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

Battling Our Emotions

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Good morning!

I wrote a couple days ago about how draining our emotions can be.  God has shown me over the course of this week that the roller coaster ride of emotions that comes is usually when life doesn’t look like I want it to… Ouch.

What about you?  When do your emotions seem to take you on a roller coaster ride?

I believe that our emotions can just flat wear us down over time.  It usually happens when we stand firm week in and week out, believing in the good of all the mess going on around us and then when we can’t actually SEE the good, our emotions take off.

So, what do WE DO when our emotions rage?  That is what I have really searched out this week.  I don’t want to live by my emotions but I also don’t want to slap a smile on my face and fake it.  There is nothing real or genuine about that.  So here are a few actions that I believe we can take to reset.

  • Resubmit ourselves to God’s will.  When we actually take the time to be still and hear from God, yield to His plan over our lives, and recognize Him as the Mighty Counselor, we can relinquish our need to be in control.
  • Pray for an undivided heart.  When we declare God’s truth from His word over our lives, He will realign our hearts to match His.  There is no better place to go when we get frustrated then to God Himself.
  • Look for the goodness of God all around.  When we choose to only see the negative going on, that is all we see.  And then it becomes manifested in our sight.  We must CHOOSE to see the good things that the Father has graciously provided all around us.

There is no one closer to our emotions, our tears, our frustrations than God himself.  He is right where we are.  Meeting us there in the middle of our roller coaster ride, reaching out His hand, offering to help us off.  Even though the mess might not change right away, we can accept His help and choose to move forward in His grace.

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

The Best You

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Good morning!

What does it take to be the best version of you today?  If you were going to pick 3-5 things that really start your day off right, what would they be?

For me I would say:

  1. time with Jesus
  2. a good cup of coffee (and by good I mean bold, dark coffee)
  3. Snuggles with my boys
  4. A smile from my hubby – you know the kind that still makes you light up inside
  5. A good workout to really get my blood going

I feel like on the days that I do get these things I can rock anything that comes my way.  I have also realized in this journey that these are the things that fill me up and make me full.

I used to think that I needed fancy coffee, only the kind you can get at the coffee shop in town…which I hardly ever got because I was in the thick of being a stay at home mom.  And I wouldn’t have noticed if my hubby smiled at me or not because I was too tired to notice as two little boys climbed all over my lap.  And a good workout… that meant going to the gym or going somewhere by myself where I could choose my running path and have the freedom to run as far as I wanted.

Today after I dropped the boys off at preschool, I came home to run around the dirt circle drive of my home and do the cross training exercises scheduled for today.  I am enjoying a nice cup of bold, dark coffee brewed straight out of my coffee pot and headed out to my porch to open my bible and spend some quality time with Him.  Oh, and I did get my snuggles in this morning too!

My point?  Don’t miss out on where you are just because it doesn’t look like you thought it might. Or maybe it doesn’t look at all like you want it to. Either way, embrace where you are today and keep moving forward.  One day at a time.

So what’s it take to be the best version of you today?!

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

 

Where Our Help Comes From

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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

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

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