Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Inside Beauty

Acne at 32, oh joy.. On the way to my daughter's in school day, we stopped at the drive-thru Lean Bean coffee stop. While idling in line, I popped down my visor to peak at my face. Ugh! Let's connect the dots... As I was trying to clean house on my face, my 7 year old was very intrigued in what I was doing. I said "well these zits aren't to pretty so I'm trying to take care of them." She responds "Mom I think your beautiful." Oh, how my heart melted. I was interested at what else she would say so I  asked her, "What makes you think I am beautiful?" She says "Love. The way you love me." So precious, I have to give Dad the credit for this one. He often reminds her beauty is from the inside.

Growing up without a Father in the home didn't help my self-esteem, and I started seeking extra attention from the opposite sex at a very young age. I was 6 when my Dad left, & remember clear as day falling head over heels in love with Skylar Fisk that year. By 15, I was hanging with the wrong crowd on a regular basis. I was raped at age 16 by someone in that great group of friends. No surprise at 17 I was pregnant with my most awesome son. Moving forward to the present. I still cry when I watch a movie with a Dad & daughter moment in it, but over time I have let go. I have since forgiven my Dad, for we all fall short, and we are continually working on our relationship. I am however thankfully for my constant Heavenly Father. Life is messy, tell someone in your life that they are beautiful.

If you need encouragement from your Father up above read the bible passage below. Insert your name in the blank. It works best when you read it slowly :-)

I made her... She is different. She's unique. With love I formed her in her Mother's womb. I fashioned her with great joy. I remember with great pleasure, the day I created  her. (Psalm 139:13-16) I love her smile. I love her ways. I love to hear her laugh, and the silly things she says & does. She brings me great pleasure. This is how I made her. (Psalm 139:17) 

I made her pretty & not beautiful, because I knew her heart, & I knew she would be vain... I wanted her to search out her heart, & to learn that it would be me in her that would make her beautiful... And it would be me in her that would draw friends to her. (1 Peter 3:3-5) I made her in such a way, that she would need me. I made her a little more lonesome than she would like to be... Only because I want her to lean & depend on me... I know her heart. I know if I had not made her like this she would go her chosen way & forget me... her Creator. (Psalm 62:5-8) I have given her many good & happy things because I love her. (Psalm 84:11, Romans 8:23) Because I love her, I have seen her broken heart, and the tears she cried alone. I have cried with her & had a broken heart too. (Psalm 56:8) Many times she has stumbled & fallen alone only because she would not hold my hand. So many lessons she's learned the hard way, because she would not listen to my voice...(Isaiah 53:6) So many times I have set back & sadly watched her return sad & broken. ( Isaiah 63:2) Now she is mine again.  I made her, & then I bought her because I love her. (Romans 5:8) I have to reshape & remold her... To renew her to what I had planned for her. It has not been easy for her or me. (Jeremiah 29:11) I want her to be to conformed to my image... This high goal I have set for her, because I love her. ( 2 Cor. 2:14) 

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Road Rage Mommy

On the way to drop of my son for his field trip today, I realized I was almost out of gas. Without a moment to spare I turned in to fill up. As we were pulling back into traffic a car came flying around the corner. "Whoa! You don't need to take that corner so fast!" I say with  noticeable irritation in my voice. My sweet daughter, with her best grown up voice replies, "Mommy remember my sentence today? If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Oh... yeah... how could I forget, sorry. Not that this surprised me, because on a regular basis she reminds me the other drivers can't hear me from inside our car.

Backing up my day a bit, an hour earlier we were going over the manner of the week. The best part is this morning I was proudly patting myself on the back, &  thought "Wow I am being so consistent teaching these to my children." I must make God laugh sometimes. 

Even though I am a teacher, God is still teaching me. I took some time this afternoon, & asked myself - Do I use kind words when referring to the people in my life? How do I communicate with those around ? What about my tone, and my attitude? Looks like my mommy has some work to do. This is my struggle.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

What's on The Inside?

It's crunch time. The public high school orientation is tomorrow night. My heart is searching. We are on the fence. Home schooling my son who is already very unmotivated to do his school work sounds like an impossible task. I have been praying & investigating what is the next step for our 14 year old son.  This is huge, thankfully God is bigger.

 I have recently started following busy home school mom blog , and one of the quotes that struck a cord with me is,"Character before curriculum..". As a mom my focus through the years has been get you work done, learn the material. This thinking stems from me becoming a mom at seventeen, & having everyone tell me I can't do it. I also let curriculum be number one, not wanting to be the mom who "couldn't do it". My focus would have been better spent honing in on his character, and what's going on the inside. I would just chalk it up to, " it is just normal rebellion", "oh, that will come when he matures," or "he will figure it out some day." Having only come back to the church 6 years ago, I learned the important concept of heart issues later then I would have liked.

