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Review: Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living
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Review: Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

14 Nov Posted by in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living
Review: Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequistpresentoverperfect
Reviewed by: Caitlin Anderson
Genre: Christian Living
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication Date: August 9, 2016

It started with the white tennis shoes.

One day, my Instagram feed was full of them. Two white Chuck Taylors peeking their toes into the frames of the people I follow. And there was a hashtag. #PresentOverPerfect

Color me intrigued.

Shauna Niequist had done it again, penning a book for women who were struggling to keep their head above the water.

I fell in love with her words when I discovered the Eucharist reflected in Bread + Wine. Laughed through Cold Tangerines. But this. oh, Shauna met me at my newest life stage, poured a glass of grace and invited me to sit down, relax, and listen to the sound of silence.

She invited me to rest. To say no to the hustle and yes to the life-giving rest that Jesus offers.

As a Christian writer and the daughter of mega church pastors, she knows the temptation to work and work and work at building a platform instead of joining in the work of Kingdom building. That’s why she warns, “Be very careful that you are not giving yourself to a pale imitation of life with Christ—life about Christ, or life generally near to Christ.”

“Many of us, myself, included, considered our souls necessary collateral damage to get done the things we felt we simply had to get done—because of other people’s expectations, because we want to be known as highly capable, because we’re trying to outrun an inner emptiness. And for a while we don’t even realize the compromise we’ve made. We’re on autopilot, chugging through the day on fear and caffeine, checking things off the list, falling into bed without even a real thought or feeling or connection all day long, just a sense of having made it through.”

Are you amening? I know I was at that point in the book.

I should warn you that this may not be your book. The struggles that Shauna faces and the privileges she sometimes takes for granted can get in the way of her real message. If you are struggling to put a meal on the table and pay the bills, you may not relate to someone who talks about spending her summers at the lake cabin. But the heart of her message is for all of us.

It’s easy for me to zone out at the end of the day. To scroll endlessly instead of engage with my daughter, my husband, or my God. So for me, this book was a breath of fresh air, offering me hope and grace during a difficult time.

Rated G: Nothing eyebrow raising, but everything life giving.

Reviewer’s copy was provided by the Publisher. Thank you!

 

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