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Coaching

Practicing the Art of Adventure :: Featuring Julie McKevitt

What does it look like to practice the art of adventure?

Every Friday over the next few months I will be featuring a woman who is Practicing the Art of Adventure in her daily life-stepping into the unknown, embracing change, trusting Him, leaving fear, and loving extravagantly, all the while, traveling deeper into God’s heart. It is our desire that through their lives and stories of adventure you will be inspired & challenged to say YES to God’s invitation to follow Him. No matter what season of life you find yourself in, may you see that everyday is an opportunity to practice the art of adventure as you abide with Jesus.

We’d love for you to join us here each week!

So…what adventures is God leading you into?

How can you practice the art of adventure in your everyday life?


Today, I feel especially honored to be featuring a friend, artist, mother, and wholehearted lover of Jesus, Julie McKevitt! Julie and I crossed paths half way around the world in Vienna, Austria. She joined the university ladies group I led, so I got to be a part of her life and see her grow in Christ while she lived in Vienna for about a year on an exchange. It has been exciting to stay in touch with her through the years, and I’m blown away at all the adventures God has led her into! I just adore Julie’s heart and honesty that shines through in her interview today.

So sneak away for a moment and be encouraged by this beautiful, modern-day adventurer Julie McKevitt!

First, introduce yourself {tell us where you are from, your favorite place to go or favorite thing to do, and what a “normal” day looks like for you!}

IMG_0426 copyHello!  It is such a treat to get to share a little about my personal adventure with you.  When I sat down a few weeks ago to begin telling my story, I had no idea how quickly my adventure was about to change.

I am Julie.  My wonderful husband Aaron and I live in Atlanta. I’m an artist (the painting type) and the executive director of a non-profit organization, Paint Love, that my husband and I co-founded.  We have both worked in marketing and love going for long walks talking about things like logos, fonts, and branding. He is the sounding board for my crazy big ideas, and I am the encourager of his dreams.  Finding that balance has taken us the majority of our three years of marriage, which has been such a refining and growing season—a season God is using for such beauty in our current adventure that started just three weeks ago! I went from having a new projects, clients, and challenges, and making my own schedule everyday to having my days totally booked up and scheduled for the foreseeable future.  (See question 2 for details!)

What is your current season of life right now & where are you having difficulties trusting God?

Three weeks ago, we welcomed two adorable newborn baby girls into our home.  We became instantly sleep deprived, walking zombies, formula feeding experts, and cheerers of burps and dirty diapers. In a matter of a single five-minute phone call, we became foster parents.

And we couldn’t be filled with more joy, unless sleep someday soon comes in a drinkable form. This is our first time parenting and our first time fostering and we are taking on double duty with two!

Being a foster parent has so many unknowns and requires constant trust in God’s plan for my day-to-day life.  I have case managers visiting our home once a week, attorneys calling me, forms to fill and file, and regulations to follow. All of this happening, while knowing very little about the future of these precious little ones in our care and figuring out motherhood for the first time.  You would think this is the area I am having difficulty in trusting in God.  But, something about all that unknown is…kind of a steady known in and of itself.  I am constantly reminded that God is so big and my lack of control makes it easy to pass the reins over to him.

What keeps my brain running at odd hours is not about being a foster parent, but my career.

I find myself asking my husband with gritted teeth, “Did I work too much today?” Trying so hard to make him feel like my priority, instead of actually making him my priority can be my downfall. While working to build two brands that currently don’t bring in a steady stream of income, I find it so hard to know when to turn down a job or turn off the computer and call it a night.  Add in a couple babies, and now life gets really interesting!

Ultimately, that difficulty stems from my lack of trust in God.  It is fear that keeps me sitting in front of the computer, asking: “Did I do enough?  Am I doing the right things?  Did I make the right decisions?” instead of closing down for the night, and learning to truly rest and enjoy the gift of family.

