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Monday, July 30, 2012

Relentless Love

 
It's Monday afternoon, 
I open up this blog post with absolutely nothing in particular to post or write about.
Although I am on a "blog break" I know that today I want to post something,
Something...anything... I don't know what. I'm just going to write.
Last night I lay awake on the sofa, trying for the life of me to fall asleep,
after being woken up (as usual) by my daughters climbing into my bed.
And I talked out loud to God, something to the effect of this~
God, I'm asking for your help. 
All those things that my mind wants to care about,
that really don't matter, 
help me to let go of them.
All those things that bother me for no reason at all,
 help me to give those things to you. 
Lord, I need to rely on YOUR peace and grace 
to make it through each day.
Help me to stop being such a freak.
(and I probably threw in a "I'm just sayin...")
I need you God. To help. 
Just help me.


Not a real intellectual prayer. It was your basic 
"Call on me in your day of trouble" prayer.
You know, the same one prayed by most people...
the only one prayed by most people.
Yet, whether or not we talk to Him every day,
or call on him ONLY when we are in trouble,
He is still there. Pursuing our love.
That's what he is all about. Love.
Relentless Love.

I'm at a point in my life where I feel pretty confident in my relationship 
with God. If you knew all those things buried deep inside of me that he has 
had to dig out over and over again, you would know my confidence 
does not come from my own "good behavior" or "good attitude."
But my confidence comes from knowing who HE is.
As much as I screw up over and over...where I used to back away from his mercy and love...
Instead I now fall into his grace to carry me through this next stretch of my life.
of my year, my week, my day...
His grace is sufficient for me, His strength is made perfect
in my weakness~2 Corinthians 12:9
That is what grace is all about. To HELP ME be strong, when I am weak.
Not only to take the rap for me. But to give me his strength when I need it.
I am so thankful that he has opened my eyes to this. 
It's become an amazing source of comfort
knowing I can never push him so far away where he doesn't want me anymore.
My confidence in his love for me is never shaken, no matter what I've done...
what attitude I've carried, nor how many times I've failed him.
His love still pursues ME. I can't believe it. It chases ME!!
Yet, at the same time, I can believe it, because that is who God is.
Relentless Love.


So many times in my past, I pulled away when life got "iffy" 
but in the back of my head,
or deep in my heart, he was chasing me down...
What he should have done was smack me across the face a few times,
grab me by the shirt and said "Julie!!! Listen Up Girl!! Hello Mcfly!! I'm here!!
Not to embarrass you, shame you! But to redeem you!!
Ask me for help!! Please, just ask."
He wants us to want his help.
He tells us to call on him, to knock, to seek, to ask him for anything....
It's the old "I want you to want me" scenario...
but as much as his Relentless Love pursues our love in return,
it's so that HE can help us. It's selfless.
That's what the cross was all about.
It was the ultimate example of a man pursuing his bride.
The "I will never give you up, bail on you, embarrass you...
I love you so much I would die for you" love.
And he did.



Today, I'm just thankful. Thankful that I truly believe from this point in my life
and on to the rest, I will always be fully assured in his Love.
And I know I can always go to him, and simply say 
"God. I need your help today. I screwed up. I have no will power. 
Gonna hafta rely on yours...mmmm..k?"
I had no intention today on writing a "christian-y, inpirational" type of post.
I opened this post up, like I said, and just told myself, 
I am going to start typing...we'll see what comes out.

Apparently I am not the only one that needs to hear this over and over again.
Somebody else needs a reminder that no matter what you've done or
gone through, God is grabbing you by the shirt and telling you "I'm here!! Hello!!"
He is still there pursuing your love with his Relentless Love.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stuck in A Rut...2

 Hello Friends.
I'm on a bit of a blog break. 
I'm not really overwhelmed with blogging at the moment.
Just a little overwhelmed with life. Nothing in particular...just one of those things..
And I fear it will come out in everything I post. Ha!
Who wants to read depressing, stressed out blog posts?
So I decided to get myself in check. Seek the face of my first love...
so I can remember where my heart is in all this.
And THIS post reminded me of all that. Since most of you weren't around
when I originally posted it, I wanted to share it with you.
I don't want to disappear completely, so if anyone needs me, I am still here...
but in the meantime, I wanted to leave you with what I wrote almost 6 months ago,
my first month of blogging.! It's a good reminder that God created YOU to be YOU!

