Julia Penner-Zook: writer, translator, teacher, speaker, christian, activist and advocate, thinker, communicator, friend, mentor, wife, mother, grandmother, matriarch, sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter.
Julia grew up in rural Canada, 4th daughter in a family of 4. Over several decades she has called 3 countries home: Canada, where she grew up, the USA, where her husband holds citizenship and Germany, where they lived with their family for 10 years. If one would call Quebec, Canada and Bavaria, Germany separate “countries” – which their comparable exclusivist mentalities might suggest – then she has lived in FIVE countries!
Throughout the years Julia has become mother to a daughter and a son and “Meme” to 3 granddaughters and 2 grandsons. She has earned a Master’s degree, has written for a number of church publications, led seminars, retreats and leadership trainings and has worked in the social services sector.
There are things you may not know about Julia, even if you know her WELL:
* There was a time she could “pack away” a lot of food for her petite 5 foot 3 inch frame.
*She was 30 years old and had two young children when she started studying for her Master’s Degree.
* Julia has always wanted to learn French and Italian.
* Her dream vacation would be a week on a secluded Italian vineyard / bed and breakfast where she can read, run, enjoy sun, sip wine, eat great Italian food, listen to opera and write. And speak Italian with people she meets.
* Julia has always wanted to paint (not a room or a baseboard either!)
* Since the early 90′s she’s had a heart for Africa – especially for places where women and children are experiencing intense violence and injustice (which is many places). She firmly intends to make several trips to Africa in the coming years.
* Her passion is either contagious or alienating! She has been called both “angry” and “shrill” by some and “inspiring” and “encouraging” by others. You decide!
* Julia has written volumes – in journal form, that is. There are several books that will come out of that trove, and when that happens the many, annoying boxes can be eliminated from storage!
* Beneath the surface she dreamed of art, languages, speaking to large audiences, teaching and writing.
* Julia pays tribute to her High School English teacher, Mrs. Tina Kehler, who nurtured the dream to be more, think bigger, do something, rise higher.
* Flavor? It’s gotta be lemon!
* Julia has come to realize that one is never too young, too old, too naïve, too broken, too broke, too unqualified or unlikely, too weak, or too scared to tackle what one REALLY knows needs to be done. Well, in some dark nights at 4am, she sometimes still questions that.
* She didn’t learn to ride a bike until she was in her early 20′s.
* People talk to Julia, whether it’s in airports, in classrooms, at church, in a restaurant, on the phone or out on a street. She maintains there’s nothing really to that; all she does is take time to listen.
* Julia has the same fears many people have:
Will I make a difference?
How do I deal with all I’ve experienced?
But I don’t have the right credentials.
Her attitude at this point: just roll up your sleeves and do what ya gotta do, even if it at first seems impossible.
There’s a whole lot more, but Julia’s voice, experiences and insights will join yours and find expression in the stories and insights she shares in these pages.