Book Review: Savor

Shauna Niequist’s latest book, Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are, is a must-own. Departing from the short stories and essays in her memoirs Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread and Wine, Niequist offers readers a book with a scripture and meditation for each day of the year.

??????????????????????My first reaction: Savor is beautiful. The cover is linen bound, and the pages are just the right weight. I adore the navy and maroon color scheme, and the hand lettering by Lindsay Letters is to die for.

And the content. The content! If you (like me) are somewhat of a fan-girl for Shauna Niequist’s previous books, you’ll recognize some of her stories and ideas from those books mixed in with the new content. Each day’s devotion has a short scripture verse, and then a bite-sized meditation, followed by a prompt for thought, journal writing, or prayer in response to what you read. Mixed in with the devotions are 21 recipes of her favorites–I can’t wait to try some of them!

She states the premise for this devotional so beautifully in her introduction:

“Let’s clear away space together, trusting that what we’ll find in even small moments of prayer and silence will transform us. When I begin the day in prayer, I find that it’s easier to continue that way. When I begin the day with God’s word, with silence, with a grounding sense of his love for me, then I find it’s easier to bring those things with me throughout the day…So let’s begin together. Let’s savor this day, the beauty of the world God made, the richness of family and friendship, the good gifts of creativity and work. All the things that populate our days are worth savoring.” ~Shauna Niequist

I’ve been reading Savor more mornings than not these last couple of weeks, and I’ve enjoyed the tone it sets for my day. If you are looking for a daily reminder to ground yourself in the things that matter, and to savor the fleeting everyday we are all gifted with, you will not regret picking up a copy of Savor.

If you’re interested….my review of Bread and Wine (also by Shauna Niequist) and Scary Close (Donald Miller)

Disclosure statement: I received this free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Scary Close

Donald Miller’s newest memoir, Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, shares his journey toward becoming more genuine, honest, and invested in his relationships. Using the story of his courtship with his wife, Don shares his journey of growth from emotional dysfunction to health.

_225_350_Book.1491.cover

When I first read a description of Scary Close, my first thought was, “This won’t apply to me.”  I don’t consider myself a person who struggles with relationships. I have deep friendships, I’m grateful for my marriage, and I’m close with my family.  I’ve read Boundaries, and spent some hard, challenging years putting on my big-girl-pants and fighting for healthy relationships. I was pretty sure I had emotional intimacy all wrapped up and tied with a pretty bow. Done and done. Good job, me!

Reading Scary Close showed me I’m not quite there yet. And that’s OK. Don says, “I suppose that’s the point of this book. There’s truth in the idea we’re never going to be perfect in love, but we can get close. And the closer we get, the healthier we will be.” I don’t want to waste my life impressing a bunch of people, at the expense of sacrificing connection with the ones that matter. When it’s all said and done, I want to live a grateful life, be genuine, and love my people well.

Whether or not you struggle with relationships, I recommend this book wholeheartedly. Don’s writing style is easy to read and his stories are engaging. You’ll walk away from this book with a new-found appreciation for the healthy relationships in your life, and a challenge to show up and do the hard work of becoming a mature, emotionally whole person–not just for you, but for your family, your spouse, your friends, and your children. Everyone benefits from being surrounded by healthy relationships.

Disclosure statement: I received this free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

What I’m Reading: Make it Happen

_140_245_Book.1451.coverBook: Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose

Author: Lara Casey

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Copyright: 2014

“You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them!” If only it were that easy! In her first book, Make it Happen, Lara shares her story of personal successes and failures, and encourages women to join her in pursuing a life of purpose.

Throughout the book, you’ll find insets that prompt you to write, fill in a blank, or verbalize your thoughts. As she says in her introduction, “This is not a reading-only book. I’m going to ask you to do stuff, because just sitting with your thoughts hasn’t been getting you anywhere. So let’s shake things up together.”

Lara writes in a conversational voice–it feels like you’re chatting with a friend. If you take the time to respond to the prompts in each chapter, reading this book could transform your life and launch you into doing big and meaningful things. As a bonus, at the end of every chapter is a link to Lara’s website. Some of the links are planning tools, others are beautiful (printable) pieces of her art.

Make it Happen is definitely worth the read, friends!

Disclosure statement: I received this free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.