What Are Your Deepest Prayers?

tana boys pasture

Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!

Psalm 116:2 (NLT)

Good morning!

What are your deepest prayers?

You know, the ones you yearn for deep inside of your soul…

  • healing for a loved one
  • peace in the middle of heartache
  • salvation for a family member
  • for a lost child to come home
  • for the chronic pain to stop

We all have them.  The prayers we pray from a deeper, more tender part of our souls.

As I have continued my reading in the book of Psalms, my heart aching for the realness that these scriptures bring, I read these words:

Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!  Psalm 116:2

I am so thankful we serve a God who desires to be related to as Father.  I am so thankful that he yearns to hear from us so much that he bends down to listen.  He doesn’t desire to be far from us, but close.  That’s why he calls us “child”.  (1 John 3:1)

I want to encourage you to press into your relationship with the Father and talk with him. Tell him your deepest prayers. Don’t give up on them but instead continually speak them with every breath you have. He desires to hear from you so much that he is bending down to listen. He is waiting to scoop you up, love on you, and fill you with peace beyond understanding. A peace in the waiting that only comes from Him.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

Starting the Day off Right

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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 rolled over in your pillow and thought, “ugh, it’s Monday”.  It is so easy to let our thoughts immediately focus on ourselves; our circumstances, our pain, our plans, our to-do lists, our schedule, and the list goes on.

But what if our first thoughts were on Jesus?  What if we shifted our thoughts from ourselves to Jesus?

I want to encourage you this week to start your everyday with a simple prayer.  It might sound 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 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, who He is and what He has already done, 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

What Are You Magnifying?

What are you magnifying_

For your Maker is your husband – the LORD Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.  Isaiah 54:5 NIV

Good morning!

What are you magnifying in your life?  You know…that thing you can’t stop thinking about. We can magnify the Good or we can magnify the bad…

It is easy to get swept up in our current problems and let our minds roll over and over trying to figure out an answer or make a plan as to how are going to combat it, or try to figure out how we even got here in the first place.  A few things that get magnified in our lives are

  • Health Concerns
  • Special Food Diet
  • Exposure to allergies, chemicals, and germs

But as we let our minds run wild with thoughts all we are actually doing is magnifying the challenge we face.  We take our situation and make it bigger and bigger and bigger in our minds until it becomes all consuming.

Do you have something in your mind that you are magnifying?

Is our situation bigger than our God?  The God of all the earth?  The one who laid its foundation and binds up the waters? 

Not likely.

Instead of magnifying our current situation friend, let’s magnify God.  Let’s lay down our anxiety at His feet and lift our eyes to Him. Let’s start making Jesus bigger in our days and step into the peace that comes with trusting Him in and through ALL things.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Where Do I Belong?

we belong with Jesus

Good morning!

Have you ever wondered where you belong?  Do I fit with this group or that one?

I just want to encourage you today that no matter what you belong with Jesus.  There is always room for you at his table.  He is welcoming and kind and the word tells us that His steadfast love will never depart from us.

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.  Isaiah 54:10

Friends may come and go, relationships fail sometimes, but we can stand confident that there is nothing we could ever do to make the Father not love us.  He will never leave us nor forsake us…His promises are true.

If you are wavering today, feeling unsure about where you fit in or where you belong, know you belong with Jesus.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday!Good morning!

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.  I love that saying.  When your going gets tough, what gets you going?  We all need motivation and encouragement along the way because some days the struggle is real.

So let’s share some of our favorite quotes, scriptures, songs, etc. to encourage one another!

Click to listen to my “go to” motivational song!  Anytime I need a little push this is where I start.  And I follow it up with this scripture:

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  – King David (Psalm 16:11)

When we get in His presence it is there we will find the fullness of joy, and when we find joy in Him we find our stride.

So please share what gets you going!  Let’s encourage one another today.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

Stop and Smell the Roses

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Good morning and Happy Tuesday!

It can be so hard to get back into the swing of things after a three-day weekend, can’t it?  It feels like a Monday, but actually its Tuesday and it can throw us all for a loop!  It can make us feel behind, almost anxious to “catch up” with time.

