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Book Review: Now You’re Speaking My Language by Dr. Gary Chapman

Posted by Julie on February 27, 2014 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Now You’re Speaking My Language from multimillion selling author Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages) encourages husbands and wives to offer steadfast loyalty, forgiveness, empathy, and commitment to resolving conflict, thus encouraging each other in spiritual growth. With great clarity, Dr. Chapman shows how communication and intimacy are key points in developing a successful marriage by focusing on these principles: Lasting answers to marital growth are found in the Bible, Your relationship with God enhances your marriage relationship, Communication is the main way two become one in a marriage, and Biblical oneness involves sex, but also intellectual, spiritual,emotional, and social oneness.

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I’ve read and applied Dr. Chapman’s marriage resources for years, so I’m always excited when I know another marriage related book is available. As always, Now You’re Speaking My Language breaks down common problems in marriage and gives statistics, stories, Biblical examples and testimonies to share ways to strengthen marriage.

He accomplishes this through easy to understand methods, not too preachy, not too complex. My favorite learning took was identifying the four “fowls.” It’s simple to remember, and as soon as he gave examples, I could immediately think of people and conversations where these fowls were around.

Nuggets like that are sprinkled throughout the book. For that, I recommend married couples take a look and apply what they learn. You won’t be sorry.

To purchase Now You’re Speaking My Language, click here.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Re-Writing the Evil Step-Mom Story

Posted by Julie on May 17, 2013 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Earlier this week I was blessed to have my step-mom experience shared with Rebecca’s blog Among Friends: The Ties That Bond Us. If you’re in a blended family I encourage you to take the time to read.

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Our family is proof that the step-family story doesn’t have to be a tragedy.

Read my post here.

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Marriage Monday: Why I’m Still Married

Posted by Julie on January 28, 2013 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, surrender |

 

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Well, wow. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in Marriage Monday, and E-mom doesn’t mess around with the topic.

Divorce.

As in, as a Christian wife blogging on marriage today, why am I still married?

Why haven’t I divorced?

Is commitment a key?

I’m not one to hide behind fancy words or wear a mask when it comes to my feelings. I’m authentic in the what you see is what you get because I promised God I would live a surrendered life to and for Him. I long for women to live free in Christ. And it has to start with me.

I didn’t enter marriage as a secure woman. Rejection was such a part of the “old foundation” that I daily waited for 10 years for the moment my husband would realize what a failure I was and let me know we were done. It was such a fear before he came along I resisted relationships and tried to end them. I tried to break up with my then fiancé/now husband several times before the wedding simply because I was scared.

But in His love, He knocked out that old foundation through Beth Moore’s Believing God and a deeper experience with the Holy Spirit, along with a lot of time. I became solid in who I was and am, and who my Savior is. When rejection came from other sources, it basically bounced off me and I was thankful for the experience.

I started to forget about my husband rejecting me.

And not long after that he entered a burnout that had disaster written all over it for both of us.

He was working 70 hours a week. He went on a business related trip that to this day I feel he  caught a spiritual flu. It might not make sense, but being run down in body and spirit, I felt like he was vulnerable. I honestly think he was contagious to what I call the corporate spirit. It’s my own term where appearances matter more than people. A critical nature develops. Perfectionism. Not a lot of compassion.

It wasn’t his fault. He wasn’t just working, he was serving in ministry in a place that was meant for a full time pastor. We had a pre schooler with special needs and a son that deserved his attention.

Day by day, week by week, month by month, and yes, in three years, the man I loved was fading fast. He was tired, striving to please, and feeling in need of having things done as he wanted, when he wanted. Afterall, that’s how corporate mindsets work.

Marriage doesn’t deserve to operate in a corporate mindset, though. As you can imagine, we weren’t walking in unity. As I learned with FamilyLife, if you aren’t in unity, you are in isolation. The stressors built and one night it exploded like lava out of a volcano.

Let me stress, I do not believe this was his fault. It was burn out and a spiritual battle that left us pretty beat up and left for dead.

