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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Currently… Avoiding Everything I’m Supposed To Be Doing

fullsizerreading: Exodus! Doing a 100 day challenge where we started in Genesis and are seeing how far we can get in the bible by reading and journaling about it everyday. I did read the new Stephanie Plum novel, and the Jack Reacher novel that the newest movie is based on over thanksgiving break. Those were so good!
watching: My kids??? Does that count?? I haven’t had time for much tv recently. I did catch up on NCIS last off days… I may be behind again though…  I want to start watching This Is Us, but again no time
eating: Lot’s of junk… We’ve had 3 parties in 3 days.. Two Christmas, and a birthday… Lots of sweets, lots of candy and soda, the boys had pizzookie tonight and will have it the next two nights (so many birthdays)… Nothing good
laughing about: something my kids have done or said…
loving: my job! My kids are awesome, and I just am so thankful I get to be a parent like figure for them…
researching: nothing… I don’t have time to research lol… I googled how much an iPod shuffle was for one of my boys.. And the other day I looked up the elephant sanctuaries in Thailand where you can go and hang out with elephants sign me up!
thinking: of my to-do list and how long it is… But let’s just avoid it some more with this blog :)… Really I just needed a little me time.
listening to: The sound of my fan… I should have turned on Christmas music while I was doing this…. Also I just finished this sermon series on my runs last week, it’s really good and I think something we all need to hear, so check it out!
planning: my week out… runs, parties, paperwork, sleep, errands, bible study, meetings, kids, youth group calendar… life is busy right now but good! And will slow down after this week!
sniffing: nothing!!
feeling: all the feels! Seriously!

Blogtember Days 1 & 2

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Hello there! For those of you who don’t know I’m Juliann. I grew up in California, went to college in Oregon and 6 years ago packed up and moved to Texas. I’ve built a life here with good friends, who I now consider family, and a dream job I didn’t even know how to dream up!

A few more specifics about me-13227677_10100816781754921_972065330500600837_o 13716187_10100857828297321_1450750571759806007_nI have a dog. She’s an all white Siberian husky. And she’s pretty spoiled. Although She’s almost gone up for sale a few times for destroying my things, I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

14124368_10100880733929251_6701147688707191272_oI’m a mom to a whole bunch of teenage boys, so I’m learning the world of football, tying ties, and the best way to not have your house smell like gross boys.

10675_10100525938751631_2744128066841476576_n (1)Sunrises and Sunsets are some of my favorite things. The Lord paints some beautiful skies here in Texas and I take tons of pictures to share the beauty.

And the most important thing about me? I love Jesus, and I strive to live my showing his love to everyone I meet.

My goals for the month are simple. 1. Start running again and be able to run 1.5 miles easily. And 2. Participate in at least half of the blogtember prompts.

 

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?

 

 

 

Learning to use my voice

I asked a friend the other day what my next blog post should be about. I ask this question to a lot of friends because I lack inspiration these days. The response I got this time was different from any other one before. This friend didn’t know I blogged and they didn’t know what I blogged about. So the topics they chose were all informational learning blogs… Which is not me at all. I don’t think I could write an informational learning post to save my life… Unless it’s about movie quotes just go to the category archive and click on movie quotes. Or ask my brother about our movie quote wars.

Anywho all that to say it got me thinking about why I blog. In the last four years or so of having my blog it has morphed a couple of times. I started it to keep people from Oregon and California updated on my life in Texas, the posts were few and far between with updates about life. Then I got into a blogging groove. I was blogging 3-5 times a week about I don’t even know what. Then in the last two years I’ve gone back to few and far between posts.

Reason why? I struggle to use my voice. I didn’t realize I had a voice until my advanced writing course in college. The conversation went something like this “But I don’t have a voice so I can’t write it out,” -me “Just write it out,” -my professor “But I don’t have a voice,” -me “Just write it out.” -my professor. Then that evening in my room staring at a blank word document the light bulb clicked. I had a voice, I was using it to tell her I didn’t have a voice, so I could use it to just write it out. There began my journey to learning how to use my voice.

But that’s just what it is… a journey… One that I’m still very far from the destination. Some days I’m better than others. So how does this relate to my blog? Well the year I was in my blogging groove? I wasn’t struggling to use my voice. I was doing really well. Then I let my insecurities take back over and I fell. I stopped using voice in real life and then it filtered in to my blog as well.

But I’m tired of letting the fears and insecurities win. Because in reality they’ve already lost thanks to Jesus’ death on the cross. So here is to a new year learning to use my voice and living in the victory of the cross.blog

 

 

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!

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!!

Portland Pt 1. Good For My Soul

So most of you know I took a trip to Portland a couple of weeks ago. I started thinking about it over the summer, and had been talking to friends there about it. I found cheap tickets and decided to just do it.

