I'm an avid book lover, as you can surely tell from my "ode to books" blog post a few posts back. It was practically a love sonnet to books, I just adore them so!
My favorite kinds of authors are the ones that make me feel. Sometimes I read a book for pure entertainment or most often, to add another delicious recipe to my repertoire. But then there are those select few authors that I read and find myself looking at the words on the page as if my soul jumped out of my body and transformed itself into black letters on the page instead.
Shauna Niequest is one of those authors. I've read every single one of her books (Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread and Wine) and received her newest book, Present Over Perfect, in the mail yesterday. Although I've felt my feet chasing and skipping on a new journey this summer, instead of plodding along through the sludge of too many to-do lists and expectations, I haven't had adequate words for the story of it all. Then last night I cracked open Present Over Perfect and began to read. I found myself nodding, thinking "uh-huh", and underlining so many passages I just simply have to share them. These are my "aha", my "Yes, I feel that too" lines from the book so far. And I've only finished Part 1! I don't know Shauna and this isn't some kind of program where I receive compensation if you buy her book. But I think your soul could use this message.
Here are some favorite lines:
God hasn't invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful-as beautiful on the inside as the outside. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (The Message)
"Stop. Right now. Remake your life from the inside out."
What I'm learning, essentially, is to stand where I am, plain and sometimes tired. Unflashy, profoundly unspectacular. But present and connected and grounded deeply in the love of God, which is changing everything.
You don't have to damage your body and your soul and the people you love most in order to get done what you think you have to get done.
We have some say over the size of our lives.
.....if you're not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it.
Yes and amen.
(Now go order her book! Your soul will thank you.)