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Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life

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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 ou 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.


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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 ou 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.

30 review for Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This book went beyond my expectations. The scripture used and experiences the author described were so helpful to me in my walk with Christ. I was so convicted of thoughts and attitudes I have had that have been nothing short of sin (mainly in the self-righteous/pride category). I want desperately to believe anew that Christ died for me even though I often feel that I don't have the sensational testimony that others do. Jesus is still my rescuer even if He is rescuing me from the harsh critic in This book went beyond my expectations. The scripture used and experiences the author described were so helpful to me in my walk with Christ. I was so convicted of thoughts and attitudes I have had that have been nothing short of sin (mainly in the self-righteous/pride category). I want desperately to believe anew that Christ died for me even though I often feel that I don't have the sensational testimony that others do. Jesus is still my rescuer even if He is rescuing me from the harsh critic in my own head and the shame that follows when I don't live up to my own set of rules. The freedom I feel after reading this book is all-encompassing. I am the queen of mask-wearing, and I have to let go and be real. It really brings me to a place of safety as well knowing that God has gone before me, behind me, and He is here with me now. There is no one on earth that can bring that kind of peace. Being home all day raising little ones can be a thankless job, but for right now, it is my act of worship. Instead of beating myself up for my shortcomings, I am resolved to just let God work in me and through me. I'm reminded of the word "let" which indicates that I am passive and God is the one doing the work. I have grown weary of trying so hard, and that's where I was wrong. Even though I was doing good things, I was taking credit for most of them. I can't even express all that I've taken from this book, but I do know that I'll be reading it again!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Chind

