Welcome to my blog…

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If life is a journey, then where is your journey taking you?
Mine has taken me down ordinary paths, and given me extraordinary life stories. And the little joys in my life are heavenly- Have you ever gone to a concert and felt so small in the crowd yet so close to God? Welcome to my life… Happy. Blessed. Grateful.
My blog is inspired by lyrics from Shine On, by NEEDTOBREATHE. I hope you’ll join me as I travel through my life’s journey. Somewhere between the end, and the point where we begin- That’s where I am. I hope you’ll follow my blog and come along for the ride.

Death: The Only Way To Begin Your Life

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Death. Is it forever? Well, on earth, death is symbolic of the end. An ending of a journey, a completion, a beginning, which is now finished, and silenced.

On December 8th, my grandpop’s journey on earth was made complete by his death. God used his life for 77 years, and finally decided that heaven was now ready to receive my Pop Pop. Today, Christmas Day, I visited the grave where my grandpop now lay, and in this freezing weather, I was inspired by the comfort and peace which came over me in an indescribable way.

Death, tho it is final in the flesh, is truly only the beginning of forever. It is the only way in which we can truly enter into eternity. My hope for you is that your heart will be moved by the presence of Christ Jesus, and that you will seek His peace during this Christmas Holiday Season and always.

After visiting the cold, and quiet cemetery where my grandpop’s body now gently rests, my heart was inspired at the thought of his Faith, and the beauty that he must be enjoying in heaven….
“I felt the warmth of winter,
arise from frozen, hallowed grounds.
I smelled the funeral flowers,
as their fragrance danced around.
A gentle breeze surrounded me,
and echoed like a ghost,
your peaceful, assuring, loving words,
that I always loved the most.
Two simple affections, of “hun” and “babe”,
the words I no longer hear.
For they buried you 6 feet under,
in a world so bleak and drear.
I walked the dirt beneath my feet,
where your footprints, once did lay.
With no words to speak, and a broken soul,
all to simply do was pray.
Arise dear body now buried,
and disown treasures of this earth.
And take with you your spirit,
now ready for new birth.
The arms that once did hold me,
and the eyes so full of love,
they behold now heaven’s Risen King,
with presence sacred as a dove.
With tears you now so humbly cry,
with thanksgiving in your heart,
a cane no more you carry,
for God has healed your broken parts.
So stand now, and behold your King,
and kneel before His throne,
for your journey is complete,
and you’ve finally made it home.
I will not stop to question,
nor will I ponder why,
for your soul has truly not perished,
but instead rejoices in eternal life.
On this Christmas Day and always,
memories of you never shy,
away from my thoughts and broken heart,
Dear Pop Pop, I’ll never say goodbye.”
–Julia Lowell 12/25/13
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
1st Corinthians 15:55

