About the Author

Emily P. Freeman is a writer who creates space for souls to breathe. She is the author of four books, including her most recent release, Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their twin daughters and twinless son.

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  1. Emily,
    Over the past two years I have literally inched my weight down 50 pounds. I had to realize that the weight would not all come flying off in a fad diet (been there, tried that), no, it would take small steps and celebrating the teeny tiny steps of progress. I can relate that to my spiritual life as well. Instead of being discouraged that during trials, or even during times of relative peace, that I don’t act and react as “Super Christian”. I still doubt, I still worry and get anxious, I still sin and fail, but I am learning to celebrate the teeny tiny steps of progress remembering that Jesus is the author and perfecter of my faith – not me. Thanks so much for the beautiful encouragement. I’m trying to get back to going to the gym and I needed this reminder!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Oh that Super Christian. Such a terrible friend, that one. Teeny, tiny steps of progress are always worth celebrating. I hope you do!

  2. I love this! I have had 4 days of eating on plan…which is a lot for me….and have not celebrated yet. I think I’m due.

  3. Love this reminder. My birthday is coming up this month too and it’s so easy to judge ourselves harshly in the mirror! Somehow we convince ourselves that after having kids and getting older we should still look the way we did years ago. It’s nice to remember that God made our bodies for the things we experience. Happy birthday! 🙂

  4. I believe you’re bringing many of your readers along in what you’re learning along life’s way. I, for one, have gained much from your journey through your words. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. Great post!

  5. Oh, Emily, yes! Just last month I embarked on a 28-day detox. It was the kind with shakes and teas and fiber. It didn’t taste awful. It did remove dairy, gluten, sugar, and caffeine from my world. I had a come-to-Jesus around day 10. I love and enjoy food. I love the community that exists around food. I lost 50 dang pounds still enjoying food! I love to exercise. I try really hard to take care of my body. But for me, the over 43 body shift made me sad in my full-length mirror. The scale didn’t move but my middle did. It’s a hard reality. I poured out a long email to my wise grandmother and her “oh honey…” response was all I needed to stop the $275 madness of that 28-day detox and rest. I’m not stopping exercise because I really do love it. I’m not gorging on a baguette – though that’s my favorite kind of indulgence. I am pausing to think about my choices and who at that moment I am trying to please. I miss my tiny waist. I hate my jiggly thighs.
    BUT I’m in the middle of working on a talk for our women’s time this summer on our identity in Christ. Of course I am. Instead of some wisdom-filled 20-minute talk, I want to walk around the rook and take each precious girl’s face in my hands and speak truth to them about how beautiful each is and how God created her. Why is it so hard to believe all that myself?
    You are beautiful. You are not a failure. And power yoga? You are a beast. I bought a power yoga DVD months ago and decided to actually do it on Saturday. I made it 7 minutes of the 50. What in the world? That’s some intense cardio. I will return to it and I will work toward more than 7 minutes.
    Thanks for sharing. As always.

    • Kristen,
      Yes! Why is it so hard for Christians to believe that we are beautiful?! Why do we talk so harshly to ourselves? I believe your talk will impress upon these women that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ!
      Blessings 🙂

  6. Yes, I believe cerebrating each small steps will encourage us to take the next steps. Unless we learn to do that,we will be discourage or not satisfied till we get there and we are setting our self for disappointment. Thank you for the encouragement.

  7. I am literally in tears because of this post Emily. The knowledge I am not alone in trying to make progress and sputtering out, in having negative, derogatory comments bouncing around inside my head and in being discouraged by my physical self…
    It is so easy to be overwhelmed by how much I feel like I need to change; physically and emotionally/spiritually. On top of that is the frustration of trying to see, mark progress & change. Most days it feels like I have not made ANY progress in ANY area.
    You have given me the encouragement to try again.

  8. I’m often too busy lamenting the losses, that I forget to celebrate the small. What a lovely reminder! And yoga–well, I had to laugh not to cry at my class last night. Why is everyone but me so bendy?! But, hey, I made it there and I worked through the worst of it, and I might even go again;) Starting small!

  9. Happy birth-month to you. 🙂

    Interesting timing for this post. Thought I’d share a verse with you, that I came across in my Bible reading last month, in context to starting small. I wrote it on a bright yellow note card, and put it right in front of me on my desk. In my NLT Bible it reads: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” (Zechariah 4:10). Don’t you just love that? For me, this verse was kind of a way of God singing over me…letting me know that the “small beginnings” that feel like inchworm-progress to me, with my writing, are delightful to Him. I love words, and yet words fail me. I’m all teary-eyed trying to express the emotion of knowing that the work is His, and He treasures my obedience…even in the humble beginnings. Another verse that I have written on a pink note card, right beside this one, is one that I heard Lysa TerKeurst quote…I think that they complement each other well…”…Get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” (Prov. 24:27) I put them together on my desk as a reminder that, with all of our small beginnings, we are readying the fields for the Builder of the harvest. His harvest. 🙂

    I am also trying to shed 10 pounds, so thank you for that perspective as it pertains to health as well. 🙂 Hope that you have a sweet birthday. 🙂 Blessings!

  10. Emily,
    I can so relate in many ways. Last year was tough on me and Yes I gained a lo of weight and hated to see myself. Also had/am having rough time at work. My self talk isn’t what it should be. I’m realizing that although painful trials will come, trials will go and God will see me through them! I must start talking better to myself and seeing myself as a loved Child of God!
    I must celebrate any small steps or victories like going down 2.5 pounds. I also must infuse myself with Godly music, scripture, etc. Like God is for me and will get me through this trial!
    Blessings 🙂
    Happy Birthday! May God give you many more birthdays to celebrate!!

  11. Emily I think you look great but I too can totally relate to how you feel. Thanks for the reminder to take small steps!

  12. I can relate. I am older and approaching my 49th birthday. I know the struggle you described with routine being broken etc. I have finally gotten to a place to realize that my weight is higher but so is my physical strength and I would like to think my “wisdom” of life has increased too.

  13. Just last night I told a friend “each small step leads to the BIG VICTORY! Be encouraged friend.

  14. I Have Cut bread, pasta, and everything gluten out of my diet for the last eight weeks and have only lost 6 pounds, but tons of inches off my waist! And I feel great! I’ve suffered with IBS for about 15 years, and think I’ve finally figured out my triggers. Now that’s progress! I love that we always have a beautiful identity in Christ, no matter what our current circumstance or pant size!

  15. This is great stuff, Emily! I intermittently get the hang of small starts and celebrations, but too often they snowball into bigger goals. “This is great, but wouldn’t it be good if…” and I’m back to bigger plans and fewer celebrations and the discouragement that comes along with them.

    Thanks for the reminder to keep celebrating the small starts. The older I get, the more I suspect there is no one big final “ta-da” project, but just a series of small starts to celebrate until we’re called home. Blessings!