I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved making this window, but more so, who I made it for: the one and only Jules! It was last summer I met this deep, witty, Jesus-loving gal. She was wrapping up her work responsibilities at ROCKHARBOR in preparation to welcome their second, a little girl, to their family. She is one of those people that sticks with you. In a really, really good way!
In her own words, here is Jules’ story:
I can’t remember at what age I really started living with this in the back of my mind, but I like to say, “If I love something, I must do something significant with it.” The way I see it is if I claim it to myself, and especially out loud, that I love something, then it can’t end with me. It has to be lived out in a way that goes beyond my own enjoyment of it. I like to think that my passions are deeper than what I alone can make of it; when passions are shared, there seems to be a blessing that follows in the act of giving it away. This may sound vague, so I’ll share some life examples of how this looks from small beans to big things.
~ I love singing and dancing. Can’t claim I have any true talent with either, but at my core I do love doing both. I take that love and pour it into every chance I get to worship my Jesus. Why would I refrain when He sees my adoration to Him as significant? Whether I am alone or surrounded by others, I worship the same because I love to, and He is worthy.
~ I love running. And I find that most people don’t. They run because it’s a healthy choice; I run because I love the experience in itself. I ran the LA Marathon to see if after 26 miles I could still claim that I love it. And I do! The best part was the people I met along the way- people who share commitments and passions, and some I wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for running.
~ I love people. And I care greatly about people feeling like they are a part of something. I shudder when I think about how someone can feel like they are on the outside looking in… So as I served tables as a waitress, I tried to see people in the midst of their days and be attentive. When I learned sign language, I realized I loved the Deaf culture, and went on to get my degree in Deaf Education, hoping to one day be a part of education that declares Deaf students not as hearing impaired, but rather skilled, intelligent, and capable people. I worked with the Welcome ministries at our church to ensure hope that not one person would come, then leave feeling like they couldn’t jump right in if they wanted. I do my best to remember names, even if I know I’ll only know you for a hot second, because every person is called by name and they deserve to know that.
~ I love marriage. It’s my favorite. It’s also NOTHING like I thought it would be. I promised one smokin’ hot firefighter the rest of my days and am blessed beyond measure that he promised me the same. Even when he is gone for days at a time, we find ways to still prefer the other – an ongoing lesson.
Our window has the Julia Child quote, “Cooking is like love; It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” When I first read that my thought was, ‘Amen.’ Reason I reacted so strong is not because I have had a love for cooking all along, but rather because I had to work into it.
While some women would swoon over a man that loves to cook (comes with the firefighter wife bonuses), I was stifled by it. When I reached the age of being able to learn and help in the kitchen, my mom was mostly done making meals. So I came into our marriage with zero experience, and Joel came in with his big ideas and even bigger recipes. It was a strange combination of shame and guilt that paralyzed me at first- shame because my man was more domestically-skilled than me, and guilt because I felt I hadn’t prepared myself the best I could. It took a few dinners of me flying solo in the kitchen before I realized I was super tense and if I did anything wrong I would just melt.
One night, after pep-talking myself through cooking and sauteing moments, I plated the fish, and bell pepper side dish, having only to add pepper, and stand back amazed! Turns out the top wasn’t on the pepper, so when I dashed a “little” onto the bell peppers, they ended up covered in pepper! I froze. Joel stared. Then we both laughed. Praise God, because that release of laughter was so much better than feeling like a failure. We brushed off as much of the pepper as we could without losing the delish sauce, and enjoyed what I like to call my “first successful meal in the kitchen.” And that’s where the window ties in- cooking being compared to love. I must abandon comparison and expectation in order to live something significant with it. Joel and I now say to each other, “the top wasn’t on the pepper” in moments when we lovingly and light-heartedly must accept that things aren’t what we thought they’d be. We are ridiculously blessed, and as our family of four grows together, we embrace that by accepting our plans for His perspective in this kingdom here and now, only God can take what we love and make it significant.
Jules, thanks for sharing your story. What powerful words you spoke: “If you love something, you must doing something significant with it.”
What is the hobby, passion, or prayer you enter into with abandon? I’d love to hear about it!
If you would like a custom window created and possibly have your story shared on ‘What’s Your Story? Wednesday,’ please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org