But in the culmination of that season he did what I always feared.

He let me know I was this and that and we were done.

And you know what?

I had total peace. I mean I literally felt supernaturally protected, like a wall surrounded me where nothing could truly get to me. Not those words.

It was an agonizing night, but for me it had been going on so long, I kind of knew this night would change everything. For better or for worse.

Did you read that last line?

Read it again.

For better or for worse.

We’re together and actually stronger because of that season because we didn’t make a commitment.

We made a covenant.

We vowed to God we would not break up.

Now don’t think those three years were fun, or that night was a great time. It was hard and awful. But when things simmered down I was able to give examples of things I knew he couldn’t see or didn’t realize he had said or done. When I calmly shared, he broke for the Lord and repented on the spot. He was devastated he said the very thing I feared every day for a decade.

And marveled that when he actually said them, I didn’t receive it, nor did I fear or quake in faith.

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This is us, last week, on vacation. We’ve thrived after adversity, and I believe covenant living makes the difference.

My two take aways from this is that if you struggle with rejection, let God heal you. For me, Believing God by Beth Moore was huge. His method for you may be different, but please don’t let rejection rule you. Know you are God’s beloved. His cherished daughter. You are royalty to Him. When you have His love branded on your heart, you’ve got no place for rejection, and it feels great. Trust me.

My second take away is live your marriage as a covenant. When you fight, don’t throw the divorce card down to trump him. It’s not fair, mature, and that’s not covenant living. You’re better than that, and so is your marriage.

That’s my take for Marriage Monday and why I haven’t considered divorce.

What do you think about divorce? What does commitment mean to you? What are your thoughts on staying together for the kids?

Feel free to share your comments, and definitely visit everyone sharing their hearts through Marriage Monday.

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Book Review: Your Heart’s Desire by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Posted by Julie on December 28, 2012 in Book Review, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

The last book review of 2012 from none other than Sheri Rose Shepherd. Her latest? Your Heart’s Desire–14 Truths that will Forever Change the Way You Love and Are Loved.

I first learned of Sheri Rose from her His Princess: Love Letters from the King. To this day I receive a letter in my inbox and they are always exactly what I need to hear from my Heavenly Father. I was curious. Could God use her again as a vessel to change others for God under the topic of marriage?

Yes. Like Beth Moore, Sheri Rose Shepherd’s writing comes from a life deep in hard experiences. She’s upfront from page one that she thought she had it all, lost everything, doubted everything down to and including God caring for her, and by His grace, pieced her life back better than it was. This time she knew it wasn’t man who could rescue and be her everything, it had to be Jesus.

Sheri Rose shares from the very worst in places (her engagement to three different men at the same time and how that came crashing on her) to encouragement she can give as a life coach. Each chapter also has a prayer, Scripture, Love Coaching, and resources for a small group including a QR code you can capture on your smartphone.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Sheri Rose Shepherd proves the leaders with broken, flawed lives make the best. If a speaker or author wants to share their perfect life, I’m not interested because they aren’t living authentic. I want to soak in truth from someone who has been there. This book is challenging because she’s been at the hard and low places, and no one walked away.

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The truths are:

1. Desiring a “Happily Ever After”

2. Desiring a Godly Man to Marry (for singles)

3. Desiring to Leave a Legacy for My Loved Ones

4. Desiring God’s Design That Me and My Man Become One

5. Desiring God to Give Me The Power to Remain Pure

6. Desiring to Give and Receive Love

7. Desiring to Embrace My New Life in Christ

8. Desiring to Become a Woman My Man Can Lead

9. Desiring My Son to Become a Man of Faith

10. Desiring a Miracle to Build a New Foundation of Love

11. Desiring Expressions of Love and Romance in My Marriage

12. Desiring to Believe God Can Change a Man and Save My Marriage

13. Desiring to Glorify God by Showing Honor and Respect

14. Desiring to Surrender My Whole Heart to the Lord

I think there is at least one truth that can help each reader. I have a feeling there might even be more than one. Your marriage is worth the time to read this, and my hope is you put Your Heart’s Desire on your top priority reading list.

