a million little ways

This is a post about how a 5 word email turned into a 55,000 word book. I usually keep my posts under 500 words so today is a stretch for me – but it’s also a celebration of sorts. I feel compelled to warn you this is the longest post in the history of the world – or at least in the history of this blog. If you don’t have time to read now – well, come back after that meeting or once the kids are asleep, grab a steaming cup, and settle in with me.

I’ve been sitting here for thirty minutes trying to write this post. Instead, I’ve successfully twirled my damp hair into ringlets and memorized every drop of water on the bushes outside my kitchen window. Don’t you wish you could be as productive as I am?

I am the so the boss of today.

millionOn Monday I wrote a post called how to brush your teeth like a revolutionary. It took me about 20 minutes to write and after I re-read it, I realized those 201 words pretty much summarize what I’ve learned these past two years - basically that Christ’s pursuit of me is more important than my pursuit of anything else.

It’s possible to begin to believe that only the revolutionary pursuits require bravery.

But being brave also means waking up to your today responsibilities (no matter what they are) and then moving into them as the person you most fully are – with all of your unique desire, personality, and creativity.

Sometimes today will mean doing something risky or new.

Most times it just means doing the same thing I did yesterday.

Either way, the point is my life with Christ and his life in me.

Over the past two years, I’ve been slowly uncovering what it means for me to have courage in big and small ways – and that the difference between the two isn’t as distinct as I once thought.

 ***

I started writing about art after getting an email from Annie Downs on New Years Eve 2010. I wrote a post about that email if you want to read it, but the main thing you need to know is I was feeling afraid about 2011 because I was preparing for a year of doing things I had never done before. Annie spoke into my fear as I was feeling it.

She didn’t tell me to run from my fear and for the love of all things good, she didn’t try to give me advice. Instead, she said something that changed my life and the way I’m choosing to live it.

This is what her email said:

2011. We will make art.

Though Annie was referring to writing, the concept of making art had bigger implications for me. Somehow those simple words woke something up inside me – something of hope and courage I believe God puts in all of us. Instead of spending New Years Eve making a list of resolutions, I considered what it would mean to make art in 2011.

I began to work that out in words here on the blog. I didn’t have a plan when I started, I just wrote. What happened next surprised me more than anyone – it was you. You responded with nodding heads, craned necks and shaky hands raised up in the back. You pulled me aside at conferences and whispered notes in my inbox, more, please?

For several months, I explored the idea of embracing your own art – what you have to offer to the world – here on the blog. I wrote in spurts when inspiration hit me. People would say things like, “I’m enjoying your series on art” and I was always a little confused by that statement.

Am I writing a series on art?

A series, to me, implies intention, planning, a beginning and end, maybe even some kind of title or fun graphic. But this writing was just me, finally beginning to embrace my own unique design and wanting to encourage others in theirs.

The more I wrote, the more I started to focus on dreaming big and daring greatly. Quotes like this one motivated me: If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!

The only problem was, I wasn’t sure I agreed with that.

 ***

chatting at the sky

For a while, I backed off from the art talk. Not because I didn’t still believe it was important, more because I didn’t fully understand what was so compelling about it for me. I knew my words about art were resonating with people, but I never want to write inspiring things just to be inspiring. I don’t know any other way to explain this except to say I wanted to be sure the words had substance behind them. The art was still there, but I muted it for a while.

Besides, I had other things on my mind.

In May of that year, I went to the Philippines with Compassion.

Two months later, my father in law died.

Six weeks after that, my first book came out on the same day I turned in my manuscript for my second book.

By now I had lived through all the stages of the book writing process – from the beginnings of a stubborn idea to the releasing of a book, as well as all the writing, editing, marketing and promotion that comes with it. I saw what it took to write a book from beginning to end and I was preparing to do it all over again with this second book.

I was not eager to write a third. I assumed after the second one released, I would be finished writing books for a while, if not forever.

Through all that time, a question followed me around: Is it possible to apply the word “art” to the way I live my life and not just the work I produce with my hands? And if it is possible, what would that look like for me?

After a year of thinking, reading, praying, and lots of conversation with my husband, close friends and other family members, I had to honestly admit this art message wasn’t going away and I had to decide what on earth I was going to do about it.

After putting it out of my mind for a while, I could no longer deny Annie’s words on the last day of 2010 meant something to me, not because I’m creative but because I’m human.

In the end (or the beginning, depending on how you look at it) I talked with a literary agent about this idea. I told her I didn’t really know if I wanted to write another book. But through several conversations with her and a lot of time alone, I decided it was time to sit down and figure out if this art stuff could be shaped into a book proposal.

That was January 2012.

 ***

million

My first two books took me about nine months each to write. But the truth is, I was preparing for them for ten years before they became books though I didn’t realize it at the time. I read a ton of books, listened to more sermons and lectures on tape than I can remember, studied huge passages of scripture, and even spent an entire summer taking a full-time course devoted to discovering more about the grace life and the gospel.

My research for those books was spread out over so many years and so much living that when someone asked me how I was planning to research my book, I remember not really having an answer.

But this art stuff? This was new. I had to take serious time to reconcile a spirit-level instinct that God had something to say to me about art with a flesh-level temptation to run for the hills.

 ***

I finally decided I had to write this art book even though I knew it might not work. I managed to write a compelling proposal for it and my now-agent, Esther, pitched it to my publisher who we eventually decided to go with. That was in April of 2012.

The Revell team came to visit in June 2012. Here we are on my front porch: Jen Leep (Editorial Director), Andrea Doering (my editor), me, and Twila Bennett (Director of Marketing)

The Revell team came to visit in June 2012. Here we are on my front porch: Jen Leep (Editorial Director), Andrea Doering (my editor), me, and Twila Bennett (Director of Marketing)

I used to think that writers of books took years and years to write out their ideas and only when they had it perfectly figured out did they decide they might like to get it published. That’s not how it’s been for me.

I felt like I had a couple of certain pieces for this book. But I had no guarantee I would be able to figure the whole puzzle out. Not only that, I also wasn’t completely convinced it was a puzzle at all.

What if it was a beach ball? Or a high-heeled shoe? And all this time I’m looking for a puzzle?

Oh the humanity.

 ***

edits

I spent this past summer and fall fighting with myself, struggling with courage, feeling brave then getting scared. I finally turned in the manuscript in December and the first week of January, I got it back from Andrea with a message that basically said this:

You’re close, but you haven’t found it yet. Keep going.

By this time, we had a title and a cover for a book I hadn’t finished. And when I say “by this time” I mean January 2013. That was just two months ago – a full two years after I first started exploring this topic here on the blog.

After spending some time with my edits in the early weeks of this year, I got to a point where I just couldn’t fight alone any more. I had a few close friends and my husband in the ring with me, but this felt too big and the voices of discouragement were too loud for me to find the courage I so desperately needed to finish.

