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What 47 Looks Like on Me

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

I’ve been doing this a few years, post-birthday, sharing where I am, how far I’ve come, and where I hope to go.

How 47 Looks On Me

I have to say, 47 is weird. It’s a stone’s throw to 50, and wow, that’s an age I never gave a lot of thought to as a college student. That seems like yesterday.

One problem.

My SON is the college student, not me.

In fact, I just got notice my college reunion, #25, is this year.

Wow.

It’s a year where two of our children, Tom’s first two that I met when they were 12 and 10, are expecting sons this summer. We’re going to be grandparents. Yet, we have a middle schooler. And honestly? I relate more to teens than senior citizens. I’m eligible to be in the senior group in less than 10 years. And I just can’t see myself jumping all in for that. But the youth conferences I’m invited to attend as part of the adults helping out? I love it. Love it.

Weird.

I have to color my sassy red hair monthly, but if I felt it were safe and I had that kind of money, it could be every other week. Red is hard to maintain, but what it covers is white. Snow white. And I am NOT going there just yet.

If ever.

But 46 was a stumble, if not all-out free-fall in confidence. Menopause has been part of my life for years, thanks to surgery. Something about 2016 was a marker for everything to flip on me. Waking every hour. Volcanic temperatures. Voracious hunger. Mood swings I had not had in years. Depression. Anxiety. Weight gain.

So entering 47 is with a bit of trepidation. Thankfully, an endocrinologist helped get my health straightened out and I feel a lot better. But a tiny part wonders if it is short-term. There are times emotionally I feel completely fragile, and I hate it. People need me. And I don’t like spiraling out with no reason except hormones.

Yet, in those tears and exhaustion, so much happened that was GOOD. Our oldest son of the four kids got married to a wonderful woman. Our son graduated from high school and started pursuing education at Kent State. I started my own writing and speaking business/ministry. In three months I released two books in both print and eBook form. Now my hormones rebelling makes more sense…

It’s in writing I feel I’m on more stable ground. When I questioned God if I was doing the right thing, it was at 3:23 in the morning I woke and knew I was supposed to open my Bible to Colossians 3:23.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23

I feel free from numbers. Where my books rank. How much money they generate. I want to see readers living free in Christ. This 47th year I am on track to finish my first contemporary romance series with ENGAGED and start the first of six book in my new series about surrendering what others think. I’m not scared. I’m excited.

I take into 47 an amazing piece of wisdom my pastor shared when I doubted I could survive the stress and changes. He told me to picture an arch, and imagine Jesus on the other side. As long as I stayed on one side and Him on the other, a million tons of stuff could be on that arch and it would not break. That held true through all the things I mentioned, plus much more I have not.

It is true as I’ve watched the kids grow in Him through their personal valleys I know all too well: rejection. Loneliness. Depression. Anxiety. Doing the right thing and feeling completely alone. Their pain has been the most devastating thing to observe and feel so helpless. Yet, we’ve had the deepest most intimate prayer times we’ve ever had. In those times, God revealed so many awesome things. Messages of hope. Encouragement. That they are not alone. They are deeply cared for.

I’m 47 and full of hope for the world and people around me. Not because of the election results or new administration, but because there are so many promises I’ve prayed and prayed and believe breakthrough is close at hand. For our family. Friends who are hurting. Ministries that are 1000% ready to give all God asks of them, and have 1% provision as far as the world sees. I don’t know how or when, but I know it’s close.

And I guess to sum it up, it’s the same two words I’d use for turning 47.

I’m ready.

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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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Saturday Confession: Waiting on Medicine

Posted by Julie on October 19, 2013 in encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Saturday Confession, surrender |

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Ah, Saturday confession.

The day where I share something I’m learning about myself, or recently mastered, and feel it’s time to share.

So if that’s your issue, you don’t feel so alone.

What’s new is that you’re welcome to link up.

If you have a confession, share it.

Let’s kick isolation to the curb once and for all.

While I have you, I have some slots left for next month’s thankful submissions. 

I hand my blog over to you and you share why you are thankful. As always, the posts are amazing.

Inspiring. Challenging.

Send your thoughts. As little as a few sentences and as much as 750 words to juliearduini@juliearduini.com

with a bio and optional picture, signing off as you want to be known (first name, full, anonymous.)

First come, first serve, and I reserve the right to edit, but rarely do.

Thanks!

***

When I feel healthy, I’m a dynamo. I can maintain many schedules and logistics. Pay bills. Laundry.

Make meals, shuttle children. Write. Minister. Encourage. Laugh. Chat. Rest. Start over.

