She is at a friend’s house to play. She’s six and she hates peanut butter but eats it anyway because that’s what her friend’s mom serves for lunch. She stays quiet about her preference.

She doesn’t want to trouble anyone.

On her ninth birthday she listens through thin walls as her parents fight about nothing and everything. She knows there isn’t anything she can do to make them love each other again.

She feels a sense of shame that she can’t explain.

She turns thirteen and is the third best friend of two fighting girls who both tell her their side. She feels overwhelmed with the middle-ness of it all.

She doesn’t sleep well at night.

She walks to her seat near the window in the back of her tenth grade English class, catches the eye of a friend across the room and notices the scowl on her face.

As she pulls a sweater out of her bookbag and shrugs it on half-way, she is aware of a nagging sense of shame and responsibility over the mood of her friend. Is she mad at me? 

She feels hurt and rejected but tries to hide it.

At seventeen she learns of her acceptance into the college her entire family attended. She is afraid to tell them she doesn’t want to go.

She feels responsible to live up to their expectations.

She laughs like her mama, likes country music, puts fries on her hamburger, and dreams about the future. She stays up too late and regrets it in the morning. She sees the moon in a winter sky. It makes her cry.

She panics in the spotlight but craves it at the same time. She makes friends easily but still feels lonely. She feels both too much and not enough.

She is smart and beautiful. But she doesn’t know it.

She moves through life like a well-trained cheerleader, elbows and knees locked, smile on her face. With shoulders tense and teeth clenched tight, she braces for tests and right answers. She is ready for anything. But not really.

In a world where everyone’s motives seem to drip heavy with expectation, she wonders if anyone knows who she really is.

There is a different way to live. Life isn’t about trying hard to be good. It’s about trusting God to be graceful in us.

Teaching our girls to be graceful doesn’t mean perfect. It means free.

She is specially marked by God’s divine grace. But she doesn’t know it yet.

That’s why I wrote a book for her.

Graceful: Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life is a book for teen girls and was released in September. I’m thrilled to share it to you today.

And if you are a grown up and this resonates with you, you could grab a copy of my book for women on this same topic, Grace for the Good Girl.

Be sure to come back Wednesday for a link to the free downloadable small group leader’s guide as well as a one page flyer for your youth pastor.

Portions of this post were adapted from Chapter 1 of Graceful. Read the full chapter here.

-by emily freeman, Chatting at the Sky
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  1. 1

    Well done. I know so many girls who could relate with- and benefit from- what you cover in your book. I’m on my way to becoming a biblical counselor, and I hope to read & multiply what you’ve shared in both your books!

  2. 2

    Wow. I thought I was reading a post about mysel for a second! I’d love to give this to my niece in year or so when she turns 13. Her heart is just like mine, and I pray that she has more confidence than I did as a young lady. Just downloaded your “grace for a good girl”, and am very excited to start it.

  3. 3

    I have just the girls in mind for this important truth to be shared!

  4. 4

    Wow. What you wrote sounded so much like me growing up in a chaotic home dealing with alcohol. When I married I raised my children differently – in the nurture of the Lord. But my daughter struggled. Now she has an almost 13 yr. old daughter. I would love to give her this book. I think it would resonant with her and us as well.

  5. 5

    When I read the title of your new book, I thought of at least a dozen young adult girls I know. All of us as dear Eves struggle with this dilemma at some stage of our lives. Sadly it seems all too prevalent in younger ladies in the church especially. My heart ache for them… and I endorse a book like yours wholeheartedly, praying that many girls, and not so young-girls will be liberated!!!

  6. 6

    This really resonated with me. I so feel like I need to meet people’s expectations. It is so frustrating at times to feel responsible for the fates of so many things/people…I might not exactly be a teen anymore, but I’m close, and my reading level is a little embarrassing…so I’d love a chance to read this book!

  7. 8
    Sallie E. says:

    I would love to be able to share this book with my friend’s two teen/tween girls. I have SO been there!

  8. 9

    I would love to win this book. I have three daughters and getting them through the teenage years (in a few years) unscathed is one of my biggest worries. The teenage years were hard for me and I didn’t navigate them well. I’d like better for my daughters.

  9. 10
    Barbara Janasz says:

    I am looking forward to reading this book with my pre-teen girls. I want them to experience freedom years before I began to…

  10. 11
    Rebekah says:

    I’m a director for high school and young adult ministry at my church and as I see myself growing up in this post, it reminds me again of why I do what I do. Thank you for this post and this book. Can’t wait to get it in the hands of a few of my teenagers.

  11. 12
    Rosanne says:

    Great expectations – the story of my life! I am volunteering with a teen girl ministry. I would love to share this book with my girls!

  12. 13

    Wow! Reading that description reminded me of myself. I’m 37 now but I’ve only been “freed” of this for a few years. I see my stepdaughter playing this out in her life. I’ve talked with her on a few occasions and she is so afraid to live out her own passions that she is willing to stay home and in our hometown for the rest of her life because of fear. She’s afraid of letting people down. She’s afraid of hurting others. She’s afraid of being hurt. She’s afraid of being the only one who doesn’t follow the crowd. I pray for her that she will not take 34 years to become who she was made to be like I did.

  13. 14
    Joanne Viola says:

    I have already given away 2 copies of this book. In reading this post, another young girl came to mind that I would love to receive this book. Thank you for the opportunity!

  14. 15

    I have 4 daughters whom I would love to hand a copy of this to…
    I teach 10th grade girls in church. I’d love to pass a copy around our small group as well.

  15. 16
    Rachael says:

    As the oldest, I always felt it up to me to be the responsible, mature one. Desperate for my mother’s approval, I’d hide the emotions and the rebellion . . . and then watch in envy as my younger sister acted out the things I felt. Where can you walk a middle ground between my good behavior motivated by fear of displeasing others and my sister’s carefree, careless behavior motivated only by what pleased herself? And for the five younger sisters that are now following in our footsteps, will they have to learn all these same lessons the hard way? I hope not. Maybe Graceful can share an older sister’s heart across the miles . . .

  16. 17

    Sounds a lot like me in some ways. I was the type that always double checked everything, practiced for hours to get things just right, worried that I’d never be good enough…but pretended I was. I wish there’d been a book when I was a teen telling me just what this book says, “Stop trying. Let God.” Great stuff, Emily. :)

  17. 18

    I know the perfect teen for this book. I want to read it first, though. ;)

  18. 19

    Tearfully I write this as I know my beloved niece, Lindsey, needs this words. If I don’t win it, I will buy it. Thank you for speaking to all of us.

  19. 20

    I just purchased two of these books to give away to young friends, and I could always use another one! As a young post-college woman, it seems there are endless numbers of teen girls who God has blessed me to be part of their lives….

  20. 21

    My sweet teenaged daughter, Emily, left this world almost four years ago at the tender age of 17 after a very quick illness. I was flooded with memories of the struggles she had from time to time reading this excerpt. Thank you for your gift of writing and speaking to the heart of these young women. You’re a blessing! I ordered Grace For the Good Girl last year for myself and for my sister. Love the book. This book would be a wonderful gift to my sweet niece who just never feels like she is worthy nor “good enough”. Blessings to you!

  21. 22
    Paige Woody says:

    I would love to share this book with the young girls in my youth group at church. They feel so much pressure from parents, school, friends, etc. They never take the time to understand just who THEY are, who THEY want to be. I strive to get them to understand that they are loved no matter who they are or who they become.

  22. 23

    I’m seventeen and I read Graceful a couple months ago. I can honestly say it has stirred something deep in my heart. I’m not perfect and I’m learning that that’s okay. But I’m trying to grow. I would love to share this book with my best friend who I think would also benefit from reading these well-written, moving, inspiring words.

  23. 24
    Leslie Begin says:

    I am raising 4 sweet daughters and as a “try hard” girl of the past I worry that I will raise good, try-hard girls like me. It was and is exhausting trying to live up to all of the expectations of others.

  24. 25
    Leslie Begin says:

    I am raising 4 sweet daughters and as a “try hard” girl of the past I worry that I will raise good, try-hard girls like me. It was and is exhausting trying to live up to all of the expectations of others.

