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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Becoming a Grandmother and Priorities

I’ve come to my office so many times to write this post, then stopped myself.

My heart feels like pictures I made in kindergarten–the ones with crayons melted by a hot iron inside wax paper–so many colors swirled together.

Becoming a grandmother has changed me.

It took a while to gather the courage to share my thoughts. I’ve missed you. I’ve prayed for you. You’ve become some of my dearest friends. And what kind of friend am I if I’m not honest with you?

I had the honor of being in the labor room with my daughter, Katie, and her husband for two days while they waited to meet their baby boy.

There’s something sacred about birth. Especially when it’s a grandchild.

I‘ll never forget my desperate prayer at the 3/4 mark of her labor.

3:30 p.m. on July the 11th.

She’s so tiny, Lord, and it looks like nothing’s happening. Would You help her? Surely Mary was small when she gave birth, and You were there in the manger…

Caleb James was born at 5:10 p.m. the same day. No c-section necessary!

He weighed 6.3. 19 1/2 inches long.

I’ll never stop thanking You, Lord. Ten years of prayer. 

When I held my grandson for the first time, Awe and Gratitude came together.

Evidence of God’s faithfulness in my arms.

I wanted to slow dance around the room with him. I may have. I’m not sure. 🙂

Oh, the Power and Wisdom of Your timing. You don’t always say yes. And rarely do You answer according to our plans. But look at this beautiful boy…

Peering into Caleb’s blue-gray eyes, I thought about life.

I’m 58. Pushing 60.

Maybe the 3/4 mark.

The final lap.

Like the turning point in Katie’s labor. 

Caleb’s four weeks old today, and I’m in a new, quiet place.

My priorities are softening and shifting. I’ve never felt this way before.

It’s a Holy Hush.

Social media and platform building (as we writers are encouraged to do) doesn’t seem nearly as urgent. Sharing my opinions doesn’t seem nearly as important. More than anything (even publishing), I want to become someone who loves well.

To love well, I must love God first. 

I wrote Him a long apology letter this morning. 

For years, I put becoming “successful” at the tip-top of my list. 

I chased becoming Somebody instead of chasing Him. 

I’m reading Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot for the second time. I skimmed it years ago. 

As I keep a quiet heart, God’s teaching me how to love others, one person at a time, the same way He loves me.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these. Mark 12:30-31 NIV

P.S. Katie and her family are doing just fine. Rilynn (Katie’s stepdaughter–who holds a huge chunk of my heart) is on Cloud Ten. 🙂 So is Grandpa Rick. If you want to find out more about Katie’s journey with infertility, read this and this.


Thoughts? Comments? Have you ever had the Lord rearrange your priorities?

Love and gratitude,

Grandma Jewels

 

 

 

It Ain’t Over Yet!

If the woman at Home Depot hadn’t been wearing Birkenstock sandals, I probably wouldn’t have bought  strawberry plants.

In March of 2017, my daughter Katie, who’d been struggling with infertility for ten years, was awaiting pregnancy test results (again). I wanted to do something brave–something I’d never done before.

I wanted to plant something new.

In the gardening section of Home Depot, I decided herbs might be easy to grow, so I picked out rosemary and basil.

Then I noticed a woman in the strawberry section wearing Birkenstocks. She had a long, braided ponytail, and looked like she knew what she was doing.

I asked if strawberries were hard to grow. She assured me I could do it. 

I wanted to you say, if I can grow strawberries, do you think can Katie have a baby? 

Back at home, I put the herbs and three strawberry plants on my grandmother’s old ironing board outside. I knew the herbs would be okay there.

But if the strawberries were going to survive, they needed to be planted.

And I was afraid to plant them.

I didn’t want to be disappointed again.

A couple of days later, I moved the strawberry plants to the railing, so they’d be a little closer to the sun.

As long as I don’t plant them, they can’t die.

Then Katie found out she wasn’t pregnant.

Again.

She didn’t talk much about it this time.

She just got quiet.

I did too.

On an unusually hot Thursday afternoon in April of 2017, I planted the strawberries in the rock-hard Georgia clay, where we normally had a garden. We didn’t plant a garden last year.

