Entries by Julie

Weekly Rewind: AMERICA, A Quiet Place, and Wounds As Deep As the Sea

I haven’t written anything of substance in a while. It’s been a very busy month. I gave a presentation two weeks ago in front of people, something I haven’t done since college. There was a lot of preparation leading up to that moment and I found out last week, I’ll be doing it again sometime this summer. I’ve been asking God for the past year to get me out of my comfort zone, He’s definitely answered my prayer in this area. Looking forward to more opportunities to grow and learn.

All that aside, I decided to do something a little different with this space of mine and recap my week. I’m trying to get back into the habit of blogging again. I write everyday, but I haven’t really posted in a while. I’ve been trying to stay off screens and get out more. Every Sunday for the past two months, I’ve taken a social media Sabbath. I don’t login to social media at all. It’s been a refreshing break and it’s been a good way to reset before starting a new work week.

Not going to lie, this week has been terrible. It seems every year around this time, things start falling apart and blowing itself out of proportion. Mostly in my interpersonal relationships. One relationship has remained constant though and for that I’m thankful. Without this person’s friendship, I’d probably be buried somewhere. Whatever I’m going through, whatever I’m feeling or however I’m being, they’re always there.  Thank you, you know who you are.

There were a few highlights though over the past week, here’s a recap:

Song of the Week: Great Wide Open by Thirty Seconds to Mars

I’ve followed Thirty Seconds to Mars for about 16 years. Hard to believe they’ve been around this long, but I’ve been a long time fan.  They recently released their newest album, AMERICA. it’s not like their others. Most of the songs on the album are good, but Great Wide Open hits close to home for me.

Is this life?
That we’re living
Say the prayers of a thousand tongues
Is this love?
Some new beginning
Or a night in our wildest dreams
Into the great wide open
Across a land of blood and dreams
I will save your heart from breaking
Won’t you stop, please
Set me free
I swear to god
I’m the devil
Raise your hands to the sky and praise
I’m a thief
You’re a liar
But we live in our wildest dreams
Movie of the Week: A Quiet Place
I’m a big horror movie fan and A Quiet Place was a very different movie for the horror movie genre. Mostly because of how little dialogue happens in it which is what makes it truly brilliant. I went into it with mixed feelings, but it didn’t disappoint. I cried. It currently has a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes and I would agree its score is accurate.
 Your father will protect you. Your father will always protect you.
 Scripture of the Week: Lamentations 2
 
Lamentations 2 has been a pretty significant scripture for me over the past year. Specifically, verse 13. Verse 13 reads, “Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?” I saw this scripture a lot in October-November 2017. For some reason God kept circling me back to this scripture repeatedly. It was actually annoying because I didn’t understand why. I kept asking God to reveal it, I reached out to biblical minded friends for their input, but nothing. Eventually God left it alone. But then in December 2017, I had a dream about this scripture before God lead me there on my own a few days later. In the dream someone from my past actually said, “Your wounds are deep Julie, let God heal you.” Needless to say, it freaked me the hell out. I haven’t seen it since then, but this week, I was lead to this scripture twice.
 
Why is this scripture significant? 
From experience, I can tell you any wounds from our past that aren’t confronted or dealt with can spread like wildfire and those closest to us will get burned.
I’m in the fire now because someone in my life hasn’t dealt with their past pain. For what it’s worth, I’ve been there and know what it feels like to have those closest to you, people you love hurt and disappoint you. However, I choose everyday not to remain stuck in past hurts. Nothing from our past can hurt our present unless we allow it.
Pay attention to what’s going on inside you and resolve those wounds from your past because things not confronted will project themselves onto other people.
Some of the greatest lessons of my life came from my deepest wounds and hurts. 
 He’s healing mine, let Him heal yours.
Until next week.
In Jesus and with love,
Julie

Party of One by Joy Beth Smith [Book Review]

Over the past year, I’ve avoided books on singleness, but Party of One by Joy Beth Smith was a breath of fresh air. Party of One touched on topics that aren’t always discussed within the Church or Christian circles. Unfulfilled desires, sexuality, masturbation, and porn are just a few of the topics Joy Beth discusses in her book. This book wasn’t polluted with Christian cliches’ and nonsense. One thing I enjoyed most about this book is how honest and humorous Joy is about this topic.

Singleness is serious but can be fun too.  

Everyone’s experience with being single is different and unique. I think what separates this book from the rest is it’s a fresh voice. A voice that’s willing to address the difficult and messy parts about singleness. I used to think singleness was meant to prepare us for marriage, but I’m realizing this isn’t always true.

