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

Just Take A Moment

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Oh, that we might love the LORD! Let us press on to know him.  He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.  Hosea 6:3

Good morning!

As I watch the heavy snow fall this spring morning, I couldn’t help but smile with excitement as I thought about it watering the dry earth.  And oh how our souls need watering too.

I encourage you to take a few moments this morning, right where you are, to talk with the Father.  Press into Him.  He will respond as surely as the moisture continues to fall from the beautiful skies this morning.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Moving Forward in Power

get determined

Good morning!

Did anyone else take the time to reset their emotions over the weekend?  In case you missed the last couple of blogs, I have been sharing a bit about dealing with our emotions when they seem to be on a roller coaster ride. Make sure to check them out!

Anyhow, I know there is so much going on and it finally feels like spring around here! We are planting flowers and building another garden bed, doing yard clean up, and just loving being outside!  But…emotional clean-up was first on my list.  I knew that if I didn’t get cleaned up on the inside, I wouldn’t be any fun on the outside.

So, once we have reset our emotions and gotten cleaned up on the inside and re-submitted to God’s will, what do we do with the mess on the outside that got us here in the first place?

  1. We can let it drain us and we give in.  Or…
  2. We get determined and walk in the power Jesus died to give us

If I have said it once in my life, I have said it a thousand times… I will not be conquered by this.  Jesus came and gave His very life so that we can live full and I am determined to do so.

So the thing that has your emotions on that roller coaster ride?  Take another step.  Seek out more answers.  Don’t give up, dig in.  Look in the mirror and tell this so called “thing” whether it is:

  • sickness
  • failure
  • pain
  • a broken heart
  • a broken relationship

that it has no power over you.  Jesus died so the Holy Spirit could come and dwell on the inside of us giving us power! Power to stand, power to conquer, and power to defeat these things that try to come against us.  Beloved, don’t give in to your emotions.  The Holy Spirit will provide everything it takes to get back on your feet and face this thing head on.  Let’s choose to get determined and let the power of the one true God fight from within us.

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

Continue the Celebration

worship

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

3 Crosses

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

 

Dare to be Brave

CT goofy tree

Good morning!

Have you ever been afraid to go against the grain of others?  To feel like you are the only one headed north while everyone else is going south?  I know I have.

I have been scared to go a different way, to do a different thing than what others around me were doing.  It’s really hard to step out and then to stand firm on something that we feel passionate about, something that we sense God asking of us, something that looks different from maybe what we thought or different from everyone else.

It is hard to go against the “norm” of what everyone else is doing, whether that is

  • raising our children
  • climbing the corporate ladder
  • addressing medical needs
  • cultivating our relationships
  • how we spend our time (activities/lifestyle/sports/etc)
  • the list is endless!!

But I want to tell you that as hard as it can be, standing firm on what God has for us is the very best place to stand.  And the decisions we make after seeking God’s counsel are probably the best ones.  It says in Isaiah 30:21:

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

This is the only voice that we really need to be listening for… not everyone else’s.

I was reminded the other day while I was reading through the story of David that over and over again he was not the “norm”.  He was the youngest, the smallest, the one who tended the sheep; not a warrior like his brothers.  Yet, God used him to defeat the giant threatening Israel’s army.  And he didn’t do it the “normal” way…David took a sling and a stone into a sword fight.

So let’s stand firm on what God has for us, even if it looks different.  The best place that we can stand is the one He has paved for us.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

Where Our Help Comes From

Tanna and boys

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

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