September 30, 2010

Prayer for Sean

We just returned from an awesome, blessed visit with our family in St Louis. It was really hard to leave and to come back to Baton Rouge. We are seeking the Lord for we look at these delays with our house as God's timing or as a hindrance of the enemy to stop God's plan? That would definitely change the way we pray. But it was awesome to see our precious children. To have us all under one roof again. To see Haley and Josh's new house. It was beyond wonderful to worship in the tangible presence of God with my family at Faith Chapel and to hear Pastor Brad preach and teach the word of God in such a clear manner. Oh my- how we long to be there. Soon God, soon...

But now I’d like to depart from my usual blog posts and to bring before you a prayer request. I'd like to ask for prayer for our friend Sean Coffey. He has just this last week been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which has spread.

We met Sean and his wife Jen when we were stationed in Groton Connecticut ten years ago. We attended their wedding and they were in the homegroup that we led. We lost touch with them after moving but have recently reconnected through Facebook. Since we were in Ct, they have had two adorable little boys who are 3 and 6. They are a precious, extremely close, beautiful family.

Understandably they are completely shocked and devastated by Sean’s diagnosis. Without God, his prognosis is bleak. But we of course are not without God nor are we without hope. Please pray for healing, hope, peace, provision and direction for them. They don't see the doctor until next week. Pray for favor with the doctors and that their doctors would have great wisdom. Please pray that, as Jesus did, they would see what the Father is doing, and know how to pray and what to do. That the doctor's word wouldn't necessarily be the final word on the subject.

If you wish to follow Jen’s blog it is In her blog, Jen is devastatingly honest about the painful, confusing, heartbreaking and fearful emotions she is experiencing right now. I beg you guys to please pray for these precious ones who are walking a very dark path. Please pray that the presence of God would draw tangibly near, that He would lift their eyes and surround them with a blanket of peace instead of the horror they are experiencing right now. They need spiritual warfare on their behalf. They need hands to come alongside them in prayer and to lift their hands as they grow weak with grief. Please pray that the enemy would get out of this situation with his lies and fears and oppression. He is really breathing down their necks right now. My heart is breaking for them in their raw pain. So I beg you to please please pray. And if you have a prayer chain at your church please, I ask you, add them to it.

I feel a mandate to pray for this family and to mobilize prayer. Those of you who are intercessors probably 'get' this. I'm not sure I do. I have been told I am an intercessor although I have never been fully convinced that I am. But this burden to pray for this couple I haven't seen in ten years is beyond intense. I've never had such a concern and burden to pray and to get others praying like I am with this. I think of them every moment and my heart grieves like this was Keith. I desperately want my prayers to matter. I want my prayers to move heaven and earth for these precious ones. I don't feel capable. But the urgency moves me. I feel such deep grief. I can't explain it. Intercessors, please tell this normal? I've never walked this road before and I want to understand and to 'do this right'. I would welcome any direction and advice from those of you more experienced in intercession. And mostly- I covet your prayers joined with mine for them. I promise- Sean and Jen and their two little boys are worth it.

So if I seem distracted, that’s what’s up with me. That’s all for now. God bless you all. I’ll keep you posted on Sean and any prayer needs they may have. Thanks Kayla

September 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Max!!!

