A progression.


Life Update!



1. This is what Columbus has felt like lately.

2. Starting April 1st, I will be offering blog design services, on both Blogger & WordPress platforms. Shoot me an email (laurennicolelove[at]gmail.com) if you’re interested!

3. I just re-designed my blog a bit & did some serious spring cleaning. If you’re reading this in Reader or your feeds, come poke around. 🙂

4. I will be taking a 7 day vacation from life starting today, so I’ll see you all in April!

5. Want reading material in the meantime? Read my post for Deeper Story, “Love Was The Plan“, the Good Woman’s Guide to the 21st Century, or the lessons I learned from last time I took a sabbatical. And follow me on Twitter. ♥.

Love Was The Plan.


“The nights when your bedroom feels miles deep and miles wide, as you tear through your mind trying to even remember what God felt like last time? What you wouldn’t give to simply walk next to Him.

The mornings you climb out of your shower, pulling your eyes from the mirror, hoping to slip your bathrobe over your skin before he sees you? What you wouldn’t give to not even know what shame felt like.

The afternoons he’s absent and you numb a piece of your heart, resentment leaving a thick, bitter coating over your desire for him? What you wouldn’t give to feel like you were created from a piece of bone near his heart, wildly adoring who you are together. “

Read the rest of my post on DeeperStory.com today >>>


Depression: A Stream of Consciousness. A Fight.

note. i wrote this a year ago or so, in the middle of severe depression & a mess of everything else. i stumbled on it a month ago and it won’t stop bouncing around my head and heart. so i’m putting it here. chew the meat, spit out the bones. its a live stream of consciousness, and i like watching my train of thought, and the conclusion i came to. as wrecked as it was. pardon the language. this is what the inside looks like sometimes. and some days i cannot believe i am no longer here.

Truth. What the hell is the truth. Those god awful moments you have when you remember your first middle and last name all at once and who you are and what your past is and who you’re supposed to be. When you can completely remove yourself from the person that slept with those guys, smoked that shit, drank that alcohol, cussed out that girl, didn’t get out of bed for three days, hated everyone and everything at once, genuinely wanted to give up, was numb and on fire at the exact same time. Those moments when that person isn’t you, and you wonder why on earth you ever did, said, or felt any of those things because really, you’re perfectly fine and have all the hope and potential and clarity in the world. What the fuck are those moments. What is real and what is truth and who is me and who is not. Everything is easy to overcome in those fleeting seconds. I don’t care. It doesn’t have to make sense. I don’t have to make sense. I don’t have to be consistent. I don’t report to anyone and who gives a shit if for every hour that I fall apart I can pour myself into making something beautiful. I can’t avoid extremes. Extremes are what make life LIFE. But no more mutually exclusive extremes. No more blacks or whites. Blacks AND whites. I can admit that I have crutches. I’m not okay, I won’t be okay, no one is ever okay. Not the point. Pills. Doctor appointments. Nights at the hospital. Caffeine. Sex regretted. Reputations ruined. Alcohol. The addiction to anything that won’t leave you in the silence. I’ll keep all of them and be fine, so long as they remain admittedly crutches and not what defines who I am or what I do. They are secondary to who I am and what I am DOING. What are we doing. Those crutches exist so that I can keep doing what I want. They don’t stop me from doing what I want. Blacks AND whites, not blacks or whites, remember? Beautiful, beautiful things. If I inspire others, I will die happy. So what if I define myself by what I create? I love it. Isn’t that the god damn point. Not defining myself by what I create has left me creating nothing because I’ve renounced what it means to me and instead picked up loneliness, hurt, abandonment, worthlessness, confusion, indecision, and in turn, these crutches. Get yourself together, self. Blacks AND whites. Ups AND downs. Move move move move move. Stop STOP trying to fit with reality. Go back to your alternate universe. You’ll function out of habit enough to make it through life, but get your mind out of this, here, now, because this, THIS, is all just shit. Think about beautiful things, make beautiful things, create stories, novels, wishes, dreams, hopes, make-believe. Be over dramatic if that’s what you want. Stop boring the entire world with trying to get your shit together enough to be normal. I can’t, I try, it makes it worse. I want to NOT FIGHT the tendency to be addicted and STOP TRYING to do ‘all things in moderation.’ Be addicted. Be consumed. Just CHOOSE THE RIGHT ADDICTION. Choose what is beautiful. Choose what is worth it..


