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When we touched down in Greensboro last week after a long flight across the country, the pilot stood at the doorway of the cockpit, bidding farewell to travelers on their way.

I made a point to look into the pilot's eyes and say thank you as we got off the airplane.

I was full with the knowledge that I just put my life completely into his hands and he accepted the responsibility and didn't let me down.

Literally didn't let me down.

Thank you seems too small.

I'm mostly aware of this deep gratitude when I fly because I'm a moderately nervous flier (although getting better!) but the truth is we place our lives into the hands of others every single day.

We drive around town, trusting other drivers won't run red lights or cross over medians.

We eat at restaurants trusting the cook didn't bread the chicken with poison.

We walk through the neighborhood, trusting cars won't plow over us when we cross the street.

We sit on chairs, trusting the chair-maker did sturdy, reliable work.

We leave our children in schools, trusting teachers won't kidnap them.

We practice all of these acts of faith everyday, usually without a second thought.

And so when I say my faith is struggling or I'm wrestling with having faith, the truth is I am great at having faith in pilots, drivers, cooks, carpenters, and teachers.

But I often hesitate to put my faith in God.

Well, when you put it that way. 


I know, it doesn't seem like a just assessment.

But isn't it 
true?

I willingly let a stranger -- the face of whom I have never seen, the background of which I have not researched, the history to which I am not privy -- fly me through the clouds at 500 mph. And I pay real, green money to let them do that.

Yet, when it comes to placing my future into the hands of a trustworthy, personal God, I often hesitate.

Here's something I'm realizing about that - I don't carry shame for my hesitations with trusting God. And I don't think you should, either.

I believe Romans 8 is absolutely true, that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. That means he doesn't shame me for my hesitation to trust him.

But he is inviting me to set those hesitations aside. 


We are on a journey of understanding and believing that our souls are infinitely more valuable than our physical bodies.

Even though it seems bizarre that we are more willing to trust our physical safety into the hands of strangers than we are to trust our spiritual safety into the hands of God, in some ways it proves that we instinctively realize how delicate the soul really is.


God - ever faithful, ever patient, ever loving - reminds me again and again that he is trustworthy and that my times are safe in his hands.

I recently read a similar passage in Hannah Whittal Smith's classic book, The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life. Instead of airplanes, she talks about railways. But the point is the same.

She takes the reader by the hand and leads us gently back to truth.

"Trust in the dark, trust in the light, trust at night and trust in the morning, and you will find that the faith that many begin, perhaps by a mighty effort will end, sooner or later, by becoming the easy and natural habit of the soul.

It is a law of the spiritual life that every act of trust makes the next act less difficult." (page 77)

As we practice faith in the midst of every ordinary moment - at work, at home, on the street, in our schools - may we remember that our times are in His hands, and that Jesus is "before all things and in him all things hold together" (Col. 1:17).

This is the part where I share some fun things that are making me happy right now. Maybe they'll make you happy, too.

1. Kittens! My sister’s cat had four kittens a few weeks ago and we went down to visit. You guys. I’ve never held a four day old kitten before. It was stunning.

2. My front porch - I always love sitting on our little front porch, but April might be my favorite time to do it. It’s good to pay attention to those corners of our home that we love and our front porch is one of those for me.

3. Powell’s Books - While I was in Portland last week, my friend Carolyn took me to Powell’s, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. It takes up an entire city block. And now I want to go back with John for the single purpose of visiting there again and staying at the bookstore for days.

4. Jamie - Four years ago I got an email from a kind woman asking me if I needed any admin help after my first book came out. Did I ever. Though we don’t work together anymore, Jamie Hess worked as my VA for years, an answer to a prayer I didn’t even know I had. 

Last week I met her in real life for the first time and was reminded all over again how important it is to move towards people even when we aren’t sure how they will respond. I’m so glad she was brave enough to contact me and will be ever thankful for her in my life.

While I periodically share on the blog books I've finished or ones that I love (see my list of Recommended Reads), here is where I will regularly tell you what I'm currently reading. 

1. The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith

I read this book for the first time about fifteen years ago and fell in love with Hannah, with her words, and her perspective. If you haven’t read it, it’s a classic. Don’t let the “happy” worry you - this one is theologically sound and life-giving.

2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Most of this one I read on the plane, only the second fiction book I’ve finished so far this year. It seemed like everyone had read this one but me. Quirky, interesting story. Moves fast - I enjoyed the read.

3. On Writing Well by William Zinsser

I always try to have at least one book on the craft of writing going - I haven’t in the last several months so I was happy to pick this one up. I’m moving through slowly but can see why so many recommend it.

4. Hooked by Nir Eyal

I haven’t started this one yet, but it’s all about creating great products that people want. I’ve been thinking through having something to offer you different from a blog post or a book and I think this book could help. Stay tuned :)

5. David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell

I've been listening to the audio book of this one and just finished it this week. Malcolm Gladwell has a genius ability to help people think differently. In this book, he takes something most of us see as an undesirable disadvantage and uses story, history, and research to poke holes in our assumptions. If nothing else, it will definitely make you think.

Thank you for trusting me with access to your inbox. It's an honor to be here. 

Incase you're wondering what this note actually is, I send these out in the middle of each month and you're getting it because you signed up for it at some point!

If you know someone who might enjoy the content here, go ahead and forward this note along. If they'd like to sign up to get these notes as well, they can do so here.

As always, if you hit reply to this email, it will land directly in my inbox. I always enjoy hearing from you.

emily

P.S. We're busy making plans to release my fourth book into the world August 18 - Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World. You'll hear more about it soon but it's now available for pre-order!

If you are considering a book club or study for the fall, keep Tuesday in mind - it's written for anyone who has grown weary of the world's "do more, aim higher, dream bigger" mantra.

Instead, it's a kind invitation to celebrate your smallness in the presence of Christ by releasing our obsession with building a life and trusting in the life he is building within us, one small Tuesday at a time.
Chatting at the Sky

Bread is the New Hustle

I won't stop making lists, but I'm desperate to stop shaking them in God's face. If you feel compelled to remind God to meet your needs, this could be a good read for you. It was a needed writing for me.

The Kind of Surprise We All Want

Our plane took off at sunrise, lifting us up with the morning. I snapped a photo over Portland, and then we made a turn and glory showed up outside my window.

Three Questions to Help Determine Success

When he asked me how I defined success, my answer surprised me. 

Listen

Songs in the Night by Michael VanPatter 

My friend and worship pastor at our church here in Greensboro just released this collection of songs he wrote as his young son has been going through treatment for cancer. Stunning work.

The Hope*ologie Podcast

Here we are again - my Dad, my sister Myquillyn  and I talk about how we're learning to mark things by celebrating them rather than simply moving on to the next thing in Yes It's Worth Celebrating.

And if you aren't on iTunes, the podcast is now also available on Soundcloud!
 

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