Little Orphan Annie

As many of you know, I’m an actor.

And one of my favorite roles I ever played was Annie.

Yes, yes, your red-headed, optimistic orphan was portrayed by Yours Truly. A couple of times.

But I mean, come on. You can’t not love that show. It’s like the original Hallmark movie: set in NYC during Christmas, cheesy dialogue (Leapin’ Lizards!), and of course, a feel-good ending.

It’s got Hallmark written all over it.

Now, I could dissect the lyrics of “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.” I mean, let’s be real: that’d be a pretty appropriate topic for a recovery/hope-spewing blog.

But, you all are smart people and I’m not here to waste your time. I respect you too much.

I’m here to talk about…Daddy Warbucks.

Yep: your bald headed, capitalism-loving, millionaire softie.

Now. Quick recap, in case you live under a rock and have never seen the show/movie/atrocious 2015 remake where they ADDED SONGS -_- #DontMessWithTheClassic #CarolBurnettForLife


Only joking, only joking….kind of.

But a recap in one sentence: Little orphan Annie goes to live with grumpy Oliver Warbucks as a PR stunt to soften his image; and in the mean time, she melts his heart and He ends up adopting her and becoming Daddy Warbucks.

Yes, the music is great, there’s a dog, and the story line pulls at the heart strings. But I think what really captivates the audience and makes people fall in love with the show, is the relationship between Annie and Daddy Warbucks.

And I have a theory for why that is, aside from the fact that I looked cute in a red wig. 😉

I think that deep down, all of us want a Daddy Warbucks.

Hear me out. Annie is an orphan, living a “hard-knock-life.” An orphan. All her life, she has internalized that she was not wanted. Not loved. Her parents left her on a doorstep of an orphanage, because they didn’t want her.

That, my friends, is a wound. And a deep one at that.

But let’s be really honest here for a second: isn’t that our greatest fear?

Isn’t that something that trails us around? Am I lovable? Do I matter? Am I wanted?

And this little orphan is swept up into the arms of Daddy Warbucks, who falls in love with her, exactly as is. And showers her with all the delights money can buy: new clothes, trips to the movies, a beautiful mansion, presents, delectable foods — you name it. But at the end of the day, none of that mattered. “I don’t need anything but you.” Isn’t that all we long to hear? To know? That we are loved and are good. And worth loving?

It chokes me up every time I watch that show, because this little orphan, whose very existence communicated that she was unwanted, found someone who loved her unconditionally. She had nothing to offer. No way to earn it. Hell, when she arrived at the mansion, she started doing chores, only to be stopped. She didn’t have to work in order to earn anything. Daddy Warbucks just loved her.

It’s beautiful.

And it can be our story too. 


I’m gonna keep this brief, so as not to get preachy, but Daddy Warbucks is like our Heavenly Father.

So many of us live with that fear of being unwanted, being unlovable. For me, that fear was that in order to be loved I had to be perfect.

But we long for someone to come in and validate us and alleviate those fears. Which, if left unresolved, leads so often to destructive behaviors. For me it was anorexia. But there are other things too: maybe we try to fill that hole with another addiction. Or promiscuity. Or designer clothing or shoes. Or busyness. Or gambling. Or being manipulative to people. Or lashing out. Or shutting people out completely.

There is validation to be found. And it is in the arms of our Father. He wants to delight in us. He wants to shower us with love and show us that we, in fact, are loved. Wanted. Valued. Worth loving. Worth saving. Worth adopting.


He wants to be Daddy Warbucks for me and you.

Yes. You.


So put down the mop and bucket. There’s no work to be done here at the Warbucks Mansion.

And I promise, “I think you’re gonna like it here.” 🙂


156 responses to “Little Orphan Annie”

  1. “There is validation to be found”seriously these words are so so true! A huge component of my struggle is seeking validation from others, because I felt unlovable myself. How true it is that I have a higher power who validates me every moment of every day. Who loves me and only asks for me to trust in his perfect will. Thanks for your awesome words 🙂

  2. True words from a captivating heart… authentic beauty indeed. Well spoken, lovely! To be loved, pursued, and longed for is the cry of every heart (different ways and different voices). He does all of that and never sleeps but waits tenderly and gently for us to take his hand. (Isaiah 30:18.. He longingly waits. 😉 ) Be encouraged, as you encourage countless others.

