Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are (B&N Exclusive Edition)

by Shauna Niequist

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Overview

Sink deep into the everyday goodness of God and savor every moment!

In this Barnes & Noble Exclusive edition with 12 note cards with inspirational quotes from Savor included, Shauna Niequist becomes a friend across the pages, sharing her heart with yours, keeping you company, and inviting you into the abundant life God offers.

And there are recipes, too, because 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. These recipes are Shauna’s staples, and each one should be enjoyed around a table with people you love.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310629610
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Edition description: B&N Exclusive
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 146,333
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread & Wine and Savor. She is married to Aaron, and they have two wild and silly and darling boys, Henry and Mac. They live outside Chicago, where Aaron leads The Practice and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Shauna also writes for the Storyline Blog, and for IF:Table, she is a member of the Relevant podcast, and a guest teacher at her church. Shauna’s three great loves are her family, dinner parties, and books, and she believes that vulnerable storytelling, hard laughter, and cold pizza for breakfast can cure almost anything.

Read an Excerpt

Savor


By Shauna Niequist

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2015 Shauna Niequist
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-34497-1


CHAPTER 1

January 1

OUR STORIES

Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?

—1 Corinthians 3:16


These are my stories, the stories of life as it reveals itself in my field of vision, and the cast of characters are my friends and family and neighbors. I'm telling these stories because they're the only ones I know and the only ones I have the right to tell, believing that in them you will find your own stories, with your own beautiful and strange characters and plot twists. I believe that these love letters to my own quotidian life will unmask the tiny glimmers of hope and redemption masquerading as normal life in your corner of the world.

The world is alive, blinking and clicking, winking at us slyly, inviting us to get up and dance to the music that's been playing since the beginning of time, if you bend all the way down and put your ear to the ground to hear it.

You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.

You are more than dust and bones.

You are spirit and power and image of God.


YOUR STORY is worth telling—it's part of God's story, and his Spirit dwells within you. Take a few minutes to thank God both for your story and for his Spirit in you.

CHAPTER 2

January 2

START WHERE YOU ARE

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

—Psalm 23:5


My friend Laura's New Year's resolution is "start where you are." I love it. Whatever thing seems too intimidating, whatever new skill seems too far off to develop, whatever project has been hanging over your head forever: start where you are.

Each of us has been created by a holy God with love, on purpose and for a purpose. But so many of us feel afraid or unprepared. This is the secret, though: No one is prepared enough. No one is perfectly ready.

Let's choose together to take one step forward today, whatever that means—a phone call, an hour of writing, a day away to dream. Sometimes even just a half hour to brainstorm or plan gets us unstuck. No one lives out an exciting calling without just plunging forward at some point, full of fear and uncertainty.

The world is full of people who can talk your ear off about all the reasons they can't possibly just begin that thing they're longing to begin. Let's not be those people. Let's start where we are.


WHAT'S THE dream or vision or project you feel called to in this season of your life? What's one tangible way to start where you are?

CHAPTER 3

January 3

BITTERSWEET

Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?

—Job 2:10


The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and reweaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a sliver of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich when it contains a splinter of sadness.

Bittersweet is the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, earthy.

So this is the work I'm doing now, and the work I invite you into: when life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.


SPEND A few minutes thanking God even for the bitter parts of your life, trusting his love and goodness even in the midst of loss.

CHAPTER 4

January 4

A PIECE OF A STORY

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

—1 John 1:1


When my friend Doug told me that the pattern of death and rebirth is the central metaphor of the Christian life, he was giving me the currency that he earned through his own brokenness. He was telling me something that God had written on his life as a part of his story. The reason I didn't understand it at that point was because I didn't need to, but then several years later, I did.

You tell what you know, what you've earned, what you've learned the hard way. You watch it fall on what seem to be deaf ears, and you mutter something under your breath, something about pearls before swine. But then ten years later you realize that one fragment of your story has now been woven into someone else's, as a bridge to a new way of understanding and living. I didn't need proof from a theologian or a tip from a church practitioner. I needed a piece of a story, something real and full of life and blood and breath and heartache, something that someone had lived through, a piece of wisdom earned the hard way. That's why telling our stories is so important.


WHOSE STORY has helped bring you to a new way of understanding and living? Who has been helped by hearing your story, your hard-won understanding?

CHAPTER 5

January 5

THIS IS IT

I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

—Ecclesiastes 8:15


This is what I'm finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I'm waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets. This pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.

I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.


EVERYDAY LIFE is an exquisite gift. What would it look like to really pay attention to that gift today?

