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!!

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Blessings!

The Johnstons

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

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 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

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

 

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

Staying Pliable

Chase and Tanna tree3

Good afternoon!

I spoke to a group of girls at a rodeo bible camp a few years back about being “pliable”.  (easily bent or flexible; yielding, adaptable, adjusting readily to change) At that point it was a new thing for me.  I was pretty set in my ways… I had done things the same way for so long and I knew the formula worked. When I met my husband he did things different then I did and he was always “suggesting” I try it his way.  But I didn’t want to try it his way…when I knew my way worked.

I had been having some trouble with my roping for some time and he was making all these suggestions; try a different bit, get up more over the front of my horse, my first swing needed more tip (pointing down) and so on.  But I wasn’t willing to try those things.  I mean after all, I had won a World Championship doing it my way.  (no pride there! ha!) And I knew my way would work.  However, it wasn’t working.

Anyone else set in their ways? Have you been doing things the same way for so long that the thought of change seems impossible?  I was completely there.  I had been roping for over 20 years…change at this point?  No way I thought.

But wow did God have a big lesson for me!  When we get so set in doing things a certain way we miss what He wants to do in us and through us.  I was so quick to shut out other’s suggestions (especially my husbands who had also roped for over 20 years) or input to change…when change was exactly what God had in mind for me.

How can we be so set in our ways yet attentive to the Holy Spirit?  When we say yes to the Father we are filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and we get to choose whether we are going to do things the same way we have been doing them OR we get to listen to the Spirit of God living on the inside of us.

I was so stuck in doing things my own way I wasn’t attuned to what God was trying to do in and through me.  I was basically saying, “no thanks Lord, I will keep doing things my way”.  Have you ever said no thanks?  Unwilling to change or try something new, something that God was prompting you to?

God has so many good things for us…His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8) and when we are attentive to the Holy Spirit we can reach out and help whom God asks us to help, we can extend grace when grace is needed, and we can help the ones God has intended for us to help.  We can do the work that God has planned for us to do.  When we are fixed in doing things our way, we might miss the very thing He has for us today.

It was a hard lesson for me to learn…and I am still learning what exactly it means to be pliable to the Holy Spirit every single day.  To wake up with an open mind and an open heart to what He has and not just what I have planned.  His plans rarely look like our plans.

The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.  Isaiah 14:24 NIV

We want to encourage you to yield to the Holy Spirit working on the inside of you.  Stay pliable to His voice, His ways, His words and live open-handed.  We never know who or how or where we can be used by Him.

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

 

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