Unlikely Rebel: A Church Girl's Journey out of Shoulds and Shame  -     By: Kelli Gotthardt
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Unlikely Rebel: A Church Girl's Journey out of Shoulds and Shame

Kregel Publications / 2015 / Paperback

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Retail: $13.99
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Product Description

No formulas, no pat answers. Just real life. Real questions. Real transformation.

Approach many women in the church and if they're being honest, they'll tell you they:

  • try hard to keep it all together;
  • are frustrated that being good doesn't deliver the perfect life;
  • feel trapped in expectations;
  • make decisions based on "shoulds";
  • feel selfish when they say no; and
  • are uncertain of their place in God's kingdom.
Between the desire to please God, the need to feel valued, and the compulsion to make everyone around them happy, women often find themselves denying their desires. It's safer to stay in the life of "shoulds"---even if it means being spiritually and emotionally disconnected.

Kelli Gotthardt knows their pain. Always considered a "good girl," she threw herself into every ministry, saying yes to every request her church family made. On the outside, her life looked completely together---but she was drowning in self-doubt and shame. Unlikely Rebel is the story of how Kelly slowly shed shoulds and shame, learning to love God and love who He created her to be.

The journey from the comfort of doing everything expected of a perfect pastor's wife to the uncertainty of living authentically and true to her unique calling is equal parts exhausting and exhilarating. Many Christians condemned her, responding with fear or anger to her greater intimacy with God's calling when it didn't match their own vision. For others, though, her journey inspired courage to embrace God's path for their own lives.

Now Kelli invites other women to discover God's leading in their lives, learning that if they throw off the despondency of underserved shame, abundant life awaits.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0825442281
ISBN-13: 9780825442285

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Author Info

Kelli Gotthardt is a pastor's wife, international speaker, and, leadership consultant in Santa Cruz, California. She holds a master's degree in spiritual formation, and works as a ministry consultant with Missio. To learn more, visit her website at www.kelligotthardt.com.

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
4.7 out of 5
4.4 out Of 5
(4.4 out of 5)
4.4 out Of 5
(4.4 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.9 out Of 5
(3.9 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Michigan
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Helped me when I needed it most!
    September 14, 2016
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This hit me just where I needed it. I felt lost and needing a huge break. I never understood why and had the huge guilt that comes along with it. Kelli lays it all out there the nitty gritty and speaks directly to our hearts. She spells out what God might expect from us and how the world makes us feel guilty for not doing stuff. She reminds us WHO is most important in our lives God and what He asks. I cannot explain the freedom and peace I felt after reading this. She doesnt tell you what to do she gives you the keys and freedom to find the answers yourself. Reading her story is what opens your eyes and shows you Gods love again. I loved this and needed this book. I highly recommend for any person to read for understanding and freedom in the Christian life!

    I received this book from bookfun.org for an honest review.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Thought-provoking and Engaging
    July 19, 2016
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Kelli Gotthardt is vulnerable and forthright in this thoughtful and engaging memoir. Her journey is not uncommon to many women who have grown up in the church or who are heavily involved in church ministry. The push to always be doing, to be the good girl, and to constantly live under the voice of shame and shoulds are common problems. In opening up her story to be examined by her readers, Gotthardt gives voice to the struggle of many women. She is not shy to share her own mistakes and struggles, but invites the reader to join her in her process of learning to rebel against false expectations in order to more rightly walk with Jesus in a healthy way.

    As a recovering good girl myself, I was incredibly encouraged and challenged by Kellis story. Many of her experiences resonated with my own and I felt she gave voice to many fears and wrong thinking patterns I have dealt with. I also appreciated the evidence of her continued engagement in the process of growth and change. She has no illusions she has life all figured out. But through examples from her life, she shares her victories and struggles and ongoing need for refinement in the Lord. Hers is a story worth reading, if only because it is the story of so many others.

    I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.

