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. 🙂

 

The Big Blue Blob–Ruining My Friend’s Carpet

Have you ever done something really stupid? After your mistake, you wanted to crawl in a hole and hide.

Last Wednesday night at small group, Karen, our leader, welcomed me into her lovely home and asked me to put on a name tag.

It was our first meeting. Fourteen ladies. Some of us had never met.

I popped the cap off the blue PERMANENT Sharpie and dropped the marker onto her spotless, cream-colored carpet. The stain bloomed, deepening in color.

Panicky heat rose up my neck. “Oh, Karen, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I did that. I’ve ruined your carpet.”

This is how the stain looked (and felt!) to me.

 

“Julie, don’t you worry about a thing,” she said. “I have grandchildren. My house isn’t perfect. We’ll clean it up later.”

What else could she say? I’d ruined her Berber carpet! 

“Let’s work on it now before it sets,” I said.

Because if it doesn’t come up, I’ll never forgive myself. 

“We’ll do it later, after the meeting.” She hugged me.

But the one blue eye stared at me.

I couldn’t leave it alone. “Do you have any carpet cleaner?”

“Let me go check, sweetie. The carpet’s going to be fine and you are too. I promise.”

But it’s a permanent marker. 

She found a bottle of rug cleaner, but it didn’t help. She gave me a quick wink as the doorbell rang.

More faces. Multiple explanations. Gentle laughter.

The spot and I had become the center of attention.

Everyone offered suggestions on how to get THE PERMANENT BLUE STAIN JULIE MADE out of Karen’s carpet.

“Try hairspray or rubbing alcohol,” someone said.

Karen didn’t have either one.

Another lady offered to put her foot over it.

Such a big to-do about my accident.

A friend texted her husband and asked him to bring cleaning supplies. He showed up while Karen was teaching.

So… I … had … to … keep… waiting. I couldn’t absorb any of the teaching for stealing sneaks at the big, blue, blob.

Then Karen closed in prayer. When she finally said “amen” I dropped to my knees. With my right hand on the hairspray, I held up my left hand. “Please, Lord. Help me.”

Everybody watched expectantly.

Slowly, with alcohol and hairspray, the ugly thing lost its battle.

Glorious relief!

None of my new friends condemned me with words or looks.

Not one.

Two hugged me.

Have you ever known the sweetness of instant forgiveness? Click to Tweet. Please share what happened!

When others graciously forgive us, we’re able to forgive ourselves. Click to Tweet. 

Thoughts? Feelings? Comments?

Love,

Julie

 

 

SIMPLE–How My Tiny Word for the Year Rescues Me

One day last week the simplest thing caught my attention–a single tiny flower poking her head out from under a log. She was the only violet in the woods near our house.

How peculiar. 

Maybe since my word for the year is SIMPLE, she caught my attention.

God seemed to whisper,“Pay attention, Julie. There’s a message here for you.” 

A few days later, something happened between loved ones. Years of buried pain came out in strong emotions and words. Now there’s distance between them. It bothered me.

I woke up at 3:15 Easter morning, my mind exploding with ways to fix it.

Maybe if I think hard enough, I’ll figure out how to…

Soon I moved into dangerous territory and wandered down the path of WORST CASE SCENARIO thinking. I knew better but tried to rationalize worrying.

“Lord, surely You see this broken relationship. Surely it bothers You too. What if I try to–”

He pressed something into my heart. Something I wasn’t expecting.

It had nothing to do with the others. 

It was about my relationship with Him. 

Never mind them.

He seemed to say: “Julie, don’t let troubles in life separate us. I am God. Keep your eyes on Me.”

I wanted to explain how I felt–how if only I could say the right thing and encourage reconciliation, I could fix the problem.

Then I remembered the violet.

Surrounded by busy-body squirrels, hoot owls, and squawking blue jays she captured my attention.

Peaceful. Serene. Illuminated by sunlight. 

I’m supposed to live that way. Like the violet.

With SIMPLE faith.

Peaceful.

Focused on the Son. Not on problems. 

Thank You, Lord, for one tiny violet. 

Is there an area in life that trips you? It helps so much to acknowledge it.

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chum-Talk…The Secret to Lasting Relationships

I don’t think my husband actually hates the Hallmark Countdown to Christmas movies. I think he just enjoys poking fun at them. Or at me for loving them.

Friday night we had a fire going. We were sharing a blanket on the sofa, watching The Nine Lives of Christmas

My kind of night.

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

“These silly movies are all the same,” Rick said.

“No they’re not.”

“After the first couple of minutes, you know the ending.”

“They’re romantic. See the pretty white lights on the square?”

“Same setting. Same town. Same Christmas tree lot.”

“Small-town life. So picturesque.”

“Same characters with the same goofy expressions. Look at how they grin at each other.”

“They’re just happy. And in love.”

“Nobody has that many teeth.”

By this time I was laughing, and the drama between Zachary and Marilee came to a climax. There’d been a huge misunderstanding. Although their cats had bonded, the two of them hadn’t.

Marilee teared up, and as Zachary murmured something soft and tender, Rick made another joke. This one was funny. “What’d he say? I missed it.”

“Just chum-talk.”

“What’s chum-talk?”

“It’s what they always say right before they kiss.”

“Their one big moment, and you made me laugh.”

“Don’t worry. It’ll be on 17 more times.”

“Good. I’m watching them all.”

“Now they’re going to hug,” Rick said.

And they did.

After the movie, I pondered chum-talk. “I bet Zachary probably told Marilee how much he loved her. And he was sorry.” I said. “And Marilee told Zachary she loved him too. And she forgave him.”

“You think so?” Rick said, smiling.

“I know so.”

Chum-talk is the emotional glue to lasting relationships.

I’m sorry.

I forgive you.

I love you. 

Do you love these movies? They’re so full of heart.

If you need to have a chum-talk with someone, I’ll pray be glad to pray.

P.S. We watched The Nine Lives of Christmas again last night!

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

Have You Ever Hated Your Can Opener?

Hint: This post is about more than a broken can opener so hang  in here with me.

The other day I turned the twirl-y thing on my can opener around a can of green beans 42,000 times, but nothing happened.

So I bought a new can opener. Real modern-looking. I figured it would last longer. That afternoon, I tried to open the green beans again. I held the can opener every possible way, but I couldn’t get the stupid thing to work.

Wouldn’t even poke a hole in the can.

When my husband came home from work, I handed him the can opener. He’s a mechanical genius.

It took him about thirty minutes to open the green beans. “Yeah, it works. You just have to hold the can opener at a forty-five degree angle.”

“That’s crazy. I should just use my teeth.”

I’d already tossed the receipt. I was stuck with it.

Every time I saw the new can opener peeking at me from the drawer it annoyed me.

You’re not getting the best of me, Mr. Can Opener! I’ll show you who’s boss!

For the next few days, I cooked without any canned goods.

Then God slipped a truth into my heart. He’s so good at that. Especially when I’m being ridiculous.

Sometimes you do this with people. You shut them out and hold onto bitterness.

True.

That takes a lot of energy.

True.

I’d been pouting with people and can openers.

The next day, I picked out another can opener. The new one has a simple design, but it works beautifully.

I celebrated by making a big pot chili with lots of canned tomatoes.

I’m tossing the other can opener–along with my bad attitude.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice…” Eph 4:31 ESV

Love,

Julie