Reading for your soul

*This is an article that I wrote months ago but just got the chance to post it (because life, family, kids, moving, pregnancy etc.)


Saw this picture some days ago on the Instagram page @desiringgod and made me think more of my shelves filled with books.

I have set a goal that I will not let a day pass without reading something. Even if it’s reading just for some minutes, or reading very little: a short article or some pages of a book.

Reading has many benefits but the most important thing is that, as John Piper says, we will read not for quantity in the futile desire to impress someone. That we may read for our souls.

To be inspired, encouraged, trained to live all-out for God.

With this being said, I have made a list with some (I say some because there are so many good readings out there) of the most helpful books in this matter.

Again, this is just what I recommend, the books that helped me to meditate more of God, think more in depth of who He actually is and how I can “live all-out for Him”.


My list


  1. “A Lamp for My Feet” – Elisabeth Elliot
  2. “Crazy Love” – Francis Chan
  3. “Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World” – Bob McNabb
  4. “Images and idols: Creativity for the Christian Life” – Thomas J. Terry & J. Ryan Lister
  5. “Sing!” – Keith and Kristyn Getty
  6. “When People are Big and God is Small” – Edward T. Welch



  1. I read this book so loooong ago but I would reread it over and over again. Is that good. It would be an understatement to say that Elisabeth Elliot is such a great writer and such a powerful example of godly women.



Her understanding of Scripture and her deep, personal relationship with God is what makes this book still so actual and real. But what is even more amazing is that with every story she writes, she points everything to God.

I absolutely love what she writes in the Introduction, talking about her book:

“…I most emphatically do not mean it to be read in place of Bible and meditation. It is only meant to be a help. If you only have five minutes, don’t read my book, read God’s. It will be a lamp for your feet.”


2. If you are a Christian probably you heard so many good things about this book already and my words will be in vain. Just rent or buy a copy and read it.


3. I have found this book to be so practical and I keep coming back to it every time I need to remind myself of Gods promises for my life, but also for practical advice and teaching about reproducing disciple makers. From learning what a discipleship process should look like to understanding how to help new believers to grow into mature children of God and reproduce, this book is a must read.

Dr. Bob McNabb is not only contributing from his experience in making disciples in different cultures, but he points back to Jesus ministry: how He was doing ministry and how He was the best Disciple Maker that ever existed.


4. Among all the books listed here, this one is my number one favorite (after the Bible, of course – this should not even be mentioned). Maybe I like it because my husband gave it to me, proving again how awesome he is in knowing my taste in books and knowing exactly what I needed to read. I say this because this book is all about Creativity.

I am reading and reading and highlighting almost every single phrase of this book, haha. My husband suggested that I should actually highlight the parts that I don’t want to be highlighted because it would take me less time. Yes, read it! It will definitely help you to create for His glory, as you reflect He who creates, using your special gift for Him.


5. The books that I am recommending are going to help you live all out for God, marking different areas in which you can grow. From learning how to make disciples (no. 3 on my list), to the creativity part (no. 4), to this one that is all about worship.

After you read this book you will sing with your whole heart for God’s glory and you will be equipped to teach others how they should do the same.


6. Presenting a harsh reality, “When People are Big and God is Small” will point you back to God’s Word and help you realize that He is the only one you need to fear, not man.

It will shake you and wake you up to reality, but it will not leave you there. It will show you God’s Word and point you to the grace found in Jesus.


Hope this list will help some of you to live all-out for God. Hugs!

Safe skincare products to use while pregnant.

If you’re looking for safe, nontoxic, clean skincare products that you can use without stressing out if they are good for you and your little one– you are in the right place.

The products that I’m going to talk about are not just safe products but they are all natural, organic, meant to nourish, protect, and prevent.

Being a mom myself (having a 2 year old daughter) and expecting my second one, I had  to research and try several different clean beauty skincare products in order to make sure that they are actually helping me during my pregnancies.

I believe I came a long way since my first time being pregnant. I’ve learned a lot about safe and clean ingredients.

I know how stressful and time consuming it is to make sure you buy healthy and efficient skincare products while pregnant. That’s why I want to help mamas or mamas to be by sharing all my best finds.

