Are you a perfectionist? Perhaps you aren’t, but maybe you know someone who is. Michelle Howe will admit, she is a perfectionist, and if you are a perfectionist, you too strive for perfection. How can the words “perfectly imperfect” make sense? This is the theme of Howe’s new book, Giving Thanks for a Perfectly Imperfect Life. Perfectly Imperfect – what is it? What does it look like? Can that ever even make sense?
DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Hendrickson Publishers, in exchange for my honest review.
Every chapter contains very interesting stories to illustrate the concept in question. A lot of these examples will be realistic and relevant to women. Whether it’s friendships, dealing with relationships, or dealing with the trap of comparison, these stories are ones that you or your friends can probably relate to.
Even if you’re not a perfectionist, you walk the same life journey as someone who is. You have a past, a present, and a future. Past, present, and future are three life themes that Michelle Howe discusses early on in the book. Hopes, dreams, and desires – those can be tricky to reconcile and there can be struggles on the way. Hopes, dreams, and desires are dealt with briefly in this book. Our relationships, our vocations, our living environment – these aren’t trivial things, they can make a big difference in our lives, and whether you are a perfectionist or not, you can see how choices or circumstances can cause happiness or unhappiness in these areas. Howe touches on these points with a chapter dedicated to each. The Lord’s timing, our expectations, and our joy are certainly factors in our lives whether we are perfectionists or not, and these are also explored in later chapters.
Each chapter of Giving Thanks for a Perfectly Imperfect Life opens with a verse; some chapters also include a quote from a famous Christian figure, such as Elisabeth Elliott. The end of each chapter provides a sample prayer that you can pray (if you can’t find the words). There’s also a “Take-Away Action Thought” that coincides with the real-life story told; you could even write it down if it resonates with you.
There are also recommended action steps for further growth provided at the end of each chapter. For example, to further “give thanks”, Michelle Howe encourages readers to keep a gratitude journal. She encourages that this list be of everything that a person is grateful for, whether large or small.