This is the last installment of a 7 part series on Creating the Life You Love.  Today we’re talking about the  pinnacle of what it means to live a happy and fulfilled life—living a life for others.  Hope you’ll tune in and if it’s helpful for you I hope you’ll share it with your friends.  Much love!!


I forgot to include this in the podcast but it’s one of my favorite quotes of all time, reminding us that we get what we want by giving it away!

“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end. Submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
― C.S. LewisMere Christianity


“Love is holy because it is like grace–the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.” Marilynne Robinson

Show Notes

What are the ways you can love the people in your life?

1.  Stop pretending.   Take baby steps toward living in your own skin.  Stop holding back.  Love with your whole heart and stop counting the cost.

“I’m writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you’ve done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God’s grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle.

2. Stop waiting and hiding.  You think it’ll be easier to live this way at some designated point in the future when you get your life together.  That point is very allusive and probably not a reality for most of us.

3. Start small and start  today.  Do the next thing you can do to love and serve the people around you.  Make a meal.  Sit and talk.  Do the laundry.  Serving your people well is not about one act of giant heroism, it’s about a thousand little ordinary acts of love and kindness.

Resources and Links

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‘Round Here in July

by Edie Wadsworth on July 14, 2014


Well, it’s been a whirlwind, in the best kinda way.  We’ve had lots of company, lots of good food, lots of fun and sun, and a whole lotta laughs.  The only thing we’ve been short on is sleep, as far as I can tell.

I can say that this morning I feel a little like the dogs after the 4th of July—worn plumb out and filled to the brim with the best kind of summer memories.

photo 2

I’ll let the photos tell the story (thank you, Mark, for documenting so well!) and at the bottom of the post, I’ll let you know where I can be found the next few weeks.












Puffy tacos.  Try them.  You’ll be a fan forever.






(s’mores bars, recipe coming!)


Shrimp boil—pleeeeaaaase try it before summer’s over.  So easy, so deeeelicious!





(I gave the instructions:: Pretend like you’re having a jolly good time.  Pretty soon they were having a jolly good time.)



(All the aerial shots you see are taken with Mark’s drone.  Yes, he has a drone.  Yes, you can buy one on Amazon.  That thing is SO cool.  It looks like a small UFO and sounds like a giant bee buzzing around.)  Dogs and humans alike are perplexed about what it is that’s flying around overhead.





Do not try this at home.







The sunsets have been absolutely beautiful this summer.  I can’t get enough.  Hence, the 4,000 sunset pictures on my phone and computer.



Winners of Atlas Girl!  I need your addresses so we can mail your books to you!

LaurenCandace, and Erin!


I’ll finish up my podcast series this week and then I won’t be around here much until August.  Thank you so much for all your support for the podcast.  Y’all are the best!

As many of you know from an earlier Instagram post, it’s finally official—I have a book deal with Tyndale!!!!

I finished signing  the contracts this morning and boy was it surreal.

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I’m so excited and scared to death and absolutely can’t wait to share this process with you.  This is a dream come true for me but so far, one of the hardest things I’ve ever attempted to do.  My manuscript is due at the end of October, which seems like tomorrow.    Which is why I’m going underground for a few weeks for the most part (I do have a post or two that I want to share between now and then) but will be sending some updates via my blog newsletter so subscribe here if you haven’t.  I will be diving into the deep end of writing my memoir and I would so appreciate your prayers.


And also?  Stay-cations are THE BEST!  Folk Soul Revival has been our summer soundtrack this year.  They’re from Bristol, just a hour or two north of us, and have that Appalachian vibe that I love in music.  Their first album is my favorite!

Hope you are having a beautiful summer.

Smooches and all my love,




My Not-So-Pinterest Life {and a memoir giveaway}

by Edie Wadsworth on July 1, 2014

I met Emily in person last year at Allume.  I’m pretty sure she’s part angel.  I know you’ll love her, too.  I am honored to welcome her to the blog today as she launches her memoir Atlas Girl into the world.  I continue to be in awe of people who tell their stories with courage and compassion.  Bless you sweet Emily on this special day!  

Making a home

The cookie jar is empty.

The laundry, piled six loads high on the dryer and the boys won’t sit through homeschool. I didn’t sleep well last night and I haven’t had my coffee and all I can think about is needing to make those cookies. Because what kind of mother doesn’t have cookies in her cookie jar?

I am constantly failing Pinterest’s Martha Stewart standards. I don’t have a chalkboard with tonight’s menu on it — goodness, I don’t even have meat thawing, and it’s day-old Chinese for lunch. Again.

I’m rushing the boys, yelling, taking my pent-up mother-guilt on them, forgetting that home is not a casserole or color-coded towels or clean toilets.

Home is mommy’s arms, is Daddy wrestling with his sons on the floor, is a stack of board books piled precarious on the coffee table because your two-year-old is addicted to building towers.

I don’t have to be a great housewife in order to make a home. It’s not about my casseroles or my manicured lawns; it’s about my state of heart, and unless I am filled with peace and joy, my home will feel distant and cold.

Home is sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor and pulling your boys to you with tears in your eyes and begging them to forgive you for getting stressed out over an empty cookie jar.

Because your life is beautifully full.

And you sit there for a while, a tangle of arms and hearts.

It’s taken me 33 years to find this place with the broken doorbell and the dirty door mat. I traveled the globe searching for it. Because we’re all, deep down, searching for our Father’s house—our eternal dwelling.

