Ok people. Imma start with a confession/disclaimer. Let’s get ‘er out of the way in week one. I’m new here. And a Christian. Please don’t kick me out. My personal belief system can be summed up as: “You can love Jesus and not be a douche about it”. I hate to use the word “Christian” because of the horrible things that have been done/said/written under that label. I like to distance myself from the religious wackos as much as the next person.
That being said, I occasionally read books on the topic of faith/religion/spirituality (and not always ones that line up with my own beliefs, just to be clear- I just find faith an interesting topic in general)… and welp, I need all the help I can get making it to the end of this goal, so the reviews are gonna show up here. I promise to not be preachy (and if any reviews are perceived as such, please lemme know- that is NOT my intent, ever). I know religion is one of those hot-button genres, and I’m not here to be “that girl”. I’ll try to keep ’em short and sweet and relatable to all 🙂
Are we cool? Can I stick around?
Present Over Perfect.
This is not the first of Shauna Niequist’s books that I’ve read, and it won’t be the last. Her books are the literary equivalent of sitting down with a good friend over beer and nachos and having one of those *real* conversations about life- the good, the bad, and the ugly. She is not one of those “let’s put a fake, happy, churchy, mask on the realities of how hard life can be” types. I appreciate this.
This book was born out of her life as an extroverted work-a-holic, and the burnout that resulted from that. She details her journey from being an over-achieving people-pleaser who found her worth in being the “yes-man” to everyone around her (in work, church, family, etc), to doing a 180 into a different way of life. It’s a collection of reflections and essays that recount her process of learning to slow down, to simplify, to find joy and purpose in who you are, and to know that saying ‘no’ to the demands that others put on you is ok.
I actually started this read at the end of 2016, and ironically was too busy to get very far into it. But even the bit I read then was enough to start a bit of a re-evaluation process in my mind. Like everyone else here, I LOVE to read… but reading had become a luxury to me. Saved for vacations or waiting rooms. A reward for finishing my to-do list (which was never, to be honest). I had gotten to a point of feeling guilty about reading (“there are so many other things you have to DO!”). This book was like having a friend give me permission to make things like curling up with a book for a couple hours a necessity. A priority even. It was freeing! It’s partially why I’m here.
It’s a book I’d recommend to anyone feels burnt out and “not enough”…. best read in the bathtub with a glass of wine.