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

When Words Aren’t Enough

sunrise 2

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

Battling Our Emotions

IMG_8407

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

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 Our Thoughts

power of our thoughts

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.  Philippians 4:8 NIV

Good morning!

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?  Today you might have immediately rolled over in your pillow and thought, “ugh, its Monday”, and all that comes with starting a new week.  It is so easy to let our thoughts immediately focus on ourselves, our lives, our jobs, our plans…

But what if our first thoughts were on Him?  What if we shifted our focus from ourselves: our day, our plans, our job, etc. to Jesus…

I want to encourage you this week to start your everyday with a simple prayer.  It might look something like this:

Father, thank you for today.  Thank you for walking ahead of me and behind.  Thank you for surrounding me with your love.  Father help guide me today in your wisdom and your strength.  Help me to keep my eyes on you and follow hard after you.  In Jesus Name, Amen

I believe that if we start each day by focusing on Jesus we will start to see change in our perspectives, change in our attitudes, change in our hearts and change in our thoughts…all for the better!

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

 

You Are Enough

October 2018 905Good morning!

It is so easy to get caught up in trying to be everything to everyone.  Trying to balance the roles we play as mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee, etc and what is expected of us in each of our roles.  We can get swept up trying to be “everything” before we know it.

But only Jesus can be our everything… and when we don’t feel like we are enough we can rest in knowing that He is.

  • When we are weak, He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • When we are weary, He is our power.  (Isaiah 40:29)
  • When we are tired, He gives us rest.  (Matthew 11:28)
  • When we are shaken, He is our rock (Psalm 62:2)
  • When we fear, He is with us, He is our comforter.  (Joshua 1:9)

So let’s take a deep breath this week and stop trying to be everything and let Jesus be our everything.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Real Genuine True Rest

IMG_7940

Good morning!

Submission.  That can be such a scary word.  It is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as the condition of being submissive (submitting to others), humble, or compliant.  When I think of submission I think of letting something go.

  • Letting go of control
  • Letting go of anxiety
  • Letting go of sadness
  • Letting go of anxiousness
  • Letting go of anger
  • Letting go of always trying to fix things (relationships, family, children, etc)

We tend to want to hold some back…some of our anger, some of our forgiveness, some of our control.  But all that partial release brings is stress.  Or, we let it go only to pick it up again.

I am learning that we only find true rest in total submission… When we lay everything down at the feet of Jesus and submit all to Him we will find true rest.  Easier said than done…but anyone else in need of some real, genuine, true rest?  Let’s work at it together!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Finding Joy in the Little Things

IMG_7928

Good morning!

Finding joy in the little things…When I look at the smile on this boys face as he sips full strength juice it makes my heart smile.  As I sat on my bench watching him I began to think about all the things we already have, all that Jesus has already done, to bring a smile to our faces.

It seems that most of the time we tend to focus on the things we don’t have.  We plan, we strive, we set goals, and we work hard.  All good things!  It keeps us moving forward, but it also keeps our focus on things we don’t have yet.  And if we aren’t careful we become dissatisfied with where we are.

Let’s not forget to remember all the things He has already done for us.  It is so good to stop and look and think and smile.  Smile at the gifts He has given us.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

WordPress.com.

Up ↑