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The majority of us would not necessarily define ourselves as artists. We're parents, students, businesspeople, friends. We're working hard, trying to make ends meet, and often longing for a little more--more time, more love, more security, more of a sense that there is more out there. The truth? We need not look around so much. God is within us and He wants to shine throug The majority of us would not necessarily define ourselves as artists. We're parents, students, businesspeople, friends. We're working hard, trying to make ends meet, and often longing for a little more--more time, more love, more security, more of a sense that there is more out there. The truth? We need not look around so much. God is within us and He wants to shine through us in a million little ways. A Million Little Ways uncovers the creative, personal imprint of God on every individual. It invites the discouraged parent, the bored Christian, the exhausted executive to look at their lives differently by approaching their critics, their jobs, and the kids around their table the same way an artist approaches the canvas--with wonder, bravery, and hope. In her gentle, compelling style, Emily Freeman encourages readers to turn down the volume on their inner critic and move into the world with the courage to be who they most deeply are. She invites regular people to see the artistic potential in words, gestures, attitudes, and relationships. Readers will discover the art in a quiet word, a hot dinner, a made bed, a grace-filled glance, and a million other ways of showing God to the world through the simple human acts of listening, waiting, creating, and showing up.


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The majority of us would not necessarily define ourselves as artists. We're parents, students, businesspeople, friends. We're working hard, trying to make ends meet, and often longing for a little more--more time, more love, more security, more of a sense that there is more out there. The truth? We need not look around so much. God is within us and He wants to shine throug The majority of us would not necessarily define ourselves as artists. We're parents, students, businesspeople, friends. We're working hard, trying to make ends meet, and often longing for a little more--more time, more love, more security, more of a sense that there is more out there. The truth? We need not look around so much. God is within us and He wants to shine through us in a million little ways. A Million Little Ways uncovers the creative, personal imprint of God on every individual. It invites the discouraged parent, the bored Christian, the exhausted executive to look at their lives differently by approaching their critics, their jobs, and the kids around their table the same way an artist approaches the canvas--with wonder, bravery, and hope. In her gentle, compelling style, Emily Freeman encourages readers to turn down the volume on their inner critic and move into the world with the courage to be who they most deeply are. She invites regular people to see the artistic potential in words, gestures, attitudes, and relationships. Readers will discover the art in a quiet word, a hot dinner, a made bed, a grace-filled glance, and a million other ways of showing God to the world through the simple human acts of listening, waiting, creating, and showing up.

30 review for A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live

  1. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Rose

    Two and a half years ago, I discovered www.chattingatthesky.com after a dear friend shared it was the first blog she’d ever followed. I immediately found myself at home. There author Emily P. Freeman was working through some ideas on what it meant to create art. I printed out her post, Fourteen Ways to Make Mediocre Art, and pasted it to the mini file on my desk, where I see it every day. Emily has continued to explore this idea of being an artist on her blog. She’s written A MILLION LITTLE WAYS Two and a half years ago, I discovered www.chattingatthesky.com after a dear friend shared it was the first blog she’d ever followed. I immediately found myself at home. There author Emily P. Freeman was working through some ideas on what it meant to create art. I printed out her post, Fourteen Ways to Make Mediocre Art, and pasted it to the mini file on my desk, where I see it every day. Emily has continued to explore this idea of being an artist on her blog. She’s written A MILLION LITTLE WAYS in an attempt to dig into this concept more deeply. What she’s created is inviting, encouraging, and profound. And it starts with this: All of us have permission to make art. I can’t help thinking how incredible this message might have been to my twenty-four-year-old self, the one who’d dreamed of writing for years. “Art is what happens when you dare to be who you really are.” I’d sent my students home for the last time. The summer stretched free before me. It was my moment to find the courage to try. “The essence of being human is that we were made by design with the hands of the Divine Artist.” I knew no one who wrote. I spent that summer and the years following trying to make my way. Two things kept me moving: I trusted that if I kept trying, my work would improve. I believed I had something unique to say. “We get good at the things we practice.” Thank you, Emily, for showing me art is much more than a thing we produce. It is who we are. It is what we’re made to do. It’s what most connects us to living. To ourselves. To God. This book is a gift to the new writer I was fifteen years ago, a treasure to the person I am now. "Uncover the art you were born to make. Release the art you were made to live."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I would like to buy this book and highlight in it. I read a library copy but I think it's a book to "chew on" and digest. Looking forward to discussing this book with my cousin. I would like to buy this book and highlight in it. I read a library copy but I think it's a book to "chew on" and digest. Looking forward to discussing this book with my cousin.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    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 incl 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??i> 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. ***Thanks to Revell for providing a copy for me to review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Davina

