I Blew It

Well, y’all, I blew it. In less than a week, I rebelled against my word for 2015, SIMPLE. I turned something SIMPLE into something complicated and ugly.

As it was happening, I ignored God’s gentle tap-tap-tapping on my heart.

The week started out beautifully, too.

I used my Belk Christmas gift card from Mother to buy plain, white dishes. I thought if my kitchen table looked SIMPLE, I’d remember my word.

I found a SIMPLE green wreath from Target.

But the day I bought my dishes, a phone conversation with someone I love went south.

God seemed to whisper, Don’t respond. Leave this alone. 

But I didn’t.

Anger erupted inside of me like red-hot lava.

For most of my life, my anger has turned inward. My stomach hurts. I shut down and smile. This time, I lost my temper. I let loose. I screamed back. Tried to defend my opinion. I was driving, and it felt like the car shuddered around me.

Hang up the phone now, the Soft Voice said.

I lost all sense of time and space, but worse than that.

I lost my peace. I abandoned my word. 

Even then, I sensed God’s Spirit calling out to me.

You don’t have to do this. 

I knew better. I’ve had years of Alanon.

Still holding the phone, I cried messy tears–the kind where you can’t catch your breath. “I have to go now. Bye,” I choked out.

I came home. Took a hot bath. Cried some more.

I can’t share details, but I knew better than to poke the bear. 

The next day, my SIMPLE white dishes arrived.

Feeling stupid and exhausted and a million miles away from God, I unpacked them and set the kitchen table.

Then I unpacked my heart.

I sat by my dishes and wrote hard and fast in my prayer journal.

I did the only thing I could do.

I started over on Step One in Alanon which applies to every area of my life. 

I “admitted I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had become unmanageable.

If you’re like me and you’ve somehow lost your word, its closer than you think. 

So is God.

My Simple Peace returned, bright and warm, like the candlelight shining on my plain-white dishes. 

God’s tenderness found me. Again. 

Keep it Simple, Sweetheart. There’s really no other way.

How’s your year going? Your word?

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I’m glad you got your ‘word’ back. It is so easy to give in to that demon sitting on one shoulder and so hard sometimes to listen to that angel sitting on your other shoulder. As you know, we often take two steps forward and twenty back. I think you chose a good word for the year. It’s time to move forward again and remember to keep it simple. Best wishes.

  2. What a beautiful response, Chris! Thank you! It’s so nice to post a blog and to hear (in a hurry :)) that someone can relate. Whew.

    Blessings!

  3. Thank you Julie for your testimony and your reminder I chose a word. BE is my word and I needed your reminder right now. The circumstances of this world are constantly pulling us away… God brought me here to BE His servant. Step one is so precious to me and so profoundly simple. I need to be constantly reminded that I am powerless. Praise the LORD that step two is coming to BE-lieve that God can restore us to sanity. Aaahhh so thankful for His restoration and reminders and He has simply used you today to bring me back from the edge. Blessings and simplicity.

  4. Thank you, Tom. BE. What a wonderful word.

    You’re so right. Step One is beautifully SIMPLE.

    Oh, yes, happy tears now with Step Two.

    You got it! Thanks. Means so much.

  5. Anna Haney says:

    Oh, gracious! This is so familiar to me. LISTEN is my word and so far, 14 days in to the year, it’s been a battle to listen. My job requires me to listen to students all day long. This time of year, I am hearing why a class was failed, how a professor was mean to a student, why it’s financial aid’s fault. Most other years, I have managed to handle all that with ease and patience. Not this year. I somehow, in the dead of winter got a spider bite on my wedding ring finger that kept me from wearing it. There were deaths of dear ones. Friends lost loved ones. I learned that my new office space, which I had been led to believe was a “real” office with a door and more space, is essentially a cube, leaving no room for our office supplies. The President of the United States came to the campus, but I was working at another site campus that day, annoyed by everything. Saturday I fell down the stairs. Then it hit me. LISTEN. The office space is for the students. Will it work for them. My loved ones and the others are with the Father now. Take comfort in that. Not a bone was broken. In fact, the doctor said my disc, which is bad shape, was no worse off after that fall than it was in early October. God told me to turn off the extra noises–tv, radio, internet, etc.–and LISTEN to him.
    Thank you for this.

