This May Be Just the Encouragement You Need Today

Margaret —  December 29, 2013 — 72 Comments

This May Be Just the Encouragement You Need Today

Discouraged? Frustrated? Confused? You may need to hear this today:

We may be displeased with the ways God wants to reveal his glory through us because they don't look like the ways he reveals his glory through others. We're uncomfortable with the implications and become confused about our own desire.

We are colanders filled with glory-water. Our best efforts are spent trying to cover the seeping holes with not enough fingers. God's glory demands display. Yet sometimes when we get a glimpse of it, when we taste something we come alive doing, when we feel that sense of purpose wake up within us, we become terrified. And so instead, we spend our time looking for plastic bags to catch it before it pours out, wasted.

We want to be something more sensible, more practical. Something like a jar with a lid. No holes. No glory leaks.

Let's control it, contain it. Let's be reasonable.

In this action, we have forgotten who we are.

... Being his workmanship doesn't mean we are all poets. It means we are all poems, individual created works of a creative God. And this poetry comes out uniquely through us as we worship, think, love, pray, rest, work, and exist.

Jesus reminds us we are art and empowers us to make art.

-Emily Freeman, A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live

This blog is part of a series called Sunday Still. You can read more about the heart behind these posts, here.

*Original Photo Source


A Million Little Ways (Giveaway and an Interview with @emilypfreeman) @RevellBooks

This week I'm giving away THREE copies of Emily Freeman's new book, A Million Little Ways. She writes for DaySpring (a division of Hallmark) and has traveled as a writer with Compassion International to raise awareness for the needs of children in poverty around the world. Emily lives with her husband, John, in North Carolina with their three children and their crazy dog, Finn. Emily extends a daily invitation on her blog for women to create space for their souls to breathe. Come join the community of grace dwellers at

I asked Emily what she hopes will happen in the reader’s heart and mind after they finish with the book.

She said, "I hope, even though they may not be artists by profession, that they will see themselves as artists by God's design.

I hope the reader will believe that making art is more than just paint, but has something to do with being brave enough to move toward what makes us come alive.

I hope the reader will begin to live life like a lyric rather than a list, whatever that looks like for them."

I don't know about you, but that sounds like a book worth reading.

A Million Little Ways (Giveaway and an Interview with @emilypfreeman) @RevellBooks

Check out the trailer for A Million Little Ways(RSS Subscribers, click here to view.)

To win ONE of THREE copies of A Million Little Ways, leave a comment below at Winners will be selected and announced on Friday.

Congratulations to the Winners: Kele, Kristine, Mae

How have you seen yourself as art, knit together by the Creator of the Universe? How are you empowered to make art because of that truth?

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72 responses to This May Be Just the Encouragement You Need Today

  1. I would love to read this book. I am desiring to launch a blog to share encouragement with others in how to live freely and intamently with God but my innerspring critic in screaming in my ear.

  2. Would love to read this book. I enjoyed the trailer so much, I shared it on my Facebook page! I love the idea that the Creator, our awesome God, designed us, His creation, to create. Wow.

  3. I so need to connect with God on this level again. As I watched the trailer I felt that passion rise up and reach out its hand to me and say “let’s not wait any longer”. thank you for sharing this.

  4. I want to be that colander full of His glory pouring out so that everyone around is covered in His glory. Oh to be a poem glorifying Him and blessing others. Yes, I’d love the book.

  5. Thank you for these words of encouragment. Definatly was the time to be reminded to live transparent. This book sounds like a good one to invest time into. I watched the trailer and so am looking forward to passing it around to all the girls in my study!

  6. God wants us to live in each moment with Him. I’d love to hear more from Emily Freeman.

  7. I would love this book because I often forget that what I write is a craft, and therefore, art.

  8. The trailer for this book looks great! I would love to add this book to my 2014 To-Read list!

  9. I always joke about wanting to be creative and not having that “gift”! Telling my creative friends that hopefully I will have it when I get to heaven, that and being able to finally sing! Loved the trailer. I am looking forward to reading this one! Thanks Margaret for sharing! Happy New Year!

  10. It’s an intriguing thought, but I have yet to see any creativity come out of me.

  11. Sounds like my kind of book. Can hardly wait to read it. I hope I get sent a copy – would make my day.

  12. This phrase “to be who we most deeply are” struck me as something I have wanted to do for a long time, but have been confused about how to be that and what that would be. Maybe this book would clear up some of that for me. Thanks for the giveaway, Margaret and Emily!

  13. Extraordinary post today. I love this, Margaret, and I also love how you empower others. The “poet” vs. “poem” comparison strikes me hard. Wow. Amazing.

