On Memorial Day

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On Memorial Day, have you ever stopped during the national anthem and suddenly felt tears welling up in your eyes and an overwhelming gratitude in your heart?

I wasn’t born or raised in the United Stated, but as someone who came to live here as a young adult, and have close family members going all the way back to WWII who have served this country at some point… the flag, our anthem, their sacrifice… it’s tough for me to hold back the tears when I hear our song sung.

I think of people like my sister who have anxiously waited for loved ones to come home from deployment, those who may have been injured on the line of duty, and families who have carefully hung a ‘gold star’…

So the next time you hear our song, and you see a tear roll down my face, I hope you’ll remember how blessed we are, stand a little taller, and remember…

…I am forever grateful.

When Mother’s Day hurts…

“Julie, I think I’m going to sign off of social media. Mother’s Day hurts too much…”

I was talking to someone recently, and they were telling me how difficult it was to see all of the ads, photos and posts leading up to tomorrow.

As we scroll through Facebook, it doesn’t take long to realize that there are so many different emotions going on this weekend.

There are everything from blog posts about the blessings of motherhood, to trusting God to give you grace through the pain… photos of kids making faces at the camera to a bouquet of flowers next to a tiny tombstone.

You may have never lost a child, but the pain of your circustance is just as real…

To be honest, I don’t know what every heartache feels like… I may not even know how to empathize, because I’ve never been in your shoes. And as a naturally empathetic person, I wish so badly that I could.

But this Mother’s Day, even if you don’t read anything else, I hope you’ll read this:

Thank you for choosing to serve and love Jesus and others in spite of your pain. You are teaching me how to do the same when I don’t feel like it.

Thank you for letting others feel joy without guilt, so they can praise Jesus for the circumstances He has given them.

Thank you for making others feel like they are a part of your family. The world is a better place because of it.

And thank you for loving with transparency, honesty, and depth… I can see Jesus in you.

Your price is far above rubies…

 

Faith not fear…

Today, I was sitting down to fill out the ‘reflection page’ in my Brilliant Life Planner, and I was thinking about how I don’t always see huge progress from week to week. That being said, when we look back a few weeks, months or even years, we can see how much God is teaching us and growing us.

 

faith not fear, brilliant life planner, tokyo blossom boutique

 

One area that God is really working with me on is learning how to trust Him more. I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person that has to have it ‘all figured out’ before I make any decisions. If we take a road trip, I have to have every stop along the way planned out, how much we are going to spend on our meals, and all of the activities we will be doing once we get there. I’m not a control freak, I promise! I just REALLY enjoy planning. It’s half the fun for me!

The only problem is, I’m like that with life decisions too. I struggle to move forward on things I should do unless I have every step planned out and I have it under control. I think it’s good to make wise, thought out decisions, but when I refuse to move forward until I have every detail worked out in my control, I’m really just saying that I’m not sure if I can trust God with my life. ?

While this is an ongoing lesson I have to learn in my life, I’m so grateful for the big, scary opportunities God has put in my life that I can reach out in faith and say ‘YES’ to! Sometimes that might be saying ‘yes’ to doing a show that I might feel inadequate for, sometimes that might mean saying ‘yes’ to trying something I’ve never done before, and sometimes that might mean saying ‘yes’ to taking the next step in life that I don’t fully understand yet.

Whatever the scenario may look like, I’m learning that it’s a lot less stressful to trust God for directions instead of bearing the weight of having to have it all figured out! What is God teaching you this week?