    • LOVE your words, Anna. You and me both this past week. 🙂 🙂

      So sorry about what happened, but I think we’re on the same path–the one that teaches us the beauty of our words. And I don’t think we’d be learning so much if not for the….ahem, fun stuff.

      Thanks my friend. And thanks for sharing my post. Means so much.

  6. Kim says:

    Oh, tears Julie. The timing of this. I am resisting living into my word. Light – To be the light of Christ, that others will see Him through me.

    Just yesterday an opportunity was offered to me that I promptly turned down. Did not think about it, did not say I will pray about it, just said flat out, Oh no! Not going to happen. Fear talking.

    What did I think living into His Light would look like? I don’t know, but certainly not that.

    It is not too late to go back and say otherwise. I just have to trust and let go. So hard.

    • Kim, Kim, Kim. I know what you mean.

      You have a beautifully sensitive spirit. I love your tender heart.

      Please let me know what happens. I was a little…afraid…about posting this one, but what kind of a writer (and friend!) and I, if I’m not truthful. I prayed it would help someone.

      Thank you. And look how quickly you recognized it was fear talking. I’m amazed!

      • Kim says:

        Well Julie, I have spent much time processing, thinking and praying. Yesterday I had an honest conversation with the person I had flat out refused. They rather bluntly told me they have learned to ignore my first response because it is always – No. Lol! Funny, yet not funny… And that they know an idea mentioned will still be thought about later, regardless of a final yes or no. So, yes, eventually I will be taking steps that scare me now. Fortunately, there is a learning curve, so a bit of training will happen first. Thank you for your honest sharing, encouragement and prayers.

        • I’m so proud of you, Kim. Your honesty. Your willingness to be open.

          Cheering from my little log office!!!!! clap, clap, clap, clap!!!!!!!

  7. Julie Gilleand says:

    Thank you Julie for sharing about this. Just the other day, I was thinking about how some people always seem to have it altogether and never fail, or at least never share about it if they do. That irritates me because I know that we all do fail. When someone shares honestly about a slip-up, it helps me feel as if I’m in the same boat. That we’re all just walking this journey and doing the best we can with God’s help. One person slips, we help them up what way we can. Then when we slip, they help us up too. I think there’s a whole lot more beauty to that than if we all never failed. When someone never shares about their struggles, it makes others (like me) feel as if God must be smiling on them, but not on me. Or like there must be something REALLY wrong with me because I fail so often and “they” never seem to! So thanks for being honest with all of us so we can feel easier about being honest too. And I don’t think we have to live up to our word for the year, right at the start. I think it’s a journey and we keep trying to get there. And even our failures can propel us forward. By the way — I LOVE your dishes! I have a set of 4 plain white plates someone gave to me and I’ve only used them once, when we had company for dinner, but they looked nicer than anything else I have, even my fine china!

    My word is hope. I took it as sort of a promise from God that He might restore my hope, rather than something I have to live up to, but on second thought, I do sort of have to live up to it, by way of believing in it when it shows up and embracing it. Not shoving it away in discouragement. So far, the “idea” of hope is taking shape because I keep running into scriptures with that word in it or running into the word elsewhere. So far, that is where I am with it.

    Thanks again Julie and blessings to you as you continue your simple journey. (I might send you a picture of my plates!)

    • Do you realize how much wisdom you have, Julie????????

      Your words. So deep and wide and rich and true. And you’re being so gentle with yourself, which helps me, which has always been my goal for this blog–to reach out to others, and form a community of friends who care, to lift each other up, to pray…

      That’s exactly what’s happening to me with SIMPLE. I’m running into the word and the concept daily.

      Another thing. See how you said, “God restoring your hope.” Just hit me, that HE does the restoring. Yes, we’re open and willing but it’s something He brings to us.

      Yes! Please send me a pic. Would love to see your plates. 🙂

  8. Julie: Thank you for sharing. We get so “caught up” don’t we. I’m glad I’m not the only one and it’s so good to know that He doesn’t give up. He keeps right on speaking to us. I took a “phrase” instead of word this year and then broke it down to two words, “New thing.” Isaiah 43:19 “Behold I will do a new thing.” I’m expecting God to do some “new things” in my heart, life, family, home, church, community, etc.” Is it too much? I don’t think so. He says that nothing is impossible with Him.

