friends · grief · Life · loss · love · Poetry · Relationships · Words

Longing for you


You are my entire weakness. 

Every time I see you I want you but I know I can never have you. 

You belong to someone else. 

If life were different, another time, another place, we would be soul mates instead of friends. 

I know you feel it too. I see it in the way you look at me, the longing, the sadness.

I hear it in your voice when you say my name.

I wish I could stop feeling this way but my heart is so dedicated to you. 

It skips a beat every time you are near me and a thousand tiny butterflies set flight. 

I desire to know a life with you. 

The taste of your mouth on mine, the feel of your skin against my own, your hand slipping through mine.

We’d spend dark nights concealed by the shadow of the moon and early mornings in the suns balmy rays.

I wish, but when did wishing for something ever make it real?

We will stay familiar as friends.

I will laugh and smile when I see you and feign that I don’t feel a thing. 

And when you leave with her, you will be taking a piece of me with you once again. 

This is the way it must be. 

In this version of time we are not destined to be. 







Beauty · Faith · God · grief · Happiness · Life · loss · love · Marriage · Parenting · Relationships · Religion · Words

Stop waiting before it’s too late.



We are all waiting for something. 

To be Thinner. 

To be Happier. 

To be Richer. 

To be More Fulfilled. 

What if one day, on our death beds, our bodies nearly paralyzed from old age, we were only waiting for death to come and take us. 

Would we look back on our lives and see that we never stopped waiting?

If only we had lost the weight, we’d have worn that bathing suit. The one hidden in the back of the drawer that we always told ourselves “next year”. 

If only we’d had more money we would’ve been more fulfilled, led a happier life. We made money, but it was never enough so that we were rich (or so we thought). 

And lying there in that bed, your body nothing like it used to be, a weaker version of the once strong counterpart, would you be glad that you had waited? That you were never enough to be enough. 

The bathing suit eventually got thrown away and never enjoyed the suns warm rays or the splash of cool water. While our children and husband played on the shore and swam in the deep, we sat in a chair on the sidelines, watching, wishing, waiting.

The job we had, finally ended in retirement. We had so many years clocked at a place that took up a huge portion of our lives but we never really enjoyed one day of it. We were too busy wishing for more, never really seeing how blessed we were to have this job in the first place. After all it provided us our homes, cars, food, clothes and so much more. 

Lying there in that dark hospital room, hearing the beeping of the monitors, the steady rhythm of our heartbeat, surely we will wish we had stopped waiting to participate in our life. We will weep, saddled with regret. Things like being thin enough to wear a bathing suit or having more money will seem so small and insignificant in the end. In the sum of life, we will know how little these things truly meant, but it will be much too late to fix it. 

Right now, before it is no longer an option to live without the restrictions of old age, you have two choices:

1. Keep waiting

2. Start living today

The one you choose will determine everything.


Faith · God · Happiness · Life · love · Relationships · Religion · Words

Things I have learned


Things I have learned in my 41 years on this earth:

Life is fleeting. It seems a day goes by in minutes, a week goes by in seconds and a year goes by in hours. Really try to enjoy each day. Fully. Be present. Be alive not just living. You only get this one pass and then it’s all over.

Give more than you take. It always feels so much better to give away than to take away. So give. Give your time to those you love and cherish and those who may need it. Give your kids attention. Truly get down on their level and interact with them. Be the parent you wish you had, had. Give your heart away. Fall in love. Give your hospitality. Invite friends over and cook them a meal. Open up your house and fill it with love and friendship.

Stop worrying about your body. You really are perfect exactly as you are. At the end of your life do you really want to regret all that you missed because you were so focused on YOU. Losing weight. Losing inches. Fitting into a pair of skinny jeans. Do you want all of your memories to be of you obsessing over what you looked like and what you wanted to look like? Do you want to regret not being more alive. More present with your spouse, your kids, your friends….your life. Stop! We are more than what we look like. We are so much more.

Eat the damn cake!!! Seriously. Don’t limit any food because it is ‘bad’ for you. Enjoy everything in moderation. This goes along with enjoying life. Food is yummy so eat it!

Don’t estimate your value by a number. How much you weigh, how many inches your hips are, how many calories you’ve eaten….this will never define you. Love your body, it is your home and will carry you places and be your greatest gift. Our bodies work hard for us every single day. They are a gift, a miracle and they should be treated as such.