Hey everyone? I want to know what you are thankful for today.

I’m not going to waste words explaining why we should be more thankful, and what gratitude does to our hearts, and how easily we forget what we have when we are consumed with what we don’t.

We know all this.

so go ahead, leave it in the comments. i want to know 7 things you are thankful for today.

Even if this is like pulling teeth.

And then, once you write them down in the comments, go write them on your heart. Hold onto them. Remind yourself of them. Give them the weight they deserve. Combat your dissatisfaction and discontentment and hurt with them.

I want to read so many comments that I am overwhelmed.


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Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
let us be thankful. – Hebrews 12:28


Q & A with Lauren: How Do You Get Motivated?

Hey everyone! So, I decided today that I wanted to start opening my email inbox to you guys. One of girls I’ve been talking with lately gave me a shout out on Twitter this week and confessed she was really struggling with something, and I told her to shoot me an email. She gave me permission to share our conversation with everyone, and I hope that maybe you can dig something out of it and apply it to your own life.

Do you have more answers or advice for her? Leave them in the comments!! W ant to ask me a question? Send an email to me at laurennicolelove[at]gmail.com & I’ll do my best to answer. Much love.

Note: This email exchange is 100% unedited. Cut and pasted. It’s long. If you only have a minute, please skip to the bottom and read the 21 point list that ended up being the crux of my answer to her!

Question, Part One: I’ve just been having a hard time getting motivated lately. There are so many things I want to do, but I don’t ever do them because I am so un-motivated. I know that you have gone through some of these kinds of places in your life, and so I was wondering how you got out of that “pit” because you’ve accomplished so much!

My Answer: Hey love! Man, that’s so hard. I know exactly what you’re talking about. Being unmotivated takes several forms for me, actually. Sometimes it’s just the general, “I just want to do NOTHING” and sometimes it’s “I want to do all these things but I don’t have the energy to, or I just don’t want to ENOUGH.” You know? So I think it helps to be able to pinpoint which of those it is. There’s also when you catch yourself starting to believe that nothing you want to do is truly worth doing, so you just start letting things slip out of your hands because you say things to yourself like, “well other people are already doing this,” or “other people can do this better so there’s no point in me doing it,” etc etc. I’ve definitely been in all of those places, countless times.

There are lots of things that I’ve done to try to help, and to push myself out of those spots. I am NOT a to-do list person, but sometimes if I make super cute ones, or really annoying ones, or cool ones, I catch myself wanting to check things off. I use teuxdeux.com a lot and I love it. Also, I am a big believer in setting goals for yourself. Weekly goals, monthly goals especially. Monthly goals are awesome because if you have a couple days when you just crap out and fall apart, you still have time to recover, and you can also break your monthly goals into smaller sub-goals that you do every week.

I have a lot more ideas and things to say about that, but first I guess I should probably ask you what are the things you want to be doing? What are you most passionate about? What are the things on your plate that you NEED to be doing, and are putting off? Spill them all. It always helps me to have someone look at my life on the table and say, “that’s important, that’s not. Stress about this, don’t stress about that.” I don’t mind doing that for you at all. 🙂

Also, what does your daily look like? Work, school, family, friends? What are the things you are committed to?

Question, Part Two: I think the things I am most passionate about are my music, and animals. I ultimately want to glorify God using my music and be able to worship Him in that, and someday I would like to have an animal rescue. As of right now, what I NEED to be doing is, well, homework. That is something I always always always put off, even though I don’t even have much of it. I also need to be finding a job. I am completely broke, and I haven’t done well with actually applying at places to try and get a job. I am also stressed about needing to be in contact with my parents and grandparents more. I do a poor job of staying in touch with them while I’m at school. My fish’s tank thing needs cleaned or he is going to die, but even when I’m not busy I never do it because I just don’t feel like. This weekend, I am working on planning my birthday party, so I need to get that stuff done.

