Julie Story Blog »

Masthead header

The 11th Reason – Our Engagement Story

I heard a knock at the door, I knew it was him.

He greeted me with that huge gorgeous smile I love and a little paper sack from Starbucks. “I brought you breakfast! I wanted to surprise you.” He lives far away from my house and I knew this wasn’t a “I just wanted to stop by moment” This was a strategic plan of epicness…

Earlier that morning he texted me as usual. Every morning for the past 11 months I get a good morning text filled with words of life and love. This morning was no different. It was the morning of our monthly Saturday ministry school him and I are in. I am in first year, and he is in second and the incredible Georgian Banov was teaching that day!

And so I hugged that handsome man at the door and ushered him to the table where he unpacked my favorite breakfast things. Sometimes I feel like my love language is food, but really it’s gifts, so when the two collide I am a happy woman.

IMG_6856

 

I hurried upstairs to get ready for class and when I can down I was presented with new information.

“We aren’t going to school. We are going to spend the day together.” He handed me a green envelope that carried more of his heart then the paper he placed inside. Decorative cut edges lined the pink paper, and his neat hand writing invited me to read the words I knew took him a long time to plan.

Time. That one thing him and I both share a hunger for and he set aside just enough to plan the most incredible day

You’ll receive 11 things I love about you, one for every month we have been together… it said
Beautiful- I’m captivated by your beauty Jules, you draw me in even when you are not aware…
Encouraging- The encouragement you give leave an impact on everyone you come in contact with…
Giving- You reveal an aspect of the Holy Spirits heart, a heart desiring to give so others can flourish...

Each line written was  filled with intentional details he saw in me. At the end of the note, there were clues to the next destination. I had 3 guesses but didn’t need them. We were headed to one of my favorite places. Oxford Exchange, a local coffee and tea shop filled with glorious books and dark wood details. But first, we snuggled and watched a movie he had never seen, Ever After, and with that our real life fairy tale day began.

On our drive to the coffee shop, we laughed, a lot. It’s one thing him and I are most known for. On our first date, we got stuck in the most unpredictable crazy moment, and for 2 hours, all we could do was laugh. But for that incredible coffee shop, lined with walls made of rich dark wood and marble counters, and the seats where we had history just as rich….I could get swallowed up in the gloriousness of that place and not notice time passing, and with him at my side, I did just that.

We stood in line at the coffee counter, ready to order, flirting and laughing until it was our turn.
“You have something for me?” Andre said to the barista to my surprise.
“Yes” the man behind the counter quickly disappeared and came back with the book Love Does by Bob Goff in his hand. He gave it to Andre  who handed it to me while leading me away from the counter.

“Wait?!?!You didn’t want coffee?”
He shook his head.. and smiled that amazing smile.
On page 111 was another note placed inside.

Love-You’ve always shown love and been love. You’re love is active and powerful, my dear.
Hilarious- I love how you make me laugh and say things I wouldn’t think you’d say. It cracks me up!
Honoring- I marvel at how you see someone and see the gold in them. You see me as God does..

 

2014-10-22_001

My entire life I’ve longed to be seen. For a man to look in my eyes and really seen me, all of the gifts and dreams God placed in my self, and for him to be captivated by it, and for the first time, I feel that. I feel seen, and what is wild, is I didn’t have to try, I just had to be, and little by little God showed Andre the sparkle parts of my heart, and it awakened something in him I am still exploring. Unconditional love.

We sat had talked about how God is stirring in us desires to be fearless love to the world, while sipping lavender tea, and interlocking fingers. We talked about our dreams and hopes, and how when people really step into bravery they are unlocked to step into everything they were made for.  We pause only to kiss each other on the cheeks,  or when he admired my beauty. The man behind the tea bar shuffled money in his hands but kept looking over at us. It seemed what God was doing was keeping him hung on our every word.

Andre opened the door as we headed out to my favorite lunch spot, but I kept thinking about how the tea man was drawn into how Andre and I talked about Love and laughed like we had known each other our whole lives. When God is birthing new things, the world wants a glimpse, they want a taste, and they are left distracted by His goodness. I hope we live our whole live distracting people with His love.

We ate lunch at one of our favorite date spots, Queen of Sheba. The place was empty except for us, and so with our private room, and laughter galore we enjoyed each other like we always do. During lunch, he handed me a book he had brought in and there on page 111 was another note.