Marry your best friend. Marry the one who you can’t live without. The one who makes your life fuller, better. Marriage is work but if you are with the right person, it will be worth it. How amazing to grow old with someone who knew you when you were young and who still sees you in your youth ❤

Have a pet (or two, or three). They are good for your soul. A dog will be the most loyal companion you’ve ever known and will show you how simple life can be. They need nothing, except your love and attention and food/water to be happy. That’s it. They will love you fiercely no matter what . Every time you come home, they will be there, waiting for you. If that isn’t love I don’t know what is 🙂 Cats….well, they are a different story, lol.

It’s okay to have a messy house. It just means that your home is lived in and cozy.

On that note, laundry. It’s totally normal to keep your clothes in the dryer and just press ‘start’ when you want to wear something and get the wrinkles out of it. Folding clothes is so overrated, lol.

Listen to music everyday. Really listen. Find favorite songs, put your headphones on and blast it. Bonus points if you dance. Music soothes every part of us and is good for the spirit. Music is therapy.

Get outside among nature and let the sun warm you. Take in the trees, the clouds, the sky. Go for a walk, ride your bike. Being outdoors is nature’s therapy and it is completely free. The fresh air will remove cobwebs from your mind and leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

You don’t have to be a great parent to be a good one. There is no such thing as perfect. It is a guarantee…you will mess up, you will yell too much, you will regret things but what matters is that you try your best each day. Raising kids is the hardest job in the entire world and there is no instruction book on how to get it right. As long as you love your children unconditionally and want the best for them you are a good parent.

Lastly, pray a lot. There is a doorway that is open for us to talk to God and tell him our intimate thoughts. Do not close it off. When you don’t know where to turn, turn to Him. He has all the answers. Sometimes they come instantly but more often than not they come gradually, and you will need to hold on to patience and show Him some grace. But trust me, they will come.

I am sure there are many more things I could share with you but these are the most relevant to me.  These lessons I’ve learned, as I’ve lived, have proven to get me through. I hope they offer a glint of knowledge to someone else.

What life lessons have you learned? I’d love to hear in the comments.



Body love · Faith · God · Happiness · Life · Religion · Words

Lord, what is my assignment today?


As I stand looking in the mirror, glaring at a face that is so familiar to me, one I’ve seen a million times, I begin to pick myself apart.

This is a common thing for me, to stand before my own reflection and sift out all my imperfections.

Then something catches my eye and I turn to the corner of the brown framed mirror that hangs over my sink.

There I glance an image that I taped up just yesterday.

A reminder printed out on a small square piece of cardstock, so that every morning I can be reminded that I have more to give the world than how I look.

That my worth is not defined in the physical.

This note simply reads “Lord, what is my assignment today?”

Everything suddenly shifts and my perspective changes.

I have placed these words right where I know I will stand each morning and grumble about my shortcomings.

I am reminded that the Lord has a plan for me and it goes far beyond what I look like.

The Lord created me and I am his beautiful daughter.

He cherishes me and doesn’t see me as having flaws but as being human.

He didn’t create me to be perfect in body or perfect in any sense.

However, He did create me to fulfill a purpose. 

To go out into the world and do good and be a light to others. 

Everyday He gives me another chance and a whole lot of forgiveness and everyday he gives me his never-ending grace. 

It is time I give myself the same.

I am already perfect exactly as I am because I am made in His image.

When I glance back to the recognizable reflection in the mirror, I know for sure that my assignment today is to love myself and to trust Him and to truly know that I am more than my appearance. 

Now I challenge you to also ask “Lord, what is my assignment today?” and then turn away from looking outward and instead look within to find the answer.

Faith · Happiness · Life · Moving · Starting over · Words

Starting Over


There’s something quite magnificent about a snowy day. Living out in the country, the earth seems to stand still and be silent. I love to peek out a window, from the warmth of my heated home, and watch the snow come down. It’s as if I am the one in a tiny snow globe, the snow shaken alive around me.

This country living is still relatively new to me. I’ve only lived here in Michigan for almost three years now. I grew up in Southern California where snow is non-existent. Days are even warm in the winter months and the sun is never hidden like it often is here. Longing for a simpler way of life, my husband and I packed up our brood of boys (and a cat and three dogs) and drove across country to our new home. Looking back, that five-day trip will most likely forever be a favorite memory for all of us. The five of us, packed in the car like sardines, our clothes and essentials packed snuggly in a black canvas bag that was anchored to the roof of our car.

