for when you’re taking your work too seriously

While I appreciate reviews as a reader, I have learned to read them in moderation when they are about my own books. Whether the reviews are positive or negative, I’m always aware of the emotional potential for cans to open up revealing worms I would rather avoid.

april

While honest feedback on a work in progress is vital, a critique from a stranger on the internet once the work is finished doesn’t tend to help me as a writer. Still, sometimes I read them.

I recently read a review of Grace for the Good Girl where the reviewer basically said she wanted to shake me during the first half of the book. Another said she felt like the book was redundant. As if I said things over and over again, things that didn’t need repeating.

(See what I did there?)

Even though I still don’t think it’s the best idea for me to read a lot of reviews of my own work, I’m glad I did this time. Because something happened when I read them that wouldn’t have happened 18 months ago.

I laughed. I laughed because I kind of agree with them. Sometimes I read some of my own words and I want to shake me, too.

It’s easy to say you would do things differently if you had the chance, but life (and our unfortunate lack of time traveling machines) doesn’t give us the chance to do the same things differently.

We only have the chance to do the next thing now.

I hope my next book isn’t redundant. But you know, it might be.

Either way, one person’s redundancy is another person’s needed reminder.

What one person may call Christianese is another person’s lifeline.

What one person may call an unnecessary story might change another person’s life.

You can’t control the outcomes of your work. But if you read too many reviews (or ask for too many opinions) you might start to try. This is bad for everyone involved. Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance, not a technician working for acceptance.

You can only do the best with what you’ve been given and what you know at the time. Accept your truest identity from the hand of God. And then be honest, remain open, and keep a light heart along the way.

“For the most part wisdom comes in chips rather than blocks. You have to be willing to gather them constantly, and from sources you never imagined to be probable. No one chip gives you the answer for everything. No one chip stays in the same place throughout your entire life. The secret is to keep adding voices, adding ideas, and moving things around as you put together your life. If you’re lucky, putting together your life is a process that will last through every single day you’re alive.”

Ann Patchett, What Now?

What are some ways you keep a light heart about your work?

Comments

  1. says

    Fabulous, meaningful, encouraging words, Emily! All true and well said. I especially loved, “Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance, not a technician working for acceptance.” Amen and amen. Blessings on you… on every book you’ve written… and on every book you’re yet to write!
    Jenny Barker´s last blog post ..I Need Him More

  2. says

    Oh my goodness, this is so timely. I just happened to click on a FB post of someone randomly making their list of top picks for blogs. I didn’t make the short list but got an honorable mention and I’ve been thinking about how I hate those lists, they always exclude someone. And honestly, I think the more I write, the more confident I become in who God made me, not the opinions of others. People are fickle but God’s love for us remains unchanged. I’m stickin’ with Him, as an artist working from acceptance. (love that btw) I haven’t read that one by Ann Patchett, gonna check it out. Your posts are always a ray of sunshine in my day Emily.
    Shelly Miller´s last blog post ..When You Hope For Happy Endings

    • says

      Thanks, Shelly. Lists can be good and useful – I have found some of my favorite blogs that way and books too. But you’re right, it can be hard, too.

      The Ann Patchett book is tiny – it’s basically a commencement address she gave at Sarah Lawrence College – you can read it in one sitting. It’s good.

  3. says

    Hi! I’m new here, and I just want to say: wow. What a great thing God is doing to allow you to take some of those reviews with such grace! I haven’t read your book yet, but I know that I have read many books that probably seemed redundant, but each ministered to me in a different way. The Christian life is all about being reminded, again and again, of who we really are and what Christ has done. Thanks for being a great example for all of us fledgeling writers out here.
    Esther Lefferts´s last blog post ..Inspired by . . . Paris, the City of Light

    • says

      I don’t always take reviews with grace. That’s why this one became a post – because it was a surprising reaction I had. But I’m thankful for it. All the best to you in your writing, Esther!

