I have loved you with an everlasting love…
“ How, when I was in an active relationship with Jesus, committed to my marriage and family, and serving my church, could adultery enter my story? We are all capable of behaving in ways we never thought we would, and the road to recovery is more complex than we often think it should be.”
That’s Not Who You Are is a sixty-day journey of help and hope, a discovery of your true identity in Christ, for the Christian who wants to turn away, heal, and recover from sexual sin. You are not a failed, wasted life. Adultery is what you did; it’s not who you are.
Is it possible to be adulterous, and also be a Christian? How, when I was in an active relationship with Jesus, committed to my marriage and family, and serving my church, could adultery enter my story? We are all capable of behaving in ways we never thought we never would, and the road to recovery is more complex than we often think it should be.
That’s Not Who You Are is a sixty-day journey of help and hope, a discovery of your true identity in Christ, for the Christian who wants to turn away, heal, and recover from sexual sin. You are not a failed, wasted life. Adultery is what you did; it’s not who you are.
I had the privilege of speaking at The Oil City Vineyard Church, on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2019!
You can find the link here:
Scroll down to: 2019 The Counterfeit God Sermon Series and find the date and title: The Idol of False Comfort.
I hope this helps you along your journey of wholeness.
As the new year gets underway, I am gaining new focus for the specialties honest aromas offers, if you see the name change a bit, don’t be surprised! We want to bring a clearer vision to you about what Julia Allman and Honest Aromas, offers. I wrote a book this year and it is in the editing process. We will launch the book in the summer but will begin to share some thoughts with you along the lines of set backs and failure in upcoming posts!
This is a holistic company and we seek to support the whole person, body, mind and spirit! We offer Aromatherapy services and products, classes and one on one Consultations or Coaching!
Thank you for following and for all your support. Here’s to a healthy and purpose filled 2019!
Happy New Year!
This is a list that my husband and I have been discussing with each other and our kids lately as we walk into the new year. I love this list but would have put "Forgive" as number one to experience a positive new day let alone, new year. We have multiple opportunities to exercise forgiveness everyday, don’t we? From the smallest frustration to the closest relationship, the temptation to hold on to un- forgiveness, even in seemingly insignificant ways, is available to us. But it is not an option- unforgiveness poisons our own self no matter the size of the dose. Our relationships may be shallow or deep based on the reconciliation and trust two parties are willing to exchange but forgiveness is a non-negotiable.
From our hearts to yours, have a Happy, Positive and Healthy New Year!
I have been some what quiet writing blogs for a while because I have been writing a few books! This excerpt comes from my devotional book which will be published early in 2019. As I was proofreading today, I thought I would share this rich truth with you.
Who is a God like you? Pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He doesn’t retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on you and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18-20
Other people may retain their anger toward us until we die, but God does not. God delights in mercy. Let me say that again, God delights in mercy. Say that to yourself over and over, let its truth wash over you. He will have compassion on you and subdue your iniquities. And when you ask for forgiveness, He will cast all of your sins into the depths of the sea and envelop you in His love.
Let’s Pray! O Lord God, you truly are beautiful. Who is like you, O God?? Pardoning and passing over my sin, washing it clean in the blood that Jesus died for me. Thank you that you delight in mercy. Thank you that you have compassion on me, knowing me as but a man, human and faulty. You have compassion, because you walked as we walked and were tempted in every way that we are. You are sinless and transparent, Holy and approachable, High and lifted up and lowly. Thank you that you chastise me with the love of a Father. Thank you that you cast every last sin in to the sea of forgiveness that envelops me in love. Thank you my loving Father, Holy Spirit that leads me into all truth, and merciful Savior, friend, Amen.
I wrote out scriptures and quotes for months. On walls I pasted them, I walked by them, looked at them, spoke them, swallowed them and thought on them. God uses people to change the course of your life.
Shut up and off from the world, with the truth surrounding me.
The day came when I took them down, I was ready to fly on my own. As each one came down, I said, this is a book waiting to be written.
And write I did. Here a little, there a little. Then the day came when people started asking me if I had a finished book to read. Taking notice, I said not quite yet. God uses people to change the course of your life.
