I had been part of this particular online writers community for a little while and I remember I kept seeing her posts pop up. I liked her domain name “mywanderingheartsong” and I was immediately drawn to her faith based posts. For about four months, or so, I got to know Harmony through her writing and then one day, we said hello to each other.
I had been published on a faith based site and then Harmony was published on the same site, and then we started talking about that site and then we became Facebook friends and I had messaged her a few times about something random with my son and she said something about Britney Spears?? (was it?) and her daughter which made me laugh and here I am introducing her guest post on my blog.
Harmony is one of those people that I have a feeling if I ran into her in “real” life, we would be able to grab a cup of coffee and chat like we’ve known each other for a while. Her writing is that way too. She just writes and writes and I just gobble and gobble it up, easy peasy. She encourages me to keep moving forward in life and to keep my eyes on the One who IS my life. I am honored to have her hanging out here today.
Recently my best friend, Joannie, and I were talking about some of the trials we have gone through and our preferred methods of coping. I have endured some seasons of tragedy in the past five years of my life so I’ve gotten pretty good at self-soothing. Is drinking an extra glass of Chardonnay with dinner necessarily the right thing to do? No. Have I done it more than once? Yes. (I admit with rosy cheeks.)
That being said, I was venting to my bestie about my recent bout with coping and she said something that has stuck with me ever since.
She said, “You just have to ask yourself one question at the end of the day- Did Harmony show up for her life today?”
I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. Not because this was a harsh or judgmental thing to say. I knew it was coming from a place of love and accountability. I knew she was only giving me advice that she had already given herself countless times. It took the breath out of me because it speaks to the core of who I am. Purposeful living is something I’m very passionate about. When I have moments (or days) of sadness that result in me being a mom, wife, and friend on autopilot, well, I always feel guilty.
I know it’s totally okay to feel the pain that comes with loss. I believe that I have a right to feel these feelings without the threat of an appropriate timeframe looming in my thoughts.
However, allowing myself to get caught up in yesterday to the point of missing out on today is not okay in my book.
My BFF’s heartfelt words spoke to my spirit and caused an awakening of sorts to take place within. Am I showing up for my own life or am I just going through the motions? Am I allowing pain mixed with wine and trips down memory lane to trump the here and now with my beautiful family? After all, they are my future. So, in essence, avoiding the responsibilities of today is stealing from my tomorrows. OUCH.
The good news is that God’s grace is more than enough for me and all my days of wandering and wondering. In fact, my favorite Bible verse says just that:
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
I’ll be honest with you. I feel pretty darn weak lately. How grateful I am to see that just because I feel it doesn’t mean that I am weak! Actually, my weakness is the fertile soil in which God’s amazing grace grows. Talk about taking my breath away!
Joannie knew that her words would spark something in me. That they would remind me of the freedom I have in Christ to unapologetically be who I am. I can admit when I mess up and move on because my eyes are on the gracious One. I’m free to share my weaknesses with others without fear because I can trust that God’s perfection will cover me.
It’s not about how much I play with my kids or how many things I check off my to-do list. Those things don’t determine if I showed up that day. Living in the moment is good. Productivity is good (and something I am constantly striving for.) The gage for my purposeful living doesn’t come from a results driven standard, though. It has to do with my heart.
When I played with my kids today, did my words, actions, and facial expressions (yep!) tell them that I wanted to be doing that exact thing at that exact moment? When I checked off items on my list, did I make sure and prioritize people over things?
Grace isn’t really grace if it’s done out of obligation, after all. And how can I receive it for myself without joyfully giving it away to those in my world?
So, yes, I’m not perfect (in case you were wondering!) But who says I have to be? God sure as heck doesn’t. He uses my imperfections as a way to show off His glory and grace. (Side note- those two words are tattooed on my wrists because this flawed mama needs to be reminded of this truth at least 100 times a day!) Look at that- I drink wine and I have tattoos! Whew- am I grateful for the freedom I’ve found in God’s grace.
In case you forget what grace means, I highly suggest a best friend who tells you the God’s honest truth with some sass to help you realign your focus. Life’s way more fun that way.
I’d loan you my gal, Joannie, but she’s taken. Indefinitely.
Harmony is a proud Air Force wife and blessed mother of four children. Her heart’s cry is to love without limits and live without regrets. She plans to use her criminal justice degree to tangibly help marginalized women and children all over the world. Writing, singing, and running are her methods of soul therapy and Starbucks coffee is her happy juice.
The quote that she lives by is, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I’ve used everything you gave me.’ ” (Erma Bombeck) You can find her over at My Wandering Heart Song or on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.