    Love your new dishes and simple table. So inviting and calm. I would love to sit there anytime.

    • I’m sitting here nodding, Felicia. He keeps right on speaking to us.

      I love your phrase!

      I’m telling you–there’s something about these white dishes. They DO bring a sense of calmness. Unhurried calmness.

      Thank you. So glad this peace comes across through the pic.

      Can’t wait to see what “new things” He does in your life this year. And in your family, home, and community! I haven’t heard anyone say, “New Thing” as their phrase. 🙂

  9. Sending you love and a hug from me. I am a notorious people fixer, a self made guide to get them back to the principles of God’s Word. Oh, if only you knew how many times God tells me to keep quiet, take my hands off, and surrender them totally to Him, yet I insist on getting in my two cents! Anyway, if misery loves company, then I’m your gal!

    • Yep, Elizabeth. Waving from Georgia, to you. And sending a virtual hug right back.

      We would have such a good time sitting at either of our kitchen tables, wouldn’t we? And then we could go antiquing and keep our conversation SIMPLE. 🙂

      So true. So agree! Wish we were neighbors.

  10. No, Julie! Not you! You couldn’t possibly fail. You’re too perfect. Just kidding, of course. You’re just “almost perfect.” Doesn’t the enemy love to use our failures to make us give up on our goals, particularly spiritual goals. But thank God, we know that He forgives and allows us to come back to our goal, our Word, and His love. My word, positive, has been hampered by concern over a friend’s son who is battling cancer. My heart is burdened for this teenage boy, but I must stay positive. With all the world’s negativity, only focusing on Christ can keep me positive.

    • Oh, Marilyn…Nope. Nope. Not even anywhere close to perfect. I KNOW my weaknesses, and they are so ugly.

      Yes! The enemy (sometimes ourselves) gets in the way of our goals.

      Oh, I love “positive.” I don’t think I’ve heard anyone mention that one. What a great word! I’m so sorry about your friend’s son. I’m typing this into my prayer requests.

      Love you, my friend.

  11. Oh my goodness, Julie, this is so powerful! And yes, I know that feeling. In my biggest blow-up ever with my brother, I actually experienced chest pain! It scared me to death. I thought I was going to have a heart attack!

    And yes, like you, I learned to listen to God say, “You don’t have to do this.” But in the moment, I thought I had to do it. Who else would try to right the world, if not me?

    Lesson (hopefully) learned.
    Hugs, my friend…

  12. Oh, Julie, I understand. Starting over at Step One is okay. That’s why they are there and written down. Because once we go past Step One and onto Steps Two and Three and Four and beyond, we still have to go back sometimes and do Step One over again. The step doesn’t disappear…it’s there forever and ever…just like we are likely to need it forever and ever.

    We’re not perfect. We mess up. Forgiving ourselves is needed when we blow it. I forgive you. God forgives you. We learn each time we “step” out again in faith.

    LOVE YOU

    • How I love you, B.J.

      You always, always, always know just what to say.

      And so what if I get to be a hundred and am still starting over again, right?

      I did have to forgive myself. But one good thing, I’m recognizing what I’m doing a lot faster, working through it, and moving on!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  13. Sharing our vulnerabilities can be so hard, and yet I think it’s exactly what brings us all together, and grows community. Thank you for being so transparent and authentic, it truly speaks to me on so many levels. My word, will be put to great use today, as I find out results from my scan yesterday. Truly, I have to cling to “Believe,” no matter what. But thank you for showing me, that even in our most human trials, God is still with us.

    • Vicky, your words….

      Such a ministry to me. So much love and truth and power and healing.

      I’m praying and believing, my precious friend.

  14. Pat Garczynski says:

    Julie, I’m happy to be reminded of AA/AlAnon principles! As are many of your readers, I’m sure. Thanks for honest and heartfelt sharing. Keep it coming!
    PS The white dishes? Makes me think of a favorite scripture: “Come let us reason together; though sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow.” I just might buy some NEW white dishes when I get home to Michigan from Denver. Remember my 2015 Word is NEW. Love, Pat

    • Pat, I’m telling you, I have the smartest readers!

      HOW’D YOU THINK OF THAT SCRIPTURE! yes!!!! Brilliant, just brilliant.

