Present Over Perfect
LIVE A LIFE OF MEANING AND CONNECTIONInstead of pushing for perfectionA few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy.I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, writer, and I know all too well that settling feeling. But over the course of the last few years, I’ve learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And it’s changing everything.Present Over Perfect is an invitation to this journey that changed my life. I’ll walk this path with you, a path away from frantic pushing and proving, and toward your essential self, the one you were created to be before you began proving and earning for your worth.Written in Shauna’s warm and vulnerable style, this collection of essays focuses on the most important transformation in her life, and maybe yours too: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection.Shauna offers an honest account of what led her to begin this journey, and a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us.In these pages, you’ll be invited to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life.

Present Over Perfect Details

TitlePresent Over Perfect
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 9th, 2016
PublisherZondervan
ISBN-139780310342991
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Christian, Self Help, Religion, Faith, Autobiography, Memoir, Spirituality

Present Over Perfect Review

  • Annie Rim
    January 1, 1970
    I was drawn to Shauna Niequist's newest book, Present Over Perfect because its title seemed to indicate our current season. I quickly realized that Niequist's life and my life are vastly different. While I'm learning to live with a messy playroom, Niequist is finding balance by saying no to Big Opportunities and Flashy Job Offers. She's learning to settle in at home with a cup of tea and her family. Perhaps it's harder for someone with a lot of opportunities to say no and to find that balance. I I was drawn to Shauna Niequist's newest book, Present Over Perfect because its title seemed to indicate our current season. I quickly realized that Niequist's life and my life are vastly different. While I'm learning to live with a messy playroom, Niequist is finding balance by saying no to Big Opportunities and Flashy Job Offers. She's learning to settle in at home with a cup of tea and her family. Perhaps it's harder for someone with a lot of opportunities to say no and to find that balance. I'd imagine that the sparkle of recognition is tempting. In that sense, Niequist is open about her change in mindset and what that cost her family and her career.However, as an average mom who doesn't have a Big Career to say no to, I had trouble relating. The big ideas were powerful but the details were privileged and narrow. Niequist leads an idyllic life: Vacations at a lake house, travel, tons of family support, the ability to reimagine her work-from-home job to more perfectly fit her family's needs. And I say this as a middle-class, educated woman of privilege. I wonder how people living paycheck-to-paycheck, without the ease of reinvention would relate to this message?**I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.**
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  • Callie
    January 1, 1970
    1.5/5 stars.I have never read anything by Shauna Niequist, but I see her books everywhere. So when I saw Present Over Perfect available for review, I thought, why not? Niequist is known (to me) for her food memoir, so I knew this book would be a bit of a departure, but I was excited to give it a try. However, I would not recommend reading this book. As so many books I have read lately, I felt this one had positive and negative elements, but the negative elements definitely outweighed the positiv 1.5/5 stars.I have never read anything by Shauna Niequist, but I see her books everywhere. So when I saw Present Over Perfect available for review, I thought, why not? Niequist is known (to me) for her food memoir, so I knew this book would be a bit of a departure, but I was excited to give it a try. However, I would not recommend reading this book. As so many books I have read lately, I felt this one had positive and negative elements, but the negative elements definitely outweighed the positive for me, coming from a biblical perspective and as a new reader of Niequist's books. Here are my thoughts.NegativesI started this book and about a fifth of the way through I realized I was just going to have to plow through without really enjoying it. The main reason I couldn't enjoy it was because it felt a little schizophrenic to me - not Niequist, just the book. Was this supposed to be a memoir or a self-help book? I couldn't figure it out. For so much of the book Niequist seemed to be just going on about her own internal struggles, like a memoir, but with little practical advice or inspiration for her readers. The book seemed selfish