Stuck in a snowstorm in Wyoming we had to stay an extra night in our hotel due to the roads being shut down. This was probably the highlight of our trip, being ‘forced’ to stay an additional night and add more time onto our trek. In true Johnson family fashion, we went with the flow. Our extra day was spent in the indoor pool/spa, a room surrounded by glass walls that gave us a front row seat to the storm happening all around us. Coming from California it was rousing to see so much snow. My kids came alive and were filled with giggles and smiles, their little hearts beating in sheer excitement. I’ve come to learn that snow has a way of doing that to kids (and adults if I’m being honest). Those freezing white flakes are a joy to play in.

Our adventure continued the next day as we piled in our car, each of us, I’m sure wondering what the future held for our family in this unfamiliar place we were heading to.

Deciding to move and start over when you are in your late thirties with three kids is not for the faint of heart and it was not a decision we made over night. It was a dream my husband and I spoke about in hushed whispers in the dark of night, a dream we wanted to make a reality but had no idea how. We owned a home, my husband had a great job, our kids were all in school, I had friends I had known since third grade. How could we just up and leave it?

God works in mysterious ways though because one day it seemed right. It felt right to finally take the leap and start a new life in a new state, clear across the country. It felt suddenly the right moment to start over. My husband and I both got the sense that if we wanted to go, now was the time and so we did. By the grace of God, everything fell into place and He made a way for us.

We are living proof that it’s never too late to start again. If you desire something and you have the courage to take action, it can be yours.

Sitting here, as I write this, looking out at the snow-covered countryside that is my front yard, I am filled with wonder. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and see the sun rising over a forest of trees, a new day dawning, I have to pinch myself because it feels so surreal. This place I forever desired to live, this place my husband and I dreamt about, we made it, we are here. God lead us and once again we are home.

boy mom · Happiness · Life · love · Mom life · Parenting · Poetry · Words

My Son


I stand in the doorway, watching you sleep, feeling exhausted and spent, my heart heavy.

You look so peaceful and content, a vast contradiction to just a few hours ago when you were pouting at me, telling me how I was being so unfair.

Oh my child, to love you is so easy but to be a parent to you is often times very tough.

I can see things unfolding, visualize your future and imagine roads you will go down before you are even aware they exist.

I want to wrap you up in my arms and protect you from everything.

I want to pour words into you and have them fill you up with knowledge.

I want to save you from anything that might destroy what I know you can be, but that is not within my control. 

You will need to fall down and make mistakes and learn from them.

You came from me but you are not me.

You are your own person with your own ideas and perceptions.

I can only teach you to fly so that you can go out into the world one day and spread your wings and soar.

Oh child, as I stand here tonight, taking in the sight of you, wondering how it all went so fast and how much you’ve grown, my heart swells.

I have loved you every single day, since the day you were born and I will love you always.

So even though being your mom is sometimes tough, I hope you incessantly know and feel that loving you always came easy.

grief · Life · loss · love · Relationships

Losing You


That day is etched in my mind and it will be forever, this I have no doubt.

I was in the shower. I remember feeling like something was off but I didn’t know what it could be. I’d felt like that since I had woken up. Was this a premonition? My son, who was 2 years old at the time, was safely napping in his room. My husband was safely at work, I had recently spoken to him, but something just felt not quite right. I brushed it off and tried to enjoy the hot water as it melted into my skin. A few minutes later the phone rang and I quickly grabbed a towel, dried off as best I could in a few seconds and dashed out of the running water to answer. My dad’s voice filled the silence and my world came crashing down around me. “Jay’s gone” he said. Confused I asked “Gone where?”. “He’s dead Jennifer” my dad cried. I was speechless for a moment then “What do you mean he’s dead. He can’t be. He just had his 39th birthday 9 days ago. It’s not possible.” Tears streamed down my face as I continued to argue with my dad about why he must be mistaken, my brother, Jay, was much too young. In our broken state we never spoke about how he had actually died. I, in my disbelief, my dad in his deep misery. “Call your mom will you?” he asked me. “Please call her and make sure she’s ok, then you need to go get her so that she’s not alone”. Our call ended and my next one, to my mom, began as It suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea how he had died.  She was distraught and in the same disbelief that I was in. “He was at work and just fell over and died but I’m sure once we get to the hospital this will all be a huge mistake. I bet he will be okay” she said.  I agreed with her because who just suddenly dies at 39? Especially someone who isn’t sick. Someone I just spoke to the day before. This had to be wrong. I proceeded to call my husband at work as I ran into the living room and fell down on my knees, crying out. My son woke and ran to me. I didn’t mean to startle him, but like a glass overflowing with too much liquid, my own body could not contain the grief.