I’m learning to rest in the fact that Christ is enough, He is my strength, and if I remain in Him I will bear fruit.  I don’t have to be worried about my success if I am working for Christ’s glory. {Insert big deep sigh here!}

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Share with us a specific example {from the past} of how and when God has met you when you’ve walked into the unknown with Him?

In 2009, my mom lost her battle with breast cancer.  The days, months, and years to follow were riddled with unknown, yet the beautiful path God laid out for me is clearly amazing.

The year my mom passed away, I quit my job, moved to Atlanta, bought a house, and was told by my father he was remarrying.  I was 22 and having to become more independent than I expected. All of the sudden changes in my life, made more aware of God’s hand in it all.  Trusting God became a natural reaction.

I found an incredible church and after some time, ended up sitting next to an incredible man.  A man who would eventually encourage me to pursue art, launch a non-profit with me, and would share a love of fostering, ultimately fulfilling so many of my dreams!

Who could have such beauty planned from the ashes of brokenness and loss?  Only God.

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We’d love to hear what step(s) out of your comfort zone you have taken recently or will take soon. {Big or small! It all counts as a step!}

Becoming a foster mom of two little girls has definitely brought me way out of an area of comfort. But even more so, now that I am a mom, the time constraints that it puts on my work has really brought me more out of my comfort zone than anything. I am quickly learning to trust God with my emails, events, meetings, and postponed networking opportunities. I am also handing more and more work over to others and being okay with “good enough” for today.

How do you hear God’s voice most clearly? Is it a time of day, a place you go, a thing you do…anything!

I hear God’s voice most clearly in the still of morning.  The newness of each day is a constant reminder to me of God and His daily provisions. With our life now re-structured and the somewhat confined to our home (for a few more weeks) I have found that I have to be intentional about finding alone time.  I’ve been going for a run each morning after the girls’ first feeding and before my husband goes off to work.  I see God in nature and I love sharing those moments with Him in the stillness of the mornings. 

So much of walking with God on this adventure is about facing our fears, embracing change, and trusting Him…what is one of your biggest fears that keeps your paralyzed from saying “Yes” to God’s adventure for you?

The thought of “failure” in my career has paralyzed me in the past from saying yes to God’s adventure.  I mentioned earlier I often wrestle with the idea of making the right decisions and doing enough at work.

I have seen God open so many doors with both companies, I would be a fool not to continue to trust him, but I have to constantly keep my pride in check.  It is my pride that wants to define success and failure in my own terms instead of Christ’s.

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What are a few tactics that help you most when it comes to facing that specific fear?

  1. Ditch the comparison game. My fears creep in the most when I am looking around at everyone else.  What is she doing?  Why does he have more followers, fans, likes…etc?  When I stop comparing myself to other artists, employees, business owners, wives, and mothers I have time to think about my true identity in Christ.  How does He see me?  His view is the only one that truly matters.

  2. Remind myself often that I am working for God and not for men. With that in mind, I ask myself ‘what is the best use of my time?’ Thinking about God’s priorities first can help set the tone for my own.  At the end of the day, I can be confident that I have done the best with what I have been given.

And lastly, what does a life of adventure with God look like for you personally?

The moments when I have seen great adventure in my life, I have been able to trust in God, feel His peace, and live with joy.  Trusting in God can bring about the greatest adventures in life. When I can step back and say “God, I trust you on this one” (for example as a foster parent), then I can say with confidence, “I don’t know how long these little girls will be in our home.  I don’t know where they are going from here.  I don’t know who else you have in store to come and stay in our home, but I one hundred percent trust you.”

That trust opens my heart to feel a peace that passes all understanding.  And when I am experiencing peace in my life, I am able to fully enjoy every moment.  I can love the girls in our home each and every day we have them without worrying about tomorrow. Life becomes a joy-filled adventure because Christ is in control and I am actively following his amazing plan.

paintloveparty03-smConnect with Julie & get a closer
look at Julie’s work and passion below:

Julie Ann McKevitt
Twitter & IG: @julieamckevitt
Paint Love
Twitter & IG: @gopaintlove

 

 

 

 

 

 

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