Friday, May 30, 2014

When Cleaning and Crying Collide

“There are times when the actual experience of leaving something makes you wish desperately that you could stay, and then there are times when the leaving reminds you a hundred times over why exactly you had to leave in the first place.” ― Shauna Niequist

Today we will lock the door of our one bedroom LA apartment for the last time. And I'm surprised how emotional I am. Not to be leaving, or moving, because I know we're headed into a season of rest and abundance. 

Today I am cleaning and trashing and curbing and crying. (Curbing: to put anything and everything you don't want on the curb and watch it disappear. #truestory) 

Cleaning, because it's sheer phenomenon how dirty the corners of a home can get without your knowledge. 

Trashing, because second to the cleaning phenomenon is how much crap one can accumulate in two meager years. 

Curbing, because, well, I can't just throw away that perfectly good fondue bowl and wall organizer I never used. 

And crying, because I've been reliving as many moments as I can remember from this place and I am mildly ashamed and amazed the tears I cry are of relief

I feel relieved to be moving once again. To be walking, again, in obedience. To be headed towards a land of rest. 

Movement. Obedience. Rest. These are the promises we are headed towards. Not because we deserve it. Or have earned it. Heavens, if one could earn such blessing, I would strive to exhaustion. 

"For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]" Romans 11:29
(Am I the only one whose stomach flips at the sound of that verse?! Read it out loud.)

And the best part? The only prerequisite for a calling from God is breath. One must be alive to accept a calling. (Click to tweet.) But even that, that life, comes from Him. That blows my mind. 

Sometimes, it seems our calling grows foggy and unclear amidst our circumstances, when in reality, it's our own vision that has grown blurry. We let Jesus become peripheral instead of central. We let truth subside to the sweet fleetings of our instant gratification. 

But God. 

In His grace and His love and mercy and His fatherly admonition, He brings us back around. 

When I'm done throwing my tantrums, He carries me home. 
When I'm through whining a rant, He brings me in. 
When I'm finished giving the silent treatment, He speaks. 

And today, as scrubbed the toilet, I recalled what His Word tells me:
Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. 
Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. 
Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1
I've never been so torn between the emotion of affection and abandon as I am with this place. This city. These memories. And as I scrub and make countless trips to our giant dumpster, I will cry over what we lost here and sing over what was blessed, for surely, God was with us in this place. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

If We Were on a Coffee Date | No. 2

If we were on a coffee date, I'd have this papoose strapped to me. She loves being outside and I love having the extra 19 pounds hitched around my waist. I feel like it's an adequate workout. You know, for a non-workout-er.

If we were on a coffee date, I would probably be running late because that's about the forecast of my week. It's sunny with a chance of Jules being on time to absolutely nowhere. #sorry

If we were on a coffee date, ask you if you know what cockroach poop looks like. And then proceed to educate you on the topic because, well, we're moving out of a 50 year old building and we have small uninvited visitors. That I kill. With a fiery passion. At 10PM.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask how your week was. What'd you do, where'd you go, and if you saw California's on fire.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you my brother's a firefighter and I was secretly terrified he'd get called out to those suckers burning down So Cal. Even though I know he was hoping everyday that he did. But he's a stud, so he probably should've got called.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you being proud of my siblings is something I never thought would bring me such joy. So weird how family grows up together, knowing the good, the bad and the ugly about one another, and yet, seeing them accomplish their dreams can get me all choked up.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask if you had siblings. How many? How old? If you all love each other? #justkidding #ithink

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you I'm nervous to live so far away from our families. I know it can be done. People do it all the time. And I'd need you to tell me to stop being such a sissy about it. Otherwise I may start crying.

If we were on a coffee date, I haven't let myself cry a lot in this whole moving-across-the-country-process. So let's keep it that way. I know this is what we're supposed to be doing. It's good. And that's why airplanes were invented right? To bring families back together?

What would you tell me on our coffee date? 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In My Daughter's Eyes

Favorite song by Martina McBride, In My Daughter's Eyes. I've loved it since high school. When I heard it or sang it, I'd think of my Mama. Now, man it slays me thinking about Baby Girl Mo. 

In her eyes, I'm her everything. She trusts me. There is no broken innocence yet. The world hasn't pushed her around. She doesn't see my faults and failures. 

She sees me. Her mama. 

I see the version of who I wanna be, in my daughter's eyes. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hi My Name is Julianna and I'm Believing God

"Have you decided that what you have done or what you are doing is all you'll ever do? Ah, God's far too creative for that." Beth Moore |

I'm reading Beth's book, Believing God, with a group of my closest friends and our worlds are being turned upside down by the challenges she gives to move out of the mode of complacency into the action of faith.

"Faith is an action word," mama Beth reminds us. |

"The church, comprised of all believers in Jesus Christ, is generally pretending she's cloaked with kingdom power and effectiveness while in reality she has exposed herself in the powerlessness to the ridicule of the world."

