Three Years

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:: Written for Bill-Bill ::

I remember our wedding day so vividly. Weeks. No, months in advance I was so worried it would rain. (Our wedding was completely outdoors.) I literally looked up the weather probably two months in advance, and kept doing so til our day arrived. lol. God blessed us with the most beautiful spring day I’d ever seen. The sun sparkled over the bay, there was a gorgeous breeze, and I had never felt to peaceful and excited my entire life.

I remember excitedly peeking out of the window of my dressing room, watching the staff decorate the tables. I remember walking down the aisle to the theme from Anne of Green Gables.  I remember his face, filled with tears, as I walked towards him. I remember our friends and family laying hands on us.

I remember the happiest moment we both realized–we’re married.

The dance floor was full the entire night, and it was on our wedding day Billy realized his mad dance skills. lol.

It’s been three years since that day.  The crazy thing is– I love him even more now. I’m so thankful to the Lord. The best part is– I know I’ll only keep loving him more.

Here is our beautiful wedding video.  Pull up a chair and welcome to our wedding day.

I love you, Bill-Bill. Thank you for the three best years of my life. Here’s to forever more.

Love,

Jules

View More: http://sgamblephoto.pass.us/billyandjulia

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How You Know You Met “The One”

Perched on my couch, I write to you with tea in hand and a smile upon my face. This post is written in honor of Billy and I’s upcoming 3 year wedding anniversary. Mmmm God is so good. He’s blessed me so beyond what I deserve. I will forever thank the Lord for the man that He has given me.


Talking about love and marriage always inspires me to share the wisdom I have gained through the years.  Finding the one looks different for everyone.  Everyone traverses a different path. A different distance. A unique journey. But God is near and He wants you to trust Him.

I believe we all desire love.  Many people desire a forever love. A spouse. I believe God put that desire in us. It’s a good desire.  It is from Him. Trust Him, follow Him, serve Him, and KNOW that He will provide.

Finding the one seems like a mystery. Until you meet the one. haha. I know it’s cliche, but the saying is true–When ya know, ya know. But, hindsight is 20/20. So here’s my insight on how you know you met the one.

  1. You can be yourself.

I remember when I first met Billy. One of the things I kept saying to myself was, “Wow, I can be my complete self around him.” It was astounding. Like nothing I had ever experienced before. I didn’t have to tame my silly side. He liked me. For me. My goofy, happy, loud-laughed, music-loving self. We were able to really embrace who we were.  There were no fronts. No performances. Just us. And that is SO important.

2. You have the same values.

I remember when Billy first told me he liked me, we were sitting on the beach at John’s Pass.  We realized our time together was headed towards relationship.  Billy asked, “Can I pray for us?” That’s when I knew, this was different.  This was something beautiful.

I can’t stress this one enough. You can have different hobbies. You can have the same hobbies. That really doesn’t matter, as long as you support each other.  What matters is that your values and beliefs, are the same.  Billy and I are both Christians.  We believe that we are sinners (duh, we’ve all done crap), that the payment for sin is death, that Jesus paid that price for us on the cross, and conquered death 3 days later so we can go to heaven when we die. Billy and I have a relationship with each other, but first we have a relationship with GOD. If your values are not the same, the relationship is not worth pursuing.

3. There is so much peace.

I am a firm believer that God reveals His will for us through His peace.  I had never experienced such peace in my entire life.  There was no turmoil.  No constant battle.  Just peace.  It felt right.  It felt good.

4. Everything is simple.

Now, life isn’t always simple, but we humans tend to overcomplicate things.  A right relationship shouldn’t feel like constant tug of war.  This goes back to there being peace.

When Billy and I were dating, we typically drank tea and watched movies when he would come over. One day he told me the moment he knew we were going to get married. “We were drinking tea, and it was the happiest, yet simplest moment of my life. I knew I wanted to drink tea with you forever.”

Being with the one isn’t about some over-planned, highly orchestrated moment. It’s about simple, real, life moments.


I hope you enjoyed my little nuggets of wisdom.  Most importantly, remember the One who loves you more than any human ever could. So much so, that He died for you.

Psalm 143:8: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

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Summer ’17 Recap

This was the post I was dreading all summer.

Because writing this post means summer is coming to a close and school is about to begin. (Any teachers/aides out there? #wereallinthistogether)

All jokes aside, this summer has honestly been the best of my life.

It wasn’t overly extravagant. In fact, it was rather simple and modest. Yet, it was a darling time of rest, reflection, growth, and gratitude. I am overwhelmingly thankful for this time spent off from work, and the time spent with Jesus, my hubby, and my sweet family.

There were many a quiet mornings that began with oatmeal and a cup of tea. Followed by afternoon sun showers that turned the sky into arrogant sunsets. Peaceful evenings accompanied by popcorn and a movie. This summer wasn’t without flaw, but it was precious and appreciated.

At the start of the summer, I shared a few Summer Priorities I had. Goals, if you will. Here’s a little recap of how that went:

1. Quiet time with the Lord

This is an area that needs constant cultivation. Time spent with the Lord can never reach a point of arrival. We can always grow more. And that’s beautiful. With that being said, I have been working on dedicating more devotional time with God. One of Billy’s friends told us about a Bible app called “Read Scripture”. It’s designed to help guide you through reading the Bible from start to finish– and understand it more. Look up the free app!

