In Celebration of Slow

The most hilarious thing about this post I’ve been working on is the sheer amount of time it is taking me to finish. Oh, you’re talking about slow? I’ll. Show. You. Slow. Sometimes my blog talks back to me.

hopeSeriously, I’ve been writing this post for days.

Dear Anyone Who Thinks I Sit Down And Write A Blog Post In Fifteen Minutes,


Love, emily.

I’m certain the world is moving a little faster around me everyday and I’m also certain every generation has said that as they grow older since Adam and Eve. I imagine Noah on the deck of the ark telling his children of the days when he was their age and they didn’t have new-fangled contraptions like boats and things of that nature.

I imagine Pa Ingalls playing the fiddle and then sitting with Half-Pint by the fire, weaving stories of a childhood where they played music with nothing more than spit, a blade of grass, and a piece of dirt.

You know our grandparents rolled their eyes at our Atari and our MTV.

My declaration that the world is moving faster than ever before is not new. But seriously, Pa. We have the internet. 

skyIt seems my soul is slowing at the same rate the world is speeding. When I try to keep up, I feel like a kite in a hurricane.

In some ways it’s incongruent – I talk fast, I walk fast, I can finish tasks quickly when I need to.

But when it comes to my inner life, experiences have to sink fully in before I have an opinion on them. Lines in books I read have to be read over and over before I can figure out why they made me cry. Conversations have to be sifted through over a period of days, even a week, before I’m certain if I was fully myself in them or not.

Lately I’ve been noticing I’m taking even longer than usual to process events and experiences, requiring broader margins and more white space to consider their impact and my desire.

Back in September, I spent a few days in Austin with the IF:Gathering leadership. I listened to their vision and supported both the intention and the women behind it but I couldn’t jump fully in and I still can’t say why. I couldn’t get my head around this movement even though I liked what I heard. I tentatively reserved a ticket for the February conference but decided to stay home. The event was only five days after I returned from Uganda and I couldn’t imagine leaving my family again so quickly.

Instead I watched a little online, prayed for those involved, and thanked the Lord for so many gathered both there in Austin and around the world. Even though many of my friends were there, even though I supported the work of the Spirit in their midst, my soul just wasn’t ready to join the group. This isn’t a commentary on IF, it’s simply an example of how my slow-processing affects my decisions and involvements.

Another example: Back in January I introduced a casual series where I planned to offer practical tools to help solidify the abstract concept of making art with your work and your life. During week one I released Seven Little Ways to Live Art. During week two, we introduced The Art Course.

I had themes and graphics for weeks three and four.

Then I went to Uganda and despite my best intentions, the series was put aside. I simply couldn’t continue to engage the ideas I needed to engage while also preparing to leave the country.

I am a hard worker who meets deadlines and can usually finish tasks when they need finishing. I am also a slow processor who has to allow conversations, ideas, and other influences to marinate before I can grab hold of them.

These two true statements fight.

What is good for my inner health is often frustrating for my work.

Here at Chatting at the Sky, outside of the 31 day series every October, I now only write thoughtful posts about twice a week. I’m learning myself and two real posts a week plus a ‘for your weekend’ post is what I feel I am able to reasonably offer. Thank you for keeping pace with me.

from the porchBut I haven’t always been accepting of this pace. I have tried to discipline the slow out of me. I’ve read blog posts and books on how to be productive, how to write even faster, and how to do other things I’m not naturally great at. I have learned to do more in less amount of time, to focus in less than ideal situations, to finish, ship, and deliver. Sometimes I have succeeded, at what cost I’m not yet sure.

Productivity skills have helped me meet important deadlines and release unnecessary perfectionism.

The problems come when I foolishly try to apply these same skills to my inner life. The soul and the schedule don’t follow the same rules.

Today I’m preaching myself the Gospel, remembering my slowness is not a fault or a sin, but fighting it might be.

Because once I finally grab hold, I will take the conversation, the idea, and the influence all the way in, allow it all to move and shape my thoughts and my actions. These slow-cooked thoughts will influence how I love, how I think, how I write. They will fill up holes of misunderstanding, smoothing some of the rounded question marks into straight up exclamation points.

As much as I sometimes wish I could post a bulletin to the world, announcing a celestial time out, I know that isn’t the answer. Many are in a season of speed, a time of movement, of action, and go. But that is not where I am now. And I cannot wait for the world to stop to embrace my permission for slow.

