When You Have a Dream and You’re Afraid You’ll Fail

When you have a dream, all sorts of doubts, fears, and negative thoughts hound you.

You can’t do this.

You’re wasting your time. 

Stick with something you know.

When you fail, you’re going to look like a fool.

Forget this silly idea and get on with your life.

A few years ago, I had a dream.

I wanted to become a novelist–which is peculiar because as a child, I never planned to write. My mother was a writer. When I was ten, she made me her Junior Editor–a job I didn’t want.  (Marion Bond West, my mom, is below.)

Writers–people like my mother–were strange.

By the time I reached 40, life had blindsided me.

I’d survived clinical depression, lost a full-term baby boy, and attended Al-Anon. Writing helped me focus and listen to God’s healing voice.

In 2004, I entered the Guideposts writers contest and won!

I became what I never planned to be.

One of those weird writers.

For instance–

A writer can be talking to you and suddenly float away to another world. We don’t mean to be rude–it’s just that our minds get crowded. Right now, my brain looks something like this.

This is where I interview my characters. My people. They’re so real to me that I catch myself asking them what’s for supper. 🙂

Another bizarre thing about writers–

At night we dream answers to our plotting problems and hop out of bed to jot them down. We’ll even do this for a good sentence or just the right word.

I’m still working toward my dream.

As I’m writing this post, I’m packing for a novelists retreat in Ridgecrest, North Carolina. I can’t wait! Next week, I’ll learn new things and have fun, but the best part is–

I’ll get to hang out with people who don’t think my dream is strange. 

When you have a dream, surround yourself with friends who believe in you. Sometimes it only takes one! 

 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Thank you. 

You encourage me every week.

I’m so very, very grateful. 

Do you have a dream? Has someone encouraged you along the way?

P.S. I’m taking Lolly my laptop and will be checking comments. 🙂 I haven’t even left home and I already miss you!





  1. Anna Haney says:

    I have mentioned this to you before. I always dreamed of being a writer when I was younger. Now, though, I get just as much joy from encouraging my friends, like you, who write. In my job I see folks who have had dreams and they’ve been laughed at by someone. Now I try my best to help them achieve their dream

    • Yes, you have, Anna, and you’ll never know what your encouragement means to me.

      Right now, I’m sitting here in my hotel room and I see your smiling face on your profile picture. 🙂 And I’m smiling.

      You know, I heard a pastor once say that most of us are insecure in one way or another. People like you bring courage and hope and help squash our fears.


  2. Georgia says:

    Julie: I hope you have a wonderful time! Never, ever give up on your dreams! I am so glad you choose to write as you encourage me every week with your blog. I have told you before…. I will be one of the first ones in line to purchase your novel when it is ready! Have a safe trip!! Enjoy!!

    • Georgia,

      I’m hugging you from here….in my hotel room in the Blue Ridge mountains. Thank you!! Thank you!!

      I was totally honest when I said you all are my cheerleaders. I’ve made some dear friends through my blog.

      Thank you. Wish we were all sitting on my front porch talking. Maybe one day—-I’d love to have a book signing party on my porch, Lord willin’.

  3. Julie, I am so incredibly blessed our paths have crossed again! Your past journey has placed you in this wonderful place to help and support others through your gift. Soak in all that God places in front of you and come home and share it all with us! Love you, E
    Galatians 6:9 And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.

    • I know, Yvette! I feel the same way.

      Love you dearly.

      What an exquisite verse, my friend. One day, I’ll have to take an art lesson and use it somehow.


  4. Julie Lavender says:

    You go, girl! Have a marvelous trip and learn oodles of good stuff! May God bless you during this time as you continue to follow your dream. Love ya from the other Julie.

    • Thank you, thank you Other Julie!!! You’d love this place–feels a lot like the north GA mountains.

      And thanks for letting me know you’re reading. Hope all is well in your world.

  5. Brenda E. Greene says:

    As an avid reader, Sweet Julie, I love to “sink my heart” into a good novel. I have read all of your Mom’s books and considered them my “self-help guides” along my journey with Christ.

    Appreciate your sharing how an author creates. I was reminded of several years ago when I enjoyed a series of five books by an author I’ve come to love. Her characters were so real and believable that upon waking one morning I found myself actually praying for them in their latest struggle!! Had to laugh out loud when I remembered they were “just” characters created by the author. Ha! Looking forward to meeting your characters when you’ve completed them.

