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You’ll stay boring that way…

You need to hear this.
Stop following trends.

Follow the fierce ones. Those who are unapologetic. The people who will love intentionally, specifically. Follow those who will serve with their life. Follow the people who are unapoligetically themselves. They’ve learned they love best when they are uniquely themselves. Follow ones who’s quirks are worn as strength and who’s wisdom have not come from sitting on the side lines observing.

Follow the ones who have walked through the mud, gripped the sides of the mountain, felt the dirt under their nails and the passion in their souls. Follow those who have climbed to the top of the mountain, despite the ones that told them they couldn’t, and have declared to the world: my gifts, have the power to change the world.

Don’t try and dress up like someone else.  Stop trying to get somewhere by looking like all of the people that surround you. You’ll stay boring that way I wouldn’t tell you this if I didn’t love you.

Stop, just stop.

You have a world of creativity inside of you and you are spending it all comparing you to a world who doesn’t care if you ever reach your destiny.

But I mind.

So put on your mismatched socks if you have to and part your hair the other way, because we need what you have inside of you. And maybe its selfish of me to say this but I need you. Without you being you I miss out on the part of God that only you carry so excuse me for telling you, you are not a twin to the world, you are a twin to His nature.

And you just being you matches Him perfectly.

It’s time to shine. The world is not your mirror.

And I hope, I hope you write a letter like this and shake the ones who have things clinging to them that were never meant to be. Because someday, my kids might come across your letters, and it will shake things off of them too…..

Love Always,
JulieUs at the beach-12

Why Walls

I started crying today during worship for reasons I do not know. Maybe it’s what my Spirit needed but I just let it happened and felt like I didn’t need to know the reason.

Why comes up a lot in my life. Through the weeds of the past and the daisies of the future, I find myself at why wall a lot. It keeps me from Him and yet I stand there starring at it thinking if I just look at the questions in my heart a little longer, the wall will come down and all will be revealed.

There are some things in my past I want answers to. I find myself dancing around like a “good little christian” trying to keep myself from asking questions I don’t think I am allowed to ask. I question God, and it’s not that I question who He is, I question the circumstances that lead to certain events.

I remember times in my past where years later I was gifted the answers I wanted prior. When I saw it all at once, it made sense. Had I had my answers when I wanted them, I might have rejected them and grown more cold then open to Him.

It’s interesting that “why” can begin to harbor distrust in our hearts. As if little seeds get sprinkles in our garden and thistles begin to grown when we water them with frustrations of who we think He is instead of the truth. Kim Walker Smith put my heart into words on a youtube video I saw where she talked about needing to know why of bad things that happened to her. She eventually realized her need to know why was creating offense between her and God. It was keeping her from going to the next place of intimacy with Him. And so she opened her hands and closed the book what held all of her “whys” to Him.

We want to know the whys of our past but God wants us to know the whys of our future. Why does He lavish us with blessing? Why does He love it when we proposer? Why does He want come close to us and be in relationship with us? Because we are heirs. We are his children. Adopted through Jesus as sons and daughters.

When we stand and look at the wall, we can stare at is long enough until we forget we are in relationship with Him. He is constantly trust worthy yet sometimes our own misunderstanding of His intentions burn bridges between His heart and ours.  And if the edges of our skirts get singed, we become more offend at Him.

He has never changed. He has never walked away. He is constant and so if our connection to Him has become a rope bridge in the amazon of frustration, we have some repairs that need to be done.

Jesus always shows up with His hammer and nails ready to restore. He is always in the mood to mend where the whys of our hearts have eroded the path. He is interested in our trust and building the trust that was lost. Can we trust Him even if we never know why the bad things happen? Can we hold onto Him and let go of our offense at what He is not doing? Can we take the invitation to take a step towards Him and let Him heal us even if He doesn’t give us the answers we are wanting?

It’s easy to write those words. It’s easy to click the keys and throw questions in the air hoping that hearts grasp it, but when we come across the bridge that leads us to letting go of our offense with Him, it’s hard to take the first step.

I’ve felt it.

I’ve taken the long walk to His throne many times with things bound around my neck. I drop the weight of the frustrations there and cry it our for a while. I’ve learned one of the most important things in my connections with Him is take it all to Him, and don’t leave until I’m honest.  Don’t leave until I have unpacked every bag I have willingly carried in myself. Don’t leave until I tell Him truly how I feel. And once it is all out on the table, don’t leave until He washes His word over me.

