Monday, December 14, 2009

light in the dark

ikea christmas tree

i work out so i can carry trees.

the dog gives hugs.

lights. camera. action.

jingle bells on the tree.


close up.

pre-Christmas party on 12-12-09

we've been married just over 4 months now.
what. a. whirlwind.

[obviously] i've never experienced anything like marriage.
i feel like i've said it before but it's truly one of the most challenging things i've ever experienced. but don't be fooled. the challenge is what makes it beautiful. i have never seen such a clear picture of what reconciliation looks like. the conflicts are hard but when our relationship is restored, it's such a deep feeling of love and commitment. yesterday was such a difficult day for josh and i but at the end of the day when we were saying good night to one another i realized that because of the trials of the day, i had fallen deeper in love with the man in front of me.

marriage is such a wake up call...makes me realize how much the Lord forgives us.
two words: "yikes" and "grace"

josh and i travel to kansas in exactly two weeks. i cannot tell you just how excited i am for this to be happening in such a short time. i need this trip. i need to be surrounded by those who i know and love and those who know and love me. when you find yourself lacking community, the need for it really hits you hard.

josh and i have been doing so much talking and dreaming about life and the future.
where we'll be. what we'll do. who we'll be with. will small humans be with us?
calgary is not a permanent place for us. we knew that when we moved here.
it's a temporary place for us and i think we're BOTH looking forward to the next season.

have i mentioned that it's COLD here? if not, let me share. it's COLD.
wind chill lately [and today] is close to -30 fahrenheit.
you know what i hate most about the cold? it's not the limbs going numb or anything.
it's how everything in your nose just BAM. freezes instantly. gross.

christmas is in less than 2 weeks.
here's to focusing on baby Jesus and the live He grew up and lived.
what a beautiful life.

"this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you:
that God is light and in Him there is no darkness"
1 john 1:5

time after time, i fail at following this light.
oh gosh. i need God's grace.

i hope the holidays find you well.
may we all come to a greater understanding of
peace and love and grace and hope and joy.

love, julie

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


my husband is an avid switchfoot listener. their new album released yesterday. so you better believe that as soon as we got off of work yesterday, we hit up HMV and bought it. he was so excited.

we decided to take the long way home [nixed the highway, opted for downtown] and of course our ears were filled with the newest sounds of switchfoot.

i've never been a HUGE switchfoot fan but i do appreciate their music, their lyrics. one of their songs on the new album is called 'your love is a song'...i highly recommend you listen to it. you can find it here:

i just watched a snippet of a video on youtube that explained this song. jon foreman explained that this song is the third part of a trilogy. the first song was let your love be strong. the second song was your love is strong and now there is this song, your love is a song. he said it's about the concept of grace that he just can't get through his thick skull. you're not alone jon, you're not alone.

" "oh your love is a symphony, all around me, running through me your love is a melody, underneath me, running to me" "

on this journey i'm on to memorize 1 john in it's entirety, these lyrics are an encouragement to me. this Love is enough. this Love is enough. this Love is enough. his words are more than worthy to be memorized and put into practice. His love over me a sweet and beautiful song. And His grace is sufficient. [and dear Lord, i will need your grace to memorize these holy words in 1 john. in your grace, expand my ability to learn them...both in my head as well as my actions]

[today we painted our own christmas decorations]

it's 9:03pm. our day is done. we're turning in for the night.
goodnight moon.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

to know Him.

i'm reading a book right now by c.s. lewis entitled, surprised by joy.
only on page 39 but so far so good. as i was reading tonight [with my hubby reading next to me] something caught my attention.

he was sharing various stories from his childhood...more specifically from the first school he attended in england. he said he had his first metaphorical conversation there. they were debating where the future is like a line we can't see or if it's like a line that hasn't been drawn.

when i read that, i stopped. and thought. what did i think the future was like? at first my mind went to the fact that i suppose there are Biblical passages that could support both sides but then kind of came to the quick conclusion that i didn't necessarily care which answer was "right". what i was going after was "what do i think about this?

lately josh and i have found ourselves having many conversations about the future...about what kind of life we're comfortable living and what kind of life would probably make us think twice. we come up with no solid answers. [i think i am thankful for this] the way our hearts think and the way our lives have been lived, we have a hard time grasping the idea of 'settling down'.

we are fully confident that the Lord does call some of His children to 'remain' but what the Lord has showed us and taught us in the past years is that He wants us to go. not to escape life here, not to travel for the sake of traveling, not to work overseas to look like a good person but to GO because he's clearly called us. because in a way, His glory is dependent on his children.

