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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Million Little Ways, A Review And Giveaway!


"I don't believe there is one great thing I was made to do in this world. I believe there is one great God I was made to glorify. And there will be many ways, even a million little ways, I will declare his glory with my life."  Emily Freeman

I have to admit, I'm a skeptic about most nonfiction books put out by Christian publishers. Knowing some authors of these type books has rendered me jaded, and that's all I will say about that. But I'm not one to say never, so I keep my eye out for books that might be worth using as part of my morning reading-- something that will inspire me. I'm pretty picky but Emily Freeman's new book's title and description sounded like a perfect one to read as I prepared to teach story structure to 9th graders at a local private school. Perhaps I'd find some wisdom to share with them about creativity and inspiration. What I found instead was inspiration and wisdom for myself.

 Book Description: You were born to make art. You were made to live art. You might not see yourself as an artist, but you are—in so many unexpected ways. In what you create, whether poetry or pie, sculpture or sand castle, calligraphy or conversation. It’s time to uncover the shape of your soul, turn down the voice of the inner critic, and move into the world with the courage to be who you most deeply are.

See the artistic potential in words, gestures, attitudes, and relationships. Discover the art in a quiet word, a hot dinner, a made bed, a grace-filled glance, and a million other ways of experiencing God in the world through the simple human acts of listening, waiting, creating, and showing up.

We arrived here as art and we spend our lives uncovering the beauty we have to offer. As the community of humanity, we will do that in a million different little ways.
 
 
This was a book where I underlined lots of passages, and copied many down in my journal. One in particular prompted a group email I sent to several friends I knew would identify. I love when I find things in books that trigger a response like that.

What I loved most about the book is that, instead of addressing art in one particular way, Freeman challenges her reader to think about art in a broader sense-- a more all-encompassing view, with art being defined as just about anything you do with commitment and passion. I'm going to be honest, I'm weary of the "you have a great and mighty call on your life and you should go for it" type of books. And that's why this one was refreshing to me. She helped readers see that even the most ordinary pursuits can be seen as art, and lived accordingly. That's a needed message in a society that's growing increasingly obsessed with power and position and fame. What if, instead, we did even the littlest things with great love and attention? Freeman helps the reader do just that.

Sound like a book you need to read? I've got one copy to give away to a reader. Leave a comment and share what your art is for a chance to win!

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30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am in a Women's Art Journaling group. We been talking about how we can live our lives so they each life and each day is a work of art that glorifies God. It sounds like this book would be great for us to use.
Lynn Ewing lynn@pskattorneys.com

Candice said...

I'd love to win :) I need to rethink how my hobbies/ crafts are not separate from God.

Mary Lou said...

I have never thought of myself as any kind of artist. I'm a practical, analytical kind of person who often tells other that I have no creativity in me. Perhaps this book is exactly what I need to understand that I don't have to be a painter or musician to create art. My everyday activities, when done with love to glorify God, can be art. Sounds like a great book!

BethA said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. I'd love to win!

Kimberly said...

I would love to have this book. I have no artistic ability at all. Perhaps my art is simply the raising our 7 kids. Only God knows what my abilities are. I tend to fill my bask

Pam said...

I followed Emily's 31 Days posts in which she gave snippets of the book. Oh my! I can hardly wait to get my hands on this one.

My art right now is homeschooling my boys. Sadly, I've not seen this for the art that it is, but I'm starting to realize the priority it should take in my days. I'm working on eliminating those things that tend to distract me when my full attention should be with my boys. It's not easy, but anything that is truly worthwhile often is not.

I'm excited for a chance to win a copy of Emily's book, so I can dig further and learn more about making art out of my everyday.

Anonymous said...

My art is teaching. The moments of students smiling, struggling through difficult assignments and not giving up, or just sharing their hearts are some of the art I strive for.
The book sounds like a great read! Thanks for suggesting it.
Sarah Gillaspie

Velma said...

Wow! This sounds like a great book. My art would be teaching middle school. I have recently come to realize that God has called me to minister to hurting women.
Velma Hunsucker

Britney Adams said...

Being a mother to our three precious children is my art; they are our masterpieces! While it is easy to get caught up in day to day life and feel overwhelmed and stressed, I know being a mother is the most important job I will ever have. I am thankful for this wonderful gift I have been given!