    I just finished reading Catholicism by Robert Barron and an overall message that I got from that book is that life is about becoming one with God and that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are in a word love. The more of you that you put into God, the more love that you are yourself. What an excellent little prayer. Get more love. Get more Jesus in me and my actions and my life in general. When I finished Catholicism last night, I picked up the next book in my stack, Grace for the Good Girl I just finished reading Catholicism by Robert Barron and an overall message that I got from that book is that life is about becoming one with God and that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are in a word love. The more of you that you put into God, the more love that you are yourself. What an excellent little prayer. Get more love. Get more Jesus in me and my actions and my life in general. When I finished Catholicism last night, I picked up the next book in my stack, Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman. Now, while I’m still in the middle of this one. It’s another message of love. Letting go of trying so hard, and just love. Heard of “let go and let God”? Things are stacking. That’s a God moment to me, and it’s the ones where he speaks through. When I first started reading Grace for the Good Girl, I was thinking… I’m not a good girl, not really. Sure, well yeah, now I’m a good girl. But I cannot say I never did X, Y, and Z. I was a good girl, until about eleventh grade. Then I put the love and romance of a boyfriend and a group of friends before my relationship and love for God and the world as I knew it fell apart and pretty much was in shambles until my the year before I graduated college. Anyway, I kept thinking oh, I should recommend this book to Kit-Kat (you reading this sweetie?), she’s the best good girl I know – I’m sure the only sin she’s ever committed is worry. And I still might recommend this book to her (you), but what I realized as I was reading is that I always shut myself down and say I’m a bad girl, I’m a sinner, I did wrong and I’m forever ruined. I always seem to forget that I’m actually good now, I’m clean now. I’m as white as snow, but I never seem to let myself realize it. So that was epiphany #1. Going on… into hiding and expectations. I never would have thought of myself as hiding, but in a way I do it. I have this routine. I get eagerly and overly involved way more that I should put my all into it, and then just walk away. I could go way into detail, but I’m not sure I want/nor should open up that much. But what I can tell you is that you do not want to see my TBR pile. As for expectations. Yes, I have those thoughts. I’m tearing myself up when both girls are crying and I cannot fix it. The living room is a mess. It doesn’t matter that the kitchen is gorgeously spotless. There are crumbs on the floor and goldfish in the couch. Magazines and books everywhere, and it shouldn’t be this way. Things should be neat and organized. My Enginerd works all day. I try to make things nice for him, I’m obviously not working hard enough as it’s all in shambles. I’m just not good enough. — Now that was an eye opener. Epiphany #2. I didn’t see that coming. I didn’t realize that I felt that way about myself and being the housewife. I’m the housewife I want to be nor should be. I’m messed up and not good enough. But what poisonous words. What horrible thoughts. That’s not what Jesus thinks, and that’s not what matters. Yes I do need to put in an effort. What I need to realize is the praise to myself for what I do and can accomplish well. Not suffer and drown in all that I could be better at… Epiphany #3. I love this blogging thing. But I feel like I’m talking to a wall. What is the point in all this reviewing and blogging business? I definitely do not make money at it. There are those that do, but I refuse to have a blog that looks like a flashing ad. I do have a page (see the top bar) that has a bunch of affiliates and a paypal tip button. I would gladly take anyone someone wanted to share. But I’m not going to plaster it all over, because I do not like looking at that, and doubt someone else would. I want Creative Madness Mama to be a place of serenity. See the lavender? See the green? Tea and books. Scripture and peace. Come here and find something to read. That’s what I want. What’s the point in making ChristianHistoricalFiction.com and trying so desperately to keep up with the latest of what’s coming out. Does it matter? Most of the time I feel like I’m wasting my time and money. But then every once in a while there is a comment that makes my week and I know that there is a point. Something I say might affect someone. Maybe, and that’s a good day. Originally posted: http://creativemadnessmama.com/blog/2...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Best for ages: 15 and up Although most of the things in this book were not new ideas to me, and even though the author could get repetitive, I really enjoyed this book. I never hurts to be reminded of a powerful truth: that their is no need to hide behind masks. I was nineteen when I first heard the message (though not through this book) that it was okay to not be okay sometimes, that I didn't need to pretend all the time. It is a message that girls (and guys) who grow up in the church need to hea Best for ages: 15 and up Although most of the things in this book were not new ideas to me, and even though the author could get repetitive, I really enjoyed this book. I never hurts to be reminded of a powerful truth: that their is no need to hide behind masks. I was nineteen when I first heard the message (though not through this book) that it was okay to not be okay sometimes, that I didn't need to pretend all the time. It is a message that girls (and guys) who grow up in the church need to hear. Even without meaning to we can get caught in the habit of wearing masks so that no one can see the real us, but then know one can know or love the real us either. I would highly recommend this book to girls who are feeling weary of trying hard, never feel they measure up, or think that they have to be more then they are to please God.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I have a confession to make. I know you will read it and, at best, look at me askance. At worst, you might dismiss me entirely and I will never again be part of your life. And that will be sad. But I've confessed it aloud already, to my pastor's wife, no less. She prayed hard for me and anointed me with oil and that gives me the peace to put it out there for the whole world. In the whole of the bible the character I identify with the most, the person whose story captures me and won't let me go, I have a confession to make. I know you will read it and, at best, look at me askance. At worst, you might dismiss me entirely and I will never again be part of your life. And that will be sad. But I've confessed it aloud already, to my pastor's wife, no less. She prayed hard for me and anointed me with oil and that gives me the peace to put it out there for the whole world. In the whole of the bible the character I identify with the most, the person whose story captures me and won't let me go, is the Prodigal's Older Brother. Do you know it? Luke 15:11-32. Particularly this part: “The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’ It's not inspirational, or moving, or beautiful. It's ugly and base. And until Emily P. Freeman's book came along, I didn't realize it. I only knew that every time the Parable of the Lost Son came up, I couldn't get what people clearly meant me to get. I intellectually understood the analogy, of course. I got that. But even as whatever it was, sermon, article, conversation, whatever, moved on, I was left with a hollow feeling. What about the brother? WHAT. ABOUT. THE BROTHER?! But I knew that was a terrible thing to think, and so I kept it a secret. Grace for the Good Girl didn't start well for me. I began it in the wee hours of the morning in late September and immediately went into skim mode. Freeman came across as the type of woman I neither like nor wish to be like--all striving and perky and excellently put together, covered in monograms and Vera Bradley prints and making sure you know it. See how obnoxious I am? See how I've been ostracized for so long that not only do I not even attempt to fit in anymore, I'll peremptorily reject you so you don't get the chance to not let me fit in with you? The Holy Spirit, however, rejects no one and never gives up. And, late one other night very recently, there was nothing to do but open the kindle to read it. And I read it. And through the humblebraggadocio emerged a complete picture of a woman just like me-- whose signs and signifiers were Sorority Girl instead of Sci-Fi Geek. I too was, and still am, a "good" girl. I've had a few wild times but they're only wild to me, if everybody else is telling the truth. I grew up in church. I toed all the lines. I didn't party, do a bunch of drugs, have a lot of sex. None of the stuff that makes for a "powerful testimony" as they say, apply to me. I was the Older Brother, out working hard (even if it was for my self and not my Heavenly Father) while the other kids partied until they couldn't party no more, then came home to love, acceptance and parties. Resentments are petty and ugly. Neither Freeman nor I would make any bones about that. And we all deal with our pain and separation differently-- some of us by being so "good" and diligent that we fail to appreciate all the love and acceptance around us all the time. I reached the halfway point of Freeman's book about 4:00 a.m. two weeks ago and absolutely couldn't read another word. I was crying so hard I had to get out of bed and go find a quiet place to sob, on my face, to Jesus. To ask Him, for real, to let me come home in a meaningful way and to let me realize the amazingness of His grace and the wonder of His mercy. I let it ride there, for a little while, as I completed the Living in Freedom Everyday bible study, which echoed so much of what I had just learned. And as I moved into the retreat phase-- an intense weekend of confession, prayer, and worship, it all started coming together. I was able to get all the good girl out, the striving girl who tried so, so hard so that she might have a friend; the young woman who turned her back on God because she didn't trust Him with her timeline; the overwhelmed wife and mother who knew enough to be grateful and to reach out but who couldn't cross the line into deep trust. I finished the book with a sense of peace, able to see past my preconceived notions and learn from what Freeman had to teach. I was actually disappointed when the book ended-- my version has a section for small group leaders and I thought I would get to read several more chapters of teaching. Ah well. Overall, an excellent book when pursued at the right time and in the right frame of mind. I pray that it reaches you if and when it needs to and that you will be open to the Holy Spirit working in you through it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I appreciate Grace for the Good Girl a great deal. As someone who grew up in the church, I know there is a gap that well-behaved girls fall into. If your life isn't visibly falling apart, people assume you are okay and move on to the next crisis child. If you know all the answers and say the right things, you'll be praised. Probably given a Sunday School class. With so many young people leaving the church, adults are thrilled to see a studious, responsible teenager showing up Sunday mornings. Th I appreciate Grace for the Good Girl a great deal. As someone who grew up in the church, I know there is a gap that well-behaved girls fall into. If your life isn't visibly falling apart, people assume you are okay and move on to the next crisis child. If you know all the answers and say the right things, you'll be praised. Probably given a Sunday School class. With so many young people leaving the church, adults are thrilled to see a studious, responsible teenager showing up Sunday mornings. They rarely look deeper. When a people pleasing attitude gets mixed with this environment, it is no surprise that masks start going up. You have to be the good girl. Your identity now depends on it. Emily P. Freeman was a good girl. She wore the mask that said she had everything figured out. However, inside she felt anything but. She needed God's grace as much as anyone...and in this book, she beautifully manifest that grace to those who were like her. Hiding. Confused. Desperate...but outwardly, sweet. Put together. On top of things. Like I said, I really appreciate this book and the way it reaches out to the good girls who normally get ignored. There is a lot of wisdom and grace in this book. However, I have two hesitations with it. 1. It felt a little repetitive at times. Maybe it needs to be for those girls, like Freeman, who hide behind multiple masks. I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over, with different stories thrown in to get the point across differently. That might be necessary for a "good girl in hiding" but that doesn't fit where I am right now. Which brings me to my hesitation number 2... This book is an amazing work of grace aimed at the extreme, people pleasing, mask hiding good girl, but if that isn't you, it can get long. Reading through this book, I frequently thought 'But for the grace of God, that could have been me. I had those tendencies. But I never got close to that bad.' This book wasn't describing me, so while I could empathize with Freeman and what she was talking about, I also felt bogged down by it. Overall, though, I do recommend this book, especially if you were raised in the church. It goes a long way to minister to a group of people who often get neglected by the church...primarily because they are in it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paula Vince

