Battling Our Emotions

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Good morning!

I wrote a couple days ago about how draining our emotions can be.  God has shown me over the course of this week that the roller coaster ride of emotions that comes is usually when life doesn’t look like I want it to… Ouch.

What about you?  When do your emotions seem to take you on a roller coaster ride?

I believe that our emotions can just flat wear us down over time.  It usually happens when we stand firm week in and week out, believing in the good of all the mess going on around us and then when we can’t actually SEE the good, our emotions take off.

So, what do WE DO when our emotions rage?  That is what I have really searched out this week.  I don’t want to live by my emotions but I also don’t want to slap a smile on my face and fake it.  There is nothing real or genuine about that.  So here are a few actions that I believe we can take to reset.

  • Resubmit ourselves to God’s will.  When we actually take the time to be still and hear from God, yield to His plan over our lives, and recognize Him as the Mighty Counselor, we can relinquish our need to be in control.
  • Pray for an undivided heart.  When we declare God’s truth from His word over our lives, He will realign our hearts to match His.  There is no better place to go when we get frustrated then to God Himself.
  • Look for the goodness of God all around.  When we choose to only see the negative going on, that is all we see.  And then it becomes manifested in our sight.  We must CHOOSE to see the good things that the Father has graciously provided all around us.

There is no one closer to our emotions, our tears, our frustrations than God himself.  He is right where we are.  Meeting us there in the middle of our roller coaster ride, reaching out His hand, offering to help us off.  Even though the mess might not change right away, we can accept His help and choose to move forward in His grace.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Emotions Are Draining

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Good morning!

Anyone else get tired of riding the waves of their emotions?

I know I sure do. Even though my feet are planted firmly on the Rock my emotions seem like they are on a roller coaster ride sometimes.  One that goes up and down and all around and I’m not sure where to get off at.

Anyone else feel that sometimes?  Like you stand firm, stand firm, stand firm, and then whoosh!  Here they all come at once.  I am so glad that we don’t have to live by our emotions.  We must choose to stand on the truth and not let all the emotions we’ve built up on the inside scoop us up and take us on that ride.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not really into roller coaster rides anyway.

As I was doing some studying this morning and looking back over some verses I have written out (my go-to scripture cards) I read Isaiah 30:21:

“Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.”

When our emotions run away with us we don’t have to let our feet go with them.  We can stand firmly on the truth that comes from God’s word even though our emotions rage within us.  The more I read, the more my perspective started to shift from myself and the circumstances surrounding…to Him.

His Word brings us hope, brings us joy, brings us truth in the midst of whatever it is we are walking through.  And maybe more importantly it keeps our focus on Him.  And when we focus on Him, there is nothing we can’t handle.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

The Best You

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Good morning!

What does it take to be the best version of you today?  If you were going to pick 3-5 things that really start your day off right, what would they be?

For me I would say:

  1. time with Jesus
  2. a good cup of coffee (and by good I mean bold, dark coffee)
  3. Snuggles with my boys
  4. A smile from my hubby – you know the kind that still makes you light up inside
  5. A good workout to really get my blood going

I feel like on the days that I do get these things I can rock anything that comes my way.  I have also realized in this journey that these are the things that fill me up and make me full.

I used to think that I needed fancy coffee, only the kind you can get at the coffee shop in town…which I hardly ever got because I was in the thick of being a stay at home mom.  And I wouldn’t have noticed if my hubby smiled at me or not because I was too tired to notice as two little boys climbed all over my lap.  And a good workout… that meant going to the gym or going somewhere by myself where I could choose my running path and have the freedom to run as far as I wanted.

Today after I dropped the boys off at preschool, I came home to run around the dirt circle drive of my home and do the cross training exercises scheduled for today.  I am enjoying a nice cup of bold, dark coffee brewed straight out of my coffee pot and headed out to my porch to open my bible and spend some quality time with Him.  Oh, and I did get my snuggles in this morning too!

My point?  Don’t miss out on where you are just because it doesn’t look like you thought it might. Or maybe it doesn’t look at all like you want it to. Either way, embrace where you are today and keep moving forward.  One day at a time.

So what’s it take to be the best version of you today?!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

Continue the Celebration

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Good evening!

Easter has come and gone for another year…the celebration of our Savior’s sacrifice and then the resurrection that brought us victory and gives us the opportunity to live free.  It is absolutely breathtaking; the beauty of a love so deep, so real.

So how do we continue the celebration?  Keep the joy we felt in our hearts yesterday as we stood and sang out in worship?  Keep the smiles and the glow on our faces as we slip back into the “normality” of another week?  How do we continue to walk in the victory that He died and rose again to give us?

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  Luke 9:23-24

What does it look like to take up our cross daily?  What does that truly mean?

I believe it starts with spending time with Him and being determined to live life full no matter what is going on around us.  Living this life as full of Him as we possibly can.

  • full of His peace
  • full of His grace
  • full of His forgiveness
  • full of His love

Full of Him pouring into us so that we can pour out to others.

And we follow up with surrender.  Every single day we surrender to His will over our own, even when we don’t understand. Because truly in our hearts we must have a perspective change to – His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.  (Isaiah 55:9) – if we are every going to actually experience victory in the midst of what we are walking through.  

It is a perspective shift that we already have victory today because of what Jesus has done.  Not because of anything we have done, but because of what He already did.  And that my friends, is something to celebrate!!  Every single day!

