Last week I wrote about chapter 2 and 3 of Grace for the Good Girl. This week, I'm in chapter 4 and 5.
Here are some quotes from chapter 4 and 5. (I'm reading in the Kindle app for iPad so no page numbers):
- He was so accustomed to functioning in a culture of strength that he believed to seek advice for a mental ailment would be a threat to his career.
- I can put a smile on my face no matter what. Most people don't even know I deal with depression; most don't know how severely it affects my life.
- many good girls have a natural disposition of sweetness that can morph into a mask of false happiness and steal authentic joy that comes from the Lord.
- We value harmony above our own opinions or emotions, and we smile and smooth over rather than risk disappointment or worse, rejection.
- We insult the beauty of intimacy and sometimes even risk our own health for the sake of keeping everything fine.
- In order for her to receive the gift of God's unconditional love and acceptance for her, she had to come to a place of surrender and brokenness. She had to give up fine.
- There is no place in the Bible where it says emotions are categorized as right or wrong. Still, for a good girl in hiding, it feels risky to be honest about them.
- Sometimes it just takes too much energy to be authentic.
- Trying not to experience the whole spectrum of emotions is like trying to be inhuman.
- Our fluctuating humanness is there on purpose, to remind us of our need and draw us to the One who can meet it.
- Maybe you can relate to feeling vanilla-grey, like your work is ordinary, or what you do is somehow not enough. Maybe you are haunted with whispers that challenge and threaten: The work you do isn't very important. You are ordinary, less-than, and unnoticed.
- Martha received the Lord joyfully, welcoming him with eagerness. Her motives started out right, as those of a good girl often do.
- I see myself as irreplaceable when I think that the work won't get done unless I do it. Instead of looking to him to provide what is needed, Martha rolled up her sleeves and took on responsibility for things that may never have been meant for her.
- It isn't that she wanted to be working. It's that she thought she had to. She felt responsible.
- Choosing to please God sounds right at first, but it so often leads to a performing life, a girl trying to become good, a lean-on-myself theology. If I am trying to please God, it is difficult to trust God. But when I trust God, pleasing him is automatic.
“How are you?”
Is that a real question? You know what I mean. It seems like more of a nicety than a sincere question. So I default to “fine” and leave it at that. Sometimes I'm too afraid to give the real answer and sometimes I don't think the other person really want to hear the real answer. I hide behind “fine.”
The truth? I'm not fine. I have minor chronic form of depression called dysthymia. I'm not a chipper cheerful type. And I never will be. That's just not who I am. And I have to be ok with that. But, I don't have to suffer in the lows alone. And neither do you. I spent 31 days in October opening up about depression in hopes that it would help other women step out of that hiding too. It all starts with letting go of “fine.”
Mary and Martha
Can I just say that I've never liked this story? I don't like it because I'm Martha.
There are stories and commands throughout the Bible that we are supposed to serve. That's what Martha was doing, but some how it got turned upside down and her priorities were all mixed up.
Serving can so easily turn into pleasing. Before trusting, putting my best foot forward so someone has a good impression of me. This turns into a vicious cycle of continually trying to perform so you feel like you can trust and be trusted. And you can't stop.
The truth is, there's a place for serving and a place for resting and I can't use either as a mask for trusting or being trusted.
Missed a week of the discussion? You can start here for the whole series.