The Right Book(s) at the Right Time


Make sure to read to the end today. I’m giving away two books in this post!

One summer during high school my family went to Colorado for vacation. Like I always do, I took a stack of books with me to read – including a novel about a girl whose father had cancer. Or something. I don’t remember the exact plot, though I remember it was sad. But what sticks out most in my mind is that on the very day our minivan drove through the mountains to Golden, Colorado, the character in the book I was reading ALSO TRAVELED TO GOLDEN, COLORADO.

Whoa, freaky. Right?!

Except, unexpected as that was, it was not the last time what I was reading strangely coincided with something going on in my life. And not in the way you might assume, where I purposely chose a book to reflect my life’s circumstances. Nope, several times the novel I’ve picked up has just happened to have something significant in common with my own life.

It’s weird. And a bit vague, since my postpartum brain cannot for the life of me think of another example to illustrate my point. (Is there a book about that? Because I should definitely be reading it right now.)


Foggy baby brain aside, I’m definitely in A PHASE OF LIFE right now. I’m overwhelmed. I’m exhausted. I’m irritable and irritated. I have an almost irresistible compulsion to purge ALL THE THINGS from my cluttered, chaotic house. And, though I’m feeling pretty good today (yay for 5 hours of sleep!), if you’d asked me two days ago how I was feeling, you would have seen the same blank look and heard the same nonsensical monotone answer my friends did at the Superbowl party we went to Sunday night.

“Oh. I. am. fine. Yes. Baby. good. Cute. right. Thank. you. Yes. hold. her. now.”

So the books that my friends Holley and Tsh are releasing today? The ones about how I’m going to be okay and how to live intentionally in a chaotic world? Yes, they are PERFECT for this stage of my life.

And unlike that tear-jerking novel about a dying dad that I read on vacation, these books are likely great fits for YOUR stage of life, too. Because both of them are just that kind of book – the kind that’s applicable to so many people in so many different phases and situations.

Who hasn’t wished to better navigate the chaos of life? Who doesn’t need to be reminded that, no matter what’s going on in her life, you ARE going to be okay?


Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider is a memoir and manifesto, sharing the ways Tsh and her family have chosen to live differently. It’s an honest look at her journey that’s filled with exploration and explanation, growth and grace. And it’s a book that will surely stick with you and me long after we read the last page.

And if it helps me deal with the chaos of a too-small house filled with too many people, then EVEN BETTER.

You’re Going to Be Okay: Encouraging Truth Your Heart Needs to Hear, Especially on the Hard Days by Holley Gerth is a book dedicated to helping readers learn to spend their lives – even when they’re hard, even when they’re disappointing or imperfect or seemingly impossible to endure – living instead of regretting or stressing.

If there’s a message I need for some of these early newborn days, THIS IS IT.

Tsh and Holley are two of my very favorite people, and while their books are vastly different from each other, I believe in both of them. I believe they’re going to speak truth and encouragement to me, and I believe they’ll do the same for you.

That’s why I’m giving away a copy of each book to one lucky reader this week! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, and I’ll announce the winner next week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post includes affiliate links. Thank you for shopping through those links and supporting this site. Photo by Alaksan Dude


  1. “Right book at the right time” is a regular occurrence in my life. The Interestings is a novel I read a couple of weeks ago and totally resonated with some things I’m working through, even though I haven’t experienced the same situations as the main character. MWF Seeks BFF is another.

  2. I actually just started to read Holley’s You Were Made for a God Sized Dream! It’s definitely a message I need to hear in my life right now.

  3. I just finished a pre-release copy of “No More Perfect Kids” by Jill Savage and it’s the message God bass been repeating to my heart about embracing real life and letting to of perfectionism. Seems like these books go along with that same message.

  4. Rachel Atwood says:

    I am very much not the self discovery books right now and these sound great!!

  5. “When the Shofar Blew” was just that book for me. Although it’s fiction, itsmessage was what I needed before entering a ministry position.

  6. I feel that way most times about a book I am reading because I love books. But I must say, I especially feel that way about having read “Clout” by Jenni Catron. This book was so timely in my life, it was unbelievable. Thank you so much for the opportunity!

  7. Grace For the Good Girl and Captivating…both of those came into my life at just the right time! Much needed! Can’t wait for these!

  8. Stephanie says:

    I think one book that is an example of this for me is Ann Voskamp’s “One Thousand Gifts.” I was at an incredibly dark and vulnerable place when I read that book and I remember grasping onto the book like it was my lifeline in the ocean. I couldn’t figure out how/where to go, but her book gave me hope that with grace, thanksgiving and a lot of God, there was peace on the other side of the crazy ride.

  9. Unglued, One Thousand Gifts, A Million Little Ways… the list is endless! :)

  10. Funny – I had both of these pulled up on Amazon less that 10 minutes ago. Books that met me – “I was a really good mom, until I had kids”, “Unglued”, Kevin Leman books…

  11. I am at a crossroads in my life that I never expected and thinking these books would probably help me out. Thanks for the chance to win.

