Saturday, October 1, 2011

Grace For The Good Girl: A Book Review

About The Book:

You're strong. You're responsible. You're good. But . . .

. . . as day fades to dusk, you begin to feel the familiar fog of anxiety, the weight and pressure of holding it together and of longing left unmet. Good girls sometimes feel that the Christian life means doing hard work with a sweet disposition. We tend to focus only on the things we can handle, our disciplined lives, and our unshakablegood moods.

But what would happen if we let grace pour out boundless acceptance into our worn-out hearts and undo us? If we dared to talk about the ways we hide, our longing to be known, and the fear in the knowing?
In Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman invites you to release your tight hold on that familiar, try-hard life and lean your weight heavy into the love of Jesus. With an open hand, a whimsical style, and a heart bent brave toward adventure, Emily encourages you to move from your own impossible expectations toward the God who has graciously, miraculously, and lovingly found you.

You can read an excerpt of Grace For The Good Girl here, in PDF format

About The Author:

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

My Review:

If you are a regular reader, or follower of my blog, then you know that I read a lot. In a typical month I can read up to 20 books, many novels, but some Christian Living. The books in this last category that I read cover many topics, and I have developed a very long list of favorite books and authors over the last two years that I have been reviewing.

 In the last year I have read a number of books that have gotten to my core, and completely turned my world upside down. The first is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. The second is A Confident Heart by Renee Swope, and the third is this one by Emily Freeman. All three are very different books but all all three changed me in so many ways!

Grace For The Good Girl is so incredibly eloquently written, yet easy to read. This book encourages you to look past the "if only" thoughts about ourselves and our lives, and truly let go and let God. If God loves us in spite of our flaws and imperfections, then surely we can love ourselves and get past always trying to be the "good girl". 

There were so many fantastic quotes in this book, and I underline many of them, so I can go back and really delve into the book (which includes a wonderful study guide, perfect for book clubs, small groups and individual study). Here is one of my favorite quotes, from near the end:

"Behind all our masks, true safety always seems slightly out of reach, just beyond the next decision, the next relationship, the next baby, the next house, the next job. The next. Always the next.

If only I could just stay home with my kids...
If I could just go back to work...
If I could just get pregnant...
If I could just get out of debt...
If only I had a college degree...
If only I could lose this weight...

Jesus is the radical, absolutely complete, living answer to all our if-onlys and if-I-could-justs. His unwavering, unchanging, unconditional love and acceptance of us is what we are really looking for.

"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete (Col.2:9-10). When my patience is gone, he offers to be patience for me. When my strength is spent, he becomes strength in me. When my faith is small, he believes on my behalf. Every time."
                                                               (p. 216)

What an amazing reminder to me, and to all of us. He is there EVERYTIME, not just when we are good. We don't have to be just good. Grace is available regardless. 

I really loved the format of the book, with the first section talking about the masks that we, as women, will regularly wear. I found myself relating so much to this chapter. Section two talks about the freedom we have in Christ, while the final part of the book is written as a way for you to learn to move past living like a good girl and living fully in His grace. This book made me cry more than once, but really made me realize that His grace really does cover all and doesn't require me to be the "perfect good girl".

I cannot recommend this book enough. It will change your life, and I give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Grace For The Good Girl at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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