    Every now and then, a book comes along which just hits the right spot. This book was written for those of us who have always tried to do the right thing. We please people, we always have a smile and polite reply, we never make waves or cause trouble. When those with messed up pasts come forward to receive affirmation and positive feedback for changing, we sit with plastered-on smiles wondering where we really fit, longing to recognised too. And we hide our deepest hurts and insecurities for the s Every now and then, a book comes along which just hits the right spot. This book was written for those of us who have always tried to do the right thing. We please people, we always have a smile and polite reply, we never make waves or cause trouble. When those with messed up pasts come forward to receive affirmation and positive feedback for changing, we sit with plastered-on smiles wondering where we really fit, longing to recognised too. And we hide our deepest hurts and insecurities for the sake of looking good and not bothering others, who we then secretly resent for believing our lies that we are fine. Several times, I found myself nodding, 'Oh yeah, I've been there.' Wearing masks starts off as a game but becomes an exhausting burden we don't know how to shake off. If people don't seem to buy our acts of 'niceness' we make it our self-imposed job to go to any length to change their minds. Other people become measuring sticks for our goodness and we gauge our performance by their behaviour toward us. No wonder we're exhausted. It's like putting on a live stage show all day long. I felt a lump in my throat when Emily Freeman wrote some of the 'good girl' catch cries. 'Please notice me! The energy it takes to live for your is killing me!' People wouldn't necessarily think 'good girls' need books to be written, but our need for help may be more desperate than anyone's. Freeman explains the serious position we may be in, as we subconsciously try to convince ourselves that we're good enough by our own efforts. As Christian 'good girls', the magnitude of what Jesus did for us is lost in our own efforts, our determination to be important, right, liked and good. It's hard to deal with the hidden wilderness of sin when we're trying hard not to even acknowledge it. We have a lot in common with the Prodigal Son's brother. Freeman manages to emphasise the seriousness of this, while retaining her understanding, sympathetic tone. Without knowing, 'good girls' may live our lives with as big a checklist theology as any Pharisee. Like the Prodigal's brother, we misunderstand the sweeping extent of our Father's love and acceptance, and work hard for something we already have. Truly, we need to accept ourselves in the position of the Prodigal for a change, because receiving grace and being able to finally relax may be one and the same for us. This book may truly be a life-changer for me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This was an okay book that had a ton of potential - which is why I picked it up in the first place. The writing itself was easy to read and very friendly and personable which makes for pleasant reading. There was some good stuff in here about things we hide behind and ways to combat the fake masks we try to wear. There were some good thoughts that I took away from it that were helpful. But overall, it was much more shallow than I was looking for. While I would decidedly place myself in the so cal This was an okay book that had a ton of potential - which is why I picked it up in the first place. The writing itself was easy to read and very friendly and personable which makes for pleasant reading. There was some good stuff in here about things we hide behind and ways to combat the fake masks we try to wear. There were some good thoughts that I took away from it that were helpful. But overall, it was much more shallow than I was looking for. While I would decidedly place myself in the so called "good girl" camp, I struggled to relate to her illustrations. I also found her incessant use of that term to be a little self-defeating. The fact is that no one is "good" and while the "good girl" may not have as many obvious external sins, her hidden internal ones are just as, if not more dangerous than the ones she doesn't do. She does talk about how we all struggle, fail, and are broken but constantly referring to a term that is seen as the opposite of that is counterproductive. My biggest disappointment is with the imbalance and lack of depth of grace in the book. She spends a large amount of time illustrating and talking over the problems. But what we need most is the solution - Grace Himself. Now, knowing the problem isn't bad. Understanding it isn't bad. But that isn't enough to help or change you. There was so much potential here for downpours of soul-enchanting grace. But we were left with a few showers. She starts to go there several times but almost always stops short or randomly changes direction. As another reviewer said, we were told and not shown. And as "good girls" who know the good news inside and out, we often need more than just hearing "God loves you". We yearn to see depicted the radical beauty of an infinite, holy, far-above-us God who deeply and earnestly and tenderly and unconditionally loves us broken, finite, utterly sinful, messed up selves. I don't want to just hear it, because I'm so used to hearing it that it can run dry. I want to feel it, to see it, to be caught up in it in a way that makes me hunger and thirst for God. A way that uplifts my weary soul and causes me to love and worship more deeply than ever before. Because I'm ever more convinced that that alone is what can truly change me and set me free.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hyatt