    • says

      Amen Esther, about the unending need for review. I have taken note that Peter states that fact in his second letter:
      (v12 ->) So I will always remind you….even though you know them…refresh your memory…make every effort…you will always be able to remember these things…”

      Great post Emily!
      I love this: “Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance, not a technician working for acceptance.” Praise God for your freedom to laugh at yourself. I like those victory interludes in my good-girl mentality-in-process-of-sanctification…!
      Kathy Schwanke´s last blog post ..When We Sit ‘n Spin Scared

  4. says

    “Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance, not a technician working for acceptance.”

    Just this. So good. Books and words are for each of us at different seasons. I love your words and the subtle humuor you weave into them.

    If the above commentor was Lady Mary, I’ll sign as DC. ;-) Also a lover of subtle humuor.
    Breanne´s last blog post ..13/52

  5. Wendy says

    Like Jenny ^ I am gipped by that sentence! “Meaningful work flows out of an artist working f r o m acceptance, not a technician working f o r acceptance.” Everyday our Creator breathes creativity into our lives and if we can live in the freedom of our complete acceptance…everything we do and say and create is meaningful! The Lord loves us, oh how He loves us…and when we fully and finally know that we k n o w His great love and acceptance in our life…it cannot be contained! We splash it everywhere; through beautiful homes, delicious meals, lovely images, heartfelt conversations, thoughtful words written…His fingerprints are on everything. We see His fingerprints here…xo

  6. says

    I love the line, “What one person may call an unnecessary story might change another person’s life,” because it reminds me of how I try to view my own writing. I write my heart – whether it comes from a quiet, gentle spirit moment or the playful, ironic place inside me. I try to keep the mindset then of allowing God the space to use my writing in whatever way He chooses. It no longer focuses on what I did, but about my faithfulness to Him and glorifying the name of Jesus. When I keep that perspective, the pressure of writing to please people melts away.
    Lesley´s last blog post ..The Power in Vulnerability

  7. says

    This post is so lovely! (Crazy timing that I just published a review-of-sorts of another book on my blog. I LOVED IT! I also have this quirky desire to combine words I love with music – hence my fun with playlists. :) ) I honestly don’t feel led to post reviews on my blog unless I loved the book–as a way to let people know about beautiful words in the world from which they should experience and can grow.) As you so eloquently write, there is enough difficult/negative stuff out in the world for a writer’s heart to deal with – I don’t want to add anything but encouragement for writers – because I love them, and aspire to be one! :) Love the Ann Patchett quote. And can I just tell you – I am SO EXCITED to read your book–I know it will have so many important things to say. “Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance…” – yes, and thank you!
    Sarah Caldwell´s last blog post ..Bread & Wine – A Book Review & ‘Foodie’ Playlist

  8. says

    For the record, my mom and I both loved your book! It was as if you wrote it just for me. I know it only takes a few discouraging remarks to spoil a hundred positive ones, but know that you have helped many! Thank you!
    Suzanne´s last blog post ..Beautiful

  9. Patricia says

    “…one person’s redundancy is another person’s needed reminder.”
    What a great observation! It rang so true for me. How many times i’ve had to make the same mistake two or three times before the lesson stuck… How many times i’ve forgotten what i know, and i’ve needed to be reminded…

  10. says

    I love your words here, but wait when didn’t I love your words here. Oddly, I was thinking of some strong words being run through the cheese grater that is the blogosphere of late and I mediated on the words of my youth: If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” There is some merit to that. If it doesn’t build up why say it :) Just saying. Wait is some of this redundant. Now I have redundancy paranoia. :) I am of the opinion that we need to hear things multiple time to really hear it. Let’s see….words to the reader you may skim or skip or speed read, you are in control.

    I love the attitude of your heart here. So healthy Emily. Thank you for this. It bore repeating for me today.
    Elizabeth W. Marshall´s last blog post ..These Are The Days, Sacred and Holy

    • says

      Thanks, Elizabeth.

