Julie Voiceover Category

Faith

faith

/fāTH/

Belief in a personal and faithful God who loves us unconditionally; a source of hope and confidence when you feel there is none; the assurance that there is someone greater than you who not only cares but wants to be part of your life

One Big Promise That Can Replace Doubt

One Big Promise That Can Replace Doubt

My friend Kate moved from upstate New York to Key Largo to finish a college internship at the 5 star private club I worked at. We met when she began to date one of my best friends and my husband’s colleague. She is by far one of the most positive and happy people I have the pleasure of knowing. Her infectious smile and girlish laughter are so unique, you could not easily forget them. But Kate, like most women at the young age of 22, suffered from something we all do from time to time: doubt. You see, at the end of her internship, Kate stood at a precipice. She could either go home to everything she was familiar with, all the memories, places, friends, and […]

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The Beauty in the Broken

The Beauty in the Broken

My grandson and I were seated at a well-worn picnic table, having lunch with a hundred people from all over the country who had come to his Haiti home for a week of ministry. Josiah had just turned eight months old and I was holding him so his mama could eat without his cuteness squirming in her lap and grabbing at her plate. I placed him beside me on the bench, wrapped my arm around his chest to keep him safe, and watched as he became engrossed with knotholes in the wood between his chubby little legs and bare toes. He traced the first one he found over and over and I felt I literally could see his little brain wheels turning

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Hope—When the New Year Starts Hard

Hope—When the New Year Starts Hard

On the very first day of the new year, there are aches pressing on my want-to-start-the-year-afresh heart. Holiday wounds to my spirit haven’t yet dissipated. Gut-wrenching news coverage continues relentlessly. A friend’s tears leak through the phone after she learned her daughter’s lifelong best friend lost her husband unexpectedly while he was on a business trip the week before Christmas. Things around the house start breaking. Again. Haunting my holiday-tapped budget and any energy I might have mustered up to tackle the new year with fresh resolve. Another year starting hard. How many others, I wonder. How many women—strong women—are out there who feel a new year doesn’t mean a new year, just a continuation of last year with its wearying ups

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When-It's-Gray-and-Cold-Embrace-the-Light

When It’s Gray and Cold: Embrace the Light

Oily raindrops collided with my windshield as I sat in traffic under a dark sky. It made no sense to me at all. 5:30pm and pitch black. I had never admitted it, but I hated this time of year. Cold. Dark. And rainy. All I wanted to do was sit in the house and dream of better days. Summer days. But the endless amount of brake light brought me back to reality. Irritated, I cursed the season. What kind of wonderful season was this? It was everything I despised. Drowning in tradition. Full of far-fetched expectations. Gray. I wanted one thing and one thing only. Sunlight. “Maybe you should get one of those light therapy lamps,” my boss suggested as I confessed

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5 Simple Prayers for Your Husband

5 Simple Prayers for Your Husband

After the movie War Room came out in December 2015, many Christian women raced home from the theater and set up prayer rooms in their homes. These are little spaces—wherever you can seek one out—where you can pray, alone and in peace, and paper the walls with Bible verses and prayers. I did the same, but it wasn’t after I saw the movie. It was about eight months later, one morning last summer when I was reading my Bible and a particular verse struck me so deeply that I went scrounging in the office for a 3×5 card and wrote it down. I was about to tuck it in my Bible when I suddenly heard God whisper, “It’s time. Go create your

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How My Sister’s Cancer Brought Greater Hope

How My Sister’s Cancer Brought Greater Hope

My memories from childhood run together like a ripple in that old creek behind our home … it is impossible to distinguish the ripple from the current, but it is all being pulled in the same direction. Such is life; if you blink you might miss it, so they say. They said I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was ten years old. It is difficult to steer through the hallways and waiting rooms of a hospital, crowded by children wearing masks, scarfs, and pain. These are not the things I remember. I do remember a sister who was born dying. Cancer. I remember parents who although were they hurting, did not question God or resent His plan for their

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Palimpsest—Building-Your-Marriage-on-Rock

Building Your Marriage on Rock

We used to have a chalkboard in our kitchen. From time to time I’d scrawl a phone number or date on it, but usually I wrote things like Happy Birthday Jesus (a message that remained from Christmas until almost Easter) or Esse Quam Videri, because I love that phrase. Esse Quam Videri means, “to be rather than seem to be” which makes it a ridiculous thing to broadcast on a chalkboard. Sadly, over time, our board got harder and harder to erase, so that Happy Easter was barely visible, written as it was on top of every smudged message since Thanksgiving. Not long after cave walls became obsolete as memo boards and well before the invention of the chalkboard, early mankind scratched

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On Sex and Faith and Marriage

On Sex and Faith and Marriage

Jamus and Annie sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Jamus, (my husband) and I started dating in college and I thought about him all the time. There was texting, phone calls where we would talk for hours, and just making up random excuses to be near one another. One night I called him because it was “unsafe” to run by myself and I needed an escort. Let’s just say I didn’t have to twist his arm. As we spent more and more time together, I became increasingly infatuated with this Aston Kutcher look-alike with a country accent who loved Jesus with all of his heart. We got engaged after a few months of dating and were married within three and a half months. A

