Monday, July 7, 2014

Exciting News: Vision Trip!

If you are friends with us on facebook, you may have noticed us posting something recently about our upcoming vision trip.  We thought it might be a good idea to give some more background and explanation about it.

Most people who know us well know that for years, both of us have felt called to serve the Lord overseas.  It's been a long journey of prayer and preparation; we had originally planned to move overseas just as soon as Isaac completed his seminary degree, but having Eliana join our family just eight months before his anticipated graduation shifted our plan a bit.  Instead, we spent time growing as a family and learning more about different opportunities and tried to use the time to prepare as best as possible.  And if you know us, you know that the past few years have often been frustrating for us.  We have felt stalled in our position many times, and have struggled through this feeling....

But the Lord is faithful!! As we have entered into the process through our church of potentially being sent out as missionaries, He has been leading us step by step.  Through months of training and conversations with our missions pastor, we have been encouraged to look with open hearts and minds at a team that has been working in Southern Europe which works with an unreached people group.

Without going into too many details, there is a well established team in Southern Europe looking to expand into other strategic cities.  We don't want to make decisions now, but there are lots of little things pointing us in this direction. We've skyped with the team leader and were super encouraged by the vision he presented to us. We have some friends currently serving on the team there now.  Some of our dearest CG members just got back from a mission trip and worked with the team there; they are also considering joining the team at some point.

Our next step in potentially pursuing joining this team is taking a vision trip, something our church encourages those in the Missionary Apprentice Process to do. Through this trip, we will meet many team members, gain a better understanding of what daily life would like, and hopefully catch a greater vision of God's plan for the nations!

We will be taking this trip in late September. There are several things you can do to help with the trip.  First and foremost, we need you to pray!  Obviously we are excited about this possibility, but we want to make sure this is where the Lord would have us. We need clarity and direction and peace of mind.  We need to know the specific avenue He would have us to take to serve there (i.e. through an agency or through employment in a different business). We need to know how we will fit in with the team and how our skills will be best utilized to serve both the team and the unreached people group.

Second, we need to raise some funds to help us get there.  We need to raise approximately $3500 to cover our plane tickets and other various costs. You can give through our church (and receive a tax deduction) in one of two ways:
1) Give online by going here.  On the second page, you will see France05 (Johnson Family)- that's us!!!  Submit your donation  by typing in the amount in that box.  Or
2) Send in your payment to:  Sojourn Community Church
                                            PO Box 406738
                                            Louisville, KY 40204

Make sure you mark France 05 Johnson on your check if you are mailing it in.

Finally, we will be having an online auction on facebook in August.  If you would like to donate any items (services, homemade goods, handmade items, gift cards, etc), please let me know!  We are still in desperate need of some items for the auction.  And of course, bid (lots of money) on these items when the auction opens!

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about our trip.  We look forward to seeing how the Lord works through this vision trip and what it might mean for our family.

A view of the area (taken by our friends also considering joining the team)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!!!

Happy Father's Day!!!  Eliana and I are so absolutely blessed to have Isaac in our lives.  He is, without a doubt, the most patient and loving man on this planet.  He works hard to provide for his family, he makes us laugh every day, and he makes us think about the hard things too.  We would be totally lost without him.  We are so very thankful for him!!! 

In honor of Isaac, I thought I would share one of my most favorite pictures of Isaac and Eliana: two photos.  Taken last summer (just a few weeks after Father's Day) by our friends at Eggplant Photography

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Eggplant Summer Promo

Last weekend, my friend Sarah asked me if she could borrow Eliana to do a photo shoot.  Sarah and her husband Jay own Eggplant Photography and were wanting to get some advertisements ready for the summer photo season.  Needless to say, we did not turn down the opportunity to have the talented Eggplant Photography snap some pics of our wild and crazy little girl!  Sarah brought along some yummy strawberry popsicles and pineapple, and we contributed bubbles and the cute kid.  Here are some a bunch of our favorite photos from the session:

We asked her what color her popsicle is.  This is the face she makes when saying 'reeeeed'.

My contract did not state I was doing an outfit change...

After I rubbed the popsicle all over her face...


No more popsicle...

Apparently she has watched America's Next Top Model and took Tyra's instruction about the eyes being the most important to heart...

This is one of the advertisements Eggplant used...

You can see the rest of the pictures here.

Friday, May 23, 2014


As I mentioned in her 20-month picture post, Eliana has learned all her basic colors! She even knows white. It's pretty funny to hear her say them, as she always "red" in a pathetic whiny "reeeeeeeed" tone. And "purple" is whispered in awe. She still needs to work on the correct pronunciation of "green" as it sounds more like "gru" and "yellow" is still sometimes "lellow" (but oh that is so stinkin' cute). We filmed her the other night sharing how she says her colors (sorry you can't hear her that well in the clip):

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Twenty Months

How is it possible that she is so much closer to being two than being just a year old?!?

And just for a bonus, check out this pic of Ms. Sassy Pants:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Some Recent Videos

I thought we should share some recent videos of Eliana from the past several weeks.  She is developing quite the personality and learning so much every day!

She has enjoyed running laps through the kitchen while enthusiastically yelling "Go ahhhhhhh!" a few times throughout the day.  We are currently working on melding her shouts into a solid "GOOOOAAAAAAL!" for the upcoming World Cup:

As I mentioned, she is learning so much every day.  She has been able to identify many body parts for quite some time, and she is learning to say more and more of them.  Here is just a sampling of what she knows (sorry for the odd angle...she likes to play with the camera, making it harder to film her):

It's been rather cold here lately, and so I caved and made some hot cocoa, which Eliana loves.  Seriously, I have to drink it in secret if I want any at all.  The child downed an entire mug at lunch the other day.  So here she is learning to say "cocoa" and sharing one of her favorite phrases:

Finally, she has been trying to jump for several months.  She has made it off the floor a few times (and promptly landed on her bottom), but for the most part, this is what she does.  Pretty cute if you ask me.