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Word of the Year Review: Spiritual Revive

Posted by Julie on December 30, 2015 in Julie Arduini |

As I’ve mentioned, I’m summarizing the different ways my 2015 word for the year, revive, played out in and around me.

Spiritual revive was a biggie.

I didn’t know how burned out and vulnerable I was until I was under attack. Although I don’t say much here, prayer, especially standing in the gap for others, is a major part of my life. I’ve been around enough I can usually discern when trouble is lurking and pray for strategy.

This attack popped out of nowhere and seemed to have no intentions in letting up.  I read up and learned more about what the background is, the goal, how to defeat it, and warnings as you prayerfully try.

The problem was I was burned out, and that made me vulnerable. On top of that, it was a direct attack. It was against me and my child. Where I was usually able to be proactive, I was weak and reactive. Things went from bad to worse.

Thankfully I have a team that covers me in prayer, and I also called in local reinforcements who knew me and also stand in the gap through prayer. They insisted on coming to the house, and these ladies PRAYED.

In less than a month, all attacks were gone.

It’s still been a challenging year. Usually when one is burned out, the other isn’t. Well, my husband was in worse spiritual shape than I was. He needed a break. He finally got one and is still enjoying it.

I also was floored with a medical update with our daughter. She’s at the age where she can process that her peers don’t have these updates, labs, and appointments like she does. She questioned God, and I understood. I was doing the same. For an overcomer, this didn’t seem fair. She’s been through so much already.

I had to fight hard to get out of that pit.

I started attending Friday worship services at another church. No one knows me there for the most part so I can surrender all and not worry about people stopping to talk or ask me questions. The speakers were top notch and I took notes. It fed my soul.

Worship was a huge part of my spiritual revival.

Worship was a huge part of my spiritual revival.

I let a lot of ministry go. This was hard but I knew I had to. I was tired and going through the motions. I had to trust God had people ready to step up when I finally obeyed and stepped down. Not only did it give me needed rest, it gave me time to finish a book I was struggling with.

I also joined the Women’s Bible Café on Facebook. As an introvert, I thrive with online activities, so this Bible study has been oxygen for me.

So it’s been the tough stuff and the rest that contributed to my spiritual revive.

Can anyone relate?

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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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Saturday Confession: Outflanked

Posted by Julie on November 1, 2014 in encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Saturday Confession |

Don’t Forget!

I’m still looking for thankful submissions from YOU! Send me anything from a paragraph to 750 words on why you are thankful. Attach a bio and optional picture and send to me at juliearduini@juliearduini.com. I’ll publish them throughout November as part of the annual thankful series. Thanks!

From Wikipedia:

If a flanking maneuver succeeds, the opposing force would be surrounded from two or more directions, which significantly reduces the maneuverability of the outflanked force and its ability to defend itself. A psychological advantage may also be present, as the confusion and threat from multiple directions is often problematic for morale.

A few years ago I visited Gettysburg and signed up for the auto tour. I’ve been before but beyond loving American history, I also enjoy having different guides. They always bring something different to the experience. With this guide, he took us to Little Round Top and maneuvered us so he could help us visualize what happened during a key battle. He explained flanking and with just our little family and the guide standing in strategic places, showed us how the regiment was outflanked. They were tired, hungry, low on resources and missing communications.

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Although the accuracy and specifics of the battle elude me, I haven’t forgotten the visual of being outflanked. There was vulnerability and loss.

I’m not military, but I can relate.

I’ve been running full tilt all year. Event after event with no time to catch my breath. Add a move. The back-and-forth of international travel to disrupt schedules. Staying up until 2am to catch up on emails and writing.

Tired? Check.

Hungry? Well, for healthy foods, check. I’ve been reaching for the junk because I’m tired.

Missing Communications? Check.

Then people start lining up. Most aren’t “armed,” but their requests, even for my time, catch me off guard. The minority who are armed with criticism that go after me with both barrels?

