Ding Dong, the Snake is DEAD…(Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist by Amanda Jenkins: A must-read!)

Forever attempting to play Beat-the-Clock, our wild-child-dog and I dashed out the door for an uber quick walk.  Knowing I had to be on the road in nine-point-five minutes, time was a wastin’.

Cell phone ringing while Gracie was sniffing something, (what’s new?), I answered  the phone.  Further inspection into her antics revealed a brown pile of something.  Nope, don’t go there, it was a coiled up somethingAs in brown-with-white-designs-looking-potentially-posionous-something….As in piles-n-piles of SNAKE!!!!

Close up of the bright, big and colorful anaconda snake

Shrieking loud enough to raise the dead, I jerked poor Gracie by her leash and we evaporated outta there.  Goosebumps and the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up, I yelled, “Thank you, Lord, that snake didn’t attack us!”  Then I looked down at my feet, and said it again as I realized my flip-flops would not have been a great attack mode had I needed to crush his head

Next move was to call in the troops.  Sadly John Jr. was not closeby, while hubster John was in a doctor’s appointment across town.   Now what? John reassured me he’d take a look at it in about three hours.  Certain the snake would find its’ way thru’ our yard, and probably into our home, I did what any respectable, terrified, paranoid and perfectionistic housewife would do and quickly vacated the premises.

Indiana Jones I’m not, but what I am, and I predict you will be too, is completely tickled and blessed and encouraged by a fabulous book I recently picked up.  Run, don’t walk to your nearest book store and grab this:  Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist: Learning to Be Free by Amanda Jenkins.

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Amanda spills the beans.  Beans you and I often think, but probably would not print.  (Oh, I think we could sooo be her girlfriends!)  She confesses her perfectionistic tendencies all of us control freaks possess.

Two mistakes she begins with include:

Falling into comparison traps, and

Turning to the One and only One who is flawless, our Lord, as a last resort rather than a first one….Anybody beside me relating to this???

Why do we keep forgetting I Peter 1:24-25 which says, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field.  The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” (NLT)

Amanda says, “How sad it must be for Him to see us clinging to false hope and worshiping at the altar of pretty.”  Oh yeah, been there…

Young Beautiful Healthy Woman And Reflection In The Mirror

One of the many reasons Amanda gives us readers to live in Christ’s freedom is:  “…believing I’m a masterpiece is the first step toward being okay with my aging, imperfect self.”

Here’s another Scripture to soak in:  “I pray that YOU, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that YOU may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Amanda brings this Scripture right into our hearts:  “It’s not enough to know we’re loved.  God wants us to be rooted and established in His love—to be anchored and defined by it, and to see the world thru’ its lens.  Wrapping our minds around God’s enormous, indescribable, beautiful love for us in Jesus is the key to being happy with the way we’ve been made.” 

Key to life, Conceptual photo. On color wooden background

In addition to being vulnerable with us readers, Amanda is killer funny.  When she confesses about praising God as an afterthought, or making her to-do lists during church (Oops, please do not read my bulletin!), she says, “If I were God, I’d break up with me.” 

Amanda walks us thru’ more challenges:  Contentment (ouch) and Relationships.  These are excellent chapters you don’t want to miss.  Parenting (including the possession of the “worry gene”!!!)  is also included, which aids us weary warriors with more advice and Scripture, a favorite of which is pure bliss:

Psalm 91:1-2 says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”  Amanda encourages, “Only the image of God standing over me and my loved ones, covering us with His shadow, does the trick.”

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Savor this on parenting:

“Only in the arms of Jesus will I find peace, knowing my precious little people are well looked after.

Only in the arms of Jesus will I be able to discern how to pray the prayers that need to be prayed.

And only in the arms of Jesus will he change my heart, bringing me to the place where I can accept His sovereign will.

I’ll never be a perfect parent, but I’m learning to be a praying parent.”

mother holding baby while praying

Another key Amanda offers is the strongest point in her book.  Straight out of Scripture (see what power the Word has?), she walks us thru’ each of the pieces of the Armor of God, found in Ephesians 6.  Verse 18 holds a key:  “Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” 

She closes with, “So the key to victory and freedom is simple:  be ready.”

Golden key in keyhole

One of my favorite things Dr. Jady Koch said at Woody and LT’s wedding a couple of weeks ago occurred just prior to the beginning of their vows.  He turned to both of them and said, “Are you ready?”

This must be our question to ponder.  Are you ready?

Are YOU ready?  

Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist would be great for book clubs or for your small Bible study group.  There are excellent discussion and Bible study questions at the end of the book for each chapter, full of ways to apply her topics and God’s Word to your life.

Finally, I happily confess I still frenetically fear snakes, always will and have no perfectionistic qualms about running from them. (No wonder one of Satan’s disguises is a slimy slithery serpent.)

Footnote to the “rest of the story”:  When John finally did get home, he went to the location I’d reported.  The snake was still there, with flies swarming over it.  Ding dong, the snake is DEAD.

‘Til  next time.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Ding Dong, the Snake is DEAD…(Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist by Amanda Jenkins: A must-read!)

  1. Carolyn Young

    Please change e-mail to ccyoung2014@att.net

    Haven’t received any e-mails since I changed on 21 July if you can forward them.

    Thanks.

    Carolyn

    Chuck and Carolyn Young

    Jus’ Enuf

    502-266-6330

    “IN GOD WE TRUST”

  2. Pingback: When You’re Suddenly Awakened at 3:40 in the Morning…(The Kneeling Christian by An Unknown Christian, Helps us ALL with prayer.) | Worship with Words

  3. Barbara Hay

    Dear goodness Elizabeth, I would have panicked ! Loved ready you post. The ladies at Hurstbourne Baptist Church are going to be so blessed to meet you!

  4. Susan Jamison

    Great post, Elizabeth. Living out here in the “boonies”, I’ll occasionally run across a snake. Yikes! Don’t think I’ll ever conquer my fear of them. Anyway, the book sounds great. Thanks for the review.

    • So good to hear from you, Susan! I miss seeing you! How’s your sweet daughter? I read “Sparkly Green Earrings” per your recommendation! Wrote about it a while ago. Will you do me a favor? This is my new email & will you give it to Pat Jenne? I miss hearing from her too & I closed down my insight account & am afraid I can’t get back into those addresses. Hope you’re having a good summer! Here’s my email: elizabeth.hoagland@icloud.com
      Thanks & hugs to you out in Shep….Love,Elizabeth

  5. I had a dear older church secretary friend who would not even look up anything in the dictionary that started with “sn” for fear that there would be a snake picture there. I’m not that bad, but close.
    I guess I better get the perfectionist book. I identify with many of your warnings.

    • Hey Joyce! Always fun to hear from you. Snakes are the worst. Hilarious about your friend! The book is really good for many of us…she steps on our toes in all arenas. But in a fun, encouraging way. Happy Week!

      Love,

      E

  6. lizcurtishiggs

    You are so right, Elizabeth! Amanda’s book is funny and wise and truly worth reading. So glad you were victorious and the snake was NOT! :>)