Thursday's Three: Books You Should Be Reading - Shauna Niequist


What is Thursday's Three?  During my break I thought long and hard about different aspects I wanted to bring to you all throughout the week. I wanted a way to share certain things I am loving, from beauty, to recipes, to books (always sharing books). Originally, I thought to do a Friday's Five - classic blog post used by many favorites of mine (example of a blogger doing it right here ). But my sister suggested to be a little a different and do Thursday's Three. The majority of our phone conversations begin with "Did you see what so and so posted? Have you done Lauren Kay Sims ab workout today? Do you think I need these Pjs?". She knows whats out there, so I took her suggestion. Ok, onto today's three picks. 


I was first introduced to Shanua Neiqust by my friend Brandi. And since that first book, I have become hooked. She has a way of telling stories that beg you wanting more. They are the kind of books where you get a little sad as you see the last couple pages approaching because you don't want it to end. The way I refer to Shauna in conversation you would think I was actually a friend of hers. That we regularly talk on the phone, I've been to her home numerous times for dinner and we have created countless memories together. But truthfully, I am only her friend through the stories she has shared with me and millions of other. That's what makes her a good author.

Her books dive into the good stuff. The hard stuff. The stuff that makes you think. And picking just three was super challenging because I honestly loved them all. 

Cold Tangerines - When I was six months pregnant we headed off to Scottsdale for our baby moon, and I brought this book with me. It was the perfect book to read for the season of life that I was in. Cold Tangerines holds little stories about God, and how He is here, everyday. And how He is present in everything.  Shauna writes "God is waiting to be found everywhere, in the darkest corners of our lives, the dead ends and bad neighborhoods we wake up in, and in the simplest, lightest, most singular and luminous moments." It is a beautiful book. If you haven't read any of Shauna's books, I recommend this one first.

Bread & Wine - It is exactly as it reads. Pages full of stories of friends gathering together to eat good food, and drink good wine and recipes for you to try on your own. You feel like you are at the table with her as she describes the items on the menu and the experiences that came with the meal. She makes the food come alive through simple black and white text. This book makes you want to cook, host, and cry all at the same time. 

Present Over Perfect - When Shauna came out with this book it was the summer I attended She Speaks. She kicked off the event with a powerful message. Then she signed books for a handful of us. I was a total fan girl when I met her. Didn't even get my book signed because I was too excited to even ask. I very much hope she has erased our first encounter from her memory. But that is one of the reasons why this book is one of my top three. Present Over Perfect reminds you to focus in on what is important. To press pause, to admit your mistakes, to accept that you are not going to have it all together. Read this book when you need to learn to give yourself some grace. 

If you are not really the reading type, these books are also a great listen on audible. Shauna reads them herself and her voice is just as welcoming as her writing. Hope you enjoyed this week's Thursday's Three. To shop ALL of Shauna's books click the links below. To read more posts about Shauna click here and here

A Little Grace

Photography by  Madi Flournoy Henderson  || Top:  Madewell

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson || Top: Madewell

I have two big weaknesses in life: Madewell and pizza. If you haven’t picked up on it by now, Madewell is one of my favorite places to shop. It’s the perfect place to find relaxed styles with added flare. So, of course, when I found this striped tee from Madewell, I couldn’t resist. Add it to a pair of distressed jeans, and I am all set for a night out to indulge in my other weakness. Yes, when it comes to pizza, I offer myself a lot of grace. In other words, I don’t hold back. In my world, calories don’t exist when it comes to pizza. Amen. 

The word grace isn’t one we are stranger to. And while we are often told about the grace Jesus offers to us, we seldom think about the grace we must offer to other people.
 
I’ve been reading Savor, a daily devotional by Shauna Niequist, and it just so happens that grace has been the topic of discussion for the last couple of days. She summed up the idea of grace perfectly when she wrote, “Grace is when you finally stop keeping score and when you realize that God never was, that his game is a different one entirely.”

When someone is having “a moment” and that moment affects you, it is hard to offer up some grace. Trust me. There have been times in my life where I have been so angry with people that it brings me to tears. It feels almost unfair to give them grace. Especially when they haven’t said those two little words that we feel like we all deserve to hear.  Yes, “I’m sorry” goes a long way. But life isn’t always going to apologize. There will be times where you have to choose to give grace.

 

When we are having a moment, we hope that the people we encounter will offer us grace. In turn, we have to get better at offering those around us the same kind of grace. Grace in understanding that their choices may be different from ours. Grace in knowing that there could be more to their “moment” than we really understand. “Grace allows us to grow, to become more of who God created us to be.” And that grace is the same grace that we should share with others.

Today, I pray that you will offer up some grace to the people in your life who need it the most. I hope you will pray for them – even though will be hard. Then, I hope you will extend yourself a little grace in the process. In His eyes, “Grace isn’t about having a second chance; grace is having so many chances that you could use them through all eternity and never come up empty.” – Shauna Niequist  

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32