This girl says the most amazing things.

My middle daughter Lydia Joy cracks me up quicker than Chris Farley or Chris Rock. She melts me with her smile, and breaks me with her wit. She has no filter and amazing things come flying out of her mouth on a weekly basis.

During our recent move from Salem, Oregon to Franklin, Tennessee I asked her what kind of house she wanted to live in.

She poked me in the stomach several times and through a big toothless grin said, “I want to live in a house with stairs so you can walk up and down them and lose your fat belly.”

Ouch! The truth hurts.

My next question was, “What kind of a job do you think daddy should get in Tennessee?” Lydia’s wise and seasoned older sister Gracelyn piped up with, “Dad I want you to be a pastor because when you speak I always listen. You are really funny”

Gracelyn obviously knows that “words of affirmation” is one of my love languages.

Lydia must have still been thinking about my belly because she followed Gracelyn’s answer with, “I think you should be an ice cream truck driver so we can get free ice cream.” I think we can all see her logic.

As comical as Lydia can be, she also says things that make you want to cry, laugh, and drop to your knees all at the same time.

About a month ago she and I laid down on her bed for some nighttime reading, and just before we turned out the lights we looked up at “her verse” hanging on the wall and read it together.

Galatians pic


After we finished reading she kept looking at Galatians 5 hanging on her wall and very matter-of-factly stated, “I read that two times every night before I go to bed.”

“Really” I replied, “Why do you do that?”

She turned and looked at me with her big blue eyes and said, “It reminds me who I am.”

I was speechless for the next couple minutes. Those were the words of a then six-year-old girl.

“It reminds me who I am.”

Araya Sunshine and I have been praying that verse over Lydia since before she was born. She knows that Galatians 5:22,23 is “her verse.”

We have repeated “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” with her hundreds of times.

We intentionally put that verse on the wall of her bedroom, but we had no idea how impactful it would be. We had no idea she would be repeating it nightly on her own, and that it would remind her that she is a daughter of the King.

Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but someday she is going to struggle, and doubt, and lose her way. She is going to forget who she is and in those moments I hope she remembers that picture hanging on her wall. I hope she remembers those words she repeated every night.

I hope she stops and remembers not only who she is, but whose she is.

1-If you have children, consider what you can do this week to remind them who they are? Consider giving them a life verse. If they already have one, how have you seen that verse come to life over the years? If they don’t already have one, let this be an exercise in sitting with the Lord and leaning into what he has for them.

2-Are there quotes, verses, or art you can hang in your home to remind your family or roommates who they are?