About the Author

Emily is a Texas-raised, Kentucky-born, nomad. She is an avid reader, an aspiring writer, a seeker of sanity and truth. She has a compulsive need to distinguish what is "real" from what is "fake". Emily avoids stereotypes, fads, and perfectionism at all costs. She drinks hot chai lattes in 100...

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  1. Emily, I love this line of yours…”I’ve been molded over the years by something that feels suspiciously like sandpaper.” Oh, how that rings true for all of us. Thanks for the reminder that God can use anything, anyone to shape us. I love that unexpected redemption.

  2. Emily, i just had to write, the first half of your post about your father touched me and could be my words, however, my story didn’t play out as well as yours. You see my mom divorced my father and removed him from our lives, but my feelings never ever changed. My father was my whole world. You are so correct when you say, “The Time is short. Fill your eyes up with the faces of those you love…nourish your spirit. Relationships. Suffering. Joy. God. My father’s mind is disappearing. He now no longer recognizes my adult children. But in no way has that changed my love for him, if anything, I now get to go through his childhood with him. He is a lot of fun and now I am experiencing his child-like side and it too is a blessing. He no longer has to be my strong, brave father….he played that role…now he needs me to just love him, where he is at this moment. If i look at it through the world’s eyes, it sadness and suffering, but through his eyes, it’s joy and peace. Even when he no longer recognizes who I am, I will always see my daddy- always. The father’s love, both earthly and spiritual, isn’t always what we think it should be, it is what it is and I don’t want to miss a moment of either father’s love. From one preacher’s kid born at Southern to another, thank you for your words. This may not be exactly the response you were going for, but I too have felt that sandpaper of expecting one thing and getting a completely different thing….and it’s not so bad, it’s joy…just depends on one’s perspective.

  3. Holley — I love how God never seems to fit into our mold of who we think He should be. Sometimes life is rough like sandpaper, but truly it brings redemption to us! We can always believe God will bring us out better; more of who we were meant to be. Simply put, we are made RIGHT.

    Janelle — THANK YOU for being so vulnerable. We do have something in common! Something real and heavy. I will also always feel this way about my daddy. He has been a gift to you…unexpected, and not always fitting into a pre-ordered box…but a gift just the same.
    And YOU are one of God’s gifts to him. Children are a gift from the Lord, and He delights in giving gifts. I truly believe it is God’s delight to give you as a gift to your Dad…you have always been this for him, just as you are now.
    You know what else is a gift from God? Rest. I’m praying for peace in and through you. (Ps. 127)

    • Emily, thank you for your kind encouraging words. I cut and pasted the portion of
      your piece and sent it to him and told him if I was a writer, these would be my exact
      words (didn’t think you would mind if I borrowed them). He was so touched, he
      cried off and on all day. He said he never knew I felt that way. So see, your writing
      may go far and wide and take a totally different path than the one you thought it was taking. God is so cool that way. Thank you again for allowing me to share my deep feelings with my father through your spirit-led writing. And for sharing them with you. I will now follow your blog as I feel we are kindred spirits – me old, you young, but no matter. I can learn and receive from anyone. Keep writing, you never know how, whom, and when it will touch someone – that’s the Holy Spirit at his best.
      janelle

  4. Not often enough do I tell you how amazing and beautiful you are. Your writing is a mere reflection of the beauty that is you, but it warms my heart that you are able to do it. I hate sharing you with this world (because I want you all for myself), but I know this is part of your destiny. I wish all of these people could know that you aren’t just a fabulous writer, but you are the most genuine and elegant woman I’ve ever met…and don’t even get me started on you as a mother…truly one of a kind.

    I love you baby. You insire me and make me better everyday.

    • Britt, I love you! You need to write me romantic things like this more often!!! 🙂 Thank YOU for being a great support.

  5. Em! 🙂 I had no idea you were in this {in}courage world. 🙂 I love and admire a lot of women who write here, and how unique so many of these blogs are. 🙂 You are an incredible writer, you have creative juices that are non-stop-overflowing in your daily life. You are an amazing woman of the Lord, and I have loved knowing your family. This is an awesome post, and well,…. we still need a coffee date. 😉 hahahha. We are terrible at that! 🙂

    I love you friend.

    • Dre, I was thinking about you yesterday. we definitely need coffee!!!!! We’ve had out-of-town visitors the past three weekends (including the one coming up), so in between that and Thanksgiving, we need to sit and talk… a few hours will do, don’t you think?

  6. Simply beautiful. There are no words! I love the way you write. AND when you write a book one day I will absolutely buy it and help you promote it.

  7. I’m having trouble pulling good memories out of the proverbial hat. I actually began living seven years ago when I married a great man whom God led both of us to Him, and our greatest joy is growing in Him.

    I enjoyed reading this. It’s so beautiful.

    • Nikole, this makes me think of the scripture that says He gives us beauty for ashes and a garment of praise for our heaviness. God is doing this for you…He’s probably already done so much, but I also want to emphasize that He is STILL giving you good memories for your “hat”; replacing the bad for the good in His constant, gentle healing process. God is so very caring in this way, isn’t He? 🙂

  8. Hello Lovely 🙂
    I am so proud of you Em… I am especially proud to call you my big sister. You are are so great at this kind of thing and maybe it’s because i share your DNA but when i read your writing the feelings seem way too familiar…i love you so much and love that God placed you in my life. I also love that you get to share your talent of writing with the world. I can’t help but remember when you only shared it with your sisters on those fun nights of listening to you read the mysterious book you had written..inspired by VC Andrews 🙂
    Never stop doing this Em…you’re amazing…
    love you so much…and miss you even more,
    Bethy

  9. Emily,
    I’m thankful that (in)Courage has brought you to my attention! I really loved this post and readily hear my own echoes of the times and places and faces that only happened “but once.” You put such a fine and gentle point on the need to savor moments while they are in front of us. Sandpaper, indeed, but such a loving finish that sandpaper reveals!
    Shaunie

  10. My Petunia. I have always marveled at your ability to express yourself in such creative and inspiring ways. I have so many wonderful memories of your tiny arms wrapped around me (sometimes in fear, other times from exhausted play) and it makes me so grateful for the extravagant grace of our wonderful Lord. You are truly His ‘over the top’ gift to us. Please continue to be true to your gift of writing. Your words are always filled with the authenticity of your heart and they never cease to woe us into dialogue with our own souls. Whenever you journey down the road of doubt (which we are all prone to do) just remember you have been wonderfully and fearfully made by a loving Father whose love for you has no end. Take it from me – I am your proud earthly father (with crumbling clay feet) who will never be able to fully express the depth of his love for you. Daddy.