Monday Morning Hangover

Good afternoon!

Did anyone else experience the Monday morning hangover affect this morning from Mother’s Day?  I totally had this attitude and thought process of “I don’t have to do that today” yesterday and I did thoroughly enjoy the day with my family.

However, at 9:00 PM last night I found myself doing the boys laundry because if I didn’t, they weren’t going to have clothes to wear to preschool today.  A day off! Ha!!  Mothering never takes a day off.

But you know what else I discovered as I was switching their laundry loads last night?  That I’m grateful I get to do their laundry.  I’m grateful that I get to be their mom.  I’m grateful that they both had their favorite clothes to get dressed in this morning for school.

Because those smiles…the ones I got this morning when they slipped on their favorite shorts were priceless as they set out for their day.  Mothering can be exhausting, overwhelming, never-ending, demanding, and all sorts of things.  But it is also so rewarding, so fulfilling, and so incredible.

What priceless moments did you experience from your Mother’s Day celebrations?

Blessings!

The Johnstons

Kicking Doubt to the Curb

Greetings!

After truly identifying where doubt comes from, the serpent, we are in a better position to combat it.  So how do we truly leave doubt behind and move forward in confidence with what God has spoken to us?

I have been pondering this quite a bit over the past few days as my husband and I have been walking through a situation that has not at all gone the way we had thought it would.  We were so confident in our decisions and just knew things would go the way we had planned.  And when they haven’t, we have been left with quite a few questions in our minds.

  • Did we move on something we thought God intended but maybe he didn’t?
  • Why didn’t this work out like we anticipated?
  • Where did we go wrong?
  • Now what?

Doubt.  All these questions allow doubt to creep into our minds and settle in our souls, if we let them.  Doubt can only have as much control in us as we allow it to.  So we are going to decide to combat it with faith.  Faith in a good God who keeps his promises.  Which is why we must combat doubt with the very Word of God.

When we begin to have questions about where God is in our situation, the best remedy is to open our bibles, spend time in the Word and spend time with the Father.  Lean in to who He is and what he says about us and speaks over our lives that is unchanging.  Cling to His promises and His truth.  When we do this, it restores our faith and it changes our focus from our situation to Him.  It brings back our confidence in Him and it will kick our doubts to the curb.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

A Look Ahead

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Good morning!

As we move into the New Year there is a lot of talk and thought about where we have been and where we are going; which direction we are moving in this life.  Some people set goals, some resolutions, but regardless of what we call them most of us are looking to make some changes.  Some of the most popular changes include finances, nutrition, and getting a workout routine.  But what if we dared to go deeper with our changes…to commit to working on the inside of us and not just the outside?

What would happen if we would each take steps to mending some of the hurt we carry, the pain we harbor, the bitterness that eats at us?  What if we would take steps to clean up our souls and inject God’s word into our hearts?  What if we would start to replace all the “stuff” we carry around with love, joy and peace?  Think of what could happen if we all started operating out of His love instead of our pain.

Commit everything you do to the LORD.  Trust him, and he will help you.  Psalm 37:5 (NLT)

Change is hard and there is no easy way to it.  But if we will commit our ways to Jesus, and make His ways our ways, freedom is in our future.  Freedom from all the “stuff” that holds us back.  …in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37) 

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

 

Happy New Year’s

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Happy New Year’s!

As the new year rolls over we like to take some time to reflect.  To reflect on where we have been, how we have been and then look forward to where we are heading…this journey that we are on.  Time seems to go by so fast these days.  If we don’t grab hold of it, it seems to just take us over.

Being intentional.  This is something that God has spoken over and over to my heart for our family; to be intentional with our time, our love, our desires, our gifts.  We want to do this life on purpose for a purpose.

Jesus had purpose.  He came down from heaven to dwell on this earth intentionally to love us on purpose.  Jesus did everything the Father asked him to do while he was here and nothing more.  He lived intentionally.

So here is to 2019!  To living more intentionally, more on purpose for His purpose.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

Rooted In Love

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“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear  fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-9

Greetings!

We hope that each one of you had a Merry Christmas and were overwhelmed with His presence and His love.

