Present Over Perfect, Find Peace with Bethany Turner

Just Commonly welcome authors to drop by and share with us their take on a book that embodies a predetermined Word of the Month!  For the full year of 2017, every Monday at 7:00 AM EST, a new post by a new author will be live!

“I used to be afraid that I was hollow somehow, that I only existed if someone could see me and hear me, like a toddler playing peek-a-boo.” 

–  Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect

"It’s September 11th. Isn’t it odd (and increasingly difficult) to think back to a time when 9/11 was a day like any other? Now it will always be the anniversary of when everything changed. No, not all of the change happened immediately—though much of it did—but there seems to be a break in history, marked by that day in 2001. Pre-9/11. Post-9/11. And post-9/11 is busier, I think. More chaotic. It’s as if we all have something to prove. It’s as if there is so much we want to do, and we just don’t know how much time we’ll have to get it done. At least, I think that’s how it began. Now, I think we’re just stuck. We’re addicted to the pace. Or, at the very least, just like a pre-9/11 world, it’s getting more difficult to remember what it was like…before. More and more, we just want peace. And more and more, we’re forgetting what peace is. Shauna Niequist’s book, Present Over Perfect, challenges us to remember that peace doesn’t come from the lives we try to create for ourselves, but rather from a relationship with the Creator. "

Bethany Turner is the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former VP/operations manager of a commercial bank and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned thirty-five), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn't matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she's chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

TO CONNECT WITH BETHANY:  website,  facebook,  twitter,  instagram


Instead of pushing for perfection

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.

Written in Shauna’s warm and vulnerable style, this collection of essays focuses on the most important transformation in her life, and maybe yours too: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection.

Shauna offers an honest account of what led her to begin this journey, and a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us.

In these pages, you’ll be invited to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life.



Thank you, Bethany! I love this! Let us all find the peace that can only come from our Creator!

ABOUT The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by BETHANY

Title:  The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck
Author: Bethany Turner
Publisher:  Revell
Release Date:  October 3, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, an RT Book Reviews Top Pick, coming October 3rd from Revell. Preorder available now!

Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that's obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she's made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she's chosen. She's still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she's not sure she can write anymore. She's beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a "scandalous" book. And the fact that she's falling in love with her pastor doesn't make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn't afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.



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  1. Annie, thank you so much for letting me talk about peace today, and letting me share a little about Shauna's book, which means so much to me!

    1. Many thanks Bethany for being here! So sorry I've been mia with being sick and all. Thanks for taking the time!


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