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

Finally Friday!

Boys tree

Good morning!

It’s finally Friday!! I don’t know about y’all, but this week.  Shew!  Coming off of Mother’s Day and celebrating all the gifts that encompass being a mom had me on this high, so to speak.  And then this week has just been one of those weeks.  One of those parenting weeks that has just been hard. You know the ones, when your children seem to fight and whine more than play and enjoy? And I felt my mood slipping from joyful to cranky in a hurry.

By Tuesday I felt like the week had already run me over already and I was desperately clinging to any strings left of my patience.  (Which, by the way, I didn’t get a hold of)

As I sat this morning in some time of prayer I read these verses out of Psalm

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant… Psalm 86:15-16a

The Father always knows exactly what we need to hear when we need to hear it.  He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness.  He is completely whole.  And for that I am so grateful.  He had already extended me the grace I needed and renewed my soul to continue on this good fight of parenthood.

In the next breath I prayed for His strength.  Not just any strength, but HIS strength. I don’t know about you, but we need every ounce of His strength we can get on this parenting journey.  It is not for the weak of heart.  And in the very next moment I felt Him speak to my heart… “It’s yours”.

Isn’t it amazing that we get to serve a God who is with us?  All the time He hears us, He loves us, and He is our Rock. He is behind us and there to encourage us and strengthen us when we turn to Him in our times of need.

Where do you need Him to provide you strength right now? Ask Him… He is always listening.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

When Words Aren’t Enough

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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

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

Moving Forward in Power

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Good morning!

Did anyone else take the time to reset their emotions over the weekend?  In case you missed the last couple of blogs, I have been sharing a bit about dealing with our emotions when they seem to be on a roller coaster ride. Make sure to check them out!

Anyhow, I know there is so much going on and it finally feels like spring around here! We are planting flowers and building another garden bed, doing yard clean up, and just loving being outside!  But…emotional clean-up was first on my list.  I knew that if I didn’t get cleaned up on the inside, I wouldn’t be any fun on the outside.

So, once we have reset our emotions and gotten cleaned up on the inside and re-submitted to God’s will, what do we do with the mess on the outside that got us here in the first place?

  1. We can let it drain us and we give in.  Or…
  2. We get determined and walk in the power Jesus died to give us

If I have said it once in my life, I have said it a thousand times… I will not be conquered by this.  Jesus came and gave His very life so that we can live full and I am determined to do so.

So the thing that has your emotions on that roller coaster ride?  Take another step.  Seek out more answers.  Don’t give up, dig in.  Look in the mirror and tell this so called “thing” whether it is:

  • sickness
  • failure
  • pain
  • a broken heart
  • a broken relationship

that it has no power over you.  Jesus died so the Holy Spirit could come and dwell on the inside of us giving us power! Power to stand, power to conquer, and power to defeat these things that try to come against us.  Beloved, don’t give in to your emotions.  The Holy Spirit will provide everything it takes to get back on your feet and face this thing head on.  Let’s choose to get determined and let the power of the one true God fight from within us.

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

 

Continue the Celebration

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Good evening!

Easter has come and gone for another year…the celebration of our Savior’s sacrifice and then the resurrection that brought us victory and gives us the opportunity to live free.  It is absolutely breathtaking; the beauty of a love so deep, so real.

So how do we continue the celebration?  Keep the joy we felt in our hearts yesterday as we stood and sang out in worship?  Keep the smiles and the glow on our faces as we slip back into the “normality” of another week?  How do we continue to walk in the victory that He died and rose again to give us?

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  Luke 9:23-24

What does it look like to take up our cross daily?  What does that truly mean?

I believe it starts with spending time with Him and being determined to live life full no matter what is going on around us.  Living this life as full of Him as we possibly can.

  • full of His peace
  • full of His grace
  • full of His forgiveness
  • full of His love

Full of Him pouring into us so that we can pour out to others.

And we follow up with surrender.  Every single day we surrender to His will over our own, even when we don’t understand. Because truly in our hearts we must have a perspective change to – His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.  (Isaiah 55:9) – if we are every going to actually experience victory in the midst of what we are walking through.  

It is a perspective shift that we already have victory today because of what Jesus has done.  Not because of anything we have done, but because of what He already did.  And that my friends, is something to celebrate!!  Every single day!

What does it mean to you to take up your cross daily?  We would love to hear from you!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

 

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