good reads give-away!

Comments now closed. We have a WINNER! I’ll announce the happy news on Thursday’s post. Thanks for playing! Stay tuned for lots more book give-aways in the next month or two!

I’m giving away not one, but TWO, books today! One lucky (blessed) winner gets a copy of The Devil in Your Garden by Natalie Witcher and Misplacing God by Joanne Heim.

Let’s start with Natalie. I don’t know her personally, (as in, we’ve never met in person) but we’ve chatted online, and I know she loves Jesus to pieces. She’s a wife and mom to three kiddos (with another one newly on the way–congratulations, Mama!) and a gifted writer. Her blog will make you laugh, it’ll make you think, and I guarantee you–you’ll be able to relate to something (or a lot of somethings!) she’s written.

The subtitle of her book is Finding Victory Over Shame, and I love her courage in sharing what God has done in her life in hopes of giving hope to so many other women struggling with this same thing. Bless you, Natalie!

And Joanne. After two-and-a-half years of online friendship, I can finally call Joanne a real-life friend! She and her family were going to be driving through Ohio on their way to Pennsylvania on July 1 but decided to move from Denver to Phoenix that day instead (!!). So, we decided to add Phoenix to our California Zoo Trip, and we got to meet after all! Love you, friend!

Just like Natalie, Joanne is one courageous woman. At her Simple Wife blog, she blogs about her girls (love those two!), her home, her crafty nature, food, what God is teaching her, things she loves, lessons from seminary, and all kinds of wonderful stuff. But she and her husband Toben also write a blog together–Our Crazy Marriage–about surviving mental illness in marriage. If you, or someone you love, are in a marriage affected by mental illness, you’ve got to read T & J’s story. I’m so proud of them for allowing God to use it to help others!

So, hey. I didn’t say much about the books. Natalie’s is pretty self-explanatory. Need help in overcoming shame in your life? Natalie shows you how to do it through the power of Christ’s love!

And Misplacing God (and finding Him again)? Do you desire a relationship with God but aren’t sure how to go about it practically? Do you want to spend time with Him, but it just keeps getting crowded out by everything else you have to do? Joanne’s passion for God’s Word will inspire you to make it a priority in your own life.

To be entered to win BOTH BOOKS, tell me about a book you’re read lately that has had an impact on you in a positive way.  If you’re not a reader (then why are you entering this give-away?), tell me your favorite school supply.

Give-away ends Wednesday at noon (ET). Only U.S. addresses eligible to enter.

Thanks, and have a super-duper day!

69 thoughts on “good reads give-away!

  1. Lisa Basner

    I am getting ready to read “God on Mute” by Peter Greig – my husband read it shortly before he died, and it had a huge impact on him. I’m looking forward to it. I am in the middle of reading “Life Management for Busy Women” by Elizabeth George – I love her books.

    My favorite school supply is glue sticks – I love to watch my kids be creative with projects during homeschool – we go through a TON of glue sticks!

  2. JustBetty

    “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life”

    Who knew I would love it so!
    Who knew it would make me cry? And smile.
    And *sigh* deeply.

    I picked this up primarily to fill a between-books void.
    [No time to give myself over to a good book right now.] Instead, I moving a few projects to the back burner so I can read-read-read.

  3. Melissa

    Oh where to start…

    Redeeming Love is an amazing book to help you understand the book of Hosea. I cried multiple times while reading as it drove home the enormity of God’s love for us.

    The Shack helped me to visualize the trinity in a more physical way than I ever had been able to comprehend. The part where they are working in the garden explained so much.

    The Circle Trilogy is an interesting read to help bring the world we live in to a more basic nuts and bolts approach to life…

    And of course the consistent book of the bible – currently rereading Romans to help remind me of God’s grace for me.

  4. Laura Strough

    Just finishing up a book study group on Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. Just an amazing book about women’s hearts and much God loves us and the only real thing that matters is that in His eyes we are so beautiful!
    ALSO: reading your amazing book Expecting and it is awesome…..blessing me in many ways too 😉 I have a uterine bleed going on so standing on hope and faith that God will continue to heal all of it and keep this babe growing healthy and strong!