to me, in a way. If I had read other books by Niequist and was interested in her as a person, I might have really enjoyed getting an inside look, but mostly I was just annoyed because I had no background on the author to frame all this personal stuff. It felt like reading a stranger's journal of innermost thoughts. There were occasional gems (I'll quote a couple lines I liked below), but mostly I just kept thinking, "yes, but where is the value here for me?" That sounds a little selfish, but then again, as a reader I'm the one who could potentially be buying this book and spending hours of my life on it. There should be something in it for me.I did not like this author's mention of "centering" prayer and deep breathing. The idea of "centering" is a very New Age concept and not biblical at all. I was more likely to give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume she meant simple meditation on Scripture, but then she started talking about her "spiritual director" (shouldn't that be God and His Word?) and "which God she prays to", which for the author was a mix between the Father and the Holy Spirit, not Jesus. Um, what? They are all ONE God, you don't get to pick and choose. At this and other points in the book, she uses language that suggests that God changed as her view of Him changed, and I thought the way she expressed it could be misleading. She missed the boat on communicating that no, He's been the same good God all along, regardless of how she viewed Him before. Overall I got a sense of a New-Age, fluid version of Christianity from this book, and it bothers me how easily we are letting New Age philosophy into our churches and lives. These ideas are not in line with the Bible, and it's not okay. That's another point - there was little mention of Scripture in this book, aside from a couple verses Niequest uses to explain her own journey. Definitely no explanation or reference to the Gospel, which I always find disappointing in Christian non-fiction. She quotes many people and talks about "spiritual" this and that, but she doesn't back up any of her main points or principles with God's Word, which is our only firm grounding in the world. The more I think about it, the more it bothers me. In this book Niequist almost talks about God and Christianity as some sort of phsychological "savior", instead of the truth - that God became a man (Jesus) and died to pay the price for our true problem (sin) and to save us, not from poor self-esteem, but from an eternity apart from God in Hell. That truth isn't covered here.PositivesWhile many of the chapters in this book felt like a waste of my time, there were a few that I actually appreciated - mainly the ones that actually related to the title of the book, giving thoughts on how to be present in our lives while letting go of our ideas of perfection. Unfortunately even on that topic there were probably only two or three chapters that I felt were somewhat valuable to me as a reader. These are a couple quotes that I thought were somewhat useful things for me to think about."I was faced with a dilemma—one so many of us face quite often: I could either wrestle my life and my kids and my house and our Christmas into something fantastic, something perfect . . . or I could plunk myself down right in the middle of the mess and realize that the mess is actually my life, the only one I’ll ever get, the one I’m in danger of missing completely, waiting around for fantastic." "I gave myself away indiscriminately. Be careful how much of yourself you give away, even with the best of intentions. There are things you cannot get back, things that God has not asked you to sacrifice."I thought she touched on some good points here, but it was too brief. She quickly went back to the personal reflections, which I found disappointing, because it was not what I was looking for when I started this book.ConclusionOverall, I wouldn't recommend this book. As someone who was new to this author, I did not enjoy this book, I was disappointed by the New Age undertones, and unfortunately I won't be picking up one of her books again.Note: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.Second Note: I felt a lot of the themes that I assumed Niequist was going to address in this book were things that I have already read about in other books, and they were addressed by other authors in a more effective way. Since I can't recommend this one, I thought I'd say that "The Best Yes" by Lysa Teurkherst was really helpful to me in learning to say no; "Breathe" by Prsicilla Shirer was a really useful Bible Study on the biblical value of rest; and ironically, a secular fiction book called "What Alice Forgot" by Lianne Moriarty was a fun book (warning: some language) that really got me thinking about how busyness was affecting my life. I would recommend those ones to you if the title of "Present Over Perfect" is what interests you.
