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. 
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