Practical Advice for women still to be found in books

Simple, Steady, and Equipped: Three great books
by Kari Patterson
Sacred Mundane

If you’ve ever been to our house you can see that we love books. We have an office with books floor to ceiling. There are books on the coffee table, books under the coffee table, old books stacked as decorations, books on the mantle, the windowsill, the end-table. Books in the bathroom, books in our bedroom, books in the kids’ rooms. In fact, I recently had an idea of sometime redecorating the kids’ rooms with framed covers and illustrated pages from vintage children’s books.

And of course books are a constant source of inspiration and vision, the cultivate creativity and give us hope. But I recently read three very practical books that reminded me afresh at what a great resource books can be for the practical details of life. The three books are:

1. Organized Simplicity, by Tsh Oxenreider. I love this girl! She is a genius. Her book is very simple but so helpful. She gives practical advice for major simplification, everything from a creating a simple outline for each day to doing away with the dozens of crazy toiletries in favor of creating all your own from a few simple grocery-story items. Yes, Jeff was a little skeptical when I told him I could make him deodorant from scratch, but I love how Tsh has clear, easy-to-implement ideas and a light-hearted, positive approach. When talking about issues that can become touchy (cloth or disposable, supermarket or farmer’s market), she does a great job of listing pros and cons for both, then giving her own opinion at the end. But she presents all the information in such a humble, generous, positive way. She’s not fanatic or emotional about it—just fun and full of great ideas. Love this book and all the helpful templates she give out free at

2. Steady Days, by Jamie C. Martin. Jamie is another blogger-turned-author (like Tsh) and Jamie’s book is similar to Tsh’s but more focused on intentional, professional motherhood. She talks about creating steady days through order, enthusiasm, creativity, and a love of learning. She also has a wealth of knowledge and experience as she raises three children from three different continents! I love her heart for learning, and she’s inspired me all over again to pursue more reading, travel, learning through the wonder of each day. This book gives inspiration and practical helps such as memory scrapbooks (no scrapbook materials necessary!), gratitude journal, and daily inspiration cards. It’s a quick read, but worth it.

3. Kitchen Table Counseling, by Muriel Cook. Muriel is a counselor at Multnomah Seminary, and she taught a one-time class during one of my women’s discipleship classes. Wow. Talk about an amazing woman of God. Again, this book is very practical for anyone who is in a place of helping other women (that would be all of us!). Kitchen Table Counseling focuses on using sound biblical principles for helping all women work through life’s challenges. She gives phenomenal practical advice, as well as clear examples from her own 30-some years of lay counseling. This would be a great resource to have on hand to any of you who find yourself helping friends, co-workers, women in your church.

So if any of that sounds helpful, go check out these books. What are some books you’ve read recently that have helped in the practical areas of your life? Share the wealth! And happy reading…

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