Creative- You have this ability to piece together information at lighting speed, connecting and creating something..
Consistent- You are always the same no matter where you are or who you are with. You’ve been that was since I first met you..
Strong- I absolutely love and admire your strength. You my dear are a force to be reckoned with…

This time the pink paper told me our destination was my house. I was still just breathing in every moment, enjoyed each second of an incredible day filled with love and dates all around town. It didn’t matter if it ended with a ring or a hug goodnight because every moment was worth breathing in and enjoying. BUT, I was nervous by this point.

What in the world was at my house?

We both stood at the doorway, he unlocked my door.
“Open it.” he said as he stepped back. Slowly I did. All along my floor pink rose petals lead the way to my room where, on my bed neatly laid was his favorite dress of mine.
The red one.
With the heals he likes the most.
Someone had come and helped him create an incredible moment for me. He watched proudly from the doorway as I enjoyed the moment he had planned and opened the note..

2014-10-22_011
2014-10-22_002

I was to meet him in a garden in one hour. He rushed out the door, and I got time to refresh and thank Jesus for this moment. I knew what was on the other side of the drive… but I wanted to breath it in and thank him for the restoration He always had planned.

When I pulled up, Andre was dressed up. He lead me deep into the garden around so many twists and turns. He held my arm, and as we walked I felt like the gals on the bachelor. Is he going to propose at the end of this walk?

And then, there were more rose petals, three white roses that represented me and the children, a bottle of my favorite wine, and 11 candles.
He handed me the last letter:

We can here in February with the kids. You thought I would love this place and I do but you wanted to do something special with the kids. You wanted to do a scavenger hunt. It was the first time I was part of something special you wanted to do with them that would leave them feeling loved. I remember the way you planned for them to find their items on the list and how at the end they found toys waiting for them. you brought me into the special place of loving the kids and it was so humbling. You brought me closer to the two of the most special people in your life. I’m almost at a loss for words. I love your kids, I love them as my own. They fill my heart with gladness and have a place no other can have.Thank you for trusting me with them Jules. They are such precious gifts I love. And you my dear are precious to me. This brings me to the 11t reason why I love you..
I love you because You are my best friend… Let me explain..

I put the card down and he gently took my hands. His face was quivery and his eyes we wet. He told me I am his confidant, the one his heart loves, and he never wants to live a day with out us in it. He told me how he loved the kids, and how precious they are to him, and how he loves me with his entire heart. He reached behind me and took out a pink box of my favorite cupcakes. Inside a single cupcake with the ring placed in it. And as He got down on one knee, He asked the most important question of our lives..

“Will you be my wife?”

2014-10-22_006
YES and AMEN.. HALLELUJAH!!!

We kissed and talked. The ring glistened in the sun and we sipped wine. The only noise was the waterfall behind us and the faint sound of his nervous heart. I could feel him in every moment, but this one was most profound. He was giddy, and tears pooled from his heart and rested in his eyes. We laughed and sat enjoying the moment soaking it in and as we walked back to the car, one dear friend and photographer Alyssa snuck out from behind the bushes. After this entire day of love HE PLANNED to have this moment to keep forever.

2014-10-22_003

**** MORE PICTURES of the proposal below, so keep scrolling for more goodness!!!**

We ended that night at my favorite restaurant, sipping champagne and soaking in God’s favor. We felt Him, the whole day, and since He lead us together He knew this day would come. What a gift it was… and little did I know He had more sweetness in store…

We choose to wait to share with anyone besides our family until we shared it with the kids.
The next day we picked them up and headed back to the garden, back to the place where the rose petals still laid from the night before. Andre re-proposed like it was the first time but he asked us all what our answer was. It was a huge yes from the littles.

We came up with a plan together to gift the kids something for them to always have from this moment. Andre choose animal to represent the roles he was going to have in their lives. It’s incredible to be a team and work to not only guard their hearts, but honor them as the gifts they are! The words he choose felt like a poem sung over them and as they receive their gifts they receive his heart in such a profound way… one I will never forget.

For Leilie, “An elephant, because they are always a unite. They stay together, and no matter what, I will be here. I will stay with you. I’m never leaving.”
For Kai, “A lion. Because they are strong and they protect. I will always be here to protect you and to be strong for you.”

