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You’re Invited: Praise & Coffee Online Study of Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited

Posted by Julie on August 29, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

The biggest battle I’ve faced in any role I’ve taken on is rejection and isolation. I’ve joked that I’m the misfit toy, the one left in the corner while everyone has fun. I’ve watched even as an adult that I’ve been forgotten, passed over, added on when others said no, and all the other things that crush.

In the encouragement I give to others, I know I’m not alone. That’s why I am stepping out in faith to start a group on Facebook where we can meet weekly to discuss Lysa TerKeurst’s latest release, UNINVITED.

I am doing this under the umbrella of Praise and Coffee, a ministry that simply loves to have women connect so they can encourage and inspire. Groups can be as few as two people and can meet anywhere. Kitchens. Church rooms. Living rooms. Cafes.

Even online.

And that’s what I’m doing. You purchase the book and read the assigned chapters for the week, and once a week for an hour we’ll discuss it. No membership, no commitment, just know that you are invited.

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

All discussions will be through this closed group page. The group can be found by anyone, but only members can read the posts. Our discussions will be confidential.

To request the group, click HERE.

To purchase UNINVITED: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely, click HERE.

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Saturday Confession: My Relationship? It’s Complicated

Posted by Julie on September 26, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Saturday Confession, surrender |

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve seen the relationship status choice: It’s complicated.

Yeah, that’s me.

Not my marriage, but me.

And Jesus.

What makes it so frustrating is Jesus isn’t feeling any complications. He knows.

And I’m really having a hard time with that.

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There are things I know about me that I finally receive.

  • I’m an intercessor. I’m called to stand in the gap and pray.
  • I’m a scribe. When He tells me to write, I do. I write what He tells me to write. Every time.
  • I’m a vessel of surrender. When He asks me to do something, I’m on it. What used to take years to obey is now down to days. There is such freedom in that. But it is a lonely, crushing road.
  • I believe God. He gifted me a mountain moving faith. If He’s asked me to believe for it, I do. Because, He is.

But I’m still human and within the above come complications. Whether it’s one of the above, I’m an introvert, it’s a Julie Arduini thing, I don’t know but I’m stuck in the cycle of I enjoy being alone and yet the loneliness of life at times is so harsh I wonder at times if I can stand under it a second longer. This year has been particularly tough.

Then there’s the prayer life. There are some prayers that are 20 years old and they are not only not answered, they are worse. I get people and their free will play a part but where is He in this?  The fallout are death to promises and I fear death itself.  How do I raise my hands in worship when I can’t come to terms with this?

There’s the mixture of the two. The loneliness of prayer. I used to long to be invited to a dance—any social event that featured the very people who remembered my number when it came to prayer. Then I realized I probably would stand in a corner and wish I were home. Now I wish people reached out and asked if they could pray for me or if I had any needs. There is a very, very small group that has done that this year and they have no idea how lifesaving that was to me at a critical time. But the ache and pain of people who ignore me until they have a prayer request, honestly, what can I do but go to the Source for this?

In full transparency, my attitude hasn’t been perfect. There are more times than not, especially this month, where I felt entitled. Because I did A, I deserve B. Well, that’s not true. There are so, so, so many things that are on hold in and around me. Picture a roller coaster taking those baby steps to the top. When does the fun part come? When do the answers and release come? That’s where my thoughts are at.

The good news is I fight this out for a bit and I’ll settle down and in time I’ll look back and see what He saw all along. I’ll confess my attitude and He’ll pat me on the shoulder and we’ll move forward together like we always do. The loneliness part, that I don’t know how that’s going to work.

For now, this is Saturday Confession and here I am telling you, it’s complicated.

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Why is Loneliness So Hard to Talk About by Cherie Burbach

Posted by Julie on September 24, 2015 in encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

Why Is Loneliness So Hard to Talk About?

 

In writing about relationships for over a decade now I’ve noticed a few things that continually stand out: people wanting more friends in their life, people wanting to understand what makes that friend of theirs tick, and people trying not to look too desperate for friends.

