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To The Headstrong… A Letter to Bravery

Dear Bravery,

You’ve grown a lot since last year. You’ve begun to step into your leadership qualities in a very real way. You are strong, decided, and unmovable.

Your mom is helping you.. well.. umm… manage those qualities.

People may call you headstrong your whole life, but when they do remind them you are instead adventurous, bold, courageous and determined. These are words that describe leaders.

Maturity as a leader comes from submitting to other leaders. There will be leaders in your life planted and rooted that have grown up long before you to help you learn- your way is a great way, and yet there are other ways too. You’ll learn this year more about yourself and we will all learn more about you too as we watch from a little further away on the playground than we ever have before.

You are an explorer and a seer. You see things we don’t see and we don’t understand, but never let anyone tell you what you know to be true is a lie. Your name is etched on oak trees and your childlike heart swings to the rythme of joy. So many new things to come this year and yet so many new things are still being unrapped  in you everyday.

People say you are just like your mom and you are. Strong and graceful, full of passion, creative, playful and generous. People may call you stubborn one day but don’t take those words and own them. People may not understand how you like certain things certain ways but know these traits are the strengths that make up kingdoms of leaders and world changers. Embrace those parts of you. Learn how to adjust to maintain connection with people. Learn from the people around you who can curve edges and give higher perspectives.

You could rule the world alone, I’m sure of it, but you will be far greater if you stand alongside those who need your strength and those will give you their mercy. The wisdom you need is hidden in the hearts of people around you. Learn to pull on them for perspective. Even as a little one, you have access to great things.

Don’t even turn off the gifts that God has placed inside of you. We need them. We need you to see- the good, the glory of God, the things He is doing in the super natural. And you do see, more than this blog post could ever communicate. Some people won’t believe what you see, but then again, your strength will lead you to Love them regardless of what they don’t understand.

You are Brave, and that means you can release Bravery to a nation hungry for it. Your name speaks of something far greater than what turns you head in our direction. It speaks of things that turn our heads in His direction. You are a little joyful being packed with unimaginable gifts, and while we may all gather around you giving you pieces of us, it’s only because we all carry a piece of you.

You were never made for the sidelines, little princess. Stay humble, stay close to Papa God’s heart. Never forget how valuable of a little gift you are…

Spend your entire life loving people. You’ll never regret a life full of intentional Love and neither will anyone else.

Happy Birthday, Baby Yeti!

Love Always,
Aunt JuJu

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March 22, 2015 - 1:50 am

Karen McDermott - Omg Jules. ..how do you make words so hard to read as they pull at your heart strings? ???

I’m going to be honest….

I’m going to be honest….

I really imagined that when I found a guy, my past would disappear because no one could see it any more. We would be a family of four and no one would know my story, and somehow that felt safe to me. That white picket fence would keep what I’ve walked through tied up in a neat little bow where no one could see any messes…

And then God sent me a tall, dark and handsome man.. and by dark I mean black. 😉  This one glorious feature allows the world to see us four as a mosaic of love pieced together.  But that also means, people can see the other part of my story.

View More: http://jedphoto.pass.us/juliestory2014

IMAGE BY JESSICA EILEEN DROGOSZ

I haven’t written about it in detail because it’s being sorted through in the hashing of a book I am writing. My heart is never to dishonor anyone but to speak the truth in love and there is a lot of painful truth I have walked through. But my story has never been about a missing piece or the pain. It’s always been about me learning to walk through the valley and not stop. It’s about me learning His love for me and how to hold His hand.

When I got divorced, I felt like I had a big D over my head. I felt like I was now defined by what a lot of Christians feel is the “BIG SIN.” There are three that get highlighted often in the church in my opinion but in this case, I had the D one. What was really painful was bleeding from years of hurt and wondering around a mountain alone, trying to make sense of the life I has just walked through and going from what looked like a perfect life on the outside to dealing with a lot of wounds.

I cried, a lot. Not because of the pain from my past but from the pain of dealing with all of the lies that I had in my mind because I was now “broken.”

I believed I would never be wanted.
I believed no Christian man one would ever want to marry a non virgin.
I believed I would be alone.
I believed I was unlovable.
I believed that no one would want me because I had two kids and guys don’t want kids that aren’t theirs.
I believe God was mad at me because I choose to get divorced.

