A Fresh Batch of Devotional Books

Six new devotionals for women.Looking for a last-minute gift for someone who loves devotionals? Here are several great choices for the readers in your life!

A Christmas devotional from Susan Shipe

31 Days of Christmas: A Devotional for Advent

My friend Susan Chamberlain Shipe sent me this book, and I’m glad she did! I’ve read many Christmas devotionals, and what makes this one unique is Susan’s fun writing style. In her retelling of Mary’s visit with Elizabeth in Luke 1:39-40, Susan says that we all have a “favorite aunt,” and Elizabeth must have been that person to Mary. I enjoyed this book because it feels like my “favorite aunt” wrote it–the one with interesting stories who always makes me laugh and think in a new way.

I also like that these devotions are brief for this very busy time of year. Even though we’re halfway through the Advent season, this book is still a good read for the rest of December. I read it through in one setting. Each day offers interesting tidbits of knowledge about the Christmas story. Susan sprinkles in pictures and personal stories, which add dimension. She features one single reflection question at the end of each day. Short and sweet.

I enjoyed the lighthearted feel of 31 Days of Christmas. You will enjoy it too. Thank you to Susan for a free review copy of this book!

Walk closer with Jesus with this devotional.

Come With Me Devotional: A Yearlong Adventure in Following Jesus

If you want to follow Jesus more closely, this is an ideal devotional for you. My friend Suzanne Eller writes with warmth, depth, and fresh insight into the book of Luke. The book has 260 devotional readings featuring a verse or two about Jesus’ life and ministry. In a few short paragraphs, Suzie shares wisdom and insight, gently encouraging and reshaping my outlook. Here’s an excerpt I enjoyed from Day 11, Waiting, on Luke 5:3.

Waiting is not an idle part of our walk with Jesus. For some of us, it’s a time of rest. For others, he’s asking that we pause long enough to clearly hear his instructions…Waiting is never wasted, and it just might be where God’s greatest work takes place in us.

Each day features several references to “push out deeper” if you want to learn more. One detail I enjoy on each page is the “Come With Me” box. It’s just one or two sentences, written as if Jesus is speaking to me. The Come With Me message is a personal invitation to engage, and I sense Jesus calling me through this book.

If you’ve read Suzie’s book Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads, this devotional is a perfect companion. Both books would make a great gift set for someone special.

Suzie gave me this devotional as a guest at her Come With Me retreat. Thank you Suzie!

100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs

100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self

Reading this book by Annie F. Downs reminded me of visiting with my younger sister, the millennial (I’m a Gen X gal). Her style is casual, funny, and hip, and I found it refreshing, especially on this topic. She is real and unpretentious and freely shares stories from her own life. 

Here’s an excerpt I enjoyed:

This morning when I did not like the look of the jeans I put on, I told myself so. Old Annie would have continued a barrage of ugly remarks about my looks, but instead, I looked in the mirror and said, “Hey, put on a different pair. No biggie.” And I shook it off and changed…If you are going to be the person who does the brave things God is calling you to do, speaking life and developing beautiful things in others with your words, it begins with doing that for yourself.

This book would make a good gift for a high school graduate, a college graduate, a new mom, or a woman changing careers. It’s geared for millennial readers, but I also enjoyed it myself as a light, entertaining read with nuggets of truth.

I received a free review copy of this book from the Booklook Bloggers Program.

A Moment to Breathe--Devotions from (in)courage

A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions that Meet You in Your Everyday Mess

Both Suzanne Eller and Annie F. Downs are featured in this book, along with my blogging & writing friends Bev Rihtarchik who writes at Walking Well With God, and Christie Purifoy, who I interviewed on my blog earlier this year. So many talented women share their real-life stories with humility and grace in this wonderful book.

If you regularly read the (in)courage blog, you’ll recognize the style. Thoughtful, sensitive, and quietly contemplative. I’m so excited that I will be featured there on Dec. 23, and I hope you’ll put it on your calendar to read my post!

This book would make a great gift for a blogger and aspiring author, a mom in the trenches, an empty nester, or a woman who simply needs a break from the fast-paced life. An imperfect woman seeking God’s grace and rest would treasure this gift. It comes with an index of all the writers, links to their blogs, and a handy scriptural reference too.

Netgalley generously provided me a free online copy, and I also purchased a print copy for myself! One of my favorite reads from 2017.

365-day Psalms and Proverbs devotional.

The Psalms and Proverbs Devotional for Women

Of all the books in the Bible, I probably spend the most time reading Psalms and Proverbs. That’s why I chose to review this book, and it’s a beauty.

