Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Family / Life & Faith

Ordinary Wonderful

One sibling photo a week throughout the year. 20/52

“We are going home as possible,” she said emphatically in her three-year-old english.

She meant as fast as possible, but she left out a few words and left the other kids giggling. She’s the loudest voice and the littlest body in the bunch, rivaled in size by her not-so-baby sister. They wear the same clothes…sometimes on purpose, sometimes because whoever grabbed the pants out of the laundry pile didn’t know they were actually the baby’s pants. But no worries, they fit around the middle and if you roll up the bottom cuff, they look like bonafide capris instead of hi-waters. Not that this happened a few days ago, or anything.

I’ve been asked a number of times recently, how are we doing? What is new with us? I always feel awkward answering because I don’t have a really exciting answer. There was a time that I took a lot of pride in being a go-getter, a trail blazer, and having something exciting to respond to those questions with. I have lived 10 years in nearly perpetual transition, busy with this or that, spreading myself as thin as possible as I tried to juggle and hold together all things, so I’ve always had something remarkable (or at least interesting) to report. For now, I don’t have anything in that zone.

How I ended up here, not working outside the home and with a gaggle of amazing kids is something of a sweet mystery of divine orchestration. It is not what I planned or imagined, and yet it really is something more wonderful than I am able to say. I feel like I’ve settled into the ‘know-that-I-know-this-is-where-I’m-supposed-to-be’ space doing exactly what God has prepared for me to do with my life in this season, and with that settling, a wild and overwhelming peace washes over. Our days are very simple, and on the whole, pretty mundane. I mean, there is no way around the dishes and laundry and meals and lessons. But in this space, the Lord is also healing my deepest wounds and bringing me joy from the simplest things. I find myself doing all those ordinary tasks with awareness that God has invited me to do these ordinary things for a reasons beyond my understanding…and every small task is important.

Are you afraid of being ordinary? There was a time that I was. I have spent years of my life concerned that I might run out of time to do all the important things. I am not afraid of that anymore. There is something wonderful about ordinary.  Something uncomplicated. There are good and important things to do, pursue, accomplish and achieve, but none of them need to hang over my head as things that must be done in order to escape the threat of being ordinary. It is in the ordinary space that I am discovering true and all-encompassing freedom.

Merits earn us the praise of men, but faith brings about the favor of God. Faith that He is good. Faith that He provides. Faith that He loves. Faith that we are not alone. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.

And so while there is some part of me that gets butterflies when I hear the question, “what is new with you?”, I guess I have to say what is new is that I am at peace with my ordinary, wonderful life. We are marvelous. There are daily challenges to overcome, but there is also laughter and peace. I could not ask for anything better.


“We speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.'” 1 Corinthians 2:7-9 NASB

“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NASB


Update on goals for week 20:

1) Run/walk at least 10 miles per week. Week 20 ~ 11 Run/Walk miles traveled, 214mi in 2015
2) Write 10,000 words weekly. Week 20 ~ 1,500 words completed, 66,000 words in 2015


751. “As Possible”, 752. the little one now calling me ‘mother’ in a sweet voice, 753. family yard work victories and a wrangled blackberry bush, 754. light in through the dining room window, 755. my mama’s day of birth, so glad she was born, 756. quiet and still, 757. homeschool planning for fall, fun planning for summer, 758. peace that keeps surpassing my understanding, 759. our living space, 760. truth to stand on, 761. friends and a holiday bbq, 762. the stick-a-hoop (kid invention made from a stick and embroidery thread), 763. the stick-a-hoop saver (parent invention to retrieve kid invention from the trees), 764. making progress on a long-overdue sewing project, 765. collaborative, imaginative games