Asking Better Questions and ‘Simply Tuesday’ by Emily P. Freeman {book review}

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I’ve been trying to write a beautifully articulate post about Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman, but somehow it hasn’t worked. Maybe first because I’m trying to hard with too much pressure and we all know pressure only makes words stick instead of flow, but also maybe because trying so hard to be something or someone is pretty contradictory to the idea of the whole book. Emily invites us to small. To take the most ordinary day of the week and live fully there.  To notice those small moments for what they are and linger in the ordinariness of it all. To be ourselves, by God’s grace, and not obsess over success.

“Small is an invitation to participate in something greater than ourselves.” Simply Tuesday, p29

I was reminded of Simply tuesday when we ran into some old friends recently. We hadn’t seen them for a few months so of course I passed around the question, “Anything new?” As we went around our table I realized that maybe we are past the point in our lives that calls for that question, that stage where everything is changing and the possibilities are endless. We’ve all slowly settled into responsibility and ordinary moments and maybe I need to change the question. Maybe instead of questioning sameness, I can find a new question that reflects the worth of dailiness and the ordinary.

“I am thankful we have a God who sometimes chooses to tell his big story in small, delightful, quiet ways.” Simply Tuesday, p85

It’s tempting to wish away where we are in favor of something else, but Emily invites to a quiet place in that tension. I think we humans are dreamers and we don’t know what to do with the small moments. We are taught to be ambitious, successful, and always on the move. We are afraid of small, and sitting, and quiet, and boredom, and ordinary. We are marketed solutions for these “problems” and taught to endlessly pursue our wants instead of lingering in our haves. 

And so our souls become disconnected and worn.

“And this doesn’t mean I am to dream big and amazing things for God. Rather, it means I am to believe in a big and amazing God, period. I can trust him to be himself even as I dare to be myself.” p240

The idea behind Simply Tuesday is like a pause button for your soul. The moment your heart says, “Wait..what??” and you realize your futility. Everything calms as you question that urge for more and aclimate to hearing words that foster contentment. 

“But Tuesday teaches me that part of living well in ordinary time is letting this day be good. Letting this day be a gift. Letting this day be filled with plenty.” Simply Tuesday, p235

I’m sure my friends are in similar places, even though our work situations look vastly different (i.e SAHM vs paying jobs). We all strive for purpose and meaning, and we all want to make sure we are serving God well. And sometimes when big picture questions pop up, it’s easy to feel inadecuate. We minimize the threads of meaning woven in our day-to-day when our focus is on tangible change. I still don’t know what I’ll ask my friends instead of “Anything new?”, but I do want to find something that spurs a little more thoughtfulness and reflects the importance in our everyday.

 A question that invites us to sit instead of strive. 

A question that leaves our souls full instead of lacking.

—–

What do you ask friends or acquaintances when catching up?

My favorite quote:

“When we sit we may find answers, but most likely we’ll finally hear the questions. We may uncover things we’d rather avoid, things like fear, anger, weakness, or entitlement. But we might also find courage, peace, and hope there too.

When we sit, we let what is be, we remember to release outcomes or at least finally admit how tightly we are clinging to them. When we sit, we let ourselves be human. 

When we sit, we may realize that an ending doesn’t have to mean the end. Maybe it simply means it’s time to begin again. ” Simply Tuesday, p230 

—–

Simply Tuesday is about more than just being in our lives. It’s about soul space and breath. About community and solitude. It’s about the life we have and the life we want. 

And really so much more. 

Find out more at emilypfreeman.com/simply-tuesday/ 


{{As part of the Simply Tuesday launch team I recieved an advanced readers copy…but I also purchased it because the final copy is just beautiful. SO. That being said, I wasn’t compensated for this review, and my name is Erika Shirk and I support this message.}}



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9 thoughts on “Asking Better Questions and ‘Simply Tuesday’ by Emily P. Freeman {book review}

  1. Lovely post! I got my copy last week and I’m still in the beginning. I feel like just a few pages are enough each night to make my soul take a deep breath. I love tucking in with a bit of the greatness in the small, and I am trying to savor it. ;)

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