As Chase and I sank into our couch Christmas night after we had put our tired boys to bed we spent some time reflecting on the past few weeks and what it has meant for our family to press into the love of our Father each day.  We are so grateful for the Christmas season and the birth of our Savior and what it means to say “love came down”.  Spending 25 days digging into the love that Jesus came down to give us has opened our eyes and our hearts wide open.

It is really easy to get up in the morning and think immediately of our to-do list.  Our focus is on work, chores, kids, school, etc.  But when we can shift our focus from the daily tasks and all the world uses to distract us and let the love that we have received from Him be bigger than all those things, something inside of us begins to change.  When we begin to grow in understanding of how truly loved we are we can begin to root our identity there.

And when we begin to root our identity in Jesus we will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream… we won’t have to fear when the heat comes nor worry of the drought.  We can have confidence because we trust in Him.  And as we trust Him, we can let His stream of love continue to water us everyday.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

Day 25: Love Has Come

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  1 John 4:14

Merry Christmas!

Our prayer for you this Christmas day is that you have opened up your hearts to the One who came to be the Savior of the world.  That you let His never-ending, unconditional, relentless love invade your every fiber as you celebrate today.

Father, thank you for the perfect gift of your Son.  Thank you that you sent Jesus down to earth to dwell among us and to teach us and to ultimately take our sins upon himself.  He is the ultimate gift, the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate love and we are forever grateful.

In Jesus Name, Amen

Blessings to you and your families this Christmas,

The Johnston’s

Day 24: A Child Is Born

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas Eve!

As we are all in with the travel, the family, the friends and the memory making over the next couple of days may we remember that the best gift has already been given.  For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given.  Have we truly received this gift that has already been given?  This gift of perfect love.

This gift of love that was sent to be our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, our Prince of Peace.  Jesus can come into our hearts and meet every single need that we have.  He is our everything and he gave everything of himself for us.  For each one of us.

As we sit amongst family and friends over the next couple of days, is it possible to show them this gift of love?  How can we give them a piece of this perfect gift?  We can love each of them right where they are, exactly how they are.  And maybe by giving the gift of love they will see a little bit of Him this Christmas.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

Day 23: God With Us

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“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”  Matthew 1:23

Greetings!

It is almost here!  Just two more days.  Are we ready?  When we think about being ready we tend to think about things like are all the presents wrapped?  The groceries bought?  The meal prepped and the stockings hung.  But more importantly than all of these things we need to ask ourselves, “is my heart ready?”  Because honestly…the rest of it doesn’t really matter if our hearts aren’t ready.

Our pastor said at church the other day that the 25th will come and go just like any other day, but for Christmas to really come we must open up our hearts.  See Christmas isn’t just about a day, it’s not just about the gifts, it’s not just about the food and the goodies.  It is about a promise.  The promise of the gift is love…Love with us, God with us.

A God who never leaves us but came to be with us forever; to walk with us, to help us, to love us, to save us. We are never alone because of the promise of Immanuel…God with us.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

Day 22: Do Not Be Afraid

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-32

Greetings!

How often do we feel totally unprepared when life happens not as we have expected?  We tend to carry this picture in our minds of what life looks like and where we are headed.  But when the unexpected happens how do we respond?

I cannot imagine being in Mary’s shoes that day.  Just a young teenage girl, a virgin, unmarried but pledged to be married to a man named Joseph – a descendant of David.  When the angel appeared to Mary the scriptures tell us she was “greatly troubled” at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  (Luke 1:29)  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid”.  I have often wondered if the angel started with that phrase because the look on Mary’s face must have been terrifying!  I know mine would have been!  But he goes on to tell her she will give birth to a son and she is to call him Jesus.  He will be great and called the Son of the Most High.

Mary responds down a few verses later by saying, “I am the Lords servant.  May it be to me as you have said.”  (verse 38)

When we are faced with the unexpected do we respond as Mary did with a willing heart to God’s call?  I know at times I been scared, fearful of the unknown and it has held me back from the call of God.  I believe that Mary felt fear, but it didn’t stop her from walking bravely and confidently in what God had spoken over her life.

Let’s be brave, confident and willing to step into the call God has for us, even if we do it afraid.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

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