To: My Readers … Love: Julie

Have you ever felt a tiny spark of courage to create something out of almost nothing, but you were afraid you’d fail? Afraid you’d be rejected?

That’s how I felt when I began blogging.

Today, this very day, I’m so grateful to each one of you. You welcomed me into your world and blessed me more than you can imagine.

Here’s my loft office and Ellie, one of my granddogs. 🙂

Exactly three years and one day ago, I was ter-ri-fied. It was the night before my first blog went live. Every few minutes, I got out of bed and tiptoed upstairs to read my post one more time.

Just one more time.

“Be back in a sec,” I said to my husband in a fake-cheery voice.

“Where’re you going?”

What if I have typos?

What if no one reads this? How long will I keep up the façade?

What if my creativity dries up, then what? What do I write about next week, and the next, and the next?

Or worse.

What if people make fun of it and say, “What’s this supposed to be?”

Finally, oh, finally, the sun came up on Wednesday morning, June 24, 2011.

7 a.m.

I told my trembling fingers to behave and press Publish. Then I wanted to hide under my desk.

Three years later, I still wonder what I’ll write about next week, and my stomach still does a summersault when my blog goes live.

But the unspeakable joy of becoming your friend

And having to depend on God 

Help me forget about myself

And overcome fear.

Thank you.

When we encourage one person, we never know how many lives we might touch. 

Are you creating something new–something a wee bit scary? Please share. I’d love to hear about it.

Love,

Julie

Comments

  1. Patricia Martin says:

    We are all so grateful for you, Julie, and the beautiful messages you share with us each week! I know that you touch everyone who reads your blog.(((: In my sociology class I have had to post each week on many topics, and I am always surprised by who posts on me in response. Happy third anniversary of blogging and Happy summer to you and yours!
    Love,
    Patricia ((((:

    • Hey Patricia, sounds like Sociology is going beautifully if they’re posting about you! You are such an encourager!!!

      Thank you, thank you–you were the first commenter today and your words always, always make me smile.

      All my love.

  2. Great post, Julie. I’ve been writing a Sunday column for our local newspaper since 1998. Every time I write one, I wonder if I’ve just used up my last idea. But no. God always drops something in my lap. I’ve learned to keep my eyes and ears open and trust the process. The more you create, the more creative you become.

    • Jennie, you too????? I had no idea you ever thought this. That’s exactly how it feels–as if God is giving me just one more idea. And sometimes (usually!) just in the nick of time. 🙂

      I love what you said… “The more you create, the more creative you become.” WOW. So big, Jennie!

  3. Julie: I so love your writing and what you share with us each time you post. Sometimes, I think just maybe it was just for me. You encourage me to keep writing my posts because I feel the same way you just wrote about. Mostly I say to myself “does anyone really care what I’m saying?” or “Is anyone even reading this?” or “Why am I doing this?” However, something inside of me keeps saying “continue” so I must. Thank you for sharing and giving of yourself.

    • Amen, Felicia–same thoughts here. And that’s why we keep on keeping on, my sister/friend!!

      Thank you, thank you!! xoxoxoxoxox

  4. Patti Wiersma says:

    Julie, everyone of your blogs has touched me. I look forward to Wednesdays to read them. God has blessed you with the gift of writing. Thank you for sharing. I’m sure there are many who don’t comment that you have touched too. Thank you.

    • Ohhhhhh, Patti… Patti….thank you. Makes me tear up with gratitude. Thank you.

      May God bless you. So much love!

  5. Mary Wilkins says:

    Thank you!

    • You’re so welcome, Dear Mary! And thank you for letting me know you’re reading and for sharing earlier today. Makes me smile to my tippy-toes!

  6. Anna Haney says:

    When I saw your headline, I was afraid you were going to announce this was ending. I love your blog. You have no idea how much encouragement you have given me. I have found a new friend and sister in Christ. Thank you

    • Nope, that’s not how my heart’s leading me, Anna. 🙂 And what are you doing reading my blog?? You’re at the beach, right? Hope your vacation is wonderful. And wear your sunscreen. And tell Don I said hi!

      XOXOXOXOXO

  7. Happy Blogaversary! When you write from the heart, as you do, you know you can’t go wrong.

  8. Julie – I first read your writings (and your Mom’s) in Guidepost. I always looked forward to reading more. Then, through Robin, I found your blog. What a joy it has been to read your blog posts each week. I always look forward to reading your posts! I can relate to you so very much and look here to find the encouragement I need.