      I think we can take the “if you don’t say something nice, don’t say it at all” a little too far. True, sometimes I would rather not hear certain negative things. But there are times when unpleasant things need to be said. The good girl in me cringes, but saying things that aren’t nice is often the only way to communicate truth.

      Perhaps not in this case – with the reviewer wanting to shake me and all – but even there, I see her point. And to an extent, agree. Thanks for you words.
      emily freeman´s last blog post ..for when you’re taking your work too seriously

  11. says

    I’m glad you wrote about this today. I’ve been thinking about your book a lot lately, but if I’m honest I probably wouldn’t have ever let you know just how influential it’s been in my life. I’m not usually one to comment on blogs. I found your blog recently and on a whim decided to buy the book Grace for the Good Girl. Let me just say…best impulse shopping ever! I really appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in sharing both your struggles and victories. It’s obvious you no longer live behind masks and that gives me hope! I’m a little behind you in life and hope that I can really grow in those areas over the next few years. I’m also really looking forward to your next one on art! I love your writing….and personally, good things are worth repeating.
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..{vienna}

  12. says

    So grateful for your process and the way you translate these experiences, Emily. In artwork, and sometimes in writing, I’ve found making art that will only be enjoyed around our house, or given away as gifts, fuels my process much more than pieces I create to sell/blog about. Sometimes a piece is for “right now” but most often my art needs to incubate a little, and I find that leads to more creativity.

  13. Marcy says

    Great words Emily! I just started to put the traffic jam of my words in a blog . It launches on Thursday. What a fantastic reminder to write for the sake of writing, because I have to or I will lose.my.mind. To not get caught up on what “they” think.

    Have you read Bel Canto? I think I’m going to have to pull it out this summer again!

  14. says

    You’ll never know who exactly you’ve changed by being faithful and writing your book. Negative comments are quick to be said, but positive feedback and life-changes don’t always get mentioned. Keep on writing and doing what HE’S called you to!
    Angela´s last blog post ..She’s Here! Meet Baby Eliza!

    • says

      Y’all are all so kind. I seriously wasn’t writing this because I needed to hear encouragement about my writing – but I do appreciate it!

        • says

          NEVER! Are you kidding?! I am all about the compliments (do you know me?) But I realized this morning – wait a minute. I wonder if this sounds like a post that is fishing for them? So I got all paranoid-y and had to clarify because I clearly have problems.

      • Lynn says

        Thank you for the laughter…. we can hear it from here. So glad you wrote this…. now I have a quote from you that I can post on my encouragement board….”You can’t control the outcomes of your work. But if you read too many reviews (or ask for too many opinions) you might start to try. This is bad for everyone involved. Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance, not a technician working for acceptance.”

  15. Kristin says

    “Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance, not a technician working for acceptance.”
    This struck a chord with me as well (and will be going into my journal!) and I just want to share that I have been so encouraged by your blog posts and your book. I’m so looking forward to a million little ways!

  16. says

    Okay, I KNOW this isn’t the point of this post and I really truly know you don’t want people to turn it into an opportunity to gush about your books. But I just want to say this: My galley copy of Grace for the Good Girl has moved homes with me twice and every step of the way, it sits on my bedside table. It’s the only book besides my Bible that knows this privilege. It’s covered in blow underlines and stars and arrows and maybe a heart or two. I just need to always know that it’s sitting right there.

    the end.
    Flower Patch Farmgirl´s last blog post ..On Infertility and the Truth about Women

  17. says

    As happens often, God knew I needed to read this today. Honest. If you happen to read my blog post today, you will see it… This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear.
    Perhaps you’ve said it before.
    Perhaps you’ve repeated this sentiment many times.
    If so, I am why. Because I know I’ve heard it before (in other words, other mediums, etc.) And yet, here I stubbornly sit, needing to hear it today.
    Repeat away, my friend… Rinse and Repeat again and again and again. :)
    Misty´s last blog post ..rainy day confessions…

  18. Colleen Comito says

    This post is an answer to prayer for me! Thank You! I just started writing again after leaving it behind more than 16 years ago…..I sent 3 pieces that I wrote to dear friends….and received no response! I found myself constantly checking my e-mail! I found it hurtful and hard to believe that not one word of encouragement was given.

