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Transformation: The Split Second

Posted by Julie on January 8, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

The word for my year is transformation and as always, I’m constantly looking to see how that word applies to my life. A few days ago I received news that I can’t stop thinking about. A little girl is gone and her parents, amazing parents who were great to us when we lived in NY, are shattered and forever changed. A tragic accident that took place in a split second.

Then I saw the breaking news coming out of the Fort Lauderdale airport. One minute passengers are focusing on travel, the next, diving for cover because of gunfire. I read on one of the sites I belong to that a cousin was one of the victims. Again, everything transforming in a split second.

I realize those transformations can come with good news, too. A marriage proposal. A birth. Hearing about a job promotion, or even getting a call that you got the job. It means in a second you go from that title to a new one. A change in address, perhaps. And always so much more.

Transformation: The Split Second Change

I am one of those that is always so far ahead in my thinking that I am guilty of missing out on celebrating the present. My dear friend told me her goal for the year was to choose present over perfect. I love that. I want to embrace what I have in my life. This week showed me that can all go away in a moment. I don’t want to have regrets. But in search of perfect, I’ve missed out on the present. That’s not how I want to approach life.

Are there examples you can think of where your life changed in a split second? What are transformations you can think of?

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Jennifer Slattery: God’s Healing Love

Posted by Julie on January 6, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I’ve always been thankful for the darkness because it allowed me to see the light so clearly. I’m thankful for every moment I received faulty, incomplete, tainted love because it made the real thing, the agape, self-sacrificing love that can only come from Christ, so obvious. And contagious.

 

For the past few months, my husband and I have been walking beside someone who is living in darkness, choosing the darkness over light. And it’s hard. It’s never fun to see someone completely destroy their life, but it’s more than that. I see myself in this individual. I remember when I bounced from place to place, when I drank malt liquor until I passed out, when I gravitated toward the deceived and self-destroying.

 

But God also showed me the light. And He drew me with His love. His patient, unyielding, pursuing love.

 

It took a long time for that love to truly take hold. For me to truly believe it. Rest in it. In all my healing, I primarily credit two people—Jesus Christ, who saw me and loved me on my worst day, and my husband, who saw something in a homeless girl from Washington and decided to hold tight to her, until his love broke through.

 

Oh, what a road that was! Consumed with past hurts, fears, and distrust, I did everything I knew to push him away. I figured it was only a matter of time before he left me, anyway. Everyone else I knew had.

 

Only he stayed. He held tight, and he continued to love me, even when I was completely unlovable.

 

And bit by bit, his love broke through, until one day, I realized, I no longer feared he’d leave. In fact, I knew with every part of my tattered but healing heart, that he’d stay. Till death do we part.

 

That’s when real intimacy, real healing took place.

 

But then one day, on a particularly hard day, Jesus opened my eyes. I was in the middle of gunk, gunk related directly to my past and the pain I’d experienced, and it felt as if I was right back there, in it. I can’t describe what that feels like, but those of you who’ve been there know. It’s a pain that completely levels you and launches that ugly, snotty-nosed cry no one but your mate has any business seeing.

 

That’s where I was—sobbing. Like I often do, I headed straight for the bedroom, for my bed, where I could fall apart in silence.

 

Why is it, when we’re in pain, we tend to isolate?

 

So there I was, feeling alone in my heartache, until … my husband came in. Walked straight to me, and tackled me in a full on body hug. “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,” he said again and again. Maybe ten times. Maybe more. Making me sob all the harder.

 

Then it hit me, so clear it stalled my breath and my tears. That was Jesus. Jesus was holding and loving me through my husband.

 

Because that’s what He does. He meets us when it feels as if we’re falling apart and He envelopes us in His love. He tells us again and again, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” Until that love breaks through and begins to heal all the broken pieces.

 

So that the pain from the past, those old wounds we’ve shoved down, lose their power over us. And His love, His power, His gentle, restoring Holy Spirit makes us new.

 

Jennifer Slattery: God’s Healing Love

Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team put on events at partnering churches designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. She writes devotions for Internet Café Devotions, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and edits for Firefy, a Southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte

 

Restoring Love:

Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She’s almost his worst nightmare, and she s also working on restoring something herself. As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common, a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?