Joy reminds us that our life and significance doesn’t begin on our wedding day.

Marriage is a big deal but so is singleness. We shouldn’t spend our single life preparing for marriage, we should be letting God prepare our hearts to be more Christlike.

I resonated a lot with this book mainly because of my experience with singleness. I recommend this book to any single person who is currently trying to navigate this area of their life with a voice out there reminding us, “Hey, I understand. You’re not alone.”

 I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

The Lesson of Making Friends Slowly

I was watching an episode of The Rifleman. Yeah, I’m that chick who watches old black and white westerns. Don’t judge me.  Anyways, there was an episode where McCain tells his son Mark,

“You act in haste son, you repent in leisure. It’s best to make friends slowly.”

I’ve learned recently the importance of allowing the friendships in my life to happen slowly. This is actually true for all of my relationships, romantic too.  If we do things in a hurry or act impulsively without thinking of the consequences, we’ll regret it.

One of the fruits of the Spirit is patience. God wants this fruit cultivated in us, not only in our character but in our relationships. 

In my own life, I’ve been so appreciative of the people who have been patient with me. The ones who have stuck by me when I wasn’t so loving. They’ve taken the time to get to know me and have helped me out of several pits I’ve found myself in this past year. Whether it was a phone call, a chocolate cake delivered to my front door, a card telling me how awesome I am, a card just letting me know they were thinking of me or something simple like a hug, I’m reminded occasionally I am so loved. There’s something special about these friendships that sets them apart.

These friendships have taken months and years of intentional face to face time and weren’t deepened hastily.

Recently, I’ve had to have hard conversations with the people in my life. The uncomfortable but needed kind.  Had these conversations happened without us deepening our relationship with each other over several years, the conversation would have gone differently. There were tears. Not from hurt, but from knowing deep down it was truth spoken in love. I also have friends in my life who we haven’t quite gotten to this point in our friendship, so it’s going to take more time. I tried but quickly learned it wasn’t the right time. Our hearts have to be prepared first.

God is never in a hurry with anything. Amazing how often we hurry through life making decisions or saying things without going to Him first. Allowing Him to work in our hearts and deepen the roots of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in us. 

Things done in haste often lead to unnecessary hurt. Which isn’t really worth it in the end. I have a hard time trusting people who do things without thinking of the consequences first. I know I was this person for most of my life until God did some hard work (He still is) in my heart. It’s none of my business though what people do with their life, dealing with myself is hard enough. But there are people in my life who I love and care about deeply, the ones who I’m willing to die for and you know what?  They deserve my patience. Patience with my words, my actions, my everything.

The important things in our life take time. Let those things happen slowly without haste. Your life will be better for it, mine definitely is.

In Jesus and with love,

Julie

 

 

Laying Your Life Down for Your Friends

About a month ago, our office had to evacuate because the motor in the staff elevator burned and almost caught on fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt and everyone evacuated safely until the smoke cleared. When the fire alarm went off, the only thing I thought about was to grab my friend and get out of the building. I left all my stuff (cell phone, purse, etc) behind.

This got me thinking about the value in friendship and how important the people are to me in my life. So important, I was willing to risk my own life to save theirs.

I’m not saying all this for a pat on the back. I don’t need that kind of validation. I’m not even saying this to brag. In that moment, it really put in perspective for me how important people are to me more than possessions.

When we are willing to give up all we have for others, there is no greater love than this. 

We can spend a great deal of time chasing things that don’t really matter in the long-run or slowing down enough to focus on things that do. What this really means is putting God and others first before ourselves. Now, don’t get this twisted and think self-care at times isn’t important. It so is. Taking care of ourselves is important, but always looking out for number one will eventually leave us lonely.

Real love means doing hard things but as I’m growing in the knowledge and understanding of God’s love for me, loving other people gets easier.

Laying our life down for each other is the most selfless thing we can ever do.

Will you lay your life down too?

Why I Deleted My Social Media Apps

Earlier this week I deleted Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram apps from my phone. Not going to lie, I’m actually at peace without them. Social media has been a thorn in my side for a while and recently it’s been bothering me being connected all the time. I still login throughout the day, but in the evening, I put my phone away. Out of sight, out of mind.

Why now?

There are a few reasons, mostly personal. The short version, I need a healthier distraction. I think social media is okay in moderation but should never be used as our only source for connection. I’m grateful for the people I’m connected to. Our friendships were birthed through social media and I know we’ll remain long-term friends.

