For the next few months, I am going to do a brief recap of some powerful parenting (with educational topics) books I’ve read.
Sometimes reading quotes from books helps shift my mindset on certain topics and gets me focused on what’s really important when raising children.
Book Title: Present Over Perfect
Author: Shauna Niequist
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 best-selling 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 the reality of living wholly present in our relationships with our families and the others we love and inspires listeners to discover their own paths to this more fulfilling way to do life.
This is a book I won’t pass along to a friend because I want to read it over again. I could use it as a daily devotional as I work each and every day to live a more intentional life where my values come first in the decision making on how I choose to use my time.
Top Ten Quotes:
- “The world will tell you how to live, if you let it. Don’t let it. Take up your space. Raise your voice. Sing your song. This is your chance to make or remake a life that thrills you.”
- “What kills a soul? Exhaustion, secret keeping, image management.
And what brings a soul back from the dead? Honesty, connection, grace”
“Bless them. But don’t spend too much time with them. Draw close to people who honor your no, who cheer you on for telling the truth, who value your growth more than they value their own needs getting met or their own pathologies celebrated.”
“Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem. Present is choosing to believe that your own life is worth investing deeply in, instead of waiting for some rare miracle or fairytale. Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.”
“How we live matters, and what you choose to own will shape your life, whether you choose to admit it or not. Let’s live lightly, freely, courageously, surrounded only by what brings joy, simplicity, and beauty.”
“But this is what I’ve learned the hard way: what people think about you means nothing in comparison to what you believe about yourself.”
“But you can’t have yes without no. Another way to say it: if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it. In my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing, I said no, without intending to, to rest, to peace, to groundedness, to listening, to deep and slow connection, built over years instead of moments.”
“[Present over perfect is] about rejecting the myth that every day is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that our worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling.”
“It’s easy to be liked by strangers. It’s 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.”
“Richard Rohr says the skills that take you through the first half of your life are entirely unhelpful for the second half. To press the point a little bit: those skills I developed that supposedly served me well for the first half, as I inspect them a little more closely, didn’t actually serve me at all. They made me responsible and capable and really, really tired. They made me productive and practical, and inch by inch, year by year, they moved me further and further from the warm, whimsical person I used to be . . . and I missed her.”
Join our private Facebook Group: Empowering Kids with Character. You don’t want to miss the amazing and awesome tips and tricks that is being shared by parents and educators alike!