Brutal Love

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The way I see my life is like this. There is a big river. This river is full of love, and lying, sadness, and corrupt choices, and many other things that used to confuse me. The waters run rough and fast, and should I ever fall in, the current could quite possible take me under. It’s not that I can’t swim these waters, but it’s the fact that nobody has taught me how to stay afloat amidst the confusion.
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And then there’s a bridge. This bridge is there to take me from now, into my tomorrows. It’s there to guide me carefully across the water, to keep me honest, awestruck, happy and to help me make positive choices throughout my life.
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It’s an incomprehensible wooden bridge that is meant to take a lifetime to cross. It will carry me from my beginnings to my ultimate and most final ending. Every step a new endeavor. God has set this bridge before me, knowing exactly the path my feet will follow. Sometimes my bridge is beautiful; A solid structure of contentment, and joy. It is during these moments that I walk with a carefree confidence, trusting in God, and thanking Him for my moments of memories and bliss. Other times it is a bit shaky, and my doubts creep in. There are often days when I go to take a step, only to find that a piece of the wood is missing. Through this gap I can see the rushing river so close, flowing right below my innocent feet, and it scares me. “Why is this board missing, and will I ever find the missing piece” is a question I often ask in my darkest prayers. But I just have to confidently step across that gap, and onto the next part of my journey. I’m only but a mere 18 years into walking this uncertain path, and often times I cannot see what’s ahead of me, and so all I can do is blindly trust God to help me across.
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Sometimes there are other people, randomly standing on my bridge. Some are there to hurt me, confuse me and try to weaken the structure and integrity of my bridge, my life. But then there are the good people. The ones that pray for and comfort me when I’m hurting, and help me repair the broken pieces of wood. Sometimes those people are the answer to my prayer, my missing piece, now revealed to me in front of my eyes. They are the people that matter the most to me. If they weren’t there, I would certainly fall, I’d drown, and I’d be left for dead. In the last month I’ve been coming upon the broken places on my bridge, the arguments, the tears, the stupid things that make me want to jump, and drown in my own confusion until I finally give in to the pressure. But right when I needed you, right when God knew that I needed you, you were there. It may only be for a season, for just a few steps, but you’re there. You met me there, with a rose and a kiss… You took my hand and helped me across some of the loose boards and shaky foundation. You showed me how to walk, how to be fearless, and how to enjoy each and every step of my journey. I was always so scared to look down, but you held me close and showed me that all those things, that rushing water, those things that I was nervous to face… They don’t have to scare me, they don’t have to be my fate. With you, I’m actually able to pause and look around at the beautiful design of my bridge, the attention to detail that God has etched in my life. We’ve even sat on the edge of that bridge and put our feet in the water. The rush of love, the beauty in the tide of secrecy. I never knew that the water could actually feel cool and gentle. I was always afraid, but it really is the most amazing sensation, running through my heart and my mind, and the greatest part is that you and me both experienced it together.
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I know that you can’t walk with me forever, and you can’t be there to show me the whole world. And as I look far across the bridge, I can almost imagine the outstretched hand of the next person that is there to take me away. And as I turn and look back, there too, I see a hand outstretched for you too. I don’t know him yet, and maybe you don’t know her yet either, but someday they’re gonna be there, and he’s going to be my new obsession, and she’ll be your new love.
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I never want to leave you, and that moment is going to be the hardest thing for me to experience. You and me will divide, but our hearts will never truly come apart. You really are my 1st, last and forever, and nothing can ever change that. You’ll always have a place in my heart, and whenever I look at my bridge, I’ll forever see the place where we 1st etched our names in the wood… August 3rd at 12:24am – Forever and always, Christian and Gloria, Mr. and Mrs. Basket Case, Idiots forever.
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There will come a time when you and I will reach a turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time will grab us by the wrist, and direct us where to go, on to our own happiness outside of eachother’s arms, but never beyond each other’s heart and mind. But for now, I wanna stay right here. Even though it was never meant to be, we’ve still got something special. And in this and all of our other well treasured moments, we can dance forever under the lights, of this brutal love. I’ll always feel lonely for all the losers that will never take the time to say what was really on their mind. What a tragedy that they’ll never have someone like you to guard them, and help along the way. I just want you to know that I will always love you. We’ve only just started along our journey, and our tomorrow hasn’t even come yet. We have our whole lives to live for, and one day, I swear, I’m going to find you. I’m gonna hold you for as long as I can, and I’ll never let you go.
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Someday, we’ll both stand in the middle of that bridge, at the crossroad of our life’s journey… My hands in yours and your lips pressed against mine. Together at last. I only wish that moment could last forever… But people change, and plans get changed, and life goes on. I wish we could live this fantasy forever, but reality is the thief of all innocence. We’ll kiss our 1st and last kiss, and you know I’ll begin to cry, watching as you walk away. My heart will forever be grateful for the love, and happiness, but mostly for the memories that we’ve made. I can’t help but think that sometime in the future I’ll walk back across that bridge, and with my fingers, trace over our names, etched and withering within the wood. Only a few pedals would remain from that beautiful rose you gave to me, once filled with the scent of innocence and bliss. Those pedals, now blowing away in the breeze… Yet in my mind, I’d still see our shadows dancing on the wood beneath my feet. I’d hear your voice, and see your smile. Maybe you’ll come back and revisit those memories with me, and we can laugh and cry, just like we used to.
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I love you, and from now until forever, you’ll always be my handsome man, and without a doubt, I’ll most definitely be your beautiful girl. I’ll love you today and tomorrow… And I’ll always love you like I did yesterday.
♡♡♡♡♡♡ ♥♥♥♥♥♡♡♡♡♡♡ ♥♥♥♥♥♡♡♡♡♡♡
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“Well, when you go,
don’t ever think I’ll make you try to stay.
And maybe when you get back,
I’ll be off to find another way.
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When you go,
would you even turn to say,
“I don’t love you,
like I did, yesterday”
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When you go,
would you have the guts to say,
“I don’t love you,
like I loved you, yesterday”
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I don’t love you,
like I loved you,
Yesterday.”

