I've already read emily freeman's "grace for the good girl" once and really wanted to read it again. I loaned my copy to a fellow good girl, so I had to go get myself another copy which I've actually been underlining (in pencil).
Yeah, I'm such a good girl. But I think I can say for the most part, that I am a recovering good girl.
This week covers chapters 4-6, including my favorite chapter on Martha of Bethany. As it's a read-along on the author's blog, you can catch up quite easily, or read along at your own pace. It's a great book, even if I disagree with the theology in chapter 10.
This week's questions (and my answers) are:
1. What is your main reason for hiding behind your fake fine? Is it because you are afraid (what will they think of me!), lazy (it takes too much work and I need a nap and a bowl of ice cream), or something else?
The main reasons I hide behind a fake fine (How are you? Oh, I'm fine.): because I’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear the truth (for goodness sake you’re asking me this during the peace — my church has epic peace-passing — not when we’re sitting down to coffee or whatever); because I don’t know you well enough to trust with the truth (um, yeah, that should go two ways, shouldn’t it); and laziness (I don’t want to go into that today).
The social convention is so strong to say “fine” that whenever someone actually answers that question with me honestly, my initial thought is: oh, they must be lonely and don’t have someone to talk to … and ever so often ends up with “oh dear sweet God, get me away from this crazy person” (this would be with a complete stranger).
So respecting boundaries is important and I think you have to be in relationship with that other person (friends, small group, whatever) to open up. I see that as a process: share something a little bit vulnerable and find that they can be trusted with it (and not be all judging about it), share a little more. This probably explains why there are so few people who actually know the real me. 'Cause this is time-consuming work! (And too "good girl"? Possibly.)
2. In what ways do you resonate with Martha’s good girl ways? (see pages 62-64 if you don’t know what I mean)
My favorite chapter. So of Martha's good girl ways, mainly seeking to please God instead of just be with Him. All God wants is for me to be.
3. Has your idea of the spiritual disciplines and the purpose of the law shifted in reading chapter six? If so, in what ways?
Biblical law is something I'd learned to skip a while ago. Mainly because Christians aren't expected to keep kosher. So it boils down to the two commandments Jesus cites in the New Testament: love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your might and with all your soul; and love your neighbor as yourself.
I am a rule-keeper, and I have a Rule of Life that I keep -- that I keep because the goal is not to get me in good with God, but to become closer to God. I think of all the rules that I do keep and abide by, and I think keeping them is either fear I'll be horrifically punished or that I'm trying to prove my worth. It can drive a person nuts. Which is why with the help of my therapist, I've learned to go easy on myself, for I am/was a good girl with super-high expectations.
Check out the book -- and it'd be fun if you could join in on the read-along. We can get to know each other a bit better!