Sunday Currently… AKA giving my brain a break

reading: Deuteronomy! But I’m almost done 1-2 more days and I’ll be done I think! Read Deuteronomy 28 where Moses lists out the curses for disobedience. Y’all it was bad. It for sure would make me want to obey… Well maybe. I probably would be exactly like the Israelite’s. Because how often do I disobey God now…

watching: Um… The shows I’m keeping up with- NCIS, The Bachelor (I think Vanessa wins, and there have been some awesome moments that have made for good TV this season), This is us (although I don’t actually like this show, but it is written well and makes me want to come back and see what happens to the characters. Mainly to see how and when Jack dies, I think it’s getting close)

cooking: I made breakfast for the girls this morning. Scrambled eggs and sausage.

dreaming: I legit dreamed I was working at Jack in the Box last night and Nick, the bachelor, happened to be working there too. The other night I dreamed I was attached by a baby cow.

loving: chocolate (duh), chips or fries as well. Basically all things unhealthy. But I’ve also loved the salads I’ve had recently… Things not food related- #thenext100days reading scripture, journaling about it, and praying

frustrated by: the fact that I feel so tired lately even though I’ve gotten lots of sleep.

listening to: Creekside bible church live from their app. So currently Matt is preaching

making: to-do lists.

missing: both my best friends!

planning: The youth retreat next weekend, the youth event next month, my trip to cali soon, maybe a trip to Washington in April, Sunday school lessons, the list goes on… I have anywhere from 3-6 meetings this week that will involve lots of planning as well… Going to try to make the verse about we plan but God directs our steps in mind during all this planning.

sniffing: my freshly washed hair. The macaroni and cheese my girl is making herself for lunch. The chips I was just snacking on.

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Adults Throw Temper Tantrums Too

I’ve heard it said that the Lord uses your kids to teach you about Himself. I’ve always believed it just because people I’ve been close to have said it. But now I can believe it because it happened to me the other night.

I’ve kind of been in a funk with my relationship with the Lord lately and not been spending much time with him. As a result I’ve been down in the dumps, discontent, and really negative. A few days ago I reached bottom I guess you can say. I knew the Lord was patiently pursuing me, and waiting for me to repent, surrender and turn back to Him. And I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t turning back to Him. So of course I asked the Lord for help. To show me where my sin was, so I could turn away from it. And like always, He did, but He used one of my kids to do it.

On Saturday while one of my kids was in the midst of a fit they screamed “You guys don’t love me because you don’t let me do what I want, I never get to do what I want, You let all the others do whatever they want but I always get no answers!” My first thought was “I hate the devil.” I was thinking that because this kid, like so many in this generation, has a distorted view of love. They think that love is getting whatever they want regardless of their behavior. The devil just keeps on spinning that lie.

As I was thinking about that the Lord just knocked me to my knees. He brought me to the realization that I was acting toward Him just like my kid was acting toward me. I was mad at the Him because He wasn’t giving me the yes answer I wanted. And I threw a fit just like my kid. I stopped spending time with Him and started trying to fill the place in my heart that only He can fill with human things. I was exchanging the creator for the creation. Which only led to heartache and pain, which caused more anger at the Lord, just like the consequences my kid earned made her more mad at me.

What is there to do in that moment other than to repent, and praise Him answering prayers even when we don’t deserve it?

 

 

 

5 years ago

Five years ago I graduated college.

Five years ago I was deciding where to go to grad school

Five years ago I wanted to be a counselor.

Five years ago I thought I knew how to love.

Five years ago I decided to move to Texas for grad school to be a counselor.

Five years ago I found a room in a family’s house to rent on Craigslist.

Five years ago I started dating a guy, I thought I was going to marry, 2 days before moving to Texas.

Five years ago I moved to Texas.

Five years ago I met Lydia in that family’s house.

Five years ago I met some people at a church.