Ultimately, I am letting my husband make the decision. We know both paths will have their share of challenges, and that there is not an easy button. Just trying to find the path God wants for us. This is our struggle.

Any input is appreciated.  Please pray for guidance for our family.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Cookie & The Scone

 Today we were celebrating my sister's birthday, so my children & I  stopped to pick-up a mocha to surprise her. It was just starting to rain as we entered the busy coffee shop. While waiting in line I was imagining myself curled up in the corner, pounding out the next great Christian mystery novel on my lap-top. Back in reality my two children were discussing what kind of scone  to get. As we approached the front of the line I remembered that we were having cookies at my Sister's.  I then informed my 7 yr old that her & her brother were going to share. As you can imagine she was not thrilled at this idea. While they were making my coffee we sat down, & I split the scone in half. At this point my daughter was  in full pout mode. As she was chomping away on her scone she openly, displayed her unhappiness for all to see. I did my best to encourage her to just enjoy what she had. In that moment, I found myself relating to God, one parent to another.

 A year & a half ago I had a very painful miscarriage. We have been trying to expand our family for over three years. It has been a rough road, but the Lord has given me peace. Just as I know what is best for Emily, God knows what is best for me. Occasionally I am tempted to start dwelling on what I don't have, but thankfully God shows me pictures like this to re-direct my thoughts. Today I refuse to scornfully eat my scone, as not to waste the precious time with my  children. God has cookies for me later.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013


M & M's, chips, cinnamon rolls, & gummy bears are calling my name! I struggle with addiction. In the past it was cigarettes, but lately it has been food. As I walk past the fridge, I question if there might be something sweet hidden in the back. I mean I have only checked 2x's, so maybe this go around I will find something to satisfy my craving. I find it easy to eat less when I'm out in public, but on my own I fall short. I'm fully aware of the health issues that can arise if I leave my addictions unchecked. This does not make it any easier for me.

Little by little I am starting to get the big picture. Christian life is so much more then doing the do's, & not doing the don'ts. Changing my environment without dealing with the source of the problem is only a temporary fix. I need to dig deeper to the heart issues. I need to spend time reflecting with the "why" I eat when I am not hungry. I need to get on my knees the minute the desire to drive to the store for a pack of smokes pops up. I know flat out that these actions are not only bad for my physical health, but my spiritual health also. I find myself praying to God more, because I have learned I can not do it on my own. Please pray for me as I struggle through my addictions.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Look Out!

While walking through a local parking lot today, 2 cars were backing out 15 feet in front of me. Both with a woman on a mission at the wheel. I could see the car's bumpers approaching each other in what looked like an inevitable fender-bender. The only thing I could do was honk my imaginary horn as the helpless bystander. Surprisingly, inches before impact one of the drivers noticed the other, slammed on her brakes, & hit the horn.

This caused me to think back on what I have been dealing with today. I am living life "on" purpose. This is a great way to live, but it doesn't mean I will never crash into someone else. Now just as a driver carries car insurance, as a Christian I have access to grace. Unfortunately that doesn't mean there will be no damage done, and that the repair will happen over night.

Instead of getting in my car, and racing off I tried something new. I was slow to re-act, and sought out wise counsel. I do believe I averted a collusion that was in my path. I want to give God the glory for showing me His way of doing life, because this is not the usual for me.

The wisdom I received when dealing with conflict is, "You can't regret anything you don't say." All to often when a problem arises I am quick to speak without much thought into the repercussions. This not only affects my witness, but it can hinder others from opening up to me. God has been hollering, "Be quite & listen my daughter." This is my struggle.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Tonight as I reflect on my day I can't help but smile. It was the launch of our first  volley ball meet-up. May sound minor to some, but this is a big accomplishment for me. For years I have thought about playing, but I never took steps to make it happen. All to often I let the thought of an idea not panning out stop me from attempting it.

The old Julia was  typically a follower, and was afraid of experiencing life outside the bubble. The mere thought of praying out loud, leading small group, or spending time with unfamiliar faces plagued me with anxious thoughts & sweaty hands. Thankfully God is transforming me. He has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, and pursue new endeavors. Not only is it fulfilling to do this, but the excitement of seeing these plans come to life is awesome. Now I'm praising God for his work in me!

