Everyone is an artist. It may not be in the arts of paint or clay or music. Our art is simply what we were meant to do, the way we were meant to live as our completely genuine selves. It doesn’t have to be something we do in the future; it’s something inside us that we learn to release. Emily P. Freeman’s book A Million Little Ways is dedicated to helping us discover our art and learn to create it courageously.
The first portion of the book focuses on believing that you are an artist, that you have art you were born to create. Many of us have stuffed down our dreams for so long that we barely remember them. If we do remember, we simply call them our dreams. We don’t see them as part of us, or as anything to put stock in. Mrs. Freeman pleads that we allow ourselves to dream again; that we look at what has made us feel the most alive and fulfilled, and pay attention to it, to let it grow us as people.
The second portion of the book focuses on finding a firmer grasp on what exactly is the art we were created to make. So often we believe that when Jesus asked us to lay down our lives for Him, it also meant that we have to forsake our dreams and our desires. But Mrs. Freeman reminds us that He is the one who placed those things in us, that they are part of us. Our dreams and desires are indicators of where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do. We are allowed to dream and we are allowed to love things. We don’t have to forsake them; we simply need to hold them with open hands.
The third and final portion of the book focuses on the act of seriously pursuing and living in our desires, what makes us come alive. We are built to be dreamers, we are allowed to believe in those dreams, and we should trust in those truths enough to live in our dreams. We are meant to be present and whole where we are, and that means not hiding from or waiting on what we love. It means that our dreams are meant to be used, and not in the future— right now. Because we are artists right now, and we have the art inside us. It just needs to be released into the world, with bravery and heart.
The Lord knew I needed this book. For a while, He wasn’t really speaking to me through the Bible. I continued to read it anyway, but when I would read A Million Little Ways. . . He was always so loud. He let this book be His main form of communication with me for that period in time, because I needed to know that my dreams are good. I needed to understand that I am supposed to follow my dreams despite what people have told me, because my dreams are His gifts and direction for me; they’re a huge part of me. I’m slowly learning how to do that, and Mrs. Freeman’s book has helped me so much. I would so recommend it for anyone who struggles when they think of the future or their dreams, who feels stuck in their life. Mrs. Freeman and her book are going to be life-speaking friends for you.