    I am sorry to give this book only two stars since the author is so honest and vulnerable and also talks about her fear of critics. I have never read anything by Freeman before, so it might be that I could like other books by her, but I didn't like this one. I often felt confused by what she was trying to say. Though I understand her concept of art - "the thing that makes us feel most alive", it was so unhelpful, confusing and wishy-washy that I had a hard time putting it into context. There were I am sorry to give this book only two stars since the author is so honest and vulnerable and also talks about her fear of critics. I have never read anything by Freeman before, so it might be that I could like other books by her, but I didn't like this one. I often felt confused by what she was trying to say. Though I understand her concept of art - "the thing that makes us feel most alive", it was so unhelpful, confusing and wishy-washy that I had a hard time putting it into context. There were so many theories and statements that were never explained. "Don't try so hard to read your bible - let the bible read you" sure sounds nice, but WHAT DOES IT EVEN MEAN? The book is full of cryptic ideas like this one and often never bothers to clarify them. Don't get me wrong, I like books that leave place for the imagination and your own interpretation. But when every other statement is so abstract that I cannot fill it with any meaning, then my enjoyment of it is extremely diminished, because there is no base structure to hold on to. Reading this book sometimes felt to me like having no ground under my feet. Other reviewers have said it before - the content is very repetitive and should have been better edited. I still give it two stars, because as an actual artist I found one or two thoughts rather interesting. I especially liked the premise - that as God's imagebearers we are called to create since he himself is a creator and that the art itself must never become more important than representing God by making art.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chantel

    I really hate giving Christian authors I respect less than five stars, but really I found this book about uncovering the art inside to be only average. If you're only going to read one book about doing the work you're meant to do, please read Steven Pressfield's The War of Art. It's one you'll return to again and again. Emily Freeman's book was aptly titled. I literally felt like I was reading the exact same sentence a million different ways. Basically, she says, "You are art and you make art, b I really hate giving Christian authors I respect less than five stars, but really I found this book about uncovering the art inside to be only average. If you're only going to read one book about doing the work you're meant to do, please read Steven Pressfield's The War of Art. It's one you'll return to again and again. Emily Freeman's book was aptly titled. I literally felt like I was reading the exact same sentence a million different ways. Basically, she says, "You are art and you make art, but you are not your art. You are God's art." That's the book. I will admit, though, that she does find her rhythm about halfway through the book. She confesses that she's not giving the reader any new information, only sharing what she knows the only way she knows how. And of course that's true: artists speak to all of us in different ways, and Emily P. Freeman may be exactly who you need to hear from today. She crafts each sentence with great care, and I enjoyed the book. Her words are beautiful, and I found them to be comforting--like spending time with a good friend--both sharing our hopes and dreams over a bowl of hot soup on a cold day. But if you really want to feel EQUIPPED to change the world, then read the authors she liberally quotes: Steven Pressfield, Seth Godin, and Madeleine L'Engle, among others.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Elmer

    I am stingy with my 5 star reviews (also a bit inconsistent, but that’s another story), but I can’t help giving A Million Little Ways five stars. This book is inspiring and encouraging and real. It takes the reader by the hand and leads her not only to the edge of the cliff where we, as creators, can jump off into the great excitement and fear that creativity brings, but also, she brings us closer to God. I appreciate the reminder of why I create and for Whom I create, along with the shot of cou I am stingy with my 5 star reviews (also a bit inconsistent, but that’s another story), but I can’t help giving A Million Little Ways five stars. This book is inspiring and encouraging and real. It takes the reader by the hand and leads her not only to the edge of the cliff where we, as creators, can jump off into the great excitement and fear that creativity brings, but also, she brings us closer to God. I appreciate the reminder of why I create and for Whom I create, along with the shot of courage Emily Freeman offers in this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Renee Davis Meyer

    This book was more than I expected.... I thought it was a book about art and creativity. And it is, but it is also about being brave, trusting Jesus, and living a life only you can live (whether you consider yourself an artist or not.) I listened to this on Hoopla, I love Emily Freeman’s voice, and it is free, so I highly recommend that. But I also ordered a copy to underline, absorb and keep because I need it to sink more deeply than I can manage while listening/driving/doing laundry etc. Highl This book was more than I expected.... I thought it was a book about art and creativity. And it is, but it is also about being brave, trusting Jesus, and living a life only you can live (whether you consider yourself an artist or not.) I listened to this on Hoopla, I love Emily Freeman’s voice, and it is free, so I highly recommend that. But I also ordered a copy to underline, absorb and keep because I need it to sink more deeply than I can manage while listening/driving/doing laundry etc. Highly recommend.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Yoder

