Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea Gratitude to You

When I started blogging almost five years ago, I was terrified that I’d be writing to myself.

But you came! You showed up! We bonded and you cheered me on! You’re the friend in Proverbs 18:24 “who sticks closer than a brother.”  

I have something to share with you.

Here’s how my creativity has always worked:

I’m a speed boat skimming across the ocean. I get an idea and rush-rush-rush back to the shore to write it. Then I hurry, hurry, hurry in a panic to find the next idea.

But something inside me is changing.

When I’m still and quiet, in my mind, I see the ocean. But not the surface of the water.

It’s a deep place.

A secret place.

A place I’ve never been. 

It’s the bottom of the ocean floor. 

I bet all sorts of treasures are there–colors, textures, living things, mountains, kingdoms–

Unexplored emotions.

I believe God’s calling the deepest part of me to write something new like Psalm 42:7 says–“Deep calls to deep.”

To do this, I need to spend more time with Him. 

Just the two of us.

Last week a friend said–

“Julie, when you go to the bottom of the sea, it takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the light–for the particles to settle so you can see clearly.”

I want to focus on Him. 

I want Him to show me His Heart. 

What matters to Him. 

I’m asking for your prayers.

My agent is shopping what I hope will become my debut novel, but I have another story to write. It’s about an 18-year-old girl named Annie.

Annie’s part of a wonderfully messy family–the kind most of us belong to. Writing her story means for I while, I need to go to the bottom of the ocean floor.

So…

I’m going to start blogging every other Wednesday. 

After my journey, I hope to share something special with you.

I already miss you–you know that, don’t you? 

And I love you.

Oh, how I love you.

It’s hard to pull away because you’ve given me the courage to go deep. 

My new favorite song, from my heart to yours–if you can’t see the video, click here.

Have you ever felt God calling you like “Deep unto deep”? Click to tweet. 

What stirs your creativity? Art? Music? Colors? Food? People? 

Love,

Julie

Comments

  1. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Oh, Julie… A few years back, during a counseling session, my then pastor told me to try my hand at writing psalms. At first, I was aghast…write psalms…like David, like God? Then I looked into it…and promptly said, “Maybe someday…”

    You just did that. Your words read like a psalm from your heart. Oh, how you love Jesus, and how He loves you. And what He has planned for you! I’m getting the chills just thinking about it. Know my prayers will be added to yours each day as you reach for and are filled with more understanding as you seek His will for this new project.

    And you also just changed the course of my whole day! I planned to critique some students’ papers and keep going at the slow task of packing our Christmas decor away (I know…but with a baby grandson and back troubles and a baby grandson and running and a baby…get the picture? 😉 ) Now, I feel a need to just soak in the wealth of grace in two of your opening lines: “When I’m still and quiet, in my mind, I see the ocean. But not the surface of the water.”

    I know you meant looking past the surface to the wonders underneath (love the pics!)…but my first thought was: “How often do I look at something…someone…and not see the underneath, but even the surface?” Literally…and figuratively, spiritually. And how I want to be known as someone who sees…someone who sees the heart, sees the pain, sees the needs…sees Jesus. “Open my eyes, Lord. I want to see Jesus, to reach out and touch Him and say that I love Him. Open my ears, Lord, and help me to listen…” (A link to a beautiful rendition of this blessed chorus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZsZkB-HcyE)

    So, for part of my day, I will be Martha…but first, I will be Mary and soak in the heart of Jesus and open the eyes of my heart to His bidding, which I know will include writing time…especially on a project He’s been nudging…okay, pulling me kicking and screaming to do. Thank you, Julie, for setting a much different path for my day. Love you dearly! <3

    • Cathy, my dear friend. How can I respond to such a love-filled reply? Oh, Cathy–

      Your words went straight to my soul. thank you. Deep unto deep–kind of thoughts right now.

      Hope you had a glorious morning soaking, resting for a few minutes before The Father.

      Now…I’ll click on your link.

      So much love~~

    • marci says:

      Oh Cathy, I love what you said, and it was a lightbulb moment. “So for part of my day, I will be Martha,…but first I will be Mary.” Yes! thank you for that. I will be carrying those words with me, as a “Psalm” for my day.

