to write love

I am going to write “LOVE” on my arms in thick, black, permanent marker letters.

I am going to wear short sleeve shirts so that they can see the letters scrawled out where my scars used to be.

I want that sad, skinny girl to see it. I want that overweight, loud girl to see it. I want that young man cloaked in black to see it. I want that middle-aged woman with the tired, dark eye-liner to look, and see it. I want the man with the guilty face and the little girl with “SEXY” written across the seat of her hot pink pants to see my arms, covered in LOVE. I want them to know that Love is real. Hope is real. I am living proof.

Have you any idea how many people swarm around you on a daily basis with words branded on them: WORTHLESS. CHEAP. OLD. HOT. MISPLACED. RICH. ODDBALL. POOR. UGLY. LOST. FAT. CLOWN. ARTSY. DORK. HIPPIE. JOCK. HARD. PUNK. CRIMINAL. SMART. ANGRY. STUPID. Invisible tags, unseen labels- sometimes given by other people, sometimes etched by their own doing, but everybody’s got one or three. We all realize this, we all know it happens, sometimes the brand is embroidered on a shirt, or pierced through a body part, or stained on the skin as a tattoo, or worst of all, just silently, secretly held in the heart.

What would happen if I decided to choose my own brand, my own word, my own label? And then, what would happen if I decided to make it utterly and blatantly visible to all who see me- written on my arm? I hid my arms once- what if I were to forget all evasive tendencies and be bold about it?

What would happen if I chose LOVE for my word? I choose LOVE. I choose to accept it, I choose to give it, I choose to show it, I promise to live it. Can I do that? Is that allowed?

I am loved; I am covered in Love, all around me, underneath me, up above me, through and through me, soaked in Love. It’s not a Love that will not fail or fade, either. God Himself has set His love on me and it’s something that the world needs to see- because it saved my life, it rescued me.

LOVE. This is my New Year’s Resolution. A little early, I know, but it’s on my heart now so I might as well get it sorted out and set to the page. And when the marker wears off, I want the world to look at me and still see LOVE written clearly and boldly and loudly.

“Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life…..” Psalm 63

What will you write?

** To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit organization that aims to help people struggling with depression, suicide, self-harm and addiction. Hope is Real. Rescue is Possible. Love is the Movement. Check it out…. To Write Love on Her Arms


Aha. I am signing myself up for the Naked Face Challenge.

You got it, peeps. I will let my face live nakedly- no make up, no fancy-shmancy editing (which I can’t do anyway- but I thought I would throw it in there) and no bashing on the way my face looks. Ever. Again. No bashing. Ever. You’ve got to keep me accountable with this one.

I have never *really* been one for a lot of makeup, I’ve never liked all the fuss’n’nonsense that goes along with it and I have a horrific habit of touching my face- all the time- and when you wear makeup that means you have a horrific habit of looking like your ink didn’t dry all the way when you came out of the printer that morning. And yet, that doesn’t mean that I have been kind to my visage. That doesn’t mean that I don’t daily glare into the mirror and wish that there was *something* makeup could do to change how I look. I think my face has an awful hard job dealing with the critical person who lives behind it, and I think I need to stop being such a creep. Really.

SO, I guess, more than a ‘no-makeup-commitment’, this is a ‘love my naked face’ commitment, because really, that’s the point after all. It isn’t the makeup, it’s the attitude that’s poisonous, at least for me.

My boss, who is an amazingly eclectic and slightly eccentric person, told me her perspective on makeup the other day and it really got me thinking.

“You know Andi- I think wearing makeup is a socially acceptable form of lying. We’ve been doing it for so long nobody thinks anything of it- but stop and think about it. I mean, really, what’s everybody trying to hide anyway? Like nobody’s gonna know everyone else has got acne and blotches and pale lips and dark circles under their eyes. Get Real! That’s what I say.”

That’s what she said.

It’s not that I am never going to wear make-up again (especially when I’m wanting to NOT look like some washed-out Caribbean Zombie come December) it’s that I am going to stop raking my naked face over the coals.

So There.

I Promise to be more kind and loving to my naked face, taking care of it, but not obsessing over it. I Promise to let pictures be taken of myself *without* all the drama of dreading how horrible I am going to look in them- I will smile and say cheese and let it go. I promise to stop making fun of my smile, or the way that one eye squints up in a pirate-like fashion. I Promise to be thankful for my dark skin in the summer, and my pale skin in the winter- not everybody gets the chance to be two-toned. I Promise to recognize that God gave me this face… and I should think accordingly.

Anybody joining me?

Read Deanna’s thoughts on the subject at her blog, Delirious Rhapsody and then join up!