Celebrating Moms

Good morning!

Being a mom is one of the greatest assignments God has ever blessed me with.  To care for, nurture and love a child is a privilege beyond my comprehension.

I will never forget the day we found out that I was going to be a mom.  It came as such a surprise, but we were excited none the less.  But then at our 21-week appointment little did we know what we would find out.  I was carrying two babies… and to say that we were completely surprised and overwhelmed is an understatement!  How did this happen?! Twins don’t run in either of our families!

And just as we were getting used to the idea of having “two of everything” my water broke and when I was just 31 weeks our two boys made their way into this world.  The unexpected, overwhelming journey that has followed over the past five and a half years is one that has been filled with fear, excitement, pain, joy, and probably every other emotion I can think of.

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But most importantly it is the journey of motherhood that has drawn me closer and closer to the Father.  It has given me a better glimpse to the kind of love that He has for us. The kind of love we give and the kind we receive.  The kind that has no limits, no boundaries, no containment.  There is no way to earn it, nothing that can stop it.  It’s the kind that gives everything it has and holds nothing back.

I will forever be grateful that God made me a mother. For it is through this journey that I have grown to know his love a little deeper.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and blessings for you this beautiful day,

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

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

 

Pushing Through

Pushing Through Blog

Good morning!

I set out for a run yesterday and I had barely gotten a half mile in when I had a twinge in my right knee and some nerves speak fire through my left foot.  I thought to myself, “maybe I shouldn’t go as far today”.  I have experienced pain in my left foot for quite some time.  I had a couple of stress fractures a year and a half ago and some nerve damage that left me in a walking boot for a while.  Even though it is better, I still have some nagging pain to deal with.

Most people probably are dealing with some type of issue that is nagging…either physical, mental, or emotional.  It could be:

  • a medical issue
  • a strained relationship
  • a difficult work atmosphere
  • a tough marriage
  • a challenging child

How often do we accept defeat when really we just need to dig in and find the courage to push through?  We give up way too easily most times.  Our minds can convince us that we are justified in just giving up, giving in, and taking the easy road out.  But what if we decided to dig in?  What if we decided to let God work on us from the inside out? Even if it meant we were going to go through a few hard days or a challenging season.

Honestly for me yesterday the only thing that needed revived was my mind… and I think for most of you this is probably true as well.  Deep down, the truth was I just didn’t really feel like going for a run so my mind was coming up with all sorts of excuses to keep me from it!  I am so glad that I hit my Unstoppable playlist (TobyMac) and kept running.

What are you experiencing in your life that keeps lingering?  Let’s make the choice today to dig in and keep going.  Let’s lean on Him for courage and yield to His guidance along the way.  We will be glad we did!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

The Power of Community

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Good morning!

The last couple weeks have been completely unbalanced and unpredictable.  From the time changing, to a massive blizzard, to Qwade being in the hospital, to being stuck at home for 10 days for his lungs to heal, to broken computers and stolen bank information.  Seriously…sometimes there are no words.

Have you ever walked through a trying time?  When the hits just kept coming and you had to keep going or you might just fall apart?

As I called my mom last week to vent my frustrations about my brand new computer that mysteriously wouldn’t turn on anymore and that someone had stolen my debit card information and was trying to purchase things in Oregon (all on the same day) I told her, “I think if I don’t laugh I will cry”.

But as our family has walked through these couple of weeks the Father has shown us something that we really needed to see… He is showing us the power of community.  

There have been so many people step in to pray for our family and words cannot express how grateful we are.  We have had family step up and help with our other son, friends brought me coffee at the hospital (much-needed coffee), a nurse who helped me get checked out and watched Qwade while I waited on the pharmacy, a church family who wrapped their arms around us, and multiple other texts, cards, calls and support.

God has shown me just how much we really do need community…

  • people to love us and encourage us when life gets hard
  • people to celebrate the victories with us
  • people who pray for us when we can’t find the words to pray ourselves
  • people who hold our hands in their hands
  • people who sit and listen while we cry

There is power in community.  The power of Jesus.  And when we stand in unity as a community of believers there is no mountain that He cannot move.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Looking for Victory?

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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 you God, who brought you out of Egypt, is with you!”  (Deut 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!” (Deut 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 today to fight your battles!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Wholeness

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Good morning!

Letting go is hard…it tends to leave a hole in our hearts that we aren’t really sure what to do with.  Recently I let go of something that had become very important to me…and honestly I wasn’t really sure how to navigate the new unknown territory.  I wasn’t sure what was to come but I was sure letting go was the right choice.

But this hole?  What was I to do with this void that now I felt on the inside?  It is so easy to just want to fill it back up with something tangible…something that brings instant relief.  But honestly that will pass too and until we fill our holes with Jesus we will be stuck in the routine of longing for more.

I am so grateful that Jesus fills the holes in our hearts and that only He can bring us wholeness.

Have you let go of something that has left a void in your heart?  I want to encourage you to run to Jesus.  Press into Him and cling to Him as you continue to press on.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

Real Genuine True Rest

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Good morning!

Submission.  That can be such a scary word.  It is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as the condition of being submissive (submitting to others), humble, or compliant.  When I think of submission I think of letting something go.

  • Letting go of control
  • Letting go of anxiety
  • Letting go of sadness
  • Letting go of anxiousness
  • Letting go of anger
  • Letting go of always trying to fix things (relationships, family, children, etc)

We tend to want to hold some back…some of our anger, some of our forgiveness, some of our control.  But all that partial release brings is stress.  Or, we let it go only to pick it up again.

I am learning that we only find true rest in total submission… When we lay everything down at the feet of Jesus and submit all to Him we will find true rest.  Easier said than done…but anyone else in need of some real, genuine, true rest?  Let’s work at it together!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Finding Joy in the Little Things

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Good morning!

Finding joy in the little things…When I look at the smile on this boys face as he sips full strength juice it makes my heart smile.  As I sat on my bench watching him I began to think about all the things we already have, all that Jesus has already done, to bring a smile to our faces.

It seems that most of the time we tend to focus on the things we don’t have.  We plan, we strive, we set goals, and we work hard.  All good things!  It keeps us moving forward, but it also keeps our focus on things we don’t have yet.  And if we aren’t careful we become dissatisfied with where we are.

Let’s not forget to remember all the things He has already done for us.  It is so good to stop and look and think and smile.  Smile at the gifts He has given us.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

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