      And you know, I was a tiny bit scared about bringing this subject up (Alanon), but it just seemed unfair not to share what happened with you all.

      The dishes–they were on sale for $60 for eight four-piece place settings. I can’t tell you what it means to keep walking into the kitchen and being reminded that, “God is God,” and to “KISS, Keep it Simple, Sweetheart.”

      I love your word. Get you some NEW dishes. I almost talked myself out of it b/c we’ve been married so long and I have cute rooster dishes. So glad I just did it.

      I’m praying for you…..can’t wait to hear all about your trip, my friend.

  15. Jeanne Wolfe says:

    This was just so, so good in so man you ways! Things sometimes just get so complicated, and we lose sight of where our hearts and minds should be, and then the wrong things come out of our mouths, and we lose our peace. May the Lord help us to keep our hearts and attitudes in the right place!

  16. Jeanne, your comment means SO MUCH. I just can’t even tell you. 🙂

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You heard my heart. Thanks for being kind and letting me know.

    I just couldn’t believe I did it. But I discovered the way back home, is so much shorter than I knew.

    And SIMPLER.

    xoxox

  17. Praying that every time you load the dishwasher you hear the calming voice of God. 🙂

    • Ooooooh, I love it! Hadn’t thought about praying as I’m doing the dishes. Brilliant, Lynne! Just brilliant. Thank you!

  18. marci says:

    Thank you for being so honest, and “letting us in” .. . Our falling off of the horse and have to get back on, and we all do that sometimes. Even seeing it many times, I’m still in awe of God’s workings. I’ll read 3 things (devotional/ scripture, etc) and all of them linked together pointing to the same message. Max L. writes on Romans 8:28; James 1:2. Wed. noon prayer’s Thanksgiving (prayer) “We thank You also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on You.”.. That sounds like Step One.. to me .
    So much in life doesn’t go as we hoped. And sometimes it piles up on us (me). I do see things to be grateful for (most of the time) in the trials we go through. I can’t say that Joy is my word, (though it may turn out to be.), I’ve been trying to see something each day that has brought me joy, especially while I mourn and go through disappointments.. For Tue. it was a good meal along the way as we traveled to get Rocky and bring him home. At the gas station-buying a small bag of colorful rocks. The AZ girl in me has a weakness for such rocks. I was reminded of a life lesson as I fill a little bag, . Put big (important) things first. So I put the largest of the stones in first, then the smaller ones. That has been easier for me to do with a bag of stones, than in my life. Life
    throws us curve balls some times.
    It is good to have Rocky home. That gives me joy. He will need a lot of care and medicine carefully given for the next month. Dr. G (aka, my daughter) said that she was not at all sure that first 24 hrs if they could save him.. so we are especially grateful.

    Church: They are deciding on some things/ colors, etc.. The Altar room, I discoved was drawn out not usable. Even though at the request of the churches rep. I had typed up what was needed (altar rm) and what each thing was for,. Blue prints had no drawers, or closet in the room. . I’ve wandered, if I need to stay on the Altar Guild once the church is rebuilt? I did not blow up, but that does not mean my mind was not churning. So your sharing what you were feeling is very timely & helpful for me.. I have been praying for the church to be “As the Lord wants it to be” Not as I would have it, or person A, or B. I have to trust the Lord, and knowing that my prayer will be answered for that how ever it turns out. I have to trust that will be the case, and accept. I have expressed my opinion, my reasons, and now I need to let it go.

    I am aware that my emotions are still close to the surface, since my father’s death. So I want to tread lightly during this time.

    Thank you for being here and blessing us by letting the Lord use you.

    • Marci, you are a Wise Woman. I’m just sitting here nodding and um-hmming with your precious words. First, did they give Rocky a diagnosis? I still can’t believe you found Jesus Calling in the bathroom at the vet’s office… (well, I can but you know what I mean),

      I’ve been praying for your church. Everything I’m reading about your deep feelings and how you shared them, and then how you let them go sounds like you are so in tune to His Spirit. And you even realize how….tender you are right now.

      You’ve discovered finding the Joy in small, everyday things–which are really HUGE BLESSINGS, aren’t they. 🙂

      I love how you said, “Falling off the horse and getting back on.” I learned something through what happening. Yes, I blew it, but like you said, getting back “on” is so much simpler than I thought. I didn’t stay down long this time. I had a good long talk with God, forgave myself (like B.J. said) and moved on.

