This Much I Know is True

Something about becoming a grandmother is changing me. God’s peeling back the layers of my heart, asking me to be honest. I mentioned it in my last post.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I spend my time and what matters most in life.

Am I loving people? Really loving them?

When I stepped away from blogging after Caleb was born, something unexpected happened.

God tenderized my heart in the area of relationships. 

I love connecting with women–through a blog post, at a conference, or in my friend’s cozy den at our ladies’ small group. I love spontaneous friendships that happen in the grocery store, and friendships that last a lifetime.

I strongly feel He’s leading me to spend time in one-on-one friendships–ministering in the moment–and loving my family. 

~I want to visit my mom weekly.

~Katie and her husband moved to the Georgia coast, almost four hours away. I want to get to know my grandson.

~My husband’s business of 41 years is going through some changes. He’s supported my writing dream for a long time. I want to be available to him.

I’m going to let the blog rest for now. This doesn’t make sense for a writer who’s supposed to be busy with social media, building her platform, and accepting speaking engagements.

But this much I know is true:

God’s teaching me to love people. It’s a behind the scenes way to live, but living this way brings me so much JOY.

I just wanted to let you how much you mean to me, and why I won’t be here. At least for a season. And believe me–if He whispers, Write about this, Julie, I’ll be all over it!

Over the past seven years, it felt like you and I were sitting at my kitchen table, talking over a cup of coffee, or porch-partying together.

I’m grateful for every comment, every prayer, and every friendship that bloomed here.

You gave me so much more than I could ever give you. 

Maybe this is what Surrender is all about, loving and letting go. 

Something else~~

What if the things that bring us the greatest joy also bring great joy to God?

And what if these things are quiet, hidden from most of the world?

Maybe life is a lot simpler than I ever thought possible.    

I’m sharing my favorite song with you. The first time I heard it, I forgot to breathe. 

I still do. 

I pray it blesses you. 

If you can’t see the video below, click here .

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 ESV

With all my heart,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Anna Haney says:

    Oh my precious friend. This is beautiful. I understand. I miss you already. Love you

    • Vicky Cheek says:

      I have enjoyed reading your blog. You have become a good friend. I will miss you, but understand completely!
      Enjoy that new grandbaby!

  2. Tears.

    We have to meet one day.

    I love you dearly. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  3. Kim says:

    Oh Julie, following the Holy Spirits leading doesn’t always make sense, but doing so you won’t regret. You sprinkled a few of your yearly words through this post, but I feel all of them embedded within these precious words. Especially Give. 😉 I will miss your gentle encouragement, but will continue to uplift you prayerfully in these fulfilling endeavors and dreams. I’m grateful for you!

    • Your response is beautiful, Kim. I went to bed wondering how to “plug” any of my other years words. I’ll go back and add Give. Great idea.

      I’m giving you the biggest hug in my heart. Thank you for everything you said and for being you.

      I love you.

      • Kim says:

        Tears, dear Julie, to the words “Thank you for being you”. I immediatley recognized your Giving of yourself to all those you are Loving because in just the past couple of weeks I have realized that my word for the year, Hope, hasn’t looked like what I expected. Last year I had to cling to Hope. This year was to live and be Hope to others. I felt like I had kind of failed at it because I thought it would be more active and I haven’t done much. Through prayer and scripture journaling time, I felt God speaking that it was simply being me. The genuine of my essence, threaded with Christ, shines as Hope to those I encounter.

        I love you too dear friend.

        • I’m smiling through my tears, Kim–what you said. “Hope hasn’t looked like what I expected.”

          Your words are priceless…..

          Simply being me. The genuine of my essence, threaded with Christ, shines as Hope to those I encounter.

          Sounds like where He’s leading me.

  4. You have blessed us and I am praying now for your season.

  5. Julie Gilleand says:

    Oh my dear other Julie-Leafy G. I will so miss your blogs and already have been missing them and you, but I totally get where your heart is right now and am thrilled for the peace and joy you have in this decision and in the changes you are enjoying in your life. It has felt to me, too, like we’ve been sitting on your porch having coffee and wonderful fellowship and I have been the better for it and so grateful for the blessings of this time with you. My heart and prayers are with you always and it’s great to know that we can still keep in touch from time to time via email or facebook. Maybe one day we will still get to meet and take a walk together with the autumn leaves crunching beneath our feet — and maybe spot an owl while we’re at it too!

    You be blessed, Julie.

    — Leafy ♥

    • Leafy!

      I don’t look at Leaves the same way anymore, my friend. And you ARE my friend even though we’ve never met. Isn’t that miraculous?! That God let us become friends.

      Yes, yes, yes I pray we meet before Heaven.

      Thank you so much for hanging out with me, letting me get to know you, and call you My Friend.

      I love you–so honored to know a little about your precious family. Thanks for trusting me with a piece of your world.

  6. Lynne Gentry says:

    Hugs and courage for this new season…wherever it leads. Love you, dear one.

    • I love you, too Lynne.

