Ride the Wave

If you know me or read this blog frequently, you already know I like lists. I like plans. I crave control, routine, and organization. Spontaneity is a rare thing in my life and chaos and drama are unwelcome. 

Sigh.

I’m at an interesting phase in life.  Midlife. So many things are out of whack and my illusions (delusions!) of control are being shattered. And I hate it. Or rather, I did. Aging, milestone birthday approaching, menopause, work, health, emotions, relationships…when thing after thing after thing spun out of control, I finally realized God had to be in this. And I surrendered. Pretty much. Once again, my Father is challenging my Martha spirit. 

Hubby and I were talking about it and we describe this phase as our “riding the wave” phase. We love our beach trips. We adore getting in the ocean to cool off and to ride the waves. We never know if the waves will bring a gentle roll or push or a surprise dunking and crash. Turns out, life is the same. A lot of you are far better at going with the flow than I am, but I am trying. And, as usual, I’m struggling to make sense of it all through prayer, overthinking, and blogging. I have to confess that it’s exciting (and uncomfortable and scary) to let go and let the waves of life come and go without trying to control them. 

I wish you MUCH joy as you ride the waves.

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Just Be. 

It’s okay to stop doing and just be. 




I can’t seem to help it. I start every school year, every calendar year, every break (Christmas and Spring), and ever summer vacation with a to do list and a plan. It’s just how I roll. I know it’s annoying to some, but it’s bigger than me.  I. Can’t. Stop. 

This summer break feels different, though. God is definitely up to something, but I’m not going into the why today… I am simply excited about the results. This year, for the first time, my goal is simply to be. Be still. Be quiet. Be happy. Be. Just Be. 

We canceled a vacation and decided to just take each moment as it comes. This is so foreign to me. You know what? I think I like it! I’m sleeping better, laughing more, and hanging out with my favorite people. More time on the patio, more time talking to my people, more cooking, more reading, more music, more going with the flow- – this may just be my favorite break ever. So, to all of my friends who have begged me to calm down already…you were right. This is good.  Will this last? I can’t see this continuing when school starts, but I’m willing to try. 

What are your summer plans? I’d love to hear. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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Love Your Neighbor 

Our world is aching to be loved, valued, and acknowledged. Everyone is fighting a battle the rest of us don’t see. Love your neighbor. It comes down to that. Simple. Profound. 




I’m blessed by the people I see loving, caring and fighting the good fight. I’m sure you’re thinking of some of the same dear ones I am. Doctors and nurses going about their work with great love and compassion. Teachers loving their students, pouring themselves into their kiddos. Strangers letting you go first in line at the grocery store, paying it forward at the coffee shop, tipping generously. Pastors, parents, neighbors, store clerks… no one is exempt from this command to love others and no one is unable.  We’re all in this together. 

I want to love and be loved. I know you wish for the same. Let’s BE love to this sad, broken world. Let’s BE the hands and feet of our Jesus. 

As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

Loves and Links Are Back! 

Tomorrow marks the beginning of spring. We’re enjoying gorgeous weather and I’m making keep, donate, and can’t decide piles. I’m getting better at this. My can’t decide pile is tiny. Turns out, I know what I like (and what I don’t like).  As I take a break from the sorting and cleaning, let me share a few absolute loves. 

  • Have you heard Forever Country yet? Love, love, love! 
  • Holy cow! Have you tried these serums? I used one for tanning last summer. I know, I know.  But I did and the results were amazing! Last winter I suffered from dry, itchy skin. That was new for me. I used their anti-aging serum and the results were immediate. Honestly, I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it myself. The only thing I don’t care for is the smell. It’s pretty stinky in my opinion, but well worth it. 
  •  This face wash is so gentle and effective …I’m in love! I have combination skin and it’s been perfect!!  I know this sounds odd, but it-the actual foam-is also incredibly soft. Try it. I know you’ll love it. 
  • This body butter is my year-round favorite when I don’t want a scent. They call it Bliss for a reason! 
  • I love little luxuries and Young Living’s Satin Face Scrub is my current favorite indulgence. It’s replaced the Bliss scrub in my shower. It has a light minty smell and leaves my skin sooooo soft! 
  • Love lip color? Hate it? Either way you’re going to love Lipsense. My teaching partner hates lipstick, but tried this stuff and became a distributor. Wow!  If you knew Krista, you’d know what a big deal this is. If you’re on Facebook search for her group, Lasting Lips by Krista, or message me for her contact information. The color lasts all day and I like that you can top with gloss or matte. And the yummy colors….
  • If I had my way I’d wear yoga pants and tee shirts all of the time. Purely by accident, I discovered an awesome tee shirt company!!! Cents of Style has the cutest tees! They fit well and hold up wash after wash. Try them out. 