I felt empty on the inside. Frustrated and faithless. 

You know my heart, Lord. I’m going to plant these stupid strawberries, but I don’t even have faith to water them. I’m not wasting my time. 

One Saturday this spring, my husband came in the house. “Come here,” he said. “You gotta see this.”

We live in the middle of the woods. Maybe he’d found a snake. A possum. Couldn’t be veggies. We didn’t plant anything this year either.

He led me through the yard, past the weeds in our abandoned garden–

And opened the garden gate.

“Come, look,” he said.

Along the edge of the fence–right where I planted the strawberries–I saw lush, green leaves.

The strawberries.

I’d forgotten all about them.

“I can’t believe it. They didn’t die.”

“Keep looking,” Rick said.

I got closer.

Then I spotted the fat, red berries.

“It’s a miracle! We have real strawberries in our yard!” Just like the woman at Home Depot. “Did you take care of them?”

“I haven’t touched them.”

My dear readers, I haven’t had the freedom to tell you this until now.

Not only do we have strawberries,

KATIE’S PREGNANT!

She’s due July 20! 

She waited until I few weeks ago to announce her news.

There’s a phrase in this song that says it all:

“It ain’t over yet!” 

Lord, it ain’t over yet! You can do anything. Even create faith in a faithless heart. You inspired me through a woman wearing Birkenstock sandals and three strawberry plants. 

If you’re close to giving up, listen to this song. 

If you can’t see the image above, click this link –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou-p_RDUbB4  

 


How can we pray for you?

Love,

Julie

Changing Pastures

Driving down a country road near our house, I tried to ignore the donkey’s odd behavior. God had spoken to me a few months earlier through this same pasture of donkeys.

I didn’t have time to decipher another donkey message, so I pulled over on the side of the road, snapped a quick picture, and planned to figure it out later.

That was two weeks ago.

This morning, I got tired of pretending I hadn’t taken the picture, so I enlarged the image on my computer screen to study it.

The donkey was hanging his head over the fence grazing.

Such a peculiar sight.

I zoomed in closer.

It was a barbed-wire fence.

I drive past this field almost every day. I’d never seen the donkeys or horses doing this.

Okay, Lord. I’m listening. Sorry it’s taken me so long. Is there a message here? Should the donkey be content inside the pasture? Is that what You’re telling me? He has an entire field of green grass behind him. Plenty of friends. Plenty of water. Everything he needs.

But for some strange reason, he’s stretching his neck out over a barbed-wire fence to eat.

Why did You draw my attention to this?

Help me.

Talk to me.

What are You saying? 

Is this a lesson in contentment? 

Probably so, I decided. That’s the logical explanation. I should be more content.

But this answer didn’t satisfy my soul.

It’s deeper, isn’t it, Lord? Are You asking me to risk sticking my neck out? To stretch myself? To go outside my comfort zone? Something beyond my regular routine? 

Are You calling me to trample new territory with You? 

I’d been running from this conversation for a long time. I have a writing idea. One I can’t possibly do on my own.

At that moment, I felt my heart grow warm.

Julie, my daughter. I have so much more for you. Let go of what feels safe. Draw closer. Let me be your Shepherd. I’m leading you to a new pasture. 

God had been whispering to me the whole time. I just had to be still enough to listen. click to tweet.

He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…they follow because they are familiar with his voice. John 10:3-4 MSG

Can you relate? Have you ever sensed God calling you to take a risk? To trample new territory with Him?

Please share!

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Were Right–I Was Wrong

I spend a lot of time arguing with God. I’ve debated Him about so many things–including almost every blog post I’ve ever written. This one’s no exception.

But He has a way of talking to me. It’s a warm feeling in my heart. I’m free to ignore Him if I want to.

And I have.

Plenty of times.

His suggestions are almost always the opposite of what I want to do. 

Monday morning, He seemed to whisper, Write about what Toni taught you

There’s nothing to it. She taught me something about my cell phone. End of story. 

It’s bigger than that. Think about it. 

Nobody cares about a conversation on how to use a cell phone. 