Be willing to take a step towards hurt to maintain connection. Our misunderstandings about God’s heart because boulders around our necks and we wonder around anticipating His anger instead of His love. That creates hurt. Misconceptions of who He is creates splinters in our souls that make our whole body ache because we were made by Him to be loved by Him. Lies about who He is feels uncomfortable. Lies paint pictures of a locked door of connection with Him with an impossible “good works” combination. None of that is the truth. Truth sets us free.

The door is always open. We have all of the keys through Jesus, but what we believe will launch forward us or keep us anchored to bottom of the sea.

We have absolute access to His heart which means we are welcome to ask. We are welcome to ask like a little child would, but just like with little children we guard them from answers. Often we don’t tell them details that would hurt their hearts of create fear in their lives. We protect them by what we say and what we do not say. He is a good Father.

All things work together for your good… and maybe that is the only answer you need to your why….

So today, declare that to your wall of why’s that keep your from Him and watch it fall…

Love always,
Julie
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June 18, 2014 - 3:28 am

Sherry Gillard - hmmm….This was written at after 6:40pm tonight????

June 20, 2014 - 12:22 pm

Mary Beth Liermann - .

Father’s Words

He unfolds the delicate corners and the paper fights to refold it’s self. He has kept it hidden in his wallet for 10 years, only reading it’s delicate words on delicate days. I wrote it to encourage him, he reads it to empower him. Never underestimate the power of words.

The edges of the paper are weak and soft, but the words are still strong like arrows, ones that might defend the walls of the structure of him and I.
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I’ve learned my whole life how powerful words are. Like bread torn off from our souls given to those who are hungry for what we have in our hearts. Our words are like tearing off pieces of ourselves, and they keep feeding the world through the way we place them together. We make that choice a lot; how we choose words that sit next to each other. I didn’t realize when I use those words and on that paper that it would create seat of honor for my dad to sit, and a crown for him to wear.

So in this moment, I want to write about Father’s and how important they are. I want to write about how generations are being lost and found by these great leaders of strength who are kings in our homes. I want to write about how they are stones and rocks that families are built upon and how their presence or their absence in our live shape us and mold us. But instead, I sit here and write about words, how powerful they are and how they keep us steady and still in moments of chaos.

Maybe the connection between my father and words comes from my father’s extensive vocabulary including everyday words like fiefdom and Magillicutty. Maybe I’ve simply connected the two because words from fathers are like pieces of gold and silver that decorate our lives. Some people had less decoration and some have none at all, but what is most profound about what we have experienced in the past is we get to glean from it and create new experiences for our future. We get to string words together, impact and empower people’s lives no matter what lined our own pathway here. My dad has decorated my life in more ways then I can describe. He placed jewels of wisdom on my head, and taught me the value of patience.

There are moments when no words speaks more then the most eloquent sentences. When a listening ear and a patience heart greet a moment of heightened emotion. It feels like a hug after a long journey; a father who sits and listens with eager expectation speaks more things then a sentence could ever communicate. My dad is that kind of man.

He is patient, kind, gentle and sweet. He listens quietly offering wisdom when it is needed. I’ve learned a lot about God through who he is and for that I am so thankful.

There is something that God has placed inside of each of us, like a jewel He hid there for Himself in our hearts. Somewhere inside of us is this great desire to be fathered. We desire to come beside a good father’s strength and wisdom. We desire to feel protected and love. The hurts of this world has tainted that sweet sanctuary in some of us, like tarnished gold in a palace, often hurts beckon those places in us to stay hidden. God is always in the mood to restore. He desires to restore relationships, our perception of ourselves, and the places in our heart where wounds have been because of fathers who has their own wounds. On a day where some are celebrating, some are grieving, some are anticipating hurts and sound are being healed from them too.

In all of the whirlwind of expectations of fathers and the celebration of great ones, our sweet God has His Father hands wide open and reaching for our hearts. Its safe there, and He has a myriad of words and wisdom strung together in the perfect sentences for us. He has crown to place on our heads and new songs to sing to us. He loves to father us because He knows our precious hearts need Him. May Father’s Day bring restoration to your soul and may He flood every part of your with His outrageous love.

Forgive, release, bless, love, serve, celebrate.

