SIMPLE–How My Tiny Word for the Year Rescues Me

One day last week the simplest thing caught my attention–a single tiny flower poking her head out from under a log. She was the only violet in the woods near our house.

How peculiar. 

Maybe since my word for the year is SIMPLE, she caught my attention.

God seemed to whisper,“Pay attention, Julie. There’s a message here for you.” 

A few days later, something happened between loved ones. Years of buried pain came out in strong emotions and words. Now there’s distance between them. It bothered me.

I woke up at 3:15 Easter morning, my mind exploding with ways to fix it.

Maybe if I think hard enough, I’ll figure out how to…

Soon I moved into dangerous territory and wandered down the path of WORST CASE SCENARIO thinking. I knew better but tried to rationalize worrying.

“Lord, surely You see this broken relationship. Surely it bothers You too. What if I try to–”

He pressed something into my heart. Something I wasn’t expecting.

It had nothing to do with the others. 

It was about my relationship with Him. 

Never mind them.

He seemed to say: “Julie, don’t let troubles in life separate us. I am God. Keep your eyes on Me.”

I wanted to explain how I felt–how if only I could say the right thing and encourage reconciliation, I could fix the problem.

Then I remembered the violet.

Surrounded by busy-body squirrels, hoot owls, and squawking blue jays she captured my attention.

Peaceful. Serene. Illuminated by sunlight. 

I’m supposed to live that way. Like the violet.

With SIMPLE faith.


Focused on the Son. Not on problems. 

Thank You, Lord, for one tiny violet. 

Is there an area in life that trips you? It helps so much to acknowledge it.















  1. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Believe me, Julie, I have many areas that trip me – most having to do with trust. Trust God to help my adult daughters make good choices. Trust Him to take care of it when they don’t. Trust God for healing. Trust Him more when He doesn’t. Trust God to stretch our finances. Trust Him when more financial crises hit. Trust God when I’m scared, lonely, depressed. Trust Him when I’m worried. Trust Him when I’m not.

    But the one thing I don’t need to trust Him for is that fact that I CAN trust Him. And I am so grateful.

    • Hey, Cathy.

      You said this so beautifully. Trust is another huge/tiny word. A lot like Simple. And Faith.

      I’m trusting Him to help me make good choices.

      Thank you~

  2. Anna Haney says:

    Oh, how I needed this message today. It’s the 3rd day of registration, our first in this new office space, and I have been harboring resentment about so much—the space, my faculty, the lack of air conditioning in here, how my husband made me late showering me with affection. In all this I lost sight of the fact that I am here to help the students learn to be their best and I am here to do my work unto the Lord. Yes, I have an earthly boss, and her opinion and impressions matter; but if I keep my focus on God and seeking His will in what I do in my job and for the students, the day is better. Thank you, sweet friend, for this loving reminder!

    • Anna,

      Sounds like somehow the little violet had a message for you too. Love, love, love your honesty.

      Looking up to Him right now….


  3. Love your “simple” writing. Well done. Great message. And oh so true.

  4. Patricia Martin says:

    I know that feeling, Julie. ((: Our family has a relative that we have not talked to in a long time, and a family member of mine is always expecting that particular relative to fix things and do right by everyone. It can be soooo hard to let go and let God so that we can keep our eyes on Jesus. I hope both your loved ones will have more peaceful times ahead.(: How is your novel coming along?
    Sending hugs from AZ,
    Patricia xoxox

    • So much Strength in your words, Patricia. Thank you.

      Novel–waiting to hear back from my agent. Trusting and hoping.


  5. Brenda E. Greene says:

    I can relate to estrangement of family members, Julie Girl, and the need to “fix it.” Our firstborn and her Dad have a lot of the same characteristics and personality traits which cause friction at times. Loving them both I tend to get bogged down with the desire to “fix it” Love God’s reminder, thru you, to stay focused on Him and our relationship. This promise in scripture helps to keep it simple for me: “That which is impossible with man is possible with God.” Matthew 19:26 and Luke 18:27 (important enough to make The Book twice!)

    Carry on Sweet Julie…we’re reading and growing thru your words! Love the sweet violet picture! Brenda

    • Brenda, our little blog group is just the best. You all are reaching out to me today–speaking straight to my heart.

      You’ll never know what your Scripture means…or should I say Scriptures since He says it twice.

      Thank you. Thank you.

      So much love~

  6. I definitely lean toward being a fixer, of circumstances, situations and people. The latter is never a good idea. Your post is a good lesson for me.

    • Thank you, Elizabeth. We’d really have a good time together, wouldn’t we? Besides drinking coffee and going antiquing, we could keep letting go!!


  7. Georgia says:

    Thank you, Julie, for this reminder today! I really needed it. Thank you 1,000 times!!! Georgia

  8. Mary says:

    This reminds me of “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still! Be simple! Be mindful of what’s happening right here, and right now, and see God’s hand in it all. And remember that He’s in control.
    It is sometimes very hard to keep our sticky little fingers off the steering wheel, isn’t it?

    • Amen, Mary, about the steering wheel. I needed that!

      That one little Scripture you wrote….Be still. And know. That I am God.”

