"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

To Tell of His Grace

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Johanson Family Memories ~ 2011

2011 Family Prayer Verse: Philippians 3:7-8
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of CHRIST. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing CHRIST JESUS my LORD, for whose sake I have lost all things."

O Lord, may we as a family consider
EVERYTHING a loss compared to knowing YOU!!!

Our Favorite Family Memories of 2011~

We went skiing as a family for the first time!
Thankfully we had 2 pros with us - Brodie and Alese :)

Kolson received the "Blue Ribbon Cub" award

Kolson and I began enjoying our last semester of
"lunch" days after he'd get home from Kindergarten

We enjoyed watching Keegan's Baseball season
(especially since he couldn't play last year because of a neck injury)

Kennady had 2 Cheer Competitions

Our family went to the Beach for Easter Break...

We celebrated the RESURRECTION of our Lord Jesus!!!

Kennady started Softball season
And...We were the first to put our boat on the lake -
Brodie was a little excited :)

Auntie Julie's/Baby Claire's Baby Shower

Jen's 35th Birthday

Kolson's Kindergarten Hat Parade

All 3 kids were in Miss Mandy's beautiful wedding

Kennady received the "Block G" award

Keegan received "Blue Ribbon Cub"

Boy's Baseball Party...(Keegan's 9th and Kolson's 7th Birthday Parties)
Keegan's Team

Kolson's Team
Keegan in outfield

Kolson batting

Happy Birthday!!!

Church Softball started :)

We started the ADOPTION process!!!
This is one of my favorite pictures - we had to
turn so many family pictures in for our application
so we started getting creative by trying to all line up on
the slide...which didn't work too well :)

Kolson's actual Birthday :)

Baby Claire was born!!!

Ben and Alese's Wedding!!! We can't believe
our Miss Alese is all grown up and married!!!
She is such a beautiful woman of God and we are so happy
that she found such a great man who loves her & puts Jesus 1st!

Best dancers there!

Our annual beach trip for the summer

Back to School!!!

Brodie's 38th Birthday!!!

Disneyland!!! Alese was able to
visit us since she lives near there :)

Brodie and Kennady stunting

Happy Fall!!!

Kennady's 11th Birthday!!!

We love hosting Thanksgiving at our house :)

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Gingerbread Men...


More parties :)

And since Christmas we have had...
Lots of Cake Pop making...

Lots of Lego Building...

More lego building

And as usual...Football!!!

We are looking forward to all that Jesus has in 2012.
His ways are BEST and He is above all, over all and in all!

Our Prayer Verse for 2012 is Acts 20:24

"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me -
the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

Dear Jesus, may we as a family consider our lives worth nothing to us. By Your grace, may we run this earthly race well and complete the task You have given to us as Christians - to tell of YOUR GRACE!!!
In Jesus' Name we ask this, Amen

house :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

The MIRACLE of Adoption

God is the Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5)
and He sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6)

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress
and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Maria's Big House of Hope is a part of Show Hope

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jesus is IN the pain...

When Jesus first put it on our heart to adopt I had two main fears. One was ~ would this take away from our 3 biological children in any way? That answer came right away as we have seen what a blessing this has already been for us all! The second fear was ~ would I be able to love an adopted child as I do our other three? Well, right when the Lord placed this precious girl on our hearts it felt instantly as if she was ours and I can honestly say that the love in our hearts became as real and deep for her as it is for our sweet three.......

And that is where our hurt comes from right now - we found out yesterday that she has been placed with another family. Our hearts are aching and broken but filled with so much hope and rejoicing that there will soon be 1 less orphan!!! We were called to love this child as our own - He made that very clear. We were called to pursue adopting her - and we have. This was His plan all along.

We do not understand. We do not have the answers.

But we DO trust Him - we DO know His plans are best.

He is fully in control and His Ways are SO far above our ways.

He is in the midst of all of our pain and all of our questions. Yesterday as I began to pray through this I cried out, "Jesus, why does this hurt so much? We never even held her but we so believed that she was ours and I let my heart fully love her. Lord, You woke me in the night sometimes to pray fervently for her, just as I would our other three. My heart is aching so much and I feel like I can't fully breathe."

And then I remembered my prayer from the very beginning of this adoption, "Lord, break our hearts for what breaks Yours. Break our hearts until we are moved to action! Break our hearts for the lost and the least. Our lives are not our own - let us live as Your Hands and Feet here on earth."

I really want to protect our children from pain and from hard stuff - it's our natural instinct as parents. So it is hard to see them hurting. But way more than that I want to see Christ formed in them. I want them to consider everything a loss compared to knowing Jesus (Philippians 3:7-10). I want them (all of us) to be His Hands and Feet - going where He goes and loving as He loves. And the truth is, Jesus is in the hard stuff, He is in the pain...He is in all things. The millions and millions of orphans who lie alone in a crib or orphanage, hungry and lonely but silent because no one comes when they cry... the tens of thousands of children who die every day from preventable diseases ... the countless widows who are all alone... the millions of children being trafficked and kept as slaves ....
 ~ Jesus is there ~ He is with them! 

And I believe that as Christ followers He calls us to go there with Him - to enter into pain, into injustice. We are the only hands and feet in which His Spirit can flow through to reach a lost and broken world.

He called us to love  and pray for this orphan as our own until she had a family of her own. Now we trust Him to continue leading us and I continue to beg Him, Lord, break our hearts for what breaks Yours - break us until we are moved to action. Let us not be deceived and think our lives are meant for us. They are not - our lives are not our own. You died so that we may live (abundantly now and eternally with You in Heaven - John 10:10). So we are to live fully for You now! You are LIGHT in darkness; when we cannot see, You light the way. You make beauty from ashes! So we give You this pain and trust You fully and thank You for the beauty that comes from following You - even into the hard places. And we say, "Lord, we are willing to follow You wherever" - but we know that it is even Your grace that makes us willing.

And thank You for JOY in the midst of hurting - joy that is a steady assurance that You are good ALL the time! Joy that brings hope and reminds us that YOU are all that we need. Joy that believes that with You ALL things are possible and nothing is too hard for You!
We praise You - You give and You take away and all things work together for the good of those who love You. You are above all and over all and in all and we trust You!
So we lay this precious one that You have called us to love as our own for this time in her life at Your Feet and ask above all that she will grow to know You and Your amazing love for her! Jesus, thank You that You set the lonely in families!!! (Psalm 68:6)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We are ALL Adopted!

"For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves." Ephesians 1:4-6

As Christ followers, God has adopted us as HIS children! Watch
this amazing video that reminds us of all that Jesus has done for us...

Thank You, Jesus, for loving us enough to die for our sins and redeem us and forgive us. Through You we are adopted as God's children and given eternal life! We praise You that You are the Father to the fatherless and You hold each orphan in Your Hand; just as You hold each one of us. Thank You, Jesus!