This Week's Read

This Week's Read: Blessed Are the Misfits

This post contains affiliate links. 

It's been awhile since we've talked about books, so how about something solid and excellent and easy-to-read to add to your reading list for the fall? 

You may remember that I formally gushed about a book called Unoffendable. If you find yourself constantly offended by someone or someones, did you know you can set it all aside and find freedom in the truth? Author and radio host Brant Hansen does an excellent job discussing whether or not it's our right to be angry and offended.

You can also hear the interview my husband and I did with Brant on the Homeschooling in Real Life podcast: How the Gospel Makes Us Unoffendable


But back to Brant's latest book, Blessed Are the Misfits. From a lifetime of neurological disorders and Aspbergers, Brant Hansen writes of his struggle to find any kind of emotional connection with God. He paints himself a "misfit", the kind of Christian who doesn't feel at home in every small group or in an emotion-driven worship service, who doesn't experience God the way other believers seem to say they do.

It's not easy to be the intellectual in the crowd, either. Brant writes about how his faith is largely cerebral. Facts stemming from scientific research and concrete evidence speak more to his belief in God than emotions, and that can be tough when the subject is faith. 

And then there's the social awkwardness. Brant's inability to read most social cues keeps him feeling disconnected with people, and church life is all about people. How do you find a community when relationships are the thing you struggle with the most?

And yet, even as a church "misfit", Brant knows that God has relentlessly, lovingly, and patiently pursued him over the course of his lifetime, and that he won't stop pursuing him, even if he never feels God "there".

When I mentioned that Blessed Are the Misfits is easy to read, I didn't mean that it is shallow and meaningless. It's easy because it reads like a balm; soothing and relatable. If you suspect you're a misfit or you love someone who is, you (and they) will find yourself saying, "Yes, me too!" over and over again. 

My copy is dog-eared and passed on, and yet, I keep thinking I need to get it back because there are pages and chapters I want to re-read. Blessed Are the Misfits is just that kind of book.

Audiobooks For Kids and Adults to Enjoy Together


Let's be honest. Some audiobooks that kids love to listen to can be the most insipid and annoying stories we adults have ever heard (or forgotten, as it were). Are there audiobooks that can truly be enjoyed by both adults and children?

Yes, of course! We've put in a good 25 years of audiobook listening with our kids so far, and I thought it was time to share our favorites with you.

These are affiliate links below (thanks!) but we often find what we love to listen to from free sites like HooplaDigital and Librivox.

Audiobooks to Enjoy With the Youngest (Ages 3-6)

(This list does not include shorter picture books.)

Riki Tiki Tavi

When We Were Very Young

The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter

James Herriot's Treasury for Children

Winnie the Pooh


Audiobooks to Enjoy With Tweens and Middle Kids (7-12)


Just So Stories

Hank the Cowdog

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

All the Wrong Questions series - Lemony Snicket

The Chronicles of Narnia

Swallows and Amazons

Adam of the Road

The Adventure Collection: Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, Gulliver's Travels, White Fang, The Merry Adventures of Robin

The Ralph S. Mouse Audio Collection

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar


There are plenty of classics and options for older kids that are enjoyed by both both parents and teens. I'm choosing not to create a list here in the interest of time, but am happy to help with specific suggestions.

What's your family's favorite audiobook?

This Week's Read: Godspeed

Sometimes as believers, just figuring out why God has us where He has us is half the battle, isn't it? A young mom might feel trapped and useless in and amidst days overflowing with diapers and the ever-present dirt and mess that accompanies the raising of small children. At the same time, the truck driver nearing retirement age might be struggling to understand why a door to reaching others around him seems firmly shut. 

The dentist can feel largely ineffective, as can the clothing store manager, the teacher, and the college student. If each of us is supposed to be living with a mission in mind, what exactly does that look like right here, where God has me today?

Affiliate links below. Disclosure here.

I'd been a fan of pastor Britt Merrick's sermons and books when Godspeed: Making Christ's Mission Your Own was released. Britt had been preaching through the pain of the loss of his own daughter Daisy to cancer, and we were battling our personal ills at the time, as well. God let Britt step into our lives just when we needed to hear what he was saying. 

But when Godspeed launched, the Merricks were deep into Daisy's fight with the cancer that eventually claimed her life, and Godspeed went quietly into the bookstores with not a lot of fanfare.

That's unfortunate because Godspeed: Making Christ't Mission Your Own is an excellent, engaging, tightly constructed book that is appropriate and helpful reading for pretty nearly everyone. No joke. We chose to use it with our community group shortly after I read it the first time, and that group could not have been a more eclectic bunch. We were comprised of two middle-aged married couples, three college students, two single moms, two single women, and a high schooler. We had medical professionals, homeschooling moms, administrative assistants, baristas, and one woman awaiting a sentencing for a felony crime. And yet, Godspeed spoke to each of us, individually, right where we were.

Would you, too, like to know how you can be a part of the grand and beautiful plan of redemption? How to recognize the unique mission God has given you? Be encouraged that you have been made for such a time as this? Start here.