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. 🙂

 

A Bad Case of Chiggers–Stubborn Me–God’s Grace

Last Monday, I did something stupid. I’m a fair-skinned redhead who’s allergic to poison ivy. And bugs love me. Heading behind our house to walk the dogs, I noticed the bug spray.

A gentle thought came.

Better be safe. Use bug spray. 

Nah. I’ll be fine. 

For the first time this year, I entered the woods unprotected.

Like a hardheaded know-it-all. 

Two hours later, I noticed a small bite on my ankle. By the next morning, I was covered in chigger bites. Four days later, I went to the doctor.

In a bad mood. Scratching. 

Annoyed at my stubbornness. My stupidity. 

In the car, I flipped on the radio to my favorite station, 104.7 The Fish. 

(If you can’t see the video, click here. If you have time, it’s SO worth listening to. :))

As Kristian Stanfill from Passion sang, “My Heart is Yours” I heard the word Surrender, but I didn’t want to surrender.

I felt far away from God.

He seemed to say, “If you’ll give me this situation, I’ll work good out of it. “

Now? Chiggers?  

I brought this on myself. I don’t deserve Your help.

Especially now. You are my Child. Don’t run from Me.

Doubting that I’d heard from God, I signed in at the doctor’s office.

They were playing the same radio station. 

That’s nice, but it doesn’t mean anything.

A medical assistant called my name. “Hi, there,” she said. “How are you?” She mentioned her faith and added, “I always invite God into the exam room and pray for my patients in my heart.” 

I swallowed hard.

Okay, Lord. I’m listening…

After she left the room, I felt a gentle nudge to look closely at the pictures on the wall.

What if I get caught walking around the room in my robe? I’ll look like an idiot. 

But I got off the table.

Studied the pictures.

Each one had a small Scripture verse in the bottom right-hand corner.

Meant for me.

Romans 8:28

“…all things work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Psalms 46:10 

“Be still and know that I am God…”

I went home with healing medicine for my body and my soul.

Thank You, Lord. Even when we mess up, You pursue us with Grace. 

Can you relate?

Has God ever chased after you with unfailing Grace? 

Love,

Julie

 

Pride and Parakeets

I bet none of you have ever withheld praise from someone you love. I’m embarrassed to say, I did this recently. Just plain ugliness. My husband Rick is a man of many hobbies. I have three: reading, cooking, and going to the YMCA.

One of his hobbies is raising outdoor parakeets. Last summer, a virus struck his birds. All forty of them died. I found him in the backyard burning his bird atrium to the ground.

“I’m really sorry,” I said.

“I’m starting over. Building a new one. Some boards were rotten.”

“Why don’t you buy a couple of new birds and keep them inside?”

After he burned the house, I found him mixing cement–for footings and a new floor, he said.

“You mean, like a real house?”

“Yep.”

“Seems like a lot of work to me.”

Over the next few weekends, I pretended to read a book, but really, I sat outside studying my husband.

Trying to figure him out.

As the new house started coming together something came over me, but I didn’t tell him how I felt.

That I adored his eye for detail. His creativity.

Mostly, I admired him for not giving up.

For not taking the easy way out.

I would have.

Then one day he finished.

He’d stained the log siding to match our log house–even used the same tin roof!

What happened next completely undid me.

When he put Mr. and Mrs. Parakeet inside their new home, they scooted close together and kissed.

They weren’t shy about expressing their gratitude.

Clearing my throat, I walked toward my man and his new birds. “You amaze me. You did a beautiful job.”

“No big deal.”

“Yes it is. I should’ve told you sooner.”

We kissed like happy parakeets.

Me and my foolish pride.

Pride prevents praise.

Have you ever held back from praising someone? Please…somebody say yes.

Love,

Julie

Three Perks of Being Free from Party Panic

For years, I thought having the gift of hospitality meant throwing the perfect party. I got all serious and grim-faced. Stressin’ and obsessin’. Dusting. Cleaning. Straightening. Scrubbing. I wore myself out striving for perfection. But no more!

During my SURRENDER YEAR, I broke free (in lots of ways!) and discovered three secrets to throwing a great party.

My husband and I decided to celebrate Mother’s Day differently this year. We had our parents over for breakfast Saturday morning instead of eating out for lunch on Sunday. When you’re free of Party Panic, you can break traditions. 🙂

Did everything go perfectly? No. Would the old Julie have stressed over the flaws? Absolutely.

I used our wedding china and my grandmother’s stemware and green Depression glass serving pieces. I don’t have silver and Mother offered to bring hers.

While I was setting the table, she called. “Oops, we’re on the way and I forgot the silver.”

