I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

28 Nov

for my girls …

Whenever you cross my mind,
I thank my God for you
and for the gift of knowing you.
Philippians 1:3 {Voice}


Taylor … my precious firstborn … sweet girl, you hold a special place in my heart. You always have and you always will. I’ve always felt so protective of you and your heart. I want so much for you in this life, my love. And what I’ve finally come to realize? YOU want so much for you too! I can’t tell you how much peace it brings me to see the beautiful, mature, young woman you’ve become!

Our Father has His hand on you babygirl. Lean on Him, continue to trust in His plan for your life, and know I will ALWAYS be by your side loving you, cheering for you, and guiding you through.


Piper, I smile just thinking of you. My wide-eyed-soulful girl. You are a beautiful, precious girl Piper. I pray you take that truth and tuck it deep into your soul and never forget it. You have a deeper sense of the people around you than most others your age. You are a good friend. You’re thoughtful and caring.

The Lord created you for a special purpose … He created you, uniquely you. There’s no other like you Piper J. And I promise to always be here journeying alongside of you as we learn together what your place in this world looks like.

Always remember how loved you are, and how very, very thankful I am that you were given to me to guide through this life.


My Wyntie. Oh sweet Wynt. I thought I had you all figured out, but you’ve been surprising me lately. Keeping me on my toes for sure as I try to navigate your emotions.

You’re a blessed girl Wynter. The Lord has blessed you with some amazing gifts, and I pray sweet Wynter, you learn how to harness these gifts to use for good things in your life … and in this world. Along with the gifts He’s given you, you’ve also been blessed with some challenges. “Blessed?” you might ask. “Yes, blessed.” Because blessed are those who can take the challenges allowed in their lives, overcome them, and use them for His glory.

I believe that is your story Wynter. And I can’t wait to watch the pages turn in your life.


Hunter, my littlest blessing. You’ve completed our family sweet girl. I didn’t know how badly we needed you until you graced our family with your arrival. It seems you’ve been working to catch up with your sisters since the day you were born. They’ve had their bond formed and you’re struggling to find your place. Keep working sweet girl … keep your heart open and know how much you are loved.

You have a precious place in our family and in this world. There are great things in store for you my love and I can’t wait to watch them unfold!

Posted in blessed, family photos, girls, hunter, photography, piper, taylor, wynter

10 Dec

joy *is* found in counting! {986-1000}

It started back in January like this:

1. A place to find joy amidst my sorrow.

And I continued counting.

In sorrow.

In pain.

In happy.

In mundane.

When I didn’t feel like it.

When I was drained.

It was in my little green notebook,

I lessened the pain.

It was true Joy I sought.

Slowly. Surely.

Eucharesteo revealed.

Thanks … it’s in the giving.

Joy … it’s in the counting.

And counting I did,

One through one thousand.

Jotting each joy,

turning sorrow to praise.

And thankful,

so very thankful,

He’s filled my heart with such grace.

986. staging
987. advent with my girls
988. party blogging
989. together in ten
990. true life when we’re connected to the source
991. a night out for momma
992. riding lessons for Wynter
993. elf antics – having way too much fun!
994. a Christmas angel
995. more party planning
996. Bibles for Iran
997. stocking sneaking, tippy-toeing
998. voxing with my sis
999. stovetop fragrance

One Thousand!!

5 years; 4 deployments; and my Army Ranger nephew is home for good!

This journey, this counting … has brought me many blessings. But most important, it’s taught me to find blessings hidden in the mess. I’m not gonna lie, there were days I’d have to scrape at the very depths of my soul to find thanks, to find joy, to find blessing.

But every time, if I was willing … with my heart raw and wide open to receive … there it was.

There He was.

There hidden in my ugly, imperfect mess was the teeniest glimmer of joy. Until it became easier and expected, and not so teeny and difficult to find. It was more than a glimmer and easier to see … this joy journey. This road to eucharisteo.

I’ve counted to one thousand. Written down 1,000 joyful blessings. Tonight I will begin again, starting with 1,001.