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  • Morgan
    January 1, 1970
    Where to begin with this review...I think first the positive. First and foremost, this book should be called a memoir. It should not be read for spiritual instruction, but since Niequist has assumed the role of an author, speaker, and teacher, no doubt readers are coming to her for instruction. If I were rating this book simply on writing style and relatability to the author's struggle for simplicity, for being present over perfect, I would give it a 4. But as a believer in Jesus Christ, I strug Where to begin with this review...I think first the positive. First and foremost, this book should be called a memoir. It should not be read for spiritual instruction, but since Niequist has assumed the role of an author, speaker, and teacher, no doubt readers are coming to her for instruction. If I were rating this book simply on writing style and relatability to the author's struggle for simplicity, for being present over perfect, I would give it a 4. But as a believer in Jesus Christ, I struggle to give it a 1. Some reviewers will call me fundamentalist or conservative, but there is a reason the Holy Spirit gives us a spirit of discernment, and my discernment sensors were on full blast throughout this book. Mentions of spiritual directors (both she and her husband see Jesuit priests as their spiritual directors), and practices of Catholicism and mysticism left me beyond wary of Niequist. She mentions this new meeting she and her husband have started at Willow Creek Church (where her father Bill Hybels is the lead pastor), called The Practice. The Eucharist takes center stage as does teachings from Rabbis, Jesuits, and other interfaith leaders. This was a red flag....interfaith teachers...and we're all sharing communion? Spiritual practices such as centering prayer are encouraged. With very little research one can quickly find that centering prayer has its roots in the occult.Perhaps even more disconcerting is the author's own admission of not having grasped grace until this point in her life, that she has" competed, feared, proved, and hustled," but that grace has eluded her. And yes, grace is a hard pill for all of us to swallow! We're not worthy of it, we don't want to be indebted to anyone. But when we come to the point of our salvation, we cannot help but be overwhelmed with gratitude and praise for amazing grace! How I longed for that in this book! And sure, we struggle with continued efforts of self-righteousness, but God in his great mercy always brings us back to his gospel of grace. And that was completely lacking for me. Very, very little emphasis was placed on Jesus, the gospel, Scripture, or grace while overwhelming ink was given to counselors, spiritual directors, and practices of spiritual formation. And why is this all so disconcerting? Because over the past decade, Niequist has published four books, all geared toward an audience of Christian women. Because in the past decade, Niequst has made her rounds at Christian women's conferences as a speaker and workshop leader. Because in the past decade, she and her husband have been leading in a prominent mega church in Chicago, her husband previously the worship leader there. And prior to that both were on staff at another large church in Michigan.Honestly, this terrifies me that this book hit the NYT bestsellers list immediately, that so many women look to Niequist's voice for "spiritual direction" (to use one of her favorite terms).LADIES, we have a spiritual director and counselor. His name is Holy Spirit. We have a mediator of grace. His name is Jesus Christ. We can hear the voice of God. It is called the Word of God, the Bible. We have grace, we have freedom, we have all we need in the Word and with the direction of our spiritual director. While there is nothing wrong with learning from other faiths and ancient practices, if they lead us astray from the gospel, we must always, always be wary! Overall, this book is laden with a smorgasbord of Catholicism, mysticism, and New Age practices. I cannot recommend it or anything else produced by Niequist.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Another positive audiobook focused on simplifying life. Some helpful tips here and lots of acceptance.2017 Summer Vacation Book #1 (Audio #1)