    • Hi Jeanette! oh thank you so much:) what beautiful insight! i appreciate you sharing that. And that verse! it is like warmth to my soul:) Aren’t His words such a comfort? Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! Hugs!

      • You are so very welcome. It is Him who reminds me to dance in the storms, splash puddles in the rain, and bask in the rays of sparkling sunshine… not to mention taking snow walks in the sparkling detailed brilliance. Isaiah 30:18 is my name verse (one of 2 actually found with my first name). It is a wonder what changes in you when you learn your name and to walk in His gift spoken through that name. 🙂 (Jeanette=”God is Gracious” ) May you also be encouraged as he calls you by name to the vineyards he has prepared for you. 😉 (Hosea 2:14-15; Psalm 139)

      • You paint such beautiful pictures with your words! Yes. It is so wonderful to know that He knows us each by name and loves us and has prepared a place for us. I so appreciate the verses you’ve shared this evening. Keep dancing, friend! Hugs!

  3. I find resonance with this in (sometimes) my running. I want to be the best I can be, but sometimes when I’m feeling too worthy, I console myself saying “well, I hit my mile splits today…” or something of that nature. I need to remember that God loves Ellie, his daughter. Not, God loves Ellie because she is a runner. Much love xoxox

    • Hi Ellie! So true! There’s nothing we can do to earn His love. And conversely, there’s nothing we can do to disqualify ourselves from His love either. You spoke the truth: He love us. His daughters. His precious creations. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful reflections! It always brightens my day to see your name pop up on my dash! Hugs! Xx

  4. Yes I know you’re an actor and I have done a little myself. Except looking for CL gigs and movies and a few other google searches I somehow do not find anything local I put in NY acting etc and I get castingcallhub for ny and they are never NY auditions, backstage or places that just want you to come in and pay them or pay sites. Anywhere else besides Variety and I know one other but it escapes me at the moment to look?

  5. Reblogged this on Evolving Perceptions and commented:
    This post exemplifies one of the reasons why she has easily become one of my favorite bloggers.

    I can only hope that one day I am able to see my worth and validation in the One that formed me. I pray for the day that I stop viewing myself as the orphan, and instead allow myself to relax in a love that I have spent most of my life searching for.

    • Thank you so much for the reblog and for such kind words! Oh my gosh I am absolutely humbled❤️ know that you are in my heart and prayers. Yes. That Love -His love- that you’re searching for is out there and waiting for you. Sending so many hugs right now! You’ve put a smile on my face this evening. Thank you:) hugs, friend!

      • You are most certainly welcome! Your posts are sincere, heartfelt, and written from a place of honesty and transparency that serve as a gift and inspiration for those that read it. Thank you for them!

    • Hi Oneta! Oh thank you so much:) and what a great point! Yes! He needed Annie’s love just as much as she did his! Mutually satisfying. I like that:) thanks for your thoughtful reflection! Have a great night, friend! Xoxo

  6. As the mother of three adopted children I find Annie offensive. I get why you wrote what you wrote and there is value in what you have said. Lots of it. But adoption is not that easy and rarely has the “happily ever after Annie” ending that so many love. The reasons are complex but some of it does have to do with that “primal” wound that being just being abandoned creates. And unfortunately, often having someone love you unconditionally is not enough. You could have all the Daddy Warbucks in the world and it wouldn’t matter. Annie does a disservice to adoptees everywhere because it trivializes adoption and makes the adoptee feel like they are indebted to the person who “saved” them.

    • Thank you so much for this perspective. This was definitely an aspect of the show that I did not consider. I apologize if anything I said offended you or trivialized the reality of adoption and all the emotions involved for all parties. Thank you for showing me this in a different light. Sending love to you and yours xx

      • Oh you didn’t say anything that was offensive at all. Just wanted you to understand that there is another perspective.It is an interesting set of ideas when you look at it from an adoptees perspective.

  7. The amount of comments I just had to scroll through to be able to add my own should be proof enough that these words you wrote were very much needed and appreciated. Thank you for sharing!

