Book Report: Love Where You Live

Love Where You Live: How to Live Sent in the Place You Call Home by Shauna Pilgreen

Shauna’s family moved from the Midwest to plant a church in San Francisco in 2010, trading a life of comfort for a life of mission. Out of the brokenness and beauty she’s encountered comes this interactive manual about owning the God-given purpose for wherever we find ourselves. (‘Interactive’ as in “draw your skyline on the next page.”) While most people consider their current location incidental, Shauna argues that there’s a divine plan behind it. She calls this mindset living sent. “The point of living sent is not to arrive but to travel well in this one life we’ve been given.” Time is short. If we’re going to be here, at this particular point on the map, at this particular moment in history, shouldn’t we really be here? Join Shauna as she joyfully shows you around her city, and discover that, somewhere along the way, you fell in love with your own.

Some of the quotes I found most inspiring include:

When we begin to think like He does and see what He sees and respond with His heart, God can take our dreams, ideas, and prayers to unparalleled places. Places where heaven and earth collide and His glory is on display—and an “only God” moment sparks, exploding on earth as it did in heaven.

We of all people should laugh the loudest, serve the most, work the best, think the brightest, give the most abundantly, shower His grace the widest, and pray the hardest!

Home is first and foremost a refuge within—a place where you feel safe and belong despite outside circumstances and pressures. Home is secondarily a place of blessing—a place to be opened up and spilled out for those who literally live right beside you.

When the significance of what God can do through you transcends the title society has given you, you are rightly positioned. 

Our stories look different from each other’s, and that’s a good thing. We’re filling up a kingdom library, and God desires diversity. No book is the same.

This adventure is not a bed of roses but a choice to thrive among the thorns.

Speak up in confidence that God will use who you are to draw out the best in others. God sees the sparks flying all over the place as we become the connectors linking heaven and earth, the temporary and the eternal.

The concept that most sticks out to me from Love Where You Live is what Shauna calls “sacred fields.” The idea came from finding herself (and God) at the soccer field on Sunday mornings rather than where she’d prefer to be—at church. We all have a sacred field, so we might as well be honest about it: “Name that place where you don’t want to be but where you find yourself standing.” This is a space that urges us to pray, “‘I need the courage and contentment to stay rather than run.’ Sometimes that field is a place our flesh doesn’t want to be, and it doesn’t feel right—but God has put us there on purpose.” My current sacred field is the Cystic Fibrosis community. While I wish I could be out doing “normal mom things” (whatever that means), the Lord has intentionally positioned me to shine light in the dark to families affected by my baby girl’s disease. Seeing this as a life-giving opportunity rather than a life sentence makes all the difference in the world. 

Here are ten book-related questions I’ll need to journal through:

  • How have I been living sent? How have I been living superior?
  • What do I love about my town? What bothers me about my town?
  • What kind of vision does God have for where I live?
  • How can I locally leverage the temporary for the sake of the eternal?
  • When do I notice “Previousville” calling me back to comfort?
  • How can I urge myself and others to rally around Jesus rather than around my agenda?
  • What equals rest to me within my city limits?
  • What matters to my culture?
  • When has God seemed “out there for me to please” rather than “in here for me to know”?
  • What is the culture-shaping history of my town?

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