I did something I have never really done before – I asked for prayer on my Facebook page on January 17:

facebook january 17

Something clicked after that. Having you speak into my fear reminded me who I was writing this book for. I realized I had been writing to the critics more than I was writing to the reader.

I realized I was afraid to say some things with conviction for fear of changing my mind in five years.

I also realized there is a time to be silent and keep your art a secret, but there is also a time to admit you need help.

That time had come for me.

We don’t just accept our callings once and for all. We have to continue to admit what we are called to do and move with courage toward that calling in different degrees throughout our lives. This was one of those moments for me – I finally opened my arms up fully to my calling, wider than I have before. I agreed that for all the things this book might be, at least it wasn’t going to be wimpy.

It’s as if I had to go through the entire experience in order to come back around to where I started – but this time I wasn’t just talking about the importance of uncovering your art and releasing it into the world.

I was living it.

 ***

Two weeks ago, I turned in my manuscript (for the second time) for what we have affectionately been calling The Art Book. I was proud of my work and hopeful Andrea would be, too.

She wrote me back just last week and confirmed what I desperately hoped was true: I finally found this art book.

Million Little Ways

a million little ways . . .

The first thing we know about God is that he made art. The first the we know about people is we were made in the image of an art-making God.

Now when I read quotes like this: If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough! I am still inspired, but I also now know the size of our dreaming isn’t the point.

The size of our God is.

Christ’s pursuit of me is more important than my pursuit of anything else.

I don’t care if you’re the President or the janitor – your ability to bring glory to God by simply being the person you fully are and embracing the job you’ve been given to do is a uniquely human privilege.

Christ is in you and he wants to come out through you in a way he won’t come out through anyone else. You have been given your two hands, your sick parents, your rotting back door. You have been given your extra deadlines, your diagnosis, the children at your table.

But you have also been given your sense of humor, your skill for writing, your passion to bring light to dark places. You have been given a heart for orphans, for animals, for food or for the poor.

You have been given your life, what you hold in your hands, the ground beneath your feet. You have been asked to show up. How do I know? Because you were born. Show up as you are, not as you think you ought to be.

Don’t run from your calling, no matter what it is.

If you don’t know what it is? Maybe this book will help you uncover it.

There isn’t one great thing you were made to do. There is one great God you were made to glorify.

Throughout your life, you’ll do that in a million little ways.

***

And with that, I confess to you that this post has been the hardest post in the history of Chatting at the Sky for me to write. I never want to assume you want to know all these kinds of details and to write this much about the process feels a little self-indulgent. But if I refused to share this part, then it wouldn’t be fully honest or fully me.

I don’t write as an expert – I’m not sure there is such a thing in deep matters of the soul. I write as a fellow image bearer, an intuitive observer and participant in the art of God.

I see artistic potential in not only those pursuits the world would label artistic like painting and singing and dance, but also in small gestures done with great faith, like listening, waiting, and showing up.

There is an art alive within you and you don’t have to go anywhere to find it. Because the art alive within you was woven into the fabric of your soul when you were made in the secret place. Doubt, discouragement and distraction may be covering it up, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. When believers embrace the unique shape of their soul and move into the world as the person we most fully are, art comes out.

***

Million Little Ways

Thank you for being such a kind and encouraging community of readers.

I know this post is so insanely long, but it was important for me to let you know that the art series will continue in book form!

And the series I didn’t even mean to write finally has a name:

A Million Little Ways.

If I had my way, I would wait until the end of the summer or early fall to tell you about this book, but publishing and catalogs and sales reps wait for no man (or woman)

It’s been listed on Amazon for a few weeks now so I figured I needed to go ahead and tell you the story.

If you want to reserve your copy, it’s now available for pre-order! The book will release in November.

And one last thing . . . If you ever get an email from Annie Downs, don’t open it unless you are prepared to write a book.

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the advance warning about settling in for the post, as I wouldn’t want to rush through it. I am so excited to come back tonight, after the kiddos are in bed and with my tea, to find out more about your book!
    Erin´s last blog post ..Off to the Races

    • says

      Hope you were able to come back and read, Erin – although I’ve had people tell me it really wasn’t that long. And I’m all What?! It’s 5 times longer than my normal posts.

  2. says

    This post brought tears to my eyes. “Christ is in you and he wants to come out through you in a way he won’t come out through anyone else.” Words I needed to hear today. Thank you for taking the time to write this.
    Cori´s last blog post ..My Year of Dance

  3. says

    What a beautiful, heart-felt, inspiring post, Emily. Many treasures of wisdom and life here… words I will be going back to linger on and savor in the days ahead. Thank you for your honesty and heart, for freely and courageously sharing it, and for encouraging this writer to keep moving towards and in her art… what God has made her for and called her to. Blessings…
    Jenny Barker´s last blog post ..My Whole House Is Great; I Can Do Anything Good

    • says

      That’s so lovely to hear, Jenny. I think a lot of us spend a lot of time denying who we are – wonder what it would be like if we spent the same amount of time focusing on what we have to offer?

  4. says

    “There isn’t one great thing you were made to do. There is one great God you were made to glorify.”
    That is my favorite. I love this concept, Emily. I know it is a book worth reading. Thank you for sharing the journey.

    And the fact that Annie posted about signing her second book contract today? Just icing on the celebratory cake.
    Yippee!
    Southern Gal´s last blog post ..A Party!

    • says

      I’m so glad you told me that b/c I didn’t see her post yet! I clicked over and cried about her signing her contract all over Nashville. So fun! Thanks for your kind words, Renee.

  5. says

    It wasn’t too long for me. You had me riveted the entire time. I’m so honored to be among a few at a conference to see the cover and hear bits from the book. What I’ve heard so far has already changed me. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands. You give me courage. You inspire me. Thank you for being courageous.
    Shelly Miller´s last blog post ..When You Feel Invisible

  6. says

    Yaaaaaaaaayyyyy! I have been waiting for this post ever since you mentioned you were writing a third book, and I was really, really hoping it would have something to do with your “art series.” I am SO glad you wrote this whole post, and it’s not self-indulgent at all because it’s so wonderful to peek into this process and learn more about it and about you. I am pre-ordering right. this. second.

    Way to go, Emily. You are seriously my hero.
    Michelle DeRusha´s last blog post ..When Your Mouth Guard Reminds You of Sabbath

  7. Joy says

    I cannot believe we have to wait until November! I am so excited to read your new book. After reading your post above, A Million Little Ways sounds exactly like what God wants for me to hear and for my soul to feast upon. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being real and honest. You have encouraged and propelled me into the journey of embracing my own life’s art.

  8. says

    Hooray! I’m able to comment again.

    Emily. So many things.

    First, this. I found you through my best friend, Jamie Martin. This was when you first started your art series, and it blew me away, the things you were saying. You know from the emails we’ve exchanged — writing is my heart and a deep source of anxiety for me. The agony and the ecstasy. I printed up your 14 Ways to Make Mediocre Art and put it on my desk, where I look at it every time I work.

