Grace for the Good Girl Chapter 10

This week, I’ll be focusing on only one chapter. It’s the last chapter of part one, and it is extremely deep, as well as long.

Chapter 10: Hide And Seek game over

As with all the posts about this book the color scheme is:

  • Quotes from the Book
  • My add-ons
  • My Story
“God has made everything beautiful in it’s time.” I have to begin to believe this. I’m the first to tell someone something similar when their in the face of trials, but I haven’t quite grasped what this looks like in my life. Although I always see the beauty that are found from trials after I am through them.
From the Beginning…

Emily begins to tell the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. She brilliantly incorporates our good girl mentalities and identifies those same characteristics in Eve…after the fall.

“Love was not afraid to give us a choice even though he knew what would happen.” That in and of itself is absolutely mind blowing.

I love this concept, it’s still true today…“Satan lies. The woman doubts God in her soul, believes the lie of Satan, and chooses the fruit.”

Two Things (That Satan did, which lead to the fall)

“First, he convinced Eve she had to do something in order to be something…”

Emily lists several lies that many of us believe. Here are the two I identified with the most: “If you serve in the church, then you will be acceptable. If you keep your house clean, then you will be a good wife.” Take note, I am possibly the worst housekeeper ever. Not that my house should be on Hoarders or anything. I just have something my dad calls “flat surface disease.” Meaning if there’s a flat surface (besides and sometimes including the floor) it’s covered with something.

“The second thing that…Satan told the woman, “You will be like God” Although the man and woman did not realize that because they were created by God, “they already were like God.”

“They didn’t just want to be like God, bearing his image [they already had that]. They wanted to be God, self-sufficient and independent.” Isn’t that what we still strive for?

The First Hiding

Emily explains that shortly, probably even minutes, after Adam and Eve ate the fruit, the first mask was made. This one of fig leaves. She also explains that this was done because…

“They chose…to depend on something other than God to get their needs met.”

“I hide behind my positive emotions rather than let you see my reality.” Because many times this feels like the best alternative for me. I’ve let people see the reality and they’ve gone running the other way. I’ve been hurt too often, so it takes WAYYYYY longer than it should for me to trust someone enough to let them see my ugly. I do this without realizing that…“I have to come out of hiding in order to be found. To be healed. To be whole.”

I have to share this excerpt…because if you’re a good girl too, this could change your perspective on the masks we wear:

“The Spirit and the flesh are in opposition. It doesn’t matter if your flesh looks bad or good; it opposes the Spirit within you, and this struggle and rob us from living out of our true, Jesus-made identity. Know this begs the question: How could this good girl possibly expect to please God by depending on her masks, or her flesh, if the flesh opposes the Spirit of God?” Definitely some meat to chew on there…

The First Finding

“They [Adam and Eve] needed more than a place to hide; they needed forgiveness and they needed life. God lovingly, graciously, and miraculously provided both.” Isn’t this what I need day in and day out too, but fail to realize it? But God doesn’t just stop there. “He took away the hiding place they crafted for themselves and made for them a new one on his terms. Mercy protects. Grace provides.” I can’t think of a better protection and provision plan. Can you?

The Hiding Place of Shame

“Guilt is used by God to show us our need for him.” I have NEVER thought about it this way.

“Guilt is a good thing, a God-reminder when things aren’t right and an opportunity to change them. Shame is what happens when we let guilt fester and sink deeper and don’t deal with it.” In this case, the difference of shame and guilt, ignorance isn’t bliss, this knowledge is.

“…instead of taking our inabilities, weaknesses, and shortcomings to God, we choose to try to deal with sin ourselves and hide behind try-hard masks.” How often do I try to “fix” the problem areas in my life rather than surrendering? Why do I do this? Oh, that’s right because it’s painful and I don’t want to feel the pain. Little do I realize I have to go through the pain to get to the beautiful.

