Grace, Grit and Giggles

Wooohooo! There are only 4 days remaining until our Breaking Up with Perfect Online Study, and I’m over-the-top excited about the plans we have for you!! If you haven’t joined yet, click here to find out all the details about the study which starts Monday, August 1.

I want to apologize to you subscribers for sending out a non-valid link last week for the podcast. We’re back for real this week, and we process what went wrong. Perfectionist fail for both Cheri and me. Please don’t give up on us!

This week…

In this impromptu episode, Amy and Cheri process a week of FOMO, failure, and flashes of insight.

We’d love for you to weigh in, too: What’s your definition of “grit”? (Leave your comment on the link below to enter to win a copy of Breaking Up with Perfect.)

Click on the graphic below to listen.


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It’s Just a Week Away

I’m so excited that the Online Book Study of Breaking Up with Perfect will begin next Monday! It’s going to be a great time of connecting and growing together.

I know some of you have questions about how the study will happen, so I thought I’d ease any anxiety about the unknown by going through the details today. If you haven’t signed up, please join us! Here’s all you need to do to be ready to join us next Monday:

  • Make sure you’re subscribed to the blog. If you’re receiving this as an email, you’re set to go. Otherwise, click here to subscribe.
  • Purchase either a book or digital version of Breaking Up with Perfect from your favorite book seller by clicking on the name of the retailer. Proverbs 31 Ministries (all proceeds go back into the ministry), Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Christian Book Distributers. I’ve been hearing that the book is a bit scarce, but there are copies around. Lifeway, Family Christian, and Barnes & Noble are also carrying the book in some of their stores, so you may be able to find one right in your home town.
  • Optional: Get a FREE downloadable version of the Participant’s Guide by sending a picture of your receipt or of you with your book to
  • Optional: Join the Facebook page where we’ll interact in a more private setting by clicking here.

If you aren’t planning to join us for the whole study, you’ll still get some of the content right here on the blog each week. Make sure to see the info at the bottom of the page about my first interview with Barry before you leave!

If you are planning to participate, here are all the details you’ll need. If I leave your question unanswered, please leave it as a comment, and I’ll be sure to answer it right away!

  • We’re going to be moving through the book super-fast to get it all in during the six weeks we’re together. If you want to start reading ahead, that’s completely fine.
  • Here’s the reading schedule:
    • Week 1 (Aug. 1-7): Intro & Chapter 1
    • Week 2 (Aug. 8-14): Chapters 2 & 3
    • Week 3 (Aug. 15-21): Chapters 4,5 & 6
    • Week 4 (Aug. 22-28): Chapters 7, 8 & 9
    • Week 5 (Aug. 29-Sept. 4): Chapters 10 & 11
    • Week 6 (Sept. 5) Final post on the blog
  • Do only the number of activities that work for you that week. If all you can get done is the reading, that’s just fine! Join & study as much or as little as you can. This is a no guilt zone!
  • The beauty of this study is that it’s “evergreen”. If you get behind, the blog posts will always be here. You can catch up at your own pace.
  • If you’re a small group leader that wants to go through it later with your group, the posts will be here AND I’ll embed the Facebook Live videos in the posts mid-September for additional content for you.

Here’s what the weekly schedule will look like:

  • Monday Moments— Mondays have two separate parts.
    • There will be blog posts right here connecting Breaking Up with Perfect to my powerful lessons from my last trip to India. This will be a slant on the book that nobody but our group will get!
    • I’ll also be on our private Facebook page each Monday night at 8:00 – 8:30 pm ET on Facebook Live for personal interaction with YOU. The first 15 minutes will be video. The second will be questions that allow you to join into a conversation. It’s going to be fast-paced and fun!
      • Participate Live— Go to our private Facebook page at 8:00 pm Eastern Time, and the video will be right there. You can leave comments that I’ll be able to see, so I can answer questions and interact with you personally. It’s a BLAST, and I’ll give you some directions each night so that you can participate fully.
      • Watch any time— If you can’t tune in live, you’ll still be able to watch the video and comment. We’d love to hear from you when you can chime in. I know the time will be tough for you west coast girls and our international participants.
  • Thursday Thrills— Some fun FREE resources will be shared on the blog and on the Facebook page. Make sure to join us both places!
  • Friday Forum— Each week on Friday, we’ll have a chance to share together on the Facebook page. What was your light bulb moment for the week? Questions will be posted in the morning, and you can comment when you have time. Make sure to join the community fun! Your comment will enter you for some great {Giveaways}.

