Light and Loveliness

Reflections of Emily Sue Allen

Life & Faith / Motherhood

Digging Deep

My thoughts leap from one extreme to another. Meal plan for a week. Grocery list to accompany it. Unspeakable horrors going on around the world. Perishables stowed away in their nooks of the small refrigerator that somehow serves to sustain us through a week despite its tiny size. Tomorrow’s to-do list. Friend over 42 weeks pregnant with several failed attempts at natural induction methods, currently unresponsive to texts. I hope it is because she is currently (and safely) delivering, but I don’t know. I try not to be anxious for her, but I know the space of last days before receiving a baby in arms. The discomfort, the feelings, and the anxious thoughts are all so familiar to me. I turn on the music that got me through my own recent labor, and it plunges me deep into thought and prayer, which lands me here, a space I haven’t been able to visit for quite some time. The dishes need my attention, as they always do, but I am putting them off, as I often have to do in order to tend to more important things.

(from the first week in May)

The house has become still with little heads on their pillows and a round baby rocking in the swing. Our little home, a sanctuary and a greenhouse; the place where little seedlings get their start under shelter and a watchful eye. Heavy and light at once, I am tangled in a mess of joy and crushing responsibility to nurture and prune, to encourage and correct with love, to proactively intervene and simultaneously get myself out of the way. There is a lot of doing. The plate is over-full with bounty and goodness, and with it comes the task of helping everyone find their place, find their hearts, find their way, making room for and fiercely protecting childhood in a world that barely affords it to even the youngest ones.

The big picture is too much to see, so I do everything I can to put my mind on what is now, to turn my eyes square on Jesus. What are the must-do things right now? What are the real challenges before me after sifting through the busy noise? What are the true words I can turn over and over in my mind to remind me that in every moment of diligence and sacrifice, there is much to gain? It is easy to despair, but imperative to hold tight to hope, and essential to take hold of joy in the midst of the digging deep.

Why is it that the things that matter require everything I have to give? Because love means sacrifice. In giving everything, I learn to recognize beauty in places I previously missed it…in the small and ordinary, and sometimes even difficult things. In simplicity, static is shoved out of the way, and I can hear the distant, dangling wind chimes.


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“Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands.” Psalm 119:89-90

1231. music for the heart, 1232. gentleness and companionship of my sweet husband, 1233. rhythms that make the engine run, 1234. the not-terrible part of twos, 1235. moderate weather and pnw beauty, 1236. when healing happens in achy places, 1237. new shoes for new miles, 1238. turning wheels, 1239. tight squeezes around the neck, 1240. moving forward

4 Comments Digging Deep

  1. Jody Collins

    “What are the must-do things right now? What are the real challenges before me after sifting through the busy noise?”
    I don’t have six children nor a newborn vying for my attention; still there is noise.
    Deep, rich, heartfelt words here, Em.

  2. Nancy Ruegg

    Wisdom and beauty woven among your words, Emily. I admire your tenacity to care for all the details of your busy home, your self-discipline to turn your eyes upon Jesus amidst all the distractions, and your attention to those small and ordinary things for which to be grateful. You are a Proverbs 31 Woman for sure! P.S. Thank you for the recent photo of your children (SO precious)!

    1. Emily

      Thank you Nancy! It’s a full journey, but one that has proved to be more fulfilling than anything else I’ve chased yet. Thanks be to God!


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