Home is a place for the broken to break bread. And in my traveling I learned the comfort of a cooked meal, of a welcome mat at the door, of family’s open arms, and when my Mum got sick with brain cancer I returned to take care of her and found God at her bedside. In the eyes of a woman who homeschooled me, who baked bread every week, who made home for me.

How about you friends? Do you feel the pressure to keep your cookie jars filled, your floors squeaky clean, your laundry neatly folded and put away? Can I say something to you, if you do?

Stop! Stop, and rest. Because friend?

You are more than your clean floors. You are more than your folded laundry or your stocked shelves. You are more than the role of Mom or Homemaker or Wife. You are a woman. You are an intricately designed creation woven in your mother’s womb, whose hairs are counted by the Maker of the Universe. You are loved.

[box] Our lives are not Pinnable. They’re messy, with peanut-butter fingerprints and toy cars and runny noses. And you know what? They’re perfect.[/box]

Because in the end, it’s the family that makes the picture, not the frame.


My memoir, ATLAS GIRL, is releasing this month, and I am excited to give away THREE copies today. Just leave a comment below to win!

From the back cover:

“Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.

“Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.”


Click HERE for a free excerpt.


I’m also giving away a FREE e-book to anyone who orders Atlas Girl. Just order HERE, and send a receipt to:, and you’ll receive A House That God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir an absolutely FREE e-book co-authored by myself and editor/memoir teacher Mick Silva.

Atlas Girl_700x175_2

ALL proceeds from Atlas Girl will go towards my non-profit, The Lulu Tree. The Lulu Tree is dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. It is a grassroots organization bringing healing and hope to women and children in the slums of Uganda through the arts, community, and the gospel.
Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit Find her on Twitter or Facebook.


06: The Life You Love Manifesto|A Life of Rest [Podcast]

June 30, 2014

This is part 6 of a 7 part podcast series on Creating the Life You Love.  You can find the previous episodes here! Summer is a great time to talk about our need for rest.  We live crazy busy lives and often don’t realize the toll it’s taking on us until it’s too late.  I […]

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How I Plan the Perfectly Imperfect Staycation

June 28, 2014

This is our 3rd year of official stay-cationing and we have come to LOVE IT.   Home is actually our favorite place to be so stay-cations are our love language.  But even if you’re not planning a full vacation at home, this might encourage you for the occasional summer company.  Here’s are some tips on […]

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Best Ever Blueberry Coffee Cake {with Lemon Glaze}

June 25, 2014

Well.  I’m 3 days into recovering from food poisoning.  I no longer wish to die, so that’s always a plus. I got out of bed almost like normal for the past two days.  I’m still slightly nauseous but am overall on the mend.  I haven’t been able to exercise all week, which usually negatively affects […]

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First Love

June 24, 2014

I woke up this morning before the sun came up, just like you always did.  I  sat quietly under a flood of memories—of the books and places and people that have changed my heart forever.  I asked God for more patience, for the gentleness of heart to lead my children to the truest things in life. […]

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Weekend Grace {6-21-14}

June 22, 2014

I met Adriane in Fredericksburg, Texas.  Otherwise known as God’s Country.  We met there for a girl’s weekend with a some other charming ladies and had a dandy good time.  (That’s her photobombing Jan and the boots in the photo above).  She’s AMAZING, dear people.  She just turned 30 and is the editor of an […]

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05: The Life You Love Manifesto|A Life of Gratitude & Abundance [Podcast]

June 20, 2014

“Gratitude is the heart’s memory.”  old French proverb Notes from the Show 1. Gratitude is God’s gift to you—The key to gratitude is not in our giving thanks.  It is a gift from God that He first bestows on you in Baptism and continues to nurture in you through His word and the Lord’s Supper. […]

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10 Ways to Make 40 the New Fabulous {Or How to Avoid #oldladyproblems}

June 16, 2014

I posted this on Instagram this past Friday and was blown away by the number of comments, texts, emails, etc about all our #oldladyproblems associated with being 40-somethings.  So, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the subject! (If it’s any consolation, I like my 40 year old self way better than my 20 […]

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When a Father Loves His Daughters

June 13, 2014

In honor of Father’s Day and in honor of the little girl who changed my world, this is a repost from almost exactly a year ago, when I traveled to Nicaragua with Compassion to meet my little Diana.  If you’ve read this post already, scroll to the bottom and see what Diana  got for her […]

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04: The Life You Love Manifesto|A Life of Faith [Podcast]

June 11, 2014

This is part 4 of the 7 part journey toward Creating the Life You Love and this week’s focus is a Life of Faith. I think this will be different than almost anything you could listen to on this subject.  I hope you’ll give this episode a listen because these may be some of the […]

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Summer Reading for Tweens {and their parents}

June 9, 2014
summer reading

 ”No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” C.S. Lewis This may seem like a regular post, but it’s not.  This is a community post, where I start the conversation and you jump […]

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Weekend Grace [6.7.14]

June 7, 2014

It was the week for some awesome summer house tours.   I didn’t do one this year, but here’s a peek at last year’s summery pics.  I can’t do a new summer tour until the hydrangeas are in full bloom.  Obviously.  This photo also reminds me that the bust of Aphrodite needs to wear the […]

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{Flourless} Monster Cookies

June 6, 2014

There’s a good chance that a batch of these monster cookies will be made in my kitchen every weekend from now till the end of  August.  Why, you ask?  Well.  There’s two good reasons.  The first reason is—these are the signature cookies that my beloved 12 year old makes and when someone else offers to […]

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