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Grace for the Good Girl

I’m not even sure where to start with recommending Emily Freeman’s “Grace for the Good Girl.” There are so many quotes I want to type, convictions I want to share (from myself and others), but I don’t think I will ever do justice to the book.

Here is an excerpt, and I hope you will read the book in its entirety:

“Satan did two things in the Garden that are vital to understand as we begin the process of letting go of our girl-made hiding places. First, he convinced Eve she had to do something in order to be something: If you eat the fruit, then you will be like God. Sound familiar?

If you serve in the church, then you will be acceptable. If you are responsible, then you will be respected. If you follow all the rules, then you will be good enough. If you try hard, then you’ll be more like God…

If you wake up at 5 a.m. and pray every morning, then you will be a good Christian…

Adam and Eve were tricked into believing they had to do something to get what they most longed for. To ‘be like God’ is a shiny promise filled with great worth and holy significance.

The second thing that Satan did in the Garden is a little trickier, something that many people go their whole lives without noticing. Something that makes the difference between living like a good girl and living in freedom. Something that is so important, so vital to our walk with God that I have to make a whole new paragraph for it just to make sure you don’t miss it.

Satan told the woman, ‘You will be like God’ (Gen. 3:5). But God had already covered that. In Genesis 1:27, God made man and woman in his own image. So what does that mean?

It means they already were like God, made in his likeness, bearing his image. Satan was promising to them what God had already graciously and lovingly provided. Satan convinced them to forget God’s gift and try to work for it instead.

I liken that to someone saying something like this to my twin daughters: ‘Hey girls! Go to the store and buy matching outfits. Then put them on, dance around, and you’ll be twins.’ The truth is, they were born twins…

Birth determines identity.

Adam and Even were birthed, or created, in the image of God. Period.

But they didn’t remember. Not only that, the gift was subtly twisted, and the holy, image bearing truth of Genesis 1:27 was no longer enough. They didn’t just want to be like God, bearing his image. They wanted to be God, self-sufficient and independent.

As a result, every human after that is born separated from God, born of Adam and Eve, born into sin identity. The human condition is such that birth determines identity — so now humankind is birthed into Adam. ‘For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many’ (Rom. 5:17 NLT).

The only thing Satan could promise them was something they already had. Because Satan had nothing new to give them that wasn’t already theirs. The only power he had was the power of the lie. If he could trick them into forgetting that they were made in God’s image, then he could get them to do crazy things, which is exactly what happened.”

If you’ve read Emily’s book, please share how “Grace for the Good Girl” has impacted your life. If you haven’t, let me know, and I want to give away two copies! I’ll let my kiddos randomly choose from the comments at the end of tomorrow.

UPDATE – 6:35 p.m. April 19 – Tara Teutsch and Heather Cox will receive copies of the book. I will get in touch with you ladies about delivery. Thanks for your participation and comments, everyone!

46 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mackenzi #

    I haven’t read it and I want to. Tell your kids to pick my comment. 😉 -Love, a recovering ‘good girl’

    April 18, 2012
    • If you’re a recovering good girl, you will love this book. I’m quite the opposite, but because we are guilty of trying to “save ourselves,” we all need to read it.

      April 18, 2012
  2. Patti T #

    Hey cute Acuff girls!! Pick me! Pick me!

    Your Mom’s blog rocks.

    April 18, 2012
    • Maybe you could bribe them with a visit from Jack! They are missing puppy love.

      April 18, 2012
      • Patti #

        Ugh!! I just saw your post. So that’s why I didn’t win! Ummmm…we need to work out that visit. He’s pretty adorable–when he’s not being a puppy!

        April 23, 2012
      • HA! No, that’s not why you didn’t win, but we should still work out that puppy visit.

        April 24, 2012
  3. hcox #

    Hey Suzanne!
    I’ll put my name in for a copy of this book. Would love to read it! Hope you guys are doing well!!

    April 18, 2012
    • I’m glad you are, Heather. I want everyone to know about it! Miss seeing you.

      April 18, 2012
  4. Stella #

    Wow. I never looked at it that way. I have spent my whole life trying to earn things: approval from my parents, love from my husband, appreciation from my kids, acceptance from my friends: always trying to be good enough, pretty enough, worthy enough. All the while striving for something I already had in God. After 40 years I came to realize I am exhausted….still new at this Christian walk, I am learing about grace, learning to finding my worth in God, trying to learn to listen to God – it has been very freeing. After several mistakes and trials (molestation by a family member, a rape, an abortion, infidelity on both mine and my husband’s parts, alcohol abuse by my husband) I was so broken and had lost all hope. I searched for help through therapy, hurch and Affair recovery program where I learned about your blogs by a fellow attendee in my Harborign Hope class. I love your blogs and story. It gave me hope I did not think was possible. My husband and I are still holding on – trying to mend the pieces together and I thank you for your willingness to share so openly. I thank od for the strength he has given me to make it through each rough day. Blessings to you and your family.

    April 18, 2012
    • Thank you for sharing, Stella. I am so glad you are finding freedom, grace and worth in God. He is pleased with you because He is pleased with Jesus in you.

      April 18, 2012
  5. Jennifer #

    I haven’t read the book, but after reading your post, cannot wait to delve into it. Thank you for writing this post!

    April 18, 2012
  6. Susie Daggett #

    I would love to read this, I never feel like I’m good enough.

    April 18, 2012
    • Susie, you’re right, we can’t be good enough. Grateful for a perfect Savior who died in our place and clothes us in righteousness. This will definitely be a great read for you.

      April 18, 2012
  7. I’d love to win a copy!

    April 18, 2012
  8. Laura Rath #

    Thanks for the chance! I’ve been wanting to read this book, and now after reading your review, I want to read it even more!

