The Journey is…sad, but true :)

To be honest…

Sometimes, as it was today, one of my first thoughts on Thursday is….”Awe man, it’s THURSDAY.  Now I have to be thankful again…”

SAD BUT TRUE.

So today, I am thankful for “Thankful Thursday!”

A reminder of my humanity.

A reminder of my source.

My God…from whom ALL my MANY blessings flow!  Every time I think on these things…I can’t help but to get happy!

Humbly Thankful,

~Julia

The Journey is…LOVE, RESPECT &….cell phones?

It’s true!  People CAN change if they want to!

After YEARS of frustrating my loved ones….I’m proud to say that for 3 weeks now I have(with very few exceptions) kept my cell phone charged, the volume TURNED UP, and with me at all times….and I’ve even answered it when I didn’t recognize the number!  Simple right?  For YOU MAYBE!  But for me, this is a major accomplishment!  I’m proud of myself.  I don’t imagine anyone else cares or has noticed, but it makes me happy.  YAY ME!

Have I enjoyed changing?  NO!  It’s been quite a bother to constantly think about it, keep up with it…and even answer it.  I really DON’T like to talk on the phone!

I’m sure my friends & family don’t see it this way, they loved me despite my “cell phone flaws”, but this my why.  The reason why I made the effort to change.

It’s one way I’m letting them know, “I value you.  I respect your time.  You are more valuable to me than my comfort.  I love you.”

What did this simple example remind me of?

“When we value & respect what we already have

…a whole world of opportunities open.”

I find this principle to be true in MANY areas of my own life.

But, back to the phone…See, I used to joke about wanting an i-phone….but when presented with the opportunity to get one, I would always decline.  My thoughts? It was too expensive a gift for me to damage.  If I wasn’t going to keep it charged, use it correctly or possibly lose or break it…what was the point in acquiring it?  I might as well keep the old free one.

When I valued and respected the people in my life enough to take care of the phone I already have…my thinking began to change.  I’m now thinking…an i-phone might be nice to have after all!

I know it’s just a phone, but it makes me think this…What simple changes can we make daily that will add value to people.  What do I already have in my power that will tell those I love that they are important to me?  What has the Lord already blessed me with for which I can respect & show my gratitude?  In what ways is He wanting to enlarge my thinking?

When you can answer that, then it’s really very simple.  (Keeping this in mind…simple is not equal to EASY.)  Embrace your NOW, find your WHY, make a plan & follow through.  Change is good.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the worlds of opportunities it opens up for you NEXT!

Your future is bright!  Embrace it!  Enjoy it!  Live it!

~Julia

The Journey is….Healing.

THANKFUL THURSDAY

I’m thankful that

When we acknowledge pain,

present it to the Lord….

& do what He says.

                                                                                       -HEALING FOR ALL BEGINS.

                                                                                    (to be continued…)

The Journey is….Redemptive

A friend shared this on FB the other day.  I wanted to share it, but hesitated because I didn’t want anyone to think I was directing it towards them.  If you took 100 people, this statement would have 100 (or more) different meanings. It ministered to me that day.  Quite often, if something helps me, it tends to help my friends as well.

So, I decided just to share it here on my blog today.  I have peace about that.

Steve Eden ~ “Your past mistakes in the hands of your enemy are a problem & a pain; but your past mistakes in My hands where I can use them to grow you and help others can be quite redemptive. What was once a very dark time in your life I can make a great light. Look at how many have benefited from one young mans trip to a pig pen – it revealed My true nature which is to save not to destroy, to heal and rebuild not cast out. My hands are redemptive, My hands are restoring, My hands are capable of making all things; your hurts, your poor choices, your misdeeds beautiful in My time”

Today I spoke with a young lady who had just been evicted from her home.  I could honestly look her in the eye…with a little tear in my own…and say, “I’ve been there.  The Lord is faithful.  I’m still here aren’t I?   You’re going to be OK.  There never was a time in my life that the Lord didn’t provide a roof over my head & food on the table.  Your life is truly going to get better.”  I feel confident that I was able to give her a sense of hope.