My days are usually pretty uneventful. Monday’s are busiest for me, with class in the morning and at night and then our floor does “Girls’ Night”. I also have a morning and evening class on Tuesdays, and then the rest of my week, I only have one class a day. I have an hour of counseling on Wednesdays, but that is pretty much it. I don’t work right now (as you have probably guessed), so I pretty much just sit at home on my computer not doing homework. Ha. It’s a daily battle of dealing with roommates/friends also. There have been a lot of issues with some of my closest friends, so it’s really hard for me to just sit here, but I never really have anything to do. And I never really want to do anything but just sit here or sleep. I’m not really that busy, I just don’t want to do anything.

My Answer, Part Two: Ah, okay. I have a better feel for where you’re coming from now. Here are some sporadic thoughts & truths that I’ve come to realize over the past several years. I hope this helps. Give me your thoughts on them!!

1. always remember what you want, and what you hope to be. that will be what drives you, don’t ever lose it.

2. never beat yourself up for stopping, resting, failing, or not accomplishing as much. you’re human. accept it.

3. understand that everyone you look up to fails, and fails hard. everyone ahead of you has been exactly where you are.

4. be painfully aware of what kinds of things you procrastinate against. dig and press into WHY you don’t want to do them. you’ll learn a lot about yourself here.

5. figure out which things you are truly obligated to and which you obligate yourself to out of guilt. get rid of those second things. clean up your life. IE: that fish tank causing you stress? get rid of the fish. seriously. get rid of it. having a fish does not make you a better person.

6. learn what time of day you are most mentally & emotionally driven to accomplish/resolve/tie up loose ends. clear out that time of day if at all possible so you can act immediately.

7. get it all out. sit down with a huge piece of paper and draw out your life. venn diagrams, lists, maps, circles, pictures, anything and everything. this is step one to getting the clutter and “overwhelmed” feeling out of your mind. it’s hard to move forward before you do this.

8. when there are worthless things (i.e. homework) that you have to do, don’t think of them as what they are, think of them as character building. tackle them & tackle them hard. you’ll find that it’s mostly a mental obstacle, and they’ll get easier.

9. let go of emotional stress with family members. it’s better to love them fully in sporadic bits, than half-ass it all the time and never feel like you give enough of yourself.

9, part b. set times. instead of ‘oh man i’m such a bad daughter’ for five solid emotion-wrecking minutes, call them and say, ‘HI MOM i only have 5 minutes just wanted to say i love you!” and get off the phone in 4 minutes and 59 seconds.

10. ask god for a job. admit that it’s hard for you to work on finding one, and let him tell you exactly how to go about doing it.

11. get visual inspiration. find out what motivates you and inspires you and makes you wish you were better, and SATURATE yourself in it.

12. stick notes, pictures, beautiful things on your walls. this will help push you to move forwards towards more of it.

13. realize that sometimes our bodies need a push to act. drink coffee, do something physical, get in the sun if possible. personally, coffee is responsible for 98% of my productivity.

14. ask for help. every time you start to feel guilty for not being motivated, ask god for help. he loves you, and he. will. help. realize that everyone took help to get to where they are.

15. pay close attention to the music you listen to. get rid of emotionally draining/down beat music for a week and listen to music with pushed drum beats and energy.

16. goals. make them. write down 5 big things you want to accomplish in april. write down 2 minor things you want to accomplish every week in april. and pick certain hours & days to work on each goal.

17. to do lists. use teuxdeux.com, or make physical to do lists and hang them on your bedroom wall. keep a little booklet of things to do, ideas, inspiration, thoughts, plans in your back pocket.

18. document your progress. tackle things one at a time. want to make progress in music? realize that you’re building a resume, and document your life in the world of music. write down everything you played that day. blog what you wrote. talk to yourself and to the internet about what you listened to today that added talent to your internal repertoire and understanding of music theory, structure, skill, feel, agility, and experience. hate that you can’t remember the circle of fifths, the correct fingering for two-octave scales, or how to play augmented scales or transpose songs written in minor keys? write those things down, and tackle one every week. too often we make progress and don’t see it because we aren’t documenting it.

19. talk to people who motivate you. want to get up and do something, but realize you won’t on your own? have a person that will give you a 30 second pep talk on the phone or gchat and push you just hard enough to actually MAKE you start.