So here’s to you, my fellow slow-processors. Take the long way home. Embrace the silence to consider. Give yourself permission to think, to listen, to be sure.

Here’s to waiting before we move, pausing before we speak, and taking a week to cross of our day list.

Here’s to shuffling our feet, playing on the floor, and staring out the window if we need to.

Here’s to listening to our questions, sitting in the darkness, and letting our experiences do their deep work within us.

Here’s to a long, deep breath.

And if you write a post that feels like a hot mess this week? And if that post took you four days to finish? Go ahead and publish it now. Don’t let your slowness boss you. Embrace it and learn it, but don’t let it force perfection. Let slow do what slow does best: nourish, strengthen, and hold.

Here’s to deep roots, strong ties, and slow art.

If you would like to receive a free copy of Seven Little Ways to Live Art that I mentioned in this post, simply enter your email address here and click newsletter. I send these out about once a month and include content you won’t find anywhere else.


  1. says

    Thank you, Emily. You put into words some of what has been a shame trigger in me. Your words bring freedom and light! And much needed permission! “Here’s to deep roots, strong ties and slow art.” Yes!

  2. Valerie says

    Thank you Emily. This post was just what I needed to hear today. I too take a long time to process and type out a blog post. I do feel shame at the slowness in which I type and process my thoughts. And I truly did think it was just me, myself, who was this way. Thank you so much for your words and encouragement! They have lifted a weight off of my shoulders.

  3. nancy wallace says

    You so often put into words what I feel but cannot express verbally. This is a beautiful post. The world needs more “slow”.

  4. Tammy LeGlue says

    Oh. My. Thank you. I so needed this today as I’ve been feeling very much like a hot mess lately. While I am processing slowly, some things seem to be completely on hold. But the truth is, just as dumping buckets of water in 5 minutes that run across the ground around and away from the thirsty plant does not really quench the plant’s thirst, so it is with our souls. The deep soaking rain that falls slowly over a whole day and is absorbed into the ground around the plant is the water that nourishes the plant and allows it to grow and produce fruit. The things we process over longer periods of time are the ones that fill us and nourish our souls so that we can be who God created us to be as we serve others.

  5. says

    Slow is so often translated as lazy or dumb, and I’m quick to accuse myself of those things when I need to just sit and process. “I should/could be doing chores/homework/etc. instead of just sitting here!”

    The soul and the schedule most certainly do not follow the same rules and I’m much to quick to make them the same.

    Thank you so much for this reminder that life was meant to be consumed slowly.

    • says

      I feel like that so often too, Kailey. Just because I’m a slow thinker and like to let things soak in and be sure of them before I speak, doesn’t mean I’m less intelligent than the quick ones!

      Thank you for this timely and encouraging post, Emily! I’m lately taking life’s tasks at a time and trying to slow down and enjoy it all rather than muscling through the day and crashing at the end.

  6. Ellen says

    Emily…don’t change a thing. If it takes you four days to write something that will deeply effect people (like you consistently do for me)…take the four days. Heck…take five, they’re short.


  7. says

    So much of what you are processing here is similar to what goes on in my own inner world.

    I’ve been a lurker, here, or via email. Occasionally, I’ll comment. :) But I’ve been following you for quite a while, and I’m beginning to really adore you.

    I walked past you so many times at Allume last year, and never even said, “hello.” Now I wish I had. You bless me. I love your writing. It’s so pure. I love your heart. It’s so genuine, and it comes through everything you produce.

    Maybe, one day I’ll see you again and say, “Hi,” and we can chat a little, swapping stories about Uganda. :)

    • says

      Hi Michele-Lyn! I do wish you had introduced yourself at Allume – will you be there this year?

      Thank you for your encouraging words this morning. It’s a gift to know these slow-cooked posts have meant something to you.

      And if we find ourselves in the same hallway again, stop and say hello. We can hide in a corner and just be quiet if you want. That’s kind of my favorite.

      • says

        Thank you, Emily. More than likely, I’ll be at Allume this year. I’ll look forward to “officially” meeting you. And a quiet corner chat? My favorite kind, also, and it would be a joy! 😉

  8. says

    Great post Emily.. I too embrace the slowness of my life. I really do. I take oodles of time just thinking and meditating on things, on life, on the Word, on past conversations like you say. I struggle with slowing down.. which I love and having to sometimes keep up. I don’t like the stress of it all. So I back away, and do things that make me happy. That more purposefully ground me. And it’s there.. where I grow, where I’m nurtured, where I finally feel like I’m home…. home where I should be.. the best place for me. xo love you.

