Friday, September 16, 2011

Adventure for a Good Girl

Preparing to launch her first book, Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman posted a few Jeff Foxworthy-ish statements that grabbed me by the earlobes and said, "Hello! I'm talkin' to you!" This book has already changed me, and I haven't even read it yet. But not in the way you probably think.

You know you're a good girl if you put "Make a to-do list" on your to-do list.

Bulls eye.

"You might be a good girl if" statements started showing up daily for about a week and each pinned me with a dart to the heart into the center of the boundaries, and I learned something new about myself. Not that I'm a good girl — I knew that long ago.

But that I have been desperate to raise good girls.

I have two.

And for the most part they are, but that other part? Yeah, I've gathered a few gray hairs over that small part. The good girl in me is obsessing over the parts of my girls that boldly go where I never went.

I've got to let it go:
  • uncage these girls to know God's grace more intimately than my restrictions and expectations.
  • foster the desire to please God above all others.
  • release them to the reckless abandon they seem bent to that I know little of.

I mostly walked the straight and narrow because of fear. I was compliant — not from love, but from fear of consequences, fear of the unknown, fear of angry discipline and the let-down in their eyes.

I don't see this in my daughters.

Instead I see daring, wide-open, unhinged desire to take on life without reservation. Yet that has not stopped me from trying to mold them into my image.

All these years I've thought that giving them a good-girl take on life would set them free:
  • from possible regret.
  • from possible failure.
  • from a whole host of things I've never been willing to risk, even though they might possibly turn out great. 
But my daughters aren't good girls; they're brave hearts. And I think I'm wrong to saddle these courageous girls with my cautious approach to life. They live in a different age, perhaps one in which caution will not serve them as well as their daring will.

I don't need to read this book for me. Rather, I'll read this book looking for the way a good girl raises daughters that are bent toward courage.

Tomorrow, we three will take our copy of Grace for the Good Girl and head to Charlotte for a day of shopping, then stop in on the author at the nest. Maybe these two chick-a-dees can teach their mother-hen a thing or two about adventure and flying fee into unfamiliar places. 


  1. Great post....I need to get a copy of that book ...and maybe my daughter's will thank you!
    Seems like you must have thrown in much grace with your "good girl" stuff ...or they wouldn't be so daring! Give yourself a bit of that grace!

  2. That book is calling my name, too. How wonderful that it is already changing the way you mother your daughters! I never thought of that application, but then I'm not a parent. Your day in Charlotte sounds wonderful. God bless you and your brave heart girls!

  3. Love, love, love this post. I hadn't thought of it this way and it makes total sense. So wish I could go with you and enjoy the time with you all!

  4. What can I say, they came out like their daddy :) Great post Dawn (as always) pray for me as I ride this wild stallion boy the Lord's bless us with in Atlanta this weekend! We have been so richly blessed with children who have great passion and brave hearts - let us make sure we raise them up in the way He (the Lord would want them to go). Thank You Lord for this great privilege!

  5. :) Wonderful post. Much to think about!

  6. Dawn, I have the book on my Kindle. I have focused so much on how the book relates to me, that it hadn't occurred to me until now that it might also be instructive as I parent my two "good girls."

    Thank you for awakening me to this. :)

  7. Thanks for giving me the link to your post about the book. My girl is fiercely brave, not a crowd follower at all but I still see parts of both of us in the book. Did you get to meet Emily in Charlotte? How is your writing outside of blogging coming along? Nice to visit with you.


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