Dear Readers,

Summers were my favorite time of year when I was growing up. Not because we were off school—although that was always a good thing—but because I could stay up till the wee hours reading, and then sleep as late as I wanted to. 

When I was in high school, my friends all thought I was crazy because I took English classes as my electives. I remember my advanced lit teacher telling me that she was hesitant to have a sophomore in her senior-level class, but she learned quickly that I was up to the task. I still remember being the one to read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” aloud to the class. 

Boy, did I love books. Still do.

Trying to think of one that changed me is extremely difficult. My shelves are lined with books that I just can’t dream of getting rid of. They are all precious to me! I’m more of a fiction reader, but there have been non-fiction books that have touched me. One that I find myself quoting frequently is a parenting book by Brenda Yoder titled Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind. What stands out the most to me is when Brenda writes that as Christian parents, we are not called to raise godly children. Whaaat? That’s crazy, right? But she goes on to say that we are called to be godly parents. 

Wow. That revolutionized my life. I tell that to every young parent that I know. What pressure it takes off our shoulders to know that we are not responsible for whether or not our kids end up walking with Jesus their whole life. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job. Ours is to teach them while we can, and then love them forever. 

This month, our Redbud writers share the books that have changed them. It might be one in particular, or it might be many that have shaped them over the course of their life. These stories are raw and revealing, transparent and touching. Hold them gently.

And I hope that you will consider picking up the books they write about after you read their words.

Read on, friends. May you find joy in words as much as we do.

Stephanie Reeves
Editor in Chief

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