Uncovering the art alive within me and releasing it into my world is what it means to worship God. -Emily Freeman
I would not consider myself a “reader”. I enjoy reading but I don’t breeze through books. It is partly a time thing but it is mostly an attention thing. Sometimes I finish a book. A lot of times I just read chapters of a book. So I have to laugh that I am offering a book review here on the blog.
But there have been a few times that a book has impacted me to such a depth that I am completely changed by it. I think it has a lot to do with the circumstances in which I have found myself while picking up a particular book to read. I think it has everything to do with God choosing to break through and be present in a situation through the gifted writing and inspiration of another. During the months of my breast cancer treatment, this happened with Dr. David Jeremiah’s book When Your World Falls Apart. I mentioned it a few times in previous posts and still recommend it now especially if you find yourself in the midst of your world falling apart.
Over the last several months I have been reading A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman. I even tried to keep up with the Bloom book club over at (in)Courage. Obviously since I just recently finished the book, my efforts to read the book along with the other book club readers failed. However, taking my time to let the profound wisdom of this book penetrate and speak to the desires on my heart was most certainly not a fail.
I first heard of Emily Freeman after meeting her sister Myquillyn and several of her friends at my friend, Caroline‘s Birthday Beach Getaway (which I blogged about here). I began following Myquillyn’s blog, the Nesting Place and was immediately encouraged in my faith and inspired to beautify my home without perfection. Because I was enjoying the Nester and was being challenged to start writing more myself, I decided to jump over to Emily’s blog, Chatting at the Sky, expecting to be equally encouraged and inspired by her writing.
At the time of its release, I was gifted Emily’s book by a few of my dear friends with great anticipation of “what God had in store for all of us inside these pages”. Little did I know it would push me into a great adventure and help set my course for launching a new website and non-profit.
The message of AMLW is that just as God created art when He made each of us, we all have art that He intends for us to create, to live and to share with others. First we have to fully realize, “sink” into, the fact that we are art and what we have to offer is art. Whether it is writing, painting, decorating, mom-ing, wife-ing doctoring, marketing…it is art, it is a gift, it is beautiful and is intended to be given away for good.
Many times our experiences, our childhood, our heartbreak, even our Tuesdays offer clues to what our art might be. Personally, I was made aware that what seemed ugly in my breast cancer journey has given me an opportunity to love, support, and mentor, all of which are also art.
It is one thing to realize that we are art and have an idea of what our art might be, but then what? It is as if Emily has spent some time in my head because she directly speaks to many of the reasons I have lacked the courage to do more with Pinked Perspective until now. She addresses dealing with the criticism of others as well as ourselves in her chapter entitled “See”. Then she eloquently motivates me to be available for art by simply showing up, waiting and wondering.
The more time I spend on this side of my cancer diagnosis, the more I see that it was actually a calling on my life. Above all it was a calling to go deeper, to experience God’s presence like never before and see every day in light of His unfailing love. However, the whispers to my soul and passions of my heart tell me this calling does not end with me. Emily’s words have helped me understand better that I have art to make, to live, and that art is intended to be shared. All to the Glory of God.