 

Buy it on:

Christian Book Distributors

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Connect with Jennifer

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

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2016, A Year of BIG Surprises, by Janetta Fudge Messmer

2016, A Year of BIG Surprises, by Janetta Fudge Messmer

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18

These verses are favorites of mine, and I’ve used them as my blog heading for years. They remind me of what the Lord expects of me each and every day. To rejoice. To pray. To give thanks.

2016 has been a year of all years. One for the record books for thankfulness, and one I’ll never forget. I’m almost sure I told the Lord “thank you” a million times. A slight exaggeration, but He blessed the socks right off my feet. Let me give you a few examples of his lovingkindness:

  • I’m a published author of three books (Early Birds, Southbound Birds, and Chords of Love). And it happened this year.
  • The Lord continues to bless me with a great husband. This year he also rocks as my CEO of Marketing and Daily Operations.
  • I turned 60 years old in January (not an easy age to reach when you still feel 16, and act like it most of the time)
  • I’m over-the-top thankful for our pooch, Maggie. She’s the one who gave me the great idea for my debut novel, Early Birds. (Piece of advice: Always listen to your pet when they ‘talk’ to you. Might surprise you what they have to say).

As you can see, I could go on for days about what I’m thankful for. But, I do have days that it takes every bit of my energy to see past the problem in my path. To even utter a coherent prayer. To proclaim victory in His name.

It is at those tough times that I pick up my Bible and reread (as many times as it takes to get it through my head) I Thessalonians 5: 16-18. These three verses are where I find the remedy to what ails me. They help me to realign with what the Lord is trying to teach me through His word.

What about you? Has life thrown you a few curve balls (illness/extra doctor bills, car not running right, job ended, relationship, etc.)  Take it from me, read the verses in I Thessalonians and follow His instructions: Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances.

Trust me, if you do these three things, it’ll be a life changing experience. Won’t you give it a try? The Lord is waiting for you.

Janetta Fudge Messmer Bio:

head-shot_editedJanetta Fudge-Messmer is an inspirational author, editor and speaker. She’s received Honorable Mention for fiction and nonfiction articles from Byline Magazine. She also received Honorable Mention for a fiction article from Writer’s Digest Magazine. Her article, “A Working Relationship” was published in Guideposts Magazine. Guideposts Books published, “Shorthaired Miracle”. Along with writing, Janetta also speaks at seminars, helping others to “Tell Your Story”. Janetta, her husband Ray and precious pooch Maggie, became full-time RVers in 2013 and love traveling around the USA in their Minnie Winnie.

book-cover-image_editedBook #2 in the Early Bird series finds Rose and Larry Wilford hitting the highway on their next RV adventure. Ben and Betsy Stevenson are right behind them in their 5th wheel. The other two Early Birds, Jeff and Mary Miller, promise to hook up with them as soon as they finish some ‘business’ in Colorado.

On their way to Florida, they make a stop in Mississippi. Soon Rosie wonders if they’ll ever get On the Road Again. The RVs have stalled in Biloxi and it has nothing to do with mechanical issues in any of their rigs. They’ve found another church that needs their help.

Rose, Betsy and Mary spend their days as fashion consultants, dressing young women for success (or as Rosie says, “Playing dress up.”). Larry, Ben and Jeff, they’re up to their eyeballs in sheetrock and drywall mud, and any other handyman task they can find to do.

The one thing Rosie has decided, if and when they start traveling toward the Sunshine State, she’ll still occupy the passenger seat of their dually. No driving for her. Larry can pester her all he wants.

And the fact her bestest friend, Betsy, drove their albatross on I-10 and lived to tell about it, won’t change her mind either. The only way Rose will get behind the wheel is if the Lord, Himself, figures out a way to put her there. ‘Cause at the moment, F.E.A.R. is her middle name.

Instead of legally changing her name or letting trepidation win, Rosie does what she does best. She PRAYS. Larry, on the other hand, is having troubles too. His prayer is that their 5th wheel survives his driving and he’s not sure it will. One more mishap and he’s handing the keys to his wife.

The Early Birds continue to have as many surprises as the state of Florida has palm trees. So why don’t you come along, if you dare. Rose, Larry, Ben, Betsy, Jeff and Mary (and some new friends) would love to have you join them on their travels across the U.S.A.

