A Million Little Ways

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“I’m not an artist.”

I’ve said that so many times. Usually I’m referring to my lack of drawing and painting abilities, and that statement does have some basis in fact. But if you pressed me – “What about writing? What about restoring furniture? Decorating? What about gardening?” I would either brush it off as “not really art,” or insist I’m not good at those, either.

But deep down, I do believe that each of us is an artist. We create because we were made in the image of the Creator, and creativity is built into our very souls. I just forget, sometimes. Sometimes I hide my drive to create because of fear or pride. Sometimes I need a book like Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways to brush off the dust and show me the truth again.

This was a timely read for me. I’m a stay-at-home mom with a toddler and another baby due in a few weeks. It’s so easy to lose sight of anything beyond dishes, dinner, and diapers. And sometimes, in truth, those things are my art. That’s because, as Emily explains, we are God’s artwork, His poiema, a Greek word meaning “poem” that is usually translated “workmanship” in Ephesians 2:10:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Sometimes those good works look like faithfully doing the dishes for the thousandth time. Other times they look like performing music, programming a computer, painting a picture, mowing the grass, photographing a sunset. Emily says we live art because we are art.We create because we are made in the image of our Creator. #MarchOfBooks

One chapter I found especially interesting was the one in which Emily explored why art speaks to us. I’ve always known that certain paintings, songs, and even the shapes of pitchers and bowls can stir something inside me. Why is that? Perhaps because art is created to express something deep in the person of the artist, something of their soul comes through and speaks to ours. The God who created us put these deep things in our beings, and art is a way to attempt to uncover and understand those things. I believe when we get to Heaven, we’ll suddenly see that those indefinable things were shadows of truths we’ll see in eternity.

A Million Little Ways is broken into three parts: Who Is The Artist (pointing us back to the glorious creativity of the Maker of all things), Uncover The Art You Were Born To Make (exploring our motives, fears, excuses, and the truths to combat them), and Release The Art You Were Made To Live (how to trust God with your work). I’m still pondering the themes of this book, and taking baby steps toward really seeing art – both God’s and ours – in daily life.

Leave a comment telling about the art you are called to create!


We are blessed to be able to give away one copy of A Million Little Ways. Congratulations to Leah, selected by random.org as the winning commenter. (Giveaway ended April 7, 2014.)

Image credit: Ylja via stock.xchng


  1. The art I’m called to create currently involves helping others look beyond what the natural eyes can see and behold the beauty of God’s transforming love within each person who will receive it.

  2. Right now, I’m in over my head hoping to shape some souls that will change the world. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s God who does it in reality, not me!

  3. This book sounds beautiful!! I am called to create beautiful creative worship experiences . I love it and I hope it serves God and others even me than it serves me.

  4. I love expressing myself through photography, writing & blogging, creating things with my hands, making my home beautiful, and cooking. This book looks so good!

  5. The art I’m called to create is a home for my family, meals for them to enjoy, memories for us to remember. I also create through writing and crafting.

  6. I have dreamt of writing. I have things stirring within me! Due to the season of life never have the time, or make the time to put thoughts into words and pen them.

  7. I love to paint but with my two littles running about, I seldom have time, so I’ve been enjoying taking photos during this busy season. It’s been fun to photograph everyday things like flowers in the yard, sunsets behind the house, etc so I can capture the beautiful spaces around us for my girls to look back on when they’re older.

  8. The sense that I’m actively living art is a recent realization to me! Such incredible timing with this introduction to A Million Little Ways. Rather than admitting (embracing) a survival mode in the current season of my life, God stirred my heart to recognize evidence of His hand in this life- in my world.
    To answer the question, I see the unfolding of a beautiful work in raising my youngest, and most challenging child.

  9. The conversations that have come about just from a couple of sentence synopsis of the book are so valuable. It makes me smile to read the comments on this blog post and on other reviews that I’ve seen of this book. I haven’t yet read A Million Little Ways, but its on my list.
    My art is my mission statement: to refresh hearts through the communication of grace and truth. I love words! I also love seeing the little beauties in my everyday life- sometimes, the simple act of *noticing* what God has placed around us is an art form, and a lost one at that.

  10. My art is the kind you listen to — music. I love both classical music and improvisation. Classical can be intimidating as you wonder what others think of your interpretation and if you’re faithful to the composer’s intention. Sometimes I want to move beyond improv to actually do arrangements or composition . . . that can be far more intimidating. But I have no doubt that this musical artistry is exactly where I belong.

  11. I’ve always been a very creative person, but currently I’m in a season of life where I really don’t have time to draw or do crafts. I guess the art I’m currently called to create is in investing in relationships and in the children’s ministry where I work as a teacher. I definitely can see the storytelling and teaching I do as art, I just don’t think of it like that very often.

  12. For me, living art means writing the words Jesus gives me. It also means investing in relationships and just living life with others while learning to see the beauty in them and their stories.

  13. I like how you brought up the point about art speaking to us. I’ve been trying to incorporate more things into my life and my home that bring me simple joy (colors, shapes, etc.). This could be as simple as having pretty measuring cups in my kitchen that bring a smile to my face as I go about my daily tasks.

    1. I love that concept of simple joy, Kelly! I’ve been learning it- slowly. My parents gave me a hand-warming pottery mug for Christmas, and it is amazing how it makes me smile just to have it in my hands. It’s the perfect weight, shape, and the color glaze is my favorite blend of earth/sea/sky colors (mostly blue, with some green and brown)

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