Rachel Awtrey


Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

Posts tagged Bread and Wine
10 books to add to your bookshelf

1. Uninvited

There is so much power in the two words, "me too." In Uninvited Lysa Terkurst shares her stories of rejection, self-doubt and the situations that act as triggers to these overwhelming feelings. So many times I feel as if us women keep our feelings secret and hidden, we fear vulnerability because of what someone may or may not think of us. This book beats all fear of rejection, "being left out, lonely or less than." Highly recommend. 

2. Wild and Free


Ugh, y'all...this book. It's freeing, enlightening, inspiring and releases your heart from captivity. Jess and Hayley talk about freedom and finding it with your walk with the Lord. This co-authored book switches from chapter to chapter sharing great words and wisdom from both Jess and Hayley. They cover all the bases: living to our fullest purpose of creation, setting free ourselves from the bondage we enslaved ourselves in to begin with, understanding God's calling on freedom and living free. So much truth and such a great read, you'll get through it in probably 2 days. 

3. When Sinners Say I do

Thomas and I were hit by this book like a wrecking ball (as Miley would say). We read this as our "premarital counseling book" to go along with counseling and gosh dang, it hit us hard. Dave Harvey isn't afraid of any topic and talks about respect, sex, your lifestyle together, knowing Jesus and His grace more because of the ways that you sacrifice differences for each other. We wouldn't be where we are in our marriage without referencing this book weekly. 

4. Boundaries

So many times I've found myself saying, "yes" to things that I absolutely should not have because of feelings of obligation or pride. This book breaks down all the barriers and helps you come to an understanding of what boundaries are needed in your day to day life: in work, in friendships, in family, in everything. It teaches us "yes" people to say no and then goes further to explain why. 

5. Captivating

Oh, Lawd. Don't read this book with a highlighter or pen or you'll mark up the pages so bad you can't ever read it again. Everything in this book reclaims womanhood from it's true Scriptural meaning. It releases a triumphant feeling instead of a terrified one that I'm a woman and created in the image of God. 

If you've ever felt that you're "too sensitive," trying to understand guys and their brains, want to know God's heart for you in a greater capacity -- John and Stasi Eldredge share both a man and woman's perspective on all of the above. 

6. The Best Yes

Decisions, decisions. Lysa is at it again. Similar to boundaries (yet offers more of a specific, personal perspective), The Best Yes talks all about decision making and making sure that whatever decision you're making or facing, you're stepping into the Lord's Will for you. If you feel as if you're worn out and feel pulled in every direction, grab this book and a coffee and don't come up for air until you're finished. 

7. Bread and Wine

Understanding food is really hard for me. It was created for a purpose: to nourish yet to entertain. Shauna gives a wonderful Scripture based perspective on food and how we were meant to live with it. Something that hit home for me that I'll always remember from this book is the thought that taking communion isn't for once a month at Church. Communion should take place everytime you eat or drink, we should be remembering what Christ did for us. As if that's not enough, every chapter has a recipe -- a good one too. 

8. Radiant

A really great book to read with friends or a Bible study. It's targeted towards women to teach them how to be radiant in everything they do. It emphasizes that the only way to actually be radiant is to believe you carry a light and then to turn it on. Super powerful read for any young woman that needs a kick of confidence or a boost of beauty. 

9. Love Does

Oh gosh, who doesn't just love Bob Goff. His stories of the Lord's excellent power are endless and he uses this book to describe them and how it's lead him to love and serve other's to his fullest ability. You get up from reading every chapter thinking, "dang, how can I love someone better today?" If you're in a community that you'd consider yourself a leader, read it -- now.

10. Mere Christianity

Oldie but goodie. These words are simply heavy. They sit on my heart for the longest time and I marinate in it for the entire day; normally coming to some conclusion at night as I fall asleep about how to apply what I read that morning to the next day. This is the "steak and potatoes" of all books. I know people that give this book to their friends that aren't sure about God because it's written with a theoretical approach with a lot of proofs. So, if you're analytical (like me) this will do your mind and heart lots of good. 

A Diary of a Newlywed Kitchen

If you don't agree that the thought of your husband picking up the fork with a steaming creation inching closer (in slow motion) to his mouth gives you a little anxiety, you're either 1. Paula Deen, herself or 2. completely confident. 

I, at first, was not either of the above to be honest. Thomas has a mom that is phenomenal in the kitchen so I knew that expectations were a little high. If you're a married woman a little apprehensive about whipping up some great meals for your family or unmarried and dreading the day, this is for you. 

One time I tried to make beer bread. I followed the recipe, poured the batter in the bread pan, poured on the glaze and popped it in the oven. Three minutes later and there's smoke starting to seep into our tiny home. I glanced at the oven and double take real quick when I saw a flame in our oven. Yeah, go Rachel. I didn't know what to do so I yelled, "fire!" followed by a few other words I would never claim and I frantically went for our fire extinguisher. 

Thank God for a calm husband that grabbed my shoulders (yes, the fire is still going at this point) and say, "Calm down, it will be okay." He let the fire die down in the oven on its own and long story short, the beer bread was never fully baked. 

Another time, we went to Greenville for a while and knew we weren't coming back until later so I put some spaghetti squash and sauce in the crockpot, following another recipe, and we came back, hangry (hungry + irritable) to absolute mush. Oops. My bad. 

Here are a few things that save my tush in the kitchen. 

I highly recommend getting a cookbook and figuring out which recipes look a little manageable to ya. They're the best! They're like picture books for adults. I flip through until I see a picture that I love and drool over, dog ear the page and continue to flip. It makes it so much more manageable and also gives you some hope of what this mean could look like. 

This one, The Newlywed Cookbook, is the best because it is made for the simple wife, the "let's just try and see" woman. It's easy and even gives some tips how to incorporate your hubby into the process. Hand over the knives and towels and let him put some sweat in, too!

Pinterest is more than wedding planning and outfits, y'all. If you don't pin food, I don't even know who you are. Create a board with some of your favorite recipes and stock up. A lot of times these are food bloggers that are great to follow but also give additional advice for the process, not just the ingredients and directions.

The kitchen is more than cooking the food. It's about the savory smell and reaping what you sow. It's about the time, energy and effort you're putting into serving your significant other. He will understand and be grateful regardless. I'm blessed with a  husband that scarfs down even the nastiest of foods that I mess up or make the best of.

One of my favorite books that stresses this concept is Bread and Wine. She does an incredible job of describing the real reason of the kitchen: to fully know, remember, serve and glorify the Lord. Seriously, there's room to acknowledge him in everything. While pouring your sweet tea or red wine, flipping your burgers or rotating your chicken, seasoning your carrots or peeling your sweet pot remember communion with your community. Remember what Christ did for us. This makes your time cooking in the kitchen so much sweeter with a greater purpose than making a tasty meal. 

I'm no pro, I'm still learning how to chop, peel and not make my home all smokey. But, there's grace and room for improvement. If your is better in the trash than your mouth, light some candles, play some jazzy music, pray over the meal and own it. Someone once told me, "burnt food tastes better under candlelight" and I fully agree. 


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