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I am a fan of Shauna Niequist's honest and approachable style. Her devotional Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are is one I've relied on for the past couple of years.Having read probably 10 books about "slowing down" and "simplifying," I'm never quite sure if I'll glean anything new from a book or if it will just be more of the same. I'm not sure if Niequist's writing just resonates so well with me, if I was desperate to hear the message, or if this book is really that good, but th I am a fan of Shauna Niequist's honest and approachable style. Her devotional Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are is one I've relied on for the past couple of years.Having read probably 10 books about "slowing down" and "simplifying," I'm never quite sure if I'll glean anything new from a book or if it will just be more of the same. I'm not sure if Niequist's writing just resonates so well with me, if I was desperate to hear the message, or if this book is really that good, but this book struck a major chord. The highlighter function on my Kindle was working in overdrive while reading this book as my brain went right along saying "Yes! That's right! This is what I need to do. This is what I need to *stop* doing!"As much as a liked this book, there were a few chapters in the middle that seemed to drop out of the sky. They related to some very specific church-building initiatives and seemed out of place in the book. Thank you to NetGalley and Zondervan for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Angela Mushrush
    January 1, 1970
    I stopped on page 70. I just can't believe this is a book and I'm embarrassed and kind of angry that I bought it. There are some truths in this book. Basically that she's addicted to working and is really rich and blah blah blah. She could have summed this book up in about a paragraph on her Facebook account. I waited for her to say how she became present over perfect but she just kept talking about vacations and describing places (like Hawaii) of complete serenity where her in laws were keeping I stopped on page 70. I just can't believe this is a book and I'm embarrassed and kind of angry that I bought it. There are some truths in this book. Basically that she's addicted to working and is really rich and blah blah blah. She could have summed this book up in about a paragraph on her Facebook account. I waited for her to say how she became present over perfect but she just kept talking about vacations and describing places (like Hawaii) of complete serenity where her in laws were keeping her kids and STILL not feeling right with herself. Really?! As I read to page 70 I just kept thinking and what about the single moms with no money?! You have it all lady. And honestly, I think that's her point. She has it all, like a lot of Americans and rich Christians she "suffers" from gluttony of stuff. And I know, that's a real spiritual issue; it's just irritating to me that she wrote a book on it.8/22/17- I watched a Super Soul Sunday Oprah interview with the author and it's made me appreciate her message more. I definitely still don't like it as a book, but I loved it as a podcast type-shortened-audio-food-for-thought sermon. And I do appreciate that she's basically saying DO LESS. I can get on board with that.
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  • Von
    January 1, 1970
    I WANTED to like this book, really I did, and to be honest there were a few chapters I really appreciated. However, I just don't think I can relate very well to the context of the struggle. It's really hard for me to connect to someone that has the luxury of going away from life every summer to a lake house or Lake Geneva and leaving things behind. I kept wondering why things were so tough for a person that has two healthy kids, a loving/wonderful husband, and annual get-away destination. I foun I WANTED to like this book, really I did, and to be honest there were a few chapters I really appreciated. However, I just don't think I can relate very well to the context of the struggle. It's really hard for me to connect to someone that has the luxury of going away from life every summer to a lake house or Lake Geneva and leaving things behind. I kept wondering why things were so tough for a person that has two healthy kids, a loving/wonderful husband, and annual get-away destination. I found myself only wishing that I had such things even before she starting improving upon them. As with other reviews I fear I was not the target audience even though I tried really hard to be.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    Some good nuggets in here and a good theme, overall. But super repetitive (super!!!) and felt a bit thrown together. Like, her editor called her to badger her about a new book and she said, "no! I'm done hustling! I'm taking a break and getting back to my core!" And her editor said, "great! Write about that! I need it in a week!" It has that messy, mid-journey memoir, right-in-the-thick-of-it feel to it. It very easily could have been (probably should have been) a magazine article.
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    This was so great as well as so convicting. I loved all of it, and the audiobook is fantastic!
