I am easily distracted these days. Interestingly, the distractions come from within; the thoughts of what needs to be accomplished mix with the memories of what was and is no longer. These distractions have hindered me from actions that I love, like writing. But I’m happy to say I’ve been coming back to center and learning to celebrate the everyday moments of life thanks to a new book.
I recently read the fantastic new book Simply Tuesday by Emily P Freeman. It’s available today! The tagline for this book really called to me: Small-Moment Living in a Fast Moving World. I had been living the SLO life for 30 years until two years ago. Now living in the fast-paced, change-oriented, bigger, faster, better society of the Silicon Valley is like “drinking from a fire hose” as our pastor puts it. Simply Tuesday is a call to notice, to appreciate the ordinary moments of the day and that is opposite living from this world’s expectations. What a beautiful thing because our souls are not meant for speed. A soul is meant for depth, for slow, for connection.
Emily shares her story of learning to embrace ‘small’. She puts into words what my own soul has yearned for; being okay with “right where I am” instead of pushing for more, for notice, for good, better, best. In the chapter “Effort & Outcomes” Emily’s words stopped my striving, never-good- enough heart & mind right in their Energizer Bunny tracks. “I don’t see Jesus calling me to excellence. I do see Him calling me to Himself. And sometimes, on the kingdom of earth, moving close to Jesus looks like failure and embarrassment.”
I have pushed and resisted, fought and argued and demanded that my life be “good, better, best, never let it rest until your good is better and your better best.” Being transplanted from the comfort and familiarity of my former life was painful to say the least. I have not been able to gain the traction I’ve thought I’ve needed to be “successful” in this new arena. The revolutionary thought that simply being aware and available to the movement of Christ in my day truly stopped my whirling internal dialogue. It was as if someone picked up the arm of the record player and turned the swirling machine off.
Simply Tuesday is seeping down into my soul. This book, Emily’s voice, is counter-cultural in this area where I live. But Emily lives and writes in Greensboro, NC and her words come from a place of knowing how extended beyond peace we often live. Simply Tuesday is inviting me to sit on a bench and notice where Jesus is moving in my day. It’s inviting me to learn to celebrate the daily; the everyday moments that make up my everyday, ordinary life. Learning to celebrate that this life is a gift from God moment by moment.
Learning to be present to His abiding Presence. Learning to be thankful for little things like a bird on a bird feeder or the smell of freshly brewed coffee is reminding me of the true beauty that makes up every day. Learning that time is non-renewable and therefore sacred.
This bench is at the park near our latest place of residence. (notice I didn’t call it home? I’m not there yet.) I often see people seated here looking out at the children, the athletes, the trees. This morning I thought of the gift Simply Tuesday is to me and prayed that it would be so for many, many more. I really want to encourage you to get your own copy and gather with others who are seeking connection like I am. They’re all around us; Tuesday people as Emily calls us.