I’ve been reading Emily P. Freeman’s unreleased book Simply Tuesday this week. I expected to devour it as a book that I’m really anxious to read for my own growth and enjoyment, and because I was apparently the last member of the launch team to get my copy. Instead, it has become a book destined to simmer in my mind, warming slowly and melding thoughts and insights like flavors in a good stew. So despite the pressure I feel to finish it, I can’t help finding myself refusing to open it until it is the single focus of my attention.
I’m used to talking about books in general and in specifics. Why this is good, why this isn’t. How this one is helpful, how this one requires time and patience. I use words and terms like scholarly, devotional, lots of application, and very theological or some combination of these to describe the style of books. In Simply Tuesday, I’ve struggled to find the description I want, one that, in the proverbial nutshell, gives you most of what you need to know about the style of book you’re about to read.
So far, the best thing I’ve come up with is description you probably won’t find as a category in your bookstore, or on the back of a book right above the barcode. The working description I’m finding that fits for the style of this book is the word poetic.
Aside from the obvious definition of being like poetry, another definition is this:
Having an imaginative or sensitively emotional style of expression.
Of relating to poets or poetry, having a beautiful or graceful quality.
Reference to poetry aside, this is a perfect description of what I have read so far. This is a personal book, written by a woman who isn’t afraid to let you know what is in her head and heart, or at least writes it down anyway. There is a weight of authority to her insights that come from some one who has discovered them working in her own life, not a theoretical or theological concept. Yet because of the graceful expression of emotion, there is a lightness that gives you room to breathe in the deepest truth: God with us.
Emily curled up in a chair and recorded the first forty pages of the book, and you can listen to that here. I don’t usually listen to audio books, but this made me wish she would just keep reading, and reading, and reading. In fact, I looked for and didn’t find an audio version of her previous book, A Million Little Ways. Hint, Emily!
So, take some time to listen, whether it’s with a cup of tea in a quiet moment, or driving, or as I did, chopping vegetables, and be introduced to both Emily and the concept of smallness in both its good and sometimes not so good ways. Above all, what you’ll discover is that in the small moments of your life, Christ is there. Do you know that? Of course you do. But the easy to miss truth is that small isn’t foreign to Jesus. He came in the smallest form, a baby. He felt the smallest touch, from an unclean woman. He saw the smallest man, up a tree, and later sat down to lunch with him. He’s with you in your big things, and with you in your small things. He is Immanuel.
You can pre-order the book now, and even though I’d like you to buy it from me when it’s available, if you order before August 28 you can get a free conversation guide download to dig in a bit deeper and maybe even with some friends. Here’s a link to Emily’s post on the importance of connection and the offer for the guide.
Read (and listen) well, friends!