“The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. “It’s the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy. "This is what I’ve come to believe about change: it’s good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it’s incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God’s hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be. “I’ve learned the hard way that change is one of God’s greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we’ve become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I’ve learned that it’s not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God’s graciousness, not life’s cruelty.” Niequist, a keen observer of life with a lyrical voice, writes with the characteristic warmth and honesty of a dear friend: always engaging, sometimes challenging, but always with a kind heart. You will find Bittersweet savory reading, indeed. “This is the work I’m doing now, and the work I invite you into: when life is sweet, say thank you, and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you, and grow.”
|About the Contributor(s)||Shauna Niequist
Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread & Wine and Savor. She is married to Aaron, and they have two wild & silly & darling boys, Henry & Mac. They live outside Chicago, where Aaron leads The Practice and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Shauna also writes for the Storyline Blog, and for IF:Table, and she is a member of the Relevant podcast, and a guest teacher at her church. Shauna’s three great loves are her family, dinner parties, and books, and she believes that vulnerable storytelling, hard laughter, and cold pizza for breakfast can cure almost anything.
|Publish Date||Feb 19, 2013|
- Review by Jalynn
The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. 'It's the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul.
About the Author:
Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She is married to Aaron Niequist, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek Community Church and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron & Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac. Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life--friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. You can find out more about Shauna and read her blog at www.shaunaniequist.com.
In each part of our daily lives, there are times of happiness, sadness, anger, regret---you name it and I am sure that it has happened to all of us in one way or another. This author is not new to me, I have reviewed for her once before, the book was entitled Bread&Wine. I really like the way that the author conveys her thoughts in her writings. Whether she is discussing food, family, friends or God she is always able to get my attention. In Bittersweet, she shows us the different lessons that she has learned along the way about life in the hopes it will help someone out there get through it, get by, or just be.
In her many lessons she will take you back in time to different experiences and bare her soul. And as she does it each time, I am thinking ya know I really get what she is saying. I really enjoyed the lesson entitled Gifts, Under the Tree and Otherwise. The author begs of you to really reach out to friends and loved ones this Christmas and don't be afraid to share with them how you truly feel about them. With life, we have to take the bitter with the sweet because in all things this is how God grows us and blesses us. Shauna Niequist reminds us of this very thing and she also begs of us to see God's good in ALL things!
**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the Z Blog Squad and Zondervan. (Posted on 11/6/2014)