Losing Reputation


I've been following several blogger gals as they read through the book "Grace for the Good Girl " By Emily Freeman. God has been putting all sorts of questions in my heart as of late and its honestly made me pretty uncomfortable. I kept getting questions, and not being able to have answers.  I don't like that.

In kind of an impulse, I decided to join in on this virtual book club called the same page.  I felt like this is where God was leading me.

I'm pretty behind, but I was assured of how perfect this book was for me in the first few chapters. I'm forcing myself to take it slow and process through what the Emily says rather than trying to speed through and be caught up.

Even the first three chapters have been overwhelming in the best way. It's been refreshing and somewhat scary as I confront a lot of lies I've spent a good chunk of my life believing.

I'm learning the difference between conviction and competition. For me, I often embrace the latter under the mask of the other. I've noticed a lot of lies that have left me feeling overwhelmed in a negative way and have left me sort of desperate for approval from Ben, other moms or anyone else in my vicinity (yes, even my blog readers!)  I'm discovering a lot of truths that I'm hoping don't just impact me through the weekend.

Here is one big one. I've convinced myself for quite some time that: "the days I rely on my own strength, I'm not as 'good of a wife and mom' but the days I rely on His strength, I can become all that He wants me to be."

Now when you read that you think "what? Wait. That's true!" Perhaps  The issue, as even the author talks about, is how I've defined good. and what I think God wants me to be.

The way I define good is: clean house, work out completed, time with Jesus taken, dressed and showered, awesome healthy dinner on the table, baby happy and content, some awesome other project completed and all the while enough energy to engage with my husband. To make him laugh, enjoy conversation and overall just be awesome. Perfection. bonus points if I'm all sufficient, and need nothing from him.  For the longest time I thought, "If I rely on Jesus more, I'll be able to do all this, that's what he wants from me."

Some days I actually did it. Kind of. But most days, like this entire week (or month) I've failed. and its left me telling myself I was never relying on Jesus enough, and I was disappointing everybody. I kept telling myself that even if they were 'grace-filled" enough not to tell me so, I knew it. I failed, and they were 'loving me through it.'

I'm discovering how tangled of a mess I am. And how ridiculous of a lie that is. How wrong my definitions of good are. The days I rely on Jesus should not be marked by great performance.  As Emily states, they should be marked by worship.

The days I really focus on Jesus, the amount of to-do lists accomplishments vary. Often times its marked by me not doing all that I planned, and realizing in him I'm complete. Yes, even when I ate chocolate for breakfast (by choice) and went on a walk instead of laundry. Those days are the days I often find Jesus and not in the "its okay, I forgive you for not doing your chores, I love you still" sort of way. but in the "I'm excited I have your attention" sort of way.

The phrase "enough" has been a constant this past month for me. I find myself asking myself 'am I enough?"" "When will I think I've had enough?"

And I'm learning the answer is no, never, not until...

Not until I give up the assumption that I'll ever reach the expectations I've set for myself-because at their core they're not God-Glorifying, in fact they make me run from Him. And no I'll never be satisfied with what I have because I'm so insecure in my own self that something will always feel off-and I'll fill it the only way  I know how. Not until Jesus comes in and changes my heart. And frees me from unhealthy expectations and competitive heart. I have caught myself countless times adding things to my to-do list this week-including character changes. " I need to work on applying more grace to people, not having a judgmental heart, being a better listener....." the list goes on. and I'm finding freedom in being honest and saying "I can't." I can't (in my own strength) stop this judgmental heart because its what i use to often measure my life. It's how I can convince myself I measure up.  To stop so many of these sins in my heart there has to be a 180 in my soul. And if twenty-three years of life has taught me something, its that soul-changing is only done by Jesus.

I'm starting (just barely) to feel the freedom that comes from resignation. The freedom from losing reputation even with Jesus (how silly does that sound, but how true it is for me!) is something I'm tasting. The freedom that comes with being okay if others conclude my worst fears: I'm a bad friend, a bad mom, a bad wife, boring, a 'preachy' blogger, boastful, not a good ministry leader, not enough to meet expectations,  (it makes me get all queezy even writing those things!) Yet- its that freedom I'm chasing after.

Until I am actively fighting against having my peers define my worth, until I abandon this self-sufficient ship for Jesus,  I'll be in this crazy cycle. And I'm tired. I claim Jesus yet keep holding on to the things he's saved me from and somethings gotta give.

I'm so thankful for this book. I'm so thankful that it's pushed me to take a step-out today and be okay with just Jesus.Its freeing. I'd encourage anyone who's feeling heavy to take a look. I hope you'll encounter the same kind of peace that's invading this girls heart.


  1. Brittany, I was so blessed reading your words. I, too, am guilty of believing that the goal is to do it all, only through Jesus' strength rather than my own. But His definition of good is definitely not my definition of good, and I'm so glad you reiterated that in your post.

    Happy to have connected with you through The Same Page.

    Rebecca @ MabelKate.com

  2. Funny how we can find ourselves paradoxically "working" for grace. Even there we have to come to the end of ourselves.

    With judging it's hard to know which comes first -- being hard on ourselves or hard on others. It's easier to give grace when we've received it and vice versa. Grace goes around and comes around.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Wow. Shot to the heart, friend. Thank you for passing on what you are learning. I think I need to read this book! I am right there with you - I need to stop being afraid of Jesus realizing I'm not as awesome as I seem (hah, like he doesn't already know that). He has been talking to me about that this past week and it's so hard to notice when I'm doing it but wow does life feel sweeter when I do notice!

    Thanks for your thoughts, Britt. Love you.

  4. sorry it has taken me a week to come read your post/meet you. i'm so glad you are lining up.
    and yes, that word -- "enough." such a nasty word. unless it is proceeded by "Jesus is."