When God says, “Rest”

Last night, I did not rest.

I tossed. I turned. I worried. I prayed.

I begged and pleaded for God to lift a particular burden off my family. We’ve been wrestling with this “demon” for quite a while. I’ll spare you the details. I’ve gone through Bible studies and read several articles about rest. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” I’ve argued with God over this scripture.  I love and cherish my family so deeply, but, given the joy and despair of my responsibilities, where is my rest? God, quit asking the impossible of me. You clearly didn’t pencil in “rest” when you planned out the path of my life.

I’d be embarrassed to admit how many of my prayers have included an apology for the gap between prayers and a promise not to go so long before I reach out again. This morning I realized God allowed this particular “demon” to haunt my family all these months to bring me to my knees. God is so patient. God is so gentle. I mean, he could take out the entire world with one word, just as quickly as he created it. Last night, My Comforter and My Friend, ever so gently said, “You want to talk to me? I’m here. Talk.” This morning, I poured out all my worries. This morning, I thanked God for the very thing I was worried about because my burdens opened communication between us. Every ounce of me trusts that God is in control of the things I have been anxious over. He will deliver my family into the next step on our journey. He will lift our burdens right off our shoulders.

Last night, I did not rest. My rest came in the morning when I spent time with Jesus.

Frozen In The Foxhole

I wrote this poem a few years ago and happened upon it today. I wrote it as a two-fold dedication to those whom have experienced and died in the intensity of physical war, as well as to those who have experienced and died in the intensity of mental war. I, myself, have experienced the intensity of mental war. Living my entire life with a mental disorder has been no less an intense battle than the Battle of the Bulge. Upon research of the Battle of the Bulge, I was so intrigued and so intensely felt the pain of those soldiers that I had to write it down on paper. I hope that this will help you to feel the agony and sorrow of the extreme difficulties and tragedies of war. I hope you will see how human these young men are and how brittle their lives are. They have sacrificed everything for our country’s freedom. This is not a “happy” day. Today is a day of empathetic sorrow. That is what Memorial Day is about.


Frozen In the Foxhole

By: J. Philip Harris


In the hole the cold and bitter shake.

The terror blanket keeps warm the fragile pill.

The knives blow from east to west redundantly stabbing.

I lay down with guns and bombs, bullets and hand-grenades.

Laying silent as the soil eats into my face.

No noise, though the sirens bleed decibels like gaping wounds.

I quietly drive my mind away to far off lands

Tucked neatly out from all the cacophony.


Sleep sweet soldier boy

Lay your musket down

Drift off swiftly to the dreaming town.

All the booming lion’s lungs

All the vicious serpents tongues

All the chords of chaos strummed start to quiet down.

Sleep down deep your soul

Rushing off to your foreign bunker

Making safe the fragile pill


In the absence of my frozen mind

There on the forest loam

The empty soldier vessels lie.

The peaceful look upon their face

As if to say they’ve won the race.

Enduring no longer the battle.

Enduring no more the wolves of malice.

How happy lay the precious boys.


But I am here upon their grave.

A sitting duck of war enslaved.

Lost in uncontrollable chaos.

I hear the volleys one by one

Like slow knocks of death upon my door.

The rhythmic clicks like therapy.

Seconds pass like years

And suddenly they sooth me

And I hunker down to sleep

Frozen in the foxhole

To Where, From Here

I’ve been dead much of my life. I have bits of moments, good ones, that linger, but dead for the most part. You could say I’ve been hanging in the balance between life and dreams and death. Lost, brilliantly lost, in the fog. A dense fog that breathes deep sadness into my bones and drags my soul against the pavement of waiting.

