We are in our third week of discussion of Grace for the Good Girl. And friends? I have the heart but not enough hands to do all I so desperately want — to make the dinner and write the thorough posts and love the girl slipping under my arm. You too? Good. Let’s keep this short.
Have I introduced you to Jamie yet? She is the one who approves your requests to join the Facebook group. If you haven’t joined yet, we’d love to have you. There’s lots of amazing conversation happening over there.
I tell you this on purpose, because I’m not sure I would have been brave enough to jump into this book club if Jamie hadn’t said she would help. She is a great support, if in no other way but reminding me that someone is in this thing with me. She will tell you she hasn’t done much. I will tell you she’s made all the difference.
When someone is overwhelmed, it takes so little to encourage.
I was overwhelmed. She encouraged.
I tear up thinking about it, how self-righteously I wish I could handle everything on my own. How desperately thankful I am that I can’t. Why am I still tempted to think alone is better? Why do I sometimes still despise my own humanity?
Under this mask, we are hilarious and weak and brave and needy. Life is hard, we are broken, and some of us work long hours to cover that up.
We smile when we don’t feel fine. We cry when you can’t see us. We apologize for our shortcomings. We refuse to explore desire. We convince you we have no needs. We are jealous of the adventure of the prodigals. We are bitter when they get to come home.
And oh, how He loves us so.
He is unimpressed with our facades and unflustered by our messes. He points with his eyes straight into ours and asks us what it is we want.
“Jesus himself routinely asked people questions that helped them to get in touch with their desire and name it in his presence. He often brought focus and clarity to his interactions with those who were spiritually hungry by asking them, ‘What do you want? What do you want me to do for you?’ Such questions had the power to elicit deeply honest reflection in the person to whom they were addressed, and openend the way for Christ to lead them into deeper levels of spiritual truth and healing.”
Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms
Last week I think it worked well to post the questions here as well as on Facebook for discussion. You can either answer all three or the one that resonates the most. If you are joining us at Facebook, keep your answers all in the same thread so we aren’t hopping around the page. Your discussion over the past week brought me to tears as well as fist-pumps more than once. It is a gift to get tiny glimpses into the lives of so many women I can relate with.
1. Do you teach people you have no needs and are you angry with them when they believe you?
2. I shared the story of the little girl who had to choose between the pencils or the activity book. Which would you choose? Why are you so afraid to discover what you really want?
3. In Chapter 9, we read about the story of a father and his two sons. The rebellious one gets a party when he comes home while the religious one refuses to go in. There’s a party going on – where are you standing? Inside with the celebration? Right outside with your ear pressed against the door? A mile out in the fields alone?
book club information
- Get a copy of the book. It’s never too late to join us. (Amazon, B&N, LifeWay, Family Christian).
- Join the closed Facebook group where discussion is happening as we speak.
- Sign up for the book club if you haven’t already. If you already subscribe to get my monthly newsletter, simply update your preferences to include the book club.
- If you are on Twitter, we’ll use the hashtag #graceforthegoodgirl (unless you can tell me something shorter)
- If you have blog, consider writing your own post on Thursdays and hosting discussion with your own readers. Link up to your own blog post in the linky below.
June 28 :: Chapter 10
July 5 :: Chapters 11 – 12
July 12 :: Chapters 13 – 14
July 19 :: Chapters 15 – 16
July 26 :: Chapters 17 – 18
Mark Your Calendars :: If you are local-ish, we are planning an evening event in Greensboro, North Carolina at the end of our study, Thursday August 2nd. I’ll have details coming soon, but wanted to whisper a tiny heads up for anyone who is close enough to make it, live and in person.