Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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

I was curious about this book.  It kept popping up everywhere in various blogs I peruse.  The title alone caught my attention but after reading some excellent reviews, I figured it was worth spending the credit I had remaining on Amazon to download it on the Kindle.

As I was reading through it, I wished I had purchased the paperback version.  I probably will someday.  For it is a book I could easily reread every few months... not a huge book but one that packs a lot of truth.

More information regarding A Million Little Ways can be found... here.*

The author divides her book into three sections: 
  • Part 1: Who is the Artist
  • Part 2: Uncover the Art You were Born to Make
  • Part 3: Release the Art You were Made to Live

In Part 1, we are reminded (much as Edith Schaeffer did) that God is the true artist and that He made us to make art.

She reminds us that our life is God's art (she calls us at times "God's Poem") whether we are the creative artists we would normally think of or if our art is more unconventional.

For instance, I had just read this section in which she wrote about the work of cashiers as "art" when I was waited on by a young woman at McDonald's who reflected this entirely.   Unlike most of the time I stood in line to order a senior coffee at McDonald's (which locally has become dismal in customer service)... this young woman was a joy!  

In Part 2, she encourages us to look at what we love to do as making art.   For instance, how did God make us special... for each one of us has a unique mission from Him in which He has gifted us to Create.

She has us look in these areas:  
Look Within - What is it we truly desire?
Look Back - Where are there hints of our design hidden in our childhood?
Look Up - Where is the true hope?
Look Around - How are the critics causing us the most discouragement?
Look Beneath - What moves us from the inside out?

Each section of the second part goes into detail regarding one of the above areas.

In Part 3, she walks us through considering what it would mean for us to release our "art" into the world.  Remembering that art can be anything from what we would normally think of (writing, drawing, painting, etc.), to being a gifted communicator, to having the ability to bring people together for a purpose, to being a gifted wife and mother, etc.

This section really spoke to me because she deals with how wrong it is of us to be afraid of using our art, especially what others will think.   I constantly deal with this as a non-published writer ministering among the professionals.

But we all have something within hindering our "art", even if it consists of perfectionism.

I can't think of anyone who wouldn't be encouraged by this book and learn something from it.  As with any good author, the author shares many of her own life experiences in each of these areas and what God taught her as she walked through them.

* This review contains an Associate's link to Amazon.


Anonymous said...

I have wanted to read that book as I too, keep seeing it mentioned in blogs. Thank you for the review of it. At the present time, I have more books than I have time to read because of my recent purchases at the annual Friends of the Library book sale however, perhaps there is room for just one more.

Susan P said...

The book sounds wonderful. I am the mom of a brand-new sixteen year old McDonald's cashier, and she has SUCH a heart for the homeless that frequent her workplace, who count out their change for a dollar menu item. Perhaps her "art" is compassion? Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

I came across this book when Ann Voskamp featured her on her blog and called my husband - who works at Barnes 7 Noble - and asked him to order it for me. As soon as he hung up the phone from me, he went to open the next box of new books to be checked in and put on the shelves - this book was on the top of the heap! He brought it home to me that night and it has ministered to me greatly. It not a little bittersweet. So much of what she wrote takes up a lot of space in my own unpublished works that I am passionate to publish one day. She got to the printer before I did. LOL SO good to have your passion affirmed in such a well planned manuscript.

Anonymous said...

Please consider that as an "unpublished writer" you are a great blessing to many of us. You have a wonderful God-given gift of words that is right on target and such an inspiration. I look forward each day to seeing if there is a new post and delighted when there is one.
Blessings my friend, Sharon D.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I will read this book. Lately I have been loving creative outlet but insisting to myself that it is "just for me." I am not an artist (I think)...I am about to decide that my insistence is actually fear that others may not adjudge me an "artist." But, if my "work" pleases me, perhaps I should hang it right where I can see it! Gathering courage...C

Sallie Borrink said...


I'm a "published" author in that I've had lots of magazine articles published. I can guarantee you that what I've done on my blogs/website has had far more of an impact than anything I've been paid for.

I think you will be amazed to discover someday what a tremendous difference you have made in the lives of so many. Please don't ever discredit what you've done here because someone hasn't paid you to do it. :-)