(picture not taken by me... but SO CUTE)
1) The Love Dare (Day by Day) A Year of Devotions for Couples - By Stephen Kendrick
I first discovered this book on the loneliest year of my life, 2010. I did not know who I was. I had very low self-worth and expected happiness and love to come from outside sources. This book helped me so much! My favorite concept in the book was learning what true love really is. It is the same as charity. And to have charity is the greatest gift you can give your family, friends, and especially yourself. Charity is loving despite what you may or may not get back in return. I love how it backs up its concepts with scripture, and is very straightforward. Every day has a new challenge or thought to keep you strong in your pursuit of truly being able to love. I use these principles CONSTANTLY. This book is always on my desk next to my computer. Also, a little side bonus, but there is a movie based on this book, called "Fireproof." I totally recommend this movie to watch, since it is so motivational. But beware that they do have a very strong Born Again Christian theme in it, so have an open mind even if you do not share all of their beliefs. They have some truly good love advice.
2) A Blog About Love - By Danny and Mara Kofoed
I also discovered this blog back when I was going through the worst moments of life. I know I have mentioned this website a number of times.... but I truly cannot stress enough how liberating it is to embrace all the principles this couple has taught. I kid you not. Start from the very beginning and just keep reading. You will be surprised at how blunt they are about you being the one to choose how you react to things. I guarantee you will look at life very differently and be more motivated to control your own emotions for the sake of your own happiness. Discovering these things was the beginning of a great paradigm shift I have experienced.
3) The Five Love Languages - By Gary Chapman
Last, but not least, I have to mention this book. I believe that people really do need love expressed in different ways. And this book is very eye-opening. Once you learn what your spouse needs, you are ready to fill their "love tank" <--- this was the BEST concept in the book. I know as far as my marriage goes, I am beyond disappointed if I do not feel like I have been meeting my husband's needs or he is not happy in any way. Learning his love language has improved our communication skills. I solemnly hope to do everything in my power to never let his "love tank" go empty so that we can "run smoothly." Haha... do you see where I am going with this? The content of this book is just too good. And there are a few very cheesy stories in the book about other random couples, making it a very easy read. I could read it in one day if I had the discipline.
Alright my loves! Time to get to bed. I highly recommend everyone look into this reading material if you are looking to change your life in a very positive way. xoxox
~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son