See what I mean?

I don't want to finish this life, at whatever age God seems fit, and see that I never reached even remotely what God could have done with my life.

I don't want to regret being selfish.
I don't want to regret being scared.
I don't want to regret being so concerned with safety that I pace in the desert. Familiar, yes. Dry and weariness, even more so.

However, doubt is a big crux in my belief system. How about you?

I don't necessarily doubt God's existence or really that He lacks control, but I do doubt His goodness. Often. And I don't want to anymore.

I have no reason to. He's given me no reason to. 

I can't pinpoint one, not one, situation or circumstance that God failed me. There are plenty that give off the illusion of failure. Sexual abuse. Recession. Miscarriages. Church planting.

All those illusions are just that. Illusions. And if I back up far enough away from the pain and hurt and confusion to see the bigger picture, there's an answer. There's always an answer.

I want to move. I want to fight. I want to walk alongside my brothers and sisters in an action filled faith that allows us to see the supernatural kingdom of God rain down onto this earth.

I don't what exactly that looks like for me yet, and I can't say I'm not freaked out of my mind. But I hear awareness and discontentment with our own complacency is a good place to start.

Hi, my name is Julianna and from now on, I'm believing God. 

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Have a small group? I recommend this book 1000%. Get Beth's book here >

Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 Quick Tips on How To Be a Worship Leader Mom

ASK FOR HELP | If you and your baby are comfortable with people in your church, ask them if they'd mind hanging with your babe while you rehearse. Most people love babies. And most babies love attention. It's a perfect match! As moms it's easy to feel like you're burdening someone, but you're not. Unless, of course they say, Hey you're kinda being a burden. 

*If stranger anxiety is an issue, which is really common starting as early as 5 months, start slow. Happy babies are secure babies. Hang out with your person for a couple days and let them take the reins with your babe while you're still in the room. 

INVOLVE THEM | Best advice we got prior to becoming parents was, "Let your babies be a part of your life. Don't create a new one just for them." At this point in your life, you are someone. You have likes and dislikes. You have values and priorities and activities. And while those may shift over the coming years, let your kids see you in your sweet spots. You'll get so much joy out of watching them learn to love what you do. 

The Mo's are worship leaders at this point in time. Our jobs, our values, our passions are tied up in music for the church. I want Symphony to see that and be a part of it. 

LEARN TO COMPROMISE | Forcing a baby or toddler to do something they don't want to do is already a part of life. (Eating, sleeping, to name a couple) Find out what they do like to do and work that into the church/rehearsal routine. 

Symphony hate being strapped in anything for too long. So forcing her to sit in a strapped stroller type was out of the question. But she loves music and watching Ty play guitar. So we set up her bassinet stroller with toys and books and set her right at the foot of the stage stairs so she can watch us. She lasts about 45 minutes, with us interacting and including her as much as we can. Then when one of our sweet church girls arrives, she takes over and everybody's happy!

LET GO OF IDEALS | Do what you can with what you have. Situations may not pan out the same every week. Babysitters will bail and dinner will be pureed meat in squeeze juice packets. That's okay. Or so I'm learning. 

Ideally, my child would stay in one spot for the 2 hour rehearsal reading books and playing quietly. Reality, is she gets bored and has learned how to crawl. If your situation allows (and not all do), let your kiddo play on the carpet or floor near you or where you can see them. Yes, it's a little dirty. Yes, they put everything in their mouth. The new-mom part of me tried to anti-bacterialize the entire front of the church. 

But that is also, an ideal. 

REMEMBER THE BIGGER PICTURE | This one is subjective because each family has their own bigger picture. For us, the bigger picture is that the Mo's have been called to the local church family as worship pastors, and we find value in gathering in our community of faith, encouraging, equipping so that we all might be built up. We want our kids to see that, from the very beginning. We are striving to build a "living" legacy, of sorts. 

What have you been called to that you want your kids to see? 

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How have you introduced your babe into your work/family/busy life? 

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Thursdays are my one(ish) day to open the Motherhood window of Mo Life. Because I know not all readers are mothers, I try to gush sparingly. But if you want to see more snippets of milestones, our nightly family walks and record snot bubbles, you can find me on Instagram. #yourewelcomeforthesnotpics 

Friday, May 9, 2014

If We Were on a Coffee Date | No. 1

If we were on a coffee date, I’d stand in front of you in line and order an iced triple espresso in a grande cup with soy. And then I’d tell my favorite barista, Thomas or Alison, that I’d be taking care of your drink as well, because I love buying other people’s coffee.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask how your week was and have a million and one questions about the details. I love details. 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d probably tell you how the last couple weeks have been pretty pivotal for the Mo house. We’re entering an uprooted season again and I’m feeling equal parts adventurous and cowardess. I'd tell you how much I'm going to miss LA and walking to Starbucks and walking, well, everywhere else too. 