Connection isn’t the problem though, it’s compulsion.

One thing I’m learning is to be better with my time and use my time in ways that matter. Resisting the urge to login to Facebook, scroll through Twitter and Instagram and actually pay attention to the things that are going on inside me is becoming more important.  Healthy habits is a goal of mine this year. This started with making minor adjustments in my daily life and they’ve slowly become habits. Particularly for me it’s in a few key areas, but social media was definitely at the top.

One of the healthiest things we can do is pay attention to how our minds respond to things we see on social media.

To be completely honest, I want to live a more quiet life. I said this in my last post and it’s still true two months later. Not every area of our life needs an audience. There are many things going on in my life right now that have no business or place on social media. We have a right to privacy, and sometimes social media violates this.

2018 is becoming a year of process for me. Things being stripped from me one at a time. It’s also a year of reflection and deep repentance. There have been key moments this year already that have reshaped my thinking. I’m laughing and in awe right now at how God uses the people He does to do this. The amount of closed door conversations I’ve had with people this year helping them deal with their personal pain is in turn helping me deal with mine.

It’s a process.

The people in our life deserve our full time and attention. I learned this over a year ago, but definitely, more so this year. Everyone I sit down to eat with or talk to, I never check my phone and they don’t either. We value the connection and presence of each other, not our screens. What would the relationships in your life look like if you learned to do the same? They would probably be healthier, stronger, and would thrive.

I often wonder about people who are always connected at all hours of the day. What in their life do they need a distraction from? Social media is a distraction and can be an unhealthy one. This isn’t about other people though, it’s about me.

Now that social media is off my phone, I feel better without it. The temptation to check my e-mail or social media in the middle of the night or early in the morning is gone. When we focus on things that really matter, things that used to matter don’t.

My challenge for you this year is to put your phone down. Pay attention to what’s going on inside you and around you. Those things deserve our time and attention, not social media and their audiences.

In Jesus and with love,

Julie

2017: A Year in Review

To say 2017 was a year for the books would be an understatement. I’ve been wanting to write this post for the past few months, but it seemed fitting to close out the year and write it now instead. It’s been a very busy few months and it feels good to sit down and finally catch my breath.

Three words have defined and redefined 2017 for me: Re-routed, Renewed, and Reconciled.

Re-routed:

A few posts back I wrote about how being in a car accident made me reevaluate some things in my life. Mostly, that it was time to slow down and rest. About two months later, I was in another car accident two weeks after my birthday (Neither accident were my fault by the way, in case you were wondering). Needless to say, God got my attention and things changed immediately afterward. I’m not sure why those two accidents happened, but something told me it was time to take a different route. I don’t drive the same way to work any more and for the past two months I’ve been getting up earlier to spend more dedicated time with God, like 4 AM early and getting to work earlier, like 15-20 minutes earlier to avoid most traffic. Something I should have been doing before my accidents, but I think this is the kind of thing God does in our life to get our focus and affections back where they belong.  Now, the road I travel every morning is narrow. Doesn’t scripture say the narrow ways leads to life? Then again those accidents could have happened completely out of random without God’s involvement, but I know better. Everything that happens in our life has already passed through His hands with His permission. When we go down a path in life that’s familiar and safe, God will sometimes intervene to show us a different way. He reroutes us. As I sit here two months later, I can see the reason behind being rerouted. I’ve had a change in heart about things I had been wrestling with and I pay more attention. Because life is so uncertain and every day could be our last, let God do what He needs to with you. Let Him reroute you, He may be protecting you from the unseen.

Renewed:

Some of the greatest lessons I learned this year came from defining moments and a renewed mind. Earlier in the year, our family experienced a loss that set the bar for how the rest of the year would play itself out. My family took a few hits this year, but we’re stronger and better towards each other because of it. And I’m grateful. Which brings me to my point. Having a renewed mindset about unforseen circumstances is the only way to deal with them in a Christ-like manner. There’s a difference between being a Christian and being Christ-like. One is a label, the other is a way of life.  The only way we can be Christ-like moment to moment is with a renewed mind. Only when the Holy Spirit renews and changes our mind are we truly transformed. A lot of things happened this year that tested my faith and were an important part to my journey of healing. In late July, I got really depressed and experienced an anxiety attack. Thankfully, it didn’t last long and I’ve been okay since. There are days when I get bummed out, but not depressed.This is victory for me. There is victory on the other side of a renewed mind and life.  We can’t live life based on how we feel, this is very dangerous. Our thoughts our powerful and when they’re not controlled they can destroy us.  Pay attention to what you think about. The best way to live with a renewed mind is to ask, “What is truth?” and “What does God’s Word say about this?When our minds are really renewed it will be proved by our outward actions which are directed by the wisdom of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Last year, I made a decision that changed my life forever. Though a large part of that decision was based on how I felt, it was also confirmed in scripture three times. I was relieved, set free. The choices we make have consequences, but when those decisions are guided by the Holy Spirit, they don’t need an explanation and we don’t need to feel guilty.  We may know what God’s will is, but we can’t prove it in our life apart from the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and with a renewed mind. Test everything to scripture and surround yourself with wise counselors who have the gift of discernment. When our minds are exposed to godly advice and wisdom, God will begin to break areas of pride in us; the areas in us that won’t accept wisdom because it’s not what we want to hear. A truly renewed person stays humble.