  5. Krista

    I am reading “Wild At Heart”. I got it for my hubby when he was baptized…and i know it’s mainly for men, but what a great description of a man’s heart! It’s good for a woman to read as well, just knowing what God has planted in the hearts of men and women and how we actually go about obtaining those desires. I have not actually sat down to read it all at once, it’s in the bathroom…so, yeah, I ALWAYS sit down to read it. Hehehehe.
    I am also re-reading “Hypocrite in a Poofy White Dress” by Susan Jane Gilman. This has nothing to do with spritual growth or development. It is a hilarious memoir subtitled “Growing up groovy and clueless”. It’s a nice ‘take me away’ book 🙂
    My favorite school supply was my Care Bears lunchbox. Until about February. Then the thermos started smelling of old milk. Ew.

  6. Joy

    “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan has me rethinking so much about what we do with our money and why we accumulate so much stuff. It’s so practical and based in Scripture that you can’t argue with it or brush it off.

  7. Sandy Rufener

    The book I keep going back to time and again is Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word (Breaking Spiritual Strongholds). It is such a truth filled book and she divides the sections according to some very significant strongholds we have in our lives. I love how she teaches you to use God’s Word to pray – it’s a most valuable way to learn His word, but to pray to Him as well.
    Thank you, Marla.

  8. Krysty

    Bummer…you called me out on not being a good reader. I am re-reading snippets of “Shepherding a child Heart” & “The Myth of the Perfect Mom – Rethinking the Spirituality of women” by Carla Barnhill. Challenging thoughts in this one about our how we invest in our children’s lives and the world around us.
    My favorite school supply…THEN: Trapper Keepers NOW: Disinfecting wipes 🙂

  9. Amy

    I facilitated 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney this summer. I will read it again and again. Marla, I could see you facilitating a group of this Bible study at your church. After all, you’re a mom of three girls, just like me!

  10. Brennigan

    Hi, Marla! Earlier this summer I read “The Prayer Matrix” by David Jeremiah. A lot of bad things were happening to God’s people, and I wondered why I should even pray anymore…this book helped me understand WHY I pray in the first place!

  11. Valerie

    Please don’t laugh about the book I just finished and enjoyed!! Complete Digital Photography by Ben Long, it was actually supposed to be the text for my photography class….but I really enjoyed this book….it explains and illustrates things so well!!

    I suppose the only real life impact is it’s another thing that Mike and I can do together and enjoy. 🙂

  12. Kelly, Zoo Girl

    I’ve going a different way with the book I read. I read The Daily 5, which is a management plan to help teach reading in the classroom. My first grade team implemented this year and boy, I’ve been changed! The way I teach is completely different and the kids love it!

  13. Courtney

    I’m reading two books right now: A Mother’s Heart and Sacred Parenting. I don’t know the authors’ names off the tip of my tongue, but if you look the titles up on Amazon, I bet you’ll find them.

  14. Stephanie your sister

    I’m doing the Experiencing God bible study and reading the book along with it. Incredible stuff.

    I’m also reading this wonderful book “Expecting” that my favorite oldest sister wrote. Daniel and I read the chapter together every week. 🙂

    Also just finished reading the Mark of the Lion series for the THIRD time, and the Yukon Quest series by Tracie Peterson for the second time.

    My favorite school supply is a notebook. A sturdy and pretty notebook with pockets inside and sections for different subjects. I always liked the Five Star ones.

  15. Jill

    Currently reading 5 books:
    1. Finishing up ~Family Fun in Yellowstone~…a bit late because we are back from WY.
    2. Then I was feeling kinda strange about reading your book on marriage (which I loved! But we had only just met) so I was thinking NO fair to Joanne (whom I had known for a long time and never read any of her books, only her blog on occasion), so got her book from the library ~Living Simply~ (loving it, will write her a nice note when done;-))
    3. Also, ironically, Holly (Joannes friend, I met at CMZ, friended me on FB) was quoting ~Wide Awake~ by Ed McManus, (loved those quotes, so picked that up from the library as well, am only into the first chapter)
    4. I am ALWAYS reading a health book, this time it is ~The Food Mood Connection~ by Gary Null
    5. Finally, ~Hope Lives~ A church we are visiting is doing this as a study for the month of August.

  16. Angela

    The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson. Yes, its fiction. But it impacted me so much. Honestly, the fictional character of Jodi matched my thoughts, my life, my relationship with God so perfectly, and I saw her become what I wanted to become!