 Connect with Janetta at:

Early Birds, Southbound Birds, and My Secret Love, are Available on Amazon: https://goo.gl/SX7mfP

E-mail: janettafudgemessmer@gmail.com
Website: http://janettafudgemessmer.com/
Blog: http://www.nettie-fudges-world.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetta.fudge.messmer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nettiefudge

 

 

 

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What it’s Like to do Life with Me

Posted by Julie on October 26, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Speaking, Writing |

Hello? Remember me? I can’t remember the last time I blogged an update. It has been a very busy season and I was blessed when Kathy Carlton Willis and her team sent me some wonderful blog posts to share this fall. They were wonderful and spanned throughout late September and October. Thank you, Kathy and team!

I thought I’d share what’s been going on and what’s coming up.

  • I finished teaching Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst in as many as 5 different ways. 51thstz0ljl-_sx331_bo1204203200_I’ve never done this before and it was a HUGE step of faith. I taught it as a Sunday School Class and as it usually goes, I think I learned the most. I was able to lower my walls and make new friends. There have been times my biggest rejections came from teaching, so this was HARD. But God saw me through it, and I’m thankful. I taught twice a week through an online Facebook group (no video) and that was special. I’m so proud of those ladies. I also met with people privately and/or shared my journaling to encourage those I know are struggling. This book is a life-changer. I put it up there with Beth Moore’s Believing God
  • My husband is on the tail end of teaching seven weeks straight. Most of those weeks were not local, so that put me on full-time duty. It isn’t easy for any of us, but this is new for him, training on a full-time schedule, and he enjoys it.
  • Our oldest started college. I didn’t think much of the transition because he is a commuter student, and honestly, I’m still recovering from his senior year of high school. His grades are amazing and he’s made a couple connections. We see more change on the horizon come January, but we think they are open doors we are excited to see him walk through.
  • Our youngest started middle school. I also didn’t think much of the transition because physically, it is a move down the hall. No big deal, right? But, I forgot the drama. So much with girls and middle school. I really struggled with this one, but through it, she learned wisdom and discernment, and boundaries. I’m drained, and the hard part is, we’re just entering the teen years.

There was also a visit to my home town and a quick trip to the Adirondacks. I’m still critiquing and writing ENGAGED. I’m not where I want to be with it, but I have much of it plotted, so it should flow well. The feedback I’m receiving from promotions I did with ENTRUSTED and ENTANGLED has been so positive, I’m so grateful. I also did a book club for ENTANGLED and that went really well. I’m trying one for ENTRUSTED on my author page, but it is slow going. I think that will pick up once more readers find me. And I pray they do!

At the end of Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst challenges readers to have the courage to ask loved ones, “What’s it like to do life with me?” Boy, that is tough. I haven’t done the official assessment yet, but late August my husband shared something that I knew was a blindspot for me, I didn’t see it. And instead of feeling rejected, I knew it was an area to work on.

So that’s everything going on right now. Tired? I am. I didn’t even talk about all the menopause stuff and the changed I’ve implemented. But that’s what life is like with me right now. Busy!

Stay tuned, throughout November guest bloggers will be sharing why they are thankful. I LOVE this series, I think it is our 9th year. I still have openings, you do NOT have to be a writer to participate. All you need to be is thankful!

To sign up, find a date that is open in November, click the box on the right, hit submit in the center bottom box. It will confirm and send you an email, and also a reminder. If you have trouble, let me know at juliearduini@juliearduini.com. I’d be happy to help.

Sign up HERE

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Surrendering A Stormy Marriage by Kelly Klepfer

Posted by Julie on September 17, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Life Lessons, surrender |

 

It was a dark and stormy night. Not literally. The sky was clear. We could see for miles. However, the inside of the van was alive with lightning and thunder. As difficult as it is to admit, my husband and I were supposedly fighting for our family but there we were again trying to rip each other to shreds.