I’m not just drained.

I’m defeated.

Thankfully the state of America doesn’t rest on my readiness, but my family needs me outfitted for success.

Again, Saturdays are the day I confess. I don’t always have the confession mastered. I know the answers are rest, eating better, regular time in the Bible and “behind the veil” spending time with Jesus—but I’m not quite back on track. I know that makes me vulnerable.

Can you relate to flanking?

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Character Confession: Robin’s Mother

Posted by Julie on April 13, 2013 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

A year or so ago I remember reading a book by Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin. I feel bad because there is only one thing I remember about the book, even though I recall it being a good one.

Robin’s mom died relatively young, and she attributed it to the fact that her mom worked herself to death. Literally.
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I got the impression she was a Martha type personality, the sister Jesus rebuked for trying to tattle on sister Mary, who wasn’t pulling her share of the workload. I can relate, although I’m much better than I used to be. I become so goal oriented I lose sight of everything else, including my family.

Last weekend the kids were with grandma for spring break. I spent every waking moment switching their bedrooms. Some furniture moved, all clothes, closets, decorations, toys, and more. It was time consuming and at times, backbreaking. I finished with 5 minutes to spare.

I spent hardly any time with my husband.

A week later, I’m still tired, sore, and just generally done.

I keep thinking about Robin’s mom. Was she offered a break? Could she feel her body stopping? Did she keep pushing through?

Because I can feel the limits. It scares me how fast the boundaries show up, saying I need to be done, and don’t dare try to push past.

I’ve been offered a break. I know ten years ago I would have refused, thinking the kids need me. That I’d be selfish to go. I don’t think I could have agreed to the break give years ago, or even three.

This year I’m going. I refuse to be selfish or play a martyr. I’m doing it in part for the kids and our future. I want to be around to enjoy them. As my husband said, he believes the rest will get my focus back. For him to see that tells me how exhausted I am. I don’t want to be like Robin’s mother. I learned a lesson from her story.

I realize not everyone has a chance to get away, my opportunity is thanks to a huge discount. But force yourself to take a break. Everyone must have a support system, tap into it and take a bubble bath. Go to a bookstore alone. Enough to regroup and recharge. Put the boundaries and your body back in place.

Because it’s a sad story that the rest comes–when it’s too late.

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Character Confession—Like that Glass

Posted by Julie on December 10, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Character Confession day…I could pin up every feeling graphic available and it would describe my week. How about you?

Since I can’t name them all, let’s balance two confessions, used in the glass scenario.

I remember attending a Mothers of Preschoolers, MOPS, meetings when my now teen was a toddler. The mentor mom shared the object lesson of a juice box—squashed, stomped on, and sucked dry—being a lot like moms.

Boy am I that juice box.

This is our busiest week of the season. Christmas concerts, basketball games, basketball practices, and hours and hours of studying with a child who is learning the hard way how important paying attention and following directions are. There are also gaps in her comprehension so my fears have jumped faster than a cat trying to get at the Christmas tree.

This weekend is our church concert. Hubby is directing the choir, daughter is in the kids’ portion. I’ll help the children’s leader if she needs it.  Son learned he’s part of an academic teen that requires additional meetings and study.

Sucked dry juice box?

Yep.

At the same time, I feel full too.

I had the itch to change up the website, so ta-dah, I did. My hope was to find something with a bit more color, yet a look that complemented the chocolate I’m so fond of around here. I think this works.

I made the site fuller, too. There are new pages.

For Writers contains guest blogger guidelines and suggestions for new writers.

About me is updated.

The Free Gift page is now Free Gifts. I share two short stories with a surrender theme you can use, as long as you keep me as the author. I also updated the ultimate free gift, sharing more of my own story. I also tweaked an article I also want you to not just read, but implement into your life. Check it out!

So like the glass—I’m empty, and full this week. I always said I had an all or nothing personality. 🙂

How was your week?



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