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Busyness drains our souls and harms our bodies. When you don't have a moment to be still, how can the still, small voice of God's wisdom and love speak into your life?
Shauna Niequist was in a season of extreme busyness that finally broke her enough to become desperate for change. In Present Over Perfect, Shauna shares what she's learned in her journey toward slower living, which has become more abundant, fruitful living. Come alongside to rest, play, and recreate. What you'll find there satisfies more than you can imagine.
Number of Pages: 240
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 9.03 X 6.60 X 1.40 (inches)|
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LIVE A LIFE OF MEANING AND CONNECTION
Instead of pushing for perfection
A 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, Ive learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And its changing everything.
Present Over Perfect is an invitation to this journey that changed my life. Ill 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 Shaunas 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, youll 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.
Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread & Wine and Savor. She is married to Aaron, and they have two wild and silly and darling boys, Henry and Mac. They live outside Chicago, where Aaron leads The Practice and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Shauna also writes for the Storyline Blog, and for IF:Table, she is a member of the Relevant podcast, and a guest teacher at her church. Shaunas three great loves are her family, dinner parties, and books, and she believes that vulnerable storytelling, hard laughter, and cold pizza for breakfast can cure almost anything.
I begged Shauna for this manuscript a year ago while it was half-baked. When I finally received it, I read it from cover to cover in one sitting, then sat down at my laptop and wrote four emails bowing out of engagements that no longer fit my life, made two hard phone calls, and gave an end date to two other commitments. Present Over Perfect loaned me the courage, integrity, and permission Id been waiting for. I will go to the grave thankful for this message. It has changed my life.
Most of the teachers Ive had didnt think they were teaching me anything; they just thought we were friends. Shauna is that kind of friend, and this is that kind of book. As you turn these pages, youll be reminded about what you have loved, where youve found your joy, and perhaps what youve misplaced along the way. Most of all, youll be guided into an honest conversation about your faith and where you want to go with it.
I cried tears of relief while inhaling Present Over Perfect. I cried because Id completely forgotten that I dont have to earn worthiness, hustle for love, or fight to belong. Shaunas words---equal parts elegant and urgent---invited me to remember that my worthiness, belonging, and beloved-ness are birthrights. I cant think of a more important, more desperately needed invitation.
Ive watched Shauna walk this journey away from proving and pushing toward connection and grace, and as a friend, Im proud of her. As a reader, Im thankful to have these pages as an inspiration and guide. For all of us who yearn for meaningful, connected lives but find ourselves sometimes settling for busy, her words are the push weve been waiting for.
Shauna awakens our desire to not miss our lives. Because that pursuit costs us our distracting habits, we need motivation beyond disciplines and rules. We have to want to really live and be with our people and enjoy this gift of a life that God has given us. Shaunas life makes me not want to miss mine, and her words here will make you not want to miss yours.
We live in a society that can easily have us running in circles if we arent careful. And this can result in having a life full of things we actually never intended to sign up for. Shauna helps us take a step back and reset our minds and souls. In these pages you will find wisdom and encouragement to see past temporal success and accolades to experience the deeper, more connected and truly enjoyable life. After all, it is the power of connection with others that helps us thrive in every sense of the word.
I have already read this book seven times. Its about pursuing the present over the perfect---but it is nonetheless a nearly perfect thing, a nearly perfect book. Shauna speaks exactly to my condition.
With graceful confession, Shauna has created a memoir of her heart---a racing, fragmented heart that is becoming a contented, loved, and present heart. Reading this book heartened me for her, for her family, for her church, and for her generation. Shauna summons each of us to resist being sucked into the fast-paced draft of saying Yes and offers us a better way: the way of presence, the way of saying No. But this No is a Yes to something far better.