 

Let me back up and give some basic details of why we were there and why we were in such deep, deep trouble.  We were high school sweethearts and married shortly after I graduated. Being Baptists we had a lot of practice putting on nice and polite and hiding our real inner uglies. Right after marriage and our first baby our church split in a very public and vicious way. We fled church and in doing so we fled from Christ. Years later we were still reeling from the destruction. My husband developed an alcohol addiction. I developed the mentality of a victim and kept a long list of what he’d done to me ready for flinging at him in any situation that warranted it. My first crushed heart incident was when he chose alcohol over us. We survived through “Christian” counseling. God was nominally involved due to my refusal to give Him more than lip service. The second was when he chose another woman over alcohol. I found out on our anniversary while we were getting ready to go celebrate. She called me to tell me she was pregnant. Let’s just say that was an unforgettable date night.

This time we survived by immersing ourselves in church.

His little girl became involved in our family. We’d pick her up for a weekend a month then take her home and I’d share my concerns with him. I had a lot of material on my laundry list of unacceptable behaviors.

This hurricane of a night was no different. I pointed out some areas needing improvement. He defended himself. I got more and more agitated. Finally he waved both arms in the air and screamed at me. “I don’t understand what you are saying. I’m doing the best I can. It’s like you are speaking Chinese.”

I gave up and pulled into myself and began to pray. Actually. I was weeping and railing against God. Pointing at Him and mentioning what He was doing wrong. Why the heck wasn’t my husband a better husband? He owed me and our kids. And I was so angry at the idea that our marriage could end over this after it had survived alcoholism, no love, and an affair. I let God have it in tornadic blasts of rage and helplessness and hopelessness.

He let me vent. And then He spoke a quiet question into my heart. I have no doubt it was from God because this question was no where in me. He asked. “Why do you think you are right?”

Silence filled with sniffles and moans. No words came. I couldn’t answer that question. Not to the One who could see right through the lies. Coincidentally, our church was offering an inductive Bible study on marriage starting just days later. I told Him I’d go and I’d try being a wife the way He designed it.

I went alone. And 17 years later everything has changed. Including my husband. My marriage. Our children. Us. And though we’ve still had plenty of rain and some bits of hail and even some high water, our foundation stands. God did some remodeling and replaced the shifting sands with bedrock. Perfection? No. Nothing close. Surrender works. God works. His plan, His suggestions, He’s the answer to all of it.

Bio:

kellyKelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas . . . she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled DregsModern Day MishapsInstagram, Pinterest, FacebookGoodreads and Twitter with flashes of brilliance (usually quotes), randomocities, and learned life lessons.

frying
To purchase Kelly and Michelle Griep’s book, Out of the Frying Pan, click here.

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Facebook’s Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 7

Posted by Julie on August 22, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

This is it! All week I’ve been sharing my posts from the Facebook Love Your Spouse Challenge. I hope you’ve been encouraged and wanting to apply oneness to your marriage. It’s worth it. Not easy. Worth it.

LOVE YOUR SPOUSE CHALLENGE, DAY 7

Image may contain: 4 people , people smiling , tree, outdoor and nature

Facebook’s Love Your Spouse Challenge, Day 7

Here we are. In a couple weeks we celebrate our 20th. There were people who questioned the age difference or the fact I was entering in a ready-made family. We went through infertility, miscarriage, parent deaths, job changes, near death of child and then the day-to-day.

We are not a perfect couple. In all honesty, this has been a tough year. We both changed our work situations. We had a child marry and a child graduate. We lost a beloved parent. Just one is what specialists suggest a couple go through in a year. Not all of them. We are both all or nothing personalities and we are both introverts. Affection is not natural for me, and he can be technical. We have different perspectives as parents, especially with medical issues. These truths are challenges.

But, God. We get each other’s jokes and laugh. The jokes we have are precious and goofy. We don’t get away a lot, so our hot tub dates are how we catch up on what’s going on, talk finances, schedule, etc…

We might get annoyed by failure to close cupboards or slurping, but if someone comes against one of us, we have each other’s back. If there’s a good action movie at the cheap theater, we’re all over it.

If you’re contemplating marriage or aren’t quite at year 20, realize those day 1 challenge pictures won’t look the same on day 7. You won’t be the same, either. I pray you are better, stronger, and more committed to oneness than you are right now. It is truly worth it.

***

Goodreads Giveaway…don’t miss out!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Entangled by Julie Arduini

Entangled

by Julie Arduini

Giveaway ends August 29, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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