Hope and healing for every woman who has ever loved a man
Bestselling author and Bible life coach Sheri Rose Shepherd shares 14 truths that will forever change the way you love and are loved. This book is written for the married woman who loves her man but struggles in her marriage. It’s for the single woman who wants to find a godly man to love and for the divorced woman who believed in her marriage until her man walked out.

Each chapter has life-challenging love stories, love coaching, powerful prayers, inspiring scriptural love letters, and a Transforming Truth.

If you’re ready for a refreshing perspective on love, men, and marriage, this book is for you.

To purchase, click here.

I received this book through Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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A Merry Christmas Message: Even in the Fog

Posted by Julie on December 25, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Ah, Sunday. It’s a day to relax. Enjoy your family. For me, I also worship and fellowship at my local church even though my faith is a daily part of my life. Here, I also share my own amateur nature photo and a thought or two on God’s love for you.

December is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Sleigh rides, hot cocoa, beautiful Christmas lights, and caroling.

Okay, maybe it’s more like the cat climbing the tree. Christmas concerts where it’s one rendition of Jingle Bells on third grade recorders after another. Kids with the gimmes.

Stressful, right?

Well there is a bigger population where December is bleak. They spend the month in a daze, trying to put one foot in front of another. It might be the first Christmas without a loved one. Relationships aren’t always at their peek in December. Couples break up. Marriages crumble. Parents still get the call in the middle of the night that their kids are in jail.  Sadly, suicide rates rise this time of the year.

If your December feels more like a fog than a celebration, please know you aren’t forgotten. There was a baby born over 2,000 years ago in a season of chaos and strife. The parents-to-be worried about provision and safety. When it was time to deliver, the most precious gift a person can experience came into the world in a barn. He wasn’t surrounded by nurses and calming music. He was greeted with a chorus of animals and the scent of their dung.

Thing is, the baby delivered under such bleak appearing circumstances chose that entrance because He came to deliver…You.

His love for you is that great, and whatever fog you’re trying to conquer, is not a cosmic joke at your expense. It’s that broken place where you, if you allow it, can not just survive, but thrive.

My hope is that you receive that gift.

And please know how loved you are, and your visiting this post today was not an accident.

Not even in the fog.

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Sabbath Sunday: Even in the Fog

Posted by Julie on December 18, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Nature, Sabbath Sunday, surrender |

Ah, Sunday. It’s a day to relax. Enjoy your family. For me, I also worship and fellowship at my local church even though my faith is a daily part of my life. Here, I also share my own amateur nature photo and a thought or two on God’s love for you.

December is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Sleigh rides, hot cocoa, beautiful Christmas lights, and caroling.

Okay, maybe it’s more like the cat climbing the tree. Christmas concerts where it’s one rendition of Jingle Bells on third grade recorders after another. Kids with the gimmes.

Stressful, right?

Well there is a bigger population where December is bleak. They spend the month in a daze, trying to put one foot in front of another. It might be the first Christmas without a loved one. Relationships aren’t always at their peek in December. Couples break up. Marriages crumble. Parents still get the call in the middle of the night that their kids are in jail.  Sadly, suicide rates rise this time of the year.

If your December feels more like a fog than a celebration, please know you aren’t forgotten. There was a baby born over 2,000 years ago in a season of chaos and strife. The parents-to-be worried about provision and safety. When it was time to deliver, the most precious gift a person can experience came into the world in a barn. He wasn’t surrounded by nurses and calming music. He was greeted with a chorus of animals and the scent of their dung.

Thing is, the baby delivered under such bleak appearing circumstances chose that entrance because He came to deliver…You.

His love for you is that great, and whatever fog you’re trying to conquer, is not a cosmic joke at your expense. It’s that broken place where you, if you allow it, can not just survive, but thrive.

My hope is that you receive that gift.

And please know how loved you are, and your visiting this post today was not an accident.

Not even in the fog.



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