  17. Sarah Montanye

    Just finished reading the Love Languages book which did amazing things for my marriage. Also just started re-reading Power of a Praying wife. Read it when I was a newly wed 6 1/2 years ago and thought I’d give it another whirl. Both great reads!

  18. Megan

    I’ve recently read the Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers. They are historical Christian Fiction based about 20-40 years after the Resurrection when the Apostle John was still alive. Although fictional the books inspired me to live a more bold and authentic life for Christ and continually pointed me to the Bible and Christ’s arms! These are my all-time favorite fictional books!!

  19. Kaye

    Cool! They both sound like wonderful women and both books sound like great reads:)

    Experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ – Jeanne Guyon

    Blessings to you and yours today and every day,
    Matthew 21:22

  20. Emily Kay

    “Fascinating Womanhood” by Helen Andelin. Written in the 1960’s about how to romance your husband and keep him loving you. LOVE.THIS.BOOK! Every married woman should read it!

  21. Dee

    I’m currently reading “The Shack”. I’ve always loved to read, and this summer I determined to find the time to read more. Love reading your blog, too!

  22. Rebecca

    “When You Believe” and “A Morning Like This” by Deborah Bedford. I loved them!! They take on real life issues such as child molestation and cheating on your spouse all wrapped up in a great writing style and fantastic story.

    Deborah is also the writer for Joyce Meyer’s books “The Penny” (which was GREAT) and “Any Minute” which I will be reading any minute! hehehe Couldn’t resist!


  23. Tonia

    I love to read but can’t say I’ve read anything real recent. Just too busy. But a book that made a huge impact on my life is Believing God by Beth Moore. I loved it so much and couldn’t wait to do the bible study and it didn’t disappoint! It’s all about believing Him and not just in Him. Highly recommend it!!

  24. Tara

    I finally read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It has been on my list for years and realized what I had missed out by not reading it sooner. God must look at me like Angel…I keep going back to my old ways even though I can see what God has planned for me is so much better!

  25. Donita

    I just read “Same Kind of Different As Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. An amazing true-life story. It is a great reminder that God is indeed active in our lives and works everything in perfect accordance with his will. Ironically, I can see this in well-written Christian fiction, but often doubt that God works so “neatly” in real life.

  26. Rachele

    I feel silly to say it but I just finished reading “Forgiven” by Shelley Shepard Gray, the 3rd book in a Christian fiction series about the Amish. I LOVE reading about THE AMISH. I visited Lancaster Co in PA when I was 7 months pregnant and had a blast. Their love for the earth, simplicity and care for their community is inspiring to me. My little (but not to little) secret: I wish I was born into an Amish family.
    Last night I started “The Quilter’s Apprentice” by Jennifer Chiaverini and am just getting into the characters. I used to teach high school English, so I’m a reader and always have been. Both of the books you’re giving away sound awesome! Thanks for being so generous!

  27. Sherry

    I would SO love to have time to read… The last book I read was “The Girlfriends Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood,” by Vickie Iovine. I read that just before I had my daughter, who is now 15 months old so it’s been awhile since I read anything…. How do you ladies do it? How do you have time to be a mom, wife, career-gal, housekeeper, bill-payer, flower-waterer, laundry-doer, jack-of-all-trades woman and still have time to read? I am in desperate need of some advice. I’m an “older” new mom at – jeesh, almost 37 and have no friends that are new moms so I have nowhere to turn for advice on how to juggle everything. Help!

  28. Christy Lockstein

    Hey Marla,

    I’m finishing up reading Neb Hayden’s When the Good News Gets Even Better. It’s a walk through the Gospels chronologically. Each night I read a portion of each Gospel and then dig deeply into understanding them using contemporary sources, Jewish culture, and more. I’ve never felt more involved in reading the story of Jesus. I have learned so much about his life, and it’s taught me a great deal more about my relationship with him. I can’t recommend this book enough for anyone wanting to really understand the life of Jesus.

  29. Angela

    ooops just re read your message and realised I shouldn’t apply cos I live in England thats why I know Joanne!! Oh well never mind someone else will enjoy the books!!

