Surrender fear, loss, & Change with Julie Arduini

  • FREE e-Read of ENTRUSTED, Book 1 in Surrendering Time Series.
  • Exclusive news, encouragement, giveaways, freebies.
  • No crowding your inbox. Monthly updates with encouragement just for you!

Thankful Series Kicks Off

It’s weird, this year.

Each October I start promoting the need for guest posts from people from every walk of life to say why they are thankful. Most years I receive so many submissions they spill into December.

They have been short, long, from women, men, authors and readers. From Ohio, from across the pond.

This year, they aren’t coming in.

Are people too busy? Are they not seeing my invite? Or, are they no longer thankful?

Perhaps it’s a mix. Or, maybe God’s got a plan I need to roll with.

Maybe I’m supposed to share why I’m thankful.

Thankful_editedUnless I get more submissions, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll take every day I have a vacancy and share why I am thankful.

Starting today.

I’m thankful this blog exists. It’s the first evidence of my obedience to write as God leads. I wrote past the fear and in time, He healed me from worry and what people thought. Through the years I’ve received incredible feedback from people who read a post and thought I was in their window. Nope, just being obedient and writing as God directed.

These days this blog is only one of many things I do.  I’m in the middle of a three book series. I’m pondering writing a rough draft for NaNoWriMo. I market my work and enjoy cross promoting other authors. I’m still a wife and mom. I enjoy ministering to women and young ladies through my home church.

But this little blog is my baby.

And I’m thankful you read it!

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Three Things About Writing I Learned From Moving

Posted by Julie on September 25, 2014 in About Me, Christians Read, Julie Arduini, Writing |

Did you know I’m one of the bloggers over at Christians Read? Vicki Hinze, Maureen Lang, Elizabeth Goddard, James L. Rubart, Hannah Alexander, Kathi Macias, Lynette Sowell, Sarah Goebel, Kristen Heitzmann and Yvonne Lehman are part of the Christians Read team. I blog opposite Maureen on Wednesdays.

This week I shared what I found to be true for me in writing while I was moving.

Can you relate?

Read on to find out.


I’m going back to unpack more boxes.


Tags: , , , ,


So Long for Now

Posted by Julie on October 30, 2012 in About Me, Julie Arduini, Thankful November guest blogger, Writing |

So long for now.


See ya!

I’m not going anywhere travel wise, but after tomorrow, you won’t see me here on a regular basis for awhile. That’s right, the thankful blogs start November 1. As always, there are a great group of guest bloggers with amazing stories of why they are thankful.

You do NOT want to miss this.

What will I be doing in November?

I‘m ready for National Novel Writing Month-NaNoWriMo--where participants write 50K words in 30 days. It is as crazy as it sounds. I’m plotted out and ready to go with the next book after my 2010 NaNo win, Spectacular Falls. I’m still taking that one through critique groups, and as I have, a secondary character kept jumping up and down to let me know she has a story, too.

So wish me well. In Spectacular Falls Carla Rowling is a single mom and the village’s only law enforcement. Her real desire is to style hair, but she lacks the resources, equipment, and courage. In To Protect and Serve, Carla has the opportunity to earn her cosmetology license, but the men in her life make things difficult. I’ll share more in December.

I have a couple slots left for thankful posts. If you have something you want to share, let me know at

In the meantime, tune in tomorrow for my October 31 themed post–10 Not-So-Spooky Secrets about Prayer.

I’m thankful you’re here. See you soon.

Writer and Speaker

Surrendering the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google Plus Page pinterest

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Guest Blogger: Going to College in Uncertain Times–My Story

Posted by Julie on June 21, 2012 in encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Going to college in uncertain times: One person’s story

My last year of college was a time of great struggle and personal turmoil. I was having a hard time of things, and it wasn’t because of a romantic interest or because of the difficulty of my classes. I was struggling with the idea of a life after college, the one that I had fantasized about for so many years. You see I had gone to school as a journalism major and had ambitions to work for a huge newspaper magazine, reporting on current events from around the world. I did well in all my classes, even wrote notable pieces for the school paper. Everything seemed to be going as planned.

