Failure. Change. Beginning.

ME 2013 July (1)
July 2013

When I left my job as an insurance agent I walked away feeling like a failure. I felt that but didn’t speak about it too often.  I did state to my husband after some time of departing that I didn’t think I ever wanted to go back to the insurance industry. (Yes I kept my license but I didn’t actively sell or work in the industry) This was the industry that I spent the majority of my adult life (25 to 44) in as a profession, so making that statement was pretty substantial.

August 2013 Professional Headshot

The journey I was on after leaving included various things.  Like both my parent’s deaths, becoming a stay at home mother which was always a dream of mine, becoming a grandmother again, being diagnosed with Diabetes, re-entering into the workforce part time and so forth.

My husband is a farmer and life has dealt us some circumstances out of our control that in 2016 I had to go back to work part time.  I did what I had to do and it was an enjoyable and honestly pretty easy job.

July 2016

When we pray with our daughter at night I always say the following, especially in the last year.“Thank you for the opportunities given to us to provide for our family.”

I think of my mother when I need to pull strength in times of struggle, especially when it’s something I do not necessarily want to do. Life has granted me another opportunity to help care for my family.  I am grateful, the journey now, I am coming to terms with and even feeling excited at times about it!

Julie july 2017
July 2017

Next week I will be re-entering the industry I said I didn’t think I would ever want to be in again.  God has presented an opportunity to provide for my family, yet allow me to still be at home some with our daughter part time.  Honestly it wasn’t easy for me to accept this opportunity.  Mostly because I don’t trust myself as much as I did at one time in my life.  The emotions of failure have been on my mind in the past few weeks.

For me every change is one that I must process and go through certain emotions to get to the other side. That place of “okay.” I’m 47 years old and in just 4 years that I’ve been more at home I’ve learned so much about myself.  Also that I’ve accepted about myself.

There are things I’m afraid of and there are things I am excited about.  There are doubts and there are surprise interests. There are moments of gratitude and moments of “it’s not fair attitude.”  I am human.

I am who I am and although I feel less confident than I did long ago when I held a different insurance office position I will give this new occupation in an old industry my best.  That’s where my mother comes into play, she taught me well in regards to work ethic.

I was once told that both a positive and negative of me was that I strive for perfection. When interviewed for the new position I told the four men I was sitting with this very thing.   I’m not sure if it made a difference to them but it did to me.

I can’t think of this statement without thinking of the man that made it to me in 2013.  I’m grateful for the opportunity he gave me and also because he helped me realize something about myself.  The new path I am on will obviously teach me new things, although in an industry I’m familiar with.  You’re never too old to learn, isn’t that what they say?

Julie Feb 2018

I’ve used photos of myself throughout this post.  I wanted to document my physical appearance for myself.  The journey I was on took me through very stressful times and the physical changes are apparent to all of you probably.  But the mental and inside changes may not be so apparent (unless you actually know me personally.)  I know them though.  Some of them were hard to deal with others were joys.  All in all, I am who I am. I will move forward to strive for perhaps less perfection and more kindness. I pray for patience and kindness from others in the days ahead, I’m pretty sure it will all work out just fine.  Life tends to do that. 🙂  I am a stronger, smarter, and even simpler woman than I was four years ago.

Here’s to the new path before for me!



Closing Out 2017


There will be and has been a lot of “year in review” and “2017” posts this week out on the world wide web.  I am just now starting my own at 9:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. (and didn’t post until January 3rd!)

Looking back at my blog posts I see I wrote about dancing in the kitchen and then there was the one about my 2017 Word.  They inspire me to reflect on where I am today  compared to last year at this same time.

I’m happy to share that in 2017 I did make changes in my life.  I took baby steps, which is not my normal route when doing things.  At times I fell off the right path, into the one of least resistance (remember I love brownies) and then got back on track to finish what I came into 2017 vowing I would do!

So many different emotions were involved in 2017!  Times of excitement, anticipation, anxiety, successes, and failures, they were all part of the year I chose to FOCUS on me!  There were distractions, brownies eaten, half plates of veggies, and two bite only sweets.  Let us not forget the low blood sugar episodes that come with the sweats and being delirious momentarily.  How about the high blood sugar with whopping headaches and blurry vision!

Then the times of balance.  Those were like I was walking on a cloud!

The poking of my fingers, the magic numbers, and the money spent on supplies.  All part of my life now.  The family that endured me trying to find a balance those first three months and surviving my hangry moments.  (My angry ones too!)