CHAPTER 6

January 6

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll—are they not in your record?

—Psalm 56:8


If you've been marked by what might have been, you don't forget. You know the day, the years. You know when the baby would have been born. You know exactly what anniversary you'd be celebrating, if the wedding had happened. You know exactly how old she'd be right now, if she were still alive. You'll never forget the last time you saw your child, or the last time cancer was a word about someone else's life, or the day that changed absolutely everything. It makes the calendar feel like a minefield, like you're constantly tiptoeing over explosions of grief until one day you hit one, shattered by what might have been.

I don't know what date it is for you—what broke apart on that day, what was lost, what memories are pinned forever to that day on that calendar. But I hope that on that day you hold yourself open and tender to the memories for just a moment. As one who also grieves, I grieve with you, for whatever you've lost, too, for what might have been.


HAS YOUR life been marked by what might have been? What meaningful traditions or moments have you practiced on those days? Today, allow the God who loves you to carry your sadness for you.

CHAPTER 7

January 7

CIRCLING THE WAGONS

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

—1 Corinthians 13:6–7


I believe friendship is God's greatest evidence of himself here on earth. Everyone needs a home team: a go-to, show-up, middle-of-the-night, come-in-without-knocking tribe that gets us through when things fall apart. I believe in circling the wagons—gathering your people around you to tell you the truth when all the voices out there are shouting bad news. And of course, I believe all this love and truth-telling and prayer and laughter happen best around the table.

That's why I love Thursday nights, because Thursday night is small group night. We always eat together. We pray together, to begin and end our time together. We create space for each person to be heard, to talk about what's good and what's hard, to ask for prayer and help. We take confidentiality and the safety of the table very seriously. We don't always do a study. Many times we read the Bible. Sometimes someone leads a liturgy or reading. Sometimes someone leads an exercise that helps us interact with a section of scripture or a set of ideas or spiritual practices. But every week, we gather around our table, and every week, my heart is so full and thankful.


WHO'S ON your home team? How do you nurture those connections and relationships?

CHAPTER 8

January 8

AWARENESS OF HOLINESS


And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."

—Luke 22:19


I believe that Jesus asked us to remember him during the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the wine every time, every meal, every day—no matter where we are, who we are, what we've done.

If we only practice remembrance when we take communion at church, we miss three opportunities a day to remember. What a travesty! Eugene Peterson says that "to eyes that see, every bush is a burning bush." To those of us who believe that all of life is sacred, every crumb of bread and sip of wine is a Eucharist, a remembrance, a call to awareness of holiness right where we are.

I want the holiness of the Eucharist to spill out beyond the church walls, out of the hands of priests and into the regular streets and sidewalks, into the hands of regular, grubby people like you and me, onto our tables, in our kitchens and dining rooms and backyards.

Holiness abounds, should we choose to look for it. The whisper and drumbeat of God's Spirit are all around us, should we choose to listen for them. The building blocks of the most common meal—the bread and the wine—are reminders to us: He's here. He's here, and he is good.


EVERY MEAL is an opportunity to remember Jesus, to honor him and celebrate holiness. Take a moment at your table today, and thank God for his presence and goodness.

CHAPTER 9

January 9

BLESSINGS & CURSES

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.

—Genesis 50:20


When you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that's when you start to learn what celebration is. When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that's celebration. When you can invest yourself deeply and unremittingly in the life that surrounds you instead of declaring yourself out of the game, once and for all, because what's happened to you is too bad, too deep, too ugly for anyone to expect you to move on from, that's a good, rich place. That's where the things that looked like curses start to stand up and shimmer and dance, and you realize that they may have been blessings all along. Or maybe not. Maybe they were curses, but the force of your belief and hope and desperate love for life has brought a blessing from a curse, like water from a stone, like life from a tomb, like the story of God over and over.


WHAT EVENTS in your past felt like curses and turned out to be blessings? Is there something that seems more like a curse in your life right now? Ask God to show you the good that he will bring out of it.

CHAPTER 10

January 10

THE PALM OF GOD'S HAND

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

—Psalm 18:19


I have discovered that I can make it through more than I thought, with less than I thought. I know better than to believe that the changes are over, or that the next ones will be easier, but I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts and one of his most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we've become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. It's not something to run away from, as though we could, and in many cases, change is not a function of life's cruelty but instead a function of God's graciousness.

Change is good, the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it's incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God's hand, which is where you wanted to be all along, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be.