The Hiding Place of Grace

Emily explains that the cross actually has 2 sides. The side on which Christ died which bears our blood, shame and sin. What we often don’t realize (or aren’t taught) is that the other side shows us the way to life.

“The first side is where most good girls live. We know about the forgiveness, about the sin and the blood and the death of Christ. But we aren’t as familiar with the body side. So we live on the forgiveness side and try hard to get the life.” Yep…definitely me.

I love love love this simple sentence. “We have been placed into safety.” Yet, I often don’t live like I have been. I am still scared to take the next step forward in something hard because it’s not safe, but “God has provided a better way and because of that, there is a new way to live.”

And that way is to follow Christ. Not only into his death, but also into his life. Yet we so often dwell on his death because that’s where he took our sins and made us clean and we fail to realize that he also rose again to new life and that’s really where we should be dwelling. Learning how to live after we died to our sins…because after all, Christ lives now and he also died for my sins.

Learning from a River

“Gods desire is that we live in freedom and drink from the wide, deep, powerful River of Life. The masks we hide behind keep us from experiencing the fullness of life the way we were meant to live it.”

So as we go about this week, will we choose to allow God to find us and believe in the new life we already have? Or are we going to continue hiding and try to gain the life that Satan wants to fool us into believing we have to earn it?

Grace for the Good Girl Chapters 8 and 9

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?

Sissy’s Story

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?

Reluctant Kinship

“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. 

Grace for the Good Girl & Update

Today, I’m going to cover chapters 6 and 7. Which means I’m almost…almost caught up with the few other bloggers I’m that are going through this book as well. So let’s dive right in.

Chapter 6:

“If the rules are ambiguous or not known, it’s worse. I am nervous and hesitant to let my kids play on school playground after school because I fear there may be a rule against that.” Boy do I have these same fears. When I start a new job, switch to a different church, or even at the store.

“When you are a good girl who finds your identity in your performance, then mistakes mean punishment.” This is the reason I find myself walking on egg shells all the time. Instead of walking around in confidence, I find myself walking around in the fear that something I do or say will result in negative consequences.

When Good Things Turn Bad

“The mindset with which i typically approached my walk with God was one of attempting victory but secretly expecting defeat.” I wonder if this is why even some of my best laid out intentions ended up never working the way I had hoped…hmm.

“Instead of facing the failure and allowing the law to show me my need for a Savior, I consoled my failure with new and improved intentions to prove myself by myself.”

“Rarely, if ever, did i experience rest simply because I knew I was loved with an ever lasting love by my Creator.”

The Real Purpose of the Law

“A person won’t seek help until they are aware of their need.”

“The law was designed to expose our heart condition, to make us see our guilt. It was never meant to make us righteous.” 

“…the secret of the law was not to prove our inadequacy for God’s sake. It was to prove our inadequacy for our sake.”

The Mask of Law, the Face of Grace

“The law was given to lead the unbeliever to her Savior, not for the believer to try to keep it.”

“The reason we hid is because we fear if we come out from behind it, we don’t be enough. And the truth is, apart from Christ, we won’t.”

A Better Hope

“…there is a difference between the discipline of sitting down with God and the pleasure of knowing his voice.”  Learning the pleasure of God’s voice is something I need to work on doing better and more consistently.

“You and I can now go to him in freedom and joy, not to gain favor but because we already have it. We are fee to draw near rather than to try to please from afar.” And there’s true freedom in the knowledge of that.

Chapter 7:

“My dad quit drinking when I was still young.” I was 8 when my dad quit drinking. While there was some extenuating circumstances that caused it, I am still thankful. I was still young enough that I don’t have too many memories of when he was drinking. 

“If people in my family [or my circle of friends] aren’t getting along, I feel the weight of it and believe it is my job to do something about it.”

“It’s those blurry things that trip me up, the things that perhaps I could have changed or had some type of influence in the outcome. Those decisions are the ones that paralyze me, causing me to constantly question if I’m doing enough, saying just the right thing, and handling life the way I ought to be.”

