There are few people whose voice I want to hear speaking into my every day, but Shauna Niequist is one of them.
I was so thrilled to receive her latest book, which is a daily devotional called Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are. My introduction to Niequist was in reading her last book, Bread & Wine, which has since lived in my kitchen amongst my three most used cookbooks, and it looks like this:
Yes, as you can see, my copy of Bread & Wine is well-loved. And if you aren’t familiar with Shauna Niequist than you must know: the woman loves food, but not just for the sake of food alone, but for the gathering that happens around the table. For the way sharing a meal together cracks our hearts wide open to one another, breaks down stiff walls between each other, thaws out our awkwardness toward one another. The way opening our homes and inviting someone in says, “I see you. I want to know you. I want to give you something my hands have made. I want to share life with you.” Because of her love for good, nourishing food and the power of a meal shared with loved ones, Niequist often incorporates her favorite recipes into her writing.
Savor is no exception! Not only is the book beautifully designed, with hand-lettering by Lindsay Letters accenting the linen cover + each page, but it is also thicker than I expected and has gorgeous navy blue edged pages. Her recipes are sprinkled throughout the book, reminding you that “spiritual living happens not just when we read and pray, but also when we gather with family and friends over dinners and breakfasts and late-night snacks” (back cover), including a wide variety of recipes such as Blueberry Yogurt Breakfast Cake, Wild Rice Salad, Curried Cauliflower, Fregolotta, Thai Beef Salad, and Grilled Peach + Caramel Sundaes. I’ve already been busy cooking out of it, as you can see.
In this devotional, each day begins with a short scripture and a pertinent reflection, encouraging you to savor this life, to savor each day that God has given. Each day finishes with a question for reflection. You know an author is gifted at her craft when her words stay with you months or years afterwards, when those words rattle around in your bones and start to live and grow deep in the soil of your own heart. When that writer communicates the way she sees life so clearly that you can see it, too, and your own vision is transformed. This is how Shauna writes. She will inspire you to move beyond surviving your days to paying attention to them, slowing down, feasting, savoring.
“So read and learn and pray and cook and share. Remember to savor each day, whatever it holds: work and play, coffee and kids, meals and prayers and the good stuff and the hard stuff. Life is all about relationships, and your daily relationship with God is worth savoring in every moment.”
My only complaint is that each day’s reading leaves me wanting more! Shauna’s words are evocative, stirring, and true, and a couple paragraphs is just not enough!
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Thanks to HarperCollins Christian Publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.