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Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life

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4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,277 Ratings  ·  224 Reviews
Many of us believe that we are saved by grace--but for too many, that's the last time grace defines our life. Instead of clinging to grace, we strive for good and believe that the Christian life means hard work and a sweet disposition. As good girls, we focus on the things we can handle, our disciplined lives, and our unshakable good moods. When we fail to measure up to ou ...more
Paperback, 257 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Women of the Word by Jen WilkinGrace for the Good Girl by Emily P. FreemanGood News for Weary Women by Elyse M. FitzpatrickPraying Together by Megan HillExtravagant Grace by Barbara R. Duguid
Christian + Women + Non-Fiction
2nd out of 59 books — 4 voters
Out of the Easy by Ruta SepetysThe Gravity of Birds by Tracy GuzemanThe Painted Bridge by Wendy WallaceBlackbird by Nicole SalmondEverything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard
Put a Birdcage on It
45th out of 50 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Suzanne
Jan 02, 2013 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
This book went beyond my expectations. The scripture used and experiences the author described were so helpful to me in my walk with Christ. I was so convicted of thoughts and attitudes I have had that have been nothing short of sin (mainly in the self-righteous/pride category). I want desperately to believe anew that Christ died for me even though I often feel that I don't have the sensational testimony that others do. Jesus is still my rescuer even if He is rescuing me from the harsh critic in ...more
Margaret
Sep 12, 2011 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Margaret by: Donna Hausler
I just finished reading Catholicism by Robert Barron and an overall message that I got from that book is that life is about becoming one with God and that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are in a word love. The more of you that you put into God, the more love that you are yourself. What an excellent little prayer. Get more love. Get more Jesus in me and my actions and my life in general. When I finished Catholicism last night, I picked up the next book in my stack, Grace for the Good Girl ...more
Sarah
Feb 03, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
This book started out promising, and ultimately ended up disappointing. It came so close to breaking out of the mold of traditional "Christian living" books, only to hop right back in and settle for the status quo.

The author's personal stories and confessions of her own fear and the "masks" she wears rang true. I was highlighting a decent amount in the beginning, as she initially did a good job of sharing her own experience in a way that genuinely connected with her readers - her willingness to
...more
Sarah
Feb 14, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Best for ages: 15 and up

Although most of the things in this book were not new ideas to me, and even though the author could get repetitive, I really enjoyed this book. I never hurts to be reminded of a powerful truth: that their is no need to hide behind masks.

I was nineteen when I first heard the message (though not through this book) that it was okay to not be okay sometimes, that I didn't need to pretend all the time. It is a message that girls (and guys) who grow up in the church need to hea
...more
Paula Vince
Jul 08, 2014 Paula Vince rated it it was amazing
Every now and then, a book comes along which just hits the right spot.

This book was written for those of us who have always tried to do the right thing. We please people, we always have a smile and polite reply, we never make waves or cause trouble. When those with messed up pasts come forward to receive affirmation and positive feedback for changing, we sit with plastered-on smiles wondering where we really fit, longing to recognised too. And we hide our deepest hurts and insecurities for the s
...more
Lindsey Stefan
Mar 18, 2012 Lindsey Stefan rated it really liked it
If you attend church, then you know this girl. She is the one who volunteers to teach in the Sunday School, brings really good cookies to the potluck and sings in the choir. She doesn’t go out drinking and has never been arrested, but she does have a smile for everyone who comes through the door. She’s the good girl. She seems to have nothing to hide but in her book Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman rips the mask off of the good girl and reveals what is really going on in the hearts of good ...more
Emily
Jan 13, 2016 Emily rated it liked it
This was an okay book that had a ton of potential - which is why I picked it up in the first place. The writing itself was easy to read and very friendly and personable which makes for pleasant reading. There was some good stuff in here about things we hide behind and ways to combat the fake masks we try to wear. There were some good thoughts that I took away from it that were helpful. But overall, it was much more shallow than I was looking for.
While I would decidedly place myself in the so cal
...more
Kristin
Feb 03, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I loved this book. I've just been coming to this good girl realization about myself over the past couple of months, and "Grace for the Good Girl" couldn't have come at a better time. It helped me realize a lot of things about myself, gave me encouragement, and most importantly, helped set me on the right track about how to start taking down my masks. There isn't a step by step list to moving past this, of course (though my inner good girl desperately wishes there were), but now I do have an idea ...more
Allison Anderson
Mar 31, 2015 Allison Anderson rated it it was amazing
I learned so much from this book! Weird title that seems kinda over-stating the fact, but the author is just trying to make the point that seemingly "good people" have their own set of problems and their own set of masks they put on to convince others and themselves that they are "perfect." The author goes through and details the life of the "do-good girl" and then how to see the way out, closing with an emphasis on realizing freedom through the gospel and having a reliable source of strength to ...more
Cassie
Jan 23, 2016 Cassie added it
I felt like the author wrote this book just for me. Excellent and life altering. If you are a "good girl" who has a hard time accepting grace and forgiveness from Christ and others, this is the book for you.
Brenda
Sep 22, 2011 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
I've been telling people about this book constantly since I started reading it. I am a Good Girl in the bone, and this book highlighted truths that God has already taught me through experience, as well as lots of things I still need to claim for myself. It's freeing, encouraging, and life-changing.
Daniel Threlfall
Sep 07, 2015 Daniel Threlfall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
This is a really good book.