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The-Discipline-of-Choosing-to-Rest

The Discipline of Choosing to Rest

With the ante of life’s busyness increasing on our family of four every year, my husband and I decided to implement the discipline of incorporating a day of rest into our week. This desire not only originates from our faith but also the awareness that if we don’t really put this into practice, we will cease to thrive as a family. Work, school, and extracurricular activities keep us ever moving in a variety of directions Monday through Friday. Then, adding the demands not foreseen, we are left with little to no time for recovery, inevitably crashing by the time the weekend rolls around. The Bible teaches that even God chose to rest after His work of creation, and we are foolish to

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Is God Out to Get Me?

Is God Out to Get Me?

During my teen years my mother often delivered a final sentence as I gathered my keys and purse and ran out the door to pick up friends for a night of fun. She did not say “I love you” or “have fun” or even “be safe” (although I am sure those may have been said or implied at some point). It was always this: “Be sure your sins will find you out!” Now this is the last half of a Bible verse, Numbers 32:23. One that, while true in context (when you read the whole thing), only served to create an impression on me that God was an active Whac-a-Mole player. He was bending over the entire Earth’s surface just waiting for someone to sin. Then

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How-to-Look-in-the-Mirror-When-You're-Feeling-Insecure

How to Look in the Mirror When You’re Feeling Insecure

Early in our relationship, Bill, who had no experience with the female psyche, having had three brothers and no sisters, discovered that I felt insecure about what I looked like. Or, as one of our sons said when he heard this story, “Dad found out you were a girl.” I could tell this fact about me disturbed him. He mulled it over for a few minutes and offered a solution: “Kitti,” he said, his earnest blue eyes ablaze with confidence, “I felt that way once when I was in high school. It was in the locker room after football practice. So I looked at myself in the mirror and said to myself, ‘Murray, you’re not the best-looking guy on earth, but you’re

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When First Runner Up Feels like “Reject”

When First Runner Up Feels like “Reject”

From as early as I can remember, I pretty much had one goal in life: I wanted to be Miss America. Now just saying that, I’m sure there are all kinds of stereotypes that come to your mind: perfect posture, big hair, and the iconic wave. While we may be tempted to point a finger at Miss America and give a snarl—“I mean, really! Who wears high heels with a bikini? …Well, she must think she is something to enter a pageant!” The truth is, I thought I was pretty awesome! I loved the praise of others. I wanted the mirror on the wall to tell me I was the fairest of them all. In the words of Lady Gaga, I live for the

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When You Don't Feel Blessed as a Mother

5 Tips for Teaching Your Kids How to Pray

What does it take to make sure your children realize God cares about every little thing in their lives? Here are 5 suggestions: 1. Make it personal. List two things that matter to you and then ask your child to do the same. Explain that if something matters to you, then it matters to God, too. Then pray together. 2. When teaching them to concentrate by closing their eyes and folding their hands, make sure they are not walking at the same time. (Wisdom from Jenn Grassman.) 3. Be willing to pray on the spot. Yes, I have asked God to help me find the specific item on the grocery store shelf—out loud, in front of my kids—because I needed to get

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Mother Teresa's Hope for the Faithless Days

Mother Teresa’s Hope for the Faithless Days

She struggled with doubt and melancholy for years. Despite a wholehearted commitment to serve Jesus in the most difficult situations one could possibly find on earth, she went years without hearing from God and at times wrote in her journal that she even wondered about His existence. Yet Mother Teresa never gave up her faith, despite her depression, God’s perceived silence, and her doubt over whether he saw her every day as she followed His command to care for His most destitute children. As I listened to a radio talk show host and her guest discuss Mother Teresa’s struggles with her faith, I felt even more respect and awe for how she lived her life. She may have doubted God, but ultimately

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Should I Homeschool? How I Made That Difficult Decision

Should I Homeschool? How I Made That Difficult Decision

I had the privilege of being both homeschooled and going to public school throughout grammar and high school. There were things I liked about both so this is not a post that in any way endorses one over the other. I truly believe every family has different needs and callings on their lives. As my oldest son, Trooper, approached kindergarten this year, I wrestled with what to do in regards to his education. We can’t afford a private school so that was out of the question. Also, there is a possibility we will be moving to a different county this year so I wasn’t sure sending him to school and having him change mid-year would be wise. I spoke with my husband

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Protecting Your Priorities in the Busyness of Life

Protecting Your Priorities in the Busyness of Life

I have grown up with a sister who has spent her life fighting cancer and now a mother who also has the same battle. From a young age, I experienced how fleeting this thing called life actually is and there is still much growing up in that lesson to be done. I praise the Lord that my sister is now in remission! I have learned that those who know how to die, can live fully! Life is full of jagged edges, reminding us that we are bleeding mortars. My sister was born dying, but then again, I guess we all are. Although we may not share the same scars, there is one thing we all have in common, we will live and

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