Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, more Soulful Way of Living *****
by Shauna Niequist
Overview: Tired of the busyness of your life? Shauna found herself stressed and busy doing too much ministry and not having energy for her family and friends. Shauna writes about making hard choices to control the pace of your life so that you can live a healthy life.
Positive elements: This is an easy to read, straight forward book about not letting your life become too busy. The book is both practical about how to simplify your life and also dives into why we are busy. Shauna has a wonderful writing style.
Negative elements: The book reads a bit like a blog, and some chapters felt disconnected.
Conclusion: There seem to be a lot of books like this one out on the market these days. I just read Jeanie Allen's Nothing to Prove. These two books are very similar in that they are written by Christian women in their 30's in ministry who struggle to find balance in work and family. They both do a great job of zeroing in on why we are often over busy...we are trying to earn love. Maybe we seek success and appreciation from others or maybe we are overworking to please God. I think I enjoyed this book more than Nothing to Prove because it seemed more to the point.
I love this quote near the end of Shauna's book, "The love you are looking
for is never something you can calculate. It isn't something you can buy
or earn or hustle for."
This quote also does a great job of summing up her conclusions: "This awareness of love, though, this sense of the soul's worth, not because of my own doing but because of God's great love--this changes everything...Instead of one more thing to do or try or fail at, my relationship with God is the force of love that heals up all the other bruised and broken parts."
I would recommend this book to any women, in any stage of life. It's very encouraging.