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks, Laura. It was difficult to even choose an excerpt. The whole book is good.

      April 18, 2012
  9. Linda d #

    I haven’t read the book but I would love

    April 18, 2012
  10. I would love to read this book. In my head I know I cannot earn His favor, yet in my experience I know I still buy the lie some days.

    April 18, 2012
  11. juliesunne #

    I haven’t read Emily’s book and would love to. Thanks for this opportunity.

    April 18, 2012
  12. Stacy #

    I have not read this book yet. I have heard great things about it. After reading the excerpt, I think this is something I need to read. Thanks!

    April 18, 2012
  13. Pick me! Pick me! I want to read Emily’s book!! Trying to be more intentional about living with a thankful heart.

    April 18, 2012
  14. Tara #

    The section titled Expectation and Definitions in Chapter 2 was the moment in the book where the light bulb went off and I looked at my husband and said “This book was written for me.” A little excerpt from this section:

    “I know in my head that my definition of good is wrong, crazy even. Still, left to my own resources, that is how I operate. If I fail to live up to my own standard of good, I label myself a failure. I lack motivation. I become indifferent. I entertain anxiety. I snap at my children. I want to be alone. I dream of Hawaiian vacations. I wallow.
    But then something happens to offer a bit of encouragement, and I find the strength to redouble my efforts at goodness. I clean the house and successfully avoid the Rocky Road ice cream. Someone gives me a compliment. The weather is nice and I get a spurt of energy. I feel empowered, and so I try again. Then I fail again. 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 of defeat that my life has become.
    So now I stand at a fork in the road: I can try to figure out a way to continue making life work on my own or I can admit defeat and accept Jesus’ invitation to simply Come.”

    Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman is a must-read!

    April 18, 2012
    • Oh, thank you, thank you, Tara. Such a good excerpt!!! I was hoping for one along those lines. It was really hard to pick one for a review, so I am really glad this is on here now. And, I’m glad you’re enjoying the book. I agree — a must-read!

      April 18, 2012
  15. Ooh, pick me. I really need this book!

    April 18, 2012
  16. Katie #

    I want a copy of this book…if your girls don’t pick me I may just come and borrow yours. I’m sure I’ll like your personal side notes. 🙂

    April 18, 2012
  17. Joy #

    I haven’t heard about this book, but I can tell it’s a “must read” for me!! I so struggle with not being enough!!

    Thanks for your words today!!!


    April 18, 2012
    • You would love it then, Joy! It is very freeing. Emily addresses issues I’ve never seen anyone address and explains everything so clearly. You’re on the “picking” list. By the way, I think it would be great for high school and college girls, too.

      April 18, 2012
  18. Tara T #

    I had heard about it but hadn’t read it – sounds like I need to add it to the list of “must reads”!

    April 18, 2012
  19. Anita #

    Great post, Suzanne. So glad you made me aware of this book!

    April 18, 2012

    I’ve wanted to comment all day, but finally have the opportunity.
    This book came highly recommended to me, suggesting it was ”written for me” and that both excited & scared me at the same time!
    I am halfway through it and have highlighted over 1/3 of every single page! It addresses so many layers of how we choose our reputation (the self, the good girl) over relationship with Christ. I have never read a book written from this raw perspective of an untapped discussion and it is beyond refreshing to read every moment! Obviously, I love it and have recommended it highly (to any girl really) because at the core we all choose certain appearances over our true identity in Christ.
    It is so difficult to choose just one excerpt, but here is my attempt…
    “My reaction to disobedience was just as it should have been: guilt. But it didn’t come about as a conviction of the Holy Spirit or a sense that I had sinned. I was simply a good girl with a heavy, innate sense of right and wrong and an extra dose of responsibility. … I knew how to listen to the spirit of fear. I had not yet learned the voice of the Spirit of God.”
    Ok, one more…
    “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 God, pleasing him is automatic.”

    This writer puts beautiful words to battles I have fought within myself in the past, so it is encouraging to continually connect the dots of how my attempt of self-sufficiency has robbed me of a true identity in Christ. I would like to think I am in recovery as a ‘good girl’ but I also know that I am capable of reverting back to my good girl ways every single day. Therefore, this book continues to be a liberating read to past and present… and let’s be honest, the future moments when it will teach me too!

    April 18, 2012
    • Thanks, Karen. Such a good word – hers and yours. Very true “my attempt of self-sufficiency has robbed me of a true identity in Christ.” We all revert back every day. Grateful for grace every day!

      April 19, 2012
  21. Alletta #

    Suzanne, I love this post. Christopher and I were just talking about this struggle in feeling like we have to earn our way to God even though we know there’s nothing we can do to earn His love. This book sounds amazing! I’d love to read it! Love you guys

    April 19, 2012
    • Absolutely, “there’s nothing we can do to earn His love.” That is so hard to swallow, so hard to understand, so contrary to the world we live in. He loves us. Period. He even likes us. 🙂 Thanks for commenting. The kiddos will pick this afternoon.

      April 19, 2012
  22. Miriam joslin #

    Oh my goodness, I need this book for my Young Women’s Bible Study!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing! How did you discover this book? God is doing an awesome work in and through you. I had 18 girls present Tuesday night and God is revealing so many new truths to each of them. Several of them are coming from very difficult backgrounds and are just now realizing that they can be free of guilt and feeling like a second rate Christian. We have been studying about who we are in Christ. This book is a must for me to read and recommend!

    April 19, 2012
    • Aunt Miriam, a friend told me about the book. I hope you read through it with your Bible study group. There are questions for each chapter. It would be great for a group study.

      April 22, 2012

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