Ordinarily, I’d have panicked.

Fine china with everyday forks and spoons!

And I didn’t have enough of my grandmother’s green glasses, so I had to use a couple of yellow ones.

And I left the strawberries on the counter for two days and they got moldy.

And I burned the bottoms of the biscuits.

And I forgot to wipe the pollen off  the doo-dads outside on the front porch.

But you know what? None of my imperfections mattered because…

…being free of Party Panic meant I could…

1. Forget about myself.

2. Have fun at my own parties.

3. Love others from my heart.

The root of my Party Panic and Perfectionism was PRIDE.

What a waste of time and energy!

There won’t be a perfect party until we get to Heaven.

Love,

Julie

New Shoes, New Word, New Thoughts!

My word for the year, FOLLOW, keeps following me around. Several weeks ago, I fell off the treadmill at the YMCA. Bending over to tie my shoe, I forgot the ground was moving. Probably looked like a total idiot. Landed face down. Bumped my chin. Scrapped my knees and elbows. People rushed over. So embarrassing! Promised myself I’d never let that happen again.

One night last week, my husband Rick and I were going to the “Y.”  I have an old pair of worn-out tennis shoes and a brand new pair.

Here’s the bottom of my new shoes. Safe. Study. Great for treadmill walking.

Bottom of my old ones. Slippery. No arch support. Good for tromping through the woods with the dog.  

I was in a hurry that night. Not paying attention. Guess which ones I wore?

Stepping onto the treadmill, my feet flopped around like I was wearing house shoes. And then my right shoe came untied.

Oh, no. Not again.

Stubborn me–not wanting to lose precious work-out time, I didn’t pause the machine.

I balanced myself with my arms, jumped to the sides, and tied my shoe.

Just like before.

When I jumped back on, the treadmill was going full-speed ahead. Had to run like The Road Runner not to fall off.

 “You did this to be funny, didn’t you?” I said to Rick, who was laughing. “You made it go faster when I wasn’t looking.”

“No, silly. You were in such a hurry, you hit the high-speed switch when you jumped off.”

On the way home, I sensed God talking to me. Again.

Remember your word is follow.

Don’t live in such a hurry. That’s how you fall.

Slow down.

Follow Me.

Trust My timing. I’m never late.

Any more Road Runners out there?

Love,

Julie

 

Getting Over My Proud Self

Friday night, God seemed to gently nudge me. I want to show you something special. My husband and I were driving up the driveway in the dark. The only thing I saw was the moon.

Probably wasn’t God talking to me.

Look at the moon.

“This is gonna sound crazy, but I think God wants me to pay attention to the moon tonight.”

“Why?” Rick said.

“I’m not sure.”

Then the moon disappeared behind the trees. Guess it was just my imagination.

Keep looking.

“There it is,” Rick said.

“Oh, yeah. Looks like it’s right over the center of the driveway.” I took a couple of pictures through the windshield. Too fuzzy.

It wasn’t God.

Rick opened the sunroof. “Try it from up there.”

I stared through the opening into the patch of night sky.

And hesitated.

I bet I can’t take a picture of the moon from this far away. In the dark.

“Here,” Rick said. “I’ll hold your phone while you crawl through.”

I wanted to say never mind. Dumb idea. Just keep driving.

I didn’t want to look like a fool.

But what if God was talking to me? Calling me to an adventure? To something new?

Could I trust Him…even though I didn’t know the outcome?

Balancing on the console, I poked my head and arms through the sunroof–up to my waist.

“Oh. Wow.” Surrounded by the cool air, it felt as though I viewed the night from a balcony.  The stars were so pretty they took my breath away. And the moon! Look at the moon! Centered above our driveway…just for me.

 

Thank You, God. I snapped a picture and eased back into the car.

“Well?”

“There’s a whole ‘nother world out there,” I said breathlessly.

Listen up, proud self. You’ve knocked me out of a lot of blessings, but no more!

How do you sense God talking to you? Has He called you to a new adventure?

P.S. One more sweet thing….

Jennifer Mersberger  nominated my blog for the Beautiful Blogger Award. 🙂 🙂 I’m so honored! Ladies, you’ll love Jennifer’s blog, God in the Everyday.

I’d like to nominate these blogs for the Beautiful Blogger award…

All Things Heart and Home  (All things Crafty, Heartfelt, Decorating, DIY, and Gluten Free)

Girls God Goodlife  (for teenage girls)

B.J. Taylor (for animal lovers)

To receive the reward:

1. Copy the blogger award and place it in your post.

2. Thank the person who nominated you and create a link to their blog.

3. Share the love. Nominate others for their own beautiful blogger award.

Love,

Julie