Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Start Living Braver



Click here to start living braver!
If a short glance at the cover of this book starts your insides buzzing, or if your immediate response is to grab a dish rag, spatula, piping bag and start color-matching the icing to fix that atrocious “problem” you might enjoy and benefit from reading The Cure for the Perfect Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver. 

If your first reaction is to lick the cover and see what the frosting tastes like, you can probably pass on this book.

I fall into the first group.

I have a predisposition to neurosis when things aren’t “right.”  As a child I always wanted to start projects that were way too complicated, and when nothing turned out as I’d pictured, I was terribly frustrated and would quit.

This carried on into my young adulthood. Violin recitals were NEVER—not once—perfect. That only fueled my pre-performance nerves for the next year which ultimately ended with another imperfect recital.  

Nothing was ever right enough.

That thinking followed me into marriage and, as you can imagine, I was a real gem. Incidentally, Kurt also likes to get things right. What neither of us was willing to concede was that there is often more than one “right” way.

Fast forward to motherhood and all those things I couldn’t get right enough...and let’s just say Kurt’s a patient man and my boys were (prayerfully) too young to remember.

But three boys in three years just about cured me of my “perfect life syndrome.”

Just about. But not quite.

 
If ever a picture was worth a thousand words...

I had the privilege of contributing a little story to this book. It’s the story of a little “aha!” moment when I discovered “perfection” isn’t a worthy pursuit.
 
Truthfully, I’m still discovering it.

As a contributor I received an advanced copy and enjoyed reading it this weekend. The authors describe these four vices as the “P Bullies:” Perfectionism, People-Pleasing, Performancism, and Procrastination.

Kathi and Cheri expose each one as a lying bully whose only goal is to keep you sprinting on the treadmill of "Try Harder Living" by continuously poking you with a sharp stick called fear. Fear of failure. Fear of people's opinions. Fear of not doing it "right." 

The worst part is that the treadmill never stops, and there is never any finality or satisfaction.

The good news is that God’s infinite love for us can change the motivations behind our actions. So instead of cowing to the “bullies” in fear, we can stand up to them with tiny acts of rebellion motivated by love.

 


Knowing I am perfectly loved by a Perfect Savoir frees me from fear-based decision making.

Because Jesus was perfect, He can offer me His perfection in exchange for my sin.
Because Jesus pleased His Father, I can focus on pleasing Him first.
Because Jesus loves me perfectly, I do not have to perform for anyone.
And because fear is expelled by such great love, I can stop procrastinating and do what His love compels me to do.

The Cure for the Perfect Life releases this Friday, August 1 and is available locally at Prairie Pages Booksellers or online at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.