    • Oh my gosh thank you so much! Haha, yeah I’m always humbled that people have such beautiful and thoughtful responses to my silly little words. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read! Have a wonderful evening!

  8. I read this post (and a few attached to it) and every. single. word. speaks to me. It’s been a long day, well, week, here, and I’m tired beyond words – but I needed to read this. And needed to read it now. Thank you so much for sharing it. Take care & God bless…


    • Hi Tom, oh thank you so much:) I’m really glad that it struck a chord with you. I’m sorry that it’s been a long week. Hopefully you can find some relaxation and rest this weekend. ☺️ thanks for stopping by and for your affirming words. 🙂

  9. Hey cheers for the post. I wanted to be saved most of my 35 years life. I finally found the freedom and how empowering it is to be the person that controls and takes over the reigns of my life. Seeking validation and salvation from another is my idea of hell. I want to create my own luck. I want to stand indepantly and know that what I have done I have created. Yes, it is a lovely thought to be saved but I want to own that myself. I hope this comes across as kindly as possible…. I would like to let you know thst any blog I follow I like to kind of act like a proof reader. Some people can be so anal about reading a post with wrting errors and we all do them. so here is me the un offical admin lady pointing out orphan is spelt wrong.

    • Hi Daisy! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to respond. I appreciate your viewpoint. I can definitely understand that there is something really special about seeing the fruits of our labor:) and hmm! I didn’t know orphan was spelled incorrectly! 😬 thanks for stopping by! (And yes your words did come across kindly😍) xx

  10. What a great way of explaining the love that our Heavenly Father has for us and gives us freely! I’ve just written about this in my own blog, about knowing who we are in Christ! You are absolutely right that when we feel so unlovable and fearful that we seek to fill a whole through a multitude of temporary things.

    Knowing we have a father who loves us for who we are, because we are made in his perfect image, is the only way we can become whole.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and making the love of God so clear to others!

    • Thank you so much Cheryl:) your words so so affirming! I appreciate it:) yes, His love is the only way to fill that hope-that deep longing- inside each one of us. How comforting that loving is is all He wants to do? Thanks for stopping by, friend! Have a lovely weekend! Xx

    • Thank you so much Ramsey! Oh my gosh, that’s so kind of you to say! ☺️ yes I did! Not in the iconic movie, of course, but at a couple of different professional theaters. It was my favorite role. Thanks for reading!

  11. Once again, your blog brings home the love of God. Thank you for sharing so beautifully what we all need to hear and remember. Blessings for the day.

    • Thank you so much Bella! Aw that brings me so much joy to hear☺️☺️☺️I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment! Hugs to you! Have a beautiful weekend!

  12. Thank you for sharing!!! I love Orphan Annie. She sparked something in me when I was a little girl that was there on the inside. I would sing and pretend to tap along until I learned….love her story, it is so similar to my own.

    • Thank you so much! I did too! So many cherished memories. I think I wore the magnetic strip off of the video I watched it so much. Haha thanks for stopping by! Hugs to you ❤️

  13. This is beautiful. Truly. Thank you for ‘liking’ my post today, Reflections On Psalm 1. I’m so glad I came to visit you here. I’ll be back. Many, many blessings to you.

  14. Thank you for this perspective – I feel like Annie when the Lord took home two of my wives within a 3 year span of time. Did I deserve to live here? Why did such tragedies occurred in my life?
    Will reblog this at: – this is one of those posts that I feel gives people strength to live past their hurts because a brighter future awaits through our Lord Jesus Christ!
    Thanks for your inspirational writing!

    • Thank you so much Solomon. I appreciate the reblog! You’re so right, there is a brighter future awaiting is in Him. I am so sorry for your loss. How nice to know that our Lord has a special place at Home with Him forever and that we will be reunited one day:) thanks for stopping by. Xx

  15. Daddy Warbucks as a metaphor for God? Wonderful! I quite like the idea in general and, in this case of Daddy Warbucks, in specificity, of finding an operative down-on-the-ground image for what, I believe, for many is the unseen (thus, potentially unknowable) and certainly transcendent reality of God. Thank you.

  16. Awesome post and great analogies. Annie is one of my favorite shows too. Always wanted to be Miss Hannigan. Now that’s a sad commentary if I ever saw one.