I enjoy looking back at times & seeing progress in my life, here are two examples that meant a lot to me:

-When the City truck was parked outside my home for an extended period of time a few weeks ago…I knew they weren’t about to cut off the water.

-When we needed new tires AND brakes at the same time the other day, we had plenty of room on the credit card to pay for it.

BUT….

We payed cash instead.

If you’ve never been there, you have no idea how good that felt.

The Lord saves, heals & restores.  He does more than we could ask, think or imagine….and we’re all just getting started!

I did grow from my trip to a “pig pen”.  I now have complete confidence that in God’s Hands EVERYTHING’S GOING TO BE ALRIGHT!…beautiful even.

~Julia

The Journey is…30 Days of Thanksgiving 2011

Day 30:  I’m thankful that my friends were kind enough to share their thankfuls with me this Thanksgiving season.  What a blessing to see the hand of God at work in your lives as you shared from your hearts. 

As I read your thankfuls, knowing some about each of you, your unique journey of life.  I saw this quote put into action:  “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens

No one knows like you do, what the Lord has done for you…what a wonderful time of reflecting upon His goodness together!  Thank you so much for sharing!

Love,

Julia

Here are the rest of my Thankfuls for the month of November that I shared daily on FB…just so I can remember them in the future:

Day 29:  I’m thankful for the presence of the Lord!  The Journey is….Undescribable

Day 28:  I’m thankful for the wisdom & skill of dentists & orthodontists.  Glad to give Emmy the smile she’s always wanted…even though I think it’s perfect as is!

Day 27:  I’m thankful that Emily peeled all the potatoes for the mashed potatoes today.  I really don’t enjoy that job.  Thanks Emmy!

Day 26:  I’m thankful for friends, football, & disposable plates, bowls & cups.  *not washing dishes 2night*

Day 25:  I’m thankful for HOME….and my 5 senses.

Touch…to enjoy a hug from my sister who lives in TX now.  Sight…to see so many things that my parents have collected through the years…each w/it’s own special memory.  Hear…to hear the chimes from the grandfather clock(s) at my parent’s house.  Smell…to awake to the smell of coffee.  Since I don’t drink it, the smell always makes me think of my parent’s.  Taste…to eat the waffles that he makes every time we come home.  The same one’s in the same waffle iron that he used when I was a little girl.

Day  24:  I’m thankful for time w/the people who have known me the longest & love me the most…my family.  The gas station employees who made this visit possible, God’s protection when the driver of the little orange convertible next to us wasn’t paying attention, momma’s cooking, and stretchy pants…Happy Thanksgiving friends!  ♥

Day 23:  I’m thankful for my church family!  I’ve been trying to blog about you…just running  short on time the last few days.

Day 22:  I’m thankful that the Lord led me to this song today & that it is true for my life.When I Think About The Lord

Day 21: Can’t pick just one today! I’m thankful that the Grace & Love of God bestowed to us & at work in our lives…in turn empowers us to give this same gift freely to others.   I’m thankful for my Memaw’s crusty pound cake(if there wasn’t any in the cake plate, you could trust one was in the oven) & my Monie’s bread & butter pickles. That my Pa smoked the best smelling pipe & my grandaddy always… required us to work in the garden with him….and sweep his school bus for $1. I’m thankful for the way they would take us grandkids around town & show us off…great memories now…   I’m thankful for the opportunity to be at the back of the church during praise and worship yesterday…I don’t get to see that view often. What a blessing to see everyone praising the Lord from their heart, in their own way. What a variety of expressions, but each so sincere. That really blessed me! I am truly thankful!
Day 20:  I’m thankful that these words were hanging on my bedroom wall as a child…..If you can IMAGINE it, you can DREAM it.  If you can DREAM it, you can BECOME it.
Day 19:  If you know me….then you know my mother.  We are very much alike & I consider that a good thing since she’s one of my favorite people.  Today, I am thankful for my momma!  She taught me to pray often, love deeply, feel strongly, find beauty in the simple, that life requires creativity at times, look for the best in others & to know what you believe & stand for it.  Thanks momma!