I think all of these things are related and pretty universal. People want friends but they are afraid to be too vocal about it. They have a hard time admitting that sometimes (or more than sometimes) they’re lonely. That’s a shame, because I think people who understand what’s missing in their life and have a desire to change it are brave and should be applauded. But we don’t usually do that as a society.

I have a lot of great friends in my life but at one point I went through a period of time when I was very lonely. My husband traveled for work, some of my closest friends moved, and suddenly I just found myself without the particular types of friendships I most desired. And that’s the key with loneliness. It isn’t necessarily about having lots of friends, it’s about having the close connection you crave.

I write about relationships and I’m pretty comfortable admitting things, so I told a family member that I was struggling with loneliness. And you know what she did? Snorted some snotty response about how she wished she had time for loneliness! She was too busy to be lonely!

I was busy, too. Being lonely doesn’t mean you don’t have enough to do. And that’s when it hit me, that there are people who experience loneliness and aren’t as comfortable talking about it as I am, and this is the type of response we (their closest friends and family) give them. Some snarky response that is meant to make them feel worse than they already do.

So when I wrote this book, I wanted it to be for people who might just want a few new friends (maybe the ones you have just aren’t giving you the types of connection you want right now) or those that need to meet a few people. Maybe they are feeling lonely right now. Maybe they just aren’t totally happy with the state of their relationships right now.

100 Simple Ways to Have More Friends is a handbook of sorts, with “meeting people” tips interspersed with “nurturing your friendship” type tips. It’s a book you can go back to occasionally or one you can read right through and try out the various suggestions as you absorb them. Friendships are fluid and even when you have long time friends that have been in your life forever, you might still need a few more who get you. It’s as simple as that.

In 1 Peter 5:7 we read “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I want people to know they are never alone, even in the dark, lonely times. Even when the rest of the people in your life don’t get where you’re coming from. He is always there keeping us company and encouraging us. He puts the right people and situations in front of us to help us through.

 

51xZ3DOlc5L _SX331_BO1204203200__editedBook Description:

The more friends you have, the more you’ll have the right people in your life to give you the support and connection you desire. Having more friends means you’ll consistently connect with new people and also keep the good friends you already have. If your friendships don’t seem to stick, you’ll be making friends and losing them quickly. The key to having more friends is increasing the number of people you meet on a regular basis and holding on to the great pals you already have.

 

This book contains one hundred suggestions on how to make new friends and also strengthen the friendships you already have. The tips are varied, with suggestions on how to meet new people interspersed with ideas for nurturing your new and existing friendships. To purchase, click here.

 

11008411_768246289939617_586882471659681771_n_editedAuthor Bio:

Cherie Burbach is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer. She’s penned 17 books and has written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, Christianity Today, and more. Whether it’s writing articles or creating art, all of Cherie’s work centers on relationships and faith. She includes book pages, music sheets, and other fabulous random things in her art to create something that celebrates a hopeful message. Visit her website for more info, cherieburbach.com.

 

 

 

 

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Saturday Confession: Sometimes I Cry Myself to Sleep

I’ve blogged for the better part of seven years. In the ever-changing cyberworld that’s like 100 years. For the most part when I communicate with a reader two things stand out when they summarize me.

I love chocolate.

I’m transparent.

That’s success to me because it’s the brand I’ve quietly built over the years. You might not remember my name but you recall that author that loves chocolate. The one who writes about surrender. And those things circle back to me.

Lately I’ve been going through a growth spurt with the Lord, a season and as I feel I’m supposed to, I share certain aspects of the journey. Today is a hard one because it is transparent. Not only are men not encouraged to admit their feelings,

And I am.

But there are times I cry myself to sleep.

Why?

Most of the time because I’m bone tired.

This particular season my husband is on a project that has him on call every weekend and many evenings. If he gets home at a reasonable time he’s tethered to the laptop. I don’t say it often because it comes across harsh and I believe it looks like an appeal for pity.

