I met her in April of 2004, when I started my job as a radio host in Charlotte, NC. She surprised me because I never expected to connect so quickly with someone I'd just met. She was introduced to me in one of my first meetings at the station. I was told a lot about her right off the bat because she was someone special with whom I would be spending a lot of time.
Our similarities were unmistakable and I found myself really enjoying getting to know her more and more. Julie is truly an amazing woman. She’s married and has three amazing kids she dotes on whenever possible but who also drive her to the brink of insanity at times. She works part time but also helps out in her kid’s classrooms. She’s even the room mom for her seven year old.
Julie has an amazing heart for her family and God but she struggles with making sure she’s spending the right amount of time doing the right amount of things. It’s called balance, I believe. Balance is something that seems nearly impossible in today’s world of hectic schedules, after school sports, house work, home work, pets, friends and family obligations. I’m sure I missed something there. No doubt it is because I lack sleep from jet lag that seems to be clinging on for dear life after a trip to Korea last week, but I digress.
Julie gets frustrated over what to make for dinner each night. She isn’t much of a cook but she loves to provide a good meal for her family. Her life seems too busy to be the June Cleaver kind of mom we all grew up thinking we must be like. How did June do it all so effortlessly? Oh yeah, she wasn’t real. She was a pretend mom who had a make up and wardrobe assistant and adorable little children who said “golly gee!” and were always on their best behavior. When they weren’t, her husband Ward was sure to handle the discipline while June looked on lovingly. Her family sat around the dinner table and ate pot roast, potatoes and green beans with rolls and sweet tea every night. Excuse me while I go lose my lunch!
I tend to bare my soul to Julie quite often, but she doesn’t judge me for it. She knows this struggle well. She is going through the same things I am. Julie and I both love the Lord so much and we both struggle with making time and putting Him first in a world that seems out of control. But we know the first thing we should do every morning is spend time with Him, so we can face our day. It’s like putting on your body armor before going into battle. I mean, who would go fight a battle in their pj’s? Unfortunately, we often attempt going into the battle in our pj’s but thank God we have each other to yell “Hey! Get back here! You’re not dressed yet!”
We give each other accountability. We are there for each other and we look forward to our daily conversations. We email, blog and try to encourage each other through our life experiences and things we learn in our quiet times with God. We cry together, laugh together, sing together and we even pray together. Julie is truly a very special woman.
So why am I writing a blog dedicated to Julie? Simple. I love her. She’s an amazing woman and maybe she doesn’t get told that often enough. I think it’s important our friends know we love them and appreciate them. I go way too many days without letting them know how much I love them for everything they are to me – for being there for me, praying for me, loving me and being patient with me on the days when I don’t have it all together.
You’re probably anxious to meet this special woman and lucky for you, she’s anxious to introduce herself to you, too! You’ll probably recognize her right away. If you want to meet her face to face, just step into your bedroom and look in the mirror. There she is. Julie is you. Julie is the woman I speak to when I'm on the radio, the woman I love to encourage and minister to through social media and blogging, the woman I think about when I am preparing a message to share from the Word of God. Julie represents us all.
Over the years, I’ve noticed it helps me to be more transparent and real with the listeners of the radio station when I imagine that it’s just me and "Julie" hanging out every day in the studio. I didn't want to seem like I was talking to a bunch of people at once. We all seem to get "lost in the crowd" at times. I don't want my friends to ever feel that way. When I receive emails and calls from listeners who are able to be real and transparent, I realized Julie is real.
So, Julie – this blog is for you. You are an inspiration to me. You are a real-life woman with struggles but a heart for God that makes everyone around you smile. You don’t have all the answers, but that doesn’t matter because you’re humble enough to know that you don’t. I like that in a friend. Thank you for being in my life - and for being a friend.
Whatever your name really is, I'm so humbled you have chosen to spend some time with me and to walk through this life with me, even if it is just a few minutes on a blog every now and then or a quick break on the radio that we spend together in the car. Would you take a moment and introduce yourself? Name, age, kids or no, married or no, where you live, etc...and give me an idea of what God is teaching you right this very moment. I promise not to call you Julie, unless that's your name. (smile) Her name is merely a representation to remind me that you are an individual with feelings, thoughts and a heart that loves deeply and deserves to be loved back. Thank you for sharing life with me.