On Being a Good Girl

One day this week, my son went to school in the same clothes he had worn the previous day. No big deal, right? He’s 5. 

Let me tell you, it drove me nuts. The moment I saw his unworn new outfit for the day, still unworn, I inwardly freaked. My first instinct was to email his teacher and explain myself. Why? Control. It would be my way of controlling another’s perception of me/us. He’s not a dirty kid. We are normal people. I am a good mom.

You see, when you’re a good girl, like me, you perform. I always loved being good–good behavior (I was the white sheep of the family, after all, according to one brother), good grades, good wife, good mom. Especially a good mom. 

But when you begin placing your worth in performance, you fail. What happens when you’re knee deep in babies and snot and utter exhaustion  like I was for about three years, and you can no longer be good? There goes the clean house and the put-together you. And you’re left thinking: Am I still a good mom? Am I still good? Am I?

Last Friday I had a half hour to myself in a coffee shop (heavenly), and I began reading Grace For the Good Girl by Emily P Freeman. This woman speaks my language. One of the things she said was, “Because there is so much I believe I should be, there is also so much I believe I lack.” 

Should. I should do this, be this. Should was my vehicle on the road to Good. But “should” is the thief of joy, of contentment. It shackles us to our expectations. For an achiever like me, should ensnares, entangles, and blinds. Should took the place of grace, and to be honest, if we don’t need grace, then what about salvation? For Freeman, in the effort to be the good everything, “Jesus [wasn’t] even in the room.”

Now hold the boat here! For whatever reason, I can admit that I am over here concerned about my works, but when I unpack it into the reality that my actions are saying “I don’t need Jesus or His salvation,” I’m met with a lovely reality check. Grace has to trump works. It’s what salvation is. And I’m lost without it.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

“Not of yourself.” There is literally nothing I can do to “be good.” Certainly keeping your home and family well is good and pleasing to God, but they don’t define me, or more importantly, save me.

Super wife, super mom, super woman is of me. I need to let her go. It’s time to be a reformed Good Girl. A redeemed Good Girl. Me. A Daughter of the King.

Beautiful Things

Do you ever wonder if you have something worthwhile to say? I do.

I’m not naturally outgoing. I’d rather hang back in a crowd. I like to listen and reflect and gather my thoughts, then maaaaybe share. It’s easy to disqualify myself and believe that my words aren’t valuable. That they don’t have weight, bearing, and relevance to others’ lives.

I’m “just” a stay at home mom. I don’t have an amazing, dynamic story. I don’t have experience in that area. She is more qualified. It’s too scary.

Are you ever your own worst critic? I am.

But I’m also the Daughter of the King. I am redeemed. God takes my broken pieces and makes them beautiful. You know that Gungor song, Beautiful Things?

“Oh, you make beautiful things/You make beautiful things out of the dust/ You make beautiful things/ You make beautiful things out of us.”

Do you ever think, Wow, even at my worst, I am God’s beautiful, beloved thing? It is HE, not you, who qualifies you for His work.

When a friend says “I’m inspired by you.”

And a mentor says, “I appreciate you.”

And a new acquaintance says, “Thank you for sharing you story. People need to hear it.”

Then, maybe, just maybe, you begin to hear that whisper that has always been there. You are my beloved. I created you for a purpose. You matter. You have a story to tell.