Twenty years ago this week, I was one stressed-out woman. We were living in Groton, Connecticut where Keith was stationed with the US Navy. He had just made the rank of Chief and apparently making Chief is a huge rite of passage for a career sailor. The preparations began weeks earlier and would culminate in a horrid hazing weekend which would be followed with the traditional pinning ceremony. It was a huge deal. Unless one has been in the Navy, I’m sure any descriptions I would attempt to give of the week of Chief’s initiation- the ridiculous preparations, the dreaded hazing, and the tremendous amount of stress put on the new Chiefs AND their families- would be lost on you. So suffice it to say, it was BAD. Really, really bad. Made worse by the fact that I had a house full of company, a busy three year-old and was uncomfortably overdue to give birth with our second child at any given moment. Keith’s older brother David had come from Louisiana for the ceremony and was hoping to also be around for the birth if it happened by the end of the following week. Also, my sister was with us. She had scheduled her departure date to rejoin her Navy husband in Spain a week and a half after my due date thinking, SURELY the baby would have arrived by then. Well the ceremony came, still… no baby. We put my sister on a plane to Spain, still… no baby. We waved goodbye to David as he headed back to Louisiana and still…no baby.
       By the end of that week, I was 42 weeks pregnant. Yes, you heard me right- 42 weeks pregnant! I know right? Aren’t babies supposed to be born at 40 weeks? Doesn’t the doctor typically induce labor or schedule a C section if the baby hasn’t come at the prescribed 40 weeks? One would think so, wouldn’t one? But apparently my doctor was atypical or perhaps just curious to see how long I could go. Whether he was a sadist or just a thrill seeker I still don’t know, but I do know that by that weekend, I was unnaturally and enormously still pregnant. And as it had been three years earlier in Hawaii with Haley’s birth, despite all our efforts this time, there would be no waiting room full of excited family members. It would again be just me and Keith at our child’s birth.
       Well, at approximately 10 pm on Saturday, September 22nd, at 42 weeks pregnant, after having put Haley to bed, watched a little TV and thumbed through a magazine, I energetically headed towards the stairs when……it hit! Have you ever watched a movie or sitcom where the woman goes into labor? One minute she’s fine and dandy, then the next- she stops, grabs her belly and frantically yells- HONEY, THIS IS IT!!! Chaos then erupts, the husband can’t find the keys and it makes for good television. After my previous, seemingly-endless, 24-hour labor with Haley, Keith and I (the experts of course) now would ridicule Hollywood-style childbirth. “Labor doesn’t happen like that!" we'd scoff. "Those stupid script writers probably never even had a baby!" Well, my first contraction threw me immediately into hard labor. Pride goes before the fall and we ‘experts’ were to eat humble pie as we made a mad dash to the hospital only to welcome our precious son less than 45 minutes after we arrived!
     So at 12:03 am, September 23, 1990, Max Lane Johnson abruptly and gloriously entered our lives. We waited long for him, becoming comfortable in the waiting, and then SUDDENLY- he caught us off gaurd, surprising us by quickly bursting into this world with a vengeance.
       As I wrote that last sentence I couldn’t help but sense that there is a deeper spiritual parallel there to be explored.
       But to continue, Max entered our lives with a bang and for these twenty years, he has been a delight. God’s hand of favor has been on Max since he was very young and our realization of that has grown as he has. Once when Max was little, Keith was bathing him. As he was praying for him, the Lord clearly spoke to Keith’s heart that, unlike other generations before us, Max would fulfill all that the Lord had called him to do.
      So today, I want to honor my sweet beautiful boy on his 20th birthday. He’s truly a joy and a delight to his daddy and me. He's always been tenderhearted, correctable and sensitive which has transferred to his spiritual walk with God. He's been musical since he could talk and he has always been very much a Momma's boy :). He was all-boy from day one. We didn't have to teach him that, it just came natural. If he couldn't find a toy gun to play with he made his own... from a bread crust (he'd chew it into the shape of a gun :) , my favorite candlestick, or my cross necklace, which he would grab while sitting in my lap to shoot at imaginary 'voffs' (wolves).
      As Max has grown up in favor with God and man he's grown in his giftings and character. I can say about Max that he is respectful as well as a good brother and friend. But as pleased as we are at how Max honors us, we are so thankful at how Max honors God with his talents and with his passionate devotion. That's one thing I can say about Max- he is passionate. Anyone who has seen him lead worship can attest to this. He doesn't do anything half way. As laid back as he normally is, when he leads, he holds NOTHING back and cares not one bit what anyone thinks. As he came up in our church's worship team from being a background singer to eventually leading worship, it blessed me to be able to take off my "momma" hat and to be just another saint following his leadership as he followed the leading of the Holy Spirit. Even as his mom, I respect the authority on his life. And when the anointing rests on him as he ministers, it's easy to momentarily lose sight of the fact that I changed the diapers of that anointed man of God...
       Of course he’s not perfect, nor will he ever be (and I won't now list examples of imperfections since it IS his birthday and all :). But when I look at him now, I truly am thankful and blessed with the choices he's made and the young man he has become. I have no doubt the type of husband and father he will be because of these choices. It thrills me that he still calls me and wants to talk to me and to tell me about his day and the exciting things the Lord is doing in his life. I treasure these moments. I miss him but I know that today, he's exactly where God wants him.
       Well, Max is an adult now. No longer a teenager. No longer a child. But forever and ever, he will be my little boy and his daddy and I couldn’t be prouder of him.
God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams with four beautiful children and we are equally proud of the other three. I intend to write about my other treasures too...but today is Max's day.
       So Max, we dearly love you. You are our beloved son; and we are WELL pleased! Happy 20th birthday!!!!
Love, Your Mom