But for those that really know me, it’s no secret. I’m married but often a single mom. It’s not what either of us want but it’s our reality. Our oldest drives now so that helps with a lot of the shuttling that falls on my shoulders. Yet I still get tired. Juggling school schedules, all of our times in ministry and the logistics involved, medical appointments and the aftermath, keeping up with the house. I recently had to take our two senior dogs to the vet to put them down. Cry? That was a day I spelled it out. I needed my family to be present and encouraging. And they were. But lately I’ve been so tired the only way to let that out has been through tears.

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I also cry out of anger. There are times, rare, but moments when I’m at such a loss for words I can only cry. Most of the time it’s out of love for someone else and desire to protect them. The hardest lately has been people demanding things from my husband he doesn’t have. If he had time, I’d like some of it yet many hands are grabbing for him wanting their (in my tired opinion) minor needs yet. Without knowing our full story they offer their commentary and it wounds to the point of hot tears I save for night. I cry for my kids. When they are frustrated and they have to do the right thing knowing they will probably be the only one that will. When they are picked on. And another biggie for me—when I want justice and I don’t see it. Oh, I cry and shake my fist on that!

And then there’s the loneliness. I’m an introvert’s introvert with a call to write. That alone is a life of solitude. Add the above and sometimes the isolation threatens to choke the very life out of me. It’s complex because it’s a time God uses to train me. But I hate it. It’s so hard. And it seems with each growing season my circle is pruned. There are fewer people I’m able to relate to and trust. And the cycle is vicious.

Why do I share such a vulnerable place? Because I vowed I would always write what God asked when He did.

. I’m confident I’m not the only person crying themselves to sleep. My hope is that by sharing that person or people feel less alone and reach out to their Heavenly Father so that they can learn and prosper from the experience.

And may your sleep be full of His peace.

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Sabbath Sunday: The Chosen

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As soon as I took this picture, it hit me hard.

Because I could relate.

That leaf looked so out of place.

So last season.

And alone.

Cold and lonely wondering why it has to be this way.

Of all the Christmas stories out there growing up, I would cry watching Rudolph.

Because before I knew rejection, I sensed my life’s call as a misfit.

Then I grew and I realized there was One who knew that cold and lonely life in a way I never would.

Jesus.

That babe born in a barn.

The child who hung out in tabernacles when other kids played.

The Savior who hung while everyone mocked or disappeared.

Years ago a traveling preacher visited our church and prayed over folks at the altar.

We went forward and my husband received this encouragement:

“Those things that hurt you, you wondered if it was because of what you did or didn’t do. You wondered why. Those things were to make you more like My Son.”

To be like Him means forsaking the world and taking the narrow path.

Sticking out and looking so last season.

Feeling cold and alone.

But the reward is great.

Intimacy with the One who chose you.

Eternal life.

Love.

Now when I see something that looks alone I don’t feel sad.

I rejoice.

Because that object was chosen.

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Sabbath Sunday: Chosen

20131112_090351_edited

As soon as I took this picture, it hit me hard.

Because I could relate.

That leaf looked so out of place.

So last season.

And alone.

Cold and lonely wondering why it has to be this way.

Of all the Christmas stories out there growing up, I would cry watching Rudolph.

Because before I knew rejection, I sensed my life’s call as a misfit.

Then I grew and I realized there was One who knew that cold and lonely life in a way I never would.

Jesus.

That babe born in a barn.

The child who hung out in tabernacles when other kids played.

The Savior who hung while everyone mocked or disappeared.

Years ago a traveling preacher visited our church and prayed over folks at the altar.

We went forward and my husband received this encouragement:

“Those things that hurt you, you wondered if it was because of what you did or didn’t do. You wondered why. Those things were to make you more like My Son.”

To be like Him means forsaking the world and taking the narrow path.

Sticking out and looking so last season.

Feeling cold and alone.

But the reward is great.

Intimacy with the One who chose you.

Eternal life.

Love.

Now when I see something that looks alone I don’t feel sad.

I rejoice.

Because that object was chosen.



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