It makes me tear up to write that because in my core I believe all of those things. I’m sharing because maybe you need this. Maybe you are divorced, but you are hungry for God. Maybe your heart desires a man and you haven’t found him yet.

Can I just hug  you and say…. You are worth more than the lie that try and grip you in this time. You are not defined by your past or what you have walked through. You don’t have a mark on you that says you are worth less than someone else.

You do not deserve to be treated badly. You deserved to be love and you are lovable.

God took my thorugh this intense journey, one I am still walking. He taught me that I was in fact beautiful I didn’t need to loose weight or die my hair to be lovable. He told me I was a good mom to my kids and He rapped His arms of love around me while I cried at everything I lost. And then.. He began to wipe the tears away and every lie went with it.

He showed me men who were incredible men and I spent years looking for the greatness in them, seeing how they love their wives and celebrated that love. Every time I felt those lies that I would never find someone great, I imagined Jesus, my husband was with me. And He was.

I write this because, take my story to Jesus and ask Him to do the same thing in you. Every testimony is for you to take to God and say “YES!!! I want that! Do it again God”

If He did it for me, He will do it for you.

I will write a book about Andre and I but for now, see our story here , here and our engagement story

I want to hold your face and tell you never believe one lie fear tells you. Never take on the hurts from the past as garments for your future. You are not defined by anything but His great love for you.

***If you need any encouragement, email me personally- julie@julie-story.com

View More: http://jedphoto.pass.us/juliestory2014
IMAGE BY JESSICA EILEEN DROGOSZ

You are not alone. You deserve to be treated with Love and Respect. You are not defined by you “D.”

Love always,
Julie

PS This past week we had a chance to share our story as an entry into a contest for a $35K dream wedding. I told Andre at the beginning , our goal was to put ourselves out there to share our story so we could share what GOD has done. He took the broken and made it beautiful…. And so here is out story in a little video…you can vote once per day from Feb 5th – Feb 11th but more than anything, if you know someone who needs a kiss of hope, tell them what God has done in our lives… Click the video to watch (and vote 😉

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February 9, 2015 - 12:04 am

Beverly Patton Marshall Weaver - Love love love this

Dear Mr. L – One Year Anniversary-

Dear Mr L,
I pulled up to the theater on the day you asked me to date you a year ago today.
I was nervous.
I couldn’t really say why.
Maybe I knew what was coming or maybe I was afraid it wasn’t.I walked up and you were there. You had bought the tickets already. Cute. You were always doing those kinds of things, arriving first so I wouldn’t be waiting on you alone.
I feel like that sentence describes my feelings over the last 4 years prior to dating you. Waiting. I hated waiting, really. Like throwing one-self-on the-stairs-like-I-had-a-to-wait-til-friday-to-eat-sugar hated it.
It seems like you are the more patient one of the two of us. I’m happy that as your wife I will get access to things I haven’t had to work for that He has cultivated the Shepherded your heart. I remember the moment 3 months after that day, when I rapped my cold shaking arms around you and cried on your big strong shoulder. It was in that moment it hit me. I realized because of your love I could understand Jesus in a way I never have. More profound than our first date, that moment was for me a “lock and key click.”
You had been constant while I rode the roller coaster of you and I. And now that my feet are firmly planted next to yours, I can rapped my hand around your arms and I can rest my head on your shoulder in a different way.
I’ve imagined myself writing public letters to you before, even at the risk of “being one of those girls” who wear their guys like girl scout badges of honor. But you, my love represent restoration, far more then a love story between you and I, you are the words of a love story between Him and I. It’s through you He has restored so many things taken from me…..
And if the whole world has to see to know, then let them see because He began this story long before He knew the wrinkles wet spots in Psalms. Before I knew all of the details He knew I wanted to cling to for hope. He set you aside for me in the most pure way. He got you ready for me, even when I didn’t know you were on the way. He whispered secrets into the little Stories minds and hearts that told them His plan before He told me…
And then… when the calendar struck 11/11/14. A date where even the number reveal the secrets of His heart…. My Beloved One = 1111
And so cheers to you my darling. To the one who has learned the curves of my heart like the curves of my face. Cheers to the moments He gifted you seeds of wisdom and character that grew into trees that could make just enough shade for 3.
I love you, you and your crazy fun self. Thanks for gifting us your incredible service, heart, laughter and love for one whole year…
In love with you always,
Jules
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November 12, 2014 - 1:28 pm

Yadira Devore - Awwwww you made me cry. Soo onion excited for you both!!!!!

