Today, Emily speaks to us about getting in the Word, her new journey through motherhood, and growing up as a pastor’s daughter.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up as a pastor’s daughter. My three siblings and I were very close (and still are). My mother was a stay-at -home mom and very involved with church ministry alongside my dad. There’s a lot of cliché’s about pastors’ kids, but I genuinely had a good experience as a PK, growing up. I loved serving at church and didn’t mind being in the “spotlight”. We lived in Long Island, NY and then moved to West, MI. I began leading worship in high school and went to study music at Grace Bible College.
My early twenties were spent traveling, doing missions work, and serving at a Christian ministry for high risk youth and families.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Ephesians 2:1-10. We just finished slowly going through Ephesians at Church, and I can’t help but come back to this passage often! Such a rich passage of truths about who we are in Christ!
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Prayer- It’s an area of my spiritual walk that at times can get sadly neglected. The last year or so, I’ve been wrestling through the practice of prayer, and I’m just beginning to glimpse at how truly powerful it is!
Profession: Stay-at-home mom + blogger on the side.
How do you incorporate your connection with God into your daily, secular work? One of the reasons why my husband and I decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom was so that we would be able to fully invest in our children’s lives and teach them gospel truth especially during those early formative years. I find myself leaning into Him daily, as we raise our daughter. I realize now more than ever how I need His wisdom, joy, and purpose in this calling as a stay-at-home mom. In a more practical sense, some examples would be: getting in the Word daily, listening to worship music while I go about my day, hosting occasional Bible study at my home, working on my ministry of Darling Little Life, and infusing little lessons and mentions about God to my girl, as we go through the every day normal.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? From Identity Crisis to Identity in Christ. (OK that’s actually way too cheesy sounding, but my testimony summed up would be that I was looking for value, worth, and belonging in so many different avenues, until I experienced new life in Christ by grace through faith. I’m continually learning to put my identity in Him.)
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I was young, maybe 5 years old? I don’t remember my exact age, but I remember distinctly sitting at my mother’s vanity desk, and she was brushing my hair on a Sunday night. My older sister was already a believer and had been talking about it, so I began asking questions. My mom walked me through the gospel and realizing that I was a sinner in need of God’s grace, I asked her to pray with me! I rededicated my life to Christ at 12 years old, when I began to grasp what it is to truly live as a follower of Christ.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Being rooted in God’s Word. Whether you feel like it or not: Get. In. The. Word. This has transformed my life!
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. It’s been an eye opening reminder of the importance of being vigilant in naming satan’s lies and countering them with God’s truth in Scripture.
Top three essentials: God’s Word, good coffee, and my makeup bag.
How did God speak to you recently? He’s been teaching me that motherhood is about the slow daily surrender. From the moment that umbilical cord is cut, my job as a mother is to daily let go, in small ways. Motherhood is about surrendering my little one to the Lord as she grows up and learns independence, trusting that she will remember all that you taught them. And it’s HARD. All I want to do is cling tight to control. What an exercise of faith it has been, thus far.
“Motherhood is about surrendering my little one to the Lord as she grows up and learns independence, trusting that she will remember all that you taught them.”
Hobby: Music! I have a BA in Worship Arts. I love to sing and play guitar, especially in leading worship.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: First off, be in the Word daily (tired of me saying that yet?).
Second, find sisters in Christ to walk alongside-for encouragement, accountability, community, and fellowship.
Lastly, serve- whether it’s in your church, your community, or on the mission field, reach out to the broken and hurting. It will test, transform, and grow your faith like nothing else.
“It will test, transform, and grow your faith like nothing else.”
Favorite person in scripture? Hard to pick, but I’d say Ruth. Her loyalty, faithfulness, obedience, and a good measure of spunk and boldness are just a few qualities that I admire. Not to mention that I’m a sucker for a good love story!
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? Grace. I pray that people would catch a glimpse of God’s redemptive grace in the way I talk, act, and serve.
How do you leave your mark on your community? At first, to answer this I began listing the places I’ve volunteered/served, etc., and it just felt like a humble brag…. you know? I don’t think that was the intention of this question so I’ll just say this: though I’ve had to cut back some for a season while my daughter is young and needs me home a lot, I’m passionate about serving the broken and hurting. Meeting them where they’re at and sharing God’s loving kindness in practical small ways. I pray that Darling Little Life blog is also a source of encouragement to others.
Favorite holiday? CHRISTMAS
A goal you have? To grow Darling Little Life blog and continue to encourage other women, and Lord willing, to be able to help support our family financially through it someday.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Thanksgiving is a meal specifically for intentional conversation about what we are thankful for. We go around the table and take turns sharing! The little ones even participate, and it’s such an encouraging time!
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Ever since I was a little girl, God has placed a sensitivity on my heart towards the marginalized in society. May we look past ourselves, into the broken and hurting all around us, and find small ways to shine Christ’s light.
What does your morning routine consist of? Coffee (black and strong) first- then the order of everything else depends on baby girl! I have some quiet time with the Lord in the Word (though it’s not always quiet, with baby girl playing close by), do my makeup and sometimes fix my hair. We try to get the gym most days as well!
What is on your nightstand? Lamp, a small snake plant, and a clock. In the drawers, several books and small random junk items that I don’t know where else to put.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Jesus said it best: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt 16:24-25)
For more Emily:
Until next time, keep witnessing!