  9. says

    You reminded me of a thought that keeps popping up on my radar and that is that we truly need to be careful how we let others dictate what we do in our online space and listen to what our heart is telling us as we seek God.

    I find that I lose too much of myself when I jump on every bandwagon and end up finding so much doesn’t fit me that seems to appeal to others. Then I remember I don’t have to be like everyone else, that will never work.

    Just be who God made us to be. There is so much I am also still trying to figure out!

    I appreciate the way you do process things and pay attention to the process!

  10. says

    I’m so glad you published this. It’s not a hot mess. Not even close.

    “What is good for my inner health is often frustrating for my work.” Thank you for that summary of my life…and of this specific day in particular. {Says the girl who is still in pajamas staring out the window.}

  11. says

    Emily, thank you for this lovely post. I am much older than you – a grandma of 9 (and waiting for “rose” from Ethiopia), retired and take care of my dad without the flexibility I expected from retirement! I used to be fast in everything, but over the years have learned to be slow as I learned to operate more in “soul time.”

    I have learned I too, need to process and make a post my own before i post it. For my last post, I experienced the moment on Wed., pondered on Thursday and Friday, wrote on Saturday – had like upteen revisions and posted late Saturday night. I find that what seems to be the nugget is only a nugget and if I wait, often there is a whole feast in that moment.

    How sweet that you are learning this at a much younger age than me and are learning to listen to your heart. I love it that you could give yourself permission to experieence IF just as you did.

  12. Valarie says

    Yes. Slow…is just my pace. I appreciate the slow so very much! I am not a get-er-done type of person, never have been. I prefer a sit back and soak it all in position. I love your posts, and the pace!!

  13. says

    Emily, I nodded my head throughout this whole post! I am a slow processor too, but I just never processed that fact enough to put it into words! I’ve never been a “jump in with both feet” kinda girl. This will also explain why I always think of the right thing to say in a given situation AFTER the scenario has passed. I have to process what I really think and feel about it before throwing my words out there. Thanks so much for this! I am giving myself permission to pause, think and be sure before moving ahead!

  14. says

    Emily, I started reading your post on my phone and shut it off so I could open it up on my computer and read it in a quiet space. I could relate to everything you shared. {As is often the case when I read your words.} Except, EVERYTHING I do it s.l.o.w. To be honest, it drives my own self crazy sometimes. At times I tell myself, can’t you just hurry up. Then, I’ll try to tell myself I am just being thorough.

    The ‘world’ wants fast. So I think I fall short. I try to manipulate myself to overcome, but that leaves me restless and exhausted.

    I know I’m not alone, but I still struggle with thinking I am not living up to all that I should be achieving. As if one can only achieve by moving in the tempo of this fast paced society.

    Even leaving you this comment has been a slow processing of digesting your thoughts and nodding in agreement with them. I would love to sit with you and slowly sip and savour a large warm vanilla latte with cinnamon. Or go for a long stroll, chatting as we go, but if you walk fast and I walk slowly, that could be a problem—unless we stop and take lots of photos of trees reaching up to the sky along the way.

    Thank you Emily for sharing your life in thoughtful and meaningful ways.

    A fellow good girl, who desires to make art with her life, for the glory of God, and learning to celebrate slow in this world that is screaming hurry up and do something already,

    Held in His perfect peace.

  15. says

    Emily, this was so very good to read – thank you for embracing slow, and for encouraging us to do the same. It is necessary, and in this fast-moving world, it is a concentrated effort at times. It seems that the longer I live, the faster things go, and the more I need time to slow and to process. Thanks for your example, and your encouragement to do the same …

    I love coming here … thanks!

  16. says

    Ah! I love this. Thank you, Emily. Thank you for allowing grace to the Mary’s (including yourself!) in a Martha world. I definitely like my Martha moments (why is it that our worth is so often tied to how much we get done, and how fast?), but I adore my Mary moments of quiet contemplation.

