Sunday, January 27, 2013

So That Was Awesome

9 months, 16 staff, 40+ volunteers, 350+ teenage girls, moms and leaders, a little bit of rain and one God. This is Becoming Girls Conference 2013. More pictures on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Leadership Creates the Culture | Teen Girl Series

At Becoming Girls Conference, our leadership is the heartbeat of the conference. They create the culture that ignites the new generation of young women, because they were once a generation's young woman. 

They speak and lead from the passion of experience, good and bad; and I believe experience, covered with grace and the gospel of Jesus Christ, is the most effective and life changing form of leadership. 

So what kind of culture, atmosphere, momentum and growth are we trying to create in our sphere of the world?

A SWEET one.

Safety - This is the primary goal with Becoming Girls Conferences. We are one piece of a very large  puzzle in these girls lives. We are not their solution. We are the starting point for some and pushing point for others. We want them to bring their baggage, their relationships, their mess ups and the darkest secrets. If they can’t leave them with us, a community based on grace, where will they leave them? 

Witty - I’m a church girl, born and raised in the church and though I love it with everything in me, I think, as a whole, we can do better. There is a big culture of “scarcity” in the American Churches today. "We can’t afford that or that’s too controversial." There is a major tendency to be extreme on issues that damage and neutral on the ones that will actually do damage. I believe the Church is filled with talented, smart, and creative men and women who can do better. We want Becoming Girls Conferences to be as close to the creative, controversial, culturally pin-pointed edge as possible, without falling over it. 

Expectancy - We want girls to come with questions to be answered, fears to be broken through, chains to be released and to leave our conferences feeling cared for, respected, freed, loved and empowered. Our leadership does that by boldness in prayer. We recognize that without the movement, power and favor of God, Becoming Girls Conferences are 2 days of pretty chaos. Therefore, my team prays for four specific things from God for our weekends: 1) Purpose, that our plans would align with God's 2) Passion, that we would be filled with a divine love for the next generation 3) Providence, for both spiritual and physical needs and 4) Protection, from the enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. We expect great things at Becoming because we know we serve a great God who loves His girls. 

Emotion - We want girls to see their emotions as a gift from God. The woman emotion bank is vastly different from a man’s. Women are awakened in their emotional responses and I think our culture has tampered with its sacredness. At Becoming Girls Conferences, we want older women teaching the younger women how to begin to channel and freely see their emotions as a unique trait instead of a inhibiting feature. 

Truth - Teaching, singing, speaking, writing, photographing (etc) truths of God’s word, in a relevant and reverent way. In American society, we are failing to communicate to our youth the relevance that Scripture plays in their lives and the reverence we have for it. Our speakers will always be agreed upon by the team, unanimously, along with the year's theme and direction. We will always portray truth by the light of the Bible and the power of the Holy Spirit. We want them to know Love. 

Everyone contributes to some sort of culture shift around them, what are you contributing?

Monday, January 21, 2013

How Looking Back Moved Me Forward | Teen Girls Series

Teenage girls are amazing to me. I didn't think so while I was one, of course. Between the acne, frizzy hair, puberty and braces phase, it felt like 7 years of constant and quick changes that I couldn't keep up with. 

And the hormones, holy cow the hormones! Crying was a regular thing and my poor dad suffered way too many silent treatments. But he was a champ of a father. I'm lucky for that. 

I know you and I could sit in my living room for hours, sipping adult lattes and telling story after story of those monumentally traumatizing shaping years. 

Between the ages of 11 and 18, the whole world was at our finger tips. We could be anything and everything we wanted to. We could pick a job right out of the sky, a college off a list, a dream from a bucket of glitter and we had enough time and energy to make it come true. 

I look back at photos, the printed ones in a big bulky album on my coffee table, of a Mexico high school trip my youth group took, and I see my pod of friends. We're all smiling, as if life hadn't touched us yet; though for some it had, and in not so graceful of ways. 

One picture in particular, we're all in a van, huddled in at the sound of our youth pastor's wife squealing,"Ok girls, picture time!" Cheese! 

The girl seated at the front of the photo, a friend I still see and love dearly, her eyes broke me today. Looking back on the decade of love, loss and battles she's fought makes me want to hold her precious Sophomore face and whisper, You don't have to fight. God sees you. He loves you, for YOU.