    This review was posted to Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Goodreads, CBD, Kregel, Deeper Shopper, and Library Thing (if available).
  3. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Thought Provoking
    July 12, 2016
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    "Unlikely Rebel" by author Kelli Gotthardt is a 160 page paperback book published by Kregel Publishing. Author Kelli is a pastor's wife struggling with those pressures. This is the story of the 80/20 scenario, where often 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people in an organization until finally those in the 20% are so overextended they become exhausted and depressed. It is Kelli's story of wanting to be the quintessential pastor's wife and dedicate herself to her church, ministry, and God. She questions all of the volunteering and work time though. Is it taking her away from the One she is serving? It wasn't an easy road. She met with resistance when she began. She was judged.

    Kelli writes with God in mind throughout the book. It isShe provides snippets from her life that tell how she strengthened her Walk with God. Some of the book is very relatable. Other parts of the book were not relatable at all to me. For me this was not an easy read. I found myself reading a little one day and mulling over it. It is a thought provoking book. It made me think about volunteering and why I do it. How I view others that volunteer or say no.

    I am not sure what I expected but this book was a surprising read to me. I would recommend it to someone overextended in their time. Someone wanting to please so much that they have trouble telling someone no. Someone always feeling like they should do a certain task. It would make an interesting woman's book club or small group study. I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided to me by The Book Club Network for my honest opinion.
  4. IL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Makes You Sit up and Think!
    April 18, 2016
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I was somewhat unsure about this book. The title kind of threw me off a bit and I was also hesitant because of what I would find inside. Would it convict me? Or would it be just another fluff story that you read, smile and say, that was okay but I didn't really get anything out of it. Well, it definitely gave me some things to think about and I was so moved by it, I am going to give my copy away to one of my readers.

    This book is meant to be taken slowly. I felt like I could only read a few pages a day so I nibbled on it and meditated on what I was reading. The author talks about how she took on so many requests, obligations, speaking events, etc and how all the while she thought she was being the "good girl" but in reality she had to take a step back and refocus on who she was serving and what it all meant. She is very open and forthcoming about why she felt the way she did and how it made her feel when she spent hours alone with God and just listened for His voice. Now, I do want to say, some of the authors she spoke highly of and quoted, I don't personally agree with. There are some issues I had with this, but overall I understood where the author was coming from and I loved her openness. It made me look at my life and see if there are areas I need to step back from.

    Below is one of my favorite quotes from the book and I found it so thought provoking!

    "An efficiently busy life that keeps us occupied without being harried and keeps our attention entirely on interesting outer things is probably more potentially destructive of spiritual growth than debauchery or alcohol or hard drugs."
  5. Brighton, MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Intimacy With God Through Saying 'No'
    April 4, 2016
    Brighton, MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Unlikely Rebel, a spiritual memoir by Kelli Gotthardt, is not a bare-it-all story or a pity-poor-me account. It is a heartfelt retelling of the author's soul-searching journey to intimacy with God. From continual striving to be a good girl by doing the customary to removing herself from busyness, co-dependency and a Christianity based on the expectations of self and others, Gotthardt shares how she began to experience the joy of simply being. This 'holy discontent' led to the discovery of what a 'God-centered lifetime' might look like...one that meant stopping the typical discipline of 'devotions' and learning to sit silently before God to recognize His presence and to learn of Him and from Him. The book is divided into three parts. Leaning In, Letting Go and Living Out. Each piece allowing a more complete picture of her journey out of the world of 'shoulds and shame'. Several comments resonated in this reader's spirit. In speaking of the changes occurring in her spirit she recognized the point of transformation was not what it did for her and any perceived impact she might have on others and circumstances around her. The point of transformation was "solely for the praise of the one who was working in me." And again in a blog she writes of transformation as a 'buy one, get one free' deal. "Sign up to increase my faith and become more like Jesus in the process". Through this transparent account of significant events and details of her life, Gotthardt gives readers hope that no matter how messy or how busy one's life may be, God's extravagant and abundant love is life changing and is possible to experience.

    I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
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