September 13, 2011

Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life: Giveaway!

Other women are afraid of me sometimes simply because I'm the pastor's wife. To them, I represent a spiritual Big Brother, the woman looking into their souls, evaluating them next to the impossible checklist of the correct, perfect, churchy standards of the good Christian girl.

I sense the hiding, the pressure women feel. They cover over the deep parts of who they are, even the stories of God's grace in their lives because the grace has washed over shameful sin that seems best unspoken.

I know this hiding has little to do with me and everything to do with how women feel about themselves or how women perceive that God feels about them. They cannot fully believe that doing good or being good is not part of the whole grace equation. They certainly find it risky to reveal themselves to other women because, unfortunately, grace is so often withheld in church circles.

I know this because I am one who has hid. I spent the majority of my life being a good girl, afraid to speak of my weakness, shame, uncertainty, or struggle. I feared revealing myself and attempted to maintain the image that I had it all together.

There was a time in my life when God found me and brought me out of hiding. For the first time, after years of being a Christian, I fully received His grace. I quit trying to earn it and I quit hiding myself from other women. Now, I spend the majority of my time with other women convincing them to come out of hiding as well. To stop striving and start receiving. To stop fearing and start following.

Which is why I am PUMPED about this book:

Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily Freeman from Chatting at the Sky

I read Emily's book a few months ago when I was once again feeling the need to perform, to protect my image as a good Christian girl (and pastor's wife), and feeling fearful about revealing myself in community. As I read, I felt as if she were looking in my heart and speaking words of truth and life into my inmost thoughts. She wrote a book about my life and about the lives of so many women I know.

I thought I was a recovering good girl, that I was already past all that, but Emily took off even more heart masks, showing me I have more fears to let go of and more grace to receive. She reveals grace in words, images, and stories that made me believe it, really believe it. Her words frame beautiful pictures of hope, freedom, release, and grace. I put the Christian to-do list down and thought on the sweet mystery of Christ in me, the hope of glory.

I highly recommend this book, so much so that I am giving away my copy! 

Here's how you can win:
  • "Like" my blog on Facebook. After you "like" it, post on the wall that you want to win the book.
  • Follow me on Twitter. Then send a tweet telling me that you'd like to win the book. Please include this link in your tweet:
  • Subscribe to my blog. Leave me a comment in the comment section telling me that you did so and that you want to win the book.
  • Tell a friend about my blog. Leave me a comment in the comment section telling me that you did so as an entry to win the book.
  • Leave a comment telling me why you want to win the book.
You can enter all five of those ways, if you so choose. I will randomly draw a winner on Monday, September 19th. Best of luck!

* Grace for the Good Girl is available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.