I wish I could have prevented the years of heartache that would befall upon her; some by bad choices and others by victimization. None of which are okay. 

My heart is broken for the girls of my youth. Myself included. But that only spurs me to move faster and more powerfully for the girls of my present and my future. I don't want to look back and cry over their photos as well, apologizing to them for not trying harder. For not telling them how much they are loved. How much they are valued and wanted. How beautiful they are and how they will someday change their world; for better or worse. 

Because I've seen too many beautiful birds stand on the edge of fear or be shot down by killers around them. And I've had enough.

No more. 

I will show generation after generation of teen girls how to fly as high as they were designed to go. 

For the rest of my life, I will show them how to be brave

Sunday, January 20, 2013

On Teen Girls

Teen Girls: We can't live with them and we can't live without them. Some of them are easier than others and others are more fragile than some. But remove the drama, the black eye liner, the lipgloss and flat irons, the peer pressure and the boyfriends, and you have little girls who are just trying to figure this life out. 

What they don't know, that you and I now do, is that you never really figure life out. It's the world's dirty little secret. 

This week (Monday-Friday) is leading up to a conference my staff and I have worked the last 9 months, through blood, sweat and tears, to put on. Every year we create time and space for teen girls to come and bring their lives, baggage, questions, and dreams into one room and share it all with us. (To learn more about it, go here.) 

The series, Teen Girls, will hit various personal and professional aspects of that journey. 

It will be explorative of the average American teen girl and what goes on in her brain, as well as motivating, to both you and me, about what we can do to move forward a new generation of women to shape, heal, and change our world. 

Enjoy -

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Is Baby Mo Pink or Blue?

What's your guess? In typical Morlet fashion, we are split: Ty/Boy, Jules/Girl.

We find out Saturday! Wanna be the first in the know? Follow me on Instagram & Twitter. (Both usernames are @juliannamorlet) Facebook and blog won't be getting the details til next week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

For Better or Worse | A Vow with My Online Community

In an age of online relationships, there has been no greater opportunity to escape reality

I recently met a woman who has been here, reading my blog, for some time now. She was adorable and a tad shy when she told me she's been following our story and praying for us along the way. I hugged her like I'd known her for years, because I kind of had. We chit chatted about various topics, talked about BabyMo, and before departing she let these words escape, "I'm so glad I met you, I kind of feel like you're famous."

Let me first clear the air and say, No way am I even close to fame. And that has never been my intention.

But I knew what she was saying. She was saying, I was someone she read about, watched go through a little bit of life and now finally got to see is a real life breathing person. 

There are many tempting of facades the online world presents us with. We create our spaces to be filled with wonder, beauty, questions, and joy. But, in that pursuit, we can lose the reality of what is actually happening in our everyday lives.

We can, unintentionally, paint a picture of faith that doesn't really exist for us. 
We can, unintentionally, color in the lines that are always moving for us. 
We can, unintentionally, become the expert or guru of something we quickly realize is un-masterable. 
We can, unintentionally, become someone we are not. 

After that day, I started editing my posts differently, paying a little more attention to the reality of it all. Am I really feeling that way? Did that really happen that way? Am I appearing to have it all together when I don't? Does my faith look bigger online that it is in person? 

I've always said it here and I'll say it again, The Girl That Sings is NOT a place for you to glean massive amounts of wisdom. It IS a place where I want you to be able to read and say, "Oh, her too??!!" For better or worse. 

I hope the girl and life I portray here makes you do just that, because we need each other. I need your real life drama and some of you might need mine. 

Even if just to remind each other how much God's grace plays into our everyday lives. 

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Photo via, edited by JM // How cute are these masks?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Will I Worry My Way Through Motherhood?

Early on in this pregnancy, I met a woman in line at a coffee shop. We got to chatting about our favorite beverages, which led to where we're from, and then our family life. Only a handful of people knew we were expecting at this point, but I thought, I'm probably never gonna see this woman again and she definitely won't post it on Facebook. 

Sure enough, she asked, "So do you and your husband have any kids?" I smiled, both in my heart and my face and replied, "Actually, we're expecting our first next Summer." 

She squealed, as only a woman can do, offering her congratulations and typical banter of inquisitions. How far, are you excited, etc. And then her face got serious. She gave me a wink and said words I didn't know would ring so true so quickly: 

"Welcome to Motherhood sweetie, you'll never sleep through the night again."