Join me? It will change you. There is joy to be found everywhere, anywhere … and no better time to start than now. Shall I dare you?

Posted in 1000 gifts, blessed, brett

9 Jan

god is in the details …

The girls and I were unexpectedly blessed this weekend and I wanted to share how I believe God is in the detail business!

Piper was set to have a “marathon” sleepover this weekend.  Her friend {and her friend’s sister} would be sleeping over both Friday and Saturday nights.  But when I met up with the girl’s mom {also a new friend of mine} for the transfer of weekend necessities, she told me they were surprising the girls {and their family, they have 6 kids}, with a weekend trip to the beach.  They’d just closed on their new beach house the day before.  So that meant only one night sleepover.

Only she didn’t want me to tell the girls because she was going to surprise them the next day.  My heart pretty much immediately broke for Piper, as this sleepover weekend was all she’d talked about last week!

Anyway, come Saturday morning, I covered Piper in my prayers and started thinking of some other fun things we could do that day.  A couple hours later, whaddaya know? I get a call from my friend with a crazy idea!  She invited the girls and I to go with for the weekend.  She knew I didn’t have anything else going on and said they had plenty of room.

Yes!  Yes, we’d love to go!  And when we finally told the girls, they were all ecstatic!

With my four, her six, two other friends, and 3 adults … there were 15 of us in 3 cars headed to Isle of Palms, SC!

The beach house was beautiful and well … right on the beach!  I’d never stayed on a coastal beach before … just tropical.  So this was something different for us and we all had a great time!  I even got an adult night out to dinner while all the teens stayed home with the younger kids.

Anyway.  I was worried and hurting for what I knew would be Piper’s hurting heart.  I prayed for her Saturday morning and literally a couple hours later, an unexpected blessing came our way.  It’s one small way {if you choose to look at it that way} to see that God is in the detail business.  He cares about our hurts and worries.

Ann is once again counting 1000 gifts in a years time.  She’s calling it the Joy Dare and has invited all of us to join her.  I’m in!  And so are my girls.

This year especially, I want to be uber-aware … I want my girls to be uber-aware of every detail, every blessing, every gift that comes their way.  How better to understand and recognize that God is on our side, is with us always, and cares about the smallest of details?

Posted in blessed, family photos, family thoughts

24 Nov

thankful for my girls …

God blessed me good with these four!  They are each so unique.  So different.  They tick in opposite ways and as frustrating exhausting as it can be to figure each of them out … it’s the most rewarding challenge I’ve taken.

These girls are beautiful souls.  They fill me.  They sustain me.

We have a long way to go in our journey together … and I don’t know four better gifts to walk it with.

I love you ladies … more than words would ever do justice … I love you.

Posted in blessed, family photos, girls, holiday, photography

8 Nov

molly and me …

I can’t wait to introduce you to some of our new friends!  Do you want the long version … or the long-story-short version?  That’s what I thought.  Got your coffee?  Good! cuz I got me a story!

Okay so.  A little over a month ago, there was a new parent breakfast thingy at the girls school {about two months too late if you ask me!}.  I was really anxious {in a bad way} about going.  And sure enough … as I’m walking up to the school, there’s little-miss-blondie {have I mentioned, it seems like everyone in North Caroline is blonde?} in her cute skirt, flips, and JCrew shirt.  In full disclosure, I knew it was JCrew, cuz I have the same one.

I so badly wanted to make a cute comment about her shirt and that I have the same one … but I know from experience when cuteness tries to come out of my mouth, all it sounds like is … “LAME!”  So I stayed silent about the shirt.

I go in amongst the throngs of friends and chatty pals … and sit down at a table as a big ol’ wannabe.  In fact, there was a woman with a child already at the table I sat at.  She seemed to be balancing a lot … so I went out of my comfort zone {I even used my sweet dimples} to ask her if she needed any help getting her daughter something to eat {it was a breakfast thingy after all}, and she looked at me like my hair was 10 shades of purple with a ring of fire in the middle!  “NO.” she said … and not so politely either.  And she was no longer at the table when I returned with my breakfast goodies.  Humpf.

