Cheese coneys and motorcycle helmets: the mark of a princess.

In the mid 90s, my dad drove a yellow motorcycle, and he had a really awesome ponytail to match it. I was in elementary school, and it was the coolest thing ever when dad would take me places on his motorcycle. He used to take me on Saturday dates — we would go eat cheese coneys at James Coney Island. (Did you just throw up in your mouth a little?)

Mark Krimm, everybody. What a stud.

Mark Krimm, everybody. What a stud.

I’ll never forget one time, we both got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of lunch and when we came back they’d bussed our table. Since we weren’t done eating yet, we ended up getting seconds for free. We did a victory dance around the restaurant… I guess there’s been a mark of favor on my life since the beginning. 😉

I have some really sweet memories of the times my dad would take me on motorcycle dates. There was something extra special about the invitation into an adventure with him. There was a message I received in those experiences that never had to be spoken. Dad was just showing me that he wanted to take me out and show me off, spend time with me and do things we loved to do together. He wanted everyone to know who I was, and he proved it when he bought a white helmet for me and my sisters that he wrote on the back with paint pens, in big fancy letters, “Daddy’s Girls.”

It was just like his, but just my size. An identity he placed on me that spoke value and purpose. I belonged to him, and he was taking me on an adventure.

And what my dad was doing in the natural mirrors a much greater fatherly love that we get to experience in the supernatural. So often we think of the throne room as unapproachable, but we’ve been given an invitation — an unlimited, all-access pass. And do you know what that invitation says?

Come and see what I have for you. I want to be with you. I want to show you what it is to live a life of adventure. I want to show you off. I want everyone to know that you’re mine.

Did you know that the only people allowed in the Oval office without permission are the children of the President of the United States? I get the feeling that our founding fathers knew the importance of children having access to their father. I get the feeling that they knew that kind of access to their Father.

And it’s not even so much that we’re allowed to enter the throne room without permission, but that we’ve already been granted unlimited permission.

So when I approach God, and I enter the throne room, I run without thinking about it and without an invitation I just jump right into the lap of Dad, because I know his heart is to be with me, to show me the secret things of an adventurous life with him, and to make it know that I am His. Just like my dad, and his yellow motorcycle, and my cheesy white helmet. And what does God do when I come running? He puts a crown on my head. And inscribed on it, in big fancy letters, “Daddy’s Girl.”

Just like His, but just my size.

Open the window.

I’ve been doing some freelance writing this year for Waco Today. It’s nothing too spectacular, they’re always pretty straight forward pieces, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s great extra income. Plus it keeps me doing what I love, which is telling stories. Yesterday I was driving home from doing an interview for a story I’m working on, and as I was driving I started having this revelation of why I love what I do.

I love writing for magazines like Waco Today, because most often the stories are less hard news oriented and more feature-esque. And in a feature story, you’re normally highlighting something unique about a person or organization — some accomplishment, or some special skill, talent or gift. So I find that I really enjoy doing interviews for these stories, because most of the time I’m getting to talk to someone about the thing they love the most. That one thing that makes them come alive, that they could spend their entire lives doing and never grow weary of it.

And there’s something about talking to someone who has passion in their voice. It just rubs off on you. I have no desire to own a restaurant or sing in a barbershop quartet. I have never wanted to be a CEO or a governor. I wouldn’t dream of becoming an American Gladiator or the captain of a roller derby team. (Well OK, I might think about trying those two)

I’ve sat across a table from all of these people, though, and I’ve listened to the sounds of their souls pour out into a recorder — the stories from the purest places of hearts that I’ll somehow try to retell just as raw and beautifully as they made it sound the first time. And it doesn’t matter what they’re talking about, if I can feel the passion in the voice of someone who’s living out what they were made for, my heart beats a little faster. Maybe some of that is the fact that I know somehow their purpose is colliding with mine every time I get to tell one of their stories.

When I see people who know who they are operating in their giftings, I see a little glimpse of heaven come out of them. Because even if they don’t realize it, when someone does something out of a God-given place of giftedness, they are unlocking some small piece of heaven that they’ve been given authority over and access to on earth.

