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Tag Archives: Emily Freeman

  • Is Your Soul Being Held Hostage by Hustle?

    Posted on September 1, 2015 by Family Christian

    Emily Freeman SEPTEMEBER 1, 2015

    Is Your Soul Being Held Hostage by Hustle?
    EMILY P. FREEMAN

    "… Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10a (NIV)

    That Tuesday morning I had grand plans to catch up on a mountain of work. I grabbed my laptop and headed to the nearest coffee shop. While standing in line, I overheard someone mention the Wi-Fi connection wasn’t working.

    I needed Wi-Fi for the work I had to finish so I gathered my things, went back to my car, and drove to the second nearest coffee shop. I checked the Internet connection before I ordered my coffee and finally sat down to be productive.

    But when I opened my computer, all I saw was a blank screen. I held down the power button to restart it when a horrific sound blared through my speakers.

    BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.

    I cannot describe to you how loud this beep was. The screen was still blank, and the series of three beeps cut through all the coffee shop chatter, marching on like stubborn beeping soldiers.

    After an inappropriate amount of button pushing and armpit fanning, I finally gave up and shut my computer, only to have the beeping continue even though the laptop was closed. Panic rose in my chest as I watched my productive morning slowly melt away.

    Leaving the coffee shop, I drove directly to the computer store where I waited one full hour for an appointment, at which time they informed me that my computer was dying and would cost $500 to fix. Thankfully it was still under warranty but by this time, my soul was so frantic I had trouble letting that good news sink in.

    A broken computer in need of repair meant I would have to be without it for several days, dashing any hopes of productivity. Driving home I felt out of control, overwhelmed and frustrated with myself that something as small as a broken computer got me this jumbled up. Shouldn’t I be this concerned about hunger and world peace?!

    Here’s why I think talking about this fiasco and others like it is important: because most of life happens not in brightness or in darkness, but in the medium light of a regular day.

    Until we are honest about how these small inconveniences and frustrations are forming us, we won’t know how to move into the brokenness of the world, simply because we haven’t let Christ move into the brokenness of our own souls.

    Later that evening, when I finally became still, I remembered a phrase a trusted friend and mentor said to me at a particularly overwhelming time in my life: "Celebrate your smallness."

    I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the midst of feeling overwhelmed, the last thing I want to do is celebrate. Still, my mentor’s words have stayed with me over the years, and the Holy Spirit brings them to mind during times when I am tempted to try and control life.

    I’ve discovered that celebrating my smallness is where Christ wants to meet me. And my "regular" Tuesdays have become a weekly reminder of smallness in my own life.

    It’s easy for me to get tangled in a fast-paced world, distracted by hustle, driven to produce, hungry to check everything off my list. What seems good for my schedule is often suffocating for my soul, but I don’t realize this until my schedule gets wonky and my soul starts to shake.

    So here’s to the difficult Tuesday moments in our lives — may we not be so quick to shove them aside. Instead, may we celebrate our smallness by looking for Christ on the other side of frustrating. May we give our souls some room to follow our key verse, to be still and know that He is God.

    Dear God, Help me let go of the constructed life and embrace the connected life, even if it means I don’t get all my work finished. Remind me to be still in Your presence so I might remember that my soul is made to find my rest in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Colossians 1:17, "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Has your soul been held hostage by hustle? Find a kind companion in Emily Freeman’s newest book, Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World, where she will show you how to embrace today’s work, find contentment in the now, replace competition with connection and learn to breathe in a breathless world.

    If you need space for your soul but don’t know where to start, visit simplytuesday.com and sign up to receive a series of free videos from Emily that offer practical ways to take a soul breath today.

    Enter to WIN a copy of Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman. In celebration of this book, Emily’s publisher is giving away 10 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here, letting us know why you'd like a copy for yourself OR whom you would give the book to, if you won. {We’ll randomly select 10 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, September 7.}

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Find five minutes to close your eyes, place your hands gently on your lap and be still in the presence of Christ. Don’t make a list, read a verse or do anything except breathe and know you are loved.

    © 2015 by Emily P. Freeman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Revell Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

    Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • When Your Bag is Heavy and Your Faith Feels Small

    Posted on December 4, 2012 by Emily Freeman

    Emily

    "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

    New York City is alive with the late fall air. Faith stands next to me, her blonde hair blows across her face just as the carriage pulls in front of us.

    We flew to the city to stay with friends and celebrate Faith's birthday. During this entire trip I've felt a nagging sense of anxiety and worry over what's going on back home. It isn't one thing in particular, but I can't shake the heaviness. I clench my jaw and know I'm carrying around a sense of responsibility to manage things outside of my control.

    It's our turn to ride. We get the carriage pulled by white horses, a detail I feel compelled to mention because it seems the ones pulled by white horses are more important than the ones pulled by regular brown horses.

    The two girlfriends who are with us live here in the city. Though they roll their eyes over the cliché they've become by hanging out with us (A carriage ride through Central Park? Really must we?) they love us enough to climb up and squeeze tight into the red velvet covered benches.

    The black bag on my shoulder is packed to nearly unzippable extremes with my camera, wallet, extra gloves and bottle of water. It's heavy, and my right shoulder aches beneath the weight of it.

    I plop it down on the floor of the carriage just as the wheels begin to move.

    Faith laughs at something the driver says. I watch as she throws back her head and claps her small, gloved hands, my bag sitting at her feet.

    I remember a story I heard a long time ago about a horse and buggy and a man with a heavy load. The man climbs into a horse-drawn buggy and keeps his pack on his back once he sits down.

    When asked if he would like to remove it, he answers, "Oh no, I couldn't do that. I wouldn't want the horse to have to work so hard. I'll just carry it myself."

    I can't help but smile. I can see the ears of the horses in front of me, their heads bobbing up and down carrying me, my girlfriends...and my heavy bag.

    I never once thought to keep my bag strapped to my shoulder so the horses wouldn't have to carry the load. That would be needless, as they were already doing the work. Why should I do it, too?

    Matthew 11:28 comes to mind. Jesus issues an invitation to the weary, the burdened, the heavy-laden. He offers rest from heavy burdens to those of us who insist on carrying bags on carriage rides.

    The clip-clopping of horse hooves tap out a gentle rhythm as we ride. My friends chat and laugh, yellow leaves swirl out from underneath us, and I feel a shift inside my heart.

    The horses aren't just carrying my bag. They're carrying me.

    We have a God who can be trusted with not only our burdens, but also ourselves. He sees and cares and notices.

    He will not come undone.

    He remains un-overwhelmable.

    Dear Lord, gather us up into Your arms with all of our longings, fears, worries and burdens. We admit how futile it is for us to carry these things on our own. May we instead release them into your hands and walk with you by grace through faith. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    If you tend to take on responsibility for things never meant for you to carry, check out Emily Freeman's books, Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Are you carrying the burden of things you can't control?

    Let's imagine what life could look like if you dared to believe God carried both you and your burdens. How would today be different?

    Power Verses:
    2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (NIV)

    Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Emily P. Freeman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

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