How Informal Are You

We had a staff meeting about Informality. It is one of the Values we have here at my church that we hold dear.

At one point the moderator asked everyone who is naturally informal to raise their hand and around 80% of the staff did. Then he asked for those who struggle to make sure they are informal to raise their hands. I raise my hand for the later. When I did that, I saw multiple faces show shock.

In my current work place I am very informal 80% of the time. It is a struggle, which does surprise most people. By nature, I am fairly uptight about the workplace. My mom taught me an extremely strong work ethic, so time spent chit-chatting has been something I have had to learn over the last 4 years. It hasn’t been easy.

As I have learned a fruitful life is less about production and protocol and more about people and relationships. Again, I have LEARNED and continue learning as when I have a lot going on and a ton to do, it is still difficult for me to stop for conversation. However, Jesus modeled that some of the best Ministry comes out of interruptions.

What I learned today…

I will continue to work on being present and informal so as to set people at ease, help the feel comfortable and truly be engaged in relationships.

I will continue to spend time intentionally being loud and goofy, when I can, remembering it is more relatable.

I will also fight the urge not to be “all business” as I don’t work in a setting where it is all business.

I will work through the pull of my head to be stern in circumstances, and be more understanding.

I will pray for God to give me the wisdom to know the right and wrong times for informality and that I don’t come off too strong, but as a very loving, hard working, leader.


Chad vs Julie

Okay, so my husband and I are both very competitive. What helps? HUMOR.

Back when I was doing everything I could to work on our relationship, I read a book called The Five Love Languages.

It basically talks about how we all have a different view of what love looks like. Some feel loved by affirmation, some by receiving gifts, physical touch, time spent, and acts of service.

I talked about it with Chad, way back when, and realized, his love language is absolutely physical touch. That mixed with time spent. UGH. Mine are the opposite. I’m more of an affirmation and gifts type of person.

When I realized how different we are, and how I was doing to him what I like, I realized I needed to make a change. I started touching him more. Yes, I did hope that meant he’d start working on showing me he loved me the way I feel it, but that isn’t how it works.

I started touching his back more. Grabbing his hand. Holding his arm. Sitting close. It wasn’t something I was used to doing, it was something I was made aware he needed.

As I started to purposefully touch him more when I was around him…and be around him more, I noticed, he became happier! Isn’t that funny how it works.

He wasn’t even aware I was purposefully doing it, until a funny interaction happened today.

The conversation went like this…

I walked by while he was shaving and I started scratching his back lightly.

He said, “Thank you. I love when you do that.”

I said, “I know. I do it purposefully.  You told me you liked it so I do it.”

He said, “That is so nice!”

I said, “I had to learn to do it…kinda like I was hoping you’d learn to affirm me and give me gifts. Ha Ha”.

He responded with, “Wow. That must mean I’m a much better teacher”.


I couldn’t stuck on what I wasn’t getting, but look at that humor. I love the man. It could’ve gone south, but his response was perfect!

What is something you do for your roommate, sibling, parent, spouse, etc… that you do because you know they like it, not because you get something out of it?

What I learned today…Remember what makes my people happy and do it. The joy I can find in their happiness is priceless. AND continue to remind them what makes me happy. Especially if they aren’t natural inclined to do it.


Don’t Argue With Me

I love to argue.

I mean, I LOVE to argue.

PTC (Prior To Christ changing my life) I took sadistic pleasure in “teaching” people lessons. I had a way of turning the tides to make someone who had disagreed with me, feel bad about disagreeing with me. I looked for battles to win. I looked for ways I could come out on top.

Why? Because I battled with feelings of inadequacy. They small glimpses of pride I’d feel when I would win an argument, was an addiction. Each feeling of success after a win wouldn’t last long, so I’d crave more.

Now when you get married…you have someone to argue with ALL THE TIME! Generally, you marry your opposite, which makes it SO EASY TO DO, too.

I was a pro, for YEARS at arguing about everything with my husband. Creating wedge after wedge in our marriage, doing my best to make him feel unworthy of me. Yes, that sounds harsh, but I had to protect myself. I had such a low self-esteem, I felt I had to make others feel horrible, so I looked better.

I know, sick. (Not in the cool new way “sick” is said, but in the “That is HORRIBLE” way).

Since coming to Jesus (meaning, starting and growing a relationship with Him through the Bible), I have learned to have more confidence in myself. Not only that, but I also have learned to NOT argue. For example, in the car the other day, I was almost egged in to an argument. I knew I was right, my husband knew HE was right…and we could have circled the topic forever. Instead of getting drawn in to it, I just said, “Okay”.

To take time to argue over something that will have no effect on absolutely anything, is a waste of time. Now don’t get me wrong, there are PLENTY  of things to stand up for…but that is different than arguing. I can stand up for what I believe it, but I will not waste time arguing about it. I can inform people concerning what I believe in, but I won’t defend it.

I do raise a stink every now and then…who am I kidding, quite often, when I feel someone is being unjustly treated. I have said before, and I’ll say it again, I believe we are all brothers and sisters regardless of you believing it or not. That being said, it is my job to do what Jesus asked of me and that is to LOVE God and LOVE you. All of you.

To some, that is a cop-out. To me, it’s a marriage saver. To me, it’s healthy way to live.

What I learned today…Choosing NOT to argue over everything, can save marriages and friendships. It can save time and keep me healthy. I can physically, mentally and emotionally stop myself from being drawn into arguments and I should.

See if you can “turn the other cheek” when someone baits you in to an argument.

I promise, it feels good to not grab the bait.