Hard times

I was in college not that long ago, right around the time when the housing crisis got really bad and the economy started to take a turn for the worst. Worse yet, newspapers across the country were shutting their doors and ending their circulations because they simply couldn’t compete with the content being posted on the web. Job prospects in every area looked for the graduates in my year, but the ones for journalism seemed particularly grim with few publications even considering new hires.

Among all these negative factors, I had to ask myself the question that I’m sure many college students ask themselves every day: was this whole experience worth it? What will college do for me? I graduated with these reservations very much intact.

As I predicted, the job search after college graduation was rough. I applied to any (and I mean any) publication for work as a beat reporter or a staff writer, even when I knew they wouldn’t be hiring. Months went by in what seemed like a few minutes, and I was nowhere closer to finding gainful employment. I didn’t know what to do, and I certainly didn’t understand why I went through years of college if it just brought me to this stalemate in my life.

A different path

A few months past graduation, I started blogging. Nothing serious, I was just keeping a small WordPress for myself and using it as a journal. I had never blogged much in college, but I suddenly found myself doing it all the time. I immediately took to the online writing medium. I felt way more myself than I ever did with other freelance writing projects I did after college for local journals and magazines.

So I started building a small portfolio of online writing samples so I could show them to bloggers and webmasters who accepted articles from guest writers. To my surprise, I found myself writing more and more articles for bloggers in many different areas of interest. The work kept coming, and I was loving every second of it.

The unexpected success of my new writing career online reminded me that none of us can be entirely sure what challenges life will bring, even if we prepare for them. After graduating with a journalism degree, I was so bent on working for a newspaper that I didn’t recognize the real opportunity before me until it was staring me in the face. Life is like that all the time, revealing new opportunities and exciting challenges despite our bad attitude. It took a little soul searching (and a lot of writing practice), but I finally found a purpose for all that time I put into higher education. At least for now, I’ll be satisfied to make my contributions to the online writing community when I can.

Do you have any stories of struggle and redemption in your life? I want to hear them!

Samantha Gray received her undergraduate education online through and enjoys guiding her readers through the process of doing the same. She is now a freelance writer by day, and she also moonlights as a tutor and zoo tour guide in her spare time. She may be reached for questions and feedback at


Tags: , , , , , , ,


This Post is Sponsored by the Number 12—12 in 12, That Is

Posted by Julie on January 12, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

That Patty Wysong. She has so many great ideas going for 2012 I’m giddy. Because her great ideas translate to blog post ideas for me here. It also helps me meet new people and learn more about them.

Patty’s latest genius idea is 12 in 12. Anyone who wants to blog about the 12 things they want to accomplish in 2012 can do so and link back to Patty’s blog. As Patty suggests, think of 12 things you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Push yourself. Don’t have a blog? That’s okay, share it on FB, Twitter, etc…and let Patty (and me!) know.

Here’s my 12 in 12:

Join us at to share your 12 in 12

1. Finish my first manuscript. That’s right, I’ve never done this, at least not to this scale. I wrote the first draft during NaNo ’10 and bit by bit I’ve been editing. For the first time I’m taking my work through two ACFW critique groups and I’m learning so much. I want to really work on this and finish.

2. Start the agent process. Again, this isn’t normal for me. Brand new territory. I don’t know if it’s meant to be, but it is where God wants me. So for 2012, that’s my goal.

3. Attend a writer’s conference. Nope, I haven’t done this before, either. We’re a one income family so these ideas are far off extras. It looks like there will be a conference later this year in my state, so it could happen.

4. Use a passport. I’m 41 and until a month ago, never even had a passport. I’ll be using it for vacation reasons in 2012, but have a feeling the passport will see more use in years to come for missions.

5. Finish that c25k app. I don’t hate exercise as much as I hate the idea. This app lets me walk and build up running, something I’m not skilled at. As a baby I had braces on my feet and the doctor left them on too long. I have knees that dislocate. This is a small exercise program I’m doing in the privacy of my home set to music I can play as loud as I want.

