Pursuing a Relationship with God: A Guest Post

Happy Wednesday, everyone! We have another SUNSHINE DAYS post for you!

Julie is a source of constant encouragement for me. She has a servant's heart & humble spirit. She is always ready to admit when she is wrong. She is generous with her time & resources. She has been a big help as I've homeschooled my kids. She is always ready to serve our church.

(We also share a love for jigsaw puzzles & might have completed an entire puzzle in one afternoon while on vacation together.)

Her testimony has a lot of similarities to my own - growing up in church, being a "good girl," knowing that all of that wasn't enough. I hope you're encouraged by her words!

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Tell us about yourself.

My name is Julie and I am a mother to 4 children (12, 11, 10, and 4). I have been homeschooling them since the beginning. My husband (Steven) and I have been married for 13 1/2 years. We met at church. I love being outdoors, completing puzzles, and playing board games and card games.

Give us a little glimpse into your childhood. 

I grew up in a Christian home, where we were there if the doors were open. I am third in line out of 4. I was the goody two shoes in the family and considered the teachers pet at school. My siblings and I were often outside until the street lights came on, playing with our friends. We were all involved in sports from a young age, up until high school. I played basketball and softball. Some would say my dad was strict. We were not allowed to go to the movie theater, watch anything with curse words, or stay up late on a Saturday evening, because we had church in the morning. By high school, we were allowed to do the above. 

Share with us how you came to know Jesus as your Savior. 

In the summer of 1991(8 yrs old), I went to a Christian summer camp called Summit Grove. After one of the morning services, I felt this tug that I needed him. I went back to my dorm and told my counselor. After her and I talked about that tug, I prayed believing in Him and asking Him to forgive my sins. Years later, I attended a Christian conference called Aquire the Fire(ATF) where I felt there was areas in my life that needed to change. I needed to go deeper in God’s word and not through the motions and have a relationship with Him, not a “religion“.

Tell us how the Gospel meets you in your life these days.

Last Fall, Steven and I decided to put my older two children in public school. So with the pandemic and virtual learning option, we now decided to keep homeschooling them. It has been a challenge, but I have been trying to put my trust in God to sustain me during this time. I often find myself needing to repent and ask for forgiveness when I have wronged my children. I have been given the chance to practice patience as God has been patience with me. Being with my children, actually teaching, I have learned more about them. This has shown me that the more time I spend with them, the more time I’m getting to know them deeper and so it is with God.

What has God been teaching you lately?

God is teaching me to be flexible with what is put in front of me. Homeschooling my older two may not have been the plan, but we are making it work through God’s grace. Every day I have to keep in mind that my schedule may not work and my children are being flexible as well. 

What encouragement would you give to another woman who is seeking to grow her faith?

I would encourage one to find a gospel-centered church and a Christian friend/accountability partner. I think accountability is so important, because we can get so caught up with “stuff” that we need to be reeled back in. Also, they can pray for and just be there for the good, bad, and ugly. 

Describe what a SUNSHINE DAY looks like to you.

Can I have two SUNSHINE DAY looks? One would be starting my morning with a devotional, school would go well (not perfect), dinner, and then playing outside with the kids, watching them play, play a game, and a movie/episode with my Steven. The other would be enjoying the “whole day”, which in my family that means at least 7am-7pm ;), with the family doing something new or being outside hiking at a park, walking the court multiple times, or playing card and board games.

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Again, I love that she emphasized the relationship over the religion. You can attend church weekly, sing the hymns, serve on all the ministry teams, give your tithe. You can even go on missions trips & devote time to charity. But if you have no relationship with God, it's all for naught. If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, please don't hesitate to reach out! I'd be honored to share what I know!

I also appreciate the encouragement to find a godly friend who will help point you to God every chance she gets. And it's a challenge to BE that friend for others, too!

Thank Julie with me in the comments!


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