This week on The Turquoise Table, host Kristin Schell chats with Shauna Pilgreen, author of Love Where You Live. A small-town native, Shauna grew up on a farm in South Georgia, and then moved to rural Missouri with her husband to do ministry. Ten years ago, the Lord stirred in their hearts a desire to plant a church in a place far outside of their comfort zones: San Francisco, California. Love Where You Live chronicles the struggles and blessings of Shauna’s move to the big city, and learning how to invest long-term in the place she lives.
Shauna, her husband, and their three sons sold their house, packed up all of their belongings, and moved to San Francisco to plant a brand new church. A Type A personality, Shauna made a step-by-step plan called “31 Days in the City” to help integrate them into city life. These 31 steps encouraged her and her family to get out into the city, engage with the people and places around them, and get comfortable outside of their normal routine. Each day included simple things like applying for a library card, learning how to ride the train, and making cookies for a neighbor. Though Shauna’s body resided in California, it took a while for her heart to show up as well. These 31 days gave her practical steps in the right direction.
Shauna shares her belief that on the other side of our hurdles and our excuses, there are so many blessings. In our society of instant gratification, it can often be difficult for us to be patient and wait to see the fruit we’ve been sowing. Shauna says that after ten years in San Francisco, she is finally seeing the fruit of the seeds that God has planted through her. Longevity, she iterates, is the key to successful community.
The knowledge that she and her family would be in California for the long haul propelled Shauna to pay attention to the opportunities for service and kindness around her. Every year, she hosts “Cookies and Cocoa,” inviting all of her neighbors over to her home for homemade cookies and hot chocolate. December 2019 saw her biggest turnout yet and encouraged her that the work she has been doing is making an impact in her community.
Love Is a Verb
In the title Love Where You Live, “love” is a verb — Shauna actively loves the local people with whom she comes into contact. She offers a few simple ideas on how others can too; her first suggestion is to take walks. Instead of taking the train or her minivan, Shauna often chooses to walk to her kids’ school, to the grocery store, or around her neighborhood. She prays that God would use her with whomever she encounters each day and intentionally makes time for those interactions.
Shauna also suggests sitting down with family members to discuss how you as a team can make a difference. One night, she and her family walked the streets of their neighborhood. As they walked they handed out free pizza, water bottles, and cookies. Simple acts of kindness create a ripple effect in the community. Shauna continues to share her heart and to love her neighbors well in her now-beloved home of San Francisco.
Affiliate links may be used at no additional cost to you.
Celebrate #LoveWhereYouLiveDay and nominate a friend for the Love Where You Live Award: www.shaunapilgreen.com/share-a-story
Connect with Shauna:
- Her Book: Love Where You Live
- Website: shaunapilgreen.com
- Instagram: @shaunapilgreen
- Facebook: Shauna Pilgreen
Connect with Kristin:
Podcast Discussion Guide
Kristin & Shauna at Salesforce Park in San Francisco this week. The two met up for a tour of Shauna’s neighborhood and it’s true — she really does Love Where She Lives.
January is Love Where You Live Month. Nominate someone in your community for the Love Where You Live Award.
Suppers for Sharing
In what ways do you think the world is getting better? In what ways is it getting worse? If you could make any three changes in the world, what would they be?