Every January, I reread the same 3 books. They are 3 of the most powerful books I have ever read – ones that have changed my life. I know that may sound trite but it’s the truth. These are great books to kick off a new year because I always glean so much simple wisdom in them. They lay an important foundation for my whole year.
Each time I read them, I get more from the experience. I bring the things I have learned and experienced from the previous year to these books, and in turn, they give me something important to carry into the new year.
Three Great Books to Kick Off a New Year
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The Greatest Miracle in the WorldOne Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You AreOne Thousand Gifts Study Guide: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You AreOne Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday GracesEveryday Sacred: A Woman’s Journey Home
The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino –
This is hands down my favorite book ever. Inspiring and hopeful, it boils down the basics of life into 4 key principles, presented as lovely, gentle but wise, lessons from Simon the ragpicker. Once you “meet” Simon, you will never forget him.
- Counting your blessings – God has given you many gifts. It’s up to you not to waste them.
- Recognizing that you are rare and priceless – never devalue yourself.
- Go above and beyond – don’t settle for anything less than your best.
- Use your power wisely – everyone has power. You can choose to use your power for good or for evil. You can use your power to move forward or waste your life. It can be used to help others or to ignore the need in the world. There is power in everything you do. Will you use it to create a miracle?
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp –
Have you ever heard that expression – something to the effect of if the only prayer you say today is “thank you”, it’s enough? I believe there is great power in gratitude. By looking at life as a gift, at each day as something to be treasured, I truly think you can transform your world.
The whole focus of One Thousand Gifts is on recognizing and embracing the many, many gifts you have been given. “The way to give thanks in all things: give thanks in this 1 small thing. The moments add up.”
Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender –
In Sue Bender’s first book, Plain and Simple (which I also highly recommend), she goes to live among the Amish for a time and writes about the impact it had on her life. In Everyday Sacred, Sue chronicles her journey to take those lessons from the Amish and carry them through her daily life.
Bender sees the high-pressure world we live in where it seems like we are never satisfied and realizes the importance of making every moment count. If living with the Amish taught her anything, it taught her that there is peace in appreciating the simplest of things in your life.
Nothing is mundane when viewed through the lens of joy and gratitude. Everyday life is sacred. Bender takes you through stories of ordinary events, cherishing the people, objects, and events along the way.
You may have noticed a bit of a theme here in these 3 books. Ever since my car accident, I have viewed the world a bit differently and these books reflect that view. Uplifting, encouraging, and focused on loving where we are and what we have, they inspire me to head into a new year placing the highest priority on what really matters.
I just happened upon your website and I’m glad I did. I was in a serious car accident 10 years ago, which changed what I can do and how I do it. Dealing with limitations is frustrating and it’s easy to lose sight of what I still have. This post on gratitude was just the reminder I needed. The Greatest Miracle in the World sounds like a wonderful book. I think even a non-Christian can take something from it. Thank you.
Cyn Gagen says
I’m glad you found it helpful. Yes, I truly think even a non-Christian could find inspiration in The Greatest Miracle in the World. I was also in a serious car accident – 20 years ago now for me – and it does change your life in so many ways! Please know that you have found someone who can relate. You can always reach out via my email firstname.lastname@example.org if you ever want to talk to someone who gets it. Have a wonderful day!