20. get organized. you don’t have to spend a week cleaning your living space from floor to ceiling, but it’s worth blocking off a solid 2 hours to organize the hell out of your desk and throw away things you don’t need. they’ve done extensive studies on kids showing that their emotional and intellectual clarity reflects the organization and cleanliness of the space they are in. suck it up and do it.

21. be patient. give yourself grace, and know that when you move slowly it is okay. it’s a balance, and moving slowly means you’ve got half of it down, and just have to work on the other half.

Also, reading this might help you! I wrote it awhile ago: + Life Lessons: What I Learned In The First 22 Years +


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Are you following me on Twitter? Do it here: @laurenlankford

Be a fan on Facebook. It’s the best way to keep up. Do that here.


Car Accidents and Playing It Safe.

Last night, driving home in the dark, my mind blanked from the phone conversation I was having as I noticed a car’s headlights do a complete U-turn in the middle of the eight lane highway. What in the world, you can’t just do that, you’re going to get hit. Cars were sliding off the entrance ramp on my right, to the shoulder with their hazards on. I strained to make out dark shapes yards ahead of me, wondering why there would be mis-matching headlights and tail lights on both my side of the highway and the other.

A blanket of glass and debris suddenly appeared in front of me, washed across every single lane, as well as three obliterated vehicles spun backwards and facing me. And even more cars on the other side. Oh, that’s why. I tried to explain what I was seeing on the phone and ended it quickly, as soon as I realized I had to figure out how to come to a complete stop, back up, and cross a few lanes sideways before dozens of other cars behind me slammed into both myself and the wreck. In the dark.

I normally do 80mph right here, and now I’m doing -12. It’s always an odd feeling, coming to a complete stop in a place that is never still.

I debated with myself for all of four seconds. I could keep going. I could. I probably should. Or I could park half on concrete, half on mud, and make my way through four lanes of the outerbelt in the complete dark with no guarantee of not being hit, and make sure the drivers of these crushed vehicles were alright.

Not like I could do anything if they weren’t. But God smacked me in the face. Lauren, you do what I tell you. You stop. And you go. And you Be. And you pray.

The only thing more strange than driving backwards on the highway is running across it, glass crunching under your boots, as you try to explain to yourself the eerie silence and stillness of half a dozen men on the other side of the concrete wall, while a woman wrestles her body against a car seat, a twisted frame, a door that no longer exists, and an airbag, looking like someone tossed a bucket of blood at her face.

There are two cries I cannot bear. An infant who cries not to be heard but because he is alone, and a woman in pain who doesn’t know who will come for her.

Keeping one eye on the oncoming cars and one eye on the SUV I was making my way to, I tried to piece together the hysterical screams of another woman standing on the side of the road. God, woman, stop waving your cell phone and arms and mixed up words. Unless you’re the one with metal digging into your flesh, you shouldn’t be the one screaming in a crisis situation. Rule number one in dealing with trauma. Do not do anything that induces more panic.

Shouting towards the men standing against the concrete divider, I made no attempt to hide the frustration in my voice. “Get over here. Why are you not helping her. COME ON. We have to move her!”

A car’s brakes screamed as it flew through the middle of the accident, trying to slow down as the glass ground into his tires – the driver obviously not seeing the vehicles in enough time to stop and maneuver around.

Dear God, some car is going to plow right into this woman and end her life.

The men glanced back and forth, first at me, and then at the woman on the opposite side of the road, still screaming directions and telling everyone to “get the fuck back in all your god damn cars!” Half of them chose to listen to her, the other half to me.

Another car slid sideways as it stopped just in time, avoiding the whole mess of us.

With half the men finally at the SUV, doing their best to calm the blood soaked woman, I ran back across a few lanes to the screamer. Half because she was really pissing me off, and half because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something important.

“Hey, calm down. Seriously please stop screaming. It’s going to be fine.”

Another car flew through the middle of two of the backwards vehicles, missing one of the men by less than two feet. Okay. Maybe it’s going to be fine.


“I know, ma’am, but that’s why they’re trying to get to her. They’re out there helping her because if she doesn’t get moved, she’s going to get broadsided by a car and die instantly.”


“I understand. And what they’re doing is dangerous but we’re more concerned with her right now. We don’t know if she’s alright.”


I gritted my teeth as I realized how many times I’d heard this in my life.

