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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm a Recovering Good Girl



I'm a try-hard.  Actually, I'm a try-harder, since try-hard never manages to measure up.  And I care desperately what you have to say to me, about me, about my worth.

(As Emily P. Freeman says, "If you wonder what gives you the authority to define me, I will say it is because you exist.  I must have worth and it is up to you to give it to me…I beg you to see me, to notice my goodness, to ignore my failure, to be inspired by my beauty, to be captivated by my essence." (Grace for the Good Girl, p. 17, 18)

I shouldn't do that, of course.  

I know where my value comes from.

But I am afflicted with a syndrome that makes me ever striving toward a make believe notion of good enough.

I am a good girl.

And this book?  Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman…. Well, I'm only on chapter 1, but it's rocking my socks off. 

"I taught people around me that I had no needs and then was secretly angry with them for believing me.  Somewhere along the way, I got the message that salvation is by faith alone but anything after that is faith plus my hard work and sweet disposition." (GFTGG p. 13, 14)

Can I get an "amen"? 

…And all the bloggers said…Amen.

Maybe you're a good girl too.

If you'd asked me a month ago if I was a good girl, I'd have shook my head.  Nope.  Not hardly.  Good implies … well… good.  And I never feel good.  Not really.  I'm not even well behaved.  I am prone to surfing the internet when I should be cooking something nutritious for my family and craving a glass of wine every now and then and ten minutes ago, I devoured an entire king-size Snickers bar without coming up for air.  I sometimes watch rated R movies and used the "s" word yesterday and considered, at least twice this week, running away to join the circus.

Good girls don't do things like that.

Reading this book, though, makes me realize just how much good girls do do things like that.  They tell themselves all kinds of lies about the hundred arbitrary ways they'll never measure up… and then suffer in the misery of persistent failure.

If you don't already have a copy of this book, do yourself a favor.  Join me.  Buy it, read it, soak up the truth that has already begun to penetrate my mask-wearing heart.  And thank you, Emily P. Freeman, for writing such honest and beautiful words that cut to the core of this people-pleasing, try-hard heart.



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15 comments:

  1. I have been debating joining in here, with the focus on Grace for the Good Girl.  But I can so relate to Emily's words.  I have wrestled so much with how people think of me.  . . . And I am thankful that over the years He comes and comes again, to heal my heart.  I love, love your post.  Thank you!  

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  2. Love it! and I think I am going to become your (stalker) friend :) Thanks for joining me on this journey...as hard as its going to be...Loved the try-hard blogger jab! Isn't that the truth! Love your authenticity! That is what true good-girl community is all about...

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  3. Hi Jennifer!  I looked for you at the dinner table tonight -- bummer, you weren't sitting next to me this time. :)  Oh, how Relevant has stayed with me!  

    Yes, I just think Emily has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to isolating a single issue that resonates with so many Christian women. 

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  4. Stalk away, Christina!  :)  You and I were a few of the lucky handful that got to enjoy sitting with Emily at the writer's critique group at Relevant and now, reading her words, I feel like she is again sitting right here, encouraging us word by word.  :)  Thanks for hosting this link-up -- important topic! 

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  5. I do hope you will join in!!

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  6. I love your point of view and how you write your heart...so real and since I have met you, I can "hear" you say it. I love that! Happy that we can share this journey together!

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  7. Succumb to the peer pressure...just remember my beautiful smiling face looking at you over the candlelight dinner table...Join us...You must. It is your destiny!  (Ha ha!)

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  8. That writing group was so incredible! I think it literally changed my life! I'm glad we can continue pushing each other to be better writers and women of God

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  9. You all make me smile!   Miss you!

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  10. I am DYING to read this book, because I'm totally a "Good Girl" who is not quite in recovery. I full on begged the librarian to order a copy the other day.

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  11. Meredith - if I finish it before the library gets a copy, I'll be happy to lend you mine.  I wish I could make this required reading for women everywhere -- I'm THAT excited about this book!  :)

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  12. Thanks!  And thanks for dropping in.  :)

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  13. I know - it makes it that much more fun to read each other's words now, doesn't it?  I saw a commercial for cheese-in-a-can last night and was "aaawwww"ing at the TV.  Hubs thinks I'm a little crazy.  ;)

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  14. I didn't think I was *worthy enough* to be called a good girl. 

    I'm reading this, too--on chapter 3 or 4 now--and I See...I am one, too!

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Your comments are such an encouragement. Thank you for sharing your valuable words.