And then sits down Molly.  A breath-of-fresh-air Molly.  There were three ladies at my table and we introduced ourselves.  Molly … I could just tell … had a bit o’ crazy going on in her life.  Seein’ as how I swim in a pool of crazy these days … I can spot someone else’s crazy a mile away!  She mentioned she’d only been in NC for 6 weeks … and was from … are you ready for it? … Chicago!  And … she’d visited the small town I came from in Wisconsin!

Crazy coincidence?  Or Divine appointment?  We know what we believe!

Okay … so, back to my story.  As we were talking at the new parent breakfast thingy, a nother blonde lady comes up to Molly and tells her “they’re all sitting at such-and-such a table.”

Sigh.  Another one bites the dust.

Although, we did exchange contact info … so maybe there’s a chance.

And then the breakfast thingy program starts.  And they talk, and they talk, and they talk … telling us all the things we’ve already learned the hard way, and really needed to know two months ago!

When the talking finally ends, they tell us to take note of the grade level taped to our tables and to find our child’s grade level and sit at that table.  While I have my choice of three tables, I notice I’m sitting at 2nd grade.  I also take note that I really need to be networking for Piper.  Yeah, I was desperate like that.  But I decide to stay where I’m at.

And guess who comes back?  That’s right folks … a breath-of-fresh-air Molly!  Turns out her son is in 2nd grade.

Well … the talking starts all over again and this time runs into the time that I have to leave … I’m volunteering at church to greet women as they enter for a ministry called Morning Grace.  And so I have to leave.  And I’m really wanting to ask Molly if she’d like to go, but I can’t.  And so I whisper I have to go.

And I get to church.  And I greet.  When worship started, I sat down.  Looked behind me, and who walks in?

A breath-of-fresh-air Molly.

Turns out she was. not. going to go to the parent breakfast thingy at school, but she promised the blonde lady that snatched her she’d meet her there.  And she was. not. going to go to Morning Grace, but she volunteered to bring a snack.

I sprung {yes! sprung!} from my seat, gave her a hug, and asked which class she was going to.  Turns out it’s the same class I was attending!  {there are like ten different classes …}

Crazy coincidence?  Or Divine appointment?

I could go on and on … but basically, we’ve been inseparable since we’ve met.

I knew it was a match made in heaven when at dinner, I accidentally spit something out of my mouth … and Molly purposefully took a bite and spit it out too.

Molly gifted me with this cute mug {and of course got one for herself too}.  The other side says “with God.”  I texted her one morning with a photo of my mug, and she texted back with a photo of her mug.

OH wait! I almost forgot!  The first morning we met for coffee, as we were getting up to leave, she grabbed my hand and said we needed to pray.  It. was. beautiful!  There is was … in the middle of Starbucks, a friendship sealed with prayer.

And we’ve even gotten our toes painted together!  :)

Here’s a photo of the girls with Molly’s son … he’s a sweetie and a certain Johnson girl may have a little crushie-crush on him!

I know I’ve mentioned Piper’s new friend before, but here are a couple photos of them and the other girls {one is Syndey’s sister, also in 2nd grade}.

And lastly … even babygirl had a playdate!  Her very first one!!  When I hung up the phone with the girl’s mom, this was what I saw … well, kinda … this one’s a reenactment.

I know I’m finished with the 31 Days of Faith posts … but I’d like to encourage you with a few thoughts …

At times, we’ve gotten very discouraged with our new adventure here in the South … we STILL get very discouraged.  But what I believe with all my heart and tell the girls, is that God wouldn’t have us in this place if He didn’t have great plans for us!  I believe it.  I know it.

I wrote this post during a really difficult time.  Even though it was a rough valley for me, I never lost hope.  I never lost my faith … my belief.

And look … just look how He’s rewarded us.

” … Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful
with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things …”
Matthew 25:23

Where are you at today?  Do you believe in His promises for you?  Are you being faithful with little?

I am so thankful He hears us.  He cares.  He rewards those who are faithful.

Posted in blessed, faith, friends