    This book started out promising, and ultimately ended up disappointing. It came so close to breaking out of the mold of traditional "Christian living" books, only to hop right back in and settle for the status quo. The author's personal stories and confessions of her own fear and the "masks" she wears rang true. I was highlighting a decent amount in the beginning, as she initially did a good job of sharing her own experience in a way that genuinely connected with her readers - her willingness to This book started out promising, and ultimately ended up disappointing. It came so close to breaking out of the mold of traditional "Christian living" books, only to hop right back in and settle for the status quo. The author's personal stories and confessions of her own fear and the "masks" she wears rang true. I was highlighting a decent amount in the beginning, as she initially did a good job of sharing her own experience in a way that genuinely connected with her readers - her willingness to share about her own imperfections struck a true note. It was easy to identify with her stories. I found myself getting bogged down, though, when the tone of the book shifted into a preachier tone, because it felt less sincere and less meaningul. It took on the feel of another book just giving advice or telling readers what to do. A book like this, which could so easily connect with so many readers on a personal level, only gets dragged down by the information-heavy exposition. Also, the author's word choices began to gradually push me away - I realized I was getting increasingly irritated at her use of the term "believers" and had to stop and ask myself why. Aside from realizing I despise that word (would "Christians" be so difficult?), it also seemed to contradict the entire message of the book. It places the emphasis solely on the person in question to be responsible for the action that connects them to God (they are doing the BELIEVING, rather than accepting the grace the author talks about) and it also brings to mind the idea of a person who is "in" because they are doing the right thing - believing - or because they are believing the right thing. Especially for a book like this, the word seemed inappropriate. I ended up skimming the second half of the book for this reason. It just couldn't hold my attention. I would love to read about the author's personal experience and how she is learning to let go of her need to always be the "good girl," but this book instead seemed to settle for TELLING how to break out of that persona rather than showing what that would truly be like.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Stefan