    Knowing this is your next topic — you were meant for this. You have spoken so richly into my life in regard to art, to calling, to the hard slog. I just finished ART AND FEAR yesterday, and do you want to know the first thing I thought? I wonder if Emily Freeman has read this.

    This writing life, for me, is like being an Olympic high diver who is deathly afraid of heights. And yet I’m compelled to climb that ladder again and again. Thank you for your courage. This “indulgent” post shows me you’re walking the same path I am. xo

    • says

      I’m not sure I knew you and Jamie are best friends! Does that mean you live in Newtown, CT too?

      Caroline, I can’t tell you what it means to hear you say some of this stuff – I have mad respect for you as a fiction writer and I’m so thankful to have you to commiserate with.

      I haven’t read Art and Fear, but I’ve heard it quoted a lot. Putting it on my list.

  9. says

    Emily, I love this so much. Tears reading parts of this. This exactly goes along with something God has been teaching me lately. “Christ’s pursuit of me is more important than my pursuit of anything else.” I just wrote about it on Monday. I cannot WAIT until November to read this!!
    Amy´s last blog post ..What I Wore Wednesday 3.06.2013

  10. says

    This. Is. Worship.

    Emily, you will always have a tendency to wonder if you really can completely surrender the try-hard life and dive into freedom. I see it. And it’s one way God keeps you tethered to always needing Him. Truly. It’s Grace right there. :)

    “When believers embrace the unique shape of their soul and move into the world as the person we most fully are, art comes out.” — and this is worship.

    I’m compelled to write about what worship is. And I am. And I will. It’s this art you wrote about — in a million different ways.

    (There’s a revolution going on with so many of y’all writing about *dreams* — I think it’s a declaration of what Him . . . of His power. Of His Grace. Of His magnificence. An invitation to LOOK and SEE — HIM. What a responsibility we women have to rise up and declare. — I’m thinking of Jen Hatmaker’s recent video . . . and so many things at once.)

    Cheers, friend. Cheers. :)
    Amy Hunt — a {Grace} full *life*´s last blog post ..yielding

    • says

      I totally agree! And I also agree with the idea of SOMETHING going on with all the talk about dreams in the blogosphere. I am loving what God is waking women up to. And excited to hear what more will come.

  11. says

    Thank you so much for this post! I echo all the other sentiments here – it wasn’t too long at all! It was the type of post I wish I could read more of! I too have been waiting to hear about your book, and was so hoping it was on art and courage!! I also long for more posts from writers that tell of the backstory and creative process to get to the book – as an aspiring writer, I want to learn so much more about that. Your words always inspire, and I think that’s a good thing –they are indeed full of substance and goodness and truth – the only type of inspiration I’m interested in . :) Can’t wait to read this book!
    Sarah Caldwell´s last blog post ..Mixtape Monday – Songs For Studying

    • says

      I love reading the backstory to things so I don’t know why I get all wonky when it’s me. I guess just cuz it’s me. So glad you’re excited about the concept. I’m really happy with the way the book turned out.

  12. says

    Emily, I have actual tears in my eyes reading these words – no joke. Your writing about art has intersected at so many junctures with my return to painting. Your voice has breathed so much courage into me and your words have resonated so deeply with my process. I’m standing on the rooftops shouting about this good work, celebrating the with you and cheering you on.

  13. Lauren says

    I am so looking forward to this book! I started following your blog after Grace for the Good Girl came out, and I so appreciate that you write about art. It’s been my dream for a while to work in the commercial arts industry (specifically animation/illustration) and I’m always looking for encouragement from a Christian perspective when I struggle (which, as a fellow creative person, you must know is pretty often). Your words are such an encouragement to me! God bless you!

  14. Michelle Holland says

    Thank you for sharing, being brave and glorifying our God! He has been speaking to me also about what art He has for me to share in this walk and I ask for ears to hear and eyes to see. And bravery to glorify Him in it.
    Blessings Emily,
    Michelle
    Can’t wait to read the book!

  15. says

    oh emily.
    this has me all choked up .
    my neck is red
    i’m shaking my head
    and my eyes are all watery

    i can simply NOT wait for this
    thank you for jumping forth right out of your 500 word box and sharing today….
    im ….well i don’t know what i am … excited. inspired.touched.
    paige´s last blog post ..i love minted~ great gift ideas

  16. says

    Emily I am so excited about your book on art! It was your art posts that drew me in to your blog. I felt when you wrote you were talking directly to ME. They felt like little nuggets sent from heaven to inspire me and challenge me. I’ll confess I lurk without commenting – I’m even shy on the internet! But your post today made me jump up and down in response, thanks Emily.

  17. says

    Emily,
    It really wasn’t too long. I like long stories. I like details. So looking forward to the book. I am encouraged by your bravery. I long to be as brave as you.
    Most days, I take two steps forward, and one back.
    But I still hold back. I know I am wasting what God has put inside me. I know I am killing it slowly by not letting it out.
    And I still struggle.

    Anyway, thank you for this post today.
    josey bozzo´s last blog post ..God Sized Dream Letter

    • says

      Josey, your two steps forward and one back is still . . . one step forward. And I don’t believe for a minute you are wasting anything – I just don’t see it that way. There is grace in the waiting and in the fear.
      emily freeman´s last blog post ..a million little ways

  18. says

    Emily, I am just so drawn to your writing. As a young mom, ministry leader, self employed photographer, and definite people pleaser, I have found myself facing many of the questions you write so well about. Thank you for challenging me to be brave and seek God first. I can’t wait to get your next book…I feel like all of your writings were written just for me!!

  19. says

    Look forward to your book you have inspired me to do so!
    Will reflect long on your words that are so encouraging motivating and God focussed.
    A blessing to share your journey . Your words. thank you.

  20. says

    Emily…I love this! Thank you for working through the awkward and unknown and letting us in on the journey. I so appreciate your perspective, because as much as I want to be an “artist” I feel I’m not the stereotypical artist type (I know I’m not), so I love your definition of making art.

    A new dream is brewing in me…building a community of mother artists working mothering and creating well. Who knows if it’ll ever happen, but I enjoy dreaming it.
    Jessica´s last blog post ..When the Guilt Overflows & the Ledger Fills

  21. says

    I’m so excited for you! I love that you wrote about the pregnancy and delivery of this book..it’s encouraging to me as a writer. I also love the concept of the book and can’t wait to read it!
    christine´s last blog post ..Committed

  22. says

    I’m so exited to meet this book. I love the way you think about words and art and life and it’s changed how I think about them too. I feel like this is the book that was the undercurrent of both your other books too and I can’t wait to hold it in my hands. Beautiful, beautiful color and fabulous name. Thank you for sharing your thought process with us Emily. It’s fascinating and wonderful and inspiring all at the same time.
    Lisa-Jo @lisajobaker´s last blog post ..How to make your wife feel beautiful

  23. says

    Loved the long post. It always feels like I’m reading news from a good friend when I read your writing and even though it was hard for you to find the words to write, I never would have known. You didn’t say this so I can’t explain why (well, God.) but when I read this I felt the inklings of the Spirit whispering to me to stop fighting what He’s made me and called me to do/be/say/write. I overthink so much about whether it is mine to speak or not and I think He’s saying to stop fighting… because maybe I’m just fighting Him.