Five years ago I thought I had life figured out…

As my five-year anniversary of living in Texas just passed. I thought it would be cool to think back to five years ago and remember my thoughts and my feelings. To remember what I thought I had planned out so well. To look back and see how much has changed since then… Because my oh my things have changed.

I’ll be back soon with a “today”!

Wanderlust

The other day I was browsing the tattoo section on pinterest, not because I want one but just to waste time. But I saw a tattoo on someone of the word “Wanderlust.” And I realized it describes me pretty dang well. I’m always down to go somewhere new, or to road trip. I get the itch to travel a lot, especially when I haven’t had time to go anywhere.

You can go back through my blog and see lots of road trip recaps. When Lydia lived in Texas we would go lots of places. But then I started working at my new job and shortly after that she moved back to Washington. So our road tripping and my traveling became pretty non-existent in the first year and few months of working at my job.

But the last six months have made up for that. I have been on a traveling frenzy. In March I went to California for Normy’s bridal shower. IMG_2437

In May I went back to California for Normy’s wedding.IMG_3390 IMG_3396

In June I went to Washington for Lydia’s wedding.IMG_3914 IMG_3933

In July I went to San Antonio with one of my cottages for cottage vacation.IMG_4203 IMG_4245 IMG_4247

Also in July I went around our town with my other cottage for cottage vacation. We were gone all day every day for a week.IMG_4423

In the beginning of August I went to Orlando for 3 and a half days. IMG_4577 IMG_4593 IMG_4605

I came back to work for 4 days and then went to Panama City Beach Florida for 3 and a half days.IMG_4732 11889978_10156072394330713_8055658398018784734_o FullSizeRender

It’s been a crazy six months as far as vacations go. So much so that I longed to just be home for a while… But do you know how long that lasted? Not very long. Because a few hours after I got off the plane from Panama City Beach I was already starting to plan a trip for September.

My name is Juliann and I have wanderlust!

The story of tattoo #2

Since yesterday was the 6 year anniversary of getting my first tattoo I decided it was finally time to share the story of tattoo number 2. I have multiple blog drafts saved about this topic and haven’t been able to finish any of them… Why you ask? Well because the story of this tattoo involves a lot of hurt, and I just haven’t been able to share that hurt honestly and in a way that is edifying. But I think I can do it now… So here goes
11102625_10100562751508571_5011736061697326537_nThis tattoo is about five years in the making. I knew I wanted a tattoo on my left wrist but I couldn’t ever find a design that fit. I searched and searched, then would let go of the idea of getting one. Only to start searching again a few months later. I wanted it to encompass the two ways I try to live my life for the Lord. Love Deeply and Take Big Risks. Last November I finally found a picture of a tattoo I could get on board with. I sent it to Lydia and asked if she could draw it out with the changes I wanted. She did! So then started my waiting period. I always wait a few months after finding a design to see if I really want it. And this one stuck through those few months. So in March while I was in California for Normy’s bridal shower I got it.

Now you may be thinking man there isn’t any hurt in that story, minus the pain of getting the tattoo… And I would say you are right… But the story of this tattoo doesn’t end there. Where the hurt comes in is when I got back to Texas and the months that followed….

Many of you know I work at a Christian group home for kids from families in crisis. I am one of many teaching parents. We all love Jesus, but have different convictions, traditions, and things like that. Totally fine, the Holy Spirit guides us in our own. But we are to remain one as a body as it says in most of Paul’s Epistles. That idea is where the issue arose.

The night before I got my tattoo one of the married couple teaching parents that I worked closely with sent me a text stating their conviction against tattoos. I did not have a problem with receiving that text or the conversation we had following it about our different convictions. It was good dialog and stayed edifying for the most part. Having that conversation didn’t change my mind about getting the tattoo. I figured we would be able to stay unified as a body in Christ through our different convictions.

When I got back to Texas with my tattoo, there was major tension between this couple and I. And I wasn’t sure how to fix it. They did not approve of the decision I had made and it caused a rift in our team. I wanted to stay unified, but I wasn’t sure what that looked like, or how to do it on my part.