    My dream? I was 16 when a dream came to my heart and I remember praying something to the effect “Lord I want to be a wife, mother and Secretary. If you will grant me these desires I promise I will do my best to deserve them.” Shortly thereafter I met the man of my dreams, we married two years later, had two beautiful baby girls, and I began a career as a secretary in higher education to the Director of Admissions. Humble to remember those dreams and be content at pwhere I am now, 51 years later!

    Enjoy your time with friends who “speak your language”. We, your “blog buddies”, will be here to encourage you as you immerse yourself in “your dream”! Love and prayers for a safe journey!!

    • Oh, Brenda–what a compliment to that author–that you prayed for “her people.”

      I love hearing about your dream as a 16 year-old, and how God fulfilled it. Isn’t it sort of magical how we can remember back to being 16 as if we’re still there? You can probably recall details of where you were when you prayed this pray.

      Wish I could hug your neck. Thank you, my blog-buddy, my friend. Anyone who’s a blog-buddy knows my heart, and I feel like I know yours.

      Thanks for your prayers too–I’ll be driving home tomorrow.

  6. I really enjoyed reading your post, Julie. It brought me back to my teen years when I would spend hours up in my room, writing stories. I had one that ended up being over 200 pages! I was in my own little world at those times. I even cut out models from the Sear’s catalog and used them as my characters, as it gave each of my characters faces. Over the years, those stories got lost or were thrown own when I moved away from home. Wish I had them now! They would be fun to read.

    I think it is wonderful that you are chasing your dream! I am a firm believer that we should never give up! The Lord places these deep desires within us and when His timing is right He will bless our life with those dreams.

    Have a safe trip and wonderful time, dear friend. xxoo

    • Eileen, wouldn’t it be fun to curl up and re-read those 200 pages. Can’t believe you wrote that many words!! That’s amazing. Sounds like you have a writer’s heart.

      I can just see your Sears catalog characters!!!! I love this!!! This is exactly how I think.

      Thank you so much. One day, I believe you and I will meet–before heaven.


  7. Patricia Martin says:

    So excited for you, Julie! My gram says North Carolina is beautiful.(: please keep praying for my speeches.Thanks to your prayers and God’s goodness I got a perfect score on my Bipolar Disorder speech!(((((((: my family has a history of bipolar depression and have visited Al-non as well. So glad that you did not give up your dreams of being a novelist!

    • Patricia,you don’t know how happy this makes me. YOU MADE A HUNDRED ON YOUR BIPOLAR TEST!!!!!!! That’s wonderful!! I didn’t realize you have more speeches to give. Okay, I’ll keep praying.

      NC is gorgeous–so cool and leaves are turning.

      So glad you understand the Al-Anon thing. 🙂 🙂

      Thanks for being you. One day I hope we meet.

  8. I love knowing more of your story!

    • Thank you, Elizabeth. That’s how I felt when you wrote about being a little girl–and your family and your daddy.

      Hugs from North Carolina.

