you asked, she answered

I have loved getting to know Emily through reading her book, Grace for the Good Girl, over these past couple months.  Reading it alongside my #thesamepage co-host, Rachael, and several of you, made the journey all the more sweet as we struggled through and learned together.  

Below are some questions you asked Emily about the book, raising children, and further reading.  You can also head over to Rachael's blog to find some additional Q&A with Emily...

Q:  How do you go about teaching your daughters about grace? I have a young daughter, and I'm concerned I'm going to set her up to be a "good girl" that focuses on performance while struggling to understand grace. It feels like such a daunting balance when I think about passing this on to kids! -- Rebecca 
Q:  I would love to hear your thoughts about your daughters. Do you talk with them about masks and good girl behavior? Do you notice them wearing masks or is that still down the road as they grow older? I often wonder how we teach our children the big-ness of God and his grace (vs. teaching them to obey and value rules). The picture that has stuck with me is the tiny stream and the big river that your husband stumbled upon while hiking. I want my daughter (and myself) to experience the type of BIG, GRACEFUL life that really comes from God. xo.  -- Lindsey 

A:  These two questions were both about parenting, so I decided to answer them together. I get asked this one a lot, actually. And I know people might want to hear my amazing technique for keeping my nine year old twin girls from becoming good girls.

Don't I wish.

First of all, I don't think younger girls struggle as much with mask-wearing as we do. Or maybe they do, but I'm not sure it's fair to call it that. They are still figuring out who they are, so to tell them they are wearing a mask just confuses things. They need the freedom to "try on" different personalities at this age and see which ones fit and which ones don't.

That's why, when I wrote the youth version of Grace for the Good Girl (called Graceful) I didn't talk as much about masks - more, I talked about the voices we choose to listen to. Are you going to get your identity from the voice of the good girl or from the voice of God? 

I always think about something my mom told me once while she was working as a teller in a bank. When she went through training at the bank, they told her that she would need to recognize fake money if it comes through. But they never showed her fake money. Instead, her job was to practice counting and handling the real money so that when the counterfeit comes through, she would recognize it right away.

I suppose the same could be applied to parenting girls - I don't think we have to teach them about the masks, especially not when they're young. Teach them about their identity, about their deep beauty, about the grace and freedom and love theyalready have. Hopefully as they grow, they will know truth so well that the masks don't feel right from the start.

But let's be honest - there is nothing my mom could have told me early on that would have kept me from becoming a good girl. I had to live through it and learn from it. But that made grace that much more real for me. And the process allowed me to know Jesus more personally that I would have otherwise. I want that for my girls.

May our daughters be able to say the same thing. And until they can, may we not allow their well-being to be another try-hard life we hold onto.

Q:  I would love to hear about how you balance "not wearing a mask" and not stepping on toes. I have struggled in sad seasons of life with being vulnerable because I don't want to offend someone else or make them uncomfortable. I guess my question is how do you decide when to be vulnerable and take off the mask and when to just be quiet? I pray about this often, but would also like to hear your thoughts. -- Brooke
A:  I've struggle with this one too, Brooke. 

You ask "How do you decide when to be vulnerable and take off the mask and when to just be quiet?" I will say this - the mask is your flesh, or those unique ways you get your needs met on your own and by yourself. So choosing to take off the mask (in other words, not live from your flesh) is ALWAYS the choice to make.

But taking off the mask does not therefore automatically mean you will share everything on your mind or heart. You may take off the mask and still remain quiet, or you may take off the mask and honestly share where you are coming from. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.

I will tell you this: I've had to come to a place where I know deep within the core of who I am that I am safe - regardless of the circumstance of life or the condition of my soul (mind, will, emotions). But that "knowing" doesn't come easy and often it doesn't come at all. But that is what it comes down to.

I think the question is also this: why are you speaking up in the first place? Is it so that they will meet some need you have and you have an expectation of them and if they don't live up, you will be hurt/disappointed/worse off? Is it just so you can "get something off your chest"? Is it just for the sake of being honest?

In the core of who you most deeply are, will you be okay no matter what their response is to you?

I don't think you can balance not wearing a mask with not stepping on toes. Sometimes what needs to be said will step on toes. But "not stepping on toes" is not your highest goal. Your highest goal is the glory of God - and the way he reveals his glory through us is how we relate to one another in relationships.

Jesus stepped on a lot of toes. But it wasn't just for the sake of being honest. It was always for the well being of those whom he loved.

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Good GOOD stuff!  Am I right?  Thank you Emily for taking the time to answer these questions and for so much more! {find more Q&A here}

If y'all have never checked out Emily's blog, Chatting at the Sky, I urge you to -- you'll find a blog heave on inspiration and low on fuss. Add it to your reader. 

You can also check out Emily here: 


  1. i haven't even read the book yet... ( did buy it though!) and I have already been so inspired by these answers, by the questions, by all the other posts on thesamepage link. looooove it. love it. love it. Thank you.

  2. Thank you, thank you, Emily! It's so thoughtful of you to take the time to answer our questions.

  3. If you really think the answers here were inspring you MUST read the book. It is so amazing! Start now! ;-)
    In Love

  4. If you really think the answers here were inspring you MUST read the book. It is so amazing! Start now! ;-)
    In Love


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