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Present Not Perfect

Bread & Wine

I loved reading Bread & Wine. In fact, I’m pretty sure the book is making it on my Top 20 Books Read in 2013 list.

It moved me. It inspired me. It challenged me. And it made me want to spend more time in the kitchen and around the table.

However, the phrase that stuck out to me most was: Present Not Perfect. Shauna shares how we can get so wrapped up in trying to make life perfect — to get all our ducks in a row and keep them that way — that we miss the present.

We rush through life with our plans, our goals, and our lists. We check things off. We pat ourselves on the back for being a powerhouse of productivity.

And we forget to breathe. To slow down. To soak up the moments. To savor the here and now.

Instead of pursuing a life of perfection, I want to pursue a life of being present…

…listening to the child who is excited to tell me about their latest LEGO creation.

…taking a few minutes to call that friend who is struggling.

…stopping to look into the eyes of the person at the checkout lane at the grocery store and smile and ask how they are doing.

…inviting the friend who stops by to stay for coffee — even if there are piles of laundry in my living room.

Present not perfect. That’s how I want to live.

photo credit: DaySpring

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10 Comments

  • Jacki KianMehr says:

    I would love to read this book. Talk to people around you. Turn off the phone and computer and enjoy those love. My house is never perfect and if you wait till it is, then you miss out on many sweet times with family and friends.

  • Tammy W. says:

    I knew a woman who was mom to 3 teen girls. One was about a year older than her twins, so she was obviously very busy when they were all little! She told me that she told her girls too many times to leave her alone so she could work in the kitchen, and that daughter stopped trying to tell her about her little accomplishments. My (oldest) son was not yet 1 when she tearfully told me that story. It moved me to tears, but I find myself doing the same thing, telling my (little) kids to get out of my (cramped) kitchen.

    Lately, though, my 3yo has been bringing in the bathroom stool to get him up high enough to help. I trip over him, worry he will reach the knives or the hot stove. “Why don’t you just go play!” I say, with exasperation. His response? “I want to be by you.” I don’t know why he does. I’m often frazzled and sometimes harsh. But if he does, that is a gift, and one I do not want to squander.

  • Shauna says:

    I needed that…especially today. I am going to put that in my house somewhere. Thank you!

  • Lindsey Swinborne says:

    My mom bought this book and loaned it to me and I have been reading it for a few weeks and just finished last night. I LOVED it and will be recommending that all of my friends who enjoy cooking/hospitality read it and buy it for Christmas gifts! It was an amazing book and such a delightful, calming, enjoyable, touching read. I am excited to try the recipes in it too. The only problem with the book is that I think I gained 5# (or more) reading it because it made me want delicious food so much!
    Great book!

  • Just reserved the book from our local library! Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  • Guest says:

    I’ve been thinking of asking for this for Christmas. I think I will! :-).

  • I so agree! This was a great book to read! Life is about people and fellowship, not being so busy that you miss out on moments that can make a difference in someone else’s life.

  • Wendy Klik says:

    Beautiful. Your words inspired me. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Ginger says:

    That was something huge that I also took away from her book – so simple, yet such a hard lesson for this recovering perfectionaholic. So grateful for the freedom of presence over perfection, but it’s a daily practice in slowing down and giving grace (to others and myself)! I’m glad that I’m not in this alone! 🙂

  • So glad you liked it! I thought you might. 🙂

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