Meet Julie Henry… As children in Champaign go back to school today, we honor teacher extraordinaire, Julie Henry.
1. What are you grateful for today?
I’m grateful for God’s faithfulness. I’ve been praying for 4 years, since my oldest son was born, for more time at home. I never imagined that I’d be able to work part time. This year I’ll be able to teach a few days a week and stay at home with my 3 boys a few days a week; two jobs that give me a great sense of purpose. I know the part time work is going to help me be a more focused mother and teacher. God was faithful to provide the just right situation. The icing on the cake is that I’m sharing the classroom with my dear friend Tiffany.
2. Tell us about one of your friends and what you love about her.
There is so much to love about my friend Cristy. We became instant friends when she moved into the neighborhood the summer of my third grade year. My favorite quality about her is her loyalty. From standing up to the neighborhood boys bravely during an acorn fight, to sticking by my side during my not so morally sound college years, she can always be counted on. I couldn’t imagine doing life without her.
3. Describe one of the best days of your life.
I read this question aloud to my husband and said, “That’s really hard to choose just one.” He smirked and pointed at himself. I’m not sure that I could pin point one day together as the best day of my life, but I do know that my life is the best it can be with him in it. I love my hubby more than words can express, I still have that ‘butterflies in my stomach’ feeling over him. Our proposal story is pretty funny. We bought a house together before we were married. I was staying with his parents, sort of. (That’s a different story for a different day) The jewelry store, where he purchased my ring, accidentally sent him a post card in the mail generically thanking him for his business. I happened to get the mail that day. He knew I saw the post card. It was close to my birthday and he’d planned to propose on that day. Once it was known that I saw the post card, he got anxious. We had been watching TV in the living room. I was in pajamas and he was in boxer shorts and a dingy t-shirt. There was definitely zit cream on one, or both, of our faces. He stepped out of the room and came back in nervously. The next thing I knew he was awkwardly holding the box in front of me and asking me to marry him. I said yes, of course. Some women have proposal stories of well thought out scavenger hunts, moonlit nights on the beach, fancy dinners, mine involves zit cream and boxer shorts. I love it. That’s us and our love; real and no frills. So, I guess I can say that proposal day was the first day of the best days of my life.
4. What’s the best lesson you learned from your mother/grandmother?
My grandma is a living example of contentment. She is fulfilled by the simple things in life. She and my grandpa have lived in the same home for over 60 years. They find pleasure in gardening and quilting together. Their greatest joy is getting together with their family. I’ve never heard complain material possessions or speak out of a place of want for what she doesn’t have.
5. We’re all unique. What is your special gift?
I’m a talker. Its a blessing and sometimes, to those close to me, a curse. I love people. I love learning about them. I can talk to anyone. Whether it’s the cashier at Target, the new to town t-ball mom, or my Grandma’s elderly neighbor, I can strike up conversation and have a gist of their life story in a matter of minutes.
6. What could women be doing to make their community a better place?
Something that I think all women could and should be doing in their relationships is being real. Every woman loves knowing that another woman can relate to them. When we’re real about our lives, the ups and downs, it draws us closer to one another. Women that are comfortable with one another can unite and make changes in their communities.
7. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I would tell a complaining, overbearing parent of a student how I really feel. (Did I really just say that?!? Yikes!)