  17. Erin says

    So…..this made me cry. Guess I should pay attention? (Ps I’m presently reading your book 😉 )
    My whole life I have been slow – slow to move, slow to reply, slow to process. Many people have misunderstood and mocked me for this – even loved ones. Thank you for reinforcing what I do already know – this is how I was MADE – on purpose. Just because others don’t like it doesn’t make it bad/wrong. Keep percolating those thoughts, keep writing and sharing. Thank you!

  18. Lori Fast says

    Amen. I too am finding that I need more and more space to process, whether it’s a function of getting older or just being more and more plugged-in to the world, through my children and my own tendency to waste way too much time reading on the internet. And I am learning how to give myself space and let it be okay that I’m not productive all the time. Trees don’t bear fruit in winter…

  19. Sandy Kelley-Jones says

    I gotta say, I just love what and how you write! Your timing is just perfect for me; I worry that I get behind or will miss something hood when there’s a post every day. Your honesty is delightful. I’m looking forward to going through your book with friends at church. Your Uganda trip posts were so moving. The pic of the woman sitting in what looked like a wedding dress–still makes me weep when I think of it, all it says. I drew those hands and would like to share the drawing with you but don’t know how….Bless you.

  20. says

    Oh my, I think most of my posts are a hot mess. It is important to take time and enjoy the quiet, but if I’m not careful I’ll let it just all take over. I think your posts are wonderful and the timing of it all is perfect.

  21. says

    To go slow, is to go free. I love this and the freedom to follow God exhibited in your yielding to His pace rather than the world’s pace. Even the Christian world is being influenced by world-speed. To stay in step with the Spirit, this is art at it’s finest for us followers of Christ, right? Ah.

    I read somewhere, “Hurry isn’t of the devil, it is the devil.”

    I look at the pace of Jesus in the gospels. So sweet that to follow Him is to not rush. He wasn’t into fast or big or even brave. He was into looking into faces and asking thoughtful questions to draw out what was in a heart.

    I have been pondering pace over at my blog too. Seeing things beautiful, gaining joy as I learn to slow down. To look. To listen. To dwell with Him.

    Love your words Emily.

  22. says

    I am reminded of “a time for every season” meaning not just being the time it comes around, but the time it takes to go through. Just like in winter, when it snows, we have to slow down when we are driving, sometimes we need to slow down to process life. Society may not always think it’s “good” or “right” but in life, society isn’t always right. And, let’s not forget that “right” has two opposites, so I say choose a different one. “Wrong” and “left” aren’t always the only choices. Here’s to following the bends and the straight-aheads, and knowing that Spirit guides us in Divine right-timing.

  23. says

    As a fellow slow-processor, I want to express my gratitude for your post. I’ve struggled a long time to be the opposite–to think, speak, and write more quickly rather than embrace this gift God has given me. It takes much grace to embrace how we naturally are and not fight against it. I’ve recently started a blog, and every week I wonder what will I write. And then I’m blessed with words to share. I have to remind myself to trust God and be open to what comes. It’s a slow process for sure!

  24. Christine says

    YES! I have learned that if we don’t listen to the God whisperings and allow ourselves to slow down, life will intervene and we’ll somehow be forced to live at a slower pace. Maybe through sickness, finances, weather, whatever, and then we fight it oh, so much more.

  25. says

    Your words were soothing to the soul. What if our hurried-ness is keeping the work of the Holy Spirit from thriving? I feel like we rush ahead in every area of life when God hasn’t necessarily given us the go ahead. What if the Holy Spirit is holding us back, whispering words of “slow down” or “wait a bit” for God to move, work and bless??? Just where I’ve been sitting for a bit while slowing down. Not easy. But seems healthy for now.

    Thanks again, Emily :)

  26. says

    Thank you Emily. Oh, how I relate to so much of your writing. Funny that I find your book and you after relocating to Florida from Greensboro. Your words inspire and encourage me in my learning to surrender and discovering my ministry in this big world. Your honesty enlightens.

  27. maria says

    This post is just why I so love the way you write – it is deep, thoughtful, honest and goes right to the heart…thank you for saying what I didn’t even know I was wanting to say!! Thank you too for the permission to process everything s-l-o-w!! Your words are pure gift!