    If you attend church, then you know this girl. She is the one who volunteers to teach in the Sunday School, brings really good cookies to the potluck and sings in the choir. She doesn’t go out drinking and has never been arrested, but she does have a smile for everyone who comes through the door. She’s the good girl. She seems to have nothing to hide but in her book Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman rips the mask off of the good girl and reveals what is really going on in the hearts of good If you attend church, then you know this girl. She is the one who volunteers to teach in the Sunday School, brings really good cookies to the potluck and sings in the choir. She doesn’t go out drinking and has never been arrested, but she does have a smile for everyone who comes through the door. She’s the good girl. She seems to have nothing to hide but in her book Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman rips the mask off of the good girl and reveals what is really going on in the hearts of good girls everywhere. I did go into the book with some reservations, though. I often find in books like this that the point is belabored well past my point of tolerance. But there was no worry necessary here. Each chapter is well thought-out and important to the premise of her book. The first part deals with hiding. Ms. Freeman looks at the different things that good girls hide behind: good performance, a sterling reputation, strength and the safety of a comfort zone. Instead of using these tactics, she advocates a four step approach to freedom – receiving the knowledge of God’s salvation, remaining in His love, responding through worship, and remembering to continue these practices regardless of what is going on around you. Freeman holds nothing back while sharing her own experiences. She admits to the things she hides behind and the ways in which living as a good girl failed to bring her freedom, peace, and happiness. This book is written as a small group study, but you can read it alone (as I did). However, I would suggest that you space out the chapters instead of barreling through them in just a few days (as I also did). This is the sort of read that calls for some reflection on your life and the ways in which you can implement the things that you have been reading. If living up to everyone’s expectations and always doing the right thing is not bringing you the peace and happiness you expected it would, this is the book for you.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I wanted to like this book...but, ironically, it felt like the author was trying too hard!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book took me a while to read because there are a lot of things to think through in it. It really tackles how to get out of a kind of Christian perfectionism, fear of failure, and lack of resting in your identity in Christ. My main criticism of the book is that I think she overworked the mask metaphor a bit, to the point that it wasn’t as clear and helpful, but overall pretty good book with a lot of little gems in it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Devore

    Beautiful, freeing, and honest. This book resonated and convicted and encouraged and I loved it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Gillespie

    I picked up Grace for the Good Girl because of the subtitle, “Letting Go of the Try Hard Life.” Whether you self-identify as a “good girl” (which I do not but I do know people who struggle with having built their self-concept and worth around never doing “bad” things) or realize that you spend too much effort on trying hard and people-pleasing, Grace for the Good Girl will have some applicable messages. I think my perception of the book suffered somewhat from the fact that I had already read and I picked up Grace for the Good Girl because of the subtitle, “Letting Go of the Try Hard Life.” Whether you self-identify as a “good girl” (which I do not but I do know people who struggle with having built their self-concept and worth around never doing “bad” things) or realize that you spend too much effort on trying hard and people-pleasing, Grace for the Good Girl will have some applicable messages. I think my perception of the book suffered somewhat from the fact that I had already read and loved Tim Keller’s A Prodigal God, which delves into the good-people-still-need-grace theme with more theological depth. Grace for the Good Girl is for a different audience–it’s more female-focused and lighter. It’s a little Dayspringy. {Read my full review here}