  25. 26

    I am raising 4 sweet daughters and as a try hard girl of the past I worry that I will raise good, try-hard girls like me. It was and is exhausting trying to live up to all of the expectations of others.

  26. 27

    Sounds like you’re describing my daughter. I tried to get your book at BN but they were out. I can’t wait to get it for her!

  27. 28

    Just beautiful, Emily. This post makes me want to weep with relief–we are covered by grace, we justt don’t know it sometimes. Thank you for this treasure.

  28. 29

    My 17 year old adopted daughter from Ukraine struggles with so much. Much more than teens around her. She not only battles such things above but on top of it, struggles with identity. Is she American? Ukrainian? A daughter? An orphan? There’s so much there! It breaks my heart to watch her. I’m praying this book would be the window we need to help break through her barrier.

  29. 30
    Natasha d says:

    This looks like a great book, Emily! currently working through Grace for the Good Girl with some of my girlfriends!

  30. 31
    Heather says:

    You have spoken the words so many young women need to heard down deep in their hearts…

  31. 32

    Living overseas in a cultural where girls don’t have much respect for themselves I would love the chance to share this with them. Plus, my daughter could benefit from this. Being the light in a dark world can be hard. This would be a great way to get girls together. Thanks for all you do. I read the first book. Love it. Thanks May God bless you!

  32. 33

    I felt like this so often as a child…wondering what other people were thinking of me, worrying about what God thought of me, being in the middle of things that made me feel shame, but having no power to change things or concept of my own value. Thank you for writing this book, Emily!

  33. 34

    Beautifully written! I’d love to win a copy.

  34. 35

    I have already read GFTGG and am currently leading a small group study with some of my favorite women. But Graceful? I think I need this one, too. For 13 yr old me, for my five year old daughter, for my sweet young friend at church who is 16. All women need grace.

  35. 36
    LORRAINE says:

    At 51 years old this puts me right back. What a journey it has been and still is and how awesome and encouraging how you are inspiring and showing young woman their “space to breath” and God’s Grace !
    One thought of mine that stands out the most was “feeling like I was the only one”. Not know how many others were in such a way if you will.
    My sons are grown, with an absent father? I remember my one son saying about one of his friends “he doesn’t have a dad either”. I realized that was the case with all of his friends.
    Its true how we are drawn to those who we feel might be in the same situation.
    I never seemed to find those friends. I always felt that all the other girls “had perfect families, with a mom and a loving father.” The closest I cames was those who had I dad that drank. I felt like they could understand…….
    Anyway, I’m rambling. God Bless you. God Bless you mission.
    I pray you reach many thru your posts and writings.
    Stay inspired.
    Lorraine

  36. 37

    I would love to have this for my 13 year old daughter, maybe because it sounds a lot like me as a teen!

  37. 38

    What a beautiful post.

  38. 39

    My nieces would benefit greatly from your book. not to mention that I’mraising three girls of my own.

  39. 40

    Those words! Painful for me to read, as I saw myself growing up…and remembered. Thanks for letting light shine truth on our lives as women. Thanks for the opportunity to help the budding women in our lives live free.

  40. 41

    I have always been a pleaser, and this scares me for my two teenage daughters. I hope they learn much sooner than I have that God loves, even if we aren’t making everyone around us happy.

  41. 42

    Reading this made me choke up – I wish I had realized that as a teen and I really wish my daughter would believe me when I tell her the same. I would love to give her this to reaffirm what I try to make her believe. I’d like to read it to to reassure myself that I’m doing OK teaching her…

  42. 43

    What a great post! These are truths I hope and pray to instill in my baby girl!

  43. 44

    I’d love to give this book to our youth pastor’s wife. She mentored my daughter for 2 years prior to her marriage and was such a blessing. I’m sure she’d use the book in her new mentoring relationship.

  44. 45

    Good stuff. I would love to win a copy!

  45. 46

    This is a book I need. Beautifully written. I would love to win.
    Ruth

  46. 47

    I would LOVE a copy of this book for my daughter. Thanks for doing a giveaway!

  47. 48

    Looking forward to reading it and sharing it with the teen girls in my life.
    Sometimes high school and middle age womanhood look/feel similar.
    Marja

  48. 49

    I would love to win this for my friend’s daughter. How I wish this book had been written when I was struggling to live up to all those expectations when I was a teenager. (Who am I kidding, I might read it before I pass it on if I win!) Thank you for opening yourself up so that others can benefit too!

  49. 50

    Thank you for your heart for these beautiful creations! It does sound a bit like my 15-year-old, or maybe me….

  50. 51

    Very sweet post. I would love to donate this to our church’s library, where we have 25% ‘everyone else’, 75% high school and college students.
    Sarah M

  51. 52

    Oh, I know so many girls this could be for. . . so, so, so many girls. And I wish this had been around when I was younger–I needed someone to tell me that it was going to be ok.

  52. 53

    I remember those days. I have three daughters who are all living those days. Whew!

  53. 54
    RacheL H. says:

    I have a teen sister and I’d also like to read this book too!

  54. 55

    Graceful doesn’t mean perfect…but Free…oh this is my hearts desire…I have a 30yr. old daughter…and a 16 year old daughter…it is like raising them in two completely different worlds…it’s funny…one can get lulled asleep as a parent…I have done this for so long…I can just do the same thing I did for all the others…well no…teenage girls are a real game changer…I have to humble myself like a first time mom of a teen…not a seasoned mom of already having raised 4…always opened to help and guidance for this last leg of my journey:)

  55. 56

    I would love this for my niece!

  56. 57

    I know a person who needs this book. Great opportunity!

  57. 58
    MrsManley says:

    I would love to win this book. My daughter just turned 9 and I try to equip myself for what’s coming instead of scrambling in the moment. This would be very timely.

  58. 59

    Emily,

    I read your beautiful writing, and I think what a blessing you are. I was looking at some painful words from my teenage self today, and I thought if only I had someone to be graceful to me, to come along side me. I didn’t but I CELEBRATE the fact you come alongside so many who hurt like me and you tell them, they are loved, that there is GRACE and that there is a Father. Thank you Emily.

    May God smile on you today,

    Love from Ireland, Nics

  59. 60

    I have a sister who could use this message of freedom right now.
    Thanks for sharing, Emily. Your words are a blessing.

  60. 61
    Jennifer says:

    Hi…bought Graceful already for my daughter…would love
    to have an extra copy to give to another teen girl : )

  61. 62

    I have a ten-year-old daughter who I already know is a people-pleaser. I hope for her to find the freedom you write about. And I’d love to have a copy of this book for her, even if it might be a year or two before she reads it.

  62. 63

    Oh my, so many emotions came to me as I read this. Would love to read myself and give to many teens I know.

  63. 64

    I recently read Grace for the Good Girl, and I am desperately trying to internalize it. (Trying… to stop trying? Does that even make sense?) I have a very sweet 16-year-old friend with whom I would love to share Graceful.

  64. 65

    Mmm…could use this right about now. Thanks, Emily, for being a channel of His grace and love!

  65. 66
    diana mack says:

    wow…i felt like i was reading about my 15 yr old daughter….all those conflicting emotions! and the friendships…so so difficult!

  66. 67

    This message so resonates with me and I wish someone had shared it with me then- maybe I would not struggle to learn it over and over again now!

  67. 68
    Michelle says:

    I would love to have this for my daughter to help her through her struggles.

  68. 69

    This speaks so much into my life, and I just know that it speaks into the lives of the college-age small group of girls I lead. Thank you, so very much, for the words you write, Emily.

  69. 70

    Thanks, Emily, for this new book! I’m a counselor working with adolescents and young adults. Overcoming the good girl is such a struggle and it starts so young! My girl friends and I loved Grace for the Good Girl–can’t wait to read this one, too.