Please bare with me, I have a point =)  
At some point in time,  I dont know when it was, I'm thinking in my 30's... 
I finally learned who I was. 
Haha, that sounds funny, but I really do think you go through periods in life 
where you try to please other people, 
so you never really find out who you are until you are just sorta over all that...
and living YOUR life.  you pleased your friends just to fit in, 
or you tried to please your parents because, well you gotta, 
you pleased your teachers to get good grades, 
and as for me, Im a preachers kid, so well I had to sort of be on my best behavior 
and please those around me, as I suspect a politicians family, or celebrity's family or 
actually any families might do, if even just to your neighbors....
People are just very concerned with what people think in general. 

I went through a great deal of my life, not even realizing I didnt know myself. 

I didnt know what my personality was, what really interested ME, what dreams I had, 
what characteristics I had that could benefit others. I just didnt.. 
I venture to say, many people go through this and dont even realize it until they went through it,
 discovered who they are and it shocked them, like 
...ooooohhhhh, so THIS is me!!!
 I didnt even know I was looking for myself!! =) 

In the last few years, 

I discovered to simply be ME. 
If you dont like it, oh well. If I set my sites on pleasing YOU, 
and I am unhappy, then it's simply not worth it.  
And I dont think that is how God wants us. He created us each so uniquely beautiful 
and we each DO have a service to others...
but that service isnt simply for their approval, it is to help them and bless them. 
For so long, I avoided confrontation no matter how much something bothered me. 
 Or I avoided asking questions, no matter how confused I was. 
Or I avoided my own personality, because somebody might not get it. 
Thats just so wrong, in so many ways, for so many reasons.


On that same note, with sometimes those dreams or talents being different than those 

I am so close in contact with, I always felt a little out of place. I dont preach. I dont sing. 
I dont play an instrument. I'm silly and sarcastic and I make alot of jokes at my own expense 
or sometimes at those I can get away with  ;-). 
I cant speak in public, I can barely speak in private. 
I tried once to minister to a stranger and I was shaking so bad, 
the person actually looked at me like she was scared of me, because I was a freak or something! 
I like making videos and taking pictures and editing and graphics, but what do I do with that?
Half the time it makes people annoyed with me that I dare to make a video starring myself
 or take a picture or 200.. 
(Side note: One time though, a few years back, MTV actually contacted me about one of my videos, where I was making fun of McDonalds Drive Thru and they wanted me to be a part of some show they did that made fun of Music Videos...so I guess I was funny?? )
ANNNYYWAYYSSS... PLUS, I am brutally open and blunt about alot, 
so much so, I probably embarrass people close to me, in fact I know I do! 
But I cant change who I am based on the approval of others, I can only ask God, 
"Ok God....I need a direction here, 
I need YOU to use ME how you created ME to be, 
and I cant fit into anyone else's agenda of who I should be." 
Speaking for myself, thats just not a fun place to be. 
In fact, Ive wound up in tears because of it many times.. 


