Well here we are again for week 2 of my first official book club. It’s not really mine I am jumping on the bandwagon with hundreds of other women who are reading Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman. Every Thursday Emily is posting her own thoughts about her book on her blog Chatting at the Sky. I would highly encourage you to check out what she has to say about her own book and even join the discussion over there or in the facebook group. There is much being said by what women are loving about this book, what they are learning about themselves and even how they are feeling encouraged because they aren’t the only ones. I know that is how I felt when I first read the book. I wondered how Emily jumped inside my brain and stole all my thoughts and endless inner conversations! Alas, she did not but her and many others feel caught up in this good girl, have it all together trap.
So let’s talk about that some more.
Again, there is so much I can say about what I read in chapters 4-6. I feel I could underline almost every sentence. But I’m going to camp out on the Mary and Martha story. This story has always intrigued me and kind of confused me. I can so relate to Martha. So much so it is really hard for me to see why Mary always gets the gold star in this deal. Like Martha, I’m a doer. I see something that needs to be done, so I do it. Especially, when it comes to serving others and hospitality. These traits are me at my core. They are in my blood. I’ve watched my Grandma and Mom serve and host exceptionally well all my life. I’ve learned from the best and have taken it on as my own. Now I am teaching my kids, especially the girls the importance and joy of serving and hosting others. So I read about Martha and I think “yes, I would do exactly the same thing. of course!” But why? Well, this is where the story and Emily’s explanation gets me. I do it because I love to serve others, yes. And we are called to serve one another and use our gifts and talents. But I also have these thoughts as well:
- Well if I don’t do it, who will?
- I want others to think well of me. I’m a hard worker, good, perfect.
- I don’t want to let anyone down. Someone may have certain expectations and I want to meet and exceed those expectations so I will do it. Even though I have no idea if or even what the expectations are sometimes. Can we say maddening?
“Given the choice to please God or to trust God good girls become conflicted.” pg 64
Yes! I feel this tension so often because pleasing God is active. I’m doing something and it feels good. Others can see I am doing good things and that feels good too. I like doing. But trusting God is passive. You can’t really gauge what is going on, where the progress is, there’s no checklist. And really, trusting is way more hard, even when you feel like you aren’t “doing” anything. Dilemma. It was so well described in the book. You can’t jump back and forth between the pleasing road and the trusting road. It’s one or the other and there’s no third road to choose either.
So where do you go? What do you do? Do you stop doing all your things, your many things, hand them over to Him and just sit? And trust? Well, yes. As hard and as impossible as it seems. And know I am talking to myself more than anyone else right now. He doesn’t need me to keep things in place or to do “x,y and z” for Him. He can do it all.
He won’t come undone.
” I want to give myself permission to sit down on the inside and live like I have God who know what he’s doing.” pg.65
Love this. I believe there is freedom in following the trusting road. I have caught glimpses of it. When fully trusting in Him and His plan there is peace and security. And then pleasing Him is automatic.
“He doesn’t want my service, he wants me.” pg. 65
Oh, there it is. That about sums it all up. When it comes down to it He just wants me, the real me. Not the good girl, the perfect wife and the mom who has it all together and is doing wonderful things. No. He just wants me with my fears, my failures, my flaws, my pride, my yuck. Yep, that’s what he wants more than me serving Him up in kitchen like Martha.
He says, “Aubrey. Aubrey. You are worried and bothered by so many things but just focus on the One true and necessary thing. Me”.
So, hesitantly I come and sit.
Will you sit with me?