2014-10-22_0242014-10-22_0252014-10-22_0262014-10-22_027  Look at her face! GOODNESS what a cutie. She adores him <3  

2014-10-22_028

He looks serious but don’t let that fool you. After the camera was put away he was skipping around throwing the lion in the air screaming “BEST DAY EVER!!!!” He must know these images will be shown to his future girlfriend…. He is right. 😉

2014-10-22_0292014-10-22_0302014-10-22_0312014-10-22_0322014-10-22_033   “Mommy, your ring it’s so beautiful mommy…” It is so amazing to share these moments with my favorite people in the world. WOW!         2014-10-22_034

It’s a little big for her now …. She has big dreams for our wedding. Big huge tulle skirt dreams.. Here are some of my favorite images that Alyssa took on our engagement day!

2014-10-22_0072014-10-22_0052014-10-22_009 2014-10-22_018It was so worth waiting for the man who holds my face like this… it’s worth waiting for… trust me.2014-10-22_0222014-10-22_0192014-10-22_016Not posed. I know you are surprised…

 

2014-10-22_0172014-10-22_015

 

2014-10-22_0142014-10-22_013

My heart is full. I feel so honored and blessed to have these moments be apart of our story, the one of restoration, God began writing a long time ago.

We have big Honeymoon dreams of traveling to New Zeland, or Paris, or somewhere that rains glitter. If you would like to contribute to the most amazing trip of our lives Click Here <3

Love Always,
Julie

October 22, 2014 - 3:25 pm

Rachael O'Dell - pretty sure you guys should get married on 1/11….

October 22, 2014 - 4:22 pm

Sabrina Fields - Oh my goodness… tears are streaming down my face. God is SO SO SO very good! And Paris is the perfect honeymoon destination if I say so myself 😉 Love you!

October 22, 2014 - 6:44 pm

Holly Davis Daly - So happy for your Julie!! God has redeemed your story in a beautiful way :) Thankful for the short time our paths crossed in Indy and pray blessings on this union. Interracial marriage is another testament to God’s reconciliation. Welcome to the club 😉

October 22, 2014 - 9:24 pm

Crystal Lin Vara - What a sweet story Julie!! So happy he took the time to plan all the little details and had a photographer capture it for you!

October 22, 2014 - 10:26 pm

Chuck Stewart - Thank you for sharing this remarkable day with us. I recall a recent conversation I had with Andre’ and he shared how much he wanted you to be his wife. Mr Romantic did it right – Congradulations – Love you both

October 25, 2014 - 2:17 am

Carissa Buzza Kennedy - SO SO sweet!! What a great story!! Praying for God’s richest blessings as your two families join together!

November 13, 2014 - 3:39 am

Sherry Gillard - Wow! Wow! Wow! Finally got to read all of the beautiful details!! AWESOME job André Lamothe!! You have full permission to help my husband when the time comes… 😉 Love you both! So happy for you both! XOXO

November 21, 2014 - 10:20 pm

Sarah Perkins - Tears!! So beautiful!!! I am so thankful you found such an amazing man!! Can’t wait to hug you big!! Xoxoxoxoxoxox

Dating Mr L- Our Love Story

I started writing this a while ago. Sometimes the right words come in random moments and we have to capture them as they might not return quiet the same way.
It’s hard to begin our love story without wanting to paint the real picture. Sometimes we take images and memories and place them into neat little boxes to present to the world but I don’t want to do that. I realize in our story there is restoration that is placed in between the letters He wrote when He was fashioning our story. For the sake of those He wants to kiss with our story, I will to leave it untouched.
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.44.07 AM
I don’t want to type out a fairy tale and leave out the rough edges. It’s in the roughness him and I have learned to smooth each others ruffled feathers and gift each other new perspectives when we need it. I tease him because I feel like a goose with a million feathers flying upwards in various directions at any given moments, while he remains constant, steady, unmoved even in my wildest moments.He assures me I am indeed a swan in beauty and composure. I tell him I am convinced he only has one feather and it only gets out of place one every 3.5 years. I have yet to see this happen.
So this is for you: a part of our story, a glimpse into us. Raw, gorgeous, messy, unedited, beautiful… ours. And because I am a story teller I must begin with…Chapter One:
When he opened the door for me that day, I didn’t notice him.
I wasn’t there for him.
I was there for because of the stirring in my soul and the intense hunger for the more of God.
Andre would soon become a part of that in a way I never knew.
The kids ran ahead of me dressed as they always were; she was in a princess gown and he was in a super hero cape.
I didn’t  know it then but it was a prophetic declaration of Andre and I. I still wear my princess gown. He wears a super hero cape.
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.20.53 AM(( Image from that day! Just before we walked into church March 17, 2013))I never expected him to be so heroic in my life but in so may ways he saved me from myself. My heart was locked and bound and through patience that mirrors the Father’s love in the gentlest way he taught me how to be willing to open up.He had a key to me I never knew existed, and patience became his anthem of his love.He watched me and waited for months. He listened and learned about who I was without me knowing. Interestingly enough he learned a lot about me here in this blog, the same place you are learning a lot about him. He asked his leaders, my leaders and pastors for permission to pursue me long before I even knew he noticed me or was interested. He wanted a covering, and leaders to submit to that would offer guidance, love, and incredible incite from God. And that they did.