In a mess of words I lost my patience and explained to her that she should just stay on the side of the road where she wouldn’t get hit, for the love of God stop screaming, and to let the men make sure the other woman was okay; that I wasn’t willing to stand there on the side of the road and watch her die in front of my eyes because it was too dangerous, too unsafe, or not my job.

Unzipping her jacket, she just about punched herself in the chest as she pointed out the EMT emblem stamped into her t-shirt, and stepped up to my face.


Wow. Alright. So we have an EMT at the scene. I caught myself getting angry as I realized she was the first person who should have been putting her life at risk – not us – to make sure this woman didn’t need CPR, a tourniquet, or glass pulled out of her face. And instead, I’m the one doing it. Trying, anyway.

I should say something right here. Generally speaking, if you scream, “listen to me, bitch” in my face, I’m most likely going to do exactly the opposite of whatever it is you suggest. I’m human. And I really just don’t do well with people commanding me to do things while yelling. Sorry.

I should also say that this woman had a damn good point. I realize that as an EMT, she’s been trained day in and day out to get as many civilians out of harm’s way as possible, and knows the risk involved with trying to move someone who most likely has a spinal cord injury.

But I also know that in that moment, I would have risked my life to stand in the middle of a freeway, in the dark, to simply pray over a woman whose life will never again be the same.

To sacrifice my safety in order to comfort a woman who never again will be that terrified, in the center of death’s grip, to fight in her behalf in front of the throne of a God whose hand could stop a wave of armored artillery headed right for us.

How many times, as Christians, have we left someone paralyzed in the middle of the road, because it’s too dangerous for us?

How many times, as righteous people, have we abandoned someone blinded by blood and tears, because what made the most sense was to keep ourselves safe?

How many times, as good men and women, have we tended to “our jobs,” safe on the side of the road, while we wait for God to show up?

How many times, have we been qualified EMTs, trained for hours on the proper way to handle an injury within the Church, only to have it translate to walking away from a woman sobbing, screaming, crying, and begging for help?

This is what bothered me. What shook me up the most.

That we are trained to be safe, to let someone else get their hands dirty in the blood and the wreck, to be content with abandoning someone on the brink of emotional or spiritual death, simply because there is someone else who could handle it better.

That crazy, screaming, panicking EMT? She was probably right. We could have paralyzed her by moving her – and thankfully the medics showed up while the men were still getting to her through metal and glass.

And sometimes you need to step back, trust God, and let someone else do their job, because they can do it exponentially better than you.

But that never, ever pardons you from slamming on your brakes, putting your life on hold, and falling to your knees to put someone’s heart, body, and salvation into the hands of the God of the Universe. That never pardons you from putting yourself directly in harm’s way to come alongside someone and to provide comfort, love, peace – and whatever you’ve been gifted with for exactly those moments.

I will never know what happened to that woman. If she lived, if she died, if she’s still in critical condition at the hospital. And that’s okay.

What I do want to know, however, is how different the outcome would have been, had an army of men and women had gotten out of their cars, knelt on the wet pavement with gravel digging into their skin, and cried out to God in her behalf.

I would give anything to see that..

Redefining Trust: Who Has Your Heart?

I’ve noticed lately that our society is somewhat obsessed with talking about trust.

Every horoscope, every personality test, every 50-trillion-questions-about-yourself-survey tries to define you by your predisposition to either trust or not to trust.

Unfortunately for me, I’m evenly split on every personality test I’ve ever taken. I’m loud, I’m quiet. I’ll spill my life in a flood of everything you didn’t want to know about me, and I’ll sit in the corner dreading having to speak more than 10 words. I can go two weeks without cleaning anything, and I can be an emotional and mental web of chaos because there are three pens too many on my desk.

There was a personality test I had to take in high school, the DISC test. My result? 25/25/25/25. Very funny, God. Oh well, I guess you can consider my DISC to be well-rounded. (The guy who made us take this test didn’t find that joke very humorous, by the way. He told me with a very concerned expression on his face that I was a highly unusual person. No shit.)

“Do you trust people?” Come on. What kind of question is that.

I’ve realized that I’m one of those people who spills easily, but won’t expect anyone to mop it up.

I will give everything, and count on nothing.

I’ll show you the inside, outside, and wrong side of my heart, but won’t commit you to it’s care.

