7 of the Best Books to Awaken a Weary Heart

7 of the Best Books to Awaken a Weary Heart

With the conclusion of my recent 31-day series in October from Weary to Worship, a few friends asked me about books I quoted or would recommended after the series. My friends can vouch for me—I’m known for telling about the latest books I’ve read—I get so excited that I want you to read them too! One particular friend and I have a running habit of trading books like mobile librarians. So I thought, how wonderful it would be to share some of these treasures with my readers!

The most frequent concern I hear from women and young moms is a need for more peace and balance. Maybe you are reading this because you are looking for answers in a difficult situation. Your heart feels heavy and you want to know you are not alone.

  1. Does life feel out of balance, like a washing machine trying to keep up with a heavy load?
  2. Are you feeling washed out and weary in motherhood?
  3. Overwhelmed with the try-hard life? Longing to sit and rest at the feet of Jesus?
  4. Searching for new rhythms to give you rest and revive your spirit?
  5. Longing to have eyes open to wonder and awaken to the heart of God?
  6. Are you asking how the way of brokenness can possibly lead to grace?
  7. Do you hear the call to follow Jesus but need courage to continue the journey?

If you said yes to any of the above, then here is a list of 7 books to uplift and encourage your weary heart. These books have all made lasting impressions on my spiritual journey from weariness to worship. They have added layers of depth to my faith. Some of which are staples on my book shelf–I wish I could give away copies to everyone I know! They are so good.

Full Disclosure: I’m an Amazon Affiliate, which means I earn a bit of commission on each sale. But don’t worry there’s no added cost to you.

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae Hoover and Sally Clarkson (2013 Thomas Nelson). I held the pages of this book as I sat outside the door of my child’s room, weeping from exhaustion. The words of Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson will breathe life and hope into any desperate mother, who is ready to come out of hiding and find wholeness through friendship and mentors, with wisdom for every mom’s heart.

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy With God in the Busyness of Life by Joanna Weaver. (2000 Waterbrook Press). For any woman who has felt like she is not enough, who worries that she is getting it wrong, who is searching for more balance in her faith and busyness of life. Appropriate to her name, Joanna Weaver uses her gift of story telling to weave the tale of two beloved sisters into the heart of women to find closeness with God.

Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton (2009 Intervarsity Press). I was longing for real change and searching for balance. There were no margins in my life between work and worship and I was burning out. Barton writes about nurturing a rhythm of rest so we can truly live our life as God created us to live and experience more intimacy with Him.

Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God by Margaret Feinberg (2012 Worthy Books). The title alone had me sold on this book. Feinberg says, “I have a hunch I’m not the only one who misplaced the marvel of a life lived with God…I needed God to awaken me from my sleep. And so I prayed for wonder.” Reading this taught me to have eyes wide open and how to pray fresh prayers with fewer empty words. Through the dare to #livewonderstruck, my heart began to wake up to God in my right now life.

The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life by Ann Voskamp (2016 Zondervan). A book by this best selling author needs little introduction. The Broken Way is the daring path to the fullest life, a life given, and bursting with beauty in the brokenness. Dare to #livegiven. Dare to become the gift. Learn how dying to self is the fullest way to live the way of worship.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (2015 Harper One). C.S. Lewis has been called the most important writer of the 20th century. This Christian classic is a must read from off your bookshelf. In it you will find a treasure of knowledge about the most basic elements of our faith. Oft quoted and much loved, Lewis has a way of clarifying the hard points in living a life that follows Christ.

Hinds’ Feet on High Places: An Engaging Visual Journey by Hannah Hurnard and illustrated by Jill DeHaan (2017 Tyndale House). Beautifully illustrated with water color scenes and scrolling scriptures to accompany this beloved Christian allegory, Much Afraid shows us the way to the high places with the Good Shepherd and her traveling companions Sorrow and Suffering. This timeless story brought me much comfort through the trials of my faith. I am adding the illustrated edition to my list of gifts this season!

I hope this list of the best book recommendations to uplift a weary heart has inspired you to add a few new treasures to your reading list this holiday season. Cozy up with a cuppa your favorite hot drink, a blanket, and the company of friends to eat up the words of these life-giving works.

Full Disclosure: I’m an Amazon Affiliate, which means I earn a bit of commission on each sale. But don’t worry there’s no added cost to you.

Photo by Aliis Sinisalu on Unsplash


  1. Janette, Your series is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your heart and being open about your struggles. I pray your words minister to the mamas and anyone who reads. You are a blessing. Keep up being faithful to the message The Lord has given you. Love you, Barbara

  2. Janette, the washing machine analogy is so perfect! Yes, that’s how I feel often. I’ve read some, but definitely not all. I’m going to add the rest to my “Books to Read” note in Evernote! Can’t wait to dig in soon. -jill


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