    Can’t wait to read it. Thank you so much for sharing the process with me. It means something.
    Melissa May´s last blog post ..¡Grande es Nuestro Dios!

  24. says

    too long? no way
    just what I needed today? yes way

    I love reading all things writing related here on your blog, they’re my favorite posts, actually. So thank you for this today. And this new book sounds like just what we all need. May God bless this new way you put yourself out there and let all of us gain from what God is doing in you!
    Amanda B´s last blog post ..it’s never too early to be a good mother-in-law

  25. Colleen says

    Your post today touched the depths of my heart and God used you tospeak to me through the Holy Spirit.
    I have been writing since I was small and the Lord has been pursuing me for so many years to write…..I stopped 17 years ago.

    I replaced the beautiful gift of God with FEAR……and I now, through His grace say YES to Him!

    I pre-ordered your book, and I read your blog and have read your other book Emily.

    God is using you in such a beautiful way! May God continue to bless your art!!!!

    With love and prayer -Colleen

  26. Karen says

    I feel as if you jumped into my soul, experienced all of my inner feelings and magically transferred them into words. So excited to read this book – sad I have to wait until November, but it gives me something to look forward to next fall. Congratulations Emily!

  27. says

    “Thank you! Your 1-click order has been placed,” said Amazon.

    I loved this, because I felt like I was standing in a museum, squinting my eyes, sticking my chin out to the left, and nodding my head approvingly. Your post is the museum, and my current place in life is the painting. It’s kind of abstract, and I don’t really know what the painter was thinking, but I’m really into it.

    I just interpreted your beautiful post about overcoming your fear into something that’s about me. Now who’s self-indulgent?! Can’t wait for the book.
    Lauren L.´s last blog post ..appendixless. {and how i learned what i’m worth to my child}

  28. Melody says

    It was the art blogs that kept me creating when I didn’t think it was worth moving in the dark. I felt that sense of loss when they disappeared, and that sense of knowing when I read art in your previous blogs that you had come full circle again to art. Expectant waiting….pregnant with art. Definitely living for the delivery. Thank you in deep heartfelt winks.

  29. says

    Some two years back, it was your posts on the art of writing and the writer’s life that first attracted me to your blog. That, blended with your consistently compassionate and humorous writing on spirit rich themes kept me eagerly reading your daily posts ever since. Anticipating your book with much excitement!
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Savor the Wonder

  30. says

    Emily!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost don’t have words for this post. And I may or may not be crying. This post is exquisite!!! I think that this book will be a game changer in the Kingdom. There were many things that stood out but here are a few…

    “There is one great God you were made to glorify. Throughout your life, you’ll do that in a million little ways.”

    “I see artistic potential in not only those pursuits the world would label artistic like painting and singing and dance, but also in small gestures done with great faith, like listening, waiting, and showing up.”

    “Because the art alive within you was woven into the fabric of your soul when you were made in the secret place. Doubt, discouragement and distraction may be covering it up, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”

    These words spoke to something deep inside of me. God has gifted me as only He could, to fulfill a purpose that only I can. In our lives, we will glorify God in many different ways in different seasons. That is the highest calling that we use our art for.

    Even though doubt, discouragement and distraction may be covering the art within, that doesn’t disqualify me from God bringing art out of me and using it in the lives of the broken and hurting.

    I absolutely NEED this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IF THERE IS A BOOK LAUNCH TEAM, CAN I BE ON IT??????????

    Grateful for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. says

    I am ridiculously excited for November now. Your words have been one of God’s greatest gifts in my life for the past couple of years. In life-changing ways. I’m so excited that you had the courage to use the gift that God has given you.

    p.s. The book cover is beautiful. Even if I didn’t already love you and your words, I would pick it up –based on the cover alone– smile and buy it. =)
    shelley´s last blog post ..Winter Booklist: 12 Picture Books that Celebrate Winter

  32. maria says

    OMGosh!! I am so excited!! This is the very thing I was hoping for – I even wrote to you to say you must write a book about the very things you post about!! Those are the very things that attracted me so much to your posts – those words that tugged and enlivened by bogged down soul!! They were water to a very thirsty soul! This is why I told you once that you are my favorite author! Thank you for following the Lord in this area of giftedness that He means to use in the world! It will encourage so many to do the same with their own giftedness and so much blessing will ripple through the ponds of lives untold! Emily, I am so excited – THANK You! And thank you Lord!!

  33. says

    Thank you for this post … it spoke to me on so many levels that I can’t address them all right now, but I have to tell you one thing that made tears well up in my eyes… when you said Christ is in me and He gave me the children at my table … well, of course, I knew it was His idea to give me the children He gave me – I knew that – but somehow for the first time, I realized I’m the mom He wanted my children to have. Me, with all my imperfections and failings and flaws, and yes, silliness. He wanted them to experience me. And maybe He’s not as disappointed with the job I did as I thought …
    Jerralea´s last blog post ..Black Ice

    • maria says

      wow – that is such a great thing to realize – that you are the mom that God wanted your children to have! Thank you for sharing that – it so helps me to realize that I too am the mom God intended for my children! That was so good for me to realize too!

  34. says

    Emily, you don’t know how badly I needed to read this today. I’m in the throes of writing a nonfiction book proposal and decided I needed to take a blog hiatus. That’s what my post today is all about. Kind of eerie that we both wrote about our writing process. In any case, your art series was such a source of encouragement while I wrote my first novel. To read about how this book has come about as I try to sort through the pieces of the message I’ve been given…I have no words. Thank you for letting us in on this. I’m excited to read A Million Little Ways.
    HopefulLeigh´s last blog post ..On My Writing Process and How I’m Choosing to Focus

  35. says

    Emily, I don’t know if I can find the right words to explain myself, but… This post alone has rocked my heart. Trading my “Hope I can be an artist one day…” for your word that “I am innately an artist because He is the I AM, and I am His.” Whoa. I have not had the pleasure of reading your first two books (yet), but this one–cannot wait. Thank you

  36. says

    Looking forward to read it! I am reading ‘Grace for the Good Girl’ now and hope to give a workshop on ‘Graceful’ for teenage girls at Teenstreet in Germany this summer.
    It is so exciting there will be another book after summer!

