This is episode 61, and I’m sharing my read, watch, and listen recommendations from the winter! Can you believe spring starts next week? I’m so excited for it. I feel so much hope for the new season and what’s to come. I thought it would be fun to share my favorites from the last few months so you could put them on your lists of things to read, watch, and listen to if they connect with you!

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Episode 61- Read, Watch, Listen Recommendations

Hi friends, this is Self-Care and Soul Care for the Caregiver, and I’m your host Sandra Peoples. To us, self-care isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. We need to take better care of ourselves so we can care for those God has entrusted to us.

This is episode 61, and I’m sharing my read, watch, and listen recommendations from the winter! Can you believe spring starts next week? I’m so excited for it. I feel so much hope for the new season and what’s to come. I thought it would be fun to share my favorites from the last few months so you could put them on your lists of things to read, watch, and listen to if they connect with you!

Let me start by sharing a little story of something I’ve been working through related to today’s topic. Back in January, I saw a tweet from someone I respect who said she thought it was strange to keep a list of the number of books you read in a year. Now I have kept a list of the books I’ve read for the last 12 years. They are on my blog. I add to the list throughout the year and then pick my favorites each December. But after reading that tweet, I thought maybe it was silly, like not something intellectuals like her do. So I didn’t keep a list for January and February. But it didn’t make me feel smarter. It made me sad. I like keeping the lists. I like seeing how many books in different genres I read, or how many books by authors of color so I know I’m experiencing a variety of stories.

I wondered why I was letting a stranger on the internet tell me what to do when what works for her doesn’t work for me. So I’m back to list making on my blog. And I’ll share the link in the shownotes for this episode at But maybe you need to hear the lesson I learned—if you enjoy it, it’s worth doing. Even if other people don’t think it’s cool or smart or worth their time. That especially applies to your hobbies. And it applies to how you respond to other people when they share their hobbies or something they enjoy. Don’t rain on their parade, don’t squish the passion, don’t downplay the joy. Not even in subtle ways, like, “Oh, I’d love to do that, but I don’t have the time.” We have time for what we make time for. I read 100+ books last year because I watched practically no TV shows. My husband’s goal was to read one book a month because he loves watching shows and movies. Neither choice is better than the other. And neither should be met with judgment, even subtle judgment.

All that to say, hobbies are awesome. This week we’re talking about my favorite hobby, reading. Later in the month we’ll talk about my other favorite hobby, gardening. My favorite things might not be your favorites, but I hope you have favorites. I hope you have hobbies—activities that bring you joy. They are gifts from our good Father who wants us to delight in the world He has created and use the gifts and interests He put in us.

Now we can jump into my recommendations for what to read, watch, and listen to based on my favorites from the last few months!

First, Read:

Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren, about how to trust God in the dark. Tish walks us through a liturgical prayer that brought her comfort and healing after her father’s death and her own miscarriage. It will encourage you as well through whatever dark time you’re facing. I especially have enjoyed how she builds a theology of suffering on God’s Word that is true no matter what we feel at the time. She gives an example of friends who were in the waiting room as their daughter was in surgery. The wife says to the husband, “We have to decide now who God is. We can’t make that decision based on whether our daughter survives this surgery or not.” I think for those of us who are well acquainted with grief or the brokenness of the world will enjoy this book.

Hamnet by Maggie O’Ferrell, written about the early life of Shakespeare and his unusual wife and their family, I enjoyed this novelization. The characters are rich and the story feels so real. Actually, I just realized that the books and shows I’m sharing today all touch on the topic of grief. But this book reminded me that we aren’t the first generation to suffer. In fact, families for centuries have seen more death and loss than most of us have. I especially liked the look at how Shakespeare and his wife communicate through the events that are happening to both of them, and how that struggle is universal to marriage. Couples then and couples today have to keep moving toward each other, even through heartbreaking circumstances.

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez – Ok, this one is a little lighter! It’s a YA book that tells the story of a conquered people group who are fighting back. There are two young women at the center of the story, and one slowly realizes all she believes about the enemy may not be true. But the other sees it as a huge betrayal. This book is written from the perspective of one of the girls, and the follow up book, Written in Starlight, is from the other girl’s perspective. I just got it from the library, and I’m excited to see where the story goes next.