My year in review isn’t all about my move to get healthier but it is a daily thing for me.  It’s part of who I am, who I have to be.  I spent some time posting daily on my personal social media, honestly it helped me.  I felt like I was being held accountable even if no one commented or clicked like.  I had to post, it was motivation to #keepmovin.  Then I stopped, mostly in fear of becoming annoying.

One thing I have found  that I’m proud of myself for is my dedication to getting healthier. Although there were people who clicked like or commented once awhile, ultimately I have learned that it’s really up to me.  I have to be the one to push myself and stay focused.

In the world today ( me included) we tend to lose interest pretty quickly, especially if it isn’t about ourselves.  So why would anyone be interested in how far I walked today or the photo of myself or the road ahead while I walked?  Don’t get me wrong, thank you to those that have supported me and given me high-fives.  It has helped, but I learned in 2017 that I can do something on my own. It may not be easy but I can and did primarily.

I come to this conclusion mostly because….

  • No one is going to hold my hand and poke it to draw blood four to six times a day.
  • No one is going to look at me and say “Julie, stop don’t eat that second helping of pasta.” (NOT EVEN MY FAMILY)
  • No one is going to ask me “did you keep moving today?”
  • No one is going to make me go to my annual checkup.

No one….. but ME.

It’s on me.  Just like it was on me when I gained weight.

My 2018 goals will be shared later in January.  I am already working on them but plan to make a post after visiting my doctor and seeing my six month lab results.  To be honest the past month and half has been a struggle for me.  There have been stresses that play a big factor and the holiday food mixed with colder temperatures play a part.  But I am not going to dwell on the past weeks.  The past 12 months have been better than the prior 48!  I am going to look forward and keep moving to a better me.

So I’d like to end my 2017 year in review with this.

It was a year of successes and challenges that is ending with a healthier individual writing this blog. One that still has miles to go but is ready to take 2018 on!

It’s just that simple.

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I couldn’t find many pictures of my husband & I in 2017 together. Hmm…..


Happy New Year!


The Climb. The Example.The Trying.

Written prior to today.



A few of our recent family outings have reminded me of how my lifestyle not only hinders my ability to enjoy things but my families as well.

I begin this post with that statement because on a recent trip where physical endurance was needed I struggled a great deal.  I struggled to the point of tears behind the sunglasses and the feeling of failure on my mind. All while being surrounded by many and in a beautiful setting.

STarting to go

Sure, I made it back to the top of that 3/4 mile steep dirt path but there were several stops and a lot of emotion.  Some would say, “you made it” or “the water fall was worth it or stop being negative”.  But you know, today, it’s just hard.  Almost too hard and loneliness is mixed into the realm of things.

Some days bring an emotional hardship and some bring physical.  Finding a balance is difficult when dealing with depression and lack of will power.  Yes there are days of goodness and solitude as well.

The part of that first statement about my mental and physical status affecting my family is what I want to address now.  I see the way my negative thoughts that shoot from my mouth make their way to my daughter’s ears.  When I’m not leading my daughter to be physically or mentally healthy she plays it out in front of me.  Keeping my husband and family from enjoying events due to my in-abilities  isn’t fun for them either.

I was thinking back to when things started to falter in this shell of a person God created.  The events leading up to this day. The changes from two or three years back made their way to my thoughts on this warm afternoon.


It makes me uncomfortable to think of those things and even more so because I have not been stronger.  The fact that I have gotten to the weight I have, my depression isn’t kept at bay, and the realms of my daily life boggle me at times.

This creation of me, it isn’t at it’s best.  I’m not sure when it will reach a better place while on earth.  I can’t promise I will try today or tomorrow but I will try again.   I will walk the path and continue to find my way.

My hope is to reach a point of health and presence and balance.

Grace is a gift,


The Sun at the End of the Day

Tuesday was one of those days when I was happy all day long.  I know I am supposed to be happy and content with life but let’s face it, I’m not.  I just enjoyed Tuesday so very much I wanted to share on here!  From spending time with friends playing, to devotion on the porch with the kiddo, to watching her blow bubbles for the dog, or then there was just visiting with my spouse for a while.  It was a good day my friends.

Summer fun

I wish I could bottle that and just keep it for those less than stellar days!  I am documenting our #pvjv15summer. My plan is to take at least one photo each day of summer, then share at the end of the summer. I also plan to make a photo scrapbook of them.  So far we have remembered to take at least one photo a day! 🙂

Sitting in the evening sun on this Tuesday evening while I did some embroidery was a perfect ending to the day.  I would stop and just soak in the goodness around me.  The life that God brought me to and through has been one remarkable ride.  I am grateful for the small and big things that bring me and my family joy.

