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Amy Carroll is the author of Breaking Up with Perfect
and a speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries.
She lives in North Carolina with her husband and a bossy miniature dachshund.
You can find her on any given day texting her sons at college,
typing at her computer, reading a book, or trying to figure out
one more alternative to cooking dinner.
Amy is also an inspiring regular contributor (LifeWriter) here at LifeLetter Café
and is today’s featured contributor to “Find It Only Here On Friday”.
Amy is offering an exciting online book study
from August 1st to September 5th – you can learn more in her recent
“7 Questions Sunday: Breaking Up With Perfect – The Online Book Study” Cafe interview.
Her newest Café exclusive “The Test of Our True Priorities” can be found below . .
BUT FIRST . . the Café thought you just might want to know
how an Encouragement Leader like Amy Carroll
has been encouraged in her own faith recently.
In her own words…
It’s a good thing I didn’t title the book “Broke Up with Perfect”.
I’m still so in process with overcoming perfectionism!
Lately, God has been using conflict to continue to perfect me in His gentle way.
I’m learning to see both myself and the other person as flawed and tender,
so my reactions to messy relationships are starting to line up more with the way God responds to me.
Sometimes it takes an attitude adjustment to get there,
but I’m learning the ways of grace!
Today’s Find It Only Here On Friday
“The Test of Our True Priorities”
by Amy Carroll
Hi. I’m Amy, and I’m an obsessive list-maker …
Recently I did an inventory of all the lists I had around my house.
There was a list of people to call back on the whiteboard attached to my refrigerator. A list of movies I’ve missed and want to watch lay on the kitchen counter. Still in the kitchen, I found a menu list, and stuffed in my purse was the grocery list.
Upstairs, next to my bed, was a list of books I hope to read some day. Heading up to my loft office, I found 3 lists on 3 separate legal pads of to-dos for each hat I wear in my job.
When you add the inventory of my lists as a list of my lists, you can see the problem.
I’m such a sick list-maker that I write tasks on my lists I’ve already accomplished just for the pure joy of checking them off.
I’m truly a task-driven girl. If people fall into categories of “be-ers” and “do-ers”, I fall definitively into the “do-er” group. Finishing a task gives me a little rush … but it’s just temporary. Almost any task you can list—laundry, blogging, cooking, cleaning the toilet—must be done and redone. As soon as one list of tasks is finished, another list begins.
Completed tasks hype me up,
but they don’t fill me up … people fill me up!
If I’m not very careful, I begin to believe the opposite, and my people get reduce to obstacles to my tasks. Instead, I want to be more like Jesus, our Jesus who connected with people wherever He went.
In Jesus’ economy,
people always take priority over tasks …
Jesus was never too busy for people. Jesus stopped to touch lepers, to dine with tax collectors, and to teach women. He was an extraordinary example of accomplishing His mission while prioritizing the people He came to serve.
I have people in my life I’m called to serve too. There’s my husband who needs me to close my computer and give him a true welcome when he returns home. There are my sons who still need their mama to listen to their stories of the day at work or college even though they tower over me now instead of sitting on my lap. My friends need my full attention as we walk through the hard days of empty nests and redefining our mother-selves.
So I want to let Jesus set my priorities, and He’s made them really clear.
In John 13:34 – 35, Jesus says to us, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
There will never be enough hours in the day to complete all our tasks, but we’re all given the same 24/7. The question becomes how we’ll prioritize those seconds, minutes, hours, days and years. It’s easy to throw out, “But I just don’t have time to … sit and listen, stop to play, pause to put on a band aid, love.” But…
The way we spend our time
reveals our true priorities …
In the end, I don’t want to be known for completing my lists. I want to be known for loving God and others well. So I set time aside for needed tasks, but following Jesus, I’m learning to prioritize people. That’s the most satisfying “Check!” there is.
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