November 13, 2014 - 3:22 am

Sherry Gillard - LOVE this LOVE STORY!! Of our Mr L and Miss Story!! Love that face in picture #2!! “Whatchu talkin bout?

July 11, 2015 - 7:26 pm

Sharon Plant - Such a beautiful couple! You both truly represent the love of Christ! You SPARKLE and SHINE wherever you go! :)

Say Yes Story- Hannah Brencher & Book Giveaway!

It is my honor to introduce you to this incredible powerhouse of a women…

To say she is an inspiration, it’s really and understatement. If you get her news letter or read her quotes on instagram, you can feel her. You can feel her soul and with every key she presses as she writes lines and lines of words you have to consider with your entire being.

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IMAGE BY TIFFANY FARLEY

I heard her speak for the first time in 2012 and the Pursuit 31 Conference. As she spoke, I felt like I had known her my whole life. She was living her story out loud and she made you feel like you had to be apart of it, even in a small way. She made you feel like you had to be close to her, like you had to know her because her words carried His life on them. She carried His rest, His authenticity,  and with each sentence she release it into the room, if felt like and invitation to consider the deeper parts of His heart. It was clear why she was highly sought after speaker. She gave every women in that room absolute permission to be…. authentic.

Everything she said felt like a heart beat you could feel. Every hand gesture and carefully chosen word had gotten her to this moment, sharing her story about company called More Love Letter created to inspired the world through hand written notes of love. She’s been featured on the Wall Street Journal, Oprah, Glamour, Men’s Health Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, White House, and giving a TED talk and more! This one is taking the world by storm all the while stewarding her passions and the gifts God has given her.

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IMAGE BY TIFFANY FARLEY

After she was finished speaking on that chilly day in October, the room exploded with a standing ovation. How could we not honor such a soul and a gift to us? Every eye was wet because she carried conviction about His heart about stepping into greatness, about living with purpose about dealing with fear…

I ran up to her later that night, after hearing her speak and awkwardly told her I needed to be her friend…
I think that is actually the first thing I said to her.. no name. No introduction. Just ‘I HAVE to be your friend.
Leave it to me to created best friends out of thin air. It worked.
A day later after she heard my story and I knew hers, we connected.

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“This is the beginning of us. This gorgeous one is the David to my Jonathan. As soon as I heard the melody of her heart I knew in my soul I knew we are meant to be best friends. This one rocks the world with radical Love… Her story is filled with His strength working in and through her. So inspired by her and I am so proud of her!! She said it first but I feel the same way.. I feel like I just met my best friend. Love her!!!!”-ME

I have to say without a doubt this one has inspired my journey of writing. Her life story, her pursuit of His love, her incredible words placed together perfectly and intentionally. Every Monday when I get her newsletter, I want to hug the screen like it’s her.

I had the chance to ask her some questions about her story. What a gift she is and I honor all that God is doing in her life…..

What did you feel God was calling you to do?- JS
In 2012, I felt like God was calling me to quit my job and walk out on a limb to finally get closer to my biggest dream: writing a book. I was living the story I knew I was supposed to write down but there was all this fear balled up inside of me. I was surrounded by people who told me now was the time, now was the time to leap out there and go after what I wanted. All the paths had aligned to get to this crossroads and all I had to do was say “yes.”-hb
What was your Say Yes moment?-JS
It was quitting. It was walking away from a stable and secure job to follow this dream of becoming a writer and a speaker, supported through my writing and my own company. It was walking away from what I always told God I was going to do and finally listening to what He was asking of me. -hb
What was the lie that kept you from Saying Yes? -JS
You are going to fail. You are going to step out and you will fail. Your dream is too big. You can’t possibly make this thing work.
What happened after you took a step of faith?-JS
God showed up. In the mightiest way possible, he showed up and led me through everything: booking speaking engagements, writing a proposal, signing with a literary agency, accepting a book deal. And he guided me through the process of writing the book– having four months, with a deadline, to write it all down.
What changed in your life because of your Yes?-JS
Plain and simple: I got the life I wanted. I got to step right into the life that God always intended for me to live, the one I thought I was not deserving of. I was ushered into a life of joy and happiness and His best for me, all because I said Yes.

