It’s my “one word” for this year…one thing I’m continuously going back to and leaning into…one word that is changing how I see and experience and process my days.
I’m embracing small moments, small beginnings, small steps.
I’m pursuing smaller instead of larger, slow instead of hurry, secret instead of spotlight.
I'm focusing on the everyday routines, the often unseen rhythms, and watering the hidden places of my soul.
I’m celebrating smallness…in my life, in my work, in my days.
And it’s in a large part due to a book I read over a year ago that continues to resonate in my soul. Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman has become a dog-eared, marked-up, well-loved favorite of mine. There are so many beautiful nuggets of wisdom in its pages…so many words that speak to my heart and challenge me to see the world and the purpose of my days from a new perspective, with Kingdom eyes that notice the small hidden things, that see beyond what is temporary and visible to what is eternal and invisible.
“Tuesday reminds me to accept the beauty of smallness, hiddenness, and the secret work of Christ in the deepest part of who I am.”
“There is a daily-ness to my work, a small-moment perspective that whispers for me to connect with the work in my right-now hands, not because it’s going to become something Big and Important, but because Someone who is Big and Important is here, with me, in me, today. I can exert the effort and risk of moving, choosing, and releasing because he is with me and the outcome rests safely in his hands.”
“We don’t have to fear this small way. We don’t have to worry that embracing smallness will shrink our impact...
When I’m small, I know I can’t control opinions, manipulate outcomes, or force my agenda on others. When I’m small, I can move into the world confident as the person I most deeply am because I know I don’t move into the world alone.
If this is true, then small is my new free.”
- Emily P. Freeman, Simply Tuesday
I just completely love this book.
So when I was asked last year if I would be interested in illustrating the pages of a coloring book based on quotes from this book, I was completely humbled and absolutely thrilled!
And then, almost immediately, I was extremely nervous and began feeling totally unqualified and inadequate to do the words of this beautiful book justice with my simple illustrations.
But then I remembered…
“We don’t know where these moments might lead, what we might grow into, whom we might influence, what impact we might have. That is not our business. Instead our job is to stay right here with our friend Jesus. To know he is with us and within us, and he’ll stay no matter what.” -Emily P. Freeman, Simply Tuesday
Over the last three years especially, God has proven to me, in very clear and humbling ways, that His plans for me are far more than I could ever dream or imagine. He has shown me that I don't need to worry about where the path might lead or whether or not I am equipped to handle what is coming around the corner, because He has been with me and He has been preparing me every step of the way, even when I didn't even know what He was doing.
I can trust Him.
And so I gave Him all my doubts and my fears and my anxiety, and I trusted His plan, and I got to work. As I worked, I prayed. Each time I began a new page, I prayed for Him to guide my pen and to allow the work of my hands to bring Him glory.
I worked quietly, secretly, one little illustration at a time. Months of moments. And then a quiet waiting.
“I can plant seeds but I can’t make them grow,
I can create art but I can’t make it sell,
I can act in faith but I can’t determine the outcome.”
-Emily P. Freeman, Simply Tuesday
And now here we are, a year later, and I have a stack of these books sitting in my dining room.
“I’m thankful we have a God who sometimes chooses to tell his big story in small, delightful, quiet ways.” -Emily P. Freeman, Simply Tuesday
It’s just pure grace. And ALL the glory and praise goes to God alone.
All of it. Every bit of it.
This project was truly a labor of love. It was such a humbling grace to get to be a part of it. I just know that the words on the pages of this book, both Emily’s beautiful words and the Scriptures that she shares, will be like a breath for your soul and will encourage your heart.
A little sneak peek inside at a few of the pages:
Some illustrations have lots of little details, others are a bit more simple with larger spaces to color in or to add your own patterns and designs. The pages are nice and thick (I love them!), and they are each perforated, so they can be easily removed to hang on your wall or frame as a gift. The cover is just beautiful and soft, with touches of gold (SO pretty!). The designers at Revell and Baker Publishing did an amazing job putting this book together...it truly is lovely. And Emily's words and the Scriptures inside are what make it absolutely beautiful!
To celebrate the release of It’s Simply Tuesday, I’m giving away some fun bonuses to the first 40 people who Pre-Order a copy of the coloring book through my shop. (Of course, you can order a book on Amazon or just about any place that you buy books, but these free bonus goodies are only available for orders made through my Little House Studio shop. ;) )
The first freebie you get when you Pre-Order is a hand-painted watercolor and line ink drawing, specially made to celebrate It’s Simply Tuesday. Each 5x7 piece is signed and numbered. I created each piece individually, so although the basic design of each piece is the same, no two are exactly alike and each one is unique.
The second free bonus you will get is a “Mustard Seed Charm & Bookmark”:
I love what Emily writes about the mustard seed in Simply Tuesday:
“We plant, trusting God for the growth.
We act in faith, trusting God for the outcome.
We build, trusting God to fill.
We offer, trusting God with the response.
We remember the mustard seed that is like the kingdom of God, the seed that will grow anywhere and everywhere even without our help. We remember this is a ‘hardy seed that remains viable for years—even centuries.’ “
This handmade bookmark with a single mustard seed in the charm is a simple reminder of the significance of small things, and that even a tiny amount of faith has the power to move mountains.
And the third freebie you get when you pre-order is this hand-lettered 5x7 print:
I was inspired to letter this verse after I read Emily’s words in Simply Tuesday:
“This day belongs to the Lord…This is the day the Lord has made for me to rejoice and be glad in. This is not the day Emily has made to toil and strive and earn.
Today, the banquet table is laid out for me in my soul. And it looks like meetings, deadlines, and a few household chores on the outside, but on the inside I know that my Father is very fond of me, and he has plans I know nothing about, and this is the day he has made. He invites me to come and sit at his table and pull up a chair made for small legs. He invites me to surrender myself to his agenda and trust that he intends good things.”
I hope this little print will be a reminder to you, that every ordinary Tuesday, and each day of your life, is a day that the Lord has made…a day to rejoice and be glad in...a day to notice the small moments and celebrate the little gifts that God gives…a day to celebrate His grace.
Pre-Order your copy of It’s Simply Tuesday to snag these bonus goodies! But hurry, I only made up 40 sets of freebies…order your book today to make sure you get yours! :)
And if you’re in the Greenville, SC area next Friday, April 7th, I’d love to meet you! I’ll be joining Emily for a fun little coloring night and book signing event at the Barnes and Noble on Woodruff Road at 5:00pm. See the event page for more details. I’d love to see you there!