In figuring out how to share Emily P. Freeman's newest book, Simply Tuesday, with you, I decided what better than to bless you with her own words? Following are ten powerful, thoughtful, encouraging, and wise quotes from throughout the book to give you just a small sampling. (This list started much longer!)
Her subtitle "small-moment living in a fast-moving world" fits in well with what I try to share with you here and in my emails on simple faith and simple life. Whether you signup for her emails or get the book, follow her on instagram or checkout the inspiring collection of photos at #itssimplytuesday, or simply read the following words she's written, I pray you'll find God's beauty in smallness and His life in the everyday.
10 Quotes from Simply Tuesday
The lines in bold are from Emily's book Simply Tuesday, and the text below are my quick thoughts on it.
1. The deepest need of my soul isn't a personal organizer or an empty inbox. The deepest need of my soul is Christ.
This is from the intro and a reminder I need daily. My to-do list is all fine and good, but only after remembering the real essential: Jesus. And this insight spreads throughout all she shares in this book and in her other books as well.
2. What if, instead of thinking we have to choose between our ordinary life and an extraordinary life, we began to realize they're the same thing?
I've struggled with smallness. Maybe we all have. Not being recognized or feeling like my contributions aren't enough, while still wanting to simplify and embrace contentment. But so much that Jesus teaches is that we tend to confuse extraordinary and ordinary and maybe thay're not so different after all.
3. Jesus is often in the last place I look but the very place he always said he would be--in the whisper, in the children, in the small and secret places.
The times I hear God loudest are in the stillness and everyday smallness. You'd think I'd look there first, but I often forget. And in the forgetting, sometimes I neglect that He wants His big story woven through my small life.
4. Home isn't either beautiful or not, happy or sad, full or empty. Home is both. Home is and.
I love this reality of balance. Isn't not a straight line down the middle, it's a dance across the line into opposites. A college counselor talked about this importance in mental health and it's stuck with me--the bad is evidence of the good, the lows evidence of the highs, and we need it all to an extent, we need the and.
5. I can plant seeds, but I can't make them grow, I can create art but I can't make it sell, I can act in faith but I can't determine the outcome.
My inner control freak says I can set goals and calculate every step of the way. But the truth of a life of faith is something so much better--leaving everything in God's capable hands. It still involves action, but it lets the ending be a bit of a mystery because God's plans are always the best.
6. When we consider the spiritual transformation of our lives, it often means being stretched beyond what comes natural and leaning hard into what is supernatural, those things that come from God.
Another like it: "Rather than turn from the pain of smallness, I can turn toward Christ and partner with him in every small thing." (p. 211)
Some writing I've been working on revolves around this: Our need leads us to Jesus. I've come to terms with the mess that comes natural to me, and am finding joy in discovering Jesus' transformation. By this, He gets the glory.
7. People need our with-ness.
This reminder is so good in a time when we expect our likes and our quick texts to be enough. I'm learning to listen and just be with the people I care about. Like a high school roommate that would let me cry in her lap without asking for an explanation or giving detached solutions. Just as much as we don't want to be alone or feel lonely, it's safe to assume others around us are feeling the same way. When we extend our with-ness in whatever ways present themselves, others are free to offer their with-ness in return.
8. Jesus looks nothing like I think he should look, speaks nothing like I thought he would speak, allows things I don't think he should allow.
This is a concept I've been learning to embrace over the last couple years. It started with words in books like Irresistible Revolution and more recently from something I read in Searching for Sunday. I've heard the term "putting God in a box" but failed to see all of the ways I do that. It's a blessing to be reminded that He is God and I am not and that's a very good thing.
9. These are the days of . . . what?
This is a practice of embracing smallness that Emily shared in her book and in her video series. When life seems to be flying by, it's helpful to think about the little happenings that make up our days. It's such a simple way to slow down and pay attention to the little habits and routines that will quickly evolve into something else and likely forgotten. It's okay to move on to new things, and it's good to embrace today while it's still here.
10. I sense Christ asking me to embrace the days of small beginnings even when they might lead to small endings. Because the mustard seed tells us the ending belongs to God and it is kingdom-sized.
Another like it: "Small things don't always turn into big things. But all things begin small, especially in the kingdom of God. Acorns become oak trees. Embryos become President. Life starts with a breath. Love starts with hello."
Oh, how I love these thoughts. A recurring prayer I've prayed for a couple years is "Use me in big ways by Your power for Your glory." Of course, in the back of my mind I have my own ideas of "big." This is such a good reminder that when God's in charge, nothing is too small to matter.
This is only a small sampling of the encouragement and wisdom in Emily's Simply Tuesday.
For more Simply Tuesday:
simply tuesday (book + email)