Abounding in Love and Faithfulness

Psalm 86 15

Abounding – existing in or providing a great or plentiful quantity or supply (definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary)

Good morning!

I love this word… especially when it is used to express the Father’s love and faithfulness.  It is great.  It is plentiful.  It never runs out and never gives up.  It is abundant.

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  Psalm 86:15

I just want to encourage you today that no matter where you have been or where you are, you belong with Jesus!  His love is big enough to handle anything that you have walked through.  His love is abundant and never-ending.  And it’s there just for you and just for me.

This is the love that I want to tap into more…what about you?

The Johnstons

 

His Power is Made Perfect in Weakness

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Good morning,

We like to be tough, don’t we?  Afraid of showing weakness, we tend to push through the hard spots in our lives, head down and feet continually going.

I can do this to a fault sometimes.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time to push through, to be strong, to hunker in.  But to be honest, I’m not strong enough for all that life has thrown at us lately.  I’m tired.  I’m weak.  And mostly I’m sad.

Those can be such scary words to say out-loud, or even to myself.  But they are true for this season.

I have always taken pride in being strong, being firm, being able to “take it”; that is all that life throws my way.  I’m definitely not one to “boast gladly about my weaknesses”.

But the Father has really laid it on my heart over the past few weeks that it is okay to be sad.  It is truly okay to feel the pain that sometimes life carries.  For it is through this pain that I have leaned more heavily upon Him.

psalm 18 2

I am starting to realize that it isn’t so much about me being strong, but about Him being strong in me.   When I fall apart, He is the glue that holds me together.  He is able to calm my soul in the storm and be my stronghold when everything around me is spinning out of control.

I’m learning it is okay to take refuge in my God and to just be still.  To let Him be my shield in a world that is uncertain, unfair, and uncontrollable.

So instead of always being strong, I’m going to take a step back and let His power rest on me.  I’m going to let His strength be shown in my weakness.

What about you?  Where can you allow God to be strong in your life?

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

May We Never Forget

Deuteronomy 20 4

Good morning!

As I was reading along in Deuteronomy (one of my favorites) this morning Moses was telling the Israelite people once again to “not be afraid, the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, is with you!” (Deuteronomy 20:1)  He goes on saying “Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them (their enemies).  For the LORD your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!” (Deuteronomy 20:3-4)

Let’s not forget who goes with us into battle.  Whether you are battling an illness, a job, a relationship, your future, money issues, or whatever it might be – do not lose heart, or panic or tremble.  God is helping you fight your battles today!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Give Thanks Always

Thankful Thursday!!

Good morning!

What a week it has been!  Since last Thursday it has been a roller coaster ride around our house.  I got super sick with a sore throat and body ache thing and had to cancel a family trip, we have had a family member in the hospital for an unexpected surgery, a scare with my old man Mr. Bud (my horse since I was 8 and lifelong companion), and some family turmoil with jobs, etc.

To say it has been a week is an understatement!  But this is what I know…

We don’t just practice thankfulness in the good times, but also in times of trial.  Because when we look closely, we can see God’s hand in everything.

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

I am grateful this week for:

  • an unexpected accident that led to a huge blessing in the health of my father-in-law
  • God’s hand at work in ALL things
  • a new diet plan for my old man to aid in his nutrition
  • a husband who always steps in and provides support when I tend to want to fall apart
  • the power of prayer

It’s easy to praise God when everything is going great and going as planned, but I believe it is during the difficult times that the Father invites us to trust him more and to draw close.

What are you thankful for this week?

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Our Necessary Quiet Retreat

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You are my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.

Psalm 119:114 MSG

Good morning!

In a world full of distraction where do we go for a quiet retreat?

As a mom to young children it seems like every direction I turn there is something calling out to me; piles of toys, dirty dishes, spilled milk, laundry baskets overflowing just to name a few.  It’s even hard to go to the bathroom by myself, with calls of “mom!!” coming through the door.

Some days our assignments are overwhelming.

Some days our jobs are hard.

Some days it feels like we are regressing and not gaining.

Some days we struggle for air as we can’t seem to look up over the mess of it all.

But throughout this journey I have learned that as I press into Jesus, He brings my quiet retreat.  It doesn’t mean that we have to follow a set of “rules” or wake up before our children to get our bible read.

It is in the freedom of relationship with the Father that we find our quiet…

It is when we call out to Him in the middle of the mess, in the middle of the dishes, in the middle of the laundry stacked high and the never-ending clean up.  It is when we open up our hearts, our lives, and let Him be in the center of it all.

He alone will bring us quiet retreat…and He alone will renew our strength.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

An Absolute Masterpiece

You are God's masterpiece

Good morning!

“Nothing short of an absolute masterpiece…” I thought to myself as I looked out over this body of water and gazed at the mountains before me.  “But that’s what you do Father, you make masterpieces.”

It’s so hard to feel like a masterpiece isn’t it?  This world tends to make us feel like we aren’t measuring up to its standards… But who set those standards anyways?

When we dive into God’s Word it tells us in Ephesians that we are God’s masterpiece, His workmanship, created anew (new or different in a positive way) in Christ Jesus.

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As we enter into relationship with the Father, giving him our heart, we are no longer bound by our sin, our mistakes, our past, our “old self”; but created new through the blood of Jesus to do the good things the Father planned for us in advance to do.

We don’t have to run the race of this world, be good enough, or measure up to its standards in order to feel like we are complete.  We just need to press into our relationship with the Father and follow His lead.

God is making us a masterpiece…day by day as we yield to his ways, his words, his teaching.  We can walk in confidence today knowing that we are His masterpiece.

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

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

 

Finally Friday!

Boys tree

Good morning!

It’s finally Friday!! I don’t know about y’all, but this week.  Shew!  Coming off of Mother’s Day and celebrating all the gifts that encompass being a mom had me on this high, so to speak.  And then this week has just been one of those weeks.  One of those parenting weeks that has just been hard. You know the ones, when your children seem to fight and whine more than play and enjoy? And I felt my mood slipping from joyful to cranky in a hurry.

By Tuesday I felt like the week had already run me over already and I was desperately clinging to any strings left of my patience.  (Which, by the way, I didn’t get a hold of)

As I sat this morning in some time of prayer I read these verses out of Psalm

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant… Psalm 86:15-16a

The Father always knows exactly what we need to hear when we need to hear it.  He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness.  He is completely whole.  And for that I am so grateful.  He had already extended me the grace I needed and renewed my soul to continue on this good fight of parenthood.

In the next breath I prayed for His strength.  Not just any strength, but HIS strength. I don’t know about you, but we need every ounce of His strength we can get on this parenting journey.  It is not for the weak of heart.  And in the very next moment I felt Him speak to my heart… “It’s yours”.

Isn’t it amazing that we get to serve a God who is with us?  All the time He hears us, He loves us, and He is our Rock. He is behind us and there to encourage us and strengthen us when we turn to Him in our times of need.

Where do you need Him to provide you strength right now? Ask Him… He is always listening.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

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