For years, I have heard about Shauna Niequist, an author, speaker, and Jesus follower, and her books have been recommended multiple times. I finally put her 2013 release, Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life around the Table on hold at the library after I had read about it multiple times in a week.
This book is a collection of essays, a memoir of sorts, a tribute to Shauna’s belief that so much of life happens around the table while eating delicious food and enjoying the company of others. The essays range from her love of food to her difficult last pregnancy to travel adventures to why bread and wine together hold such a significance for Christians. Most of the chapters also include recipes, which to my surprise and delight, did not appear to be extremely difficult nor contain looonnngg, indecipherable ingredient lists.
This is another book, like Garlic and Sapphires, that I wouldn’t recommend reading if you are hungry as the descriptions of food are truly superb. Her writing is vivid, contemplative, relatable — transporting you to around the table with her, her family, and her friends. I truly enjoyed the author’s voice, her transparency to let the reader inside her home, around her table, and her thoughts on everything from body image to friendship to motherhood to food.
I loved her words about Jesus and the connection we feel with Him when we gather at the table for communion and remembrance — but I love the following words she penned the best, “I want you to stop running from thing to thing to thing, and to sit down at the table, to offer the people you love something humble and nourishing, like soup and bread, like a story, like a hand holding another hand while you pray. We live in a world that values us for how fast we go, for how much we acocomplish, for how much life we can pack into one day. But I’m coming to believe it’s in the in-between spaces that our lives change, and that the real beauty lies there…come to the table.”
A beautiful reminder to find meaning in the small things of life — embracing those extraordinary everyday moments, however ordinary they may seem.
Author’s Website: Shauna Niequist
Bread and Wine on Amazon
Have you read any of Shauna Niequist’s work? What are you currently reading?