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gianna

    I only got to page 144 of this book, but I have to say, I didn't really like it. I know what message she is TRYING to give, but I don't think she gets it across clearly. It often came across sounding like an excuse for sin in the name of "embracing imperfection" and getting covered by the grace of God. Again, I know this is not what she intended -- I'm just saying this is how it often came across. It could have been a much clearer message. In addition, it is extremely redundant...it could have e I only got to page 144 of this book, but I have to say, I didn't really like it. I know what message she is TRYING to give, but I don't think she gets it across clearly. It often came across sounding like an excuse for sin in the name of "embracing imperfection" and getting covered by the grace of God. Again, I know this is not what she intended -- I'm just saying this is how it often came across. It could have been a much clearer message. In addition, it is extremely redundant...it could have easily been half the size, because she seems to repeat the same things over and over again. It was a good try, but I'm not really a fan. That said, I do enjoy Emily Freeman's blog, Chatting at the Sky.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I loved this book. I've just been coming to this good girl realization about myself over the past couple of months, and "Grace for the Good Girl" couldn't have come at a better time. It helped me realize a lot of things about myself, gave me encouragement, and most importantly, helped set me on the right track about how to start taking down my masks. There isn't a step by step list to moving past this, of course (though my inner good girl desperately wishes there were), but now I do have an idea I loved this book. I've just been coming to this good girl realization about myself over the past couple of months, and "Grace for the Good Girl" couldn't have come at a better time. It helped me realize a lot of things about myself, gave me encouragement, and most importantly, helped set me on the right track about how to start taking down my masks. There isn't a step by step list to moving past this, of course (though my inner good girl desperately wishes there were), but now I do have an idea of how to begin. :) I recommend this book to every good girl. This is one of those books that I will begin to reread almost immediately, to soak in everything I missed the first time around.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Allison Anderson Armstrong

    I learned so much from this book! Weird title that seems kinda over-stating the fact, but the author is just trying to make the point that seemingly "good people" have their own set of problems and their own set of masks they put on to convince others and themselves that they are "perfect." The author goes through and details the life of the "do-good girl" and then how to see the way out, closing with an emphasis on realizing freedom through the gospel and having a reliable source of strength to I learned so much from this book! Weird title that seems kinda over-stating the fact, but the author is just trying to make the point that seemingly "good people" have their own set of problems and their own set of masks they put on to convince others and themselves that they are "perfect." The author goes through and details the life of the "do-good girl" and then how to see the way out, closing with an emphasis on realizing freedom through the gospel and having a reliable source of strength to draw from instead of our own inner reserves of duty. I would recommend this book to most of my girlfriends and will be happy to loan it out to any of you all!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Threlfall

    This is a really good book. The subtitle sums up the big idea: Let go of the try-hard life. Much of religion and Christianity in particular, is obsessed with looking good — plastic smiles and artificial nice behavior. Freeman writes for women, but this is just as much an issue for men. Freeman explains the theological antidote to the try-hard dead end of so-called Christian behavior. She does so without trying to be cute about it. (This isn't one of those frilly "I-get-it-y'all" girly Christian This is a really good book. The subtitle sums up the big idea: Let go of the try-hard life. Much of religion and Christianity in particular, is obsessed with looking good — plastic smiles and artificial nice behavior. Freeman writes for women, but this is just as much an issue for men. Freeman explains the theological antidote to the try-hard dead end of so-called Christian behavior. She does so without trying to be cute about it. (This isn't one of those frilly "I-get-it-y'all" girly Christian look-good books.) The book drives straight to the grace-based gospel, and obliterates obsessions with one's image and appearance devoid of a dependent relationship upon Christ.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I've been telling people about this book constantly since I started reading it. I am a Good Girl in the bone, and this book highlighted truths that God has already taught me through experience, as well as lots of things I still need to claim for myself. It's freeing, encouraging, and life-changing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie Graham

    I really wanted to liked this book and she made some good points. But I felt the assumption that all Christian women are married with children ( or perhaps the bias that REAL Christian women are married with children) too powerful in this book to ignore. Disappointed.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    I felt like the author wrote this book just for me. Excellent and life altering. If you are a "good girl" who has a hard time accepting grace and forgiveness from Christ and others, this is the book for you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    J. Pennington