  70. 71
    Cindy R says:

    I would love to read this book and share it with my teen daughters also! :)

  71. 72
    Stephanie Rose says:

    W.o.w. I cannot put into words how paralyzing the fear this mom has of raising twin daughters who are now four. My greatest desire in life aside from fulfilling my Godly purpose, is to ensure they understand the unconditional, overwhelming grace of our Savior that took me 32 years to grasp (and I’m still trying to wrap my head around!) I love your gift in writing, thank you for your obedience to your calling :-)

  72. 73
    BJMarley says:

    It sounded as if your were describing my daughter. I would love to for her to have this book.

  73. 74

    This would be a wonderful book for my daughter.

  74. 75
    Tracy Sheridan says:

    Sounds amazing! Hope I win!!

  75. 76

    Beautiful post, Emily. I loved your first book and would love to win a copy of your second!

  76. 77
    lyndsey says:

    I have a teenager in my life that I would love to give this book to.. she is going through a lot trying to fit into the worlds view and i think this book would help her a lot..

  77. 78
    Barbara M. says:

    A lot of wonderful comments on this post, but I will give it a try for my daughter, who is about to turn 13. She likes to read and yet, she always feels different than the other girls.

  78. 79

    The Lord is so good to have amazing women to write such inspiring books and blogs! I’m living the Journey, trying to live one day at a time. Trying to let go and let God.

  79. 80

    Emily,
    So Much of what you write resonates in my own soul. I have two daughters, 13 & 16 yrs. old. I long for them not to walk through the heartache and bondage I did at their ages. They’re learning of the freedom and complete forgiveness in Christ alone and I pray His truths are sinking deep within them.
    It is always good to hear of others struggles and stories…….as they provide hope and encouragement. I’d love for them to read your book and let your words also be a source of help and hope. Thank you for being used as an instrument in His Almighty Hand!

  80. 81
    Susie Daggett says:

    My daughter could use this book

  81. 82
    Michelle Murphy says:

    I would love to win this book. I have 2 daughters that I could see in the scenario presented. Thanks!

  82. 83
    Brittany says:

    I would love to win this for my daughter. Thanks for the giveaway

  83. 84
    Susan Ringoen says:

    I am the mom of 5 daughters – 4 in their teens, and one who has gracefully graduated from those teen years. My husband of 20+ years died a couple of years ago, and we were abruptly thrust into a season of much grief, trial and chaos. I am just beginning to feel more settled, but my heart still aches over much. Friday I was feeling so much stronger, but 3 of my “bio” daughters were all in tears… some of the things you mention in this post were part of their pain. I would love to be able to share this book with my daughters! Thank you!

  84. 85
    Jeannie Hinkle says:

    I have a daughter who is struggling with being a perfectionist. Must have straight A’s, must be the perfect dancer, daughter, friend, etc. She is 16 going on 30! Would love to share this book with her!

  85. 86
    Patricia says:

    I know of at least 4 teen or preteen girls that really need this book.One is already a single mom with two daughters of her own.

  86. 87

    What an awesome book that sounds like it would relate so very well to the trials and tribulations of young girls. Teaching them about God’s grace for them is so pivotal as they grow and become young women. I think this would be a wonderful small group study for our teen girls at church.

  87. 88

    My daughters aren’t quite there yet (ages 11,10, 4 and 2), but I have a couple nieces that I would LOVE to win a copy for. Thanks so much for writing to them, Emily!
    Blessings!
    Shana

  88. 89

    This book is amazing! I’ve read it three times already. It’s a breath of fresh air for a heart tired of living in “un-grace”. Thank you, Emily, for sharing your story with all of us, and for being so. real. I love that!

  89. 90

    My neice is this girl. I would love to give it to her for Christmas. And I pray my own daughter, still too young, will be taught freedom so she doesn’t feel compelled to lose her voice in the decisions of her life.

  90. 91

    Oh Yes I can relate, I had those issues growing up and now I see this pattern in many hunger girls… I would love a copy of the book as I teach young girls bible study and would value this resource. Thanks

  91. 92
    Christina says:

    I would love to gift ths to our 17 year old babysitter. She is a wonderful young woman that I have known since she was 9. I have watched grow up through her mothers breast cancer, parents separation, and through all of it she has been so strong.

  92. 93

    This post made me think of my 19 year old stepdaughter. I am really worried about her right now, as she just joined a sorority in her sophomore year of college. Now all I see are “sexy” photos of her and her “sisters” posing for all the world to see. I am so disturbed, but my place in this family is not to be her “mom”. She has one of those. I think if I got her this book I could plant some seeds without having to say a word.

  93. 94
    helen g. says:

    This book would be such an encouragement for a hs girl I’ve been discipling!

  94. 95

    Wow, this tugged at my heart! I read your words with tears streaming down my face. This was my life as a child but I didn’t have the Lord in my life. I am 45 years old and this speaks volumes to me as well as my 14 1/2 year old daughter. She is such a blessing! Praise God she is being raised in a godly home where when she struggles, she can turn to our Heavenly Father. You see, she has a brother, 17 years old and a sister 19 years old. The 19 year old is disabled and has been her whole life. She was then diagnosed with a terminal disease 4 years ago. My youngest has had to grown up way to fast and has a heart for any and all people. I would love for her to have this book so she can see that although her life is ‘unique’ she is blessed beyond and that our Lord’s Grace will see her through the journey that lies ahead. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the tears today…..sometimes a good cry reminds you of His Love and Power needed to heal from a hard childhood and the ability to minister to my own how they will get through all lifes trials, holding onto His Hand. The teen years can be so confusing……I am a prayer warrior and it is my prayer that many teens will read this book and be touched by it. Blessings……

  95. 96

    I would love to read this books with the girls I volunteer with at church. I believe they could really benefit from it.

  96. 97
    Bernadette says:

    Thank you for this wonderful book! First, I want to share this book with my 13 year old daughter. I know she struggles with confidence issues but thankfully she has a good relationship with the Lord! I also want to buy several copies for her friends, our youth group leaders and several students I teach. How I wish someone had given me a book like this when I was young!

  97. 98
    SuperErin says:

    What a blessing your words will be!

  98. 99

    I have a teenage niece and a tween who I would love to share this book with!

  99. 100
    Eva Head says:

    This looks great, the young girls and old ones need to know we can’t live up to the picture perfect image. Only God’s grace filled image is perfect for us.

  100. 101
    Debbie Murphy says:

    I was reading this post and thought of my two neices who are teenagers. One especially who lost her mom to cancer when she was 11. I would love to give each of them this book to read. Thank you for writing something for teenage girls.

  101. 102
    Emily K says:

    Thank you for this! I’ve definitely struggled with this throughout my life. I’ve always hidden my true thoughts from people in fear of being rejected. As I am now in my sophomore year of college, I struggle with on and off feelings of loneliness. I recognize the difference when I take my thoughts and struggles to Christ first before any other. However, I read an earlier post on the website this week about learning to share and open up with others. Sometimes you will be hurt, and that is a scary thought for me. However, this week I made an appointment with a counselor! I’m very nervous and skeptical, but I want to take that step in learning to trust others!

  102. 103

    You hit the nail on the head. As the mom of a teenager girl and a youth worker I could put a name with each of the descriptions above. This book is going to be a fabulous resource for us!

  103. 104

    As I was reading this, I could only help to think, “Wow, she’s been in our home!” The story sounds like my 16yr old daughter to a tee. I look forward to getting her your book and encouraging her to find her way. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  104. 105
    Jane @ See Jane Learn says:

    Your words heal-I loved your first book and Graceful sounds fantastic. My youngest just left for college and this would be a great Christmas present. She plans to be an R.A. in her Christian University next year and your words would help her encourage others.

  105. 106

    As a recovering good girl (who has read “Grace for the Good Girl” three times) and the mother of three teen daughters (13, 15 and 18) I know this is such a timely message. I am praying God will use “Graceful” to set others free.

  106. 107
    Lynnette says:

    Would love to be able to give this to my 15 year old daughter. She even once said some of her friends called her a “try-hard”.

