Present Over Perfect

This post actually started as a Facebook update… but I quickly realized this was more than what should go on a timeline. And it may be more than what should go on a blog, but it’s my heart- take it or leave it :).

Many of you know I’m obsessed with the Present Over Perfect book. Some of you have even received it from me as a little token of our friendship with hopes it helps transform your life in a way it has mine. This book was an awakening to who I am, what I crave and what I need to let go of. I am a child of God. I crave busyness and fast-paced chaos.  I need to let go of both – busyness and fast-paced chaos.
After finishing the book, I made several rather large decisions.. one of which included quitting my job at the hospital. I evaluated my reasons for keeping that very part-time position and when I was really honest with myself, the primary reason I still worked there was because I could say it’s something else I do. Something else on my list of tasks, accomplishments… whatever. NOT the right reason to keep a job and a very humbling realization. I wrote the simple, but liberating email expressing gratitude for the support I’ve been given over the years and with the hit of the “send” button felt a small weight lifted.

There were many things that just clicked when reading the book. So many things that seemed more obvious, and God’s grace is one of them. Gods grace is everywhere I look, and it’s not even that He turned up the flow on the grace faucet, I just finally opened my eyes to it.
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Recently, there were some work-related decisions made for me, not by me. And instead of fighting them… (the old me would have come up with every possible solution as to how to make it work), I just let it go. Psalm 46:10 says “Be Still and know that I am God.” I learned last week that the command “Be still” comes from the Hebrew word rapha which also translates “to let go” “to release”.. oh boy, is there a lot of letting go going on right now. And I’ll tell you this much, it’s not easy. But it’s worth it.
I’ve literally been hit over the head with the message “Slow down” “Stop the busyness you love for the wrong reasons” and “LISTEN”. So I’m doing that…. I’m being still, I’m listening and I’m following. And I’ve learned some pretty important things about listening.
To hear God’s voice, to be led a certain direction requires not only a willingness to listen [and to follow] but a space created without distractions and noise drowning out His voice. I may say I’m ready to listen, but with every text, email, call, calendar alert and request that comes at me around the clock, how can I truly be available?

Space. I had to create it. Easier said than done… because here’s the deal with space… It’s unnatural to create room in life when your day has been as condensed as a gluten free, dairy free cake. If you’ve had one of those mistakes, you know what I’m talking about- no moisture, no nourishment and no fluidity. It’s rock hard, dry, lifeless and can’t soak anything up. Something has to give- something has to be given up and not immediately filled with something else in it’s place OR it must be filled with something incredibly life giving. Only you know what life giving means to you- time with God, time with family or perhaps, just silence.

The other thing about space (consider this a friendly warning), is it’s impossible to please everyone that was in your original space. There will be hurt feelings, unsatisfied relationships- work or personal. I don’t know the solution to this other than to step up the prayers for mercy and understanding in those relationships and trust that you know the intentions of your heart. 
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​ My dad always said to take time to smell the roses. I think I thought I was doing that because I buy myself flowers fairly often. I mean that counts, right? Hardly. They’re the backdrop to a food photo, the backdrop to a life I haven’t been truly soaking up.

Until now.

So if you’ve read this far.. (bless your heart), I hope you feel at least a tiny urge to make a change. To evaluate how you spend your time. To evaluate your relationships. To evaluate yourself and what brings you joy. And if you haven’t a clue where to start, I highly suggest reading Present Over Perfect.

Much love, Shannon <3

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30 Responses

  1. Shannon is speaking truth. It comes from her life experience and so we listen more carefully when that happens. I read this blog with an open heart and hearing ears because it is the truth we embrace that sets us free. I also read this with a heart bursting with thanksgiving for God giving me such a precious daughter. She is His daughter that I got the privilege, along with her dad, to raise. Keep shining your light, sweetie. You are touching more lives than you know.

  2. I am so proud of you Shannon, you are a wonderful gem! Each and every day is a gift, and it’s so nice to see such a powerful woman that is so open, honest and raw. I love you!

    1. Thank you for the sweet comment, Serena! You should definitely get this book..but only if you’re ready for some life change! It’s pretty inspiring!

  3. What a great post. I definitely need to check out this book. I’m really struggling with feeling so busy with everything right now that as soon as I do have a smidge of downtime, I’m immediately thinking of the next thing I “should” be doing.

    1. Thank you, Chrissy! Yes- I can totally relate. I would definitely recommend reading this book, it brings such great perspective and some of the chapters are only like 2 pages so it’s a super easy read :). Wish you all the best!

  4. Such a great post! I love that you found this book and it was able to teach you something meaningful. Life-changing books are the very best kind. XO

  5. Absolutely beautiful post, Shannon! Thank you for sharing your experiences. It’s in these moments that we get to grow the most, and sharing with others can be so inspiring to them and ourselves as well. Keep up the good work!

  6. I love books by Shawna Niequist! This one sounds like a wonderful book. Such a beautiful post too, Shannon. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  7. Thank you for sharing this, Shannon. Such an inspirational post! I’m definitely going to have to look into that book.

  8. Thank you for sharing, Shannon. I’ve been there, and believe me, the freedom that comes both mentally and emotionally is incredible. And now I have another book to add to my “Must Read” list!

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