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Worth Repeating: Grace for the Good Girl

January 2, 2012

I’ve been tagging along with Emily Freeman and Chatting at the Sky for a while – her Tuesdays Unwrapped link-ups have been a source of refreshment and encouragement.

Much to my delight, Emily published her book this year. Just another writer mommy, just like me. She gives me hope.

I especially resonated with her chapter on Chasing Expectation. Not that I have expectations – oh no. Not me. Nope. Uh-uh.

Emily writes about The Myth of Good Mom. You know who she is…

Good Mom makes breakfast and smiles a lot. Good Mom always remembers to notice, compliment, and encourage. She is fun and funny… Her patience is limitless and she never raises her voice. She wakes up early every morning and spends time with Jesus. She is consistent and kind. She makes cookies from scratch. She plays outside even when it’s really hot. She builds forts with blankets in the living room. Her house is always clean, her produce is always fresh, and she has a garden with flowers and vegetables…Her kids never watch TV because they are totally satisfied to listen to the riveting, captivating stories that their Good Mom makes up. Every night.

Have you met her, too? I have. Only I call her my inner “You Stink.” The Good Mom inside my head that tells me all the ways I’m falling down, failing to measure up. We’ve talked about her here, before. Emily describes her own encounter:

With each small discouragement, be it the messy state of my house of the messy state of my heart, I feel a little more less-than, a little further from Good Mom, a little more shamed by her. She stands in my kitchen with a ladle in her hand and her Williams-Sonoma apron on…and her clean, good kids cling to those apron strings while she looks at me with pity in her eyes and shakes that ladle in my general direction, telling me what a failure I’ve become. I feel like there is a mom I’m supposed to be but I will never, ever measure up…

I could fill this book with the thousands of expectations I live under. Perhaps you could, too. Expectations rule the day. My disappointment or satisfaction with a situation rests entirely upon what I expect to happen. In all these situations, what I expected to happen was up to me.

She goes on to say (emphasis mine):

Expectations aren’t inherently bad things. But I think they are misused by good girls. Jesus didn’t put expectations on himself. He didn’t micromanage his own image and constantly try to align his reality with his ideal. Instead, he lived expectantly, waiting for the next step. His was a life of total and complete dependence and submission to the voice and will of his Father. In Psalms, David seemed to understand this as well; “My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.” (Ps 62:5 AMP).

Excerpts from Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life
by Emily P. Freeman

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012 3:24 pm

    Oh wow! I call mine “Fantasy Mom” and have been known, in my weaker moments, to suggest that my daughter stop texting me and text her instead…

  2. January 3, 2012 4:22 am

    Thank you, Adelle, for your beautiful words, perspective and encouragement.

  3. Bethany Hall Fitelson permalink
    January 3, 2012 12:09 pm

    Oh gosh, I think this book was written for me. It would have been written for me at any stage in life, but especially as I’m just entering the mom stage. Thanks for the recommendation! And thanks for letting me know that there are others out there putting the same expectations on themselves (and trying to keep it a secret that we’re failing). It’s encouraging to hear that other people struggle in the same way, not out of meanness or envy, but because it helps me not feel alone!

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