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Emily Borntrager Q&A

This is our Q&A with assistant editor, doodle illustrator, and general enthusiast Emily Borntrager. Although she's had her fingers in several of our publications, you can find her latest article here: Desperate for Greatness.

Q. What do you usually say when you introduce yourself?

A. Probably something like “Hi, I’m Emily. I brought the cupcakes. I like your shirt.” Q. What does the idea of The Reuleaux mean to you?

A. The idea of The Reuleaux is a reminder to me of our unique position: we're living in this world and yet we're also citizens of the kingdom of heaven. The overlap there, that kind of double vision, helps me see my daily actions, whether in work or social interactions or doing the dishes, in a new and much more meaningful light.

Q. What’s something you’re learning about right now?

A. I’m learning about what it means to be a beginner as a grownup. It’s weird how tough it can be to learn a new skill from the ground up as an adult. There are things holding us back that weren’t such strong factors when we were kids, when learning was our primary business. I think ego is the biggest one. Nowadays we expect excellence (or at least competence) in everything we do. We don’t want to be publicly bad at things. And sometimes we let that keep us from trying new things that could bring us real joy in the future. It’s a good thing for me to think about because I’m a terribly self-conscious human… but I also want to learn to dance.

Q. What’s a goal you’re working to accomplish?

A. I have a new list of 100 things to do/try/experience in one year. Unlike the previous lists I’ve mentioned in the past, this one isn’t meant to prove anything. It’s purely for fun and to help keep me out of my comfort zone. I’ve got items on there like “start a YouTube channel,” “learn to juggle,” “write a book of poetry,” and “find more occasions to use confetti.” I started on my birthday a couple of days ago and my life is already OODLES better!

Q. What’s an accomplishment you’re particularly proud of?

A. Holding onto my sense of astonishment at the world.

Q. Tell us about a book that has changed your life.

A. David Powlison’s Good & Angry. I was recommended this book at a pivotal moment in my life when bitterness was threatening to overwhelm me. This book helped me understand what anger is, what makes it go sour in my heart, and how to know the difference between selfish and righteous anger. It was the first in-depth exploration of godly anger I’d ever seen, and it gave me some extremely valuable tools to handle my anger, disappointment, and bitterness. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody and everybody. It’s one of those books you buy extra copies of so you can give them out.

Q. What is one of your craziest ambitions?

A. I want to open the world’s most remarkable cupcakery. I’m planning the business and testing my recipes now. My latest flavor is Bacon Pancake. Pure magic.

Q. What’s an attribute of God you’re learning about right now?

A. Lately I’m learning about His astonishing grace, specifically the way He’s arranged all of history to give me the chance to come to Him despite the fact that I’ve done nothing to deserve it. I’ve done nothing to deserve anything but His righteous judgment. Yet He’s given me the most extravagant of gifts: Himself. And He’s given me the right to be called a member of His family. And He hears me when I talk to Him. That kind of love can be hard for me to grasp sometimes. And that’s why I’m grateful that He’s also given me so many beautiful reminders of that love, which today I find in His word and His people. It’s such a gift.


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