grace for the good girl :: intro & chapter 1

Welcome to the Grace for the Good Girl book study! Grab a fixed-just-right cup of steaming coffee and join me on the couch for a virtual discussion session. We’ll be meeting up here every Thursday to chat about this amazing book. You can grab the book (there’s a link to it on my sidebar) and follow along, or you can just read what we have to say about it each week. But then you’ll still want to grab the book. It’s that good.

You can join in at any time – the comments will be open all the time, and I’ll respond to each one. Don’t forget to respond to other people’s comments, too. This is a discussion, after all. ;)

And, BONUS!, Emily {the author of this fine little book} just started a video series about the book so I’ll be posting a link to each video every week, too.

Okay, let’s get down to business. And by that, I mean if we were meeting in real life, first we would chat about our kids and the latest fiasco with potty training or sleep deprivation and the stuff we just saw on Pinterest. For a good 45 minutes. So consider yourself full of random tidbits from my life. ;)

Today, we’re discussing the introduction and chapter one.

How are you liking the book so far? So good, right? Is the entire thing underlined or highlighted like mine? I’m pretty sure Emily peeked into my life and wrote about my hiding and my “worried, anxious mess of a girl” who “thought life with Jesus meant trying to become who he wanted me to be”.{p. 12 & 13}

And oh my goodness – I love how she describes Jesus…”Jesus makes it safe to walk out from under that system…He will not come undone. He remains un-overwhelmable.” {p. 14} Amen. I am so stinkin’ glad He cannot be undone by any of my mess or my behavior or my millions of masks. He remains undaunted. Big yay.

You know what really resonates with me in this chapter? Emily writes, “Because I care so much what you think, my hiding has everything to do with you. I desperately want to manage your opinion of me.” {p. 17} Ouch. And yet, so true. I’m a recovering people-pleaser. Most of my life consisted of managing – or attempting to manage – other people’s opinions, feelings, and love. Aren’t you glad that Jesus loves us too much to leave us chasing after other people’s opinions? ;)

Okay, on to the discussion questions. I’m going to give my answers here, but please feel free to leave your answers in the comments!

1} Can you identify your brand of good girl? In what areas have you been tempted to depend on yourself? Well, as I said before, I really like to manage other people’s opinions of me. So I guess it all goes back to some version of control. By default, anywhere I think I can control things, I will attempt to.

2} What does life look like for you when you are being driven by fear? What is your “sometimes truth” that challenges Love’s lead in your life? When I am being driven by fear, it doesn’t look too pretty. At least, it doesn’t look pretty inside my head. Or in my emotions. My thoughts are a mess, totally uncontrollable, and my emotions are pretty much all over the place. Fear drives me to latch on to anyone or anything around me that will make me feel better and squeeze the life out of them. My husband, my friends, my children. I really like how Emily talks about “sometimes truth” – the rules that take over when God’s truth doesn’t feel true. My “sometimes truth” looks a little something like this:

~  I live my days by “should-be”s and “supposed-to”s.

~ I compare myself constantly to other, “better” moms.

~ I don’t feel adequate or patient or enough.

~ My kids become a measuring stick for how good {or not} I am.

I think when we can define our “sometimes truth”, and know what happens when we are not believing God’s Truth, it can become a kind of red flag – a way to check what we’re believing.

3} Do you agree that the best part of hiding is being found? Why or why not? I think the best part of hiding is being found, if you know that Whoever is finding you is safe. It is scary if you can’t trust Who is finding you out.

And here is the first video that Emily has done. You don’t want to miss this. And can’t you see yourself totally being friends with her? ;)

Okay, your turn! Tell me what you think or feel or wonder and answer those discussion questions {if you want!} below. And come back next Thursday for Chapter 2!