Then the day came when exposed pain emerged and I was aware that it had become a useful tool for me. The writing flowed out of it, the date was set to finish the writing. God uses people to change the course of your life.
There have been days lately, that I cannot get to my keyboard to write. It has been 4 days now and I find myself being agitated and single eyed in my pursuit to get to my file and start a fresh page. I have missed you. You are warm, creative and inviting and let me be my complete, true self. Writing, you have become a close friend.
PHOTO BY GABRIELLE ALLMAN
I am so thankful, on this fall morning, for the peace and freedom that I am experiencing right now! I have been writing a book and have a deadline for the end of December. It is my story of recovering from an addictive, life altering event.
I have written my journey, in part, on a blog forum for over three years now. But in the wake of this particular event of my life, I took months off of life, to spend time with The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I needed to emotionally heal and I am grateful to my family that I was able to do that. My wish and prayer is that every person could have that space of time to recover from what ever trauma they have experienced and I would love to be a facilitator of that in the future, in a greater way than I am presently.
During that time I wrote out scriptures, some quite artistically, and literally plastered my home with them. They would be in front of my face and I would read them, speak them and meditate on them all day. Yesterday, I had the privilege of reacquainting with a woman who had been at my home during the time of my renewal. She said she will never forget seeing those scriptures attached to my walls. She said that she used the bathroom while she was at my home and spent time just reading the verses that were attached to the mirror in there. She too had been entangled in something and God was using the means of renewing my mind, to shed light into her darkness as well. This is the ultimate power that is greater than any other pull of the world, but we have to apprehend it.
Our mind is a magnificent created universe with tremendous pathways that can be re directed. I had built unhealthy ruts in my mind through addictive behaviors and they needed to be rewired and healed.
Romans 12:2 says; Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.
I had conformed to the pattern of the world and it was downright painful to pull out all of that construction and rebuild, but God had encouraged me on with every Word that He spoke through His Word to me. Jesus became very real and tangible. During that time He pulled down the strongholds of caring what others thought about me, he delivered me from depression and He showed me, so intimately, who I am in Him.
Another scripture that I wrote down in addition to Romans 12:2, was 1 Peter 1:13.
Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
This passage speaks of doing what ever it takes to focus our thoughts on those things that allow us to serve God successfully, all the while eliminating any thoughts that would trip us up. The Hebrew idea was, to pull up long robes and tie them around the waist so that quick and freeing movement could be made.
Are there things that are tripping you up? Do you feel as if you can never get free from the things that bind you and set you back? Do you have dark corners of your heart that you hide from everyone in the world? I did too. God knows, He sees, and His response is always love. No one loves or cares about you more than Him. His plan is for you to reflect His glory and be His light to others in the darkness of the world. Jesus offers Himself to you right now. He is the way, the truth and the life. I did not only say that, He said that about Himself. (John 14:6) Whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness but have the light of life. (John 8:12) It is the most freeing, spiritual and adventurous journey you can ever take.
He cares about your life, your soul, your spirit and your eternity and so do I. He is here for you right this minute, again, no matter how many times you have tried and failed. Ask Him to forgive you and renew your mind and set all of your hope on His grace to you. Make Him your obsession and aim. I am right here with you walking this path of wholeness and I am so thankful for the opportunity.
I get a lot of feed back from people in regards to their seeming inability to be able to carve out quiet time for themselves. Taking that another step further, I had the opportunity last week to present a holistic health message to nurses and managers in the skilled nursing facility setting, and self-care is a big concern. We can all struggle with making space or creating margin in our lives, but it is imperative for over all physical and emotional health. Even beyond that, we are spiritual beings who need to be connected to the source of our strength and to know what to pursue and what to relinquish. The development of a spiritual practice helps us to navigate those questions so we can live fully in our humanity.
I have been a long time fan of Henri Nouwen. Henri, who is now deceased, has been a beloved author, priest, and world famous spiritual counselor and guide, who's writings continue to inspire and re align his readers in profound ways.
