My brother has said that he doesn’t want to read a book unless he learns something. He mostly only reads nonfiction plus the random Young Adult suggestion I throw his way.
I am the opposite. When I get to pick what I want to read (which, right now, is never) I really don’t like to have to think. One of my friends refers to it as “literary candy”. I was a student for 18 years. I had to read stuff that made me think all of the time. When I get to choose, I want to be entertained.
Sometimes a book will come along that makes me think without realizing it. That is my favorite! There is a series of books that I have been reading since I was pregnant with Paige that have really changed my way of thinking and hopefully my attitudes too.
I have mentioned before that Karen Kingsbury is one of my favorite authors. (You can read about it here) I started reading her books when I was on bed rest during my first pregnancy. I would make sure that I had the next book in the series at arms reach before my husband left for work so I would be able to continue. Karen’s books have made a huge impression on my life. Here is my “everything you need to know” about the Baxter family.
The series starts with:
The R series: Redemption, Remember, Return, Rejoice and Reunion
Each book talks about a different member of the Baxter family. The thing I liked most about the Baxters is that they have real problems that can’t be wrapped up in a box at the end of the book. When I read this series, I got so caught up in the books that I once caught myself asking for prayer for one of the characters in the book who was having a rough time.
As I read through these books, I didn’t have a middle name picked out for my baby that was coming soon. Paige’s middle name, Elizabeth, came from one of the main characters in these books.
What is different about the books that made such a difference? The theme of these books is set around Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. What a difference it can make in your life if that’s your theme. We can get through anything because God has a plan. I would much rather Him be in charge, than me. I have tried and failed too many times before.
There are even more books after the first 5…
Fame, Forgiven, Found, Family and Forever
But the story continues…
Sunrise, Summer, Someday, Sunset
Do you see why I get confused between reality and the books I’m reading?
From here we get to know some other characters from the Baxter’s lives in a spinoff series. At this point, you will just need more so keep reading…
Take One, Take Two, Take Three and Take Four
The Flanagan’s story doesn’t stop there. You can continue reading in…
Leaving, Learning, Longing and Loving
So after 17 books, I’m pretty committed.
Last week Loving came out. I have a huge stack of YA books at my house to read but what did I do? I read it on my Kindle of course. And as I read the last couple of chapters yesterday, I just remembered why I love these books so much. I want Jeremiah 29:11 to be my theme and I want to teach my children that theme for their lives as well.
So just because the Baxters are fictional, I’m still learning something from them and I think they are making me a better person.
There is one more Baxter book coming out in the coming months. What will I do without my Baxter fix? I’m not sure but I loved every step of the journey.