Day 18:  I’m thankful that my sister is coming home for Thanksgiving next week!…and I’m thankful that she is back in Austin, TX & happy w/her dogs & her honey.  What a JOURNEY in life she has traveled!  I love her & am so proud of her!  Want to define STRONG?  Just look up my sister!

Day 17: I’m thankful for my dad,  Best daddy ever!
 He says I’m “endearing”…when he really means…”your personality traits are so opposite of mine that it takes much patience to be your father”.  But, he loves me anyway!  Thanks Daddy!  ♥, Bug
Day 16:  I’m thankful that there really does come a time when your life begins to make sense.  Thinking of writing a children’s book or two…Maybe I’ll name it, “Dear Olivia” (If you read my blog you would understand the name)

Day 15:  I’m thankful for PEOPLE!  The blessing of friends & family that the Lord strategically placed in my particular journey of life.  You are proof of God’s provision, goodness & love.  ♥

Day 14:  I’m thankful that my girls love each other.

DAY 13:  I’m thankful for God’s love.  I am thankful that when you believe that His love is true for you, not just everyone else…you can then learn to love others in the same way.  You are loved, you are accepted.

Day 12:  I’m thankful for the opportunity to watch my children learn & grow.

…Jessica’s out practicing driving w/Matt…Emmy’s playing the “Just Dance” game & doing great(Glad she didn’t take after me)…Grace is spelling words like firmen, wor egle, poles (firemen, war eagle, police) not bad for a 5 year old. What a blessing ♥

Day 11:  I’m thankful…just plain ole thankful.  Thankful for fun times w/my girls & their friends.  The Lord’s provision for my friend.  A babysitter for Grace, knowing she was having the time of her life!  Memories.  Laughter.  New babies with cool birthdates 11-11-11.  Smiles.  Ice Cream.  Jesus.  (Definitely not listed in order of importance.)

…and God’s beautiful moon for us to enjoy…now if I only had a porch & a rocking chair…

Day 10: I am thankful for Matt & the power of his dreams.  He changes lives every day…especially mine! He doesn’t like me to talk about him much…but sometimes I just can’t help it.  When thinking of my Thankful’s, Matt is at the top of my list.  He gave me permission to share this…and I believe it would help all who read it. The Journey is…honor.

Day 9:  I’m thankful that I cannot legally park here today…

Day 8:  I’m thankful for the power of God given dreams.
Day 7:  I’m thankful to be married to my best friend.  “Like” is not the same thing as “Love”…to have both is a blessing.
Day 6:  I’m thankful for all the people that love my kids.  Too many of you to name!   You are such blessings…life changers!  Thank you!
Day 5:  I’m thankful for…life’s moments of victory & forever memories.  Congratulations CCA Patriots!  State Champions!
Day 4:  I’m thankful that this is not my toilet.  Truly, truly thankful!  🙂  Good Morning!
Day 3:  Thankful Thursday!  Learning to dream again.  FYI: the Vulcan Run is in 1 day, 21 hours, 42 minutes 🙂 The Journey is….Illuminating

Day 2:  I’m thankful for Grace.  My daughter Grace, who thinks we gave her a great name since there are so many songs about her on the radio.  Jenny Grace who ministers to my life when she doesn’t even mean to.  She has a great last name too!…and my husband…who has drug me kicking & screaming through our journey of life. Determined to never let go. He is a living example to me of God’s amazing Grace.  I am truly thankful ♥
Thank you Tina.  & maybe I was a little dramatic in my description.  I only meant…when I have been at my worst (in attitude mostly), as I’ve matured through these 20 years….Matt has always chose to love me anyway.  Something I never have had to question, although I have been quite undeserving of his patience & love.  I tell him it was just God’s way of preparing him for the difficult customers he has to be patient with daily now.
We’ve been through a lot growing up together…it’s nice to look back & see God’s faithfulnes.
Day 1 ~ I’m thankful for our neighbors, the Hall’s.  They aren’t nosey, don’t complain about our dogs, & are there for us at a moment’s notice.  Neighbor’s make all the difference!

