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A journal where you can learn what I'm up to on my books, giveaways, fun things I'm doing or even my own personal devotional for the day. It's a broad mix of what's on my mind, allowing me to feel a little bit closer to some of the most important people in my life -- YOU! So please stop by from time to time, and if you have questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you via the "Contact Julie" tab or via my Facebook page.  Hugs, Julie




“It’s only when you live the prayer of thanksgiving that

you live the power of trusting God.”

Ann Voskamp,  One Thousand Gifts

Happy New Year! I gotta tell you that I just LOVE January and would venture to say it is one of my favorite months in the year. I mean, who doesn’t love new beginnings, fresh starts, plans to improve and fervent hopes to draw closer to God? A fresh, new page in our journals where we can learn to trust Him more than ever before. I kind of see it like packing away the hurts and disappointments of 2011 along with the Christmas decorations for a house stripped bare of twinkle lights and greenery. I don’t know about you, but whenever all decorations are down and put away and I vacuum, I step back and smile with a sigh of contentment because I see a simpler, cleaner, less cluttered house than before. Just like I long for my life to be. And my New Year’s resolutions!

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Let your religion be less of a theory

 and more of a love affair.

G. K. Chesterton

Love Affair. Those are the two magical words that pulsed in my heart over and over again during our Christmas Eve service this year.

It was a candlelight service, and moisture blurred my eyes as I stood next to the love of my life, singing one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time—O Holy Night. Even now as I write this, tears trail my cheeks and my heart “falls to its knees” at the wonder of Christ in our lives, the inconceivable joy of a love affair with the God of the Universe!

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For unto us a Child is born,
      Unto us a Son is given;
      And the government will be upon His shoulder.
      And His name will be called
      Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 —Isaiah 9:6-7

At this time of year when we exchange cards and cookies and presents, let us never forget that Jesus Christ is the greatest gift of all, and without Him, there would be nothing to celebrate. With Him, there is the celebration of lives changed, love kindled and the flame of hope eternal.

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"Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart

that pumps through all those who don’t

numb themselves to really living."

 —Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Salt and pepper, sweet and sour, comedy and drama—polar opposites that complement each other, enhancing the whole. Let’s face it—too much salt and not enough pepper prunes the tongue and scrunches the nose, ruining the taste. Too much sweet sickens the stomach, diminishing its appeal, diluting the wonder of favorite things like peach cobbler, red velvet cake or Reeses Cups. And I’m sorry, but those things are TOO wonderful to not enjoy fully.

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She opened her eyes, and like a lens to a blind eye,

it all came into true focus.

—Julie Lessman, A Hope Undaunted

True Focus. Seeing things God’s way, through the eyes of a grateful heart. All too often I find I rush through life without really and truly seeing (i.e. appreciating) the blessings God has provided for me.

For instance, when I was a new mother nursing my first child, I had a heck of a time because my infant son wanted to nurse every two hours throughout the night. And then, the little stinkpot would take his time, dawdling for an hour or longer, which meant by the time I finally got back to bed, I only had an hour or so to sleep before the next feeding. Needless to say, I did not enjoy nursing at night and almost dreaded it.

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