Meet Julie Barnhill

I’m so glad you found your way here. If we were meeting at my house, I’d serve up some hearty Midwest fare with a dessert side of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, click the Keurig (do you prefer coffee or tea?), and then sit and talk as we learn a bit more about one other.

For now, many of those details can be read on my “official” bio page here. Fact of the matter is, I’m a woman whose cheese has fallen off her cracker more than a few times—you can read more about that, here. Several years ago, I had come undone. Someone I loved was spiraling out-of-control in a direction that I desperately wanted to stop, but couldn’t (can we ever?). Dreams, big fat Professional dreams, had shattered one after another while our nation’s second worst economic implosion obliterated professional and personal resources.

Sigh. It was a humdinger of a year to say the least. Yet, in the middle of it all, a bartered “Will Speak for Use of Beach Condo” engagement brought me to the Floridian shores’ of Sanibel and Captiva Island. Unbeknownst to me, 2009 set in motion deeply restorative elements of experience which ultimately led to my creation of Solace Gathering.

Any one who knows me or has interacted with me to one degree or another knows of my love for teaching and encouraging women through lots of humor, laughter, and the magnificent Word of God. In all the details of my life, I’ve only wanted to to speak, to minister, and to be the kind of a woman who makes Him known. I’ve had also a strong affinity (God designed, no doubt) for sunshine and the deep healing power found in and through time by an ocean. It is there I sense His presence, power, and the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. It is there I find Him at work and desire nothing more than to join him–and to bring others.

You see, I believe what brings vitality! zest! and deep abiding peace to a woman’s body, heart, and soul, requires more than reading the latest “must read” book, or hearing a keynote message at a women’s conference, or digesting teaching contained in a thoughtful workshop, or attending a counseling session; or doing devotions without fail while keeping up with the latest faith-inspired blogger or Instagramer.

I believe God uses the “shut-my-mouth” beauty, sights and sounds of the ocean tides, sunrise and sunset, early morning caws of birds, and shells intricately designed, to speak to a woman’s soul.

I believe just as salt water is used for medicinal purposes, such water is used by God to bring wholeness and wellness to infected places of our life which we ourselves are often unable to identify.

And this is what I long to bring to you sweet friend. A compilation of things which saw me through hard places and brought my body, mind, and soul, immeasurable delight: sunshine; salty gulf coast water; Living Water—Jesus; soul care; intimate friendship, spiritual direction, and lots and lots and lots of shelling. Shelling? Yes, sea shelling. (Trust me on this, after our time together you’re going to spot a Flat or Tulip with the best of them.)