Summer Has Come and Passed…

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Life. It’s full of ups and downs, pain and pleasure, regret and carefree fantasies too. Life really is beautiful, isn’t it?

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As summer comes to a close, I can’t help but ponder the memories that have been created. Whether good or bad, they are memories and life lessons, nonetheless, and they are apart of what make me who I am.
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I came out of spring hibernation, and entered the summer eager to take a chance at love. I had a one track mind, a conscious goal to win over the heart of someone that I had previously let slip through my grasp. A naive goal at best, blinded by a desperate desire to be loved by someone, anyone. On July 25, I had my 1st fling in the parking lot of Friendly’s. It was a killer hot night, I was sweating from the heat, and I can’t help but think that my nerves played a role in that too. So many memories of that night. Looking at him wearing those stupid sunglasses, listening to him sing along to the tune of ‘Margaritaville’ and ‘Summer of 69′, and our 1st and last cute argument over who’s gonna pay for my ice cream. Was the night perfect? No. But would I trade it for a better one? Nope. I’d live that night a thousand times over, just to experience the simple joys of a new friendship.
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But even these things too shall come to an end. Just 2 days later I met the most amazing surprise of my life. He was the perfect mix of preppy and cool, if that’s ever possible. For many hours I wandered the grounds of the Roebling Steel Mill with him. We laughed as he tried to open a bottle of Stewarts soda, but like the sissy he is, he had to ask his dad to open it for him. We talked about cars of every kind, from a 1959 Bel Air to to a brand new Porsche. We shared an interest  in Green Day, and had a long talk about why he still doesn’t have his drivers license. He asked me for my phone number, but ever so shy as I am, I gave him my email address instead. We wouldn’t get to see each other again until August 23, when in the middle of a Chee Burger Chee Burger parking lot, my heart would yet again be broken by summer love. He was leaving, that Tuesday, for college. It was the hardest goodbye, yet not even a goodbye at all. As he got in his dad’s red Camaro, just about ready to leave, I can still hear his voice, “See ya.” I couldn’t even bear to look at that sweet smile. It truly was bittersweet. I don’t know when I’ll get to see him again, but when he comes home for spring break, I’m going to find him. This is one relationship that isn’t gonna pass me by. I’m going to take my chances, cause I don’t want to lose this summer love.
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And then there’s yet one more piece to the puzzle that is my life. In fact, he is the one piece that holds everything together. My account of summer just wouldn’t be well explained without the mention of my most amazing experience. August 3, at 12:24am– It all began with a simple, suggestive tweet from one Idiot to another, “I like Whatsername too :) I’m a girl, but I have those similar feelings :/ I’ll be your Gloria, if you’ll be my Christian?” And it was his reply that led to a world of new wonders, “sounds Awesome :) viva la Gloria!!!” Ever since that night, I’ve been holding on his heart like a hand grenade. I’ve spent the last 7 weeks letting myself come undone within the comfort of his reassuring words. Love and lyrics, popsicles and strawberries, right or wrong, we are living it all. We wasted no time, and jumped head first into the most irrational, crazy love story of our lives. I can’t even find words to express this amazing journey that he has taken me on. Our relationship is laced in a deep love of music, and I think our midnight twitter dates are best told through the lyrics of one of ‘our songs’…..  “Can’t you see there is no logic to love, and were lost just like the stars up above? If I’d only know how you’d make me feel, I would kiss the ground that touches your heel. After all these years of being apart, don’t let reason try to tear us apart. If the compass breaks, then follow your heart, and I hope it leads you right back into my arms.”
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So, to all the hopeless romantics, and the long distance lovers. This summer, I have officially become one of you. I’ve grown up so much in these past few months. I’ve felt heartbreak and desire, loss and curiosity. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for me. But now that it’s said and done, I have absolutely no regrets. I thank God for the experiences, and I can’t wait to see what awaits me in the Autumn months.
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To those who helped make my summer memorable: Collin, Chris, Wesley, Sal, the guy with the nice Harley, Nick, Tyler, Anthony, and the cigarette guy that wanted me to hug him… Thanks guys, for giving me too much attention, and making my Thursdays and Saturdays a blast! I can’t wait to see you all in the spring! And, a very special thanks to my dearest Christopher… Our love will surely weather any storm, and not even the seasons can separate us. If only I could spend the Autumn weather held tightly in your arms, only then would I be truly content. You are my love, today and always. If you jump, I jump: and we will fall together, forever, into the truest love we will ever know. No regrets, no looking back. All I can see is tomorrow, and I’ll wait an eternity if I have to, just to see you standing before me with and rose and a kiss. Our love is only as far, or as close as we allow it to be, and with every night, I feel you coming closer and closer, until you are finally in my arms. Near, far, wherever you are, our love truly will go on.
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Goodbye summer of 2013, Hello Autumn :)
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“Tell me the difference between love and death… you fear them both as they take your breath”
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Forever, and ever…