I had gotten called into managements office to discuss my tattoo, which was not against policy, but that had caused a rift in our team. They wanted to find a way to keep our team together for the kids in the cottages sake. And while this is what I wanted, I felt like I was the one being made to do everything to get rid of the rift. Granted I was the one who got the tattoo, but short of getting it removed I wasn’t sure how I could change the feelings of other people. So why was I the only one being asked to change anything?

I began to feel very hurt, and very bitter at the entire situation. I started to question whether I should have gotten the tattoo when I did. Maybe I should have waited. I found it hard to love my tattoo when it caused all this drama. I let bitterness have a foothold in my heart, and it took over. Especially when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to stay in the cottage. I threw a major fit in my heart. I didn’t want to leave that cottage, and I was mad at not getting my way. And I sat in this for way longer than I’d like to admit.

In the midst of my inner tantrum I chose to change cottages. Because despite what I felt I knew the Lord was working and leading. He was closing the door to being in the cottage whether I liked it or not and opening the door to work in the other cottage. I followed His leading, even though I was kicking and screaming the whole way.

Since switching cottages I’ve been trying to work on my attitude, on letting go of bitterness, on forgiving, and on trusting in the Lord’s plan. You see I am 100% sure that even if I hadn’t of gotten my tattoo I still wouldn’t be working in that cottage anymore. There were other issues within our team that would have torn it apart.

More importantly I know the Lord was leading me to this other cottage. I have seen traces of this throughout the summer working in there. None more clear than through the text I got two days ago stating that the couple who works in there is leaving. This cottage has been through so much change in staff in the past year that it breaks my heart. But I am so humbled that the Lord led me to that cottage to walk with these kids through yet another abandonment and to love them through it.

 

 

Christmas Spirit

elf1I’m finding it very hard this year to have any Christmas spirit. I really don’t have any… Which is very rare for me. I know it’s terrible… Especially with it being the most wonderful time of the year and all…

I’ve tried to get my Christmas spirit back. I’ve listened to Christmas music. I’ve watched several cheesy Christmas movies… And nothing. I haven’t even watched Elf, or Chevy Chases Christmas Vacation… And those are my two absolute favorite Christmas movies.
elf2I’m not quite sure why I don’t have any Christmas spirit this year.. But I think it’s because work has been really rough this past month. Our kids have been struggling big time. More than last year at this time in my opinion. The holidays are hard for them. Which doesn’t excuse behavior but it does change how we correct it. It does change how we sympathize. It does change our level of exhaustion at the end of the day. Which in turn kinda makes us long for the holidays to be over.

So if you think about it in the next few days. Say a few prayers for our kids and their hearts during this time. And for us as Teaching Parents to continue to love on and support these precious children during this difficult time for them. And that we would all remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. And He is our hope!

Thanksgiving Trip To Cali

IMG_1052I went to Cali for Thanksgiving, which is old news… What isn’t old news is that I didn’t get my real camera out once… Yikes. I took a few iPhone photos but not many.

Why you ask? There is a time and place that taking photos to remember the moment forever is good. But this trip I really just wanted to be present. I wanted to enjoy the moments without worrying about capturing it on camera. So that’s what I did.

The result?? A really good trip. I spent a lot of time with my family. I spent time with friends. I felt the Lord’s hand all over the trip and had a really good time.

I’d say I succeeded at being present and enjoying the moments. I bet I’ll be trying it more often!

You’re the one who conquers giants

Awhile ago as I was driving home one night a song came on the radio and the Lord used it to knock my socks off. The chorus came on and I was bawling in the car and praising Jesus. I couldn’t not sing at the top of my lungs to Jesus while the tears streamed down my face. It was a moment that Jesus met me in the car.

