Saturday, August 20, 2016

Book Review: Present Over Perfect

Oh my soul! I devoured this book. It was such an affirmation to me as I transition out of a role I've loved for so long into something unknown that has been calling me for longer than I've admitted.

Present-Over-Perfect is written from the vantage point I want to be at in the next year. She reminded me that our jobs--even the good ones--don't define us. That our inner circle should be the ones we are saying yes to, not the outer circle masses. That Gods love for us is unconditional and "earners" like me can rest in that hard to grasp, but simplistic thought. None of those things are rocket science, but her way of addressing them was refreshing and left me feeling hopeful rather than guilty.

I can't recommend this book enough. I am so grateful to have these beautiful words as I launch into a new season. They remind me to keep the silence as long as possible and not let the noise overtake me again. I feel more grateful and alive and just plain giddy after reading this book.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"Remake your life form the inside out."

"Loving one's work is a gift.  And loving one's work makes it really easy to neglect the other parts of life."

"What you need along the way: a sense of God's deep, unconditional love. and a strong sense of your own purpose.  Without those two, you'll need form people what is only God's to give."

"What people think about you means nothing in comparison to what you believe about yourself."

"I can't hear the voice of love when I'm hustling.  All I can hear are my own feet pounding the pavement, and the sound of other runners about to overtake me, beat me.  But competition has not place in my life anymore.  The stillness reminds me of that."

"Try to keep your soul always in peace and quiet, always ready for whatever our Lord may wish to work in you.  It is certainly a higher virtue of the soul, and a greater grace, to be able to enjoy the Lord in different times and different places than in only one. "

"This is actually my life, and it doesn't matter a bit if it would be lovely for someone else to live.  What does matter: does it feel congruent with how god made me and called me?

"You were made by hand with great love by the God of the universe, and He planted deep inside you a set of loves and dreams and idiosyncrasies, and you can ignore them for as long as you want, but they will at some point start yelling.  Worse than that, if you ignore them long enough, they will go silent, and that's the real tragedy."

"It's easy to be liked by strangers.  Its very hard to be loved and connected to the people in your home when you're always bringing them your most exhausted self and resenting the fact that the scraps you're giving them aren't cutting it."

"It is better to be loved than admired.  It is better to be truly known and seen and taken care of by a small tribe than adored by strangers who thing they know you in a meaningful way."

"Sometimes brave looks more like staying when you want to leave, telling the truth when all you want to do is change the subject."

"What makes you say, "Must be nice"?  What longing might your jealousy lead you to, if you're brave enough to listen to it before you push it away?"

"Let's do much more than simply please people.  Let's see them and love them and delight them, look deeply into their eyes.  Pleasing is a shallow and temporary joy, not nearly as valuable or rich as seeing or connecting or listening.  Pleasing feels like corn syrup, like cheap candy, while pleasure is homemade pie."

"Hustle is the opposite of heart."

"So much of adulthood is peeling off the layers of expectation and pressure, and protecting those precious things that lie beneath."

'What do you need to leave behind in order to recover that essential self that God created?  What do you need to walk away from in order to reclaim those parts of you that God designed, unique to you and for His purposes?"

"You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life but by realizing who you are at the deepest level."

"Saying Yes means not hiding.  It means being seen in all your imperfections and insecurities.  Saying yes is doing scary things without a guarantee that they'll go perfectly,  Saying yes is telling the truth even when it's weird or sad or impossibly messy.  Saying yes is inviting chaos, and also possibility.  Saying yes is building a new future regardless of the past.,  Saying yes is jumping in anyway."

"It is only when you understand God's truly unconditional love that you begin to understand the worth of your own soul--not bc of anything you've done, but because every soul is worthy, every one of us is worthy of love, having been created by and in the image of the God of love."

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