    Then…..I read your post! I asked myself the question, “did I feel that I was being led by God to write again”?
    Yes…..well, then I do not need the approval of any one else! God bless you and thank you!
    And, please continue blogging and writing books…I love them!

    Everything is Grace,

    Colleen

  19. Karen says

    Wow! What a powerful entry today!!! Good for you!!! When I first got your book, I read it from cover to cover and could not put it down……..It did not seem redundant to me….I needed to hear your words of wisdom over and over again!!! I related to you in every sense of the word and have bought several copies to give to friends and I just now ordered the one for younger girls for my 13 year old daughter. I wish I had known about your book when I was younger…..it would have been a lot easier…..LOVE your work and your blog!!!! Changing lives!!!!!

  20. says

    I sometimes get overwhelmed with the kids I work with… They have so many challenges facing them. But they are also so full of hope, and joy for daily life, that they help me pause and focus on the here and now. Much like my own children, I find, helping me to live in the moment and enjoy the small gifts.
    Hillary´s last blog post ..Costume Time!

  21. says

    Emily, I taught an adult Sunday School class this past Sunday (and will continue in my series this coming Sunday) and when I got home from church there was a pretty vicious voicemail on my home phone. Apparently I had misquoted scripture and misrepresented the gospel. Ouch. I deleted the message immediately and walked around the house and up the stairs and took off my dress and painful heels and put on my shorts and t-shirt, began preparing lunch for my husband and kids and just kept breathing. I breathed and I breathed and then I picked up the phone and called her back. By the grace of God I was able to leave a message at her house thanking her for her observations, quoting things like “when iron sharpens iron” and reminding her of the big pictures and perspective of the Bible. I was gracious and by the end of my message my teeth were no longer gritted. Today is Tuesday and I am still trying to extinguish the smolder in my gut, but I am trying and that is grace for this good girl.

  22. says

    Seth Godin had a great blog post a few weeks (months?!?) back about how a comedian can work their tail off trying to get the one straight-faced customer to laugh…or they can realize, “I’m not for them” and enjoy entertaining those who do laugh.

    I’m finding such freedom in saying, “I’m not for them” — the Internet and bookstores are full of choices, and I am okay with the fact that I’m a good choice for a specific niche of readers.
    Cheri Gregory´s last blog post ..RENEWED: Interview + Book Give-Away!

  23. says

    This is something I hold onto, from two-time Newbery winner, Katherine Paterson, and my personal hero:

    Once a book is published, it no longer belongs to me. My creative task is done. The work now belongs to the creative mind of my readers. I had my turn to make of it what I could; now it is their turn. I have no more right to tell readers how they should respond to what I have written than they had to tell me how to write it. It’s a wonderful feeling when readers hear what I thought I was trying to say, but there is no law that they must. Frankly, it is even more thrilling for a reader to find something in my writing that I hadn’t until that moment known was there. But this happens because of who the reader is, not simply because of who I am or what I have done.
    Caroline Starr Rose´s last blog post ..Using Acrostic Poetry Both In and Out of the Language Arts Classroom: Gabrielle Prendergast

  24. says

    Such wonderful advice and very timely for me. Because just this morning in my journal I listed all my fears about writing and all the promises and truths God has given me as to why I should write. Thank you for your post. BTW, I would be that person who would cherish the Christianese and the redundancies. I need constant reminders!

  25. JM Shepherd says

    I try to laugh, at something, when I am taking my work too seriously…I am probably my own worst critic of ‘my work’… I do however have plenty of critical notes about what I ‘don’t work on’… I try to remember that we are all unique in God’s design and therefore have a unique delivery of the ‘work’ that we give forth…I am amused (although sometimes irritated – if I were to be truly honest) at just how many folks take on the role of ‘critique’ manager for someone else’s labor while engaging in little of their own.