“Say yes to want he asks.” I heard God say as I drove to our second “date”

I didn’t know our first one was even a date or what I was saying yes to…
“Um, ok?” What in the world could he ask me, that I would need to say yes to? I was really clueless.
We sat at lunch, sharing stories and laughing too loud. Before he even held my hand or gave any inclination of interest he asked if I would interested in being in a relationship with him. I didn’t even know if he was interested as he never gave me any inclination he was. But I had my answer already. And before my mind could talk myself out of a great gift, I said yes.
We went from zero to dating and he created a safe little covering for our love to unfold.
God knew I needed that safety. He knew the callus my heart had felt and how I was locked inside myself. He knew my heart and knew I needed a soft sweet gentle romance to kiss my soul open and allow Love to rid me of fear….Fear. It was their. Laying low, sneaking in as I agreed with it.
There aren’t enough pages in books to describe how this man has pursued me in the most gorgeous ways. Far beyond the romantic dates and bunches of flowers that decorated my home, or the dishes being washed and put away while I tucked the kids in bed, he has the most incredible heart of a servant leader… completely!
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.17.54 AMScreen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.18.04 AM
But I want to give a little incite from one princess to another; the most incredible men in the world will need time to learn how to romance YOU.
Andre didn’t “just know” what to do. In a lot of ways, his incredible heart lead the way to things I needed that I didn’t even know I did. He cleaned my house, took me to the fanciest restaurants in town, wrote me love notes, brought me flowers, listened to my heart, and told me how gorgeous I am almost daily. He texted me every morning prophesying life over me, telling me how God sees me, and gifting me his words and perspective about how God sees me. WOW!
But in some ways he was still learning me and this confused me for a long time. It made me question a lot of silly things because I had in my mind, the man of my dreams would just “get me.” And he sometimes he didn’t. He had to learn.
AND learn he did.
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.18.42 AM
(( FOR Christmas he bought me the very mug I wanted, tulle and all! And he went on my pintrest DIY and MADE me glitter jars to decorate my house!)
I also had this fabricated idea that I had gathered from a lot of other love stories. I imagined that when I met the man God wanted me to be with, I would just “know.” Right away, no questions asked.
KNOW.
And when I began dating Andre, I didn’t “just know.” And so I became very anxious. I began building this fear wall little by little to keep me safe from Andre. I had my list of things I wanted in a man and when things weren’t just “perfect” another brick got put up. And so after 3 glorious months of dating the most incredible man, I did what any anxiety ridden princess would do…I ended it.
I broke up with him.
Now this is the part where I had to get really real with God because my heart was broken. I had chosen to love this amazing man who was as sweet and gentle as he was bold and strong. We decided to still be friends and when I called him a few nights after we broke up and these were his words.
“It was an honor serving you.” WHAT! Who says that!? My man 😉
And so I let my broken heart do all of the talking and got real with God. I have never felt as much pain as I felt not being with Andre. My body physically ached.
I wrote this in my journal during that time:
“I don’t know if I’ve written the last  the last paragraph of the last chapter of the last page of the book of us, or Its the first sentence of a new book. But I know this. I’m thankful there was an us, because without you, I didn’t know if I was too broken to love. I didn’t know how Adele and Taylor could write the songs they do when they’ve lost it all. Loosing everything means I gained everything because I can look at you and know I loved. And for that I am thankful. You’re free to fly and if you even come back to me, and your soul wants to kiss mine, I’ll smile because I know, you introduced me to me again. You unlocked my heart to love again, and you didn’t leave me with a set of empty keys to no where, you left me with a ring of keys to everywhere. You left me empowered to unlock every door inside of me I ever locked for fears sake. You left me unveiled to the mystery of being most honest in a whole full of lies. You left me full, of everything, full of you and the parts of you left with me. I hope Love empowers you to feel that way <3 ”
I have learned through this experience that when women cross paths with the other ladies on our lives, we compare notes. we cross the t’s and dot the i’s of the expectations of the men we date in hopes that our guy makes the cut with our bffs.
No one ever talks about the next few paragraphs that I feel are about to spill over onto the white and black space of this moment so bare with me as this will be beautifully raw.
After I broke up with Andre, I was heart sick. I brought my list of expectations of a man to a spiritual father of mine. I frantically told him my expectations of my life, how I had it beautify mapped out and had a plan to keep me safe by creating an imaginary man out of a list of Idealisum. I really believed, that if I had everything on my list, EVERYTHING, I would never repeat the patterns of the past. I was proud of the list. I made me feel like I was not like the naive girls who just run forward with wishes  and give their heart to every heart throb who crosses their path….