Finally, there are only 7 days left before we start, so please invite your friends by sending them the link to this post. We’ve got great momentum in building this movement to break up with perfect.

I think that about covers it. Do you have any additional questions? I’d love to help!


As a little extra this week, I wanted to share the podcast of the very first interview that Barry and I have done together. We had a great time talking about what it looks like for two strong-willed people to navigate marriage and parenting together–sparks and fireworks! Click on the graphic below to listen.


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Breaking Up with Perfect Visits Friends

Today I’m at She Speaks (wild whoop of joy!!), but I wanted to leave you with some encouragement for the week.

God has been so good to open some doors with friends old and new to share our movement’s message with others. I’m guest blogging in several places this week, so click on the links below to get a taste of some blogs that may be new to you and to share the love!

“The Test of Our True Priorites” at Life Letter Cafe

“A Relationship-Crushing Lie (And the Truth That Busts It)” at Kathi Lipps’s blog

“How to Let Go of the Perfect Summer” at The Laundry Moms


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Better Together Giveaway

Watching you register for our study is stoking my excitement to a fevered pitch about the Breaking Up with Perfect online study that starts August 1st!! (If you’re just visiting today and don’t know about our study, please click here for all the details.)

In fact, as I’ve watched the registrations roll in, I’ve thought, “This is big. We’re not just a few girls breaking up with perfect. We’re a movement!” 

Just think about that powerful stuff…. We’re building a movement!

All growth and change is good, but it’s always strengthened when you do it with a friend. Here’s your chance to grow our movement and to add to the joy of completing this study by doing it with a friend. We’re better together.

Today– for 48 hours only– leave a comment on my Facebook post (you’ll know the one because it’s an invitation) that’s pinned to the top of my page, and tag a friend (or two, or three) inviting them to join you in our study. Not only will you build our movement, your tagged comment will enter you for a fun & fabulous package. Take a look at these goodies:


(I had to pry those adorable Moon & Lola earrings out of my own clenched hand to give them away. Just sayin’.)

So here’s how you enter:

  • Click here to go to my Facebook page.
  • Leave a comment under the pinned invitation to the study at the top of the page with…
  • Your invited friend(s) tagged in the comment.

Voila! Once you do those steps, you’re entered! I’ll choose and post a winner on Wednesday morning at 7:00 am.

Hands together, team. One… two… three… BUILD A MOVEMENT!

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Party-in-a-Box Giveaway and a New Podcast Episode

I’m incredibly excited to have so many of you participating in the Online Book Study of Breaking Up with Perfect.

Change is always more powerful in a group, and our cyber-group is going to be fabulous! If you haven’t registered yet, click here for all the details.

Maybe some of you have a small group at church or a neighborhood group that would like to go through the study together and add some face-time to our Facebook time each week.

If you buy your books together, I’ll offer two goodies to you:

    • A free copy of the downloadable Leader’s Guide
    • An entry into the Party-in-a Box Giveaway. I’ll send you lots of fun party supplies for your group to end the time with a celebration. See the good stuff below!


Here’s what you do to collect your free Leader’s Guide and to enter:

  • Take a picture or screen shot of your receipt that shows your purchase of five or more books.
  • Send that picture to We’ll reply with the link to the downloadable Leader’s Guide.

This offer is only good July 15-29, so make sure to gather your group, purchase your books, and send your picture in the next two weeks. (Don’t tell anybody, but I hope YOU win!)

Note to leaders: The content of the online study will be “evergreen”. You’ll be able to access the content on my blog any time in the future, and I’m going to go back and embed the videos from the Private FB page into the blog once the study is over.