"all of life comes down to just one thing
and that’s to know You, oh Jesus,
and make You known"

because know Him is to love him.

we are searching and we are praying. things are brewing.
we are waiting. anticipating the Lord is going to do great things.

will our feet end up here?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

only you can take this heart.

i always find myself thinking about writing a blog.
but as you can all tell, it doesn't happen much.

josh and i seem to have a routine these days. i have a job now.
though we work very close to one another [about 5 minutes apart] we work quite a long distance from our home. we have about an hour round trip commute each day. josh starts work at 7am every morning so our days start early. he drives to work, i drive to the gym and then i drive to work. all in all, it works out nicely. we both get off work at 3pm so we have the late afternoon/evening to get things done. again, all in all, we like it.

thankfully our hours at work are filled with work and so our days pass quickly. i haven't ever felt as though my day at work has drug on. i'm sure that there will be a day when it happens but now i'm finding myself very grateful for the ease. and really, i shouldn't complain. amongst other things, i get to run errands and i get to bake/cook. it's practically a dream job.

almost 2 weeks ago we went to British Columbia for [canadian] thanksgiving. i had never been to BC but after visiting, i hope to go back soon. even if just for the beautiful drive to/from. it's about 6-6.5 hours but let me tell you, the scenery makes the time pass fast.

- - - davison apple orchard plus lots of pumpkins - - -

- - - evening sunset from josh's aunt and uncles house - - -

his family hosted a wedding reception for us. it was nice to meet a lot of joshs extended family as well as catch up with those i already knew. we also celebrated thanksgiving with like 25 other people. for those of you who are wondering, a canadian thanksgiving looks exactly like an american one (:

i have been sick for the past two days so it's been home central for me. i haven't left the house or even gone outside for a while. i'm feeling a bit better this afternoon so maybe tonight josh and i will take a walk. i should get out.

we finally bought a vacuum this weekend. our little home had been in a state of 'YUCK' for quite a while now. i busted it out of its box earlier today, assembled it and vacuumed. it makes me feel better to have clean floors. it was seriously nasty. [thank you to those who generously gave at the BC wedding allowed us to buy a vacuum!!]

though i knew it'd be a process, finding a church is harder than expected. we aren't out to find perfection, we know that would be a ridiculous and impossible mission. we just want to find a home in a community that loves the Lord and others, cares about social justice and desires to become less in the presence of the Living God. we are still trusting that it'll come. we just can't give up. we can't give up, we can't give up. [i will say that one church made a good impression on us...all thanks for their subtle jokes about joel osteen (: ]

josh gets off of work in about 15 minutes, which means he should get home in about 45 minutes. i'm hoping to hang up some pictures tonight. we keep talking about doing it but it hasn't happened yet. tonight though. i put pictures in table top frames this morning. it was a good start.

on a more personal, slightly deeper level, i want to talk about forgiveness and grace. never before, and i mean
never before have i learned so much about these two things than i have in marriage with joshua. the other night, after a terrible disagreement, we sat there, cuddling and talking about what had just happened, and we both were at such a state of brokenness. we were broken before one another but also [and even more so] before the Lord. how ugly our humans hearts can quickly we judge and desperately we need grace as apart of our daily lives. we can treat each other so ugly and yet, somehow, in the mix of things, we find true forgiveness and acceptance.

the whole point is this: if josh and i, two needy and prideful beings, are able to come to terms and understand just a
glimpse of forgiveness, how much more must the forgiveness of the Lord be. how much deeper. higher. longer. wider. how much more have we wronged Him. how much deeper have we betrayed Him. how much wider have we made the gap between us and Him? but oh how He forgives. He forgives and He looooves.

marriage puts so many things about the heart of God into a different perspective. this intense love i have for josh will never come close to the
even more intense love the Lord has for us, His lost and prideful children. oh the many lessons to be learned in this thing called marriage.

i'm sure i've said it before and i'm sure i'll be saying it again but it's truly the hardest and best thing i've ever been in/experienced. i'm so committed to this marriage that we've been brought into and i am so committed to being a faithful and loving wife. it takes time and so much effort but if Gods promises are true [and i believe they are] I'm not alone.

babe, i love you (:

- - - thanksgiving afternoon - - -

Saturday, September 26, 2009

they're up!

blog world - - -

our wedding pictures are up.

