What Matters Most

Mother, me, my sister Jennifer, her daughter Libby

Solo blogging feels a little bit like walking into a party alone and wondering if anyone will talk to you. I’m so honored to have some readers–someone to write to. Whew! For those following this blog from Guideposts Woman-to-Woman, blessings on you. For friends and family, thank you. I’m grateful for brand new readers and future readers.

I have to tell you about yesterday. Mother’s friends from her church threw her a surprise 75th birthday luncheon. Wish I’d had my camera ready to catch her expression when she walked into the room. She had no idea.

Aren’t the tables gorgeous? The details and expressions of love blew me away–everything from food, to decorations, to gifts from the heart. One friend used real tablecloths and mingled the rich colors of the fabric with paper plates. The plates had hummingbirds on them, which just so happened to match Mother’s shirt. And the centerpieces! Aren’t they adorable? Someone made bookmarks for each person using the front cover from Mom’s book, Praying for My Life.

Oh, the food–the food. Homemade chicken salad, broccoli salad, green salad, fresh fruit, nuts, a cake with roses on top and bottles of Orange Crush in a metal tub. And Milk Duds. Such Southern charm.

There’s a scripture from The Message in 1 Corinthians 14 that sums it up…”Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it–because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you.”

I pray I discover what matters most and go after it will all my heart. May God bless this blog and each of my readers.




  1. Katie says:

    Wish I could have been there to celebrate too!!

  2. Way to go, Julie! And see–solo blogging didn’t hurt a bit, did it? I’ll add you to my blogroll. We sure to send the details in the format so I can list it in the next kudos. We want to celebrate with you!

  3. Great post for a first entry, Julie! So glad you decided to start your own blog. 🙂 Have a great Friday!

  4. Thank you Ashley, Katie, and Vonda. Y’all made my day. 🙂

  5. Love the new blog, Julie. And I adore that photo of you. It’s so YOU! We missed you yesterday. 🙂

  6. Thank you Julie for your gift to us…I love that photo and pray to the good Lord that I look 1/2 as gorgeous as your mom if I live to be 75!!!

    Come on into blog-world…you’re heart draws people to you everywhere you go, this will be no different. I love your brand spankin new website…it’s so JULIE!
    love love love you~
    ps…I love your mom’s friends that went to such detail and care. xo

    • Julie says:

      Thanks, Rob. I’ll pass along the words to Mother. We’re 2/3 of the way to 75, right? 🙂

  7. Deanna Briscoe says:

    I’ll be looking forward to reading what’s on your heart. I love your first blog and will look forward to more visits. God Bless you.

  8. GREAT post, Jewels. Love the “Speaking” and “Teaching” links and I especially love the scene in my mind of you and the clothesline. Keep up the good work!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, dearest B.J. Clotheslines do wonders for my creativity!

  9. you are gorgeous. i’m so excited for this solo venture. love to you.

    • Julie says:

      Hey, Em! Thank so much for stopping by and for your sweet words. Miss you. xoxo

  10. Gina Simpson says:

    love the menu! such southern traditions. What’s the significance of the milk duds?

  11. Julie – I found your blog through Robin on Facebook. I am a subscriber to Guideposts and have read your writings there. I am looking forward to reading your blog now too.

    Happy Birthday to your Mom! She is beautiful!

    • Julie says:

      So nice to meet you, Eileen. Thank you so much! xoxo

  12. What a wonderful celebration of love it must have been, Julie. So glad for your Mom. Love your new blog.

  13. Barbara King says:


    Just beautiful and you. I love the pictures, all of them. Congratulations and have fun 🙂


    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much Barb. Hope to see you really soon!

  14. Rena says:

    Julie, I found you through Robin and I am so glad I did. Congratulations on your new blog! I have thought of starting one but haven’t had the courage to make the jump. I will be following you regularly. Please wish your mother a Happy Birthday. How lucky to have had your mom growing up. I was blessed with twin girls as a young wife and my Sunday School teacher gave me your moms book “Two of Everything But Me.” We survived because of her. Today those girls have given me 3 grandchildren with another due next week. Oh, my girls have the same beautiful red hair that you do:) I am confident God will use this blog to touch others in so many ways. Thank you.

    • Julie says:

      Hey, Rena! Go ahead and make the blogging jump. I’m telling you–it feels like jumping off a high dive, but such a great feeling. I’ll tell Mom your sweet message. Such kind words. It means more than you can imagine….from someone who likes to ease her way into the pool. 🙂

  15. You’re doing great with your new blog. I look forward to reading your southern stylings! And tell Marion I say Happy Birthday!