Here is what I recommend:



For shower/bath: Juice Beauty. The Organic Solution

Green Apple Body Cleanser

I’ve been loving to use this refreshing cleanser in the shower. It has a light organic formula that lets my skin feel and smell amazing (it contains organic apple and grape juice).

You can rest assured that this product is safe and good for your pregnancy. They are all formulated without harsh chemicals. No parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes, or synthetic fragrances.

I bought this one from their site, over here. You can buy this product by itself or take advantage of the whole set (just $30), as I did. The set contains: body cleanser, body moisturizer, plus a hand cream. All amazing!

If you want to read more about the ingredients list and the other benefits, you can find it all on their site. They ship their products fast and secure.


For breastfeeding: Erbaviva Organic Skincare

Nursing Balm


We all have heard the beautiful stories and the amazing connection that God created between mother and child when breastfeeding. Unfortunately, these are not the only stories that we hear. We also read those horror stories about breastfeeding: the pain and the discomfort that comes with it. I guess nothing really beautiful comes easy!

For some breastfeeding doesn’t hurt (lucky mamas) but for me, my first time was so painful that I knew I needed as much help as possible to eliminate/reduce all the pain and troubles.

I’ve learned that is better to prevent than to go all in into an area that is new and you cannot know how to handle. This Erbaviva Nursing balm made everything much easier for me.

You can start using it during the 3’rd trimester and then continue to use it while breastfeeding. It is safe for you and baby, formulated with organic cocoa butter, calming chamomile and calendula.

Get it HEREUse my code ref_vanessamartinez77 for 15% off


For baby: Erbaviva Organic Skincare

Baby Body Wash


I was not going to end this article without talking about this baby wash. Your baby will love it (you can use it too). It cares for and cleanses all sensitive and delicate skin.

The organic mandarin and calming chamomile  makes bath time a pleasure.

Get it HEREUse my code ref_vanessamartinez77 for 15% off



If you’re interested in reading more on this topic, read my following articles:

3 nontoxic baby products your baby will love


Knowledge is power. Know what you apply on your face. Clean, vegan, beauty, non-toxic



Disclaimer: I purchased all these products with my personal money. As always, my reviews are honest, based on me testing all the products that I’ve talked in this article. I am offering a discount code at Follain because I am a clean beauty ambassador with them.








Summer Clean Beauty must haves.

Summer: when days get longer and hotter.

If you want to enjoy to the fullest the upcoming summer days, protection and staying hydrated are a must!

With this being said, I would like to recommend you the perfect clean beauty trio that will help your skin stay healthy, protected, and hydrated.


1. Sheer Zinc Sunscreen

by Babo Botanicals

  • vegan, organic, nontoxic
  • won’t leave any residue
  • calms redness
  • no irritation
  • fragrance-free

You can rest assured that no harmful chemicals are going in/on your skin with this one. This SPF 30 sunscreen will protect the whole family (yes, it’s good for babies, kids, and grown ups too). Also, it’s water and sweat resistant.

I personally have sensitive skin, so this spray is a must for me if I want to avoid any type of irritation or sunburn.

Get it HERE.



2. Tinted Facial Moisturizer

by Raw Elements

  • natural, organic
  • eco-friendly
  • SPF 30
  • water resistant
  • nutrient-rich sunscreen

This one is my go-to whenever I go to the pool and I don’t want to wear makeup but I still want some coverage/protection and a sun kissed look. The fact that this facial moisturizer is tinted: brilliant!

Get it HERE.



3. Cool Aloe Mist

by Farmasthetics


  • all natural ingredients
  • sustainable
  • nontoxic
  • calms burning skin
  • detoxifies skin

To complete the combo, this mist will keep your skin hydrated. Especially if you like to spend more hours soaking in the sun (guilty!), this aloe mist will calm any discomfort of dry, overexposed skin.

Get it HERE.


You can find all these products at Follain– the best of clean beauty, thoughtfully curated.

Use my code ref_vanessamartinez77 for 15% off



*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All my opinions are honest, based on me actually trying these products. If you decide to purchase using my code, I will earn store credit at Follain.