      • Cathy Mayfield says:

        Thank you, Marci. You just gave me another writing idea – “The Psalms of Mary and Martha.” Could be something different to try my hand at. After all, psalms resemble devotions in a way, and I write devotions constantly. Now I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  2. Pat Garczynski says:

    Ah, yes, Julie: “Deep unto deep.” Perhaps two Words for 2016? Dance and Deep! I haven’t shared my 2016 Word because it is deep and still: Entreat, as in “Entreat me not to leave Thee, or to return from following after Thee.” Ruth
    Love ALWAYS from your Michigan friend ❤️

    • Pat–ENTREAT. Ohhhh,what a lovely word, indeed. You can’t say it in a hurry, can you? It draws me in, make me want to know more.

      You know, my Guideposts writers group gave me a nickname years ago–DEEP. So, Deep and Dance–yes, I love the combination. Love the “Ruth” part.

      Praying He plays the music, deep inside my soul, and sets me free to dance.

      Thank you.

  3. Yes, I so understand. I’ve been thinking the same … maybe blog every other week. Because I feel my focus needs to be on my work and my girls … and I might need to clear my plate a little. I’ll be praying for you, Julie … for the work being shopped and for your new work. xoxo

    • Yes, yes, yes. I so understand, Shelli–I feel like God’s been so faithful to provide one idea each week–just one, line manna from heaven, and I’m so grateful, but there’s something inside me…

      Well, I can tell you understand.

      Are you going to ACFW this year?

      Thank you for being my friend. xo

  4. Patricia Martin says:

    Oh Julie! I am going to miss reading your blog every Wednesday! You are my favorite blogger, but I am happy that you are willing to dive deep with God!(: will blogging every other Wednesday be permanent or just for a season? I feel a little self-centered but I love reading your blog and comments to me so much! Could we exchange P. O. Box adresses with each other if you are comfortable with that? I know that the ocean bottom is spectacular. Be like Nemo and just keeping swimming!(((:

    • Absolutely, Patricia! We can email, snail mail, either way or both. I’m going to miss you too, and you know, I’m praying you through this semester in school, don’t you?!

      Such sweet words you said above. Means more than you know.

      Yes, like Nemo–I’m going to swim deep. and trust. and follow, and listen, and look.

      My email address is Julie at Julie Garmon dot com. Email me and I’ll send you my home address.

      Hugging you from here, and I’ll be back in two weeks. I’m thinking the blogging decrease will be for a season. Not sure yet–trying to listen and obey.

  5. Georgia says:

    Julie: I am so excited for you —- going deeper and new adventures! I am cheering you on! I have told you several times that I will be one of the first in line to purchase your novel… and now another one to look forward to! Hallelujah x 1,000! The pictures you shared in today’s post are beautiful! Thank you for being willing to share your heart with us!

    • Hey Georgia,

      It’s a mutual feeling. Y’all share your hearts with me too–so freely. It’s something I’ll always, always be grateful for.

      I can feel you cheering me on. It. Means. So. Much. So. Very. Much.

      All my love~

  6. Carm Russell says:

    This comes to mind as I read your blog…Philippians1:6! How can one friend deny another the opportunity to continue the journey God has set before them. I look forward to when ever you write or share AND I will anxiously not patiently for your novel. Because I am blessed by what you share and I know the novel will be no less a blessing.

    Carm
    ⚓️

    • Ohh, Carm.

      I just love you. Thank you. This fills my heart to the brim.

      Thank you.So, so, grateful for you. Hope you can feel my hug.

      Thought about you yesterday–March the 1st. xoxoxoxoxo

  7. Mary says:

    This sounds very exciting! What a wonderful idea – to create more space in your life so that you can dive deeper. It’s so easy to get busy with tasks and bury yourself in them. It takes courage and mindfulness (my 2015 word!) to stop and reprioritize. Good for you! I will still look forward to your bi-weekly blog. I’m excited to hear what new things will be happening for you!

    Mary

    • Mary, you all are giving me such grace and freedom and love.

      It feels absolutely amazing.

      Thank you–from the BOTTOM OF MY HEART and the bottom of the deep blue sea~~~~

      Love,
      Julie

  8. God bless you and flow through you as you right! Can’t wait to have your book(s) in my hands!

    • Thank you, my friend.

      One day (this side of heaven) you and I will meet. I just know it! I love your heart and your home and your writing.

