A Writing JourneyAuthor & Lifestyle Blogger
In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.
Julie Lavender loves turning little moments into lasting memories, especially when those moments involve time spent with family. A little moment in high school with a cute classmate turned into a marriage of almost four decades.
Julie married that high-school and college sweetheart and the two pursued Masters Degrees, following Julie’s Early Childhood Education degree and David’s Biology degree. Their family grew to include children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel, and Jessica.
A signature that took just seconds sent David and Julie gallivanting all over the globe. Julie loved living in various locations across the country as the wife of a medical entomologist for the United States Navy, where little moments from five states and almost a dozen addresses added up to a twenty year Navy career. Julie and David trekked through a rain forest in Puerto Rico; swam in the waters lapping Barbados; straddled the equator in Quito, Ecuador; marveled at Golgotha in Israel; watched cliff divers in Acapulco, Mexico; sunbathed in Bermuda; toured in Toronto, and sipped tea on Vancouver Island.
We love because he first loved us.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.
Compliments of the US Navy, Julie and David resided in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, California, and Washington State at various time during their military days. With a moving van arriving frequently at the Lavenders’ doorstep, Julie’s fleeting thought of homeschooling their firstborn for “just a year” culminated in twenty-five years of educating their kids at home before sending each one off to college.
When her husband retired from active duty, the family moved back to their hometown, and David began work as a wildlife biologist at a nearby Army installation. Julie educated the kids, volunteered at church, baked favorite recipes, and wrote.
Those little homeschool lessons each day soon added up to four diplomas and one by one, the Lavender kids left the nest to pursue college degrees. Fortunately for Julie, the University was just across town, so she added even more little moments with big college kids to her lasting memories.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, & shall talk of them when you sit in your house, & when you walk by the way, & when you lie down, & when you rise.
Jeremy, the oldest, received an English degree and pursued a Masters Degree in School Counseling. Jeremy loves making memories with elementary kids in north Georgia as their school counselor and smiles when they call him “Mr. Purple.”
Jenifer, followed the same passion as her dad, and earned a Biology Degree, working at a zoo in Chattanooga before joining the staff of the church she and her husband attended, and now she works for a data company by day and runs her date night suggestion website, The Dating Initiative, by night! A couple of flirtatious moments during Jenifer’s freshman Bible Study group added a son-in-love, Adam, to the family when they both finished college. Jenifer and Adam are the parents of Benaiah, Julie and David’s first grandchild.
Third child Jeb Daniel gained a Masters in Accounting from the same university. Jeb loves working with numbers in the finance department of an aircraft company as his paid gig and loves playing disc golf for fun.
Jessica, the baby of the four, graduated with a Communications Degree from Georgia Southern University and is currently pursuing her masters degree at NC State in Raleigh. She met her now-husband when both were serving as CentriKid Camp staffers one summer, and they spent their last two years in college together when he transferred to Georgia Southern. Dawson plans to pursue a semiary degree soon.
The youngest addition to the Lavender clan, Benaiah, joined the family in December of 2018 and adds precious little moments of delight that etch memories on the hearts of family members.
…from teacher to writer
While teaching little ones in public school classrooms in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina, Julie fell in love with children’s picture books and became fascinated with the idea of writing. She researched, attended writers conferences, submitted queries and manuscripts, made a lot of mistakes along the way, but determined to become a published writer. Writing what she knew, Julie’s first acceptance was a manuscript about children’s picture books for an education publisher. Her next acceptances included articles for homeschooling magazines and parenting magazines, curriculum for a Christian non-denominational publisher, women’s magazines, and eventually a work-for-hire slumber party planning book for parents. At a writers conference in the Seattle area, Julie received an acceptance for her homeschooling devotional, 365 Days of Celebration and Praise.
Fascinated and awestruck by the Creator’s manifold riches, Julie Lavender enjoys sharing stories of God’s creations and is convinced that God uses His masterpieces to teach us more about Him. Whether it’s the humankind, a member of the animal kingdom, or one of God’s natural beauties, Julie loves boasting about God’s workmanship.
Having spent countless hours chasing bugs and insects with her husband, she especially likes some of God’s “little” masterpieces. Those little specks of magnificent creativity often remind Julie to treasure the little, often insignificant-at-the-time, moments. Julie loves an excuse to celebrate little moments and big ones, too, because she knows those simple moments are the ones that add up to treasured family memories that last a lifetime.
The Lord responded: “Write down this message! Record it legibly on tablets, so the one who announces it may read it easily.”
Julie’s writing career grew to include a number of magazine acceptances and a position as a freelance stringer for her local newspaper. In 2014, Julie was one of twelve winners for the Guideposts Writers Contest and loved traveling to New York for a weeklong conference to learn how to write for Guideposts publications. Her work also appears in a number of compilations and several homeschooling and parenting websites. Her newest books include Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime, published by Zeitgeist, an imprint of Penguin Random House, and 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories, published by Revell. A recent opportunity to take part in an interview with Focus on the Family Broadcast, that aired January 2022, featured her 365 Ways book and offered Julie the chance to talk about showing love to a child. (The interview can be seen in full here.)
The choice to accept Jesus as Savior at the age of nine is the greatest decision Julie’s ever made, and she hopes that decision impacts everything she writes. Though her daily walk is rife with imperfect moments, Julie knows she’s loved by a perfect God who inspires the words she puts on paper to share with others. She’s thankful for the gift of writing and hopes her words point others to Christ.
Julie loves to encourage families to make memories that last a lifetime, through silly celebrations and a collection of little moments, mixed in with some big ones, too. She hopes her writing encourages families and loved ones to spend special time together, making memories to warm the heart and treasure for years to come. Julie’s personal treasured memories of family adventures and time spent together motivates her to encourage other families to collect little moments and turn them into lasting memories, too. Julie also loves sharing others’ special moments and has written over 900 newspaper articles that turned little stories into headline news events.
Julie is represented by literary agent Cyle Young.