let’s peek inside the book

let’s peek inside the book

You’ve heard the story of how I knew it was time to write a book and you’ve seen the cover reveal and the heart behind the message. Today let’s take a peek inside!

Freely and Lightly combines word and art is such a beautiful way. My publisher gave me total creative license with adding in full-color art throughout the book, giving the nod of approval when I asked if I could create special endsheets (you’ll see those in a second!), adding in a journal-y touch with hand-lettered Scriptures and making each page feel special with watercolored borders.

The story and words found on the pages are so dear to me and I hope they will be encouraging to you. AND ALSO, I hope you are delighted by the pretty art.

Let me show you around the pages.


The endsheets are those first and final pages that hold the hardback cover together and the perfect place to set the tone for the whole book. One night, inspiration struck and I pulled favorite illustrations found throughout the book and created a collage. I really love these pages.

dedication page

Most books have a little note at the beginning with a dedication. I love reading these in other books and knew I wanted to include one in this book. I went round and round thinking and praying about who this one is really for. Many people dedicate their books to their parents or spouse or children and I contemplated all of those. I am grateful, of course, for the support of Ryan and the love of my parents and I truly hope my kids will learn the truths found in the book and avoid many of the struggles their mother experienced. But, honestly, that’s not really who I wrote the book for.

I wrote it for the one who is just like me and who needs to know she is not alone and there is hope. When it came time to turn in a finished manuscript with dedication, the words came quickly and my eyes filled with tears: For the one who is tired and weary. He really will make good on his promise. 

the chapters

There are 20 short chapters in all and each one begins with an illustration that relates to the message and a hand-lettered chapter number (I sort of love the chapter numbers!).

We wanted each page of the book to feel special and included artwork, hand-lettered scriptures, and watercolor borders.

I hope that as you read the story, the art will enhance your time with the book. May each creative element offer a chance to pause, be still, enjoy and bring a smile.

The book releases on March 2nd. I can’t wait for you to hold it in your hands!

carry on

carry on

Have you ever found yourself right in the middle of a thing you signed up for and realize you really don’t know what you’re doing?

I’m pretty much there. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s how I’ve felt since the very first days of conversation about writing a book began. I’ve never written a book. I’ve never illustrated a book. I’ve never marketed a book. I’ve never been interviewed about a book. So I guess it makes a lot of sense that I don’t know what I’m doing 🙂

But here’s what I’m finding: even though I don’t know what I’m doing, I know I’m doing the right thing. Does that make sense?

Maybe it’s like those early days of motherhood. You don’t really know how to hold your baby or feed your baby or bathe your baby (they feel so fragile!), but this baby is yours and you are its mother and nothing feels more right than holding her close and staring at this miracle that came from you. You figure it out as you go, asking for help, watching how your friends and sisters are doing it, learning along the way and giving yourself lots of grace because of course you don’t know what you’re doing! You’ve never done it before!

It’s funny that a motherhood analogy came out because that’s what so many authors liken their books to. You grow it and labor over it for months and months (in my case, nearly 2 years!), and then it finally comes time to hold it up to the world: Look what I made!  I’m so proud of this thing! I want you to love it and be moved by it and cherish it and smile every time you see it on your shelf!

It’s a weird feeling. A vulnerable feeling. A little bit anxiety-inducing, if I’m being completely honest.

Your new-to-you thing might not be launching a book, but I’m guessing there’s something you’re doing that you don’t quite know how to do. Here’s how I think we can do it well:

1. Remember that if this is what you are called to do in this season, you will have everything you need to do it (Philippians 4:13)
2. Ask for help
3. Look at how others are doing it to see what you can learn from them (apply what works, let everything else go – this is not a competition!)
4. Give yourself grace
5. Have fun

I once had a teacher tell me, “Emily, lighten up.” It stung. But he was so right. I tend to take things a little too seriously. Perhaps you do too.

Maybe today, we take a deep breath, offer gratitude for the good things we’ve been asked to do, remembering that they are just things we do, not who we are. And then keep going.

Carry on, my friend. We can do this.

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