Summer Here We Come!

Summer Here We Come

Good morning!

Time, routine, schedules.  All words that have been floating around in the mind of every mother whose child/children are about to be out of school for the summer.  The “normal” routine of life is about to drastically change gears as school comes to an end and summer begins.

What do some of your summer schedules/routines look like?

We have thought a lot about this lately as our boys are set to head into their first fall of full time school.  What do we want the next three months to look like?

We know one thing for sure… We want to spend the summer pouring life into them.  So a few things on our list are:

  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Swimming Pools
  • T-Ball
  • Hikes
  • Bible Camp

But life isn’t always about fun and games is it?  We also want to pour into our boys a work ethic.  A drive to grow into the kind of men this world needs.  So with that comes responsibilities, chores, helping around the house and the barn, as well as tending the garden and all the flowers they wanted to plant.

It’s never too early to teach them about the responsibilities that they will one day have.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

 Let’s start off the summer full of fun, but also let’s instill in them the values that will help them reap a harvest later down the road.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

Rest Assured

IMG_7882

Good morning!

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:16

It is so easy to become anxious on our journey… to want so badly to run ahead of where we are.  We want to

  • Run further from our pain
  • Run into a better job or promotion
  • Run towards children that sleep all night
  • Run to a time different from now

But from our experience God is never early, but he hasn’t ever been late either.  He uses each day, each experience to grow us closer into who He made us to be.

Let’s let go of the things we can’t control and trust Him with our days.  We can walk confidently in our path when we trust the One we know is paving the way.

Blessings!

The Johnston’s

 

3 Keys to Start the Week Off Right!

Good morning!

Sometimes when Monday morning rolls back around and we restart the week it can make us feel overwhelmed OR we can choose to make it a great one.  I want to share with you 3 key things to starting your week (and each day) off right!

  1. Do not dwell on the past.  Whether that means last week, last month or last year.  It is important to wake up ready for the fullness of this day and this week.  Isaiah 43:18-19 says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Believe that God is making a way for you today.
  2. Look upward toward heaven.  When we look up we are reminded of who He is and all that He has created.  It opens our eyes to see beyond ourselves.  Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.  Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.  Isaiah 40:26  He created the heavens and the earth.  He created you and me…and we are here on purpose for a purpose.
  3. Give thanks.  Start each day by writing down at least 5 things that you are thankful for.  When we slow down long enough to acknowledge all that the Father has already done for us, and we list them out line by line, it opens our hearts wide open to see Him at work in our lives every single day.  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Psalm 106:1

Let’s start this week off right!!

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

A Time of Reflection

Good afternoon!

I wrote this post a year ago…and this Colorado morning feels much like that morning did.  Cold, foggy, snow covering most everything still and I remember sitting by the window, coffee in hand, reflecting.  This was such a good reminder for me…that slow progress is lasting progress and all progress is worthy of praise.

Hope this blesses you today as much as it did us,

The Johnston’s

Brrrrr it is cold  here with beautiful frost all over the trees, the flowing brown ornamental grass, the fences and even the horses.  It gets thicker and thicker as the morning goes on.  It is a piece of art that continues to progress… little at a time.  If I sit here and stare at it continually, it doesn’t seem to change.  But when I leave the window for a while; fill up my coffee cup, make a magnet tower with the boys, have a great visit with my mom, and come back I can see the changes.  The frost is thicker, more defined, more prominent.

IMG_5345

The frost and the progress of the masterpiece outside my window feels like my soul journey lately… slow and quiet, but ever evolving.  We live in a culture of fast, hectic, and busy.  Crazy busy.  And that brings a sense of wanting instantaneous satisfaction.  We want everything now:  Success now.  Thousands of followers on social media now.  A home that is organized and clean and full now.  A bank account that is overflowing now.  Children that will self-entertain now.  But as I watch out my window this morning God reminds me that the precious things, the things that matter, take time.  They are a work of art that continues to progress little by little.

Jesus told the disciples in Mark chapter 6 to “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while” .  At this time there were many people who were coming and going and it was a time of what we would call crazy busy.  Sometimes we have to press the pause button and “come away and rest for a little while”.  When life gets crazy and all-consuming it is good to take some time.  Day in and day out can feel like a struggle sometimes, like we aren’t going anywhere but in a circle.  But as I sit this morning watching the frost grow thicker and thicker on those bushes I pause, rest, reflect.  And I can see the progress… little bits over time.

