Julie & Julia, Part I

The book: Julie & JuliaI recently read Julie Powell’s book Julie & Julia, based on Julie Powell cooking and blogging her way through Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in an endeavor Powell calls the “Julie & Julia Project.” I had the movie and felt so inspired by it that I thought the book might be even better.

However, I didn’t feel the book was as inspirational as the movie. I found Julie a little humorous, but her perspective about marriage and how to treat people, namely her husband, was disturbing.

She curses like a sailor, and for someone who isn’t at all religious, she uses the names of the godhead more than most Christians in crisis. I mean, why not simply use – yet another – curse word, rather than the name of God.

Anywho … Julie’s hung-up on the fact that she’s only been intimate with one man, her husband. And I was so ready – for her husband’s sake – for Julie to get over it. I mean they’ve been married for several years now and both seem to adore each other. At any minute, I was expecting her to have an affair or something, but she never did – at least not in this book.

All of the above often prompted me to put the book down and forget about any nugget of inspiration I’d hope to find. But, I pressed on anyway. I wanted to get some nugget of wisdom out of Julie Powell, and I believed it was in there somewhere amid the cursing, sex envy and just straight-up craziness.

Toward the end of the book, I got a glimmer of hope that I might, yet, glean something of substance from Julie Powell, and I did. Upon reflection, I realized that the project Julie had undertaken was no small feat, given that a single volume of Child’s cookbook is more than 500 pages and that Julie had a full-time dead-end job, a husband, several cats and a pet snake!

When Julie felt like quitting, her love and admiration, not only for food but, for her blog readers and her protégé Julia Child helped her to persevere. It was a lesson on tapping into one’s passion and purpose. Ultimately, Julie found joy and purpose as she pursued her passion for Child’s work in mastering French cooking. Julie also found a path for her life, along with a little confidence in herself and her abilities.

I admired Julie’s tenacity. She learned that when you do what you love, enjoy and believe in (passion and purpose), you will derive the strength and focus to work through the hard times, as she did on the “Julie & Julia Project.” Regardless of her fits of rage, she accomplished her goal and found her way.

Julie was what Bishop TJ Jakes in one of his sermons called an “anyway person.” This is someone who, regardless of the fear, pain, obstacles or other difficulty, does what he/she needs to anyway.

There are times when the stakes are high that we all need to be an anyway person. Jesus was an anyway person, and there is room for us to be anyway people, like Julie, when it comes to purpose and passion for what is good.

I will finalize my comments on the book Julie & Julia next time. Until then, say it with me “You are worthy because HE has made it so.”

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