Jonah and Aniston, our oldest twins, just turned five on the 15th of January. It’s been 6 years since God found me in that fog, dead. I didn’t fully realize it then, but I was about to embark on a journey that would finally begin my life. I can’t tell you how good it feels to come out of a depression that’s lasted for a lifetime. I can’t explain to you what it feels like. Maybe it feels like waking up from a 12 year coma. Disorienting, but miraculous. Knowing that, from an early age, I’ve suffered through life with mental illness and medicated for the vast majority of those years, I know all too well what waking up feels like. I still have moments everyday where it tears at my soul, but nothing like it was. Now, three years ago, I stopped my medication and haven’t felt better. For someone on the see-saw of emotions, completely incapable of ever being “normal,” taking meds is vital to everyone else’s sanity, but I can tell you I am perfectly fine un-medicated. It was a leap of faith I had to take to follow God’s will for my life.

Many hear of me going into the Hollywood industry, acting, and have disdain and contempt for me.They assume this is for my own wants. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I set out in New Orleans to be a preacher/evangelist, to get my doctorate degree, and to share Christ in the “conventional ministry” setting. While there I was completely taken by surprise to find out that God wanted something different and scary for me. LaRaye was not on board, at first, and even angry. However, after I prayed for God’s will, apart from her, she came to me having been convicted that this is something we must do. That was two years ago. She and I have grown a lot more in tune with exactly what our objective is in this.  We sincerely want to share Christ with those individuals that are in the movie business, whatever and however we can. Our objective is not to be in movies or to even have a name, but rather just the opportunity to love others and lead them to Christ.

Over the last two years we have accepted our title as missionaries. Not just missionaries, but unconventional missionaries. We don’t have a mission board or church signed up to fund what we are doing; we don’t have specific instructions. We are obeying God’s call completely dependent on Him. We are roaming into unknown and unestablished territories with our ministerial careers. What’s more is that the majority does not view this as ministry. This does not phase us. One day LaRaye and I will enter into glory and have the chance to meet every single person we’ve helped to change. I don’t need any other affirmation except for that. God has called us, and we must go.

So, where from here? Georgia. After bathing ourselves in prayer, running from and doubting God, we are now stepping out on faith and going. We are moving to Powder Springs, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb. The opportunities for acting and modeling and writing are abundant there, meaning that there are a lot of lost souls there pursuing a career in that business. LaRaye and I also want to get involved in fostering and adoption. Call us crazy and unfit. I don’t care. God has given us the heart for children, and HE can take care of all the other details. He’s given us the room in our hearts, we will not say “there’s no room here.”

I don’t know what’s on the other side of those Chattahoochee mountains, but I won’t know if I stay home. Many people have many concerns about what and why and how and when and etc. and etc. I know, I know. It’s crazy. We have three sets of twins, six kids practically the same age, no family there, chasing “unrealistic dreams.” What is so unrealistic about following the dreams God has called you to? What is so outlandish about abandoning everything to love people so that they have a chance to know and experience Christ? That is really what we are doing here. Win or lose, accomplish or fail, we are sacrificing everything to go and love and lead. Faith says yes when everything else tells you no. I’m tired of being dead. I’ve lived my entire life asleep. No more. I’m tired of being comfortably uncomfortable. God has called and I’m going. I’m not waiting for anyone I love to get on board. I’ve never had “settle” in my heart. I’ve always had big dreams and I won’t stop until God has fulfilled them. They are His. They were put there by Him. I don’t care what I have to go through to obey His call. I will obey His call.

So, Georgia here we come. I hope you’re ready. We are.



A Lingering Pause

I recently wrote this poem. It reflects the miserable feeling of being stuck. I hope you will enjoy it.

