We have not created a required reading list for the Frequency audience, but I’m strongly considering it. And after reading A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman, I am convinced this book should be at the top of the list.
Freeman is perhaps best known for her 2011 work Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life, an inspiration to Christian women everywhere. With A Million Little Ways, she turns her attention to the Christian artist. In a manner both gentle and direct, Freeman broadens the definition of art and compels the reader to recognize themselves as artists.
For Frequency followers, A Million Little Ways is a must read. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Freeman displays a tangible affection for her audience. The tone is respectful and caring – like words from a trusted friend and mentor. She has traveled (and continues to travel) the same roads and shares her experience with authenticity, authority, and dexterity.
- A Million Little Ways is built upon respectful recognition of the role that God must have in our art: He is the Creator and we, created in His image, are called to display God’s beauty to the world. Freeman urges us to respond to the invitation but cautions us against trying to reach beyond His designs.
- Freeman is encouraging without condescending. She doesn’t merely say “rah-rah you can do it if you just have the right attitude”. A touchy-feely memo would be easy to produce and fleeting. But her book has more depth than that. The message is about acknowledging the obstacles and set-backs and choosing to move forward regardless.
In A Million Little Ways, Emily Freeman demonstrates that she not only recognizes but lives the life of a creative with all of the inherent struggles and insecurity. She does so with a stark vulnerability that is both touching and sympathetic. Additionally, Freeman gives each of us, regardless of talent, skill, or medium, permission to re-engage with the artist inside.
Though I’m not prone to hyperbole, it’s hard not to be enthusiastic about Freeman’s latest effort. A Million Little Ways is a love letter and a roadmap for Christian creatives everywhere. There should be a well-worn copy on your night stand and perhaps several more on order for friends who need to hear the message.