Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living (Signed Book)

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living (Signed Book)

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by Shauna Niequist

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In a culture that values speed, efficiency, image, and busyness, some of us are aching for another way to live: more intentional, more connected. Simpler, slower, richer. Many of us have believed the myth that achievement and success bring us contentment, only to find it’s actually things like connection and meaning, not success and achievement, that


In a culture that values speed, efficiency, image, and busyness, some of us are aching for another way to live: more intentional, more connected. Simpler, slower, richer. Many of us have believed the myth that achievement and success bring us contentment, only to find it’s actually things like connection and meaning, not success and achievement, that provide true peace and genuine happiness.

Present Over Perfect is bestselling author Shauna Niequist’s motto for how to live a rich, engaged, and loving life in the midst of what often feels terribly messy and imperfect. Similar in format to Shauna’s previous books, Present Over Perfect is a collection of essays that focuses on the journey from frantic and tired to connected and free. Many of us find ourselves busier than we want to be, missing the sweetest moments along the way. We end up resentful and distracted, full of regret and feeling disconnected. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out to a new way of living—full of grace, space, and connection.

As a wife, mother, friend, and writer, Shauna shares with vulnerability and transparency about the reality of living wholly present in our relationships with our families and the others we love and inspires readers to discover their own path to this more fulfilling way to do life.

Editorial Reviews

author of For the Love and 7 —Jennifer Hatmaker
I begged Shauna for this manuscript a year ago while it was half-baked. When I finally received it, I read it from cover to cover in one sitting, then sat down at my laptop and wrote four emails bowing out of engagements that no longer fit my life, made two hard phone calls, and gave an end date to two other commitments. Present Over Perfect loaned me the courage, integrity, and permission I’d been waiting for. I will go to the grave thankful for this message. It has changed my life.
author of Love Does —Bob Goff
Most of the teachers I’ve had didn’t think they were teaching me anything; they just thought we were friends. Shauna is that kind of friend, and this is that kind of book. As you turn these pages, you’ll be reminded about what you have loved, where you’ve found your joy, and perhaps what you’ve misplaced along the way. Most of all, you’ll be guided into an honest conversation about your faith and where you want to go with it.
—Glennon Doyle Melton
I cried tears of relief while inhaling Present Over Perfect. I cried because I’d completely forgotten that I don’t have to earn worthiness, hustle for love, or fight to belong. Shauna’s words---equal parts elegant and urgent---invited me to remember that my worthiness, belonging, and beloved-ness are birthrights. I can’t think of a more important, more desperately needed invitation.
New York Times bestselling author of Scary Close a —Donald Miller
I’ve watched Shauna walk this journey away from proving and pushing toward connection and grace, and as a friend, I’m proud of her. As a reader, I’m thankful to have these pages as an inspiration and guide. For all of us who yearn for meaningful, connected lives but find ourselves sometimes settling for busy, her words are the push we’ve been waiting for.
—Jennie Allen
Shauna awakens our desire to not miss our lives. Because that pursuit costs us our distracting habits, we need motivation beyond disciplines and rules. We have to want to really live and be with our people and enjoy this gift of a life that God has given us. Shauna’s life makes me not want to miss mine, and her words here will make you not want to miss yours.
New York Times bestselling author of Boundaries an —Dr. Henry Cloud
We live in a society that can easily have us running in circles if we aren’t careful. And this can result in having a life full of things we actually never intended to sign up for. Shauna helps us take a step back and reset our minds and souls. In these pages you will find wisdom and encouragement to see past temporal success and accolades to experience the deeper, more connected and truly enjoyable life. After all, it is the power of connection with others that helps us thrive in every sense of the word.
—Lauren Winner
I have already read this book seven times. It’s about pursuing the present over the perfect---but it is nonetheless a nearly perfect thing, a nearly perfect book. Shauna speaks exactly to my condition.
author of A Fellowship of Differents and The Blue —Scot McKnight
With graceful confession, Shauna has created a memoir of her heart---a racing, fragmented heart that is becoming a contented, loved, and present heart. Reading this book heartened me for her, for her family, for her church, and for her generation. Shauna summons each of us to resist being sucked into the fast-paced draft of saying Yes and offers us a better way: the way of presence, the way of saying No. But this No is a Yes to something far better.

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Signed Edition
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5.70(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread & Wine and Savor. She is married to Aaron, and they have two wild & silly & darling boys, Henry & Mac. They live outside Chicago, where Aaron leads The Practice and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Shauna also writes for the Storyline Blog, and for IF:Table, and she is a member of the Relevant podcast, and a guest teacher at her church. Shauna’s three great loves are her family, dinner parties, and books, and she believes that vulnerable storytelling, hard laughter, and cold pizza for breakfast can cure almost anything.

