Laurel Thomas

dad Archive



July 2017



A Child’s Voice in the River

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A speech impediment plagued my five-year old self. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t pronounce my name. The letter “l” was impossible, the “r” tricky. My name, Laurel, required mastery of one or the other. The sound that tumbled out of my mouth in an untidy heap was not my name.

Awkward, mumbling “Ohwell” confused anyone who asked, “What’s your name, little girl?”

How could six letters arranged to identify me be so hard to get out of my mouth? It was embarrassing, even for a little kid who shouldn’t have cared much. After all, I was loved by the people who mattered. No big deal.

Except it was a big deal. But for reasons I didn’t understand at the time.

Later, when I experienced God, I realized why. Because me with Him was the point. The whole point. Me living this life, with Him, as only I could.

It took me awhile to figure that out. And to understood I needed to be grateful for all the parts of my life. In my worst moments, I’d made flawed decisions, opted for easy instead of difficult, and stayed passive when a mess required a response.

But those parts could be summed up in a sentence or two. Unlike the incredible joy of seeing my babies for the first time. When my husband and I locked eyes and knew we were part of a miracle – together.

Or the journey of recognizing my mom’s courage. Loving and appreciating with adult eyes how she responded to dashed dreams as a good mom – loving her kids and making the hard choice to protect us.

And accepting the wonder of a dad who chose me. Actually, he chose my mom first. But by choosing her, he embraced me. On purpose. He loved that way when I recognized it and when I didn’t.

I’d had great people who helped me along the way. Most of all, my husband. But, also leaders and bosses who taught me to be wise and work hard. Even the ones who blew it showed me that my decisions for integrity, or not, were me writing my own story. The one I’d be able to share with my kids in the years to come. Or not.

Colossians 1:28 has been talking to me all summer. Talking to me? Well, it’s a big subject. Christ in me, the hope of glory.

Confidence in God showing up as God in me? What does that look like?

I struggled a long time with the largeness of that thought. I’d focus on how many ways I’d missed it. And why. Until I decided to go another direction. It started with a simple prayer.

Lord, help me see You in me. Help me identify and treasure Your uniqueness in me.

Then, help me steward Your expression in me well.

A steward doesn’t just keep order and make sure life colors within the lines. A steward administrates what doesn’t belong to her. The assignment and it’s design are unveiled as I keep moving and trusting.

Finally, help me share it in love. Because love rests over my imperfections and somehow makes my offering lovely.

This summer, in time for my birthday, I’m discovering the one thing that evaded me as a child.

I’m learning to pronounce my name.



June 2014



A Daddy Waits

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The prodigal son seems like a good Father’s Day story. Remember the son who decided he wasn’t a son? His daddy and his home life were holding him back. He needed that inheritance, even if it meant breaking relationship with the one who loved him most.

I’ve been pretty good about jumping into fights like a junkyard dog. My quickness to defend myself is proof of a lie I’ve believed. That lie is that my safety and my defense depend on me alone.

Hmmm. That sounds a little like the prodigal. What was it that really sent him on his shopping spree? Was it trying to keep up with an over-achieving older brother who ran faster, farther and with more finesse?

Was there strife in that home? Or had life just been pretty quiet, and the prodigal needed some fun. Without restrictions, without boundaries.

We don’t know why. We can only speculate what caused a person to discard what was of real value in his life.

It would have been easy for the father to shout, “Didn’t I teach you better than that? Haven’t you learned anything from all the love and care since you were born?”

We don’t have any record of that. We just see a dad waiting, looking at the horizon, watching for a lost son to return.

I’ve been the lost daughter. I’ve been the longing parent. Wondering when the chains will be broken. Wishing I could give more, be better, somehow make things right. Realizing the time must come when my eye turns to the Father.

My Father waits for me to get it.

He doesn’t call me stupid. He just waits, longing for the moment when I head back home to love.

So, that’s what I’m doing this Father’s Day. Lifting my eyes to what is real. Grateful that I’m learning to recognize it. Looking to the horizon, knowing I’m His own.



Laurel Thomas