If y’all remember when I posted last year about my trip to P-town for Katie’s wedding you remember that the Lord started redeeming the place for me. So much of what I have to say about this trip revolves around that same work. You see the Lord continued that redeeming work this trip. So much so that if you saw my last picture from the trip on instagram I hashtagged “if your weather was better I might move back.” Before this these last two trips that was not something I would ever dream to think about again. Even if I knew the Lord was calling me back there, before these two trips I probably would not have listened.

This trip was so good for my soul. It wasn’t that we went out here or there, did this or that, because we didn’t do much. I was simply content to just sit with my friends and talk, and have deep conversations about life, the Lord, and whatever else. And those conversations and time were what was good for my soul.

Most of you know I’m not the biggest talker on the block. I prefer to let other people do the talking and interject little bits and pieces. There are times when I can talk a lot, but that’s not the norm. So yes it may seem a little weird that a trip where the bulk of the time was spent having conversations was a good time for me. But let me explain…

So the entire 3 years I lived in Portland, I was plagued with insecurities, and believed so many lies from the enemy. These insecurities and lies I was believing affected (effected? I.d.k. the right one to use) the way I viewed my friendships there. So much so that when I moved away it still changed the way I viewed the friendships.

But these last 4 years in Texas have been a time of major growth for me in moving past my insecurities, and in not believing the same lies from the enemy. Not that I don’t still have insecurities, and don’t still believe lies from the enemy at times. But I have grown a ton.

And so when the Lord started redeeming Portland for me last year I was able to see the truth about the friendships that I had there. That they were real, that they were deep, and they were good. So when it came to this trip the Lord completely blew me away with the truth. And so just sitting around talking and having deep conversations was good. I didn’t need an event or activity to help take up some of the time, or be a buffer when hanging out with friends. I could just sit, relax, and enjoy talking with friends. I got to share about my life here in Texas, and about my work, and I got to hear about their lives in Portland, how they’ve changed since I lived there, about their new jobs, whatever.

In my next post I’ll do a trip recap and share some pictures. I just needed to document, mostly to be able to thank Him, the work the Lord has done in my life, and the blessing from him of this trip being so good for my soul.

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Haircut

20140222_145227So I know everyone already knows I cut my hair and that I’ve posted all these pictures on Facebook already. But I’m a little behind in blogging and I do want to have this cut documented so here goes…

This haircut is a long time coming. I think when I first decided to cut my hair short I knew deep down I wanted to go real short like this. But I was a little too scared to do it. My best friend had shown me lots of cute pictures of super short hair that she thought would look good on me. But I wasn’t having it at that time. So we found longer short hairstyles.

I did my first cut twice and then found another style a little shorter and still cute and did that one twice as well. But I was pretty bored with it. Because with all four of those cuts I think I lasted a month tops of actually blow dry and straightening it. After that month I would just wash it and put some moose in to help the curls not be frizzy and call it good. It looked the same all the time and it was just plain boring.

So in February I started thinking about getting my haircut again and I knew I needed a different style. So I of course turned to google images and started looking for shorter styles. I found some I loved and some I kind of liked. The ones I loved were way shorter than I had at the time. But I was afraid to get them. The ones I kind of liked were a little shorter than what I had but not by much. I sent the pictures to multiple friends to get their opinions and they all went with the longer ones.

I then called my best friend and told her I was bored with my hair and wanted something different and way shorter than what I had. And she of course pointed out she had shown me lots of the kind of styles I was talking about wanting way back when and I had dismissed her. But after she gloated a bit we spent a good chunk of time looking for a cute hairstyle. And while I ended up choosing one I had already found, we did find some really cute ones that helped me decide to be brave and actually chop it all off.

The day of my haircut finally came and I still didn’t know which one I was going to be choosing. I didn’t know if I could be brave enough to chop it all off or not. It wasn’t until I walked into the salon that I committed to the hairstyle. I told my stylist that I was freaking out because I didn’t know if I could go through with the style I wanted. She laughed at me, looked at the style, and started chopping off my hair. And chop she did!

In the end I’m so glad I chose to go through with it. I’m no longer bored with my hair. It hasn’t looked the same two days in a row. It takes anywhere from 7-10 minutes to blow dry (it probably could go quicker but I do it on low-speed), I maybe use my straightener for 1 minute to touch up my bangs, and a few side pieces that are stubborn and want to curl up, and then however long I decide to spend putting in product and styling. I love it!20140319_105012 20140317_095356 20140309_093513

The Timing Of It All

I have been a little MIA around this blog lately. It’s not because I didn’t want to blog. I logged in to wordpress most days in the past couple months, and even pressed the “add new post” button most times. I have done my fair share of fluff blog posts, but I never enjoy writing them or even pressing publish on those. So I just decided to not post instead of trying to push one of those out.

