Archive for January, 2010

January 10, 2010

Heather

Ladies and gentlemen- this is Heather Harbaugh. 

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She is in fact one of the most amazing people in the whole entire world.  Awesome wife, extraordinary mother of 6 extraordinary kids, outstanding friend.  From what I hear she is a super fantastic sister and truly wonderful daughter as well.  This is how I know her:  One night I came to her church, now my church, Grace Vineyard.  The church where her husband, Lee was the youth pastor. And I was a youth, a pretty messed up teenager with a lot of stuff going on. So I stumbled upon this youth group somehow and ended up sitting on a couch crying through the end of worship. Heather came and tapped me on my knee and asked if she could pray for me.  And that moment changed my life.  And it is still a very vivid memory.  That dirty old couch I was sitting on, the overhead projector, Heather kneeling at my feet and tapping my knee.  Life changing. 

It was lovely and beautiful, and I had every intention of coming back to youth as much as possible, but then, well I sort of became a bit of a nomad.  I was 14 at the time and circumstances caused me to have to move out of my house.  Mostly I just stayed with different friends, my stuff was “packed” in garbage bags and I moved about every two weeks or so.  It was all pretty shady and weird and unstable and… shitty.  But Heather would somehow track me down and come and get me, or send someone to get me, and bring me to church.  Grace Vineyard became my home, Lee and Heather and Becky and Erin and all the crazy kids at youth became my family.  Lee and Heather baptized me.  Greatness. 

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Fast forward a few years and I’m living with Ryan, and we’re SURPRISE! having a baby.  Lee married us.  It was fantastic.  He also played the piano.  And next time I see you ask me to tell you that story. 

So at this point Heather has saved my life and photographed my wedding.  Next up?  She was my birth coach.  The best birthing coach ever.  She yelled at my giant Swedish nurse and everything.  She taught me so many things about how to be a wife and mom. 

But wait, there's more, she was not only the first to hire me as a photographer, but gave my photography as a gift to a friend.  She and Lee pretty much mentored us, and loved us, and cared for us, and fed us and, well…  a lot.  She helped me survive divorce.  Our kids are growing up together.  And we’ve been on mission trips together.

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So many years, and so many kids later and she is still pushing me to grow. She is still amazing me.  Honestly, I could write pages of wonderful things about her, about how she never stops learning, and how she is so willing to share, and how she made me stand on a chair and shout one time… 

And I’m sure there are tons of people out there with stories like these about Heather, because she is, in the truest sense of the word, a giver.  She’s an incredible artist.  She’s a truly great worshiper.  She is a warrior.  She is a woman after God’s own heart.  She is so beautiful, so creative, so genuine, so kind and compassionate, so passionate, so good.  She loves so, so big. 

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And I am so incredibly, eternally grateful to call her friend.

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