I am re- reading his book Spiritual Direction and I was struck by this;
Developing ears to hear God takes time. We all have strong resistances to listening. First of all, we find it very hard to create empty spaces in our lives and to give up our occupations and preoccupations, even for a while. We suffer from a fear of the empty space. We are so concerned with being useful, effective, and in control that a useless ineffective, and uncontrollable moment scares us and drives us right back to the security of having something valuable to do.
I know that for myself, when I am taking my daily morning time to be alone and meditate, I can feel as though I am "wasting" time and my mind will begin to fill with chatter. Thoughts of my to do list, the kids activities, the bathroom that needs cleaned....whatever, will start to infiltrate my mind until I push them back and give myself permission and encouragement to be still. The truth is, I cannot go very many days with out long periods of alone time to start my day.
The morning spiritual practice is so integrated into my life, it is as if I am cutting off my right arm or not drinking water when I defer it at all. The more you are intentional about it, the more deeply it embeds into who you are. The Bible says that Jesus retreated often, and the New Testament talks about "praying continuously". For me this looks like at least an hour in the morning of reading the Bible, in my head or out loud, and writing my prayers out. I have a designated space in my bedroom where I do this. When I am exceptionally pressured, I set my alarm and do not allow my self to get pulled away into a different direction. I often times write one scripture or a short theme out on a post it note and refer to it through out the day. Any time I start to get anxious about any situation, I pause and read it and it puts me back into The Vine, my source of strength. As you are intentional about creating this time for yourself, others will begin to understand, respect and give you your space- but that will only happen after you show consistency in guarding it and making it a priority.
Do we want to see the truth in our lives? Maybe we don't....maybe it is easier if we don't. Henri went on to say this in the same chapter; Resistance in the form of preoccupation and distraction often prevents us from seeing the truth of our lives, hearing God's voice and living a spiritual life. To listen with obedience to the voice of God requires building up a resistance to all the other voices that compete for our attention.
I know for myself, the spiritual practice continues to be a persistent intentional routine, but it has also become a deep place of peace that no other thing or person on earth can replicate. I have had times where I knew I was running, so to speak, from hearing the voice of truth in my life. It leaves one empty and shallow. If we are going to tap into who we really were created to be and tap into the things we were expressly created to do in this short time called life, we are going to have to spend time with The Creator.
I encourage you to create empty spaces in your life. Decide to swim against the water of culture and abide in the place you were designed to be. This is not time wasted, it is value added. Do not be afraid of the quietness, be intentional and begin your spiritual journey<3
There was a traveler who at first saw nothing of the light that was shining in the wood
After a while the thought moved softly-“I am with you all the days and all the day long”.
But just as a flower never presses it’s sweetness upon anyone but freely gives to him who desires it, and to him as often as he will,
So that thought of peace did not force itself upon the traveler,
and yet it did offer to his lips a cup of healing.
And then, but how it came to be so has never yet been told,
the gloom of the darkness was gone,
the light in the wood shone forth,
and the glory thereof. – Amy Carmichael
Do you remember in the movie City Slickers when the character, Ed, said his best and worst day were the same day? I relate to that in this way; that the things in my life that could have potentially destroyed me have been the very things that have given me grit and determination to change. Those times have been the catalyst to eventually propel me into my best self and my best potential.
I have found that the humility I have learned in failure has been fertile ground for authenticity and given me a more meaningful way to relate to others.
I am sitting here this morning in my quiet place. The corner space in my room, next to a window that has been designated for prayer and meditation. I am reading Psalm 91, H.C.G Moule and Beth Moore. As I feel a cool, gentle breeze touching my shoulder after a humid, sticky night, I find that I am in very good company. The words that I am reading were written by people who have a deep understanding of failure. The constant theme is; what is impossible with man, is possible with God.
It is not only that God loves, knows and relates to us, in real time, through Jesus Christ...which is pretty mind blowing. It is that He can still prove inexhaustible and victorious in our mortal flesh today! It is also that, He and He alone, can set us free from the slavery of sin. And it is further, that because He has set His love upon us He will deliver us.
