my state of life 43 days after a book release

In the past 10 minutes, I have:

1. Scanned Facebook and clicked on Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Artificial Food Coloring, realizing after reading it that the only safe things to eat in the world today are tree bark and air. And the tree bark might be questionable in some states.

432x3242. Then I clicked on this post from Shannan, saw a house for sale in her Indiana neighborhood, scrolled through all 26 photos of said house (three times) and decided maybe we need to move there because gorgeous hardwoods and Stars Hollow.

3. After reading that post, I clicked over to Tsh’s blog because any minute she will be revealing her new design/blog name and that’s just fun.

4. Then I shook my head and came back here, having things to tell you but not knowing where to begin.

5. Then I started to get on Twitter but made myself stop because I’m a grown up and I can do this.

By “this” I mean get back into the swing of writing.

John and I have had hours and hours of conversation about the state of our souls lately – about what is true, what we most deeply desire for our family, our marriage, and the art we make together.

I want to share so much of it with you but I haven’t had the white space to put it into words quite yet as much as I desperately want to.

It’s only been 43 days since A Million Little Ways released and I’m feeling a little thin (unfortunately, I don’t mean that literally). It has been a great month, a fun month, a month of celebration and relief.

It has also been a full month. For example, here is a stack of all the books I’ve received in the past 30 days – either from an event where I’ve served as a speaker or in the mail from authors or their publishers:

October 2013 booksIt’s a great representation of how this month has felt for me: stacked up high with good things, but a little overwhelming at the same time. (This is also one of the reasons I love what I do – lots of beautiful books on my doorstep).

I don’t think I can adequately thank you for your kind support of Million – but I’ll try anyway. Thank you for reading the book I wrote. Thank you for sharing it with your friends and family. Thank you for offering thoughtful reviews, blog posts, and tweets. Thank you for buying tickets to The Barn (what I know will be my favorite event of 2013). Thank you for wanting to buy tickets to The Barn. Thank you for eye contact when we meet in person, questions around event tables, your presence in the comments of this blog. Thank you for following along for 31 days of Living Art. Not just following along, but sharing your own art and living it, too.

It’s lovely to watch.

I will continue to try to keep you updated on where I see the best prices being offered on the book (right now it looks like DaySpring is the cheapest at $9.99).

If you’ve been wanting to follow along with the Bloom Book Club but have been falling behind, I’m working on getting all the videos on one page here on the blog so you can watch them at your own pace. They already live on the book club page over at (in)courage, but I thought bringing them here might help you out.

I also wanted to let you know even though we missed sharing Things We Learned in October, I want to bring it back at the end of this month so start taking notes on the things you’re learning and prepare to share them with us at the end of the month!

In contrast with the stack above, here are the books I actually had to pay money for this month:

books I paid money for this month

The Gift of Being Yourself by David. G. Benner – Picked this one up at the Renovare retreat last week. I loved another book of his, Sacred Companions and have heard good things about this one.

When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey – Been meaning to read one of his books for a while now and saw the kindle version of this one is only $2.99 right now. Great timing!

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink – Ordered this one to read out loud with the kids. We’ve read two chapters and really enjoy it so far.

But you must know the majority of my reading time has been spent with my nose in one of these two books:


I know. This is my life.

This, and picking winners. Well, having Jamie pick winners, anyway.

We have winners!

I’ve hosted a few giveaways on the blog over the past few weeks and finally have some winners to announce.

Hannah wins Reeve Coobs new release What Love is All About. If your name is Hannah and you entered the giveaway, you’ll know you’re the winning Hannah if you have an email from Jamie in your inbox.

Rachel Franklin wins the $100 Barnes and Noble gift card!

Andrea Noles wins 10 copies of A Million Little Ways! Christmas gifts, book club, so many options for you and your 10 books, Andrea.

That’s all for now, friends. Glad to get the writing wheel spinning again.


  1. says

    You should know that even in your lack of ability to put thoughts into words, you still encouraged this girl, not to mention gave me the joy of knowing we all struggle with this… Getting out what is in our hearts. I’m currently reading ” Million” and all I can say is, my highlighter is running out of ink at a rapid pace and God is using it to minister truth to me!!! So thank you! Loved meeting you in person in Allume this year– hope to get to hear you again sometime soon!