  30. Angela

    I am reading The visitation by Frank Peretti a real good read makes you question the church and the way we do things.

  31. Anne N.

    I love to read, so choosing a special book is like picking a favorite child. “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller was a book that I could not stop talking about. I also enjoyed reading “The Shack”…it sparked lots of conversations with my friends! Thanks for the chance to win!

  32. Kelly form Montana

    sadly when i read and get that settled down i doze off:(
    as for schools supplies – can’t beat a good pencil pouch!

  33. Mary

    I recently read “Having a Mary Spirit” by Joanna Weaver and absolutely loved it! And of course you’re books are fabulous as well 🙂

    But I admit, I do love a brand new notebook. And pens. Actually I heart all school supplies! Makes me sad I have no reason to buy them for myself anymore…

  34. Karen

    Recently I read J. Heim’s Simply Living- based on the Amazon reviews. Wow! I would encourage all to read this book. Passed it on to my daughter-in-law, and now I’ll have to get my own copy to keep!

  35. flyingcab

    I just read Jane Eyre for the first time. I’m sure I was supposed to read it in high school but didn’t =) It was great! I don’t really read alot of non-fiction (although the books you are giving away look great!) but I find alot of inspiration and challenge in works of fiction – alot of great real-life lessons!

  36. Crissy

    I love to read. God has grown and stretched me in many areas through reading. I think I might start blogging about books that have blessed me. Thanks for the idea! Love you bunches!

  37. Ashley Eades

    I recently completed “Captivating” by John and Stacy Eldridge. The title couldn’t capture my feelings more. This book reminded me of the beauties of being a woman and that those characteristics and traits are often scolded in our society or perhaps have been personally, they are present in the image of God. This book made me proud to be a woman and at the same time able to feel his embrace as His child.:)

  38. Risha

    Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp. Opened my eyes to the responsibility I have as a Christian to minister to others.

  39. Carrie Baker

    I recently read “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. It is a novel based on the book of Hosea. It made me cry, but it was a beautiful book!

  40. Anne

    I’m just starting Crazy Love for an online “book club” with Angie Smith and her blog readers. I’m excited to see how it goes! Both of these books sound fabulous, by the way!

  41. Laurel Bruhl

    I’m reading “The Shack” after much debate in the Chrisitan community I felt I needed to read it to be able to actually have an intelligent opinion. Both books sound really good and I would love to win!!! Yeah!!!

  42. Shannah

    I’m reading Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France. Just a neat read about someone finding their true passion a bit later in life. And I recently finished Quaker Summer, too (yay, Gail!). Very good!

    And I like a brand new package of college-ruled paper. O – the potential!

  43. Loretta

    Wow, I do really enjoy reading your blog. You definitely have a gift in writing. The book I just started reading is Downstairs the Queen is Knitting by Dorcas Smucker. It is really good what I have read. She also has a blog. Many blessings to you as you continue on writing, and enjoying your family.

  44. Gail

    On vacation, I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which was a fabulous read (although I say that warning that it does have much objectionable language), but the character development of the autistic main character is superb.

    I also recently read Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson, a Christian fiction novel. God’s doing something there because there were about 48 different things that aligned with the Sunday School lesson I taught the day after I finished it. Hmmmm.

  45. Jennifer

    I’ve been reading “Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.” There are several writers included, but it’s edited by C.J. Mahaney. Very challenging book!

  46. Cory Zurcher

    Sex Sushi and Salvation by Christian George. Great thought provoking read. It has put in perspective our modern lives versus the lives of past heros of the faith. Can we live without our IPhone, labtop, HDTV, DVR, and constant media and just focus on the more important things? That was one of the questions posed in the book. Francis of Assisi was used as an example of how someone gave up everything here on earth to gain everything for eterity. This book is not catholic or Christian but Christ focused. Great read. thanks for writing a great blog.

  47. Penny Whitley

    I read “The Shack” months ago and God used it in a special way in my life, but it was brought home again to me as my husband listened to it on MP3 and we were able to talk about it again. God’s love….amazing to me!

  48. Laura

    I just recently read “The Shack”. I know it isn’t written as the truth or anything other than fiction but oh what a picture it paints of the Trinity. It has always been very difficult for me to grasp as a real picture in my mind but this book portrays it wonderfully although kind of weird at times. I’m kind of weird sometimes so it worked out. I would love to read the 2 books that you have listed!