    The old adage, "Chew the meat and spit out the bones" applies here. But the meat of this book is so delicious that I'm glad I pushed on when I disagreed. Two concepts in particular (the different ways art can be an idol, how criticism helps us) impacted me. I'll be chewing on this one a long time. So convicting, and yet so encouraging and gentle. The old adage, "Chew the meat and spit out the bones" applies here. But the meat of this book is so delicious that I'm glad I pushed on when I disagreed. Two concepts in particular (the different ways art can be an idol, how criticism helps us) impacted me. I'll be chewing on this one a long time. So convicting, and yet so encouraging and gentle.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jodie Pine

    I recently joined Emily Freeman's Hope*Writers community of writers and her book was added inspirational motivation to press forward in becoming the artist/writer God created me to be. I tried sharing my kindle highlights for the first time (if anyone wants to have a look and let me know what you think). "When we embrace the beauty of our design, when we recognize that he has made us to be unique expressions of himself, when we receive the gifts he has equipped us with and have the courage to po I recently joined Emily Freeman's Hope*Writers community of writers and her book was added inspirational motivation to press forward in becoming the artist/writer God created me to be. I tried sharing my kindle highlights for the first time (if anyone wants to have a look and let me know what you think). "When we embrace the beauty of our design, when we recognize that he has made us to be unique expressions of himself, when we receive the gifts he has equipped us with and have the courage to pour them out, we worship."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jody

    Adding to the list for purchase... full of hope, grace, and encouragement.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paula Vince

    Books which encourage people to continue our art, especially from a Christian perspective, are always welcome on my shelf. This one by Emily Freeman has several aha moments. She talks to all kinds of artists; the type who know what they want to do but are too scared to step out, and the type who launch out, confident in their mastery of their craft, but are disappointed by results. It begins by explaining how anything at all can be made into an art form - hence the title. Our divine image bearer Books which encourage people to continue our art, especially from a Christian perspective, are always welcome on my shelf. This one by Emily Freeman has several aha moments. She talks to all kinds of artists; the type who know what they want to do but are too scared to step out, and the type who launch out, confident in their mastery of their craft, but are disappointed by results. It begins by explaining how anything at all can be made into an art form - hence the title. Our divine image bearer is reflected through the distinct lives and work of millions of people. Freeman gives us tips on figuring out which of all the millions of possibilities will suit us. Joy and enthusiasm is the key. She suggests that our heart's deepest desires are imprinted into us. Hints of our passions shine out of us while we are still too young to think about meaning and vocations. They are woven into the fibers of our being. She talks about the way we get seduced by the human habit of measuring our productivity. We assess our perceived usefulness and the impact we're making by using attention and appreciation as our gauges, which makes us miserable. I loved her statement that 'small is fast becoming my new home.' Working hard to become big is not a wise way to operate. If Jesus came down as a baby and became way less, why is it strange to think humans might be called to do a fraction of the same thing? I think this attitude may be the key in freeing us up in our work, helping us keep the important things forefront. There's more. She discusses dealing with criticism, getting into comparison mode and considering other people's art a threat to ours. I liked was her admission that sometimes she hates her calling. As a writer, mine is similar enough that I could relate to her. Difficult to summarise, too complicated for an elevator pitch, I get it all. Yes, I admit I've looked at the fine arts and wished I could do some of them. Yet Emily Freeman says that, deep down, we know what makes us tick and brings us joy. She's right, I probably wouldn't really change for the world. It's touching that somebody else gets that we aren't always in love with our craft, though. I'm sure there's something to get everyone thinking in this book, and I'd recommend it. I received a copy from NetGalley and Revell in return for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Charity Tinnin