I am sitting here right now, drinking in His love and mercy. His absolute encouragement and inspiration toward me to lift my eyes up to the mountains from where my help comes from. The awesome overwhelmedness that He is a master at taking ashes and creating beautiful things out them. He really wants to do that for me and for you today and every day!
Thank you God that the things that the devil meant to destroy me have been turned for good in your hand. Thank you God for your Holy Spirit that leads me in to all truth and uses my life to help other's with their's. I am overwhelmed as I sit in your presence. I thank you for the other's who have gone before me and have transparently encouraged me by their trials, struggles and failures. As difficult as the road has been, I thank you that you did not allow me to become hardened. You kept my heart soft and vulnerable, so that you could continue to teach me and I could continue to encourage others with the comfort I have received. And I thank you that you, and you alone, can grow the most beautiful creations out of seemingly impossible conditions.
I am walking this path of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you today.
I have two friends who, right now, are going through tremendous times of pain. It is excruciating for me to watch, there is nothing....well very little, I can do for them.
My one friend has lost her closest brother to suicide. He was a highly decorated Marine in our United States Marine Corps. He went on from there to become a highly distinguished Navy Seal. He literally gave his life for our country and it's people. For all of his post trauma, he could not re enter life when he got home. My heart breaks and my eyes swell even as I write. What do you do with this kind of pain?
My other friend has just given birth to a child with severe Spina Bifida. The baby's back never closed while she was growing safe and snug in her mama's womb. The amniotic fluid that serves as safety to typical babies became a daily threat to her nerves and muscles that were exposed to it every minute of every day. Before she even had a chance to suck at her mother's breast, all six pounds of her was taken into life threatening surgery. The details of how you manage three other children and recover from your own, less than perfect, surgery while trying to care for this new life, is more than any one can communicate- but this is my friend's life right now.
I know something of pain myself. I have had a lot of it in fact. Maybe that is why I can so deeply feel other's pain when they experience it, which is a silver lining in living through a lot of distress. It is a silver lining because I can relate, be understanding and unselfish in terms of what I get out of that particular relationship. Many times people tend to want you to "snap to it" and "be yourself", grieve quickly and move on. I am not a grieve quickly kind of person, but the flip side is that I can love in a deeper and more gratifying way too.
This was my prayer to my friend this morning who did not sleep because the baby had become swollen and was draining liquid from her brain and the doctors did not know why.
The brokenness is over whelming we can scarcely stand it, we want to jump out of our skin and flee! Give strength in the pain God and be the rock of salvation, the cornerstone, the hiding place of peace in the storm. Be the light in the darkness and the hope. You are our all in all. You are life. Give, be and have life through us, through the baby. Be somehow glorified and magnified in this and every situation. Amen.
F.B. Meyer ( Author and English Evangelist, working in Inner Cities around the turn of the century) said;
Go to God with your question; get direction from the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal If only you will get alone, where the disturbance of self will does not intrude, where human opinions failed to reach- and if you will dare to wait there silent and expectant, through all around you insist on immediate decision or action- the will of God will be made clear: and you will have a new name in addition, a new conception of God, a deeper insight into the His nature and heart of love, which shall be for yourself alone- a rapturous experience, to abide as your precious possession forever, the rich reward for those long waiting hours.
There are times in life when we simply have to wait and while we wait, we have to endure and press forward in the moment. We all experience pain and the degree we measure our pain cannot be against the pain of another human being. We can run... I have done that. We can mask...I have been there as well. Or we can run and hide into wholeness. Into The One who takes the pain in real time and brings shalom in the waiting hours.
I am right here walking this path of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you today.
This picture was taken at one of my favorite parks in Pennsylvania, during an anniversary weekend with my husband a few years ago. The picture paints a thousand words in my mind.
It was a significant weekend for us, because we had been separated prior to this trip. When we went there the year before, we did not think we would ever return there as a couple, and I did not even want to take any pictures to document our time there.
We have been through a lot in the last several years. Many things had taken a toll on our marriage and we both reached points where we really didn’t want to work at it any more.