Be quiet. Settle down. Listen to Me. 

I don’t want to.

Why not?

Because…writing about Toni makes me look stupid. 

That’s when I knew it was a pride issue.

It always is. 

My friend Toni came over a couple of weeks ago. She told me she’d found special highlighters that don’t bleed through the pages of her Bible. She pulled out her cell phone and showed them to me. “I found them online.”

“Great idea. I’m going to order some,” I said. “Toni, it’s the craziest thing, but we still have a landline. When we’re at home, we can search the Internet and text on our cell phones, but we can’t talk unless we go outside and hang our heads over the porch railing. We get service in one tiny spot on the back porch.”

She looked at me and smiled. “Let me see your phone.” Toni clicked through several settings, her long, lavender fingernails moving deftly over the icons as she explained some mumbo-jumbo technical stuff.

I tuned her out.

Because she was wrong.

Toni was wasting her time. She didn’t realize we’d lived in our house for fourteen years, and if it were possible, I’d have figured it out by now. 

“You can talk on your cell phone through your Wi-Fi.”

I didn’t believe her. I fake-smiled and changed the subject.

After she left, I ordered the Bible highlighters.

She was right–at least about the markers. They’re gel, they’re fun to use, and they don’t bleed through the pages.

What if she’s right about the cell phones too? No way.

Just to prove I was right, I called our cell phone company. Explained the situation.

“I’ll be glad to help you,” Cindy said.

“You mean, it’s possible?”

“Sure.”

“Is it expensive?”

“It’s free. You already have Wi-Fi in your house.”

Cindy walked me through the process. Probably took less than 60 seconds.

Then she called me on my cell phone.

“Move from room to room while we’re talking,” she said. “Go ahead. Check it out for yourself.”

It was too good to be true! I felt like Doubting Thomas. For the first time ever, I had clear communication. Inside my house. Though my cell phone.

“It’s a miracle! I can’t believe you did this!”

“You’ve always had the capability, Mrs. Garmon. You just didn’t realize it.”

Boom. 

God’s Sweet Spirit stirred my heart.

This was about more than just the cell phone. 

Over the years, I’d thought I knew best and argued with Him about so many things.

Relationships. Money. Marriage. Writing. 

Each time I reacted the same way–

I shut Him out. Like I did Toni.

I closed my mind.

Refused to listen. 

Thought I knew everything. 

Oh, Lord.

You’re right. You’re always right. I’m sorry. Help me keep my heart soft so I can hear You.

When we lay down our pride and admit we don’t know everything, we’re able to hear the Truth. click to tweet

There’s something powerful in speaking these 6 words–“You were right. I was wrong.” click to tweet

God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble, James 4:6 NASB.

Have you ever acted like a know-it-all? At least in your heart? I hope I’m not the only one.  I also hope this little Wi-Fe trick helps someone!

Please share in the comments. 🙂

I love you all so much.

Julie 

P.S. Here’s the text where I thanked Toni on Sunday, after church.

 

Just for the record, you were right, Toni. I was wrong. 🙂

 

And Then He Prayed for Me

Yesterday morning, my husband and I were sitting on the porch like we do every morning, rocking and talking and drinking coffee. Small talk, mostly.

I didn’t tell him everything running through my mind.

He couldn’t handle all the chatter.

I’m not sure, but maybe this only happens to writers~~

Your thoughts are swirling like you’re swimming through dark water.

You want to take a step, but you can’t figure out where to go.

There’s a foggy path ahead of you.

One minute, you think one direction is the right way. The next minute, you convince yourself it’s the opposite way.

Should I take a leap of faith?
Or baby-steps?
Or stand still and wait?

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing, but I’ve obsessed over other things~~

Relationships. Money. How to serve at church. Even whether to speak up or listen.

It’s an uncomfortable pressure.

You want to do the right thing, and you would, if you knew what it was.

My writing idea~~

I have 20 pages of notes, but I’m not sure if it’ll work. The only thing I know for sure is it would be a lot of work.

Thinking about it feels like peering through the woods on a foggy day.

I need a sign. A compass. A map. Something! 

“It’s getting lighter earlier in the mornings,” Rick said.

