Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Maria He So Desperately Wants Me To See

Hello everyone!
I hope you all are having a peaceful summer….
I haven’t had much time to enter the gate, and I am happy to be back!

The summer has been busy here…
My daughter had her tonsils and adenoids removed, along with some injections to help relax her muscles. And now she has casts on both legs to stretch her muscles for awhile…sooo… I have been kind-of in stress mode since June.

In the midst of all of the craziness, I have learned that God uses stress to bring up all the things inside of me that I am still holding on to (even though I have claimed to give them to Him). So, once again, He is molding all of me—my thoughts, my words, my actions---into the Maria He sees, the Maria He so desperately wants me to see.

Thankfully, my daughter’s casts will be off next week, and we are headed to a real beach.
My kids have never seen the ocean, so I am looking forward to seeing the looks on their faces when they feel the sand on their feet, and feel the ocean waves splash their faces.

And I am looking forward to sitting still—something I don’t do very often.

Sitting, basking in the beauty of God’s creations, and enjoying the amazing family He has given me.

I will close the gate door for now, and I will return soon.

Maria and her family reside in NE Ohio. She and her husband are the parents of two. Their daughter is a person with hemipelegic cerebral palsy.Because of her experiences, Maria provides parent-to-parent support for families involved in her local early intervention program. Her gift for writing has come directly from the Lord since her daughter’s diagnosis. She writes a monthly column entitled, “Special Parents, Special Kids” for the Mahoning Valley Parent magazine in Ohio; and has expanded into Parent magazines in parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
She is also a contributing author at's first published work is in Jan Ross and Jeanice McDade's Women of Passion's anthology, "Ordinary Women Serving an Extraordinary God". Both Kim and Maria have been selected to have their work tentatively included in Lori Wagner's upcoming book, Quilting Patches of Life, Volume 2.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Checking In...

Remember me? I don't know where the summer went but I can't believe it's been this long since a Narrow Gate post. I know a bit is going on with Kim and Maria, but today I'll give you my update. God is downloading a lot, and I hope in the coming days and weeks I can share it here.

This summer is "watch Julie spin her tires trying to know it all by fall" season. With both kids in school full time this fall, I want to know His plan yesterday. If you follow me on Facebook (Julie Arduini from Ohio) you know I recently wrote how I relate to Noah. I have specific blueprints, limited vision, no rain before, and people most likely think I'm nuts. The praise is I've read the rest of the ark story and things go well for Noah. I serve that same God.

I know I'm meant to write and public speak. I know encouraging women is at the heart of what I do, and that surrender seems to be the brand most people identify my name with. My husband and I are taking baby steps in creating a website. The little vision He's given me is big. Pretty big for someone who doesn't have a finished manuscript. Talk about faith walking!

I plan to offer a newsletter with the website. If folks subscribe, I want to offer them a free short story via PDF file. The story is called Discovering Nancy Struthers. What sets this apart is that this story will continue on Twitter and through the newsletter. I will create a separate Twitter account where readers can learn more about Nancy Struthers and her escaping ways. My hope is to add a chapter with each newsletter.

That's as far as I see it, and that's ok. I've worried, fretted, ate, whined, vented and cried my way through the summer wanting more answers and I am at peace. The vision is coming and He's just asking me to be prepared and obey.

Please join me as I leap off that proverbial faith cliff!

To read my work on a more regular basis, please find me at The Surrendered Scribe.

Julie Arduini is a writer and public speaker living in NE Ohio. Her latest work is included in Kathy Vick's Run Like a Girl, available now. She also moderates the Love Dare over at Christian Women Take Root and thinks she is going to make her superficial goal of watching Smallville Seasons 1-7 on Netflix.