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Why does God give us opportunities and life situations that are so hard to figure out? Maybe it’s cause we are meant to enjoy the journey of curiosity, and the exploration of love?

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I’ve been so captivated by the mysteries of life. Right now I am in a reality that is beyond my wildest dreams. In some ways, it’s not even a reality at all. He is that magical place right where heaven and earth collide. That world unlike any other. A fairy tale dreamland that only exists in your mind, and comes alive within your heart.
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This reality, or the lack of, is the most amazing place that my mind has ever journeyed to. I’m allowed to exist as myself, as silly or as beautiful as that may be. I can be an absolute idiot, or a sappy fool, and yet it makes no difference.  I’m in love with him, and he’s in love with me.
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But there’s a barrier, a wall between our journey from now and into forever. Separated by a border, a country, a people, that tells us apart from here and there. What are miles? What is distance? They are reminders of a depression, a place I cannot reach. When I think of him, I dare not think of time and space, but rather living in the moment and the immediate passion between us both.
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If distance and miles are the separation between, than can’t we create our own map, our own roads? Every night his words begin to build a bridge, from here to there, and back again. The more we talk, the shorter the gap becomes.
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His smile is like the keys to a car. One turn of the key, one cute little smirk, and we are ready to go anywhere. The validation in his words are like a seatbelt, fastening me in for a long drive into the night. His charm is like the back roads through the country. Slow and winding, taking in the scenery with every mile we drive. His passion is like driving on a freeway at 1am… No one else around, just you and the highway. Three lanes of possibility, zero to sixty with every word he says. His imagination is like being broken down on the side of the road. An engine overheating, with no chance at a quick repair. All the time in the world to just think about what to do, and where to go from here. As stranded as that makes you feel, there’s also nothing better than being alone, in the middle of nowhere with the one your heart beats for.
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He is my escape into the dark of the night. The moonlight of my life, every night. My midnight joyride. My scenic route from here to there. My backseat lover. My first, my last, and my forever. Nothing will ever change that.
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Crazy Little Thing Called Love…

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Oh to feel happy……. Like innocently and joyfully just happy! I’ve longed for that feeling all of my life. Friends come and go… And one thing I’ve come to realize is that God never takes something away without giving you something just as special in its place. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be in love. I’ve spent countless, sleepless nights just asking God how on earth I’ll ever be sure it’s actually love that I’m feeling. I guess what I’ve figured out is this: Falling in love begins with the heart of a person, not just their pretty face. And if you can start from there, you’ll be able to find all the little things that make up the true character of that very special someone!