On Being Responsible

“I can tell you how weakness is the door to strength and how Jesus calls us to a life of weakness so that he can be strong. And I believe it. For you.”

” “Weak” is not a four-letter bad word. Hiding behind a mask of strength and responsibility is a lonely place to live. That maks portrays to the world around us that we have it all together, that we can handle the mess, that we don’t need people, or worse, that we don’t need God.”

Ragamuffin Good Girls

“…admitting weakness is the very doorway the Lord uses to lead the tired good girl to a place of rest.” Such a peaceful place of rest.

Trust Transplant

“…you know the fine art of how to be vulnerable enough so people believe you are authentic, but not so vulnerable that all your mess hangs out. You know how to be vulnerable with boundaries.” This one caused me to sit back and think. Then come to the reality that, unless I am one on one with a person (and even then sometimes), I have an extremely hard time being completely vulnerable with someone.

“I am in desperate need of someone to depend on other than myself, I need a trust transplant.”

This is where the rub lays in this chapter. Trust, such a fickle thing. When it’s been so abused it’s hard to give all my trust to something, or someone. Even though I know that God will NEVER let me down, it’s still hard for me to place all my trust in Him sometimes.


In yesterday‘s post I mentioned getting back to the gym. Today I got up and went to the gym. I find the lights off, a note on the door saying they’ve closed and a padlock on the door.  So, I guess I’m looking for a gym for the first time in over a year. I looked into the YMCA, but it’s just too expensive for us right now.

The fast is still going all right. Last night I started craving something besides fruits, vegetables and water. I haven’t given in yet, but am thinking that the next few days will start to get difficult, but I am determined to persevere.

Grace for the Good Girl Chapter 5

A group of us are reading through Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman. We all link up with Christina (it’s typically on Monday’s but I’m a little behind, so I’m going to post on it today).  Today I’m going to cover chapters five and six.

As usual the colors mean:

  • Quotes from the Book
  • My add-ons
  • My Story
Chapter 5: Martha and my many things
This chapter is based off of the story of Mary and her sister Martha. If you haven’t read it, please do so now.
“It’s not the nature of what you do that determines the spirituality of any action, but the origin of what you do.”
“If what I do is done in complete dependence upon the Father, then it doesn’t matter what the 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.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I tend to think that I am more spiritual because I am typically quick to volunteer. I think next time, I’ll take time to examine why I do it. Is it for God? Or is it to earn “brownie points” with someone else?”
Defending Martha: What She Got Right
“I see myself as irreplaceable when I think that the work won’t get done unless I do it.” Boy does this lead to over-committing myself and my time.
Martha, Martha: Where She Went Wrong
“Worship, not work, flows out of the hearts of those who believe[in Christ]Am I the only one the winced when she read this?
“We know we’re supposed to trust God, but trust is so intangible. It almost seems passive in the face of all there is to do.” Emily put into words things that I have only subconsciously thought to myself.
“She longed for acknowledgement and love, and was willing to do anything to get it.” I can’t help but to think of all the times I have worked my tail off just to earn an “atta girl from someone around me.”
How Jesus Changes Everything
“Choosing to please God sounds right at first, but it so often leads to a performing life, a girl trying to become good, a lean-on-myself theology. If I am trying to please God, it is difficult to trust God. But when I trust, pleasing Him is automatic. 
If we are pleasing instead of trusting then we tend to get impatient waiting for the answers to our requests or problems. When we get impatient, we tend to think we’re doing something wrong, or something that  displeased God. When we start feeling guilty, it leads us to move to performing to “regain his pleasure”.
How about you? Are you a Mary? Or a Martha? Why would you say that?

Grace for the Good Girl Chapters 3 and 4

Chapter 3

Okay, this chapter floored me. Each and every sentence I read, I thought that Emily was talking about my life. In every area. With that being said, here are the parts that jumped out at me.

