Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Wonderful (Imperfect) Blog Tour and My First Giveaway

I think we know each other well enough to be open and honest, right? I certainly have been honest on my blog! (too honest at times) Haven't you at some point in your life felt overwhelmed by life and the pressures to be the perfect wife, mother, employee, Christian, friend and blogger. Our attempts often leave us feeling burnt out or less than good enough.

Author Joan C. Webb has had the same struggles, so she wrote It's a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life: Daily Encouragement For Woman Who Strive Too Hard to Make It Just Right (Regal 2009).

Joan has graciously invited me to share one of the devotionals from her book and answer a few questions about the process of finding relief in our imperfections
. She has also given me a copy of her new book to giveaway and it's been autographed by her.

It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life (published by Regal, 2009) is a collection of daily reminders that God wants and longs to relieve women from living in a continually overwhelmed state. There is a difference between “trying too hard to make it all just right” (mental chase for flawlessness, which is impossible) and “partnering with God for excellence” (enjoying quality in balance, which is not only possible, but reasonable). We can reduce our unrealistic expectations about our relationships, bodies, work, dreams and faith.

*
Easy Does It

That everyone may . . . find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. -Ecclesiastes 3:13

"Honey, you've had a busy day. Come watch the game with me," suggested my husband.

"In a minute.”

Silently I added, First I gotta clean the kitchen, wash a load of clothes, and finish tomorrow’s report. My promised “minute” evolved into several hours.

Speaker Robert J. Kriegel contends that “gottas” have become the chief reaction for many of us in our bigger-better-faster-more culture. “The Gotta's can run your life," writes Kriegel in his book, If It Ain’t Broke . . . Break It!

I gotta clean the house before company comes. I gotta study my Bible lesson. I gotta get an A on that test. I must start the kids on piano lessons. I should host the neighborhood party. It can become a never-ending cycle of inner demands.

Obviously you and I need to accomplish certain tasks in order to lead healthy lives (brushing our teeth, showering, to name a few). However, when we let the shoulds and gottas control our lives, we lose our sense of contentment. God isn’t the one who pressures us. He wants us to delight in our life and work—whatever it is at this season. Satisfaction and enjoyment are God’s gifts to us.

Lord, I don’t want to be confined by my “gottas.”
but getting rid of the excessive shoulds in my
vocabulary isn’t easy. Please help me.

Make It Personal: Name three gottas that could keep you from enjoying this coming week. Now eliminate one of those gottas—just for the next few days. Easy does it. *


HERE ARE A FEW QUESTIONS THAT JOAN HAS ANSWERED:

Q: What happens when a woman tries “too hard to make it all just right?” A: She adheres to the misconception that people/relationships, including families and friends, as well as events, work, circumstances and projects have the ability to be perfect/flawless (or “just right.”) And when she believes this mis-truth (on any level) then life, others and herself become a continual disappointment. Major bummer.

Q: What are some benefits of acknowledging and accepting our human imperfection and limits? A: We have the privilege of becoming the person God designed us to be, instead of trying to be someone else. It fits us. We relax, find relief and become more productive. Instead of being afraid of doing something wrong when we work on a project and being satisfied only at victory (or the finished product) we can enjoy the process and divide projects/growth into increments and stop to rest in between. We can release the hyper-vigilance and enjoy our many options instead of being stuck in “all or nothing” thinking.

Q: How does relaxing our unrealistic expectations help us love and enjoy ourselves, others and God more? A: It’s interesting that short-term “trying too hard to make it all just right” can satisfy others as well as ourselves. Long-term this maxed-out lifestyle not only wears us out, but frustrates others and distances us from those we care about. When we partner with God for excellence and let God be the Master Provider, Protector and Persuader, we create a safe environment for growth—in ourselves and others. When we cease stepping into God’s territory of perfection, we are free to know Him more intimately. It’s not our job to make it all “just right.” And that brings incredible relief. Actually relaxes the shoulders!

ME:

So I thought this was my perfect opportunity to tell all of you that I WAS that person and I got BURNT! I was going to tell you that you need to "nip it in the bud" because I have been there, done that and it's not fun! It's true but I found out that in a totally different way I have become that person again. Leave it to God to make me part of this tour. He comes in just when you didn't know you needed him.

