Welcome to my little corner of the overly-saturated blogosphere! With so many other good writers vying for your precious time, I’m grateful that you’ve stopped by my neck of the digital woods.
I’m Julie, wife to Jon and homeschooling, stay-at-home mommy (who actually does stay at home!) to our four amazing spark plugs. I’m an impatient, introverted germ freak who's been redeemed by Christ's finished work on the Cross.
I love fog. I love solitude. I love tea. I love reading.
I don't love hallways.
In fact, when we bought our first mobile home, one of the things I loved most about it was that it had no hallways. The bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry room were arranged in such a way that they opened up directly from the family room - no hallway needed. That house was made for me! (No hallways also meant that it only had two bedrooms, which became a bit problematic when our fourth spark plug arrived.)
Hallways seem to be such a waste of real estate. They're often narrow and dark, and they aren't what you'd call "livable space." Sure, you can hang a picture or two on the walls, but that's about it. No one says, "Let's go visit in the hallway. It's so cozy in there."
So, why would I create a blog about waiting in the hallway, something about life that drives me so crazy?
When I first heard the saying, "until God opens the door, praise Him in the hallway!" I felt like it was written just for me. Even though I don't like hallways, I have a choice to make: I can either fume and fuss my way through them, or I can praise the Lord as I wait them out. I decided that the second option was preferable, and so The Hallway Initiative was born out of a need to remind myself to make the effort to choose joy in times of hardship.
My family and I have been through some tough things – much of it self-inflicted, but all of it God-permitted.
The biggest struggles in my life are financial hardships and medical crises. In 2009, after having been laid off from a comfortable job, Jon was diagnosed with a spontaneous Cerebro-Spinal Fluid Leak which resulted in immediate, invasive surgery. In 2013, just days after another verbal pink slip, our oldest spark plug was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital with a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes and life-threatening Diabetic Keto-Acidosis (DKA). Weeks later, we learned that he also has Celiac Disease.
More and more, I'm finding myself in the hallway, waiting (albeit impatiently) for the Lord to direct my steps. Although I so strongly dislike hallways, I'm finding that they're good for me.
- Hallways draw me closer to the Lord. As a Christian, I want this more than anything else in life.
- They increase my prayer life. Times of trial, hardship, and waiting send me to my knees faster than any other type of circumstance.
- They help me empathize with and better understand others who are walking through their own hallways.
Ironically, in 2015 we traded out our old, hallway-less mobile home for a new model. Our new home has - you guessed it - a GIANT hallway. As much as I really, really didn't want a hallway in our new home, I've come to love it. It's wide, for one, which helps it not feel so cramped. It's also really well-lit, so it doesn't feel dark and creepy. And it has a little shape to it instead of being in a straight, boring line. Most of all, it keeps all of our bedroom doors in a central location, keeping me near my family (a very valuable thing for a mom who's often up a lot at night). It's taught me that hallways can be beautiful.
About the Hallway Initiative:
My goal here on the blog is to offer Biblical encouragement for times of waiting and hardship, not because I'm now an expert in such things, but because I need to be reminded over and over again about God's faithfulness. I need to be reminded to praise Him when life is hard. Since I'm probably not alone in those needs, I started writing online as a way to help both my readers and myself keep our eyes on Christ.
Here you'll find posts on:
- Family (including marriage and parenting)
- Finances & Business
- Homemaking & Homeschooling
- Autoimmune disorders & Healthy Living
I write new blog posts most Monday mornings (though admittedly, sometimes I fall behind and then adjust the date to make it look like I posted in a timely fashion - shhh, don't tell!). I also send out a newsletter most Wednesdays where I offer some mid-week encouragement, share about what God's been teaching me, and provide subscriber bonuses like printables and ebooks that aren't available anywhere else! If you think you'd benefit from the newsletter, just click here!!
I'm not a huge fan of social media, but if you'd like to connect in other ways, you can find me on Facebook and on Pinterest. For now, I'm leaving Instagram and Twitter for another day, perhaps when the spark plugs are older and I mistakenly believe I'll have more free time. :)
Last but not least, this past summer I wrote and launched "A Place Prepared," an ebook about God's faithfulness in my life. If you've ever felt like you were sorely unprepared for the events you've faced, please know you're not alone. When struggles of various kinds hit my family in 2013, I really thought I wasn't ready to handle them. But slowly, the Lord began showing me how He actually had given me the necessary qualifications for facing these "giants." And I share all about the lessons I learned in "A Place Prepared." If you need some encouragement for your own hardships, please grab your own copy right here!
What about you?
Are you in a hallway in life right now? Do you feel stuck and desperate to get out? I'd love for you to join me in choosing to praise the Lord, no matter how long and dark your road ahead is. We can't always choose our circumstances, but we can choose to rejoice despite them. And we can also choose to do it together and encourage one another along the way.