Here it is, Feb 17, 2015, and while I am experiencing an ice storm and frigid temps in Nashville, TN, my son is back home mowing the lawn in 60 degree weather in the Pacific Northwest and my husband says the trees are starting to bud out. Such timing. Actually, I really do think it was excellent timing, because God’s timing is always perfect. He is always on time with His answers.

Tonight I was booked for the Nashville Rescue Mission at the Women’s Campus. My sister came down by bus from Indiana to help me with the ministry event. I thought it would be a great opportunity to “break her in” to helping me with setup and seeing what I do, as she will be assisting me more often during events that I need to travel to. We have the same dad (we joke, my sister from another mother) but we never grew up together, so it was also a test of living together for a short week to see how well we could work with each other for the sake of my music ministry when I need to tour. It’s a great fit and we got to know each other more, growing closer than we ever have before. It brings tears to my eyes even as I write this, as to how intentional God has been to bring things around full circle in my life, including bringing us two girls together for such a time as this in our lives. Okay, back to my night…

The contact person I was to have for tonight, and who was to help me with the sound check, didn’t show up to work today, due to the bad weather. In fact, the mission didn’t even think I would come, since the roads have been so bad. But we surprised them! I told Amber (my sister) earlier in the day, “you know, all those women are there. It’s not like they have anywhere else they can go. They have to be there and they need to be encouraged. So we need to be there.” Earlier in the news that morning, the Rescue Mission was interviewed and they said they were trying to make sure not a single homeless person would be turned away, even if it meant they had to sleep in a chair or on the floor. So if the city of Nashville could go around attempting to bring in any homeless person they could find, I could surely trek in to the Rescue Mission to give the women a warm night of fellowship. It’s quite a small sacrifice for me compared to the sacrifices they have lived through.

Since I didn’t know how to run the sound system at the center and no one was there who could operate it, I made a quick run back to the apartment, leaving Amber at the Rescue Mission to continue with setup. I got back just in time to set up my system and we started 5 minutes behind schedule (lesson learned: always have my sound system with me regardless). Not bad considering that the employees thought that they were on their own that night. They were so relieved to know that I came despite the weather. I was just overjoyed that I could be there to serve. My vehicle was so dependable and handled so well on the roads, that it just wasn’t a concern of mine at all to drive in the weather.

I can’t begin to tell you (although I’ll try) how amazing and humbling it is to reach out in love and minister to the broken and homeless women and children who are so hungry (literally, emotionally and spiritually). I always pray that I can be a blessing to the hearts I am ministering to, but they too, bless mine. As I looked around the room while singing my songs, sharing my stories and scriptures of truth, I tried to be intentional to look at each and every woman and child in that room. Every single one of them mattered to God, and so they needed to matter to me. I wanted to convey that deeply to them. They were so present listening, soaking up the words, message and music. Some with heads bowed, some weeping quietly, some looking very hard and worn down by life, and some holding their children, cuddling them in their laps. I couldn’t imagine all that they had been through to be at this point of “in-between” in their lives. I thought how easily a circumstance could change in my own life, and I could be right there alongside them. This was their home. And I was invited to come into it and bring them a message of hope and healing with my music ministry. I don’t think there could be a greater honor anywhere on this earth than to have been with these women tonight. We talked, we laughed, we related. We sang, we clapped, we praised and prayed.

With all of the little glitches that came up for that night, we ended up having a packed house, thanks to the cold and icy weather. We had to rely on God for the details with getting me back and forth safely, with the additional equipment. I needed my sister there desperately to help get everything set up, so I could even go back and get the PA system (and she did great). Yes, God was in this place tonight. He knew who needed to be there and He somehow counted someone like me, worthy enough to reach out and touch the hearts of these women with my music ministry. He is so very good!

It’s times like these, where I wish I was independently wealthy, or had a huge financial backer so I could dedicate more of my life to going around to places like this, playing and ministering to these brave and broken women. My music, personal testimonies and experience as a mental health counselor fit the perfect niche for this need and I love it! I loved being able to love on these women and children tonight. They are not insignificant or too small in God’s eyes. They are not alone. They are found in Christ. They are cherished and blessed, and so are we!