6. Prune. There is a specific area in my life that needs cutting, nothing deep, but it is an area I dread. When I have to make a change, I don’t like it. It’s time for something new and different and to do that, I have to make some changes.

7. Be social. I’m a natural introvert and that took me a long time to realize and admit it. Now I embrace it to depths where I just don’t enjoy being out and about. A writer’s life is secluded so I have to be intentional. I’m seriously considering starting a Praise and Coffee night, keep the expectations low and the fun high.

8. Date my husband. If you’re married, you know it’s almost impossible to be in the same season of life. When he’s able to get out, I can’t or am too tired. Or finances are in the way. We haven’t even rented movies or watched anything like we did when the kids were smaller. Now the kids are older and we could go out more, even if it was a walk at a park. But I’m not intentional about it. It’s not easy for me, even though he’s a built-in date. If he’s busy or not able, he’ll say so. But I should at least ask.

9. Write a book with my daughter. Last summer we wrote a customized story together and it went so well I want to do it again. Even at 8 she was able to come up with a plot, conflict, resolution, and a chapter-by-chapter synopsis. When finished we put it in a binder, and she created the artwork. I created an author’s page for her and my heart swells when I see of all the books she has on her shelf, she still goes for that one.

10. Continue the anonymous wordpress project I have going with my son. It was our answer to a situation and to be honest, I love working with him. This is something I long for others to be a part of, but we’re not putting our names on it. So, read in between the lines and perhaps you’ll find us in cyberspace as I embedded a clue for you here.

11. Visit our local Rescue Mission and perhaps volunteer there. This has been on my mind for a long time and I just haven’t done it. No excuses.

12. Showcase my nature pictures somehow. I’m an amateur, but I receive great feedback when people visit our home and see the pictures. Maybe I’ll make them a blog post or something.


There! That wasn’t too hard. What do you think? Now, show me yours!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Fiction Friday: Father Said

Posted by Julie on August 26, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Welcome! I’m hosting this week’s edition of Fiction Friday. This weekly feature is available to ANYONE who wants to share a piece of their own fiction. It can be your first time ever for fun, your attempt to see if this writing call is real on your life, part of a series you share through FF each week…anything goes!

Here’s what you do: write your story on your blog. Link the post URL below. Read the others’ stories and leave a comment. Others will do the same for you.

You can also, and I hope you do, “like” Fiction Friday on Facebook. Click here.

Anyway, my story probably breaks all the good fiction writing rules but I’m trying to flesh out the villain in my work in progress, Kyle Swarthmore. Spectacular Falls is a contemporary romance I’m editing that is of course, all about surrender. Jenna Anderson left everything and everyone back in Youngstown, Ohio for a job as senior center director in the Adirondack Mountains. She earned the job after one phone interview but later learns the job was posted by town matriarch Sara Bivins. The town council voted months ago for the senior center to close. Ben Regan, town councilman and co-owner of JB’s General Store wanted the center closed for good. He’s determined to send Jenna back home and keep the center locked.

Kyle Swarthmore is a weekend Speculator Falls resident who spends his week in New Jersey as a real estate developer. As much as Ben wants the senior center closed, Kyle wants JB’s. This story explains why.

By the way, what makes Spectacular Falls fun to write is that the town matriarch and Jenna’s biggest ally, Sara Bivins, is also Ben’s grandmother. Yep, the sparks fly…

But here is more on Kyle. I learned a lot.

Father Said

Marissa Banks reached for the barrage of papers knowing there had to be fifty pages. Her boss, Kyle Swarthmore, was on his way out the door headed for the Newark airport. Another weekend for Kyle at his family cottage in the Adirondack Mountains. Marissa? Staying overtime yet again to finish Kyle’s last minute Friday projects.

Marissa walked to the break room and decided it was time for a fresh pot of coffee. Kyle’s newest venture included plans to purchase the only grocery store in Speculator Falls, New York. Marissa remembered the pictures Kyle included in the dossier. JB’s was a mom and pop store at best and the smallest, least profitable business Kyle ever set his sights on. As she waited for the coffee to brew, she remembered Kyle talking about the store and why he wanted it.

