Learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit is a contemplative practice. Listening to God takes practice, and it is often learned in the hard season of life.
Toward the end of the year, contemplative books fit the mood. If you want to reflect on the past, practice gratitude during the holiday season, and plan for the future, you want contemplative books. These five books all aid with reflection on what you have been through and how you can carry it forward in your life. If you have been struggling with hard things this year and want hope for the future, you need contemplative books.
Contemplating The Past
Bittersweet How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain.
There is no escaping grief. At some point, every one of us will experience loss and grief. Susan’s fantastic book is an exploration of how grief completes the experience of being human. If you feel that you
Wintering The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May
When you have been through a challenging season, whether that is relationships, health, or a community crisis, rest is crucial to healing. Katherine explores her experience of rest, giving insight into the way the seasons can be used as a guide.
Contemplating the Future
Let Your Life Speak Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer
Where do you start when you are contemplating decisions about the future? Do you start with yourself? Learning how to listen to your body, heart, and mind is essential. Yet it can be so easy to become caught up in the advice and insight of others. That is not always bad, but it should be only one part of your process of contemplating the future.
The Next Right Thing A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions by Emily P. Freeman
Emily has taught us the power of small decisions when life is overwhelming. Listen to her podcast, read her words, and go forward one step at a time.
Coping in the Present
Prayer in the Night For Those Work or Watch or Weep by Tish Harrison Warren
If the season of winter is hard, if the darkness is overwhelming, or if you are going through a difficult season in some other way, prayer is essential. And there are prayers for the things that are hard. Not all prayer needs to be praise and thanksgiving. Not all prayer is about making requests and receiving answers. Tish’s book accompanied me through the dark winter nursing a newborn in the night and I continue to come back to the guidance of praying in the night when times are hard.
Whatever is drawing you to contemplative reading, may these books be a balm and aide for you in this season.
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Check out one of my free guides to better conversations in your home for contemplative practice around movies and family fun.