go there to view (:

we are so in love with them.

our photographer did a great job at capturing the day.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009


i have been trying to write this blog for over a week now.
but everytime i just doesn't happen. maybe today is different.
you'll never know though. i may highlight and delete everything again.

as you all know from my previous post, sweet little josephine tested positive for HIV. since that post, she's been put on medication and has responded soooo well to them. what a blessing and a joy to hear. she's smile and laughing and seems to be in a lot less pain. her parents put up to videos of her today. though i know that many people enjoy watching them, those videos are extra special to me. for over almost 3 years now, i have known josie, played with josie, loved josie, prayed for josie, pleaded with God to do a good work in her body. the Mayernick's were a direct answer to my prayers. so thankful for them. every morning i wake up and check my blog roll...hoping they updated their blog with good news, pictures or stories. and what do you know! today i got a video. thank you Jesus.

so all that's gone on in the past week has really spurred my heart to prayer and thinking. in addition to all that my head is doing on it's own, my husbands jon foreman cd has been in the car and playing over and over. there is a certain song that i have been drawn to, listening to it over and over and over and over. it's called equally skilled. i was going to post lyrics but here is a link to the song []

it's not the direct message of the song but here is what i have been thinking.

God sets his people in families for a reason.
And when we treat our families without love and respect we take this GIFT for granted.
we almost cheapen the relationship.
[are you following?]

in the middle of the song are these lyrics:

The day of justice comes and is even now swiftly arriving
Don't trust anyone at all not your best friend or even your wife
For the son hates the father the daughter despises even her mother
Look! Your enemies are right, right in the room of your very household

this is what our society has done. we've cheapened the relationship. we've taken out of joy and blessing and trust of so many families and replaced it with hate and dishonesty and jealousy. but ohhhh look at the BEAUTY of what a family can really be. God calls himself Father. paints a pretty good picture of how God views family. it's important to Him. so important.

i am convicted of this when my ugly side comes out towards josh. i don't mean to be ugly but i let lies get in the way of truth and start to give in to my selfishness and stubbornness. it's not what my heart wants. i'm working on it. and lately, i have felt the depth of this truth that God has set me in a family for a reason. there is something special to be learned from it.

and then my mind goes on to this:

as a Believer and one who wants what the Father wants, what do i do about those without a family? what do i do about the fact that there are SO MANY people without a family around the world? there are many causes for a person not being in a true family relationship but my heart has been focusing on orphans. orphans. close to 147 million orphans in the world.

i know it's abrupt but all of a sudden, i don't feel like writing much more.

147 million. God is doing something.
My heart can't stop racing. He's moving.
Something is stirring.
Josh and I are praying.

Love to you all.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

He's always a step ahead.

josephine, the little ugandan girl that i once dreamed of having my daughter and living with me in the States is being adopted by the amazing mayernick family that resides in the nashville, tennessee area.

their first ugandan court date was supposed to be yesterday morning in kampala.
it was pushed back 2 weeks.

they took that sweet little girl in for her medical examination that's needed for the adoption process. i don't even know how to do this because it absolutely breaks my heart to write this but one of the tests performed was an HIV test and it came back positive.

it breaks my heart that her little body has had to fight this for who knows how long now without any help from the amazing medicines out there. it frustrates me that she lacked the medical attention she needed from those that could offer it so easily. i am thankful for the mayernick's that are physically walking this road with josie and for all of those out there that are walking the emotional and spiritual road with them.

i've seen God heal people before my eyes. i don't doubt that God could heal her precious body of such an evil disease. however, even if a complete healing doesn't happen, the presence of God is not made smaller, if anything, it is only enhanced. for where evil is trying to win, God is already there, fighting a bigger battle. may we all trust God to work in her body and be the Conqueror we know he is.

i would give anything to hold josie in my arms right now and kiss her.
but i can't. so i pray.

i sit here and i pray.
i pray for her body.
i pray for the mayernick family.
i pray for the court system in uganda that the adoption process wouldn't be slowed down.
i pray for guidance.
i pray that joy would come each and ever morning for all of those involved.

God, we pray you would show up in all of your mighty Glory.

i don't know what else to write.
hope and sadness and love and peace are overwhelming my heart right now.

God of peace, be near.

Monday, September 7, 2009

quaint on 1st

blog world: we're moving in!

josh and i signed the lease and we have a place!!

it was the blessing that we were waiting for.