    This book was absolutely life-changing for me. Very highly recommended.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sueek20

    Didn't finish. There's a desperate need for Christian books for women in which the central frame of isn't wife & motherhood. (big sigh) Didn't finish. There's a desperate need for Christian books for women in which the central frame of isn't wife & motherhood. (big sigh)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Estes

    This book touched me in many, many more ways than I expected when I started it. My copy is now full of underlines, and I’ll be keeping it on my shelf to reread every few years. I expected this book to be full of good but trite reminders that Jesus is perfect, so I don’t have to be. Even that would have been good for me. Instead, Freeman writes with both convicting detail and alluring grace. She picks apart the masks that “good girls” hide behind until they’ve all fallen to the floor, and then le This book touched me in many, many more ways than I expected when I started it. My copy is now full of underlines, and I’ll be keeping it on my shelf to reread every few years. I expected this book to be full of good but trite reminders that Jesus is perfect, so I don’t have to be. Even that would have been good for me. Instead, Freeman writes with both convicting detail and alluring grace. She picks apart the masks that “good girls” hide behind until they’ve all fallen to the floor, and then leads the reader to how beautiful and safe life can be without the hiding.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Adams

    This book is full of encouragement, hope, transparency, and the witness of God’s truth and His forever love. I love how the author writes and have gotten so much out of each of the books I have read that she has written. This will be one I look forward to reading again using the leader’s guide and questions provided at the end of the book for a deeper dive. Recommend this one highly.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Donna Pincince

    Love how Emily can take simple concepts and make me look at them in a new way! She also is so good at breaking them down and making them relate to life in such practical ways. Definitely not a how to book but a great encouragement to honestly walk with God.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ibjoy1953 Hannabass

    My review Grace for the Good Girl….by Emily P. Freeman Wow this book is much more than I expected. The author deals with several issues women face in their lives with examples from her own life as well as examples from other ladies. The book is broken down in three parts; The Hiding; The Finding; and The Freedom of Being Found. And in each section she has chapters such as: Are You a Good Girl in Hiding; Martha and My Many Things; Receive and Safe Even When It Hurts. The chapter on Martha and Mary s My review Grace for the Good Girl….by Emily P. Freeman Wow this book is much more than I expected. The author deals with several issues women face in their lives with examples from her own life as well as examples from other ladies. The book is broken down in three parts; The Hiding; The Finding; and The Freedom of Being Found. And in each section she has chapters such as: Are You a Good Girl in Hiding; Martha and My Many Things; Receive and Safe Even When It Hurts. The chapter on Martha and Mary spoke to me a lot because when I think about my ‘many things’ I have more than I want to admit. How much time do I really spend with those things instead of spending it with Jesus? His words to Martha are an encouragement to us all, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things, but only one thing is necessary.” (Luke 10:41-42, NASB) Safe Even When It Hurts was a great chapter for me as well. In the chapter the author speaks of closure and healing when difficult things happen in our lives. A couple of verses she quoted that helps us realize that God is always there to help us is Psalm 94: 18 & 19 “When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” I’ve mentioned just a few things in this book, but when you read it, you will find so much here that will help you draw closer to the Lord. It talks much about its title ‘Grace’ so will learn to find grace for things in your life that you are dealing with and going through. I encourage ladies to get a copy and read it! I would love to review this book with a small study group or a Sunday school class. “Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.” I received this book from the publisher Revell to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lady Krystal

    It took me quite a while to finish this book. I started out strongly and full of zeal, but after a few chapters, it got really repetitive. I put it down for a few months...yes, months, before resuming. I'm so glad that I saw it through. Emily and I share a similar story, which is the main reason why I wanted to read this book. we both accepted Christ during childhood, we both shared some of the same self-induced weight and responsibility, we both grew up with a similar family life, we both had a It took me quite a while to finish this book. I started out strongly and full of zeal, but after a few chapters, it got really repetitive. I put it down for a few months...yes, months, before resuming. I'm so glad that I saw it through. Emily and I share a similar story, which is the main reason why I wanted to read this book. we both accepted Christ during childhood, we both shared some of the same self-induced weight and responsibility, we both grew up with a similar family life, we both had a love-hate relationship with The Prodigal Son--I could go on, but I say all of this because it's nice to finally be able to relate to another Christian woman. What I did not like was that during some parts of the story, it seemed as though she wanted us to go from "Trying Hard" to doing nothing at all because grace has us covered. I also did not like that she said we aren't supposed to be like Jesus. Uh, yeah we are. That's what the Holy Ghost is for. We're supposed to go from glory to glory, faith to faith, until that day that we are perfected and we will be like Him. That's Word *1 John 3:2. As I said, I got bored after a few chapters, but the second half of the book really won me over. Emily was hitting heavy with godly truth after godly truth; I was outdone on several occasions. I was moved to tears with her friend Heather's contribution to the book. Her faith and her strength was more than encouraging, I just can't think of a more sufficient word. I really liked this book, and I'm glad that I finished it. I would read it again, and I would recommend it to anyone with the "Good Girl" complex.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abbie Riddle