Reconciled:

2017 was definitely the year of relationships and reconciliation. Earlier in the year, a friend and I had a brief falling out. Neither one of us knew how to navigate our offenses towards each other so we avoided each other. We both realized the relationship was worth saving and we reconciled. We’re closer than we’ve ever been before. This relationship is cultivated with Jesus as the foundation. If you want proof of a healthy relationship, pay attention to how the other person reacts when they’re offended or are being challenged. Most people don’t like to be challenged or sharpened. However, both are equally important to our spiritual growth. If you’re in friendships or relationships with people who never challenge you, maybe it’s time to rethink the relationship. Being with people who agree with or go along with everything you do and never question you are probably in a relationship with you for the wrong reason. God chooses our friends for us, it’s our responsibility though to cultivate and deepen those friendships through a deep relationship with Jesus first. Relationships are very important to me and I’m thankful for the times they have sharpened and challenged me to be a better follower of Jesus. This is what our relationships with other people ultimately teach us. Real relationships help us to stand firm in our convictions and speak truth in love. There is great strength in real relationships. Towards the end of this month, I reconciled with someone from my past who I haven’t talked to in 12 years. We were friends throughout my childhood to high school and we recently reconnected. I’m not sure the direction this relationship will go, but we’re both doing our part to stay in touch. If there are relationships in your life that can be restored, restore them. Rebuild burned bridges from your past.  Leave a legacy that matters, not one filled with regret. 

Despite some mostly bad moments, there were so many more good moments of 2017. I saw places I’ve never been to. That’s something I’m planning to carry with me into the new year. I made a list of the places I wanted to see and went there. I’m thankful to have shared those experiences with one of my closest friends and look forward to going on more adventures together in 2018.

To be honest, I’m thankful to be alive. Coming out of two car accidents without a scratch is a miracle.Those two accidents redefined my year. Though they happened towards the end of 2017, they’ve drastically changed my life for the better. Odd number years haven’t been favorites of mine, so I’m looking forward to 2018.

I’ve been a little adamant about writing the past several months, not because I don’t have a desire to write, it’s because I have more of a desire to live a quiet life.  Social media is becoming a huge distraction for me and has for the past several months. If we’re not careful, it can for most of us. I don’t think our entire life needs to be aired out for the world. Most people we’re connected to are spectators anyway. People who genuinely are a part of our life don’t need to keep up with it on Facebook. If Facebook is the foundation of any of our relationships, we’re doing relationships wrong.

 My only goal for 2018 is to be so close to God that I’m able to discern the difference between a divine encounter and a distraction. Both are similar, but only one is from God.

I’m not really sure what God is going to do tomorrow, next year, or even in the next few minutes, only He knows. But what I do know is I want to live a life that’s pleasing to Him. I know I can’t do any of that apart from Him. There still some work He has to do in me, stuff I still need to take to Him in prayer. Stuff from my past I still struggle with despite a better mindset and holding every thought captive. The difference between who I was last year to this year is I don’t carry unnecessary baggage anymore. Thankfully, I have people in my life who have helped me unpack most of it.

I don’t know what 2017 has looked like for you and don’t know what you’re going through now, but there’s hope.  There’s hope on the other side of a heart break. With the encouragement, conviction, and wisdom of scripture and healthy relationships, I’ve seen the hand of God in everything that’s happened this year.

It’s my hope you will too.

In Jesus and with love,

Julie

What is the Spider in Your Life?

Kill the Spider by Carlos Whittaker was a good book to end 2017 with. Though the book wasn’t long, it took me a while to chew through it.  To identify the spider in our life, we first have to acknowledge the cobwebs. Carlos explains the cobwebs in our life can be any of the following things: Gossip, Alcohol, Body Image, Approval Addiction, etc. Just to name a few. Each of these cobwebs have a spider, in other words, all our issues have roots.