  107. 108

    This is the perfect intro to your book. I definitely need to get it for my daughter. Not enough is written for our sweet daughters, the in between girlhood and womanhood. Thanks for this…

  108. 109

    This post hits close to home. I am currently 17 about to turn 18 in two days. And every time I read one of your posts God speaks to me directly. I am now realizing that Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of expectations, your book “Grace for the Good Girl” has resonated so much with my life. Although i’m still a teen I am learning daily to let go of people’s expectations for my life. I only need to listen to Jesus precious voice and forget all the drowning voices of the world. Thank you so much for your blogs, and books. May God continue using your life to speak truth into the lives of others, I am so incredibly blessed to be able to read your writings, they help me so much. I pray he bless you and your family always&forever!! <3 Love you Emily!!

  109. 110

    Lovely!! Thank you for speaking into the hearts of every young woman the truth of who she is in Him.

  110. 111

    Oh my. This made me cry. I was suddenly “that” girl again – always wanting to fit in, to be accepted, to have friends, to be the good girl. I am now 69 years old and still have some of those same insecurities, I think! I have a darling granddaughter who just turned 13 a few months ago. She needs to read this book. I would love to have a copy.

  111. 112

    I’m 16 and this really sounds like me. I would love to read it. I think I’ll ask for it for Christmas if I don’t win :)

  112. 113
    Annette says:

    Oh boy, I think most any woman can find pieces of herself in this book when reflecting back on those teenage years. From my adult perspective, it is clear to me how God was there protecting and guiding me. But, I certainly struggled to feel his presence during those years. Even with a loving, Christian, intact family I felt alone, awkward, and out of step. As a mother of 2 teenage daughters with another getting there quick, my heart breaks at some of their struggles. They are so beautifully made with such loving spirits. Yet, I can see (and remember) that they are not feeling the acceptance that Jesus offers. I’d love to win the book, and I encourage you to continue with your mission of helping girls recognize their inherent and “true” beauty.

  113. 114
    Advisingprincess says:

    Ugh! At 45 I am still living this out some days. Yesterday, in fact.

    I was caught in the middle between two women (family members) who were angry with one another and I felt responsible to make peace between them, regardless of the fact it had nothing to do with me. Then, I read the above this morning and thought about my teenage self. How responsible I felt for keeping the peace, how alone I felt, how misunderstood, and overwhelmed with…well…everything.

    It’s strangely encouraging to read the comments of women I’ve never met and feel so understood. Looking forward to using your book (free or not) with a young woman I see struggling with so much of this.

    Thank you for your books and blog.
    Dawn

  114. 115

    I have four daughters and can’t wait to get ahold of this book! As women we sometimes strive so hard to be accepted, acknowledged, praised and forget so easily that we already are…..

  115. 116

    I need to let go of trying to do everything by myself and share the burden with God and family and friends.

  116. 117

    I will definitely be looking more at this book as one to add on my “books to read” list for my True Beauty Program. And winning one to read and give to my little sis would be even better! :-) Thank you for this!

  117. 118

    I love this. I feel so connected to your words. The try had attitude is just present deep in some of us. I see it in myself, and in my daughter already. I love that you have written about this and I can’t wait for me & my daughter to read it. I re-read the line about others motives dripping with expectations and wondering if anyone knows who “I” am over and over. It tugs at my heart and I look forward to reading about the hope of gracefulness.

  118. 119
    Sonia R says:

    I have a very special 16 year old daughter. She seems so grown up in many ways, yet very young and vulnerable in others. She is a shining light in my life. When I read this blog entry, I thought, this could be her. She shows a strong and confident face to the world most of the time and occasionally shares her heart with me, but is she really hiding an inner feeling of inadequacy? I believe this would be a great book for her! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  119. 120
    Nicky McCleery says:

    I am raising three little girls and the oldest just hit 10. Her teen years loom ahead of me! This is a wonderful giveaway, thanks.

  120. 121
    Heather Pinches says:

    Your post describes me to a tee! And it also describes my treasured but not-yet-grown-into-herself 13-year old daughter. I definitely want to go through this book with her!

  121. 122
    Becky Jones says:

    I can relate to this message…I was/am a Pastor’s child and always felt pressure to be perfect {It took decades for me to realize that perfection is unattainable} and sadly I have often laid that burden on my eldest child…she is so precious and 20 now- this book would greatly minister to her right where she is ..thank you for the lovely giveaway!

  122. 123

    So beautiful. I was that girl growing up and still struggle with being that girl today. So thankful for Grace for the Good Girl and thankful that Graceful will help young girls let go of trying hard at an earlier age.

  123. 124
    Christina M says:

    Wow, so many of us see ourselves as this girl even still. Looking forward to reading this book.

  124. 125

    I consumed Grace for the Good Girl. What a gift. I sense God calling me to reach jr high and high school girls in some distant future. You book is my beginning preparation.

  125. 126

    I am thankful for the incouragement and a book like this would be great for my daughter. We are now homeschooling . She has changed in do many ways where the world does not bend her and she trust in the Lord. It is a hard time for young people growing up in this world today. God Bless.

  126. 127
    Finette Britz says:

    Full of the same beauty as Grace for the Good Girl…I’m sure this one won’t disappoint! Here’s holding thumbs!! :-)

  127. 128

    I pray thousands of young teen girls will read this but personally I know my niece could really benefit from reading “Graceful letting go of your try hard Life.She has been through
    a really painful experience of sexual abuse and even though she has had christian counseling it feels like she thinks it’s her fault.It breaks my heart and I pray for any and every opportunity to help her.

  128. 129
    Julie Garrett says:

    I have a daughter that struggles with confidence issues that seem to have no basis. She is smart, beautiful and talented but she just can’t seem to shake these self-esteem issues. It is heart-breaking for me, as I recognize all these same feelings from my own childhood but still don’t know how to help her. This book looks like a great help for her and so many like her. Thank you!

  129. 130

    sounds like an awesome read! would love to share this with my daughter and her friends!

  130. 131
    Penny Pedersen says:

    Looking forward to this book. My own journey to freedom coincided with beginning a book study with a friend, reading Grace For The Good Girl, and I see this same need for freedom in my youth girls. While we have great, Gospel-centered conversation already, this might make an excellent focused study. Thanks!!

  131. 132

    Whoa…. does this ever resonate with me…
    I would love this for my ever trying people-pleasing daughter, and several of our youth girls at church.
    Why is it we continue to believe the lie that we aren’t good enough?

  132. 133

    Being a teenage girl was not easy for me. These days it can not be any easier. I bought two of them for my nieces, but would love another for a friend of mine. I would love something like this for my teenage boys too. Being a boy isn’t easy either. Especially if you are tenderhearted and trying hard to make good grades. Or if you are trying to be tough and deep down you are very lonely.

  133. 134

    I would love to give this book to my granddaughter for Christmas! She is the oldest in a blended family of four and helps out her mom whenever she can. Shre is a good girl and needs to relax a bit and enjoy her life more!

  134. 135
    Melinda says:

    I was sent this blog post by a friend. It sounds like a book I would like to share with my daughters and the small group of girls I lead.

  135. 136
    Lil Lyndie says:

    You are an inspiration to everyone you reach. Thank you

  136. 137

    I would love to have this book for my 15 year old step-daughter.

  137. 138

    “Teaching our girls to be graceful doesn’t mean perfect. It means free.” My heart aches for so many young girls – even into their 20′s – who are struggling. Our local high school has seen such an influx of drug use and suicides are up in our entire county (boys and girls) taking in several high schools. There is too much pressure. They can never be enough without Jesus. They need HOPE. Thank you for your book…

  138. 139
    Heather says:

    I would love to win a copy!

  139. 140

    Have 2 teenage girls (and 3 teen boys plus some more!) that could use a book like this. May I be a mom who extends needed grace!

  140. 141

    This sounds so much like my daughter. I would love to win this to be able to give her encouragement to focus on what God wants her to do. Thanks for the opportunity!

  141. 142

    I enjoyed reading about this new book. My daughter is 13 and has a good group of friends. My son is 15. They both attend a great public schools. My son has found a group of guys that meet every Friday after school at a boy’s house. His dad provides a devotional and they hang out and play games. It’s been a great group for my son. I have been praying about the same kind of group for my daughter. Our church youth group is in transition right now and there are not a lot of girls her age that attend. When I read this post, I thought maybe this book would be a good fit. Thanks!

