I am so thankful for time to read this summer. If only I could make more time for it during the “school year”. I doubt – actually, I know – that I won’t make enough time for it (and maybe that’s a good thing – since loving people is my job, not reading books), so I really want to take advantage this summer. Here’s the list:
The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom. I’ve been reading this book since, oh, January. No, it’s not 2000 pages. I think it’s less than 200. I have this thing where I read many books at one time and for some reason, it keeps ending up at the bottom of the stack. It’s great though, and I really identify with Corrie. Also, she has made me realize (or remember) that amazing things don’t stop happening when we’re past our 20s. I sadly find myself believing that lie sometimes. She was 55 when the Lord called her to courageous action in Holland during World War II. What a story.
A Praying Life – Paul Miller. When I expressed having some trouble “making time to pray”/having a right prayer perspective to the girls on my team earlier this year, Elizabeth suggested this book. I never started reading it, and then we all received a copy at Greek Summit. Meant to be. I am learning so much and my prayer life really has changed. I am starting to understand the importance of approaching the Lord as a child, being above all honest with Him. He is my Father, after all.
Do All To The Glory Of God – Watchman Nee. Part of the “Basic Lesson Series” from the Chinese church leader. He discusses topics such as marriage, friendship, speech, clothing, eating, and finances.
Calm My Anxious Heart – Linda Dillow. Mom, Maggie, and I are reading this one together and discussing it each week. What a blessing! It’s all about being content in Christ regardless of circumstances, therefore, reducing and hopefully eliminating much everyday anxiety.
Plan to read…
The Cost Of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
A Chance To Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael – Elisabeth Elliot.
Against The Tide: The Story of Watchman Nee – Angus Kinnear.
Also, I would like to re-read/finish Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands (Paul David Tripp), and read the last two books in The Hunger Games series (how have I set this aside?).
So, my list is kind of lacking in novels/fictional stories. Suggestions would be appreciated!
Three incredible books I’ve already finished this summer: Let Me Be a Woman – Elisabeth Elliot, The Great Divorce – C.S. Lewis (I find myself reading this every so often – it’s so short and very rich. Please read it.), and, one that I want to spend some time writing about, a book that the Lord is using to change the way I look at myself and at Him so piercingly and beautifully, Grace For The Good Girl, by Emily P. Freeman. Thank you Lauren for recommending it!!
Emily kind of wrote my biography and doesn’t know it. She articulates so well much of what I experienced growing up, before I truly understood the gospel, and still struggle with to this day. Let me share some excerpts to further explain.
If my story were a planet, then your rejection of me would be my nuclear holocaust. This fear of rejection drives me hard, eating away at my courage. And so I am cautious in my love. I am timid in my faith. My life tells a small story. I long to be seen, but feel safe when I’m invisible.
The energy it takes to live for you is killing me — to see me through your eyes, to search for myself in your face, to be sure you are pleased as it regards me. I want you to always regard me.
If you wonder what gives you the authority to define me, I will say it is because you exist. I must have worth, and it is up to you to give it to me. It doesn’t matter who you are…
This innate desire to be good indeed protected me from a lot of heartache and baggage…but it did not bring me any greater understanding of God. It did not protect me from my own impossible expectations. Growing up a good girl was natural for me. But there were those times when it was exhausting to try to measure up. Good girls are good listeners — are always there for everyone — don’t get mad — are laid-back — roll with the punches, go with the flow, follow the leader (as long as the leader is a good girl, of course).
…but it often kept me from saying what I really meant….I avoided vulnerability for fear of being rejected or being labeled needy. Good girls aren’t needy, they are needed. And so instead of living free, I lived safe.
Couldn’t have written it better myself. This is a small picture of what my biggest inner struggle looks like. This is the selfish, hiding, try-hard lifestyle. Selfish, because if I am trying to find my worth and identity in other people, “people become measuring sticks for my goodness rather than unique expressions of God.” Sad. I’m not thinking of God. I’m not thinking of others. I’m thinking of me.
We know something’s wrong with us. We know there is such a thing as excellence, goodness, purity [freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, pollutes]. And we fall short. And we long for identity.
But I have been rescued from this try-hard lifestyle. There is another way, and it’s Jesus. It’s grace. God knew we couldn’t be good enough after we originally fell, so He sent One who is eternally good. And we were made to find our identity in Him. And we. can. rest!!! Hallelujah!
I invite all the “good girls” out there (by the way, there is no such thing) to unpack your specific people-pleasing tactics with the help of Emily Freeman’s wise, Spirit-filled words and meaty reflection questions – – and find freedom.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30.