ALTHOUGH CHANGE is so hard and scary, God often uses it in good and powerful ways. Are there any changes in your life that might be evidence of God's grace, even if they're difficult in the moment?

CHAPTER 11

January 11

SHOULD IS A WARNING SIGN

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.

—Psalm 18:16


We all have these weird rules about what we should love and what should make us happy and how things should work. Should is a warning sign, frankly. When you're using the word should more and more often, it's a sign that you're living further and further from your truest, best self, that you're living for some other set of parameters or affirmations that you think will bring you happiness.

Should never brings happiness.

During a particularly busy season, I felt like I should be happy because I was doing things I thought I wanted to do. When Mac was a baby, when he didn't sleep through the night for almost a year, I felt like I should never complain because I had longed for him so badly. I didn't let myself say I was tired and the math wasn't working and I was losing my ability to love and taste and experience my life, because that felt like failure.

Until all at once, I realized that I didn't care anymore about should.

I wanted a way of living that felt more like living and less like drowning.

And saying it out loud to myself was the first and most important step.


HOW OFTEN are you using the word should? Even in your thoughts? Where are you on that continuum between living and drowning? Be honest with yourself about that, and then with God, and with the people you love and trust.

CHAPTER 12

January 12

ON WAITING

Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today."

—Hebrews 3:13


I have always been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. I was always one step away, in my head. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college "adult" person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I'd become when we had kids. For twenty years, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that's when life will really begin.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Savor by Shauna Niequist. Copyright © 2015 Shauna Niequist. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a complete answer to prayer! To say that Shauna is a gifted writer is an understatement. From her first words she makes you feel as though you two are friends, sitting down over tea and coffee, as she gently and colorfully coaxes you in to living a life filled with Jesus and inspired by the everyday. I am busy busy busy - like most of us. I don't have a ton of time for intense devotionals and homework. BUT I do have time for friendly, life-giving words, starting my day with acknowledging that I am here because of a big and beautiful God, and yummy recipes. That, I have time for. And shouldn't we all make time for that? Life can be tough and beautiful. Shauna has first-hand experienced both parallels, and speaks with authority, humanness, and love. I dare you not to be blessed by this devotional. And, while you're here, buy her bother 3 books and block out the next couple weeks of your life to read and laugh and cry and remember how incredible it is to be alive.
TiffCap1215 More than 1 year ago
I just got my copy of Savor and when I opened the box I literally let out a breath because it is absolutely STUNNING! I love the cover, the typography just everything about it. I have all of her books and I thought that Bread & Wine was my favorite but I think after digging into this one there might be some competition with Savor. Once again, another beautiful book Shauna, great job!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a huge fan of devotionals, but Shauna's earlier books have encouraged me, moved me, carried me in profound ways, so I will buy anything that has her name on it. And not surprisingly, Savor is great. Some of the devotionals are excerpts from previous books of hers, but the words are still thought-provoking. It really does encourage me to pay attention to all the seemingly ordinary moments in my day. Her writing as a whole makes me hopeful and so thankful, even in the hard moments, because it reminds me that God is present and working and bringing his beauty to bear on every aspect of my life. Such a gift.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing devotional. So far, I've loved everything that Shauna has put out! If you are looking to add another great read to your collection, I recommend picking this one up. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I pre-ordered this book in September and when it came in the mail today, it was even better than I anticipated. The linen cover and navy-tinged pages make you want to sit and hold the book and then open it and dig right in. Because it's a devotional, I haven't read each page yet (that'd be spoiling all the fun!) but just flipping through, I can tell it's going to be a treasure. Each day starts with a scripture reference and then in typical Shauna style, a sweet, heartfelt devotion follows. She's so skilled at recognizing the simple things in life that I often miss or can't quite put my finger on. SUCH a gifted author and I can't wait to wake up each day with a thought from her tucked into my usual prayer/Bible study time. Additionally, the recipes throughout the book look amazing and were a nice little surprise to find tucked into this devotional. This book would make an excellent gift as well!