      Thank you so much. It’s sinking in…

  9. Oh my, Julie. That’s me–ready to come in and save the day between friendships, families, and needs. Happened just last week…again. Like you, I need to be the violet, simply being, absorbing and reflecting the Light. Thank you.

  10. Sue says:

    After 5 years of challenging health issues, 15 plus surgeries, and trying to figure out how I could make things better more quickly and help my physicians, a tiny voice within me said”Sue, this is not your problem to fix, it is Mine”. For a very long time I have always tried to “fix” things or address issues
    that were clearly in His territory. I still struggle with this now and then, but I know now that most of these things He is on top of with very surprising outcomes. He clearly is in control.

    • Sue, hey!! I’ve been thinking about you!
      So good to hear your voice.

      If you only knew how many times I’d tried to “help” doctors.

      Surely God sees the outcomes for each of us. And every situation. Each person.

      Hugs to you today.

  11. SIMPLE faith. Sometimes it feels there is nothing in life that is simple…and yet, there is. Faith. God and me. Thank you for that sweet, simple reminder.

    • B.J….I love how you said it–nothing in life is simple, and yet there’s Faith and God and Me.

      Thank you, my friend.

      Love you so much.

  12. marci says:

    Simple! As has been pointed out, such a big– “little” word! Some days, it is a challenge to remember simple.. and I smile while I write this. It feels like being in a washer and being tossed around– well, I guess in such cases we do come out clean don’t we? [with new washers,, at least with mine, they have a pause time while washing. I found that interesting. It was new to me. ] How often I think of God’s words, “Be Still… Know I am God… and How even a small flower can give us a message. Friday, there were tulips along the road, that was a surprise, and lifted my spirits. Yesterday I was longing to see crimson clover, though I knew it was a bit early.. but a few miles down the road, there it was! What joy. . And the added touch of Wisteria, with its beautiful purple flowers hanging from the trees. God’s little personal messages and personal gifts. Yes, in the middle of all that is hectic, … there is Simple. All these posts. All so meaningful. We are “Learning each other’s song.” aren’t we?
    Thank you dear Julie!
    Blessings and Love.

    • Marci’a,

      Oooooh, how I love your line, “In the middle of all that hectic–there is Simple.”

      And that’s exactly what I’m talking about, you seeing your crimson clover. Someone so still and quiet between you and God, and yet He opened your eyes and let you see one.

      Yes, we sure are–“Learning each other’s songs.” And you sing beautifully~

  13. Julie Gilleand says:

    Hi Julie,

    This happened to me just the other day. I don’t even recall which battle I was trying to win that day — a loved one’s addiction, a family member’s mental illness, or my job that is boring me to tears and driving me nuts! Everyday it is one of those or all of them, take your pick! But I distinctly remember “feeling” God nudge and remind me to stop trying to solve it all myself. I know I can’t fix any of it. That’s been plainly shown me time and again over the years! But I do forget to take my eyes off the circumstances and put them on Jesus. And this was the reminder I needed. Thanks Julie for sharing and I’m glad you happened upon that lovely little lonely violet 🙂

    What’s this about a novel? I don’t remember hearing about that!! Awesome Julie!

    God bless, leafy sister 🙂

    Other Julie G.

    • Hey Other Julie G 🙂 That’s cute–I’d never realized the “G” part.

      I wonder how many battles (at least mental ones) we enter, that aren’t ours to fight. Or win. Thank you for that–how beautiful~~

      The novel. Yes, it’s a desire of my heart to become a novelist. I’ve been working really hard on one. My agent’s been incredibly kind and patient as she’s helped me with several edits. Just waiting and hoping. His will be done.

  14. Julie, I needed this reminder. I always want to solve my own problems. If I’ll just be quiet … let God do His thing. He’s so faithful. xoxo

    • Shelli, sometimes it requires such great faith to be quiet…at least for me. Quiet and still.

      Thank you.

  15. Jo says:

    Oh how timely,
    He seemed to say: “Julie, don’t let troubles in life separate us. I am God. Keep your eyes on Me.”
    Focus on the Son…. Not on problems.
    Sometimes sooo hard.
    Thanks for the encouragement!
    Btw…..a few weeks back you “divulged” your love of roosters. Last week my daughter sent me a picture of a cute rooster clock that she is discarding. She asked if I wanted it. I assured her I did.
    ….if you want that sweet wall clock I would love for you to have it.
    Let me know! (hoping you remember me )

    • Thank you so much for you comment, Jo. It doesn’t seem like letting go of our problems and reaching out to Him could possibly work. Even this morning, I remembered the violet, and how God spoke to me through her simplicity.

      Can’t wait to hang my new rooster clock! xoxoxoxoxo See you soon.

  16. jeneal says:

    Oh how this spoke to my heart!

    • And oh how it ministers to my heart seeing your precious comment, Jeneal.

      Thank you. Thank you. Peace and Joy and Simplicity today.

  17. There is beauty and peace in the simplicity. I can really attest to that.

    • For sure, Lux. And I’ve spent so many years making life complicated. :/ But I’m starting to notice violets these days.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.