  9. Julie Gilleand says:

    Julie I want to wish you happy deep sea diving and say that I can’t wait to see what things you find there that you can share with us at some point. I will miss seeing you here every Wednesday but will look forward all the more to the weeks you are here with us and will be thinking of you on the alternate weeks intrigued at the thought of your deeper endeavors and journey.

    God bless other Julie G. I’m staying tuned!! Any chance your mom might pop in here and fill in for you once in awhile? Miss the days when you guys did that together!

    Keep us posted, now, okay?!! Love and hugs and prayers to you 🙂

    Leafy Julie

    • Other Julie! Leafy!!

      Boy, didn’t we bond in a hurry! That’s a good idea–to see if Mom would want say hi. I’ll ask her.

      You are so big in my heart. You’ll never know how much your encouragement has meant. You have that gift, you know–the gift of encouragement.

      Crazy, isn’t it–how you can form such DEEP friendships without meeting face to face?

      I love you, Julie. Thank you. Thank you. Always thank you.

      • Cathy Mayfield says:

        I had the same thought, but didn’t voice it, about your mother possibly “filling the gap” sometimes, however, I didn’t know you had written together before! All three of our daughters and I have had ideas to write/create together someday. I did write articles for our youngest’s magazine, which she published for four years during our homeschool years, from about 5th-8th grade. She had 20+ subscriptions! It was called Focus on Fun! Loved those times!

        • Yes, Mother and I blogged together for Guideposts for 18 months. 🙂 Great fun.

          So neat that you wrote for your daughter’s homeschool magazine!! Love Focus on Fun. I bet you were great at Focusing on Fun!

  10. beautifully said, thanks for sharing Julie!

    • Hey, Robin! And thank you. I’m sitting here smiling at your beautiful self.

      So much love, my friend–So much!

  11. Sue says:

    Best wishes on your journey. You will always be in the hearts of those who love you and your work.
    Having grown up in south Florida I know how the sea can speak to the soul. One of God’s
    Wonderful creations.
    Love to you julie,
    Sue1-

    • Sue, and that’s the weird part…I can’t really “do”the ocean because of my fair skin, but that’s the image that comes to me. It’s how I describe the pull.

      Thank you–for everything. I’m grateful to you, forever.

      XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXO

  12. Pat says:

    Bless you Julie. Deeper deeper in the love of Jesus. What a wonderful place to go.

  13. Colors! Nature! People! You!
    I support you in your journey, and how often you blog. When we listen and respond, we can do anything with peace and grace. Taking the time to be present in the moment helps us know what/where/when/how.
    Bless you today.

    • Stephanie….

      You just blessed me big time.

      Thank you. You’re so wise–“When we listen and respond, we can do anything with peace and grace.” Beautiful. Just beautiful.

      I’m praying that He teaches me your way of seeing/living.

      XOXOXOX

  14. marci says:

    Dearest Julie, I am so happy for you, and I will be saying even more prayers for your writing during this time. I will look forward to your blogs every other Wed. How we have grown! Many years ago there was a woman that was ask, “Can we have it all?” Her reply was, “Yes, just not all at the same time.” As we grow we find — with the Lord’s help, what are our limits, and balance. Yes, I agree with your above statement. How amazing it is that we can bond so much with each other, in such a short time. And considering that we have never met face to face. It is a God thing!

    This truly spoke to me as we both grow. As happens so often, your blog has helped me with something going on in my own life.

    I had ask for a sign, and feel God gave it to me. So last night at the Study at church, I told the ones there that I felt it was time for me to get off the Altar Guild, and explained I had been praying about it for over a year, and friends had also prayed.. It was a bit of a scary moment, getting those words out, but I kept remembering your wise words you shared. “It is going to be OK, whatever you decide”. I was on it for over 35 yrs, over half of my life! I am sure the Lord will give me plenty to do, as I have learned, There is no such thing as retirement in the Lord’s vocabulary.

    As said, above, yes, it would be great if your Mom would pop in and do a guest blog here sometimes… if she feels lead to do that.

    God Bless you and all you do. God Bless your continued writings,
    And much much Love,
    Marci’a
    PS. I am sure there are typos here, though I am not seeing them at the moment. But I will remember what else you taught us– we don’t pay attention to typos! 🙂

    • I’m smiling–tearing up, Marci’a.

      We’ve all uplifted and taught each other here. And we’ve even learned to laugh about our typos. 🙂 🙂 Such freedom!