    Thank YOU, Julie for continuing to write here. God has blessed you with a gift and you always find a way to touch my heart and speak to me.

    Eileen xxoo

    • Oh, neat, Eileen. I guess you and I discovered each other through Robin’s blog.

      I LOVE how you see the world and share your eye for beauty. You have such a quiet, gentle spirit. I can tell. 🙂 It shows in all your pictures. And in your sweet smile. {Pure Contentment.

      Thank you, my friend. Hugging you from here.

      XOXOXO

  9. Julie, when I read your title, my heart pounded. I was so afraid you were announcing that you were done! Whew! What a relief to see that you were just encouraging us. I love your posts and the way they always challenge and refocus me. Thank you for being obedient, even in the midst of fear. God continues to use you in powerful ways! 🙂

    • Oh, yes, yes, yes, Vonda. Just encouraging everyone to keep on keeping on. Wish you lived closer! we could sit on my porch and laugh and talk.

      You keep on keeping on too, my friend. I sent a new writer to your blog today, by the way. 🙂

      Love,
      Me

  10. Ruth says:

    I too, am thankful that you hit the ‘publish’ button that first time & also that you continue doing so. You really have encouraged me, since I’ve begun reading your blogs. And like you said ‘ When we encourage one person, we never know the lives we touch.’ Because you have encouraged me to become better, I in turn, hopefully encourage others that I come in contact with. Right now, I’m not starting anything new. But few years ago, at work, my duties changed & I remember how scared I was. Scared that I was too much of an ‘old dog’, one that couldn’t learn new tricks. In looking back, it all fell into place. A program that I found very hard to operate, went away & the one that took it’s place, I found so easy to use. PTL! You keep on blogging, Julie & I will keep on reading & growing. May God bless you real good! 🙂

    • Ohhh, Ruth. I love how you said “May God bless you real good.” Straight from your heart, I can tell.

      I was writing this third year anniversary post, just full of so much gratitude to how EACH one of the comments is so dear to me. And how you all encourage me, and all of a sudden it hit. We really have no idea when we’re reaching out and encouraging someone, how many people we’re caring about….how many lives we’re touching. Just gave me holy goose bumps!!

      I know exactly what you mean about being afraid with work duties…that was me and my blog. :/ But we must push through our fears! That’s why I love our little blog group. 🙂 Always encouraging each other.

  11. Georgia says:

    Hi, Julie!! I too was a little worried when I saw your title this morning… was afraid you were “retiring” from your blog. I am so thankful you plunged ahead and didn’t let fear overcome you and found the courage to post that first blog. You are a true inspiration and please allow me to extend my appreciation to you for allowing God to use you and your talent. I think you should have two porch parties today in celebration of your third anniversary! LOL Have a peaceful day!

    • Oh, I’m sorry, Georgia. A few of my readers thought that. 🙁 No…no plans to stop blogging any time soon–just so full of gratitude that God has helped me each week, when seriously, I couldn’t write a bunch of posts and save them up. It didn’t work that way. I sensed that He wanted me to write real, and write fresh, and trust Him each week.

      Thank you! I love seeing your name pop up in the comments. You’re sooooo encouraging!

      Love,
      Julie

  12. Please keep blogging, Julie! Love the messages within the message. I’ve been blogging daily for years under Daily Meditation Moment … I took a year off and there was something missing in my life. I went back to blogging last January and feel as if I have been called to do this daily, and it is no longer a chore, but a joy. Today #827… Sorry if I repeat myself!

    • Hey Linda, So….you took a year off? Wow. I know what you mean about something missing. It’s this new way that I bond with God, trusting Him to provide one idea each week. Just one. He won’t let me hoard a bunch of them and save them (which is my natural tendency) but rather, I’m learning to Trust.

      Wo-hooooo! Number 827! I love it!!!!

  13. Shelley Elaine says:

    Happy Blogging Anniversary Julie! I look forward to your post each and every week…and am so often amazed at how your words speak to right where I am on this journey called life…your porch parties with Rick, your love of animals, your Mom!!! THANK YOU sooo much for sharing with all of us! 🙂

    • Bless you, Shelley. Thank you. You have the most beautiful name, by the way. I think that every time I see your comments and have meant to tell you. 🙂

      Thank you, thank you, and so much love coming through my comment. Hope you can tell!!!

