I know, I know, I’ve already posted on this since the start of the week. However, today is the day that several of us are posting what we’ve learned from the book so far. And today….I’m totally caught up with the rest after a late start!
Chapter 8: picket fences
This chapter is all about comfort zones and how good girls use them to keep their strength strong.
Emily starts out telling a story of a little girl trying to make a decision between the “fun” colored pencils and the “wise” coloring book. She describes the pros and cons the father of the little girl gives for both objects. While it’s obvious to the reader that he’s suggesting the coloring book, we’re not so sure the little girl sees it too. The story ends with the little girl choosing the fun over the wise. Which leads Emily to contemplate what she would have done. Here are some of the thoughts that stuck out to me as I read:
“As a kid, I was too concerned about making the “right” choice, the choice that would please the most people. I did not give myself permission to make the fun choice when the outcome didn’t matter.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m with Emily here. As a kid, my parents absolutely HATED taking me shopping. I was a very indecisive kid. The word indecisive is even an understatement. I seriously could not pick between two shirts, each a different color. These shirts were exactly the same the only difference was the color. My mind would always go through: “What color would make me more happy?” “What color would I wear more often?” “What color will my sister not wear?” (although she’s 3 years younger than me, we have worn the same size for as long as I could remember.) I would go through these questions over and over and over until my parents would just pick one for me and throw it in the cart, leading to an emotional breakdown from me. Have I mentioned that I am the emotional kid of the family?
This story is about a girl who was spunky while she was dating, then after they got married, she fell into a mold of what she thought the “perfect wife” would be. It wasn’t until her husband mentioned that he liked the woman that had her own thoughts, opinions and hobbies that she realized what had happened.
[On frustration lists] “It is the one filled with all those things that bother you that you haven’t dared bring up, the things you have been saving for such a time as this. it is your defense list, your ammunition for protection.”
Anatomy of a Mask
“You feel lonely, unimportant, and not-as-good-as, while at the same time you experience feelings of deep resentment toward those who always turn to you. You have trained people to think you have no needs, but you are secretly angry with them for believing you.” As I hate to admit it, this happens to me a lot. Primarily with those who are “fair-weather friends”. The ones who want you to stick by them through the good and bad, but when your life hits the hard, they run. I’ve had several friend who always expected me to be there for them, but when I shared that I needed them to be there for me, they run–fast.
To Be Close
Emily talks about the story of Jarius. His daughter was very ill and Jarius comes to Jesus BEGGING and pleading for him to come see his daughter, because he knows Jesus can heal her. At the same time a woman who had been bleeding for most of her life was in the crowd and knew that with only one touch she would be healed permanently. But she didn’t want to go up to him and risk the humiliation. So she sneaks up behind him and touches the hem of his robe. You see, you and I are a lot like her: “She had great faith but little self esteem. She felt both desperate and invisible.”
“To be healed, there had to be a touch. And for a tough, they had to be close. Hiding behind a comfortable zone of perceived safety is not an option. Good girls are no exception.”
Taking the Risk: What Will They Think of Me
“I have missed out on a lot of freedom because of my hear of rejection. We may call it “people pleasing,” but it is entirely self-serving because it is really all about keeping myself comfortable. Boiled down, it could be more accurately called “me pleasing.” Ouch!
Chapter 9: when it gets ugly (hiding behind her indifference)
This chapter refers a lot to the story of the prodigal son. If you haven’t read it please do now. If you have read it, I’d encourage you to refresh your mind on what it says.
“…if you are working in your own strength, then who gets the credit? You do. If you aren’t being rewarded for your hard work, who gets offended? You do. If things aren’t going the way they should, who gets angry? You guessed it.
Straight from my ugly
“I have issues. I still believe the crazy lie that God’s acceptance of me is based on my performance. I’m still living in a small story that is all about me.” And that’s the painfully ugly truth of it.
The Prodigal Question
“As much as I wanted to be all rejoice-y and Jesus-y about the way the Father unconditionally accepts the prodigal back into the family, I am secretly and personally offended that this boy could be so irresponsible, thoughtless, immoral, and selfish and still be welcomed home.”
“We hide behind this mask of indifference, pretending it doesn’t bother us, because the only alternative is to face the source of the anger and what we are afraid to admit we believe: How can he choose to reward them and ignore me?” Haven’t I thought this more times then I really feel comfortable admitting?
“The son refused to go in, so the father came out. And in the same way the father met the prodigal while he was still a long way off, the father met this older son while he stood outside the door.” Refreshing thought huh?
“He refuses to admit the relationship. He refuses to accept that they are kin.” My thought when I read this was…”what if Jesus would do this to us when we get to heaven?
“We already have the love and acceptance of our Father, so why do we try so hard to earn it? The older son missed out on the blessings and freedom to be found in his own home and chose to hid behind his anger instead.” So often I find myself in similar shoes. I look around and see everyone who makes the wrong choices getting what looks to be the easy life, while I find myself struggling most days to keep myself afloat.