Lindsey and I mentioned that we wanted to start using our blog as a platform to share the stories of other women. I am so excited to share with you today a special book and author!
I met Christen years ago when I was volunteering in Montgomery with the American Cancer Society. Since that time, Christen has become an author. She has also moved to Dothan, taken on numerous important jobs and become a mother of three children. I have followed her journey through social media. I decided this past month to read her book, “Invited” that she published this year. This book came into my life at the perfect time. It was a reminder for me that all women struggle with perfection and we don’t have to. We can rely on God to use us to make real connections with people even when we don’t feel perfect (or have a messy house/life).
Christen was kind enough to answer some questions I wanted to ask her so that our readers could learn more about her book and her journey. I cannot recommend this book enough for all women! You can find a link to the book and her site at the end of this post. But first, here’s Christen:
First of all, can you tell our readers a little bit about “Invited” and how you decided to write it?
In Invited, I weave together personal stories with a practical party planning handbook as I share about my own struggle with perfection when I moved home and began to build community. My desire for perfection caused me to experience anxiety and meltdown when parties (and life!) didn’t always go as planned.
This book is written for women who like me, want everything to be perfect, but don’t always know how to stop breaking down when life doesn’t go according to plan. With kindness and Biblical truth, Invited helps women to overcome the hurdles of perfection by finding balance, wholeness, and completeness in Christ.
I’ve discovered that many goal-oriented women who like to plan battle perfectionism. It doesn’t matter if we are planning a birthday party, who we will marry, or working toward our dream job – women want to achieve perfection because we want the best for ourselves, our people, and our futures. Perfection is passion, an ideal that makes us feel so strongly about the matters of the heart that we act in ways that make us later feel shame and unworthiness, like we will never quite measure up.
In Scripture, perfection is defined as wholeness, completeness, and beauty. When young women give their expectations to God and realize that perfection is only found in Christ, we are less disappointed, discontent, and depressed. God is perfect, so we don’t have to be. By releasing our anxieties to Him, we find beauty in our imperfections and accept His invitation of love, grace, and mercy.
We are often afraid to open our homes to others because we think our homes aren’t decorated nice enough or we are too busy to prepare our house for entertaining. Here’s my advice: don’t let perfection cause you to miss out on inviting friends into your home. Even if your home doesn’t look Pinterest-perfect, find a spot that makes you feel comfortable to entertain in like your kitchen or your back porch. Add some flowers and candles to make the space feel casual and inviting. Or, if you are too busy to entertain at home, invite a friend to meet you at a local restaurant. Pick a spot that has a unique menu or atmosphere and enjoy having a night out with a friend. One of the many benefits of practicing hospitality is happiness. The hostesses who enjoy entertaining the most are the ones who can let go of their worries and enjoy the party with their guests.