“Um-hmm.” I tried to return to my spider web of thoughts, but the roosters crowed.

Life is short, I thought. If I give this idea a try, it could mean time and energy. And no guarantees. 

I glanced through the woods at our neighbor’s taillights as she left for work.

“Well, I guess it’s about that time,” Rick said. “I gotta go. Who’s turn is it to pray?”

We take turns. I prayed Monday.

I nodded at him, feeling relieved.

He started out by praying for family situations and a few close friends. Then he said~~

“Lord, help Julie with her writing. Show her what to write next.”

I couldn’t believe it! He read my mind. I hadn’t mentioned writing. Well, not yesterday.

My thoughts slowed down, and I remembered a book I started reading during the Super Bowl. 🙂

Whisper–How to Hear the Voice of God, by Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson believes everything begins with a whisper.

EVERYTHING.  

He says “finding our voice begins with hearing His voice.” page 2

I think Mark’s right. 

I’m going to do a lot more listening.

Sometimes God speaks through a prayer, a phrase in a book, or even crowing roosters. click to tweet

When you don’t know what to do next, shush. Don’t talk. Listen for God’s whisper. Click to tweet

Are you listening for God’s voice about something in particular? Tell us about it! 

Any hints on hearing His whispers?

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Four-Letter Word for 2018 and How I Chose it

My word for 2017 was LOVE– a tiny word that packed a powerful punch. I wanted another short, meaningful word for 2018, but 2017 was nearly out the door, and I hadn’t chosen one.

On December 20, 2017, I wrote in my journal, “Lord, please lead me to the right word, or take away my desire to have one.”

Sometimes God speaks through circumstances and people around us. Over the next few days, I received gentle nudges, like sprinkles on sugar cookies~~

Memories resurfaced~

My sister gave me a unique Christmas present~

I began reading a book from my mother~

And my dear friend Denise died~~

I didn’t tie everything together until December 31st.

My word for 2018 probably started percolating in mid-December when I baked Christmas cookies with my granddaughter Rilynn.

Watching her draw squiggly lines with icing, I remembered being eight years old and how much I  loved my Easy-Bake Oven. Strange–to be all grown up, missing your Easy-Bake Oven. Then a lifetime of Christmases passed, and the joy of baking cookies got shelved.

In 2007, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Sometimes illness can lead to blessings.

After I was diagnosed, I taught myself how to cook again–even yummy gluten-free cookies.

For several Christmases, my daughters and I made them together~~

Such a simple thing, but I loved doing it.

Why does baking cooking make me so happy? 

“Cookies” can’t be my word for 2018.

You can’t grow closer to God from baking cookies.

One day in late December, I scrolled through the photos on my Instagram feed.

Lots of cookie pictures~

Why am I fascinated with baking cookies? What are You saying, Lord?

This Christmas, I made dozens of cookies and gave them away. Something I’d never done.

First to my family and close friends.

Then I gave a tin of white chocolate cranberry cookies to our pastor and his family.

I didn’t know if cookies counted as a real gift, but they do.

I got a huge surprise this Christmas. For the first time in my life, my sister gave me cooking supplies.

I felt eight years old again! 

And I began reading the book from my mother, Ann Voskamp’s, The Broken Way.

Warning: This is a life-changing book. It’s not the kind of book you can skim. I read it slowly, whispering the words, letting them soak into my soul.

Ann writes about being broken, and giving your heart away to others who are broken.

She mentions “choosing to be bread to all kinds of hungry.” 

Bread.

Bread is food.

So are cookies.

People are hungry for love. 

I read this sentence on page 89 over and over~~

“Why grow the list of what I want to have instead of the list of what I can give?”

What I can give…

That’s when my word for 2018 found me.

GIVE.

GIVE.

GIVE. 

What if I keep baking cookies and giving them away?

After Denise died, I made cookies for her friends and family. Actually, the cookies remade me.

“Lord, I’m pouring love into this batch of cookies. Will You pour Your love into Denise’s people today?”

I came home from the funeral with an empty tray and a full heart of love.

Then I prayed a new prayer. 