      I’ll never forget how you prayed and the Lord seemed released you from your Altar Guild.

      Such freedom to be able to pray honestly and seek Him, and then know He’s leading you. That’s how I’m praying with my writing and my life.

      I love you dearly.

  15. donna says:

    My favorite book to gift is “Stopping” by David Kundtz; and my ‘business’ 🙂 card says ‘stop and move forward’. Thanks for validating my journey of pausing some things to see others. I become in much better touch with God’s creation, the real me. God bless you, Julie..

    • Donna,

      Such powerful words. I LOVE it when His Spirit speaks to us through others.

      “Stop and move forward.” Yes. Yes. Yes. I love it. It takes courage, doesn’t it?

      God’s creation–the real me. I just had to re-type your words.

      THANK YOU. Feels like a confirmation.

  16. OH Julie! My cousin was here yesterday, telling us about his trip to Cozumel, where he and his wife are doing deep sea diving- near the reefs. They told us all the things they expect to see, and all that they may see, and never expect. But he is so filled with hope and promise of a wonderful adventure! And you are saying the same thing- metaphorically- but- this so exciting. I can hardly wait for your words to be between my hands, and stretched out beneath my eyes, and run through with my highlighter! Praying for this wonderful journey of yours!

    • Vicky,

      I just want to savor your comment.

      It “feels” so good to my heart.

      Thank you for pouring out grace and hope and love over me. Can’t believe you were JUST hearing all about deep sea diving! And then my post.

  17. I won’t miss you. I’ll be too proud of you. Doing what you love, what you are good at, what God has called you to do. I’m super excited for you and will keep you close in my heart.

    Wednesdays that you don’t send out a blog will be a day of extra special prayers for you and your writing.

    May the process feel wonderful as it unfolds. Hugs!

    • Cathy Mayfield says:

      What a great idea, B.J.! On those other Wednesdays, when each of us have already set aside those moments to turn on the computer and read Julie’s blog, we can agree in prayer together for her. Wow, the enemy won’t have a chance! Go for it, Julie! Jesus…and all of us…are praying you through to the other end of this journey!

      • okay, y’all……..

        your love is just so big….

        not sure if my heart will hold it….

        Cathy. B.J. trying to remember to breathe.

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, B.J.

      You always, always, always know just what to say. Feels like you’re sitting here with me in GA upstairs in my office. I feel that close to you right now.

      Thank you. You’ve prayed me through so many things.

      I love you.

  18. Anna Haney says:

    Oh, Julie.
    I understand but I’m gonna miss you.
    Prayers, sweet friend.
    Love you

    • Not half as much as I’m going to miss you, Anna.

      And we can still email and Facebook–and email and Facebook, and tweet and Instagram. 🙂

      Love you dearly, always.

  19. Jane Ensminger says:

    Julie-
    I have followed your blogs for years, and I know your desire to “go deeper”. Yes, we will miss your weekly words of wisdom and fellowship, but this is clearly God’s direction and you must follow. May you see many colors and report back to us periodically on your journey.
    Blessings for Peace and Grace –
    Jane

    • Jane,

      Your words.

      So precious to me right now.

      Thank you. Agreeing with you in prayer–help me, Lord. Help me write.

  20. Anna Haney says:

    My creativity comes from others. I started journaling again and I’ve discovered that my best entries are those that are about people I’ve known. My best short.stories were about family members.

    • Me too! People help spur my creativity, Anna.

      I didn’t know you’d stopped journaling. I pray with a pen in my hand–almost always.

      Send me a story! Would love to read it. 🙂

      You better not forget about me over the next 14 days….okay????

  21. Tricia says:

    You Go For It!! We’re behind your endeavors, Julie! This is just another step in your journey.How exciting!

    • Wo-hoooooooooo, Tricia…

      Feels kinda like jumping off the high-dive. But once you go to the end of the diving board, you have to jump off, right?