  9. Julie Gilleand says:

    Julie, thank you for not giving up on your dream. That inspires me! I know there are probably so many times you have felt like giving up, just because I think everyone goes through that. When I was a young girl growing up my dream was to play, write, sing and record music. Nothing made me feel more alive than when I was doing something with music. I joined choirs. I learned piano and guitar. I formed a trio in Jr. High. Won a music award at 8th grade graduation, accompanied the high school choir on piano now and then. I even got to record keyboard tracks 3 times in a studio for a friend. But that was as far as it went. Life got busy. Marriage, kids, divorce, going back to school and then to work, marriage again and now 5 grandkids, deaths in the family and caregiving for my aging mother. But about 21 years ago when I knew my music dream was over, I was broken hearted when I laid it down. I wasn’t giving up. I just knew it was time. It had been dying for a long time by then. I took a walk and told God I was laying down my music dream and tearfully asked Him to give me a new dream. One I COULD pursue and one HE would bless. I thought maybe sometime a new interest or inspiration would come along. It was that very night I was struck by this insatiable desire to write! I’d never been interested in it before! I should have. My great-grandpa wrote, my grandma, my mother! I started with journaling and just couldn’t stop! I went on to writing devotionals at the church where I worked. Someone there encouraged me to submit something to the United Methodist Publishing House. I did and one of my faith stories was published in a book they put together. I sent in tons of devotionals to Upper Room, for years and years with no success. Until a year ago — finally they published something I’d submitted. My dream has always been to be published in Guideposts. Still not there yet. I have some things I’ve self-published that are out there. But to have not made more headway than this in 21 years gets depressing. Friends always tell me I should keep writing because I have a gift. But no one EVER asks to read anything I write. No one EVER asks me what I’m working on right now (I’m sure it is because if I tell them, they will feel obligated to offer to read it and don’t want to). When a friend I have “talked into” reading something I wrote tells me they thought it was good, they can never tell me why. What part was good? What touched you? What character did you identify with? What did it mean to you? There’s never anything specific in their comments, leaving me to believe that they are just being polite. One time when my boss overheard me whining about how no one ever wants to read what I write, she quickly said she’d love to read something of mine sometime. She didn’t even remember that she already had. That’s how memorable it was! So of course, she too was just being polite. And while I appreciate that, I live for the day someone will read something of mine and tell me how God touched their life through it. And this is not my fishing for anyone to ask to read something I’ve written, because I would know you’re only asking because of what I’ve written here and not because of a genuine interest. That’s okay. When it’s real, it will come on it’s own and will not need coercing or inviting. But knowing that, I question why I was given a dream to write if I am the only one who enjoys it. It’s like a repeat of the music dream. I dabbled with it. played, sang, recorded, but never made a career of it like I wanted to and finally just had nothing more to give to it. Was writing also just for me to dabble in? A couple of little things published and then that its? Tons of stories that no one will ever read? What is the point?

    Sorry, I’m not being very encouraging today, but this strikes a cord in me. I am thrilled for those who have made it, I really am, and am also inspired by them and by those who keep trucking away at it. I’m thankful for what “dabbling” I’ve been able to do, too. Writing still gives me joy even if I never get anywhere with it. But I have another dying dream and am asking for prayer for it’s healing, it that is God’s will 🙂

    Thanks Julie. Sorry for my being a downer here, but I have the feeling you and others may understand what I am feeling, so am thankful for listening ears 🙂

    • Oh, Leafy….

      You can’t even imagine how many times I’ve thought about giving up.

      Every single time I compare myself to another writer, it’s a trap. Never serves a good purpose.

      And you’re musical!! I’m not. Not at all. 🙂 I love that!

      Julie, I really do believe you’re a writer. Let me say it again. I REALLY DO BELIEVE YOU’RE A WRITER.

      I’ve got to tell you–my mother tells people, “If you can do anything other than write, do it.” Because it’s so hard. You get beaten up. Rejected. Torn down. I’ve heard only about 4% of writers can live on what they make.

      Okay, next, congratulations on being published with Upper Room! That’s incredible! We should celebrate that! I’m clapping for you in my heart.

      If you want to write for GP, the best way to break in is to enter their writers workshop contest, which is every other year, so it’ll be in 2016. We’ve talked about this, haven’t we? Stories are due in the spring. Workshop is in the fall. You can ghost someone’s story or write your own. About 1200 words. If you have any specific questions, please email me. 🙂

      You’re not being a downer at all. You’re being real–and that’s what good writing is all about.

      Being a writer is the way we see the world–it’s something that moves in our heart–whether or not we put our thoughts on paper. Even if I never write another word, I believe I’m still a writer. One of the sessions I just attended reinforced this–it’s how God made us.

      Writing can be so very humbling because there’s always someone who seems to be further along than we are, but we can’t know God’s timing–(Oh, How I’m Learning This!!) or His purpose.

      I know one thing for sure. If my novels had sold quickly, I’d have never started blogging–and see? We’d have never become friends.

      If I didn’t have a husband who turns a lot of wrenches to support us, I couldn’t be doing this.

      Maybe this will help–if you think of writing/music–or any of the arts, maybe part of the reason He’s gifted us is to bring us to our knees. To give Him glory. To reach out to someone who’s hurting with our creativity and lift them up.

      So much love,
      Other Julie

    • Leafy, I put more info about the GP writers contest below when I responded to Shelli.

