The Journey is….Pre-marriage counseling~EXTREME BACKPACKING style!

After a refreshing weekend date with my husband…I realized how much I LIKE him & enjoy his company.  You can forget that sometimes…which is why dating your mate should be kept a priority!  As we sat there, just having fun together, I had this thought which was recently brought back to my attention:

I have decided that all engaged couples should go on an EXTREME ADVENTURE…backpacking in the wilderness….through the valleys & mountains. After they’ve experienced working together, COMMUNICATING, being creative…through near death experiences, starvation, cold, etc, etc, etc…along with sharing together some of the most spectacular views that God has created. THEN they might possibly have enough knowledge about the real person they are marrying…not the, “I’m on my best behavior so you’ll like me, aren’t we having fun-fiance'”.  IF they’re actually still speaking to one another, THEN they might know if they really want to spend the REST of THEIR LIVES together in this journey of life.

…going out on dates, cannot prepare you for the challenges ahead. When people(marriages) are put in stressful situations(real life)…from what I’ve observed, often that is when they bail out. Or as John from John & Kate said, “This is not what I signed up for.”


I just wonder how many would say, “I STILL DO” after a wilderness experience together.


The Journey is…Letting Go (Life through the eye’s of my daughter)


My 5 year old daughter, Grace, had on her brave little smile as her new babies quickly flew away to freedom.  In the previous weeks, we had watched, with much patience & excitement as 4 little caterpillars had turned into butterflies before our eyes.  We had witnessed a miracle!

Grace described her feelings well when we let them go.   Her mind agreed as her mouth said the words…, “I know my butterflies will be happier in their new home…and I know I’m making the world a more beautiful place.”  The pictures show that she was very happy, but when we returned home her heart told a different story.  She looked at me & said, “I’m just filled up with sad.”  I reminded her that was the plan the whole time…she new from the start that we would be letting them go when they turned into butterflies.  Her response, “I know…but I didn’t know it was going to be so great.”  My heart broke for her.  Not only that…IT WAS ALL MY FAULT!  I’m the one who ordered the caterpillar’s in the first place!!!

So when she wasn’t paying attention, I put her little butterfly house away.  My thought…If she doesn’t think about it, maybe she won’t be so sad.  Well…the next day she asked where her butterfly house was.  I stopped in my tracks & reluctantly pulled it out of my secret hiding place…complete with the empty cocoons & the one that never emerged from it’s chrysalis.  She only looked at it, smiled…and then set it where she plans on it staying until I fork out the $ to buy her some more caterpillars.  AND she didn’t hesitate to remind me that she’d prefer that I buy EIGHT caterpillars next time!  🙂

I learned something about myself that day.  Doesn’t it seem that there will come a day that you would quit learning NEW things about yourself?  I learned that the way I have dealt with things that are unpleasant in my life has been to just hide them away…deciding to forget about them…as if they never even happened.

Well, you can only live in your happy world so long before the myriad of things you have tucked away start poking holes in the make believe world that you have created.  If there is strong emotion(pain, sadness, anger) that means you’re not finished dealing with it.  Telling yourself, “that didn’t really hurt”…is not the same thing as finding the source of your pain & asking God to heal it…and He WILL.

What I learned from my child?  Give yourself permission to feel.  Each stage of your life will have it’s own joys.  Feel happy…and keep moving forward!  Each stage of your life will have it’s sorrows as well. Feel sad…and keep moving forward!    Embrace & enjoy each moment.  Remembering to breathe in each new & wonderful experience to come, because it won’t be long & they will become your richest memories.

When I grow up, I want to be like Grace 🙂

The Journey is….short, but sweet….

Thankful Thursday!  Just a short list to share today…but I am truly blessed beyond measure….  We all are!  I wonder what your list would look like?

I’m thankful for:

– the Drive in Movie with my family, under a beautiful starry sky….(my Groupon for 1/2 off admission was just icing on the cake!) 

my lack of coordination…as it brought great joy to others when I attempted to play football, at Oak Mountain State Park .   Laughing until you can’t breathe is highly UNDERated.  You should try it sometime!

the freedom of choice.  Choosing to eat all that ice cream was an EXCELLENT decision, loved every bite!   🙂


Now…back to loving myself more than junk food….