  28. says

    this has been a very slow season for me & reading this has just put the words that have been trolling around in my heart & mind out in the open. thank you for doing what you do best, giving my soul a chance to breathe. i love the words you put on the picture on FB “here’s to deep roots, strong ties & slow art”. YES. deep roots are so important, especially during the slow “winter” season of life. the crazy winds come & they have been howling for me this winter, but i’m so thankful that my roots are deep and i have had time to slowly process everything. the strong ties have been my husband, friends & family. my slow art will come. thank you emily.

  29. says

    Oh, yes. Me too. I am that ironic combination of a deadline oriented procrastinator. Your post stirred up lots of thoughts…that may at some point become a blog post (so thank you for that). But the main thought that’s floating just out of reach is the verse, 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness…” For those of us who have been stuck in God’s waiting room one thing we need to let go of is our own agenda and timeline. So whatever the experts say…God get’s the final word regarding our efforts and productivity. I trust he will use me where he has called me…which is over here, slowly processing and bristling often at the waiting.

  30. says

    A thousand yeses! I’m finding that as my schedule lightens, I need even more white space to love and grow well. This morning I said some very brave but hard nos. Your post chipped a little guilt off.

  31. says

    I’m one of those who needs someone to say to me, “It’s okay” and that’s just what you did for me with your words in this post. This habit of hurry that I have doesn’t break easily. It’s okay for me to slow down and ponder. After all, HIS whispers are quiet and are most often heard in the stillness. Thank you, Emily!

  32. says

    thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this. As per usual, (being one of my favorite writers and bloggers and all), you have put into words the thoughts that have been swimming in my head for some time. I’ve wrestled with the fact that I’ve discovered lately that I’m a S-L-O-W blogger. Thank you for the inspiration and reminder that this is how I’m wired, and that’s ok. Bless you for all you give to us on this blog, Emily! Happy Monday to you!

  33. says

    I can so relate to all you wrote here. Thanks for taking the time to work it through and write it down.

    I LOVE productivity. And, I, too, move fast, enjoy seeing loose ends tied up and projects completed. But I am also a deep thinker and like you, process slowly. I have long thought that I was like the waves of the sea which are easily tossed about by the winds as spoken of in James 1, but I think it’s more in line with what you spoke of in your post. It takes me a while to figure out exactly what I believe God is saying, to be confident in that and then to walk forward in faith.

    I have a post percolating in my thoughts and heart, but I haven’t written it. I usually write a post quickly after the initial thoughts come to mind. But, it’s been instructive to me to watch what God has brought about in the couple weeks that I have waited to write this post. He has been doing an inner work. When the thoughts first came to me, I thought I was living the principle I want to write about. Over the last several weeks, however, God has been showing me how much I am NOT living what I want to write about. It has served to show me that the principle really is HIS and He is doing a work in my life and heart to make the messenger of His message credible. I am not sure when I will write about it, but when I do, I will have greater confidence in what I share. I am not in a hurry. God has a work to do in me before He can do anything through me. I am learning, like you, to be okay with that, to embrace that and to give thanks to God for that.

  34. says

    So after spending way too many hours writing my last post, I decided to do some much-needed catching up on my favorite bloggers and this was the first post I read. I actually laughed out loud when I saw that you were struggling with exactly the same thing I have been dealing with.

    There is no other way around it: my life simply gets in the way of blogging. But that is how it should be, isn’t it? Family, friends, my spiritual journey, my community,…these are the important things and we have to make room for them. We N E E D to make room for them.

    Yes, I am a slow-processor too. I need to let things seep into my very bones. And once there it comes out in everything I create or say or do.

    Thank you, Emily, for reminding me that taking it slow is okay.

  35. says

    Dear Emily,

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! This is post is (ironically enough) perfectly timed. I feel exactly like this much of the time and it often leads to beating myself up about it. Never really occurred to me to “embrace slow”. This post resonates so deep within me and the funny thing is…I’ll probably have to read it again before I really “get it” haha.

    Totally relate :)

  36. Kristen Gray says

    God knows what we need, right when we need it. It is so refreshing to read about our complex inner processes with so much clarity. Thank you for allowing God’s illuminating light to brighten up what we sometimes don’t understand. This helps me to embrace this special gift of “slow” as I journey to the authentic “me”.

  37. says

    Thank you for this post Emily. Slow is good. I have always thought of myself as a turtle, moving slowly but steadily toward the finish line. But there are times when I need to pull in my head, arms and legs and settle, for whatever time it takes until I can move on. Your writing makes wonderful sense to me. We all need peace and rest in this busy world.

