With Love, Laura Beth

Words from my heart

I’m Convinced

The 2013-2014 school year is over at Fresno Pacific and my textbooks are closed. I had a good semester, passed my classes, and made new friends. Before school ended, I spent time with my new friend Cheryl, a charming woman who likes to complement her outfits with red high-top Vans—fun!

We chatted about this and that, and when I mentioned I like to read, Cheryl asked what books and authors I enjoy. To my surprise, I blanked! ME—the one who can hardly carry on a conversation without saying, “In a book I read . . ..” I couldn’t think of one title or name (too many textbooks lately), so I went home and reminded myself. And on Facebook this week, I discovered a quote that resonated with me:

“You read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” From The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

BooksI’ve been weird, evangelical, and zealous about certain books over the years. Someone even got upset with me once, frustrated that I referred to books so often. What could I say? She spoke truth.

I do love books, and today I share with you a few that have shaped me. I’m convinced these books can help our shattered world, a world desperate for repair.

Spiritual Growth 

The Grace Awaking by Charles R. Swindoll

Devotional Classics edited by Richard J. Foster

Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life by Henri Nouwen

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller

The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life by Os Guiness

The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out by Brennan Manning


Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire: The Encounter That Changed Her Life, and How It Can Transform Your Own by Joseph Langford

The Lessons of Saint Francis: A Monk’s Guide to Daily Life by John Michael Talbot


How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Encouragement Changes Everything: Bless and Be Blessed by John C. Maxwell


Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott


Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers


The Language of Letting go: Hazelden Meditation Series by Melody Beattie

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie






6 comments on “I’m Convinced

  1. lbwramirez
    May 17, 2014

    Thank you, Maggie! Such a nice surprise to see your comment. I hope you have a wonderful summer, and wonderful reading time! If you have a good book recommendation, let me know 🙂

  2. lbwramirez
    May 17, 2014

    Erica!!! What a lovely surprise to find your comment on my blog. I have such fond memories of spending time with you, and still miss seeing your face in the Student Financial Services window! So long ago, but you hold a special place in my heart. Good thing for your Facebook posts–I can see you’re thriving. I love you, too Erica. Teazers again someday, OK?

  3. lbwramirez
    May 17, 2014

    There’s just something about books. Thanks for passing on your favorites, Deb! I’m familiar with most of them, but haven’t read them. I might start with The Giving Tree–sounds like we need to add that to our children’s collection 🙂 Always appreciate your comments xoxo

  4. Maggie Regalado
    May 17, 2014

    Your list is very inspiring.
    I’ll be adding a few lists to my collection.
    The school year ends for me 6/5. I’ll have a lot of down time to get some reading in this summer.

  5. Erica Cuellar
    May 17, 2014

    LB! Thanks for sharing this! Among all that I appreciate about you I certainly do appreciate your deep influence and openness to the wisdom and inspiration from authors. I must say that if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have been introduced to Manning or Rivers. Both have been extremely influential in my life and I have you to thank for in opening these doors. I love you LB 🙂 *hug*…

    I’m really excited to hear that school is going good!

  6. Deb
    May 17, 2014

    Oh, Laura Beth, I can relate! A few of the titles you mention are also some of my favorites (especially Redeeming Love). Andrew just read The Fault in Out Stars and I will when it returns from the circle of friends he has loaned it to. I would add to the list The Thorn Birds (fiction), Bringing up Boys by James Dobson (my parenting Bible), Executive Manners (older but relevant), The Little Brown Book (grammar!), and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (my favorite children’s book as it fictionalizes what I believe one of God’s messages is – one day, we’ll all see the goodness that was given to us when we least deserve it). Now that I’m sharing children’s books with others, the joy I’ve known is quadrupled in the eyes of children reading out titles for the first time. xo

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