So back about 15 years ago is when I got so BURNT that I ended up in the hospital for 8 days with my asthma. That is was when God came into my life and I became a Christian. I am not going to go into detail but I had to be the best. Not in a show off kind of way but in a way that I never said "NO" and had to be there for everyone. Often choosing others over my family, especially my husband. I had to have the cleanest house. I cleaned from house from the time my kids went to school until they got home. (I do miss that clean house!)

Then what happens when you can no longer do things because of illness you turn into someone you don't like at all. It's very easy to go in the opposite direction and become lazy. Depression sets in and it is hard to climb out of that whole. I'm still looking for a ladder. Those of you who read me remember the stress I felt when company was coming this summer. My house had to be the picture of perfection and oh did I stress out. It was fruitless stress, they just wanted to see me.

Why God has shown His face again you ask? I am finding myself wanting to be a huge people pleaser in the blog world. I want to follow everyone, I want to comment to everyone and just recently I have been feeling like I am ready to burn again. This time it's my stomach, it's on fire. So I am going to put this book to the test and get control of my life.

Don't get me wrong, I love blogging and I am going to continue. I'm not going anywhere because blogging has also given me a new lease on my life. I am just going to do some weeding and concentrate on my favorites. You all know who you are, you see my comments all the time.! So maybe the next time my husband asks me to watch a movie or some TV show I won't have to say "in a minute just let me finish reading my blogs."

God has blessed me with my For Your Tears blog and I will forever be thankful to Him. This blog causes me no pressure, just a heavy heart for all the baby lost mothers. I receive the most wonderful comments, emails and notes. It feels so nice to be able to give my heart to these women. This is where I have to shine, giving myself to God's plan for me. Pleasing Him is a pleasure.

A different devotional is being featured each day in the four week Wonderful (Imperfect) Blog Tour. Tomorrows host is Lynn Cowell. If you want to check out the whole tour please go here. If you are interested in ordering this book please stop over HERE to purchase one of your own.

~THIS IS JOAN~

SINCE THIS IS MY FIRST GIVEAWAY IT WILL BE PRETTY SIMPLE:

1. Leave me a comment.

2. If you want another entry just follow me in Google Friend Connect and tell me that you did. (If you are a follower in Google Friend Connect just let me know in your comment)

TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS. Debby

A winner will be chosen on November 25th!

34 comments:

Holly said...

Sounds like a book we could all take a few things from!

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

What a great giveaway! I need to list of a few of my "Gotta do...." - I have a lot this week! Great idea!

Thena said...

I love reading good books. I just noticed your blog list is probably as long as mine. I go through mine every month or so and if they haven't blogged in over two months I unfollow. And I've stopped following bloggers just because of a giveaway. That being said I have followed yours for quite a while and will continue following it because I enjoy reading it.

Sonya said...

Thank you for sharing your story and this book sounds wonderful. I know exactly what you meant about getting burnt. I am in that place right now myself to be honest with you. I am very unhappy in my job and it carries over to my home life which is the last thing that I want, but I just feel stuck and I don't know what to do about it. Here I am pregnant, I can't leave or quit my job and I just feel like there is no escape.

Sonya said...

I follow your blog.

The Garden of Egan said...

I love your blog!

Pen Pen said...

I think I am going to love this book, and yes, I find myself sometimes "not doing" because I can't do it perfectly. PS... I follow your blog.. hope I win!

Sonya said...

How exciting...you're first giveaway! Sounds like a great book!

Sonya said...

I am also a follower!

Joan C. Webb said...

G' Morning, Debby (and Sonya, PenPal, The Garden of Egan, Thena, Missy and Holly!

I loved reading the blog and all your comments. Thanks for sharing.

And Debby, thanks for hosting the 15th stop on the Wonderful (Imperfect) BLOG TOUR. I so respect your authenticity. I can see that you've helped many. And you're right: now it's time to intentionally help yourself again. Burnout isn't fun, to be sure. May you grab onto hope as you make your decisions to recover balance. Hope you enjoy the book and find someone to walk with you in the upcoming weeks.

May we all learn to relax and celebrate life--imperfect though it may be,
Joan

COUNTRY MOM said...

Debby, I appreciate you and your honesty. Your blog is a true blessing to read. I Thank You for allowing me to be a part of your journey.

This book is a perfect giveaway. I have followed your blog for some time now... Love it. I Treasure all your comments and emails to me. Love and Blessings, my Friend, Audrey

croleyc69 said...

I love reading & I follow you.
Caroline

Samantha said...