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Lost

Last night I hung out with a group of friends I have known for about 13+ years. If asked about Jesus rising from the dead, I think they would conclude it as a far fetched fairy tell. Unfortunately when the words church, God, or after life come out of my mouth I can practically see the wall go up. Even though it feels as if I am wondering through a dead end maze, I still try to find cracks in their walls.

This week at bible study we were reviewing the book of Acts, Ch. 7 to be exact. We learned how Stephen is preaching the truth, but rather then understanding his words they start throwing rocks in attempt to kill him. As this horrific event unfolds the unthinkable happens. Instead of damning his attackers, Stephen cries out to God in their defense, " Lord do not hold this sin against them."

My first take as a bystander is those people should get what they deserve. I want to grab a rock, & throw it at them. Thankfully, with my new eyes I see how disheartening it must have been not having the human words to save their lost souls. Last night my persecution wasn't rocks. Instead, it was music mocking Christianity, & jokes about heaven & hell. Before when I thought of persecution I pictured only pain & misery. Now the scene I see is one of sadness filled with utter frustration. As a mere mortal pursuing the lost I ultimately know God has a master plan, but this is still my struggle.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Gift of Respect

Off my beaten path. My loving husband informed me the other night I focus on my struggles to much. I quote "your blog is all about your struggles." The next morning he added, "I guess I should read it before I pass judgement." Moving along, as I don't want to stick my foot in my mouth... The day of love is here so, I will do my best to push the focus onto love.

Now don't get me wrong I enjoy a nice dinner out, or a sparkly necklace, but I can show affection without opening my wallet. I recently learned that my husband's mother language is "Respect". My mother language is "Love". Now my initial re-action is "Yeah, I respect my husband." , but after looking over Love & Respect author  Dr. Emerson's list I have some work to do. So, join me this week in looking for ways to respect my husband, and make Valentine's Day special. Sssshhhh... this is my struggle
  • Be his cheerleader- brag about him in front of others. Call a friend & brag about him, in front of him
  • Put a post note around the house with words of encouragement
  • Ask him about his dreams & don't shoot them down
  • Tell him he is strong, say you look hot in those jeans
  • Thank him for going to work
  • Honor his authority in front of the kids, differ in private
  • Thank him for his advice & knowledge
  • Watch him do something he enjoys, & don't TALK, men love quiet shoulder to shoulder time
  • Do something he enjoys
  • Smile at him often
  • Greet him at the door & tell him you are glad he is home

We want to be with Mr. right, but how much time are we spending trying to be Mrs. Right?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wife S.O.S.

Theses ladies rock! I have seen them speak at my church before, & I was impressed. I have absorbed so many cool ideas from these ladies. This is a free webinar. I am a webinar newbie. I must say that sitting on my couch & eating some hummus (more like cookies) while watching these ladies speak will be a nice change. Lately, I have been watching a whole lot of "Amazing Race" on Hulu. If you wanna join us here is the link - It is tomorrow!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


 SLAM! As I approach my  teary eyed daughter, I am aware she has been arguing with her friends. She tells me she is yelling, because she is angry.  She wanted  them to play the game her way, and they said no. I did my best to explain that regardless of what someone does to you, the only thing you are responsible for is the way you respond.

I am feeling convicted about the "because I am angry" part. I know where she has heard that before. We both need to check ourselves when are emotions are bubbling over. Taking responsibility for my actions may be an easy concept to understand, but is quite difficult to master. It is even tougher to teach to your children.

I grew up playing the victim. A few of my favorite responses for my short comings in life are "My dad left me at age 5. I had my son at 17. That is just the way I am." Well folks when I arrive in heaven I will only be giving an account for "MY" actions. Not my husband's, my children, or the guy who cut me off on the freeway. God clearly states in the Bible how I am to respond to the people around me. This is my struggle...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Face Painting Dilemma

 As my husband walked through the door today my super-excited daughter said, "Daddy look at my face! Guess how much it cost? Eighteen dollars!" I was in the kitchen quietly trying to figure out a way to hide in the refrigerator. Why is it usually the first thing out of my child's mouth when I do something my husband is more then likely going to frown on?!?    

Now my husband is quite frugal, you can imagine how thrilled he was about this purchase. I had seen a $10 sign by the stand when I had first said yes to my little one. Ice cream or face painting had been my mental decision maker. When she sat down in the chair the sweet artist handed me the price sheet. $18, Ouch! I had already told her yes, and felt I couldn't turn back now. I caved knowing my hubby would not think it was worth the money.

