Row. Row. Row your boat….

I row. And row. And row.

I work three jobs. I have to make money.Sure, I paid off all my credit card debt, but I still owe someone, something. I must have insurance. I must have money to give if someone needs something. I want to travel to Denver. I need to buy a new bed. I need to buy a bicycle. I have to go to the doctors. I need. I want. I have to. I must.

So I row and I get up before 4am and work until almost 7 at night and am in bed by 10, sometimes 8, unless I am swept into another late night conversation. Somewhere in the in between I meet with friends for intentional accountability. I pour into the lives of young women. I try to be Christ to those “in the world”. I read. I write. I try to eat better. I try to work out more. I try to have “quiet time”.

I row. And row. And row. My oars seem to be attached to my calloused hands.

It’s not very “gently down the stream” either. There are relationships that have been neglected. I don’t answer all my calls or texts. I’m so busy. They have to understand. If they only knew what I was really going through. But I can’t tell them. They need to talk to me about them. I can’t talk to my mentor about it. I’ve avoided her for months. Plus I don’t have time for me. I emotionally shut down. I lash out and focus in. I analyze until I am paralyzed. I can’t take a day off for rest. I can’t take care of myself, that’s selfish.

I row. And row. And row.

Two or so years ago God gave me a big dream.

He must be talking to me about someone else. I’m too much. I’m not enough. I won’t handle success right. I’ll fall into lust again. I’ll mismanage my money. People will think I am crazy. I’ll be rejected. I can’t do this. I’m too broken. Too hurt.

But God, look at all I do now. Doesn’t it make you happy? I’m in ministry, I live beneath my means, even beneath my potential. Yes, I am tired. Yes, exhausted. Yes, I am only giving others my drips from an empty cup that should be filled and overflowing. Yes, I’m hiding out. But, God.

If I am going to move forward? How can I do it?

That’s it. Add MORE. Do more.Work more. Save more. Give more. Be more. More. More. More. Row more!!

So I row. And row. And row. Faster. More.

And as I start to feel a fresh old familiar wind at my back, it starts moving me forward.

But, I’m confused. Clutching my oars, I row more. Faster. More.

Gently and sweetly, He raises the sails and says, “Jules, put your oars down.”

What?

“Jules, put your oars down.”

But, God, can’t you see, I’m moving myself  forward. Gripping tighter.  I row more. Faster. More.

“Jules, put your oars down. Can’t you see? You’re on a sail boat.”

But God.

“Put them down…”

But I have to…

“Put them down…”

But I need to…

“Put them down….”

But…

“Jules… I’m moving you forward.”

Not just another butterfly.

butterfly

Yes, it’s small. Yes, it’s girlie. But this is not just another butterfly tattoo.


You see, I love butterflies.  I read this story over ten years ago, and since then butterflies have become a symbol of my faith and my struggles in it.

I would never imagine seeing a butterfly trying to cram her way back into that cocoon. That’s simply ridiculous !

When I look at my butterfly I want to be reminded of the transformation and regeneration Christ has done in my life.

Below are just a few scriptures that I am encouraged by with thoughts of my butterfly.

Do you have any you would like to share?

Revelation 21:5

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new ” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” ( HE makes all things, not somethings, not just improved, NEW)

2 Corinthians 5:17

17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. ( old things are passed away, a butterfly can never ever go back into the cocoon and regress to be a caterpillar)

Philippians 1:6

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (He began the good work in me, he will perfect it, it’s a process that continues “until the day of Christ Jesus”)

Ephesians 2

Made Alive in Christ

1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of  this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and  seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Titus 3:3-7

3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

4But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,  6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  7so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

“How does one become a butterfly?” she [a caterpillar] asked pensively. [the butterfly replied] “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar. What looks like you will die, but what’s really you will still live. Life is changed, not taken away.” Trina Paulus, author, “Hope for the Flowers.”

Moving Forward,

Julie

Ohh and also, thanks to Matt over at Ink Link Tattoos, I am sure you could do something more elaborate and artsy, but you did exactly what I wanted.

If you are in the West Palm Beach area, and are interested in getting a tat, call Ink Link! 561.712.9009 !!

Imagine

“Imagine…..

What would your life be like if…

Peter and Paul and everyone who came after them up until the person who lead you to Christ had said….

“It can wait till later.” I’ll do it tomorrow.” or my favorite… “I will never effect change so why bother.”

GIRL, GO DO IT!!! GOD HAS ASKED YOU TO. AND HE’S ASKED YOU TO DO IT NOW!!!!!! NOT WHEN YOU THINKS IT’S GOOD OR WHEN YOU CAN… NOW… GO! DO IT!!!!!

I am praying you will not rely on humans to move your ass, I pray you stand this week and produce for the Lord!

Di and I believe in you!

We know you can, you just have to do…….

Luv you!”

 

JR sent me that email just hours after leaving his and Di’s home while in Ohio….

 

I had just tried to get him to do all the leg work for my Nike idea for me…. I was convinced that he could and should, he would do a way better job… He told me to my face that I was making excuses, and that at this point I was not doing the one thing I know God was leading me to do…  and that it is SIN, and I need to confess it and turn from it….

 

John 5:6

 “When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” 

 

The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

 

Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.”

 

Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. “

 

 

I’ve lost 20 pounds, just since New Years.

 

Walking, and quasi jogging, with her picked up pallet,

Julie

Lazy

So this morning I woke up, and went back to bed…

 

I knew I was just being lazy by not working out, and then by not putting my laundry away, then by not doing my hair all cute for work, or putting in my contacts…. 

