Grab Hold of Our Helper and Our Shield

tana quade

O Israel, trust the LORD!  He is your helper and your shield.

O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the LORD!  He is your helper and your shield.

All you who fear the LORD, trust the LORD!  He is your helper and your shield.

Psalm 115: 9-11

Good morning,

It was around midnight when the coughing really began to come on and it was becoming more constant than intermittent.  My body automatically rose from bed and walked across the hallway to our boys’ room.  Checking his oxygen level, I gave him more inhaler.

As I sat on the edge of his bed, my hand on his back, I prayed.  I prayed the very familiar, desperate words of healing over his body.

It seems that we try every earthly remedy to help him but the cycle continues to repeat itself.  I don’t know the solution, but I do know that we will never strop trying and we will not stop believing God for the healing to come.

On this Thankful Thursday I choose to worship because God is good, even when life doesn’t feel good.  He is faithful and His love encompasses us even when we are too tired to feel it.  He is our protection during the storm, our place of refuge.

He is our helper and our shield, and as hard as it can be, we must trust Him.  Trust Him with the right now.  Trust Him with the process.  Trust Him with the outcome.  Trust in His plan and His purpose and that He is working all together for good.  These are the truths that we must choose to stand on, even when we are tired and worn.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Pause and Reflect: What are you praying for and believing God for?

 

Pay It Forward:  Who around you needs prayer?  Reach out this week with a card or hug of encouragement for that person.

Proclaim His Greatness

Thankful Thursday!

Good morning and happy Thankful Thursday!

To say that I have been overwhelmed with emotion the last few days is an understatement… our boys started kindergarten this week!  Wow!!  Where has the time gone?

It seems like it was just yesterday that we peered into those incubators at them, so tiny and frail.  I remember feeling like they would never get big enough, strong enough.  But day by day the Father watched over them and they grew.  And one day at a time they did get stronger…

Give Thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness.  Let the whole world know what he has done.  Psalm 105:1 NLT

Where our boys started and where they are today is nothing short of the work of the Father…and I am forever thankful for the journey he placed in front of us almost six years ago.  I didn’t perceive it as a blessing back then but watching Him work in our family has been astounding.

I am thankful for every single day that I have been able to spend with our boys.  I am thankful for every breath he has given them.  I am thankful for the new season ahead and all that He has planned for them.

What are you thankful for today?

Blessings,

The Johnstons

We Are His

Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth! Worship the LORD with gladness.  Come before him, singing with joy.  Acknowledge that the LORD is God!  He made us, and we are his.  We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Psalm 100: 1-3

Happy Thankful Thursday!

I tend to be a bit of a control freak.  It is something that I continually must keep surrendering and asking for grace on.  I am mostly a control freak when it comes to our boys…with the health issues that have loomed in the past I want to control everything about their surroundings.  With them starting kindergarten next week… I have been a bit of a mess.

HOWEVER, I am not in control, God is. 

And this week I am so incredible thankful that He made us, and we are his.  That means that our boys are also his and this fills me with so much confidence to start this new journey with them.  He made them and they are his first.

When I asked Carter what he was thankful for this week he said:

  • drawing
  • his kitty
  • the camper
  • his new watch and new shoes for school

Qwade added:

  • having a mom and dad!!

I am so thankful for these two…

da boys

I am so thankful that God chose us to be their parents.  I am thankful I have gotten to spend the better part of almost six years home with them.  I am thankful that they continue to grow and mature.

If you are in a place of tug-a-war, struggling in or with a relationship, or having trouble relinquishing control, I just want to encourage you – you are not alone!  I believe we all struggle at times with control, but the best thing to do is to STOP and give it to the One who is in control.

Let’ praise him today for who he is and that we are his people!

What are you thankful for today?!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

When Life Bombards Us

 

Good morning!

Anyone else feel absolutely bombarded by life lately?!  I know, I know, it’s summer right!! But along with swimming pools, T Ball, bike rides and frog catchin’ there is still work, chores, cleaning, etc. that needs done.

