Monday, December 15, 2008

Don't Stop Believing!

December 15, 2008

Recently I was questioning my purpose as I returned from a writer’s conference. I knew I had encountered God but I couldn’t help wondering if I was on the right track. My internal voices argued over whether all my writing endeavors were worthwhile and I found myself really questioning whether I should shelve it all and go get a regular paycheck. One afternoon I was sitting at my computer grappling with my voices of doubt when my 10 year old daughter Kayla marched purposefully into the room. “Mom, I’ve got something for you.” She picked up my hand and pressed into it a folded piece of pink paper that had been stapled closed. In fact it had been stapled all the way around. Smiling at me she leaned over, kissed my cheek and walked right out of the room.

I started to put the paper on top of my “Get to It Pile” until I saw what she had written. The bold letters of her fifth grade script blazed into my unbelieving eyes.
“Only Open if stopped Believing!!!” – Kayla
Stunned, I sat back in my chair amazed at how she could have known the depth of my struggle. I knew I hadn’t talked openly about my doubts and wondered how her young mind had comprehended my need for encouragement. I turned the paper over and over in my hands struck by how neatly the staples were placed and how if I really wanted to open it I was going to have to tear it open…with a lot of effort. There was no denying it, God had met me here and He had used Kayla in the process.

In the weeks since this amazing encounter I have to admit, there have been moments when I really wanted to open up the note. I’m curious to find out what she wrote but also just romantic enough to believe that if I open even one staple then perhaps, that does signal the end of me believing in my writing dreams. Instead of burying it beneath the stack of papers on my desk, the note has been placed prominently where I can see it daily. It’s a good reminder that whatever the circumstance there is a purpose and maybe even a challenge…I know I’m not ready to stop believing.

What about you? Are you ready to stop believing? Are you ready to let go of your dreams, feeling as if they are not worthy of your time and energy? I pray whatever your circumstance that you will find yourself on the receiving end of God’s grace and mercy. I hope that you receive exactly what you need and that your gift will come in an amazing way. God’s timing is indeed perfect. The faith boost He gave me through my pint size messenger was exactly what I needed. I pray that He will deliver the same kind of reassuring message to you and that you will be blessed.

Merry Christmas,
Ally Johnson

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's snowing where I'm going!!!

It's snowing in Idaho right now. I can't tell you how excited I am to get to be leaving in less than five days. We are heading north to visit our families for Christmas. The first week will be in Yakima WA with my parents, sister and brother and their spouses and kids. The second week will be in Sandpoint, Idaho with Grant's brother, spouse, kids and his sister. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.
We've taken this trip so many times I've lost track but there is something about the anticipation that starts to build up inside me and I can't think about anything else. I think the best memory I have of Christmas is Christmas Eve when me and my sisters would sleep in the same room anticipating Santa's arrival and giggling with eachother about what presents we might find under the tree. We would talk and talk and then eventually one of us would say, "The sooner you go to sleep, the sooner Santa Claus will come." Without fail every year that was our routine and now, you guessed it...I say it to my kids. They think I'm silly when it makes me tear up but it's part of me. I can't wait to steamroll my brother Christmas morning and watch my Dad who is 67 act like a kid! I can't wait to make pies with my Mom and help Zach and Kayla with their gingerbread houses. I can't wait to snuggle beneath a big fuzzy blanket and read the story of the Three Trees for the gazillionth time to my kids and I definitely can't wait to read the story of Jesus' birth, it makes me cry every time.
Oh, yes I'm's snowing right now and I hope it stays that way!