    It's not often that I devour a non-fiction book in a day, but AMLW awakens that longing inside to be fully alive, fully YOU. And so I read like a mad woman only putting it down halfway through because I couldn't take in any more information at that sitting. I already knew what my art is -- I am a story-teller at heart. But in my current season of life with CFS, I've struggled with my inabilty to write, edit, critique, etc. Am I just supposed to wait until it IS the season to write? Will there eve It's not often that I devour a non-fiction book in a day, but AMLW awakens that longing inside to be fully alive, fully YOU. And so I read like a mad woman only putting it down halfway through because I couldn't take in any more information at that sitting. I already knew what my art is -- I am a story-teller at heart. But in my current season of life with CFS, I've struggled with my inabilty to write, edit, critique, etc. Am I just supposed to wait until it IS the season to write? Will there ever be a season to write again? AMLW challenged me to ask two new questions instead: "How can I be an artist here? Now? What does that look like?" and "How do I LIVE as His art and an artist?" Compelling questions I can't wait to explore further.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    If you love Ann Voskamp's writing style, you'll enjoy this book. For me though, the writing style is too wordy to truly sweep me along. But that's a personal preference. As far as the message of the book, I felt it was good, necessary and would be great for anyone with CREATE as their one word. I did feel that the first part could have been shorter and the last half of the book could have gone deeper. And another personal preference, the use of the word "art" got a bit much for me so in my mind I si If you love Ann Voskamp's writing style, you'll enjoy this book. For me though, the writing style is too wordy to truly sweep me along. But that's a personal preference. As far as the message of the book, I felt it was good, necessary and would be great for anyone with CREATE as their one word. I did feel that the first part could have been shorter and the last half of the book could have gone deeper. And another personal preference, the use of the word "art" got a bit much for me so in my mind I simply substituted it for "purpose" or "passion" :) Ps I love Emily's speaking voice so if she's done an audio version, definitely get that. I wouldn't mind listening to her narrate this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I've been waiting to read this for quite some time. But it really missed the mark. There's a disjointed undercurrent which was difficult to overcome. While the author references "the art" its unfolding was scattered and failed to pin down what she wished to convey. We're given a plethora of examples labeled "art" but the reader would have been better served by having the subject presented from a clearer perspective. I've been waiting to read this for quite some time. But it really missed the mark. There's a disjointed undercurrent which was difficult to overcome. While the author references "the art" its unfolding was scattered and failed to pin down what she wished to convey. We're given a plethora of examples labeled "art" but the reader would have been better served by having the subject presented from a clearer perspective.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Hollatz

    This book is the Christian sister of Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic. They're different, of course, but have very similar themes. While I enjoyed Emily's book Simply Tuesdays more, this was still a good read for faith-filled creatives. This book is the Christian sister of Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic. They're different, of course, but have very similar themes. While I enjoyed Emily's book Simply Tuesdays more, this was still a good read for faith-filled creatives.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annie Downs

    So moving. So inspirational. A moving piece of art that will deeply affect every reader. This one is going in every graduation gift I give this year.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Baillie

    This quite possibly might be my new favorite book. 💕💕💕

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anne Bogel

    The best yet from Emily Freeman.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I remember hearing about A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman, when it was first published several years ago, but I never read it; several weeks ago, though, my mom mentioned she had read it and was describing it to me, and, intrigued, I decided to read through it myself. Click here to read my full review. I remember hearing about A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman, when it was first published several years ago, but I never read it; several weeks ago, though, my mom mentioned she had read it and was describing it to me, and, intrigued, I decided to read through it myself. Click here to read my full review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Louis Holstein

    Five stars is probably too high, but there was no 4.5 option. This has been added to my “required reading” list. A book I will revisit in the years to come. Maybe the most encouraging book I’ve read this year.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Éowyn

    This is one of THE MOST INCREDIBLE BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ; Emily Freeman writes magic. :) If you are a human, you need to read this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Renee Cheek

