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1

Saturday Confession: Not Strong Enough

Posted by Julie on May 2, 2015 in Julie Arduini |

My confession this week stems from my Facebook status. Although the frustration has passed, I know the exhaustion isn’t just my confession. We’ve all been there. This week it felt extra heavy.  The rejection and loneliness has been harder than usual to handle. So I vented. Can you relate?

For all I do post here, there is much I do not share because it is in process, not just about me, or too raw. Every once in awhile it’s a small thing that breaks me to reveal the bigger issue. Yesterday I had to deal with a mom thing that has been ongoing and frustrating and it was the last straw. In the end it was an 8 tissue quiet time where I confessed I’m not strong enough to do this—any of it. I’m not equipped to handle the situations and people before me. The process to make me more Christ-like, the rejection and loneliness, is crushing. It is hard to serve, pray, decree and wait. It is unbearable when few understand and it feels like even fewer care.

tumblr_lurzr9AXmu1qhzpkto2_500Once I poured it all out I had a bed full of tissues, a headache, but a freedom that I didn’t stuff it. I let God have it because He is equipped and strong enough. And that “I can’t do this” cry brings me one step closer to breakthrough. I have to believe that. And today is a new day where I start the small and big stuff all over again.

My friends, don’t give up.

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2

Character Confession: Rehearsing for a Play that Will Never Open

Posted by Julie on May 18, 2013 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

When people are skeptical about Christ’s ability to transform people today, I want to bring in people from my childhood to display as my Exhibit A. I was a wounded, angry child and my mouth was often far ahead of my brain. If I couldn’t say it in person, well I did the next best thing–write a letter. I earned the nickname “Poison Pen.”

It’s a true testament to Christ that I’m not referred to that way anymore. But be assured it remains a choice on my part, and some days are easier than others. My feelings get hurt just like yours. Sarcasm? I could be a master if I practiced the skill.

And boy, do I want to have a showcase displaying that talent.

There is someone in a small circle in my life that I give far too much access to my time and thoughts. They are a wounded person that lives a double standard. They love to tell everyone in their radius how privacy is important to them, while they are literally looking over the fence to watch everyone else. I should know. They have literally called out to me from a distance asking how much my mom’s sewing machine cost because they openly confessed they watched my mom sew all night. From a distance.

I learned early on this was a toxic situation and it escalated to a point that someone close to us was nearly harmed because the wounded person got in our business without knowing the full picture and called the police. It wasn’t out of concern, it was out of gossip. And it nearly got our friend, a disabled person who can not speak without assistance, hurt.

And I was  am so mad more than a year later that I still rehearse what I really want to say. When it first happened I caught the person watching me, again, from a distance, as I backed out of my driveway.

Honestly? I wanted to give her a one finger wave. The anger was that intense.

But I dialed down the sass somewhat and stuck out my tongue.

I know. Real mature.

I’ve prayed a lot. For me to have compassion. Yet when my circle and theirs interact, the assessment is always the same. This person is wounded,  and we are all their targets. No one escapes. It’s hard to feel sorry for them.

I’ve prayed for them. There have been hard times in their life and I believe they had a scenario regarding how I’d fit in their life. And I totally don’t match that fantasy. To say they are probably disappointed in me would be an understatement.

Well this week I came face to face with them for the first time in years. I’ve heard time and time again how so and so was such a disappointment because they didn’t greet the wounded person, in fact so and so went out of their way to escape. So when I saw the wounded person, I instantly felt like they deserved a greeting.

So I said hello.

Not loud, but with the courage I had with me. Not snotty, but not full of love, either. But I tried.

And wounded person put their nose in the air and looked right through me.

And my flesh roared back. I whispered, “Unbelieveable! What a pain in the butt!” as I walked away.

But I didn’t stop. Not in my mind, at least.

I’ve been rehearsing for a show that should never go into production. One where I pronounce what probably everyone else is thinking, and I know I am. Where I shout their deeds and failures from the top of my roof. And yes, I’m still struggling with the wave. Not the kind one, either.

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I don’t have the right answer for this, but it is a confession Saturday. I know the wrong answer is to keep this rehearsal going. I don’t believe they are approachable or willing to receive anything, so by praying, I’d need to keep it on the down low. Yet, I’m not really feeling it, either.

I know this much, not giving every thought to Christ is a dangerous deed. My rehearsing comebacks are as toxic as the wounded person. No one wins.

And like I said, this show I’m practicing for, the Director of my life never gave it a green light. It doesn’t have backing. No one will buy tickets, because there will be no play. No matinees, no closing night. Nothing.

Where does that leave me? A frustrated actress without a stage. But you know, the play that never opens is the closed door that is closed for good reason. And if I obey, chances are an open door is close by to practice kind words and responses to someone willing to receive.

And through obedience I believe there will be great applause.

From heaven.

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2

Character Confession: Waiting for that Light at the End of the Tunnel

Posted by Julie on April 6, 2013 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Original post July 2012

Is it just me? I don’t think so, because when I asked on Facebook about waiting, a few people chimed in.

