living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


Little Boys and Septic Tanks….Digging for Treasures!

Friday morning, October 19, 2012, started with a bang! A big time bang! And believe me, I KNOW bangs! Those adrenaline packed episodes that take you from high-alert status to limp as a dishrag…no more energy installments until tomorrow – maybe – kind of days! Our oldest son has severe food allergies and struggles with migraines from time to time.  He stayed home from school because he was dealing with a major headache. Around noon, I needed to run an errand and Jackson was feeling better, so we decided to make a quick trip to the store. Picture this, we are riding down the interstate and Jackson says, “Mom, my headache is back and I really need some medication NOW!!!! LIKE NOW!!!!” Now, as life would have it, this girl had just changed her purse and couldn’t find the Tylenol or Advil that I KNEW I put in my purse. We limped into the store, because he couldn’t be left in the van, and boy were we a sight! Jackson has his head in his hands because the light is hurting his eyes and he is PANICKING because he is afraid that he might throw up. Elliot is along for the ride and is picking up everything in the store on the way back to the medication. I opened the Advil in the aisle, gave Jackson some…..ran up to the register to pay for it…..get him settled in the van and back on the interstate when I hear, “Mom, I can’t help it! I’m about to throw up!” So…..I pull off of I-459 (a very busy interstate here in our town) and help him. We survive all of this and make it back home (Mommy is kicking herself the whole way for trying to venture out of the house!).

The boys lay low and take their naps. While they are napping, this mom decides to scrub her kitchen floors. You know, not just mop, I mean DEEP CLEAN AND SCRUB these floors and boy, was I proud!!! I was beaming. I kept looking at them and saying, “Wow, this feels really good!!! Clean floors!!!” I sit down for a few minutes and drink a lovely cup of coffee and you guessed it, the boys woke up. “Mommy, can we play outside for a few minutes? I am feeling much better?” I questioned this for about 15 seconds, and then decided that this was a PERFECT idea! Clean floors….boys occupied….yummy coffee…..absolutely wonderful. It was almost 5:00 and it was time to cook supper.  As I am chopping veggies, I look down at the floor to my right and see cowboy boots……muddy cowboy boots……I breathe deeply and the following conversation occurs:

Mommy: “Oh my!!! What are you doing? These floors are clean!!!”

Jackson: “Mommy, you must come see! We just hit water!”

Mommy: “You did what?”

Jackson: “We just hit water….you have to come see!!!!”

I walk outside and to my absolute horror I see my three year old…sitting in a hole….all I see is from his head down to his shoulders……COVERED IN MUD (or was it mud??)…..when I say covered, I mean ABSOLUTELY COVERED – like blonde hair is now brown!! HE WAS SITTING IN A HOLE! I run to see what damage was done and realize that this hole was not just any hole, it was a hole that they had dug OVER THE SEPTIC TANK!!!!!! THEY WERE COVERED IN YUCKINESS!!!!!! I am ashamed to admit it, but one of the first thoughts that popped into my mind was, “OH MY SOUL!!!! THAT ISN’T MUD ON MY FLOOR…..IT’S (you know what)!!!!!”

When Jonathan, my husband drove up in the driveway, he said it looked like a complete war zone. Four cowboy boots were thrown all over the driveway. “Mud” was ALL over the concrete and he heard this hysterical mother trying to hose her children off in the shower (might I add that the closest bathroom was the guest bathroom and guess what color the shower curtain is??? You guessed it…..white!! Thank the Lord for bleach!)

This is one of those days, that now, a week later I am finally laughing about our adventure. In the heat of the moment, I wasn’t exactly laughing.  Later that night, I was reminded that these are the moments that make memories! Memories that no one can take away! Memories that make me so glad that the Lord placed these two precious boys in my life! I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing me to be their mom!

My heart is reminded that there is no “ordinary day” in the life of a child. Each day is more precious than the last. Moments like these add up to make the whole of life. What can I do but lean hard on the Lord to guide me as my heart swings on the parenting pendulum from migraines to septic tank…..and whatever else the Lord allows in our lives.