    Love everything by this author. Resonates with my soul.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    I absolutely adore Emily P. Freeman and anything she is apart of! This book is very encouraging and empowering.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love this book. I love it so much I want to own it in every format so I can read it again and mark it up all over anew. I want to give it to everyone I know so they can read it. I want everyone to honestly and with kindness, look at themselves and the gifts they have to share with everyone and be filled with the courage to get out there (or stay where you are) and share them already. Emily is honest about her own doubts and fears and worries, as well as her desires to become better and bring gl I love this book. I love it so much I want to own it in every format so I can read it again and mark it up all over anew. I want to give it to everyone I know so they can read it. I want everyone to honestly and with kindness, look at themselves and the gifts they have to share with everyone and be filled with the courage to get out there (or stay where you are) and share them already. Emily is honest about her own doubts and fears and worries, as well as her desires to become better and bring glory to God through living and giving as he intentionally designed her - and each is us in our own way - to do. Some of my favorite quotes: "I can't imagine anything more dangerous to the enemy of our hearts than people who know who they are." Page 15 "Being an artist has something to do with being brave enough to move toward what makes you come alive." Page 29 "There isn't only one right way to do the job of glorifying God. There are many ways, a million little ways..." Page 29 "And so the meaning of our lives is not dependent upon what we make out of it but what he is making of us." Page 30 "Being a mess doesn't disqualify you from having an influence." Page 36 "Pursuing desire is only toxic when we demand our desires be satisfied on our terms and in our timing." Page 53 And my favorite, favorite, favorite (yes I just used that word three times in a row): "someone else can do it better...it's a courage stealer, a lie that attacks..." From her friend Steve Lynam, "There is no new truth, dear. All truth belongs to God. Sometimes you simply need to hear someone else say it." Back to Emily: "You may not be the first to say it, write it, create it, or believe it - but you saying it may be the first time someone finally heard. Yes, someone else can say it better, but that doesn't mean you can't say it too. Throw out your inhibitions and spin around in this crazy world of recycled ideas. There is nothing new to say. *Say it anyway*." All of chapter 11: Wonder. The whole chapter. I was highlighting sentences in almost every paragraph. Emily and I have different views of theology, yes, but all people have differences. So what? She speaks so much truth that the differences melted away. I wholly agree with her message to live the art you were designed to create to bring others to Christ. A message that yes, our offerings may be meager and often messy but God can make miracles out of all offerings no matter the size of the offering or the offer-er. :) Thank you Emily. This was like having a gospel pep talk for life with a dear friend who loves God as much as I do and wants others to feel his love as well.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    I love Freeman's blog, but the book didn't strike the right note for me. At the end of 2013, I read a small stack of books about creativity, from various points of view and with various areas of emphasis. I think I bogged down on this one for two reasons. 1. The ideas aren't fresh. I wanted to think about this subject in a new way. I get that one can be creative in washing the dishes, but I want more than that. 2. I wanted the information to be more concrete. This talk of callings, showing up, w I love Freeman's blog, but the book didn't strike the right note for me. At the end of 2013, I read a small stack of books about creativity, from various points of view and with various areas of emphasis. I think I bogged down on this one for two reasons. 1. The ideas aren't fresh. I wanted to think about this subject in a new way. I get that one can be creative in washing the dishes, but I want more than that. 2. I wanted the information to be more concrete. This talk of callings, showing up, waiting, wondering... I can do all those things without a book. Maybe I also wanted more personal narrative, with Freeman showing me (not just telling me) about how one moves into creation. {And, this is crabby, but the catch phrase 'a million little ways' is the kind of cliche hyperbole that makes the English teacher in me scream}

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jodi Janz

    This amazing little book is jammed packed with golden nuggets of all shapes and sizes ... a million different ways you can gain insight, inspiration and courage packed into this wonderful item. Emily P Freeman has done a wonderful job of breaking down barriers, opening dark closets and sweeping out unused corners in my life from her book A Million Little Ways. A true delight. Originally I found her poetic style of writing a little confusing and even distracting. However the more I dove into the b This amazing little book is jammed packed with golden nuggets of all shapes and sizes ... a million different ways you can gain insight, inspiration and courage packed into this wonderful item. Emily P Freeman has done a wonderful job of breaking down barriers, opening dark closets and sweeping out unused corners in my life from her book A Million Little Ways. A true delight. Originally I found her poetic style of writing a little confusing and even distracting. However the more I dove into the book and allowed her whimsical flow to rest with me, the more I began to see and understand her message. It isn't a concrete message - like facts or formulas. Instead Emily draws you to a new way of thinking like an excellent story-teller does. Who do I think should buy and read this book? Anyone who has ever wondered, is this all I am supposed to be? Or do? Or experience? Emily believes we all have a job to do as believers but what that "job" looks like can be expressed in ... A Million Little Ways. And, as Emily says in her book, "I can't imagine anything more dangerous to the enemy of our hearts than people who know who they are." So often we become consumed with the practical, the minute-by-minute and the never-ending to-do lists that are the constructs of our lives. Yet, that takes our focus off God and onto us, changing us. Emily says, "I am no longer an image bearer (of God) with a job to do. I become a job-doer with an image to maintain." This book will enlighten, enrich and entertain you beyond your expectations. It did for me. "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    A few things, I'll start off by saying that the book should have been edited better and the thoughts more refined. While I knew where Freeman was going, at times I thought that it could have been said better. So much of the book is redundant and just needs a good editing and cleaning up, perhaps if it had been I may have liked it a bit more. However, all that being said as the book progresses it gets better. Ideas are fleshed out and more clearly defined, the repetition isn't as often and if it A few things, I'll start off by saying that the book should have been edited better and the thoughts more refined. While I knew where Freeman was going, at times I thought that it could have been said better. So much of the book is redundant and just needs a good editing and cleaning up, perhaps if it had been I may have liked it a bit more. However, all that being said as the book progresses it gets better. Ideas are fleshed out and more clearly defined, the repetition isn't as often and if it is it is done deliberately, and Freeman has a way of shifting the narrative so that by the end, though all along you have read the purpose of the book, you realize that so many varied ways of communizing to the reader and so many natural flows of conversation had come out. I think I enjoyed that the most. Also, of course, some lovely thoughts and quotes throughout the book. I think though there was so much in this book, especially the first few chapters that she could've gone in a various of ways with the direction. And to an extent even not enough of some of the things she did discuss. Overall though, I enjoyed it and in a way it was the kind of book I needed to read to kick myself in the butt a bit.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jen B.

