Book Review: Savor by Shauna Niequist

My routine over the summer has looked quite a bit different than other summers. Summers are usually a time for me to veg out on the couch and be lazy after a hectic school year.

But after being on bed rest for a month and then moping on my couch for another month, I decided I needed to make myself get up. So I made a point to sit at the table instead of lying on the couch first thing in the morning. And in doing that, I motivated myself to start a morning devotional/quiet time. It has been soothing to my soul to start the day in conversation with God.

The devotional I chose is Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist. I had seen it mentioned on a blog I read, plus it’s just a beautiful book. Besides the devotions, it also has some of Shauna’s favorite recipes scattered throughout. I hadn’t read any of her other books, but I thought I would give this one a try.

{Beautiful details of Savor}

{Beautiful details of Savor}

At first, I felt very disappointed that it didn’t dig into stories from the Bible. I mean, how could I become closer to God without reading his Word… right? But it turns out, Bible stories were not what I needed.

These daily devotions give an in-depth look into the life of a modern day Christ-follower. Shauna shares intimate details of her joys and sorrows, hopes and hopelessness. And at the end of each passage, she brings the focus back to your own personal relationship with God. She asks questions that are sometimes tough to answer. They make you dig deep and really look into whether or not you are truly putting your life in God’s hands. There are times when I find myself rolling my eyes thinking, why did she have to go there?! I don’t want to think about that!

Eventually, I pull out my journal and pour out my heart, answering her questions. More often than not, it ignites more questions and thoughts that I hadn’t previously realized I needed to hash out with God. What I end up with is a written prayer.

My experience with this devotional has been introspective and therapeutic. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to grow closer to God. Whether you are struggling with putting your trust in Him, or if you feel steadfast in your relationship with Him, I believe you will be touched by Shauna’s words.

If you have used this devotional or read one of Shauna’s other books, tell me in the comments about how it has affected you.

With hope and love,
Kristen

**One negative review I have read about this devotional mentions that most of the stories in Savor come from stories in Shauna’s other books. So if you have read her other books, you may be underwhelmed with this one. But I think the reflection questions will help you see the stories in a new light. 

Faithful in Prayer

I have always felt like prayer was one of my weaknesses.  Being asked to pray out loud has always been a terrible nightmare.  It takes me a long time to find the “right” words.  I stutter and fumble the whole way through, even when praying in silence.  On many occasions, my prayer ends up simply as, “God, you know my heart.  Please help me.

I hear the men and women around me pray these long, beautiful, meaningful prayers.  They almost sound like recitations instead of spontaneous thought.

And I want so badly to be able to pray that way.

But why?  Are their prayers more likely to be heard than mine?  Are they more likely to be answered?

No.  Of course not!

Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Romans 8:26-27 says, “. . .the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit. . .”

See, the Bible doesn’t say anything about it needing to be pretty or a certain length.  Sometimes my prayers are rather ugly.  Like when I cry out to God with my hurts and anger.  Sometimes they are short and sweet.  Like when I think him for his daily blessings.  And I know he hears each and every one of them.

When I was in middle school, my youth pastor introduced me to the Five Finger Prayer.  I think it is typically used to teach young children how to pray.  And every night before bed, I still use this method.

  1. Praise God
  2. Confess your sins
  3. Thank God
  4. Pray for others
  5. Pray for yourself

As adults, I think we often try to make things way too complicated.  But the Bible puts it simply:

The Lord is near to all who call upon him. . .” – Psalm 145:18

Psalm 145:18

With hope and love,
Kristen