The subtitle sums up the big idea: Let go of the try-hard life. Much of religion and Christianity in particular, is obsessed with looking good — plastic smiles and artificial nice behavior. Freeman writes for women, but this is just as much an issue for men.

Freeman explains the theological antidote to the try-hard dead end of so-called Christian behavior. She does so without trying to be cute about it. (This isn't one of those frilly "I-get-it-y'all" girly Christian
...more
J. Pennington
Sep 22, 2013 J. Pennington rated it it was amazing
Shelves: outread-aubrey
This book was absolutely life-changing for me. Very highly recommended.
Sarah Jamison
Nov 30, 2015 Sarah Jamison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a confession to make. I know you will read it and, at best, look at me askance. At worst, you might dismiss me entirely and I will never again be part of your life. And that will be sad. But I've confessed it aloud already, to my pastor's wife, no less. She prayed hard for me and anointed me with oil and that gives me the peace to put it out there for the whole world. In the whole of the bible the character I identify with the most, the person whose story captures me and won't let me go, ...more
Lady Krystal
May 29, 2014 Lady Krystal rated it really liked it
It took me quite a while to finish this book. I started out strongly and full of zeal, but after a few chapters, it got really repetitive. I put it down for a few months...yes, months, before resuming. I'm so glad that I saw it through.

Emily and I share a similar story, which is the main reason why I wanted to read this book. we both accepted Christ during childhood, we both shared some of the same self-induced weight and responsibility, we both grew up with a similar family life, we both had a
...more
Abbie Riddle
Nov 29, 2012 Abbie Riddle rated it it was amazing
Emily Freeman's new book is absolutely astounding! I think just about every woman I know could benefit from this easy to read book. I loved her writing style - it made it seem as if I were sitting with a friend having a discussion about life. So many of us struggle with being a good girl, good mother, good wife, good friend....and we don't even realize it.

In her book Emily Freeman gives the tools and suggestions to help the reader break free from this prison of "goodness" and into the freedom of
...more
Ibjoy1953
Sep 19, 2011 Ibjoy1953 rated it it was amazing
My review

Grace for the Good Girl….by Emily P. Freeman

Wow this book is much more than I expected. The author deals with several issues women face in their lives with examples from her own life as well as examples from other ladies. The book is broken down in three parts; The Hiding; The Finding; and The Freedom of Being Found. And in each section she has chapters such as: Are You a Good Girl in Hiding; Martha and My Many Things; Receive and Safe Even When It Hurts.

The chapter on Martha and Mary s
...more
Fj Cutshaw
Nov 09, 2013 Fj Cutshaw rated it it was amazing
Emily P. Freeman's writing and example have snuck up on me and opened the door for God to work abundantly in my soul and spirit. Her unassuming style is both accessible and accomplished - but one is immediately aware that this accomplishment comes from living what she teaches. She has allowed God enter her life's broken places and create beauty that is perfect - teaching that is so poignant - and so accessible by the Holy Spirit that it can be used to hit home in waves for the reader. At least t ...more
Rachel Hawes
Jun 22, 2014 Rachel Hawes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, kindle, 2014
Every now & then you read a book that really speaks to you, as though it were written for you. This was one of those for me. I found myself nodding along & realising just how much of my life I've spent hiding behind a mask being the person I think I should be or I think other people want me to be.
Wonderful, eye-opening, liberating!
Erica
May 21, 2014 Erica rated it did not like it
I quit reading this one, namely because I don't think that I was the intended audience. The author's notion of a "good girl" extends way beyond mine, and unfortunately, in her effort to connect with her reader, it felt like she was judging me because I went to public school and didn't marry a pastor.

