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Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life Paperback – September 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800719840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800719845
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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?

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.

"If you struggle with trying so hard, being so good, and hoping so much for joy and grace in the mundane, savor this book."--Mary DeMuth, author of Thin Places: A Memoir

"It is such a joy for me to recommend Emily's book to you. She has profoundly ministered to this recovering good girl."--Angela Thomas, bestselling author and speaker

"Emily Freeman is one of those rare writers: profoundly biblical, lyrical, transparent--memorable. Her emancipating words on these pages offer the needed keys to all the good girls longing to take wing--and soar home to God's heart."--Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author of One Thousand Gifts

Emily Freeman is a writer for DaySpring (a division of Hallmark) and has also traveled as a writer with Compassion International. Emily extends a daily invitation on her blog for women to create space for their souls to breathe. Join the community of grace dwellers at www.ChattingAtTheSky.com.

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 www.ChattingAtTheSky.com.

More About the Author

Emily Freeman is a writer, speaker and listener. She writes for DaySpring (a division of Hallmark) and has 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.

Emily lives with her husband, John, in North Carolina with their three children and their crazy dog, Finn. 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 www.ChattingAtTheSky.com.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Reading this book, though, makes me realize just how much good girls do do things like that.
Cara
This book led me to more deeply experience Grace because of the constant reminders of the truth and freedom found in Christ alone.
Emily G.
This book clearly and gently helped me to see the many ways in which I have been hiding behind the mask of a "good girl".
Rachel S. Latham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By K. Herbrand on September 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I could - can - relate to the good girl that Emily Freeman is talking about in this book.

"Still, I like knowing the rules. If the sign says Don't Touch, I don't touch. If it says Keep Out, I stay away. If the form is due on Friday, I'll turn it in on Thursday just in case. . . .And even though I admit to occasionally bringing candy into the movie theater, I am always worried that the ticket person will search my bags and throw me out for smuggling in a bottle of water and two Peppermint Patties." (Grace for the Good Girl, p68)

This is very much me - but it would be a can of soda and Three Musketeers! I was the good girl in high school - good grades, didn't like confrontations, didn't smoke, didn't really drink. . . When my dad passed away the end of my junior year, I kept the mask on for weeks that everything was fine before I could even let myself breakdown and cry. That mask of responsibility that I had to be strong for everybody else. And then I went into my first marriage.

"She also believed she was supposed to form her opinions around his. She loved peas but wouldn't cook them because she knew he didn't like them. She waited for Charlie to come home for dinner before she would eat. Even if he called ahead to tell her to start without him, she refused and suffered through hunger headaches for the sake of being wifely." (Grace for the Good Girl, p90)

This is pretty much how the first couple of years of my marriage went and when my husband would go out to sea, I would basically fall apart because I had no one to "be a wife" for, so I didn't know how to act. After we got a divorce, I came to realize that many of my "favorites" were not really my favorites at all - but were my ex-husbands favorites.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Cara on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
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.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michelle DeRusha on September 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a good-girl -- who knew?! Boy could I relate well to what Emily Freeman wrote about in her eloquent and gracefully written book. The expectations I put on myself, the comparisons I make with other "better" mothers, wives, Christians, etc. Emily knows the Bible and theology, that much is clear from her well-researched book. But better yet, Emily knows women -- she knows the kinds of expectations we put on ourselves; she knows how hard we can be on ourselves. And most importantly, she knows the God who accepts us and loves us, in spite of our flaws and imperfections.

I think the thing I loved most about this book was its emphasis on grace. I haven't always been comfortable with that word, and I haven't always understood exactly what it means. "Grace for the Good Girl" has taken my understanding of God's grace to a new, deeper level, and it's helped me wrap my mind around that concept.

I read and re-read many parts of this book already, and it's filled with underlined and starred sections and dog-eared pages. "Grace for the Good Girld" is a book I will come back to again and again, and it's one that will continue to help me grow in my faith journey.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Dawn McLucas on April 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Before buying her book I frequented Emily Freeman's blog, Chatting at the Sky. When I discovered she had released a book on grace I wasn't sure it was really for me. I love the writing style of the blog, words which are well crafted and artistically woven, but when I came to the subject of grace, I knew I needed real applicable content, not just a beautifully written book on someone else's idea of grace.

Weeks went by and I felt nudge after nudge to purchase the book and read it. I ignored the feeling. After a couple of months I found myself talking with a friend on the phone, and I just kind of lost it. I knew deep inside myself that all my "doing" was in vain. Something was still missing and I knew that that something was grace. Through my tears I confessed that I was certain that God wanted me to read this book and that I had been ignoring Him. She waited on the phone while I downloaded it onto my iPhone. After just the first chapter my perspective on grace had changed. The very first chapter cut me to the core. It was exactly what I needed. I read the book in it's entirety within a matter of a few days and I feel like I have become a different person.

I read a lot. Nothing I have read has impacted me quite like this book has. Reading it I felt like Emily Freeman had been secretly reading my mind because she knew stuff about me that I wasn't even brave enough to write down in my diary. And she had answers. Real honest answers of how I could get from where I was- trying hard but loving little, to where I needed to be- loving, trusting, and believing enough to stop trying all together.
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