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

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday!!

Good afternoon!

By the time Thursday afternoon rolls around I’m in desperate need of a mental reset.  And the best way to reset our minds is to focus on the things we are thankful for.  It turns our thoughts from the things weighing us down to Jesus and the amazing gifts He provides.

So, here are a few of the things that I am thankful for!

  • Warmer days, beautiful flowers, and a freshly planted garden
  • Beautiful sunrises
  • Two boys giggling on the trampoline as they spray water
  • Time to go visit friends tomorrow as a family
  • A husband dedicated to walking by my side through this life

What about you?  What are you thankful for today?

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

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

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

Declaring Truth

fence3

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

 

Time Off

Good morning!

Have you ever wanted the day off?  From EVERYTHING?  I have had a few days like that… One of our boys had a pretty severe asthmatic attack last week and ended up in the hospital.  We are grateful that he was only in for three days and by Friday we couldn’t wait to come home.  But as I drove out of parking lot I whispered under my breath, “I need a day off”…

A day off from being mamma, a day off from exhaustion, a day off from the stress that life can throw at us.  Have you ever felt like that?  Like life took you by surprise and you just needed some time to catch up?

As I continued driving from the parking lot my thoughts shifted from me to Him.  To the One who watches over us and walks through the hard stuff with us.  And I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  Gratitude that God never takes a day off.  And that when I am weak, He is strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:10)  I am grateful that:

  • He never stops loving us
  • He showers us with grace
  • He never gives up on us
  • He is always near
  • He never grows tired or weary
  • He reigns in power

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  Psalm 147:3

So even though sometimes life is hard, and there are things we don’t understand and things we can’t control, I am grateful that the Father never takes a day off.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

Blue Skies Up Ahead

IMG_8056 (1)

Good morning!

Spring’s around the corner!  Spring’s around the corner!  I can hear the tune over and over in my head.  It makes me think of blue skies and sunshine!  But what about the circumstances that surround us when they don’t feel like blue skies and sunshine?  When they feel more like dark skies and bitter cold wind blowing against us?

I was reading in Mark chapter 6 where Jesus was performing the miracle of feeding the five thousand men (plus women and children).  We had gone over this miracle in church last week.  But as I continued reading the scripture goes immediately into when Jesus walks on the water, out to the boat full of the disciples that he had sent out earlier that evening without him.

But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost.  They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.  Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”  Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.  Mark 6:49-51

Here we see the disciples terrified of the unknown; dark skies all around and the wind blowing against them.  Sometimes life throws storms at us too.  Storms that terrify us, bind us all up on the inside, and threaten every security we hold on to.  It is easy to take our eyes off Jesus and stare directly into the storm and think “How am I going to get through this?”

But Jesus… He encourages the disciples and he encourages us – “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  He immediately spoke to the disciples to calm their fear, give them assurance and a sense of security.  He also wants to replace our fear with peace, fill our souls with comfort, and assure us that with Him as our security this storm too will pass.

No matter what storms we face, Jesus is right there with us.  And when we hunker in with Him, blue skies are up ahead.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

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