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5.0 out of 5 stars Spoke to deep, locked places in my heart that I didn't know were even there.,
This review is from: Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life (Paperback)I jumped at the chance to read "Grace for the Good Girl" by Emily P. Freeman. I had already heard so much buzz about the book through other mama bloggers and through twitter, and had actually already looked into buying it for myself! In "Grace for the Good Girl", Freeman invites us to let go of the "try-hard" life, you know that one with all the pressure to do everything, do it well, and pretty much be perfect?
I didn't really know how much of a good girl I really was, seeing as though I didn't grow up in a Christian home and was a bit rebellious in high school, but Freeman's book spoke gently to deep, locked up places in my heart that I didn't even know were there. Pleasing others has been a major theme in my life. Following unwritten rules, or being paralyzed by fear because of not knowing the "rules" is something I also still struggle with. Now that I am a Christian, I do find myself putting pressure on myself to do everything right, to be perfect, and to make everyone happy.
"Grace for the Good Girl" is a book of 18 chapters in three parts: 1) The Hiding, 2) The Finding, and 3) The Freedom of Being Found and takes you on a journey through the masks that we create for ourselves, removing those masks, and living in the freedom we receive from Jesus. This book spoke to me powerfully and I strongly recommend it to any woman. I would love to read this in a small group setting with other women, to get real with one another and remove the masks we have created for ourselves. In so many ways I thought that I was alone in the way I felt, and through this book (and "A Confident Heart" by Renee Swope) I am realizing that many other women suffer from the same internal battles that I do.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
5.0 out of 5 stars Emily knows what she's writing about!,
This review is from: Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life (Paperback)Most of us identify with one brother or the other in the parable of the Prodigal Son, but for those who identify with the righteous older brother, too often our sin is applauded because it looks so good. Emily Freeman knows what it looks like to be saved by grace but to try to do everything else herself. There are many books out there that attempt to help good girls (and boys) recover from false views of themselves, God and the world, but I'm not sure I've ever read one as helpful as this one. Freeman uses personal anecdote, teaches from the Bible and offers deeply practical help that is clear evidence that she knows exactly what she's talking about. I was delighted that this book had discussion questions at the end - this book will provoke the kind of discussion that will change lives and revolutionize families and churches to be significantly more spiritually and emotionally healthy. (Review copy provided by Graf Martin Communications.)
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is for YOU,
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This review is from: Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life (Paperback)For those of you who have been following my blog for a while now, you'll know that while I mostly read YA I also branch out at times. I am Christian, so once in a while those books include Christian fiction or non-fiction books. Grace for the Good Girl is a Christian non-fiction book.
Words completely fail me for this book. I have no clue how to convey to those of you who may be interested in this book, exactly what it means to me. I will say that when I was only halfway through the book that I went onto Amazon and ordered eleven more copies. ELEVEN. Why would I want eleven more copies of a book I already have? Because I couldn't count 6 people off the top of my head who I felt would love this as much as I love it. And it's the kind of book I want to have extra copies on hand, just in case I come across other people who are interested in it. And by the time the books arrived, I already knew of two other people who I was going to give copies too. THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVE IT.
Maybe this book just came to me at the right time. Because I can tell you, I needed to hear what Emily had to share. I needed reminders of the promises God has given to us in the Bible. And I needed someone to meet me head-on and be honest with me; it's okay to be scared. It's okay to not have everything put together all neatly. Frankly, it's okay to be a bit of a mess. And I don't have to be pretend to be perfect because everything will be okay.
Well, thank goodness. If you're like me, you need to hear this. In between all of the school work and house work and relationships with those I care about and church involvement and professional school applications... well what else is there? And what if I don't measure up? Emily has something to share with us then:
That's okay. You don't have to all of this on your own.
And that's where I breathe a loud, exhaustive sigh of relief.
This book isn't going to be for everyone; but when it comes to those of Christian faith, I think it is going to have widespread appeal. Emily is so honest and encouraging, and it's perfect for those "normal" people who don't have anything drastic or exciting to share in their testimony. And for those who might have something a little more unique in their story? Well, it's for you too. I know it was definitely for me. And if only one person finds this book and decides to read it and finds something uplifting in it... well, then my job is done. I'm satisfied.
In fact, I'm going to pick it up and read it all over again. One chapter at a time, just the way I read through it before. I want to answer every question, I want to commit verses shared to memory because the last thing I want to do is finish reading this, put it on my shelf, walk away and forget.
I can't thank Emily enough for being the messenger and having the bravery to write this. And thank you so much to Graf-Martin for providing me with a review copy. This one's a winner.
Break out the road maps, find a place to go with your girlfriends and get together for a weekend. Challenge each other and open up to each other. Break through those masks! Curl on a sofa infront of a fireplace or a beach with this book, friends like sisters, and some hot chocolate. You won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars We ALL need this kind of grace....,
This review is from: Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life (Paperback)I have been a regular reader of Emily Freeman's blog Chatting at the Sky and was an active participant in her online community gathering Tuesdays Unwrapped where we took the time to explore the gifts God was placing in our lives. Emily's new book Grace for the Good Girl letting go of the try-hard life is surely one of those gifts.
The back cover intrigues with:
"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 unshakable good 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?"
I wasn't sure I thought of myself as a "good girl" for I am one of those that Emily writes about who spent a lifetime of turning-away before I allowed the Lord to own my heart. Yet as I moved through page after page I did indeed find myself within her words.
"If the masks we wear are the false identities we show the world, then our performance is the rubber band that holds them in place. I perform so you will like me. I perform so you will think I'm okay. I perform because it's comfortable. I perform to prove my worth to you, to God, and to myself. I perform because I don't know how not to." Page 24
There is hope, there is One Who desires to rescue us from our "good life" and allow us to live a life dependent on Him.
"The Jesus dependent life is not a balance between a little bit of law and a little bit of grace. Be sure not to tip too far to one side! That's the problem: we can't figure how to keep the scale balanced all the time. The true gospel says we don't have to." Page 74
"Jesus came to save me form myself. He came to save me from self-effort. He didn't just die for my sin to give me forgiveness; he rose again to give me life. And so he beckons me, "Come." Page 124
There is freedom in the pages of this book. You will find yourself and find the One Who longs to lavish His grace upon you, and if you want to share the good news with others, there is a small group study included.
Don't miss the chance to learn more about His great love. Don't miss this book!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily Freeman (Paperback - Sept. 1 2011)
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