  38. says

    What a lovely meditation on the time it takes to let life sink deeply into consciousness! I know just what you mean when you note your inner life moves at a different pace than your outer one. If you haven’t already read it, you might enjoy Wayne Muller’s book, A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough. One of the chapters is a profound meditation on heart time vs. mind time, and how we process emotions at a significantly slower speed than thoughts. xo

  39. says

    I’m also a slow processor. Just this weekend my husband asked about how 5 hours talking with a long-time friend went. I started to tell him some of the things we discussed and he stopped me. His words – “didn’t you talk about anything DEEP?” hurt. We have since discussed this, and he is beginning to understand my slow-processor self. While my friend and I DID discuss lots of deep topics, it was challenging for me to put the concepts into words with him – 5 hours crunched into 5 minutes. He is the ADHD super-fast processor type and we are so different. Different is good but challenging at times. Reading this post from you today was healing to my heart. It is lovely to know there are many more slow-processors and that this is an okay thing, not something to use as fuel for self-shame. Thank you for taking the time to craft the post and share it with us. Here’s to embracing the slow.

  40. says

    Sometimes I become so frustrated with my inability to process quickly, that I decide not to give good, deep thought to experiences and emotions. It feels as if I’m living half-alive, and yet, I struggle to give myself the permission I need to take it slow. Thank you so much for your honesty, and for not trying to fit a square peg in a round hole:)

  41. says

    I am in need of slow right now, and processing time-this is just what I needed to hear. When I rush through the process part of life, I usually make a mess of things, I’m going to give myself permission to slowly process through the stuff of the week needs it. Slow is good. Slow is good. Slow is good. I must remember that.

  42. says

    Amen. I’m learning this too. It seems to be happening to me this past year or so. I’m just slower in my thinking and my writing. Wanting to say only what’s necessary and edifying. Not always succeeding. I can imagine you’re not being willing to go anywhere after your return from Uganda. I didn’t even want to speak to anyone at all for a good week after coming home from Haiti last year. People would ask how our trip was and I would say, “amazing” and at the same time think, please don’t ask for stories yet because I’m not ready! We experienced death while there. So there was a lot to process. How do we see such heart wrenching conditions and then return to the states where no one understands? I had to turn the tv off. I couldn’t handle commercials for what seems like such nonsense when I know babies are starving to death, especially the plastic surgery commercials. I get it. And I’m trying to accept the slower pace. To embrace the part of contemplation. And now my husband and I are headed together to Haiti April 30th to work with orphans. I’m so very thrilled but there is a slight pause in my heart for the re-entry again… God bless you sister. You always have such an encouraging, sweet word for us!

  43. says

    I love this. I love that whenever I come here to your little corner, it’s like a mini breathing-in-the-fresh-mountain-air vacation! I have long been a scheduler of Slow. Right in the midst of my bossy day planner, I scratch out chunks of time to Slow. Sometimes it looks like a coffee or lunch date, or sometimes it is writing time. Often times it is left gloriously undefined, and those times? Those are when I find I am making art without even realizing it! There is a sweet full exhale in embracing Slow. It is much needed, and I think can only be caught, invited in to, because trying to teach it in this world seems too abstract, too hard. And who has time for that? (Ya see what just happened there?)

    Thank you! Thank you for embracing the Slow and inviting us in to it as well!

  44. says

    I am a kindred spirit. A slow processor. So how could I possibly write a thoughtful comment on slow processing when it hasn’t sunk in, marinated, turned over and around in my soul places. I have been wrestling this one to the mat lately because I have felt some kick back in the way of pain from my need for wide margins and lots of space and room to figure out and live. Oh I could go on and on but instead thank you for speaking on this. The timing was perfection for me.

  45. says

    love this emily! i’ve got a slow bossy pants processor too! and i’m bent for perfectionism. not a great combo. thanks for the reminder and the encouragement to set our own pace and remember who we are in the midst of trying to keep up. xo

  46. says

    Yep. I get this. I live this. I frustrate the dickens out of my sweet man who does every thing fast. I can’t even seem to have my hands busy and answer a question at the same time. I have often taken myself to task for being such a slow writer, somehow thinking that efficiency and speed somehow belong to the pros. At the end of the day, God puts words in our hearts at the pace that He does. I would rather ride out the inspiration and learn from Him in the process, than crank out a batch of words that lack the Holy Spirit’s stamp on me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts–it somehow is a validation of a great frustration. Maybe it’s time to let that go, and be content to let God set my pace.