It took decades to realize and have doctors diagnose that until I’m healed or otherwise with the Lord, I need medicine to feel that way.

It’s hormonal imbalance with menopause. For years it was also PCOS, but a hysterectomy took care of that.

My insurance now has us ordering from mail express, and I refilled late.

The medicine hasn’t arrived.

I did what I years ago didn’t dare to do.

I warned everyone.

I’ve pictured myself clinging to Jesus, just wrapped around His neck, sitting on His lap, wanting nothing but His safety and comfort.

Because for me, I have radical temperature changes. Forget surges.

Constant hunger.

Sleeplessness.

Anxiety with irrational thoughts.

Forgetfulness.

And then the tears.

The tears started Wednesday, and I used to have such shame, because there wasn’t a real reason for them.

This time I tried to look at my schedule one event at a time, dig deep, and move forward.

anxiety

When the tears came, I wiped them with my sleeve and kept going.

I’ve longed for it not to be busy, but it is what it is. The kids are off until Monday.

It’s a full schedule.

The youngest had so many medical appointments. The last including needing 4 vials of blood and a sample taken. She was done. Me too. Usually I can have my strong face on for her. But as soon as we were done, I was blinking tears away.

Hours later I couldn’t remember the name of the heat box in the family room. Yeah, the thermostat.

Then I started to get teary when my husband let me know what he thinks of Pepperjack Cheez It’s. I bought the wrong cheese. I wanted to lash out and justify my attempt. But I knew insecurity would have been talking, and that’s best left until better days.

But I’m getting through.

Thriving? No. But compared to other times, it’s not horrible.

I’ve talked about this kind of thing before, but I promised to be real, surrendered or surrendering,

and I felt like someone out there is going to feel less alone with me sharing.

If hormonal imbalance is your issue, chuck the shame. You’re too amazing to wear such a dud.

Be open, within reason, and stay in touch with your doctor. It might take tweaking. It has for me.

Don’t let a religious person bring you down. I am a straight up Jesus girl with faith in Him big enough to believe for a resurrection if God asked me to pray for one.

It’s okay to take medicine if that is where God directs you.

And it’s okay to keep believing for a supernatural healing while you wait.

But doing nothing, or letting the emotions control you, don’t.

Just don’t.

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Marriage Monday: Have Some Children Pray

Posted by Julie on October 17, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Twice in a row! It must be a record. I’m excited to be able to participate in e-Mom’s Marriage Monday. Before I share her topic and my personal story, I think congratulations are in order.

e-Mom is a grandma! I love her story and I’m with e-Mom, the timing of this precious birth isn’t a coincidence. Such a beautiful post, I hope you read it and leave your congratulations.

But sometimes those baby stories aren’t all happy ones. Part of my “broken places” that I share with others is my experience with infertility and PCOS journey. Although I drive my family nuts by being so open, I do it about what personally affected me in hopes it encourages someone else.

And today, I think there is someone out there who needs to know my story.

I learned at age twenty-five I had PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. The symptoms for me were irregular periods, acne, and hormonal imbalance. The doctor sat me down, knowing I was in a serious relationship that looked like it was heading for marriage. He spent 45 minutes with me sharing his story, even though we both heard the crying babies and other patients outside the other door.

He was candid and let me know that I would most likely have difficulty conceiving, if I could do so, at all. His encouragement was that as a man of faith, to take his words as just that, words. He was a mere doctor. He suggested if I wanted to have children some day, to ask children to pray. I left with hope, although devastated at the facts before me.

Fast forward and I was a newlywed and conceiving was on my mind, a lot. It’s funny, when you’re told you can’t have something isn’t that when you realize that’s the one thing you want? I never grew up wanting to be a mom or anything full of maternal bliss. As soon as I realized it might not be an option, I wanted to be a mom.

The PCOS for me was unique and challenging. Now that I’m 16 years after that diagnosis I realize how severe the hormonal imbalance was and I wish I’d fought harder for my peace of mind. The depression, just daily depression for no real reason beyond the imbalance assaulted me to no end. Add to it the sadness I felt regarding the situation and I was at times emotionally paralyzed. I’m not afraid to share this all was so consuming there were times I saw myself heading to the medicine cabinet for permanent relief. I write this not to be dramatic but to say to the woman reading this who feels the same—tell your doctor these things. Mine had no idea it was that bad. It wasn’t until years later when I started early menopause did that doctor understand how severe my moods were. I am now on a low dose medication to combat that and the menopause symptoms I had as well. I feel new and alive. Please don’t be ashamed to ask for help. You are worth it.