    As for your writing, and more than likely, everything else that flows out of your heart…it is just that…flowing out of your heart…it is quite easy and enjoyable for me to pick up that ‘heart flow’ and ride it through the entire writing, book, blog, whichever… and wind up refreshed and renewed at the end…with chuckles and tears in between…

    I would rather read your writings, and those of your Dad and Sister Nester, Ann Voskamp, etc than all the ‘bestsellers’ out there… I want to connect with the heart of someone’s journey through this thing we call life…

    Thank you! So Very Much… <3

  26. says

    I cannot express to you how appreciative I am that you blogged about this topic today. I’ve been blogging for seven months, and am in the editing process for my book which tells of my 15 year journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility. The thought of negativity surrounding something so dear to me can be difficult, but I know God uses ALL things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
    Thank you for your words!
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..What Is My Responsibility In Faith?

  27. says

    As always, I needed this today. I know it’s time for me to take a break from the laptop and go play when I feel like I’m taking my work too seriously. Your sister does a good job at laughing at herself. I need to do that, too—not every sentence has to be profound, not every post has to be life-changing. They’re all collective works, and hopefully the mass of them add up to something good. But really? Agonizing over that perfect photo for the post or that one sentence that just doesn’t sound right doesn’t do anybody any good. For me, that’s when it’s time to take the kids to the park or for me to watch something silly on Hulu.

    Also? I love this: “Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance, not a technician working for acceptance.” I’m going to write that and leave it near my desk today. Thanks.
    Tsh Oxenreider´s last blog post ..Project Simplify: drawers & shelves

  28. Lauren Phillips says

    Loved this, so much. I have been wanting to write, but the fear of failure is louder to me at the moment that anything else. I am praying for the same peace and grace that you are able accept your criticism with. Also…your “redundancy” is one of the things that I love most about your posts. Sometimes my heart needs to hear a truth in more than one way so that it can hang on to it. Please, please keep being “redundant” :)

  29. says

    Either way, one person’s redundancy is another person’s needed reminder… I am in a season of being so grateful for reminders. The older I get, the more I realize that it is rarely what I don’t know that gets me into trouble. It is what I fail to remember. I am asking God to help me remember the important truths and trying to be thankful for reminders-whether from books, notes, or pain-that correct my course.
    Natalie´s last blog post ..For This Spring

  30. says

    “Either way, one person’s redundancy is another person’s needed reminder.
    What one person may call Christianese is another person’s lifeline.
    What one person may call an unnecessary story might change another person’s life.
    You can’t control the outcomes of your work. But if you read too many reviews (or ask for too many opinions) you might start to try. This is bad for everyone involved. Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance, not a technician working for acceptance.
    You can only do the best with what you’ve been given and what you know at the time. Accept your truest identity from the hand of God. And then be honest, remain open, and keep a light heart along the way.”

    I love this. And need it. Daily. Thanks, Emily.
    Dana Butler´s last blog post ..How I Lost My Best Friend [God Crafts Hope In Secret Places]

  31. says

    God bless you, Emily. I’m reading a revised edition of Dee Brestin’s “Friendships of Women” right now, and I’m half amused, half terrified at how she has changed her stance in certain chapters – flat out admitting that what she believed in the first edition 20 years ago is no longer her point of view today. Life will continue to grow us, but that doesn’t mean we should be afraid to write what’s been placed on our hearts now, right? I’m happy to be on the journey with you. I know you’re not fishing for compliments, but I do love Grace for the Good Girl and I can’t wait to read your November release as well.
    Becky K.´s last blog post ..If You Think You’re Somebody Special

  32. says

    I think a distinction should be made between taking yourself too seriously and taking your work too seriously. In the past you have spoken of “critics” almost as if they are just haters. For someone to care enough to engage with your work is a gift. Having something negative to say about someone’s work is not a personal attack. Thinking critically about someone’s work and pointing out places for improvement does not mean that you are condemning them to failure.