Two things I want~ 
1) I want to please God. 
2) I want to be happy in doing so with what he has given ME. 
I DO see things in myself that God has placed in me, and I love being a wife and a mother, 
but how on earth am I ever going to go beyond the walls of my own house, 
or the life that I am accustomed to and pursue those dreams 
God placed in me when I was a teenager? 
This is where I have been, living the dream of  "I have a dream that someday..." 
and just watching my life go by, and never really pursuing it.  
Today I woke up and God was speaking to me concerning moving on past my past
 and moving forward to obtain his prize. And as I meditated on this throughout the day, 
These thoughts start forming, coming only from the Lord, of course,  
and I began to write them down. 
The funny thing about me, is when something is heavy on mind or 
I am in deep thought about a topic, I think in "poetry form." 
Thats one of those weird, most likely God given qualities that I have,
 that sometimes I'm like "huh? what do I do with that?"  
Anyways, God shared with me his warmth, his sweet nature, and his encouragement.
 I was blessed to tears... and I just wanted to share with you,
 for all those of you who feel stuck in rut with your day in and day out life, 
THIS may be for YOU too!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Brand New Dress



Weary these walls, so far tattered and torn
Glimpsing through the salt water seas
Eyes desperate with gasping and pleas
Breaking silence of her soul left forlorn
Wincing the burn; left the tear stained disguise
Masterfully creates that what you see
Never should know what is deemed so lonely
High the tide it rolls in; waves, they would rise
Taken upon ones self, a guilty brow
Drowns, pursuit a gesture; cries SOS
Master, commander grasps her hand to hold
Wrapped arms, shelter found; comfort and rest
Glanced she back, but only a moment left
Memory lost, wearing a brand new dress

-Julie Marie


Debating on whether or not to explain this. To me, poetry, basic Dr Suess rhymes aside
are interesting to try and figure out. And to be honest, for the life of me
I simply can't do it most of the time.
I thrive on having a decent amount of art and creativity in my blood.
But I don't claim to be the most cultured person in the world,
yet I love to write. So, I try things. New things, like this. A Sonnet..
And for the most part, no one sees any of it.
But I do it, to see if it works for me. 
I loved writing it, and it sure as heck made sense to me.
Haha. Don't know if it will to anyone else though.
???
If you have a guess, let me know...I'm curious.
I honestly just want to know if I stand a chance at diversity in writing =)




Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Big Elephant in the Blog Room


You are all dying to ask me, right? I know you are.
Actually, a few of you did. But I can't remember if I answered or not.
Remember that post I wrote a few weeks ago, I Thought That's What Bloggers Did?
Yeah, I know you do. The one where I totally opened my heart and revealed my true identity
put my foot in my mouth? And I told everyone on Blog Planet that I have been a huge phony.
Sooooo...the biggest thing most of you all commented on was the
"hug" and the "sweet friend" remarks.
I got all kinds of confessions out of you all about your "real life" verbatim vs your "blog life" verbatim. That was my intention, after all....muahahahahahahahaha!!
So, most of you know, just days after that post, I got a chance to meet IN REAL LIFE my 
first blogger friend. Christina (can I get a woot woot?) from TicoandTina came 
to Milwaukee to visit little ole me. Her family and 2 interns came to stay at our house
for 3 nights. She came to Milwaukee specifically to test my HUG theory. Right?


Here are a few brief things I will say about the visit:

1) It was NOT awkward in the least. I felt very comfortable. In fact, I felt so comfortable that I colored my hair one morning, came downstairs with hair dye all up in my mop, no make up...
and only slightly hid my face when walking past the extra dudes in the house.

2) With 11 people in the house (5 kids), it was surprisingly calm. This could possibly have 
to do with the fact that when we were sitting at home, every adult in the house but me was sitting at their computer.  And the only reason I wasn't was because my 8 yr old son was using mine. 
(It's all good, I have my phone)

3) I love them. All of them. Seriously. I mean that. They all have such kind hearts and big hearts.
And we are all very similar in the way we feel about encouraging beauty, art, & creativity in
people around us. It's a sort of passion to push people to step outside the box and see the potential
 and gifts that lie inside of you.
I hope and am determined to remain friends with this group of people forever if they'll 
have me. The line my husband left them with was "Well, we'll see you in heaven." haha!
 Seriously, I mean it this time, if you haven't checked out their gig...
Blank Canvas Tour, this would be a good time to do it.



