Sunday, January 06, 2013

2012

It's time for our recap of 2012!  This year has brought some major answer to prayers and we have seen the hand of God move in incredible ways.  I think it is so awesome how he is involved and cares about the small details in our lives.

At the end of 2011 we were still waiting on direction from God regarding Travis' career.  Over the course of 2012, he gave us clear direction on where he wants Travis to be, and we are so thankful.  It all started in the Spring when Travis was offered a job at the Hospital and we were very excited about the opportunity for him to advance.  We made a small counter offer that we felt confident they would accept.  We waited to hear back and when we didn't hear anything after a few weeks we started to get worried.  Travis called to see what was going on and he got the dreaded, "We need to talk".  He met with them the following week and they told him Vanguard, who recently bought the hospital, put a hiring freeze on their department due to the possibility of them outsourcing the hospital billing.  We were frustrated and confused once again.  But we also felt like God protected us. If he had accepted the job earlier, he likely would have been out of a job due to the eventual outsourcing.

During the summer, Travis came to me and told me he felt like it was time to really pursue the farm.  He felt like God had closed the door on the hospital job for a reason and he was leading us to the farm.  I'll have to admit I cried when he told me this because it not only affects his choice of career but it ultimately affects everything else in our lives.  I knew this was ultimately why God had called us down here, but I really struggled over the course of the fall because I felt like God was asking so much of us.  There were things that are going to be required of us that I wasn't ready to accept.    I also had some major fears, so one day I wrote down all of my fears on one side of a page and on the other side I wrote all of the reasons I could trust God and ways that he has been faithful to our family.  The reasons to trust God far outnumbered my fears and I knew I had to put them aside and press forward.  God also showed me that what I was struggling with pride.  I was being selfish and I was thinking of myself as better than others.  I guess I thought I had a better plan that what God had planned for us.  God gently reminded me through the book of Job that I don't have better plans than him,  "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Tell me, if you know so much."  Job 38:4

During this time, Travis went to his dad and began discussions and his dad also felt like it was a good time for Travis to come on board.  His dad approached his uncles and they began hashing out a plan.  After several months of discussion they came to us with what had been agreed upon and they decided Travis would begin farming in January.  There is still a lot of things to be determined as we plan to join the partnership in future years, but we have time to figure all of those things out.  It's a little overwhelming to think about the financial aspects of this decision, but we believe this is what God is calling us to do and so he will provide for us when the time comes.

After pouring over our new budget, we determined that I would need to go back to work at least part time.  During the past year I had been working from home doing some part time work for a start up company, but during the fall it was evident that the company was not going to make it.  We started talking to different people and sending my resume out, but ultimately we were concerned about how this would affect our family especially in the summer.  In November, I got an e-mail from a partner at a local accounting firm asking me to come in for an interview.  I had actually talked to them four years ago before we moved to Harlingen.  During the interview we were talking about my preferred schedule and they told me that they have several people that work flexible schedules, including some that take a few months off at a time.  I left the interview so encouraged because they were willing to let me work part-time during the school year and take the ENTIRE summer off to be with my kids.  I will be able to take and pick the kids up from school during the year and be home with them after school.  It was a huge answer to prayer and I'm so thankful that I will be able to be with my kids while they are home during the summer.  It was way more than we could have ever hoped for!  "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!"  Ephesians 3:20-21

Another huge answer to prayer this year is our new church, Logos Community Church.  During the spring and early summer we because increasingly unsettled in our old church.  We weren't really sure where we were going to go, but we just felt God calling us out of that church.  We visited a church in Mcallen a few times, but didn't really like driving 45 minutes to go to church and felt that we would never really have community or be able to be involved with living so far away.  Sometime during the summer we heard through the grapevine that Logos Community in Mcallen was going to be planting a new site in Harlingen.  We looked up the church and were excited about the potential.  We had actually heard of this church before we moved down here because the pastor is friends with one of our good friends from Houston.  We went to the informational meeting and have never looked back.  We are so happy that God was orchestrating this and that we get to be a part of it!

As you can see, 2013 is going to bring lots of changes for the Johnson family!  We are nervous and excited about the things to come, but we know that God will be with us through all of it!



Thursday, January 03, 2013

Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas in Virginia this year with my side of the family.  We had lots of fun and of course ate way too much!  Here are some pictures from our trip!



Claire being a monkey on the plane ride there.


We went and looked at Christmas lights one night and this one house had a crazy amount of inflatables.  The kids loved picking out their favorites.

Tyler with Santa!


The kids with Santa!


Claire loved the Dora inflatable!


Christmas Eve morning we woke up to this...

SNOW! 
 The kids were so excited!


The kids ready to open Stockings!


Claire loved her very first Barbie doll!


I love this picture of Cooper's face.  He must have been really excited about the Star War's Angry Birds Pajamas!


We couldn't find Claire behind all of her presents!


The Johnson kids ready to open presents!


The day after Christmas we headed up to West Virginia to spend a couple of days at the famous Greenbrier hotel.  Because we had so many people we stayed in one of the cottages.  It was so beautiful and it snowed while we were there.

Here is our cottage!  Isn't it beautiful?


The boys playing in the snow!


Claire all bundled up and ready for the snow!


Claire and Cooper


Tyler and me in the lobby of the Greenbrier


My parents graciously offered to watch the kids one night and let us go out with the Hoovers for a date night.  We had a fun night just the adults!


Kyle and Christine ready for a night out!