  49. Denise

    I am not a huge reader – however, I did just read Taking Care of the Me in Mommy and oh man was it good. It really gave me some great ideas of ways to help myself and get me time – which I don’t always do.

  50. Colleen

    I have found that I end up reading more and more BLOGS rather than real, live books lately…I think it’s just the written word that gets me…doesn’t matter if it’s the closed captioning on TV, a computer screen or a good book.

    But, one that I’ve read lately that really got me thinking about my girls is 10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know by Annie Chapman.

  51. Amy Hartling

    Truthfully, I haven’t put much into reading in the last few weeks as I have been preparing my classroom and family to start school and completing fertility treatments. I teach a Sunday School class on the 5 minor prophets- so I have been reading lots of commentaries. Also, reading “Follow Me” by the WillowCreek Association in conjunction with the REVEAL study.

  52. Dy

    My favorite recently read novel is “Riven” by Jerry Jenkins….the parallel story of a weary, discouraged preacher and a young man gone “bad”….how God allows their paths to cross…..and victory is won in both lives.
    Love your daily emails, btw. Thanks for being transparent!

  53. Beth A. Boehr

    ENOUGH–Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity by Adam Hamilton

    I love how God teaches us through HIS WORD and through the words of others that HE has gifted to write! A paragraph in this book has made a significant impact on my life this summer… 22 “Here’s what the devil knows: If he can get you in debt, he can make you a slave. If he can convince you to spend all you have, you’ll never offer your tithes to God, never help the poor as you culd have, and never use what you do have to accomplish God’s purposes. If he can tempt you to become a slave to creditors, you will notknow simplicity, generosity, or joy. He will have neutralized your effectivenss for the Kingdom and choked the gospel out of your life!!” Oh how I pray for God to teach me HIS simple truths, HIS simple LOVE, and to learn to live my life with SIMPLICITY!
    Favorite school supply—the ERASER! I love the reminder of how God is so good about erasing our sins through His shed blood….He gives us many “second” chances to make our lives right with HIM!! So when I use my eraser it is such a SIMPLE reminder of God’s grace!!

  54. janelle taviano

    Abandoned To Christ – L.E. Maxwell – 1955
    Messages That Matter – Bobby Jackson – 1960
    Very Deep soul searching books…. we think we are coming up with so many “new things” …when we read the “old” books…they just don’t appease and let us walk through flowers when we should truly stop and look in the mirror with Christ….are we willing to abandon ourself truly ? Favorite school supply ? ruler.

  55. Kathy


    I have been reading a book on the early history of our country, Frontiersmen, by Allan Eckert. It is giving me a greater appreciation of the founding years of our amazing country, and how much God has blessed us along the way.

  56. Kimberly

    I just re-read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Oh my, it is so good at reminding me that God just keeps waiting and is always there to redeem me, no matter how poor my choices!

  57. Lorena

    I am reading the Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas. It talks about how we as a wife can be a godly influence on our husbands and encourage him to grow in the Lord. Very practical and gives great insight on men and how they think.

  58. Nadine

    The Sacred Romance by Curtis and Eldredge. This is a book study that I’ve actually re-read because I loved it so much. I cherish the reminders of how God is constantly pursuing my heart. Here is one of my favorite quotes: “[The Gospel] says that we, too, were stolen from our True love and that he launched the greatest campaign in the history of the world to get us back. God created us for intimacy with him. When we turend our back on him he promised to come for us.” Amazing.

  59. Jen Griffin

    ahh…two beat me! 🙂

    I am reading “The Kingdom Series” with the boys…soooo great!

    I am getting ready to read Max Lucado’s book that is coming out in a few weeks…”fearless”

    A bit of E.M. Bounds on prayer with my devotions.

  60. Brandy Cason

    I recently did a Bible study with my church, a Beth Moore book “Secret of the Secret Place”. It was a fabulous study and it sparked a new desire to REALLY know God. I have been hungry ever since to learn more.

  61. Ellen R.

    I’m currently re-reading “Created to be His Helpmeet” over again for about the 10th time. Sometimes I really just have to read it and re-read it to as I daily learn about how to be a better “helpmeet” towards my hubby.

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