I recently finished reading Shauna Niequist's new book Bread and Wine. If one word would sum up my experience reading (and re-reading) Shauna's first two books and now Bread and Wine as well, the word would be resonate. I found myself identifying with her experiences in a way that left me with some thought-provoking questions and comfort in sensing some shared thoughts.
Bread and Wine provides a unique structure in coupling Shauna's personal experiences with tried and true recipes for her readers (and perhaps fellow foodies!) to enjoy. I appreciated the stories and then loved the conclusion of each chapter, which tempted me to pick up the book and head to the kitchen. I have prepared a few of the recipes, including Annette's enchiladas and the breakfast cookies - both wonderfully successful on first trial.
Even more, I found myself challenged to be more willing to reach out and be more hospitable in our home. With small children I am often wondering how to balance the goal of reaching out to our guests while caring for our kids' needs. I think Shauna's book was an important reminder of the purpose of hosting, "But it isn't about perfection, and 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." Indeed.
I rarely post quotes or share about books that I am reading, but this blog is meant to share my sources of inspiration, and Shauna Niequist continues to provide a rich source of inspiration for me. And the recipes are fabulous (and often very healthy as well.)
The timing of this book and this post seemed very appropriate as we are in this Holy Week where we reflect on Christ's body and blood and the gift of His sacrifice for us. The last two chapters of the book were my favorites, and I will end this post by quoting Shauna's words, "Every time we eat, every time we gather, every time the table is filled: He's here. He's here, and he is good."
Please note: I received an advanced copy of the book, but received no compensation for this review. The words and thoughts above are my own. I look forward to sharing this book with friends and family and using these recipes in the months to come.