On October 15, 1978, at 9:18 on a Sunday morning, our baby girl, Julie Rose, was born weighing 6 lbs. and 14 oz. That healthy weight was significant because when I was only 6 months pregnant, her delivery appeared imminent so I was put on bed rest. At 8 months, I spent the weekend in the hospital on an IV drip trying to prevent early delivery. With the prayers of MANY, she held on a little longer and finally arrived only 2 weeks before her due date. Our entire church and family breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Julie came home to a sister who was about to turn 5 and a brother who was only 19 months older and still in diapers. She thrived with 4 people quick to respond to every utter or grunt. It’s a wonder she ever started talking since she had people who could anticipate her every need or desire.
She was pleasant, easy-going and healthy, and from the time she was first aware of the outside world, she LOVED BABIES.
If we looked around at church and noticed she wasn’t beside us, we knew to head to the church nursery where she and her friend Liz Ann went to “look at the babies.” When she was in early elementary school, her teachers remarked that she held the dolls in the home living section of their classrooms like real babies. When anyone asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would say, “A momma,” but if she HAD to have a job, she wanted to be “the one who held the babies up for everyone to see in the hospital nursery.”
When the emcee was introducing her when she walked out during the Freshman Beauty pageant at Hartselle High School in the spring of 1994, he said, “When Julie was asked to name her most treasured possession, she said, ‘Her Bible.'” The entire auditorium was hushed. She won.
Julie is strong. Some life circumstances have tried their best to weaken her and knock her off her feet, but she has prevailed. During the 4 years Steve and I were in Ecuador, Julie was a single mom with a young daughter, working for a government contractor on Redstone Arsenal. Not only did she raise her daughter and pay all her own bills, she also earned a master’s degree in logistics in her “spare time.”
How precious it is to MY Momma heart to see her now living her true dream. She is Momma to Allie, a high school senior, all the way down to 1-year-old Enoch, with 6 beautiful children in between: Margaret, Penelope, Rosemary, Samuel, Bethany and Silas. Yes, that makes EIGHT. She homeschools most of them while teaching them to raise vegetables and feed the animals on the 30-acre farm she and her husband Brian own.
She has a natural gift for hospitality and doesn’t even flinch when she hears that 30 or more will be driving in for supper. Her chili brings them in every time.
Julie epitomizes the woman described in Proverbs 31:25-31.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Steve and I are so very proud of her.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JULIE ROSE PEARSON RODGERS! We love you!!