This sounds like such a profound book and an excellent reminder that our ordinary can become extraordinary. Thank you for sharing this review and giveaway! I would love to win!!

texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

wow I would love to read this book!!! I think my art is mothering.... but not sure?? Christine
Christinemlark@aol.com

Kate said...

Emily's book is on my to-read list. I love her writing - so inspiring. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Amy O'Quinn said...

I like to think my writing is art, and that my words are all for His glory. :) But I also think my 'art' might be in cooking and serving up heapin' helpings of love to my family with each meal I put on the table. I enjoy coming up with new recipes, but I also like preparing dishes that have been handed down through the generations and sharing stories about that special person (mother, grandmother, aunt,etc.)who taught me how to make or cook it. Heritage and tradition!
Great post and awesome give-away!

Sharmen Oswald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharmen Oswald said...

I love the idea that my Devine Creator created me to live art, even as I neatly fold and stack laundry or take a walk and breath in His Glory found in His creation.We are the ones who limit ourselves in what the Devine Creator can do through us rather than allow Him to work in us to unleash the artist in all of us. Thank you for calling our attention to this book

robinkeahnheim.com said...

For years {decades, really}, I’ve been listening to others talk about honing in your “calling,” or finding your “passion,” and that then, and only then, you will know your true purpose. My eldest daughters {twins} have been gripped by this. My “passion” has always been writing, though I’m not {yet} published. My daughters have gotten to the point where they think I’m missing opportunities. When it comes to my art, I write, but a huge part of my “writing,” indeed where my creativity is hones, is in writing letters, the old-fashion, long-hand way. I use different colored inks to separate paragraphs, sometimes use stickers to accentuate, and always, always, spritz the envelope with the best perfumes I have on my dresser. I enjoy how my thoughts and life unfold simply on paper for sharing. I never know who I’ll be drawn to write to but, inevitably, I will find out that my letter arrived at a pivotal moment when they needed a lift in spirit.

About a month ago, I wrote a letter to one of my daughters. I don’t know why, exactly, but I felt the need to share with her that perhaps, just maybe, my “calling,” my “purpose,” had been, and was still, to keep our family together – to mother and grandmother the generations. You see, the women in my family – both paternal and maternal – were not good at mothering. In fact, they did not raise their children. My father had been placed in foster care by my paternal grandmother; my mother abandoned me and my sister {we ended up being raised by our respective fathers}. My father fought to have me at a time when men were not customarily given sole custody of their children; certainly not daughters. So, I explained to her, although my passion is writing, my purpose could be to keep my children and our family together. Therefore, I’ve been, and continue, living my purpose.

Sometimes we really do have to just stop and “be still,” to hear Him.

jviola79 said...

I would love to read this book to fine tune my art. I have been reading so much about this book. Thanks for the chance!

Angela F. said...

I really enjoy photography. This book sounds amazing. I would love to win a copy.

Laurie Tomlinson said...

My art is contemporary Christian fiction!

Bethany Flokstra said...

This book is definitely on my wish list. Maybe I could win in time for birthday the beginning of next month.

Melanie Backus said...

What a wonderful and thought provoking book. I love to write, I love to think of others, but most of all the love in my heart for my three precious grandchildren brings light to my soul. God has blessed me with many talents and I am so thankful.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I have put my art on a shelf and have put my family before myself. I am at the point I am trying to rediscover myself and what my art is. I need to discover this for myself.

Terry C.

Connie B said...

I would love to have this book... I love to create~ cards, scrapbooks, jewelry, really anything where my hands are busy! Thanks for the chance!

Tammi T. said...

What is my art? I'd have to say, "words". I live to create with words. My research .... reading "words" that inspire me. Whether it is creating a card or letter of encouragement, a scrapbook journal of memories, a story, or another gift of "words", "words are life".

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Anonymous said...

i've been on the fence about this book... my new art, after 17 years of homeschooling my own 7 kids, is in my new job as a reading specialist at a Title 1 school... my youngest 3 are in public school, and i find myself needing to spend every single moment of the day reminding myself that i am crafting a plop of clay that my Creator put in front of me (not my choice of what i'd be doing at this point in my life) and doing my best. it's tough.

jar

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