Monday, June 30, 2014

Playthings and Childhood Memories

I had a soft and squishy toy full of red, curly hair called a Hugabunch when I was 5 or 6 years old. I took her with me everywhere. I even lost her clothes at some point and just carried her around naked. I got her very dirty! I’m pretty sure she was given to me because she was similar to the little orphan Annie. I couldn’t tell you what I named that doll but I can tell you that she made me feel very loved.

This childhood toy was a seed sown into my future. I was head over heels in love with the movie, "Annie", as a kid.  I even dressed up like her with eyeliner freckles and a curly red wig and sang Tomorrow on occasion. Yes, she had a huge impact on my life.

This plaything resembling an optimistic little orphan girl with an indomitable spirit symbolized a dream in my heart yet to be recognized.

A dream that would get worn out and soiled over the years.
A dream that would get stripped from me by my own choice to drag it in the dirt.
A dream that would not be named until I really believed that God loved me.

Like Annie,
I wanted to believe the best even when the odds were stacked against me
I longed to help others that couldn’t help themselves
I fought for my right to be heard, to be me, to be loved

But I didn't realize that I had the power to go after my dreams until much later in life.
I didn't know that I had everything in me to make them happen.

In the film, when Annie was adopted by the wealthy Daddy Warbucks, her life changed forever. She was loved and known. Her past as an orphan was forgotten. She had a new name.

I eventually lost my sacred Hugabunch doll.
And I honestly don’t even remember being sad about it.
It was time to let her go.

So I did... with determination and a brave spirit that only came after being down in the mud for a while.
I had to choose whether I was going to live in the past or make the most of the future.
Don't we all?

Through some trial and error, I finally let go of what I thought I had to be....of what I used to be.
I finally surrendered to the One who saw the One who made me "me."

Oh, I was worn out and over-used.
Just like my sweet baby doll.

But, that's when Daddy God found me.
He picked me up, dusted me off and gave me a new name.

Jesus was enough so I am enough.
He is all I'll ever need.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, 
who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

Now I know my worth and value is not in who I was (or even who I will ever be) but in Who adopted me as His own.
Thank God for His amazing grace!

I can sing this song from the depths of my heart and actually mean it!
Why don't you join me?

The sun'll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
there'll be sun
Just thinkin' about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow till' there's none

When I'm stuck in the day that's gray and lonely
I just stick up my chin and grin and say oh

The sun'll come out tomorrow
So you got to hang on
till' tomorrow, come what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow
You're only a day away!

Monday, June 23, 2014

What Have They Ever Done For You?


Many women are wearing these labels today.
And I'm not just referring to women in the world.
I'm talking about those of us in the church.

Faith-filled women.

Let me address the issue that God constantly brings to my own attention.
Feelings are not supposed to rule the roost. 
They aren't meant to guide our actions or thought life. 
All feelings (whether good or bad) are meant to open our eyes to an underlying cause. 

I feel loved today because my hubby gave me a gift. 
But tomorrow I might not feel so loved when he doesn't call me all day long. 
That's ok. 
Because God says He loves me no matter what. 
Who am I going to believe?
My feelings or My God?

What is causing me to feel a certain way?
Because believe me, there is always a root cause.

I'll give you some examples:
Envy (She has it all together. I wish I was as capable as she is.)
Fear (My childhood was really rough. I can't move past what happened.)
Pride (Cleanliness is next to godliness. I won't risk dirtying my life with her problems.)
Exhaustion (My life is so busy that I can't even think about doing one more thing.)

These are signs that we are a little too comfortable in our ever changing feelings. 
Because, really, what have they ever done for you? 
They never stick around.
They are fickle.
Their effects are temporary.
Even when they're good, they don't last long.
Because God never created us to depend on feelings for our worth or joy. 

Jesus gives us our lasting worth.
Jesus is the giver of never-ending joy. 

Lysa Terkeurst said, "Feelings are indicators, not dictators." 

