Before buying her book I frequented Emily Freeman's blog, Chatting at the Sky. When I discovered she had released a book on grace I wasn't sure it was really for me. I love the writing style of the blog, words which are well crafted and artistically woven, but when I came to the subject of grace, I knew I needed real applicable content, not just a beautifully written book on someone else's idea of grace.
Weeks went by and I felt nudge after nudge to purchase the book and read it. I ignored the feeling. After a couple of months I found myself talking with a friend on the phone, and I just kind of lost it. I knew deep inside myself that all my "doing" was in vain. Something was still missing and I knew that that something was grace. Through my tears I confessed that I was certain that God wanted me to read this book and that I had been ignoring Him. She waited on the phone while I downloaded it onto my iPhone. After just the first chapter my perspective on grace had changed. The very first chapter cut me to the core. It was exactly what I needed. I read the book in it's entirety within a matter of a few days and I feel like I have become a different person.
I read a lot. Nothing I have read has impacted me quite like this book has. Reading it I felt like Emily Freeman had been secretly reading my mind because she knew stuff about me that I wasn't even brave enough to write down in my diary. And she had answers. Real honest answers of how I could get from where I was- trying hard but loving little, to where I needed to be- loving, trusting, and believing enough to stop trying all together.
If you are a woman who is frustrated because you know you are doing all the right things but you know you are doing them with all the wrong motivation then this book is one you need to read. If you aren't 100% sure of the difference between grace and mercy then this book is one you should read. If you are the close friend of someone who seems to have it all together yet is constantly frayed around the edges please read this book for her and then slip her a copy too. ;)
I pride myself in being an open and fairly transparent person, but this book called me out. Called me out of hiding. I have yet to completely respond to that call, but at least I know now that I have a protective veil, a mask, that I have constructed to protect and try to keep me safe...and it needs to come off. There is a part of me that does not trust, that does not want to yield fully, so I keep the veil on for perceived safety.
In this candid confessional and authentic exhortation, Emily helps "good girls" identify areas in which they hide behind, like: good performance, spiritual disciplines, strength and responsibility, etc. She identifies the problems we face and then clearly points us to the One who can find us and can set us free. I underlined a lot in this book. It is a type of manual for this "try hard" girl who strives to "do" and isn't sure how to just "be".
I picked up a copy and read it myself, then offered it as our church's small group study. We have studied together for several years now, with an age range of 67 to 40. We used the book as a 9 month study. Initially, wisdom and experience had already taught many of Emily's wonderful truths to many of our members. Our discussion often centered around how we had each come to the common truth she offered. As the year progressed, however, each woman found stories that touched her life and deepened her faith in profound and personal ways. All ages, but particularly newlyweds and young mothers, will find a gentle yet definite peace in learning that it is all about what He can do, not what we must do.
This author actually has something to say thru'out the book. Good insights - so relevant to me and many women today struggling with striving to be good rather than resting in the fact that we are already accepted and loved as we are. Well worth the read!!
Although I found many of her examples of 'masks' to be a healthy reminder of things/attitudes to steer away from. I was dissappointed with the overall application to life. It read a lot of, 'just do what you feel called to do'. I think this is a slippery slope, because lots of times what we 'feel' is every-changing and unreliable. I think God calls us to leave a life of service to others. I felt like it promoted our cultural thinking that 'Life is all about ME!'