This childlike behavior reminds me of some thoughts my Dad brought to our church Sunday:

We should be childlike in the way we receive others.

Forgive easily – Children can be fighting one minute and loving and playing together sweetly the next. Adults tend to hold onto disagreements and prejudices.

Do nothing for spiritual status – Do I consider myself better than someone else around me?

Do I compare myself with others? The Bible clearly reminds us of how unwise this is.

Do I glory in talents, assets, abilities, degrees?

Be thankful for the “No” answers the Lord sends our way. They are for our good.

Beg the Lord for wisdom and guidance daily – we have not arrived!

We should be childlike in the way we receive our Savior.

Make sure He is your Lord and Savior! It just takes the faith of a little child to receive him.

Our homes should receive Him with the utmost respect and esteem. He is our unseen guest!

Is there anything in my home or life that I would be ashamed of if the Lord were sitting at my supper table?
He is there!!!

Is Christ honored and glorified in all that we do?

Am I as concerned about teaching my children the things of the Lord as I am about how clean my kitchen floors are?


May the Lord help us all as we serve Him in our corner of the vineyard!



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He calms the sea

He Calms the Sea

Our family just got back from spending a few days in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. We enjoyed a great time of rest and relaxation. I was reminded how important it is to slow down for a little while! Our cottage was right on the beach. The picture above is the view we had from our front door. The sea was calm and there were few people around. I have always been fascinated with the sea! I could sit and listen to the waves all day!!

As I was having my quiet time with the Lord one morning, overlooking the calm water, I began to think about how our lives are sometimes like the ocean. Sometimes calm and peaceful and at other times chaotic and stormy. God referenced the sea many times in the Bible. He used the sea many times to draw people to him. He used the sea in the lives of Jonah, the disciples, the people of Israel, and others.

Last year, my husband and I got to visit Hawaii. Some of the waves were up to 15-20 feet high when we were there. They say that the waves can get up to 50 feet high on the Northern part of Oahu! The waves would knock my husband down when he was standing in the shallow water. The waves were forceful and brutal, but yet beautiful.

I think that life is sometimes that way. We feel like the waves of problems keep coming at us. If we are not careful we will get knocked down! How do we keep from getting knocked down by these problems? It is only God that can give us peace at these times. We have to constantly have our eyes on him and not the storms. He is the maker of the sea! Sometimes the problems may seem brutal but God may be using them to make us into something beautiful for Him!

I know that when I neglect having real quality time with the Lord, I do not react properly to the storms in my life. The sea may be calm now, but the storms will come. It is only the Word of God and the Holy Spirit that can give me peace in the midst of the storm. Mathew 8:26 says “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” God is in control of the storms in life, He can calm it when he wants to and the way He wants. Sometimes He is testing our faith or teaching us something. We need to remember Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Dema Johnson

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How WE Unwind

It’s time to relax! We all need to! We clean, change, cook, repeat… all day! We are happy to do it, but sometimes we just need to recharge! So, a few of us have shared what we do…

