I am both honored and excited to introduce you to Amy Carroll and her new book Breaking up with Perfect! I don’t usually think of myself as a perfectionist. My kitchen is a mess, my kids wear hand-me-down clothes, and my days never go as planned. But as I turned the pages of this book God began convicting me of areas in my life where I was relying on myself, trying to be perfect instead of resting in Him. Breaking up with Perfect came at the “perfect” time in my life. The lessons held in these pages are God-breathed and practical for our daily life. Whether you fall into the “gotta be a good girl” list or the “I’m never good enough” list, perfectionism is exhausting and is an addiction that wedges a barrier between us and our relationship with Christ. You see, God isn’t calling us to be perfect. He is calling us to trust Him. He is the only perfect one among us. Some of my favorite parts of this book are when Amy tells stories from her own life, admitting she doesn’t have it all together either. And that’s okay! Curling up on the couch reading this book I felt like I was at a coffee shop chatting away with my friend. Wonderful lessons about investing in the relationship that matters the most in this life, our relationship with God. I can’t wait for you to dig into this wonderful book! And be on the lookout, this is a front-runner for our first every A Momma’s Joy online bible study coming this summer!
What is Breaking up with Perfect all about?
For three decades my personal tendency toward perfectionism spiraled downward until I felt completely lost and empty. I couldn’t feel God’s love anymore, and I finally realized that the exhausting work to earn approval from God and everyone else was damaging my relationships rather than strengthening them.
Breaking Up with Perfect is filled with the lessons God gives to bring us into deeper relationships and greater joy. The book is peppered with the real deal about my failures, so no one reading it will feel alone. In fact, you’ll probably think, “At least I’m not as messed up as her!” So many women who have read the book have said, “I didn’t even think I was a perfectionist until I read your book.” The truth is that our culture reinforces our perfectionistic tendencies in a million little ways—hello, Facebook and Pinterest—but God’s perfecting work in us only starts when our own pursuit of perfection ends.
How long did it take you to write the book?
3 months. Isn’t that the craziest thing you’ve ever heard for a first time author? Toward the end of the process, my editor referred to it as a “crash book”, and that was exactly how it felt!
What was your favorite chapter or part of the book to write and why?
Chapter 8, “You Were Always on My Mind: Replacing Tasks with People” is my favorite. One of my most destructive mindsets as a perfectionist was seeing my people as obstacles to my to-do list. Although I still love a list beyond distraction, God is teaching me to prioritize people first and set aside the tasks some days. It’s really all about following His agenda instead of our own, and joy springs from doing His will. The tasks become secondary, but it’s crazy how all the work also gets done when I’m in alignment with His calendar!
What is the one thing you hope your readers will walk away with after reading your book?
Freedom! God created us for more than being merely a producer. It’s not our work that earns His love or even His pleasure. The word “perfect” in the Bible can also be translated as “whole, mature, and complete.” Isn’t that beautiful? When we’re walking in His perfecting work rather than enslaved to creating our own, we become the whole, mature and complete woman He dreamed of when He made us.
If you could go back through the writing, publishing, and marketing experience would you do anything differently?
I would have reminded myself that the whole process of writing the book really was part of my journey to break up with perfect. Even the writing boiled up some bad patterns to deal with again!
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Read, walk, be with my friends and family. Eat dessert.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I always, always wanted to be a teacher. It’s what I was born to do, and I’m thankful to get to do it in a different capacity even now.
What is your favorite quote and/or Bible verse?
Psalm 103: 1-2, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits.”
Do you like jokes? If so tell us your favorite one.
I love, love, love to laugh and be around funny people, but I’m terrible at jokes. My husband says I shouldn’t tell either of the 2 I know. They’re too corny for the retelling!
Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
Reforming perfectionist… Yeah. I make the bed.
In regards to toilet paper, over or under?
Under, of course. (I might switch it when my people do it the wrong way. I’m still in recovery.)
Where can we buy your book?
It’s available at most of your favorite book sellers. When you buy it from the Proverbs 31 store, the proceeds go back to the ministry, but you can also find it at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. If you’d like to try a free sample, you can click here.
Where can we connect with you?
Blog– http://amycarroll.org/blog/ (There’s a free mini-ebook there when you subscribe!)