Book Review: Simply Tuesday



“Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.” —C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory


What an awesome beach read!  I really enjoyed Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman to learn more about “Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World.”  The theme of my summer vacation has been Sabbath and resetting my soul, heart, and mind to the rhythms of God’s best for my life…much more desirable than my best for my life!

I love the connections that Emily made to Tuesday as a day that is ordinary and should be enjoyed.  A quick glance at my calendar shows that Tuesday is usually the craziest day of my week…weekly meetings, evening meetings, lunch meetings, my husband’s softball games, and on and on.  All great things…but Tuesday for me usually isn’t Simply’s more along the lines of Crazy Tuesday.  Making it even more important for me to have a great plan for embracing Tuesday!

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • If hustle has hijacked your soul, listen up and listen well.
  • Attention, success, and comparison hold my soul hostage and refuse to negotiate until they get what they want. Spoiler alert: They want everything. And they are never satisfied. They will never let you go. We need a rescuer to come and save us from the bondage of the lie that whispers we have to build and grow and be known by all.
  • Jesus came to earth to extend a personal invitation for us to enter into his kingdom rather than try to build our own.
  • Small is an invitation to participate in something greater than ourselves. Isn’t this what Jesus did with his Father while on earth? Gave up his own glory so he could participate with the Father? In his smallness, Jesus wasn’t attempting to build a city. He had his sights set much higher. Jesus was here to establish a kingdom and his foundation was the whole world. But even Jesus didn’t seem to make it his business to grow it.
  • City building helps us forget what our souls most long for.
  • When I want to climb the ladder, what if instead I tore the ladder apart and used the wood to build a bench?
  • What gives moments meaning is not the moments themselves but the presence of Christ with us in the midst of them. To learn to live well in ordinary time is to keep company with Christ on our simple Tuesdays and remember how he delights in keeping company with us.
  • The discovery of God lies in the daily and the ordinary, not in the spectacular and the heroic. If we cannot find God in the routines of home and shop, then we will not find him at all. Ours is to be a symphonic piety in which all the activities of work and play and family and worship and sex and sleep are the holy habitats of the eternal.10 —Richard Foster, Prayer
  • May we release our tight-hold on what could be and be willing to sit on a bench in our front yard in the midst of what is.
  • Hurry has won the battle, has occupied the coveted land of my soul.
  • Effort is important, but I can’t shake my fear of saying that. I hesitate to exalt effort because I know the tendency of my own soul to work hard to try to earn things I already have. Effort toward excellence in my work can silently morph into effort toward perfection in my soul. And before I can tease them apart my life becomes one defined by my failure and successes and I’ve forgotten who I really am. “Excellence” just becomes a more respectable word for “control,” which is a fancy version of “manipulation,” which is a physiological word for “sin,” and did I really just align “excellence” with “sin”?
  • When the kingdom of God takes root, it will grow without much human effort at all. What begins in secret will culminate in glory, we can be certain of that. What we can’t be certain of is if the glory of this secret kind of growing will look like success in the eyes of the world.
  • The belief is in the verbs. Hope. Persevere. Feed. Help. Listen. True belief is movement toward God even in the midst of confusion or frustration or fear.
  • Somewhere deep in our hearts we already know that success, fame, influence, power, and money do not give us the inner joy and peace we crave. —Henri Nouwen, The Selfless Way of Christ
  • In my own life, I recognize my tendency to look over at the work of others rather than down at the work in front of me.
  • It seems to me when I finally recognize my inability is when Christ shows up able within me. But he doesn’t equip me to do every job possible, he equips me to do the job meant for me.
  • Matthew 11:28–30, from The Message: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
  • After he read these verses, Brennan offered Fil this simple instruction: “Sit with these words until they become the truest thing about you.”
  • True smallness is an invitation to live as I was meant to live, to accept my humanity, and to offer my ability and my inability, my sin and my success, my messes and my masterpieces into the hands of God.
  • The soul and the schedule don’t follow the same rules.
  • A phrase went through my mind I had once heard counselor Al Andrews say in an interview: The human soul was not made for fame. Deep down, we know this. 
  • Beth Moore says this about the danger of adoration: “I’ve learned along the way that to the height a person idolizes you, he/she can despise you. A switch flips and adoration turns to hatred. Never feed someone’s out-of-kilter adoration. Mutual respect, affirmation, and gratitude are beautiful. Godly. Adoration can turn deadly. I have never once had a person turn out to be dangerous or disturbing and vicious who wasn’t an over-the-top ‘fan’ first.”
  • Christine Caine say this: “If the light that is within you isn’t brighter than the light that is upon you, the light that is upon you will kill you. The gift that is in you will destroy you unless you have a faith that can sustain you.”
  • Be gracious to remind us that our souls aren’t made for fame. May we receive the gift of obscurity with joy, gratitude, and a light heart.
  • With people, you can connect or compare but you can’t do both. —Shauna Niequist
  • We meet at one of our houses or at a coffee shop or restaurant and ask three questions suggested by Todd Henry, who wrote The Accidental Creative: What are you working on? What is inspiring you? Where do you need prodding?
  • When I begin to write a list before the coffee is finished brewing, it’s a sure sign that my body is trying to outrun my soul.
  • A small word said to a child by a trusted adult could shape the child’s vocational choices, self-image, and future decisions. Likewise, the same small word said to a child, if meant to wound, could shape that child’s choices in an equally negative way.
  • If I simply and fully believed what Jesus says about me is true, then when I feel discouraged as I approach my work, I will remember I am his workmanship, made to do good work for his glory (see Eph. 2:10). When I feel nervous over a conversation I dread, I will remember I have not been given a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a sound mind (see 2 Tim. 1:7 NKJV).
  • God meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be. —Dr. Larry Crabb
  • Walking by faith means being willing not to know, never to know why or how things happen the way they do, and to be willing to release my tight hold on the big finish I thought would come.
  • For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. (Rom. 6:5–7)
  • Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received. —C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
  • When fear bullies my soul, I know it because I spend lots of time wishing I was someplace else.
  • I can’t prevent storms from coming, but I can decide not to invent my own.
  • Lately I’ve been taking more walks, the kind where I put on shoes and go outside and refuse to respond to the ping. It takes more work than it should, at least for me, to release an hour of productivity and replace it with something unknown.
  • There are no experts in the company of Jesus. We are all beginners. —Eugene Peterson, The Jesus Way
  • Sitting alone does good work.
  • Sitting in unfamiliar seats listening to other people’s stories does good work.
  • Everything in me wants to fight the unveiling of the anxieties that threaten to overwhelm, push them back from showing up in my day. I want to ignore the smoky unknown; it is counterintuitive to let the anxieties rise up to the surface. But Tuesday teaches me to let them rise up so I can release them into God’s hands. Speak the fear out loud, so he can give words of truth. Don’t run away from those places where it seems faith is small. Run into them, look around, and be honest about how it feels while standing there.


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