      THANK YOU!!! Can’t think about you without smiling–and being grateful for the time you saved the day–or the night, rather–with a piece of duct-tape.

  7. Sweet Girl, your words are beautiful! I will remember you in my prayers and tie a prayer ribbon on the bush outside my kitchen window. Blessings.

    • Ohhhh, Dee Dee! You’re tying a ribbon for me?

      That means so much to me.

      Looking at your beautiful face, wishing we were on my rainy front porch, rocking and talking.

  8. Caren Ramon says:

    Julie, this morning when I saw on the news that Hurricane Michael is heading toward Georgia, you were the first one to come to mind. I pray God keeps you safe. Then, I saw this post. So many, many mixed emotions. Selfishly, I’m going to miss you, but I’m happy to see that you are being obedient to His Perfect Will in your life.
    God bless you, Girlfriend!

    • Hey Caren,

      Thank you for your prayers yesterday. We’re safe. We’re praying for family members of friends who’ve lost so much–praying for people who didn’t get out.

      Thanks also for reading and for your kind words.

      So much love,
      Julie

      • Jan says:

        I’m with Caren on this one–very aware of selfishly wishing you’d keep on being here weekly. Have missed your blog posts, and will miss them–but there’s a bunch to go back and reread, and that could very well be a fresh blessing in the future–rereading can be good, esp. when I gobble words down greedily and don’t really savor and digest them. Way overloaded with stuff, too-too-muchness, that needs to be dealt with decisively in my house and life in several places to be set to rights. Glad you are clear in your heart and head and soul. I have a friend who passed away this week, a friend who sold her house this week and is moving from the next town over to the northwestern US (to be closer to her grands and kids and minister there), and now you are committing to the same. Have to listen up in the quiet and see if the Friend of sinners, who I have been fleeing I think, is there to be found in the stillness.

        • Jan,
          You words are priceless.

          Love how you said too–too muchness. And this morning, my mother said, “You know a pie can only be cut in so many pieces.”

          I DO feel it in my heart and head and soul. It was an INCREDIBLY HARD DECISION. I fought it for a while, but once I stopped fighting and said, “Why don’t we do this Your way, Lord?” — the peace came. I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like it. Well, one time…

          Oh, yes, the Friend of Sinners….

          Yes.

          He speaks in stillness. Maybe ONLY in stillness.

  9. Patti Wiersma says:

    Julie, I feel like I’ve known you forever. You are such an inspiration. Looking at your priorities is making me want to go over mine. I’m going to miss your blog, but keep posting on FB and Instagram. May God bless you and help you to achieve all your dreams❤️

    • I feel the same way about my bloggy-friends–like we really do know each other. Because we love each other and pray for each other.

      It took me a while to get really honest with God about my priorities. I kept shoving away His gentle nudges, but it feels so good to be on this side.

      Saying a prayer for you.

      Much love, my friend.

  10. Like Patti Wiersma said above: Looking at your priorities is making me want to go over mine. Ditto to that, Patti.

    I’m proud of you for taking care of you. Also of your mother, your kids, your grandchild, your husband, your deep soul. We’ll all be fine. You’ll be even better. And when you return to blogging, we’ll be here and will welcome you with outstretched arms.

    HUGS!

  11. Marcia Bargo says:

    I, too, will miss your blog. Even though I didn’t always respond, I was still reading and being blessed with each post. May the Lord continue to lead in your life. I know you will be a blessing to those around you. I am so glad we met that day for coffee. Thank you for always being vulnerable and sharing your heart.

    • I know—our coffee date! To me, that speaks LOVE, just spending time with one person. Listening. Loving. Praying.

      Thank you for your kind words, Marcia, and for sharing that morning with me!

  12. Absolutely no doubt He has spoken to you. So happy and grateful you simply listened. Bye for now, and God bless you. xxxooo

  13. Tonya says:

    Ohhhhh, Julie, I am going to miss your beautiful posts and your timely perspective, but I get it and I assure you I am so happy for you, and your Mom, and Rick, and Katy and her family. God must be so very pleased with your complete surrender, Sweet Friend. I applaud you and so appreciate the time you have shared with us. Praying for you as you move forward❤️May God bless you in every step you take.

    • More tears at what you said, Tonya….Complete Surrender.

      Thank you for your beautiful words and prayers.

  14. Yay for grandchildren!! And guess what? Our eldest will bring another one to our family in April! That will make it four – just enough to delight this grandma for a long while (until the youngest and her husband add to the number someday!) You are so right to take these times with all your family.

    I, too, plan to spend more time with my mom again, as well as dote on the newest grandbaby when he/she comes, especially since, wonder of wonders, our daughter and her husband moved back to our area, only about three miles away!

    As for the writing, it has its own seasons, I’ve come to understand – seasons we can no more force than we can a seed to sprout in winter. Yes, research shows us how we may do such a thing, but who knows what it may have been if left on its own to grow into the beautiful bloom it would have been in the wild at the proper time?