When you are weak and tired and other seemingly exciting opportunities present themselves to you, it is almost impossible to resist (but it is not impossible). I made a lot of poor decisions during that flat time in our marriage.The ramifications could have been so much worse, but the consequences will never go away. I can only thank and praise God for His mercy and unfailing love to me.
When I look at this picture of the road in the woods, I can't help but think of the words of Dan Fogelberg’s song, "Along the Road":
Along the road
Your steps may stumble
Your thoughts may start to stray
But through it all a heart held humble
Levels and lights your way.
The Bible calls God’s Word “a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” This is true, and this is how I got back onto the road.
Another exceptional truth is that, as long as we are looking back when we are trying to move forward, we will stumble. The apostle Paul had something transforming to say about this.
He was born a Roman and a Hebrew. Both those qualities gave him many rights, much authority and power. He lived during the time when the Christian church was just emerging, and by Jewish and civil law, he was zealous in the murders of people following Jesus. He then had a life-changing encounter with Christ and began to defend the faith. He now had great understanding and knowledge concerning both sides of the argument. He also had great understanding of forgiveness and mercy, and most Christians would look at him as a man who had "attained it" who had "made it," who “got this”.
However, he saw it differently. In his letter to the Philippian church, he said, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected ... I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” (Phil 3:13 NKJV).
One thing I do: forget what is behind and reach for those things that are ahead! This is easier said than done. It is not easy to forget what you have done, especially when it has caused a great disturbance, not just in your life but in the lives of others as well. I think it is human nature to wallow in self-condemnation until we feel we've reached a sufficient penance. And some religions teach this. But this is not the way God deals with us; that is the way we humans deal with ourselves.
God is instantaneous in His forgiveness when we ask. God, through Jesus Christ, answers us with “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more” (John 8:11), “Though you sins are as scarlet, They shall be as white as snow”( Is. 1:18), "If he sins against you seven times in a day, and ... returns to you, saying, ‘I repent’, you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:4), “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9).
God is outlandish and lavish in His forgiveness toward us, as proved through Jesus’ death on the cross!
This amazing forgiveness is what I have been experiencing both personally and with my husband. It is not from this world. It is supernatural! Forgiveness is a beautiful, precious gift, and it's Christianity’s pinnacle!
When doubts and thoughts clamor at the door of your mind, deal with them! Have you asked God to forgive you, or do you just keep thinking about them? If you haven't asked for forgiveness, do it now. If you have, meditate on the scriptures I listed above and look up more of them. I don't know anyone who does not need to hear this good news! I hope it has been challenging and renewing to you today.
I am right here walking this road of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you and help you discover your path to freedom.
When we are doing what we were created to do, it sustains our motivation.
Coaching, particularly, spiritual coaching or directing, can help you navigate through your strengths and your giftings to gain a clearer picture of what God wants you to be busying your self with.
There is a verse in Ephesians 2:10 that says, For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
I have this verse written at the top of my journal and, every day, I walk toward that goal. I have a husband and two children who have moved into adulthood and two still at home, so clearly, they receive a lot of my energy and I see them as part of the good work God has given me to do here.
But beyond my family, and prayerfully so, I present my self daily to be guided by The Holy Spirit who leads me into the lives of others that I am to help and who leads others into my life to help me. It is an exciting adventure every day! When you see your life shifting in healthy and whole ways and you see how you can help others do the same thing, it is easy to sustain motivation!
I am right here walking this path of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you today!
- God is truth and He is invoking a blessing over my life and releasing me from my past.
- Christ is my life, He is my all and all. He and I are joined together in one Spirit. He lives in me now, not I, He is the fullness, the power, the strength and all I need and that is a fact now.
- I am God's Beloved, He made me in eternity
- I am loved, accepted, forgiven and pleasing to God, therefore I can love accept, forgive and be pleasing to my self.
- God is removing cherished sin from my heart and making me free.
- I trust in God and I will let God rescue me. I delight in Him and He is delivering me.
- God has plans to prosper and not harm me, to give me a future and a hope.
- God is building me and I will be re built.
- In returning and rest I am being saved, in quietness and confidence is my strength.
- God's statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.