I love, love, love today’s reading suggestion and the amazing girl who wrote it. Amy Carroll is a precious friend, and gives so many women the gift of freeing themselves from the mindset that they have to be perfect, do everything perfect, and live the perfect life. Amy broke up with perfection and now lives a happier, more content life. If perfection is something you struggle with at times, I know her words below, and in the book, will be a blessing to you too.
Also be sure to check out the bottom of the post for information about Amy’s awesome free bible study that just kicked off yesterday, and how you can enter to win a free copy of Breaking Up With Perfect!
Out of Control and Loving It
“It’s a good day when the water on the bathroom floor isn’t higher than the top of your sandals,” quipped my friend Cathy as our women’s conference in India drew to a close.
Now that’s a new measure of a good day!
India is overload for American senses. Your eye fills with the bright colors of saris, strings of marigolds for a festival, and stacks of fruit being sold in a roadside stand. In your peripheral vision, cars whiz by laced with motorcycles carrying whole families, and you think you might have just seen a bull in the midst of the traffic’s snarl.
The food is an explosion of ten thousand tastes in every bite. Unknown flying objects and pollution make the air a tactile experience, and my friend says that India is “an amusement park for the nose.” It’s the smell of spices, piles of trash, millions of bodies, and the fragrance of flowers.
India feels like chaos to this ordered American girl.
And I love it.
Part of my heart resides in India, but it seems hard to figure out why. I don’t speak the language, so sometimes communicating is difficult. There’s a different measure of cleanliness which presents significant challenges at times. The ways of people there—from eating to shopping to potties– are diametrically opposed to my own so that the culture shock is more like a sizzling bolt from the sky than a mild zap from a socket.
So why do I love it there so much?
I love the wildness of India. It teams with life in every inch, and it keeps me off kilter. India communicates the exotic, extreme Life of God to me. As CS Lewis said of his character Aslan, a lion who is the symbol of God in the Narnia stories, “He’s not a tame lion. But he’s good.”
Somehow in America, I slide back into my own view of perfection—a room perfectly straightened, mess-free relationships, a god who behaves the way I like and with the timing I approve. In India, all my cultural crutches are removed. I seek God in every move, and I see Him everywhere.
It’s in the midst of unpredictability that I sense the presence of God most acutely and when I feel the most alive. Yet I’ve been reluctant to give up control. From the time I was a little girl, I tried to shape myself and my environment to please others and earn love. It’s a mistake to try to live this way, though.
God crafted us to reflect His image, not to create our own.
Trying to shape our own image into what we consider perfect gives us less life instead of more. Perfection might make us feel more comfortable, but then we miss out on the majestic wildness of following our untamed but wholly good God.
Let’s break up with our idea of perfection and walk into the foreign land of trusting God fully as He shapes the perfect path for us filled with His Life.
For a chance to win a free copy of Breaking Up With Perfect, leave a comment sharing one area of your life where you struggle with the desire for perfection.
Amy Carroll is the author of Breaking Up with Perfect and a speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries. She lives in NC with her husband and a bossy miniature dachshund. You can find her on any given day texting her sons at college, typing at her computer, reading a book, or trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking dinner.
Join Amy for a FREE online book study of Breaking Up with Perfect from Aug. 1-September 5. She’s be sharing more of her lessons from India there, and you can find out all the details about joining in the fun and community by clicking here.
- the winner of Sharon Jaynes book from last week’s giveaway was Elsie, email has been sent.