It’s February…

…and for the first time, I don’t know where the winter has gone. Not that it’s over; it’s far from over here. We’ll have a lot more cold winds, a couple more big snows and it won’t really feel warm (at least to me) until June.

But it’s February. And the winter is flying by. It’s been a winter of change. Not a lot of visible change has taken place (unless you count the addition of the dairy cow in September, but by now she feels like she’s been around forever) but so much has changed in my heart.

I think God has us all wired certain ways. By that I mean there’s a reason I’m not a doctor, or a secretary for that matter. (Just for a minute there it was hilarious to picture me acting like I have any administrative qualities.)

So our hearts have been drawn in the direction they’re going since forever. But this winter, something is stirring inside of us.

More accurately God is doing the stirring and what He is mixing up is some crazy concoction that includes love. Love and a whole lot of reconsidering what is real and right and worthwhile.

It’s funny (in a peculiar way) how we adopt habits and opinions and positions and whole lives based on things that aren’t really that important. I’m sure my friend Bob wouldn’t mind me stealing his format to say this:

I used to think a lot of things, but now I know that God wants me to stop thinking and do a whole lot more…doing. Loving, to be exact.

Ok, so I’ve never met Bob Goff. But I do know (for darn sure) that we would be friends if I did.

There are so many questions that have come up about what Christians should and shouldn’t do. Sometimes I can get overwhelmed (as you probably know if you’ve read more than half a blog post) when I think about things like family and ministry and the state of the church and the needs in this world.

Maybe you can help. If I (and you) can tell my brain to stop thinking about it so much, maybe I can stop squeezing love into my daily schedule and start squeezing my to-do list into a life filled with love. I used to get overwhelmed by the gravity of the problems. But my friend Bob (there I go again) has helped me to see God has a plan.

It’s me. It’s you. It’s a whole lot of messed up people who have the kahones (the spell checker in me needs you to know that the correct Spanish is cojones, fyi) to go out and do something. You know, like besides arguing about it on Facebook.

If I get it all figured out, I’ll let you know. For now I think we should agree to trade grace and make a beeline toward Jesus. We’ll both get off track and meet some really cool people along the way. You bring a friend and I’ll bring a friend, k? It’ll be better than a tupperware party in 1994.

Break.

Oh. I guess to make this a “good” blog post it needs some pictures. So here’s some Johnson winter for you folks.

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Baking goodies.

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Dress up!

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Felfie! (Farm animal selfie – I didn’t even make that up. Google it.)

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She’s explaining something incredibly deep while he polishes her toe nails. Priceless!

Advent

Are you doing anything for advent?

I struggle every year with the bulk of American Christmas traditions. Why are we doing them? What do they have to do with Jesus?

I want my kids to wake up Christmas morning with excitement that they know and worship the God who came down in humility to rescue them. Nothing else. Just Jesus.

I found this advent book a couple years ago and I’ve really enjoyed it. It helps our family to focus on the character of the God we’re following after.

Usually I hang up some kind of neat boxes or something to open. But alas, this year we have big changes on the horizon and it just wasn’t come together. (Note: Not to be read “we’re having another baby;” nice try though!)

So this year we’re doing a simple countdown with our wooden nativity puzzle (found on etsy). Everyday we move our wisemen and their lone camel up one rock on the path to Bethlehem. Then we sit down and read our advent story.

Strolling past the bug collection on the way to Bethlehem!

Strolling past the bug collection on the way to Bethlehem!

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It’s not fancy shmancy, but it’s been quite enjoyable for us! Are you doing anything for advent?

 

Some days…

Some days I have sick kids. 

Some days I wonder if I ever went to sleep. 

Some days I’m physically and emotionally exhausted.

Some days I just don’t have it in me.

Some days I can’t hold to my “I hate tv” ideals.

Some days I have to choose between a clean house and showing my children I care.

Today I choose them.  Not everyday.

