Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Date archives July 2013

Family / Motherhood

A Little Girl’s Dream

She has been smitten with horses for several years now. I thought it would be a passing interest…that we’d play cowgirls and equestrians for a year or two and be ready for something else, but she is still ever constant in her love for horses, perhaps more now than ever before. When she turned six, I wanted to arrange for her to meet and ride a horse, but that plan never really came together. So leading up to her seventh birthday, I wanted to really make it happen.

I reached out to a friend who is a lover of animals who just happens to have a horse named Tuff, a rescue with a sweet temperament. I asked if we could come meet him, feed him, brush him, or really do anything that would put my my daughter within 10 feet of him. Somehow I knew that an up-close encounter would be the highlight of her life.

I kept it a surprise until we were driving right up to the farm where Tuff boards, and let her discover the adventure we were about to go on together. Of course she lit up when she realized what the excursion was all about.

It was neat to see her jump right in…that’s her usual way. She got a one-on-one lesson about how to be safe around horses, how to put on a lead rope and take Tuff from pasture to the barn, how to brush and care for a horse, and then came the opportunity to ride.

After many years of hobby-horse rides and galloping around the house, it was interesting to see her on a real horse. I could see her wheels turning and her little heart soaring with each trip around the arena. It was a dream come true for her and for me, and an experience neither of us will ever forget.

It astounds me to think about how quickly seven years have passed since I held this baby girl in my arms for the first time. She has taught me so much, and I’m constantly inspired by her bright spirit and wild imagination. Happy 7th birthday darlin’ girl!

Family / Motherhood


Hello again. I’ve been quiet. Mostly a pile on the couch after the kids go to bed. And if I’m really honest, a pile on the couch half the day as well. You would think that after 4 pregnancies, I would know/remember that growing a little human is a work that zaps one’s energy, motivation, appetite, and all ability to complete simple tasks. But somehow I forgot until it was upon me again. So I’ve been taking it easy, and have disappeared from most of my online and outside-the-home activities while I give all the energy I do have to my sweet crew of hooligans.

Meals have been the hardest part. I seriously can’t plan ahead to save my life, and when everyone else is hungry and I’m repulsed by the sight of food, meal prep becomes a big challenge. It’s been really simple around here. Oatmeal or pancakes. Cheese bread or pasta.  Tacos or fish sticks. That’s pretty much it. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my head back in the game when we head into the 2nd trimester about a month from now.

I have a lot I’d love to share in the coming weeks if I can focus and pound it out on the keyboard. Until then, just know we are all well, and the adventures continue in the midst of this slower season. In a way, I’m thankful for the involuntary need to slow down. I don’t do that very well when it’s a voluntary thing. And while I’m not happy about my fuzzy thoughts and looming to-do list, I’m so very thankful for the blessing of this pregnancy, my healthy and lively children, and for a husband that supports and encourages. I feel love all around me, and all the rest just fades into the background.

I did want to ask for more prayers for my dear friends I mentioned some weeks back. Their babies are doing well (in-utero as of yet) but they are again in the hospital, awaiting the right time for the boys’ arrival, which is likely to be in the next week or so. I’m so very excited for the joy that is just around the bend for them, but can’t help but feel the vulnerability and fragility of this time leading up to delivery. Please pray for a safe and positive birth experience, and two healthy little dudes! I’m so excited to meet them.

Life & Faith

The Beautiful Moments

The beautiful moments are ones that stop you. Stop you from shaking just long enough to breathe it in. Stop you from choking out tears because you’re laughing instead. Beauty you see clear even when everything else, all around, is blurry and bleak. Moments that give wings to your heart when it’s heavy and throbbing, even if only for a moment. They stand in the soul under the waterfalls of tears and uncertainties, and are not lost, though the water beats down.

I’ve journeyed with a few cancer mamas in recent years. I guess I’m drawn to the place of desperation for cures and answers and brighter tomorrows…to see how they walk beside their children who experience things no one should ever have to. And I am amazed. I’m completely inspired by the depth, strength, and beauty I find in these women. Walking by faith every day because they have no other choice, and yet, walking so gracefully while doing the hard things they must in order to give their children the best shot they’ve got at a healthy life. Love tested, and found true as can be.

I wish and pray and plead with God for cancer to take a hike and suffering for these children to end, but I know that for many, that doesn’t happen. It hurts my heart, and I’m not even the one there staring it in the face every day. I’m thankful for the beautiful moments in the in-between…for the opportunity to capture one sunny afternoon with friends in the park so I can be reminded how important it is to stop. To laugh and pick flowers in the grass. To hug close and whisper strength to little ears.

So I pray for God to come near. To heal and to do the improbable, impossible things that defy all medical explanation. To restore health and to bring the future and hope that He has promised. And I pray also for a hundred million more beautiful moments over decades of beautiful years together for this particular family and this special boy.


Life & Faith

When the Heart Trembles

There is so much we can be afraid of. What could happen. What has happened…that could somehow happen again, tearing open old wounds and letting skeletons out of forgotten closets. Even when we think they’re safely locked up, our biggest fears travel with us and hang around our necks like twisted accessories. Not exactly beautiful, but familiar and somehow ever-present even when we wish to be free of them. They perch in the back of our minds and whisper doubt, discouragement, and all kinds of hurtful things. And the heart trembles.

When I’m afraid, I feel it physically in my body. A closing in around the ache. Where I start to think that I’ll have to flex my muscles to keep out everything, good and bad, just to keep out the bad. Missing out on all the good because I am living in self-preservation mode, which doesn’t really preserve anything. It makes everything stale and lonely. Which makes it hurt more, and starts a maddening cycle.

We were not made to bear our burdens on our own. We were made for Love. Wholeness. Connection. And instead we live hurt, broken, afraid and alone. But it doesn’t have to be like that. If we grow discontent with the cycle of fear and hurt and cry out to Loving God for help, courage rises up like water out of the ground. He comes to those who call. He came to me, and keeps coming to me every time I tremble and cry out.


The courageous ones are not those who are never afraid. I’ve seen a number of people I count as Courageous Hearts trembling, agonizing, sweating over what is before them…Feeling small and inadequate. Reaching out in faith that they might find something good on the other side.  And when a hand reaches back…a tangible friend, or the invisible God…the heart trembles again, for different reasons, as it is being filled with goodness and grace. To be seen. To be touched. To be heard are all desperately important to the hurting heart.

So if you’re hurting, reach out. Call out. Share your burden with a friend, or if not a friend, share it with my prayer form over on the right so I can say a prayer for you. And if you had a season of that and are now in a season of wholeness, don’t forget where you have come from. Reach out to someone who is still there and pray for grace like rain to come. When the heart trembles, surround yourself with light and watch the darkness flee away.

“Perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18