What does it mean to you to take up your cross daily?  We would love to hear from you!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

Live Life Full

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Good morning!

Easter is always a humbling experience…it can work in our hearts to align them with a love that is unimaginable.  It is out of this love and Jesus’s experience on the cross that we are able to receive freedom in this life.  What Jesus did for us,  how He loves us, and the ultimate sacrifice He gave for us is what brings us hope every single day.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

It is this hope in Him that brings freedom.  Freedom to live life full…

  • Full of the Holy Spirit
  • Full of love
  • Full of forgiveness
  • Full of grace
  • Full of purpose
  • Full of joy
  • Full of peace
  • Full of anticipation as we wait for Him

Let’s use this Holy Week to remind us of what Jesus did for us so that we can live life full.  Full of Him.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

The Comparison Game

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Good morning!

Fighting the comparison game.  I believe it is one of the hardest battles we fight every single day.  And it is so easy with social media at our fingertips to look across the screen and see someone else living the life we wished we were living.

The thing is though…God gave us this one.  He gave us this life, this assignment, these children, this spouse, this home, etc., specifically at this time.  Now that being said, he also gave us the freedom of choice.  And those choices have influenced where we are on our journey.  But, are we looking to the Father to lead us down our path, the one He has for us?  Or are we looking across the screen and wanting to follow the ways of what we see?

I have learned over the years that comparing our lives with others only leads to disappointment, doubt, and feeling like we are failing when actually we aren’t!  Here are  a few things I have found that helps fight against the comparison game:

  1. Limit your screen time.  It is great to scroll through our news feed, see pictures of what friends and family are up to, but keep it at that.  It is information to view and process, not receive and input.
  2. Be present in your own life!  I get that some days are long and sometimes you just want to check out for a few minutes.  But being present where we are and in our current assignment is huge.
  3. Know where God has you.  It is so important to be in constant communication with the Father and know where He has you and why.  When we look up to Him instead of out at everyone else we have peace with where we are because we know it comes from Him.  It is when we begin to look out around us instead of up that we become discontent or agitated in our assignment.
  4. Stay in the Word.  When we grow in our relationship with the Father we see ourselves in a whole new way.  When we know who we are through His eyes there is no longer any need to be discontent.  He loves us perfectly and wholly exactly where we are, not because of what we are doing.  When we stay in constant communication with him, He will lead the way.

So, let’s live fully!  Fully right where we are, not where someone else is, and trust Him with the process.  Our journey is going to be uniquely designed by the One true author.  And most likely it isn’t going to look exactly like anyone else’s…and that’s what makes it special.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

Where Our Help Comes From

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Happy Monday!

As we kick-start our week I felt encouraged to share with you where our help comes from.  As I spent some quiet time with the Father this weekend and prayed about the upcoming doctor appointment (today) for our son I was greatly encouraged by the scriptures in Psalm 121.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? 

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 

He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; 

indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 

The LORD watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 

the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 

The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; 

the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. 

So as we start into this week and face whatever it brings, lets pick our heads up and lift our eyes to the One who provides our help.  He’s got us!

Blessings!

The Johnstons

Declaring Truth

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Have you let the heaviness of your current circumstances weigh you down?

I’m here to tell you it can happen before we know it.  And don’t worry…you’re not alone.  This world can be brutal and unless we chase after the truth, the lies will consume us.

As I sat down at my kitchen table a couple of days ago I could feel my stress level rising as the weight of anxiety was creeping in.  Our son that was in the hospital a few weeks ago has been sick again this past week with something viral.  As I got him out of the bath that afternoon I could see the rash spreading all over his belly and creeping up his chest.  Seriously? I thought to myself.

I sat down at our kitchen table, opened my journal, and wrote across my page:

If I didn’t hold on to Jesus so tightly I might just fall apart. 

And I began writing the truths I needed to hear…

  • I believe His promises
  • I believe He is good
  • I believe He works all things together for good
  • I believe His ways are higher than my ways
  • I believe He goes before me and behind me

Declaring Truth

Sometimes we just need to declare out loud His truths over our own lives.  We need to be bold even when it is just to remind ourselves of the very truths we believe in.

As I sat there, trying to process all my emotions and give my anxiety to the Father I wrote one more statement in my journal:

Even though it doesn’t look like I want it to…maybe it looks just as it should.

As I lay my head in my hands and began to pray I felt Him asking me to yield my frustration, yield my control, and to trust Him.  Trust Him with my child’s health.  Because after all, they were His children first.

What has you all tied up in knots?  There is no better way to untie them then to declare His truths over and over until we feel the release of His power in our hearts.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

The Power of Our Thoughts

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Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.  Philippians 4:8 NIV

Good morning!

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?  Today you might have immediately rolled over in your pillow and thought, “ugh, its Monday”, and all that comes with starting a new week.  It is so easy to let our thoughts immediately focus on ourselves, our lives, our jobs, our plans…

But what if our first thoughts were on Him?  What if we shifted our focus from ourselves: our day, our plans, our job, etc. to Jesus…

I want to encourage you this week to start your everyday with a simple prayer.  It might look something like this:

Father, thank you for today.  Thank you for walking ahead of me and behind.  Thank you for surrounding me with your love.  Father help guide me today in your wisdom and your strength.  Help me to keep my eyes on you and follow hard after you.  In Jesus Name, Amen

I believe that if we start each day by focusing on Jesus we will start to see change in our perspectives, change in our attitudes, change in our hearts and change in our thoughts…all for the better!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

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