  47. says

    It brings tears to my eyes seeing how many fellow “slow-processors” there are! I thought I was alone in this. I have always felt a sense of shame over being slow to think, speak, process – it’s just been in the last couple years I’ve even been able to embrace this in myself and realize there isn’t something wrong with me, it’s just the way I am and it’s okay. This is the way God made me. (& thanks to the internet I can see I’m not alone! even though I don’t know-in-real-not-behind-the-computer-life any body else like me.)

    I remember the first time I said I was a “slow-processor” to non-computer thinking friends and they didn’t get what I meant, I hadn’t heard the term before so I thought it was just another weird “me” quirk.

    I think you did “post a bulletin to the world, announcing a celestial time out”; look at these comments, you’ve given so many of us permission to press the pause button. I suspect many of us will be better able to “embrace [your] permission for slow” because of your sharing with us. Thank you.

  48. says

    I’ve done battle with this for as long as I’ve lived Emily. Unfortunately, my tendency to want to please everyone and be part of everything those everyone’s are doing causes me to jump in before I’ve given my inner self time to catch up. I can’t count the number of times I’ve clicked, raised my hand, said yes only to spend days and weeks afterward considering the cost. I’m getting a little better about letting myself take the time I need before jumping in. I’m the one who is in the meeting with everyone else so caught up and filled with emotion wondering why I don’t feel what they’re feeling – only to discover it long after I’ve gone home.
    Thanks so much for this. As always – right on the mark. I appreciate you so very much.

  49. Heidi says

    Ha! Yes, the slow-processor…that’s me! And in the last few years I’ve even begun to enjoy it! Because in my line of work, quick decisions are the norm. I’ve learned to speak slowly but with confidence, to say things like, “I’m still thinking about that, I’ll let you know when I’ve processed it.” And in a male-dominated industry, this slower take on things has actually helped to earn respect from my coworkers. I sometimes have to hold my ground with a little firmness…but I find this firmness has helped to firm me up, too, from the inside. I am confident in my pace. Usually. It’s all a process, even if it’s a slow one 😉

  50. says

    Oh my goodness, this is totally me! I am a slow -processor.

    And I am in a time in my life where I feel that I am getting 50 things thrown at me at the same time, and I wonder why I’m not coping. It’s because these things all take me time to think through and process, and time to sit with and be with, before I can even dream about making an opinion.

    Sometimes I try and rush myself and then I say really daft things that I have to take back days, months, even years later when I finally know what I think.

    I used to worry that it was because I didn’t have opinions, now I know it’s because it takes me a while to form those opinions.

    Thank you so much for this post Emily. Thank you.

  51. says

    The s l o w….love it!
    One of the things I wrestle with is Mom Guilt- worried I’m not good enough, not doing enough! But there is a difference between guilt and shame (as you mention in your book GFTGG). Most often, I wear shame like by favorite hoody hot around my neck.
    I’m in the midst of a week long blog series called “How to OFFload the MoM GUiLT.”
    Thought you and your readers would also share in this similar struggle we mammas can bear but don’t have to!
    Thanks for being a light!

  52. says

    Thank you Emily for posting this. As the pace of my life has got faster lately, I have to remind myself that I can slow down when I need to. Focusing on the process rather than the outcome or productivity would probably help me do that. And if I write a blog post that seems like a hot mess this week, I’ll promise to still post it :)

  53. CarrieC says

    Oh my. You have absolutely no idea how much this post means to me. Most of my friends cannot fathom why it takes me 1/2 hr. to send a 4-line email. I have one friend, yes, one, who helped me to finally see in me what I couldn’t see by myself–that I am a mental processor and that it’s ok to embrace that. That it’s who God made me to be. She is the sole friend who is comfortable with my silence as I formulate what I want to say. It means everything. It’s just wonderful to know that there are others who think as slowly as I and who like for a thought to simmer before voicing an opinion.

  54. says

    I was slow to getting to this post — ironic I know : ). I truly believe that what I need comes when I need it. And I needed this today. I love everything you wrote and love almost more how much it resonated with me and has helped me …clarify things with my own self and way of doing things. The permission you’ve granted is a beautiful thing. :) “Let slow do what slow does best: nourish, strengthen, and hold.” [deep breath]… perfectly said. Thank you!