But as my husband and I sat outside on our front porch yesterday morning, coffee in hand, sunrise behind the fog as far as our eyes could see, it was nice to sit and take in a breath of fresh air.  We reflected upon the weekend of graduation parties; watching families close a chapter in their lives and begin new ones and how fast the time goes.

It struck a conversation about our own boys and truly treasuring the time that we have with them.  It is so easy to get caught up in a routine, the day in and day out responsibilities, but sometimes we just have to stop and smell the roses.

We must slow down, even though time tries to pull us forward.  This week, this month, this summer lets stop and take the time to enjoy our journey.  Time is something that we don’t get back…we must enjoy the days while we are living them.

So instead of being anxious to catch up, lets slow our stride enough to smell the roses, enjoy the sunshine, and thank the Father for providing these days.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

Spend Your Time Well

Good afternoon!

There is never substitution for time spent.  Sometimes we have a hundred other things to do…

Things we have planned in our minds.

Things we have on a list written down somewhere.

Things we have placed as priority.

But there is never a greater priority than raising the very humans God gave us.

Take your time.  Build the snowman.  Spend the time that matters.  You will be glad you did!!

Snowmen

Blessings!

The Johnstons

When Words Aren’t Enough

sunrise 2

Good morning!

I am just loving these longer days!  You?  I love that the sun rises early and floods the earth with its presence.  As I stand out admiring the view of colors there is a peace that comes.  A unique stillness so inviting to praise Him in the moment.

I continue to water the flowers as my heart searches for words.  But sometimes words just don’t seem like they are enough.  They don’t quite seem to express my gratitude for all He has done.  I smile as the words of David come to my mind:

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.  Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.  Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.  Psalm 145:1-3

Wherever you are today, stop and take a moment to praise Him.  He is so worthy of our praise.  And if you can’t seem to find the words…don’t worry, He knows what’s in your heart.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Staying Pliable

Chase and Tanna tree3

Good afternoon!

I spoke to a group of girls at a rodeo bible camp a few years back about being “pliable”.  (easily bent or flexible; yielding, adaptable, adjusting readily to change) At that point it was a new thing for me.  I was pretty set in my ways… I had done things the same way for so long and I knew the formula worked. When I met my husband he did things different then I did and he was always “suggesting” I try it his way.  But I didn’t want to try it his way…when I knew my way worked.

I had been having some trouble with my roping for some time and he was making all these suggestions; try a different bit, get up more over the front of my horse, my first swing needed more tip (pointing down) and so on.  But I wasn’t willing to try those things.  I mean after all, I had won a World Championship doing it my way.  (no pride there! ha!) And I knew my way would work.  However, it wasn’t working.

Anyone else set in their ways? Have you been doing things the same way for so long that the thought of change seems impossible?  I was completely there.  I had been roping for over 20 years…change at this point?  No way I thought.

But wow did God have a big lesson for me!  When we get so set in doing things a certain way we miss what He wants to do in us and through us.  I was so quick to shut out other’s suggestions (especially my husbands who had also roped for over 20 years) or input to change…when change was exactly what God had in mind for me.

How can we be so set in our ways yet attentive to the Holy Spirit?  When we say yes to the Father we are filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and we get to choose whether we are going to do things the same way we have been doing them OR we get to listen to the Spirit of God living on the inside of us.

I was so stuck in doing things my own way I wasn’t attuned to what God was trying to do in and through me.  I was basically saying, “no thanks Lord, I will keep doing things my way”.  Have you ever said no thanks?  Unwilling to change or try something new, something that God was prompting you to?

God has so many good things for us…His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8) and when we are attentive to the Holy Spirit we can reach out and help whom God asks us to help, we can extend grace when grace is needed, and we can help the ones God has intended for us to help.  We can do the work that God has planned for us to do.  When we are fixed in doing things our way, we might miss the very thing He has for us today.

It was a hard lesson for me to learn…and I am still learning what exactly it means to be pliable to the Holy Spirit every single day.  To wake up with an open mind and an open heart to what He has and not just what I have planned.  His plans rarely look like our plans.

The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.  Isaiah 14:24 NIV

We want to encourage you to yield to the Holy Spirit working on the inside of you.  Stay pliable to His voice, His ways, His words and live open-handed.  We never know who or how or where we can be used by Him.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

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