The Journey is…caring.

I worked w/Matt a little bit today.  We have a wholesale company that services the convenience store industry.

This is what I observed while watching the friendly convenience store clerks interact with their customers:

-They sincerely said “Good morrning” w/ a smile multiple times…

-They also said to a customer, “Can’t believe you’re not getting pizza today, you get pizza EVERY day!”

-On another occasion, as soon as a man entered the store he walked around the counter to get what appeared to be his regular daily hug.

I wondered if they realized how important their caring & genuine interest  might have meant.  Who knows…it may be the only smile that person received today.

I thought about mentioning it to them, but I didn’t. 

Wish I had.

The Journey is…Experience: the good, the bad & the ugly.

Many of you have asked about my latest race…the 2011 Vulcan 10k

YAY! I finished! Lovely day...lovely EXPERIENCE.

I haven’t felt inspired to write about it yet…but I’m sure I will.

This is what I jotted down on race day:

-Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. ~John Wooden

-Last year when I finished the Vulcan…I felt SATISFACTION.

-This year I was disappointed & said, “Well, that was a good experience.”

-“If you know you can do better, and you don’t.  You won’t be satisfied.” ~me

-“The good…the bad…and the ugly…”  That about sums up this race.

-I believe the very next day…I saw this video:  http://johnmaxwellteam.com/experience/

“The good, the bad & the ugly….”

The good….there are LOTS of good things I want to share with you.

The bad…I simply did not do my very best.  I did good…but not my best.  But I DID learn something.   SATISFACTION was a much better feeling than….EXPERIENCE.

I’m looking forward once again to training…next time(even though I said the same thing after Talladega)…I guarantee that I WILL PUT MY BEST EFFORT into training for the races ahead.

The ugly…there was NOTHING ugly about it.

I’m just glad to be able to say I was in the race & crossed the finish line!

More to come…

The Journey is…honor.

1992

WHO I WAS, but not who I am…the old Julia that most of you have never met...changed by unfailing love.

During this season, when thinking of the things I am most thankful for it is only natural that my thoughts would turn to my husband.  Particularly when my dad e-mailed us a video that also happened to come on TV yesterday as we were getting ready for the day.  My dad suggested that it would be a good marriage “refresher course”, as it was something they enjoyed watching themselves.   In it, Joyce Meyer & her husband Dave, were speaking on marriage.  They discussed how Dave decided to be happy no matter how Joyce was acting.  He so reminded me of Matt.  I used to get furious with Matt when he would refuse to argue with me.  He would say, “I’m not going to argue with you.”  Then he would just be silent.  No matter how much I tore into him, he would only love me in return.  In fact, at times, he would come & wrap his arms around me & just hold me when I was being my ugliest.  I just stood there still as a statue…on the outside anyway.  What he couldn’t see was that on the inside, my hard crusty shell was melting.  That is so humbling to me.  I was much like Joyce in the fact that I was guilty of putting the blame for our life’s hardships & failures on Matt, instead of asking the Lord to “change ME”.  I had a part to play in my own life & I wasn’t meeting my end.  I so appreciate that every life decision he made for our family, was with the intention to bring blessing to our lives & follow God’s plan for our lives.  When I grew up & quit looking for Matt to meet all my needs, I found that I was complete in Jesus Christ alone.  When I think back on all these years…I can’t help but want to give honor where it is due.  Nobody knows what I put him through. I am truly thankful that he didn’t give up on me.  I am so aware that he could have at any time said that I wasn’t worth it…and he would have been right.  For some reason, the comment by John, from John & Kate plus 8, has really bothered me.  When they divorced, he said, “This is not what I signed up for”.  I KNOW what Matt experienced with me is not what he signed up for!  Everywhere I look I see men leaving their wives.  Even now, after almost 20 years of his Christ-like-ness, if I let my mind wander I begin to feel insecure.  I am thankful that he let the Lord guide him & show him what to do to reach me.  His example has changed ME.  It is only someone who is determined to love with the unconditional love of Christ that would have the strength to do this.