  142. 143
    Carolina says:

    Thank you for allowing yourself to be used by God!!! May he continue to bless you and give you the words to reach out a generation that is in need of grace!

  143. 144

    loved the post and it resonated with me! I am a 61 yr old mother of 6. Three boys born to me and 3 sisters adopted by me 6 1/2 years ago from Ukraine. They are 19,17,14 and all suffer from PTSD, Reactive Attachment disorder, Fetal Alcohol syndrome and have auditory processing issues. It has been a blessing an a challenge to be a single parent to teenagers with so many issues, and the main thing is their worth- they don’t feel worthy, or normal, or close to God some days. Would love to have them read this book. Thanks for writing it!

  144. 145

    I would like to win this for my grandaughters.

  145. 146
    Shirley says:

    I can see my granddaughtere using this book both for herself and for those she leads in a teen Bible study group. She is the one they call when they need to talk, but I wonder who does she feel free to call when she needs to talk. She has seen the break up of her parents, both Christians. She lives with her Dad mostly, but meets her mother for shopping and lunch once a week. Now her mother is remarried to a man who has 3 sons. She already has 2 brothers, she is the middle child. She has always been the caretaker, the lover of animals. She was home-schooled and now has difficulty in getting a job, doesn’t want to go to college. She loves the mission trips she goes on, and does odd jobs to earn money including cleaning my house. I love her and see such beauty in her, natural beauty as she does not go for a lot of make up or fancy clothes. I’ll buy this book for her if I don’t get picked for a free copy. Thank you for your caring heart.

  146. 147

    Ah, I would so love to win! I loved Grace for the Good Girl, and Graceful was just as good (I just finished it last week), and I have two beautiful nieces and two beautiful neighbors who need this book! Thank you, Emily, for becoming a writer, because it has meant so much to me personally that it makes me cry a little to think of the risks you took for our sake.

  147. 148

    Oh this is so very needed. I can relate from my own memories & in my beautiful granddaughter I see the insecurities even as she shows her individuality again and again….I would love to get this for her & I will try, but it is difficult at this time, so I would love to win this for her….she is the most beautiful girl in the world & I love her

  148. 149

    I’d so love this book for my 4 neices – they really struggle with all the lies the world pushes their way! This book is a great idea for them to help touch the deeper parts of their soul – that would help them recognize truths over lies and hopefully, turn them in the right direction!! Let’s pray for all the girls in our lives who so need the Lord to be who He made them to be! Thank you for such a timely book – wish I had it to read years ago!!

  149. 150

    Wow! If only my beautiful daughters could understand God’s love for them now and not in another 25 years. How they don’t have to strive and try to live up to everyone’s expectations. Would love for them to read this book. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  150. 151
    Heather says:

    Wow. Read all the comments & saw how so many women have struggled with this. Isn’t that one the enemy’s greatest tricks: to convince us that we’re the only one struggling with something? I have an amazing, brave, but still people-pleasing 16 year old sister & a 13 year old cousin (she apologizes for every imagined offense) who I would love to give this book to

  151. 152

    I’m a single mom with a teenage daughter. For too much of her life she has felt abandoned by her father, by superficial friends, and more recently, by God, because life has been so hard (to her). To her it seems like when she tries hard and things go well for a little, then something bad always happens next. She tries so hard to be a good person but also determinedly independent, partially because she feels there are few peple she can trust fully. I would love to have something to help her see and relish the gray, rather than be so black and white.

  152. 153

    I so enjoyed reading the first two chapters of “Graceful” while eating my lunch. Thanks for allowing us this wonderful privilege online.

    There is a lovely teen at our church who would no doubt benefit tremendously from reading your book. If I am so blessed to be one of the five winners, I will give it to this young lady with great delight and a happy expectation of all that God will accomplish through these honest, wise and loving words .

  153. 154

    I am 16, and I just read the first chapter online from this book. It spoke directly to me and really showed me the motives behind the things I do. Personally, I know so many of my friends would benefit from reading this too. Emily, you have such a gift for connecting with people through your words, Thank you!

  154. 155
    Christy C. says:

    I have a 17 year old daughter and this resonates with me so much because of things she has dealt with and then remembering those days myself. I would love to share this book with her!

  155. 156

    Thanks for the opportunity.

  156. 157

    I know so many young ladies that could benefit from your latest book. I love the cover design.

  157. 158

    So glad you have written this book for teenage girls. I read you first book and gleaned so much, I need to read it again….. I have 8 granddaughters, five of them are in junior and senior high and would get so much from you new book I know. We love to give it to them for Christmas. Keep up your anointed work, Emily!

  158. 159
    Isabel Wende says:

    Thank you! I want to share this with my tween daughter, friends and cousins; I know it could help us all through what lies ahead. I appreciate your gift.

  159. 160

    I am a small group leader for 11th and 12th grade girls. Would love to share your book with one of them!

  160. 161

    Thanks for writing, for letting God use you to bring His hope!

  161. 162

    I am a professional counselor and I work a lot with teenage girls. I’m excited to share this wonderful resource with them!

  162. 163

    What a perfect gift for any of my students. I am always looking for books to use as a small group study with them. Our young women so need this message! Thank you!!!!

  163. 164
    Lindsay says:

    This book would be perfect for either of my nieces!!

  164. 165

    My 16 year old daughter would benefit from this book.

  165. 166

    Thank you for writing!

  166. 167

    Absolutely LOVE this- I remember these struggles as a girl and want to encourage my daughter to be free! Beautifully written.

  167. 168

    Always, always the truth wrapped in perfect prose. Thank you for being brave enough to write your heart and in the process writing so many of ours too. I was that girl and find I often still am, clothed in the garments of a card-carrying senior citizen.

  168. 169

    Just the taste I have had of your writing tell me our 17 year old babysitter would so benefit from this book. She is the’good girl,’ hard working, good student, great athletic skills, loves Jesus…on the cusp of womanhood.

  169. 170

    This post describes my child/teen-hood. Still making my way through your grown-up book (lots to think about as I read), but would love a copy of this to give to my pre-teen girl in a year or so.

  170. 171

    Emily, your blog has been sooo meaningful to me this year, and I just finished reading chapter 1 of your new one. Tears flow as I feel my daughter’s struggle. I can’t wait to get this for her. Thanks so much for following this writing path that God set before you. What a blessing in your honesty!!

  171. 172

    Oh, how I would love this to give to my 14 year old daughter. I am a mom who is struggling MIGHTILY with her own faith, so leading her in any spiritual sense right now is just about impossible. This book? It would be quite welcome in our home. Thanks for the opportunity.

  172. 173

    Perfect for my niece. What an amazing book to guide her.

  173. 174
    Karla Hague says:

    This book sounds so perfect for what my 14yr old needs right now! The stresses that come along with being this age are so many! Way different from when I was a teenage girl. Hard for me to know exactly what to say to her and guide her, I do my best, but I always am left feeling like there is more I should or could do!

  174. 175
    Angela Murphy says:

    This book sounds like it was written for my daughter… Then passed to my 2 younger daughters after that! Praying that I am chosen!

  175. 176
    Melissa says:

    I read Grace for the Good Girl and have two teen daughters who could benefit from your most recent book. Thanks for sharing your beautiful insights!

  176. 177

    *sigh* Thankful for women like you (Emily) who are willing to trust God enough to be vulnerable and open. I know it must have been so hard to articulate and admit these things, but in that struggle I see grace because through your submission and obedience to Jesus, I am blessed with freedom and peace. Thank you for bringing things into the light because it gives me courage to do the same and then to turn to girls my age and younger and repeat the pattern.

  177. 178

    Gee, you have interviewed my mom and friends…..always the girl who didn’t want to rock the boat. I seem to be raising children who have this gene too. Young adult and teenage daughters AND sons. I would love to share this book with my daughters and am about to borrow a kid’s nook to download the other book for ME. Thank you! for sharing!!!!