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    This book spoke to me so deeply. The whole book is wonderful, but three things in particular pervaded my recent thinking.It’s ok for life to be less impressive on the outside. This might mean fewer vacations, fewer blog posts, and fewer parties, because being home and being with our loved ones leaves a space that is “beautiful and peaceful and full of life and connection, what I was looking for all along.” A Romanian saying I learned from my step-father-in-law is “They will not build a statue of This book spoke to me so deeply. The whole book is wonderful, but three things in particular pervaded my recent thinking.It’s ok for life to be less impressive on the outside. This might mean fewer vacations, fewer blog posts, and fewer parties, because being home and being with our loved ones leaves a space that is “beautiful and peaceful and full of life and connection, what I was looking for all along.” A Romanian saying I learned from my step-father-in-law is “They will not build a statue of you in the parking lot!” But Niequist takes it one step further into our spiritual lives by reminding us we aren’t building a castle or a monument, we are building a soul and a family. We can choose not to spend our lives at the altars of productivity, capability, busyness and distraction, even if those altars include “godly” pursuits such as volunteering and helping with church activities. Rather we can choose less commitments and more time with those we love for meaning, connection, love, and freedom.She also writes passionately about prayer, about bringing all our whole selves to God, as we all knew how to do as children. But somewhere as we grew up we learned to “only bring our achievement or our desperate apologies for the lack of achievement, as though God is the foreman of the factory, punching our time cards.” Wow, what a thought. I have definitely been unintentionally doing this, only bringing thanks for my achievements or apologies for my failings instead of simply pouring out my heart and soul to God, including all the small hurts and enormous fears.Finally, she encapsulates succinctly and strikingly the current culture’s message to women, to be, “really skinny and really tired. If I could shrink and hustle, I’d be right there, skinny and tired . . . The messages of the world say in no uncertain terms: ruin yourself, and starve yourself. Wring yourself out. Ignore your hunger, your soul, your sickness, your longing.” Niequist states unequivocally she will not live there anymore, and I’m with her. Instead, we can choose to be countercultural, to be rested, full of grace and nourishment. “I will practice hospitality to my very own body—you can rest, you can be nourished, you can be loved. And I’ll also practice hospitality to my complicated feelings about my body. Because they’re a part of me, too.” I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    I think there were nuggets of good thoughts here and there in this book, but overall, I was overwhelmed by the serious lack of recognition of privilege throughout. I had to wonder if someone making a low to middle-range income had read a manuscript at any point through the editing process. It might have helped. I think the fact that I heard a ton of hype about this book may have set me up for disappointment, but still. That said, if you happen to be someone who is free to choose your own work ho I think there were nuggets of good thoughts here and there in this book, but overall, I was overwhelmed by the serious lack of recognition of privilege throughout. I had to wonder if someone making a low to middle-range income had read a manuscript at any point through the editing process. It might have helped. I think the fact that I heard a ton of hype about this book may have set me up for disappointment, but still. That said, if you happen to be someone who is free to choose your own work hours, and you're also successful and wealthy enough to be able to say no to paid work, but have somehow managed to load your plate too heavily, this may be the book for you.
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  • Ioana
    January 1, 1970
    I'm always curious of Shauna's new books, although I have realized long ago that I'm not always the targeted audience of everything she writers. I don't resonate with everything she writes about in this book, but there have been some aspects that rang true and caught my attention.Shauna Niequist tells stories from her personal discovery of what it means to have way too much on your plate, saying "yes" to one more thing, but forgetting what is important and what should be a priority. The author m I'm always curious of Shauna's new books, although I have realized long ago that I'm not always the targeted audience of everything she writers. I don't resonate with everything she writes about in this book, but there have been some aspects that rang true and caught my attention.Shauna Niequist tells stories from her personal discovery of what it means to have way too much on your plate, saying "yes" to one more thing, but forgetting what is important and what should be a priority. The author makes several references to her family, her husband and children, and this automatically makes a distinction between those who can relate to this life and those who aren't in that season of life. It's not a deal breaker, but something that should be mentioned. You know, the busy wife&mom life VS those who aren't that.Another thing worth mentioning is that sometimes it feels like she keeps saying the same thing over and over again. In a way it makes sense since the core of what she's writing is not some big theology, although it can be looked at from different perspectives. This is something I find in most non-fiction (especially Christian) books: the author has the idea, and that idea is turned every possible way to make a book out of it. Now, luckily, Shauna Niequist is good with words - I like how she writes, I like how she chooses the right word for the