Books - May 9, 2022

What I Read in April

Brighton Butler What I read in April Gentle and Lowly book review

I can’t believe we’re already in the fourth month of doing these book reviews. It feels like just yesterday that I was setting the goal to read at least three books per month this year. The first three months of the year, I actually read four books each month — but in April, I ended up only getting through one. If you missed my recaps from previous months, I’ve linked them at the bottom of this post – there have been some *really* good books that have inspired and motivated me to make some meaningful changes.

There are a few reasons I didn’t get more books in this month (pregnancy, trips, lots going on at work, etc.), but I’m not letting myself feel any kind of guilt because #lifehappens, am I right!? The book I did end up reading was also one that you just need to take slow. Not making any excuses, I just didn’t want to rush through this book. I also ended up listening to a lot more podcasts this month, which I really enjoyed.

Dane C. Ortlund

Gentle and Lowly

This book was a deep read for sure. I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked it up, but it’s definitely exceeded all expectations for me. Gently and Lowly shares a real look into the heart of Christ and has really helped shape my daily walk with Him. Can’t recommend enough!

To be fully transparent, I didn’t realize quite how intense this book would be until I started reading. But it was intense in a *good* way – the kind of book that brings you to tears a few times or makes you want to stop reading and think about what you just read. Have you ever read a book like that? It’s like you literally cannot digest it quickly – it takes time to sink in and really process what the words are saying.

This book came highly recommended by more people than I can even count. In fact, our church handed out copies to literally everyone at the beginning of this year saying it was a must read for all believers. It has been sitting on my bedside table ever since. When I asked you guys for book recommendations last month, I actually got a lot of people recommending this book (via DMs) in addition to all the people in my life that also have said it was a must read. That being said, I moved it to the top of my read-next list.  And I can see why; I truly LOVED it though and would totally recommend it to a friend!

Gently and Lowly goes into detail about God’s heart. There are so many studies on what God does, but not a lot of who He is, so this is a really rare and special glimpse into that. I thought the book did a great job of how the love of Christ actually applies to my life versus what I have always believed.

The author, David Ortlund, a pastor in Illinois, starts the book off by saying it’s written for “the discouraged, the frustrated, the weary…” I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself that way right now, but I do enjoy reading books that encourage and lift me up.

I did find myself having to go back and re-read certain sections several times to fully grasp the message. This wasn’t a reflection of the writing so much as it was the subject matter. I tried listening to the audiobook of this, but I found that to really absorb the content, it was much better to sit down with a highlighter and dive in.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book is that it digs into key Scriptures throughout, so I really felt like it was Biblically sound. The author also references some of the great Christian leaders like Jonathan Edwards and Thomas Goodwin, so I felt like the writing was really well-researched.

This was one my favorite quotes from the book:

For those united to him, the heart of Jesus is not a rental; it is your new permanent residence. You are not a tenant; you are a child. His heart is not a ticking time bomb; his heart is the green pastures and still waters of endless reassurances of his presence and comfort, whatever our present spiritual accomplishments. It is who he is.

If you’re looking for a book that will encourage you and also offer a deep look into the heart of Christ, this is a great read. I’d recommend taking it slowly — you could do a chapter a week for a devotional and really take time to meditate on what you’ve read that week.

Don’t forget to check out my book review from January, February, and March too!