But some days… 

   

    
   At the risk of ruining that sweet feeling you have inside, let’s be real. If my fairy godmother showed up at the door and told me to go get some rest, I’d be in the tub before you could say…
I’m to tired to think of something clever.

An Autumn Celebration!

Strewn toys, sweet drawings on my refrigerator, empty treat trays, decorations (that aren’t placed just so anymore), and frosting bowls with finger trails in them. Signs of a day well spent.

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Micaiah wanted to celebrate this beautiful harvest season. “A fall party!!” he kept saying.

He planned games, made decorations and wrote his own invitations complete with a handprint turkey.

He was kind enough to let Adriel choose and make treat recipes (with help from Grandma of course).

We practiced welcoming guests, taking coats and offering beverages.

I am one proud mama. I set out one decoration and helped a few mothers understand what the mysterious turkey card meant that their child brought home. Grandmas helped with the cookies. Other than that, this was a kid-thrown fling. How cool is that?!

It was a time of enjoying friends and showing love.

Blessed, I feel. (How Yoda was that? Sorry)

How To Know If He’s a Keeper

This is for all you single ladies, aspiring/new dairy cow owners and anyone else who might want to chuckle at my misery.

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Milking – Thank you Cow Can’t Kick contraption!

Sunday evening I had my new dairy cow “home” for 24 hours. Lambda expressed her discontent at my milking technique by kicking the bucket and dancing around. Finally, for whatever reason (probably something I did wrong because let’s face it: I’m a nube.) she kicked me. We’re not talking about kicking the bucket over and nicking my hand. This was a carefully aimed karate chop that got me in the forehead, the arm and the thigh all in one foul swoop.

I proceeded to holler at my husband, who is currently nearing deaf old man status due to a couple of ear infections. After 5 yells, or something like that, he saunters over holding the baby and asks how it’s going. I don’t even remember what I said, but it was something like, “It’s not going! I just got kicked in the fricking head!!”

I turned into a soppy puddle of emotions. I apologized over and over because I thought for sure I couldn’t possibly milk that monster. He asked if we just needed to get a milk machine. That is after all what she’s used to. My response, “We need a freaking craigslist add, that’s what we need!”

Apparently my colorful language is lacking.

All evening Nic kept telling me I can do this. You need to know that I have a massive propensity to romanticize things. My romanticized version of dairying didn’t really have a kicking cow in it. But even when I told myself it might not be quite that smooth, I pictured a little spilt milk here and there. Go ahead, shake your head. But the Bessie I imagined was much more…friendly

In actuality, I can count more sore spots on my body that the times I’ve spilt milk. (Although I do occasionally have to milk one teat onto the ground when I can’t get the bucket right under her udder.) So I cried on and off all night long. Here I had hunted down a milk cow, dragged my whole family 3+ hours away to get her and she was such a poop!

I was rolling all of these things in my brain-the inadequacy, the bumps & bruises, I felt like I heaped a burden on Nic because I was being a wimp and on top of it we had to get up at the crack of dawn to do it again.

I’m so so so so sorry.

That’s when Nic put his hand on my shoulder and said, “You need to know that I’m not frustrated with you. At all. I would do this by myself everyday for my family.

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And that ladies, is how you know you have a good one.

Just when I thought I was irresponsible, irrational and wussy (Ok, maybe a little on that last one) in swoops my super-husband to rescue me. He reminded me that we made a decision that we felt this was best for our family’s health and he was going to make sure it happened.

God made men and women equal but different. Both in his image, but with different gifts. Even though I smell like cow half the time, I feel like quite the tea cup these days: feminine, fragile, even pretty somedays (you know under the snot and…stuff). But ladies, you know you’ve got a good one when he makes decisions according to what is true and good and stands for them. I’m so thankful for my sturdy thermos and God’s grace which has given us nine beautiful years.

Two vessels, both filled with the Spirit of God, but oh so different in form and function.