  37. says

    i started loving you when you did that art series (even if it was not a conscious series), and you have riveted me with your words ever since. i don’t comment much, but this has become a very sweet place for me, Emily. sacred, even.
    can’t wait to drink up that new book. bless you for sharing your journey, no matter how in-process you may feel.
    kelliwoodford´s last blog post ..silence: anything but empty

  38. says

    I’d heard this book was coming last summer via your sister (an old friend of mine) & I’ve been anxious to hear more about it ever since then. Thanks so much for sharing today’s preview. There’s something about the word art that stirs excitement in my heart-it’s why we value art in our home and teach our boys to appreciate the artistic offerings of others through traditional artistic means like painting, drawing, writing and music. I can’t wait to read how you expand upon that!
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..Busy Parent’s Guide to Internet Radio – Part 2: Spotify + Bonus Playlist Pirate Songs for Boys

  39. Amy E says

    I started following your blog around the time the art posts began. I was intrigued, challenged, sparked, hooked, and apparently I wasn’t the only one :) It made me look at myself in a new way, with new possibilities, new open doors. Oh, God’s timing is perfection. I look forward to this book!

  40. says

    Oh, Emily. This is the book I’ve been waiting for, the one that will help me to see it all as art. Your writing has been so instrumental in my journey as a writer, an artist, and a believer. You’re ten steps ahead of me (or three books, but who’s counting;), and I’m so grateful to follow your footsteps down this path, learning to embrace my art and the mystery of Christ in me.
    Kimberly´s last blog post ..Intuition

    • says

      well those words made me cry the first time I read them this afternoon, Sarah. And now I’m tearing up all over again. Thanks for your kind support.

  41. says

    Now this sounds like a book I want to read! Huge congratulations on getting this point, for finding the courage to push through the doubt. I’m excited for you (and for us who get to read it!)
    fiona lynne´s last blog post ..This is how we met

  42. Aubrey says

    So excited for this! I am a Master of Theology student, and in the last year it’s been difficult for me to read non-academic writing about God, because it always seems so trite and frankly, incorrect. But your blog has continued to speak to my soul and I truly, truly appreciate what you do. Your words are easy for me to read because they are always just dripping with truth. Coming to your blog, I feel like I’m in the same place as the library or my stack of commentaries–the same sweet, gracious, beautiful Jesus is here as we’ll as there, and your blog feels safe. November has never felt so far away!

  43. says

    “the size of our dreaming isn’t the point. The size of our God is.” Emily, you cannot even begin to know how much I needed to hear every word of this post right now. To not run from my calling. “We don’t just accept our callings once and for all. We have to continue to admit what we are called to do and move with courage toward that calling in different degrees throughout our lives.” To chase after the purpose of making God famous. “There isn’t one great thing you were made to do. There is one great God you were made to glorify.” Oh. my. gosh. My friend, seriously. I cannot wait to read the book. Thank you for faithfully moving courageously into your calling. And thank you for writing the longest post ever. I needed every last word. :)

  44. amanda says

    glory glory hallelujah! This is going to be AMAZING! I love that you took the time to write out the process. It helps to see the struggle, the wondering, the conclusion, the courage to press on! Congratulations! Enjoy this moment, thank you for inviting us to share it with you!

  45. says

    Not too long at all Emily. I am eagerly awaiting this book. I find that you so often write about the things hidden deep in my heart. This is one I’ve been struggling to work out for a long time. I’m so proud of you for being courageous.

  46. says

    This is beautiful. I am just now finding your blog and reading through some of it and loving every bit. My husband is a youth pastor and I do a lot with our girls – I can’t wait to grab a copy of graceful. I am always looking for good resources for teen girls. Thanks so much for caring about young women – there are so many who need to understand their worth in God’s eyes, to feel loved by Jesus and understand his forgiveness. So glad I happened upon this site today. Hope you have a wonderful week.
    Megan´s last blog post ..GFC Blog Hop

  47. says

    I have never, repeat NEVER, pre-ordered a book before and just pre-ordered two. There’s something about coming here that’s healing to my soul. You speak a language I didn’t know I understood. Thank you. And, for what it’s worth, stop apologizing about word count. I struggle with that too. But here’s the deal, people come here because they want to hear YOUR voice, whether that’s 10 words or one-thousand. :)
    Samantha Livingston´s last blog post ..Slowing Down

  48. Kristi says

    This may have the hardest post for you to write, but it was my favorite to read. Your writing never fails to touch and motivate me, and I cannot wait to read this book. I love the cover and the title, and your description had me sobbing in the best of ways. I’m smackdab in the middle of a journey to figure out how my heart, personality, and experiences all add up to my calling. Praying that God will use this book in my life and the lives of so many others who are searching.

  49. says

    i have been on a quest to figure out this art thing. i’m still journeying! i look around the web and see people call themselves “creatives” and wonder if i am one. like if i call myself one, does that automatically make me creative? or? but, Andrew Peterson said something that resonated with me, “we are all creative because we were made in the image of our Creator.” also, i read “Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl” by N.D. Wilson and have a new respect for art and words and creation as he wove together a tapestry that displayed God’s glory through them. anyways,
    your words always hit me in fresh ways and i’m thankful for your willingness (even on the hard days) to be His vessel. can’t wait to read these words in November.
    carissa @ lowercase letters´s last blog post ..miscellany monday

    • says

      N.D. Wilson is one of my favorite writers. And “Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl” is in my top 5 favorite books. Loved it.

      Thanks for your kind words, Carissa. And I totally relate to those questions you’re asking – I know everyone has their own definitions of things. But it seems to me that those who wonder the most about if they are creative or not usually are.

  50. says

    yay! my timid little writer heart is cutting backflips! can’t wait to read more of your words…I have a feeling they might be some of the most important ones for me during this season of finding and following all that God has created me for. thx for sharing!

  51. Sally Graham says

    Every time I read your blog, something jumps out at me that I can so relate to! I’ve been doing alot of dreaming lately, connecting dots and asking Wow, what would that look like? I’m so excited for your new book Emily, Thank-you for continuely inspiring me!

  52. Katherine Eachus says

    Great post! Looking forward to a great read. Can I ask what course/school offered “a full-time course devoted to discovering more about the grace life and the gospel.” My eyes have been recently opened to all the gospel is that i have missed for so very long. This little phrase jumped off the screen at me. Thanks!

  53. Elizabeth Myers says

    I have loved your past 2 books! My 16-year old daughter received your book for teens in her stocking this past Christmas and thought it was a wonderful gift. This post spoke to me in so many ways. Thanks for the way you share your thoughts and allow God to speak to all of us through your words. Never apologize for too many words for those very words are from our Lord – you are His vessel. Can’t wait for November! Something awesome to look forward to in the holiday season!

  54. Julie Reynolds says

    this post made me so happy!!! Can’t wait to read your book, your words here have already stirred my heart – Thank you!

  55. Marian H says

    I have just recently found your blog and was moved to tears from this post. I can’t wait to read the book in November. Wish it was coming out next week.

  56. says

    Thanks for giving us this behind-the-scenes glimpse at your beautiful new book. I’ve been a quiet reader here for years and have watched your writing grow in courage. And I’m grateful to read and grow with you. Blessings.

  57. Rachel says

    Bring on November………God must have other lessons for us all to discover while we’re waiting!

