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Three God Whispers to Live By

Posted by Julie on April 19, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

How did we get into April? I am loving the lilacs, lawn mower sounds, and general themes of new life and beginnings. If nothing else happens in April, I was giddy to be over March. That was a tough month full of adversity and challenges.

Three God Whispers to Live By

What made things extra hard was that they were not my challenges. Both our kids were facing things that left them hurting and asking God why. I’ve faced prayer times that I thought were difficult, but seeing their pain nearly broke me.

One night we grieved and prayed together. We asked God tough questions and requested wisdom, discernment, and direction.

Not everything has changed, but here are three things God whispered to my heart to prepare for and to apply to the challenges.

 

  • Close the current door with grace. We had an opportunity that we knew wasn’t working. It was time to leave, but feelings were raw and the true defeated one was trying to leave us in a quake of anxiety and depression. It would be easy and tempting to walk away angry and bitter. God’s whisper was to close the door with grace. More than that, the same manner we close one door is the exact way we open the next. We definitely wanted to act wisely.

 

  • Use your voice. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but “praying in your head” doesn’t have the power that praying out loud does. I don’t think God is looking for us to stand in the middle of a park and start talking in King James Bible translation, but when we use our voice and pray, heaven moves and hell quakes. I’ve seen it. As I prayed with the kids, that phrase kept coming back. They needed to push back fears and bring down heaven’s promises to earth with declaration. That takes a voice, and in their hard times, I believe God is developing a powerful voice to speak on His behalf.

 

  • Hands off. They are toddler rules, but I need to hear them. It is my personality to run way ahead of God, turn around, and ask Him how I’m doing. I call it living, “Sarah, Plan B,” and it is not a lifestyle you want to emulate. Sarah ended up with an “Ishmael” of a problem. I hate seeing the kids hurt, but I’ve been around long enough in faith to know that what’s happening is a refining fire. He’s taking everything that isn’t going to work in serving Him and melting it away through affliction. What’s left is pure Him. In their hard times I’m seeing a new level of faith from them. They are pressing in, going to Him and not giving up. I can’t orchestrate that or manipulate it. I’m not going to lie, being an observer of the process was one of the hardest things I’ve come up against as a parent.

I believe with this season and God’s whispers, the kids will look back and credit the time as a spiritual marker—a time they mark as when God changed everything.

Have you gone through a searing time of adversity where God whispered to you?

***

Finding Freedom Through Surrender-A 30 Day Devotional available on Amazon.

 

 

FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER-A 30 Day Devotional features the characters and issues from ENTRUSTED, ENTANGLED, and ENGAGED to encourage you as you let go of fear, loss, change, regret and dreams. I also share my own stories where I was broken and in need of surrender. If you’ve read my contemporary romance series, you’ll be familiar with the characters and inspired. If you’re new to my writing, the devotionals will introduce you to characters and situations you can relate to. Purchase HERE.

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Sabbath Sunday: Beyond the Woods

Posted by Julie on January 25, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Life Lessons, Nature, photography, Sabbath Sunday, surrender |

November2014sunrise

 

Each Sunday I take my own amateur nature photo and share a thought or two about God’s love.

Fairy tales are a popular theme these days and I’m a fan like everyone else. There’s Once Upon a Time, Maleficent, Cinderella is coming out, and right now, Into the Woods.

But real life hasn’t shown me a carriage or a fairy godmother.

And when life is hard, going into the woods is not full of music and dancing.

It stinks.

Probably why wilderness is named that and not rainbows and sprinkles fun time.

Thing is, the wilderness is where I’ve grown the most. It’s isolating by choice. Not only did the Lord put me there to have me to Himself, to prepare and teach me, I had to surrender to it. At first I fought the wilderness tooth and nail. Who signs up for that kind of torture? Not me.

But I realized that once you’re into the woods, there is a destination. Beyond the woods. There will be a clearing. The sun will shine. And I emerge stronger, taller, and because of my trust in Jesus, I’m a force to be reckoned with.

And that’s something to sing and dance about.

Can you relate?

My favorite verse about the wilderness is Hosea 2:14. May it encourage you today.

 

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Sabbath Sunday: Beyond the Woods

November2014sunrise

 

Each Sunday I take my own amateur nature photo and share a thought or two about God’s love.

Fairy tales are a popular theme these days and I’m a fan like everyone else. There’s Once Upon a Time, Maleficent, Cinderella is coming out, and right now, Into the Woods.

But real life hasn’t shown me a carriage or a fairy godmother.

And when life is hard, going into the woods is not full of music and dancing.

It stinks.

Probably why wilderness is named that and not rainbows and sprinkles fun time.