  17. Absolutely Awesome! It’s so sad how so many turn to vices instead of turning to God. Great post, blog, story….I’m still new so I don’t know what to call them? Anyhow, Awesome!!!

  18. What a great post! Love the analogy. I am one of those who has been “under a rock” and never seen any of Annie except for a couple clips. Just may have to watch it.

    • Oh thank you so much! Hahha oh gosh,just joking about the rock;) or at least…im sure it’s a nice rock 😂😉😉jk jk jk well, I hope you enjoy the film if you end up watching it! It really is s classic. But thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend! ☺️

  19. Really enjoyed he humor at the beginning. Good message you had going at the end. Annie huh? That is one of my favorite movies. You played one of my fave 😎

  20. This post was wonderfully written 🙂 I am not surprised to hear (at least in your implication) that no female child actor would pass up the chance to play Annie. One wonders, If every male child actor’s dream is to play Oliver Twist since both characters share the similarity of being an orphan. Anyway, I love how you invoke the spirituality of God in this post to something unrelated like theater since you are an actress in that medium 🙂 But whenever you write something, you effortlessly find a connection and that is part of your genius 🙂 I do not want to promote myself on your blog, but on my blog cinematiccoffee, I just posted a blog entry regarding my favorite films of the year. One does not have to have seen them all to appreciate it, all one has to do is just adore the writing style that is typical of great blogs like yours. I hope I did not sound arrogant there cause that is my worst nightmare 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always and I can’t wait for your next blog entry as well 🙂

    • Hi John! Oh thank you so much. I always love reading your reflections:) Annie is such a great show for so many reasons! Oh awesome! I look forward to checking out your post! And no worries, friend! You in no way sound arrogant! I love to hear your thoughts and wisdom! Because it’s truly that…wisdom! Thanks, as always, for reading! Enjoy your Sunday!

    • Thanks John! Yep! Just did! I’m just at a crazy packed bar and only now got around to reading all the replays! But thanks again for your thoughts and I can’t wait to check out your post when I get home!

  21. Of course take your time 🙂 The only reason I mentioned my new blog post on the reply was only because you mentioned something about theater in this blog post despite the fact that it is a different medium that cinema 🙂 Do not worry, you can read it whenever you want, If you want to wait months later, that would be perfect with me too 🙂 Once again keep up the great work as always 🙂

  22. I agree that 2015 remake of Annie was horrible. Lol.

    I saw you said that God wants to delight in us, according to His word, He really wants us to delight in Him.
    ” Delight yourself also in the LORD; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4.
    This post is encouraging and comforting. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Great post- I watched Annie over and over as a child and it was one of my favourite films. More recently I heard teaching about identifying as an orphan versus seeing ourselves as children of God and I felt that God was telling me to watch the movie again, thinking about that. There were so many great links I began to wonder if some of it was deliberate. I’m not sure if it was but God certainly used it to speak to me.

    • Thank you so much Carly! I don’t doubt it! It’s such a cliche, but God really does work in mysterious ways. Or rather, creative ways! How comforting to know that we have a Father who wants the best for his adopted children. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Oh my gosh thank you so much. That brings my heart so much joy. I’m really glad this resonated with you. Thanks for stopping by! And yes, we are loved immensely by our Father. Have a grey day!

  24. This is so powerful and nearly moved me to tears tonight! Being in who has suffered from rejection most of her life, reminders like this are still so priceless even when the world just thinks you should simply get over it! Thanks for letting him use you!

    • Oh my gosh thank you so much! That really means a lot. Yes, you are SO priceless. And how comforting to know that all He wants to do is love us and heal over those wounds from the past. We are so loved. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs!

  25. Thank you for reading from my blog. I’ve appreciated reading your words. There is strong ministry here. We are all wounded, but by ourselves we’re not so good at knowing that. In this community, there is a chance for folk to understand who they are what they need. Thank God for this. Thank you.