____________________I LOVE seeing her succeed and to be given such incredible favor in what she is doing! I praise God for that! The world needs her.. they need to see her with all of her big epic hair and converse shoes. They need her voice to pierce the darkness with His light.

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I am so proud that she has just authored her first book, where she shares more of this story. You can pre order this beauty HERE and I highly recommended you do. I promise her words will rock your soul, gift you perspectives you’ve never known and you will want to be her best friend. It would mean the world to me for you to support this incredible gem….

If you want to follow her, keep up with her incredible writings you can right here
Follow Hannah–> Facebook//  Website: //   Instagram//   Twitter//

BOOK GIVEAWAY! In honor of this new series and her new book I am giving away one of her books! YES! That’s right! I pre-ordered a copy just for you and as soon as it’s ready (March 10th, 2015) I will send it out right to you!!! But you have to win so do the following and be sure to send Hannah lost of hugs today… and internet high fives! Giveaway ends tomorrow at 10AM so enter now! YIPPIE!! THROW GLITTER

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We can choose to look in the face of fear and call it what it is…a lie. fear will take everything from you that you let it and the true will gift you freedom

Say Yes.
Love always,
Julie

PS If you know someone extraordinary that needs to be featured in this series, email me personally at Julie@Julie-story.com.

Because of their yes… (new series)

We’ve all faced those big scary moments.

The ones that snarl and growl in our faces and spit on us when we look them in the eyes. We’ve felt the sting of picking ourselves up off the floor of self pity and looking at our mascara smeared faces wishing we hadn’t wasted tears on something that turned out to be imagined voices in our heads.

I’ve had moments that were big and scary that God has desired my yes. I’ve had to step over the piles of annoying fear lies in the path to where God wants me. He has had to tell me to say YES to big scary things. ((One of them being dating my soon to be husband.))

What’s interesting about the stories of our lives is sometimes they mirror each other and we realize we’ve all been fighting the same monsters of self doubt and crappy thinking.

As I look back on the past few years, the stories I’ve heard from God’s princesses baring their souls, and sharing their life loves stories about Him, I realize He has always wanted to paint something glorious with us. With all of our curves and imperfections, He wants to dip us in the colors of His love and splash the world with Happy little trees that can never stop producing fruit.

It’s in that fruit, the fruit of someone elses story and life that I have tasted and seen He is good, because somehow in His majestic plan, their stories changed mine….

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(( IMAGE BY KRISTEN BOOTH))

And when the fruit of their live gifts me seeds of abundance, I am inspired because at their beginning, they were faced with a road where they could have said no, but they didn’t. They could have let fear eat them alive and kept their love song to Him a melody only heard in the closet of their hearts.

But they said yes. They said yes to the big and scary things that were meant to stop them. They said yes when it seemed like they would fail over and over. They said yes to Him when they didn’t know the details of their stories…

They said yes, and because of their yes….. they have impacted the world with their gifts.

These are the stories I want to celebrate. I long to inspire one person to see their situation differently… in a way that makes their yes seem just the right size for them

Every Tuesday I will be sharing stories of people who said yes, of people who are inspiring the world with who they are… and what they are passionate about.

So if you need to stay inspired, if you need to hear the hearts of Beloved ones all over the world who are taking it by storm…

First up this Tuesday: incredible Author, Public Speaker, Creator of More Love Letters, Hannah Brencher

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((IMAGE BY TIFFANY FARLEY))

I can’t wait to tell their stories, to share with you a part of who they are and how they are changing people’s lives…
If you know someone who should be features in the Say Yes Series, please send me an email personally.

I would love to share their story… julie@julie-story.com
((Follow along on social media #storythatinspires #sayyesstories))

Love Always,
Julie

November 25, 2014 - 7:28 am

Stephanie Tait - This series excited me to my core <3