  178. 179
    cotton hair says:

    Emily, while reading your posts on your blog I felt like I could connect with you completely. Its almost a strange thing for me as I too, am a very quiet-seeking person and I’ve always written better than I speak. So, you have been a bit of an unexpected wonder to me. And just reading this excerpt from your book really convinces me that you know how I feel. I’ve been hiding a long time and sometimes I get so lonely that I feel as if I am dying inside. And Grace is something that has always left me in awe. It’s like everything you write about is always roaming about somewhere in my mind. I’m just so thankful to God that someone is writing about this. I’m not alone. Thank you for writing out and doing what you do.

  179. 180
    Charlene says:

    For me, it has been a very, very long time since I was a teenager. But, the perfect person to gift a copy of this book to crossed my mind as I was reading your post. I know it would speak to her young heart and be a change for her future. Of course, there is a possibility that I might need to pre-read. ;)

  180. 181

    Thanks, Emily, for writing this book…I would give this book to my niece, and our girl when she gets a little bit older…blessings :)

  181. 182
    Sarah S. says:

    I would love to give a copy of this book to my niece. She’s going through such a hard time and I think she could really use some encouragement. Thanks for the chance to win!

  182. 183

    I AM a grown-up girl and this post DID resonate with me… you just described my childhood to a Tee. I’m going to pick up ‘Grace for the Good Girl’ tomorrow! Thank you, Emily <3

  183. 184

    Wish this book had been available to me when I was a teen!!!! I have a teen granddaughter that would enjoy it as would our youth girls at church….would love to win!!!! Thank you!!

  184. 185

    Ohh, such a wonderful gift! I heard about this book a while ago, from a friend who said she wanted to read it, and we both regretted we couldn’t afford it. I must let her know about this giveaway! Or, if I happen to be blessed enough to win it, I will definitely give it to her. I can relate so much to so many of the things mentioned in this post!

    Thank you for writing the book and for creating this chance for us to get it, God willing. ;)

    Blessings!

  185. 186

    Sounds like a message for all of us girls — both the still-growing-up and the supposedly-grown-up!!

  186. 187

    I think it would be a good book for my teenage daughter.

  187. 188

    I love this post…would love to share the book with our 15 yo babysitter. Thanks your your inspiration.

  188. 189
    Aubrey R says:

    I’ve got a new teen, and I would love for her to have these tools (and for me to read it, too, to learn more!). Thanks for the giveaway!

  189. 190

    My 14 yr old granddaughter would really like this book.

  190. 191

    My 14 yr old granddaughter would really like this book. Blessings

  191. 192

    This book would be perfect for my 15 year old niece, Jane. She has two sisters in heaven and one on earth. Her dad suffers from depression and other major issues. Her mom is awesome but somedays just can’t be all that Jane needs.
    Thanks for reading :)

  192. 193

    would love my sisterinlaw to get this in her young hands.

  193. 194

    WOW!!!, Im exited to but this book for my daughter. I also can relate to this myself, it took me back to when i was a teenager myself!!!

  194. 195

    I would be so delighted to give this to my daughter! She vacillates between not trying and trying too hard. I hope so much for her to know His love for her and for her to rest in that.

  195. 196
    Sonya B says:

    I would love a copy of this for my daughter, I think it would be a great read for us to do together.

  196. 197
    Debbie Velte says:

    Wow, does my great neice need to read this book. She comes from a broken home where her mother left her at about 4 months old. Her father has tried but he has his own demons. He loves her but struggles too. Now she lives in a blended family with her father stepmom, 2 step siblings and 2 younger 1/2 sisters. She has been bullied at school, cuts herself, and her family is sooooo dysfunctional. She doesn’t know how to work through all of these thins in her life. We pray and encourage her but she is broken and discouraged looking in all the wrong places trying to fit in. Even if I don’t win a copy of this book I am going to buy it for her for an early Christmas gift. She is my sister’s granddaughter and we love her with all our hearts. And you see, I was once and still am at times this girl that is broken. Thanks for writing this much needed book.

  197. 198
    Cathy B says:

    I have a daughter who is aching to be understood and for whom I am aching. Thank you for investing in women for God:)

  198. 199

    Wow, this post really resonates with me! I would love to share this book with my teenaged nieces, if only to let them know that I DO understand what they are going through.

  199. 200
    Cathy B says:

    I also agree with Laura above – do you know of any resources for mothers to invest into their sensitive, quiet, non-sport or macho-kind of boys who are struggling to see where they fit in to God’s story and society at large? I have such a son. He has a tender heart for all that God has for him but understands that being this “different” kind of boy causes some difficulties in being free to be himself – he’s eight years old but seems to have wisdom beyond that in some areas, though he’s still very much a boy and loves dirt and adventure and inventing things. By the way, my husband has the same personality to an extent – he’s very creative but not macho nor sporty nor handy (with tools- other than the basics) and he has had “an adventure” in trying to fit in / be free who he has been created to be, too.

  200. 201

    sigh
    there is a girl i know who listened to her parents fight quietly before school one day. she came and sat on the bed beside the room where they were, until she was noticed. her mother felt shame when she did. her father yipped the question “what do you want”? her response was a soft, ï just wanted to know if anyone would be able to pick me up after practice tonight”?
    my daughter is strong. and soft. she is sweet and full of grand dreams and expectations. the walls of our small house are thin. her siblings have all left. she is 15 turning 21.

  201. 202
    Melinda T says:

    Being a teen is not easy these days. I would love to share this with my younger cousins.

  202. 203

    Emily, I’m pretty sure you know all about my past.
    I have always had such a strong desire to please others. Knowing full and well that was impossible. yet I kept on “trying so hard”…
    I’m well into my fifties now and recently abandoned by my husband of 35 years. Seriously abandoned. I have not seen him in three years. My family is torn apart.
    I am just now coming into my own time and space. I know just the young girl who needs to read this book and store these words and affirmations in her 16 year old heart.
    God Bless You,
    –Deborah Flowers

  203. 204

    I know these girls.
    I’ve taught these girls.
    I am these girls.

    Thank you for getting to the heart of “these girls”
    It IS who we all are.
    What we all need.
    Someone to SEE us.

    Thank you.
    Thank you.

  204. 205
    Kathy Plummer says:

    This book sounds like just the encouragement for my niece. She has a lot of challenges with knowing who SHE is . I hope my comment can win this for her. Thanks

  205. 206

    All I can say is WOW!! It resonates with me and I am 36! I would love this book for my daughters! Thank you!!!

  206. 207
    Fredi mcandrew says:

    I have a 14 year old step daughter who needs prayer and I think your book would help her find her identity in Christ please consider us for a free copy. Her name is Kayla I would appreciate your adding her to the prayer list and joining her dad and I in prayer for her

  207. 208

    I so thought you were writing my story!!
    will need to purchase this for my daughter — so she can be stronger than ever!!

  208. 209
    Mary Beth says:

    The book sounds amazing and I would love to win a copy. My daughter is 22 but I several nieces I would love to share it with.

  209. 210

    I would love to read this. Thanks for sharing today!

  210. 211

    Would love to share your book with my teenage daughter. Just found out she is feeling very depressed, but doesn’t want to share everything with me. It is hard at that age to understand your value in God’s eyes and how he makes each of us special and different.

  211. 212

    I am getting 3 of your books for all of my granddaughters…and maybe an extra for a friend’s pre-teen daughter. My oldest granddaughter is taking a “gap” year before her deferred acceptance to UVA next fall. She struggled this fall as her friends already left for college and thought that she had made the wrong decision to take this year off to grow and hopefully to learn more about herself before continuing her academics. Starting in January she will be in a 6 month semi structured program volunteering and working in New Zealand (her choice!). If all teens could know that God’s Grace is the best gift they could ever receive and that this book can be a blessing to them in learning to be the very best they can be.

  212. 213

    I remember those days. Would love to help just one girl break that cycle.

  213. 214
    Ann : ) says:

    sounds like a much needed book.

  214. 215

    Can’t wait for my girl to read this!

  215. 216

    What a gift for girls! I, too, was that “trying hard to please everyone but myself” girl… now I teach high school and try to encourage my students to have the courage to try and maybe even fail rather than being afraid to really live… Life is hard and they need all the encouragement we can give them!