Podcast Episode #016–When Looking Good is Actually Bad

Part of creating a perfect facade is covering bad motives with an approval-winning actions.

Cheri & Amy dig deep and get real about the ways they’ve looked good while masking skewed motivations and discuss the do-able solution.

Click on the graphic below to join them as they process how to use our gifts for God’s glory and bask in God’s love– from the inside out.



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What Happened to Big Hair & Attitude?

Alright y’all… I promised full disclosure for those of you who read today’s devotion. Don’t laugh. It’s not nice.

dc trip

Do you see me? Back row. Far right. Oh. Mercy. Those were the days, my friends. Am I right?

Moving right along.

Even though I was a goofy teenager, I was much more my authentic self in eighth grade than in my mid-twenties to early forties. I wouldn’t go back to pimples, gales of loud giggles, and wanting to fit into the popular crowd, but God has been teaching me for the last decade to live life as the most authentic version of myself that He always intended.

If you’re where I was 10 years ago… Exhausted from trying to keep up the facade of perfection… Finding my friendships were fraying as life got harder… Longing to live with more joy, more freedom, and deeper relationships…

Then I’ve got something just for YOU!

Breaking UpwithPerfect

August 1- September 5, I’m hosting an online book study of Breaking Up with Perfect, and we’re going to have a blast together!

To join the study in three easy steps, just follow the links below (but make sure to come back for the important information in the sentence under the bullet points):

  1. Subscribe to the blog by clicking here. If you’re already subscribed to my blog, you can skip to step #2
  2. Join the private Facebook page by clicking here.
  3. Buy the book by clicking on your favorite book seller  Proverbs 31 Ministries    Barnes & Noble    Amazon

To get all the details and directions about how to access a free download of the Participant’s Guide, click here. (There are directions for the free guide both for those of you whole have just bought the book and for those who already own it. I’m an equal opportunity gifter!)

I’m so excited about moving forward in less perfectionism and more freedom together. I promise that the lessons we learn will bring you into deeper relationship with God, others, AND yourself!

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Embracing Each Step of Our Race (Instead of Agonizing over the Finish Line)

Hey, y’all! I’m deep in the middle of a southern summer including trips to the beach, ride-alongs with my hubby, and getting ready for She Speaks. I hope you’ll forgive me for just one post this week.

Repeat my mantra with me, “I’m doing the best that I can.” Don’t you feel better now? Me too. (Sigh of relief.)

This week’s podcast interview with the fabulous Suzie Eller goes right along with the grace we need when we’re falling short. Please don’t miss it! Suzie is one of my all-time favorite people, and I’m always threatening to move in with her hoping that some of her rich wisdom will rub off on me. You’ll see what I mean when you hear what she shares.


Click on the graphic to go to Cheri’s site to listen to the podcast, leave a comment to win a book, and download some fabulous freebies!


Congratulations to Shirley (6.29.16 3:57), the winner Breaking Up with Perfect and Simply Tuesday from last week’s post!

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The Astounding Shift of Living Pre-Approved


In Grit ‘n’ Grace podcast episode #4 Cheri and I discuss the one simple word can change the hard places of relationships. It’s a word that can set us free and strengthens our relationship muscles. Cheri and Amy process Jennifer Dukes Lee’s concept of living preapproved—safe in the knowledge of God’s premeditated love for us. It’s a game-changer for mistrust, conflict, and misunderstanding! Click here to listen to the podcast.

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From Shock to Confession

I was at She Speaks the first time I met Emily Freeman, and I thought she was the cutest, funniest, quirkiest (and I LOVE quirky) girl I had ever met.  I still feel the same.

But after reading Grace for the Good Girl and then Simply Tuesday, I thought she might be my artsy, more intellectual alter-ego. Seriously, the way she processes life has mirrored mine in so many ways.

Simply Tuesday was just the right book at just the right time for me—just as I fell into a pit of despair about my own book—and I’m forever grateful for Emily’s words of encouragement found attached to the spine of a great read. Here’s an excerpt she’s allowed me to share. Welcome, Emily!

