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2017: Year of Transformation

Posted by Julie on December 27, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

How was your Christmas?

Ours was wonderful. We spent time with family, and although not a lot of snow, it was a white Christmas.

Now it’s time to reflect.

That’s what I do each year after Christmas. I think about accomplishments, goals, adversities, the tears, laughter, pictures, I take it all in. I consider the word of the year and how it played out, and what word is coming up in the new year.

2017.

The word was transformation, and my theories were naive and superficial. I knew I had an eye appointment in January and my thought was I would be wearing contacts full time. As far as I knew, my biggest decision would be how I would wear my hair. Curly? Straight? Keep growing it? Cut it?

Turns out, this was probably the one area where there was no transformation at all. I learned my vision is so bad that they can’t give me an accurate prescription for contacts. Without sharing that with me, they gave me contacts that I can’t wear.

So it’s back to glasses.

I’ve worn it curly. I’ve worn it straight. I wore it up, realized it was not working for me, and had it cut. Then I’ve been busy and haven’t had it cut in awhile. I end the year with no idea what I’m going to do. I love the red color, though.

I knew the year was about kids in school and we were aware that both of our Wisconsin kids were expecting their first babies. We end the year as grandparents to two boys. It’s surreal, I remember when their parents were tweens and I knew them better than their dad. Funny how time marches on.

As for the school kids, I didn’t know how rough the year was going to start for them both. I’m all about building people up and in our daughter’s circle, it seemed almost everyone in her daily routine was tearing her down. To watch her joyous smile disappear as she withdrew, it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to watch. It was one of those times I felt so helpless.

It was the same for our son. He went from main campus, to satellite campus. His grades were good, but the stress was high. One of his core relationships changed, and I never saw it coming. Another episode of feeling so helpless. He was part of a retail establishment with high traffic, no leadership, and a terrible part of town. He was involved in a car accident that wasn’t his fault, but the driver tried to pin it on him. There was season where the attacks on him seemed relentless. I didn’t think transformation meant our kids would change from happy and full of faith to dead inside. That was my fear at least.

Another transformation wasn’t my own, but one I’ve asked every day with no real answers as I a family dynamic will never be the same. The tragedy so avoidable if people had been smart enough to deny someone a license when clearly they were not able to drive in this country. I don’t understand, no one does. And now this family has to re live the memories, good and unbearable.

We enjoyed transformation watching our son be the big boy at the campground, while our nephew was the new one to show around. The nostalgia for our son was fun to watch, right down to him wearing the very same style shirt he did ten years ago.

We visited Wisconsin twice, holding new babies and watching our oldest son become a homeowner and new dad.

Writing wise, I not only published Engaged, the last in the Surrendering Time Series, but also wrote a companion devotional to go with the series, Finding Freedom in Surrender. I started blogging for Inspy Romance, and the first book in my next contemporary romance series, Anchored. It was our daughter, during her struggles, that had an idea to encourage girls of all ages when people use negative words, and that idea became a three book series she plotted. She created the characters, guided me on the cover, and approved the manuscript. You’re Beautiful, Book 1 in the Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Series, should be out in January. There’s also a new Facebook group, 180Encouragements, aimed at building a community where positive words are spoken. That’s a transformation to be excited about.

My faith walk is an ongoing transformation. I feel like the last few years have hardened my faith, and I have been quietly grieving that, not sure what to do about it. I started reading a book, No More Faking Fine, and decided it was a book on authenticity that I’d love to share with others through discussion. Once I started leading that book it hit me it is more than transparency. It’s a book about lament, something new to me. Something I had no idea I needed. Now I’m going through the process. Something tells me what God has in store is the biggest transformation of all.

 

Now comes 2018. I have my word.

But that, my friends, is another blog post.

Thanks for reading!

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