    So it is with writing forced into the timing we want it, even with the skills and time to do so. If the natural breath of the words becomes lost in the winds of urgent desires, the piece which may still bloom might not grow to its full height, forever stunted by the forced beginnings.

    My blog, so long awaited, has not produced the joy I’d expected. The “big project” I know God wants me to work on must still be in seed-stage, awaiting the roots of nourishment from God’s Word and His Power to grow deeper into my heart. For now, I’ve made two decisions which I feel His smile upon: first, I’m having some fun writing in 10-15 minute segments on stories I’ve longed to write for many years and kept shoving off for lack of skill or reason. For now, the skill is in the making and the reason is fun!

    Second, I’m developing a business plan for my new home-based business as a “Creative Curriculum Consultant”! I decided to take my love of teaching a step further and get paid to do one of the parts I love most – designing curriculum to fit the homeschool family. This is a very new, less than a week old, conception, but one I feel has been there waiting for me for a long time. I will use the love of family and teaching and the gift of words and creativity from God to create custom-designed curriculum for homeschoolers. How this will all come about is still a mystery, but I checked books out of the library (Home-based Business for Dummies – style books) and am verbalizing the dream to you. It encompasses and will utilize much of what I’ve already been doing all my adult life but never got paid for before. And that money will help repair our home so I, too, can one day have porch parties and entertain in my home once again. Then, maybe the “real” writing times will restart! (I plan to keep plugging away at the blog, simply because it keeps me accountable at least once a week … or so!)

    So, my sister-friend Julie, I pray we will keep in touch, praying for each other, delighting in one another’s grandma-times, and seeking God’s will for our families – until we meet one day here on earth or in the greatest family-home ever in heaven! Blessings and so much love!

    • Cathy,

      I LOVE your new CCC idea!!! And thank you for sharing it with us. This sounds amazing.

      Yay for you! Another grandbaby on the way–and they’re 3 miles away. Heaven on earth!

      You’re one wise woman. Love what you said about seasons.

      Sending love and gratitude from my little cabin in the woods.

  15. Janice Chapman says:

    Praying God will continue to use you in very special ways. I have found that I am always the one getting the biggest blessing when I minister to others. You can just shoot out a blog “on occasion” , when the Lord spurs you to do it!! You are loved ! Janice Chapman

    • Thank you my sweet friend, Janice!!! That’s exactly what He’s teaching me. I spent the morning with my mom.

      xoxoxox

  16. I will miss your blog. But I understand your reaction to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

    I have been trying to break into the writing markets; when I am told to expand my platform, embrace social media, and work feverishly to attract followers, I feel a check in my spirit. I have decided the devotions I write may be for my children and grandchildren yet unborn. I am OK with that.

    Thank you for including your favorite song. It was a quiet moment I needed this morning.
    Thank you!

    • Hey Ethel,
      So good to hear your sweet voice!

      Sounds like you’re listening to His Still Small Voice and obeying. There’s no better Way to live.

      Giving you a hug from here, and thank you for your friendship and this beautiful comment.

  17. Julie, we go thru different season in our walk with our Savior and Creator. At times we walk thru a hidden season when we are called off the “stage.” That hidden season is a time of putting down roots. When it was clear I should step away from Women’s Ministry in my church, I obeyed with tears in my heart. I know that would be the end of Women’s Ministry in my church at that time. I have been thru a long, long hidden season. Take care and rest in his presence.

  18. You will be missed – but enjoy that grandbaby!!!

  19. Vie Herlocker says:

    Julie, God will bless your faithfulness in this new season! I have loved reading your blog and like the others, I feel like I know you in person. Enjoy the time with your mom–she is as precious to me as you are. Rejoice in little Caleb–time spent with him will be planting heaven seeds. And, somehow, I believe that God will whisper, “write this,” again…but for now, just breathe. Inhale the spirit and claim all those loving relationships Jesus is placing before you.

    • You spoke straight to my heart, Vie.

      THANK YOU. I feel like I know-know you too.

      So much love, and thanks for the grace.

  20. Patricia Martin says:

    Thank you, Julie. Thank you, for sharing God’s love with us. Thank you, for letting us get to know you and your wonderful family! Thank you for your transparency about family struggles, sharing of great news, and being comfortable enough around us to be yourself. I will miss your insightful and meaningful blog posts very much. Is it alright if we text each other when it’s good for your schedule? I can send you postcards if that is O. K. with you? I am glad that you are a grandmother and Katie is a mother. You both were like Abraham and waited patiently for years (you two were actually better examples). (((: Hugs to you from me.
    xox
    Patricia

  21. Hey Patricia,

    Thank you for your sweet words. 10 years of waiting. 🙂 And hallelujah! Blessings to you and yours~~

  22. Dear Julie, thank you for sharing yourself and your family whenever and however you choose. It is a joy to read about your discernment. Every act of kindness and compassion in this world is a way to live our call and spread God’s peace and justice.

    I love the comments above about the seasons. Enjoy this season of your life! Best wishes and blessings to you all!

    Sincerely,
    Anne

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