And after I stopped talking, he told me to throw out my list.
“WHAT? What do you mean throw it out?”
“That list won’t make a marriage last….”
“But what about the women who had lists. The ones who got everything on their list and more?”
“What are their marriages like?”
“Um…. I don’t know?”
“Throw out the list.”
We can’t keep ourselves from repeating the past by looking at the past and trying not to be it.
We won’t find our story in someones story, so close the books of comparison.
I’ve heard all of the stories. I guess being a story telling innately makes me want to ask anyone and everyone to read me the book of their lives while I rest my elbows on tables and lean my chine to my wrists in eager anticipation of the next page.
I’ve read the love stories over and over. The Christian ones seem to head a main thread that runs along the lines of “I knew when I saw him”… and “God gave me everything on my list and more…”
So where does that leave the rest of Christian women society, looking for the pages of our love stories in the similarities of others?
I stand with my Christian woman hand raised.
Guilty.
I have looked for my love story in the stories I’ve heard. I have walked into a room full of your people waiting for the green angel orb to fall around “The One.”
I never saw the green orb.
What was keeping me from seeing Andre was my own fears that somehow made me feel safe and my false expectations of what I thought would happen.
I had made a list to protect myself but what was incredible was Andre was so much more than a piece of paper with a checklist. He has amazing qualities that I never knew NEEDED to be on that list, like having the heart of a father….
After 2 weeks of my heart being wide open to God I realized along the way, I made a choice to Love Andre. And so I wrote him a letter and told him I love him. I asked to meet with him. I told him, I had let fear rule and and that I had chosen to love him a long time ago, and then I gave him the letter.
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.42.05 AM
A few weeks later, after much praying he asked me if we could try it again.
I said yes again.
I told him yesterday, it felt like a jump start to our relationship. We both stepped into a transparency we had yet to experience together. We grew together , trusting each other and becoming so much closed because we were both building on our relationship, dismissing fear. Anytime it would creep in Andre would remind me to “remember what God has been telling you…” **SWOON**
Our story is real. We have been through incredible ups and downs and have learned what it is like to stay connected in the most amazing moments and more difficult ones. We don’t have a fairly-tale-perfect- everything- story, we have a God story, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I had no idea that even through the intense healing God brought me through I would still have things to work through, but what is incredible is to have a man who constantly leads me to God’s heart, all along the way. He is a gift, and from the moment he was born his life carried restoration. And then God lead him to me, opened his big brown eye to a short- glittery-cupcake-loving-queen and gave him permission to pursue my heart forever. God is faithful.
And so that is just one chapter in our story, laid out for you to take pieces of it as you need to. I hope this has given you wings to fly in areas where you need them, but most of all I hope this give you hope of God’s love and they ways He choices to restore the things you thought were lost…
Love always,
Julie
FAQ:How long have you been dating? 11 months <3Why didn’t you share your relationship online while dating? At the beginning of our courtship, we did not tell my kids. We wanted to wait until we were at least a few months into dating before they knew. We both attend to the same church so he knew them and took extra time to get to know them whenever he could, even before dating. We really wanted to wait to guard their hearts so we dated in private only inviting our leaders and close family into our relationship until April. We both understood the importance of us dating as a unit and it is most important that those two kids are honored as people in our dynamic! We chose to wait to share it online because we wanted to not have any pressure to move our relationship forward faster. Let’s face it ladies, when a cute girl and a cute boy start dating, we want them to get married ASAP. 😉 We also felt like it would be wise to keep online media posting for when we were engaged because we wanted to honor each other and what God was doing.  Plus we really enjoyed soaking in the moments, putting down our phones and not feeling pressure to post our lives online 😀When’s the wedding? We are still looking at dates but most likely within 4-6 months. We want to have plenty of time to celebrate, plan and prepare for our marriage! Leilie wants it to be now 😀 We kinda do too…;)
2014-10-13_001
We had a cupcake icing fight. I won 😉
2014-10-13_002
HOW handsome is he?? I mean really… 😉
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 12.16.12 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-13 at 12.16.54 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-13 at 12.16.43 PMIMAGES by Candice Wright
October 13, 2014 - 4:45 pm