4) Their kids. So So cute and adorable... (ok, right there, I was tempted to use the word "adorbs" but because of the blog post I mentioned above, I will refrain. I dont wish to have stones
thrown at me today, thank you very much). My daughter Jada, nicknamed her little maverick
"The Little Guy." It was so cute. And my kids seriously miss them.
Seriously...  adorbs...
auuuughhhh. I'm running. Dont. Thrown Your. Stones.

5) Mostly, I just want to say Thank You to David & Christina...and Krista from Pieces of Life
(and I am totally about to steal a picture from her blog) and their (our) amazingly talented artist friend, Randall for trusting us, for counting us as friends and
and just chilling out with us, hanging out, playing games in which we all act mature...


ok, that wasn't the stolen pic. This is the stolen pic of downtown Milwaukee.
We went to hang out, take some pics, get out of the house.
I mean, I'm not gonna say I had to force them, but .... I had to force them ;)


Ok, not all of them.. haha. Krista was pretty excited to be in the city!

Oh...wait... I almost forgot about the ENORMOUS elephant...
You know the one where you all want to ask me if I "HUGGED" Christina after I made
the big "to do" about how I don't like hugging?
The answer is Yes,. twice. Once upon meeting, once upon saying goodbye.
The only thing that made it awkward was that I had just written that post and now
everyone is wondering if it is OK to hug me. Haha. Let me set the record straight.
Clear the air...ahem... I will hug you if I first meet you. I will hug you if it's been a long time since
I've seen you. I will hug you if I am saying goodbye for a long time.
I will even hug you if you are a hugger even though I'm not. It's not like I'm gonna smack ya.
You just can't expect me to make the first move.
You want a hug from me? Come at me, girl. Hug away.
My arms may be at my sides and I may be making
a face to whoever is standing behind you, but....
Bahahaha... I'm doing it to myself again!
Ok, those of you who I will meet at Influence! Let's just have one giant HUG PARTY
Let's all call each other sweet girl and sweet friend. That way NO ONE feels left out,
no one feels "socially awkward." That's it. It's done. No questions asked.



Ok, here is a little video from the visit!


OH, and don't forget the giveaway from Eisley Rae below. You know you wanna enter!

Monday, July 16, 2012

5 ways to totally rock


Rock and Roll is more than tattoos and black leather these days.
Of course, those still both play into the rockstar picture, if desired.
But there are so many other cheaper, non permanant ways to
ROCK the rock and roll look, when you are SO NOT rock and roll.




Sure, aviators are trending right now, but it's for a good reason.
It's a quick fix to looking like a rock star.
Ok, ok...maybe no one will stop you and ask you for your autograph,
but they may ASK you where you got those FLY shades.
(wait, did I just completely un-rockstar myself?)
These, by the way, were $5 at For Love 21.


I am the last person on the planet to offer up "skinny jeans" as a suggestion
of what to look fabulous in.
Mostly because I am completely jealous of anyone who looks great in them.
I, on the other hand, do not. I usually ONLY wear them with boots...
where I can attempt to balance out the extreme shortness of my legs,
and my width and depth of my hips/butt. It's a touchy subject for me, truthfully...
Because I am petite, people automatically make the assumption that I am "skinny."
I'm not going to sit and complain about body types, everyone has 
something they are not crazy about...I've gotten in trouble for this before
and really I don't mind being short and "hippy"
if it wasn't for those darn super amazing skinny jeans.
Buuuuut, if you want to go rock, you gotta figure out a way to do the skinny jean.


The next best thing you can do for yourself is buy some "button" earrings.
You know the kind where people do a double take when they look at you,
because for a split second they thought you stretched your ears.
Really any kind of a button earring is a good look for a rock diva,
but if you really want "the look" go for a metallic rim with some sort of colored center.
It definitely will give the look that you got gauges in your ears..
I know, I know...a lot of people hate it, but honestly I sort of dig the look
without all the body stretching. 
I had 3 kids, my body has done enough stretching....
and it's never recovered.
( i know some of you are playing your tiny violin for me right now, right?)