right sentence. Sometimes she goes the long way to make a point, and while this can be slightly hard to follow, one can look at it as her writing style. Others see this as rambling.On to what I definitely like: I highlighted quite a bit, so that should be enough evidence that I did like this book. My favorite parts were those that referenced to prayer. Adopting this new mantra of slowing down and being mindful of what she accepts in her schedule meant a shift in the way she looks at prayer. "[God] has all the time in the world to sit with me and sift through my fears and feelings and failings. That’s what prayer is. That’s what love is like. (...) He doesn’t ask me to show up and catalog my strengths. He doesn’t ask me to show up and abuse myself for my failings. He asks me to bring my whole-fragile-strong-weak-good-bad self. (...) He is love itself, grace embodied, holding the fullness of who we are—strong, weak, good, bad, wild, fearful, brave, silly—in his hands. He can be trusted with every part of it, the silly and the enormous." What she's saying is that prayer is not a brief meeting where we ask for direction when we're stuck, or give the run-down of how we did things - prayer is something that binds us with God. If not for something else, the passages about it are worth reading the book for.Another thing that I particularly liked was how she linked being still to coming to terms with who you are & who you are meant to be. Because "it’s only when we’re truly alone that we can listen to our lives and God’s voice speaking out from the silence." We can ignore what we are called to do and be, or we can live fulfilling our calling. This, too, is something worth reading the book for. Probably given the life stage I'm in, the words had a bigger impact, and they were most welcome.Although I'm not one of those people who have a lot going on and feel the pressure to make a big sacrifice to rise to the expectations imposed on me, there sure was something valuable I took from this book, as I'm sure everyone will. That is, if you don't make up your mind to see this book as another one in a long list of Christian non-fiction books written by middle-class, middle-age women (wife&mom, naturally). In no way is my life similar to hers, but some things are generally true, no matter the lifestyle differences.I received an ebook from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed here are my own.
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  • Mollie
    January 1, 1970
    I did not learn anything from this book. The best thing about it was the title. The rest was her complaining about how busy she is and how she isn't going to write books anymore—while she is writing a book. I wish it had more practical advice, or even just wisdom about what matters in life versus what doesn't. Instead it felt like a lot of self-loathing followed by peace followed by more self- loathing.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Shauna repeats herself WAY too much, felt like I was reading a blog post about the same thing over and over again. Is this book a memoir or self-help? very selfishly written if she truely meant to inspire. the premise is good, but how??? no meat whatsoever, especially if you're looking for truth based on the Bible. I have never given such a low review, I almost feel bad, but she says in her book that she isn't looking for accolades from others anymore, so... oh well!
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  • Christy Ryan
    January 1, 1970
    Hmmmm. Not what I thought. This type of book is truly my favorite type of non fiction. I love books on balance, busyness and best yes. My night stand is full of them. Love the title and the concept of slowing down and giving your best to those in your home first. But, I felt like I was drowning in so much new age thinking that this one just wasn't for me.
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  • Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
    January 1, 1970
    As someone who can get caught up in the act of perfectionism and the frantic lifestyle, I really took away a lot from the content of this book. If you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, this book may be a helpful tool for change. Although the author and I live drastically different lifestyles, I can relate to her struggles as well as the desires she has for her life. This book was a good reminder to refocus on what my priorities are in life and I found her stories profoundly relatable As someone who can get caught up in the act of perfectionism and the frantic lifestyle, I really took away a lot from the content of this book. If you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, this book may be a helpful tool for change. Although the author and I live drastically different lifestyles, I can relate to her struggles as well as the desires she has for her life. This book was a good reminder to refocus on what my priorities are in life and I found her stories profoundly relatable. I think it’s too easy to over complicate our basic wants and needs and the importance often lies in the simplistic.I think this book will be important to some and not as important to others. It depends on your current season and possibly how receptive you are to the information. Change is hard, especially with habits that are deeply ingrained. For me, I know that I will be trying to put some of her suggestions into action and that this book will be a necessary reminder in the future when/if I get off track.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm convinced Shauna Niequist is me, just 12 years older and with an excessive love of cheese I'll never be able to share. Basically everything she writes hits me squarely in the heart and tells me exactly what I need to hear right when I need it most. This one was no exception. Full review to come.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    A 4.5 for me. A really strong (good) message about not hustling. Almost feels like she can see into my brain.
