Amanda Jenkins, author of "Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist: Learning to Be Free" blew me away. I knew it was a book I was going to thoroughly enjoy when she referenced my favorite movie, "Bridget Jones's Diary" in the fourth paragraph of the introduction. She absolutely kept me coming back for more with this book!
In each of the 12 chapters, she takes a look at different areas, such as vanity, parenthood, and her testimony, where perfectionism has a stranglehold. Displaying a great amount of vulnerability, she shares her struggles openly and candidly. Various Scripture passages are carefully woven throughout each chapter to help the reader engage with the God who can help us overcome our perfectionist tendencies.
Amanda's writing style and the subject matter left me feeling like I'd known her for years. I loved reading this book and hope to go through it with a small group to really dig deep into this subject matter. Whether a perfectionist or not, there are some great truths to be gleaned from this book. I would highly recommend this book for all women. There is a section at the back containing study questions and application points for each chapter, which makes it perfect for small groups, book clubs, or even individual study.
"Because, of course, the only way to experience life the way God intends is to choose Him day by day, moment by moment. To resist the urge to cling to my appearance, my money, my plans, my pride, and my dreamsâ€”and instead to fix my eyes on Jesus. To rest in God's love, knowing I'm saved because of His grace and not because I'm perfect or even good. To pray for faith and courage enough to dive into the kind of life He wants for me." (p. 158)
Jenkins expresses her hope for this book in the first question of Tyndale's Author Q&A:
That my transparency would get readers one step closer to freedom from their own impossible goals; that it would open their eyes to the strangleholds we sometimes don't even see, but shape the way we think and spend our time; that it would get us laughing at the stuff we hide; that when brought into the open, things like vanity, materialism and desire for recognition would lose their power/hold on our minds and hearts.
(I've received this complimentary book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
Amanda Jenkins is a list-maker, and her book, Confessions of a Perfectionist: Learning To Be Free, spoke to me from the beginning. I relate to Amanda's incessant standard-setting for herself, creating unrealistic and impossible expectations and then feeling like a failure when I fall flat on my face trying to attain perfection.
She gets as vulnerable as you can get, sharing whatever listed expectation she made for herself. and how she measures up to her goals. Her weight, her bank account, or how many Diet Cokes she's had so far today, it's all fair game in this book.
Her light-hearted and gut-honest storytelling walk you through authenticity and grace in areas of your life like obedience, vanity, coveting recognition, making plans and then having God change them, and depending on anything other than God to fill us each day.
She's no perky, pasted-on-smile Christian, there to motivate you without being honest about the down-and-dirty problems in life. She gets honest about the down and dirty things that happen in our lives, how she found God, met with Him and was blessed to see Him even when life got ugly.
Ultimately, the book is about finding grace. It's been an encouragement and challenge for me to read and get honest with myself.
"Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist (learning to be free)" by Amanda Jenkins was a surprise hit for me! I honestly didn't think I'd enjoy or get much out of it, as I'm in no way a perfectionist, but I read it because it was a free eBook from one of my favorite publishers, and you can't go wrong with free, right? ;-) I'm very thankful I did go ahead and read it, as there is something for everyone in "Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist." Although we all may not be OCD or perfectionists across the board, each one of us lives in a culture that pressures us and gives us ridiculously unrealistic (and sometimes just unreal) standards to live up to, whether we fully realize it or not. And that's where I believe Mrs. Jenkins does an admirable job: sharing her story and making it relatable to us all.
Just a glance at the chapter headings will give you a clue that "Confessions" is applicable to anyone: "Vanity", "Recognition", "Pride" and "Happiness", just to name a few. Even those chapters that didn't appear initially pertinent like "Diet Coke" ended up giving me great insight to areas of weakness and fleshliness in my own life. Essentially the entire point of "Confessions" is that we need not get caught up in man/self-made goals and standards that can change with a whim and the seasons, but rather look to Christ as our ultimate Standard and His Glory as our goal.
I so appreciate the saturation of Scripture in this book. You cannot go wrong writing a book entitled "Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist (learning to be free)" when the foundation is the Source of true freedom: the very words of God. Although I wouldn't categorize this as a "self-help" or "fix-all" book, I do believe we Christian women could all learn a little (or a lot) from Mrs. Jenkins as she tackles so many of the hang-ups and strongholds in our lives that keep us from absolute freedom and peace in Christ.
Oh, and one final note: there's a handy little discussion guide at the end of the book that you could use as you read chapter by chapter, either on your own or in a small group/Bible study setting. Definitely a very cool and helpful feature.
And on that note, I give "Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist (learning to be free)" 5 stars!
Amanda Jenkins used her book Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist to be completely honest about her life. She started each chapter with statistics about her life. She shared real life examples of things that happened in her life or her friend's lives, things that were perfectly planned but did not go according to plan. She shared what lessons she learned from those circumstances and gave the reader food for thought. There are study questions included in the back of the book for each chapter. This book is a good teaching tool for anyone trying to break free from perfectionist bonds.
confessions of a raging perfectionist by Amanda Jenkins is Amanda's own struggles with her need to be perfect. She talks about it in every facet of her life both physical and spiritual. She discusses what she has felt God has convicted her on and supplies Bible verses to help her realize that no one apart from God is perfect.
I felt this book was written for me. Well about me really. I can so completely relate to just about every single issue Amanda has. She talks about money, parenthood, pride, happiness and even Diet Coke. She talks about issues that she feels make her feel the need to be perfect and what scripture says about those issues. She shares many stories about her own lessons as well as those of others. With complete honesty, truthfulness, and wit, she confessions her failings and how God has used them to help her grow. I think I could read this book again and again and again. This books is for all of us Type A control freaks who feel defeated and stressed when the days don't go the way we think they should.