    Your comment to Josey: “There is grace in the waiting and in the fear” is a great thought to ponder. We don’t often associate grace with uncomfortable verbs – but indeed that’s when we need it most! It may just become my motto as I attempt a transition back to the workforce after a long time off.

  58. says

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to read your new book, as even your brief (yes! brief!) post here pricks the core of my being. I spent 5 years in art school, earned two degrees, and my idea of art is constantly being challenged, expanded, and changed. Something I wrote last year overlaps with some of your thoughts. Can I add my two cents to your dialogue (is it a dialogue? Maybe you weren’t looking for that) http://emptytofill.com/2012/02/24/what-im-working-on-and-why-i-want-you-to-know-about-it/

    Anyway, I am eager to read your book and have my ideas of art be challenged/expanded/changed yet again. How boring to have everything figured out and be stagnant in our thoughts! But what a treasure to be able to capture our thoughts on paper, even for a short period of time, and have others invite them into their own inner dialogue. Can’t wait to read more. Thanks for sharing!
    Erin´s last blog post ..Off to the Races

  59. Cheryl says

    I enjoy reading your work a great deal. You see into my soul and I have learned much from you. I have been reading your books at a very difficult time in my life and thank you for you ability to speak God’s truth into my heart and life.

  60. says

    What a blessing that you wrote to me today because it inspired me to click on your blog and read THIS … this incredibly inspiring, touching, magical, and encouraging post. I soaked up every morsel you had to offer. You have filled me with such joy in what is to come for you and also for me. God reveals what He wants to come out in me whenever I sit down to write. I am so encouraged by you to keep listening for that divine calling on my heart. I can’t wait to read your book!
    Hands Free Mama´s last blog post ..Filling the Spaces

  61. says

    This is beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for each and every word and moment you put into it. It is entirely appreciated and embraced. I am wonderfully eager to read your book! I have been coming across so many blogs lately with the shared Passion of sharing God’s glory..and how unfathomable and freeing it is. The value of life – every single one and each single moment that becomes it. I have recently ventured out into sharing my own story as I’ve transformed from shame to joy over the glory of God painted all over my life. It has been so fun and encouraging to build and become of this faithful community!
    anna belle´s last blog post ..and It Shall Come to Pass

  62. says

    Thank you for your bravery in trusting the Lord! You have always been an inspiration to me that maybe my writing will someday become something more than the occasional post. Can’t wait to read this book!
    Lexie´s last blog post ..Still

  63. says

    THE best longest post ever. Read it all. And oh, your words are so true and quotable. They really really resonate with me. Thank you for being so vulnerable with your writing and being SUCH an encouragement to me and so many others. Pre-ordered your book and do I have to wait EIGHT MONTHS?????!

  64. Deborah (Debbie) says

    Oh Emily, I am kind of speechless (which for me is really something :) ). I needed to read this today. I have been encouraged — strongly to begin blogging and I (think) I know that this is one of the desires on God’s heart for me to do…but I am, well, oh so many things — nervous, doubting, afraid I’ll give up/not follow through once I begin…oh, and I just might “suck” at it. But this is supposed to be about God and not me — or at least me trusting in and honoring our Great God and encouraging others in Him. So, I really, really, really needed to read your “long post” and the process of the birth of your book. It encouraged me. Who knows what God will do with that. Wait, I guess He does!
    May He bless you real big!
    Debbie

  65. says

    Just.Amazing. As a creative director and word art artist, I am SO excited for you and this book. Thank you for sharing the process with us here. Thank you for displaying your art for all to see. And thank you for bravely inspiring and encouraging in what matters most–reflecting Jesus. May our Master Artist continue to produce works of art through you for many more books to come. (And thanks to Annie Downs for daring to invite you in to making art :)

  66. Alexandra says

    I can’t wait! The way you write on your blog and in your books makes me think about things in a new light, which is wonderful… and I sooo need this book NOW!!!! How are we going to wait until November????

  67. says

    You are cute sitting there twisting your hair! You made me laugh… that would be me being “productive” too, except I’d have a baby clinging to me and grasping a chunk of hair, too and a toddler tugging on my pants.

    I can not wait to read this book :) in fact, I might make my husband read it too.

    Over the weekend I gave a copy of Graceful to two teens whose moms I am close to… one of them (the one who started reading right away) has said “it’s like this book was written for me!” :) I felt just the same about Grace for the Good Girl, and I have Graceful on my counter by the coffee machine now and I read snippets in between doing baby stuff… my inner teenage self agrees with that girl

  68. says

    I LOVE this post… could have read a little more, in fact. Maybe that’s why I’ll go preorder this book =) Thank you SO much for sharing… who you are in Christ, and that it’s ok to be who we are, too. God bless you, Emily!
    Lauren´s last blog post ..Selah- Quiet Time

  69. Amanda says

    Emily, your blog has become my go-to blog in the year 2013. Something about your honesty and realness makes me feel welcome here and encouraged to live my life in Christ to the fullest. I am seriously SUPER excited to read your book. There are some things you said, just in that blog, that my heart needed to hear…”We don’t just accept our callings once and for all. We have to continue to admit what we are called to do and move with courage toward that calling in different degrees throughout our lives.” and “There isn’t one great thing you were made to do. There is one great God you were made to glorify.” SO TRUE. Thank you!!! I have read Grace for the Good Girl, and I want to do “Graceful” with my small group of grade 10 youth girls. So appreciate your heart, Emily :)

  70. says

    I’m back here reading this post AGAIN. Emily, I loved it so much! I jotted notes on a little yellow sticky pad. If I loved this post so much I can’t imagine how much I will LOVE the book! Cannot Wait!! Love you AND your words.

  71. says

    I’m so excited for your new book. Your last one came at just the right time in my life.

    So did these words:

    “Being brave also means waking up to your today responsibilities (no matter what they are) and then moving into them as the person you most fully are – with all of your unique desire, personality, and creativity.”

    Thank you for bravely sharing your heart with us, and for trusting that the Lord will (and He has) use it for His glory.
    Jen´s last blog post ..Weekend Update: A Fresh Feeling

  72. says

    Well, honestly, sweet friend, you probably COULD assume that we DO want to read every word of a post like this. We are here. We are glad to be here. We are more than glad to know you. And I think I speak for all of us when I say

    WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU!

    Let me tell you: I finally finished writing a 17,000 word eBook (it launches today!!), and from that vantage point I can tell you that I have deep respect for anyone who can write 55,000 words about anything. Wowza.

