Letting Go of Perfect

At the end of her book, Letting Go of Perfect, Amy Spiegel poses the question, “How do I let go of my idea of perfect in order to grasp the perfection of God?” This great book (especially great for those of us with crazy perfection OCD!) addresses the expectations we have on ourselves (Heaven, help us!)  and how to walk with God (and beside of others) in a more authentic way. One of my favorite things about Letting Go of Perfect is that it is perfect for all women, no matter what stage of life they find themselves in.

Spiegel reminds us that just because a woman appears to have it all together, there’s a pretty good chance her minivan would tell a different story.

Instead of putting unreasonable expectations in our daily life (perfect kids, picture-perfect home, perfect hair), Spiegel suggests we take a long look in the mirror, and look to God to be our guiding source, not society.

Now, there’s an idea!

Letting Go of Perfect is an easy and fun read. Amy Spiegel is down-to-earth and real. I have no doubt that Amy and I would be fast friends in real life. (She has a love of lists!) I have long considered myself a perfectionist, but after reading Letting Go of Perfect, I now see the danger of trying to live that out in my daily life.

Some of my favorite quotes from Angie’s book include:

  • The next time you are heading out the door, pause at the mirror and make sure that what you see reflects your purpose and values.
  • Coming out and admitting our faults and weaknesses can be a great comfort to those with similar struggles.
  • When it comes to setting expectations for ourselves, how do we walk the fine line between being motivated and being legalistic?
  • It’s sad that so much of the chaos of our lives is created not by the basic demands of our primary responsibilities, but our refusal to stand against the cultural dictates that demand that every moment of our lives be filled with activity.

Is today’s perfect Christian woman a perfectly ridiculous concept?

Have you ever felt as though you didn’t recognize yourself in the mirror and yet you’re frantically trying to keep that image together? Felt bound by the dreams you had for life that you now realize have forced other expectations on you? Or maybe you’ve laughed at one of those insanely ridiculous moments in the day when absolutely everything goes wrong and no matter what you do, the grand purpose seems elusive.

Let’s be honest. We all have a standard in our head that we believe is the perfect Christian woman, wife, and/or mother. Yet, have you ever really examined what that standard is? Yes, God absolutely has standards for what those roles are to be, but is He our source, or is it the peer-pressure-don’t- be-the-odd-one-out-on-Sunday-morning drive to fit in that is driving us away from authenticity and raw faith to outward performance?

Amy Spiegel knows this struggle well and notes, “so many of the women I know seem to feel the same tension in their own lives, teetering on the edge, praying someone will be there to catch them if they fall.” There is a grand purpose to where you are today.

Join Amy in Letting Go of Perfect, to look at what it means to truly know the woman in the mirror as well as the God who created, redeems, and equips her.

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In the interest of full disclosure, The Media Collective provided a complementary copy of Letting Go of Perfect to facilitate this review. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Dream Big!

Bright.

Fun.

Sweet.

Beautiful.

Sharp.

Hot.

Fine.

Sexy.

Dazzling.

Fabulous.

Awesome.

Cool.

Alluring.

Just some adjectives to describe him:

And also this:

Thank you McDaddy, for being the man of my dreams and for making all of my dreams come true.

Even when I dream big!

What I Learned This Week

It’s Tuesday, and around here that means it’s time for another edition of “What I Learned This Week” and I know y’all are trying hard to contain the excitement.

Here’s what I learned:

1. The Bronx is much different in person than it was in my head.

In fact, most things are.

2. A package of Mentos, at a gas station in Pennsylvania costs $1.27.

3. Mentos are overpriced.

4. It’s been a long time since I’ve purchased candy in a gas station.

5. The Saturn Sky is SO MUCH FUN to drive.

6. Knowing that a Saturn Sky is sitting in your garage makes it tough to climb into the company car to drive into town.

7. As much as I enjoy travelling, there is no place like home.

8. The Canon Rebel is quite the possibly the best purchase I’ve ever made.

9. There are still honest people in the world.

Just ask the lady who found my camera in the hotel swimming pool and turned it in.

10. Though Stevie is almost three years older than Alex, Stevie only weighs 3.3 pounds more than Alex.

Now, what did YOU learn?

For complete carnival rules, click here.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog.

2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link back to this post here at From Inmates To Playdates. If you don’t know how to link, feel free to ask me.

3. Then link up with Mr. Linky down below.

4. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. Then leave a comment because comments are fun!

There’s No Place Like Home

Remember a week ago, when I wrote a post called Rough Waters asking you, my wonderful readers, to pray for the people of West Virginia, many of whom were without water and power? I didn’t mention it in that post, (because McDaddy doesn’t like for me to mention that we are out-of-town here on the blog, on the off-chance that someone decides to rob us blind) but my fellas and I were approximately 840 miles away visiting McDaddy’s sister and her family in New Hampshire at that time.

Y’all, we couldn’t have picked a better two weeks to be away from home.

With temperatures over 100 degrees for more than a week, our home was WITHOUT POWER for five days.

I’ll give you a moment to process that.

IF we had been at home when all that went down, one of two things would have happened.

1. My fellas and I would have stayed with friends or gotten a hotel room here in town (which is unlikely, because most hotels were FULL!)

