A book of daily readings, however long, is not usually high on my list of books to read and/or use in my personal time of connection with God. Devotionals, in my past experience, are often too watered-down or simplistic for my tastes. I can’t think of one I’ve read that I would recommend enthusiastically.
Shauna Niequist changed all that with her book Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are, a collection of 365 devotions. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the Booklook Bloggers program in exchange for my review.)
This book is as beautiful on the inside as its cover is on the outside. It has a textured feel to it and is just pretty to look at. Fortunately for us, though, it’s not just a pretty face.
The daily readings are a collection of Niequist’s words, some from books she’s written previously, some new, I think, but I honestly can’t tell the difference. They are snippets of encouragement and reflection from a real-life wife and mom, writer, speaker, Christian-on-a-journey who doesn’t offer easy answers but poses challenging questions in a gentle voice.
I have been reading the book almost daily for about a month and I am still pondering questions I read weeks ago. Each day’s reading ends with a question or two that provokes not only deeper thought but sometimes action. As a result of my readings, I’ve sent cards I needed to send, encouraged someone I might have forgotten to notice, and asked myself questions I don’t know the answer to.
I’m so enthusiastic about this book I bought a copy for a gift. Rarely would I even consider giving a devotional book to someone as a gift but this book is a must-read for women at various ages and seasons of faith. At times she talks about motherhood, at times she talks about doubt and her faith journey. It is not a one-size-fits-all book because, as I’m learning, we are not one-size-fits-all women. But I think you’d be encouraged by Niequist’s words and challenged by her questions.
One challenge of reviewing a year-long devotional is that I can’t read and review the entire thing in a timely manner because I want to use it as it is intended. But from the selections I’ve read, I’ve gotten a sense of the book’s style and I am in love. I will continue to use it and reuse it in the months to come.
(Oh, and did I mention there are recipes? Shauna’s recipes are not to be missed! She wrote a whole book about food and cooking and fellowship. I keep it in my kitchen!)