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Living abundantly where you are, as you are.

Living. Abundantly. Where you are. As you are.

When I received Shauna Niequist’s new book in the mail last week, I was delighted. I adore Shauna and her words and when I found out she was writing a devotional, I hit pre-order on Amazon before I had a chance to blink. And, in all irony of irony, it arrived, I admired it…and it went in the cupboard in my mad dash to clean my house for a dinner party.

Even though I know Shauna is an avid supporter of dinner parties, for a book called “Savor”…come on, right? Terrible move, Nina.

I’ve had a hard time finding my voice lately. Past fears, opportunities, future that’s here but not quite yet, everything has seemed to quite literally come to a head at the same time. So I’ve gotten quiet, just trying to get through whatever this weird season is. Make it through, just let the time pass.

The opposite of savoring anything.

In sending an email to an old friend today, I realized how badly I was craving the connection that comes from when we tell the truth and are heard. It breeds more truth telling and more connection.

I knew immediately that I needed more of this so I pulled Savor down from in between my salad bowl and dessert plates and the words below the title nearly knocked me over.

Living abundantly where you are, as you are.

In other words: today is enough. You are enough. There is no lack. Be here. Now.

In this book are 365 devotions, one for each day of the year. I flipped to March 9 and it was about creating space. You know what I absolutely, 1000% do not want to do when I am uncomfortable or afraid or frustrated? Create space. For anything or anybody. Shauna’s words on that page told me the truth through a beautifully selected passage and it opened up something in me that needed to tell the truth too.

I can hardly wait to start my days with Savor and, God-willing, do a little more savoring each day.

{the necklace in the photo is from The Giving Key, an organization in LA that creates these keys with the intention that you will give it away some day to someone who needs to message. They also employ people looking to transition out of homelessness. Cool, right?}

We Need Pockets

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“We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our family and our friends and even the people who aren’t on our lists, people who we’ve never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the whole universe.” Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Take care of each other today. Every day, actually.

Bread & Wine: A Review

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I loved author Shauna Niequist’s Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet because reading them felt like sitting down with a girlfriend over coffee and digging into those things in life that we celebrate, those that we mourn, the lessons we’ve learned and the faith that holds it all together. In reading Shauna’s third literary gem, we’re switching from coffee to wine and shifting the conversation to the relationships that make up a life and the meals that happen along the way.

To be clear: transitioning from coffee to wine is always fine by me.

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes explores through a collection of essays what it means to be nourished on the inside and out and how through our relationship with God, we end up nourishing those around us. They say that life is what happens while you’re making other plans and through Shauna’s incredibly relatable writing, she shares the life that happens while you’re sitting around your table. While filled with some seriously delicious recipes, this is not a cookbook. The recipes act as place markers almost- the food made meaningful by the experience surrounding it. And the experiences surrounding the food are beautiful opportunities to celebrate the way God teaches and feeds us as we, in turn, teach and feed, figuratively and otherwise, those around us.

Bread & Wine feels very full circle to me. With Cold Tangerines, I shamelessly said “Me too!” to Shauna’s quest for celebrating the joy in everyday life. By Bittersweet, I needed the voice that gently reminded me that there are two side of the joy coin and I could sit with the side that hurt without having to pretty anything up; that God’s grace was more present than ever. Bread & Wine opened me up to the possibility that simply showing up and starting where I am is exactly what God created me for and how I will best serve my community, around my table and otherwise.

So, cheers and bon appetit- Bread & Wine is sure to fill you up, in more ways than one.