Many of us believe that we are saved by grace--but for too many, that's the last time grace defines our life. Instead of clinging to grace, we strive for good and believe that the Christian life means hard work and a sweet disposition. As good girls, we focus on the things we can handle, our disciplined lives, and our unshakable good moods. When we fail to measure up to our own impossible standards, we hide behind our good girl masks, determined to keep our weakness a secret.
In Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman invites women to let go of the try-hard life and realize that in Christ we are free to receive from him rather than constantly try to achieve for him. With an open hand and a whimsical style, Emily uncovers the truth about the hiding, encouraging women to move from hiding behind girl-made masks and do-good performances to a life hidden with Christ in God.
Emily Freeman is a writer who loves to read and a speaker who would rather listen. She writes for DaySpring (a division of Hallmark) and has also traveled as a writer with Compassion International to raise awareness for the needs of children in poverty around the world. She attended Columbia International University to study the Bible and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she earned a degree in Educational Interpreting for the Deaf. She is married to John, a student ministries pastor, and together they live in North Carolina with their three children. Emily extends a daily invitation on her blog for women to create space for their souls to breathe. Come join the community of grace dwellers at www.ChattingAtTheSky.com.
From the Publisher
Are You Tired of Trying Harder? Emily Freeman Invites Women to Stop Trying to Impress God and Rest In Him
She'll always volunteer to teach Sunday School. If a family needs a casserole, she's on the list to bring one. She's seen as dependable, organized, and capable. And she likes it that way. But deep inside she struggles. Is her quiet time long enough? Why does it feel like everyone else in her women's Bible Study is getting more out of it than she is? What more could God want from her?
In Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman invites women to let go of the try-hard life and realize that Christ gives us freedom to receive from God rather than constantly trying to achieve for him. As "good girls," we focus on the things we can handle, our disciplined lives and our unshakable good moods. When we fail to measure up to our own impossible standards, we hide behind our good girl masks, determined to keep our weakness a secret.
"We may have learned to hold our tongue, to raise our hands in worship, to be kind when we feel unkind. We may have learned to act right," Freeman writes. "But the unseen mind is an unruly battlefield. Even though I know that my spirit has now been united with God's Spirit and my true identity is found there, my soul still has muscle memory."
With an open hand and a whimsical style, Freeman uncovers the truth about the hiding, encouraging women to move from hiding behind girl-made masks and do-good performances to a life hidden in Christ.
Chapter by Chapter, Grace for the Good Girl helps readers:
Learn how to stop hiding behind performance and reputation
Let go of the try-hard life
Rest in God's grace instead of trying to impress Him
In Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life, Emily P. Freeman takes on the challenge of communicating with Christian girls and women who seem to have their lives put together. In essence, she's talking to the "good girls."
Separating the book into three parts, Freeman first tackles the different ways good girls hide, devoting each chapter to a different way, including hiding behind a good reputation or offering a less-than-truthful response to everything of, "Fine." She concludes the first part of the book with a full-out "Game Over" chapter in which Hide and Seek is done away with. The second part of the book is devoted on how the "good girl" can discover who she really is, after being lost for so long under the pressure and weight of having to sustain a perfect life. Each chapter in this section is centered on different parts of the journey, including receiving truth, responding to service, and remembering one's identity in Christ. The third and final section of the book contains chapters reminding the reader (the good girl) that, no matter what happens, she is safe. She is safe when hurting, when she fails, and even when she doesn't feel safe.
With gut-wrenching honesty, genuine love, and comfort that rise from the pages, Freeman uses numerous examples from her life and the lives of women she has helped to show that she and they have been where many good girls now find themselves. Freeman has overcome and conquered former doubts and fears, and now she is helping others do the same through counseling, prayer, friendship, and Bible study. She writes, "As a good girl, every choice I made was dictated by a theology of self-sufficiency. Life was up to me, and I was prepared to get it right." Having escaped that false reality, she now wishes to convey through this truly heartfelt book the message that girls don't have to hide anymore, because Christ can sustain them.
This book is biblically sound and very pragmatic. It is different from other books for women because instead of a whole book on how to be "good," this book proclaims the loving grace of God upon those who feel imperfect. The book stresses that Jesus asks His daughters to come and be loved. This book is definitely one for girls and women of any age who have grown up in the church and have, at one time or another, felt burdened by their reputation and the rules and responsibilities that come from being a good girl. Demelza N. Ramirez, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com