Book Review of
Present Over Perfect
A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy.
I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, writer, and I know all too well that settling feeling. But over the course of the last few years, I’ve learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And it’s changing everything.
Present Over Perfect is an invitation to this journey that changed my life. I’ll walk this path with you, a path away from frantic pushing and proving, and toward your essential self, the one you were created to be before you began proving and earning for your worth.
This book has been very popular over the last year in many blogging and social media circles. I have had it on my Kindle for some time, but finally decided to read it on my recent trip to Oregon. I can see why so many people love this book.
There is a lot about this book that I enjoyed and found true. The title says a lot. We often strive so hard for perfection that we aren’t present in the moment. In trying to live we lose site of the important things in our lives.
There are some things in this book that I don’t agree with, but I found the overall subject to be good.
I have to admit though I have mixed feeling about this book. I think for me it may be the timing. So often books affect us differently at different times. That is the case for me with this book. I think I would have appreciated it more at a different time.
This book is about slowing down. Appreciating the life we have. It is about stopping the crazy busy life we live. It is about slowing down, so that you can say yes to the important things.
I read this though on my trip to Oregon. The reason for that trip was to attend the funeral of my best friend’s father. He was a husband, father to six, spent thirty plus years as a pastor, and accomplished many other things in life. He lived life. This was shown in the amount of people at his funeral. People that he impacted thirty years ago came to pay respect to him and what he did for them. I was one of those people. He had a huge impact on me during my teens years. I would not be the person I am today if God hadn’t put this family in my life.
He was a people person. He loved people and when he saw a need he tried to fill it. He would be in a big room of people and he would find the person that was off to the side by them self and he would take time to learn about them and their life. If someone was in the hospital, he was there visiting them. If someone needed help moving, he was there helping.If someone needed a counsel or advice, he would take time to listen. He truly cared. He showed God’s love in the way he treated people. He loved them.
His life wasn’t perfect, but it was full and busy and he changed lives. Slow did not define this man and it showed in his life. So as I was reading this book about slowing down to say yes to the important things, I was also thinking about this man who greatly impacted me who didn’t know the meaning of a slow life. That got me to thinking about this current trend I see to slow down and take time to breathe and how much error there can be in that view. Life is not about slow. Life is about being intentional. It is about living and loving. It is about caring and giving.
Do I want to live a crazy busy go go go life? No. That is not me. I need space and margin in my life. But I also don’t want to error on the other side. I don’t want step back, so far to slow, that I don’t love and serve. I want to stop the crazy, in order to do the good.
All that to say, I really do have mixed feelings about this book. If you feel like you need to slow down some from the craziness of life, you might enjoy this book more than I did. I really think I might have enjoyed it if I had read it at a different time.