  • Stacy
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to agree with many of the reviews that this was more of a memoir then any kind of self-help book. It was like reading her diary. It seemed repetitive and very biblical off for me at various points. It was an easy read but I was disappointed. I was expecting more encouragement on my own path to a life of simplicity. I don't recommend this book unless you enjoy reading someone's diary of thoughts and struggles. I do recommend The Best Yes by Lysa Terkurest, Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Fre I'm going to agree with many of the reviews that this was more of a memoir then any kind of self-help book. It was like reading her diary. It seemed repetitive and very biblical off for me at various points. It was an easy read but I was disappointed. I was expecting more encouragement on my own path to a life of simplicity. I don't recommend this book unless you enjoy reading someone's diary of thoughts and struggles. I do recommend The Best Yes by Lysa Terkurest, Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman or Uncluttered by Joshua Becker. Great books that are inspirational to choosing simplicity and living life for more then stuff and the badge of honor of being busy!
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the book "Bread and Wine", but I struggled to finish this one. Too repetitive and the new age religious tone of this book, well lets just say I'm not a fan.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    If you want to start your next year out right, this book is for you. Niequist really explores our lack of presence in our lives as this becomes overshadowed by busy schedules and pleasing the wrong people in our lives. Basically, this book is giving you the side-eye, overcommitted extrovert. You know it is!Shauna shares her own struggles of overcommitting, guilt about what she isn’t doing, and how we look for validation through social media instead of the people sharing our home.Yup, it hit me r If you want to start your next year out right, this book is for you. Niequist really explores our lack of presence in our lives as this becomes overshadowed by busy schedules and pleasing the wrong people in our lives. Basically, this book is giving you the side-eye, overcommitted extrovert. You know it is!Shauna shares her own struggles of overcommitting, guilt about what she isn’t doing, and how we look for validation through social media instead of the people sharing our home.Yup, it hit me right in the gut.Why are we so scared to sit in silence and what can be learned from a slowed down life? This soulful way of living is something I hope to embrace in 2017 and this book just seemed to speak to me at the right time in my life. If you are seeking present over perfect, you should pick this one up. I just know it would be a great way for you to start your year too as you shift your focus from others to the people that should be the most important in your life.
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  • Samantha Baruzzini
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you read a book and it feels good to finish something. Then there are books that move me. Bring tears to my eyes. Convict me of needing to find and rediscover pieces of myself and my soul and connection to God. To make the time for quiet and stillness and prayer. For creating and recreating furniture and art and song. That is this book. I haven't picked up and finished one so quickly amidst my busy-with-life frantic mindset in a long time. It will be one that stays on the shelf, to be Sometimes you read a book and it feels good to finish something. Then there are books that move me. Bring tears to my eyes. Convict me of needing to find and rediscover pieces of myself and my soul and connection to God. To make the time for quiet and stillness and prayer. For creating and recreating furniture and art and song. That is this book. I haven't picked up and finished one so quickly amidst my busy-with-life frantic mindset in a long time. It will be one that stays on the shelf, to be highly recommended for years to come. Read this book. Let it invite you to the courage to slow down and soak in what lights your soul ablaze.
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  • Elizabeth Moore
    January 1, 1970
    "...and the soul felt its worth."
  • Melody Warnick
    January 1, 1970
    That thing when you read a book that is exactly what you need at this precise moment in your life? Yeah, I love when that happens.
  • Lisamarie Landreth
    January 1, 1970
    Shauna does it again with another book I'll be revisiting year over year, season after season.