      Hugs to you my sweet friend–thanks for always being here and meeting with us. 🙂

  19. Thank you. I’ve been attending Celebrate Recovery for about a month. Still figuring it all out. But I needed to hear this. And I’m pretty sure my word is Duck. Not quite sure if it’s the noun or verb. Maybe both.

    • Flea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love your word. And I do love Celebrate Recovery. It’s so very close to Alanon. I’ve been to a meeting with someone. Loved it! I loved the phrase of, “Hang-ups, Habits, and Hurts.” So very good. Thrilled for you!

      Duck. I love your Instagram pics…..hmmmm….You’ll have to share what happens this year with your word. Can’t wait to hear.

      Thanks for chiming in.

  20. Shelley Elaine says:

    OHHH Julie…I can relate…I don’t have a word for this yr nor is my yr off to a great start, but OH.MY.WORD…I can sooo relate! Thanks again for letting me know I am not alone. Your plates and your wreath are BEAUTIFUL! Here’s to new mercies every morning.

    • Hugging you from here, Shellie. I can feel your excitement through your precious response.

      I never knew dishes could be so important. (And they were only $60 for 8 four-piece place settings!)

      Now, sometimes I just hold a plate longer than I have to when I’m putting them up. Normally, it was like, “Get it done. Put them in the cabinet.” But now they remind me of SIMPLE FAITH.

      Sorry your year isn’t off to a great start….You know, sometimes our words rise up when we’re stuck in the valley.

      XOXOXOXOX Let me know if a word finds you. 🙂

  21. Patricia Martin says:

    I said a prayer for you, Julie, after I read your post. Some of my loved ones grew up in alcoholic homes and so the blue book and Alanon are household names in our family!!!(): I have a family member who is an untreated Alanon and although, I love her, she can be difficult sometimes and loves to argue and holler. But, she has good qualities as well and no one can pick their relatives (it would be very intriguing if we could).(; I hope you and your lovely family are well .(: I have no New Year’s resolutions …. yet. When people make me mad, often what I want to do is throw a cake or pie at them-after I cut myself a piece of course! How are your mom and Gene doing?
    Love(:
    Patricia

    • Patricia, I’m telling you–your are so incredibly wise. And calm. And funny. And kind. I learn so much from you!

      Yeah, I was a little bit….concerned about posting this–not sure if y’all would know what I meant by Alanon or have any dealings with any of this. I’m relieved to see that you understand. You get it! Thank you for telling me. Yep. The Blue Book. I have a family member who has one. 🙂

      Eating cake instead of throwing it! Yes! Of course, gluten-free. 🙂

      Mom and Gene are doing just fine. She’s now volunteering at a local cat shelter–LOVING IT. She was afraid to do it for so long–afraid she’d want to take them all home, but she’s discovered she can go, love on them, and then leave.

      How’s school going?

      xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  22. K. Richardson says:

    I can so relate. I’ve had the same thing happen to me. My word is tolerance. I have trouble being tolerant sometimes. I get impatient. Each time I do I feel so bad, but, I have to pick myself up and keep trying. I would so appreciate prayers for my sister. She lost her husband to cancer last Feb. so her oldest son and his wife came to MN and loaded her up and moved her to CO where they live. Remodeled a townhouse for her. She was finally getting settled, and, on Dec. 15 she had a heart attack and stroke. She’s now in rehab and I’m hoping she will be back to her old self soon. Her right side is still weak so she can’t stand up or walk. She was a very agile person before this. Thank you for your blogs, Julie! Keeping it simple sounds good to me and my sister has always thought that way. I just so happen to have a 12 place setting of white dishes. I have wanted them for years, and, a couple years ago I finally purchased a set. Love them. Bless you and your family!

    • Oh, K….my heart hurts for you and your sister. I just typed this request into my prayer list. I’m so sorry, but it sounds like a complete recovery is on the way? I’m praying for healing, in every way. It sounds like she’s already discovered the secret of Simple Faith. I know she’s so dear to you, like my sis is to me.

      Okay, I’m praying.

      And so glad you understand my desire for white dishes. I’m keeping my table set all the time!

      XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXO

  23. Just goes to show that God is going to use your word in a big way this year…hang onto it dear friend…I love love love your beautiful photos xo

    • Thanks, Robin.

      I know. My little BIG word this year. And all of this is because of you.

      I love you. I love you. I love you.

  24. Julie, how do we not all “blow it” at one time or another – it’s, unfortunately, human nature to mess up since we are not perfect in this life. There is always something waiting to trip us up.
    As I said in my late comment on your December 31 post, my word for 2015 is Positivity. It’s a constant uphill climb for me to remain positive in the way things are, but I keep being reminded. It’s a matter of believing it to be possible, and keeping (trying to keep) my eyes on the goal.
    You have a good outlook. You listen to His voice. Just keep on keeping on.
    Love and blessings.

    • Thank you, Lynn! Such good words.

      I am imagining you ‘climbing uphill’ as I’m reading this and I’m seeing you with your eyes upward. Not down. But up toward the top of the hill.

      And you’re right. There’s ALWAYS something waiting to trip us up. And doesn’t it seem like (at least for me) it can be the same type of situations?!

      Hugs to you. xoxoxoxoxo Praying for your Positivity. And I do love your word.

  25. Julie,

    You obviously hit a note that resounds with many of us in this blog entry! I read it and just sat and thought about what you said. The first part about the harsh words and anger with your friend reminded me of a time that happened with my very best friend at that time. I knew this “discussion” was going to occur at some point, and I knew that it was petty and stupid. I KNEW that. But guess what. I was probably about 23 at the time and certainly didn’t let those things get in my way of almost ruining a life-long friendship. We didn’t speak for months. I missed her so much. During that time our mutual friends kept in contact with both of us so I had to hear about all the fun things they did with her, without me. And I’m sure the same happened to her.

    Finally, after about eight months I decided to pick up the phone and call her. During those eight months the Lord had worked on me, gotten me back into a church family and truly calmed my soul. That, however, didn’t prevent me from being scared to death of calling her. I was literally shaking when I dialed (yes, dialed!) the phone. She was immediately SO glad to hear from me. I was so relieved. We decided to meet for dinner in my hometown and talk. To make a long story short, we did meet and it was awkward for about two minutes. Once we both admitted that we were both stupid for letting this situation even exist and letting another person come between us as friends, we were completely back to being BFFs! God knows what He’s doing; we are the ones who screw things up. Then He has to fix them, again and again…and again.

    I guess my point here is that instead of letting things be SIMPLE, my friend and I both made a situation messy and complicated and totally useless. I could have been simple. But you know what? God grew both of us in that eight or so months a great deal. He grew our hearts in Him so the lesson learned was well worth the pain, as many life lessons are.

    I haven’t come up with my word yet, but I’ll know it when it presents itself. I’m close I think so I’ll let you know when my word is here to stay! 😉

    In Him,

    Lisa G.

    PS – My “white” dishes aren’t really white, they’re more “off-white.” And they do have a pretty scrolled edge. They are my “good” china, but to me they are simple and elegant. I love the Thanksgiving table set with them. With four cats though, I don’t think keeping the table set all the time is an option, if you get my drift. I can see a cat napping, curled up on one right now! Ta, ta!

    • Hey, Lisa! Wowwwww! What a wonderful story~~~

      Loved reading this…I think I was even holding my breath until I got to the end. I’m so, so, so glad things turned out beautifully. Nothing like our BFFs is there!

      What totally amazed me is that God was so much closer than I knew. I just had to get honest with Him, and somehow those white dishes set the tone. 🙂

      I’m finding that even the white dishes bring up conversation on the blog. Ohhhh, yes, I think I could make mine go either way–everyday or elegant. Right now, I’m keeping my table set all the time and just smiling when I walk by.

      Hahahahah! You sound so much like my mother-your kitty curled up on your dishes.

      Thanks, my friend. Such wise words.

      xoxoxoxoxoxoxox…and let me know if you pick a word. Or if one picks you.

  26. Dearest Julie,
    I was sitting here by the fire, finishing up a cup of coffee, just having written a blog post about Vicky.
    It seemed like God was whispering to me to come read your blog. So I listened.