[i think the jumping up and down and quietly squealing in the bedroom when the landlord walked into the kitchen is enough to prove my sheer delight in the place we were in]

it's on 1st quaint.

decent size living room/dining room.

good size bedroom with great closet storage.

hallway closet with deep shelves.
carpets were cleaned yesterday.

cute bathroom.
it lacks a bathtub but has a great shower reminiscent of this:

kitchen is the perfect size.
good counter space. new fridge.
stove/oven isn't something to write home about but it works & we're thankful!
the hallway is super short but one of it's corners is perfect for a cute little table.
our own washer and dryer - we don't even have to share.

andddd utilities are included. which is so good because as we all know, canada gets COLD in the winter and with my body and the warmth that's needed to make it comfortable, it's nice we don't have to pay for the gas bill!

oh. and we get to paint anything and everything we want!
jonah, one of joshs friends, is a painter and is helping us out tonight/tomorrow so we can move in on thursday or friday! [give the little place enough time to air out. the way my mind has been lately, the less fumes to influence me, the better (: ]

since most everyone we know lives out of town, we plan on doing a little photo album of our place so that people can see...since they can't visit ): it's better than nothing i suppose.

today i'll go over to the place with some of our stuff and then make what i imagine to be a very long list of things we need. between all of the 'first time groceries' we'll have to buy there is the long list of common household items we'll have to purchase. good thing Josh had 6 hours of overtime last week...? i'm just kidding.

God has provided in crazy ways in our lives. we're learning/training ourselves not to let finances worry us and stress us out. our money is not our own and what we need will be provided. we're also looking and praying for places to give our money. we're huge believers in that what we're given should be redistributed to various needs.

"this is my prayer in the harvest - when favor and providence flow
i know i'm filled to be emptied again - the seed i've received i will sow"

i pray that your heart would be open to the needs that surround you. Lord, help us all not to cling to the things of this world but let us use what we've been given to bless others in their need. it's time for the followers of Jesus to get creative and eager in giving.

i'd love to hear your thoughts on just about...anything.

stay tuned. our life is never boring. [well...sometimes it is.]

Friday, September 4, 2009

wish i had plans.

apartment searching has the potential to ruin a persons brain.
seriously. it's like a brain numbing process.
everything looks the same after a while which isn't good.

josh and i are believing that there is a good place out there for us but at times, it's hard to keep up the motivation to KEEP looking. it's pretty sad when you've practically memorized the listings on 3 different sites. oh man.

josh has been working for one week now. he says that the days pass by really quick which is a blessing considering he's working a little bit of overtime each day. however, i think he's pretty pumped for his first paycheck. i'm so proud of him...he really is fantastic. takes such good care of me too.

my favorite part of the day is picking him up after work at the train station. [thank God for public transportation - it helps us a lot in a city like this] he's so cute (:

there's a gym here. it's called SpaLady. [awesome, yes?] it's an all female gym and there are 3 locations in the calgary area. i'm hoping that our cute, awesome, great, fantastic, homey new place is close to one of their gyms. it'd be sweet. their classes look good. however, is SpaLady doesn't work out, there's always the good fallback of GoodLife Fitness.

what is my life coming to?! i'm blogging about the GYM.

cher is on the ellen show.
i wish i was cher.
i kid, i kid.
but really. i'd pay good money to see her show.

i live with 3 cats right now. i have actually come to not mind 2 of them.
if any of you out there know of any cats that do NOT shed, let me know.
maybe i'll invest in one of those!

ok. now for REAL. what is my life coming to?!
i'm saying i'd buy a CAT?!
for those of you that know me pretty well, you'll know how BIG that is

i'll leave you with this very classy picture.
quite typical. my dad golfing. me...who knows.
[ps - you can't tell but my dress is unzipped. let me remind you of how HOT it was that day...heat index was over 105. i needed to uh, excuse me, air out and apparently adjust myself. i am the classiest...]

be well my friends.

