a few years ago i had the privilege of being one of the first to read and even write a review for emily freeman’s Grace for the Good Girl. i’ve read emily’s blog, chatting at the sky, for several years & find that it truly is a place for your soul to breathe.
in her latest book release, A Million Little Ways-uncover the art you were made to live, it’s as if she truly has breathed life into my own soul. her poetic way of writing and her tender way of saying the profound yet simple gives testimony to the art that is within her as a gifted writer.
you were born to make art. you were made to live art.
it’s time to live as though we believe we have something to offer. it’s time to release our authentic selves in the world.
because it isn’t only the painters who are allowed to be expressive, it isn’t only the musicians who can touch our souls, it isn’t only the novelists who can inspire us to dream.
god is an artist. he comes into us & then comes out of us, in a million little ways.
and believing in the midst of all that? it feels like strenght and depth and wildflowers spinning; it feels risky and brave and underdog winning.
it feels like redemption.
it feels like art.
at the most basic level of our identity, your job and my job is to be a poem, the image bearers of god, made to reflect his glory. the art you & i were born to make is released out of the core of who we really are, where our spirit is joined in union with the spirit of god. any movement coming from that place reflects the glory of god.
this is our highest purpose and ultimately our greatest joy.
so our work, our art, whatever He has woven into our being, that is what we are to use to bring glory to the father. and don’t for a moment allow your spirit to feel discouragement or comparison or hear the “well, if only i was as good as she. if only my skill was perfect or applauded”….he has filled us with a million little possible ways we can reflect His glory…and it’s already woven into the fiber of your being. you might not need to travel far or peel back too many covers to find the art that He created in and for you. only you.
i love the words of steven pressfield. “creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. it’s a gift to world and every being in it. don’t cheat us of your contribution. give us what you’ve got”.
don’t you just wanna sing along, “hide it under a bushel. NO! i’m gonna let it shine”? seriously. this work from emily will feed your soul if you feel discouraged or stagnant or even unaware that you’re not living out the art that’s within you. and remember, art is far from limited to a musical lyric composed for a symphony or the written word for a best selling novel, sculpted form or paintings filling a museum.
one of my favorite sections in the book is where emily lists ways to be mediocre in your art.
make love to fear. apologize a lot.
try to measure your impact.
wait to feel qualified.
fear the success of others.
keep impossible standards for perfection.
be easily offended.
and by all means, don’t take a risk.
and the list goes on. and resonates with me. i stepped out a couple years ago & decided i could no longer work from within the walls of a drab cubicle. it was no longer my dream. my art of pediatric oncology had long ago been laid down and my job at the time was far from me. i was discouraged from becoming too personal with my “clients” and was evaluated on speed and accuracy. the times when i new a patient or a mom needed encouragement would cost me in reviews. totally against the natural weave of my soul.
i knew i loved photography and i would soon discover within me a passion to be an advocate for others once again. while not in the hospital setting, this would be through noonday. i can spend less than 3 minutes on pinterest and decide to close down my photography business. i can look at the success of others and the offers they receive to write books and figure maybe i should shut down my blog. being a self taught photographer with a simple lap top and not even the professional level of photoshop i feel like david and goliath every single time i head out for a session. yet, once i’m there and in my groove, i feel His pleasure on me. i do. i’ll never be a world renowned photograph who can command thousands for my work and that’s totally okay. that’s not my goal anyways.
so what’s your art? what’s inside you that you know that you know that you know is a gift for you to share with others? does it need to be called forth? does it need to be dusted off & put into practice?
i encourage you to take a risk. and i’ll promise you, you’ll probably never feel more alive. remember, there’s a million little ways He can spill out of you. thank you emily for putting into words encouragement and life and breathing into my soul!
emily also speaks on rest. right now i’m in the midst of quite a full schedule. “how can i rest in the midst of all there is to do?” that is precisely why you must. fear drives out love. when you work from fear, there is no love in your work. and we don’t want your loveless art. so give teh worl and yourself a gift, and stop.
i’m flying out tuesday morning at 0’dark thirty heading to seattle for several days. while i’ll be shooting ( hopefully. weather permitting) several photography sessions ( which fully brings me to life and is truly second nature to me and doesn’t feel anything less than art to me) i’m leaving my computer behind. there truly is lots of work to be done and i have deadlines for projects. not to mention, this is peak time in the blog world with writers sharing thoughts on thanksgiving and their gramma’s legendary turkey & dressing recipe. but i’m going to take a small rest for just a little bit. maybe only a week, maybe slightly longer. i realize that’s not the best mindset in the blogging world but i need a little time to focus on my art and refuel.
i can’t wait to share about my upcoming week & i truly covet your prayers for pretty weather in the PNW as well. you can follow along via instagram if you so desire.
i’ve spent a little time trying to update a very neglected portfolio. in the top menu you’ll see portfolio and within that are several links within. thank you to each of you who have encouraged me to find and share the art within me this year.
see you soon!
the world needs you awake & alive.
does the world need another book? or song? painted living room? not necessarily. but the world does need you to come alive right where you are and not where you wish you were. if writing books or songs or painting living rooms is what makes you come alive, then that’s what you need to do.
emily freeman’s a Million Little Ways
Available November 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
( all words in teal are emily’s and quoted directly from a Million Little Ways)