Thing is, the wilderness is where I’ve grown the most. It’s isolating by choice. Not only did the Lord put me there to have me to Himself, to prepare and teach me, I had to surrender to it. At first I fought the wilderness tooth and nail. Who signs up for that kind of torture? Not me.

But I realized that once you’re into the woods, there is a destination. Beyond the woods. There will be a clearing. The sun will shine. And I emerge stronger, taller, and because of my trust in Jesus, I’m a force to be reckoned with.

And that’s something to sing and dance about.

Can you relate?

My favorite verse about the wilderness is Hosea 2:14. May it encourage you today.

 

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Sabbath Sunday: Beyond the Woods

November2014sunrise

 

Each Sunday I take my own amateur nature photo and share a thought or two about God’s love.

Fairy tales are a popular theme these days and I’m a fan like everyone else. There’s Once Upon a Time, Maleficent, Cinderella is coming out, and right now, Into the Woods.

But real life hasn’t shown me a carriage or a fairy godmother.

And when life is hard, going into the woods is not full of music and dancing.

It stinks.

Probably why wilderness is named that and not rainbows and sprinkles fun time.

Thing is, the wilderness is where I’ve grown the most. It’s isolating by choice. Not only did the Lord put me there to have me to Himself, to prepare and teach me, I had to surrender to it. At first I fought the wilderness tooth and nail. Who signs up for that kind of torture? Not me.

But I realized that once you’re into the woods, there is a destination. Beyond the woods. There will be a clearing. The sun will shine. And I emerge stronger, taller, and because of my trust in Jesus, I’m a force to be reckoned with.

And that’s something to sing and dance about.

Can you relate?

My favorite verse about the wilderness is Hosea 2:14. May it encourage you today.

 

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Saturday Confession: So Freaking Hard

Posted by Julie on January 4, 2014 in About Me, encouragement, Saturday Confession |

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It’s been a long time. November was all about your thankful posts. They were so plentiful they kept coming in December, along with book reviews. I haven’t had to pen an original thought here in awhile!

So, it doesn’t surprise me I need to start the new year with a bang.

I mean, it’s not every day you see me write “freaking,” right?

It’s not a pretty word. Probably not a word you’d say in front of your pastor.

But I used it recently when talking  venting to Jesus.

I don’t wear masks anymore, and when I’m mad and hurting, I go there. I get it all out and then I confess and then ask, now what?

And that was my December.

The visual I have is when my parents went on a snowmobile ride and we decided to throw snowballs. I didn’t think I’d ever hit a target, we just thought it would be funny to try. So I threw a snowball at my mom, who was enjoying a snowmobile ride. And out of nowhere came that icy blast of round hardness.

That was my December.

Thing is, my snowball was something I specifically prayed about. As in, “Dear Lord, don’t allow this thing in our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.” Wrapped it up in an “Amen” bow.

And it still hit.

I couldn’t let that hit go. Because if that happened, what about everything else? That marriage I’ve been praying for. The breakthrough. The healings. Provision I’ve been believing for. I was so mad I wondered why am I even praying anymore? What good does it do?

And then there was the transition. The first Christmas without my mother-in-law. My husband’s dad was without his beloved for Christmas for the first time in 53 years. His dad is 86. It makes sense my husband would spend the bulk of his time there.

So, we drove separate cars. Although we saw him, it felt disjointed. And that’s after a season of heavy work and then time needed for the Christmas concert. Then a business trip. Then a cold.

I’m pretty independent and low maintenance. But it hit me. We’re apart more than we’re together.

And this is so freaking hard.

I promised that anytime I share a confession I would either be through it, or on my way there. So if you’re feeling the same, you can be encouraged. You’re not alone, and you will get through.

I am being authentic. I’ve laid it all out with God and now I’m following His lead. He gave me a song, and that’s giving me comfort. The verse for 2013 is the same for this year.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

I’m going to share my specific confessions to those He leads me to. I know the circumstances won’t change, but at least I’ll be able to move forward in His strength.

How about you? Ever feel this way?

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Saturday Confession: I Thought I Was God’s Punchline

Posted by Julie on October 26, 2013 in encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Saturday Confession |

This has been a tough month. If it were only the government shutdown or healthcare issues.

But it seems so much more, you know?

My inbox has been fuller than usual with requests asking, “would you pray for me?”

  • There have been jobs lost
  • New diagnosis
  • Family issues
  • Relationship troubles
  • and more.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was in a season where the hits came coming. They were so fast, so devastating that as a pretty solid in faith Jesus girl, I was reeling. To the point of wondering if God had a punchline, and I was it.

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I learned a lot from that season, and the ones that have followed it. Earlier this week I was at Christians Read and I shared what my husband did to help me.

His answer may help you, too.

Do you have a confession? If so, share here. Let’s encourage each other. You are not alone.

 



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