A Lingering Pause

By: J Philip Harris

I linger in the afternoon, the afternoon that lingers

Empty on the makers loom, tangled by the stringer

My body drags the aged floor alone and out of breath

Sleeping in the secret curve, estranged and scared to death


I linger in the bygone years, the bygone years that linger

They fool me, so I stay awhile enamored by the memories

My heart is nailed to dogwood limbs, deserted in the sterile range

Banished from the brotherhood, eaten by the mange


I linger in the open wound, the open wound that lingers

And slip the silence on my hands; No, slip it on my fingers

Like bells of heat reminding me that trouble’s ever at my door

To touch a wretched criminal completely at his core


I linger in the midnight hour, the midnight hour that lingers

I reach to pull its blanket down but quickly break my fingers


I’m tired of the Lingering, the emptying, the fingering

I’m tired of the empty fields leading up to harvest

I’m tired of the fire trail blazing through my forest


Rest to want

Rest to have

Rest to keep from pausing

Deep Water Love Letter

It’s been a really long time since we have posted a blog. Things have been really crazy since we graduated college. We have been diligently seeking God’s will for our life and what direction we should head in. During this period I have compiled most of my poetry and had it copyrighted. I have always wanted to publish my works, but have never gotten the courage to take the first leap. I guess this is my attempt to do so. I have always passionately enjoyed writing poetry; words have always salved my troubled soul. As I do have many poems, I will be posting one every week for the continuous future. I hope that, maybe, you might connect with one of them. Please feel free to ask any questions and give any type of feed back, both negative or positive. I am an open book, as you will see in my poems. Books often beg for questions since they are intended to be read. So, I hope you will read my soul and question it.

This first poem is close to my heart. It is my magna vocatio. I hope you enjoy.


Deep Water Love Letter

By: J. Philip Harris


Deep water love letter

Read from in the chaos room.

Written for the waning heart

Where darkness seems to loom.

Chasms high where devils low

Reaching through the naked show.

Great big lover’s hands

Resting on my shoulder frail.

Living on the bitter bread

That’s long been gone stale.

Frightened little dirty child

Forgotten by the earth.

Abandoned by the frightened one

Who only gave you birth.

Come in, Come down

And take me by the hand.

I can be your Father.

I can be your Friend.

I can be the safest place

You’ll ever need to land.

Deep water love letter

Etched upon my heart.

Here I am, here to stay

Never will I part.

When God Says to Let Go

Wednesday, November 21, 2012, is a day I’ll never forget. I can’t go into too many details but the day ended with my husband in handcuffs waiting for his parents to pick him up from the side of the road on I-49. Joshua has bipolar disorder. Have you ever watched Silver Linings Playbook or Infinitely Polar Bear? I can’t watch those movies without tears streaming down my face. Building and keeping relationships is extremely difficult for people like Joshua. They either block people out or push people away for fear of losing them. Satan used Joshua’s illness in a tragic attempt to end our marriage. November 21, 2012, was the day I let him go.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

When God says to let go, we may do so eagerly (out of anger) or fearfully. I was terrified. I knew I was doing the right thing, but a) I wasn’t sure what to do next and b) I was afraid he would make some terrible, unretractable mistakes. I was fearful of the unknown. Would he drink? Go to clubs? Sleep with other women? Letting my husband go, knowing he was very ill and heavily medicated, is indefinitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. To say I cried would be an understatement. That night, and for weeks to follow, I wailed and yelled… loudly. I didn’t understand. My soulmate had told me he wanted a divorce, and God was telling me just to let him go?

For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

1 Corinthians 7:14-16 ESV

I spent plenty of time crying, but I spent more time in prayer each day than I ever had. The absence of my husband was a constant reminder to pray for him. Though he had been raised in a Christian home, Josh was lost. He had all the head-knowledge of being a Christian, but he had never chosen to become a Christ-follower. The only way I would gain my husband back would be for Christ to lead him back to me. So that’s what I prayed for. I decided to get Joshua a Bible for Christmas, something easy to read because he always told me he couldn’t understand the King James Version. I bought him an English Standard Version Bible.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

Hebrew 10:23-24

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I read Paul’s Epistles from Corinthians to Philemon. I underlined everything I thought he needed to read since he was lost and he wanted a divorce. The more I prayed and read, the more I desired to pray and read–I became so hungry for God during that time. I started working as a Sonic carhop early in December, and I always arrived at work in plenty of time to pray and read God’s word. I went running several times each week, spending 30 minutes to an hour with praise music playing in my ears and flowing from my heart. It was at least a week after we separated before I heard anything from Joshua, though I had reached out to him daily (just to let him know I still loved him). He came to town to retrieve his things, but he wasn’t ready to give up his dreams.