  • Kelsey ~ Getting out of the house for a bit is what really re-energizes me! Whether it’s browsing Marshall’s &Target, or even grocery shopping. I feel like a brand new person when I’ve had an hour or two out of the house. I rarely spend money on these trips, and if I do, it’s usually some cute little clearance item I found for less than $10. So that’s my inexpensive way to unwind. 🙂
  • Joy ~ A few evenings a week, I soak in the tub! After the baby is asleep, I’ll grab a book I’m reading and take as long as I want in there! It is SO relaxing! And, another thing I love to do is use this homemade, inexpensive sugar scrub on my feet. Click here for the recipe! It has kept my feet soft all summer long!
  • Tascha ~ I also enjoy getting out of the house for a little while. It is not a regular occurrence, but I enjoy thrift-store shopping and can come home with new outfits for the girls for less than $5-6 most times… and once this summer John watched the kiddos so a friend and i could go shopping together! it was soo much fun. Whenever I am able to leave the house for a couple of hours, I always come home with a renewed energy to tackle SOMETHING-be it an entire room or just get clutter picked up. During the school year our church has Ladies Meeting once a month and that is uplifting-getting to spend some time just chattin’ with whomever is sitting near you and hearing a devotional and eating some yummy food I did not cook!
  • Rachel ~ I don’t know about you all but I LOVE pictures! So, a couple of nights a week after I put the kids to bed, I grab a Dr. Pepper & hop on the computer to organize & edit pictures. This is such a relaxing time for me! I chuckle at all the fun we’ve had & enjoy the sweet memories we’ve made during the day or on our day trips with Daddy. It also helps me remember how blessed I am to have the family God has given me. And besides the cost of the Dr. Pepper – it’s free! 🙂
  • Heather ~ I love to go anywhere by myself.  I like to go to the stores that no one else in my family likes.  Those include Ross, Goodwill, & Hobby Lobby.  I don’t usually spend money either…except maybe a stop at Starbucks 🙂
  • Jennifer ~ I don’t take nearly the time for myself like I should. But, anytime I can either go grocery shopping, thrift store shopping, the library or a yard sale by myself for a couple hours, I take that time to enjoy the quiteness of the moment.  I love, in the evening, to read after the kids go to bed.  But, even in the midst of the busy-ness of the day, if I can have a nice smelling candle lit (the happy smell and cheerful flicker will lift your mood instantly) and some calming nature music playing in the background, that helps to quiet my spirit throughout the day.  Pretty simple, but it works for me! ♥
  • Heidi ~ I too LOOOOOVVVVEEEE to get out of the house. I’m thankful that at least twice a week either on my honey’s day off ill run some errands or one evening a week I walk across to my neighbor’s house (a girl I grew up with and go to church with…some of you know Nikki Gardner, her sister;)…we chat & have coffee. I also love to read. I can lay in my bed and read all night if I can…ha!
  • Alicia ~ Things can be very hectic and busy at our house. We are always on the go. So, my favorite unwinding days are days that we call “pajama days”. We don’t get dressed and we watch movies and just hang out together. We hide the van, ignore the phone, and close all the blinds so people will think we are gone! I enjoy those days to let me just breathe and slow down and not have to think very much and just snuggle my kids. We also enjoy going to a park as a family. Jimmy and I sit and snuggle and watch the kids play. That is very relaxing for us.
  • Niki ~ Mine are pretty similar to many others….my basic unwind at the end of the day is to get on the computer and browse for a little while….FB, Pinterest, something fun 🙂  I enjoy reading and a hot bath, but the bathroom is between the kids’ bedrooms, and if I go in there and try to take a bath while they’re in bed, it seems to always wake them up, and I end up more frustrated than relaxed! For something a little bigger, I really enjoy just being by myself – going to the library or a little shopping (even window shopping), going to Caribou Coffee!
  • Jeri Lynn ~ Before I even had children, I found myself needing to unwind from my busy schedule. I spoke to an older lady that I respected who encouraged me to take time to relax with a hot bath. I tried it, and it became a relaxing routine remedy. Add a favorite drink.. Add a book..  In very challenging times, I’ve found that I must listen to Christ-honoring music that points my mind to Him instead of my weakness. As a mother of nine, “Quiet. Alone. Time.” are precious words. This usually occurs when all are sleeping, which time gets later as teens near adulthood. Leaving the house to browse a store or library is enjoyable when planned ahead. Emergency unwinding may include my perceptive husband realizing it would benefit the entire world for him to take everyone to the park after I’ve been on solo duty for 13 non-stop hours for days! 😉 And he is a fun Dad who is usually ready for an adventure at any moment. It is a good thing to figure out what helps you unwind that you may be able to serve with a refreshed spirit.

And there you have it! Relax!