It is with great excitement that I share my friend and awesome writer Amy Carroll’s beautiful blog post today. She is a speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries, a speaking coach for Next Steps Speaker Services and (most importantly) a wonderful woman of God. Amy was the leader at my speaker group during the She Speaks conference in 2013. We have kept in touch since then and I’ve learned to love her heart. She accepted the invitation to read my manuscript and wrote a beautiful endorsement for Twelve Inches, which I am forever grateful for. And last year we found out that our first books were coming out on the same date (we started calling our books “Twinsies”). Her new book, Breaking up with Perfect is a beautiful work for the body of Christ. And she is giving a copy away to a blessed reader this week. Just comment on her post below and your name will be entered for a giveaway. Winner will be announced next week! Now, get ready to be blessed!
Out of Control and Loving it
“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.