  14. The image of the collander and us scurrying for bags knocked my socks off.

  15. I would love to read this book!

  16. A quiet morning.. I turned to your site to discover todays gifts from God: I felt such encouragement! I relate to poems and the artist this past year was so difficult, I kept moving forward, it’s totally a new canvas today! I know God is still helping me discover the art of living in Confidence in Him. I would love to discover more flowers along the way
    More truths in my pathway, tiny pebbles with love joy. I’d love to read that book. Margaret thank you for even asking. Mae

  17. I did need this today…been needing it. I was particularly struck with the thought of ” being brave enough to move towards what makes me come alive.” I am at that crossroad even now….knowing there is more and feeling like I am short changing God and myself in my day to day living…or maybe it is just surviving, existing. Thanks for the encouragement. God bless you!

  18. I would love to read this book

  19. Looks like a wonderful and inspiring book! Thanks for offering this give away!

  20. This book from Emily looks like a winner. I need to be reminded that I have the ability to see God working around me everyday.

  21. Thanks so much for offering this book! Great timing – a new year. Praying for you!! Much!!

  22. Emily speaks to my heart. Our journey has its flow, especially as a sieve. Holding onto what is true in what she writes is a gift to receive… day at a time. Blessings to you and thank you for sharing these encouraging and insightful words from Emily.

  23. Dear Margaret,
    Always enjoy reading your daily spiritual insights. I have a dear friend who is an artist and this will truly speak to her. So thankful for the season and all the blessings. Would love a copy of this book. Praying for healing for you. God Bless, deb

  24. When someone’s words make me cry, I know I am supposed to read more. Sending gentle hugs to you, Margaret.

  25. I hope I am leaking glory all over the place now. The colander image is powerful and the futility of covering the holes describes too much of my life. This was a perfect pick for a Sunday Still.

  26. Dearest Margaret:
    My sister found out 3 days ago that she has the same cancer Farah Fawcett died from. I would love to give a copy of this book to her for her birthday on Feb. 2nd. God bless you for sharing the Gospel. We have been praying for healing for you and know that the glory that drips out of the colander holes is sprinkled on everyone walking by.

    • Praying for your sister and your entire family as you face this battle. Sending a huge hug your way.

      • Thank you Margaret, I am passing along your well wishes to my sister. She and I attended your “Wonder Struck” Bible study last spring. It was such an inspiration to us. We are so encouraged to hear of your body’s ability to beat this cancer. We knew you would from the beginning and know that God is good ALL THE TIME.
        Love and blessings

  27. I would like to receive this book. It sounds uplifting. (OK, I am a pastor and I seriously contemplated writing something like: I raise my right hand high and shake that hand vigorously while shouting “Pick me! Pick me!”. I feel ashamed of myself.) May God bless you Ms. Feinberg in your ministry and all that you do!

  28. This was definitely the encouragement I needed today. I thumbed through that very book at a local bookstore yesterday, yet was unable to make the purchase. I did glean a bit and sensed God sweetly…gently…nudging me in an area that I know I have long avoided. Thank you for your inspirational words today and thank you for your kind offer to share this book with others.

  29. Looks like a great book! Hope I win it so I can read it soon! I’m always looking for ways to use my art in my day to day life! I love the book, “If You Want To Write” by Brenda Ueland. She states that the creative power is the Holy Ghost… William Blake called the creative power of the Imagination, God….
    Thank you for your daily encouragement Margaret.
    God Bless you!

  30. I feel like this is exactly the sort of thing I need to be reading for encouragement right now.

  31. I would love to read this book….always looking for ways to be encouraged so that I can encourage others as well.

  32. Thanks I needed that!

  33. Coming alive through bravery is awesome! Thank you for sharing about Emily’s book.

  34. Lately, my heart has overflowed in thankfulness that God has given me the ability to play the piano and lead worship at church. In the past, I have viewed it as more of a job. But now I see how using that gift can really be an act of worship. We all have that opportunity–to worship God with the gifts He has given us.

    Would love a copy of Emily’s book!

  35. {long, whimsical sigh} Oh! That my life will be a masterpiece today! That I will rest joyful in knowing “the Lord will perfect that which concerns me;” that His mercy endures forever and He will not forsake the works of His hands. (Ps. 138:8) That I will be a “colander filled with glory-water.” Amen and amen!

  36. I would so love to win a copy of Emily’s book. I have been wanting to read it for quite some time. I am coming out of a heavy season of loss and seeking renewal in the beautiful truths of our Maker and who He has made me to be and to do.

  37. It’s so true! When I ignore (too scary)…or hold in (to busy)…what I’m wired to do, it leaks out anyway. There’s always time to do what you’re called.

  38. Each of us was God’s idea, long before we were a “twinkle” in anyone’s eye. And since our very life is God’s breath, his spirit, breathed into the physical matter of this Earth – how can we help but be both “art” and “artist”? This sounds like a great book to read.

  39. I loved her first book and will be rereading it many times. I am so excited to read “A Million Little Ways”

  40. What a blessing Emily’s first book has been to me. Another kindred soul speaking into mine, releasing me from the grip of years of perfectionism and self-reliance. What a beautiful thing it is when we release our gifts to the Father and allow him to use us fully.