  55. Sue says

    I so needed this today. I have been feeling out of sorts and have not been able to figure out why. I am usually pretty faced paced…but now its obvious my soul and my schedule are not following the same rules. I need to let my soul take the lead right now. and its OK.

  56. says

    I am the slowest of slow processors. Sometimes I’m ok with that, sometimes I’m not. But I love how you’re coming to peace with it here. There is nothing wrong with slow. And sometimes there is everything right with it.

  57. says

    This was so beautifully said. What a valuable reminder that the incongruence between professional and personal is not bad – just is. What’s important is to recognize it about myself and work with it.

    Thank you!!

  58. says

    Emily, I’ve read both your books and follow your blog. I can’t tell you how much your words mean to me. So often they speak to how I’m feeling but haven’t been able to put it into words. None more so than your words about “living small, moving slow, and holding one thing at a time “. Thank you, thank you for showing me that it’s not just ok to live life like that but that it’s a good thing, even the best thing when it draws me closer to God. And it does.

  59. says

    Hi Emily. How very timely it is for me to read these slowly-written and slowly thought-of blog post of yours. Please know that I just hit the publish button a few minutes ago; yes, it took me days to finalize what I wanted to say about my art. Like you, I’m learning that I’m not in the fast pace of blogging on a daily basis. I find that I get to enjoy blogging more when I don’t feel the pressure to publish now. There is grace in being a slow kind of blogger or writer. And I’m ever thankful to realize that it’s not always the fast who wins or succeeds. Sometimes it takes slow and careful thinking to conquer the battle.

    Have a slow and grace-filled day.

  60. says

    Thank you ! I can relate totally and have to marinate thoughts and experiences . I often had this vision that someone was on a bullet train and I was still sitting at the train station watching the world all speed past me ! This was encouraging to read your heart’s voice on this as well. Ahhh…refreshing and freeing !

  61. says

    SO much of what you wrote really resonated with me. I thought it was just age that was making me slower but like you I need to take things in and give them time to make sense of them. I’m not as good at thinking on my feet as I’d like to be and hate to make quick decisions. I prefer slower now and thank you for giving us all permission to go at our own speeds. God bless you x

  62. says

    I can still hear my parents saying, “Hurry up, Kathi. You are slow as molasses in January!” It seemed I could never help it. Rushing rattled me then and still does to this day. I’ve learned to embrace my slowness. I get to observe life and soak up every experience. Then I can gradually write about it. My blog posts take a while too. If I get two out each month, I’m doing well so you are way ahead of me Emily!

  63. says

    “I have tried to discipline the slow out of me” This really spoke to me. We spend so much time trying to change ourselves instead of fully embracing who God made us to be.

    I’ve never thought of myself as a slow processor, but I am learning that I am an introvert. I need that alone time to refuel.

    Thank you for your beautiful words and encouragement.

  64. Jill says

    Emily, Thank you! I find that once again you are able to put words to my life in a way that makes great sense. I often find myself sitting and looking out the window at nature, pondering life or my to do list, or how the power lines are set up. I relish the slow and organizing my thoughts so I can go out and accomplish and be! But I also struggle with wanting to do things faster and am I just wasting time by looking out the window. It’s so encouraging to know that I’m not the only one and that you also “get it”! Thanks to God for you and for the way he’s made us!

  65. says

    Thank you, Emily. Even trying to write this comment, my brain hasn’t quite come up with how I want to say what’s in my heart. So I’m just going to say thank you for the eloquent reminder that I need to embrace the way God made my brain.


  66. Maria says

    I LOVED this post! Just what I needed to hear! Thank you!!!

    The line-what is good for my inner health is often frustrating for my work-is right where I’m at.


  67. Darlene says

    Amen to your posts. I can so relate to how you feel & process things. I’m very identical. Your words are meant to be savoured slowly enjoying each bite & lingering taste. That is the way I enjoy reading your post & most reads. And sometimes I re-read the same sentences several times to let it all slowly sink in just the way you mentioned. Many times I’ve criticized myself for the way I learn & process things. And then I find out I’m not the only one, and I also realize I’m not abnormal & begin to ease up & give myself permission to just be me. Thanks so much for all your honest posts. Your blog is a favorite! Blessings to you!

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