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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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iBloom Life and Business Planner Available as FREE August Sample

Posted by Julie on July 30, 2016 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |
This is what my iBloom Life and Business Planner Looks like.

This is what my iBloom Life and Business Planner Looks like.

Last month I shared how I was an iBloom lurker and this year took the plunge and bought the planner. I was so sold on it that when there was a call out for women to partner with iBloom, I wanted in.

The iBloom Life and Business Planner has been the one tool I keep using as I move forward as an author and speaker. As a wife and mom. Volunteer. Friend.

Great news is, you can try it for FREE the month of August!

iBloom Life & Business Planner Sample

The iBloom Life & Business Planner:

  • Has enough space for me to fill in all my tasks and activities

  • Has monthly accountability with goals, relationships, victories, and more

  • Weekly, monthly, half-year and yearly goals and how they are going. Space to dream and journal

When I first got my planner in the mail, the first thing I noticed was how organized yet comprehensive it is. Every aspect of my life is covered in the planner, but the planner is organized. I’m not overwhelmed, but inspired. I want to hit those tasks and mark them off, not the planner collect dust.

I wasn’t sure I would use the space above each week, but I do. I use that section to write out sermon notes. Already I’m going back to read them. At the bottom of each day is a box. I know some mark off their workout stats. I use it for business mileage. There is just so much to this planner, right down to a holiday guide to keep track of your purchases.

I hope you’ll grab your free sample of this planner while you can! Follow the link to download your August sample now.

iBloom Life & Business Planner AUGUST 2016 SAMPLE

You won’t be disappointed.

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Thankful Series Kicks Off

It’s weird, this year.

Each October I start promoting the need for guest posts from people from every walk of life to say why they are thankful. Most years I receive so many submissions they spill into December.

They have been short, long, from women, men, authors and readers. From Ohio, from across the pond.

This year, they aren’t coming in.

Are people too busy? Are they not seeing my invite? Or, are they no longer thankful?

Perhaps it’s a mix. Or, maybe God’s got a plan I need to roll with.

Maybe I’m supposed to share why I’m thankful.

Thankful_editedUnless I get more submissions, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll take every day I have a vacancy and share why I am thankful.

Starting today.

I’m thankful this blog exists. It’s the first evidence of my obedience to write as God leads. I wrote past the fear and in time, He healed me from worry and what people thought. Through the years I’ve received incredible feedback from people who read a post and thought I was in their window. Nope, just being obedient and writing as God directed.

These days this blog is only one of many things I do.  I’m in the middle of a three book series. I’m pondering writing a rough draft for NaNoWriMo. I market my work and enjoy cross promoting other authors. I’m still a wife and mom. I enjoy ministering to women and young ladies through my home church.

But this little blog is my baby.

And I’m thankful you read it!

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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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This Mom’s Story

Posted by Julie on March 20, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Believe it or not, my schedule is already opening to May. June. July. Even August is filling up. Although as I type snow is falling, I’m planning ahead to days where tulips will be out, lilacs will be blooming and grass will need to be cut.

I’m a planner by nature and some of my events revolve around Mother’s Day. That used to bring about a dread and anger because I wasn’t a mom.

And I was told to plan for the fact I may never be one.

My infertility story centers about my PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) diagnosis. I miscarried. I truly thank God that I have two children but I will never forget those feelings. And I wanted God to use that story to encourage someone else.

91LVPrvc+FLA Walk in the Valley: Christian Encouragement for Your Journey Through Infertility is a transparent look at not just my story but Heidi Glick’s, Elizabeth Maddrey, Kym McNabney, Paula Mowery and Donna Winters. All of our stories are different but center around our infertility experiences. They are not happy-hold hands- cliche filled-pat answers stories. We were angry. Scared. Faced with expensive treatments. Given terrible news. And yet there is hope. We take each facet of the story and share how we made it through. We have Scripture because honestly, we’d still be in the pit of emotions had it not been for God’s love and Word. There are places for the reader to journal her feelings.

The book will be available April 28th but you can pre order now. If you are or have walked this road of infertility and miscarriage, I strongly suggest you consider ordering. If you love someone who is struggling or has, this book will help. I tell people it is the book I wish had been available for me.

Many have asked for my full story and A Walk in the Valley has it. May God take what I consider my broken place and create something beautiful for someone else.

To Pre Order A Walk in the Valley, click here.

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Thankful for Passion by Tracy Ruckman

Julie’s Note:
It’s my pleasure to introduce Tracy Ruckman, Write Integrity Press and Pix N Pens publisher. I’m thankful Tracy took a leap of faith with me and my writing this year.

Passion

“a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement

for something or about doing something.”

(Merriam-Webster)

This year, I’m thankful for passion – that I’m a passionate person thankful to be doing what I’m passionate about, surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do.

I recently had a conversation with someone and asked if she were passionate about her chosen line of work. She replied that she had no time to be passionate about anything because she was raising kids. I understand – child-rearing demands our all 24/7. But her comment saddened me because I’ve been in jobs where I had no passion for them, and it affected the other areas of my life. Perhaps if she were passionate about her line of work, the passion would flood her home life, her marriage, her entire outlook in such a way that she would be refueled, recharged daily, rather than drained.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul discusses living a Christian life, how we are to live our lives when Jesus is our Lord and Savior. He writes, “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men” (v. 23). I’m guilty of not always living out this verse – I think back to two particular jobs I held where I did not give my all and wonder if I had, would I have enjoyed them more? Was I doing the work for man, and not for the Lord? In both of the jobs, that was the case – I lost my focus in my determination to provide for my family, and it stripped my passion.

This year, I’m thankful to be passionate about all I’m doing. As a publisher, I love our authors, I love our books, I love our teamwork, I love our mission, I love the growth we are experiencing, I love the creativity I get to use and that I get to witness on a daily basis. I’m passionate about helping our authors grow and stretch themselves, and passionate about the world discovering their incredible talent.

As a student seeking my MFA, I love writing creatively again (as opposed to the four years of academic writing I did while earning my bachelor’s degree), I love learning how to craft screenplays, I love learning how my classmates craft their own. I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn and to grow, and for the possibilities all of this provides for my family’s future.

What are you passionate about? Are you doing it? If not, are there steps you can take to get there?

Tracy Ruckman Headshot_edited

Tracy Ruckman is wife to Prince Charming, mom to two grown sons, servant to a spoiled rotten doggy, full-time student, and a traditional book publisher (www.WriteIntegrity.com and www.PixNPens.com). In her spare time, she likes to squeeze in sleep, showers, cooking, and even occasional jaunts out into the public (usually the grocery store, farmers market, or writer’s conference) as time allows. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.



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