If anyone wants to add this one, it's up for grabs.
Niki
Jun 03, 2013 Niki rated it really liked it
Okay, this is officially a must read for all Christian women! It is written by a woman who was always trying to do the right thing, say the right thing and hold it all together. But, she realized that she was trying too hard to do everything on her own and keep up appearances of being the good wife, mom, girl, etc. I have thought a long time about the expectations that we as women put on ourselves and this book really will help women give themselves a break. I would love it if more women would b ...more
Sueek20
Nov 12, 2015 Sueek20 rated it liked it
Didn't finish. There's a desperate need for Christian books for women in which the central frame of isn't wife & motherhood. (big sigh)
brooklynnnne
Jan 14, 2016 brooklynnnne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
You know those books that you read that make you feel like you have been hit so hard with revelation? The book that leaves you unsettled in the gut? Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman IS one of those books!

This book had me by the title alone because I have always been the self prophesied "good" girl. I have always (or have tried to) done what has been "expected" of me but that has never been enough to me. That has been how I've seen my self-worth and let me just say, that is an anxiety rid
...more
Cassandra
Oct 13, 2015 Cassandra is currently reading it
Made it to page 169 before having to return it to the library. I'm still not quite sure what to think of the book. I recognize that it's important to embrace grace instead of trying to earn God's favor. But I'm still not quite sure how to DO that. Funny that it's about letting go and I'm still looking for a way to do that.

But this description totally sounds like me:
"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
...more
Kate SouthernBelleSimple
Oct 13, 2011 Kate SouthernBelleSimple rated it it was amazing
Very few books get a 5-star rating from me, but this one definitely does. If you've ever felt like having faith was just too doggone hard, this book is for you. If you've ever felt like you weren't 'good enough' no matter how much you tried, this book is for you. Even if you aren't a girl, there are plenty of life-changing tidbits in here that would make it worth your while.
Catherine Gillespie
Feb 01, 2015 Catherine Gillespie rated it it was ok
I picked up Grace for the Good Girl because of the subtitle, “Letting Go of the Try Hard Life.” Whether you self-identify as a “good girl” (which I do not but I do know people who struggle with having built their self-concept and worth around never doing “bad” things) or realize that you spend too much effort on trying hard and people-pleasing, Grace for the Good Girl will have some applicable messages.

I think my perception of the book suffered somewhat from the fact that I had already read and
...more
Donielle Baker
Mar 14, 2016 Donielle Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A spiritual game changer

As the "good girl" my whole life, many times it was like reading my own story, my own thoughts. And yet, I hadn't figured this out yet - this book provides me with the answers to many of the internal struggles.

I'd recommend this to any woman, especially the "good girls".
Cindy Keiger
Nov 27, 2015 Cindy Keiger rated it it was amazing
Yes, I've been the proverbial "good girl," the people pleaser. I'm getting over it :) Living on a dairy farm has shown me the futility of always trying to have everything just right, trying to make sure I'm just right. I can't tell you how many segments I underlined in this book and took to heart. "We are not called to be strong women." "Here's the truth: aside from accepting Jesus as your personal Savior, there is nothing left to do to gain God's favor." No, not even making sure the laundry is ...more
Denise
Jun 20, 2016 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well worth the read if you were a "good girl" who never did anything wrong while growing up and sympathize with the older brother of The Prodigal Son parable and see the seemingly unfairness of their father's lavish forgiveness. However, the older brother needed redemption just as much as the younger. The book addresses how good we are at holding up masks so as not to be "found out."

Take away quotes:
"You receive my forgiveness, then you no longer owe me anything. I like to be owed. Your owing me
...more
Jennifer
Jan 10, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I read it right after Lysa TerKeurst's Unglued, and I thought Grace for the Good Girl was even better. I had read a copy from bookswim.com, and I need a copy to highlight. The book has a very freeing message about being who God created you to be.
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“The best part of hiding is being found.” 16 likes
“To accept the lively, the messy, and the unexpected things in our days, knowing that God sees them and has an eternal perspective, is to say with confidence I receive your timing.” 15 likes
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