated by popular Southern artist Evelyn Henson. This children’s book is based on the true story of Eugene Coleman who was homeless for over twenty years in Charlotte, NC and a young girl, Grace, determined to help him. Izard and Henson team up in an inspirational story to encourage kids to Dream Big and Do Good. This beautiful hard-cover book has illustrations that will warm your heart and a compelling story that resonates with all ages.

Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery by Caroline Beidler, MSW

The addiction epidemic is traumatizing our families, communities, and places of worship. 

In the last year alone, there has been a record of overdose fatalities and a rise in substance use, especially for women. Tragically, many are living in the darkness of shame often created by the consequences of addiction like sexual violence and even death.

In this book, Caroline explores the problem of addiction and trauma for women today and then highlights the freedom—and hope—that can be found in the downstairs church or recovery community. With compassion because of her own personal experience of addiction and sexual violence, as well as insight because of her professional expertise, Beidler blends relevant statistics and practical information with real-life testimonies of redemption.

Beidler also provides a practical list of ways that faith communities can become more trauma-informed spaces for those who may be seeking love and acceptance inside church buildings. Ultimately, Downstairs Church offers a portrait of radical grace and a God whose love persists even in church basements.

Favorite quote: Basement grace is a gift. It is a radical love reserved for the rag-tag, the outcast, the lost. What if we could share this gift on Sundays, on all days, without question, expectation or limitation? What if we could bring what we learn in the basement upstairs into the light?” Caroline Beidler, MSW

Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence by Jenni Catron

You have clout. Have you discovered it yet?

It is easy to believe that power, influence, and leadership are gifts given to a special few. But the Bible says otherwise.

We all long for significance, even as we fear we will never be good enough. We listen for God, but hear only voices of doubt and practicality. Listen again. There is a call that only you can answer.

Clout is power and influence. It is an undeniable trait that opens doors and moves mountains. You have it, and you can use it to change the world around you. With Scripture and stories from her own life, Jenni Catron maps out the pitfalls and clear paths on the way toward discovering and unleashing your very own clout.

This is not a quest of power for power’s sake. Influence is not a guarantee of fame or fortune. It is an opportunity to use your gifts to do the extraordinary. This is a journey toward dismantling what stands in the way of your influence and leadership, discovering your God-given clout, and using it to answer God’s calling on your life.

Learn about Jesus and others who sought to lead like him. Stop dreaming and start planning. Define your direction, set your goals, and confront the challenges that stand between you and the person God made you to be. Step into your sphere of influence with the humble confidence of Christ.

Don’t hide. We need you. Discover your clout here.

Favorite quote:When we discover and unleash our God-given influence, we position ourselves to lead with passion and purpose that defy our personal limitations.” Jenni Catron

Raising Great Girls: Help for moms to raise confident, capable daughters by Darlene Brock

So, you think that raising a strong girl in today’s world is impossible? Darlene Brock emphatically states, of course you can!

In this book, Darlene draws from the experience and confidence she’s gained from raising two daughters while working, traveling, and juggling life. Having worked outside the home her entire adult life, it only felt natural to break up the role of mom into specific jobs. Each job has a season (you’re not doing all at once), making everything more doable.

This relatable, honest book provides a simple how-to for every responsibility a mom faces. Each job is outlined in a corresponding chapter. You can successfully manage the tasks ahead on your road to raising great girls. Here are the jobs you’ll learn about in Raising Great Girls: Coach, Creative Counselor, Time Manager, Media Director, Academic Advocate, Professor of Gender Studies, Relationship Counselor, Sex Ed Teacher, Financial Consultant, Security Officer, Communications Specialist, In-Home Demonstrator, Military Strategist.

Favorite quote: Instead of trying to be like everyone else, why not be exactly who your daughter needs? You!” Darlene Brock

(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Grit and Grace will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.)

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