  12. I am desperately trying to think of one, but I don’t know. I like to read books about people with babies just postpartum. Maybe it helps me not feel alone! I know I read Dooce’s book about having her baby and going crazy right after I had David.

  13. Yes! I read The Garden of Good & Evil right before visiting Savannah, Georgia. That was pretty cool. I have a 6 mo old and I still pretty much feel in a daze a lot of the time… I’m pretty sure I need to read these books!

  14. The book I am currently reading fits the bill. A book on being content and decluttering your life? I am craving simplicity!!

  15. There have been many books but the one that made the biggest impact on my life was “One Thousand Gifts.”

  16. These both sound like awesome books – I hope I win them!

  17. Tempted and Tried was an excellent book which really helped me in my struggle against temptation. It came at a perfect time, when I needed it most.

  18. Debbie Lochner says:

    Just like everyone else, my life is definitely hectic, and these look wonderful!

  19. “Foggy baby brain aside, I’m definitely in A PHASE OF LIFE right now. I’m overwhelmed. I’m exhausted. I’m irritable and irritated…” SMALL CHANCE that that foggy baby brain DOES have something to do with all the emotions you listed after that. :)

    Hang in there, girl! It gets better week by week.

    These books look amazing. Right up my ally, as well. Thank you!

  20. Teresa Clark says:

    I haven’t really…Of course I’m a young adult sci-fi/ fantasy nut so they never seem to apply…go figure :)

  21. Yes, I have experienced reading “the right book at the right time”.

  22. Yes, I too have experienced reading “the right book at the right time”. For meit was Captivating by Stasi Eldridge

  23. I did the “So Long Insecurity” study and kept wondering what I was about to need this for in my life…one year later I was single mothering and trying to define a new self. I would love the chance to read these books!

  24. Quiet by Susan Cain was a book that I read at just the right time!

  25. In addition to reading my Bible during hard times I too glean a lot of encouragement from books written by Christian authors. Would love to win these :)

  26. I have read a few books at just the right time – most recently How to be Lost and The Poisonwood Bible.

  27. Can’t really think of one right now

  28. Boy Holley’s book “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream” is def. my right book right time right now! Would LOVE to read her new one!

  29. Once I read a novel and the main character had a seamstress friend who’s hubby was out of work and he ended up learning to sew…how ‘God-cidental’ is it that I’m a seamstress, my hubby left the work he had and ended up starting his own embroidery business! I can totally relate to literally finding oneself in books:) so it would be awesome to win! Thanks for the opportunity.

  30. These books look great! I read a novel once that had a character struggling with fertility issues (didn’t know that when I got the book) and it really helped me as we had been trying to get pregnant for a LONG time. I sobbed my eyes out over the story but it really helped me have some perspective.

  31. I have been wanting to get both of these books! I’ve definitely had “right book at the right time moments”…just this month, actually!

  32. I just shared from Holly’s blog with a friend going through a tough time, “U R going to B OK!” I wouId love the book to read and share with her. And Being INTENTIONAL is my word for 2014. What a nice surprise it would be to win that book too.

  33. Megan Fowler says:

    I’ve so been wanting to read Blue Bike. I’ve been reading about it, hearing about it, seeing it…I just want to devour it. :)

  34. Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway!


  36. I can’t think of a book that hit the spot when I needed one, but I need one now.

  37. There are books that meet me right where I am and hold me tight. One of those was Still by Lauren Winner, but there are so many others. Books become friends, sometimes.

  38. Jennie Allen’s book Anything was one of those books for me. It was the perfect read at the perfect time.

  39. I totally agree about reading books at just the right time! For such a time as this!

  40. I read “So Long Insecurity” by Beth Moore recently. While it wasn’t a coincidence that I read it (I was very intentional in choosing it), it was perfect for this phase of my life as I’m trying to shake my insecurities and accept confidence and strength in God.

  41. I am in the middle of reading Allison Vesterfelt’s book Packing Light: Thoughts On Living Life With Less Baggage. I had a similar right-book-at-the-right-time experience with it. I am trying to make some big decisions about my life and the direction I want it to go in – I’m considering quitting my job and moving to a new state were I do not know many people and currently do not have a job lined up. Allison’s book speaks to a similar decision she made a few years ago. It has been incredibly helpful to hear her experience while going through a similar one myself.

  42. Dear sweet Mary,

    I feel for you! My girls are both grown now, but the oldest had a child as a teenager and then I got to be both sleep deprived and help her with it too. We do have some great funny stories about that time of our lives! That too, was 12 years ago now. Wow! But as Holley wrote about You Will Get Through It , I promise. Especially with God’s daily help. Praying for your extra strength and for SLEEP. =)

    I am reading a wonderful little series about a LOL (little old lady) detective (Invisible, and In Plain Sight). I will turn 49 next week, but I am feeling it. Hahaha.

    Best to you!!

  43. Jen Hatmakers book 7 was perfect for me last year. It completely changed me in the most wonderful god-filled way.

  44. Yes I have.I love when that happens!
    monk5 at charter dot net

  45. I loved Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways. Really encouraging, helpful read.

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