Uncovering Art & Unleashing Creativity–A Million Little Ways

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Confession: this is not only the type of book I love to read, it’s the type of book I’ve dreamed of writing.

I’ve long considered myself an artist– a ‘creative type’– if you will. Emily Freeman’s new book,  A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live is not only for the creative, but for any and every person who is learning to uncover the art inside of them – the art that is uniquely theirs to offer.

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This book feels like a modern take on one of my favorite books,  Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith & Art by Madeleine L’Engle.    But make no mistake,  Emily’s writing voice and message is her own.

Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are.

 

You have the power to influence, to move, to make, to become.  You have the capacity to perform the human act of making art, of doing work that comes from deep within you and touches something deep within me.

 

We make art with our lives.  …The question isn’t ‘who is the artist’?  The question becomes ‘who are you’?

 

~Emily P. Freeman, A Million Little Ways

As much as I’ve been raving about this read to everyone I know, I’m suddenly finding it difficult to clearly articulate everything that I love so much about this book.

Written in poetic prose, this book is one to be savored.  I haven’t yet read it cover to cover, because I am moving slowly through the wisdom, the beauty and the inspiration that Emily so deftly gives us in what I feel is her best book yet.   

God calls you his workmanship, his poiema.  What happens when God writes poetry?

 

We do. We happen.

 

We are walking poetry, the kind that moves, the kind who has hand and feet, the kind with mind and will and emotion.  We are what happens when God expresses himself.

Emily’s premise is one that I’ve felt in my bones for quite some time, but never known how to communicate.  We all make art in our everyday lives – no matter our occupation or calling.  Seeing our lives as God’s work of art can radically change our approach to our work, and every way that we express ourselves.

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 and I were born to make is released out of the core of who we truly are, where our spirit is joined in union with the Spirit of God.  This is our highest purpose, and ultimately, our greatest joy.

 

One of the distinctions Emily makes in an early chapter of this book is so important to understanding its premise.  I also think it distinguishes this read from so many other books about creativity and art.

This book isn’t an attempt to redefine art.

 

It is a genuine effort to re-imagine our lives.

Emily expounds on five different ways to begin uncovering the art within us:

  • 1)Look Within
  • 2)Look Back
  • 3)Look Up
  • 4)Look Around
  • 5)Look Beneath

I have highlighted and underlined these pages so much, many of them look like a rainbow.    I am meditating on the truths found in almost every other sentence, and will be for quite some time.   As a rule, I usually make so many notes in my books because I don’t re-read them, but this is one book I will be referring to over and over for years to come.   This book is truly one of the best ‘Christian’ books I have ever read on the subject of creativity and art–I consider it an invaluable resource.

 

Emily’s beautiful manifesto within the pages of A Million Little Ways reminds me of they way I have been created, and the call I have to create:  

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This book is helping me flesh out thoughts and wonders I’ve carried in my heart about creativity for years.

This book is reminding me of the truth of God’s creation and our part in it as everyday artists.

This book is pure poetry, and practical help for the creative all at once.

This is one of my favorite books of the year – I can’t recommend it highly enough.

{I will be attending Emily’s Day At the Barn event this week, and am looking forward to interviewing her for this blog very soon – might you join me back here for that conversation?}

{Note: Affiliate links used support this blog – all quotations included in this post are by Emily Freeman.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishers, but the gushing, adoration and multiple gift copies purchased for friends are all of my own choosing.}

 

10 comments on “Uncovering Art & Unleashing Creativity–A Million Little Ways

  1. I’m finally caught up on your blog posts, and I have reached the conclusion we’re kindred spirits. I hope we can meet in person some day!

    I jus received Above Rubies’ album for my birthday. Have you heard this? Oh. My. Heart.

    1. I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed my posts! I felt that we were kindreds too – especially when I read your playlist/music series last month. I am SO behind on blog reading, as we are moving in about a week and a half! 🙂 {I can’t wait to catch up on your blog posts!} And yes – I do have the ‘More Than Rubies’ album, which I LOVE! I won it on another blog’s giveaway – and listened to it nonstop this summer. 🙂 Thanks so much for saying hello – here’s hoping we meet in person someday!

    1. Oh Sarah – you would LOVE this book – I think you should check it out! I think it’s ESPECIALLY for folks who don’t think they are artists! 🙂

    1. Oh my word – I was at the barn event too! I HATE that I missed saying hello! {I think I remember you talking now in the group section! Aggh – didn’t realize that was you from your blog!} Can’t wait to hear what you thought of the event – I’m still processing all of the goodness I feel I gleaned from that day! And hello – I am in LOVE with the beauty and nature in North Carolina! 🙂

      1. I hate that we missed saying hello too – I didn’t realize until this past Monday (after the fact) that you were part of the FB group. If I had known before the event I would have looked you up. I wrote a post earlier this week about the barn – http://stoneleafandcompany.com/2013/12/03/grace-came-down-in-a-barn/
        but I am still processing too. I have been storing thoughts to think about – I don’t want to waste the “gleaning”.
        We loved North Carolina – we had been in the Ashville area before and at the Cove (Billy Graham), but never in Winston-Salem. We fell in love with Old Salem. We stayed at the Historic Brookstown Inn which was pretty wonderful.
        I did speak up during the share time – I think I probably talked pretty fast, which is what I do when I am nervous. 🙂 Hopefully our paths will cross again at some event in the future. In the meantime I am loving getting to know you here in blogland. I have enjoyed your blog since I found you and think that Sacro Speco is a great idea!

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