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

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,898 ratings  ·  272 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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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,898 ratings  ·  272 reviews

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Jan 02, 2013 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 Chind
Aug 01, 2011 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
Mar 15, 2012 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
Sep 25, 2015 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
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amy by: Katherine
I appreciate Grace for the Good Girl a great deal. As someone who grew up in the church, I know there is a gap that well-behaved girls fall into. If your life isn't visibly falling apart, people assume you are okay and move on to the next crisis child. If you know all the answers and say the right things, you'll be praised. Probably given a Sunday School class. With so many young people leaving the church, adults are thrilled to see a studious, responsible teenager showing up Sunday mornings. Th ...more
Sep 20, 2014 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
Sarah Hyatt
Jan 30, 2014 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
Lindsey Stefan
Oct 02, 2011 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
Paula Vince
Jul 08, 2014 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
Meredith Devore
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, freeing, and honest. This book resonated and convicted and encouraged and I loved it.
Catherine Gillespie
Feb 01, 2015 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
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
I only got to page 144 of this book, but I have to say, I didn't really like it. I know what message she is TRYING to give, but I don't think she gets it across clearly. It often came across sounding like an excuse for sin in the name of "embracing imperfection" and getting covered by the grace of God. Again, I know this is not what she intended -- I'm just saying this is how it often came across. It could have been a much clearer message. In addition, it is extremely could have e ...more
Allison Anderson Armstrong
Dec 03, 2014 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
Daniel Threlfall
Aug 31, 2015 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
Jan 17, 2012 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
Dec 19, 2015 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.
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
J. Pennington
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: outread-aubrey
This book was absolutely life-changing for me. Very highly recommended.
I wanted to like this book...but, ironically, it felt like the author was trying too hard!
Nov 03, 2015 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)
Taylor Estes
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith, help
This book touched me in many, many more ways than I expected when I started it. My copy is now full of underlines, and I’ll be keeping it on my shelf to reread every few years. I expected this book to be full of good but trite reminders that Jesus is perfect, so I don’t have to be. Even that would have been good for me. Instead, Freeman writes with both convicting detail and alluring grace. She picks apart the masks that “good girls” hide behind until they’ve all fallen to the floor, and then le ...more
Ibjoy1953 Hannabass
Sep 19, 2011 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
May 16, 2014 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
Abbie Riddle
Sep 08, 2011 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
Fj Cutshaw
Nov 09, 2013 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
Apr 05, 2013 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
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christian, nonfiction
Clearly this book helped many people to recognize their need for grace, which is absolutely necessary and therefore applaudable. I, however, did not flow well with the author's thoughts because they were largely introspective. It was like reading several blog entries that will only help me if I identify with them and appreciate her kind of conversation.

Instead, I grew tremendously by reading a few other books on grace, listed here:

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick (on parenting)
The Gospel Ac
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: personal-growth
This book just didn't do it for me. The author clearly is very passionate about the topic and speaks with many personal examples. But it felt like too many personal examples, pop culture references, scripture and religious quotes all jumbled together and divided into chapters. There were moments that made me think, and I had good conversations with a friend who was reading it at the same time. But overall, this is not a book I will recommend to women who are looking for spiritual growth
Rachel Burton
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, non-fiction, kindle
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!
May 05, 2014 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.
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“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.” 17 likes
“The best part of hiding is being found.” 17 likes
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