One moment ran into the next and my mom, husband and I were finally entering the doors at the hospital, only two of us certain that my brother was still alive. Our hearts racing, we quickly found out that the hope we were holding on to, we would be forced to let go of it. Holding hands, we were all shown into a room, the darkest, coldest room I’ve ever been in. I still hate thinking about that room. My brother was there, lying on a cold, silver table with a white sheet draped casually across him. I wanted to run. I wanted to get out but instead I bravely walked closer and peered down at his face. Only it wasn’t him. Death seemed to have stolen away his very essence. It was his body, his face, his hair but not him. His soul, what made him who he was, was gone. It was the strangest feeling to be standing there, in that small, cold room, the white walls seeming to close in on me, and noticing death up close. I had no idea what it would be like, seeing lifelessness up close. I felt light-headed, dizzy, scared, sad, so many emotions colliding together all at once. I took his hand, kissed his forehead and did my best to hold it together for my mom. He was my brother and my grief was an endless deep, but she had lost a son, I couldn’t even imagine the depths of her loss. We soon found out that his cause of death was from an electrical imbalance that had caused his heart to stop beating. “It happened so fast” the Dr. told us, “He died instantly and didn’t even know what was happening” he finished, trying to comfort us. Comfort was the last thing we felt in that despairing moment.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my brother and wonder what he would’ve accomplished. Would he have gotten married and had kids of his own? I think about all the years he’s missed out on being an uncle, something he was so excited about. I now have three boys and know he would’ve loved being a part of their lives. We’re all missing him and the impact he would’ve had on us. We will never really know what would’ve been. His story ended sooner than it should have. I feel like there were still so many chapters left to write.

Death is hard. It rips out a piece of you that you never get back. It destroys you. Time has been my savior though. Lots of time. Years. Time takes all the little broken pieces and slowly starts to rebuild them. Yes, they are cracked and not perfect but one day they seem to kind of resemble what used to be. Some days the pain gets into the cracks and you just learn how to deal with it. Other days the cracks let air in and you can breathe and live without suffering. One thing death cannot take away from me is the 39 years I got with him and all the memories we made.

Today I sit, looking out the window, with a heavy heart. The world is big and beautiful and amazing but it will never be whole again. It will never be the same.


Faith · Life · love


Woman praying and free bird enjoying nature on sunset background, hope concept
Faith is believing in something you cannot see


For years I’ve held onto beliefs and ideas of the world that I realize no longer serve me. I’m newly a Christian and percieving God in my daily view has changed things. Incorporating Him into my sight somehow brightens the dark spaces and corners that I once hid in. It’s like standing in the dark just before the dawn. God is like warm sunlight and His goodness and love warms our souls.

Believing in something greater than yourself somehow puts things in perspective. You begin to feel stirrings of hope. Hope for the world. Hope for yourself. Hope for your family. Hope in all things. I’m learning that God wants to draw us out of ourselves and into Him. He wants us to deplete ourselves in Him and come to Him completely raw. He knows us to our very bone, all the good, all the bad, and He still loves us unconditionally. His love is extraordinary because it is only given by someone so unblemished as Him.

The world is so complex and ever changing, but God is grounded, and like a comfortable routine, he forever stays the same. THAT is a kind of security I can wrap myself up in when things around me are collapsing. Life can be tough and can unravel in the blink of an eye but when we have something solid to lean on we can survive more gracefully. Our falls won’t be as hard and with God’s helping hand we will, over time, become more resilient.

Being a piece of God’s creation, and letting Him be a piece of our innermost being is the most remarkable feeling. When I began trusting and letting Him soak into the fibers of my soul my life changed. I’m far from where I want to be in my relationship with Him but I walk a little closer each day knowing that my bond with Him is unbreakable.

This world is so much more than what we can visually perceive. There’s an unspoken beauty that, only by welcoming God into our hearts, we can see. Stand in those dark spaces of your life and call out to Him. Bring your deepest sorrows and your biggest regrets and lay them down at his feet and watch the transformation as the sun comes out to shine into the inky depths of where you’re hiding. God is light in the darkness. Let his light illuminate you. He’s waiting for you to whisper His name so He can reach out and save you. You just have to believe. You just have to trust.