My June Book Recommendation is a book called Thrive: Digging Deep, Reaching Out.  It is written by Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns (one of my favorite Christian groups).

I actually got this book at Friends of the Library about 3-4 months ago and was captivated by the picture of the tree on the front with the deep roots!   With my word being Depth this year, this picture was an amazing illustration of everything God was teaching me!  So, I bought the book for a dollar and could not wait to get home to read it.  I truly loved the book and was pleasantly surprised to see at the end of the book that Mark Hall also wrote a student edition of the book.  So for Easter, I bought each of my boys a copy of the student edition of the book!

Spring was super busy and sadly, we did not start the book until now.  However, this summer, my kids and I are reading it together; we literally started just a couple days ago and have been reading a chapter a day.   I would be lying if I told you my kids wake up asking to read it with me; they actually ask to get on their electronic devices.  However, after we get started in the morning, I feel like we are having some amazing discussions after reading each chapter.

The premise of the book is that “we were meant to thrive, not just survive”!  If you have ever heard the Thrive CD by Casting Crowns, there is a song about this and it talks about a tree planted by the water.   I want to share with you more about this oak tree in South Alabama.  It is more than 300 years old and it is extremely large and strong.   It is located where two rivers come together.  In the book, Mark shares that a farmer once told him, “You know, the reason these kinds of trees are so strong is, not only are they planted by the water, but they have just as much going on under the ground as they do above the ground.”   Wow- Love this!   Deep roots- check out the picture on the cover of the book again for a great visual.

Mark Hall says, “It dawned on me that, like the big oak tree, growth as a believer requires two parts.  We have to dig our roots deep.  And when we do, we naturally will reach out.”   Mark was inspired by this big oak tree and made this logo showing the importance of both digging deep and reaching out.    IMG_1926

Mark then divides the book into 2 sections: Digging Deep and Reaching Out and goes into detail on both.   Note: I don’t think you need to get both versions of the book like I did.  They are almost identical.  It just depends if you want to read by yourself or if you have kids and want to read it with them.  Personally, I loved the book when I read it the first time but there is something special about reading it with my kids. I am excited to see how God is going to use this book to grow our faith deeper and as a result, hopefully we will want to reach out to help others.

With Summer here, I think it is the perfect time to read together and also, we have a little more time to come up with creative ways to reach out.   Just the other day, I saw this post on Facebook of a mom who takes her kids out for a couple hours and their goal is to do 3 random acts of kindness.  I thought this was such a cool idea that I want to try with my kids so I had to share it with you.  You can take all your kids together or make it a special one on one time with them separately.   She said that you don’t leave with a plan, you just get in your car and drive and see where God takes you and who needs your help.  This mom said that they first went to a drive through and paid for the car’s meal behind them.  Then they drove past a laundry mat so they took quarters into one of the ladies washing their clothes. Finally, they ended at a grocery store parking lot where all the carts were spread out everywhere and helped put all the shopping carts back where they belong.  What she said about the last item is that it did not cost them any money, just their time.  I loved these ideas; there are so many great ways to reach out.  I am sure you have some great ones too!  Please share them with me- I would love to hear them!

I truly loved this book and the amazing truth in it!  I hope our goal would be to dig deeper and reach out, to make a difference with our lives.  My prayer is that both you and me and our kids too, will be intentional with our time and together we can live knowing “we were made to thrive”!

Cue up the music from their song: Thrive

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I love to get the right book into a reader’s hands! After each podcast, I will be giving away a copy of the book that I am recommending!