    This book moved me in ways that were so beautiful that I found myself slowing down as I read through it just to avoid it coming to an end! :) The concept of living life as an artist, using every trait I was created with to create and impact the world around me sounded so dreamy. Yet, Freeman did such a beautiful job of making it seem so possible. Not easy, but possible. I was moved with affirmation as well as challenge. The ways that I started to tune into everyday life as I read this book made This book moved me in ways that were so beautiful that I found myself slowing down as I read through it just to avoid it coming to an end! :) The concept of living life as an artist, using every trait I was created with to create and impact the world around me sounded so dreamy. Yet, Freeman did such a beautiful job of making it seem so possible. Not easy, but possible. I was moved with affirmation as well as challenge. The ways that I started to tune into everyday life as I read this book made life more extraordinary on a daily basis. Hearing the ways people speak, rather than what they say; seeing the emotions motivating peoples' actions, rather than just the face-value actions; and living out my own actions with the intentions of living out God's glory gave so many more "ordinary" moments such greater meaning. This book was a relatively simple read for me, but I did LOTS of underlining. I have gone back occasionally and peeked at the underlining. I think this will be a great book to read - maybe annually? as a way to reflect on whether or not I am living the art I was created to live.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    Emily encourages her readers to use their talents for God's glory and their joy. Her emphasis on our being able to "make art" because we are made in God's image really resonated with me. The reason the book touched me in ways that other similar books did not was because Emily seemed to know how I struggle with my giftedness. She writes, the natural thing to do when hints of your own design scare you is to run. (p. 62) She talks about how God gives us certain abilities and then asks us to use them Emily encourages her readers to use their talents for God's glory and their joy. Her emphasis on our being able to "make art" because we are made in God's image really resonated with me. The reason the book touched me in ways that other similar books did not was because Emily seemed to know how I struggle with my giftedness. She writes, the natural thing to do when hints of your own design scare you is to run. (p. 62) She talks about how God gives us certain abilities and then asks us to use them in audacious ways that scare us because of our deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy. Emily gently chastised me for my fears and urged me to "embrace my image-bearing identity" and to "offer myself alive to the world" because I am God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. (Eph 2:10) To summarize, Christ is in you and wants to reveal himself through you in a million little ways - through your strength, and also through your weakness... This is a very worthwhile read if you recognize your gifts, yet suffer with self-doubt.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    [Probably a solid 3.5 stars.] I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was on track to be a 4 star book but it kind of petered out for me in the last 2-3 chapters. Emily is quite a good writer, which is not something to take for granted in this world of bloggers publishing memoirs and other spiritual books en masse, often (in my opinion) of quite mediocre quality. In summary, Emily explores the idea that according to the Bible we are all God's "workmanship" or "masterpiece" -- the Greek word poi [Probably a solid 3.5 stars.] I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was on track to be a 4 star book but it kind of petered out for me in the last 2-3 chapters. Emily is quite a good writer, which is not something to take for granted in this world of bloggers publishing memoirs and other spiritual books en masse, often (in my opinion) of quite mediocre quality. In summary, Emily explores the idea that according to the Bible we are all God's "workmanship" or "masterpiece" -- the Greek word poiema -- and so we live out art into the world. I would say this is fundamentally a book about identity-- Emily writes a lot about the idea that God has wired us in unique, specific ways, given us desires and longings, and shaped our personalities, lives and vocations/avocations to reflect his glory into the world. This is not a book about being a literal "artist" or "creative" (in the traditional sense of the word). The chapter on waiting particularly resonated with me.

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