Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist {From Someone Who Didn’t Think She Was}

I was steaming veggies when my husband opened a package and set the book down where I could see it. Its arrival was expected, as I had agreed to write a review, but wasn’t anticipating the author’s name to stop me in my tracks.

Before cracking the book open, I felt I knew her. Turns out I kind of did…

While I am not well-known for being a perfectionist, I am a bit of a control freak–though I prefer to claim I have a leader personality…

Do you think there’s a difference?

I like to pretend I don’t associate with the perfectionist side of control, because I strive to exude grace. And I don’t need perfection. I just prefer you try to do things the best way…my way.

This is embarrassing. It gets worse.

When I agreed to review this book, I assumed it would be a light, quick read, possibly funny, with great tips to bullet point in a review for all my dear readers-turned-friends who have caught this perfectionism bug. Me not being one of them, but one who gets it enough to share the light on the other side.

It was that. I just wasn’t expecting there to be so much more.

Friends, the way He keeps pursuing me…how He insists He has better things in mind for me…the way He has never given up on me…May I never get over it. It is truly amazing grace.

“But God knows our need, which is ultimately to experience and know more of Him, and He gives Himself freely and generously. And constantly.”
~Amanda Jenkins, Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist (Learning to be Free)

You all know the name of my blog, so it is no secret I am striving to become all He has made me to be. But He keeps showing me in places unexpected…His goal isn’t the same as mine. For He’d rather have me get to know Him and what He can be in me. What He can do for me…not the other way around.

Oh mylanta, does He ever love me.

I remember Amanda from college (this is why I will call her by her first name). Which is rather bizarre as I don’t believe we ever had an actual one-on-one conversation. But I could tell you where she sat in chapel each day. A few rows up from my now-husband and I. Now that I’ve read her confessions, I regret I never made a point to truly see her when I had the chance.

Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist is written in a way that feels as if you are reading Amanda’s personal journal. She doesn’t share her discoveries, she walks you through them. She doesn’t tell you the answers, but rather shows you, through scripture, how she came up with the solutions. She doesn’t shy away from sharing the ugly realities we all have in the caverns of our souls…she surfaces them and hands them over to her Savior for us to see. For His glory.

I loved it.

Some of the places she’ll walk you through:

  • How we often misplace our worth (pg 12)
  • Money doesn’t satisfy. It’s never enough. (pg 17)
  • The stuff we’re good at pales in comparison to the stuff God’s good at (pg 28)
  • When it comes to intimacy, God follows our lead. (pg 37)
  • God is not the taskmaster (pg 73)
  • God’s bigger than the scary stuff. He’s got it covered –worry doesn’t work (pg 50-52)
  • God is the only good in me. That’s it. He’s it. (pg 59)

And the thought I lingered on for days:

“Little did I know how filthy my righteousness was” (pg 87)

I’m not even bringing up all that I gleamed from a few of my favorite chapters, as they deserve a blog post all on their own. (The Chapters on Obedience, Testimony, and if I’m brave enough, Pride)

Friends, God spoke loudly to me through Amanda’s words.

If I had to pick the best part about this book, I would say the discussion questions in the back. She doesn’t hold back and challenges you to answer the hard. I’m tempted to take some of the most difficult ones and share my answers here in this space — my simply striving confessions.

Questions like:

  • What do you want to be known for?
  • Who do you work hard to impress?
  • What weakness do you try to hide? And what would it look like for you to delight in it instead of hiding it?
  • What does God see when He looks at you? (I’ve answered this one HERE).
  • Who do you love more than God? (ouch)
  • Why is it difficult for you to put God first? (she’s killing me here)
  • What are your current expectations of God?
  • What are the attributes unique to you that make you beautiful in God’s eyes?

Don’t you think we should talk about these?

I’d love it if you would put this book on your must-read list. I’ll tell you what–you can get started now by reading the First Chapter for FREE HERE. (When you’re done with it, let me know and we’ll talk about how beautiful your feet are. Oh yes, I’m serious.)

There’s also a wonderful Q/A with the author found HERE that’s worth your time.

Some more reviews and one place you can purchase is found HERE. (I’m not an affiliate–just trying to make it easy.)

And you can expect to hear more about this from me sometime soon. I’ll let it sink in a bit as I know (and Amanda talks about it), God’s not done writing my story.

