Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Family / Life & Faith / Motherhood

Bedtime Prayers

A soft corner light illuminates the room. An assortment of laundry, both dirty and clean, decorates the perimeter. I marvel at her perfectly formed body and the sweet spirit she wears, even at just a few weeks old. Peaceful. Content. I’m thankful. For so much, but mostly that she is healthy and here with us.

I talk to her like she understands every word I say, unintentionally shifting into that soft, blubbering mommy voice that only babies draw out of me. My heart and body feel tender, but in the best way. Strength spent on a taxing, but exceedingly worthwhile purpose. I think about a newborn’s daily responsibilities — to rest in the arms of the one who loves them and to take in the nourishment they need to grow the heart, mind, and body. An investment now for a return to come. Unseen potential. Undiscovered beauty.

How much I can learn from the simplicity and surrender of a newborn. I need nourishment just as desperately, but I struggle to seek it with such focus. Not what nourishes the body, but the Words that nourish the soul. Breathing life and hope into the space where weariness has taken up residence.

I’ve already prayed a hundred thousand prayers for her in the quiet of my heart, both before and after her birth, but there is power in words spoken aloud…power in prayer and belief that God is good and He hears the cries of a mother’s heart and will answer. Has answered. So I say aloud a bedtime prayer to Jesus into her ear for the first time instead of thinking it in my mind. A prayer of thanks for this wonderful gift. A request for health and strength as her little body grows.  A prayer for seeds of wisdom to be planted in her heart before she has awareness of what that even is, so her wisdom might grow with her. For her to hear and know truth in her innermost being. And a plea for her to always know how much she is loved. So very much.

Children are indeed a gift from the Lord, but not only a gift of joy, but a gift of deeper riches that are easily missed if we are too busy, too proud, or too self-centered to take notice. I consider myself a student…learning all the time how to be more like a child. To worry less, trust more. To revel in simple joys. To be thankful for sun on my face or puddles underfoot. And to take the time to smell the flowers (or the newborn baby’s hair) as often as I can.

Photos taken at 2.5 and 3.5 weeks, respectively.


2 Comments Bedtime Prayers

  1. Judith A. Genaway

    Dearest Emily,
    You help me ‘know’ your little one 3000 miles away. I especially appreciate your tender insights into newborn motherhood….and the pictures tell a story.

    Blessings to you today.

    Lynne’s Mama Judy 🙂 🙂

  2. Jani Hedegaard

    Your comment about the smell of sweet baby’s hair reminded me of Bill. One of his favorite things about newborns was their wonderful fragrance…the man loved babies. Thanks Emily!


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