Thursday, September 24, 2009

Julie's Steam Cleaning Revelation

The house is slowly coming together. Carpet is in, but now comes weeding out and rearranging. Yesterday was our son's room. It took forever because he keeps everything. I'm thankful I tackled most of it during school hours because once he was home, he even asked if I could preserve a piece of string. String!!

Part of the process is steam cleaning. We recently purchased a new one and it works so great. I'm a results person so to watch the dirty water rush into the tank, that's thrilling for me to watch. I'm accomplishing something!

Hoover Carpet Steam Cleaning shampooer cleaner steamer Pictures, Images and Photos

I also had an ephinany during the cleaning. Years ago I was a work from home mom with a toddler. I was suffocating under the pressure I was putting on myself to be perfect at every role in my life. Needless to say, there was never enough time. When I steam cleaned, I went at it like Speedy Gozales, right down to breaking a fairly new cleaner because I pushed too hard on a rough carpet. I only gave the appearance of clean, but deep down, I left a lot of dirt behind.

This time around, I'm bothered by the chaos but I know it's going to take time and I can only do so much. His room has seen a lot of action resulting in stains and ick I thought would be there forever. I took my time cleaning and as I methodically moved the cleaner back, all the dirt came up.

It hit me, that's what I've surrendered and let God do. It's so much more than growing older and possibly maturing. I yielded my life, my fears, hurts, goals, expectations and all the dirt to Him. He's not done but already I can see the dirty tank resevoir is full and the floors are clean. I'm no longer tied to living the perfect life. In fact, I find I get a bit cranky when I sense someone is trying to pressure me to be perfect.

How about you? In your life, is everything perfect at a glance but deep down the dirt remains? I challenge you to take your time and let God work a deep cleaning within you. I feel as alive as my son's carpet looks---and that's something God is willing to do for anyone that asks through faith in His Son!

By the way, the Love Dare is on over at Christian Women Take Root. If you've tried the Dare before on your own, join us. There truly is safety in numbers. This is open to all approved members of Christian Women Take Root.

Julie Arduini is driving herself to exhaustion trying to balance writing, marriage, children, website creation, working out, and chocolate. Her website is still under construction, but check it out at

Friday, September 11, 2009

The $20K Life

(This is originally from my The Surrendered Scribe blog. I'm still learning off this message, and thought I'd share it).

I'm a vivid dreamer and I've long let go of the thought that it's a bad taco. I'll admit sometimes an interpretation doesn't come to me, but I pray and often one comes. It's rarely what I actually dream about, and it's always such a great life lesson that I know it wasn't anything I came up with. I totally give God credit for those interpretations (mine always line up with the Bible, not once have I had a dream interpretation tell me to leave my family or anything, just so you know).

Anyway, this dream and the interpretation isn't leaving me. Maybe you are in this situation too, so I thought I'd post it. If I already posted it, forgive me. I am absolutely grasping for the finish line called September. This summer is suffocating my sanity!

So here is the dream...

I am back in Upstate NY, arriving at a pawn shop at 6am. I know I only have 30 minutes because my husband has to leave for work by 7. The line is long and I have with me a heavy, thick black necklace to pawn. In addition, I have separate from the cross but at once attached to it, a cross. One side of the cross is a black cross, an actual necklace my husband gave me two years ago from El Salvador. The other side is not actual and was a white porcelain cross with a single rose on the cross.

Once I get to the counter my husband is with me. A lady waits on me and says that the cross is probably worth twenty, but she needs to talk with the manager. I think, hey, $20, pretty good for 6am.

The manager comes over and looks it over. With the white porcelain portion he says, this is a treasure. It is worth twenty. Twenty thousand.

Twenty thousand dollars!? Well I got so excited I woke myself up!

I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to reveal the dream to me. Here is what He gave me:

The black double strand necklace is an albatross I'm allowing to hang over my neck. With it is the black cross that my husband gave me two years ago. The last two years have been challenging in many ways, and it's left me tired, worried, and skeptical. By clinging to the black necklace and the burden that hangs over me when I choose this life, I'm living the $20 life.


The porcelain cross represents what I can choose. I can let go of the past and trust God. Life won't be easy, but by choosing Him over the bitterness of the past, I get the white porcelain cross life. That necklace was worth $20k.


Ever since when I've turned my mind on the past or started to worry about the future, I remember I'm choosing the albatross feeling necklace worth $20. I want to live free from burdens, fear, and anxiety. I want the $20k life.

Anyone relate? I'm struggling, so don't think I have it mastered. If this is your story, try to find a picture or draw one of a white porcelain looking cross with a single red rose on it. Give yourself a visual that you want the $20k life over the $20 one.

I'd love to hear your comments and updates!

The website is moving along. Check it out at I also created a group page on Facebook and a separate Twitter account for my fiction story, Discovering Nancy Struthers. Check it all out and feel free to join!

Julie Arduini is a writer and public speaker residing in NE Ohio. Her website,, is set to launch October 1 as she shares her surrender journey online. You can find her most recent work in Kathy Vick's Run Like a Girl. She also moderates the Love Dare over at Christian Women Take Root and is a new contributor for the marriage channel at Exemplify. She lives with her husband and two children.