Colors mean:

  • Quotes from the Book
  • My add-ons
  • My Story

“As a girl who accepted Jesus at a young age, I couldn’t relate. In fact, I admit to sometimes wishing I had a few years of rebellion under my belt. Then my story would be interesting and dramatic too.”

There are a couple years that I consider my “rebellion”. Even though, in today’s society it didn’t look like what most would consider a rebellion. I didn’t party at a young age, I didn’t drink an ounce of alcohol until 3 weeks before I turned 21. I didn’t get caught up in doing drugs. I wasn’t sleeping with anyone and everyone. 

So what was my rebellion? When the first semester of college was coming to an end, I had decided to come home for good (there’s a story there, which I’ll tell later). Kevin and I had been together for about 2.5 years and had just gotten engaged. He’d been living on his own for several months now, and we decided to just have me move in together. 

Moving in together included everything (everything) that came along with living in the same apartment–in the same room. No matter how many times we denied it, we fell into the oh so common area of sin that most people in a relationship fall into. We fell into the area of sexual sin. This is the first time I’ve been able to honestly admit it to more than a select few people, because I was trying to maintain my good girl reputation. After all “I put a lot of confidence in myself and in my good reputation.”

“I believed my role in the family was to be the good girl, the one who never got into trouble, the one with the admirable reputation. I had an overwhelming compulsion to confess to my mother [everything except what my true actions were between the time I came home from school and the time Kevin and I got married…even though everyone assumed it was true.] I remember sitting next to her knowing I couldn’t carry the burden of my disobedience any longer…”

“I was a good girl desperate for male attention. It  could have been because I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father, or it could have just been because I was human.” [And I thought I was the only one who grew up in this situation.]

“…the good girl is in deep danger of being her own compass rather than having a softened heart to the leading of God as he speaks through his Word, friends, or family members. I’m sure I’ve disregarded these things due to the fact that I was doing all right on my own, so I figured I had it all figured out. 

“The thing about bloggins is you get to put your best foot forward. You get to edit and delete and ponder before you actually say anything. You get to manage your own reputation.” That and it’s easier to admit mistakes because you don’t have to see the initial reaction of those reading when you do make a mistake.

 “Character refers to who you are. Reputation refers to who people think you are.”

 [About Jesus] “Knowing there were peopole who disagreed, even hated him, didn’t cause him to change one thing he did. He wasn’t working to maintain a good reputation. He was walking in dependence on his Father. Jesus didn’t value what people thought; he valued people, period.

 Chapter 4

This chapter is mainly about the term “fine” and how we often, too often, hide behind it. This was another powerful chapter.

“However, many good girls have a natural disposition of sweetness that can morph into a mask of false happiness and steal authentic joy that comes from the Lord.” I’ve felt this struggle my entire life.

“I was a human chameleon and I didn’t even know it.” This can describe a good portion of my child/teenage years.

“I can’t tell you how many times I have stood dumbfounded and wimpy in the middle of a heated discussion only to tell the person off while alone in my car on the way home. I sound so tough alone in my car. 

 “There is no place in the Bible where it says emotions are categorized as right or wrong [good or bad]. Still, for a good girl in hiding, it feels risky to be honest about them. [Especially when she grew up with a step-parent who got angry and punished at any sign of emotion]. Honest could ruffle feathers. Honest could reveal differing opinions. Honest could disrupt your perception of me. Honest could ruin my carefully laid-back image. That is the image we care about the most.

“The longer I hide behind fine, the easier it is to convince myself I am fine. I can coast that way for a while, until I start to get cranky and irritable and cross.” 

“Good girls don’t like that our Bible says there is a time to hate and a time for war. So we take it out.” –no matter how many times I read this in Ecclesiastes, I almost always skim over the bad and focus on the good sides of it, never really made sense to me until now.

“Our fluctuating humanness is there on purpose, to remind us of our need to draw us to the One who can meet it. We don’t have to figure out the whys and origins of every swinging emotion. But it is important that we admit that they are there.”

