The Contented Soul: The Art of Savoring Life, By Lisa Graham McMinn

The Contented Soul

The Art of Savoring Life

by Lisa Graham McMinn

The Contented Soul
  • Length: 185 pages
  • Published: April 05, 2006
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3335
  • ISBN: 9780830833351

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  • Winner of a 2006 Chicago Book Clinic Award

Is your life characterized more by long, leisurely walks--or by frantic sprints to get the kids to school, rush to work, beat out other cars in traffic so you can pick the kids up on time and grab dinner before your seven o'clock meeting?

Most of us are racing through life at dangerously high speeds, striving for a higher-paying job or a larger house, and volunteering for a hundred activities without ever stopping to notice what we do have or to reflect on who we are apart from all our doing. Our culture teaches that possessions equal success and busyness equals importance--and we have believed the lie. Though we search for contentment, we never find it. Even more, we begin to doubt its existence.

In The Contented Soul, sociologist Lisa Graham McMinn invites us to

slow down,

be still and

learn the art of savoring life.

Our souls were not made for frantic, frenzied living. In the midst of our busy culture, we have forgotten--or perhaps never learned--how to savor moments and days. But McMinn calls us back to a significant, simpler way of life, a way characterized by intimate connection with our Creator, authentic relationships with others and a profound hope for the shalom that is to come. Along the way, the author also gives us examples of people who have chosen this way of life and found it genuinely satisfying, stirring hope that we, too, can choose and find lasting contentment.

So pull up a chair by the fire, or set out for a quiet stroll, binoculars in hand, and begin living life the way God intended: a life of freedom, beauty, connection and true satisfaction for your soul.

"In an age where there's much to be troubled by, Lisa McMinn has a terribly important word for us about contentment--a word that's rooted in eternity but full of practical counsel. It's a word about 'sipping and savoring' the good gifts of life and reflecting on what really matters. I highly recommend a slow read of The Contented Soul, with time to ponder the queries at the end of each chapter."

Ron Woodward, minister, Northwest Yearly Meeting (Quaker)

"The Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs said Christian contentment is a rare jewel. Lisa McMinn has held this gem up to the light and looked at its many facets with gentle wisdom and eloquence. She also shows us that contentment is not passive satiety but earnest desire applied to the good things of God and his kingdom. More than a manual of contentment, it is an invitation to hunger and thirst for righteousness. The Contented Soul is a delight to read and to follow."

Ben Patterson, author of Deepening Your Conversation with God and He Has Made Me Glad

"This book is challenging, encouraging, provocative. We would all do well to accept Lisa McMinn's invitation to contentment."

Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God

"This is a comfortable book--as peace-filled as its title suggests and as subtle as its subtitle promises. But if you believe, as I do, our faith is written in our lives and that souls are the eternal, animate result of that union, then you need to stop a while and read what Lisa McMinn has to say about the process."

Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours

"This autobiographical reflection on simplifying life is a lovely addition to popular Christian literature. Especially calming are its phrases 'mellowness of heart' and 'walking gently,' traits that we would all do well to embrace."

Ellen T. Charry, associate professor of systematic theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

True to its theme of savoring life, the book is one to be savored.

Carolyn Egolf, Congregational Libraries Today, January/February 2007

"[McMinn] deepens . . . popular spiritual practices by placing them in the context of the great web of life . . . with the ease and beauty of a memoir."

Publishers Weekly, April 3, 2006 (starred review)


1. An Invitation to Contentment
2. Seeing the Self as Soul
3. The Practice of Fortitude
4. Mellowness of Heart
5. Embracing Limits
6. Sipping and Savoring
7. Walking Gently
8. Crafting Community
9. Remembering


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Lisa Graham McMinn

Lisa Graham McMinn (PhD, Portland State University) is professor of sociology in the department of sociology and social work at George Fox University in Oregon. Her other books include Growing Strong Daughters (Baker), Sexuality and Holy Longing (Jossey-Bass), and The Contented Soul (InterVarsity Press). Her articles have appeared in Journal of Psychology and Christianity, Sociology of Religion, Journal of Psychology and Theology, Research on Christian Higher Education, and Christianity Today.