Maybe you need to pause, rest, find a secluded place, and reflect on where you  are and how far you have progressed.  I found so much comfort this morning in my time of reflection and I praise Him for the progress.  Instead of feeling anxious, stuck and frustrated, I am grateful that I have paused long enough to recognize the growth and to thank Him for exactly where I am on this journey.

Blessings,

Tana

 

A Confidence That Lasts

As I was on my way to work this morning I was thinking about confidence… a confidence that lasts.  It is so easy to have confidence when things are good, when they are going our way and all seems well.  But how do we get the confidence that lasts… the kind that is there when darkness grips us or when the unexpected comes.

Then a worship song came on the radio in my car that took me to a place of udder surrender and praise. (King of My Heart – Kutless)  To listen click here.   And all of sudden the Holy Spirit was speaking to me that when we open our hearts and praise the LORD for who He is and declare over and over that HE IS GOOD, “this is where you get confidence that lasts”.  From total and under surrendering worship.

You know that shepherd boy…David, that had so much confidence that he could take down the giant?  The one that believed His God was with him everywhere that he went?  That same boy sang songs and played his harp in complete and udder surrender to the LORD his God.

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – Psalm 103:1-2

David knew where his confidence came from.  He knew it didn’t come from the Israelite people, it didn’t come from his family (his older brothers doubted him), it didn’t even come from within himself after he killed Goliath.  It came solely from the LORD his God…and he kept that confidence by worshipping and opening his heart to praise God for who He is and what He has already done and continues to do.

This is how we get confidence that lasts…by believing and declaring that God is good.  By knowing that He is working all things together for good.  (Romans 8:28)  And by surrendering all we have to Him, His plan and His purpose.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

Finding Confidence

Good morning!

Confidence.  I used to define confidence as “trusting in my abilities”.  Since I was a young child I grew up believing I could do anything I set my mind to.  I grew up roping and competing at rodeos starting at a young age.  The harder I worked at it, the better I got and I began to trust in that ability that I was developing.  The more I trusted that I could do it, the more confident I became.

It reminds me of a boy I’ve read about…a boy who tended to his father’s sheep and goats.  Day in and day out he was out in the fields watching over the flocks.  It was his responsibility to make sure they stayed safe, stayed all together and didn’t wander off.  The opportunity David had to protect his father’s flocks had developed his character and he had gained confidence.  So when the giant Philistine was threatening the Israelite army, he had no problem saying “I’ll go fight him!” (1 Samuel 17:32)  David had confidence.

But more important than his confidence in his ability, David had confidence in his God.  He didn’t hesitate.  He didn’t shrink back in fear.  He didn’t doubt when everyone else did.  He believed.  He believed he could and he believed his God would.  I love how the scriptures tell us that as Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. (1 Samuel 17:48)  Confidence.

Confidence has everything to do with trust.  We place our trust in people, in our abilities, but are we ultimately placing our trust in the LORD?

We fall short, people fail us, our abilities will fade but the LORD…He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)  And He is someone who we can be confident in that will never fail.  We can quickly run, just as David did, full of confidence in this life because we trust in his promises, his faithfulness, and his goodness.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

A New Kind of Confidence

Good morning!

I have been doing lots of thinking lately…thinking about all the time, energy and joy that doubt has stolen from me.  I have come to realize that doubt is actually the opposite of confidence.  When we doubt our identity, our abilities, our gifts, our goals, our call from God or whatever it might be, we lose a bit of the confidence that we started with.  And when we lose our confidence it can really slow down our progress or stop it all together.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

These verses keep coming back over and over in my studying.  Where have I placed my confidence?  In myself?  In my friends or family?  In a boss or someone I deeply admire?  Or have I placed my confidence in the LORD?  The One who holds my life in his hands… because if my confidence was in the LORD alone doubt wouldn’t have a chance to creep in.

I want that kind of confidence.  The kind only found in trusting the LORD.  I don’t want to wither and dry up when the heat of life comes; but stand sturdy and confident.  I don’t want to give in when adversity comes but stand in confidence.  I don’t want to fear when I fall short, but to stand confidently in the LORD.  I want to place all of my confidence in Him, because He cares for me.  He is for me not against me.  And He is good.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

 

WordPress.com.

Up ↑