{Give Away Day} Out of Control & Loving It

Only when I end my pursuit of perfection can God begin His perfecting work in me.


Today, I am so excited to welcome as my guest my good friend and fellow Proverbs 31 Ministries teammate, Amy Carroll.  Amy has just released her new book, “Breaking Up with Perfect: Kiss Perfection Good-Bye & Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You”. 

Breaking Up With Perfect


“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 Kolkata, 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 India 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.

Today we’re giving away a copy of Amy’s Carroll’s newly released book Breaking Up with Perfect. Leave a comment to enter, or if you’re living life at warp speed today, simply say “I’m breaking up with perfect!” in the comments.

Breaking Up With Perfect     Amy Carroll’s passion is leading women to deeper delight through the matchless pleasure of rich     relationship with God and others. Amy is a member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ speaker team,    the author of Breaking Up with Perfect, and the director of Next Step Speaker Services.  She      lives in NC with her 3 favorite guys and a little, red dachshund.  You can find her on any given day   typing at her computer, reading a book or trying to figure out one more alternative to cooking    dinner.  Visit Amy at her blog to join her in a journey toward more joy.




  1. I just finished Amy’s 5 days to Him perfection and really appreciated the insights she shared. I would love to read more from her book. #breakingupwithperfect

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I’m so glad you liked Five Days to Himperfection, Cristy!

  2. I have two little girls that I need to model not being perfect to in a world of seamingly perfect people. I also would like the tools the book has to offer to help me redefine perfect

  3. I’m breaking up with perfection, laying mommy guilt and wife guilt at Jesus’ feet and moving forward in Christ! Lead me Holy Spirit!!! Amen

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I have always put pressure on myself to get “it” right, all the time, every time. I now see that perfection in the way that I parent. The atmosphere this creates is not fun and I want to parent differently. I was never expected to be perfect. Figuring out how to expect excellence and not perfection can be a tricky thing.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Elizabeth, I’ve been pondering the same thoughts about perfectionism vs. excellence. I believe there’s a difference, but I think I’ve often used “excellence” to mask perfectionism.

  5. Angie jakes says:

    I’m breaking up with perfection ! Or at least I need too. I think my life is more crazy because I try to fit every thing into “perfect” boxes. Thank you for this reminder .

  6. I need to break away from perfection!

  7. I’m breaking up with perfect

  8. As the mom of two girls, I would love to pass on the insights I receive from this book to my daughters!

  9. I’m breaking up with perfect!

  10. I’m breaking up with perfect!!!!

  11. I’m breaking up with perfect!

  12. Thank you for sharing your heart. I call it getting out of the box. You know, boxes become comfort zones that you forget that is what you did to keep everything perfect. I keep climbing out but somehow another area of my life is still there. Glad for His grace. I have had it with perfect. NO MORE!!!!!

  13. What a refreshing way to look at life. I need a break! I’m breaking up with perfect!

  14. i think its a real disorder all woman ( or the majority) that we strive for perfection in all we do!!
    I can’t tell you the times I have brought my children to tears. They knew that we weren’t going to any friends, parties or functions until the house was spotless!! I use to be such a fanatic on how I wanted everything to look, even down to what color socks my children would where that I felt was a perfect pairing with their outfits. Long story short I had a lot of shopping to get done before our annual 2 week vacation to my Grandmothers cottage up north.while I was at the store my husband & children had a list of what needed done for our house sitter. I came home an hour later & they were all beaming cheak to check on their completed to do list!! But of course nothing was done to my satisfaction!! Dishes not put away right, beds not made wrinkle free & the bathroom smelled like Lysol but there was toothpaste still on sink & a ring around the tub! So of course I had to redo all that they did & grumble entire time:( I learned that day that when ever your children over to help ( husbands too) thank them for the help & don’t ever let them see you redoe it !!!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Kimberly, I can definitely see myself in your description! The best part of this journey to break up with perfect is how it has radically improved my relationships. Let’s go on the journey together!

  15. Oh how I feel the idea of perfection weighing heavily on me. I would love to break up with perfection!!

  16. Jessica F says:

    Am breaking up with perfect! Post came just in time as am trying to get the house perfect for my daughter
    birthday party and am so frustrated. Thanks

  17. I would like to have the book.

  18. I loved Amy’s 5 days to Him perfection. I would love to break up with perfect and I would love her book. Thanks for the chance.

  19. Melissa Puckett says:

    I’m breaking up with perfection!! I want to be myself, I want to be who God created me to be!