There are days when I relish in the miracle that is growing inside me. I weep with gratitude that God trusted me with a little someone to raise and love and shepherd. 

And then sometimes I weep in pain because of the pinched nerve in my back or because I've been laying awake for 3 hours because I can't get comfortable as a recovering stomach sleeper. 

And then, then there are days when I weep out of fear. Sheer and terrorizing fear that something is wrong. It's just in my head, I attempt to console myself. You have no reason to think anything is wrong, I argue. But still, something sits in my worry wart brain and nags. 

I don't want to be a mother who worries her way through her children's lives. But I understand that is a very real part of motherhood. It's the tension I've watched other mothers, and my own, struggle through. 

Will that always be there? 
When is it "a mother's intuition" and when is it "a mother's fear for her children"? 
How do you tell the difference? 

Ultimately, my hope and my faith is in my God. It is He who gives and takes, who plans and purposes. Ty and I have been through the valley before and if we walk it again, we won't be shaken

But I have yet to sleep through the night.  

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***The wonderful thing about being a new momma is the wisdom pool of experienced mothers around you. Prior to computer and the world wide web, women still had each others backs. From baby showers and hospital visits, to midwives and doulas, women have always supported women in the area of motherhood. 

Thursdays here on The Girl that Sings are specifically for that. I need you and your passionate opinions and experiences. Just remember to be respectful. Bring on the comment conversations. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Holy, Holy, Holy | #Sundaysetlist

"And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!'

And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

'Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.'"
Revelation 4:8-11
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In Revelation, there is this THEATRICAL, beautifully dramatic scene of God's creation, so enveloped with His presence. All of creation, the animals, mankind, the heavenly beings see God for who He is, who He was, and who He will be, and they worshipped. 

They worshipped.

And for me, this gives me HOPE.

Hope for me, as a sinner saved by grace.

Hope for my children and future generations.

Hope for the homeless woman I saw sleeping in Starbucks today, because she had no where else to go.

Hope for the hunger and thirst that plagues our world.

Hope because God is on the throne and He sees.

He sees.

He sees and He is making all things new. 

Everything that is broken in this world will be made mended again. 

And church, when (not if) that day comes, I believe, we will enter His presence, behold His glory, see His master plan and it will compel us to first say, "Ooooooh, that's what You we're doing." And then join with the heavens singing holy holy holy is The Lord god almighty who was and is and is to come. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year to You (And Us!)

I love new everything. New days, new seasons, new clothes, new groceries, new lives, new journals, new, new, new, new. I love old too, but there's something invigorating about the idea of something becoming "new." The rest of the world thinks so too, which is why we say Happy New Year, instead of, Super-bland, same old New Year. 

We are an optimistic crew. So we set goals. Beautiful, over-ambitious lofty, and sometimes just a tad bit out of reach. But that's on purpose of course. You gotta shoot for the moon right?

My last year's resolutions were--
Get rid of things I don't use. CHECK!
Raise the bar on my writing. CHECK!
Dream a little bigger for this pretty space. CHECK!
Write out my grandparent's love stories. #fail (but soon to be rectified) 

This year, with all the changes taking place in our family, Ty and I set our New Year Resolution together, so we can meet it as a team.

Learn and record 1 new cover song a month

We've always wanted to cover songs like the Civil War's Poison and Wine or Colbie and Jason's Lucky, so this year, we're gonna do it. (And you'll get to see them too!) 

We expect this year to be both bitter and sweet. Like a giant Hershey's Dark Chocolate bar. I have many goals and dreams this year and I hope you do too. Come what may, we will choose to not let our fears trump the hope we have for the future. 

I'll leave you with my closer from the last couple years because it still rings true.

For some of us this year is our Ctrl + Alt + Del button. 
For some of us, this year is the continuation of the best year of our life. 

For some of us this year will bring great joys and greater triumphs.
For some of us this year will bring such sorrow and utter disappointment.

For some of us this year will fly by just like the rest.
For some of us this year will drone on into what seems like an eternity.

For some of us this year will be one of significant discovery.
For some of us this year will be one of significant loss.

But for everyone, this year will be another year added to the timeline of our seasoned lives. And when we look back we'll see how invaluable this year was in the making of who we have become. 

^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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