This post was more about me documenting this day for myself.  It may not be inspirational or motivating, but to me it will mean a lot when I read through it later.  Thanks for allowing me to share the good and less than good days with you.

Grace is a gift,

Writing Prompts 1 – Does Writing Change You?

I found this little blue book on our travels this past week.  One of the awesome things about it is, it was on clearance!  So not only did I get some inspiration for writing but also saved a buck or two!  I hope you enjoy this “series” so to speak.  I purchased it and by the end of that day I had written out two posts! That’s a  pretty sweet deal I think!



Does writing change you? How does writing make you a better person?

The answer to the first question is yes.  Just a simple yes.

The answer to the second question, in my eyes does make me a better person.  I think that it makes me accountable, especially since I am a blogger. When I write for a blog post I am opening myself up to what could be the world so to speak.  My following is on the smaller level and I’m ok with that.  Mostly because I write at Pushing Forward with Grace for growth, writing practice, and to inspire.  When I write I am openly honest.  I don’t hide the yucky dirty sad or angered feelings of my life.  I write about the possibilities and the opportunities right along with the challenges and failures.  There are still personal things I will never write about but the things I do write are honest and true.

Writing is a therapy for me just as cooking is. I did not really realize this until after I began writing here at PFWG.  Oh sure, I’ve always written for myself and even over at In Between the Sunsets of Life, but it’s totally a great thing now.  I feel to my bones I can learn so much by opening my heart and feelings and in turn it might help someone else in the scheme of things!

One year ago I was so very opposite emotionally than what I am now.  Writing here hasn’t been the only solution but is an integral part I feel. It taken me through a thought process and made me feel secure and vulnerable all at the same time.  Facing my fear and encompassing my successes.

Writing changes me with almost each post I write.  It changed me to be a better me.

Grace is a gift,


To My 25 Year Old Self

You probably noticed this isn’t a Weight-less Wednesday post.  I decided I wanted to post on Friday for my Weight-less weekly post.  So check back to see a recap of the month of February then.


To my 25 year old self I’d like to write you a letter if I could.  This written by you at 44 years old  with more wisdom, less attitude, more wrinkles, better perspective, ongoing learning, and reaching to make a difference daily.  

The life you are living now, one day it will seem so far away in the past that you sometimes wonder if it really happened.

The controlling and severe person that is exhibited often from you, she finds a more calm and loving place to land.

The depth of your faith, it grows.  It changes for the better, it becomes a solid foundation for you.

There are things you believe now that you will not believe when you are 44 and it will be for the better.

Read the bible and study it.  

You will continue to love music.  It will still take you away or bring you back to reality!

Save money now.  Start now seriously!

You will be a Mother a third time. I know, that one you are arguing with me on right now!

When you are 44 you will find a happiness you longed for your whole life, one that you only dreamed about.

You will come to remember something so extremely horrible that your life seems upside down for a year or so. But you make it through, you really do.  You come out on the other side stronger more loved  and more free.

One of your babies makes you a grandma.

Your children will challenge you, love you, defy you, and then come back to a place of adult relationships to appreciate what you did for them.

Between now and 44 you will learn so many new things, especially in your 40’s.

One day or rather several days, you will go to town with no makeup on or hair washed and completely styled. (Honest)

Be proud of yourself now.   Be patient with yourself now.  Try new things now.  Trust yourself now.

The self-esteem that is often low, it ignites into something not 100% but much better just the same.

The pain you will feel in a few years will pass and God gives you what you need as always.

You become very good at the career you chose to start last year, so good it last a very long time.

Get healthy now, it will be SO much easier I promise.  Learn new things too.

The guilt you feel in most circumstances when you make a choice, it will never totally go away. But you will learn how to decipher what is real and what is from past experiences.

Raising your children is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but it is completely worth it.  Even on the hardest days. I promise.

Respect more.  Be critical less.  Lift up that special someone, don’t tear them down.

One day you will drink more water, eat yogurt and apples, and it will become a daily occurrence for you.  All because of one person who enters your life.

I could write so much more to you but for now I will let you drink in these tidbits of growing older. They are all blessings that help make you who you are.

Grace is a gift,


What would you say to yourself if you could go back in time?  Or perhaps write a letter to the yourself in years to come?