Today we are sharing the first part of our interview with Emily. Read the second part of her interview on Faithlife Women, posting September 4!
From authoring books, to blogging, to raising three kids, life sounds busy. Tell us more about your background and what drives you.
I’ve been married to John for 14 years and together we have three kids—twin girls and a son. John served as a youth pastor for the first 12 years of our marriage and now he is the director of a local non-profit ministry called Grace Discipleship here in Greensboro, North Carolina where we live. I served as a sign language interpreter in the public school system for several years before writing my first book.
These days we look at our lives with a hefty dose of wide-eyed wonder and gratitude that we get to do work we love. Although there are times when I want to burn my laptop but that’s normal, right?
I met Jesus when I was young and spent most of my early years as a believer living like a good girl, following the rules as best I could. It wasn’t until shortly after college when I began to discover that Christ isn’t interested in my performance or in what I can do for him.[Click to Tweet!]
He simply loves me, wants to be with me. It makes all the difference.
Tell us about your newest release, Simply Tuesday. What was your inspiration behind writing it?
Tuesday offers the gift of now, of seeing how the kingdom of God hides in small things—beneath the pile of laundry, woven into the dinner conversation, stacked against the mudroom wall.
This feels counter-intuitive in my world. In our culture and even in the church, we always seem to praise the big and important: the growing congregation, the rising star, the giant donation, or the big and amazing dream. But Jesus said the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, he said God’s people are like salt, he said his kingdom belongs to the children.
Growing congregations, rising stars, giant donations, and big dreams are lovely. But the truth is that isn’t where most of us live.
The Bible says we are not to despise the days of small beginnings. I admit, that sounds lovely and offers relief maybe. But when you have to actually live the small beginnings, when you have to get up every morning for what feels like an eternal Tuesday, it’s hard to not despise that.
Too often my soul feels held hostage by hustle—which basically looks like me trying to hustle my way out of the Tuesday moments and grab on to something that looks more like a Friday night.
These themes kept coming up over the years. Even in my previous books I wrote about the gift of Tuesday. I finally realized I wanted to immerse myself completely in small-moment living and, as a writer, the only way I knew to do that was to write through it.
The cover art on your book is gorgeous, is there any significance behind the bench?
We have a pair of simple benches that sit in the center of our cul-de-sac and one day shortly after we got them, I noticed some of our neighbors sitting out there talking for over an hour. They had never done that before, not because they didn’t have things to talk about before but because they didn’t have a place to do it.
The benches weren’t a complicated solution to an unsolvable problem. They simply gave the neighbors a place to be, a place to rest, a place to come together on an ordinary day. The bench soon became a symbol of small-moment living for me, reminding me to find connection and simplicity—“bench moments”—when life gets too complicated. I realized if I didn’t start paying attention to my ordinary Tuesdays, I was in danger of missing my whole life. [Click to Tweet!]
If readers take away one thing from this book, what do you hope that will be?
To release our obsession with building a life and trust in the life Christ is building within us, one small moment at a time.
Get Simply Tuesday today and find encouragement to truly take back your Tuesdays.
Emily is a monthly contributor for (in)courage, has traveled as a blogger with Compassion International, runs a successful blog, and has published multiple books including A Million Little Ways and Graceful (For Young Women).
Learn more about how Emily celebrates, remembers, and seeks God in every day moments in the second part to this interview posting tomorrow, September 4 on Faithlife Women!