  26. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and liking what was a follow-up to a series of posts written by my dog who is wondering where our son is. He is off at the Australian Scouting Jamboree for 10 days and the poor dog keeps looking for him. He’s a Border Collie and I can see him thinking “I count 3 humans. Should be four”.
    Here’s a link to the previous post which ties in so well with the story of Orphan Annie:
    When I write from my dog’s perspective, I can express emotions in quite a different way and through his eyes addressed what is among a child’s greatest fears. That their parents really don’t love them, as portrayed through the dog’s interpretation of events. I grew up feeling this way at times myself and my son echoes my own pain at times. We are currently painting his room and I’m going to decorate it for when he gets home. Hopefully, that will fill his love tank for awhile.
    Well done on playing the role of Annie. Lovely to meet you. My daughter recently audfitioned for the role of Marta in the Sydney production of the Sound of Music. She didn’t get it but she’s dipped her little toe in the world of showbiz. She actually has a stomach condition and has been very underweight. She was all bones for awhile there and we’re not out of the woods but managing it better. A close friend of mine almost lost her life to anorexia and developed an incredible perfectionism as well at the time. It was so incredibly hard to watch but I can’t imagine what it was like to go through it.
    God’s love is amazing, though.
    Love & God Bless,

    • Hi Rowena, thank you so much for reading and for your thoughtful reflection! What an interesting post! It was really interesting to think about how dogs see things and was very thought provoking. It sounds like you are a great mom and friend. Good luck painting the room! I’m sure your son with love it and definitely fill his love meter:) thanks again for stopping by xx

  27. I loved this post. You even included that funny snippet of Carol Burnett saying “Do I hear HAPPINESS in here?!” lol, omg, I love love loved that movie when I was growing up. Thank you for sharing this <3

  28. Bravo excellent article, much more than a blog post in my mind
    I totally agree the original Hallmark movie was the best, and I loved the comparison of Daddy Warbucks and God and His unconditional love
    Especially in this new age world of gadgets – gizmos and often offensive atheists, and too many who have turned away from a life of faith and now readily denounce God

  29. Amen to that!! That’s a nice read 😊 and true in all forms. Often times we look for love or approval in the wrong places but the one who has loved us from the beginning, at our worst, has always been there waiting for us ❤ God bless you and may He continue to use your stories mightily to bring people closer to Him! (:

    • Thank you so much Kimmy! Isn’t that a comfort to know that we are so incredibly loved? By a Father who has loved us from the beginning? And that we don’t have to earn it? Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to read! Hugs to you!

  30. I love this comparison! He is welcoming and loving. He does show us that we are loved,cherished,and validated. He wants us to come running to him in our time of need, just as a father does because he is the true father. I ran from his hands for many years because I did not know what I was running from. I just knew I was lost. I’m thankful for finding him and for his forgiveness everyday.

    • Hi DeAnna! Thank you so much. You’re so right. He is SO welcoming and loving. What a comfort that is. I’m so glad you’ve found that freedom and joy too! God is good! Thanks for stopping by!

  31. Be preachy and keep up,the evangelization. The world was built by God to provide what is needed to go to to God. Man’s wants often distort the simple vision provided. We just need to choose the path of hope and not despair. As you and I know this is not always easy…but needs to be done. Keep preaching…

  32. I never looked at Annie from this perspective and maybe this is why I feel a connection to the movie? I played her many times in my own little world-once on a neighbors picnic table and I was going all out! Little did I know that my Mother was watching from a window and when I came in, she sort-of poked fun at my ‘unabashed freedom’. I was ashamed… imagine that- being ashamed for pretending. As a parent myself, I never did this to my kids. When I heard them pretending (or saw it), I said nothing… they had the freedom to be and do anything they wanted. I wasn’t going to put shame on their plate and I don’t think it was intentionally put on my plate-but it hurt none-the-less. Thanks for your perspective here. We all deserve to be loved for who we are, no matter what that is.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this:) yes, Annie definitely invites us to come into her story and feel the joy and unconditional love she experienced through adoption from Daddy Warbucks. It sounds like you’re a wonderful mom. I’m sorry that you felt that as a child. How great that you’re able to give your kids a safe zone to play and pretend and be themselves. Thanks for stopping by, friend. Hugs xox

  33. Love the power of story-telling to share a message and especially the Gospel that is in Annie. My son is currently playing Daddy Warbucks in a production of Annie so this is fresh in my heart and mind. Great thoughts!

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