OR,

2. I would have gnawed my arm while waiting for the internet, TV, and air conditioner to come back on.

I’m not even kidding about that last thing.

Instead, my parents came over (in the sweltering heat, mind you!) and emptied the contents of our fridge and freezer, moved the hamsters downstairs to a cooler part of the house, and kept a check on the garage to make sure my beloved SKY was safe from harm and danger.

We’ve been home approximately eight hours. The bags are unpacked, McDaddy has replaced all the crazy light bulbs in our great room with BRIGHT LED lights, the boys are bathed, we’re watching the Yankees put it to the RedSox, and I took the SKY out for a drive today.

All is right with my world.

Things could have been much different tonight, however.

My dad called a few nights ago with a story so crazy, he immediately said, I’ve got a story for your blog. Folks, its something that could only happen here at the McResidence.

To make an incredibly long story short, my dad, my wonderful dad who looks after things when we are away, while taking the hamsters down the stairs in search of a cool room on Sunday, somehow managed to knock the exercise wheel lose from the cage. When he came back on Tuesday, the wheel was in the floor and he didn’t see either hamster in the cage. Thinking they may come back, he opened the door to the cage and placed a pillow in front of the door so that the hamsters could get back IN the cage if they decided to come back. He prayed came back on Thursday, and still didn’t see the hamsters in the cage. He carried the cage up the stairs and noticed something moving inside. In the cage, under a bundle of bedding, he saw one of the hamsters, and upon closer examination, the other one curled up beside of him.

Now, the funny thing is, we have no earthly idea if the hamsters were ever out of the cage, or if they were in the cage the entire time, hiding under the bedding.

I find it very odd that the door to that cage was open for TWO WHOLE DAYS without those two jokers going AWOL. And if they DID decide to take a little journey, I’m glad they decided to get back in their house before we returned home.

I’m thankful.

I would not sleep well knowing there were two rodents loose in the house.

Yes, I said rodents.

In the cage, they are hamsters. Loose in the house, they are rodents.

And they are fair game.

Another storm blew through here today around 4 PM (while I was out in the SKY). Thankfully, this storm didn’t take our power hostage. Many people who just recently had their power restored lost it again today. Believe me when I say I prayed that we’d keep our power.

Mostly because I enjoy being comfortable, but also because I need both of my arms.

You know, in case I need to catch a hamster.

Have a great Monday, y’all!

Life Before The iPhone

I love to travel.

Well, actually I like to visit new places, and sleep in hotels (yay for free breakfast, a pool and maid service!) and visit family in other states. I don’t so much like the actual travelling to get there. In fact, I rarely stay awake when travelling in a car, but if I am awake, I usually play Words With Friends or nose around on the Facebook.

McDaddy told his sister a few days ago that travelling with me – pre iPhone – was not fun.

This was a shock to me because really, I thought anything with me was fun.

It got me to thinking about my life pre iPhone, and it dawned on me that sadly, I can barely remember what life was like pre iPhone. And then I thought, why would I want to?

Before the iPhone….

  • I didn’t spend nearly the amount of time in the bathroom as I do now.
  • I used a pocket calendar to record every single appointment and rarely missed one.
  • I never worried about leaving home without a cell phone charger in my purse.
  • I had no idea RAJ, TAJ and HAJ were “words.”
  • I had to carry a camera if I wanted to take a picture.
  • I checked my e-mail once a day. In the evening.
  • Same with Facebook.
  • The only notes I wrote were on a notepad.
  • I depended on the news to deliver the weather report.
  • I purchased CDs.
  • I sometimes forgot to set my alarm clock.
  • I used a cell phone to call people. Period.
  • The only time I listened to KLOVE was in the car.
  • If I wanted to do price comparison I had to drive to different stores.

Somewhere McDaddy is rolling his eyes while reading this on his iTouch.

And smiling because I’m probably beside of him on my iPhone.

What I Learned This Week

What I learned this week….

1. After five years of wanting one REALLY REALLY BADLY, I still have to remind myself that I am the owner of a Saturn Sky.

2. Sometimes, home sweet home isn’t so sweet.

3. Ninety-Nine has some killer balsamic chicken.

4. A hotel water park is pretty awesome.

5. When untangling a hotel room phone cord, you should be very careful not to hit the big red emergency button, or else you might get an unexpected visit from a state trooper.

6. Summer is a great time to catch up (and act crazy) with cousins.

Now, what did YOU learn this week?

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For complete carnival rules, click here.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog.

2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link back to this post here at From Inmates To Playdates. If you don’t know how to link, feel free to ask me.

3. Then link up with Mr. Linky down below.

4. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. Then leave a comment because comments are fun!

Rough Waters

As I watched my fellas climb over these rocks,

And watched the river race over these rocks,

A major storm hit our city like a rock dropping on a piece of glass.

Homes were shattered. Trees were uprooted. Many people are without electricity. Some people are without water. Gas is scarce. Hotels are full.

People are discouraged.

And they are scrambling to find shelter, water, and a cool place to sleep.

Another storm is headed that way tonight.

Would you pray with me that peace would be restored soon?

That God would calm the rough waters… and that all of the workers who are working so diligently to restore power, water, and homes would be kept safe throughout the process.

I’d appreciate it and I know the citizens of West Virginia would too!