    The battle you portrayed…I know NOT to say this, but the words came spilling out…has been a battle I face all the time. As a college professor who teaches Communication Studies, I find it so ironic that my extroverted self at times seems to so clearly rebel against God’s whisper…”don’t say this.” “don’t write this” “don’t do this, Linda”..and I don’t listen and do it anyway.

    My stubborn, I want to get them back for all the hurt, kind of bubbles over, like too much extra-virgin olive oil in a hot fry pan where the spitting oil spatters all over, burns my hand and messes up the stove. It’s hard to not really beat up myself endlessly when I see the aftermath of not listening to God.

    While I don’t need to know the details of your moment, I can fill in with my own. Sadly. Don’t poke the bear, alanon, all some similar words to me. Two voices, one on each shoulder. One clearly the voice of God. I may just turn it down or turn it off and I let the hurt roll. Hurts them. Hurts me.

    While it seldom happens any more, and catches me by surprise when it does happen, I feel so sad and defeated. How in the world, when I love Jesus, did I do this? How did I not listen to the clear voice of the Lord?

    Certain people, well I just know better.

    I love your word… simple. Mine is… renew. Like you, I want to freshen up, simplify, get rid of the excess, and have the Lord be at the center. I want to refurbish and renew my heart and “create a right spirit within me.”

    I hope you will give yourself, in moments like you had in your car, the kind of love and grace you give to others. I hope that for myself as well. May we both know that He hold us in the palm of His mighty hand and that He is a God who picks us up and dusts us off when we fail and are back at step one. Perhaps that process is what helps us to lean on Him after all.

    God Bless, Julie!
    Loves from Linda in Spokane

    • Ohhhh, Linda. I was in the car when I read your message (I wasn’t driving!! :)) and I couldn’t wait to get home and respond.

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So much heart in your words. So much wisdom and truth.

      And another friend above reminded me to forgive myself. I needed these comments, all the kind words, and am remembering to apply them to MYSELF.

      I’ve “passed” this particular test for quite a while–and like I said, I knew better, and them, boom. Well, you know how it happens.

      I’m sending you so much love–wishing we could have a cup of coffee together.

      I’ll be watching for your post on Vicky. She comes to my heart so often…Her writing and love and lifestyle keeps drawing me in.

      Huge thank you,
      Julie

    • P.S. Linda. I just found your blog and commented! Didn’t see it go love so maybe you approve your comments first. Hope I did it right. xo

      • Hi Julie,
        I so appreciate your comment on my blog and it went through perfectly. I wanted to also thank you
        for your lovely thank you note about the basket from Vicky’s fundraiser. I am thrilled the basket came to you. 🙂

        Thank you for being so authentic and transparent in this blog post. Your comments have crossed my mind several times in the last week. Very helpful!
        You are such a blessing, Julie, and I look forward to reading more of your posts.
        Hugs and loves and prayers!
        Linda

        • Ohh, wonderful, Linda. Sending you so much love and gratitude–I’ll never forget how God worked through you with Vicky–and how we even connected in the first place.

          So God.

          xoxoxo

  27. Thanks for being so honest, Julie. Your story is inspiring. We all are humans and we complicate the simple, don’t we? We say things and get weak and find ourselves in situations where we shouldn’t be or promised ourselves we shouldn’t. It’s a good thing we have a Back Up who always gets us back to the right track.

    • Hi Lux, and so nice to meet you. 🙂 Thanks for reading and comment.

      Love how you capitalized Back Up!!

      Siting here nodding along with your comment. Agree! Agree! Agree!

  28. Mary says:

    Life is never a straight line! It’s a step forward and one back, then one to the side and on it goes! Thank you for reminding us of that. When I get discouraged, I try to remember that God gave me the gift of resilience (or is it stubbornness?) It gets me back on track! Peace to you this week and centeredness, too.

    • Amen, Mary! Never. Once. Is it a straight line. So many curves. And baby steps. Just like you said.

      Nodding right along with your comment. You’re absolutely right!

      So much love to you, and I love your thoughts, my friend.

  29. This is simply beautiful. Thank you…for your honest, open heart and for the amazing way that you share it.

  30. Shawnelle, I’ll never forget the first day we met. I knew THAT VERY DAY you write from your heart.

    So….to hear such kind words coming from such an amazing writer, well, it just blows me away.

    Love you dearly, my friend.

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