But…there was the physical pain as well. I was in such discomfort I could go to work and then I’d go to bed. It was constant pelvic pain that felt like I was in a vise. One night I was in such misery I remember crying out to God. I let Him know I was His and I knew there was more to my life than this. I understood I had something of purpose to do with my life and being in bed wasn’t it. I surrendered my ability to have children. I told him if I needed a surgery to end all chances to conceive, so be it. I just wanted my life to move forward.

From that surrender, things moved fast and the peace of God was overwhelming. My surgeon told me there was a procedure he could do that would not end my chances to conceive, but enhance them. He was fearful I would get my hopes up. I was adamant that this was no longer about conceiving, but just being able to live. I authorized the surgery. We moved into our first home. Nothing and no one could stop me, despite the pain.

Although the surgery isn’t done so much today, it was a wedge resection. He took half of each ovary out and in recovery he let me know he had never seen such large ovaries. It explained my constant pelvic pain. Turns out mine were FIVE TIMES the size of normal ovaries. I instantly felt better, even as I recovered.

The whole time I worked with a girls’ ministry at my local church. I asked them to pray for me and to ask God that one day I could be a mom. These girls believed God and pressed in. To this day when adults come to me for prayer I remind them to seek out kids. They are the ultimate prayer warriors.

I say all that to say…seven months after the surgery I was pregnant.

That baby is 13.

Another story for another day is in 2001 I miscarried, but I knew God had one more child for us.

In 2003 we had a daughter.

If you are struggling as an infertility patient I pray you don’t let the diagnosis own and define you. Believe God. Go to Him. Seek Him hard for His plan for your life. Don’t let doctor’s words trump God’s promises.

And have some children pray.

Did you know during the month of November this blog features YOUR thankful posts? Slots are filling up but I’m still looking for your thankful thoughts. Learn more here.

Also, Tuesday at 9pm EST I’m having an hour chat just to hang out with and encourage moms of all ages and stages. Although the overall topic is what do you do with your kids on October 31, all mom topics welcome. Just because we do things different doesn’t mean we should do them alone. Log in as a guest, I do rest. Please help me spread the word.  Free room link: https://connectpro19068335.adobeconnect.com/julie-arduini-the-surrendered-scribe/

Lastly, I’m teaching highlights from the John and Stasi Eldredge book, Captivating. Thursday nights at 9pm EST share my own experiences, film clips and a video link in hopes of all women seeing how Captivating they truly are—always were, and always will be. If you don’t have the book or missed the last couple weeks, no worries. Join us! Same room link as above. I need all the help I can get letting ladies know about this life-changing book—just one hour a week!

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Character Confession: The Heat is On and So is the Central Air

Posted by Julie on May 28, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

It’s my Character Confession day! I tell you how I’m really feeling and hopefully it is an encouragement or smile to someone who can relate.

I’ve made no secret about it so in case you missed it, I’m 41 and in full blown menopause. I’ve had hormonal issues since puberty and I can tolerate quite a bit of discomfort and pain. I’ve been there and done that.

Menopause can be a ruthless competitor.  Sleep for 10 minutes at a clip? Bring it.  Starving, I mean STARVING nearly all the time? I’m holding my own. Crying Sobbing over everything? Exhausting but I can take it.  The heat?  That’s where I wave the white flag of surrender.

And then put my arms down because the smell has to be bad.

In the last month my hot flashes have morphed into full body water works. I can walk from my bedroom upstairs to the coffee maker downstairs and have not just a little heat but a full body blush that even makes the back of my hair sweat. My face turns not just pink but tomato red and then stays that way. For hours. I’m getting looks from people who must be wondering how out of shape am I to just take a few steps and be in a complete sweat?

This is such a huge switch because my husband married someone whose teeth chattered without mercy when it was below 50. These days I’m turning on fans, hanging out windows and freezing my hotblooded man out of the bedroom. I not only have the ceiling fan on, I also have an industrial fan on that sounds like a jet ready to take off. I know without a doubt with weather this weekend heading to the nineties I’ll have the central air on before noon.

My doctor is on it and Tuesday we meet again to discuss. He’s doubled my medicine and although that relieved a lot of symptoms, the heat is still on.

I’ve been through enough that I’m pretty blunt with my family telling them what’s going on instead of hiding in shame like I used to. If I see someone looking at my red face and layers of perspiration I’ll be clear what’s going on. I carry deodrant and perfume with me.

And I laugh.

Because if you’re dealing with this too, laughing is so much better than tears.  It’s a change of life, not death, and I refuse to let this own me.

How about you?

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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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