Okay finally! I thought after quitting work that I’d have tons of time to blog but that obviously hasn’t been the case. This may take more than one post so bear with me please. So now to update whoever cares :) on what’s been happening in the Johnson world the last 6+ months that I have been absent from the blogosphere. This 'catch up list' is not necessarily chronological or in order of importance ...just as it occurred to me. So such as it is, here goes:
1. In our house, we are now down to four people. Haley's been gone for two years now (wow how the time has flown!). She and her husband Josh live right outside of St. Louis and serve on staff at an awesome church, Faith Chapel, in O’Fallon, Missouri. Then this past December, Max left for IHOP (the International House of Prayer) in Kansas City, Missouri. So our two eldest children have both left the nest and are in full-time ministry in Missouri! Its kind of weird. We haven't been this small since the Scotland years. I have to rethink things when I buy groceries now. I tend to want to cook for the masses. We've eaten a lot of left-overs this year while I've gotten adjusted.
Despite all the changes, there are blessings to having fewer children. The older two had our full attention during the vigor and zeal of our youth. Now the younger two have the benefit of our attention when we are definitely older (although more tired) but hopefully much wiser :). As the twins have reached their busy teen years, this past year Keith and I have often found ourselves in a situation we are not accustomed to.... in the house ALONE! With raising and homeschooling four children, that's something we haven't experienced in 22+ years since we became parents. It's quite odd. But we look at each other now and know that this is how we began and sooner than we realize, this is how it will be once again. It's not a bad thing though. Really, it's not.
We miss our two Missouri kids but we are slowly adjusting to this 'new normal'. It's not always easy, but we really have no choice. And it's what is normal and right. So there you have #1.
2. This past year, this former stay-home, homeschooling Mom began working full time and put the twins in school. I had already been wanting to do something outside of the home for quite some time and financially it certainly was a necessary blessing, so at the time, it seemed like a good idea. At this juncture, I'm still undecided if it truly was. But regardless, I was blessed with an awesome job in the church office and the kids were able to go to school at our church’s school. It was helpful being on campus with them, but often this year we've asked ourselves- "Did we do the right thing? Should we have just trusted God to provide and should I have stayed home with them?" Honestly, we just didn’t do well with it. No matter how great the job or how wonderful the people I worked with, I was very distracted. I didn’t feel like I gave the kids the attention they needed. And spiritually I was in coping mode. No time or energy to delve deeper, to search farther, to press in or to wrestle things through like I am accustomed to. More and more I found myself just doing what I could manage with the limited time and energy I had. I am one who processes things very slowly. I chew on things a long time and don't come to conclusions or gain revelation quickly. With me it's a slow but thorough, process. So busy-mode is just not a good fit for me. I am so amazed at how some folks not only manage, but thrive on stress and find it as a motivator to push them to excellence. I admire this and wish I could do so many different things well while maintaining the energy to stay on top, yet not neglecting relationships. It is amazing when you think about how God made us each so special and unique, with different motivators, different keys to our heart. But this year I have discovered… I am NOT a multi-tasker. I am not criticizing myself. Its just a fact. I am beginning to recognize and to embrace my single-mindedness as a gift from God that just doesn’t fit into certain lifestyles. And this has definitely been a year where the focus has NOT been on discovering my strengths. But that’s okay. We will have more years for that God willing.
I’m not saying going to school this past year was a completely bad experience for the twins, but had I been more ‘there’, it might could have been more of a learning, growing experience for them as we worked through their adjustments, as a family. But sadly I admit, a lot of their struggles I didn’t catch onto until much later. I know usually we did the best we could at the time, but more often than not, I feel we weren't as 'on', as alert, as sharp or as 'there' for them as they needed us to be. So overall it was a difficult year for us as a family. I have had my share of regrets and longings for do-overs, but you have to repent for what you know of and move forward. And our God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. So we qualify for that praise God! :) No experience is wasted in the Kingdom. One day we'll know what this was all about... But its done now, and one thing we learned is- we aren’t doing that again next year!!!
I think the stress of this past year, made me feel older. Obviously I know I AM older, but I have really FELT it as I've given way to stress. But I truly think that this next year will find us spiritually, emotionally and physically in a different place...which leads me to #3...
3. We are moving. I’m sure most of you probably already know that but in case there are some out there who haven't heard, there you have it. We are leaving Baton Rouge. And I bet you can’t guess where we are moving? Yep Missouri. More to come on that…
4. Also, I stepped down from the worship team (I told you, I can't multi-task ). I didn't feel I was giving my best to it. I am an all or nothing kind of soul. It seemed the best thing to do. As much as I love worship, love ministering and love singing, I know it was right and it was time. I don't regret it which shows me it was a God thing.
5. And I quit work (But you already knew that right?)
6. NOW, the latest news I guess, is that our house is officially on the market. (Any interested buyers or just nosy folks :) can view it at http://www.fsbobr.com/, Area 4, near the bottom of the page, Bull Run Drive). We have had some interested parties and have shown it four times after being on the market only 2 weeks. Pretty encouraging. Please keep us in prayer to sell it in God’s time and to bring the right buyer. I want this home to be a blessing to someone as it has been to us.
SO suffice it to say, we now are in SELL THE HOUSE mode and that is consuming our world at the moment.
7. This past June, Keith and I celebrated 27 years of wedded bliss! :D God is good and we are truly blessed. I love him more today than I did 27 years ago and I believe he can say the same.
I hope to expound more on some of these items in the 'Catch up List' in future blogs. And there's definitely more to come about the wheres, the whys and the whens of the move…. Until then...
God bless! Kayla =D