  216. 217

    Thank you. You are such a blessing, because you speak the truth. I can relate to the pressures I put on myself to be who I think others want me to be, and it’s stifling, crushing, painful, but I feel bound to it. I just turned 20, and it is such a struggle for me to be true to myself, I want to, but I am fearful of disappointing or hurting those I love or think highly of. I want to be loved, so I live in fear, when I know God loves me anyway. Thank you for this timely reminder for this silly girl!

  217. 218
    Rebecca says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. What a blessing!

  218. 219
    Barbara says:

    From reading the first chapter, I am convinced that all young girls should read this book. I have two granddaughters (cousins) who are 7 months apart. I can see them in these words, although they are different from one another and are growing up in different types of homes. Until very recently (I’m 61 years old), I lived the lie that I had to be perfect. Hopefully my granddaughters will learn the truth way before I did. Thank you for writing this book.

  219. 220
    farmer girl says:

    wonderful!

  220. 221

    I can’t wait to read the book!

  221. 222
    Allison says:

    My 2 daughters struggle with this so much-19 & 21. This would be such revelation to them!! Thank you!!

  222. 223
    Melinda says:

    There’s a 13 year old girl at church who’s struggling with life right now. I’m trying to reach out to her, and I’d love to be able to share this book with her right now. Thanks for caring about our dear girls.

  223. 224
    Bethany says:

    Loved this post! I am definitely a 33 year old who still struggles with people pleasing. Ugh.

  224. 225

    This sounds exactly like my 10th grader, always trying to please everyone. I would love to give her this book to read.

  225. 226
    Kimberly says:

    I read this and immediately wished this book had been around when I was a teen! I would LOVE to give this to my 13-year-old daughter. Thanks so much for writing it!

  226. 227

    I did read Grace for the Good Girl (more than once) and gained so much. While reading it I couldn’t stop thinking about how every young girl should hear this message and how their paths through life might look so much different if they did. And then you wrote Graceful . . . I would love a chance to win 5 copies to share with the teenagers in my life. I believe it WILL make a difference : ) Thanks for the opportunity, Emily.

  227. 228

    Oh my goodness; this so resonates with me and my daughter. Bethany so needs a copy of your new book, “Graceful, Letting Go of the Try Hard Life.” As a 20 year old, she is a perfectionist, who has been suicidal for years, suffers with a permanent spinal cord disorder, is studying Bio-Medical Engineering in College, studies 24/7, loves the Lord, is an underdog and over achiever, and lives in constant, extreme pain. She doesn’t know how to stop trying hard, no matter what we do or say. I have read, “Grace for the Good Girl,” and totally realize that she acquired this unfortunate trait from me, her mom. Uggh. Anyway, thanks for your words of wisdom and Grace. Much love and peace to you and yours, Shari

  228. 229

    What a beautiful gift to be able to share with the young women in our lives.

  229. 230

    Love this perspective…for myself, and for my daughter.

  230. 231

    What a beautiful gift to be able to share with the young women in our lives!

  231. 232
    Keri Brinkley says:

    What a wonderful giveaway! This book sounds like a must-read for any teenage girl! I’d love to win a copy to give to my niece, who is 13.

  232. 233

    And here I thought I had dealt with these things and embraced the freedom Jesus offers… But I find myself in tears as I see myself in this post. It’s amazing to me how we can hide these things in plain sight without realizing they’re there.

  233. 234

    Wow! I would love to win this book to read with my 15 year old daughter. Thank You.

  234. 235
    Tracy Bergsma says:

    I would LOVE this book for my two daughters. Both her struggle with these things, the same as their momma (me)! Yes, this post resonated deep within me… I want the adult book too! :) These things I have struggled with for my whole life, and I’m just recently understanding who I am and what it is to be real and free in God’s love and grace.

    I’ve been so burdened for my teens and their friends. I want to “coach” them, encourage them to see their worth. Help them to understand their own value and then live it out freely in God’s grace every day.

  235. 236

    I would LOVE this book for my two daughters, 15 and 13. Both have struggles with these things, the same as their momma (me)! Yes, this post resonated deep within me… I want the adult book too! :) These things I have struggled with for my whole life, and I’m just recently understanding who I am and what it is to be real and free in God’s love and grace.

    I’ve been so burdened for my teens and their friends. I want to “coach” them, encourage them to see their worth. Help them to understand their own value and then live it out freely in God’s grace every day.

  236. 237

    I have a daughter so very close to this age. Even if we don’t win, i think that this would be a good book for both of us.

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    “She feels hurt and rejected but tries to hide it.” Reminded me of my daughter and her relationships with peers. Somewhat afraid to reveal the beautiful young woman God created. Cautious to trust in His plan. Thank you for the gift opportunity and for freeing the young hearts and minds of our sweet daughters.

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    I can already see some of this in my girls especially my sweet and sensitive 4 year old.

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    I finished reading “Grace for the Good Girl” over the weekend and feel such a sense of relief in my own life. I lead an 8th grade girls small group and so want to spread this message to them. One girl in particular is on my heart, so desperately in need of grace and unconditional love.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us all.

  240. 241

    Wow, this book sounds amazing! I know several teenage girls that I work with who could use this!

  241. 242

    I am looking forward to reading this book and also giving a copy to both of my daughters. I also lead a small group of sophomore girls who so need to hear this message! Thank you for your writing!

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    This looks like the perfect Christmas gift for my daughter! I loved Grace for the Good Girl & wondered if she would relate to it. Thank you for writing something for my over-achieving, anxious, perfectionistic teen! :)

  243. 244
    Judy Sivia says:

    My granddaughter just turned 13 yesterday. She is a sweet, Christian girl striving to let her independence show and make her way as someone who stands out from the crowd. I know she would love this book…sounds like it would be a great “confidence builder.”

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    Stephanie O. says:

    I have a soon-to-be teen daughter, and I hope to have her read this. I could relate to so much of what you said, and I hope that she will always have the courage to be herself even in the middle of all the peer pressures (and family pressures) that will be in her world. It’s a bit scary thinking about her starting middle school next year (NEXT year!!!) but I pray she’ll still be the strong, confident young lady she’s become already…and not afraid to let her brains shine through as well!!

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    My husband is our Church’s youth pastor and I help him with our youth group. This book would be so good for a lot of our teen girls. This past summer we did a book study, this may be a book that would be great for our next study.

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    Melissa says:

    I’d adore this book to share with my soon-to-be 15 year old daughter. WE’ve been through so much in her young life, and she is strong, but I’d love her to grasp that we don’t have to be perfect. Thank you for writing this and if I don’t win, I’m buying it for her.

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    I write a book about raising girls. I plan to find this book, whether or not I win, and read it. And I think I need the adult one myself.

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    I love your first book!! I recommend it to everyone I know– especially those young ladies who grew up in church.

    I am excited about Graceful! I work with an annual retreat called Passion for Purity. I’d love to introduce your book Graceful to our planning team and to these girls. I’ve already told the planning committee about it….I have not read it yet.

    I can’t wait for your third! I’m still waiting to hear the announcement on what it is about. It’s what brought me to your website today.

  249. 250

    I hope that I win this. My daughter needs this book so badly. Between my husband and I we have 5 girls, and the teenage years are so hard. Especially with daughters. My daughter is going through a hard time at the moment and I believe this would help her so! Thank you for the opportunity!

  250. 251
    tatiana says:

    I have two daughters and their ages are 11 and 9. Its hard to relate to them sometimes since they have each other, and I grew up the only child. But on the other hand my daughters will fight like sisters.

    This book would be a great read for me and my daughters so all three of us.

  251. 252
    mongupp says:

    I have 3 girls. This sounds like a very encouraging book.m

  252. 253
    mongupp says:

    I have 3 girls. This sounds like a very encouraging book.m

  253. 254
    mongupp says:

    I have 3 girls. This sounds like a very encouraging book.

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    I’d love to be able to share this book with my daughter and her friends.

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    I love stories on “how to be Graceful”

    and I would love to share this book with a special teen.

  256. 257

    I would love to use this book as a help with the girls I work with in our youth group.

