remember our past history

Running on Fumes? Fill-up at the Shauna Station…

I have a confession…

When I am browsing the shelves of my favorite bookstore (currently Parnassas Books in Nashville), I will sometimes buy a book just because I like the cover and the handful of words on the front. A pretty picture of water sucks me in every time – beach, lake, puddle – it doesn’t matter. As you can imagine, this scientific approach can easily backfire but this spring I hit the literary jackpot and added Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist to my ‘buy me’ pile.

Present over perfectNow Shauna was not a member of my cosmic group of authors who I list as friends (even though we’ve never met). She and I were strangers; her writing totally hidden from me somehow. But as I cracked her book open on a Delta flight to Indianapolis last April, I realized I was meant to find this book and in particular this woman who was channeling my thoughts without us ever-crossing paths…

“What I ache for these days is space, silence, stillness, Sabbath. I want to clear away space and noise and things to do and things to manage. I want less of everything. Less stuff. Less rushing. Less proving and pushing. Less hustle. Less snapping at my kids so that they’ll get themselves into the car faster so we can go buy more stuff that we’re going to throw away. Less consumption. Less feeling like my mind is fragmented and my stomach is bloated and my life is out of control (pg. 32).”

As a mother, wife, daughter, friend, and responsible worker bee, she had fallen for the same infomercial that found me with a handful of cash shopping at the We R All Out Supercenter (where everything your heart desires is out of stock and on backorder until further notice)… I can still hear the voiceover: ‘Everyone knows being busy and rushed and exhausted is just part of adulting. Suck it up sister and get back out there to fight another day. Your mama didn’t raise a quitter, did she? Now go buy another pair of jeans- it will make you feel better.’

Lucky for me, my winning ticket meant that Shauna had shopped these aisles before me and had, as she put it, remade herself and her life from the inside out. Shauna’s words invite us to spend our hard-earned coin in a radical new place where warmth and comfort and playfulness are thriving. Where the shelves are never bare because the store is managed properly, with meticulous focus on the contents and costs. She opens up her heart like an automatic door ready to receive you. Her authenticity invites you to sit down at her kitchen table for a cup of tea so she can tell you the story of her journey to grace, rest, and whimsy.

And her words found me during a time when I desperately needed them…

When I required more nudges to act. When it was clear I expected more evidence than just restlessness and waterworks to convince me a makeover of how I was living was long overdue. It was clear that it was time to leave behind rushing for resting. I needed to take the wheel of my own life and Shauna had blazed a trail I could follow. I didn’t even need Google Maps.

Since Shauna joined my esteemed (Ok, imaginary) group of author friends, I have discovered she has an amazing podcast and apparently someone you may have heard of – Oprah – must think she is pretty cool too because she is featuring Shauna on her show, Super Soul Sunday, August 20th at 11am EST/PT. I can’t wait to tune in and see how wonderful she is in real life!

Thank you talented book-cover-maker for wrapping such an amazing collection of pages with your lovely photography and fonts…

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