    Emily Freeman's new book is absolutely astounding! I think just about every woman I know could benefit from this easy to read book. I loved her writing style - it made it seem as if I were sitting with a friend having a discussion about life. So many of us struggle with being a good girl, good mother, good wife, good friend....and we don't even realize it. In her book Emily Freeman gives the tools and suggestions to help the reader break free from this prison of "goodness" and into the freedom of Emily Freeman's new book is absolutely astounding! I think just about every woman I know could benefit from this easy to read book. I loved her writing style - it made it seem as if I were sitting with a friend having a discussion about life. So many of us struggle with being a good girl, good mother, good wife, good friend....and we don't even realize it. In her book Emily Freeman gives the tools and suggestions to help the reader break free from this prison of "goodness" and into the freedom of a true identity and confidence in Christ. I can not think of one person I know that could not relate in some small way to this book. It seems that this author covered every angle and was transparent in her own personal struggle with being the good girl. As a child of a broken and abusive home, to the wife of a Pastor and the mother of 4 home schooled children - I have most certainly felt the need to be every one's definition of Good. I have struggled with trying to meet every one's expectations only to be deeply frustrated at myself and angry when I could not do it. Therefor this book was a welcomed and refreshing study. It reinforced the things I had already been applying to my life and reassured me that I am not the only one that has struggled with this very thing. I recommend this book for every woman - I would also recommend it to teenagers. If we catch this before they are adults and give them the confidence to be who God created them to be then maybe they won't struggle with this same thing as adults

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fj Cutshaw

    Emily P. Freeman's writing and example have snuck up on me and opened the door for God to work abundantly in my soul and spirit. Her unassuming style is both accessible and accomplished - but one is immediately aware that this accomplishment comes from living what she teaches. She has allowed God enter her life's broken places and create beauty that is perfect - teaching that is so poignant - and so accessible by the Holy Spirit that it can be used to hit home in waves for the reader. At least t Emily P. Freeman's writing and example have snuck up on me and opened the door for God to work abundantly in my soul and spirit. Her unassuming style is both accessible and accomplished - but one is immediately aware that this accomplishment comes from living what she teaches. She has allowed God enter her life's broken places and create beauty that is perfect - teaching that is so poignant - and so accessible by the Holy Spirit that it can be used to hit home in waves for the reader. At least that is what happened for me. And as a writer-blogger-ministry-person I was really paying attention to what she is doing "right." I found out. She is living an abiding life. She is walking in quiet expectation and taking whatever risks God leads her to in her life - in her circle and realm of love and responsibility. And the result is a book like this - better than most I have ever read in this genre. I am going to be gifting it to some friends and referring some book groups. So well written, and wrought from the kind of tender humble heart that will be the hallmark of a new generation of leaders in a renewed church.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Niki

    Okay, this is officially a must read for all Christian women! It is written by a woman who was always trying to do the right thing, say the right thing and hold it all together. But, she realized that she was trying too hard to do everything on her own and keep up appearances of being the good wife, mom, girl, etc. I have thought a long time about the expectations that we as women put on ourselves and this book really will help women give themselves a break. I would love it if more women would b Okay, this is officially a must read for all Christian women! It is written by a woman who was always trying to do the right thing, say the right thing and hold it all together. But, she realized that she was trying too hard to do everything on her own and keep up appearances of being the good wife, mom, girl, etc. I have thought a long time about the expectations that we as women put on ourselves and this book really will help women give themselves a break. I would love it if more women would be honest and open about the things they struggle with and that we wouldn't all be so critical of others. I hope this book offers a new way of thinking for women.

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