My daughter & I were talking yesterday about how absolutely CRAZY that was for her daddy & I to get married.  We were barely 17 & 18…the age of many of her friends….and we had only dated 6 months!  I am so amazed that at such a young age, he would have had the wisdom to have what it takes to keep our marriage together.  Really AMAZED!  Have you ever been around a 17 year old boy!?!  He thought he was getting this sweet, kind, soft-spoken wife.  I know that, because that is what I thought I was too!  Not until AFTER we were married, did the real Julia appear.  I just never had anyone to argue with before that point.  Talk about, THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!

I don’t stay ornery & argumentative CONSTANTLY.  I have my nice moments.    We say often at our house, “I love you…and I like you too!”  There is a difference you know.   We all have people that we LOVE….but the thought of spending any amount of time with them sucks all the energy out of you.  We discuss this sometimes, how awful it would be to dread the little time we get to spend together.  I look forward to every minute I get to be in his presence.  My love for Matt is nothing new.  In all the ups and downs of life, & even the times of emotional struggle,  that has remained constant.  He is my very best friend.  In fact I wrote of the darkest times in our marriage not too long ago.  If you were to read this, \”The Journey is…dark\”, you would find that the darkest time in my life was not just in our hardships & losses, we had many of those before my darkest days.  My darkest days, were when I felt that I was loosing him as well.  The closeness, friendship & time that we had always had together was forced to change. All that I knew & was comfortable with was leaving.  But life is full of stages & changes, you adapt & move forward….or grow bitter & die.  In the changes, I learned to love myself.   So, in what is considered loss…the Lord is bringing gain.  Again…I am thankful!

When I watch the \”The Pursuit of Happyness\”…my thoughts always turn to Matt.  I believe that is the life he has been and is living.  When he was a teenager he had a dream to have a real family, unlike the home he grew up in which was full of turmoil.  As an adult he has that dream and a dream in the business world…and he is willing to do whatever it takes to protect his dreams & make them happen.  I cringed as I watched the wife in the movie…it was a familiar scene when she angrily told him to go get a real job.  Only because shamefully, I have said the same thing to Matt before.  In the movie you see the true life story of Chris Gardner….you see the long hours, the running, the sacrifice, the struggling to provide for his family, the disapointments, the utter hopelessness at times…and the dreamthe action, the do-ing, the creativity….and then what I would say is the hand of God that comes along to provide, to give divine appointments…faithful to bring success.  In the movie…the people on the outside had no concept of what the man actually went through in the pursuit of his dreams.

It is my personal opinion, that my husband deserves such honor & respect.  He is living, walking, talking unfailing mercy & grace.  This is my goal…the same sacrificial love that he has never failed to show me…is the same love he deserves in return…and SO MUCH MORE!  It would be my dream to possibly give back to him what he has taught me through his actions.

Unworthy…but so very thankful!

~Julia

2011

Here are a few things I have been meaning to transfer over to this blog.  I wrote these on FB, before I started blogging.

~ Our first date.

~ Cherish theTreasure

Valentine\’s Day 😦

~ ….and you thought we were the Davis-es…

~ Every day I choose to say \”I DO\”

~ Long ago 🙂