    Of course even imperfect work can be used to help others, just as we cannot perfectly carry the message of Jesus. But I would also argue that, at times, a work’s flaws can overshadow the good that someone is trying to do. For example, I think that happened last week on Prodigal.
    Kari´s last blog post ..restlessness wins out.

  33. says

    writing just seems to come in an envelope of vulnerability… it’s like we birth our hearts in the words we share so when others don’t like it or misunderstand it’s so hard not to take it personally, because, hello.. it IS personal. haha! what you said about working from acceptance vs. working for it so stood out to me.. seems that’s what determines the difference of my response to it all and though i know my security has got to be grounded in Christ alone i’m just such a slower learner. i forget way too easily and yeah, for people like me, i kinda need the redundancy. so keep on reminding us, emily! you’re a fantastic writer. : ))
    amber.´s last blog post ..Friday, April 05, 2013

  34. says

    Thanks for the reminder!! Encouraged by everything you said.
    One thing that helps me stay lighthearted about my work is hearing some of (who I consider) the best in my business talk lightheartedly about it, and just the knowledge that there’s always someone a little further down the road. That way, I don’t have to try to be “the best”, just me (which I take to mean Christ in me).
    Favorite sentence from your post: “Meaningful work flows out of an artist working from acceptance, not a technician working for acceptance.”
    Bridget´s last blog post ..Sacrifice or No Brainer

  35. says

    This is so good, Emily! I love the quote you used from Ann Patchett.

    This might not be a pat or straight answer, but in recent weeks, I’ve really begun accepting the time beyond the ticking hands, for my work, not just my day to day (I know, they probably shouldn’t be separate, right?).

    The other day I found an Etsy shop through Amber’s The Runamuck and bought one of the artist’s prints. It read, “Why no, I’m not behind. It’s just not time yet.” Perfect.
    Rachel´s last blog post ..When Casting Cares Give Gifts

  36. says

    Well since my “own work” is just a blog. I have to remember, that I am learning and growing through the years. So my blog evolves with me. Somethings I might have written earlier may put my head in a whole in shame now, but that was me and there is no erasing me.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..A Spotlight and a Birthday

  37. says

    My own grandmother called my most recent post on my blog “nice”. And said that it wasn’t remarkable that God would answer my prayer. She called my son a “nice Surprise.” Instead of a Miraculous Gift, which is the way I see it. So, even those who love us, may never quite see the world the way we do.

  38. says

    Sooo appreciate your words here, and the way we have watched you grow in your confidence and ability to write. So thankful for you and all that you do. You’re so right with all of this, but especially, I think, in saying “Either way, one person’s redundancy is another person’s needed reminder.” That is sooo true! Hang in there and definitely keep laughing stuff off. God has blessed you with an amazing gift and you’re using it the best way that you can. :)
    Rochelle´s last blog post ..28 Week Update / Hello 3rd Trimester!

  39. Kim says

    Your book has been (and continues to be) such a blessing to me. I bought a second one as soon as I started reading it for a friend of mine who struggles as a good girl and 6 GRACEFULs…. one for my 20 yr old daughter, 2 for a couple young women I dearly love and 3 others that God will tell me who to give them to…. hugs and blessings

  40. says

    O, Emily! I think writers everywhere who are serious about their work can empathize! When we invest ourselves into our work, every response to our work instantly becomes personal. The “They don’t just hate my piece, they hate ME!” effect.

    What a great testimony to hear how the Lord allowed you to deal with this critique gracefully! Certainly an encouragement :) Keep writing!

    (And thanks for the thought that one person’s redundancy is another person’s needed reminder. I needed to hear it!)
    Victoria Wilson´s last blog post ..Growing Up Under a Rock

  41. says

    Amen. I love this perspective. And we are all guilty of taking ourselves too seriously. It is so easy to get defensive rather than see that what they are saying might actually be true…to a degree. In the end, it doesn’t make up who you are–and you are loved by me for sure–for your wisdom….and introspection which I need someone to “shake” into me every now and then.
    17 Perth´s last blog post ..Getting Lost in Nature….Literally.