  257. 258

    this resonates. praying for my daughters as they grow in the Lord…

  258. 259

    Would love a copy for my granddaughter! Sounds like a great book!

  259. 260

    just started your Grace for the good girl – am loving it….thanks

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    Chrissy Vas says:

    With 3 either ‘tween or teenage girls, this book speaks volumes to us! Would love to read more.

  261. 262

    Too much but not enough. Quite familiar with feeling like that.

    I have just started Graceful, and even though I have already read Grace for the Good Girl, I am loving it. I am so glad I bought it for when my girls get older.

    I know it seems silly to enter to win when I already have a copy, but I would so love to give a copy to our youth pastor’s wife to read. Blessings to you and your sweet, honest self. :)

  262. 263

    Although well out of my teen years, I relate all too closely to the post here… I know I would have found the best mix of challenge and comfort from your book, Graceful, many years back. I hope it meets many young ladies right where they question themselves and are tempted to believe the thoughts of shame… Thank you!!

  263. 264

    This is gonna be an awesome book to read! I would love to win this book to read and share.

  264. 265
    Juli vrotney says:

    I would love to get a copy to read and share..there is a young girl who my mother in law takes care of that I would love to send this book to. Thanks for writing it. Much needed in this day and age.

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    Jill B. says:

    A friend sent this link to me. The book sounds perfect for my overachieving, very good-girl, 19 year old daughter!

  266. 267

    Yep, resonates.

  267. 268

    I would SO love to share this with my son’s girlfriend….a precious girl who is intent on pleasing everyone!

  268. 269

    graceful is just what we were looking for. My daughter started a Bible study this last summer and invited girls from her circle and beyond. The group ended up with 16 young women, eager to learn more about being a Christ follower with like minded peers. The study continued into the fall and 12 young women study about getting their focus on God. Looking at the spring study, we were struggling to find just the right book when the Bloom email arrived with recommended reads and graceful for young women was one of the books. Isnt’ it great how God brings just the things we need when we need them. These young women are so very excited about beginning this study and truly learning to let go of their try-hard life.

  269. 270
    Jennifer says:

    I’d love to win. I was a “good girl” – and am just now learning to live gracefully free – too bad my graceful comes more like a bull in a china shop then gracefully – but I’d really love to win this for a friend instead. When I was 20 I moved into her family’s house because I didn’t have anywhere to go – she was 13 – now she’s 17. She’s a good girl – she gets A’s in everything, breaks state records in track and cross country, is ridiculously sweet and beautiful, and loves Jesus – but can’t sleep at night, breaks out in a stress rash, and knows the answer is Jesus but has trouble resting free with Him. I see a lot of me in her and wonder how much of this bondage she learned from me. I want her to have this book.

  270. 271

    Sounds like an amazing book to read!!

  271. 272

    Would love to win this book for my Niece and for other teen girls at church. Also would like to read it too.

  272. 273
    Kimberly says:

    This book sounds like something my daughter, who turned 13 last month, could benefit from reading in the near future. She is our eldest and our only daughter. Lots of pressure between that position in our family and the world pressing in, too. Thanks for this giveaway.

  273. 274
    Shannon says:

    This was so me during my teenage years! I would love to win a copy to put in the library at church. Thank you.

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    This is my daughter. She is 11. She is wonderful and wants to please those around her. Not because it is her desire, but because she thinks that is what is wanted. This will be a good read for us together.

  275. 276

    My daughter is not yet a teen (she’s 9), but already struggles with trying to be perfect. I would love to read this with her!

  276. 277

    I would love to win a copy of this book for my granddaughters for Christmas. Even if I don’t win they will be getting it, LOL

  277. 278
    Karen Looby says:

    I have been thinking about getting this for my daughter who is 19. I know that I need to be reminded of this as well, and I need to live a good example of accepting God’s love and grace for myself and show it in my actions and speech. I also have an 11-year-old daughter who needs to learn this message and be taught by both myself and her older sister. I would love for us to grow together as grace-filled daughters of God.

  278. 279
    Dee Flowers says:

    Sounds like every Mother of daughters could benefit from reading this book, especially those of us who are first-born from broken homes and try to fix everything and everybody.

  279. 280

    I think you wrote this books for my daughters. One in particular. I have four girls between the ages of 9 and 15 – 2 biological daughters and 2 step daughters. My oldest daughter is an “oldest” who is now trying to be a “middle” because of having 2 older step sisters. She has also suffered through a terrible situation this year and the timing on this book couldn’t be more perfect for her. I’m reading your “grown up” book now, and it has blessed me tremendously. Whether or not I win a free copy, I will be giving your book to my daughter as we work through her healing process. Very grateful for YOU!

  280. 281
    Crystal says:

    Oh gosh this sounds like me back in the day I have three daughters and I know they would benefit from this book as there are bits which relate to us all in a way. so glad there is a book like this which will help our girls to grow up to be graceful young women

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    I would love this book for me and my friend to read together!

  282. 283

    Wow, the list of 10 reasons to read Graceful resonates with me so much and also makes me think of a few special teens in my life who would benefit from this read. Thank you for sharing you heart on this subject!

  283. 284

    My daughter is an “old soul” and very much pleases those in her life. I wonder if she feels trapped in the good girl perspective. My concern is for her to find the freedom that only a relationship with Christ will bring her. I feel she would benefit from reading this book.

  284. 285

    Oh my. I was totally a try-hard girl, and still struggle with trusting over pleasing. I’d love to share this book with some sweet girls walking that same path.

  285. 286

    Sounds like something I should have read when I was a teen. Thanks for writing this book!

  286. 287

    I work with high school kids and think it’s so great that you wrote a book on this topic, wish it would’ve been available when I was in high school! I would love a copy to read with my own daughter.

  287. 288

    My two teen daughters would love to read that book, it sounds perfect for them! Thank you for writing it for girls that age! If we won’t win it, then we will buy it for sure!

  288. 289

    it would be such an amazing blessing to receive this for my troubled granddaughter… who desperately needs prayers right now… 16 1/2.. saved but torn.. I cannot say more without tears. please join my heart in prayer for her… thank you!
    Cathy B

  289. 290

    This could have described me in so many ways as a teenager! Now, it describes my daughter. Loved Grace for the Good Girl; this one has her name all over it. This is going to be our Christmas break: reading this book together!

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    ShaLonda says:

    Oh how our daughters, sisters, nieces, cousins, friends need something to remind them that freedom is Great!

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    Rebecca says:

    i HAVE A GRAND DTR WHO i AM GETTING YHIS FOR, tHANKS

  292. 293
    Grace Vang says:

    This would be a perfect book for my little sister. Although she is only a few years younger than me, I know “Grace for the Good Girl” along with the help of the Holy Spirit, has helped me let go of a try hard life. I would love to share this with one of the most important young girl I love. (:

  293. 294

    My daughter needs to read this book. She struggles so much, and sometimes I don’t know how to help her.

  294. 295

    I loved Grace for the Good Girl and actually did it with the girls of the youth group last year. They really enjoyed it/learned from it, and I’m excited to see Graceful for the next group of young ladies I find myself hoping to teach …

  295. 296

    I am the mother of four high school girls. I would live to share this with them!

  296. 297

    This book looks lovely, Emily! I would love to read it, and pass it on to all the women/girls in my life :)

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    connie from Ky says:

    This book sounds amazing.. I have a daughter that is a freshman in High School and by what I read at the top of this page is a book that she would so benefit from this book… sounds like a must read even for myself because in Adult life sometimes the issues from our teen years carries over…

  298. 299
    Jennifer says:

    Our church has a small group of girls just the right age for this book. I’d love to have them read it together.

  299. 300

    I work with our church’s middle school youth group plus my oldest child (daughter) is 16. It seems like we are in the “trenches” with teens and their struggles. I’ve read so much on this book – I’d love to have it for my daughter.

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    Jessica C says:

    I love this! I work with high school kids on a regular basis and can immediately think of a few girls who would benefit from reading this!

  301. 302
    Carolyn Irizarry says:

    I have a teenager soon to be high schooler. Would love to read this with her. Thanks for the opportunity to win. I believe I can benefit from the book as well. :)