  41. I would love to win a copy of this book!

  42. Thanks for your generosity, Margaret, in blessing folks with books that have been helpful to you. I need some creative inspiration right now, as I mourn a significant loss in my own life. I am also so thankful for your “Zero” news today! There is no One more creative than our God! Blessings.

  43. Thank you for sharing…. So beautiful

  44. This book sounds like something I need right now. I would love to read this!

  45. This book has been on my wishlist for awhile. I would love to share it with several artsy friends.

  46. Do I see myself as an artist?? No, not at all. But there are two things that make me come alive pretty quickly:

    1. Doing sign language to Christian music. My favorite thing in ALL of the world to do. I’m a sign language interpreter.

    2. Encouraging others by sending out at least 5 letters of encouragement a month. You see we all have days where we feel like we’re just slipping. We need to know that somebody cares. We like that human touch/feeling. My “art” is making people feel special. It’s my spriitual gift.

    I would love this book. God bless you and keep you….And….

    Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless HIs Holy Name! Margaret got her result of ZERO!!! I’m so doggone excited I can hardly stand it! :)

    Blessings, Alicia Roark

  47. I would love to read this book! I am an engineer by profession and a colored pencil portrait artist by hobby!


  48. This book sounds wonderful! Oh the need for more and more of His creation to se themselves a creators in His image! Would love to win the book. (=

  49. I am an artist! I am just beginning to realize this….and have not yet begun to create….but this I know….my life will have color…and I will be closer to my Creator!

  50. This book sounds wonderful!

  51. I have never viewed myself as His artwork, but I wil now!

  52. Susan Dollinger January 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I would enjoy greatly the opportunity to read this book. I love seeing God as the Great Artist and enjoy my connection to Him as I write poetry and journal. Thank you for opportunity. Glad! You are at zero!!

  53. I am currently working with artists (musicians specifically) and miss creating art myself. I have always been a creative and hope to read the book sometime soon.

  54. Video itself is inspiring. :)

  55. This looks amazing! The Creator created us in His imagine….to create! Would love to read this! It looks very inspirational! Thanks for offering it. I am praying for you and your entire family Margaret~love you all!!! <3

  56. I would love to win a copy! Thank you so much for the offer : )

  57. It has taken years for me to see myself as an artist, but God is shaping and forming me. I’m a business professor, women’s Sunday school teacher, and prayer ministry leader. I’m learning to color outside of the lines and explore God’s heart & ways. Would love this book!

  58. This sounds like an excellent book and perfect for my new year undertaking of putting creativity back into my life. Thanks for sharing it!

  59. The video was inspiring! I would love to win the book! Thanks for posting this!!,

  60. This looks like a wonderful book! Thanks for sharing–always looking for something to add to the reading list!

  61. KAYLA JOY HURST January 2, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Just picked up another one of Emily’s books this week. LOVE IT. Can’t wait to read this one as well! PICK ME!

  62. This sounds like a great book! Would love to read it.

    Also, praising the Lord for your zero news! I’ve been in that spot (although I did not have to go through chemo or radiation), and I absolutely know the relief that news brings. The next thing to look forward to is the day you don’t have to go to the oncologist anymore and get discharged to your family doc – that was another wonderful day!

  63. Sounds like a book I’d love to read!

  64. I’ve had my eye on this book since it came out! I love her heart!!

  65. I wrote poetry for years and considered that art. I’ve performed in musicals and plays and directed same and thought “Art!”

    My true gift from God, my art, is Prayer. My prayers come from the Holy Spirit, thru my heart and I share them with friends who ask for prayer and often times with those who did/do not know they needed prayer.


  66. I’ve been making a reading list for 2014. Would love to read this one!

  67. My husband surprised me with your book The Organic God for Christmas this year! :) I am almost finished devouring its pages and have underlined like a maniac while praying through much of what you shared in the book. As I was in bed reading tonight I thought, maybe Margaret has twitter…I should follow this brilliant well-written woman of God!! Then I looked at some of your latest tweets and came across the artist book giveaway! OH MY HEAVENS I WOULD LOVE TO READ EMILY’S BOOK NEXT! (While also telling all of my friends and family how wonderful YOU are to give away books to young newly married couples on a budget!!!!) In a nutshell I am a young girl who feels called to songwriting and leading worship.

  68. I have been trying to live out my artsy self in all areas of my life. Not just in tangible projects, but in the way I treat my marriage and raise our children as well. It’s been an amazing change :) Thanks for the reminder!

  69. Being a diligent, responsible, practical person, I often just put my head down and attack the task at hand. I doing so, I bury the art deep inside of me under my jobs and lists and whatever else is going on. I am so thankful that God is showing me that He has placed art in me and even though it can seem “frivolous” in the so-called real world, it is there – and He has been inviting me to uncover it and really see it how He sees it… can’t wait to read A Million Little Ways!!!

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