The readings are undated, so you can begin this book any time of year. The first 205 readings feature the Psalms, and the remainder focus on Proverbs. Dozens of women contributed to the devotional writing. I like the fact that each writer takes a turn for several devotions in a row, which provides a feeling of consistency.

Most of the women writers are Bible teachers, and the readings have an instructive quality that I truly appreciate. The teaching focus is primary, but the devotions also feature plenty of stories from the women’s lives and application questions to add relevance to daily life.

I also like the fact that every reading includes several blank lines to record a prayer based on what you learned from the reading. If you use this resource every day in 2018, I guarantee that your faith will be stronger and your walk with God will be closer.

This book would make a wonderful gift for the woman who loves to dig deep in God’s Word. The only caveat is the print is on the small side, so it may not work well for someone who needs larger print.

I received a free review copy from B&H Books.

An in-depth study of the Psalms.

 52 Weeks Through the Psalms: A One-Year Journey of Prayer and Praise

This is the only book in today’s collection that isn’t specifically meant for women. If you know a man who enjoys devotionals, this would make an excellent gift.

Author James Merritt is a pastor and teacher who shares so much knowledge in this unique book. Since I’m so familiar with the Psalms, I really enjoyed the way he shares so many facts and historical details to enrich my understanding. I’ll give you some examples of his wisdom on Psalm 23:

  • A sheep can suffocate if it falls down. The shepherd must help it up or it will suffer and die, just as we cannot survive without God’s rescue.
  • To restore a fallen sheep, the shepherd must massage the sheep’s legs, turn the sheep over to take pressure off the stomach, and speak in reassuring tones to calm the sheep. God’s care for us is personal and tender.
  • The shepherd’s rod could kill predators and his staff would corral wayward sheep. God’s Word protects and guides us.
  • If a certain fly lands in a sheep’s nose, the larva will drive the sheep mad and cause it to starve. By anointing the sheep’s head with oil, the shepherd healed the sheep, just as God heals us.

I could give many more examples of the useful, practical applications in this book. It’s been a joy to read, and anyone who wants to learn more about the Psalms would love it.

Thanks goes out to Netgalley for a free review copy of this book.

Disclosure: If you purchase any of the books above through the links provided, I receive a small commission. Thank you for your support of my writing ministry!

Christmas Peace for Busy Moms

Question for you: Which book or books look most interesting to you? I love hearing your thoughts in the comments section!

If you liked this post, I would appreciate your shares on social media!

This post may be linked up at #momentsofhope, #dreamtogether, #glimpsesofhisbeauty, #lmmlinkup, #gritup, #tuestalk, #teaandwordtuesday, #raralinkup, #tellhisstory, #coffeeforyourheart, #coffeeandconversation, #sittingamongfriends, #encouragingwordwednesday, #messymarriage#porchstories, #livefreethursday#heartencouragement, #chasingcommunity, #tuneinthursday, #gracemoments, #saltandlight#thankfulandgrateful,  #dancewithjesus, #faithnfriends, #freshmarketfriday, #graceandtruth, and #faithonfire. I love the blogging community and consider these hosts my friends–please visit their sites and encourage them too!

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  • What a great collection of offerings, Sarah. Every single one would make a great gift.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Michele! If I had to pick ones for you, I think you would like the 52 Weeks through the Psalms best, or the Psalms and Proverbs devo. Merry Christmas to you, friend!

  • Stacey Pardoe

    Thanks so much for these resources, Sarah. It’s always nice to have a feel for a book before committing 🙂

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks Stacey! Christmas blessings to you, friend!

  • Susan

    Dang girl – or should I say one of my favorite nieces? I have God bumps and tears mingling. (((xo)))

    • Sarah Geringer

      So glad you shared this with me, and I know all the gals that read this post will love it! Many, many blessings wished for you this Christmas!

  • Rachel Lee

    These all look so wonderful! How to choose just one?!?! Ps- I didn’t know that Susan had written a Christmas devo! Thanks for sharing your thoughtful insight on each of these resources. Many blessings to you this Christmas! <3

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you, dear Rachel! Based on your sensitive, thoughtful writing, if I was choosing ones for you, I would pick Come to Me and A Moment to Breathe. Blessings to you!

      • Rachel Lee

        I think you know me well. Adding these to my Christmas list now! 😉

  • Each of these sound like great gift ideas.

    • Sarah Geringer

      I know you have stacks of books to read, Debbie. Since I read your blog often, I think that Come to Me would probably my pick if I was gifting one to you! Hope you are enjoying my books too, and I’m blessed that you purchased them. Christmas blessings to you!

  • Love your review, Sarah! It’s always fun to get a book recommendation from a friend. Wishing you and yours sweet Christmas blessings!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Christmas blessings to you too, friend. I’m enjoying your ebook since I recently subscribed. Can’t wait to see what God does through you in 2018!