      • Julie Gilleand says:

        Thanks Julie. I’ve entered the contest 6 times and never made it. Remember last year, I said if I didn’t make it this time I was done trying? Not that I wouldn’t at least keep submitting things to the magazine but just not the contest anymore. Last year, I even missed the deadline because I remembered the date wrong. I was one day off! Talk about FAIL!! I submitted anyway, but knew it was of no use. I guess I just think there comes a time when you know it’s time to take a different tack. So we’ll see. But I do appreciate your encouragement and love, and that of others here. What a blessing 🙂

        • marci says:

          I don’t know if you will see this- as late as I am posting it– but I can drop you an e-mail.
          When you mentioned your writing was in Upper Room about a year ago- I had to dig mine out from last year and look. I found it in a few minutes. And I had starred it as it was so good and meaningful to me. I also had half of it underlined. Sept 10, 14 – “In God’s Presence”. I know another woman who submits so I know how long it can take. I had marked it as one of my favorites to come back to– before I knew you.. I hope that will tell you something about how good your writing really is. Anyway, I had to get back on here tonight and let you know. God Bless,

          • Julie Gilleand says:

            Thanks Marci’a, wow you still had it? And had even starred it?! Wow. Thank you for sharing that with me. That means a lot 🙂

          • WOWOWOWOWOWO!!!!!

            Isn’t this the coolest thing in the world?????? Marci’a!!!! Julie!!!!!

            Talk about a confirmation!!!!!

            🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

            Julie, writing is so much more difficult than I ever could’ve imagined (and I grew up with a writer/mom). It’s hard but the highs beat the lows any day!

        • I’m just now seeing this response, Leafy!! Another blog reader PM’d me and asked a question and something triggered in my little brain to make sure I’d responded to all the comments. And I saw this! So sorry I missed it. Must’ve gotten behind with my trip last week.

          Okay, I wouldn’t necessarily quit b/c you’ve tried 6 times. Of course, you know best and you know your heart.

          I’m praying for you. If you only knew how many times I’ve been rejected…..SO MANY!

    • Cathy Mayfield says:

      Oh, Julie, you wrote my life story! I’ve wanted to “be a writer” for over 45 years! So, first, have you ever attended a writers’ conference? If not, go for it!! It’s one of the best things an aspiring writer can do. Here are two things I learned at the one I go to: 1. “I am a writer!” We are to say this at least once a day. 2. Write for God first. What finished manuscript would you like to lay at Jesus’ feet?

      Second, you bless people every week by what you write here. You especially blessed me last week. I see you as a Col. 3:12 type of writer, and there is no better. I want to thank you again for your words last week; you started a ball rolling…or at least gave it a strong push! Pray, pray, pray, though.

      And third – and this IS NOT ONLY because of your comment – please, send me something you’ve written. The teacher in me LOVES reading for people! This is the kind of writer God has used me for thus far – the kind who loves to teach youth to reach out to their peers thru their words, the kind who thrills to read what other “newbie” writers write and give feedback (I always clap first!), and the kind who also wants desperately to be published with Guideposts – in Daily Guideposts, their devotional. So, PLEASE, send me something! I just “friend requested” you on Facebook! Private message me and I’ll send you my email.

      Be blessed, Julie! God’s not finished with you and your writing yet! Lots of love!

      • Julie Gilleand says:

        Thanks Cathy, I just responded to your FB message. I did attend a writer’s workshop — YEARS ago. Janette Oke was the keynote speaker. I’d never read anything of hers yet, but bought two of her books, had her sign them, went to the workshop and thoroughly loved it. After reading the first of her books, I couldn’t stop! Her characters were alive to me and their stories! What I got out of the workshop, more than writing tips, was being introduced to her books which blessed me for many years to come. Turned out she used to live in my town. Her husband worked at the college where my oldest son graduated, and her twin sons both worked at my younger sons’ high school and still live in our community! I wrote her a letter once and she wrote back. We talked about the mountains in Calgary where she lives. It’s a nice memory. This was in the beginning of my writing dream. A lifetime ago! Thanks again Cathy 🙂

        • Cathy Mayfield says:

          WOW!! I had to reply again! YOU MET JANETTE OKE!!!!!!! And not only that, but you actually took a writing course from her!!!! You definitely have mirrored my writing life and dreams in so many ways! I fell in love with Janette Oke and her books after reading Love Comes Softly, which I am currently rereading for probably the 50th time. When our oldest daughter went to Alberta for a long-term missions trip, she stayed with missionaries on a native reserve, which, as they traveled to and from, was by her house in the Calgary area. How amazing for our lives to be so interconnected! Do you still live in Canada? Where? (FB it to me, if you’d rather not share here.)

