I had read about this book on several Christian blogs I stalk and was excited to add it to my list for this year. To be honest, I am completely enamored with book covers. I love the art of a beautiful book cover. If the cover captures my attention and the title sounds interesting, I will usually read it. I don't like to read the little summaries on the back of books, or read very much detail about the book. I like the suspense and mystery hidden inside the pages.
This is the description from Amazon:
"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."
Even though I was quick to add "Grace for the Good Girl" to my reading list, I was a little apprehensive. I don't like typical self-help books or books that give you a list of 10 steps to fix a problem, most of those steps eluding to "finding the power within you." Blah blah blah. This book was nothing like that. It addressed a real issue many women (and I'm sure some men) face day to day and turn to the Bible for the solution to deal with the issue.
Without giving too much of the book away, I will give my brief summary. The author, Emily Freeman, addresses the issue of living life with masks on. Masks of strength, responsibility, happiness used to hide the true emotions brought on by the events of life. It is alright and natural to have emotions and reactions to life. Freeman gives encouragement to choose if we are going to deal with those emotions by putting on masks or trust God and let His peace rule in our hearts. We are not to let ourselves sin with our emotions, but find the balance in acknowledging them and relying on God's peace to properly handle them.
This book was extremely easy to read. Freeman has a beautiful way with words. She turned to Scripture constantly and was able to describe God's Word in a way that was real and applicable to me. Granted, not every explanation and use of the Word was accurate and true, but most was.
As I was reading, I wrote down several passages which spoke to me in a powerful way. I want to share a few with you.
"If what I do is done in complete dependence upon the Father, then it doesn't matter what that thing is, rather who the one is doing that thing. Is it me? Or is it him? Colossians says that by faith, it is beautifully and mysteriously both. (Col. 1:29) Who am I to decide what is extraordinary? The Father has already decided. He says he himself is extraordinary. So anything I do as I depend on and partner with the Extraordinary One, I suppose that is extraordinary too." - Grace for the Good Girl, p. 61
"Quiet time is no longer something I do. Rather, it is a description of what happens when I am with God. Time can be a loud, chaotic, rushing-around companion. But as I sit in the presence of God, he quiets my time. No that I know what the truth is, I long to allow space for my soul and spirit to begin to believe it." - Grace for the Good Girl, p. 149
"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." - Grace for the Good Girl, p. 215