Are you combatting your emotions with the truth of what God says or letting them run all over you?
We can't let ourselves come to the fight unarmed.
Because the battle between our heart and our mind is always waging. 

We have to be so full of God's word that our head-knowledge draws our heart-cravings into agreement.
Don't misunderstand me.
I love how I feel when I'm totally immersed in God's presence.
I'm a believer in just having time to feel His arms and His heartbeat.
But, if we aren't also feasting on His word, then we will constantly be looking for that next feelings fix. 

God is unchanging.
His love is permanent.
Even when His beloved Israelites were wandering the desert for forty years and turning their backs on God, He still loved them. 
Their feelings lied to them and made them believe that God had forsaken them.
Their feelings lied to them and told them that they were better off in slavery back in Egypt.
Their feelings lied to them and clouded their vision so they could only see their problems. 
They forgot the promise. 
And many didn't enter into the Promised Land because of it.

Oh how feelings love to steal from us.
They're a tool of the devil by the way.
Euphoric feelings of love can lead me to have unprotected sex at the age of 16. 
My innocence is stolen because I believed my feelings.
Now I'm alone and abandoned with a baby on the way.
(I am by no means passing judgement!)
There is always hope....

What are we going to do about it?
We can't let feelings win.
We have to use them as a force for good.
Feel things.
But make your home, your foundation, your resting place on the Rock.

The never changing
always good
fully satisfying
amazing love 
of Jesus 
is all you will ever need
to feel 100%.  

There is no condemnation in Christ.  (Romans 8:1)
So reject your feelings of guilt, your feelings of shame. 
Lay them down and embrace His love.

You have not been overlooked or forgotten. (2 Peter 3:9)
So reject your feelings of inadequacy, your feelings of neglect.
Lay them down and embrace His love.

God loves you so much He sent His son to die for you. (John 3:16)
So reject your feelings of unworthiness, your feelings of being unloved.
Lay them down and embrace His love.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

F-words and the sweet life

I always do this to myself.
I sit and I wait.

"They should come to me.
I'm the new girl in town, after all.
I shouldn't have to do the scary work of introductions."

So I sit and I wait.

MY OWN inactivity breeds contempt inside of me.
MY OWN passivity plants seeds of bitterness in my soul.

How I long to be bold enough to walk over and say hi.
How I wish to be a social butterfly in this moment (and every moment!)

Sometimes noone notices me sitting and waiting.
And I go home just as lonely as when I first arrived.
Just as friend-less. 

Other times someone notices me sitting and waiting.
And they do the scary work of introductions.
And I just might make a new friend.

But I go home just as insecure as when I first arrived.
Just as fear-ful.

Two words that I don't want to define me.
Those darn F-words. 

I used to think life was so unfair.
Because, honestly, I'm always the "new girl."
(Being a military wife makes that status a given.)

And one would think that I would've learned how to do this dance called conversation by now.
One would think I would know just how to two-step my way into making a great first impression.

But, alas, I sit and I wait.

I think I'm ready for a change though.
No, I don't think I'm ready.
I know it.

I want another F-word to define me.
When you hear my name, I want you to say, "That's Harmony and she's FREE." 

Free from labels.
Free from fake.
Free from people pleasing.
Free from condemnation.

God recently showed me in His ever-so-gentle way that He never said life would be fair.
Fair. Another F-word that we need to toss out. 
He actually said that we would have trouble in this world. (John 16:33)
That we would have moments when we would have to choose ...

Will we succumb to this impossible expectation of fairness and perfect first impressions and flawless conversations or will we choose to be free?

From now on, I'm going to choose freedom.
It's way more fun and way more exciting and way more attractive.
People want to be around those that are free.
They are drawn to a bee to honey- they know freedom makes for a sweet life

Friday, June 6, 2014

Laid Down Lover

I love being in the presence of God. 
He just fills up every empty space in my life with overflowing joy. 
Then my spaces are no more and I'm completely full of Him. 
There's no replacement for that kind of fullness. 
Only Jesus will do. 