My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!

Psalm 119:28

By the time Christmas rolled around, Joshua invited me to join his family for the holiday. I asked Joshua to take the KLOVE 30-Day Challenge beginning on January 1, and he accepted. Still, he wasn’t ready, so I went back to the life I was slowly starting to build away from him. My sister was going through probably the worst battle of her life–when it rains it pours, and my whole family was hit very hard in 2012. My grandmother asked me to live with her to help with my sister’s kids. They gave me purpose during a time when I felt hopeless. We would jam out to Needtobreathe on the way to school in the morning and memorize scripture together before bed. My niece and I made Valentine’s Day cards for Joshua and mailed them to him. While my sister and her friend were at my grandmother’s house that weekend, I felt a familiar prompting from the Holy Spirit. God told me it was time to let her go, too. I reported the license plate numbers of the truck they were driving.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Philippians 2:3 ESV

My sister was arrested on Valentine’s Day. Why would anyone be okay with their loved one being tangled up in the devil’s snares? I wanted freedom–the kind of freedom only Christ can give–for my sister and for my husband. That’s why I chose to put them in God’s hands. When people are under Satan’s reign, they don’t realize it. They are told that the circumstances they are going through are just a part of life, the hand they were dealt. I hugged my sister so tightly after the first custody court hearing and expressed how I love her children like they are my own. She hugged me tightly and told me to go back to my husband and have babies of my own. She didn’t know I had been seemingly infertile for nearly two years; she didn’t know that it was my husband who didn’t want me.

But women will be preserved trough the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

1 Timothy 2:15

A few days after Valentine’s Day, I met up with Joshua for what was supposed to be a positive and productive conversation. By the end of it, I left without my wedding bands. If he wanted his divorce, I had no use for them. He still wasn’t ready. I’ve never been a Target-lover, but somehow I found myself there browsing aisles and having sporatic meltdowns. God placed a couple from my church right there at the same Target. Not just any couple, but the very woman who I had given my previous engagement ring to when I was too nervous to face my ex-fiance. She had been through a divorce, and though somehow I knew my story wouldn’t go the way hers did, I found so much comfort in her presence and encouraging words. God takes care of his sheep.

They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children…

Titus 2:4 ESV

Josh had started to enjoy KLOVE radio. They are what they say they are: positive and encouraging. Positivity and encouragment were two things Joshua needed during that time. Somehow having my wedding bands made our separation and the idea of love lost more real to him. All my prayers and obedience led up to the most crucial moment in Joshua’s life; he was driving to work when the song Lead Me by Sanctus Real played on the radio. Unable to hold back his emotions, he pulled his truck over and began to pray. He asked God’s forgiveness. He told God he would be obedient, he would give up whatever he had to, if God would save our marriage. If you read my blog titled Count Your Miracles, you’ll see how God saved Joshua from another great tragedy which lead us to a life of intentional ministry.

For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever,

Philemon 1:17 NASB

Tragically, not every spouse comes back. Not every spouse turns to Christ. Half of all marriages end in divorce, Christian or non-Christian. That statistic breaks my heart to pieces. Regardless of the results, all Christians have the same calling: to desire what God desires. During this particular season of my life, I desired two things: 1) to grow closer to and serve God, and 2) for my husband to do the same. Even in cases where we put a loved one in God’s hands and that person does not return, God still works things out for the good of those who love Him. Sometimes our prayers aren’t answered in the way we expect or prefer, but God will be there to comfort us through those painful realizations.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4 ESV




Deep Water Sanity

One of the most common comments I get about being a mother to twins (3 x over now) is, “I just don’t know how you do it!” My cliche, though honest, answer used to be, “Only by the grace of God.” I say “honest” because God has blessed me abundantly more than I deserve throughout my pregnancies and to the point where we are now. I say “cliche” because it seems like that’s what every Christian says when going through a unique or rough situation. I say “used to be” because I believe some people out there are genuinely curious as to the ins and outs of our daily lives and wonder if I have lots of extra hands around to help or if I just stick my kids in front of the TV all day or if I ever just hide in a room away from the chaos and cry. And, I’d like to be a little more open about my life and my household from now on.