 Are you a good girl? Or do you think you are? Have you started reading Grace for the Good Girl? If so, feel free to share your thoughts. If not, I’d encourage you to do so and please, feel free to share your thoughts on this post. 🙂

GFTGG: Chapter 2

Today I am going to cover chapter 2 of Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman

If you missed my overviews of the prologue and chapter 1 feel free to join me here and then come back. The more I read through this chapter, the more I felt like Emily had been given a magnifying glass right into my life, the struggles of my heart. Now, I’m an extremely emotional mess person (ask my family if you don’t believe me, especially my husband) but not once has a book or movie actually moved me to full, real tears. I’m here to admit that this chapter did just that.

As last time, the quotes from the book will be in red and my add ons will be in black. {new} Glimpses into my story will be in purple. Join me, would you? Chapter 2: Chasing Expectation

“…our masks mix with our personality and circumstance. Before we know it we don’t really know who we are, and nobody else does either.” 

This one hit me square between the eyes. I grew up hiding behind masks…a lot. Some were to protect those I cared about the most, others were to keep myself from getting hurt from anyone and everyone. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve discovered just how hindering these masks had become. These masks have lead me into asking annoying questions of those around me that were meant to help me see my worth to them boost my self esteem.

Expectations and Definitions

“I don’t like to fail and I certainly don’t want you to know I’ve failed. And I’m embarrassed at the predictable pattern that my life has become.”

Never does it fail when I make a mistake–no matter how small–when it comes to fessing up to it, I struggle with keeping my emotions at bay. Apologizing and admitting I’m wrong or have done something wrong was never something I was taught how to do…at least not well.

The Good Girl

“I had a good reputation to uphold, a sweetness to protect, an important list of rules to follow, an a long list of people to please.”

“Good girls are good listeners. Good girls are always there for everyone. Good girls don’t get mad. Good girls are laid-back. Good girls roll with the punches, go with the flow, follow the leader.”

“…life was a constant battle of trying to get something I didn’t think I had, of trying to become who Jesus wanted me to be, of trying to become a better version of myself.”

Does someone have a mirror? If so, point it right at me. These quotes describe my thoughts, motives, actions…word-for-word.

A Better Way

“When we believe that God expects us to try hard to become who Jesus wants us to be, we will live in that blurry frustrating land of Should Be rather than trust in The One Who Is.”

This one I shared my thoughts on before I read this. Not so much on what we believe, but how our language effects how we live. This happened to fall right in place with this post.

“We must work hard to perform for acceptance, and most of the time we don’t even realize we are doing it.”

 Lucy’s story

I honestly thought that Emily was telling part of my story, only changing the name…

“Things were not as they should be. Little girls are to be protected. They should not have to protect themselves.”

“Rather than collapse in despair or self-pity, she chose instead to craft a mask of strength and responsibility.”

“Behind my her masks of strength, responsibility, and good performance, she was a tangled mess. And I she was all alone.” 

“As good girls, we subconsciously label ourselves as the strong ones, the responsible ones, the sweet ones, or the right ones…But Jesus is calling us to a deeper, truer, freer identity.”

I could go into depth on each of these and some day, I just might. Using (at least) these four sentences to let you in on a little more of my life, my childhood, my story and Christ’s work through it.

If you’re as blessed as I am in being able to read this book, would you join this community and share your growth and learning as you take this journey coming out from under the expectations of good girls? I’d love to hear your thoughts, input, or whatever else you feel lead to share.

Can anyone say 2X4???

It’s been one of those weeks. You know the ones, when the same annoying much needed lesson keeps coming across your mind. All of the sources are completely and totally spontaneous. The first doesn’t know the second, nor does the second know the third, and so on. This weeks topic?

