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Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Greetings and salutations from the 75.7% organized office of my Chicago-land home office. All the bookshelves are filled (Priority #1 upon our arrival) and I located my old school, 3-ring binder with actual paper, speaking schedule two nights ago. Books and media inventory are all accounted for and a few pesky online orders which slipped through internet server cracks (hmm, are there cracks in space?) have been filled and shipped out for delivery.

Happy sigh. What a whirlwind it’s been as we packed up belongings and memories of fourteen years and settled into our new space in the bustling suburbs of Chicago. Par for Barnhill-spawnling course, the kids fearlessly sprinted out of their “major life change” starting blocks: Patrick is attending school and playing soccer for Harvest Christian Academy, his transition was seamless and he’s loving the food choices provided at lunch (is there anything more important to a growing 5’11” 13-year old boy?!); Kristen is soon to begin her junior year at Argosy University located nearby in Schaumburg—she’s looking to complete her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Community Counseling; and Ricky Neal will put down academic stakes for two years at community college and then transfer to Liberty University for a degree in Political Science.

Meanwhile, Rick continues to work downstate while actively pursuing Human Resource employment within the Chicago-land area. He’s already mastered the art of the Metra & Amtrack and I’m counting down the days until details allow him to be home with me and the kids.

As for me? Well, my brain and spirit can barely contain the “this-is-so-right” assurance of following God’s leading in all these things. It’s an unshakable settled knowing of being dead-center where you need to be. No doubt some friends and family may still think me crazy but this all came down to "Put obedience where you say you say your faith is," crazy.

I’m evaluating (and re-evaluating) numerous details regarding the direction of my writing, speaking, and responsibilities within the community of faith of Harvest Bible Chapel. This fresh start has me examing a myriad of motives, goals, longings, and "in-the-light-of-eternity" considerations. I'm not at all sure what the end result will be but I rest knowing I don't have to. All that is required of me, yet again, is to obey.

Radio opportunities seem to be just upon the horizon and everything in me still aches and bellows (okay, I’m so not low-key when it comes to my passion for radio) for favor with producers, financial sponsors, entrepreneurs, and anything and everyone who desires to bring radically refreshing radio to Christian women everywhere.

Radio doesn’t care how much you weigh.

Radio doesn’t sum you up based on a clothing label.

Radio doesn’t form a cliché.

Radio doesn’t show wrinkles.

Radio allows women to get down to the basics of life.

I’d appreciate your prayers regarding this all-consuming passion. I can’t shake it. And I don’t believe I’m supposed to. If I’ve learned anything—if there’s anything I know to be true it is this: It is God who is at work in you both to will and to do His good pleasure. So I rest and smile; recalling the timeless Eric Liddell quote, “When I run I feel His pleasure.” Indeed, when I work in radio I feel His pleasure.

P.S. I'd love it if you'd send me an email and let me know the kind of radio-podcasting that you'd like to hear. So much of the "evaluating" I spoke about a few paragraphs before has to do with finding out what YOU like, what YOU need to grow in faith and life.


  1. Julie,

    I think that is a great idea. I find that most mothers beat themselves up in being superwoman. They try to be mom, wife,taxi cab driver, and career women while trying to be a women of God. That is a very tough combination to put together. At the end of the day most women feel drained, worthless, and defeated because things just did not go as planned. Women need to know that God loves them, carries them, pursues them and wants what is best for them. The priorities in our lives are so out of whack. We should consult God first and then worry about the other occupations later. I listen to satelite radio a lot. I listen mostly to christian radio. I live in my car and their are times I could use a pep talk while in traffic or waiting for my daughters to get out of practice.

    Take care,

    Robyn Brown

  2. Julie

    I love the idea of radio. Most mothers are trying just to get through the day. They are mom's who are taxi cab drivers, mothers, wifes, have a career and trying to be a Godly woman. Its not easy wearing all those hats and lets face it at the end of the day they are drained and feel very defeated.

    Most do not realize that God loves us for who we are, he carries us through, he wants us to feel victorious in him. He is a gentleman who allows us to make our own way. Most mom's do not realize that their priorities are out of whack. If we would just seek him first, we will feel him carrying us through, we would feel victorious, we would love who we are in him.

    I spend all day in car going from sales call to sales call and then I start picking my daughters up from their activities and the cycle never ends. To hear an encouraging word on the radio would be a pick me up. To hear that Jesus loves me right then and there would allow my spirit to soar. I listen to satellite radio all day long. Why no commercials but there are times I would love to hear someone to come on and encourage me through the day with words and not always song. Don't get me wrong, I love music and it speaks to me but to hear someone who is in your shoes encouraging you is a pick me up. Good luck and God Speed.

    Robyn Borwn

  3. I know I would listen to you on the well as in person! Chicago has several great radio stations and it would be awesome to be able to tune into your would be a great encouragement to women...including me! Go for it!!!

  4. I'd listen to pretty much anything you'd say! Some of your books have saved my family! Thank you for all you do and for being such an encouragement to so many moms out there.

  5. I came to mom's day out in January in California. You BLEW my socks
    off! I would listen to anything you had to say on the radio at any time of the day! You have a gift. Simply put "when you speak, God
    speaks and all kinds of people have the opportunity to hear him,
    because of your are faithfulness!"

    You are the kind of person that people feel safe with. I think any of your topics on Godly parenting or being a godly wife would be a huge hit. You could even do a secular radio show and direct non-believers down a "better path." Even a "this is my life show" would be great...lead by example?