Love Always,
Julie
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To my sweet beloved father; there aren’t enough words to adequately describe your influence on my life.
You have taught me the value of wisdom, how to honor someone with patience, how to serve without complaint. I would not be who I am without who you are. I honor your gifts, your love, your life, your stewardship and I am so very thankful for who you are. You are a precious gift of a man. I love you! The legacy of  your life and love has forever changed the three of us, mom, Lecia, and I. Now it continues to impact three more, Lales, Kai, and Brave. Everything that you are and every way you have chosen to selflessly love has made an impact on every person you meet. You were made for greatness and that greatness is touching more lives then you may have ever realized…. and the best part is… the best days are yet to come. Cheers to all that God has made you to be. May He crown you with a new crown as the ones you steward well celebrate you <3

June 15, 2014 - 3:27 pm

Julie Story - I’ve never made him cry before but this one did it. Happy Father’s Day dad 😉 all my love, all my heart…

June 18, 2014 - 3:36 am

Sherry Gillard - WOW! You are so blessed to have him for your dad!

Say Yes.

There is a sign on the Starbucks display that says “Say Yes” in big bold letters. I love looking for God in everything. I wonder what God wants me to say yes to……or what Starbucks wants me to. 😉

Today I caught catch talking to God like we have a different relationship then we do,  as if we have a different history then we do. Sometimes I talk to Him through this religious veil I put on and parade around until I feel silly and just tell Him how I am really feeling. Sometimes I feel like He is distant. I hunger just to hear His still small voice and wonder if I am tuned into the wrong frequency. I sit and soak, waiting, listening, positioning my heart to hear Him.

The things I know in my mind sometimes collide with the things I am experiencing and create some kind of belief system that relates more to the visible world then invisible. I fight to get back the “right” perspective and then I realize that in the struggle, I’ve missed it. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. there is no fighting in resting in the truth of who He is and what He says.

I sat in Starbucks, music in my ear buds was soft worship music positioned for me directly to hear, yet the sound was drowned by a very loud voice. An older man sat across from me, having a very passionate conversation on his phone. He shifted his weight from one side to the next, getting up ever so often to pace around the room, walking toward the door and back to his seat again. Every once in a while, he sips from the familiar white cup. He is the only one in the room bedsides me and his voice is the only thing I can hear except when I shift my attention to what is playing specifically for me, I only hear the music I’ve chosen to listen to.

In that moment He was speaking.

What we decided to listen to is what we hear.
What if everything is at the same volume and it’s where our attention lies that causes us to hear? What are we listening for?

We will hear what we are passionate about. When we are enrapture by His love, it’s hard to miss His voice.

The world chews on loud words, expecting great big moments that lead us and guide us, but the butterfly that flickers in and through out our day may carry more significance then the loud things we are expecting to hear from Him. I sit in expectation to hear, and all the while even when I am not hearing Him in the way I expect to, I am thanking Him for the words He is saying because even now, in this moment, He is speaking.

His words are hanging in the air with no veil between Him and I. I think about Him and I, the covenant we are in. I would do anything for connection and I am willing to sacrifice for love. I am willing to take a step toward any hurt because I long to connect to Him. It’s so important to give Him everything we have held onto, and leave it with Him trusting He holds our face in His hands, and even when we don’t understand, we can still choose Him. We can’t carry the past into the present and expect to run forward faster to the future.

We can’t look at what we perceiving is happening as the truth.
Our misconceptions of reality can create alternate worlds we we never meant to live in.

The truth is, He is speaking. Are we listening?
Say Yes.

Love Always,
Julie
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June 13, 2014 - 2:56 am

Erin Westermeyer - He’s been showing me this very thing lately, as well. Love this and your dear heart. <3

June 13, 2014 - 3:05 am

Brittany Reinhard - Oh my goodness this really speaks to me, wow!

June 13, 2014 - 3:09 am

Karen Muniz - Love this Julie!!! Awesome word!

The End.

It’s freeing.

Like falling out of an airplane freeing.
Like telling the entire class who you have a crush on.

Writing is freeing in those ways.

There are so many things I would love to pour my heart out about. I’d love for you to sit on my sofa while I share my heart that lives on my sleeve. In some cases, you might find it freeing for you to listen. Maybe it would be empowering to you to see rawness in that way.

So pretend you are here. Right here right now, as I pour out my heart, maybe it will make yours free.

I sat on the carpet, kneeling, open, crying. I let it all out. All of it. I sat with Jesus and He painted my hands gold, reminding me that everything I touch is impacted. He wrote hope on my hands and as I lay before Him I told Him it was the end. It was the end of me. I have nothing left. I have laid it all out before Him. I have cried the last tear I can cry. That’s it. It’s all I’ve got.

I felt sets of eyes peering at me from the banister, and I heard two little figures scurry back to their beds. I went up stairs and explained me. The rawness. The rough edges. I love that they get to see what beautiful brokeness looks like. I love that I can tell them, “It’s good to cry it out with Jesus.” And tell them that from a place of understanding and experience. I love that somehow in the brokeness He is still teaching.