You see my life has been in flux for the past 2 months or so, and while I wanted to share about it all, it just wasn’t the right time to post it on the internet for all the world to see (not that all the world reads my blog, but you get what I mean). But now finally I can share some of it!

It really all started back in May I believe (which I know is more than the last couple months but in looking back this is where it all started). I had been in my current job, pretending to be a business woman, for 2 years. And I knew I wanted to get a job full time working with youth and kids. So I started looking for jobs. I found one that was a couple hours away from where I live now; one that seemed perfect. It was kind of like a youth director position but with the added job description of providing recreational activities too. So it was like a P.E./Youth Director position. Right up my alley. But I didn’t apply till probably 2 weeks or so after I found the listing. It didn’t say when the listing was posted. But I finally applied and two days later got the notice that they had just hired someone. I was bummed, more than bummed actually. I was crushed.

At that point I lost all motivation to find a new job (after looking once, terrible I know). I let that crushed feeling stay. I just decided to quit looking. I was fine in the job I was in and didn’t want to try again.

Then came August… I found out my job was ending, due to department restructuring. At that point it was up in the air of when it was actually going to end. So I sort of started looking for a job but not much. As the month drew to a close I started to get a little more serious about it, but still not really caring (terrible attitude I know).

September marked my 3 year anniversary of living in Texas. Which I knew would give me the itch to move. I stayed in P-town for 3 years, and then moved. So it seemed like that might be a good idea here too. But as I was praying about finding a job, and moving, I felt the Lord saying to put down some roots, it wasn’t time to move.

I ended up applying to work for a different department within the company I was working for, and getting that job, to start on Oct 1st. But even with that I got a little more serious about trying to find a job working with youth and kids full time, in state and out of state (even though I felt the Lord telling me to stay). As I was talking to some people at church about where I was applying they gave some other suggestions of places I could apply.

One of the places mentioned by my friends at church was not too far from where I go to church and live now, and had 2 positions open. One called “single teaching parent” and one called “college and career mentor.” The single teaching parent one scared me, but it’s really the one I wanted. But because I was scared I applied for the college and career mentor position. I called two weeks later to check on my application and found out they had already filled that position, but the single teaching parent position was still open and while that one was more involved it was still kind of a similar position. So I told them to transfer my application to that position. It was really the one I wanted but had just been too scared to actually apply for it.

Well the same afternoon I had called and switched my application I got a call asking if I could come the next day for an interview. Of course I said yes.

So I went to the interview. It was intense. There was 4 people interviewing me, and they grilled me for close to 35 minutes (which might not seem like very long, but it was my first real interview and that was a long time for me). Then they talked about the position a little more in depth and let me ask questions. They said they weren’t sure of their timeline, and whether they could get the training in before the end of the year. A week or so later they emailed me asking for references, and a couple days after that they asked for my information for a background check, and then another few days after that they called me for a 2nd interview with the Executive Director. All good signs, and I was stoked!

Last Thursday was my 2nd interview with the Executive Director, and the head of HR was also in this interview. It was not as intense as the first interview, but still a little intense. The days leading up to the interview my prayer was that if it was where the Lord wanted me He would make it clear to me. And while in the interview He made it clear as day that yes this was where He wanted me.

After the interview they asked me to sit in the lobby for a few minutes while they talked. So I went out to the lobby and sat for maybe a minute or so and the head of HR walks out and asks me to go to his office with him. After we got to his office he then offered me the position! And of course I said yes!

In thinking back I just stand amazed at how the Lord worked, and how His timing is the best. You see I was ready back in May to get a new job, to be working with youth and kids full time, I was ready to up and move when I found a position and leave everything behind here, not because I didn’t like it here (I do, just read back over the many posts about how much I love Texas), or because I didn’t love the people in my life here (I do very very much). I just thought it was time to spread my wings again and move on. But it wasn’t God’s timing. It wasn’t the position He had for me.

The position He had for me was here. Close to all the people I know here. I can continue to grow roots, and yet it’s still different enough that it’s like I’m moving, filling that itch to move on. Because the position is time intensive I won’t see everyone as much as I do now. It’s a different lifestyle. It just blows me away that He would provide a position like this for me, and to orchestrate it in his timing and in His plan. God is so good! And His timing and plan are perfect!

So why can I share all of this now…. Well I start the training for this new job on November 4th. So while I’ve known for a week that I’ve had the job I couldn’t post for the world to see until after I put in my two-week notice at my current job. That notice went in this afternoon. So now here I am, sharing my story, and sharing how amazing the Lord and His perfect plan is!