This is true of the culinary mastermind, who knows the glory of the wedding feast and can give us enough taste to satisfy our appetites for now.

It’s true of the vocalist who opens his mouth and somehow there’s a choir of angels singing from this one set of vocal chords.

It’s true in the strategic mind of a CEO who knows that heaven is anything but ordinary and every bit of extravagantly, intricately designed. And it’s true of the governor who hates injustice and is for the people, who values education and despises wastefulness because he knows the stewarding of such things will determine the longevity of the people and place he’s been given authority over.

It’s true of the gladiator and the rollergirl, who know the true meaning of running a race with endurance and disciplining yourself for the greater things.

When God makes us he puts some piece of himself inside of us that he intends for us to share with the rest of his children. I’ve heard it said before that our job is to open a window so that people can hear the sound of their true home.

What window do you open? What’s been put in you that gives you authority to access a special part of heaven — the part that only you have the keys to?

I think my window is the window to his goodness. I’m a storyteller. Do you know what happens when we tell stories? We remember what’s already happened. We cherish and we retell of the deeds of God because we need a reminder to propel us forward.

And if I retell of his deeds then it has to equate to revealing his goodness, because he is the author of all that is good. Every good thing comes from him. Every. Good. Thing.

So I keep letting strangers pour out their hearts to me, and I let their passion ignite my passion because this is how we move things in the spirit. And with every story told, the window that unleashes his goodness opens wider, and wider, and wider.

That’s my window. What’s yours?

What’s your center?

A couple of months ago, I took the kids I nanny to see Rise of the Guardians. It’s a movie about all the mythical characters we know as kids — Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sand Man — and Jack Frost, who gets commissioned by “the Man in the Moon” to join forces with them as a Guardian.

You might be wondering what they are guardians of, if you’ve never seen or heard of this movie. They guard the joy of the children around the world, by protecting their dreams, wonder, memories and hope. And, (spoiler alert) when Jack is added into the mix, by protecting their fun.

All of this they’re protecting from the evil villain of the movie: Pitch Black. Otherwise known as the Boogie Man. He’s on a mission to rob the children of their joy by placing fear in them. It’s crazy how much revelation can be had from this movie. It was one of my favorites that I’ve seen in a while.

So the main plot is this — the Guardians come together to protect the joy of the children, by fighting fear with hope, dreams, wonder, good memories, and fun. But there’s a story within the story that I think we can all relate to: the story of Jack Frost.

Jack doesn’t really know who he is. He doesn’t know what his purpose is. Nobody can see him, because nobody believes in him. So when he’s summoned to become a Guardian with all the legends of mythical characters, he is unsure of his purpose. Kids believe in all the other guys, but they don’t even know who he is. So one day Santa (whose name is “North” in the movie) pulls him into his office to talk to him.

North starts to tell Jack who he is. He asks him what he sees when he looks at him, and then he hands him a Russian nested doll (an excellent reference to the way the film makers are playing on the Russian myths of who Santa is in his character) to illustrate the different “layers” of who he is. When Jack gets to the very center, he finds a wooden baby with wide eyes. North tells Jack that this is his center — Wonder.

He goes on to ask Jack what his center is, and Jack tells North he doesn’t know. North tells him there has to be something. The Man in the Moon wouldn’t have put him where he is, and made him who he was, if there wasn’t something special inside of him. Something the children of the world needed.

I think if we’re all honest, we can relate to Jack. We get thrown into places and scenarios that we feel inadequate for. We don’t know what our purpose is, or what’s inside of us that is special enough to make us significant. We don’t know what’s at our center that makes us uniquely necessary for the advancement of the kingdom. And I think, at times, we all need a North to tell us that there’s something in us the world needs. God wouldn’t have made us who we are and brought us to where we are if there wasn’t something inside of us that people need.

So, what’s your center? I dare you to search and find it. Somebody needs what’s inside of you.

I tried to find this scene in better quality, but this is the only place I could find the right clip. Watch it anyway. It’s so good!