Sounds like a lovely book with great encouragement.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CRY said...

I ONLY HAVE 8 MORE YEARS UNTIL MY BABY GIRL IS 18
IVE KNOWN FOR A WHILE THAT I NEED TO PUT THE "GOTTA DO'S" OFF AND GIVE HER MY ATTENTION INSTEAD OF THOSE UNIMPORTANT DUTIES
ITS NICE TO SEE A REMINDER NOW AND THEN AND YOUR POST DID THAT FOR ME TODAY, I THANK YOU!

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

this rings too true! i am struggling with it right now! a list a mile long b/c company is coming on sat and none of it really matters REALLY!

i am a follower too

Heart2Heart said...

What a great book and love your review! I think you did a great job and even if I don't win this, I think I may have to pick it up anyway.

By the way, I've been a follower for quite a while and love it!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Together We Save said...

Great give away!!

Together We Save said...

I am a follower, or at least I tried but I don't see my little picture?

http://togetherwesave.blogspot.com/2009/11/click-to-give.html

Noelle said...

This really hit me: "...what happens when you can no longer do things because of illness you turn into someone you don't like at all...Depression sets in and it is hard to climb out of that whole."

Congratulations on your first giveaway!

Tonja said...

Great post! And, good things to think about!

Trisha Larson said...

I can surely relate. I used to be a pleaser until Nate died. Then it took all my strength just to get out of bed and take care of my kids. I had nothing left so I had to re-evaluate. While I wouldn't ever volunteer for this experience, it has forced me to look at who I am and who I want to be. For that I am grateful.

Hugs!
Trisha

Trish said...

Debby it seems we are a lot alike. I never said no, always trying to please everyone! What it got me was a whole lot of anxiety and taken advantage of...which leads to pain and heartache. I love your Blog and your honesty...thank you.
Do you realize that the Lord is using you...Blessings Dear Friend!

A Stitch In Thyme said...

Debby-thank you for sharing with us. I too was very OCD with things in my life. Everthing had to be in it's place. My son used to tease and move a "thing" on me and evertime I would move it back without so much as a word. One day my son looked at me and asked me, "how come you never tell me stop it?". I told him, "I thought it was game you wanted me to play WITH you". He's never forgotten and God's blessing didn't fall deafly on my ears or eyes.

Take control by letting go of control. That is how I deal with it. Hugs to you. Tammy

Diane Markins said...

For years I had an annual hospital stay because of pnuemonia. It was so obvious that it was due to stress and over-commitment (at least to everyone else), but it took years of intentional effort to quash this bad cycle. I have a pre-lighted fake tree, bake cookies from dough in a tub and shop online or give gift cards. Christmas doesn't make me sick any more. Yay!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I love this book! As you know I'm so bad with in a minute ... LOL then it turns into hours and hurt feelings. What a great review and giveaway. Way to go girl!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Follow/Stalk all the same right? :)

Technodoll said...

I live with daily "chore lists" but I don't mind them, it helps me to appreciate all that I have. So many people don't have a home to call their own, it's only right that I keep mine clean as long as it's full of love. :)

blueviolet said...

Yes! I know about this pressure. I like the overall idea of this book a lot!

blueviolet said...

I'm also a follower!

Kirby3131 said...

You said one time that you spent 6 hours reading and commenting on blogs. I just about lost my own breath. I love that you comment on my blog and I adore your input, but if you only had the opportunity to come by my place once a week and read just one post, that would be lovely. :) We all need to make sure that we get enough out of each part of our lives.

The book sounds lovely! and what a great way for you to understand a bit more about you :) I hope someone who wants the book wins! (Please don't enter me, as I'm still in the "No More Stuff" mode)

Thank you!
Kristin - The Goat

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

How great your first giveaway. I'm following you and have been for a while.

I definitely connected to want your house be absolutely perfect before someone comes over. Its one of the things that drives my husband crazy.

Sounds like we could all use that book.

Michele said...

"Lord, I don’t want to be confined by my “gottas.”
but getting rid of the excessive shoulds in my
vocabulary isn’t easy. Please help me."

I love this. Thank you.

Headless Mom said...

I wanted to let you know that this is great! (I didn't comment earlier since I wanted someone else to win.) I get bogged down with this too as you know. Hopefully I'll just get off my butt this year and do what I need to do, versus doing it ALL.

See you tomorrow!

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