I’m a busy mom, wife and student. I have a to do list on top of my to do list. Like right now I should be cleaning out the closet, doing laundry, making important calls, organizing the kids closet (again because a bomb surely went off in there) and about a million other things before the masses ascend on the house, masses being Jim and the boys. But a rare summer occurrence happened! Everyone is gone but me! The boys are at Nana’s, Jim is at a meeting and I, I am making room for my soul to breath rather than being overcome by my to do list and productivity.
I recently finished reading Emily P. Freeman’s newest book Simply Tuesday. I’ve renamed it my coloring book because of the multicolored highlights that now shine brightly on each page. Little beacons of wisdom mixed with love and a desire for me (and you, too, but this is my blog so it gets to be “me”) to find and cultivate my smallness.
If you are a fellow Emily fan then you know Simply Tuesday is not actually on the shelves yet. I was chosen along with an amazing group of (mostly) women to be part of the launch team for Simply Tuesday. Let me stop there and reflect on the fact that I was chosen. Me. I am not ever chosen for anything that so seemingly big, but by being chosen a piece of me unlocked to my inner smallness that I so badly want to rest in. Not to mention an a prayer was answered. Not a prayer to be picked, but a prayer for guidance as to how to share my art with others. How to be a better bench dweller though I didn’t know that was a thing yet. But it is a thing that Jesus taught me and Emily reminded me.
I laughed, I cried, I highlighted, and I constantly said to Jim “oooh! Let me read you this!” My soul found a connection to Emily’s words in a way that I did not expect! If my record for fastest read of a 200+ page book is less than 8 hours (MockingJay) then Simply Tuesday gets the award for the long it has ever taken me to read a book, 3 weeks. I didn’t want it to end so I was afraid to let loose and read like I normally do, I was afraid I would mis something that I needed to hear.
I’ve always loved Tuesdays. Jim and I for years have referred to our random acts of kindness as Tuesday gifts because Tuesdays are gifts. They are the normal in my mess, the gift of a new week without the chaos of a Monday, they are my friend.
I am a bench dweller and hopefully a bench builder. A lover of simple, meaningful relationships and moments though they aren’t always wonderfully perfect moments or relationships. Messes are part of all of our lives. Did you notice that most of my to-do list items involved messes? Well, my soul gets messy too because I am too busy doing and not busy enough protecting myself from what Emily refers to as “hustle, produce, and ship”.
Simply Tuesday magnified my inability to be still and find my smallness but it also gave me space to learn to slow down and breath. I’m not going to lie the first few chapters were a struggle for me. Not because they were poorly written or not true, but for the very opposite reason. Returning to times when I felt the “good” kind small meant returning to some childhood memories that while they are good are also difficult to settle into and remember because they weren’t just about me and my smallness but also about who I shared those moments with. The summer between 5th and 6th grade I went to visit my Pennsylvania family. To say I didn’t feel very welcomed would be an understatement so I hid most of the summer in a tree reading and writing (does this surprise anyone?). My home state is breathtakingly beautiful. You cannot help but to relish in being a small part of it, even as a tween you know you are in the midst of one of God’s most perfect creations. Often during that summer my brother would join me in the tree and we would just talk. Chad passed away a few months ago, I found while reading Simply Tuesday how hard it was to attach myself to my smallness when I knew that I shared a bench with my brother that summer.
“People need us to embrace a relational smallness, accepting we are not the star, the counselor, the convincer, or the fixer. Instead, we are a companion, willing to keep company with the soul of another. We need not compete, we need only to connect.”-Simply Tuesday, page 129
The good news is once I allowed myself to see the benches in my life and those that I share them with I found myself in love with the book even more! Who knew I needed this?!
Heres what I’m thinking: I’m not the only one that needs the message of Simply Tuesday. I’m betting that you are needing it too. To be reminded to let your soul breath, to build benches and to be a Tuesday friend.
So, how about a giveaway? I’m going to giveaway one copy of Simply Tuesday to one person. What do you have to do? Simply reply to this post. For an added chance to win simply click the follow button at the bottom page on the right hand side. Then, Tuesday at 2pm I will have Jim randomly draw a name out of a bucket. So make sure you check back Tuesday for the results. Good luck!
Simply Tuesday will be available on August 18th at your favorite bookstore.
I suggest if you haven’t already to follow Emily on all social media. You don’t want to miss the #itssimplytuesday stream she encourages us all to participate in. To find our benches where we can embrace our smallness and to give our souls a needed deep breath. Come join us!