If this kind of post is your cup of tea or if you are my husband frantically trying to find the perfect birthday gift, try this post, or this post, or even this post

So, what are your thoughts? Have you tried any of my favorites? Have some of your own to share? As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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    Is It Time to Fire that Friend? 

    “Evaluate the people in your life; then promote, demote, or terminate. You’re the CEO of your life!”

    ~Tony Gaskins




    Wow. This resonates with me so much right now. Maybe it does with you. If so, read on and share your comments. 

    The older I get (Yikes! I’m starting a lot of thoughts with that phrase lately!) the more precious my time is. I’m no longer willing to give it away to just anyone or anything. 

    Like you, I have work and family obligations that I must meet. I’m not talking about ditching responsibilities. I’m talking about closely examining who I do life with.

    I’m talking about refusing to feel guilty when asked to do extras that aren’t in Gods plan for me. I’m talking about the fact that we each have 24 hours in a day and countless obligations. I’m talking about the fact that I must face facts: I do not have enough time for every friend, every party invitation, every committee meeting-no matter how worthy. 

    Like you, I could tell you dozens of stories about “friends” who did me dirty. I could tell you even more about wonderful friends who blessed my socks off. The thing is most of us are doing the best we can. There are people who are awesome humans, wives, and friends, but not for me. I  want to be wise enough and brave enough in this next chapter of my life to -without burning bridges-say a fond farewell to some, while carving out time for those who make me better. 

    So, I’m thinking and praying. I’m touching base with those lovely ladies who lift me up and make me better. I’m making plans with those that pray for me, want good for me, and make time for me. 

    And I’m cutting loose those others. 

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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    Count Your Blessings (and count them again) 

    “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton


    Ssssshhh… don’t tell anyone, but I’ve discovered the secret to contentment. It’s simple, but difficult.

     Are you ready?

    It’s a two part system. First, you turn your whining, fears, and needs into prayers. Then you start thanking God for all of the blessings already in  your life. That’s it. 

    I know. 

    Nope, I’m serious. That’s it. 

    Yes, you may feel silly. It may feel forced. At first.  But it changes. And then you change. 

    I’ve done this. I still do this. It works! A month or two ago I was talking to a friend who was struggling with her career. As I told her about all of this she looked at me like I was a simpleton. “Don’t look at me like that! I’m telling you this works! Try it for a month. If you don’t come back and tell me it changed your life I will buy lunch next time!  But if it works for you, then you owe me lunch!” So, where should I make her take me when we get together next week? 

    Try this. You have nothing to lose and so much peace, joy, and contentment to gain. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

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    Happy New Year…More and Less

    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau



    It’s no secret I adore beginnings and fresh starts.  Here’s another opportunity to dream, plan, grow, create a beautiful life.  If you’re a resolution junkie (I can’t be alone!) check out this post or this one.  

    This year I’m focusing on more of the good stuff and less of the yucky.  

    • More authentic connections. Less superficial or forced. 
    • More relaxation.  Less zoning out. 
    • More real food. Less processed food. 
    • More love, acceptance, and mercy.  Less jealousy, pettiness. 
    • More experiences. Less stuff. 
    • More Jesus. Less me. 
    • More joy. Less drama. 
    • More gratitude. Less complaining. 
    • More Bible time. Less iPad time. 
    • More praying. Less worrying. 
    • More forgiveness. Less resentment and grudges. 
    • More compliments. Less criticism. 

    Happy New Year! My prayer for you is more of the good stuff and less of the yucky. As always, I wish you MUCH JOY! 

    Got TWITTER? Tweet with me! @julielclarke

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