I’m sitting in a hipster cafe in East Grand Rapids eating a salad with “Purple Rice”…whatever that is. It sounds healthy anyway. I’m wearing a dress that I bought full price at a boutique because I liked it in the window. (By the way I’ve gotten 3 compliments on it in the last hour…awesome, I need affirmation.) I just left my Bible study/book club with rockin’ awesome girls from a variety of walks of life. We all met on Instagram…I know crazy right?
So are you wondering why I’m telling you this random list of things about my day today? I’m telling you because they are all the fruit of listening to audio books. They are all things that I wouldn’t have done even a year ago. I’ve tried new foods, created a “capsule wardrobe”, met new people, and found freedom and courage to pursue my passions. Listening to audio books has literally changed my life.
Let me highlight some of my favorite books and share the life changes that they have sparked.
Books on HOME:
“Lessons From Madame Chic”- Jennifer Scott
This book was inspired by Jennifer’s time in France as an international student. She lived with her host Mom who she endearingly calls, “Madame Chic.” She learns from her great life lessons on living with polish and poise. She is shocked at how few clothes Madame Chic has and yet she is somehow always able to look put together. Inspired by this Jennifer creates a “Capsule Wardrobe” of just 10 core pieces. She is embarrased by her sloppy sweatpants that she wears for bed and buys herself some “real pajamas.” There are beautiful lessons on a variety of topics including, living without clutter, fashion, grooming, decor and putting on a sophisticated dinner party. The book is a challenge for us to quit being sloppy and to start living a more “Chic” life.
After reading this book I attacked my wardrobe and edited it holding nothing back. The idea of a capsule wardrobe was very attractive to me. I got rid of everything tired, passed down to me, out of style, in need of repair, or anything that I didn’t absolutely love. What I was left with was surprising, it was all things that were fabulous. Suddenly there were a lot less decisions to be made about what to wear and I carried myself with confidence and good posture. I quit worrying so much about if things were a bargain and focused more on building a fantastic wardrobe of a few carefully curated pieces.
“The life changing Magic of Tidying Up” -Marie Kondo
Marie took the lessons that I learned in “Madame Chic.” to the the next level. I was on a new path to living with less and I was loving it. Marie’s book further inspired me to Declutter with her famous phrase, “Keep only what sparks joy.” It is a brilliant book and a “must listen” for anyone who is looking for inspiration to “Tidy up.”
“Goodbye, Things” – Fumio Sasaki
“The More of Less” -Joshua Becker
A good listen about Joshua Becker’s journey to minimalism. His motivation is based on wanting to spend more time for his family. He has a Christian worldview that I appreciated.
Books for Growing Business:
An inspiring story from a Mom who is making a real income as a Blogger. A great challenge to dream big dreams and to bless others with your generosity.
A quick listen at just 1 hour 35 minutes. This is a great story about a real life person who made the cross over from a traditional job to working for himself. He is also a “creative” who is providing for his family through building things.
Books for Health:
A practical meal plan put together by two Mom’s. I appreciated their family approach and came away with some good tips. I’ve tried some of their recipes and they are delicious!
“The Autoimmune Fix”- Tom O’Bryan
I have Crohn’s Disease so I am always wanting to research the latest findings on autoimmune diseases. I admit that it is hard to find the time to sit and read scientific books, but I crave the knowledge that they hold inside. Listening to this book was helpful and inspiring.
Books for Spiritual Growth:
Present Over Perfect-Shawna Niequest
This book was a honest reflection from Shawna on what happens when we fill our lives so full that we become exhausted. For me it was a good reminder to keep things in balance. I was inspired to keep what is important to me close to my heart and reflected on my calendar.
Hosting the Presence-Bill Johnson
I just started this book with my Instagram Bible study girls. I did buy the paper copy so that I could underline and make notes. Having the audio copy has taken a lot of pressure off of this book club commitment. In the past I would be a part of groups like this and would be weighed down with the pressure of needing to get through the material. If I didn’t finish I would feel like I was failing. Now I always find the time because I listen while I am going about my day. Listening also helps me review the material. Today (even though I had all ready read my chapters) before our meeting I listened again to the chapters during my morning run, while I put on my makeup and in the car on the way there. I was very prepared to have informed conversation and that felt like a success.
I have been listening to audio books since this time last year. In total I have completed 42 Books!
Audio books generally range from 5-10 hours of listening time. I did the math and even if I make a conservative formula and say that each book was 5 hours long that is 210 hours. If I divide that by 8 hours that would be equivalent to 26, 8 hour days, of just reading! I know that I don’t have that kind of time to devote to sitting and reading. I’m guessing that you don’t have that kind of time either. This is why our book shelves are full of books that we intend to read, but never do. We want the information, but don’t have the time. Sure in an ideal world I could sit by the fire with a highlighter and a journal and read through the material, but that is a fantasy.
One of my favorite benefits is that I don’t fall asleep! No matter how good my intentions are when I sit down with a book I fall asleep. So I am saving my physical books for bed time and enjoying them at night without wrecking my day by taking a nap that I don’t have time for.
Times when I listen to audio books:
- Folding Laundry
- Preparing Food
- Cleaning House
- Driving-This has been huge. I didn’t realize how bored I was while driving and would often bring a snack in the car for entertainment. Now I bring my water and an audio book.
- With Headphones During Swim Lessons- My kids have my full eye contact, and I get to listen to something I enjoy without looking down.
- Exercising- If I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my book it motivates me to exercise. When I am moving I remember content better.
I want you to experience this great change in your life. For me the audio books have been like a coach running beside me reminding me daily, “Clean your house, get rid of junk, eat healthy, pursue your dreams.” We all need a pep talk now and then, what we put into our brains is powerful, use it to your advantage.
You can sign up for Audible and get two free books through this link:
Once you’ve download the books they are yours to keep. I download them right onto my phone so that they are always with me. Try out the service for one month for free, if you find out that it’s not your thing, just cancel. Comment below if you have a favorite book that you’ve listened to lately. Happy Listening!
*This post contains affiliate links. I do get a small commission if you sign up for audible. There is no cost to you for using this link. The free trial period lasts one month, the 2 free books are yours to keep. If you are interested in one of the books that I reviewed in this post simply click on it to find the physical copy on amazon or go to audible and download the title.