Karisa Johnson - I want to cry. This is amazing! I’ve prayed many times for God to bring this man into your life and here he is!! And um, hello handsome. You guys make an adorable couple!! SO happy for you, Julie!

October 13, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Leaha Bourgeois - You GO girl. He is upstanding and handsome! BONUS :)

October 13, 2014 - 5:13 pm

Alicia Candelora Daw - This story, Julie. Is AMAZING. God is so very faithful and I am SO excited for you guys! And…holy handsome!! Jesus definitely wanted to give you an extra specula kiss there 😉

October 13, 2014 - 6:04 pm

Taylor Peak - Swoooooning. This is the BEST! So excited for you my love!

October 13, 2014 - 7:07 pm

Jana Long - oh goodness Julie this is making me all teary eyed! What a beautiful story that could only be written by God – and yes girl – he IS handsome! I am sooooo happy for you! <3

October 14, 2014 - 5:04 am

Kristina Robinson - “It was an honor serving you.” WHAT! Who says that!? My man;) <--- KEEPER FOR SURE! Love everything about this. Love that you kept it off line, love that you placed God as number one, love that we all get to now glow with you. Prays HIM

October 14, 2014 - 5:08 pm

Sabrina - I love your story and I love you so much!! It’s such a true testimony to how beautiful and amazing and wonderful waiting on God’s plans and purposes are! I could not be more excited for you and your handsome man. Thank you for letting us celebrate with you online! 😀 MUAH!!

Mom to Mom – Thank You

Over the years I’ve called her to thank her.

We  joke that on birthdays we should really celebrate the mother who birth the child since she did all of the work. (CHEERS GMA!)

I’ve called her though after many tempter tantrums from Leilie, and fits from Kai. I’ve called her because I know she dealt with them too. I know she gave everything of herself for us girls. In the moments of growing up and feeling the growing pains of stretching our wings, she and dad kept us from flying into canyons we couldn’t have gotten out off.  And with baby feathers still stick in between the immaturity and adulthood, we didn’t know to say thank you.

It’s wasn’t until we got the growing pains of little feat running up and down the halls, and the moments we lock ourselves in the bathroom, to cry or to regroup that we think… “My goodness, I need to call mom.”

I call her to say thanks for the millions of hours of sleep she lost, for the advice we know she has, and for the old wives tale remedies that include oatmeal in knee high stockings that “make a great soaking bath for your skin….”  I call to commend her for all the times she gave up something she wanted so I could have something my little self wanted.

She wasn’t perfect, but she was mine. God knew I would need someone to feed my creative soul and to give me drawing pencils just because I HAD to have them and to teach me how to blend my eye shadow. He knew I would need someone to teach me to have a voice, to seek out justice in life, and to look for ways to serve people with my home.

She made my custom clothes for my doll house creatures out of lace and ribbons so they would have new outfits by morning. She left us pretend mail in our play house with tootsie rolls treats. She gave us many things but most of all she always nurtured creativity and an intense pursuit of fancy things.

She has this strength about her. Its the one thing my dad mentions first when he talks about what he loves about her. I often ask him what he has learned in 30 years being married to my mother. He his answer is always “There is a lot more to learn.” Smart man. He has spend the greater part of 30 years discovering this master piece of a woman to come to the conclusion…there is so much more to her to get to know. He is right.

I’ve learned that she gives a lot of herself. Her creativity and her home. If there is one thing I am proud to say about my mother it’s that she always is willing to give whatever she has to help someone else, especially us girls.

Mom, on your birthday heaven celebrates you. You’ve left a legacy with how you have raised us and look what the world has become because of how you stewarded your gifts of children. Two beauties that leave every room changed because of the trail of love, life, laughter and glitter they leave behind.

Cheers to the One and Only Glitter queen.

Even though we can’t open you craft closet because the entire Michael’s store is in there, we all know where we would go if there were ever a world glitter shortage.