{Go here to see the discussion on chapter 2}

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18 comments to grace for the good girl :: intro & chapter 1

  1. Mary Frances says:

    I am coming in to this book study very late. In fact you have probably finished it and will never see my comments. But it is good for me write them anyway. I got this because it was recommended as a good book for a small group study. My study group is doing something else, but the minute I saw “good girl”, I knew I had to read it. I cannot remember when I was not the good girl. I have always wanted everyone to like me. I am 63 now, and I still think back to what I could have done better when I was 18. The burden of always trying to please, and the pain when I feel I have not measured up has become so tiring. This business of trying to be the admirable person has become exhausting. I plan to live a long time, but I feel like I am running out of time to get everything right. And yet I know that most of the people I know don’t expect that of me. Not my husband, or children or friends ….. it just seems to be me. I don’t think I have addressed any of the questions ….. just finished the first chapter.
    When I read My sometimes Truth, and what I know how to do, I about cried. My highlighter hit every one.
    In desperation, I Googled the title of this book and found this website. I think that may have been a God moment, because I needed it so badly.
    It does not matter if you are done with this book and are on to something else, and never see this email. It does my soul good to write it. I am going to read the book, and read what you say, and read the comments. Somewhere, somehow I hope you know I feel blessed to have found your website.

    • Kat says:

      Hi friend! I’m sorry I’m just now responding to your sweet comment…I’ve taken a summer break and am just now getting back on the blog. I so hope you are enjoying Grace for the Good Girl, and I hope our little discussion here about it is a blessing to you. Please don’t hesitate to comment again (I’m pretty sure I’m not taking a summer break any time soon!) or shoot an email about what you’re learning. I’m so excited for you to experience His unconditional Love and joy and peace and all those things as you walk out of false, lying beliefs and into the wide open space of His Grace. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. May you know the depth of how He loves you as you finish this book.

  2. Laura Hegemann says:

    What gets in the way of me receiving His Grace, ME, MYSELF and I. We dont know who we are or who he is if we are not in his word. Constantly renewing our minds with his word. I am so glad we can participate in the Study from home. Blessings

    • Kat says:

      Hi Laura! So glad you’re joining in with us! I totally agree that we are the ones {with all the lies we believe about who He is} that get in the way of receiving His truth and wisdom. And you know what God has been showing me lately? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God {John 1}. You are so right – the only way to renew our minds is through the Word who is God, revealed in Jesus. He is the only way we to live.

  3. [...] 2 & chapter 2 of our book study! If you’re just now joining us, no worries! You can go here to see our discussion about the introduction and chapter [...]

  4. Sarah says:

    I have looked for this book a number of times both in KRVL and in S.A. I did not want to order it from Amazon because I am impatient and didn’t want to have to wait for it (although I realize that I could have received it in the mail 15 times now if I had ordered it all those times I had been unable to find it in stores) I tried the new Christian Book Store (thanks for the tip Kat) today but they were closed, tried Hastings… for the third time. Hope the Christian Book Store still has copies when I look tomorrow! I am so excited to finally get to read this book I have heard so much about and join you guys!

    • Kat says:

      Hi there! So glad you’re joining us!! The Christian bookstore here in town really should have the book. They had several copies on Friday. See you Thursday for chapter 2!

  5. kat says:

    I’m so glad that you started this discussion-this was such a great book!

    Let’s get onto those questions…

    1. I struggle with the idea of “enough.” I know that I am enough, right where I am. I tell my clients this same tidbit. But sometimes, I don’t feel it. I picture myself doing and being someone else. Someone who is more organized, someone who spends more quality time with her kids, etc. My good girl isn’t standing in the corner of the room. I feel like she lives next door and I can see through her windows. And see this life of “enough.”

    2. My brain goes into overdrive when fear comes in. I process every bit of information. Everything that was said to me, tones in other people’s voices, looks other people give me. And I am misinterpreting everything. When I start to focus on other people and what I think they think of me, that is a huge red flag.