          • Julie Gilleand says:

            No, I live in Indiana, but she and her family lived here for a time while her husband was on staff at Bethel College here in my town. They eventually moved back to Canada, but her boys still live in my town here and I think her daughter lives somewhere in Indiana, too, or used to. My first Janette Oke book was “The Bluebird and the Sparrow”, but I loved the “Love” series and my very favorite of hers is “When Calls the Heart”.

            Julie Garmon, forgive us for chatting all over your blog!! But thank you for bringing us together. 🙂

        • Julie, You’re a writer. I can FEEL it in my writerly heart when you express yourself.

          If you believe I’m a writer, then surely I can see the gift in someone else, right?

          And this is one reason why I blog–to connect people together. It blesses me all the way down to my tippy toes that you two have connected.

          again, I’m so sorry I didn’t see these comments until a few minutes ago.


      • Cathy,

        This makes me so happy–happy tears. Happy tears. I’m just so sorry I didn’t see it when it came through. For some reason, I didn’t get email notifications on these comments.

        I LOVE THIS.

        See, Julie?? 🙂 🙂

  10. Have you heard when there will be another contest? Do they do one each year? Sounds like fun! Do the thing, Julie … write! xoxo And wish I was there with you.

    • Hey Shelli! Oh, you’d love this. There are about 50 writers–so small and intimate.

      Yes, the GP contest is every other year in the fall. Submissions are due in the spring. They’ll make an announcement on their site, http://www.guideposts.org.

      If you have any questions, please email me! Main thing is–first person true story. You can ghost it or write it about yourself. Narrator must have a turnaround by the end of the story. About 1200 words. Use about 3 or 4 scenes. There should be a spiritual element but not preachy (of course). 🙂

  11. Oh, Julie, you KNOW this was written for me, too! We are called. We CAN do it through Him! I love you, sister!

  12. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Loved this post, Julie! My students are working on a character-driven short story right now, and as an exercise, I had them go “shopping” for clothes and such for their MC (camera-stye)!! Most did so thru the Internet, but hey, that’s today’s world! I, however, while browsing the local antique store, took photos of an outfit my MC in the antique shoppe story may have worn.

    Thought I’d share a memory of one of my early encouragers/mentors. When I was about 11/12, I found out my brother’s grade-school teacher loved writing. I wrote a letter to her asking if she’d look at some of my stuff and forced my brother to take it (blackmailed him!). She said she would, and for the next year, letters shuffled back and forth through my unfortunate brother. How that teacher ever put up with my early attempts, I’ll never know! “O parakeet, so green and blue, o’ parakeet, I do love you!” (a poetic lament to my poor dead parakeet)

    And then, 40+ years later, we come to you, Julie. You are my current blessing-builder and I love you dearly.

    Keep writing and loving others through it!

    • Cathy–I’m jumping up and down in my chair. This idea is so….me!

      It’s almost like we’re playing Barbies with our characters, isn’t it?

      How precious….your parakeet poem. Writing—it’s something that happens in your heart, isn’t it? And even if we aren’t typing away (or jotting in our journals) we’re writing in our hearts.

      I just LOVE how we’re encouraging each other–makes me so happy.

      🙂 🙂 🙂
      Keep writing, my friend. Keep writing.

  13. Lori Milner says:

    Dear Julie Gilleand, thank you for sharing your heart! That took a lot of courage. I’m not even sure of what my dream is, but I’m happiest when I’m making something. I used to enjoy doing crafts and writing letters, and spending inordinate amounts of time with God, praying and worshipping on my guitar and reading His Word. Those were seasons in my life when I was living at home or had a husband and additional income. After two divorces, God blessed me with a good job but the full time work necessary to support myself eats up the best parts of my day and by evening there isn’t much left over. So I read a lot. I read somewhere that in the Alps there grows a beautiful and rare flower that not many people see because the area is so remote, so maybe God put it there for His own enjoyment. Maybe your writing is like that…even though it doesn’t have a wide audience yet. God enjoys it. Writing for an audience of One.