Happy Birthday moma.
Thanks for loving our babies as much as you loved us <3
Love you more than the stars in the sky.
Jules
Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 11.53.50 AM

 

October 5, 2014 - 10:17 pm

Karen McDermott - Oh my stars..how everyone wishes they had an author for a daughter. Your words are very humbling and very heart felt. Your care, compassion and graciousness fit your peanut shape very well.

October 6, 2014 - 5:51 pm

Lecia McDermott - Awwwww it’s true mom! we LOVE YOU! We CELEBRATE you and all your amazingness!!

Words.

People grab onto words. They grasp them as if the paper in which they are written will dissipate if they don’t squeeze them with the hands of their heart.

I love words. I love the words that rap around me like a blanket and shield me from things I was never meant to experience. I love how they can kiss your lips and feel cold but turn warm by the love in which they were meant.

People grip words. They knit them together like a tapestry of life. Like torn pages from letter that get woven together over time. Even as the paper fads the words still hold hands along the edges of their lives.

I’ve held onto words, words that empower me, words that break me. I’ve felt the sting of gripping words that were more like knives then soft feather pens I wanted them to be.

Sometimes we take the words that are broken, the ones that were never meant to describe us, and we build walkways with them. We stand on stones of fear and doubt we’ve placed or let others place in our way and scream “These are mine!”

We keep them and they were never meant to be kept.
We wear them as ugly jackets and sing the songs of hate as if the melodies will sometime sooth us.

They never will.

They hang around our heads and we let them because we believe one day they will be halos. We invite them into our homes and let them linger around our dinner tables hoping how we host them will turn them into the guest we’ve always wanted.

They never will.

We set the tables of our lives with neatly pressed linens, perfections and bake our life stories in sexy heals instead of flats hopping we will be noticed and be rescued from the words that lead us to believe our value is in how we appear to the world.

We wear the words we believe are true. We have become comfortable with the constant sting that meets us at the mirror and we welcome it. Somehow if we believe we are less, then we won’t ever be disappointed by what we haven’t become.

Skinnier. Prettier. Richer. More Successful. Everything that we desire gets throw back at our faces and we take it…. and set an extra space at the breakfast table.

As beautiful beings of light we birth something new everyday, but we can be stopped. We can stop creating and loving. We can stop hoping and dreaming. We can rap ourselves up in fears and doubts that because reality only because we looked at them for long enough.

But we can start. Start seeing and dreaming. We can cut always the cocoons of the words we have heard and received in our souls as truth. We can set ourselves free by looking at the Truth, by listening for the Truth.

We can take the words of life, even if there are only two we can remember and use then as a flint. We can stand in the mirror and declare life over us and rap our arms around or gorgeous bodies and believe: we are enough. In this moment, YOU are enough.

Our tapestry can be rewoven. Re-strung. We can start now. Even with a little, we can give a little. We can gift our words to the world and back around again until each of us step of the stones that were never meant to be stood on. We can offer our words to the world as swords of truth that cut away every lie that kept any dreamers from fully becoming the greatest influence, the great inspiration, the greatest success the world has ever known.

Words. It can take everything in us to fight past every lie, every hurt and every discouragement we have ever accepted. But in that fight we can rescue another. We can set someone free by looking in their eyes with tears and grief, with the pain of every lie we ever believed and say with our lives “You are worth it… I will keep fighting for you.”

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 11.53.25 AM
When we reach others hearts with our words, we because the greatest influence in their lives in that moment…

It’s your time to rewrite, to reweave, to uninvited the hate house guest of your mind.

It’s time to find the Truth about who you are, and who God says you are.

It time to gift your words to yourself as a weapon in your own fight, as a sword in your own war. And when you’ve cut away the pieces that have kept you closed to the world and you sit among the battle that has ended, there is a constant Love who is waiting to dress your wounds with elegant garments of love.

He has a new tapestry for you…..

Do you want it?

Love Always,
Julie

September 30, 2014 - 8:50 pm

Candice C Wright - I love this!

October 1, 2014 - 8:53 pm

Jeanine Dell'Orfano - Love it Julie!

Paper Lions and Identity Crisis

It was about the 17th email I deleted before I realized He was saying something.

I had written a blog back on Father’s day about my dad, how he has inspired me and what he means to me. The spam bots kept sending me “blog comments” to approve from that one blog. About 30 of them. It took 17th before I realized He was trying to say something.

