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Words I Just Finished Reading

The Kitchen House
The Atomic Weight of Love
We're All Damaged
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Wishful Drinking
News of the World
The Forgotten Garden
Out of My Mind
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
There Is No Good Card for This: What To Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love
My Not So Perfect Life
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters
Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency
The Lost Wife
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Anna and the French Kiss
Little Bee

Julie's favorite books »


I Really Love Mister Rogers

"You make each day a special day for me.  You know how: by just you being yourself.  There's only one person in the whole world like you, and people can like you just the way you are."

-Fred Rogers

Even typing these words makes me a little teary (soon I'll do a post about how I have a lot of Feelings).  I love Mister Rogers.  I love the show, I love his manner, I love thinking about the man that he was.  We watch a lot of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood around here; each time we do, I find myself smiling at the television (I do find the Land of Make-Believe to be bizarre but that's for another discussion).  But I watch the show because I just can't get enough of that truth for myself and for my children: people can like you just as you are.

I am a die-hard perfectionist.  It's part of the reason it has taken me years to get this blog started.  I would think about it, even write a post, hit a small, tiny, insignificant roadblock and then throw my hands up and quit.  This process would usually involve some sort of short rant (directed at my husband) about how I don't have any time for myself or how I never get to do what I want to do or I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, et cetera.  But really I was quitting because it wouldn't be Perfect.  The doubts quietly assaulted me: "there's no way this blog will be exactly what I want it to be; who wants to read what I have to write?"  

And before this post takes a turn into the land of insecure middle-schooler feelings, I'll rein it in.

In his Lifetime Achievement Emmy acceptance speech, Mister Rogers spoke of the people that are dearest to each of us.  The people who, as he put it, "loved us into being."  And that's what my friends have done.  They've loved me into being.  Because all of these friends knew me before I was cool.  Don't be fooled: I'm not really cool now.  But I'm cooler than I was.  

Let me give you a brief outline of my Crimes Against Coolness.  I wore overalls.  Often.  Okay, I had more than one pair (the black velvet ones were for dress occasions).  Dansko clogs were my footwear of choice.  On their own, Danskos are not necessarily offensive, but paired with overalls?  Disaster.  And the pièce de résistance?  I had a really terrible short haircut.  My family still loves to discuss how that was NOT a good look for me.

I have many lovely friends that actually MET me during this phase of life (a.k.a. "college").  And they, shockingly, liked me anyway.  They accepted my horrific lack of fashion sense and excused my bossiness and found something to like about me.  These friends were a shadow of the reality: they gave me forgiveness, grace, love, kindness, patience.  They walked the path with me.  I stumbled often and even lost some of them for a time.  But, grace of graces, they returned to me; they were restored to me.  And even though they have seen the ugliest sides of me, those friends continue to love me into being by seeing me as a work-in-progress and encouraging me to see myself the same way.      

They've even loved this silly blog into being with their encouragement, humor, tech-savvy and with their gentle words:  "No, Julie, I don't think the power of your intellect and brilliance will be intimidating to all humankind.  I think you can go ahead and write something semi-mindless."

To my friends: thank you for loving me into being just who God made me to be.

[See what my dear friend, Hope, has to say about friendship].