      THANK YOU. XOXOXO

  22. Mary Lester says:

    Julie, Julie… I treasure meeting you, The Heartfriends and Three Dancing Tips Blog, and your writing encouragement! I wish writing was easy. Just not. Not the really good stuff. Never will be. Sacrifices have to be made. Those sacrifices,though, are a lot easier knowing you already have this “great cloud witnesses” cheering you on. Besides, you are not really going away…you are going on an exciting vacation and coming back to share your Postcards from The Deep. Can’t wait!***** I recently shared Heartfriends and Three Dancing Tips with a friend (had printed it off)…and she told me “Dance” had been her word when her granddaughter was born before I started reading with her sitting right next to me. She spotted the picture of the book with the curly haired girl in the blog—I Hope You Dance. She grabbed my arm, “I have that book! I bought it and put my granddaughter’s picture on the front of the book over the other little girl. I had my new little girl!” We had to stop and catch our breathe experiencing such a moment! I am confident the ripples from your many words from so many blogs are still touching lives in ways only God could orchestrate. *** Today I was out in the yard… checking on my new flower population…taking in the sunny day. I needed a restful day. Been very challenging lately. I laid down in the chaise lounge and looked up at the inviting sky. I felt God say, “Look up and take a hundred deep breaths…” I saw so much more than the sky. Simple joys restored me with those breaths. ****So, Go Deep and Dance, Take Deep Breaths, My Friend…and… Relax in the plan God has for you!…xoxoxo….Write on, my sister of the heart, Mary Lester

    • Amen, Mary. I wish writing were easy too. Some days, it’s not even fun, is it?

      Ohhhh, “great cloud witnesses.”

      Happy tears with everything you’re saying. Postcards. And Dance was your friend’s word too! And the same wonderful book. How Big is God?

      I can just see you taking your breaths (and counting them! :)).

      And you said to “Relax.” That sounds wonderful. Relax, Dance, go Deep, and write with His Love.

      thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you.

  23. Ellen Parrish says:

    Sweet sister Julie, I’m so thankful to our Father above that you have touched my life with your words. You are so brave and my prayer is for you to swim deep in that space that only God can fill. We are all with you and can’t wait until you come up for air and write to us again. Love, hugs and peace be with you.

    • Ellen, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like this–such deep grace from all of you.

      And the whole blogging process–terrified to ever get started and then each week God gave me one idea.

      And now to trust Him to swim in deeper waters.

      So much love and gratitude.

  24. Patricia Martin says:

    Thank you, Julie, for your prayers as I know that they have helped carry me through this somewhat challenging semester! Give my love to your family!(((((:

    • Don’t forget me, Patricia!!!!!! I mean it. You better write to me.

      I love you. You’re so precious to me.

  25. Norma says:

    Julie, I am so excited to see what God has in store for you. Glad you are obedient to His voice. I will miss your weekly blogs. I know God has other plans.Our prayers are with you!!!!!!!!!

    • Norma, it feels like a ship is taking me out to sea and all of you are waving from the shore.

      Makes me tear up with each comment. I can’t even tell you how much…

      Thank you.

  26. Monica Morris says:

    I am SO excited for you, Julie!! And I’m praying, oh yes, I am praying! I just know that this new step is in the right direction and your big success is on the way! I will miss you, of course. Your blogs just inspire the heck out of me…and they’ve often led me deeper. And I’m more grateful than you know for your talent and your sharing heart. But I’m right here in the kitchen saying, “Go, Julie! Go!” And I get what you mean about God asking you to go deeper. For me, that happened at my kitchen table when I was debating in my mind the idea of a blog. Because, believe me, this wasn’t something I was comfortable with. But I felt an urge, a nudge, and with the encouragement of friends – and you are one of them- I dived in. So here I am, encouraging you. I can NOT wait to read your debut novel and your Annie definitely intrigues me. Wishing you all the best blessings in your writing endeavors, dear Julie.<3 🙂

    • Monica,

      Can you tell? I’m hugging you from here? Isn’t it amazing how God works–how we all cheer each other on…sometimes (always?) into deeper water. Into things we simply can’t do on our own.

      I’m sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo stinkin’ proud of you! You listened! you fought the fear! You are obeying Him!!!! And blessings follow obedience, that’s what my mother always says, anyway.

      All my love. Always.

  27. Patti Wiersma says:

    I’m going to miss you on the Weds. You’re not blogging, but I will say a prayer for you those days for your writing. I look forward to reading your novels. God bless. I love you!

  28. Oh my goodness. Such clear waters. Beautiful, Julie.
    Excited for you. Until your next post.

    • Lux, there’s such a gentleness about you. Thank you. Feels like surely we’ve met in person!

      xoxoxo

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