So, to answer the question, “how do you do it?” I would first need to know what “it” you’re referring to. To most categories of “it,” I’d probably have to say, “I don’t.” I don’t keep the dishes washed, the laundry put away, or the toys off the floor. I usually don’t even mop or remove crayon from the walls; those are major tasks no matter if I accomplish them every day or once a week…err, month. I don’t keep my brows tweezed or my legs shaved. My husband and I don’t go on regular dates. I don’t usually have to worry about wrangling 6 children in the grocery store; my husband and I take turns going to the store and the kids also rotate so that they each have equal opportunities to get out of the house. We don’t go on vacations. I’m certainly not physically fit. Did I cover everything? I’m not saying I don’t want to do any of the above-mentioned things or that I have a grudge against anyone who does. I have to choose what’s most important to me during this temporary season of my life. I choose my kids. Discipling my children IS my priority right now.

As far as keeping my sanity, since I feel like that is the true question at hand, the honest answer is God. Or Jesus. Or the Holy Spirit. God the Father created me and my children and my circumstances. As long as I am living my life according to His will, my sanity will stay in-tact. Jesus Christ (God as man) sacrificed His life so that I could be in a relationship with God and follow His will despite my brokenness. Because I believe He lived to die for me, and I ask for His forgiveness, and I desire to follow Him, my sanity will stay in-tact. The Holy Spirit, God in me, guides my steps by slowly and quietly revealing His will and by going ahead of me to place people in my life who encourage or challenge me. When I received salvation, my body became a temple; filled with the Spirit, my sanity will stay in-tact. I absolutely know how I do it. God. Jesus. Holy Spirit.

All that said, I do believe God has granted us a level of sanity that doesn’t quit or give in. I had a nice little cry each time I found out I was pregnant; I told God, “I don’t want to do this, but Thy will be done.” Josh and I disagree on things, just like every other couple; we could not resolve any disagreements we have without Christ at the center of our marriage. (We know because we tried that before.) Our kids are very well behaved most of the time, but they are sinners just like the rest of us. They make mistakes. We correct them. We make mistakes. We apologize. When we need rest, God gives us rest. In writing, it seems simple. In reality, we face doubt, paranoia, impatience, fear, and laziness every day. Thankfully, life does come with an instruction manual: the living, breathing Word of God.

Deuteronomy 31:6  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Philippians 4:9  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Joshua 1:5  No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Joshua 1:9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 28:19-20  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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A Season for Stretching