Monday, August 31, 2009

the move has been made.

hello hello from calgary, alberta.

we've been here almost a week now. it seems slow and fast all at once.

within 24 hours of getting to town, josh had a job interview
within 28 hours of getting to town, josh had a job.
it was a huge answer to our prayers.
he started this morning and when he called me during lunch, he was enjoying it.

he should be home in the next 45 minutes and after that we have 4 possible places to look at.
we are hoping and praying that a place opens up that we can call our own home.
HOPEFULLY i'll have good news next post (:

many of you who read this regularly are probably wondering how crossing the border went for us last week. obviously (: i got across and thankfully, it was with ease. after exporting the car from the USA, we went through normal customs. after that we were sent to immigration. after that we went to import the car into Canada. after that we went to pay for everything. importing the car is costing a lot more than what we once though. ugh. oh well. at least it's here...this city would suck without at least one car.

after our 23,526th call to immigration, we found out that i AM able to work here before/during my permanent residency process. now it's our mission to find a job that is willing to do a little extra paperwork and patience to hire this american. fingers crossed it happens relatively soon.

i wish i had more exciting things to talk about.

i have plans to join a gym...?
wait. that's not exciting.

i'll just end this now with some pictures from the drive up

someone, please....explain this?! [colorado, usa]

we saw so much road [wyoming, usa]

you can't tell but there are BEAUTIFUL mountains behind us [wyoming, usa]

camera doesn't do the sun justice in this [wyoming, usa]

second day of driving - boredom? [montana, usa]

see? they let me in! [coutts, alberta, canada]

driving into the city...our new home [calgary, alberta, canada]

later folks. let me know if you're reading! i'd love to know (:

peace, love and joy from the newlyweds,
the schneider's

Friday, August 21, 2009

aaaaand we're married!!

the past 2 weeks seem to have flown by but at the same time, our wonderful wedding seems like it was more than 2 weeks ago. so many things have happened in the past weeks. it's been good and overwhelming and crazy and good and uh, stressful [amongst other things].

the wedding was wonderful. just as i [the bride] had imagined it to look. josh looking dashing and he insists i was the most beautiful bride ever (: our bridal party and family was amazing. our photographer was fannntastic.


once we get the photo cd back, we'll have a whole post of pictures (:

it was so good to have so many of the people we love in the same room. sadly, many of josh friends and some of his family were unable to make it down to the wedding because canada is sooo far away. we're planning a little reception in the calgary area so we can see everyone there. should be a fun time. i want to meet some of his old friends!

2 days after the wedding, josh and i left for a week-ish in sunny florida.
the beach was wonderful.
the sun was bright.
the waves were good.
our hotel was great.
our skin got darker.
we didn't want to leave.
here are some pictures

08-10-09 thru 08-15-09

[the quality is weird on these but sorry. i don't feel like fixing it right now]

florida was super but when we returned, reality was knocking down our door.

immigration papers.
exporting the stratus to canada.
packing up my room.
writing thank you's before we left for canada [to save on postage]
seeing friends. saying good-bye to friends.
being with family.
changing my name at 100 different places.
thing after thing after thing

it's friday morning now and pretty much everything on that small list is done.

now i'm working on the attitude of my heart. i'm doing my best to invite the peace of the Lord into my heart but with all that is going on at once, it's a challenge. but i'm trying. i'm trying really really hard. yesterday afternoon, after much chaos and stress in my heart and mind, my wonderful husband looked me in the eye and asked me 'do you trust that God will take care of us?' what a good reality check that was because i do believe that God will take care of us. i believe that and i know it's true but i have been allowing lies and doubts to come in and get in the way of what's True. i'm ready to trust God...regardless of what it may look like 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years from now. whatever happens, josh and i need to be reminding ourselves that God has not forgotten us. we are still right there in His hand, being cared for and watched over.

we leave kansas monday morning, driving many hours to the middle of nowhere montana and spending the night. tuesday marks the day we have been waiting for and praying about for many months now. mid-day tuesday, we'll cross the border into canada. so many things are up in the air about this process but we are trusting that all will go well. dis regarding the small chance i may be denied entry, we press on believing that what God has been calling us to in the past months has not changed. by the love and grace of God, i will be allowed into canada and will start the process for permanent residency soon after. your prayers in this matter would mean more than i could ever explain.

i am off to write a few more thank you cards. only 9 more! i wish i could convey my thankfulness towards those that came in a more meaningful personal way. everyones love and support has made such a big impact in our life. but i guess that [unfortunately] for now, our cute thank you cards will have to do.

i'll keep you updated on what the next 4 days hold for josh and i.
as soon as i can, i'll update everyone about our border crossing.

oh and keep checking...we're hoping to photo/video blog our drive up there (:

"the Rock. His work is perfect, for all His ways are just;
a God of faithfulness and without injustice,righteous and upright is He."
deuteronomy 32.4

[golfing with my parents]

until next time...

Saturday, August 8, 2009


welcome to our world as newlyweds.

[more to come]