Mama B Bookshelf, Oct.-Dec. 31

When I make my FB Live videos I often mention what I’m reading… because the reality is, oftentimes whatever I’m discussing on FB Live has been catalyzed by something that I’ve recently read and am then pondering aloud.

Instead of having to peruse all of my FB videos to find that *one* where I mentioned that *one* thing that pertained to you (because, let’s face it, I talk and post a lot), I figured I would give you a summary of the books I have recommended in the past month. When adding these books I was tempted to write in each description “this book changed my life”. How many times could I write that before you become skeptical? But every. single. book here genuinely did drastically effect my life, for right where I was in my journey. They may not all do the same for you, but I bet at least one of them will.


They are listed chronologically as I was given them by friends, and each book allowed me to prepare for the next. You have to be open first to receive the gift of wisdom… a closed mind is like a closed fist — it can’t receive anything being given to it.

da13922-cp “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

This was the original life changer. I read this in the summer of 2015 when I turned my life over to Christ, but realize I had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to learn why I was so unhappy… how to be selfless without getting trampled… how to protect what was mine… how to stop being so needy and obnoxious. These just weren’t life lessons that I was sent on my way with. I’m now also reading “Boundaries For Children” by the same authors, so I can better equip my friends to deal with life.

Screen Shot 2016-12-31 at 6.38.24 PM.png “Searching For and Maintaining Peace” by Fr. Jacques Philippe

Phew. This book. It is exactly what I needed before embarking upon this whirlwind journey. I had just become a mom. I was relearning everything about my “normal”, from routines to relationships to internally becoming the wife and mother I didn’t know I wanted to or needed to be. Without this book as the foundation I’m not sure I’d know how to pick and choose paths. If you believe Christ, you believe that nothing should usurp your peace. He tells us to never worry. He makes crooked lines straight. And yet every day we lose our cool. This book is small but mighty. I wish I could memorize every page.


170x170bb “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown

As I started to really seek out a better version of myself., my sister-in-law lent me this gem. I was hooked on the idea of vulnerability being the gateway to a better, freeing and fulfilling life. Brené is living proof, and so am I. But she has the research to back it up. Plus this is a entertaining read as she’s a great, personable writer.


screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-6-31-47-pm “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish

I do read a lot of parenting books to benefit my relationship with my son, and equip myself for the years ahead (you know, toddlerhood, teenagedom… I want to be prepared!), but to be honest, I feel like I’m kind of being the parent to myself that I needed but didn’t have. I learned so much about how to communicate with ALL people, not just children. If you want to speak to people without losing your cool, without making everyone feel like crap afterward including yourself, and in a way that gets constructive results, this book is for you. I’ll make another post on which books I recommend for new parents.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-6-35-04-pm “The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur” by Felix Leseur

I realize that all of you reading this might not be religious let alone Catholic, but a good biography is a good biography. The way this man writes about his deceased wife is one of the most beautiful love letters I’ve ever read. Elisabeth’s journal is also phenomenal — her love for the people around her is awe-inspiring and motivating. You truly see that it is through Christ alone that love can powerfully radiate throughout the circles of your life. She loved everyone and despised discrimination. BUT it’s worth checking this book out at the library to read the introduction from her husband alone. I just want someone to feel that way about me once I’m gone. #livetodiegloriously

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-6-46-18-pm “A Mind of Your Own” by Kelly Brogan

I’ve mentioned this book multiple times already as this was the guiding post for my drastic dietary changes and for my decision to taper off of my antidepressants. I’ve literally hogged this library book for two re-check out sessions now (that’s like a month of book hogging), and I may have even gotten turmeric curry sauce on the recipe pages while cooking. The only thing I was a little bummed out about was her reverential chapter on kundalini yoga. While I do agree that meditation and a peaceful, mindful, intentional and quiet lifestyle is important, I have received this through my relationship with Christ and His church more than I ever did in yoga (although, I admit, before I knew God as Christ, I met God through yoga class at age 15). This was a very validating read. Once again, this author has the research to substantiate her claims, and what I have intuited for the majority of my life. It was the little push I needed to change everything… That “I FREAKIN’ KNEW IT” moment.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-6-50-30-pm “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly

Oh man. This book. This is such a easy breezy read. Seriously, even you slow readers will go through this in no time. I recommend every couple read this together. Become accountability partners about how you see resistance in one another. Even while reading it alone, this book helps cultivate self-awareness, intentionality and a plan for change. He. Speaks. Truth. There is just no other way to put it. If I could recommend just one book to start with from this list, it would be this one.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-6-53-05-pm “Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma” by Peter Levine

This book gets pretty intense, I’m not gonna lie. There are examples of extreme trauma that are difficult to read. You have to be ready to want to accept that perhaps there has been trauma in your life, and you have to be ready to want to become whole again. This is yet another very validating read, however, for people beginning to seek out a holistic health. You are not just your physical health. You are a soul, with spiritual, mental and emotional needs. If part of you is damaged internally, you will suffer, and that isn’t solely limited to your internal organs. I have dealt with tremendous trauma in my short life and am finally seeking remedy. It is scary and overwhelming, so I’m delving into this book little by little.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-6-56-18-pm“Essential Oils Pocket Reference”

Holy crap. I don’t think a reference textbook has even been so fascinating in my entire life. I have begun to take this thing everywhere with me — during car rides, while we’re out to eat, while we’re hanging out in our living room. There is just so much to learn when it comes to the therapeutic uses of oils. And in order to use them correctly you must learn about what you’re doing. There is intricate science happening behind the doors of these trendy oils — they are ancient, life-changing, uniquely honed to specific purposes and yet versatile. If you’ve ever taken a chemistry class you will begin to understand once you read about the constituents in one single oil. Do not skip the beginning pages of this book. It is a great guide for looking up specific remedies and how to use your oils correctly, but the gold is truly in the abundance of knowledge the beginning pages hold while introducing you to the concept of essential oils.


Let me reiterate the importance of how these books were the building blocks to one another. It was very important that I had begun reading “Waking the Tiger” before exploring essential oils. It was very important that I read “A Mind of Your Own” before exploring the healing of trauma or exploring essential oils. And the first five books equipped me to handle myself appropriately, and those around me, as I stepped into the unknown… which is scary, uncomfortable and constantly doubted by those around you. I had to be prepared to rely on myself, my own intuition, instead of the opinion of those around me. I had to know what God’s peace looked like in order to know how to follow it. I spent many hours in prayer, asking for the intercession of saints, and admitting to God that I had no idea what I was doing. Your path is unique. You need to choose your own starting point. You’ll be ready for whatever is to come as it is handed to you. And you’ll be equipped with the grace, resources and people if you seek them out.


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