Duh, scarves are big right now. But most people wear them around their neck.
Not me ( I mean, I do...but) I have this haircut that could sort of go all "MOM"
on me, if I am not careful. I realize I am a mom, but if you ever catch me in MOM
jeans, shoot me even if they ARE back in style.
Try tying a scarve around your hair. I think it looks sorta cool.
It's kind of a bohemian/rocker mix up when you add all the other stuff in

.
 This was a toss up between the cool nail polish or the vintage T.
But I think the vintage T is more essential to rocking and rolling.
Of course you want to get one of those SUPER SOFT ones that feels like it's 20 years old.
Preferably with some old school rock or rap group displayed.
 I contemplated borrowing my sisters Beastie Boys shirt for this shoot,
 but I thought the black tanked worked well in the end.

Thanks for sticking around for my random ROCK AND ROLL Fashion Post!
Hope you enjoyed 5 ways TO TOTALLY ROCK when you are SO NOT Rock & Roll.
Jeans-Zara
Black Vintage Tank-Forever 21
Aviator Sunglasses- For Love 21
Button Earrings-Charolotte Russe
Silver Metal Earrings-For Love 21
Khaki Tank-H&M
Khaki Scarf-Kohls
Red Scarf-Levi's
Hand Embroidered Pendant Necklace-The Hollie Rogue Shop
Gold Anchor Necklace- Adie's Lovelies





Covered in Grace











Sunday, July 15, 2012

She was 18 going on 19


She was 18, going on 19.
He was 19, going on 20.
Today I look at couples who get married at that age
and I think Do they know what they are doing?
It just seems so, so young to make that decision.
Yet, for me it has been almost 16 years
when I got married at the age of 20.
The excitement of "wedding" was most definitely in the air.
Especially when my dad "discreetly" changed our wedding date
from May 1997 up to November 1996.
Apparently peeking outside into the parked car
of our driveway at 3am every morning made him nervous.
So, he decided "sooner was better than later."
After checking with our flowers, wedding hall, honeymoon, cake...
my dad then checked with me to see if "November 23" was doable.
Talk about a shocker! But we did it!
Honestly, I consider being married as long as we have quite 
an accomplishment in this society.
Things haven't always been easy for either of us.
Life can complicate things.
But you have to remember WHY you got married.
Today my parents celebrate 40 years of marriage.
It's simple. I respect that.
I am in awe of two people who can remain so unselfish for that length of time,
who can still be friends, still laugh and still give out so much.

my granny. missing her so much right now. tears.

just two kids in love.

Happy 40th Anniversary Mom & Dad!
I love you.




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I Guess We're Kinda Cool???

Don't let my sleepy eyes fool you.
I'm not bored. I'm just having so much fun that I'm worn out.
Exhausted. Kaput.
ZZZZZZZZZ. 
I was about to make GIGANTIC COOKIE MONSTERS with warm cookies,
ice cream, chocolate syrup & whipped cream for us all, but I may just sleep instead.


I know you want to be jealous cuz we are painting what looks to be a
super awesome amazing adventure right?
Don't let that intimidate you! Paint Your OWN adventure!

I gotta say, just from the few conversations I've had with the Blank Canvas Tour team 
about passions and dreams, and the few interviews they've done so far here in Milwaukee...
alot of people actually feel the same way...
We simply get frustrated that people don't notice how hard we work,
how good we do at what we love doing,
or how passionate we feel about the adventure we pursue.
I've come to the conclusion that it's probably just because everyone's passion is 
different, so not everyone gets what we love & why we love it!
(we...being everybody who has any kind of dream inside of them)
...but that doesnt matter!!

YOU CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE to SOMEONE THAT NEEDS YOU TO NOTICE! 
and I am determined to always make a difference to people who need me to notice them!

People as a whole need that encouragement to pursue everything that has been placed in them!
Otherwise, it's tempting to give up & thats just so wrong. Right?
And THAT is what this TOUR is all about!

