Have you ever read a book and then thought ‘everyone I know needs to read this book right now’? This was one of those books for me. The day I finished reading it, I went out and bought other copies to give to my coworkers because they had to read it! In fact, I had to buy another copy to reread for this series because I had given my marked-up copy to someone and I couldn’t remember who!
Shauna beautifully shares her story in such a profound way that I often found myself weeping over the pages, as a non-crier this was rather disconcerting for me. She is a recovering perfectionist who reached the end of her rope and this book is her story of healing. She openly discusses how her busy schedule and her need for achievement led to fractures running throughout her life and how one day she finally had enough. She had to stop, step back, and take a look at her life before continuing further down an unhealthy path of workaholism.
I pray that I have the courage and self-awareness to do the same.
The part of the book that I revisit in my mind often is a small section in which she discusses her view of prayer. In her mind, she had a filter and would decide if something was big enough to be taken to God. Since he was busy running a universe, if anything was too small, she’d take care of it, not wanting to be a bother. After all, she was competent and could handle a lot.
But, over the course of her learning to be present instead of being perfect, she came to learn that he wants even those little things.
Guys! Think about that for a moment! God isn’t annoyed when we come to him with the small stuff, but he’s actually pleased with it. He doesn’t release an audible sigh when we share the little thing we’re worried about. He doesn’t roll his eyes at us when we’re concerned about something he knows doesn’t matter in the long run. He doesn’t yell at us to leave him alone when we’re stressed. He’s a perfect, loving Father who deeply cares for us.
I’m not perfect at being present, nor will I ever be, but thankfully that’s not the goal. I’m so grateful that perfection isn’t the standard I’m required to fill because, as much as I hate to admit it, that’s a goal I will never, ever achieve. And I’m immensely thankful that God cares about the little things in my life and it’s not a bother when I come to him.
Check out Present Over Perfect today and challenge yourself to live a life that’s more present and less perfect.
Do you have a favorite book by Shauna Niequist? Let’s chat about it!
Do you struggle to be present? Are you worn out from trying to be perfect?
Do you struggle to come to God with the little things in your life?
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