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Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living (Signed Book) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
InspirationClothesline 13 hours ago
A few months ago I heard that my favorite author, Shauna Niequist, had a new book coming out and the title... Present Over Perfect said it all. Impeccable timing, god-appointed if you ask me. I agreed to review the book and in some ways it was almost debilitating. I felt a responsibility I haven't felt before to the book, the topic, and to my readers who this story may impact. And then I had to let that go. As I did, the book became my constant companion. I couldn't put it down. Every page filled with chicken scratch notes, doodles, and musings. Some thoughts on the book. - It is a memoir, a story about how Niequist unearths Present Over Perfect in her life. It is not the typical "self help book" and really shouldn't be approached though that lens. - The story is true to her personal process, and is not completely linear. I think it is this fact that helped me unearth how the story and the lessons she learned pertained to me. - This story is not universal, but the lessons may be. - Shauna loves Jesus with her whole heart and this is exuded through the entire story. She shares transparently because this is who God made her to be and if you are lucky enough to learn something from her story, if you are able to walk away with just a bit of insight, then the gift is yours for the taking. - Shauna does not give you an equation, a solution, or even a set of easy to ingest bullet points for how to obtain presence over perfection. As I began the story it became clear to me that Niequist and I come from very different places and fairly early in the book she acknowledges a group of people that she didn't believe even existed, " some people, apparently, feel solid and loved, and secure in their most inside secret parts." As I read this I had to acknowledge that I am one of those people and so this story was not completely relatable to my life, Niequist really comes from the opposite perspective. When I read her book Bread and Wine I felt like she filled the pages with words directly from my heart and that she literally served my heart and mind up on a platter. I knew early that reading this book was not going to provide that same exact comfort, feeling known and relating to every.single.word. But I also knew I needed these words. That said every page of Present Over Perfect had something I could learn from, something that I felt like the Lord wanted me to read, explore, and dive into. This book is a spring board for me. I believe it could be for you too. Niequist uses literature, poetry, music, imagery, and Scripture to point you to the Lord. She utilizes prayer to center herself and bring her back to who God made her to be. She meditates on Scripture. She uses silence. She has found places in her life that encourage her to connect with herself and with her creator, and visits them frequently. Healing, groundedness. I'm telling you this book is a gem and completely a place for you me to start. I hope you will grab the book and join me as I explore "Present" further. I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
JennGrand 12 days ago
I've always been a huge fan of Shauna Niequist, Savor, her daily devotional book is a favorite of mine, and Bread and Wine is on my nightstand to be read very, very soon! So when I heard she was writing a book about being present over perfect, I was super excited to read it! I've strived for ways to make my life more simple, not always being successful, but this book was a huge help in aiding to that end! Shauna puts it this way: "I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy." And she invites readers to join her on her journey away from pushing on to the next thing, and instead focusing on who you are, who God created you to be and realizing where your worth truly comes from.
EBurkhead 3 months ago
Shauna's book Present Over Perfect is focused on pushing for connection, meaning and depth over settling for busy and perfection. After finding herself exhausted and isolated, Shauna was sick of being tired, burned out and busy. This book is an invitation to a journey that changed her life - the journey away from frantic pushing and proving, toward a path to find the person you were created to be before you began proving and earning for your worth. I have read other books by Shauna and truly love her writing style. She has a way of weaving words that is absolutely artistic. Vulnerability is found in her pages, and this book is no different. It's a collection of essays filled to the brim with stories soaked in grace. Seeing her speak at The Influence Conference a couple years ago and at the Belong Tour in Columbus, Ohio last weekend increased my love of Shauna! She's so real and genuine, and it shows in her speaking and in this book! I highly recommend this book.
polkadottyplace 3 months ago
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist has gotten a lot of hype lately and I was excited to read it after hearing all the positive things about it. The book definitely lives up to its expectations. I found myself taking notes throughout, writing ideas in the margins, asking myself honest questions about my priorities and identifying with many areas the book addresses. Niequist writes from the perspective of a busy wife, mom and writer trying to focus on what is really important in her life. She points out that there are a lot of people that put expectations on you and that it's your job to decide what you say yes to and what things you make a priority in your life. We decide what we spend our time on and we have important choices to make. The message is impactful, gives you tons to think about and reevaluate in your own life. I loved the idea that less is better than more in all areas of your life, her emphasis giving yourself time to truly rest and connecting with real people to build relationships that last. I would have love to have done it in a book club format so I could have discussed chapters with friends. It's very thought provoking book and is my favorite one she's written.