Be Loved. (1)

One day last week I’m struggling through those old kinds of struggles that never seem to fully go away— self-acceptance, over-thinking, fear. My mind cycles through them as they sit on the lazy Susan of my soul. Pick one up, turn the wheel, put it back again.

So the Susan is spinning at the rate of the world and John walks in to my sunroom office to ask me a simple question and I snap at him for interrupting me as if he had just told me off or insulted my hair or said I looked fat. In fact, he only asked me if I needed anything from the store.

My response has nothing to do with him and everything to do the discouragement festering in my own soul, but I immediately feel both terrible as well as strangely justified.

After we talk through it, after I apologize, after I turn back to my desk to continue my work, I am forced to face the state of my soul. My first response is shock—I can’t believe I just did that. My second response is shame—What a terrible person I am.

Shock and shame are my most natural and immediate responses when I make a bad choice or have a bad reaction. My shock and shame response is a better indicator of the condition of my own soul than having the bad thought or choosing poorly in the first place. If I feel shocked and ashamed when I snap at my husband, maybe I am assuming I can handle life on my own and don’t need redemption, not really. And so when my soul has a bad idea, I can’t believe it….

Shock and shame keep my head a clean distance from my heart. That is a dangerous place to live. I don’t want this kind of disconnected life. The answer isn’t to shame myself into better things. That never works.

Instead, I want to stop being shocked by my own capacity for terrible thoughts and bad behavior. Until I stop being shocked, I will continue to gasp and gawk at every foul thought that comes into my mind. I will constantly point to some imaginary version of myself and then return to my real self and the incongruence between the two will bring only dizziness, discouragement, and hopelessness. My soul simply can’t survive the whiplash.

I have an insane capacity for jealousy, selfishness, hoarding, backstabbing, criticism, revenge, and procrastination. The answer to dealing with the shocking thoughts and behavior I’m capable of is to refuse to be shocked in the first place.

Instead, confess and turn toward love. Be loved. Be small. Belong to Christ.

I want to learn to keep company with my weakness even as I practice walking in the New Way of Christ. The only way I know to do this is to confess, both my sin and Christ’s righteousness–to continually accept my capacity for sin, but embrace my potential for health, restoration love, forgiveness, patience, and hope in Christ.

I want to remember I am capable of making bad choices while also bearing in mind the baffling choice of God: he chose to make his home in me even though he knew exactly what he was getting himself into.

I want to always see my ability to choose the old but rejoice in my freedom not to.

I want to be aware of the darkness but identify with the light.

Refuse to be shocked, confess your smallness, and receive grace, forgiveness, renewal, and belief.


EmilyThat’s some crazy good truth, isn’t it? If you’d like more of where that came from, leave a comment to enter to win a copy of Simply Tuesday and Breaking Up with Perfect. I hope YOU win! 

Also, to connect with the cutest, funniest, quirkiest God-girl you’ve ever met, visit Emily at her blog by clicking here.


Breaking UpwithPerfect

And don’t forget to get all your ducks in a row to be part of my FREE online book study of Breaking Up with Perfect starting August 1. Click here for all the details and to sign up.

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Love Idol & An Invite

I’m so excited to share this week’s podcast with you!!! Cheri and I interviewed Jennifer Dukes Lee about her book Love Idol, and she instantly became one of my new favorite people. You’re going to love her too!

She shared a word that’s been changing my life ever since we talked to her. Don’t miss it! (Also, the free dowloads are to die for, and I’m printing out Every. Single. One.) Please read the rest of the post and then go to the podcast by clicking on the image.


I had a little melt-down this week when I realized that my special invitation to my subscribers was cut off from what you got in your email box this week, so here’s a copy. I wouldn’t leave you out for anything!

Breaking UpwithPerfect


On August 1st, I’m going to start a study of Breaking Up with Perfect right here on the blog and also on a private Facebook page. If you struggle with hiding behind a facade of perfection… If you wonder why your relationships aren’t what you want them to be… If you are exhausted from trying (and failing!) to live the perfect life… then this study is for you!

Click here to find out all the details and to sign up today!

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