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Sometimes my life feels so long… and love feels like an eternity. But true happiness is found with patience.
Happiness is hard to achieve but worth the wait. Discontentment has always been the demise of my joy. But innocence is the redemption to my soul.
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I’ve always been told that when one door closes, God opens another one. But what if that door is open and you’re not allowed in? What if you’re standing face to face with the only thing that makes you happy. Your paradise is just through that rusted doorway, yet all you can do is stare at it. It’s the classic “look but don’t touch” effect. It’s right there… Your joy, your validation, your innocence, and most importantly your love. But you just can’t have it.
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It’s a bitter sweet feeling, and it’s how I feel right now. Half of me is overjoyed with the inncence of love, and the other half of me hurts cause it’s not really mine. I guess what I’m trying to say is this… Sometimes God places people in your path and maybe you just don’t even know why they are there. But I assure you, nothing is coincidence, and absolutely nothing happens by chance. Every blessing is intentional, and it’s for your true happiness.
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So… To my friend, my dirty little secret- Thanks for everything! Thanks for the handsome ways that you care. The sexiness of your charm. And the cuteness in all the fun little things you say that make me smile! You are the moonlight of my life every night, and I’m having so much fun that I’m not even thinking about why or how this is all happening. You know I’ll be waiting, wishing, wanting, yours for the taking. I’d sneak out and I’d never tell a soul goodbye. Here’s the countdown 3… 2… 1… I’ll fall in your arms now. They can change the locks, but I’ll never let them change my mind. I don’t wanna close my eyes, I don’t wanna fall asleep… I just wanna stay and count the circles ’round your eyes, and watch the stars until the sun begins to rise. You’ll always be the one that got away.. And I never want to say goodbye…
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There’s nothing more to say… This, is love.

Someone Should’ve Told Me- So I’ll Tell You…

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Below is a letter that I wrote to myself. In my past, I made some bad choices, and I wish that I would have know then how much I’d get hurt in the process. So this letter is everything that I wish I would have seen coming, and the redemption that followed.
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“Dear child of only 13,
There’s so much I wish you could have known. I know it’s a bit cliche, but I wish you could have heard all of this 6 years ago, instead, these words almost feel hollow and belated. You really don’t know what’s coming, do you?
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That red-headed boy that you stare at from afar, he’s been trouble all
along.
Your friends? They’re about to turn on you.
The many secrets that you confided within your circle of friends is about to be revealed.
Your secret crush, will quickly become public gossip.
Your diary? It isn’t so safely kept away now is it. Under the mattress
was never the most clever place to hide your purest most honest secrets.
The lies you told your parents are going to haunt you.
You were never really getting away with anything. You only think that
you were.
All of this, because you thought that it was okay, normal, and typical
of any teenager.
Well, it isn’t. You are digging a deep grave, and I just wish that I could have stopped you, but you just don’t get it, do you?
You thought innocence was impossible, beauty was a scam, and being in love was the only way to be happy.
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In the next few months you will see what I mean.
You’ll be teased, broken, and become an outcast.
You’ll have to work hard to regain the trust of your parents.
You’ll be embarrassed, that’s for sure.
Soon you will see all your secrets come into the light.
Your joyride will come to an abrupt end, but did it ever really begin?
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But of all these misfortunes, one thing has remained true.
God has always been there.
You may have forgotten about Him, but He never forgot about you.
He believed in you, even when you doubted Him.
When all is said and done, He will be your only source of redemption.
He is going to wipe your tears, and erase all those bad memories.
Yesterday will become history, and those things will all drift miles away from your thoughts.
The red-headed boy will be a stupid memory that you will be able to laugh about.
All those lies, they will become the basis for your testimony.
Innocence is possible, beauty is true, and being in love with God is the only way to be happy.
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To all the sweet young girls that are reading this- Please know that I’ve been where you are right now. I too did the silly things- Falling in love with boy bands, writing endlessly in my diary, and sharing secrets with my girlfriends. It’s okay! That’s normal! Just try to keep a hold of yourself and really think about what you are doing. I thought that I could fall in love with a boy, and never tell my parents. Trust me, that doesn’t work.
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So I guess what I want to say is this: You are beautiful, and you don’t need a boy to tell you that. You can have a crush, but just leave it at that. You’re still young, you’ll have so many guys to choose from and later fall in love with.
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You may be head over heels, but keep calm! If you think that your relationship should be occupied with kissing, touching and sex- It really doesn’t have to be! I’m going to admit something huge okay: I’m 18, I haven’t had sex, never had a 1st kiss, and actually, I’ve never had a real boyfriend. There! I said it! So you know what? Be who you want to be in life. Don’t have sex because you think you need to take a relationship to ‘the next level.’ Don’t compromise anything unless it is really what you want. I’ve found that guys actually like girls who have values and aren’t ‘easy.’ That doesn’t give you the right to be a tease, but it does give you the right to express your confidence!
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What do you say? Are you ready to claim your inner beauty? Will you be an honest young woman? Will you value yourself enough to make good life choices?
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In my life, I get all my strength from Jesus. He is my salvation, and I look to Him for guidance. If you too are looking for confidence and strength, look no farther that Christ Jesus. Talk to Him, and ask Him to help you out. He’s there for you 24/7, and He will love you more than any boy could love you! After all, you are His daughter, a daughter of King Jesus!
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Class of 2013 – I Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life…