“Ben Regan has no clue how to turn a profit. That store has so much potential but he’s too country boy to make it work. Father said I’m the perfect person to make that little shack go from a little store to an Adirondack chain of grocery stores. He even mentioned JB’s with the big grocery chains. Krogers. Wegmans. Giant Eagle. Marissa, I need your best work on this. I have to make this happen.”

The more she thought about it, Kyle’s true motive rose to the surface. Ben Regan. Father said. Bingo. In her five years with Swarthmore Enterprises, she realized how insecure William Swarthmore’s only son was. Kyle constantly went to “father” to show off accolades and accomplishments, ninety percent of them Marissa’s effort. Repeatedly Marissa saw William barely acknowledge his son. Instead, he threw out a carrot of sorts to tempt Kyle to move into the next big conquest. It was sad, actually.

The family was already self-made real estate developer millionaires many times over. The New Jersey media called William the Donald Trump of the Garden State. Kyle even copied Donald Jr’s slicked back hairstyle. Marissa was certain Kyle figured it would increase his success somehow to look like the mogul. Tina, William’s Executive Assistant, constantly joked that the reason Marissa was employed there was because the Trump’s had an assistant named Marissa. It appeared more than a coincidence.

She finally sat back down at her desk with her coffee and the JB’s takeover paperwork. Her task was research. Find as much as she could on Ben Regan and JB’s General Store. Discover financial weaknesses and risks. Create a presentation laying out a possible strategy to make the little place the newest Swarthmore purchase. Kyle assumed Marissa completed these things with private detectives and back alley type conversations with Speculator Falls residents. All it took was a few hours on her computer with a few Google searches. Kyle would take the credit and daddy paid little attention. What a vicious cycle.

The coffee turned lukewarm as early evening transformed to dusk. The offices were empty aside from the cleaning services and Marissa. She made good use of her ninety minutes. Ben Regan co-owned JB’s with his grandmother, Sara Bivins. JB’s stood for John Bivins, the founder who passed away eighteen months before. Ben ran the store as John taught him but he felt it was time to expand. These plans gave Kyle a lot of ammunition to work with.

Marissa felt she was missing something. It was easy to keep working. No one waited for her at her apartment. There was no weekend summer home to fly off to. Just the job. A thankless job that paid the bills and helped her keep up her blonde locks. Her plan? Wait it out for Mr. Swarthmore to retire and Kyle take over so she could make her pitch to take Kyle’s position. He had to agree to it. She worked too hard for too long to be ignored for that moment.

She thumbed through Kyle’s file one more time. A loose picture fell to her feet. She bent over to pick it up and saw a college-aged Kyle with his arm around a girl. The background looked like a beach and mountains. She flipped the picture over and read the information. Kyle and Trish Maxwell, Lake Pleasant.

“A-ha. This is what was missing. It’s more than pleasing father. This is revenge, isn’t it Kyle?” Marissa whispered to herself. Even in the little mountain village in a county that doesn’t even have a red light she knew there was one thing Kyle couldn’t ignore.


Marissa recalled her first year. Kyle was on the phone with his mother lamenting the loss of a summer Adirondack romance. She heard him talk about all those weekends trying to get Trish Maxwell’s attention but she was always with Ben Regan. When they broke up Kyle pounced on the opportunity and Trish said yes. She didn’t fit the supermodel mode Marissa figured Kyle would go for, but the country girl had big city ambition. She apparently knew how to play the game. Trish dated Kyle long enough to make networking connections to further her dream to leave Speculator Falls. She dropped Kyle, went back to Ben for part of college, and then dumped him a couple years later. Trish left Speculator Falls and the senior center director position in the dust when she landed a marketing job. A job with one of Kyle’s contacts.

Kyle wanted JB’s to please father, yes. But now the rest of the puzzle came together. He had deep feelings for Trish, probably still did. However, the way Kyle’s mind worked, he wasn’t angry with her. Kyle blamed the local grocer, Ben Regan.

Marissa spent her Friday night creating much more than a takeover strategy. She just put together her employer’s mode for revenge.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Copyright © 2011-2017 Julie Arduini All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.5, from