    • Julie says:

      I sure will, Meg. Thanks for coming to visit. 🙂

  16. I love your blog! I also admire your courage in stepping out in faith. I’m glad that you were able to have such a beautiful luncheon with your friends and family. Take care. -Lisa

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much, Lisa…stepping out in faith. That’s exactly what it feels like. Sure is nice to have such a warm welcome.

  17. Helen Barlow says:

    I am your fb friend and also read you and your mom’s blog with Guidepost. So excited that you have your own blog now and look forward to hearing more from you. Your mom looks great for her age and sure does have two beautiful girls and a lovely granddaughter.

    Congratulations and God bless.

    • Julie says:

      Hey, Helen. And welcome. Thank you so much for reading. I called Mom a few minutes ago–told her people are amazed at how beautiful she is. Much love to you and yours!

  18. Julie, I LOVE this: Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. What a fascinating thought to dwell on this afternoon!

    • Julie says:

      Means so much to read your comment, Stephanie. Thank you. You helped inspire me–we’re all in this together!

  19. You go girl. I look forward to traveling with you and seeing what God writes through you…to us. Life will be more full because of this journey.

  20. Love it, Julie! Love your picture and the party for your mom. Wish I could be there in person and give you a hug as you start this solo venture – you’re going to do great!

    • Julie says:

      You know, you’re part of my inspiration, Carla. Thank you!!

  21. Regina says:

    Hi Julie,
    Robin sent me over and I’m so glad she did! What a wonderful celebration. I’ll be back to visit again. Happy Blogging,

    • Julie says:

      Hey, Regina. What a sweetheart you are to say hey!! xoxo

  22. Lisa Hopper says:

    I’m so excited about your new blog. I can’t wait to read what’s on your heart. You are gonna do a great job!! Tell your Mom hi and Happy Birthday. She has been my favorite author for about 18 years. That’s a great picture of all of you.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, thank you, Lisa. Kind words mean so much~~

  23. Sharon Mangas says:

    You’re off and running! Great entry–wish I had been at the party–I felt like I had been there after reading your post! Happy Belated birthday to your wonderful mama!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks so much, Sharon. Wish you could have been there too. Special day for sure. xoxo

  24. BrendaOsborne says:

    Hi Julie! I enjoyed your blog and the story of your Mom’s surprise party. Sounds like she has some pretty special friends. I am excited for you and your blog. You have so much love and Southern wisdom to share, I am sure you will be well read.

    • Julie says:

      Hey, Brenda. Thank you so much for stopping by. I had such a good time talking to you at Stephanie’s wedding. Hope we get to see each other soon! Much love. Honored to have you as a reader. 🙂

  25. Melba Fletcher says:

    Julie, I am so glad to find your blog! What a special birthday party for your mom! Maion is very beautiful, and it looks as if her daughters and granddaughter inherited her loveliness! How wonderful that those who love her chose the special touches of Milk Duds and Orange Crush as part of the celebration – not to mention the gorgeous decorations! I can hardly wait to read her reactions to all of this! It is wonderful to see her and all of you! Thanks again for the blog address!

    • Julie says:

      Hey Friend Melba! Thank you for feeling the love along with us. It was a beautiful party. So much love to you and thrilled you’re reading. I plan to interview Jeremy soon on the blog. 🙂

  26. Barbara Davidson says:

    Smile, Smile, Smile–your blog makes me smile, and I smile knowing there’ll be more!! A lovely rock-along with you. So happy for your Mom’s joy also!!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much smiling Barbara!! Thanks for reading and for being such an encourager. Almost called you this week, but I know it’s been a busy one for you. Soon…

  27. You can count on me to talk to you at this party, Julie! My God bless as He continues to use you to touch many with your sweet spirit and gentle ways. Loved the party!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, dear Beverly. Someone to talk to. Loved getting to see you!!

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Julie! I just followed you from your Guidepost blog with your mom. I remember reading a story your mom wrote about her RA (I have an inflammatory arthritis) and then discovered your blog looking for encouragement one day. I’m 51 too – I’m Southern too (with a capital S). Your writing is so uplifting and I will be stopping in often! Thanks for continuing to blog.

    • Julie says:

      Hey, Karen. What a treat to read your comment! Yes, I can’t help myself. Southern deserves a capital S. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading.

  29. Jim Hall says:

    What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Your writing is clear and strong.

  30. Great fun!! Thanks for sharing this picture and the event with us! I’m thrilled she was surprised! Glad to see you Saturday at the Book Signing!
    Nora :o)


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