Throughout the book, I could identify a few spiders in my own life, but thankfully, I’ve been able to walk away from them with a healthier mindset.  Not all struggles are bad, it’s when they become strongholds and we’re enslaved to them is the real issue and point to Kill the Spider. Recognizing them and changing our life moving forward is key.

Carlos describes his journey at OnSite to knock out deep-rooted habits that were hiting his relationships with others (primarily his wife and children) and with God. This journey included deep vulnerability and confession with complete strangers.

Questions to consider:

Who is a part of your journey you may be overlooking who can help you work through the rough spots?

What is holding you back from taking the risk to open up to other people?

What secrets are you keeping?

What spiders are masquerading as good things in your life? They’re there, trust me.

These are just some things Carlos helps you discover page to page. True healing though comes from confession and repentance. 

I highly recommend this book if there are habits or mindsets in your life that are holding you back from experiencing truth.

Are you willing to show up broken and ready?

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age by Ben Stuart [Book Review]

Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age by Ben Stuart is  one of the most important books I’ve read this year (apart from the Bible, of course). This book gave me a lot to chew on. It definitely made me rethink how I approach my dating life and how I’ll navigate engagement and marriage.

Single: Devotion

During singleness, this is the time we really get to figure out who we are, what we want, and focus on using our God given gifts to glorify Him. It’s in the seasons of singleness where we really deepen our relationship with God. Where we are so dependent on Him we don’t depend on our significant others to fill in the blanks or voids for us.

Sometimes the most loving gift God can give us is singleness.

Dating: Evaluation

The next phase is dating. This is the part where we need to pay attention. Dating exists for evaluation. Dating isn’t mean to find someone out there to complete us, but we should pay attention to the person’s character. Stuart says we need both character and chemistry in order for a relationship to work.

You want solid, Godly character and fun, easy, chemistry.

Engaged: Union

Engagement is about union. It’s about bringing two people together in every respect (except sex … not yet!) Stuart says, engagement focuses primarily on the union of three key areas of our lives: Family, Finances, and Future. All three must be out in the open for the relationship to move to the next stage; marriage.

Ask questions so you can minimize friction in the first years of marriage.

Married: Mission

God designed marriage to be a picture of Jesus and a pursuit of Him. The strongest bonds are formed when two people live out their marriage on a mission together.

God designs a husband and wife to complement each other.

This book put so many things in perspective for me in how I’ll navigate engagement and marriage. Marriage is a big deal. If two people have common vision, their marriage will work. There are so many other details that need to be worked out before we get there though and this is why I appreciate Stuart’s wisdom.

I highly recommend this book if you’re single or dating.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. 

Before You Hit Send by Emerson Eggerichs [Book Review]

Ouch.

This is how I’d sum up Before You Hit Send. I can’t express how timely this book is.

Is it true?

Is it kind?

Is it necessary?

Is it clear? 

This book is compact with wisdom on how to communicate effectively with the above four questions in mind. Do you ask yourselves these questions before you “hit send”?  Words are powerful and the way we communicate matters. Thinking before we speak should be a habit led wholly by the Holy Spirit.

Before You Hit Send is best read slowly and be ready to be convicted. So much of our life is consumed with information and interaction. I’ve found myself thinking before I speak more carefully after reading this book. No one will get it 100% right, but this book is a helpful guide.

This wasn’t in my top five favorite books of the year, but it was definitely useful.

If you struggle with any area of healthy communication, this book is recommended.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Good fences make good neighbors.

A couple of days ago, I was chewed out by a coworker. I made a mistake, admitted fault, and was belittled in front of others for it. It wasn’t my boss or a person of authority, but a friend. I was embarrassed and it hurt. I cried big ugly tears in front of folks who have never seen me cry. This wasn’t the first time, but third.

The same day, my pastor posted something to Facebook that stuck with me and confirmed what was already on my heart.

You’re not responsible for other people’s feelings. Quit carrying around other people’s baggage just because they demand it.

As my coworker was laying into me, I kept thinking, “You deserve this because you messed up.”  I told myself I deserved to be belittled because of my mistake. Later I realized how low my self-esteem is to tell myself this kind of treatment is okay. After talking it through with God, myself, and friends, I made the decision that this is not okay and any one who makes me feel like I’m worth this kind of treatment doesn’t deserve attention.  The most important lesson I’m walking away with after this incident is if I screw up and admit fault, and the other person reacts angrily and unprofessionally, it’s not my responsibility. That’s not my load to carry, it’s theirs. We cannot own each other’s feelings, only our own. We aren’t responsible for any one else’s behavior or reactions, only our own. Future interactions with this person will change and a bridge was burned.  Not out of resentment or malice, but because of boundaries.