    Dear Julie Garmon, thank you for being brave enough to share your heart with us, too; and giving us this forum to encourage one another. I’ve been a Guideposts reader for years and I always love the things your mom writes. And since you’ve joined the ranks, I have one more to love! Give Marion a hug for me. ❤️❤️

    • Cathy Mayfield says:

      Oh, Lori, what a beautiful, loving thought you left here for Leafy Julie! To know she and her writing is a flower God planted where she is for His own enjoyment! Thank you for blessing her – and me – with that single thought.

      God bless you!

    • Julie Gilleand says:

      Thank you Lori for that beautiful analogy of the flower in the Alps. I will remember that always 🙂

      Julie GIlleand

    • Lori, do you realize how warm and comforting it is to read what you just wrote–that you’re happiest when you’re making something? Surely God’s in that–when you make things, don’t you think?

      Your response to Julie Gilleland is so precious. So tender. Right on target.

      At the conference during the praise time, a man sang a song he’d written (and played the guitar). The song was a lot like the encouragement you offered Julie G. –that sometimes we write for God’s pleasure–to honor Him–the audience of ONE. THE One. Maybe it’s the Highest form of writing.

      Thank you, my friend, for your sweet words. Praying they minister….

      May God bless your tender heart.

      So much love,

  14. marci says:

    WOW! So much here to think on, and relate to! Where to start?! We have became quite the little goup Julie,
    and how God is leading you with the blog! How we can be knit together, and have so much in common, so many trials and challenges. And how we can feed each other and comfort each other, and lift each other.
    My mind is spinning as all the things I am thinking about – thanks to this blog. And how do we do all these things– we WRITE. Thank You Lord for the power of the written word, and for those who share-.

    My heart is with you as you write, and I do keep you in prayers for that. My heart also goes out to Julie-Leafy Julie, and so glad to have her friendship. I know God works in/ through her also, even if she doesn’t always see it. I am glad she writes. Though I have never sent anything off that I have written, I still feel the need to write.
    I didn’t see myself as a writer, though I began writing a Dear Diary when I was 11-or 12, and at 15, started a Novel. Lunch time I would be in the Typing room, typing away at my story. I wish I had those pages to re-read! but they have been long gone for a long time. I know if I had them I would probably have a good laugh too! The imagination of me at 15! When I pray the Lord’s prayer, … I add… Give us this day our daily bread- feed us in body, and spirit.. Thanks to your writing, and all I have read here, my spirit is well fed. And the day is beautiful, with the ‘just right’ fall temps. and the beauty around.
    God Bless you dear Julie, God bless all that are here, meeting and sharing each Wednesday!
    Much Love,

    PS The church continues to have challenges as it is ever so slowly being put back together. Someone said recently- what a gift from God that all of us are still speaking to each other and no major quarrels. I added, God has given us a miracle in that. And my prayer continues to be God’s Will. I am living in a place called “Surrender” And realizing the truth in sometimes God says, Yes, / No, and sometimes he says, Not now, .. other times he says, “I will explain later.”

    • Cathy Mayfield says:

      Marci’a, when we link our soul to God’s by adding our heart to His Word, how blessed we become. I think I will adopt your “add on” to our Lord’s prayer…”feed us in body and spirit.” Thank you for sharing that. Blessings!

      • marci says:

        Thanks Cathy, I am glad you like it and will be able to use the ‘add on’.. I have my own “Our Father” prayer with more personal add ons. “Forgive us our trespasses, and Help us forgive those who have tresspasssed against us… Heal our wounds and any we may have unknowingly inflicted on another. Help us see our own flaws as easily as we see the flaws in others.. That is a little more of my own Lord’s Prayer.
        My spirit is lifted each time I come here– I am glad I clicked back in this afternoon and could see your post to me. It lifted my spirit!
        God Bless,

      • Beautiful idea, Cathy. And I love yours too, Marci’a.

        All to Your Glory, Lord. Thank You. Only You, Lord.

        Whew…”any we may have unknowingly inflicted on another…” That’s powerful. And “Help us see our own flaws as easily as we the flaws in others.” So humbling.

        Lord, feel ALL of us in body and spirit. Feed anyone who comes here with YOUR LOVE. FOR YOUR GLORY.

        Please take this blog, my friends, our love for You and for each other–bless it, multiply it, enlarge our territory for You.