    3. I think the best part of hiding is being found. I think of how many times I have read an honest blog post about someone’s struggles and think, “oh, I’ve been there too.” there is such relief in that. Just as there is relief in Jesus telling me that I am enough. Right where I am.

    • Kat says:

      I’m so glad you’re joining in, Kat! So you have the “good girl as a judgy neighbor”, huh? I think you should kick her out of that house ;) I am with you on the brain going into overdrive thing. I do that, too – get all into my head. And when we do that, we are misinterpreting for sure, just like you said. I love that you use that as a red flag. “Relief in Jesus telling me that I am enough” – so true! I love that we can hear Him telling us that through other people being honest and real, too.

      • kat says:

        You know, I should probably just stop looking through her window! :) I know that in real life, we all put up masks, we present how we want others to see us. I often look at people around me and imagine that they are doing it “better.” In my heart, I know that simply isn’t true. We are all in this together, everyone has their own struggles.

  6. Jenny Johnson says:

    Okay, I am so excited we are doing this via your blog, Kat. I am one of those who can’t meet nights and I started the book and didn’t finish. So I am really looking forward to this journey. It is coming at just the right time. I feel like I have dealt with some masks in the past. Especially the, “I’ve got it all together” one. But as I read over the chapter yesterday and life unfolded, I think God is showing me how much I still deal with the perfection thing. But my issue is if I don’t think I’ll be good at something, I just don’t try. I realize how much this is affecting my life right now. So please pray with me as God is working something out in me. I know it’s the Good Girl mask in full force, just a bit undercover. I look forward to the weeks to come!

    • Kat says:

      I think that’s a big lie for a lot of us – that we either do it perfectly or don’t do it at all. What a way for the enemy to keep us stifled and defeated! But you are exactly right – God will work out that healing in you and it will be glorious! :)

  7. Anna says:

    I really remember from the book the perfect mom/wife/homemaker/whatever that stands in the corner and reminds how we are never measuring up. That resonated so much with me. Also the realization that we can’t control how other people perceive us. It’s so true-no matter how much we do or how well we do it that doesn’t mean people will think what we hope. I love this book so much-it has helped me rewrite so much self-centered damaging thinking. I’m so thankful for Emily and her willingness to be used by God.

    • Kat says:

      Me too! That mean good girl in the corner spoke to me A LOT. I thoroughly enjoy telling her to get lost these days. ;) I totally agree with you, too, about managing other people’s opinions. It is truly impossible. And overwhelming. And completely defeating. I just love how God speaks through this book! Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. Melissa says:

    I love this book so much! I think I underlined the entire chapter!
    1) I am, according to my adoring husband, a “maniacal rule follower”, even made up rules in my head. I think I am being “good” if things happen as I think they are supposed to happen. Things like, I was for sure going to meet my husband in college and get married right after we graduated. Didn’t happen. My kids were going to be two years apart. Grayson is 2 1/2 and I’m not even expecting. My home was always going to be clean and organized. Ha! I was going to loose all the baby weight in 6 months. Ha! Ha! Ha! I guess I think that doing everything “right” will make me right with God and with other people. I desperately want to be accepted and if I do things different from the norm, I fear people will think I am strange and not like me.
    2) When I am driven by fear, I get very emotional and irritable. It makes me even more controlling that usual. I kind of answered this on with the first question.
    3) Being found is awesome, if people accept you when they find you. If not, it is the worst!
    She is lovely! I definitely want to be friends with her! I love her voice,

    • Kat says:

      Oh my goodness, that is a great point – thinking we’re “good” if our lives are in order and “normal”. Ha! I’ve come to believe that the only normal is a Spirit-led life. “Normal” looks completely different for every single one of us. I’m with you on your answer to #3 – if people don’t like what they find it can be less than wonderful. God has definitely used His Truth in this book to reveal Himself to me in this area – I’m not undone {most of the time} from other people’s opinions. Freedom!! {I think I channeled Braveheart just then ;) }

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