Good fences make good neighbors.

I’ve noticed a pattern with the people in my life, particularly with men. It’s one thing to talk about boundaries, it’s another to actually establish and utilize them. This incident at work needed to happen for a few reasons. Another man in my life needed to hurt me to wake me.  To be fair, I’ve been the person on the other end of this. I’ve been that person, the one who reacted angrily. I’m not bitter or angry towards them, but I am aware.

An awareness of where we stand with the people in our life helps us to set boundaries. We all have limits. I’m doing better with identifying what mine are. I don’t put a big emphasis on my feelings any more and when my feelings start to cloud my judgement, I take a step back. This incident at work wasn’t about feelings, but this person crossing over my fence. They crossed a line.

A person with a healthy view of self, sets healthy boundaries. I will be this person moving forward.

This year has taught me how to deepen existing relationships, not to live an offended life with past relationships, and to establish boundaries with both. When people cross over our fence (boundary line) repeatedly and we don’t stop it, we’re enabling the behavior to continue. Any person with a healthy view of self wouldn’t allow themselves to be mistreated whether they love or care about the person doing the mistreating. Thankfully, I have friends who affirm and God to confirm this.

If you struggle with boundaries, you’re not alone. It’s my prayer and hope we will all learn to love ourselves and build fences (not walls) with the people in our life. Fences are healthy. They don’t keep people out entirely, they’re not meant to, but are essential for healthy relationships.

Good fences make good neighbors.  Repeat this until it becomes a way of life.

In Jesus and with love,

Julie

photo credit: petrOlly Lost heart via photopin (license)

Social Media & Sabbath Rest

Recently, I made the decision to stop using my cell phone past 7pm. This also includes checking or posting to social media. I’ve been thinking about the reality of social media and how negatively being always connected affects us. At least how it’s affected me. After being depressed about a month ago, I knew it was time to change. Something had to change in my daily routine and this was definitely one thing that needed to be addressed. For now, it’s a break but I’m hoping it will turn into a habit.

Three years ago, I wrote about this. Most of it still resonates with me today but a lot in my life has changed. When I think about social media and what it’s used for nowadays, it was time for a break.

The reality of social media is sometimes it leads to false sense of reality. There’s a difference between sharing memorable moments and keeping memorable moments sacred. We want connection, but consider the cost. Screens shouldn’t replace our relationships. 

Most of my interactions nowadays are face to face and this is preferred. It’s more intimate. When I text, I try to keep it short. If I know it’s going to be super long, I call the person later or carve out moments in my day to confront them. So much can be misconstrued through texting.

Hard boundaries need to be in place with how we utilize technology.

About two weeks ago, the word “Sabbath” was repeated a lot in my reading.  After discernment, I knew I needed one day out of the week where I designated solely to rest. Saturday is my Sabbath. Self-care is so important, I can’t stress this enough. I’m thankful God really worked in my heart about the importance of rest.

Sabbath is a day of stopping. It’s one full day where we cease our activities.  God rested after His work and we are to do so too.

Between taking a break from social media in the evenings and having Saturday as a Sabbath, I feel better. Being still has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long while. Life needs space and God prepares us in our stillness.

Examine how often you’re connected and moving. Learn to be still and intentional with Sabbath rest too.

In Jesus and with love,

Julie

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker [Book Review]

Absolutely loved this book! The way Jen writes, it’s almost as if you’re there with her. Whether it’s sitting on her front porch or at her dinner table, she communicates the highs and lows of being a woman so honestly. It’s messy work but after reading Of Mess and Moxie, Jen made being woman more bearable.

I’m not a wife or mother so there were parts of Jen’s life I couldn’t relate to.  Overall though, there were a lot of points throughout her stories that I’ll carry with me. There’s no better comfort than knowing there’s a woman out there that totally “gets you.

Discouragement, heartbreak, failure, and suffering. We’ve all experienced these at some points in our life. Yet, we’re the same people who can experience victory, perseverance, joy, and rebirth. This is moxie. Jen is our cheerleader. 

Ladies, we got this. As hard as it is sometimes, we’re in this together.

Of Mess and Moxie will make you “LOL”, literally.

Highly recommended!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”