      • Sarah, you are so sweet! Praying your heart is encouraged through the devotional. Looking forward to all God does in and through you in the new year!

  • Great list, Sarah. I have a couple of these that I plan to do next year, as well. Hope the Christ of Christmas is blessing you with the fullness of His presence this season, friend. xoxo

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you, Brenda. Christmas blessings to you and your family.

  • Thanks for the review, Sarah. I didn’t know Susan had written a Christmas devotional book. Can’t wait to share. Merry Christmas!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks for sharing, Kelly! Also, your blog design inspired me to do a little changing on my layout today. Blessings to you this Christmas!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks so much for the mention on “A Moment to Breathe”…you’re a sweetheart! I am sorry I am so behind. I’ve been wanting to get a review posted on Amazon for your book you sent me and so many other things, but have had pneumonia and then a bout with food poisoning. I’m also trying to finish out the year with my Foundation work…Oh yeah…and Christmas. I guess you could say the enemy’s been after me. I so appreciate your kindnesses and gentle spirit. Hopefully I’ll get a reprieve here and can get to some long overdue priorities. May you have a joyous and blessed Christmas sweet friend….
    Blessings,
    Bev xo

    • Sarah Geringer

      I am sorry you’ve been struggling, Bev. I hope you get better in time for Christmas. I will pray for you. Whenever you can get around to leaving the review is fine with me. May God’s peace be yours today, friend!

  • I’m enjoying my favorite advent Devo this year, by Jennifer Kennedy Dean … Pursing the Christ, Prayers for Christmastime. Looks like some gems are in ,used in your list, Sarah!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Dianne, thanks for sharing! I always enjoy hearing what my friends are reading. Off to check it out on Amazon. Christmas blessings to you!

  • Melissa Gendreau

    These all look great! I’ve been wanting to get The Psalms and Proverbs Devotional for Women. Thank you for the reviews!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Melissa. The Psalms and Proverbs Devo will be one of my top resources in the new year. I truly hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas to you!

  • Sarah, hi! What thorough, detailed reviews of these books … I tend to stick with my tried and true favorites so I appreciated seeing what’s new on other women’s nightstands.

    Bless you, girl. ..

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Linda! Thank you. If you saw my nightstand, you would be overwhelmed with my stacks of books on there. That’s why I love seeing those peaceful pics on your blog. Though I’m a messie, I love being surrounded by books. Christmas blessings to you!

  • Noelle Gore Ammerman

    I have moment to breathe and Suzie ellers books. The Psalms/ proverbs one looks interesting to me cause those r my favorite books of Bible and urs looks interesting luv ur cover

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Noelle! Hope you are enjoying the books you received from me, and the books you won in another giveaway I noticed on Facebook. I love being surrounded by books, and I’m sure you’re the same way! Merry Christmas to you.

  • I always enjoy reading book reviews. I especially liked this one when we all are considering a devotional for the new year. Thank you for this list of recommendations! May you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you, Joanne! Such a kind comment. I pray you have a blessed Christmas too!

  • I like brief devotionals for this time of year, too. Sometimes all we have is a small amount of time, but we still want something important to think about. Thanks for sharing these resources, Sarah!

    • Sarah Geringer

      I know you love to read like I do, Lisa. Glad to share my recommendations with you, and I always benefit from yours. Christmas blessings to you!

  • Bonnie Lyn Smith

    I love the Sarah Geringer book at the end! 🙂 Gave it to my closest friends!

    • Sarah Geringer

      This blesses my heart, Bonnie! Merry Christmas to you!

  • Thanks for these great reviews! I’ve only heard of two of these. It’s great to get more recommendations!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Laura! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Merry Christmas to you!

  • Great list (as always!) I purchased A Moment to Breathe for a Christmas gift for someone. It sounds wonderful; I may need a copy for myself 😉

    And congrats on your upcoming (in)courage post! Looking forward to it!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you, Becky! You’ll love the book…I definitely recommend a copy for yourself. Today I’m going to apply the five tips you mentioned in your “seeking quiet” post. Thanks for the inspiration, and Merry Christmas!

  • Love these reviews, Sarah! I need a new devotional, I will definitely look into these 🙂

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks Nicole! Knowing your writing style and heart, I recommend Come With Me to you, friend. Merry Christmas to you!

  • What a great roundup, Sarah! I am adding some of these to my list of devos I want to read!! Merry Christmas to you!! XO

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Lauren! If I had to pick one for bright, beautiful you, I’d say A Moment to Breathe, or perhaps 100 Days to Brave. Merry Christmas to you too, friend!