If we were on a coffee date, you’d probably wonder to yourself if “cowardess” is a real word and I’d reassure you, out loud, that it is not. 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you about Beth Moore's book I'm reading with 3 of my closest friends. It's called Believing God, and call me late-to-the-game but holy moly it's changing my life. I'd tell you to read it too. Like tonight. 

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask you what you're afraid of lately. Everyone's got something their afraid of. Then I'd tell you mine. And it'd probably be TMI.

And from that scary moment on, we'd be buds. 

*This post idea is not an original one. I stole the idea from Amber at Mr. Thomas and Me. She's a sweetie. Go see her. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mo's are Moving to Austin, Texas

For those of you who have prayed for us, supported us, co-labored with us, sent us dinners, sweet desserts, gift cards, weird postcards, funny encouraging text messages and have loved us through our crazy journey I feel we have some esssplaining to do with what's going on with us and where the Mo's are headed.

Through many signs and wisdom and encouragements of great friends and mentors in our lives, God has led us to understand our time with Antioch LA has come to an end. This was a very difficult decision to make and we have been praying, fasting and seeking wisdom through it since last October. We had some real financial reasons for needing to make this decision; Symphony being born and our health insurance ending were some of the top reasons.

What God has done with us personally in these last two years has been AMAZING and I have no doubt that our sanctification and growth is why He called us out of our comfort in beautiful-land-flowing-with-wine-and-honey Temecula to smog-and-traffic-infested-sucker-of-hopes-and-dreams LA.

God showed me so much about my flesh and my own personal sinfulness, pride and arrogance and has used these hard years to begin stripping that away from me. I am seeing more clearly that God is the one who brings hope, not my gifting, not my voice or playing or song writing, not my preaching or my ability. GOD DOES THE WORK. 

Jules and I both believe these last two years were preparation for a long tenure serving God's people and building his church! So what comes next for us? After two months of sleepless nights, endless applications filled, resumes sent out, about 10 skype interviews and an airplane ride across the country, we have prayerfully decided to take a worship leading/writing/guitar playing job in Austin, Texas at an amazing church called Shoreline

I am not speaking in any hyperbole when I say that God has clearly and definitively called us to Austin to join this great staff at Shoreline and continue to bless the Church, both locally in Austin and nationally as we continue to write and record songs. 

We cannot thank ya'll (getting used to that one!) enough for all your love and support and we know that God will continue to build his church as his servants are faithful to hear his voice and follow his calling!

If you want to stay updated on Mo Life, you have three options: 
  • LIKE our Facebook page
  • Stay updated with Jules blog, as she'll be the one posting all the "girly details" of Mo Life
  • Or give us a call, providing you have our number 
With GRACE and TRUTH, 


We've moved five times in five years. And until now, we loved it. Not the actual moving part. That part stinks. But the change of scenery and new places has always excited us.

When we moved to LA in 2012, we really thought this was it. This was home. We loved the city more than we anticipated; both being from suburbia and all. But our perfect little corner apartment was our paradise for the last year and a half. (Minus the occasional cockroach sighting.)

We were happy. We were content. We were working hard. And then God moved something. My heart began to see LA as a fire in which we were about to be thrown. But not in the destructive way one might assume of a fire. Sure it's the city of broken dreams, and yes life is different here, but we fell in love with this cement jungle. This place became our refining fiery furnace.
We began to feel the permanence of our time here lifting and to be honest, we were freaking out. This is where we want to be. This is where we want to grow. These people are who we want to be our family. But God said no. Time and time again. So we prayed and fasted and looked for every reason to discount what was happening in the Mo Family. 

But it became glaringly clear that our time here was coming to an end. 

We had no idea what was next. We didn't have a "next move." But isn't that how God works sometimes? 

He asks us to step forward when we're not exactly sure where we're going. 

My mom use to say, "Honey, just do the next right thing. Even if it's putting the toothbrush back in the toothbrush holder."

One step at a time. 

We've been stepping, one step at a time, for the last three months and the path we couldn't make out amidst the deep fog, was leading us to a beautiful place called Shoreline Church in Austin, Texas. Tyson and I will both be on staff in their worship department, working with an amazing team of creatives and leadership. 

The story is one for the history books and I hope to write it someday, because trust me, it took nothing short of miraculous to get Ty to move to the country. If you've met him, you know there's nothing country about that boy. #andnowmycowboydreamscometrue 

To the friends we've made here in LA, you helped us weather the storm, even though you didn't realize the severity of it. The late night book clubs, dinner parties on our front patio, the donut and Target runs, church every week and babysitting nights, those memories have been branded into our souls. 

To the family and friends that supported us back at home, Ty said it all. You loved us through the crazy. And we love you back. Always. 

We are different people than the two wide-eyed kids who drove down Sunset Blvd two years ago. We've not yet arrived, and we don't really ever want to. Because that means we stop moving. 

And if we could sum up our time here in one sentence it'd be just that: We want to be where God wants us to be; even if it means always moving

With love,

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

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