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So, it’s officially summer. School’s out, and for those of you who graduated, congrats! Let’s hear it for the class of 2013! It’s time for freedom, carefree fun, and playful friendships. Schedules will loosen up a bit, and summer love will grow. Bonfires, s’mores, dancing on the tailgate of your boyfriend’s truck, and backseat memories are sure to be created. For us teens, summer is our time. We are accountable to no one but ourselves, and the future is ours to create!

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For me, this summer is different. I’ve been out of high school for 2 years now, and even though I’m a teen, I am choosing to fill my time with more education. Essays, assignments, and History 101 is how I am spending my ‘summer’ days. Sucks, right? Well yes and no. It’s not how most young people would want to spend these glorious months, but for me, it’s perfect! Well, kinda perfect. I’m beginning to figure out what I should do with my life as a young adult, and more ‘school’ is the first step to creating a stable future. The idea is to cram and educate- hopefully being able to find a good job in the future.
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So, to those of you who are enjoying your summer break- I hope you have a blast. But remember to at least be a little modest, and have some judgement. One night stands and drinking are overrated. Don’t get stuck and screw up because you had a lapse of judgement! When he says that ‘he loves you’ ask him how much. When he puts his arm around your shoulder, look out for a wandering hand. And if you find yourself in the ‘backseat’ of his car, think really hard about whether or not he’s worth it- or better yet- is it really worth you giving up your purity and innocence for a quick and easy night of so called ‘love’? It’s your call- think hard, and try to make good choices.
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To the Class of 2013- Congratulations, and blessings for your future! Have a crazy fun summer!
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“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go. So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why. It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time.
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It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right, I hope you had the time of your life.
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So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind. Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial. For what it’s worth it was worth all the while.
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It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right, I hope you had the time of your life.”
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Lyrics from Good Riddance, by Green Day
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Send Billie Joe Armstrong some twitter love @bjaofficial
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Don’t forget to use the hash tag #Pray4Billie

Sobriety: Temptation, Prayer, Faith, and YOU…

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Sober. What does that really mean? According to Dictionary.com, the definition of the adjective “Sober” is:

1. not intoxicated or drunk.
2. habitually temperate, especially in the use of liquor.
3. quiet or sedate in demeanor, as persons.
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If you follow my blog, then you probably saw my last post titled, “My 19 Years of Life, Your 9 Months of Sobriety.” My inspiration for writing that came from the events of this past September when Billie Joe Armstrong entered rehab after a public incident. Out of respect to Billie, I won’t rehash the details; I know how much I hate it when people remind me of my past regretful experiences. So after this ‘incident’ Billie entered rehab, and took the next few months off from touring to straighten up his life, and ultimately direct his efforts to becoming sober.
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Me, being the Green Day fan, and devoted Christian that I am, decided to immediately lift up prayers for Billie’s recovery. Each night since September of 2012, I have always remembered to lift up a prayer of strength for Billie. I’ve also made it a point to pray for his wife Adrienne, and their 2 sons Joey and Jakob, seeing as they too are taking this journey with their husband and dad.
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So basically, my point to saying all of this is to, first, give an explanation for my earlier post that was written more like a fan letter- and secondly, I want to encourage you to always feel important. If there is someone out there who you feel could use a little prayer, don’t hesitate to remember them. Don’t ever feel like you are too small to be heard. I haven’t even met Billie, let alone been to one of his concerts; but I know that even the prayers of the most humble and small hearts are heard by God. You know, sometimes God works through the hearts of the humble to reach deep into the souls of the lost and restless. You can be that 1 person, that 1 simple prayer that makes a difference in the life of another human being.
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On the topic of sobriety, I want to give you an idea, and encourage you to give something up in an effort to really commit to your cause. In this case, the cause is prayer. According to the definition of ‘sober,’ as mentioned earlier; it primarily references the act of being sober from alcohol. The second example of the word also mentions being ‘temperate’ which means: “Showing moderation or self restraint.” So out of respect for Billie, and his efforts to stay sober, I have decided to ‘show self restraint’ and give up grapefruit juice for 1 week. If you know me, then you know that grapefruit juice is my favorite, and I drink it endlessly. Giving it up doesn’t mean that it was bad for me, so I can no longer have it; rather, it is my way of humbling myself in an attempt to experience a similar sense of self control that alcoholics must work to gain as they are going through withdrawal.
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If you are praying for someone, and it is weighing heavy on your heart, I encourage you to make your own commitment to show self restraint. Set for yourself a timespan, and give something up during those days. At the end of it, you will feel accomplished, and you’ll also find that there are things that you can actually live without. On different occasions I have given up soda, chocolate, and silly as it may be, I’ve even given up mints. When someone asked my why I had quit those things, it gave me the perfect opportunity to share with them about my faith and prayer journey.
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So are you in? Can we make a commitment together to pray hard, and be faithful? Feel free to drop a comment below and share your prayers and anything else on your heart. You can also also find me on Twitter @The_Florida_Sun
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(And just to be clear: I don’t approve any of the inappropriate content that may be mentioned in the lyrics of a Green Day song. I am well aware that their music does not reflect that of my Christian walk, but we all have our guilty pleasure in life, mine just happens to be a rock band. That is why Billie is in my prayers, hopefully he too may come to know Jesus.)

 