Here’s my deal–I do pretty well with long waits. I’ve waited years for children, for job circumstances, to overcome fears. I’ve waited months for vacations, sales, weight loss, and television shows to return. No matter what the wait is, when the wait is almost over I fall apart.

Every time.

Big, life-changing wait like having children, and small issues like The Closer returning to TNT. In both cases, when it is thisclose to happening, I whine, complain, try to quit, walk away, cry, and repeat.

Every time.

Case in point: when my husband and I were first engaged, he lived a couple hours away. He hated the distance, but I held up pretty well until the countdown was on for him to move to my hometown. We were two weeks away from the big move and I couldn’t take it. The time frame seemed suddenly impossible to handle, so I decided to walk away. I sent him an e-mail and broke up.

He never got the message.

And when I told him, he reminded me how close we were to being in the same city. I needed to be patient. Trust God.

Now here I am less than a week from getting my cast off. I made it through three separate casts. Teaching VBS. Driving. Sleeping. Getting dressed. Stabbing myself in the eye by putting contacts in left handed. None of that really got to me. Until this week.

Because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The one song that helps me is the Southern Gospel song Four Days Late. It’s about Mary and Martha’s reactions to Jesus regarding the death of their brother, Lazarus. Had Jesus come immediately, without them needing to wait, they would never know a miracle. Lazarus was resurrected, and I’m pretty sure Mary and Martha would agree Jesus taking so long was worth the wait.

I guess some of us need to fall apart before the end to appreciate the light at the end of that tunnel.

So, share. Is it just me, or do you struggle with this too?

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0

Character Confession: Frustrated but not Defeated

Posted by Julie on October 15, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I missed a week or two but on Saturdays I share my confession. It’s a character confession and this week I’m feeling…

 

 

 

 

I co-facilitate a small group each week and although the contents are private, I will say that the lesson encouraged participants to step away from temptations and avoid falling into “The Trap.”

I didn’t just fall in the trap this week, I took a complete head-first dive.

I hate that.

The enemy of my soul, oh how he loves it. Because he’s been dogging my tail all week saying, how dare you work in ministry in any aspect if you can’t even obey the very lessons you present?

You’ve had those moments, right? Thing is, I get that the enemy is just that, my enemy. He’s also desperate. Because I know God has my back, ESPECIALLY when I mess up. Instead of falling further, I lift my hands and ask God to forgive and help me. He answers every time, and just like the Chilean miners from last year, He rescues me from the deep pit.

I also get the enemy’s job is to try to make me feel defeated. What I get, though, is that my reply needs to be that I’m not defeated. The enemy is. He is the true defeated one but until his time has come he’s going to work on convincing us we’re the defeated ones.

It nearly worked.

Yes, I’m tired and frazzled and those are the things that trigger my unwise choices.

It’s frustrating.

But praise God, those traps are only short term visits that I believe God can be fewer and far between.

How about you? Feeling frustrated and defeated? If Christ is in you remember who the true defeated one is.

And it’s not you!

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4

Character Confession: Foiled. Again.

Posted by Julie on July 23, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Saturday…my day to share my strengths and weaknesses, mostly weaknesses. My prayer is that the things God is walking me through with His help will encourage you.

I know I’m not alone in this frustration because my mom still gets a little passionate mentioning this topic and my dad has been gone for 7 years. It’s the cry heard around the world from (mostly) women who try to throw a little something new into the menu and are…

Foiled.

Literally, in my case.

This summer we’re all eating in a new way that is healthier but is constant work on my part to make sure servings and the new food plate are taken care of.  For a season our oldest was a vegan vegetarian now he’s a carnivore again. But that season forced more creativity from my hands in the kitchen.

My bright idea recently was to grill ham (done before) and have cut up potatoes lightly seasoned with Wegmans Parmesan Italian dressing, red peppers, corn and onions mixed together and put in foil to grill as well. You would have thought when the family saw foil that I had a conspiracy to hurt them going. It’s as if they never saw food wrapped in foil.

I could tell right then and there I could have wrapped Hershey’s in that foil and it wouldn’t matter.

I’d be the only one eating it.

I thought it would go over so well I used 7 potatoes to make the thing.

One tried it and hated it. One tried it without potatoes and ate two helpings of vegetables. One wouldn’t even try.

My mom said when she used to make things my dad used to remark how it didn’t taste “just like mom’s.” One night she got tired of hearing it and threw her dish in the garbage and told him to go to mom’s for dinner if it was that good. He never made that comment again.

I wish for a suspended moment someone would note the work that goes into feeding a family, especially one in such eating transition. I wish foil wasn’t such a mysterious scary object when presented as an item to be on the grill.

I wish those three could make meals for a month and see how many victories they get with thanks, empty plates and the like.

Back to the mundane boring menu tomorrow where I’m sure I’ll get rave reviews.

Can I get an Amen?

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0

Character Confession: Frustrated

Posted by Julie on February 5, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, surrender |

Saturday I enjoy sharing my Character Confession courtesy of Noelle Mena at Pliable in His Hands. Read on to read my confession. This is a new server/site resdesign so if you like what you see here please follow and/or subscribe. I appreciate it. Oh, and Monday is my DVD and book review for Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave. You’re invited!

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