I totally feel like life has been controlling me lately instead of me putting life together in a planner.  LOL

But when we get bombarded and overwhelmed with all the activities that make our worlds go ’round I am learning that as long as my heart is grounded where it should be…everything else will work itself out.

There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.  1 Samuel 2:2

There is no one else in the whole world that will ever fill our hearts like the Father does.

There is no other Rock that will ever be firm enough to hold us when life bombards us.

So, as we all dive into the second half of summer, let’s plant our feet firmly on the Rock, keep our eyes on Jesus, and our hearts set on His Word.

Blessings!

The Johnstons

Our Necessary Quiet Retreat

IMG_8792

You are my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.

Psalm 119:114 MSG

Good morning!

In a world full of distraction where do we go for a quiet retreat?

As a mom to young children it seems like every direction I turn there is something calling out to me; piles of toys, dirty dishes, spilled milk, laundry baskets overflowing just to name a few.  It’s even hard to go to the bathroom by myself, with calls of “mom!!” coming through the door.

Some days our assignments are overwhelming.

Some days our jobs are hard.

Some days it feels like we are regressing and not gaining.

Some days we struggle for air as we can’t seem to look up over the mess of it all.

But throughout this journey I have learned that as I press into Jesus, He brings my quiet retreat.  It doesn’t mean that we have to follow a set of “rules” or wake up before our children to get our bible read.

It is in the freedom of relationship with the Father that we find our quiet…

It is when we call out to Him in the middle of the mess, in the middle of the dishes, in the middle of the laundry stacked high and the never-ending clean up.  It is when we open up our hearts, our lives, and let Him be in the center of it all.

He alone will bring us quiet retreat…and He alone will renew our strength.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

What Are You Thankful For?

Thankful Thursday!!

Good morning!

I don’t know about you, but I feel like since summertime hit our schedule has doubled in speed!

This week I am so grateful for:

  • sprinklers going and wet swim trunks on the floor
  • growth in my garden plants finally
  • water balloons and swim goggles
  • round hay bales to climb on
  • nice horses to teach our boys

 

Our summer is starting to be full of late dinners, less sleep, and more fun!  I love getting out of the regular “routine” and living life full of adventure.

What about you? What are some things you are thankful for today?

Blessings!

The Johnstons

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

The Slowness of Progress

 

CT goofy tree

So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head and deliver him from his discomfort.  And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.  Jonah 4:6

Good morning!

Have you ever been completely frustrated?  Almost annoyed at the slowness of progress?  It doesn’t matter if we are parenting children who seem to not be getting the message, trying to grow our online businesses, or working at a relationship that seems to keep coming up short.  Sometimes it is easy to get worn down, stressed out, and flat frustrated at the slowness of progress.  It feels like a mountain we keep climbing yet the top doesn’t seem to be getting any closer.

I was feeling this very frustration when I read this verse out of Jonah while working on a bible study I am currently doing.  The words literally jumped off the page at me.  God appointed a plant…a plant! To provide protection for Jonah while he sat and sulked under his own man-made shelter and had his pity party.  After he had prayed to die, by the way.

While Jonah sat there feeling sorry for himself, God was still at work.  Don’t you love how God never stops working on our behalf.  Jonah had prayed to die, sat sulking under his shelter as God was working on his real protection.

We can sit and sulk and feel sorry for ourselves too, and we do, don’t we?  And honestly, it doesn’t do anybody any good.  Why we are throwing our pity party and wondering why our children won’t listen, why our business isn’t growing, or why our relationship isn’t working God is ALREADY working it out.  He is going to provide exactly what we need, when we need it.

If he can appoint a plant to provide protection for Jonah, I am confident that He can provide absolutely whatever it will take for us as well.

Let’s let our frustrations go.  They aren’t doing us any good…and let’s start trusting Him to provide what we need, when we need it.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

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

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