  2. says

    Funny. We have exactly the same writing technique. The same taste in houses. (I’m ready to move to Goshen too.) And a similar stack of wonderful to-be-read books. How do you decide where to start? :) Saying a prayer for you in this exciting, overwhelming, very full time. May God continue to fill you with grace to overflowing.

  3. says

    I’m a little jealous of your stack of books, looks like you have some good ones there! :) Caddie Woodlawn is such a great book I’ve read it many times to my students when I used to teach. I’m also glad to know that I’m not the only one who dreams of living in an older farmhouse in Stars Hallow!

  4. says

    You’ll love Caddie Woodlawn! One of our first read-alouds this school year. I have an old copy that I remember seeing on the bookshelf in my home as a little girl, yet I didn’t pick it up to read until now. It’s a great book! My boys and I loved it and wished it didn’t have to end. They enjoyed hearing about Caddie’s adventures : )

    Whoa! Now that’s a to-be-read list you’ve got there! Just read the next one and then the next and then the next . . . in between your own writing, barn hostings, and being wife and mama. Yeah, in between all that : )

  5. says

    Wow… first off – I loved meeting you at Allume (both times – but more so the second time, when I didn’t have my Good girl mask on. Whatever.)

    Secondly – I’ve been praying for you this month and I’ve been loving your book(s) this month! I can’t imagine the highs and lows, the joy and (somewhat perceived) pressure – but how you describe the battle to get here to write… yes, that! I get that! Praying for The Barn… can’t wait to hear all about it!

    Thirdly – you lost me a little at Indiana but then you went and said Hardwoods and Stars Hollow in one sentence and I was right back with ya!

    Love your stack of books… (have a good portion stacked up high too… and is it wrong that I was already seeing ones I don’t have ‘yet’?) sigh…


  6. Nadine says

    Since you’re so overwhelmed (breathe!) I’m just going to comment on the least spiritual thing, Mindy Kaling’s book – because what I remember is her description of the male species sitting down to put their shoes on…hilarious. My husband does that!

  7. Rebecca Sarine says

    Lovely stack of books! I am reading Introverts in the Church right now. I got that recommendation from you. thanks.
    That house in IN is beautiful. Ah, the front porch.
    Said a prayer for The Barn event. Looking forward to the next one and hoping I get a ticket then. :) Looking forward to the day when I get to make eye contact with you.
    I am enjoying A Million Little Ways–lots of notes and lots of thinking and talking. You are thanking us but I want to thank you again for writing it. For being transparent. For being your Art.
    Take the time you need to process through all that you want to share. Looking forward to it. Said a prayer for you and John and the kids.
    My daughter says Caddie Woodlawn is a good one. We were going to read it together (out loud) but she picked it up in her free time and got ahead of me.

  8. says

    Oh. Oh heeeeeeyyyyy. About the food dyes post – I know it’s overwhelming. It is SO overwhelming. My intention in sharing it, however, is just to offer a guidepost for parents who are thinking that maybe there is a connection between the issues their kiddos are experiencing and the stuff they are eating. I know it’s alarming – and yes, tree bark and air seem safe, but what about pesticides? LOL – but mostly I hope it offers hope to parents at the end of their rope.

    Beyond that, I want you to know that Million is changing me from the inside out. What powerful, important words. I am reading it slowly, savoring it like dessert. It is INCREDIBLE. Thank you for heeding God’s call on your life to write this.

  9. Megan says

    What you have to say about the stack of books is so true–there is so much good there, but the volume of it all feels overwhelming at times, I understand that feeling so much. I need to remind myself to find the quiet moments, to breathe for a little while, so I can appreciate it better. They help me to find my words, too.

    This season has been really good for books. I’m not finished with A Million Little Ways yet, but it has been good. I saw some good ones on your large stack, too. :) I might need to find myself in a bookstore soon and soak up the words.

  10. says

    Three things:

    1. Whaa, I won?! Wow, thank you!

    2. Because it is driving me nuts and maybe others, too: I gotta know the titles of the two thin books which are not printed on their spines. Please. For the love.