Here is just a few pics from our photo shoot together this morning.

the entire team... technically i am the "virtual" member...but made it to this photoshoot in "real life."

this is everyone staying in the house this week
apparently, pursuing adventure makes us very angry at each other???
maybe we are kinda cool...just a little bit.

not every moment goes as planned with a photoshoot of this many people
pretty sure she's a keeper (wink wink)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And The Nominees Are...

Today is the BIG day!
I get to meet my very first blogger in REAL LIFE!
It's too bad I've been up since 3:30am so when she gets here, 
most likely I will be sound asleep, not having cleaned a single thing in the house.
Christina (TicoandTina) and David and their 2 kids are coming
to stay with us for a few days, along with 2 interns!
I'm so excited. Not really nervous...just hoping I can stay awake.
They will be coming to hang out with us in Milwaukee, and get a start on their
Blank Canvas Tour: Interviewing & Encouraging people with Big Dreams!
So, since they will be here, I thought I'd nominate a few people
for their interviews. People I know with big dreams & vision in their heart...
and people the deserve to be recognized!

This is my brother in law, Clayton. He is absolutely the most random person I have
ever known. I could have easily posted a picture where he is kissing my cheek or sniffing
my ear or rubbing his extra extra long nasty beard on my face, because pretty much that is 
all the pictures I have of me and him.
I nominate him, because of his randomness. The mustache above- He started growing this
to raise money for a 15 passenger van for our youth ministry. It got longer and longer and longer
until he finally raised $10,000.
He started working on a childrens CD. Is he a singer? No, not really. Drummer, yes.
Yet, he thought it would be a fab idea.
This is what I mean by random.But how great is this picture?!

He's started a business selling strands of his hair, unicorn meat and all sorts of random things that
his brain has come up with. And he is working one some invention right now, which I can't say and
shall remain nameless ;) 
I have never seen someone come up with so many inventions & ideas...
ONE of them is bound to catch on because he definitely is a dreamer! 
Clay also is an amazing photographer. You can check out his work HERE.
***************************


My 2nd nomination goes to a friend of mine, Kayla. You may have seen me mention her
in my recent group giveaway, for Kaylas Kreations
She is new to blog world but this girl is talented!
Seriously, go check out her BLOG (which I am in the middle of helping her redesign)...
and look at her Facebook... and you will see what I mean.
Her dreams for her crafts and cards are big, and I thought she definitely deserved recognition...
and of course an interview by one of HER favorite bloggers ;)
While you are there, follow her, will ya?


****************************************



I've actually done a post on SUE early on in my blog HERE, for no apparent reason other than
the fact that I love her. She deserves some love. She works hard for her music.
She has 3 kids she homeschools and is constantly pushing and driving herself to write
and record amazing music, book shows, and promote herself.!
Talk about big dreams! She's got them..And I completely admire her for not giving up!
She just recently released her first EP called Whisper. Check her out on her FACEBOOK if
you havent already... Yup, she also was featured in my giveaway!
(By the way, yes I realize how extremely tan my face is here. So gross)


**********************************


Well, you've heard me mention this girl before. My sister, Joanna!
Ok, so maybe I am only a little tiny bit jealous that every picture she is IN turns out
super cute. I know she doesn't think so, but it's true.
However, usually, you will see her BEHIND the camera! And she loves it.
not only does she love it, but she pursues it.
She is always busy working with aspiring make up artists, aspiring models,
contacting modeling agencies and models just to get a portfolio for her
photography... Tons of those here on her FACEBOOK, by the way!
You gotta see what I mean. I'm not just saying this, because she is my sister,
but this girl is talented.
You can also see more of her pics of me and my fam HERE in this post!
I love that she pursues her big dreams. But even more so, I love her heart!


Now, it's your turn. Let David and Christina know someone YOU think deserves
the encouragement and recognition for having big dreams!

Hover to Pin

 
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