Books I LOVE


I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually buy a book just because it looks interesting. I check out the reviews first. And if a friend recommends a book, I’m even more inclined to read it. So, when I come across a book I like, I’ll be posting my reviews on my website under the Books I LOVE tab (up there ^ in the black menu bar). Because if you and I were sitting down, having coffee…I’d most likely be telling you about the last book I read cover-to-cover. (And my attention span for non-fiction is…what was I saying? Oh, yeah…short. I’m a novel reader, so a non-fiction has to be really good to hold my attention. Which means if I make it all the way through a non-fiction book, I must love it.)

I’ve done some fiction reviews in the past for BookSneeze but I’m redecorating that review space on my blog. I’m making it more of a these-books-have-helped-me-I-hope-they-help-you-too kind of place. Because sometimes God uses even one little phrase in a book to completely transform my thinking. And I LOVE when that happens.

So, until I get some new reviews posted on the Books I LOVE tab, I’m going to link you up to some past post of mine where I mention some of my favorite books and some of those “ah-ha” moments.

Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

resources-bookI’ve come unglued before (it may or may not have been yesterday…), have you? This book has been incredibly powerful for me over the past year. I see a definite change in how I handle conflict after absorbing some of the truth contained in this little book. Lysa would call it “imperfect progress” and I embrace that! Here’s a post inspired by Unglued (click here) —and if you look at the bottom of the post you’ll see other posts, also inspired by Unglued. If you are someone who has ever struggled with losing your temper or feeling like you’re coming unraveled, do yourself a favor and read this book!


Love Does by Bob Goff

Goff_Love_Does__89653_zoom-196x300Sept. 24, 2012: I read Love Does by Bob Goff last week and I’m changed. It is an incredible book because it forces you to think about life differently. Love isn’t an emotion as much as it’s an action! Yes, Love feels, and love hopes but most of all Love Does. It does what needs doing even if no one is (Click here to continue reading this post.)


Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma

Cleaning-House-1-193x300Well, this gem has inspired several posts on my blog and I’m planning on writing up a proper review (and my 12 month update) next month when my kiddos go back to school and mama has a little more free time! Let’s just say, if you have kids ages 0-18 (yes, that means if you’re a parent), read this book! It is NOT just a book about cleaning your house with kids. It is a book that will inspire you to instill confidence in your kids in the best possible ways. Read it. Really.

Click here to read the first post I wrote about this great book.

The Treasure Tree by John Trent & Gary Smalley

614s14VP0EL._SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_Okay, I know this looks like a kids book…that’s because it is. But there is so much more than a cute story packed into these pages. The post I wrote about the personality types described in this book (Lion, Otter, Beaver & Golden Retriever) is, by far, the most read post on my blog (click here to read). I have google hits on this baby, Every. Single. Day. This is a hot button. People are fascinated by personality styles (me too…that’s why I wrote the post!) and it’s pretty cool to see an eight-year-old pick up on what kind of personalities his siblings, parents and friends have. Your kids will love this book and so will you!


More to come..stay tuned!



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What kind of animal are you?

Okay, that title is a multiple choice question, not a rhetorical one. What kind of animal are you? Here are your choices:

  1. Lion
  2. Otter
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. Beaver

Now, if you’re jumping out of your seat right now with your hand waving in the air, saying, “Oooh, tell me which one I am!!” you can take a seat. You’re an Otter.

If you’d like more time to think this over and more specific details about the animals, you’re probably a Beaver.

If you’re waiting patiently for me to tell you which one you are, you’re probably a Golden Retriever.

And if you think this list is silly and you’d rather use your own list, you’re probably a Lion.


While that was not a scientific experiment, and no one is strictly all one personality type, it is interesting to see how similar we can be to the personality profiles that are out there. The one I’m highlighting today is from a children’s book by Gary Smalley and John Trent called, The Treasure Tree. My son, “Seven,” and I read it last week and I was amazed how quickly he figured out which animals were represented in our family and circle of friends.

