Shauna Niequist is reaching out her hand, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection. She offers an honest account of what led her to begin this journey, and a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us. Leave behind busyness and frantic living and rediscover the person you were made to be.
We all face inner battles. To deal with the pain, we build selfish structures and harmful systems. Will we let our pain get to unreachable levels before we correct course and tend to our soul? Two of the sins we commit are gluttony—the desire to escape, and pride—the desire to prove. I want to taste and experience absolutely everything, and I want to be perceived as wildly competent.
Look closely at the roles you have been playing. When you look to your role for value and identity, that's when it wrings you dry. If you're always dependable, when can you ever let something slide? If you're always funny, when can you have a serious thought? If you always have it all together, when can you call a friend and weep? If the answer is "never," maybe it's time for a new narrative.
Yes! It's a word full of possibility and promise, of excitement and adventure and fun, which is why it is all too easy to downplay that yeses’ true cost. We do this with the roles we play, and also with the decisions that flow from those roles. This brings us to two helpful questions: What are your yeses costing you? Is this a wise price for you to pay?
It takes work to bring before God all of your observations, assessments, and questions about what to keep and what to shed, as it relates to your current endeavors, obligations, and pursuits. Take responsibility for resting your body and soul by practicing the spiritual disciplines of solitude, contemplative prayer, sabbath, lectio divina, and spiritual direction.
Finally, we come to the bridge that spans that chasm: the bridge is built by love. This journey has been toward love. We don’t have to crisscross the country or cave to some contrived role or indulge harmful habits even one minute more, to find some sense of our own worth; it is here, before us, inside us, where it’s always been. The chasm gets bridged only by love. God’s love.