    Keep sending emails, Annie!!
    Richella at Imparting Grace´s last blog post ..My eBook is available now: A Spiritual Formation Primer

  73. says

    oh, emily.. i remember that series that wasn’t a series two years ago!!! :)) and at a time of life when it seemed diapers and juice boxes and sticky messes everywhere might actually be the sum of it, your words blew encouragement to my corner of the world reminding me that art can be in the least expected places.

    because this, “There isn’t one great thing you were made to do. There is one great God you were made to glorify. Throughout your life, you’ll do that in a million little ways.”

    i read this post clapping and cheering for your bravery, and brushing away at a tear for the courage it inspires in me also. this thought that it all matters. WE ALL MATTER! gulp. just reaching over to squeeze your hand real tight and say, “thanks.”

    might sound a little silly cause i don’t even know you – but i’m proud of you, sister!
    so glad you stuck with it and can’t wait to read the rest of the series! :)))
    amber.´s last blog post ..Tuesday, March 05, 2013

  74. Amanda says

    I’m insanely excited about this new little package of words. Graceful changed my life…and just reading about this book makes me realize it’s what I need. Cannot wait until November.

  75. says

    I am excited to read your new book, and I totally stuck with you til’ the end. That was a great post, and I enjoyed reading it. Over the course of many years, my husbands and friends have also had this conversation before, and it’s totally something that resounds with me, very much so.
    The only thing I can’t stand is that it comes out in November! It’s March! What a tease :)
    Sarah M
    Sarah M´s last blog post ..We’ve Settled in Blaine, Washington; For Now

  76. says

    I am so glad you are writing this book. I left my first comment on your blog about the “art series.” Your words found me at a crucial point in my life. So excited for you, and all of us who will read your book!
    meghan´s last blog post ..c’est moi

  77. says

    I love how God turns your mind & heart into words and then you share them. I can’t wait to read your next book! I loved when you said, “There isn’t one great thing you were made to do. There is one great God you were made to glorify. Throughout your life, you’ll do that in a million little ways.”

    I’m on the last page of Grace for the Good Girl and already hoping I can lead a bible study with it this summer for some of the Mops mommies I mentor. I enjoyed reading your words with “March Madness” on mute and the sun shining here in the Northwest!
    jane @ See Jane Learn´s last blog post ..Mysteries to Solve

  78. says

    This is wonderful. You shared your heart and soul in regards to this book authentically in this post! I cannot wait to read this book and you lit my heart on fire once you started talking about how your mindset shifted with the dreams quote and how big our God is. Yes, yes, yes! I cannot wait to read the work that you have put so much time, effort, thought and prayer into. Thank you for encouraging all of us, for being grace-filled and for encouraging us with your true self!

  79. says

    As someone who plans to timidly dip her toes in the self-publishing waters this year, I really loved reading the backstory on your next book. It’s fun to read about the process, the behind-the-scenes, the heart and soul of it all. Thanks for sharing. I loved Grace for the Good Girl, and can’t wait to read A Million Little Ways!
    Ashlee´s last blog post ..a house full of baby.

  80. says

    Thank you for letting us in on your story! And for encouraging art! I have truly enjoyed following you through this process — and I am ‘de-lurking’ by commenting now. I have wanted to start a blog for literally *years* and reading your story was part of why I was able to make the leap this week and actually do it. Keep making art, being vulnerable, doing meaningful work, and helping others to do the same. And, as you said, it’s not about the great things that we may accomplish but how we glorify God by being who we are supposed to be.

    ” Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
    — Saint Catherine of Siena

  81. says

    Welp. I had every intention of leaving a comment on the very day you posted this.

    I long for this. All of it. The cover. The words. The wisdom. The grace. I know it will all be there and be beautiful. I’m so thankful for you, that you stepped into your calling and that you are generous with it.
    ellen´s last blog post ..some community on a saturday morning.

  82. says

    wow. i haven’t been here in a while…..
    had no idea you were writing a 3rd book.
    can’t wait to read it…it honestly sounds like it’s a book for everyone.
    read your whole post :) and my favorite part was near the end when you said,
    “There is an art alive within you and you don’t have to go anywhere to find it. Because the art alive within you was woven into the fabric of your soul when you were made in the secret place. Doubt, discouragement and distraction may be covering it up, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. When believers embrace the unique shape of their soul and move into the world as the person we most fully are, art comes out.”

    can’t wait to read this book!! We’re all trying to become the “us” that God made us to be….all of us are trying to conquer the fears that keep us from being who we really are.
    tara´s last blog post ..Noonday Spring Collection GIVE AWAY

  83. says

    “There isn’t one great thing you were made to do. There is one great God you were made to glorify.” I LOVE that quote!

    The words in your post brought joy to my heart & a little ‘giddy-up’ to my soul :-). A dream the size of which only God can fulfill & one that only God knows the extent to has been stirring deep within me. It terrifies me and excites me all at the same time. I have been making excuses & running from it for a while now. I remember your “art series” because that is where the dream first began to stir. Thank you for listening to God’s leading! I am heading over to amazon to pre-order A Million Little Ways right now. And will wait very impatiently for November :-)!

    In His Calm,
    Mary
    Mary @ The Calm of His Presence´s last blog post ..Thankful Thursday

  84. says

    I love this. Absolutely love it. I struggle so much with being an artist. I know I am one in my heart. I know it is what I was created to do. But doing it? It is so terrifying.

    I’m on vacation with my husband right now. And last night, we were talking about our callings having listened to a podcast during our 5+ hour drive. In the podcast, it talked about how sometimes, as spouses, we are called to support the other spouse in their calling. I have spent so long wanting my husband and I to be on the same page at the same time. We both feel called to write and art, so I want us to do it at the same time. But what we talked about yesterday is that right now I am called to write and create and he is called to support me.

    So I needed this. The post and the book. I can’t wait to read it and find more of my artist self in it.

    Thank you so much for providing this space. For giving me room to breathe. For discussing the role art plays in life. For reminding me, every time I visit or read on my Google Reader, that I need to be myself and be an artist.
    Leslie @ Body Won’t Break´s last blog post ..lovely lines (week 5)

  85. says

    I sat here and cried as I read your post. It spoke to me in such a way. ~ “We don’t just accept our callings once and for all. We have to continue to admit what we are called to do and move with courage toward that calling in different degrees throughout our lives.” ~ I’m convinced the Lord gave those words to you so you could “speak” them to me. Thank you for listening to Him :)

  86. Astakpasta says

    Oh my, so excited! So, I was already getting teary-eyed reading your post (and comments–so many lovelies in your audience!)…and then I clicked over to the amazon page and saw that your book is coming out on my birthday. Wow, I know it’s just because it’s the middle of the month and lots of books come out that day, but dang…still feels like a special little gift just for me…one where God is saying “Here. Just because I love you. (And because you NEED these words, my dear)” Gah…and now I am REALLY crying. :)

  87. says

    Holey moley, look at these responses!! Can you see what you’ve done? You’ve tapped into the zeitgeist – the one that the Spirit is blowing through us all these days. Thank you! (And may I just say – you could NEVER write too long a post in this place. Every word is welcome – every word.)
    Diana Trautwein´s last blog post ..A Trip to the Dentist — A Deeper Family

  88. says

    So the first book you wrote totally changed my life. I’m feeling like this third one might have a similar effect. I, too, have enjoyed your ‘series on art’. Looking forward to reading your book. I applaud you for your courage and pursuing the dream that scares you. Please know that you inspired me to put fingers to keyboard and I finished my first manuscript just before Christmas. The story I know God made me to write. Thank you.
    Heidi Blankenship´s last blog post ..When You Long For the Easy Button

  89. Caralynn says

    Emily,
    I finally had time to sit and soak up these words. I can’t imagine a post that’s too long from you – I’m always hungry for more. I’m so eager for this book to release – I have 6 copies of your others that I give out frequently, and I guess I’ll be stocking the new one, too! Keep at it, and we’ll keep praying for you!