  42. says

    What an excellent reminder, and as others have said, perspective. Thanks for your transparency! It’s so difficult not to take reviews personally. I’ve delivered my share of tough reviews, now it’s time to see if I can take them as well as I give them.

  43. says

    “You can’t control the outcomes of your work. But if you read too many reviews (or ask for too many opinions) you might start to try.”

    I am such a control freak when it comes to writing. I work things to death, if given the opportunity.

    I needed these words. Just like I need reminders (lots!) about what a life of faith is meant to be.

    I enjoyed your book, and I’m thankful for your blog. Your bravery in sharing what’s on your heart is inspiring. (And I’m so proud of you for laughing at the negative. It gives me hope that someday I might be able to do the same.)
    Jen´s last blog post ..Life Lately: Overwhelmed by Adulthood, Becoming Brave

  44. says

    Does a person ever get tired of hearing, “This is so good. Thank you.”? I’m at the very end of a long line of comments, and maybe you don’t even get this far, but at the risk of being redundant, this is so good. Thank you.

    I laughed with you, when you said you laughed. What a great place to be.

    “An artist working from acceptance … doing the best with what you’ve been given and what you know at the time.” This is wisdom and grace. A good reminder when I’m tempted to look over my shoulder and distance myself from the mortifying person I used to be. Sigh, was that only yesterday? :)

  45. says

    So I have another book for you . . . I’m incurable, I think. But this one is good. It was written by my friend Trevor Hudson, and get this title: Discovering Your Spiritual Identity: Practices for God’s Beloved. (Okay, you want a good illustration of my insecurity? I’m in a tizzy because I don’t know how to underline or boldface that book title, and I just can’t bring myself to place it in quotation marks. I guess I could have typed it in all caps. But God forbid that anyone ever think that I don’t know how to denote a book title. Horrors.)

    Anyway, back to my point. Trevor rightly explores different spiritual practices and guides the reader gently through the discovery process–but so wisely points out that these are practices for GOD’S BELOVED (there, that was all caps). Honestly, I need to meditate on the word “beloved.” I remember your once saying something like “it’s be-loved, not do-loved.” Oh, to be able to accept the fact that God loves me and I am accepted and prized by Him–and then for my work to flow from that.

    Love you, girl!
    Richella at Imparting Grace´s last blog post ..Grace at Home No. 54

  46. Raynel says

    I just finished listening to your podcast with Tsh and had to come read this post. Thanks for showing what it looks like to take criticism and not let it eat you. I’m striving to be better at remembering that what people say about me tells me a lot about *them*, and nothing about me. Good words!

    Also, I know you’re not fishing for praise here, but I realized I have been one of those silent ones who absolutely cherishes your words, and has never said so TO you. You know, because you’re a real person and not just a author out there in bookland? Emily, I felt like Grace for the Good Girl was written just for me, and met me right where I am, and I needed it so much. A friend put it in my hands just after I had my first baby, when I was staggering under the weight of my own expectations to be a PERFECT new stay-at-home mother. Your truth has given me so much freedom and the ability to BREATHE and accept that I am deserving of (and in need of) grace. And that when I fail (heaven forbid!) that doesn’t mean I AM a failure. I have recommended it to so many “good girl” friends and I know it will encourage them as much as it did me. So anyways, thank you for writing it. I can’t wait for your next book!

  47. says

    Such a great post. I have a place where I have links to articles I consider “writing encouragement” and this will be added to the list (I think half a dozen of yours are already there). To stay light? I try to keep in mind that I’m just one voice of many. There’s safety (and wisdom) in the counsel of many, which helps take the pressure off and allows me to lighten up and have fun! :) I love your perspective on the review. Great job!! Evidence of a secure identity in Him! :)
    Samantha Livingston´s last blog post ..A Warm Kiss for Cold Lips

  48. Tara says

    Beautiful!!! Such a great reminder and encouragement for us all! Reading your “Grace for the Good Girl” now and I love it!!

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