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to get this book but was really disappointed. This is not at all like the rest of Shauna's writing. I think I was duped by other reviews that probably were paid reviews. Sadly, this book is not worth the money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you most likely know that I love Shauna's writing. Often she puts to words things I have felt or experienced, but am not able to articulate well. I feel so inspired and encouraged and refreshed after reading her work. So naturally, when her book, Savor, was available to review, I immediately requested it. In the days that followed I eagerly awaited mail delivery and whenever the UPS truck would pull in the drive I would cross my fingers, hoping. Is that all there is? I asked, disappointed again, when Bill, our UPS driver, delivered four boxes, none of them addressed to me. Yup, that's it. You expecting something? A package for your baby? No, I shook my head, just a book. He looked at me, with what he probably thought was understanding and said, Yeah, I suppose you would need books to give you something to do at home all day. If looks could kill, he would have been wounded. But in typical UPS driver swiftness, he was already halfway down the drive, racing the clock to the next delivery, and failed to notice the glare. After four long weeks, I came home one afternoon to find a small package on the stoop, addressed to me! Excited, I ripped open the box and spent a few minutes lingering, before I needed to head out for the rest of the day, eager to come home and curl up with a hot mug of Chai and get lost in the book. Savor is different from other books by Shauna in that it is a 365 day devotional. Each day has a Bible verse and a small excerpt to go along with it. A lot of the stories she shares are taken from her other books. I have been reading through it fast, maybe ten entries at a time, because I am reviewing it. But this will be a book that I keep on my coffee table and go back to time after time. Its beautiful and inspiring. Shauna has done well, again. Note: This book was courtesy of BookLookBloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.
caeb19 More than 1 year ago
Having read and enjoyed Shauna Niequists other books, I was excited to receive her newest book Savor in the mail. Savor is considered a devotional with 365 daily readings, plus there are recipes included throughout the book. Each day begins with a Bible verse, a short essay combining content from Shauna's other books, and ends with a takeaway thought to ponder. I have mixed reviews about the book. The book itself is beautiful, with a cloth cover, Lindsay Letters handwritting, and blue-edged pages. Shauna's writing is lovely, but since it contains excerpts from her previous books, it can tend to feel like reading the same thing over and over. Also, some of the stories seem to end rather abruptly and felt incomplete. I did enjoy the quick format and little takeaways, but I would definitely recommend supplementing this with other Bible readings to really dig into the Word and reflect upon it (since the book itself doesn't help you do that). If you haven't read Shauna's other books, Savor is a nice collection of her essays and I think you would enjoy the content. It would also be a nice gift for someone or a good option for a quick morning reading as you drink your cup of coffee.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is like a quick chat with a friend, encouraging you to daily live your purpose, to rest, to work, to love, and to be. I'll be buying copies for friends. I also recommend that you buy a copy of When God Stopped Keeping Score from Author R.A. Clark, it takes a powerful look at God and forgiveness.
michelemorin More than 1 year ago
We are a gulping people — A swallowing whole, planning the next mouthful before the bolus lands kind of people We’re that way with our food, too. Savor by Shauna Niequist is a daily flavor of the Word — A slow down and think about it experience of considering one verse, one concept at a time. Shauna describes the book as her “attempt at paying attention, at clearing away space and noise.” To facilitate this focus, she has arranged her writing in 365 daily readings, each with a relevant scripture verse and followed by a question or suggestion to guide the reader’s thinking. For example, Job 2:10 (“Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”) leads Shauna to ponder the term bittersweet, to reflect on the idea that in all things “there is both something broken and something beautiful.” Her pondering is velvet, and her conclusion is steel: “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate, and when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” Having thus whet the reader’s appetite for spiritual food, Shauna tantalizes the literal palette with twenty-one recipes from savory to sweet, sprinkled throughout the book, and accompanied by a story-behind-the-dish. Personally, I intend to start out by trying Blueberry Yogurt Morning Cake as a delicious treat to savor with my family around the breakfast table. Savor is like a greeting in the daily conversation with God. Reading each day’s suggested verse in context will provide a more nourishing scriptural meal; recording meditations on the verses in a spiritual journal will allow the truth to digest; and bringing the daily thought forward into prayer and praxis will fortify faith and encourage growth. The goodness of God is everywhere. There is no profounder reason to enter into His creation — all the gifts He has bestowed — and to savor His grace wherever we find it. This book was provided by Zondervan through the Book Look Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book! This hits home every day! I am so glad I found it, and you will be, too!
dedaDL More than 1 year ago
I have found a great way to start each day. Every morning I read one page from Savor dedicated to the day. Today's topic is TWO OPTIONS - Romans 5:3-5 ....... My question for the day is ~ What are the events in your life that have shaped you in defining ways? Who have you become as a result? I continue to be amazed how one verse a day can make such a huge difference in my life. Each day I am taken to a place in my life journey that has shaped me into who I am and also is helping me in the future.  I highly recommend Savor. I am excited to read each day and I look forward to reading each day year after year. I know with every new year the day verse and question will continue to change.