FaithWriters member Julie Arduini describes herself as a writer, public speaking and small group facilitator residing in NE Ohio with her husband and two children. Julie’s passion is to encourage audiences to find freedom through surrender. She is practicing what she preaches by surrendering the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate. 🙂  I encourage you to check out her blog, THE SURRENDERED SCRIBE at:

Join me as I get to know Julie a little better.

LYNDA: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got your start in writing.

JULIE: In 2006 I felt God’s nudge to write for Him in a way that went beyond creating publicity for my local Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) chapter. I struggled with it because I felt that was enough, but the “stirring of the pen” grew stronger. I finished my course with the Christian Writers Guild and surrendered my fear. On December 31, 1996 I hit the publish button to create my blog and by August 2007 my work was included in Lori Wagner’s Quilting Patches of Life.

LYNDA: The theme that encompasses your writing is “Surrender.” What is the meaning and importance of that word to you?

JULIE: For me, surrender means letting go and letting God. I find when I talk with others it is usually someone saying they are afraid, but going to do it anyway.  My writing testimony is that fear held me back from writing for decades. I was told I wasn’t good at it and would most likely not be able to generate interest with my writing. I had to surrender that fear and let God take it.  The more we surrender, the more we realize those fears had zero power. I hold onto the fact that He equips the called. My desire in all forms of ministry is to encourage others that surrendering to Christ is worth it, every time.

LYNDA: You write for various ezines. Throw out a few shameless plugs for the sites you’re involved with.

JULIE: I’m glad to because I’m a fan of these places as a reader more than anything.  Once a month I write as what I’ve coined “the emotional encourager” over at Adding Zest. I am the last person  you want to learn any specifics from on the physical and intimate ways of marriage but I love sharing how emotional topics touch the married bedroom. So far I’ve been able to share experiences like being wife #2, infertility, miscarriage, baby blues, death and my sensitive hearing. Again, my heart is to make sure all readers live in freedom in Christ.  If I can share glimpses of my own surrender story, I pray it brings couples to oneness in their own marriage.

I also write monthly for the Internet Café marriage counter. I share surrender topics within the realm of marriage, using my own experiences as a backdrop to encourage others.

LYNDA: How did you find FaithWriters and what makes you stick around?

JULIE: ScarletFury (Sara Harricharan) and I were on the forums for the Christian Writers Forum, an unofficial branch at the time of the Christian Writers Guild and she suggested FaithWriters. I was easy to stick around and it’s the first place I recommend to anyone interested in writing. I credit FaithWriters with accelerating my writing ministry. Most people take years before they see their work featured in a book. Lori Wagner found my story in the free reprint story section and asked if she could use it in her book.  I’ve formed friendships and have mentors I know I can go to when I have questions.  I’ve learned of opportunities through the message boards (Jan Ross’ Women of Passions and Peculiar People’s Delivered are both writing credits I learned through FW). The challenge helps me grow.  Although I’m starting to freelance, we’re basically a one income family. But I’ve been a 500 member for years. It is so worth the cost and I wish everyone would utilize the treasure that is FaithWriters.

LYNDA: You also do some speaking. What are some of the topics you speak about?

JULIE: I definitely market myself with surrender topics but that can mean so many things. My plan for 2011 is to take key points from my current devotional, Already a ChampION: 30 Devotionals Proving You Aren’t the Defeated One and encourage audiences with empowering words that end in “-ion” (rejection, intimidation, frustration, affirmation). The devotionals contain one lie we believe and the truth to set us free in the form of the “-ion” words and I want to share those words with others.

One of my favorite presentations is called “Don’t Eat the Garbage.” I’m passionate about showing women that we don’t have to receive the words that are given to us.  Usually as little girls we are wounded by words no one meant to stick for decades, but they do.  I’ve met women who lived scared because someone told them they were ugly or not college material, etc…my presentation gives them the visual, a plate of garbage. Through my own testimony and Biblical examples I show audiences they don’t have to eat those words anymore.  They can instead feast on a banquet of God’s promises of who He is, and who they are.  I’m finding even more powerful than the presentations are the one on one times when ladies share their stories and I can just listen and love on them. I’ve seen women changed through presentations and I love when they find freedom through surrender.

Once a year, I represent my family with scholarship presentations through a technical school back in my hometown. It’s a scholarship we created in my dad’s memory and I usually give one or two speeches through this a year. The administrators have been so gracious that this last year the president of the system put me on the agenda last minute to deliver an additional speech to over 1500 with 10 minutes notice. I always try to write something inspirational and encouraging because usually the award centers around someone overcoming hardship, but tie it in with my dad’s story.

LYNDA: Tell us a little about your family.

JULIE: First, they are so supportive. Many ask how I write as much as I do and it really is because of a grateful family that doesn’t expect a Martha Stewart looking home life.  I’ve been married to Tom for over 14 years and when I was in a place of writing fear he said whether I earned two cents or two million dollars writing he stood behind me. I’ll never forget that encouragement.  He’s a computer programmer.  We have a twelve year old son who has his dad’s computer skills and plays guitar and drums. Our seven year old daughter is a subject of a lot of the stories that are in different anthologies because I had to surrender her health. She was very sick as a baby and God has used her mightily to help people surrender, most of all me.

We live in northeast Ohio, another surrender experience as we moved here for Tom’s job with no knowledge of the area. We left everything and everyone we knew back in Upstate NY to live in Ohio, and God has blessed us time and time again for that surrender. I’m a stepmom to two adult children who live in Illinois and Wisconsin and they are the best.

LYNDA: What is the last book you read and would you recommend it to a friend?

JULIE: Just Between You and Me by Jenny B. Jones. Although I think this was published in 2009 it’s my favorite fiction read this year. I can’t say enough about her writing and this book. I definitely recommend it. As an aside, I keep a bookshelf on my blog to help anyone looking for a book suggestion. I also have a section on my blog containing all the book reviews I’ve done. I have a passion to read and share with others.

LYNDA: What do you hope to accomplish in the next ten years, both personally and professionally?

JULIE: Personally I look forward to watching our children blossom in Christ in ways I don’t even dare define right now. He’s deposited so much into them I’m excited to watch it unfold while I pray and guide them. Tom and I plan to take a cruise in 2012 but  I’d love to travel as a family around the country. My tag line is about surrendering the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate, so who knows if that will happen in the next ten years.  After all the Hershey kisses I ate last night, I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon!

Professionally I plan to publish my devotional Already a ChampION:30 Devotionals Proving You Aren’t the Defeated One and use it as a springboard to speak and encourage others.

I want to translate the surrender theme to fiction. I’d love to see my writings available in both fiction and nonfiction helping readers surrender fear as well as offer the work for speaking opportunities. I want to join ACFW and attend conferences. I love teaching Bible studies, so who knows if that will play a part in my future. I joke that I’m the Yankee Beth Moore that doesn’t know her Bible as much as Beth does, but I can point you to the Savior and talk as fast as she does. I would love to see my website grow with me without depending on my poor busy husband to make it happen!  So far I’ve created the content and design and I long to have it take on a more professional look.

LYNDA: Julie, thanks so much for giving us a glimpse into your life. I have so enjoyed getting to know you better. Best wishes to you as you continue to teach audiences how to surrender.


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