I love watching cooking videos on Facebook. I spend hours watching them. Cooking has always been a relaxing hobby for me. I love to chop the vegetables, debone the chicken, season to perfection, and wait anxiously for the finished product. I love the smells as they permeate the kitchen.
LaRaye often barks at me because I love to cook with onion and garlic–two ingredients she cannot stand. Regardless of the complaint, she always praises the food as she picks out the bits she doesn’t like.
As I was scrolling through Facebook the other day, I came upon a cooking video teaching Facebookers how to make pasta. Honestly, I’ve always wanted to try to make pasta, but I don’t have a pasta maker. I know you can do it by hand, but, at this point in my life, that’s a no for me.
I’m fascinated by the fact that a clump of dough can be stretched and stretched so thin that it makes up to six feet of pasta. Hand-making pasta is more artisan and time-consuming, so, for convenience, chefs often use a pasta maker. He or she inserts the pasta into the machine which is then hand cranked. Pasta is fed through the machine, stretching it out thinner and thinner.
The pasta is then formed into Farfalle, macaroni, spaghetti, ravioli, etc. Regardless of what type of pasta is made, with a little sauce and garlic bread, it’s delicious!
Well, as I was watching the chef stretch the pasta, I began to reflect on my current life situation. The past six months have been very hard–terrifically challenging. With six babies, an unreliable job, school, and little-to-no money, things can get stressful. Since I graduate on December 16, we have spent the last several months in a spiritual battle, armed with much prayer and fasting, yet now, with only two months left in our apartment, we have no word from God on what he wants us to do come January 31. We trust that God will provide a way for us, no matter the path and that He will reveal our next move in His timing. Still, the wait is incredibly…weighty.
I know, I know. I’ve heard it time and again. I’ve got to “have a plan.” I have “six children to take care of, and they should be #1 on my list.” “God helps those who help themselves.” Whatever phrase you can think of, I’ve heard it; in my heart, I know and believe differently.
I am waiting on God. Like that pasta, my faith is being stretched. I do want to worry about my kids. I want to plan. I want to know what we are going to do. I’m not unaware of my temptation to “figure it out.” What most people don’t understand is that God doesn’t want you to figure things out or even have a plan until He reveals it to you. God wants to stretch your faith until it is super thin. He wants people he can shape into beautiful creations who glorify his holy name.
I’m not perfect; I’m willing. I don’t care that people are puzzled by me. Yes, I want comfort and financial assurance. Yes, I want nice things for my kids. But, I’m more concerned that they know God. So, I’m thankful for this season in my life. My children will be better for it because they witnessed their father pouring his heart out to God. My kids see their mother bending in humility to God and trusting that He will give her strength to make it through one more day.
I’m more than ready for God to answer me and send us on a mission where ever he needs us. I’m ready and waiting, but more than that I’m thankful for this season of faith-stretching. I am ready to be shaped into a butterfly…to bring honor to my Fathers name.

Here’s a little lagniappe for ya: Farfalle means Butterfly in Italian.


– J. Philip Harris

“…because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” –Hebrews 12:6 NIV

Three sets of twins in one family

Photo taken by Chris Granger

5 Reasons Why I Chose Avon

I have been unemployed for over three years now as my family has expanded from “Mr. & Mrs.” to loaded-down Honda Odyssey. About a month after discovering my first pregnancy, I quit my last job as a server in a small restaurant. Consequently, for the last three years, we haven’t been able to afford our life. Especially during our time in seminary school, we have depended heavily on financial gifts and government aid to provide for our family. God has always provided our every need, and we are extremely grateful; however, I don’t believe God intends for us to live (financially) dependent on others for the rest of our lives. For a couple months now, I have felt a prompting to seek out my own path—some way I might contribute an income to move in the direction of financial independence. With all the products that I see young women selling from home these days, only one company came repetitively to my mind: Avon. My first attempt as an Avon Independent Sales Representative did not go over so well. However, I am confident in my discernment in this decision. So, without further ado, here are my 5 reasons for choosing Avon:

1) I don’t have to choose between being a mom or being an entrepreneur, I can do both!

I am a “Mom”preneur. Discipling my children remains my number one priority. Therefore, I needed a job that would allow me to stay home with them or take them along. Avon gives me that opportunity. I recall helping my mom sort out orders and invoices and driving around neighborhoods tossing books. Avon can (and for us, it will) be a family business. I won’t have to pay for daycare (which would be outrageous for 6 toddlers), and my business hours revolve around their schedule.

2) My business goes where I go.

December is creeping up quickly, and my husband will be graduating (Yay!). Sometime between mid-December and January, we will be moving. Presently, we aren’t even sure where we will be moving. I can sell Avon anywhere I go, and my local customers can still shop with me if they choose to. With my online eStore, www.youravon.com/larayeharris,  anyone can place an order to be delivered directly to their address. With purchases of $40 or more, shipping and handling is FREE!