    • Marci’a! I know! I know! This is like diamonds and gold–discovering that my readers are praying for each other! If I never write another word, I’ll be thrilled for the rest of my life…

      Thank You, Lord. It’s all YOU.

      You all–every one of you–have such tender hearts toward God and toward each other…the way you lift each other up in prayer…..it’s so Like Him.

      I’d love to see what you wrote at 15. And you know what I’m finally learning? The younger Julie–the little girl Julie–the teenage Julie–SHE’S STILL HERE INSIDE OF ME. Some parts had to be healed, but there’s still a spirit of a child, a joy.

      I love that you’re a writer. It takes one to know one. 🙂 And you even skipped your lunch time to write. Bless your heart.

      Y’all would never believe how terrified I used to be to press “publish” on my blog. And each one of you encouraged and continue to encourage me.

      And to read how you’re growing in your Surrender process…. that touches my heart—let’s me know that God IS talking to me. And our words–all of our words–our prayers, matter. Letting go matters.

      Your words are just beautiful that blend with the Lord’s Prayer.

      You are so precious to me. to HIM.

      • marci says:

        Dearest Julie, I am so glad to finally be able to see this- and it was worth the wait! I so love your words, and to your prayer above, I can only add my “Amen!”.. Yes, God had done so much with this little group.
        It feels like a lot of broken places are being mended, and a lot of spirits lifted. Yes! so true, I have found that deep inside us is still the young mother with her babies, the teen falling in love, and finding her dreams, and the girl that we were at 15. Yes, also, as to surrendering. That word has been with me a lot this year, and the situation with the church has also given me lots of practice at surrendering! : )
        I am not seeing any typos but I am sure once I press Post, …. That seems to be my MO.. I’ ll just have to work on that.
        God Bless

  15. K. Richardson says:

    You turned out to be a very good writer. Keep up the good work. I sure get a lot of encouragement from your blog. I lost my partner of 20 years in March. My life has been completely uprooted since we lived in his house so I had to move.

    • Ohhhh, I’m so very, very sorry, K.

      My heart is hurting right now…

      I hope it’s okay if I pray. Father, surely when we hurt, You hurt. There’s pain right now and a deep sense of loss and even confusion with K…Will You open Your wide arms? Will You bring comfort to her in this upcoming week? Even tomorrow? Will You surprise her with reminders of Your Grace and Compassion?

      Lord, I have no answers…nothing but a heart full of love right now. You tell us in Isaiah that “You heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.” Will You begin to do this for K? When she doesn’t even know what’s supposed to happen next, will You show her the Way?

      We love You, Lord. We can’t do this without YOu–none of us can.

    • Just wanted you to know, I’m still praying for you, Kim–especially with Thanksgiving coming up.


  16. Jenni M says:

    Hi, Julie!

    Mind mapping – I loved seeing HOW MUCH you had that poster/marker board filled with ideas and info about your plot and characters, as well as all of the Post-It notes! 🙂 It looks like so much fun!

    Hoping that you enjoy yourself at the novelist retreat, Julie. As many challenges as there have been in your life, it’s amazing and inspiring to observe through your blog entries how God has gotten you through each and every one, and has shown you a way to praise his name by using an awesome gift he’s given you.

    I’ll be praying that God continually gives you, and that your heart is continually open to, the confidence to keep on writing, and the strength to persevere.

    Might you say a prayer for me too, Julie? For confidence and perseverance?

    Best wishes!!


    • Thank you so much, Jenni. Isn’t is miraculous, that we can pray for each other here, on a blog? And that He hears our hearts?

      Right now, in the name of Jesus, I pray for confidence and perseverance to fill you. Because His Spirit lives in us, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. In His Name, I pray that a sense of peace will fill you and that you’ll be more than a conqueror–and any fear must leave you, right now, in the name of Jesus.

      Thank You, Father. You hear our prayers and you love us more than we can ever understand.

  17. I like your story, Julie. I think, it’s really God’s plan for you to write. He gave you that wonderful talent to be an inspiration to others, too.

  18. Sharon Azar says:

    beautifully presented and deeply inspirational to all of us who have a dream. Bless your heart, mind and soul for opening to the Universe and going with your dream. You are indeed a strong and sensitive woman and fortunate to have such a special, beautiful mom…

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