How about you, friend? Are you a perfectionist? Are you intrigued by anything I mentioned above? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Note: I am a part of the Tyndale Blogging Network. I have received this book for free in exchange for my review. All opinions and thoughts listed above are my own.

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19 thoughts on “Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist {From Someone Who Didn’t Think She Was}

  1. So, the thing I bought yesterday from Hobby Lobby (oh, heavenly Hobby Lobby…) is a Holley Gerth mug that reads “I don’t need to be perfect because I am perfectly loved.” Um, yeah…I think I need to read this book–which I stopped and considered for a second when I saw it at another one of my stops yesterday, the Family Christian Store.

    • I need to figure out a way to come see you, Mandy, as I have never been to a Hobby Lobby! and I LOVE the mug you bought. perfect!
      You would love the writing style. let me know if you pick it up–I’d love to have chat sessions with you about it:)

  2. Oh, Nikki, thank you for this! I am so getting this book! You have, once again, verbalized ME!! So very weird! I so wish that I had gotten this Perfectionism thing nipped in the bud a bit before it affected relationships with my spouse, children, everyone I know! So thankful HE never gives up on me! I’m learning, and thank you for your words of honey to my soul today!

    • Oh it does trickle down, this perfectionism bug, doesn’t it, Tina! and yes…His patience is overwhelming. He never gives up. Never lets go. Never stops giving. Never rescinds His offer…wow. Thank you for sharing with me, Tina, and letting me know I’m not alone on this journey:)

  3. Geez! I think I need to read this book. Wow! I pretend I’m not a perfectionist, but if I really look deep, I am one who is so afraid of failure that I don’t dig in and try. This has plagued me a very long time. Those questions were hard even to read, which I suppose means I should really take the time to sincerely answer them. Whew……

    Thanks for sharing this, Nikki!

    • Oh I’m a great pretender, Vicki. I even had my hubby fooled! When he read the title of the book, he said “That sounds like a book I should read, not you…” and I smiled wide at the compliment. ::UGH::

      AND YES!!! We need to answer these. simply because we don’t want to. I’m convinced. {HUGS} Just remember, friend, He won’t love you any less…it only gets bigger.

  4. Oh yes…I can totally relate and need to read this book. Not for me…but for all of the other people around me who seem to have trouble understanding my desire to strive for excellence in all things…for God’s glory. Lol! Okay…I might peek inside the book too. Maybe. 🙂 Seriously, I think I’d love to read this book. I’m such a control freak too. It’s bad.

    • Rosann, you would love this book! It’s a really good read. I thought of you a few times while reading a couple of the chapters as I know you are passionate about a few of them….

  5. Oh dear. Those are tough questions. But definitely ones that we need to consider. Several of them remind me of the areas God is working on in my life. Areas like idolatry, fear of man, mediocre Christianity, and true absolute acceptance of His love. These are hard questions, but I believe God wants us to work through them with Him on our side. Cant wait to hear more Nikki!

    • Sarah, we are going to walk this journey together, I’m sure, as so many of those are the very areas He has brought to my mind as well. I’m so grateful to have you here to share it with! {HUGS}

  6. Um, hi, I’missy and I’m a recovering perfectionist. I wish I was only half joking. Sadly, I fall squarely in the “pretender” category, too. (At least I’m in great company.) this will be my next book. Yes, it will. Her questions there at the end? They were killing me to read, too. And I was just reading your cliff-notes version. Mercy!!!

    • I’m honored to meet you, Missy;) and I’ll admit I like the company… If you can believe it, there were other questions in there that made my eyes twitch worse. I was just too scared to mention them here!ack! We can do this…He’s worth it…

  7. God is not a taskmaster stopped me in my tracks because the question was put forth about 3 or 4 months ago of “How do you see God” Taskmaster was what the Spirit coaxed out of me a day later. Tomorrow I have, miraculously, a day to myself, I should probably check this out. To be honest I am hesitating because it seems I am always reading something “that is good for me” which oftentimes feeds the perfectionists monster, ya know? I have to guard myself with information overload, and with good time management. Thank you so much for this honest post and recommendation.
    Cheers.

  8. Pingback: ‘Confessions of a raging perfectionist (learning to be free)’ by Amanda Jenkins | O2B heavenly minded

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