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    If you're not a person of faith -- like me -- you can easily skim over that stuff and/or fill it in with whatever your spiritual preference is.That said: I don't think she goes there deep enoough. Niequist realized she was filling her life with tasks and to-do lists and that she needed to make things more simple. To say "no" more. And yet, there's no real reflection upon why. "I want to be more present" would be worth really diving into, and yet, it's all superficial. There's nothing new in here If you're not a person of faith -- like me -- you can easily skim over that stuff and/or fill it in with whatever your spiritual preference is.That said: I don't think she goes there deep enoough. Niequist realized she was filling her life with tasks and to-do lists and that she needed to make things more simple. To say "no" more. And yet, there's no real reflection upon why. "I want to be more present" would be worth really diving into, and yet, it's all superficial. There's nothing new in here for readers who are familiar with the work of, say, Brene Brown. What's missing is the real vulnerability. And not to mention, very little reflection upon privilege and how she COULD just start saying no because she had the safety nets to do so (something any woman of color can't do, let alone any woman who isn't middle class and comfortable). There are better books, though I see young, white, Christian female readers finding this a good starting place if it's a topic they've never really thought much about before.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I love Shauna's honesty. Always have, (probably) always will. And her cry for saying no to perfectionism and yes to connection are words I can always hear more. I bookmarked a few words that got my heart, and her essay on "Good Fruit" is one that I will come back to again. I'll buy her next book and read her blogs. (4 stars) But the book really lost steam about halfway through. (2 stars) And the filler uncomfortably sat in the way of an otherwise enjoyable collection, often slipping into stories I love Shauna's honesty. Always have, (probably) always will. And her cry for saying no to perfectionism and yes to connection are words I can always hear more. I bookmarked a few words that got my heart, and her essay on "Good Fruit" is one that I will come back to again. I'll buy her next book and read her blogs. (4 stars) But the book really lost steam about halfway through. (2 stars) And the filler uncomfortably sat in the way of an otherwise enjoyable collection, often slipping into stories that may have been better left untold to the public, once descriptively alluding to the extreme messiness of a friend's life while minimizing the messiness of her own ("I've been carrying his family's deception and betrayal and disease for decades. I'm honored to. And he carries the broken parts of my family's story, and my failures and regrets.")Also I couldn't help but think that the length she goes to say how putting work before her family was bad seems to be wrapped up in a lot of shame, for herself, but also for others. Some times work has to come first for a period if that is the story that you and your family are telling together, and there isn't shame in that. Hurt happens when expectations are set that aren't met, when narratives go off track. She touches on this concept at one point but leaves it behind again and again to drive home the point that being with family all the time is better. And how much better it is to snuggle with her son. But that's also a privilege. Because she hustled and has resources now that allow her to be able to choose to snuggle with her son instead of work. Not everyone has the resources to make that decision.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    The season of life I am currently in is crazy chaos, so the theme of this book sparked my interest. Everyday I am looking for more ways to simplify, stay present, and not worry so much about having everything perfect, so I wanted to love this book. I really did. And although I love the theme of everything Shauna wrote about, I did not feel very connected to her words. Maybe it is becuase our worlds and personalities seem very different. She writes of beach houses, trips to places such as Hawaii, The season of life I am currently in is crazy chaos, so the theme of this book sparked my interest. Everyday I am looking for more ways to simplify, stay present, and not worry so much about having everything perfect, so I wanted to love this book. I really did. And although I love the theme of everything Shauna wrote about, I did not feel very connected to her words. Maybe it is becuase our worlds and personalities seem very different. She writes of beach houses, trips to places such as Hawaii, and a job where she travels and speaks across the nation. These types of things are not tangible in my life so I felt a disconnect to her story. I also felt that she scratched the surface on several interesting, promising points, but she did not dig deeper. A quick read, I powered thru, but I never felt invested or fulfilled. Just like, 'those were nice ideas', but nothing that would create a breakthrough a-ha moment for me.
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  • Catherine
    January 1, 1970
    There is a certain peace and freedom found in these pages. Today I decided I would read this book. And I did. All day. It's the only thing I did, really. And I'm glad. I'm in this same season of stripping away, deciding what I can and can't do and learning how to say no. Learning how to say yes. And learning how to jump. And sometimes, well, all the time, God gives us exactly what we need when we need it most. Today it was this book.
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  • Rene
    January 1, 1970
    This may be for some. But definitely not for me. Poorly written. I felt so much was left out. The word whining comes to mind and narcissism... definitely not for me.
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