No Regrets

Our family 1996

Has it really been 20 years since my awesome oldest son Max was born? (Birthday blog coming soon. :) How quickly those precious years have passed. I ran across this blog post I wrote three years ago when Haley turned 20 I know in 5 years I’ll face this again with the twins. It never gets easier. But I want to say this to all of you young parents out there. It is WORTH it! THEY are worth it!

I married Keith at 18 and got pregnant with Haley before I completed college. So I never got my degree. But I don’t regret it! I didn’t join the corporate world and have a successful career like some of my friends. But I don’t regret it! I’ve not achieved fame or fortune or done anything very glamorous, dangerous or scandalous. But I don’t regret it!

I’m not going to say I haven’t sometimes had moments of frustration or feeling bad about myself when compared to the world’s view of success. I remember when the kids were small sometimes wondering-- "what about me God? What about my dreams?" I spent a lot of time wishing I was in the future and I didn't fully appreciate those precious present moments. But NOW I know, as insignificant as I sometimes felt, that no accomplishment, no reward, nothing compares to the opportunity I’ve had to BE THERE and to pour into my children. Nothing! Today they bless me more than I could ever have imagined when they were little and I was so very tired.

I ran across this poem someone else wrote and I want to share it…

A hundred years from now,
it will not matter what my Bank Account was,
the sort of house I lived in,
or the kind of car I drove,
but the world may be different
because I was important
in the life of a child.

My kids are getting older and I am beginning to transition out of this season I've been in for so long. Its not easy. But now I see that this has been a very important (probably the MOST important) part of my destiny. And at this juncture of the journey, I am so humbled and thankful to have been chosen for such an honored calling in the Lord’s eyes as the Mother of these four precious children God has given me.

When we reach heaven, I do believe there’s going to be some surprises in store at who the Lord honors. I believe that many of the earth’s and the church’s big names will have to take a lower seat to the little mothers who honored God in the hidden place of their home, with their children, in the simple things they did for them. The sleepless nights rocking a sick child, the innumerable diapers changed, meals cooked, stories read, the time spent with the least of these… these things, I believe, will be honored in heaven far above the fame, fortune and accomplishments that were praised and honored here on earth.

Nope. I don’t regret it ONE bit.

September 12, 2010


Okay, not big news but I (obviously) have a new blog design. I'm not sure I like it yet... not crazy about the white letters. Something in me rebels against white letters. Seems unnatural. But I like the colors. Has an olde world vibe. So we'll see. :)

But the cool thing about updating my blog is that now I see something I didn't realize.... I HAVE FOLLOWERS! I never thought these random thoughts of mine would be worthy of anyone anticipating, much less following. So I am humbled and I thank ya'll for your interest and support (I sound like a won an award lol). But I mean it. That truly blesses me. Now that I know somebody's actually reading this, I shall try to write more often.

I am attempting to download a video of the IHOP prayer room that particularly blessed me but its not loading so we shall see if that will make it to the blogosphere or not.

But until then.... again, thanks and God bless you. I will check out your blogs as well and drop you a line. :)

September 2, 2010


Well I haven’t kept my promise to blog more faithfully have I? I suspect my readership has probably dwindled from a handful of folks to, well...less . But regardless, I owe all two of you an apology :).

Well so far things haven’t quite unfolded like I envisioned. I really expected to be either moved to St.Louis already or in the process by now. But here we sit- still waiting, still in transition. Nope the house hasn't sold. We've had lots of traffic, but no offers. They say the housing market is slow right now (whoever "they" are). We've been busy keeping the house cleaner than is normal, stressing about shedding dogs and praying against rain when everyone else is praying for it (because of muddy paw prints) and rushing around frantically when we get the call... Its not been fun to say the least. I've now started praying that the Lord would keep people away who aren't going to buy. Since I've prayed that, we've not had one person call. I should be thankful I know. However...