Here is my latest lyric video that speaks to this exact message, So Hard To Find. We are all in this together. We are all equal in God’s eyes and dearly loved.

So Hard To Find

MORE FREE MUSIC!

NRToaster: A Jan 2015 NoiseTrade Sampler From NewReleaseTuesday.com

NRToaster - January 2015 NoiseTrade New Music Sampler

My song “So Hard To Find” from my Where I Am album is in the January 2015 NoiseTrade New Music Sampler from New Release Tuesday!

Enjoy!  – Jen

P.S. And if you would like to learn about what was behind the song, read up right here!

Women of Substance Radio is debuting my song, So Hard To Find, from my album “Where I Am” this whole week (1/5/15). Here is the WOS Playlist so you know when to listen in! Be sure to vote a “thumbs up” when you hear it! I am #9 out of 17 on the list.

Listen here: Women of Substance Radio

Showtime: 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT

4 more days until the release!

Track 7: So Hard To Find

With my background in mental health, my producer and I wanted to write a song that reflected how I work with people as a counselor with those who struggle in their lives: the ones who feel like they must be hard to find because they are too small, or hidden out of sight. With God however, they are never hidden out of sight, never too small, and never insignificant.

I think about children that are kidnapped and pulled into the sex trafficking, children that are abused, and adults who are hiding from past woundedness. So much about counseling is about building a trusting relationship with the client so that you can “hold their hand” (figuratively) and walk side by side with them, as they explore more about who they are and take risks to makes changes in their lives.

Eric came up with the arrangement for this song and I really love the jazziness of it. About 22 years ago I worked as a co-host of a smooth jazz show called A.M. Jazz with a friend in Farmington, NM. It was there that I really fell in love with this genre, so it has been really nice to get to explore that more with a producer that has that bent and for this song. I love it! Definitely takes me back to those days.

Ronnie Studio rsz
Ronnie Brookshire (Grammy winning engineer)

A little bit of humor here… as Ronnie Brookshire was mixing the project, it was at this time that my grandpa died and I was really having a hard time with the loss. Ronnie would provide some comic relief after finishing mixes. He sent me an email after mixing So Hard To Find, and said “What if you change the last line of your lyric from, ‘I will find you’, to ‘I will hunt you down?’ I don’t know, just an idea.” I was really thankful for the good laugh. It makes me think of counseling in a whole new light. Well, again, I digress…

But, the point is, you can be found. You are important. You are significant. There isn’t anywhere you can hide from God’s presence. He is always here. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Such a comforting assurance when you feel alone!

7. So Hard To Find
©2013 Jen Haugland and Eric Copeland
Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP)/From The Moment Music (BMI)

V1
Where are you
I’m searching
What to do
With this yearning

PC
You’re not too small
Or insignificant

Ch
You’re so hard to find
Hidden out of sight
So hard to find
Lost in your disguise
But if you hear My voice
And find a way to where I am
I’ll hold your hand

V2
There’s a place
Of acceptance
Where you’re embraced
Cherished and blessed

PC
You’re not alone
Or undetectable

Ch

Bridge
I will find you, don’t give up yet
Someone’s looking, don’t forget that
You are here
And I am near you

PC
Look for the light
It’s searching for you

Ch
So hard to find
Hidden out of sight
So hard to find
Lost in your disguise
But if you hear My voice
And find a way to where I am
I’ll hold your hand

If you hear My voice
And find a way to where I am
I’ll hold your hand
I will hold your hand
I will find you

Image

Session Players
Mark Baldwin (guitar)
Danny O’Lannerghty (bass)
Eric Copeland (keys)
Blair Masters (keys)
Steve Brewster (drums)

Brian Green (orchestration)

Ronnie Brookshire (engineer)
Brewbeat, Franklin, TN