Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Family / Life & Faith


One sibling photo a week throughout the year. 30/52

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.” James 4:10 NLT

So often, the things I need to do are things I don’t want to do.

Wait patiently.

Clean out the fridge.

Forgive someone who has hurt me.

Scrub toilets.

Be gentle with the ones who constantly push my buttons.

Fold the laundry that has been waiting for days.

Pray about things instead of only worrying about them.

Go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Actively listen.

Choose carrots instead of cookies.

Let go of the past.

Organize disheveled bookshelves.

Live with gratitude.

The truth is, I need help to get through even the most basic tasks of my day without seeing my attitude tank, my courage fail, or my perseverance disappear. I find that trying to muscle my way to anywhere only leaves me exhausted, and wishing that things could be different than they are never gets me very far. Life is what it is. I am where I am. Wishing doesn’t make the hard stuff go away.

I’ve learned that help is always near. He lives where the heart beats, and leaps into action the moment I call on Him. Sometimes I say a nice prayer, all tidy and sweet. Sometimes I yelp it out in desperation, in a little less graceful fashion. Sometimes, on the days I totally forget that God is for me, not against me, on the days I forget He invites me to abundance in the shadow of His wing, on the days I forget that I am His beloved child…I just keep struggling on in my own strength, only to meet frustration, heartache, and sometimes despair, until I remember at last that help could be mine if I would ask for it.

I think some people are annoyed to ever have to ask for help, to acknowledge a personal need (or many needs). Can’t God see how we struggle and just step in to rescue us? Can’t God wave His hand and just make all those rough places smooth and easy? I think He could. It is within His ability, for sure, but there is something about recognizing God’s fullness while we encounter our own emptiness. The equation is less about asking for stuff and more about realizing that we are absolutely dependent on Him to fill our lungs every moment. It is about honoring the majesty of God with our lips and our lives, humbling ourselves in order to receive life, full, abundant, and eternal, straight from it’s Source. Maybe we are to pray without ceasing because in every moment that we pray, we are the ones that open the door to God, ready to receive the wonderful gifts He wants to bring, but will not force, upon us.

I’ll be the first to say, it is counter-intuitive to humble oneself in a DIY, self-made culture. Everyone wants to climb to the top of a mountain and say, “Look what I did, all by myself!” But maybe we’re actually called to journey wherever the Lord leads (which may very well NOT be to the top of a glamorous mountain) and ultimately say, “Look what God has done.”

“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7


Update on goals for week 30:

1) Run/walk at least 10 miles per week. Week 30 ~ 16.5 Run/Walk miles traveled, 329.5mi in 2015
2) Write 10,000 words weekly. Week 30 ~ 500 words completed, 88,400 words in 2015


926. “locerapter” coloring page, 927. friends over for an afternoon, 928. wading pool time + zany enthusiasm, 929. having people on my team, 930. feeling energetic, 931. walks around the lake several times with friends, 932. the honor of journeying with friends through vulnerable seasons, 933. pizza night, 934. wrapping up summer study on Colossians, 935. t-rex coloring contest & named subjects: super-crusher, orangey, rockstar rexxy, and mr. lover, 936. some purging successes, 937. a son who wants to be a chef (and now helps happily with making dinner), 938. being able to respond calmly during times my patience is put to the test, 939. breakfast eggs and smoothies, 940. rest