    3. Yeah, I’m that girl eating tree bark and air.

    (Bonus) My favorite chapters in your book are Wait, Offer, and Wonder. So good. Lots of ink from my pen added there on those pages. I also love you for making mention of rolly pollies, my favorite insect of all time.

    • says

      Yes! I wondered if anyone would ask about those –

      The Exodus Road: A Wife’s Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue by Laura Parker


      Kingdom Come! A Devotional for Families and Folks Who Desire to Enter the Kingdom as a Child by Lacy Finn Borgo – it’s a Renovare resource.

      I look forward to both.

  11. says

    yea! I was just about to email to see if you had a winner yet. Thanks again friend!

    that house is lovely, but don’t move there… it’s too far away!

  12. says

    Just bought A Million Little Ways, and Grace for the Good Girl. Thank you for many things, including the kick starting my desire to paint, and find the me in what I do. Blessings.

  13. says

    Ooh. Bread and Wine is lovely. I hope you write a little about some of the others; I love to receive good book recommendations. It’s hard to know where to start!

  14. Kate says

    The Gift of Being Yourself is a phenomenal book. I got it from my mentor when I graduated from my alma mater. I hope you enjoy it, and learn from it, as I did.

  15. says

    I’m sure it was exciting to get the books but when you stacked them — overwhelming : ) I loved Caddie Woodlawn as a girl. I hope y’all do, too. I think I spied a book you’ve been reading in the red book cover that I enjoyed myself : )

  16. says

    NO joke I bet that house gets a Million Little Hits. It is exactly what we are looking for, price range and all. But we are in MT. Actually we just picked our plans and almost have the same one picked out. But we will see…. all in due time.

  17. says

    1. Don’t be so sure about air. Especially if you live where I live. But then, maybe it’s the food coloring that’s killing me and not the air I have been blaming. Who knows!!! :)
    2. Speaking of falling behind with the Bloom study… Um, yes. I’m finding myself torn between rushing rough the chapters so i don’t miss all of the conversation, but not wanting to rush because I want to think about it and let it all sink in deeper. Any chance there will be some kind of space for that here too maybe if/where you put the videos? But I’m loving the book. Just when I think I don’t really wrestle with something, I realize soon after, oh yeeeesssss… Yes, actually I do. Loving hearing your voice and I don’t even think your hands are too much anything. I talk with my hands too. :)

  18. says

    Wow, I feel a little overwhelmed even just reading your post!

    I sometimes get to the point when I am too full of words. When I have written too much, spoken too much and read too much. My mind groans and I want to check out for a while.

    We have holidays regularly as we have a caravan and value being able to get away as a family most school breaks. My husband always encourages me to stop blogging during these breaks. I always feel worried that I’m going to lose readers. That I’m letting people down. But the rest always does me good. I always come back fresher, writing better. And my sweet readers are gracious enough to stick with me.

    Thanks for sharing so honestly with us. Keep it real Emily, it means so much to us.

    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  19. Lorraine R. says

    Kisses freom Kaitie is a phenomenal book – it will make you want to move to africa and love on some beautiful babies!!!

    Caddie Woodlawn is part of our homeshchool reading and it’s a wonderful book!!!

    I read Shannan’s post but never thought to scroll through the house pictures!!! Man that place is GORGEOUS!!!!!! What a great price too!!! Makes me want to move :)

  20. Kathy Ericksen says

    Glad to know I’m not the only person that bounces around! I’m loving the book study and feel I’m sitting across the couch from you 3. It’s been HUGE. Thanks!

  21. Kelli says

    Emily, I just wanted you to know how blessed I have been by your writing and the videos on Incourage. It’s obvious that God is using your talents, but I know that there is a cost to you & your family. I want you to know I have been praying for you. Thanks for being real, sharing your life & spurring me on. I hope you have a refreshing day!

  22. says

    Due to some unfortunate life events October passed by in a blur so I am thrilled you are putting the the links up for your study. I have the book ready and waiting and was so sad to have missed not following along.

    And Caddie Woodlawn – thanks for the memory!~

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