At dinner he made a few comments. The old me would have instantly defended my purchase, and argued right then in front of the children about it. Surprisingly I kept quiet (God gets the credit here). We finally agreed it was a great face painting, but not $18 great. I admitted I made a mistake, and we moved on to the monitor lizard Clyde we enjoyed petting.

 My prayer today is to be more intentional. That way I will make less unwise choices. Before we go some where, especially if Dad isn't attending, I need to set guide lines down for the children. Including, how much money we have to spend, if we will buy anything, where we will go/not go, & any other boundaries we will have while there. This is my struggle!

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What a Story!

Two women worked across from each other in separate cubicles . One was straight, the other was gay. Lets  say the lesbian's name is Kim & the heterosexual's name is Jennifer.

 At work Jennifer was known for being a devout Christian, and Kim was openly gay. While working together Jennifer would go out of her way to be nice to Kim. She would bring her coffee, smile, & find ways to help her. Kim could not understand why. Kim on the other hand could not stand Jennifer & her smug Christian style. She knew it would only be a matter of time before Jennifer would show her true colors. 

No one would have blamed Jennifer if she had turned away from Kim. In fact they might have cheered her on if she had taken revenge on Kim. Jennifer's friends thought Kim was asking for it by the way she treated her. Fortunately, Jennifer did just the opposite. Over time Kim understood Christ's love, converted to Christianity, & is currently living a heterosexual life style. This is now her testimony.
(This is a true story)

This challenges me. Who could I be showing Christ like love to. His love is given when it is least expected, & when it is not deserved. It is the most amazing, life changing kind of love. If I would let Him, God could use me to show someone this mind blowing love. I need to love the unlovable. This is my struggle.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Home School?

So far the most difficult decision as a parent was choosing which education program was best for our now 14 yr old son. We started out with public school while I was a single, working mom. In 4th grade we switched to half home school, half Christian. Currently He attends a half home school, public charter. My daughter is full home school with a mix of charter & Classical Conversation. Whew!

Now, all that being said every option has it's pros & cons. I don't think there is a one size fits all in schooling. I have to remind myself that each child is different, and what works for my neighbor might not be best for us. When trying to decide I usually pray, stress, and then I ask my husband what he thinks is best. God put our husband as the head of house hold for a reason. Trusting my husband's decision reduces my worry & anxiety big time. I just try to take it one year at a time, and pray, pray, pray.

 I am enjoying home schooling my daughter, and love the fact I am the one teaching her how to read. I also think the way my son goes on  & on about his cool science teacher is great too. This month we need prayer. It is time for us to choose a high school option for our son. This is my struggle.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013


 So, I apologized. A few posts back I said I would. No response from the other end but, I feel better after doing the right thing. I was honest . Saying sorry doesn't fix everything. Life is messy.

 God does not promise  sunshine & easy street. He states trials & tribulation. A friend once said to me, "If you are doing nothing for the Lord why would the enemy waste his time on you?" My brave husband prays for persecution. I on the other hand pray things like, "can I please die in my sleep?" The verse -He makes ALL this work together for our good keeps coming to mind. Not some things. Not a few things. Not just the good things but, ALL things. That includes my struggles, sickness, death.... He can use them to make good. I do not pray for trials but, I do pray that one day my faith will reach that level.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Social Anxiety

Is social anxiety hereditary? Does it stem from a lack of self esteem, a broken home, or a chemical imbalance?

At one time I was quite the social butterfly. I had no problem talking to new people. I think it was the social lubricant (aka alcohol). Well, after becoming a Christian the majority of the functions I attend are not centered around alcohol. I find myself having to work harder at making conversation. Making new friends hasn't been easier either. I must confess that sometimes I  find myself using the side door at church to  avoid the awkwardness. Over the past few weeks I have challenged myself to do life out of my comfort zone. At church  I have been changing the place I sit each week. Making a point to talk to new people. Even writing this blog is not something the old me would do . With each step I take the old Mt. of anxiety has become smaller. Relying on God is key. This is my struggle.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Another biopsy, another lump, more pain. Today my Mother goes for her MRI. The battle on her persistent skin cancer continues. Watching a loved one suffer is not easy. I don't have the answers. I don't know why.

Sometimes this causes me to worry. The bible states- Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to this life? I know worrying is no good. God wants me to do what is good! Watching too much news. Dwelling on fears of sickness, predators, & economic crisis is "not" what He has called me to do. Finding healthy focuses to fill my hours is a way of obeying God, and can benefit my mental health. O.K. Julia time to turn the news off & make a pact with myself to stay away from Web MD. I am struggling with this today.