The Journey is….ENJOYMENT!


I’m thankful that the Lord gives us things to enjoy such as:

-My children & butterflies ~ and the lessons we can learn from something so simple.

-Friends for my children ~ they make me smile often & I appreciate the love they share.

-Football Season! ~  Only because Matt enjoys it so much….that makes me happy.

-Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong ~ “aaaahhhh”…so relaxing.

-Facebook ~ It’s nice getting to know my family better…and getting to “people watch”.

-Goosepond Park ~ I find such peace & healing for my spirit there.

…and I’m thankful for the enjoyment of God’s Word.  Without Him & His Word, all the other things I enjoy would be meaningless & empty.

The Journey is…Best Friends!

Mr & Mrs Matt B  8/8/08 TL4-ever

by Matt’n’Julia Freeman Davis on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 10:23pm

“OOO You’re like the sun…chasing all of the rain away….when you come around you bring brighter days, you’re the…….”

…us with our great big hair, swatches, jellies, guess jeans, collars turned up… her hot pink & aqua painted bedroom complete with heated water bed and posters of Kirk Cameron (can’t remember who else…probably someone like Tom Cruise or Michael J Fox) hanging on her ceiling….planning on talking on her red phone or laying out in the sun on her roof later(don’t forget the Sun-In)…..but for now we’re singing “ALWAYS” by Atlantic Starr with our “microphones”.

Planning our wedding days, to ????, agreeing that we would both definitely play this song on that special day!  That was the “Summer of 1987″….remember our book Amy, I still have it.
We never planned that we’d both marry Matt…different last names of course.  Today’s the day….8/8/08….My Beautiful BFF….will become Mrs. Amy “B”

“….love like yours is great, it must have been sent from up above,  and I know it will stay this way, for ALWAYS…”

Congratulations Amy & Matt!
…..I am with you today in my heart!


Amy-n-Julia, BOO BOO SIS,  BFFs 4-ever
-Other favorite memories…..”roasting” mini marshmallows with lighters, bread & butter, talking all night until someone fell asleep…..who knows who went first, sleeping ’til 1 or 2 the next day, when she was the entrepreneur selling candy at school, our “tradition” of waving bye, almost dying on our bicycles, eating pizza & jube jells, watching her play softball(talking to all the guys who wanted wanted to know HER phone number ), popping toes,  cute little brother(Steven) playing video games all day & doing doughnuts on the lawn mower, even cuter little sister(Haley) playing with her Cabbage Patch dolls, Mom & Dad Bruehl treating me as their own, and too much more to think about typing here.

3rd Grade…when we met….1987

My BFF…1991

    • Matt’n’Julia Freeman Davis I wrote this almost 2 years ago…back when we were all on MySpace. I’m about to cancel that, so I didn’t want to loose this message I wrote to my BFF on her wedding day…
      She’s in my heart forever…no matter the years or the distance!
      I love you Amy!

      June 26, 2010 at 11:19pm ·  ·

The Journey is….grief.

These were my thoughts a while back, after a discussion with my friend Jenny.  I never shared this publicly, I thought it was more for just me & Jenny.  I do believe that if someone needs this, they will be led to it at the right time.  I love you Jenny!

There Aint No Party Like a Heaven-ly Party…at least I don’t imagine so…(my thoughts on grief)

by Matt’n’Julia Freeman Davis on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 3:57pm

I have been reading my favorite little book, Running with the Giants by John Maxwell.

In it, the hero’s of the faith come out of the grandstands(where they are cheering for us), to run one lap with us in hopes that by sharing their story, it will give us hope & encourage us in our race of life.

