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Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic…

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful…

by Shauna Niequist

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3301053,411 (3.8)3
A collection of essays that focuses on the most important transformation in Niequist's life: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be.



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» See also 3 mentions

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The Short of It:

Are you a perfectionist? Do you try to keep all the balls in the air at the same time? Do you have trouble saying no? This book focuses on being present over perfect. Perfection is highly overrated and if you are like me and fail at it miserably, you will find much to relate to in this audio book.

The Rest of It:

What’s funny is that if you ask the people around me, they will say that I’m not failing at all. Because, on the outside, I look like I have it all together. I know this because I’ve been told this. I’ve even been referred to as a Stepford Mom and if that person happens to be reading, PLEASE do not be upset over it. I secretly enjoyed the comment and it has stayed with me for years. I mean, it was kind of a compliment, at least to my perfection-striving self.

Those who know me will also say that for years I’ve been trying to simplify and that my calendar is always a work-in-progress. Lord, I try. I try to cook real food, learn things, spend time with my family but I spend a lot of time driving back and forth, or holed up in a parking lot waiting for something to end.

A good friend gifted me this book on Audible and it could have been written by me. I could relate to every, single story within it. Present Over Perfect is a book of observations. Each chapter is an observation of what Niequist dealt with as she was trying to focus on being present with those around her, and not so perfect. Listening to this book was like a soothing balm to my soul.

My word for the year is Gather and because I am a perfectionist by nature, the idea of inviting people into my home when things are less than perfect is very uncomfortable for me but Niequist addresses that and of course everything she says makes perfect sense. While waiting for perfection that will never come, my home remains closed off to the people I’ve been trying to invite in. Ironic, no?

If you enjoy self-reflection and struggle with perfection, you will find yourself nodding to much of what Niequist details here. She comes across as gentle, but genuine. I’m so glad my friend gifted it to me!

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter. ( )
  tibobi | Feb 18, 2020 |
This is a highly personal, graceful, almost intimately voiced book. It deals with developing mindful presence and commited choicefulness over the cultural allure of busy-ness, over-committing and burnout that many women seem to be challenged by.

My favorite part and the part that hit me the hardest was the call to candy-throwing. Recommended. ( )
  angiestahl | Jan 28, 2020 |
This book found me at the perfect moment. I'm currently in a crossroads season of life, and I've been thinking a lot lately about change, what I want my life to look like in the next few years, and how I want to go about the business of living well. This book really struck a cord for me with all of those things.

I'm grateful for Shauna's willingness to write about vulnerable topics so that I have the luxury of reading them and pondering their meaning for my own life.

Shauna's books always seem to receive a decent amount of praise and criticism. Lately I've been trying to approach every book with the mindset of "What can this book/person teach me about following Christ better?" rather than "How many things do I disagree with?" Scrupulous readers may find some things that trouble them (for me, I always wish Shauna's books would use more Scripture to back up claims rather than just personal experience), but overall, I found much worth learning from this book.

If you're prone to anxiety, hustling, and striving for approval, this book is for you. If you find yourself searching for worth but coming up empty, this book is for you. If you long for someone to take you by the hand and say, "Here's a better way," this book is for you.

If you can't afford therapy, this book is definitely for you. ( )
  melissa_faith | Mar 16, 2019 |
The subtitle of this work is "Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living".
But all this book is is a series of essays about the wonder and magic of living a "simpler" life. No tips on how to do it, no magical solution for overcoming the busy of daily life.
I'm sure this makes for a great memoir, but as a self-help type book...not so much. ( )
  ErinMa | Feb 22, 2019 |
The author describes her journey away from a hectic, exhausting life trying to please anyone. She realised that her health and family were suffering, and made some positive decisions to cut back on commitments, travelling and even possessions.

Written in short sections, there's much to think about and some useful nuggets of wisdom even for those of us who already have fairly calm and relaxed lifestyles. There's a strong underlying Christian theme, but much of the content could be of interest and inspiration even to those of other faiths, or none at all.

Recommended. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Feb 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shauna Niequistprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brown, BrenéForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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