I told Him it was my limit, it was my end, and I realize He takes my ends and makes them beginnings. He knew that I would be here in this moment, desperate for His care and he would meet me there. He knew that I needed this; this time, this place, and as much as I kneel before Him telling Him I’m done, I’m not.

He takes circumstances and presents us with opportunities for intimacy. We can steward those moments, leap in His arms and find what we need.
At times I wish I had more rainbows then rough edges, but He uses colors in the sky to remind everyone in my life that His promises are true.

At times I fight Him on the process. Ok, most times I fight Him on the process. I want microwave versions of teaching tutorials so I can get what I need and go, move on to something else. He loves crock pot processes. He says it will taste better in the end. He says He’d rather see me annoyed now and flourishing later then to see my appetite appeased with something that is less then excellent.

I’m not good at process. I’m not good at standing and waiting, throwing my prayers and arms up at the sky, hoping that what falls back down will hit me differently then how I threw it up there. I am not good at standing and waiting. I’m not good at waiting…

I’m thankful that His grace is enough to cover what I am not good at. I don’t have to try and be… I can just be and ask that His grace covers my weak spots. Through Him I am the most excellent woman in waiting of all time. Through Him I can draw on His strength and I can enjoy EVERY process through Him.

In the battles of the mind I have come to recognize, I’ve noted one staple that is getting ripped out of me, ALL of my processes; avoidance.

Avoidance seems like the greatest plan to step back…and do nothing. Process nothing. Cry for nothing. Avoid the heart’s needs all together. I have felt many a times a pressure to have it all together, to never stop and feel what’s really going on. When I avoid, it takes something away from the intimacy between Him and I. I have used many things to hide behind in the garden and not confront where my heart is really at. Avoidance, like ignoring the heart’s needs for a band-aid of momentary apathy. We can’t band-aid the heart’s cry for intimacy with God. That connection is pivotal, and without it we bleed on everything around us.

A dear friend of mine once told me to get angry with God, to tell Him how I really felt. To lay it all out there. And so a few years ago, for the first time… I did. I held nothing back, and He showed up in a vision I will never forget. It was my end, and also my beginning.

And so, a few days ago, I felt that same shift. The End. The time where everything stops and starts at the same time. The time where my dependency on Him is magnified to the point where nothing else seems flavorful to me.

He is the healer, the one who takes the sore spots and uses them. He’s the one who releases grace in the middle of the storm. He is the one who deserves praise in the storm. He is the one who is good, regardless of how it feels in this moment. He is the God who sees and rescues.

If you’ve been hiding, it’s time.
If you’ve been avoiding, it’s time.
He’s calling your heart. It’s your end.

I wrote this to my sister 2 years ago. It came back around to me this week. His spirit rested on it and as I read it, I knew it was just as relevant to her then as it is to me now…..

“What you may think is the end of you could be your beginning. Guilt can not make this decision, strength must, fear can not lead you, hope must…. Rename fear bravery, and then fear will be no more”

Renaming Fear is the anthem of this season. As God draws me closer to His heart and my Life Love song is emerging, I am confronted with the one thing that will keep me from everything: Fear.

Fear will rob you of everything, if you allow it. Fear steals, kills, and destroys. It makes you believe a false reality that takes everything and leaves nothing. But His love, His outrageous love completely removes fear. So, as I fall more into line with His heart for me, as I open myself up and ask Him to fill me with His love; the wake that fear created, it leaves and the pain of fear goes. I am left completely full of His Love. God is a lover who always leaves us full, He always leaves us better, equipped, Loved, empowered, comforted and steadfast. Even in the storms, He always leaves us full.

We don’t have to have it all together all the time. We don’t have to strive to be someone we are not. We can cry it out with Jesus and trust that He is faithful, He can take it. He can take us, all of us, in our most raw real moments; that’s what He wanted, Us.

I was expensive, so the least I can offer, is everything I have…

This song broke me wide open to His heart.
Praise Him like everything you are asking for He has already done

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March 27, 2014 - 11:48 pm

Nina Madera - So powerful! Thank you for sharing! So grateful to know people like you!

March 28, 2014 - 5:53 am

Scarlett Lillian Knuth - You are an amazing writer. Don’t ever stop.

April 8, 2014 - 3:26 pm

Priscilla Longshore - Beautiful- simply beautiful!

April 8, 2014 - 3:27 pm

Priscilla Longshore - Beautiful- simply beautiful!