I was just thinking how these last few years with FB, I sometimes feel like this book:

I am in the grandstands & with every status update of yours(the people who make up my life history & much of who I am in the present), I get a very small glimpse into your lives and the race you are running. Knowing there is a whole world that you keep to yourself.  You have made me laugh out loud(for real), cry, pray and at my very favorite moments…I get to have great joy at your successes!  When you’re sad…I want to come out of the stands, encourage you & somehow make it all better.  But when you’re happy…sometimes…I even do a little happy dance(if no one else is around)  😉

Old friends, new friends, family… I don’t feel the need at all to know every detail of your lives, but I do get great joy just knowing you are happy, blessed, fulfilled.

While I am aware that there are steps to grieving…we must allow the Lord to bring healing & purpose to let the pain go.  These are my thoughts on grief:

If “I” get such joy, and “I” am an earthly being, bound to the limitations of this earthly body & earthly surroundings…just imagine the party going on in heaven with each of your successes by your loved ones(your giants, or heroes) who have gone before you.  REALLY, stop for a second & just imagine the joy experienced in a world with no limitations!  Their reality far exceeds our best imaginations.  They would want you to keep truly living, pressing through, experiencing new & exciting things, having a rich relationship with our Lord, finding joy in the life you are living, fulfilling your God given purpose!  They wouldn’t want your grief to keep your earthly life at a stand still.  If it were possible to feel sadness in heaven, I believe, to know that because of your relationship with them, your life stopped in any form…that would make them sad.  If their life kept you from receiving all the joy you could experience…they might even wish you two had never met.  (Just my opinion, no scriptural basis.)

I believe they would want you to cherish them & the earthly time you shared…keep them in your heart…and then make room for all the love & joy that God created for you to enjoy in this earthly life.

Now, Imagine what they would say to you if they were to come run a lap with you… LIVE THAT LIFE!  That is how you can honor them, their love, their life!

Like me…they’re rooting for you!  Don’t you want to give them ANOTHER reason to party?  I am excited about experiencing such joy that we can’t even imagine in Heaven with Jesus & my loved ones!…


                          …not any time soon  🙂



The Journey is…THIRTY SEVEN.

THANKFUL THURSDAY!  Seasons of My Life….the 30-something years.

I am thankful for the opportunity to have learned this…


Julia Lynn Freeman…daughter of Delbert & Carol Freeman.

Julia Freeman Davis…wife of Matthew Davis….mother of 3…friend to many.


Mrs. Julia…Children’s Minister, Youth Minister’s Wife, Pastor’s Wife

BECAUSE OF the seasons of my life…the changes & struggles

I have learned that I am ALSO:


Child of God.




With a mind of my own, capable of doing many things…including (but not limited to), allowing the Lord to minister to my spirit, trying new things by myself, driving in crazy traffic, grilling my own food & dressing semi-fashionable.  (May not seem like big accomplishments, but they mean a lot to me.)

Now…BECAUSE I LOVE MYSELF as MUCH  as I do my family…we are all able to love & value each other more.

In all your loving….remember to love yourself too! 

Be a giver…but learn to receive as well.

Your family will thank you for it!

If given the chance…going back to 21 does not even tempt me in the slightest bit!

I am thankful to be THIRTY SEVEN years old!  That’s a very nice place to be.

The Journey is….dark.

This question was asked on one of my favorite FB pages called, “I want an awesome marriage.”!/awesomemarriage

“What has been the ‘darkest’ time in your marriage? What did you learn from that experience?”

This was my response:

When everything we had dreamed & worked for fell apart.  We also went from spending almost every moment together, to rarely seeing each other at all…unless we were sleeping.  Along with the other losses,  I felt that I had lost my best friend.  It was a “dark” time…I was quite bitter, headed towards depression….
I learned that…sitting in my bitterness for years did nothing but make the devil happy.  I learned that life isn’t always fair…grieve the loss(es)…and then move forward despite your feelings.  I learned that taking baby steps following the Lord’s leading, will ultimately take you to success…although it may not be what you had dreamed of originally.  I learned that life is full of changes & stages…the Lord IS faithful!  It WILL get better.  Never give up….never quit on each other!
…and one of the greatest lessons I have learned is…
Fighting, not against each other, but standing together fighting through those times of struggle makes your love story deeper, richer & even more meaningful.
It’s all part of the Journey!
…..and I learned that my husband is an incredibly strong man…I am thankful.