The back story? I had been very bitter and angry for a good couple months. I refused to forgive and was having my own pity party. I finally realized the only person this pity party of un-forgiveness was hurting was myself. So I started to forgive, and live in that forgiveness a few weeks before this night in the car. Not by my own strength by any means, but with God’s help I was working on it, and choosing every day to live in forgiveness. Because of this I started sensing all sorts of spiritual warfare. The enemy was throwing lots and lots of arrows at me. Through that I started to worry and stress about things that looking back really didn’t matter.

It was in the midst of that worry and stress that the Lord met me in the car through this song. The chorus says:

You’re the one who conquers giants
You’re the one who calls out kings
You shut the mouths of lions
You tell the dead to breathe
You’re the one who walks through fire
You take the orphan’s hand
You are the one Messiah
You are I am
You are I am

All of a sudden, as this song chorus was playing and I was singing at the top of my lungs with tears rolling down my face, the worries and stress just melted away. My God is the one who conquers giants, this worry of mine doesn’t come close to a giant so He has it covered, I don’t need to worry. My God is the one who shuts the mouths of lions, my stress is not as big as a lion so He has it taken care of, I don’t need to stress.

My God is I AM!!

Come As You Are

I came to this space tonight to share a piece of my heart lately. I know I still need to post pictures and a trip recap from P-town. And I promise that is coming, along with a few other posts. But as I sat down to blog tonight I just felt all those things could wait. This is what I felt I needed to share tonight, so here goes…

I haven’t had a day off since I got back from P-town. I worked 17 days. It was a really hard 17 days. Not because 17 days is a long time but just because the days were hard. As I’ve taken time today my first day off to breath and process through the shift this song has been on my heart and mind. It’s just what I needed after this shift.

So I thought I would share it in case any of you have been having a hard time lately! I just love this verse:

“Come out of sadness 
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal”

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Texas To Washington Day 4

So here we are finally at day 4! Our last day out on the road. We had talked about maybe making it to Yellowstone on this trip. But as we were going we kept talking about it and had looked up hotel prices and just decided it wasn’t going to happen on this trip. But Lydia had promised that I would see a buffalo. So when we decided against going to Yellowstone I told Lydia she still had to make good on her promise.

So as we set out on day 4 we were googling bison ranges and things of that nature. We found one outside of Missoula. It’s a drive through park where you get to see lots of buffalo and other animals as well. So we took the detour to go to that. I will say it was well worth it! But not because I got to see buffalo. There were a few small hikes you could take throughout the park and on one of them you get to the top of this little hill and the view off the side was AMAZING! No joke, it was one of my favorite views from the trip. It really just took my breath away. I had it as my phone home and lock screen backgrounds until recently. I could have just sat and looked at the view for hours.

As you will see from how many photos are about to follow, and like I said yesterday in day 3.2 Montana was gorgeous to drive through. I was in awe most of the time. It’s one of those places I want to take an extended vacation to so I just enjoy the beautiful scenery. IMG_4953 IMG_4962 IMG_4994 IMG_5021 IMG_5041 IMG_5073 IMG_5092 IMG_5094 IMG_5098 IMG_5104 IMG_5141 IMG_5145 IMG_5148 IMG_5166This is the view (the above picture) mentioned earlier. I can’t even express how beautiful it is, or why I’m so in love with it!
IMG_5176 IMG_5203 IMG_5216 IMG_5225 IMG_5340 IMG_5377
DSC06950
DSC06976 IMG_5436 IMG_5440 IMG_5481So the Washington State sign is on the left side of the highway and there is nowhere to park to get out and take picture… We also didn’t realize it was going to be on the left side until it was too late. So this is the only picture we got of it, and it’s not even that good lol.

We got to Lydia’s house around 8pm that night if I remember correctly. The next two days were spent at Lydia’s house. We hung out with her family, went on multiple walks, went horseback riding, and she showed me around the town. Then I had to say goodbye to Lydia and Daphne and fly back to Texas, which was a very sad day!

Thus ends the roadtrip from Texas to Washington that we took back in June! Thanks for reading along and looking at all the pictures!