“Father, if You’ll show me people who need to be loved, I’ll give them cookies.”

When we give from our hearts, God fills us up with more love to share. click to tweet

“Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over…” Luke 6:38 KJV

Share your word, thoughts, and dreams for 2018 in the comments. 

Have you ever rediscovered a form of creativity that you loved as a child? Pretty awesome, isn’t it!

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sacred Moments

I’d planned to share my word for 2018 today, but a very close friend passed away on Friday afternoon, December 29th. Denise and her husband Glenn were in our small group. She was three years younger than I am. She had colon cancer. Of course, we weren’t ready to say goodbye. 

Friday night, my friend Karen and I took down Christmas decorations before Glenn came home from the hospital–without Denise.

I texted Robin, my best friend of 40 years, and asked her to pray.

“Julie, you’re living in sacred moments. Be aware that when you’re at the house, Heaven opens up when someone goes Home, and for a brief time, we get a glimpse.”

Holy goosebumps covered me. I knew Robin was right.

We moved quietly while we worked, surrounded in Holy awe–the supernatural kind that only comes when we rely on His Strength. 

As we boxed up Christmas ornaments, three memories of Denise tiptoed through my mind.

~~~~

Soon after Glenn and Denise joined our small group, she offered to send out emails and organize our meals. I’d planned to tackle everything by myself–the way I usually did life–without asking for help.

I wanted to take charge and prove I could do it on my own.

Ever-so-gently, Denise assumed the roles I don’t enjoy. Organization and administration. She even made it look easy, and freed me up to do what I love best–cooking and listening to people.  

When I relaxed and let go, others did too, and our small group functioned as the Body of Christ–each one of us uniquely gifted, following His lead.

~~~~

Shortly after she was diagnosed, we invited Denise and Glenn for a Saturday morning breakfast at our house. Just the four of us.

After we ate, we sat on the front porch, drinking coffee and rocking and talking.

Not about cancer.

Gentle conversation–about love and what matters most.

Even though Denise was going through chemo, she celebrated the moment with us.

After they left our house, she’d be heading to Emory Hospital for more treatment, but she didn’t let that stop her from having fun.

She was so much fun. Always. 

That day on our front porch, she kicked back in her rocking chair and laughed.

She told us when they went camping, Glenn did all the cooking–and what a good cook he was–and how much she loved spending time outside with her family and friends.

Her happiness wasn’t tied to money or things.

Joy meant praising Jesus with open hands.

KOA camping for a weekend.

Being with people.

She was all about relationships with God and others.

I’ll never forget Glenn sitting on our porch under the cross, smiling at his wife–nothing but pure love shining in his eyes.

We waved as they drove away, and a sweetness lingered in our home long after they were gone. 

I want to be more like Denise, I thought.

More like Jesus. 

I want to live in the moment with my heart wide open.