  90. Lisa says

    Emily,

    Words can not thank you enough for bravely sharing yourself with the world. Your posts and your books are mesmerizing and they always resonate with me. The past few months I have been thinking/praying about ministry and feeling guilt like I should be doing MORE. But after reading your post and verbally processing with others, I realized that God is showing me how to use my life for ministry by showing me the ministry IN my day-to-day “normal” life. I felt rejuvenated because of your words and His leadings.

    But apparently God wanted to make sure I got the memo because last night I went to a women’s leadership meeting at my church and…. The topic: Finding Balance in Ministry. The speaker: the lead pastor’s wife. What did she quote and read from: THIS POST.

    How can I ever say thank you enough?

    Grace and Peace,

    Lisa

  91. club20 says

    Honestly, the post could have been even longer; I would have loved to read more!! I cannot wait to read this book. I am not a writer, but I have taken a photo everyday for the past 6 months, and am amazed at what a difference that small act has made. I look for beauty (ok, photo ops) everywhere now. I love capturing a moment or a thought in life, which is what writing does also. Thanks for your honesty; that is what we (your readers) respond to.

  92. Irene says

    This is my first time on your site. As a fellow artist I really enjoyed this post. I just have one comment that bothers me.
    “There is one great God you were made to glorify,” you say. I agree. But there are many names for God, names as great as Christ. By using only one name or assuming it is universal, which it is not, I felt you were taking away my God, whose name is Yahweh.
    I don’t believe your writing is only for Christians, but it certainly feels that way.
    Thanks for listening.

  93. says

    I know I am late to this party, but I couldn’t miss this opportunity to say how excited I am about your new book! I was one of those raising a shaky hand in the back during the time when you were writing your posts about art. Your words resonated with me then in a deep way and helped me gain a different perspective on my daily life, as well as on my calling as a writer. Thank you for what you do here, Emily. It surely blesses.
    Amy Corley´s last blog post ..jars of clay

  94. says

    Emily, I love love love your heart and writing. I am so drawn to your writing on living an artful life. I would be thrilled to have a chance to review your new book if you need reviewers. I do some reviews for Crossway and have been a guest writer on inCourage some time ago. Any chance you’d take a chance on me? I’m a little blogger, but I know God has a million little ways that He is using it. I can’t wait to read your book!
    Kara´s last blog post ..Expecting a Blessing

  95. Flyinjuju says

    Wow, you touched my heart this morning. I am not an “art” person, so I often feel left out of having this great gift, but God has been opening my eyes to His purpose for my life, so this book will no doubt refresh my soul. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait!

  96. Suzanna says

    Emily ~ I can’t wait to read your book. I love the way you write and mostly I love how when I read your words, I feel like they are completely from your heart – the real you. You have been such an encouragement to me over the years!!

  97. says

    Oh how I love this!
    “I also realized there is a time to be silent and keep your art a secret, but there is also a time to admit you need help.”

    I find so much of myself and my journey in this post: the entrustment and the working out through the journey. Been writing a book for quite some time and it never ceases to amaze me how much it is a metaphor of my journey with Jesus. All the waiting, trusting in the unseen, living the day to day, gestating and forming–slowly ever so gradually.

    Thanks friend. You feel like a friend. Look forward to the book!

  98. says

    Dear, dear Emily….I could have read your words all morning. Like others I loved the backstory and your transparency . So looking forward to reading each word of “A Million Little Ways”.
    Hugs,
    Judy

  99. Natalie Alday says

    I really needed this. It was God’s timing I clicked on this link in Holley Gerth’s devotion today. Thanks!

  100. says

    So incredibly beyond stoked for this book :) you’re a genuine artist Emily, and showing so many other artists who may be stuck in their own doubt what it looks like to trust God’s designs for them.

  101. says

    It was amazing read this. I have no words left what to say. Your journey is telling many things which are having beautiful moments. God bless you. Really its awesome.

  102. says

    Emily, your post really touched my heart. I started writing down quotes, but then decided I should just bookmark the whole post so that I can re-visit it often. It brought tears to my eyes many times, which only happens for me when something touches those God given dreams in my heart. Can’t wait to read your book…is it November yet?
    Katrina´s last blog post ..Shifted

  103. says

    Just wanted to say I loved this post! I just saw your name through a Lysa Terkeurst post and followed it over to your blog. It encouraged me in a big way. Thanks so much for sharing :)

  104. Iris says

    Hi-

    Heard about you from Lysa, (Proverbs 31)

    This was an awesome post. I enjoyed it very much. That’s probably why it didn’t seem long as you made it out to be. Very encouraging. Helps me to continue in the direction I am going.

    Thank you

  105. Nikita says

    I dont’ know that you will ever see this, but I thought I’d share anyway. There is a word that is brought to mind when you talk of art as a way of life. The word is Avodah. It’s a Hebrew word and is used int he Old Testament for our english words work, service, art and worship in a few places. It’s a great picture of the true meaning of art, at least I think it is. :)

  106. says

    Thankyou for this honest and incredibly inspiring post. Don’t apologise for the length, it could not possibly have been condensed and still have the same impact. I appreciate your honesty and authenticity.

    I will be spending more time in prayer discovering how to live more fully as I have been made to be.

    I love your blog,
    Sincerely Elisha.

  107. says

    i love this emily. truly. your book has been an encouragement and inspiration to me in such a personal way and for that, i thank you. and this post is an inspiration to me in the million little ways that we remain faithful to the calling He has placed on our lives. it reminds me of the verse: to be worthy of the calling you have received. God has placed the call on our lives, placed the art in us, and despite our fear or reservations, our critics or our greatest allies, we are called to do what He has placed on our heart. What He will bring forth with our life IF we let Him. thank you emily. for the million little ways you are encouraging my journey. be blessed.
    tammy strait´s last blog post ..how to be alone without being lonely

  108. says

    Howdy would you mind letting me know which web host you’re working with?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a honest price?
    Thanks, I appreciate it!
    Shawna´s last blog post ..Shawna

  109. says

    I love this long, beautiful post, Emily. Your book was wonderful – I am so glad that you wrote it and that I read it. It helped me to face my fears about sharing my art with others. Thank you. I wrote a blog post about it http://myoverflowingcup.com/a-million-little-ways/ Thank you for being willing to face your fears so that you could encourage us to face ours.
    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup´s last blog post ..7 Things To Keep When Money Is Tight

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