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A Mom’s Back to School Reading List

It’s that time of year. Our kids get their back to school supply lists and we remember that August is an expensive month. But don’t you feel a little jealous? Those pencil boxes and Trapper Keepers get me in the mood for something new. A new challenge. New lesson. New reading. Because who are we kidding? We know the real “new year” is when our kids go back to school.

If you’re ready for your syllabus to arrive, no need to look any further. I have the Mom’s Back to School Reading List you need. Four books that are releasing this month written by dear women I trust. Each one meets a different part of your mom heart as your kids head back to school. And bonus each one has also been a guest on The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast that I co-host. If reading is a little hard to fit into these weeks of crazy and you want to listen as you hit the carpool duties (because oh my word soccer season is starting too!), then I have some links for you.

Here is my short, but very mighty list (as previewed this week on Instagram):

  1. The Wellness Revelation: Lose What Weighs You Down So You Can Love God, Yourself, and Others  By Alisa Keeton

It seems fitting to start with Alisa Keeton’s new book, The Wellness Revelation. This is the time of year when we set new routines, when we evaluate how we are going to take care of ourselves when the kids are back in school. There is no better guide in this than Alisa Keeton. Founder of Revelation Wellness, she is coaching women on the body/spirit connection. This isn’t about losing pounds. It’s about losing weight, the things we carry that we don’t need. If you head into this 8-week program, you will find a spiritual adventure you might not have been looking for, but realize you need. It’s time to get well, whole, and our bodies can help our hearts get there. I have not been an exerciser in the past, but Alisa is teaching me to see it as so much more. From food to movement your body should not be ignored.

Buy it here.

Listen to Episode 37 of the podcast here.

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2. Mom Set Free: Find Relief from the Pressure to Get It All Right by Jeannie Cunnion

I was happy to offer an endorsement for this book. Why? Because it’s about finding relief from the pressure to get it all right. What mom doesn’t need to be set free from that? And who better to offer this message, than Jeannie Cunnion? I can’t think of anyone who could match her voice of encouragement and grace for the weary mother.

Here is what I said in my official endorsement, “For the mom who frequently hears the voices of guilt and shame around her parenting, for the mom who wonders if God really loves her, for the mom who holds it all together publicly but inside is crumbling: for that mom, it is time to experience freedom. Mom Set Free guides us to the kind of freedom that allows us to thrive because we understand how much God loves us. If you want this kind of life-altering freedom, you’ve come to the right place.”


Here is my unofficial endorsement, “Go get this book!!!”

Buy it here.

Listen to Episode 24 of the podcast here.

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3. She Is Yours: Trusting God As You Raise the Girl He Gave You

This one is for the moms of girls! It’s also the book on my personal to read list. Unlike the others on my mom’s back to school reading list, I haven’t started this book yet. It arrived in the mail just last week, and I can’t wait to dig in.
Whether sending my girls into the high school or into the kindergarten classroom, my heart hurts a little to see their backs as they walk away. I don’t know what waits for them out in the big world. It can feel scary. And yet I know this is part of their journey and my journey as their mom.
This book, She Is Yours, is written by fellow parents of four daughters. Wynter Pitts and her husband Jonathan know this journey of trusting God with the girls he gave them. This is something I work on every single day as a mom. It seems fitting to be on my list in this week of back to school and letting go new ways. With three girls at new schools (and the fourth moving up to a new teacher and new friends too), this is a week for the record books in the Kuykendall house and I think I need this book in my hands. I think you might too.

Buy it here.

Listen to Episode 15 of the podcast here.

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4. Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time

The only problem with this book, is that you need to wait until October to read it when it releases. I’ve been able to get a sneak peek and so I’m adding it to this back to school list.
I was offered the chance to provide an endorsement and it was easy for me to write. Here is what I said, “There is no person I’d rather hear from on the topic of walking out my faith than Tricia Goyer. Her life speaks volumes about obedience to God’s call, trusting him in the process, and as a result doing radically uncomfortable things. So it follows that she offers a trusted and honest guide in navigating how to walk out your faith in her newest book Walk It Out. This is not a book on living a perfect life. Quite the contrary, it’s a book for those of us stumbling through our days wondering if we can do anything meaningful for God during our short lives. A book for those of us afraid of what God might say or where he might send us when we say, “Lord send me.” I offer my wholehearted endorsement for Walk It Out.”

When I think of Tricia, I think of a conversation we had on the phone a few years ago. She was telling me about her pending adoption. Already having three biological children and adopted three, she was in the process of adopting a sibling group of four sisters. She was in essence adding the equivalent of my family to hers. I was struck by her obedience. She knew it was going to be hard, but she also knew God told her to move forward. And so she was. I’m not kidding when I say this woman walks it out. A great way to enter into our school year. You can pre-order this book and wait for it to arrive in the mail. Just be ready for what it might tell you.

Buy it here.

Listen to Episode 29 of the podcast here.

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So grab a copy, or four, from the list. Have them in the car or next to your bed to read as the weather starts to chill and we get into the school routine. Our bodies, hearts and minds need to be fed as we literally feed those around us. Whether new routines or freedom from worry, I trust these friends of mine to guide you into the new year.

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