Fearlessly. Unhurried. Unworried. 

~~~~

In October, a few ladies gathered at Karen’s house to eat dinner and pray for healing. We knelt in her den floor around the ottoman, our makeshift altar, and ohhh, how we prayed.

Before we went home Denise shared a childhood memory.

“I must’ve been nine or ten,” she said, picking up her Bible. “We were at church one Sunday, and toward the end of the service, the pastor waved his Bible in the air. ‘This ain’t no play-pretty,’ he said hoarsely. ‘It’s living and active. It’s sharper than any two-edged sword. Don’t ever forget it.'” (Heb 4:12)

Denise never did. 

Because of her faith, I won’t either.

I put a sticky note on my Bible as a reminder, and I’m never taking it off.

Denise demonstrated how Grace is greater than all our fear, and that Love triumphs over everything.

Even cancer and death.

And Love always wins. 

Denise experienced The Ultimate Healing. 

And something else.

Robin was right.

The moments Karen and I spent in Denise’s home after she went to Heaven were sacred. 

But Denise brought the Truth one step closer.

She taught me that all our moments are sacred.

Especially this one. 

Her funeral is today at 2 p.m. Say a prayer for her family. You’d have loved her.

P.S. My word for 2017 was Love. Denise “loved the Lord her God with all her heart, all her soul, all her mind, and all her strength.” Luke 10:27.

I chose my word for 2018 because of her.

Next Wednesday, we’ll talk about the New Year, what matters most, and our words. 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments–whatever comes to your heart.

Much love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s That Kind of Friend

Our ladies’ small group meets in Karen’s home on Wednesday nights for food, faith, and friendship. All twenty-five of us are welcomed the same way~~

With a big hug and a smile.

One night in early December, I noticed sprigs of greenery around her home~~

Above the chandelier~

In the bathroom by the sink~

Nestled in her centerpiece on the coffee table.

Karen’s creativity intrigued me.

She’d decorated her house by cutting branches from her Christmas tree–something I’d never done–or even thought about doing.

But her gifts run much deeper than her decorating skills.

Her relationship with God and others her is alive and real. 

Sipping my coffee, I sat down in my usual spot in her den and remembered specific prayers from this group~~

The Wednesday night in May when they prayed over me and my writing~

In November, I spoke at a women’s Christmas tea~~

Covering in fear, I called Karen that afternoon. “I’m scared. Will you pray for me?”

She started praying, and I dropped to my knees in my bedroom. By the time she finished, I felt calm and fearless. I knew God was with me. 

Then I remembered this summer~~

How a bunch of us from small group met on Wednesday nights to walk and pray.

Karen led the way.

We covered miles of territory, circling schools, neighborhoods, police stations–even the streets of downtown Atlanta. We prayed in the parking deck before passing out goodies to the homeless.

Karen stopped to smell a blossoming tree. 🙂

Karen’s living, breathing faith had spread across our group the same way she’d spread clippings from her live Christmas tree. 

I came home from group that December night and cut pieces of our tree.

I put a sprig in the candy bowl.

And on the coffee table~

On the front porch beside the door~

And draped some on a wall hanging.

Lighting candles, I inhaled the scent of pine and thought,

Karen doesn’t just spread greenery from her Christmas tree~~she spreads life from a Living God!

She’s THAT kind of friend.

When I told her I wanted to write about her, she got choked up and said, “I don’t do anything for y’all that you don’t do for me.”

The best kind of friends draw us closer to Jesus. Click to tweet.

P.S. I’m going to leave my fresh sprigs out for as long as they’ll last!

Do you have a friend like Karen who’ll pray for you on the spot? 

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Is…

When I write about my husband, I ask him to read it before I hit publish. This time I didn’t.

I’m surprising him with a public love letter.

Dear Ricky, (I call him Ricky, but most people call him Rick)

Sunday night, after we picked out our Christmas tree and brought it home, I headed to my loft office to write while you wrested that prickly, sap-filled Frazier fir into place.

With my fingers on my laptop, I sensed a tapping on my heart and glanced through the banisters to watch you work. You were doing the same thing you’ve done for 39 years.

It sounds like a small thing, but this sight moved me.

So much love came over me, I wanted to get closer.

I tiptoed downstairs and sat in the red chair behind you.

I didn’t say anything. I sat there, watching and thinking. Praying a little bit.

I’d never thought much about Christmas tree lights until that flickering moment.

I remembered our first Christmas, 1978.

We came home with a tree that wouldn’t fit in out den–remember?

Then we drove back to the tree lot and exchanged it for a smaller one. I was afraid we’d lost our money, but you knew they’d do the right thing.

What about all those years when Jamie, Katie, and Thomas helped us decorate?

It never occurred to me that Christmases would change, and one day it would just be you and me.

Every year, you untangle the lights from last Christmas because I’m always in such a hurry to take down the decorations.

And every year you fix my mess.

I don’t know why this touched me so deeply…

Maybe because my word for 2017 is Love.

I didn’t know this as young wife and mother.

And I didn’t put the definition together until three days ago.

This is what Love means:

Love means doing whatever it takes to get the job done. 

Love is content to go unnoticed.

Love is kind–even when the Christmas lights are knotted up. (click to tweet)

Thank you, Ricky.

Happy 39th on December 9th.

I love you.

Julie

To my readers–

What does love mean to you?

Has your definition of love changed over the years? Share it with us!