This is where everyone has looked at me and said, “you’re the most trusting person I know.” And I have to say back, “Yeah? Alright. If you say so.”

But this has never sat right with me. I still feel like I trust everyone, yet no one, and I want to know why.

I love dictionaries. So today, I asked the dictionary what trust (and entrust) is:

Trust: Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety of a person or thing. Confident expectation of something; hope. The obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed.

Entrust: To charge or invest with something of value. To commit something to the care to, for use or performance.

Reliance on strength. Hey women, whose strength are you relying on?

Confident expectation. Hey men, who are you confident in?

To commit to the care of. Hey you, who have you committed your heart to the care of?

Trust, I am learning, is not character trait. It’s not a checkbox on your personality test. And it’s not a passive state of being.

Trust is an active decision. An active risk.

Maybe this is why putting trust on a survey doesn’t work. Because when you rely on something, when you entrust someone else with your own heart, there are two parties involved. Trust is something that cannot be defined on your own terms. When you choose to trust, you choose to be at the mercy of the strength, integrity, and surety of the other.

I am fighting with myself just writing this. But I want to be a trusting person. I want to trust everyone. Why do I want that?

I’m going to say it’s because I am part of a generation that has been raised to consume, consume, consume. We accept everything, believe everything, listen to everything, watch everything, and welcome everything.

Our greatest fear is that we might offend someone.

Both of these things, the overwhelming desire to soak up everything and to welcome the entire world into your heart, give us a knee jerk reaction to the idea of protecting your core and being slow to trust.

We accept everything, forgetting to passionately believe only a few things. We grab for everything, forgetting to cling desperately to only a few things.

I am learning that refusing to build and protect my core just might be the death of me.

When you spill your guts and bleed your heart, it can be like opening a safe. And when that safe is open, anyone can reach in and grab what they want.

I challenge you to be selective in who gets the keys to your safe. I challenge you to be slow to entrust people with your heart. I challenge you to wait for the people who have integrity, strength, and surety that you can count on. That you can commit your heart to.

I don’t want to stop wearing my heart on my sleeve. I don’t want to stop sharing all my secrets with every girl who needs or wants to hear. I don’t want to stop loving and loving deeply by way of my mistakes, my weaknesses, and hurts. I don’t want to stop talking about the hard things.

The good news, though, is that we don’t have to.

Because I have learned that God can take the safe your heart is in and turn it from steel to glass. So that everyone can see you, and your love, and your story. So that your heart is visible to everyone, and still displays honesty, vulnerability, humanity, and your need for God.

And we are called to do that. We are called to be a light, to sit on a hill.

But when it comes to trusting? Really, honestly entrusting your heart to the strength, integrity & surety of someone?

That you guard. For that, you are at peace with having higher standards for who gets the key. For being selective, to clinging to what is right and best.

For that, we are called to guard our hearts, for it is the wellspring of life.

Translated to common English: “Protect your heart, because the condition of your heart will determine the rest of your entire life.”.

Pictures from a Rainy Day & Stubbornly Holding To Blind Belief.

It rained today. I’m tired of the rain, so very tired. But all things are pretty, and I have decided to see them as such. So I took pictures on my front porch.

Also, I realized today, yet again, that I’m only a child. But that I have the best Dad. And that when I revert back to the heart he originally placed in me, stripped bare of all questioning, fears, guilt, concerns, and a forever of et ceteras, life is a thousand times more beautiful. More thoughts on that below.

You know when you were a kid, and your dad told you that the tooth fairy only comes on Tuesday nights, that watermelons grow in your tummy if you eat a seed, and that the birthmark on your mom’s leg was where she spilled her coffee, every morning?

You know all the things your dad told you about your family that you accepted without question?

You know when your dad said he was proud of you, and that took up 103% of your heart and brain space – so much so that you couldn’t even comprehend caring about anything else in that moment?

You know when your dad told you that you did something wrong, and the whole world broke and stopped until you put the pieces back together exactly the way he wanted them to be?

You know when you heard the car pull up and the garage door open and everything fell out of your hands as you screamed, “DADDY’S HOME!” and ran to hug his leg?

You know when you asked a question and he said “it doesn’t matter” and you didn’t give it another thought, just because he didn’t?

