Jesus, Good Timing, and the Ministry of Mums

emily p freeman

Often I remind myself of the importance of speaking out and writing words, not because they’ve never been spoken or written before but because our saying or writing them may be the first time someone finally hears them.

I recently heard two simple sentences that had a deep impact on me, not because I’ve never heard anything like them but because I’m in a season where I needed to hear them now.

A few words Preston Yancey recently spoke came at just the right time for me, so right that when he said them, I had to block out everything that was happening around me until I could dig my phone out from the bottom of my purse, fumble with the notes app, and type frantically on the tiny phone keyboard these words, only partially remembered.

I’m sharing those words today at (in)courage.

We Interrupt This Series to Say Some Things

Hello. It’s October 27th and I’m only on Day 20 of our 31 day series. I have zero amount of concern over this, just so you know. Because here’s what I’ve been thinking.

As I’m writing this series I’m realizing how much I’m enjoying it. So much, in fact, that I don’t want to rush through it. And so (so!) I decided sometime two weeks ago, between being stuck in D.C. overnight after a missed connection and driving around Nashville in a rental car, that for me in this season, publishing daily on the blog for 31 days in a row isn’t working out.

Artists who Influence-2

But I forgot to tell you. So instead of frantically trying to catch up, I’m going to cram 31 days of writing into, well, more than 31 days. (John always jokes that he crammed 4 years of college into 6. Haha.)

So far I’ve highlighted 19 Artists Who Influence. My plan is to continue posting other kinds of posts here like normal but to transition my October series into an on-going series instead. I will add an artist to the list periodically as we go along.

Thanks for always being gracious – that’s one of the things I love about this space we’ve created together. I rarely, if ever, feel weirdness or frantic expectations from you. We’ve settled in to a comfortable groove, I think. And if you are also behind on your 31 days of writing, remember that it’s meant to be a practice for you not the boss of you. So take a deep, lovely breath in along with me.

P.S. In an interesting turn of sisterly events, my sister posted a similar sentiment today on her blog that is worth the read. I promise we didn’t plan this but it comes as no surprise.

Myquillyn and Emily

We have a tendency to dress the same on accident and say the same words at the same time in conversation so of course we would wave our 31 days white flag on the same day. Of course we would.

One more thing – I’d love to hear who has been your favorite artist so far?

Art Without Pictures

BJ Novak - Artists Who Influence

B.J. Novak is an artist who influences because he wrote a book for kids with no pictures. And when he reads it out loud, this is what happens (that means there's a video next): Learn more about B.J. Novak and check out The Book with No Pictures, currently ranked #4 out of all the books on Amazon. … [Continue reading]

For When You Fear Your Art Isn’t a Thing

Kendra Adachi - Artists Who Influence

I know it's easy to call the painters, the singers, and the dancers artists. And they are. But you know by now that the kind of art we talk about here is broader than that. Kendra is one of my favorite examples of an artist because she has taken brave steps to uncover what it is that makes her come alive and she has found a way to package that up as a gift for others. This didn't come quick or easy. She loves to bake, she loves movies, and she loves to create environments for people to connect … [Continue reading]

There’s Something About Judy

Judy Garland - Artists Who Influence

As you well know, The Wizard of Oz is my favorite movie of pretty much all time. Because it's had such a huge impact on my life, I knew I had to include it somehow in my month of highlighting artists who have influenced me, but it has taken me some time to tease out why. As I thought about how I felt looking forward to the movie coming on TV every fall, how I felt the night before it aired, and my experience watching the movie, all (yellow brick) roads led to Dorothy. I adored her. For this … [Continue reading]

One Hundred Years of Budder

Sarah Freeman - Artists Who Influence

This month I'm sharing people who have influenced me in big and small ways. I call them artists, using this definition of art: Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are; when what is most alive in you is offered as a gift to others. When we asked her what Presidents she remembered, she starting thinking back. "Well let's see. I remember President Wilson . . ." and I immediately had to Google the dates of his term: 1913 - 1921. She was born in 1913, barely a year after the … [Continue reading]

The Kindness of a Stranger

Julie Silander-2

I only met her once, at the end of an event in Charlotte back in August. She came up to my book table and we started to talk, somehow coming around to a website we both read and one she contributes to. I told her I wanted to attend their yearly gathering but I know tickets are so hard to get. She paused, a thoughtful look on her face. I have an extra ticket for this year's gathering. Would you like to have it? She wasn't able to attend this year, but later she told me she had been paying … [Continue reading]

How a Calm Baker Kept Me Sane on a Plane

Joy the Baker

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with my own work, I like to immerse myself in someone else's, preferably someone who does work really different from mine. Enter Joy Wilson: aka Joy the Baker. Sometimes it's good to put yourself under the influence of the beautiful work of someone else, to let their art do it's thing. I know so much work goes into what she does, but I dare not peek behind the curtain. Some spaces you want to enter into and simply let it speak for what it is. It's like when John … [Continue reading]

The Kind of Hope Most of Us Need

Charles M. Schulz - Artist who Influence

"Charlie Brown must be the one who suffers, because he’s a caricature of the average person. Most of us are much more acquainted with losing than winning. Winning is great, but it isn’t funny." - Charles Schulz It's easy to create a hero who is lovable, admirable, and dashing. What isn't so easy is to create a layered character (especially a cartoon one) who is chronically embarrassed, rejected, and made to look like a fool and still have him come out as the hero. But that's what Charles Schulz … [Continue reading]

The Art of Sharing

Reeve Coobs - Artists Who Influence

When we asked her to play a little something, she chose to move rather than hide. She chose to say yes even though it was last minute, even though we only had an old, out of tune guitar in the room, even though she wasn't prepared. She said yes and shared her gift with us. Here's what happened next. You may need to click over to the blog to view the video. The owl pillow in the background was purely coincidence. Though we had a videographer there, it was for something else we were doing. … [Continue reading]