  20. I’m breaking up with perfect

  21. Stephanie says:

    I need to break up with Perfect…..

  22. Nicci Ramirez says:

    “I’m breaking up with perfect!”

  23. “I’m breaking up with perfect!” I have always put too much pressure on my girls, and virtually everyone else n my life, and I NEED to learn how to stop. I would love to read the book and apply the tools Amy gives.

  24. I’m breaking up with perfect because I know that God already sees me as perfect. After many recent life changing events, I realized that I expected perfection from myself but felt like I was always falling short. I never realized how my view of myself was impacting my children and their need for perfection. I’m in the process of changing, but have no idea how or what to do. I know that God is guiding my path and changing my heart. Thank you for the chance to win this book.

  25. Amy Rardon says:

    I’m breaking up with perfect!!! No more expectations of what others think of me or what I perceive God expects of me. I am very much looking forward to reading this book. Hopefully it’ll help me realize that when I don’t get a call back from an interview that it doesn’t mean nobody wants me because that’s exactly how it feels.

  26. I married a man who is OCD (not extreme) and found that I adapted all my habits to match his. At first I found it to be a good method to keep items in order, but then my expectations for others made me realize how this bordered on perfectionism. It has been difficult to let go of this tendency and realize that people matter more than a perfectly made up bed or rigid order in my home and personal life. May the Lord continue to regulate my life so I live in His will and release my control over all in my life.

  27. I’m breaking up with the perfect!!!

  28. Sasha Carlson says:

    Please help me let go and let God!!! I need to break up with perfect ASAP!

  29. Katt Miller says:

    I’m breaking up with perfect!

  30. This was such a great post. Amy’s descriptions of India remind me of my trips to Korea. Such a different culture & such diversity are amazing experiences to have been blessed with. Thank you for sharing.

  31. I’m breaking up with perfect!!!

  32. nancys1128 says:

    “From the time I was a little girl, I tried to shape myself and my environment to please others and earn love.”
    Has Amy been in my head?! I love this, and can’t wait to get the book.

  33. Laurie Lett says:

    Definitely breaking up with perfection!

  34. Monica Olmedo says:

    I’m breaking up with perfect!

  35. I’m breaking up with perfect!

  36. JoEllen Gay says:

    What an ON-TIME GOD we serve. This is a “perfect” book presented at the “perfect time” for me. I have been dealing with the bondage of perfectionism my entire life. Never good enough, house is never clean enough, my teen daughters do not behave or do things good enough, and on and on and on…. it’s exhausting.

  37. Jasmine Smith says:

    I’m breaking up with perfect! 🙂

  38. I want to break up with Perfect! Lately God has been showing me by takings next steps, that I am trying to live a perfect life, I am a rule follower, I don’t like to make mistakes. I have been trying to find some book of encouragement that is dealing with it. I know I am in my twenties, but I don’t want to drag this in to relationships, or even marriage some day. I want to be free of trying to live a perfect life.

  39. Susan Gruener says:

    There might be a few women who do not need to read this book – I am not one of them… 🙂
    Thank you!

  40. I really do need to break up with perfect!!!

  41. Elizabeth says:

    I’m breaking up with perfect.!

  42. Kristina D says:

    I’m breaking up with perfect (for good)!!!!

  43. Abby Breuklander says:

    I’m breaking up with perfect!!!

  44. I have come to the realization that I’m not perfect. Nobody is. But i still need to strive for perfection in living how God wants me to and to strive to be His virtuous woman. It’s hard to do some days, especially since the world isn’t following the same path I’m walking. It’s those days where I need support and you have helped me see that it is all worth it in the end! I have accepted that perfection is not possible, but I want to be at least walking and not deviating from the path to get me to where God wants me and to be the best me for His glory!

  45. I’m breaking up with perfect! “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

    1. Thank you Lynn and Amy : ) I look forward to reading ‘Breaking Up with Perfect!”

  46. I desperately need to break up with perfect.

  47. Linda Parent says:

    I’m Sooo in & I pray I can have this book
    I’m breaking up with perfect!!!
    Thank You God 🙂

  48. Breaking up with perfect!!

  49. That was awesome and just what I needed. It is time to break up with perfection.

  50. Pamela R. says:

    Lord, HELP me break up with perfect while I’m still in my ?right? mind!!!

  51. Jennifer D. says:

    I think this book sounds like it’s written for me! Can’t wait to read it!

  52. Lorelie Castil says:

    I need this.. I’m breaking up with perfect!

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