WORDPRESS: FATHER’S WORDS

“WRITE MY WORDS”
Ok, God I hear you. Sorry it took a minute or 27, but I hear you! Here it goes…

I want to hear God’s still small voice all of the time. That makes me comfortable. That makes me know I am heading in the right direction. Clear verbal communication. I’ve often wanted God to control me but control by it’s very nature isn’t love at all, and since God is love He can never act outside of love. Ever.

I’ve learned more then ever in the last few years God doesn’t always speak in the same language. He can use anything to communicate but He wants our constantly focus and to live with our ears open and in constant listening mode. Often in the hustle we can dismiss His words as if we aren’t aware of Him.

Some how, it makes me feel more comfortable to just have Him tell me what to do. A while back God showed me I was in a little “bubble” to protect me while I was maturing in a certain area.
One day, He removed it.

“It’s time to remove the crutch so you can use discernment.”

Great… 

In the past, I haven’t been the most confident in my discernment because I’ve made some choices that have caused a lot of pain in my life, yet through those valley’s, He is gracious to remind me that He is constantly looking to lead me into a greater knowledge of His love and to lead to a greater understanding of my anointing and identity. In the middle of the storm, He has given me the authority to calm the seas through intimacy.

I found a paper lion in Kai’s book bag, one he had cut from an organized template and glued together half hazardously. I smiled when I saw it and promptly put it on the fridge as an art display of his best work of the week. Not once did I think how it could have been better or question the spacing between the paper mane cut outs. I just loved it because I loved him and I imagine how he felt creating it. How focused he must have been holding the extra large glue sticks in his 6 year old boy hands and placing each lion features where they it was intended.
As the magnet gripped the refrigerator with the paper lion in-between, I realize God was speaking. He was showing me how He felt about me, how He is proud of who I am because of who I am not because of how “well” I do things. He has cultivated a spirit of excellence in me and I want to honor Him but I can live child like in His love and see myself as He does: His princess.

 

Evernote Snapshot 20140826 132623

Perfection is a beast that needs to be cut off at the knees and promptly dismissed from our lives.

I never expect perfection from my children and I love seeing their creativity in places where they have managed their freedom well enough to have independence. Leilie wears mismatched socks to most days to school and Kai thrives on little boy mud pie adventures. Creativity and freedom at it’s finest. 😉

Our identity as sons and daughters is like a seed God placed in us that sometimes our own introspection rips the leaves from and dissects. We look around the room of life and compare fruit with other heart gardens, dismissing our own until we have an identity crisis, one our own disbelief has created.

About a year ago Mylie Cyrus released her song “Wrecking Ball.” I have heard the song once maybe and I have yet to see the video. At the time the news feeds were spent writing letters to her dismissing her and shaming her for her behavior. I wrote something then that still grabs my heart and inspire me to want to understand how knowing His loves gives us freedom in our identity as sons and daughters to see someone for who God made them.

‘When we don’t know who we are, we start leaking our identity crisis on everyone. It’s just that some of us have bigger staged than others. What the real truth is that we spend more time judging people then loving them. Sometimes when we see other people crises, it actually reveals the crisis that is going on in our own hearts. We spend more time bad talking people than we do praying for them. People are crying out, people who are lost and blind. It’s time for us to step up, for us to bring them before the Father and ask for the veil to be lifted. People are so dearly loved by Him and not because they “have it all together” He is not waiting for them to “pull it together” Sometimes He is waiting for us to be him to them. IF they felt he Love from God they would leave radically changed. Praying Down Love encounters. In my heart and in the people God places in front of me. “

And now for the hurts so good question….Who and what are you leaking on?

Knowing how He sees us gives us freedom to hand Daddy God our paper lions and dance around the room in praise.Most times, our worse critic is ourselves, but when did we begin hating something God called beautiful? How is it that we hate something God created?
When did that become something so normal?
When did the ones who know love, Christ followers, being to hate, shame, and see themselves through the eyes of disappointment instead of radical love?

Those are where roots begin and the need to asking the Father some hard questions is vital. Ask Him to show you where these things began in you and learn to soak in His love!

When we don’t understand our own identity, our misidentify gets places as an ugly jacket on someone else. We see them for things we don’t agree with instead of who God made them to be. Mylie? God gave her gifts. He did. And I honor the gifts He placed in her.

God isn’t looking at your life in disappointment. When you accept His gift of Love He sees you through the finished work of Jesus. He made you. He isn’t disappointed in His creation. He is looking at you and is inspired to co-create, to imagine, to dream.. with you. So get out your glue sticks…

Love Always,
Julie