I had this assumption that very soon after we did our part (put the house on the market) that the Lord would swoop in and blow our minds by selling our house like in a week. Thats ridiciulous I know, but I can't tell you how many times I've heard (or said myself) "when we do our part, then God will do His". It’s been assumed (mostly by ME) that’s how it would transpire. I’m not saying however God chooses to do this won’t end up being amazing, but it is funny how we get things in our heads about God's behavior. I call these "God-formulas". They go something like this- “I will do this and then God will do that.” Sound familiar? The one I’ve heard most recently is this-

“When you really lay this down, then God will move”
Really? Says who? How do you know that? Show me the scripture!

But I know that I’ve also assumed and passed around these same unsound formulas like an old sage to other trusting saints as if they were…well, Biblical. Okay I know there are truths implied in them about trusting, obeying, submitting and the like but we need to be so careful about how we apply them. Because the result of anything not based on the truth and the pure word of God is bound to bring forth fruit like- shame, fear, condemnation and even idolatry (faith in the ‘formula’ rather than God Himself). And all these can ultimately lead to disillusionment, discouragement and despair. How many saint’s walks have been shipwrecked because some assumed ‘God-formula’ didn’t play out?

With all this, I’ve been so challenged lately to examine everything and to assume nothing. I’ve had to fight the thoughts like- “I must not be laying it down since nothing is happening yet”. Okay then, assuming that's even true- what constitutes ‘laying it down’? Is the fact that I really, REALLY, REEEEEEEALLLLLY want to move like SOOOOOON mean I haven’t laid it down? I ask this because another good God-formula I’ve always heard is-

“When you get to the point where you don’t care, then you’ve really surrendered”.

Seriously? Is that even possible? Is not caring really an indication of when we have truly laid something down? Can't I trust God and surrender to Him while still having strong desires at the same time ? (assuming these aren't sinful desires of course) Are those two incompatible? But wait- didn’t Jesus Himself say- “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not My will but Yours be done”? I’m no theologian but to me that seems to indicate that Jesus had a strong desire… yet His desire to please His Father was greater.

These are rhetorical questions I realize and I don’t expect a cut and dried answer… but I am really wanting to make sure what I believe and proclaim is Biblical. The older I get, the more I realize how little I truly know about God's ways. Don't get me wrong, I plan to learn as much as possible and I know He takes pleasure in being sought. But seriously, can't we Christians sometimes just say "I Don't Know Why"? Must we so often default to our list of custom-made, Christian-culture quotes? I do know He is God. He is love and He knows what He's doing and is ultimately going to have His way. Sometimes I feel at peace with that fact and at other times it makes me nervous…But if that’s not 'laying it down', then I refuse to assume that means we’ll not move for ten more years.

And by the way another one that I've heard lately is this- "He must be delaying because He's getting things ready for you up there". I actually like this one, and I hope its true. :)

So here is where I am, like it or not... not on the other side of this transition, but stuck right here in the middle....waiting. And I have no clue as to why we are still here. I may never know. But I will not assume that God's plan is hanging on my working out a formula like some sort of stubborn combination lock, especially when I am truly desiring to please Him despite my obvious frailty. Because isn't it He who initiated this relationship to begin with? The WORD clearly states that He helps us in our weakness and that HE who began this good work in me, will be faithful to complete it. And this greatly comforts me.

So I continue to pray- Jesus, help me to lay it all down and please meet me where I am. If I am not sufficiently willing and surrendered, then please make me so. For I can do NOTHING without You... yet I can do ALL THINGS through You. Oh and Lord if you don't mind...could we please sell our house soon? Because I really love Missouri and I really want to be near my children.... But Lord (You know the rest)~Not my will but YOURS be done. Amen! :)

By the way- feel free to show me some love and leave a comment. I like to know who's reading this. But if you're an Anonymous blogger with no Blog account, please give me your name (this was added by me after I got two lovely comments by mystery fans:) Oh and I do screen them before I post them now. I have been getting weird spam comments... But don't be afraid. Even if I don't know you personally, I'll approve your comment if you're not spam or a weirdo :)

God bless, Kayla