      • Shelley Elaine says:

        Aww…thanks! And, I forgot to say what a CUTIE Ellie is-adorable!!!

        • Thanks, Shelley. If our daughter ever got tired of little Ellie, she’d have a place to go! But I don’t think that would ever happen. 🙁

  14. “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” is the title of Susan Jeffers book and one I have underlined in so many places you can barely read the text anymore. I’m afraid of so many things, but we’d never cross the bridge if we didn’t put one foot in front of the other and move forward one baby step at a time with God’s hand on one side and the hand of a good friend on the other. Nothing better on this journey than a friend like you, Julie. HUGS!

    • Yes, B.J.!!!! Yes, I whispered those very words as I wrote this.

      I’m so glad we’re both crossing the bridge together. One step at a time.

      Hugs right back! Thank you for Everything. xoxoxoxo

  15. Sue says:

    Julie your words are always uplifting and encouraging and seem to come just at the perfect time!
    God Bless you for your written talent and words.

    • Thank you, Dear Sue!!! It just blows me away that He works His ways and His love through us.

      So much love to you. Sending a hug from Georgia.

  16. Lisa Granholm says:

    Julie…I am still so pleased that I got to meet your daughter Katie while we worked together at Assessment Plus. Even though we’ve both left that behind for better things and only “see” each other on Facebook, I still consider her a friend. Through her I am enjoying your blog immensely. I write a blog but not every week certainly, but I love to write. You inspire me to do it more! And I love coming across you and your mom’s contributions to Daily Guideposts which I’ve read daily since my early 20s. God bless you; your words will always touch someone when you least expect it!

    • Hey Lisa, thank you so much for letting me know you’re reading. And you’re writing! Wonderful!!! I’ll see if I can find your blog. Maybe we’re FB friends? I’m not sure. I’ll look for you.

      Thank you for your kind words. And you’re exactly right–our words touch someone when we least expect it. Love that!

  17. Looks like we started blogging around the same time. How fun! I love this sentence: “When we encourage one person, we never know how many lives we might touch.” Sometimes I wonder about the opposite – how far reaching might my negative attitude &/or behavior be? Scary thought! (Is it weird that I feel like we’re already friends even though I just started visiting?)

    • We did, Laura? How neat is that!

      I know–that sentence. Whew. Just sorta took over when I was tying up the end of my blog. I wanted to give us something to think about–something to motivate us all.

      Chill bumps right now at what you mentioned… Whew. That’s powerful, my friend…. just how our negative attitudes can also affect others.

      I know. That’s why I love blogging–the connecting we do here. I think (even though it’s a public place) we do share honestly with each other.

      So glad we’re friends. Hope it’s a good week so far at your house. xoxoxox

  18. Margaret says:

    Julie,

    It’s clear that you have a gift for writing and you use it well. You touch people with your words because you share some of yourself with each post.
    Keep typing–for many more years!
    Margaret
    P.S. I think, from the photo with your car show post, that Chase is asking Brittany, “How much
    longer until we can go home?” I loved the post about Brittany and the birds.
    How is Gene doing?

    • Thank you, Margaret. Thank you–makes me smile. 🙂

      Ha! Love that about Chase and Brittany. You’re probably right. Since he’s a rescue dog, he just seems to grateful all the time. Such a sweet dog.

      Gene is doing really well. He still sometimes uses his walker–although Mother tells him to put it down. 🙂

  19. Julie Gilleand says:

    Hey there, Leaf Sister,

    I’m so glad to find you here each week. I look forward to reading your blog every time and so often can totally relate to what you share. Makes me feel not as alone as I sometimes do. I would never have known I had a leaf sister out there were it not for your blog!! I think this is sort of like a porch party for all of us to come to together and you have made that possible. Thank you for inviting us and for all that you share here in spite of your fears! Keep on keepin’ on, sister 🙂

    • Leaf Sis! Hey there! Waving from here!!

      Ohhhh, I love what you said. A porch party for all of us. I sometimes fantasize about that. How it would work? How I could pull it off….

      This blogging thing has been so HUGE for me…taught me how Big God Is, and how kind people are. And about His faithfulness. And about listening for His Still Small Voice. And knowing that even when I’m not perfect, He is. And He loves me. He loves us. No matter what.