2. Fitness

I’ve enjoyed being a little more active this summer. Working out has become more habitual and less of a dread. For me personally, I’ve come to find that fitness is less about looking a certain way, and more about feeling a certain way. Focus less on physical goals, and more on simply making long term healthy habits. 

3. A Little Bit of Everything

Among my two larger goals, were a series of smaller goals. Like read more, floss more, etc. I conquered those as well! Although, I must say, having the accountability of this blog certainly helped.

In closing, here are a few snapshots from this summer. I can’t wait to order prints of these photographs. What were you thankful for this summer?

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2 Things We’ve Learned in 2 Years of Marriage


I am very excited about this blog post for a couple of reasons. For starters, this post is in honor of my two year anniversary with my husband! That’s right! As of March 15, we’ve been husband and wife for two years! I love that. I can finally say years. haha. Secondly, throughout this post I am sharing a selection of our anniversary photoshoot pictures! They were taken by our lovely wedding photographer, Stephanie Gamble. She has become a dear friend of ours, and is truly a remarkable person. So much love for her. Lastly, my husband Billy will be a guest writer in this post, as we both share 2 things we’ve learned in 2 years of marriage! This is sure to be a treat!


~2 Things I’ve Learned~

Obviously, in marriage every day offers some sort of lesson to be learned. I’ve learned many things in the past couple of years. However, I decided to narrow it down to two.

1. Be joy to each other.

I say this time and time again. Life is too stinkin’ hard to be another source of pain to your spouse. Stuff happens in life. Hard stuff. Stress. Jobs. Finances. Kids. Sickness. Grief. Depression. You name it. The last thing we all need is to top off all that stress with being bitter, rude, mean, insensitive, or even just absent in your spouse’s life. No one’s perfect, but honestly if you try to make this a goal in your marriage, it will have a beautiful effect.

Throughout the day, Billy and I send each other sweet, encouraging texts. Sometimes it’s something simple like, “You’re so fun! You make me smile.” Or sometimes we will send each other a typed out prayer.  We always try to uplift each other throughout the day. In our actions and our speech.

We also love just being goofy together. Disney songs are belted out quite frequently in our home. Dance parties can break out at any moment. Laughter is such a gift, and we indulge in it often.

People grow as they go through life. We are choosing to grow together and in the Lord. Sometimes we ask each other silly questions like, “What’s your favorite song right now?” Because sometimes you just need to stop, and get to know your spouse some more that day.

Don’t be a nag. Don’t be snippy. BE JOY.

2.  Communication is ALWAYS the right decision.

I always say, “When in doubt, talk it out.” Don’t hold anything in. Don’t bottle things up or tuck it away.  If something is bothering you, communicate that. Right then and there. Communication will never be the wrong choice. This is something that couples can always work on, but something we’ve gotten a lot better about, especially in our second year of marriage.

Communication isn’t always about conflict. Sometimes we think something positive, but don’t bother expressing it out loud. Your spouse did the dishes. Thank them. You liked how they stood up for you. Tell them. They look nice in that new outfit. Compliment them.

Communicate if you’re stressed about something, even if it has nothing to do with your spouse. Because, honestly, if you’re stressed, and your spouse doesn’t know you are, they won’t be able to help you, encourage you, and pray for you/with you.

Most importantly, communication is most effective when done with love and respect. Kindness and patience. Openness and good intent.


~ 2 Things Billy’s Learned~

Hey guys, Billy here! So this is what it feels like to write for a blog, ay? I have to be honest, I’m experiencing a little bit of stage fright, being this is my first time writing on here. Is that a thing?-“Writer’s stage fright”? Because, you know, I’m not exactly standing on a stage. I’m probably just getting worked up for nothing…

Is it hot in here?

Anyways, Julia asked if I would contribute some thoughts to this post. And after a few “Yeah, maybe tomorrow” replies, and a couple “But, babe, I don’t know how to write” excuses, here I am.

1. Be the ultimate team.

Julia and I do virtually everything together.

*Deep inhale.*

We shop together. Do chores together. Brush our teeth together. Go to appointments together. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. Read together. Travel together. Sit silently together. Dream together. And when Julia needs some more makeup, you better believe we’re walking through Sephora together.

Julia and I have been living this way since the beginning of our marriage. I’m not trying to brag about it, but we somehow kept it up for so long that it became habitual. I’ve found that, instead of tiring us out from each other, this has really helped draw us closer to each other. Investing this time in my wife has brought about so many fun moments and conversations that would not have occurred otherwise.

I’m not implying that couples need to spend every waking hour with each other for everything they do. But couples should certainly invest plenty of time in each other.

Be a team.

Tackle the daily chores together. Budget your monthly expenses together. Pray together. Work together. Enjoy accomplishing as many things in life together as you can.

No earthly relationship you have in this world will ever be as strong, driven, intimate, and meaningful as the relationship you have with your spouse. You are literally one living body.