If any of you know me, or can tell from some of my writings. I can be a very stubborn, hard-headed person. I know, I know, hard to believe right? Not if you ask my husband. 
So I recently picked up a book that I’ve been reading about EVERYWHERE. Most of my blogger friends have been reading it and the more I read what they had to say about it, the more my spirit was telling me that I needed to pick it up. When I saw that one one of the local stores has it on sale right now for $7 (half off!!), I took advantage of the sale.
I started reading it last week, and I am already feeling the growing pains start.  I only covered the prologue and chapter one this time because I am only about halfway through chapter 2. I’ve been taking it only a couple pages at a time so I can get as much out of it as possible. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll have many other posts with excerpts from the book. 🙂  Here are a couple big points that have almost literally kicked me in the gut.
In the prologue of the book, titled The Hiding. Even before we jump into chapter one.

“Behind the mask (any mask), you are just a woman who longs to believe that Jesus [really] makes a difference, but you have had difficulty collecting the evidence of it in your own life.”

Diving into chapter one. Are you a good girl in hiding?

“I long to be seen, but I feel safe when I’m invisible.”

“What about the girl in the middle? I fear I fall through the cracks because my story draws no attention.”  (This one hit hard, extremely hard, I’ll share more on this later.)

“You never experienced a period of rebellion, at least not one that is worthy to be told as a life-changing testimony. Maybe you are an optimist, someone who seems to see the good in everything and everyone.” (Yep…that’s me, been hurt beyond belief being that way too…yet I keep chugging along in the same manor.)

“I put all my confidence in the things that were awesome about myself and tried to hide the things that weren’t. If Jesus fit in there somewhere, well then that was nice. But if he didn’t, I was doing okay on my own anyway. That is, until I wasn’t.” (Even if I wasn’t, it’s not like I was  willing to share that part with anyone anyway)

“In the mind of God, in his vision for the world, in his idea for the universe, he made you to go in it. He had in mind a particular you. A true you. An authentic, accurate expression of himself. A woman who is more than just a watered-down version of good.”

All these quotes are taken directly from Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman. Any parenthesis or emphasis is completely mine. I chose to do the quotes in red because that is the color of all my underlining in the book. I chose red initially because red is the color of the blood that Jesus chose to shed on the cross. So, in my mind red, is the color of grace.

So, that was source one of my 2X4 message. The next came via e-mail from a blogger friend I’ve followed for quite some time now. In this post, she is discussing the difference between being right and being well. If you’re a fellow good girl, then you know you want to be both. As Lisa explains, sometimes you simply cannot be both right and well, it’s about which is more important to us.

The third source came once again through e-mail. This time from an entire website dedicated to helping women achieve their best according to God’s plan. In their devotional yesterday the writer was talking about being so committed to serving ourselves others for Christ that we forget to simply rest. Many times, I know I feel like I’m not doing enough for the kingdom to show that I truly am a follower of Christ.

The fourth source came via my pastor in church today. We’re going through a series right now that is titled, “The Movement”. It’s a journey through the book of Acts. The message started out today with the oh so familiar story of the Prodigal son...but focused on the other brother…the good brother. We then jump into Acts 15. Discussing the mindset of the legalistic “followers” of that time and comparing that to Christ’s mindset.

That seamlessly leads us into the topic of grace. *Whack* I sit there wondering if anyone else just got hit in the head with a 2×4 like I did. Some of the statements that felt like the 2×4 knocked the wind out of me:

“If I obey perfectly, then I am in charge. If it comes down to grace, then Jesus is in charge.”

“We’re uncomfortable with the fact that grace is FREE, and we want to be able to earn it.”

 “Grace isn’t like coffee, there’s no need to add things to it to make it bearable, it’s perfect as it is.”

“Grace is NOT opposed to effort. It IS opposed to earning.”

 So, these are just a few of the 2×4 moments I’ve had this week. It’s been a challenging week, but I cling to the fact that in the end, nothing will feel better then being able to move past the legalistic minset (where grace needs to be earned) and fall into the Jesus mindset (that grace is free and all I simply have to do is come.)

Join me in my journey to experiencing true grace-based living? What has God been challenging/revealing to you lately?