  20. Happy blogiversary!

  21. marci says:

    I hope you will be writing here for many many more years. I am glad that when I read this blog that it did not make me think you may be stopping. That would have been a sad thought. When we had the Our Prayer Website, (which was so wonderful and is missed so much!), I tried my hand at blogging some- and I got a taste of that fear as I wrote. and realized that what I was writing was being read and what would people think? But I got so many good responses, that I found the comments left actually lifted my spirits and made me feel valued. — that experience makes me admire you so much. Writing can be much harder work than it may appear to be, even when we enjoy writing. I also think it is such a good step of faith to not have a lot of blogs written and kept,.. and to trust God to give you what to write. Makes me think of how manna was given for just that one day — I guess that goes along with your word for this year?? Enough. Having just enough at the time you have the need. God Bless all your writings and I know he does!

    • Amen, Marci!!!!! Writing is so much harder than it looks. And from what I understand, the best writing is effortless to read but is very difficult to write. Whew!

      I know. Am nodding my head here–I can’t hoard my blogs. They won’t come to me that way, which is a good thing, I suppose. Makes me trust Him.

      YES!! Enough! I hadn’t put that word with this, but you’re absolutely right. He gives me Enough. Every week. Ohhh, I love that, thank you!

      And you’ve blogged so you know exactly what I’m talking about.

      THANK YOU. So much love to you this morning.

      • Jan says:

        Every time you talk about the impossibility of writing up a big batch of blogs to post week by week it reminds me of the manna in the wilderness. Trying to keep that over or amass a bunch so they didn’t have to gather it each day mostly didn’t work either–only for one special day a week. It also makes me remember what i think i know about shopping in France in cities and towns. I think they go to the patisseries and meat markets daily, for bread for sure. Fresh is best : )

        • I know, Jan. I think the same thing. For me, it just doesn’t work. seems wrong. Like I’d be cheating. Love the analogy about pastries! Yes!!!!

          xoxox

  22. Thank you for stepping out here. I can relate and remember that first day too. Thankfully God never runs out of material. I can not express how encouraging you have been for me. We all appreciate your gifts of writing and encouragement. Praying we continue to spur each other on for the great things the LORD has intended for each of us!

    • So, Tom, you know exactly what I’m talking about, but I doubt you ever wanted to hide under your desk. :/

      You have a unique gift with writing. I can’t do what you do. You find the one glimmering gold nugget in Scripture (something I’ve overlooked my whole life) and make it sparkle. I read your blog and think, how could I have missed this?! I think you have an eye for detail–definitely discerning.

      Amen! Praying the same thing!

      Thank you.

  23. I so enjoy reading your blog Julie. There is a lot of things I forget in my busy everyday life, but I do remember that you do your blog on Wednesday and I look so forward to it. You are just so genuine and I can relate to a look of things you talk about……..life in general and that you are a Christian makes it all that much better!!Please keep it up …..this is one of my highlights of my week !!

    • Ohhh, Bobbie. Thank you. Thank you. You blessed me with such kind words.

      The neat thing is … realizing when we are ourselves, with God’s help, it’s Enough!

      XOXOXO

  24. Sandra Walker says:

    I kbnow I’ve said it before but I must again: your blog is a lifeline for me. God so speaks through it.
    He only gives you what to write each week because it so speaks to where each one of us is at that particular time. It is fresh manna! Also, I am probably not the only one that meditates on what you have written until the next one. Happy blog anniversary and keep on keepin’ on!

    • Sandra, I’m hugging you from here, and thanking Him. Because I can’t write without Him.

      So grateful for your kind words, my friend. You just can’t even imagine.

      Thank you. OXOXOXOO And I’m thanking Him.

  25. Jane says:

    I know, I’m a week and a half late reading this post – but when you posted that it had been 3 yrs since you started your posting, I thought surely it must be longer ago than that – it feels like longer than that that I have been following you. Your site is in my bookmarks – under Religion/ blogs. Some weeks slip by and I miss a week, so I just read this and the next post.

    Truthfully, I have “followed ” you forever, since I’ve been a Daily Guideposts reader since the early 1980s and read your mother’s devotions as she struggled with your Dad’s tumor and ultimate passing. You and your mother are part of my spirit family and I thank you for your grounded words. You truly are blessed to be a blessing.

    • Hey Jane! Thanks so much for writing today. Maybe you read my blog over at Guideposts? My mother and I blogged there for about a year and a half as “Women to Women.”

      Such an honor–thank you.

      So much love. You made my day! xoxoxoxo

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