"You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Psalm 16:11

Nothing else matters when I'm in His presence.
I feel alive. I feel new. I feel thankful. 

Yes, Jesus lives in me and technically I'm ALWAYS in His presence...
But I'm NOT ALWAYS aware of it.

And He said, 
“My Presence will go with you, 
and I will give you rest.”
-Exodus 33:14

When we're not tuned in to Him:
We lose sight of the best kind of joy, love, and hope available...

One of my favorite hymns says, 

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace."

What does that mean?
That my life is full of life when I'm focused on Him and not on my life.
Yeah, say that 5 times fast. :)

God says that when we lose our life, we find it. (Matthew 10:39)

Hard? Yes.
Impossible? No!

We can truly live every day we are here on earth!
Even when bad things happen, we can experience peace.
We just have to be aware that He is with us.

There are many things in the world today that try to imitate His presence . 


We, as weak humans, put a price on this type of cheap imitation.
It's a temporary fix to a permanent problem.
But we pay for it.
Because that's the best this world has to offer.
And we give up far more than money when we allow these artificial gods to fill us up.

But the presence of the one true God is free!
His son, Jesus Christ, paid the highest price so that we wouldn't have to.
Nothing in this world can make a better promise than that.
His presence makes life worth living.
Because He is what life is all about after all.

Why pay dearly for a fake that only offers short-lived relief?
We can get the real deal that offers everlasting life for free!

I'm a laid down lover of my Savior.
I will sacrifice all the labels, money, and pleasure this world has to offer 
for just a second in His presence.

Then, and only then, will we truly live!

"One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship,
    beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God
    than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
All sunshine and sovereign is God,
    generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions.
    It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies."

-Psalm 84:10-12 (msg)

Monday, June 2, 2014


- to rise again, revival, restoration to use 

I'm mad. I'm outraged. I'm ticked off. 
And I'm going to do something about it...

You might think that sounds very "un-christian" of me. 
What could possibly make me so angry?

A lot of things actually.
 But, human trafficking and sex slavery are at the top of my hate list. 

Here are some statistics that have enraged me:
Approximately 27 million men, women, and children are victims of global slavery today.
 (That's more than ever in the history of the world.)
Only 1 - 2% are ever rescued.
The average age of a trafficking victim is 12 years old.
This is not just happening's here in the United States, too.
Human trafficking generates around 39 billion dollars annually.

This past year has been an amazing discovery of life-altering truth!
And while the truth always sets us free, it also gives us no room for excuses. 
This is the time to act.

The enemy of our souls, Satan, is stealing everything he can from us and the next generation.
Just like John 10:10 clearly states.
And it's time, my dear sisters, to get angry and rise up against this defeated foe!
It's time to take it all back!

Are we going to rise up from the ashes as an army of recklessly devoted followers of Jesus?
Are we going to let the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth so we can shine His light in the darkness?\
I am.

Oh I'm not focusing on what's been lost and stolen to give the enemy any credit.
I'm focusing on it so my heart breaks for what breaks God's heart.
So my righteous anger can be used in a way that counteracts what the devil has done.
Because only God can use me ...only God can make a way.

You might be thinking, "I'm only one person."
But God is saying, "It only takes one."

One idea
One fundraiser
One donation
One encouraging word
One tweet
One campaign
One prayer

ONE PERSON that says "Yes."

Let holy fury be the fuel that lights the fire within your heart.
We are here for them.
To rescue them because God rescued us.
To love them because God loved us.
To save them because God saved us.
In fact, He rescues, loves, and saves us over and over again every single day. 

They need to know that He is really good.
We must redirect their blame to the enemy and represent Christ well.
We are the church, after all.
Let's go salvage them from the wreckage of their horrible circumstances. 

Here are some resources to educate you on human trafficking.

Awareness leads to action.
Knowledge is power.

"You’re here to defend the defenseless,
    to make sure that underdogs get a fair break;
Your job is to stand up for the powerless,
    and prosecute all those who exploit them.”
-Psalm 82:3-4 (msg)