I was trying to remember where I got this book.  I did not pay for it – meaning I cannot find it in my Amazon purchase history – yet I did not get it in exchange for a review.  So, I think I must have received it in my swag bag at Allume last year.
While I am not expected to review this book, it was so good I wanted to tell you about it!
I remember hearing a lot about this book when it was released in April of 2013.  I saw where others were reading the book and saying how good it was, with great recipes, but a girl can only read so many books at time.  As this girl is finding out.  Right now I have 5 different books going at once.  Yes!  FIVE!  That is about three too many!
But when John and I took off on our 11 day road trip out west a couple of weeks ago, I took this book with me.  Finally, I was going to read.  I did not just read it, I devoured it.  The chapters are more of an essay or short story type and many chapters end with a recipe.  It is easy to read and Shauna Niequist, paints lovely word pictures so I felt like I was right there…wherever she was.  And she travels a lot and that is mentioned in the book, so I got to see places I’ve never been.  And I love the way she brought it back to home.  To her family.  All the time. 
I think my local friends that read my blog or those in the blogosphere that know me well will smile when they see this title.  I think they will probably say “that book is right up Mary Bonner’s alley!”
And they would be right, but not for the reasons they might think…that I love to entertain or that I enjoy wine and pairing it with food.  It turned out to be right up my alley because Shauna Niequist is inviting and encouraging us to invite people to our table.  Into our homes.  To break bread and spend time together. 
And not to stress out about it.  That is where I need to stretch myself.  I need to let the dust go.  Make the bathroom good enough, then enjoy the company, the food…the life.
And the food doesn’t have to be fancy.  She points that out too.  Maybe it’s bean soup, but the joy comes from the sharing and spending time together.
In the chapter titled “Open the Door” she talks about women and house shame.  How we say we can’t have someone over until we remodel.  Or until we get this done or that done.  We are too ashamed of our house to invite people in.  Someone showed up on her doorstep, unannounced, while she was without make-up, hair undone in her words she “was terrifying.”  She ends the chapter with this…”but it isn’t about perfection, an it isn’t about performance.  You’ll miss the richest moments in life – the sacred moments when we feel God’s grace and presence through the actual faces and hands of the people we love – if you’re too scared or too ashamed to open the door.  I know it’s scary, but throw open the door anyway…” page 109.
And I love this, “The voice of God invites us to full, whole living – to rest, to abundance, to enough.  To say no.  To say no more.  To say I’m going to choose to live wholly and completely in the present, even though this ragged, run-down person I am right now is so far from perfect.” page 170.  That comes from the chapter titled “Present over Perfect.”  Yes!  To be aware.  To live in the now.  Not in the sometime later when things are just so.
We all have a story to tell and sharing our story with others is part of what, I believe, God wants us to do.  What he CALLS us to do.
I do not believe that book reviews are my strength when it come to writing.  So, if I share about a book, it is because I believe in it.  I want you to know about it.  And this one is so worth reading.
Check out this book, then find the courage to
throw open your door and let people in. 
It doesn’t have to be fancy,
it doesn’t have to be expensive…it just needs to be from the heart.
Have you read this book?  If so, what did you think?
Do you enjoy having people in your home?
What stresses you out the most about that?


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