Gen. 2:24; “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

How can you find a better teammate than that?

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2. Be the ultimate teammate.

As our spouse’s teammate we should be doing everything we can to encourage, support, inspire, and uplift our spouse in everything they do.

Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Especially when you don’t agree with what your spouse is doing. Those situations will require prayer and seeking God’s direction. But for the day-to-day things, there’s no reason why we cannot lend our support.

For me, I love bringing joy to my wife. And I love seeing her happy.

When Julia first had the idea to really tackle this blogging thing, I stood right beside her and cheered her on. I still do. I want to see her pursue a meaningful hobby that brings joy to her and others, and brings glory to God. Honestly, it was hard not to support her.

Of course, I have my shortcomings. I’m not perfect. But I’ve learned to seek out these opportunities where I can encourage, support, inspire, and uplift my wife.

This has had a big impact in how I approach my role as the spiritual leader of our household. That sounds so epic doesn’t it?

“I am the spiritual leader of my household!”

But if you’re a husband, that’s exactly who you are. God calls us to lead our wife and family by the instruction of The Word.

I would recommend giving Ephesians 5:21-33 a quick read for reference.

By seeking opportunities to support and encourage my wife, I am in turn seeking opportunities to lead her along God’s will for the dreams and pursuits that come her way.

……………….

It’s Julia again! Thank you for reading what’s been on our hearts. We’ve prayed over this blog post for quite some time. If even just one person benefits from our marriage lessons these past two years, our prayers have been answered.

 

#DateYourSpouse


My husband literally came out of nowhere.

One day I didn’t know him, the next day we were set up on a blind date. The rest is history. (There’s more to our story, but that’s the sweet and simple version. We’ll save that for another time 😉)

God literally gave me him. He knew exactly what I needed in a husband. Billy is a testiment of God’s love for me personally.

Everything is so amazing when you’re dating the one. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, butterflies fly by, the skies are blue; etc. Why is that? It’s new and exciting. You’re going places, romancing each other, going out of your way to make them happy.

Then, the M word happens. Marriage. And that’s where people lose all their zest for their spouse. Laundry. Dishes. Work. Money. Stress. Kids. Life.

Now I’m not claiming to know it all. Yes, I’m young and don’t have years of marriage under my belt. However, I do believe God has gifted me a lot of wisdom at a young age. For this I am grateful.

I don’t want a mediocre marriage. I want a beautiful, Jesus-filled, joyful marriage. There are so many factors that come into play in sustaining a healthy marriage (God being number 1.). However, today I’d like to discuss “dating your spouse.”

If you know Billy and I on a close level, you know that we have a very special love. Our relationship has always been founded on simplicity. We keep things light and simple, and enjoy simple moments. Like drinking green tea together. We don’t take a moment for granted.


I think a key ingredient to a healthy marriage is to never stop dating. I don’t think I could explain it better than Billy himself. Awhile back, this is what he wrote as a caption on an Instagram photo:

“The most common misconception among married couples is that dating ends when you get married. Giving up on the wooing, courtship, and pursuit of your spouse is a sure way to an exhausted marriage. I’m thankful to God for the shared values within my marriage with Julia. Dating my wife has been a blast, and I can’t believe that this is how I get to spend the rest of my life! I have the biggest crush on this pretty lady, and I fall for her even more every day.”

Marriage is fun. Spending every day with my best friend is a precious gift. Our motto has always been, “Beauty in simplicity.” Let that ring true in every aspect of your marriage. Don’t sweat the little things. Each day is a gift. Enjoy it. Enjoy the coffee run. Enjoy the Netflix binge. Enjoy holding hands in church. Enjoy the walk in the park. Enjoy the weekend brunch. Enjoy your spouse.

So let’s promote healthy, loving marriage! Next pic you post of you and your spouse, use the hashtag #dateyourspouse

The Ultimate Love Triangle


(Moment above captured by Stephanie Gamble 💗)

You gotta love the love triangle. I’m not talking about a girl trying to choose between two guys that we see on all the television dramas. I’m talking about the ultimate love triangle.

God

 Him                  Her

This is the answer to every failing relationship, to every broken heart, to every argument, to every sleepless night. If God is first, if He is the ruler of your life and your relationship, everything will fall into place.

In order for a couple to grow closer to each other, they must seek God first. He is the glue to keep you together; He is the author of your love.

Sadly, this is where so many relationships go wrong: God isn’t part of the equation. Or even in God-centered relationships, the moment we take God off the top of the triangle, things begin to crumble. It is in those moments where things are weak, that we need to pray. When it’s hard to pray, that’s usually when you need to pray most.

Let me tell you something powerful: Amidst a fight, stop and pray together. It may be the last thing you feel like doing in that moment, but there is power in prayer, my friends. Bring it back to the Lord and He will do the healing.

We’re broken people. We don’t have to fix ourselves or a messy situation. Give it to God; bring it to His feet. That’s what He wants to do: He wants to carry the load. Because He loves us. So much.

God is for US.

Make praying together a habit. Not just before meals, not just before bed, but when it’s hard to pray. Keep God at the top of the love triangle.