 

I actually felt like a had a voice in my head today that was just saying “Lazy”.. each choice, and there was that voice… “Lazy”…

 

Then out of the blue a friend called me and left a message:

 

“Hey Jules, It’s me… I was just at the beach thinking that sometimes I make excuses, but I am just being lazy…  I don’t know if you ever do that… but I do…  Do you?”

 

POW….. how’s that for some not so subtle confirmation…

 

I really think that sometimes I don’t need to pray about  if I should do something or not, or need encouragement about things I know I should do because  that cruel honesty of it is sometimes, I am just being lazy…

 

How do you get over that?

 

(Aside from prayer about it  and encouragement, that is….)

The BIG Dream… part 2

It’s pathetic that it’s been three months since I’ve written on this…

All summer I said to myself, and to my faithful and frustrated friends,

“When I have time to work on it, then I will….”

 

For the past year I would say that I have been stuck in the “when….. then…..” trap

When my debt gets paid off, then…..

When I work less hours, then….

When I make more per hour, then….

When I believe in me, then….

When more people who don’t know me start believing in me, then…..

When the people who know me an believe in me get so frustrated with me about being all talk and no action that they don’t want to talk to me about it, then…..

When I feel the conviction of the Spirit again, then

When the Spirit stops convicting me and I freak out about my delayed obedience, then

 

When When When When When, THEN….

 

My “then” is now…. And you no what?

None of the “whens” that have trapped me have happened… And I see now that if and when they did… they would quickly be replaced by some other “when, then” that I would hide behind in fear.

 

Talk to me, I know you’re reading. And I know I’m not the only one who was trapped by her “When, thens”

What are your goals?

What do you know or think that God asking you to do?

What are your “When, thens” that have trapped you?

Are you ready to choose faith over fear?

My computer & Me…

take 2 .. a  Facebook Application ate my blog…

My computer & me…

American …

Overheats easily….

The lightest “complexion” of the girls…

Can’t multitask without shutting down…

Always thinks it has a virus… and doesn’t…

Is bottom heavy…

disclaimer: silly blog post written to distract me from writing the more emotionally charged blog about how I resigned from my job because I was using it as an crutch and excuse to not follow my dreams, even though I love my job.. and how God is uprooting all the lies that I have believed, and have steered me since forever… and how….. silly blog post… distraction…

The BIG Dream….

Thanks to a Bible Study last night where we talked about how God’s creation praises Him by simply doing what it was created to do paired with some extra motivation, and just the fact that if I don’t, I never will …. I am letting the cat completely out of the bag..

I haven’t answered the questions when asked what it is….

I have avoided talking about it, even though when I am excited about it I have a fire in my bones…

I have eluded to this, and if you have read all of my “old writings” you know what this dream is….

I have been thinking about this since April of 07, and writing about it in a separate blog since last June…

 

Ohh how my noodle twirls ..
I am going to market myself to Nike .. I want to be a spokesperson for them, and be a public speaker…

I want it to be my platform to let people know that they were created to live a full life … not to be stuck in fat and being unhealthy… I can see it – and I can visualize it –

Here’s the thoughts behind it…
Ok – so Dove has been doing the real women campaign.. they are getting major PR points from it – and it’s been amazing for them – and then there is the subway Jarrod guy – again just a regular person who has redeveloped a brand — not to even touch the obesity statistics in our country… we are being robbed of our lives..

So my thought is that if Nike’s slogan is “Just do it” – What is the thing that keeps women (and men, and children) in this country unhealthy ?

NOT DOING IT…
We don’t need fad diets and we don’t need a magic pill, and we sure as heck don’t need studies telling us that weight gain is all genetic -This all came about Kristen and I were walking on the beach…. we were making all of these plans to bike this many miles a day to the beach, and then walk for x amount of miles, then bike….. and classic Kristen… she says “Dude, you need to just do it”..

We need to JUST DO IT – we know that broccoli is more healthy than chocolate and that salad is better than pizza and that even just walking for an hour is better than sitting and watching TV ..
It would be pictures of me, and journals, videos as I am losing weight ….. something like below…
No excuses – Just do it
No fad diets – Just do it
Nothing Holding you back – just do it  and so on and so on and so on

I tried contacting Nike and they deferred me to their ad agency – and their ad agency dumped me in some fake voice mail that they won’t take any outside ideas .. I have some ideas on how to get it out there… but again I need to stop talking about it and Just Do It!!

With or without Nike involvement – I have still been inspired and called to action…
I am going to continue lose all of my extra weight anyways so why not communicate to and encourage others to do the same??

 

WHY??

“I believe that if Jesus can save the world from sin, he could surely help me lose my rear end.” – Dana Littleton 

Let’s try some honesty shall we?

This isn’t just about fat vs. skinny… this is about life.. and living..

I want to live the life that I know that I was created not born, not raised, not wanted to, CREATED to live… and I want you to live that life too… I want to encourage and inspire and communicate…

I want to be able to play the sports I love to play, but I don’t because I can’t keep up, or am out of breath way before other people are even warmed up…

I want to not have to pretend to that I don’t like roller coasters because I am afraid of whether or not the seat belt will shut right…

I want to go into a store and buy an outfit because it’s cute and looks good on me – not just because it’s the only thing that fits..

I want to be able to walk into a restaurant and not analyze the seating arrangement, not nudge the table away from me and not hide inside my thoughts thinking that everyone is judging me on what I decide to eat or drink…

I want to… do a cartwheel… go kayaking… climb a mountain, or at least a really big rock… run on the beach… get a piggy back ride…

I want to see the captives set free… and I want to sing songs of joy and songs of victory with them…

Please continue to pray for me… I know that this idea is from God, and I have not been faithful, actually I have been quite lazy about it… 

Whew….. Let’s see what happens shall we?

Julie