Also on my list of books to read next is Talking Back to Purity Culture by Rachel Joy Welcher. If you were raised in the church during what they call the purity movement, this book is a guide to help evaluate the goods and bads from that movement. I’m especially interested in reading it as I guide our 15 year old through all that’s coming for him in the world of dating. I want to communicate our hopes for him in a positive way that will lead to healthy views on God’s good design for sex. I hope I like it!

And I have a big stack of gardening books from the library as I get ready to plant our garden in a couple of weeks! I plan to double the size this year, and I want to make sure I do it right so we can enjoy the fruits of our labor!


Wanda Vision – we are Marvel fans in this house, although I probably know the least about the Marvel Universe. (side note: I do have my favorites though. And my #1 favorite is getting his own show on Disney+ in a few months, and I really looking forward to it!) But I didn’t watch this show at first. I did read recaps of it so Lee, David and I could talk about it together. And I did watch the last two episodes. I’m so glad I did. They were so, so good. Especially watching them as a wife and a mother. Now I want to go back and watch what I missed. It’s such a sad yet hope-filled look at grief and how it changes us.

The Truman Show – we watched this with David, and it was so interesting to see it through our 2021 eyes! It was still so good. So sweet and just a little sad. And I’m not saying Jim Carrey is one of the best actors of all time, but I do think he brings something to the roles he plays that no one else could. In fact, we talked in the days after about whether there is another comedic actor now who could play those parts, and I couldn’t think of anyone. Since David does theater and musicals, it was interesting to talk through what makes Jim Carey so good in his roles. We decided a lot of it has to do with his expressions and physical humor.

Minari- a Korean family starts a farm in 1980s Arkansas. I need to tell you I haven’t actually watches this one yet, but I plan to this week. It won a Golden Globe, and according to IMDB, has won 68 awards and been nominated for 170. Scene in the trailer where they are visiting a church, and the pastor asks any visitors to stand and be recognized. Filmed in Oklahoma. Also according to IMBd, there isn’t any violence or sex, so I feel safe recommending it to you even before I watch it. And if you’re in the Abiding Caregivers Facebook group, I’ll let you know when I watch it and if I enjoy it as much as I think I will!


LOMAH new season: first episode on Literacy instruction for students with disabilities. I’m so excited about this new season from Kim. I watch her Instagram stories and have been cheering on Miranda as she has made so much progress! It gives me hope that James will be able to read and write too!

Didn’t I Just Feed You: There’s 130 episodes of this new-to-me podcast, and I’ve been scrolling through, listening to the ones that look interesting. I liked 125 on easy family dinners and 110 on easy freezer meals for stockpiling or gifting to new parents. We all have to eat each day, and most of us listening have to cook each day, so it’s fun to get new ideas or even just think differently about the task of cooking. It brings a little joy to the routine.

Now this one is kind of a combo, listen/watch. It’s the Wednesday Wake Up devotions from Rising Above Ministries’ new app! Each Wed. they share a 3 minute video with an encouraging devotion. This Wednesday, I am scheduled to share! So download the app and join me there on Wednesday, March 10th.

Alright, those are my recommendations from what I read, watched, and listened to this winter. I hope some of them make your spring list of favorites! Let’s pray together as we do to end each episode, then I have a favor to ask to help me celebrate my birthday this week:

God, thank you for the diversity of interests we have, the hobbies we enjoy. Thank for the authors, actors, speakers, and everyone involved in creating our favorite books and media. There are so many stories I want to read, watch, and hear. I’m thankful for the story You are writing for my own life, and how even my unique interests and hobbies are part of that story. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Friends, this week is my birthday! And if we’ve been friends for longer than a year, you may already know that I super love my birthday. I blame it on being a middle child, or maybe even a special needs sibling, but a whole day where I get extra attention has always been pretty awesome. For my birthday I always get books, and this year I’ll probably also get a new houseplant or two. My mom is going to bake me a strawberry cake. And I will use it as an excuse to be the last one out of bed for as many mornings as I can stretch it. (Anyone else try for a birthday week instead of just a day?) If you have an extra minute this week, you can celebrate my big 4-2 by leaving a rating or review for this podcast. Reviews are a big deal and can help others know that spending 10-15 minutes with us each week is really worth their time. It would be fun to check this week and see lots of new reviews and ratings from you all. I’d be so grateful.

I hope you have a good week, whether you are celebrating family birthdays, the last days of winter, spring break, or even just surviving another day. I’m praying for you as you abide in Christ and remember that apart from Him, we can do nothing.

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