    Whatever the outcome please keep us posted. I hope you get an internet radio show! I live in AZ and would love to be able to listen to you!

    Also I have your business card stuck in my cabinet. (next to the
    microwave) I see it everyday and am reminded of all the things you
    said in January that has inspired me to be the best mom I can be!

    Thank you Julie!

  6. Just be you—I love it that you go out on the edge and tell it like it is. Motherhood ain’t no cake walk, and we ain’t the Proverbs 31 saint. Sure we’re daughters of the King, but your vulnerable, transparent spirit makes readers, listeners, and friends say, “I love that Julie!”

  7. I am very excited to hear you are looking into the radio format. I have found myself listening to a lot more talk radio lately. I am trying to cut down my TV viewing and upping my walking time, so the radio fits right in. I would love some sort of podcast so that I can download to my MP3 player and listen when I make the time.

    I would appreciate a format that talks about how Mom's really live. Trying to get everything done in a day and still finding time to make our family our priority. As my children get older I find trying to lead them on a righteous path becomes harder and harder. I once heard that raising teenagers is like running a marathon. Up a narrow path. On the side of a cliff. In the dark.

    I have heard you speak at Hearts at Home conferences and I really enjoy your topic last year on Going Deeper, understanding how the truth of the Bible can shape our life in the midst of our mothering. I crave guidance on taking a hard line on Gods truth. Because most of the time it is just that, hard. But as you said in your talk - Do it anyway. As with most things in life a sense of humor helps get through the hard parts, another reason I appreciate your style.

    Good luck with you planning, I will be praying for you and I look forward to hearing from you at Hearts at Home in November.


  8. Julie, I’m so excited to hear that you are pursuing your dream for radio. You are such a perfect fit. Spontaneous. Authentic. Rip snorting fun. I can’t wait to see what God will do with you. And I second everything about labels and wrinkles. I love our team, our mission, our tight focus. I left our interview today high-fiving God, thanking him for the *privilege* of having a job where I get to read great books and talk to great people about important stuff

  9. Julie,

    I have been looking for you at Harvest (ELGIN).....glad to hear your move and settling in have gone smoothly. WELCOME to the area officially. Now, about this radio thing, radio is good and I hear all your reasons about what radio doesn't do loud and clear and can't really argue those points. Plus many more people can be inspired, challenged, and encouraged by your gift of humor and real communication to moms.

    But....don't stop speaking live because....

    Radio doesn't show us your megawatt smile!
    Radio doesn't let us see your eyes light up when you speak about your kids & hubby.
    Radio doesn't allow us to do the hankie wave. (very effectively)
    Radio doesn't allow us to see your body language that communicates so much.
    Radio doesn't allow us to see you as a "real" woman and not some "unattainable" person.

    I will be praying for you as you follow God's leading. He will continue to use you as He has in my life.


  10. Just let me know what staion and time. I will be an ‘eager’ listener.


  11. Hi Julie,
    I first heard you speak at the MOPS convention in Texas. I felt like you could read my mind and were speaking my words! What a blessing to feel so connected in the sea of moms at that event. If you could put that in a podcast, and I could feel that every day, or even once a week--that would ROCK! I think every stay at home mom wants to know that she's "normal" in feeling frustrated and lost sometimes. Let's get it out in the open that we're not perfect and we all have trials we are dealing with.
    Thanks, Julie, for your refreshing honesty about motherhood and being a woman of God!
    I am praying with you on this journey you are on.

    In Christ,

  12. Dear Julie,

    First of all just wanted to thank you for your newsletters. They are always informative in breif which a busy mom appreciates.

    I being a HUGE Journey fan very much appreciated your spoof on all their songs. By the way, he couldn't have been your Steve
    because he was mine.

    I am very much looking forward to hearing you on the radio, I use the radio a lot for a "spiritual pick me up" while going about
    my household chores. So that is one area, I think you could focus on on your broadcasts.

  13. Dear Julie,

    I am so excited everything has worked out for you in Chicago. Where did you end up? St. Charles? I can only imagine the adjustment and yet the amazing benefits of being in such an awesome church and all the wonderful opportunities for your kids. I'll be praying for your husband to find the perfect job.

    Miss seeing excited at all the doors the Lord is opening. I think you'd be fabulous on the radio. You are spontaneous and so funny. A refreshing combo, plus you love the Lord, His Word and His People and shoes and purses. What else is there?

  14. You should definitely do radio!!! I would listen to anything you had to say. Your wit, humor, and practical information is what every mom needs to hear.

  15. Julie,

    I just finished reading ONE TOUGH MOTHER less than an hour ago...what an encouraging time for me. I have a two-year old that sounds a lot like your middle child. :)

    Anyway, I was excited to see you have a blog and have added it to my Google Reader and look forward to your posts. Blessings to you and your family in your move!
    Muscatine, IA

  16. I think your ideas are great. I've read One tough mother and she's gonna blow. Loved them both. I would love to hear your thoughts in a radio program, but we don't have much christian radio here in Connecticut. Are you on Satellite at all?

    Also, I'd love to learn more about writing as a stay at home mom. Writing is a passion of mine, but I struggle to find the time. I'm getting started with a blog at goldstarmoms[dot]blogspot[dot]com

    Thanks for your great advice in being a real mom!