My 18 Years of Life, Your 11 Months of Sobriety…

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Thoughts. Below are lots of my thoughts, a fan letter if you will. It’s everything that I’d love to say to Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. If anybody has a way of getting this to him, I’d really appreciate it! If you’re on Twitter, please tweet my link to him @bjaofficial
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Dear Billie Joe,
I wanted to let you know how much Green Day has been apart of my life, while growing up, and even now.
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I was born in 1994, and from my childhood, at even 3-4 years old, I can remember hearing Good Riddance on the radio all the time. So as I’ve gotten older, I have expanded my Green Day playlist and love rocking out to all of your tunes. I’m a Christian, but I absolutely love to let loose and rock, and you guys were and still are my outlet! It’s been a hard balance, and sometimes a controversial discussion to love Jesus, but also listen to your music. What I’ve learned through the years is that nobody is perfect. And even Christians face recovery and struggles in their own lives everyday. Green Day has always been my guilty pleasure, my way of feeling normal. I’ve been known to blow out the speakers and dance around the house to the tune of, Let Yourself Go. In a way its been my anthem. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in your music, that I loose sight of my Faith; but God is always there to remind me to focus on my beliefs. I hope to be an example to others that Christians aren’t stuffy ‘perfect’ people, but rather I’m a normal girl living the same unpredictable, fun life as anyone else! And yes- I love Green Day!
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Billie, I have been following your band for all of my 18 years of life, and it pained me to hear about the events of this past September. I wasn’t even disappointed in you. Rather, I felt like I was seeing the heart of someone who has pushed and pushed for so many years, and finally had enough, broke down, and let it all out.
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I hope you can be open minded to what I am saying here: I’ve been praying for your recovery every single night since September, when you entered rehab. When I’m going through a crazy circumstance in my life, I pray and draw strength from Jesus. So that’s what I did for you. I prayed.
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Like I said, being a Christian, to me, doesn’t mean living life on a short leash, but rather choosing to live a practical and respectful  life that God would be proud of. If anything, I think that we can appreciate God even more when we are so low that the only thing to do is to reach up to Him. There is something awesome about surrender.
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I’ve grown up with your music, but I’ve also grown in my Christian Faith too. Praying for you, the singer from my childhood, has been a tremendous blessing for me as well. I just wanted to share this with you, so that you know that God has been with you on your journey. Life does often suck. That’s a reality. But I believe that, at least in my own personal life, God makes it suck a little less. I’ve come to discover thar God wants us to ask for His mercy- and He will be faithful to see us through. I hope that you can appreciate my last 11 months of prayer for you. In my life, Billie, you are such an awesome person, and I’m rooting for you! Sometimes in life we are attacked at our weakest point, and there is nothing saying that you won’t again be faced with temptation- but I hope that you will always remember that God is there, and He’s waiting to rescue you. And just know that no matter what- I will always keep you in my prayers :)
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Thanks for so many years of great music, and I can’t wait to see and
hear what blessings are yet to come that maybe even you aren’t expecting.  Somebody once wisely said, “So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why. It’s not a  question, but a lesson learned in time.” There is so much more that God is waiting to reveal to you. I know that the odds of you ever reading this are a million to one, but I just pray that somehow, someday you will finally see these words and maybe they will be a piece to the puzzle that is life.
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—Julia

He’ll Find You In A Hurricane…

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Hurricane. If you live anywhere on the East Coast, then you probably know a lot about hurricanes. And with that comes, wind, rain, tornadoes, and of course, fear.

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Today as I was listening to the radio, I heard a song, appropriately named, Hurricane. It is sung by Natalie Grant. She wrote the song about daily struggles, and how sometimes our life can feel just like a storm.
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Everyday we are going through some kind of storm. Maybe it is like a passing rain cloud, or maybe it truly feels like a hurricane. Either way, God is there to bring you through it. He walked on water, gave Moses the strength to part a sea; Surely, God can calm your storm.
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“You’re spinning out of control, again
Your life feels like a sinking ship,
You’re wondering how it came to this
Is it too late?
Is it too far?
For him to reach you
And come to where you are
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Step out the edge
Don’t be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call his name
He’ll find you in the hurricane
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You’re in the wreckage underneath
You’re hope is buried
Somewhere deep
You’re wondering
How long it will keep?
It’s never too late
Never too far
For you to reach out
And take a hold of love
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Step out on the edge
Don’t be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call his name
He’ll find you in a hurricane
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Don’t back down from the light
He’ll shelter you tonight
Just hold on for the change
Call his name
He’ll find you in the hurricane
There’s a place
You can run
When you fall
And it’s all come undone
You’ll be safe in the raging storm
So just let go
Cause you are held in his arms
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Step out on the edge
Don’t be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call his name
He’ll find you in a hurricane
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And when you feel the rain
Call his name
He’ll find you in a hurricane.”
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Lyrics from Hurricane, by Natalie Grant
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