3) I am a role model for my children, in beauty and business.

If I want my children to learn a biblical sense of beauty and business, I must lead them by example. My job is to teach them modesty and honesty. If I don’t teach my children to use these tools for God’s glory, Satan will use them to lure my children away from Christ. Notice, I’m not focusing on ONLY my daughters. My sons must be taught to respect women—their bodies AND their brains. Likewise, I want my daughters to respect themselves, as well as the men and women they will encounter throughout their lives. My husband and I are responsible for raising SIX of the millions of people coming up in the next generation; we aren’t going to sit back and let the world do it for us. We choose to take an active role in molding our children’s character; by running my own business (selling beauty products, no less), I will be presented with countless character-building life experiences for my children.

4) I’m pushing myself into the public eye.

This one may seem a bit conceited. I’m not yearning for attention. Quite the contrary, I have a bad habit of hiding. Call me hermit. This past year has been tough. Tough to get out of bed. Tough to find a reason to wear decent clothes. Tough to prepare and eat healthy foods. Tough to clean…anything. Tough to muster the will or time to walk out my front door. How many people can I reach out to if I stay cooped up on this side of the door? I know, I know, I’ve got six kids… I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. The first year with twins is the hardest. I know, because I’ve survived it TWICE. I know what’s waiting for me on the other side of December 9th when I cross that line a THIRD time. God’s calling me out the door, and I don’t have to dump my kids to do it; but, I am trading bottles for brochures.

5) I honestly love Avon.

I love Avon products. From makeup, to shampoo, to accessories, Avon offers the best products for your dollar. Honestly, the challenge of selling is not spending all your earnings on yourself; in fact, I’ve heard of women who only sell Avon to buy products for themselves.  Like any other business, they encourage good marketing skills, but customer care is of utmost importance. Avon representatives are part of a large, diverse family—something like a sisterhood. We encourage each other. We teach each other. We share our heartwarming stories and successes. I haven’t even placed my first order yet, but I have devoted a little time each day to build my business in some way. At the end of the day, I feel like I have accomplished something for myself, my family, and (ultimately) for God.

Date Your Daughter

Someday your daughter will give her most intimate self to someone. Just think about that. If you could decide who that will be, would you do it? As a father, you have a major influence over who she has sex with and when it happens. Your influence is determined by the quality and quantity of time you spend with your daughter(s). I have three daughters: Aniston, Madeline, and Magnolia. I’ve recently decided that I will date my daughters until they marry. It’s not enough to provide for them financially, I want to be very involved in their lives. Girls need to know what kind of man they need and deserve. Women are fragile-God’s most precious gift to men- and from infancy they should be taught how valuable they are. So how do I get my daughter to want a man that will give her the kind of a life that places God over her, thus cherishing her in the process? That’s simple… by spending time loving her and making her feel special; by taking her on dates where showcasing what the word “cherish” looks like in action; by taking her on ice cream dates where pulling the chair out for her time after time conveys the message that she is important; by praying over the meal; by praying for her specifically; by paying for her meal and sharing the Good News that Jesus paid the price for her sins so she wouldn’t have to. Men, it’s right there! It’s in these moments of small one-on-one time that we will change the world. This is what changing the world really looks like… leading those you love through serving them day-in and day-out.

            Here’s a challenge for you father’s out there: take your daughter on frequent dates. Those of you who work away from home need to get creative or get another job. I’m sorry that sounds harsh, but your daughters’ lives are more important than a certain lifestyle. If you absolutely cannot find a job closer to home, then skype or write letters. Do EVERYTHING you can to constantly be “the man” in your daughter’s life. Men are not meant to be absent or aloof. They were meant to be seen and heard and leading through serving. Remember men, one day your daughter will grow up and have sex. She will open her heart up to a man. Don’t be the reason she gave herself away to the wrong man at the wrong time. Instead, do everything you can to be the reason she waited for the right man on their wedding night. Date your daughter.


— J. Philip Harris