The story follows four animals (you guessed it): A lion, otter, beaver and golden retriever who are best friends heading out on an adventure to find a treasure tree. Four keys must be found and each of the different personalities comes in handy to help find the keys.

It’s a great way to introduce young children to the concept of personality styles. I love the idea of kids learning about this because I desperately wish I had understood it at a younger age. I think it would have helped me to be more secure in who I was and not as easily intimidated by people with different personalities.

You may not be familiar with these particular personality styles so I’ll give a quick overview. (For today, I’m using the animal names used in the Treasure Tree but in parenthesis, I’ll indicate the corresponding personality style from the popular DiSC profile.) Keep in mind, most people are a combination of two or three of the styles, with one or two being the most predominant. For example, I’m a Golden Retriever-Otter with some Lion thrown in for good measure. As you read through the characteristics, I bet people will automatically come to mind for each animal.

Lion (Direct)

Lions are extroverts who are task oriented. They are leaders, partly because they enjoy being in control. They love a challenge and they expect people to follow them and do things their way. They make decisions quickly, without showing any fear. They have to be careful that they don’t come across as arrogant and unyielding.

Otter (Influential)

Otters are extroverts who are people oriented. They love to talk and they’re the life of the party. You know it when they walk into a room because they make their presence known, often speaking or laughing loudly. They are fun and spontaneous, playful and enthusiastic. On the down-side they tend to be disorganized, chronically late and have difficulty focusing on tasks. They despise details.

Golden Retriever (Steady)

Retrievers are introverts who are people oriented. They are kind and compassionate. They like security and enjoy a small group of close friends. They make others feel welcomed and loved. They are great listeners and are loyal friends. They avoid conflict and change, preferring to keep the status quo. They can be stubborn and they don’t always like to try new things.

Beaver (Cautious)

Beavers are introverts who are task oriented. They are organized and they love the details, always asking lots of questions. They finish what they start. They can be very creative and inventive. They like order and predicability. They have to be careful not to be too critical of others or expect others to live up to their high personal standards.


If you’re a mom, I’ll bet you can see your kids in some of those descriptions. I literally have one of each. And it helps me to know that my Golden Retriever-Beaver doesn’t want to sing in the school musical because it’s just not how he’s wired. I have some Otter in me so I like to be on stage and for a while, I truly couldn’t understand why he preferred to be on the stage crew, behind the scenes. I just thought he needed more encouragement to get out on the stage. But as I applied what I know about personality styles I realized that he has no Otter in him so it’s completely understandable that he doesn’t want to be the center of attention.

On the other hand, I have an Otter who never stops talking. Every day, when he gets home from school, he asks who he can go play with. Every day! His social calendar exhausts me. And while I set limits because I can’t allow “play-dates” every day, I understand that being social is hard-wired for him. He thrives on social interaction. Knowing that helps me put more effort into arranging for friends to come over.

How about you? Do you see yourself in these descriptions? Do you see your kids, spouse or friends? Learning more about how the personality styles interact can be incredibly beneficial in all your relationships. I could probably write 5 more posts on this subject, there is so much to talk about (there’s the Otter in me, coming out again.) But for now, I’ll just link you up with a good resource. For a free, printable personality test from Gary Smalley, click here. (In linking you to this online test, I am not endorsing this particular website. I am an Otter, not a Beaver and therefore I have not looked at all the pages on said website, so click at your own risk ;))

One last thought…the Golden Retriever in me is feeling a little sick to my stomach thinking about the fact that I have my first book signing on Saturday (click here for more info). The idea of the unknown…having to talk to strangers…all of that is so uncomfortable! But the Otter in me is jumping up and down saying, “Hey! Come to my book signing on Saturday! It’s from 1-3 pm and there will be chocolate!” So, if you’re available you can come comfort the Golden or celebrate with the Otter. Either way, I hope to see you there!



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