“All we can do is take what He has given to us and offer it back to Him in the form of giving it away to others. Our offerings aren’t efforts worked up inside ourselves. Our efforts are unique responses to a living, giving God.” ~Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways~
This weekend I soaked in Emily P. Freeman’s A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live.
I had eagerly signed up to review this book. However, once it arrived, I approached the content warily, thinking I’d find it filled with popular advice about how to find your voice and make it heard and rise above the crowd . . . you know, the things people who get paid for their art tell the rest of us.
But Emily’s insightful take on art encompasses all expressions of God’s beauty and includes all of us who bear His image.
Here’s one of my favorite parts . . .
“The song lyric.
The exchange between actors on the screen.
The image of Paris in the snow.
The tuning of the strings before the show.
Art coming from honest hands shows us beauty, stirs up longing, and touches us deeply.
But what about this:
- The extra care the cashier takes with your order,
- The way she looks you in the eye,
- Asks how you are,
- If you need help or a price check,
- As if her work is important
- And she knows it.
Or . . .
- The teacher who makes history come alive,
- Telling stories filled with facts and truth and background,
- While students learn without even realizing.
Cashiers and cellists are capable of making art because they both have the power to influence, to be fully awake to their Maker, and fully aware of His making them.
What about your own influence? What about the conviction of your true self, pointed out, accepted, and poured out as an offering?
It is my intention to introduce practices to help you uncover the art already alive within you.”
MY TAKE: Emily’s words resonated with me. An image that lingers is her description of showing up at the church nursery to find a violinist—a talented professional musician—playing for the toddlers. As the man passionately poured out his music, the kids continued playing, seemingly oblivious to his song.
Yet his efforts were not a waste—no matter the reception of the audience.
THE BOTTOM LINE: This nonfiction work strengthened and inspired me. I give it my highest recommendation and encourage you to grab a copy for yourself. You can purchase A Million Little Ways at this link. (Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.) ***Thanks to Revell for providing a copy for me to review.
What beautiful art are you making in your world today, friends? I’d love to know!
About the Author: Emily Freeman is a writer, speaker and listener. She writes for DaySpring (a division of Hallmark) and has traveled as a writer with Compassion International to raise awareness for the needs of children in poverty around the world. She attended Columbia International University to study the Bible and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she earned a degree in Educational Interpreting for the Deaf. Emily lives with her husband, John, in North Carolina with their three children and their crazy dog, Finn.
You can connect with Emily . . .
This week I’m linking up with Inspire Me Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Miscellany Monday, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, Tuesday Muse, Titus 2sday Link-up, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Wise Woman Builds Her House, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Wise Woman Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Juana Mikels Wednesday Link-up, Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Thoughtful Thursday, Cozy Book Hop, Tell His Story, Thought Provoking Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, Share the Joy Thursday, Time Travel Thursday, Desire to Inspire,Thrive @Home Link Up, Grace at Home, Faithful Friday Blog Hop, Faith-filled Friday, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Womanhood w/ Purpose Friday Link Up, Essential Friday Link-up, Sunday Collective, and Heart Reflected.