I’m Free! Free to Love and Serve

Two weeks ago when I walked into Galilee Christian Church in Jefferson, GA, for a few seconds I forgot to breathe.

Oh, the talent~

The love~ (the men served)

The exquisite details!

I was speaking at their annual Spring Ladies’ Tea.

Each table had been decorated from someone’s heart and home. I’m sure there was a story behind every plate and cup.

Simply gorgeous~as my grandmother would say. 

A tiny peek of the splendor–

Place cards…

They say, “Welcome! You matter.”

Fresh daffodils–

Delicate pink roses–

Springtime dogwoods–

Hospitality and graciousness covered the room, but the love didn’t end with the decorations.

This was at my place setting.

A gluten-free meal just for me.

Oh, and the people–

Meet Betty Williams and Sarah Trippe.

Years ago, Betty Williams (on the left) began having tea parties to make ladies feel loved and accepted. She turns 92 this week.

Isn’t that a lovely idea?

Mrs. Williams taught Sarah all her secrets, including how to make scones. The tea ministry is still thriving in their church, and Mrs. Williams now serves tea to the ladies at her assisted living.

Have you ever heard of anything more precious?

Some new friends who sat with me~

Let me introduce you to B.J. Thompson, better known as the Queen Candy Lady.

She makes incredible candy. She even has her own business cards!

She’s 90. ūüôā

Such a joy to be with her~

And this sign–

I knew it had a message for me.

It’s as if God said, “Julie, pay attention. This is important.”¬†

Zack, the photographer, helped me figure out the meaning. While I spoke, he sat on the front row and had the most wonderful expressions.

Happy eyes. Lots of nodding.

Afterwards, we had a chance to talk.

“I wanted to get a picture of you holding up your chain,” he said. “But I wasn’t quick enough.”

I laughed. “Want to take one now?”

“Sure.”

I’d used the chain to share how certain lies I’d believed about myself had kept me bound for years.

And when Zack took my picture, I understood the sign.

That’s it!¬†That’s why I love the “I’m free” sign!

Jesus died to set us free.

To set ME free. 

Hallelujah!

When Jesus sets us free, we use our gifts, talents, and even our scars to serve others. Click to tweet.

“So, if the Son shall set you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 Click to tweet.

Can you relate?

What areas of serving others makes you happy?

Do you have scars that serve a purpose?

Love,

Julie

 

Having Faith and Dreaming Dreams

I got brave and asked my husband¬†a bold¬†question at¬†our porch party Monday morning. “What hopes and dreams has God answered in your life?”

He didn’t hesitate. “Marrying you.”

My throat got all warm. We rocked for a few minutes without talking. Love is bigger than words, you know.

Two years ago, I was ready to give up on a dream. I was inches from quitting, so close I asked Rick to promise not to let me give up.

He promised.

Thinking and rocking Monday morning, I spotted my old watering cans. I’d almost thrown them away. Sort of like my dream.

Then I saw my friend’s Robin’s post.¬†¬†(Robin from All Things Heart and Home.)

Inspired by her creativity, I bought some potting soil and a few little plants.

It’s amazing what inspiration and faith can do.

“See those old watering cans?” I said. “They¬†had ferns in them, but they died¬†during the¬†winter. I almost threw them away.”

Like that dream of mine.

When I almost quit writing.

When I was at the bottom.

So low I couldn’t imagine coming up with…

One

More

Word

“Remember when you wouldn’t let me quit?”

He nodded.

“Thanks for encouraging me. You were my springtime that year.”

And then he did the most wonderful thing. He stopped rocking. Bowed his head.

“Lord, keep Julie’s dream alive.”

If you’re wrestling with a dream, I understand. Sometimes all you need is fresh inspiration and prayer.

Want me to pray?

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

Love,

Julie