I want that with my Daddy. With my God. My Father.

I want to stubbornly cling to the most outrageous things with a blind belief simply because those words fell from His lips and there is no possible way that my Daddy is ever wrong.

I want to believe every single thing He tells me about my family – the one He’s given me – because His truth is my new truth.

I want 103% of my mind and heart to be flooded when He says is proud of me, and to not be able to even fathom caring about what anyone else thinks.

I want to have my priorities in order so that when my Daddy tells me something is off, I throw my heart and my soul into having them exactly the way He wants them to be.

I want to scream to my Daddy and everyone else that He’s home. MY HOME. Whenever I hear Him, see Him, feel Him.

And when I go to my Daddy with a painful question, and he says, “Don’t worry about it, because I’m not.” – I want to know with every cell of my body and every fiber of my heart that if He isn’t worried about it, I don’t need to be either.

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And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:10

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.” Matthew 11:25

You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. I Thessalonians 5:5

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4.

Graceless Children.

Sifting through old things, I found this. I originally wrote it in 2007. I wanted to share.

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watch two young children at play. content with themselves, content with each other, content with their toys and the few simple requests of yours while they sit at your feet. but left to one another for even ten minutes, and one will find two small monsters, focusing all of their once-innocent energies on making sure the other follows the rules as his or her tiny, young ears heard and their naive hearts interpreted. any outsider can watch from behind the invisible glass and see for himself that their adamant demands do not stem from a concern founded in what the best action is for the wisps of souls that they are, or in what the principle behind a command is and was. no – it becomes a miniature world in which perspective, reasoning, and purpose -and most certainly grace- is lost. there is an obsession with proving the other little one that he heard wrong and it was only 30 minutes, not 35. watching darkened eyes and hearing words that should never fall from lips as untouched as theirs greatly frustrates the observer. a disbelief towards the ever-growing childish fury raises silent questions in the heart. ‘where did the child with simplicity in his calm eyes disappear to?’ ‘what wordless force turned her tiny palm into a pathetic fist?’ and, ‘how are their worlds so small and trite, yet have the capacity for a seemingly instant hatred on the shallowest grounds?’ the observer who is wiser still will probe further:’how do you teach a child perspective? purpose? a concern for the rule he was given, but not for forcing it upon the other?’

how do you give a child eyes for himself but only his heart for others?

there is another question has not yet been asked that could change the grip on the observer’s heart from one of frustration, anger, disbelief and near-disgust to one of quiet understanding and a compassion that washes over a fistful of sins.

‘what if they never grow out of this? what if none of us have?’

yes, observer, who is so wise beyond so many years – years that taught you nothing but better ways to disguise your obsession for ruling your playmate with the rules that “are right.” years that taught you to replace your adamant squeals and tiny punches with smooth, reasoned, biting and life-murdering remarks. yes, observer, who is so understanding and gifted enough to view the world through experienced eyes – eyes that still insist on seeing only your foggy list of standards you thought you heard the Man speak before he left the room. the ones that you’ve repeated to yourself over and over and written down constantly for fear that – god forbid – the others didn’t hear the gentle commands. your age has taught you to fight in your own way, one much more accepted. – no, not fight, for your rulebook cries out against such behavior. but perhaps justified by your motive. what motive? yes, i ask, what motive? but i remind you, there is yet another observer – one observing you. one who already embraces a compassion that has covered your fistfuls of sins daily. one who spoke out of love, and you, in your short-sighted self-righteousness, changed it to condemnation.

you see now, that was never the objective.

he only wanted you to play gently with the young heart sitting next to you – who has already heard his own quiet whisperings of how to please his father.

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“…and i will write it on their hearts. i will be their father, and they will be my children. no longer will one teach another, or a man his brother, saying ‘this is how to know the lord,’ because they will each know me, from the very least to the greatest.’ declares the lord. ‘for i will forgive every action whether it be against me or not, regardless of it’s motive, and i will forget every one of their sins.’ – jeremiah 31.33

‘oh chosen, chosen people, you who take the life that i offer to those i have sent you and throw rocks like children at my own, how often i have longed to gather all your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her motherly wings, but you have not been willing. look, and see how this has left your house as one that is desolate.’ – matthew 23.36