We had the pleasure of having Emily on the Press Team at OneLove conference last year. Emily owns a blog called 'Pursuits Of God' and is the Director of Women's Initiatives at 'Thinking Of God'. In this interview she shares how her faith in Jesus impacts her life as a mum, wife, and online writer.
1. Why do you believe Jesus is worth pursuing?
in him [jesus] we find meaning to life and undeserved favour with god; we find purpose in glorifying him and hope in knowing there is a better life coming.
As I look around our country today and live life alongside people who are both Christian and non-Christian, I realise that we are all searching for something. Some of us fill up our cravings for meaning with pursuing our career, searching for love, growing a family, decorating our home, filling our wardrobes or joining the self-betterment bandwagon with the latest food craze or positive goal-setting/attainment cycles. My self-fulfilment drug of choice was approval-addiction. While I was a Christian from a young age, I struggled with letting people down through not living up to their expectations, or reaching the expectations I have set for myself.
In Year 11, my family moved out West, where I attended the local High School. I was new to town, meaning no-one knew me and I could be whomever I wanted to be. I remember distinctly walking down the high school corridor having this realisation and very quickly making the decision to pursue Jesus. Not because of anything marvellous about me, but because Jesus died declaring to the world that I wasn't able to live up to God's standards because no matter how hard I tried, I would never reach perfection in and of myself. This was very liberating! In Jesus, we don't need to search for fulfilment, because he has given it to us. In him we find meaning to life and undeserved favour with God; we find purpose in glorifying him and hope in knowing there is a better life coming.
Motherhood has been the other huge thing God has used to strip back my drive for self-fulfilment. In having children, I have learnt and am constantly reminded that I can't control all things and that I sin and often see the same sin being passed on to my children. I find great comfort in knowing that there is unending grace at the cross for me and each of my children, just as it is there for you. We don't need to strive for perfection, we can rest in the knowledge that God is at work in and through us and he will complete the work in us that he has begun.
2. What's the story behind your blog Pursuits of God?
I started 'pursuits of god'...in the hope that god might use my thoughts and journey of the mundane to bring glory to himself and encouragement to others.
I started Pursuits of God when I had my second child, Gideon. I had finished studying and missed the process of writing. I decided to start writing about God and his word as a way of keeping myself accountable and also in the hope that God might use my thoughts and journey of the mundane to bring glory to himself and encouragement to others. I also recognised that most of the blogs I followed were from the U.S. and I wanted something that was decidedly Australian. I love Hebrews 12:1-2:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
This is the aim of Pursuits of God. We are surrounded by people who are each pursuing God as individuals, yet when our pursuits come together, there is great encouragement to be found. These pursuits are seen in their stories in God's word, in the pages of history and in the lives around us. As we share our journeys, we can strengthen one another, encouraging us to throw off sin and other weights of this world that entangle us and run together the race God has planned for us. For this, we need to have the common goal of looking to Jesus.
3. You are also the Director of Women's Initiatives at 'Thinking of God'. What does the work involve and what do you hope to achieve through this role?
I have a huge passion for seeing Biblical literacy improve in women around Australia and our world. So often I think we hear people talk about the Bible and think- wow, they know so much- but we stop there. Unlike our university studies or the way we seek to improve our knowledge on other issues, we believe the lie that understanding more of God's word is unattainable. If God's word is really living and active and able to equip us for all that we need for life, surely it deserves our love, our time and our disciplined study (I am daily preaching this to myself!)
As the Director of Women's Initiatives, I get to make contact with women from across Australia who are also seeking to share how a knowledge of God and his word can practically impact our day-to-day worlds. I would love to see women inspired to grow more in their knowledge of God and love for his word through the resources we publish.
4. This year's theme for OneLove is 'For Eternity'. What does living in light of eternity mean for you as a wife, mother and writer?
when i lift my eyes to jesus and eternity with him, i recognise interruptions as god-ordained moments...my perspective gets a much-needed shift and i see my mundane as a way of glorifying god through loving those i come in contact with.
Such a brilliant theme! As a stay-at-home mother, most of my day is spent serving my family in practical and usually somewhat mundane ways. If I place my hope in finishing the washing or having a clean home, I would live perpetually discouraged. I remember reading that Jonathan Edwards, the great American preacher, prayed "Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs." If I don't have eternity stamped on my eyeballs, I get caught up in the day-to-day and often my eyes turn towards my navel, alternating between feeling sorry for myself that I don't have more "Me-Time" or self-righteously thinking about how awesome I am for getting everything on my "To-Do" list accomplished.
When I lift my eyes to Jesus and eternity with him, I recognise interruptions as God-ordained moments, time with my children as opportunities to train them in the knowledge of God and time with my husband as being a way of showing others the beautiful mystery of the gospel-relationship between Jesus and his bride, the church. In essence, my perspective gets a much-needed shift and I see my mundane as a way of glorifying God through loving those I come in contact with.