5 Questions With…Shauna Niequist


I met Shauna Niequist entirely by complete happenstance in 2007 at a local bookstore in Grand Rapids, MI. Her first book Cold Tangerines had just come out and I spotted it leaving the bookstore after a particularly bad law school studying day. This bright orange book about celebrating the every day seemed like something I should buy and as I paid, the clerk told me that Shauna was actually doing a reading…in 5 minutes. So I sat in the back as Shauna shared what inspired Cold Tangerines while her friends and family cheered her on and I was near tears the entire time. Never have I felt such a “Me too!” feeling than when I listened to Shauna that night and over the years as I have read her books, the overwhelming feeling of connection and relatability she conveys in her writing instantly makes you feel…heard. Welcomed. Home.

In this world of picture perfect Instagram feeds and messages of “how-tos” that insinuate that you are the only person on the planet who doesn’t have it together, Shauna has created a space through her storytelling that leaves room for the shiny celebratory moments in life to co-exist with the days you are in your pajamas past noon. That a life walking in faith is worth it and possible. That a amazing dinner parties can consist of elaborate recipes or chinese takeout…and that good champagne should be popped on any night of the week because celebration, big or small, matters.

Long story short: I adore Shauna.

Without further adieu, 5 Questions With…Shauna Niequist.

1. What is your favorite thing about where you live? We are, quite literally, surrounded by family. My brother lives on our street, and all four of our kids’ grandparents are within 15 minutes. Aunts, uncles, cousins—all part of our daily life, around our table, shooting baskets in our driveway. I’m so very very thankful to live in a place where we have deep roots and relationships.
2. Here’s $50- what are you going to do with it? Straight to Whole Foods, or any gourmet grocery. Champagne or prosecco, cheese, jam, blackberries, crusty bread, maybe a bouquet of flowers—peonies or ranunculus. I don’t buy expensive jewelry or whatever, but I love to buy food!
3. What is your favorite holiday and why? Memorial Day, because it’s the beginning of summer, my favorite season. I’m crazy about flip-flops, ponytails, boat rides, ice cream for dinner, sandy feet, pink noses, strawberries, tomato sandwiches.
4. What is the best trip or vacation you have ever been on? My all-time favorite city is Paris, and the last time we were there, on the last night of our trip, Aaron and I sat on the banks of the Seine for hours, across from Notre Dame, watching people and holding hands, watching the light fade on Pont Neuf, and it’s one of my most precious memories.
5. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Write a novel. I probably will anyway, even though I have no idea how, because the older I get, the less afraid I am of failure. 🙂



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?}