Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist 4


“Just because you have the capacity to do something doesn’t mean you have to do it. Management, organization, speaking and traveling: you must ask not only what fruit they bring to the world, but what fruit they yield on the inside of your life and your heart.”

Caution: Do not read this book unless you are prepared to examine and change your life.

The author, Shauna Niequist, shares how she realized something in her life needed drastic change. She was a wife, mother to two young boys, a writer and a traveling speaker. It wasn’t just a busy life – it was a life that was making her physically sick. She finally realized things needed to change, but how?

I’ve read several Niequist books (Savor and Bread and Wine)  and have heard numerous good reviews about this book from other moms. I don’t usually buy books, but I bought this one and the study guide (which I’m starting to go through this week). I knew from her previous books that I would want to take my time with it and have a pencil nearby to underline passages.

In Present Over Perfect, Niequist goes in depth on how she struggled to change her life, not just why she needed to change. One of her main realizations was that her body and her family were gifts from God and she needed to take care of them and treasure them. Just because she could do a million other things didn’t mean she should do a million other things. Niequist is honest and tells about her counseling sessions and time spent with her spiritual mentor.

I think most any person would find wisdom in this book. All of us at times say yes to things we regret, but feel the need to follow through. Or we put our priorities on the back burner. We know the life we want to live, but we aren’t living it and we don’t know how to get there. This book will show you how someone else struggled and has learned to come out on the other side. Not perfectly, but more present in the life she wants to live.

I would recommend this book to any adult who feels life is just too busy or are not living the life he or she wants to live. A mature high schooler would find wisdom in this book as well. It would make a great group study and there is a study guide available. Of just delve in by yourself and learn to be more present.

Buy the book here (affiliate link).

Buy the study guide here (affiliate link).

 This post was shared with An Open Book!

About Sarah Anne Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Family life keeps her busy, but any spare moment is spent reading, writing or thinking about plots for novels.