Karen Renee Johnson

Mama’s Nest

March5

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I am feeling such Gratitude, such a deep Joy I just had to share it.

I am so Thankful for all the Obvious! Yet, when God exposes the Deeper, the Needs that we don’t even know we have, by Fulfilling Them FIRST…

It is a Genuine Awakening to the Fullness of His Love.

Baby could come any day, and physically I have been quite uncomfortable. Yet spiritually, I feel Strong, Fulfilled, and Amazing! You see, I have this Beautiful GIFT right now that I am experiencing. One that I didn’t know I needed.

It has ripened like a sweet piece of fruit in the warm sun.

It has unfolded before my eyes as a flower blooms.

Precious Gift of Time.

Time to be a Family and focus on Relationship and Connecting, cuddling and Laughing, before the new addition arrives.

I get the Privilege of having my oldest son home from school, on Independent study. Bethel School has been Amazing and supportive and I am quite Thankful for this. What started as an effort to cut the risk of getting hit by the plague of diseases swarming our community this season, at this Most INopportune time… has turned into a Greater Realization of something I didn’t even know I needed.

Extra Time together.

Both boys in my Nest.

Oh how I love saying that!

If we were homeschooling, this would be a time where we slowed down, did basics, and focused on Family and Relationship. Thus we are experiencing this Gift.

With the support of the school and Elijah’s Amazing teacher, this little temporary change has opened up my heart in a Fresh way. A way that was Desperately needed.

My kids are growing up fast. I didn’t know how much I missed my Elijah. Quite Frankly, I didn’t know how much I was taking him for granted and not appreciating him the way he deserves. This extra time has allowed me to look deep into my own heart for my son, and Reconnect in a Healing way, on a Deeper level, and it has been so Wonderful! Learning how to Honor him, how to Value him, and how to Respect him in the way he really needs. It hurts that I have missed these things, but I am Thankful it’s not too late to turn things around.

My heart is open, and I foresee this paving the way toward an even Deeper healing that’s coming. An Awareness is growing. Both my boys are highlighted in new ways. Where my patience has been thin, I am finding a new, Deeper pool where it lasts a bit longer. I am finding the extra when I feel I have nothing left, especially if it comes down to a need they have that’s highlighted in the moment. My heart is full as I Give.

I wonder sometimes if I am worthy of such a Beautiful Family.

We make so many mistakes as parents. We will never be perfect. Yet our kids are so open to Forgiveness and their Hearts are so Pure to Love and be Loved. I knew God had something for me in this time of slowing down, yet I had no idea it would be so Powerful and Life Changing. I am only at the tip of Discovering here, yet I just couldn’t wait to share the Joy I feel despite the painful Realization. See, the wrongs and mistakes are still there but the Joy that comes as Hearts connect and Heal just overtakes it!

I am Happy in my Mama’s Nest, both my boys here, Loving every Loud, Crazy Moment, and Appreciating the quiet Loves and cuddles too.

What a Precious Gift of Time together to be a Family. To Strengthen ourselves as a Family, and to Rebuild our Foundation where it was a bit unsteady. To allow our Hearts to soften and Grow together, towards each other, in LOVE.

Just So Thankful…

 

 

 

 

Raw Sprouted Buckwheat Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

February5

 

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Sometimes Creation happens when you need to clear out your pantry.

I’ve had a 5 pound bag of buckwheat sitting there for awhile, and I just happened to have some happy time reading my Nourishing Traditions cookbook. I’ve soaked and dehydrated buckwheat before, but never sprouted it, so I thought I’d give it a try.

To sprout buckwheat, soak it overnight first. Rinse it a few times a day and let it sprout for a couple days. Here’s a picture after a day.

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The sprouts get a bit longer the second day.

With the help of the Amazing Tang ladies, who Blessed my socks off last week so I could stay off my feet, we were able to create these yummy goodies! My goal was to make something I could eat as a treat that wouldn’t send my blood sugar into outer space. See, I’m keeping gestational diabetes under control with diet alone, so this was a happy experiment, and kid tested and approved as well!

 

Raw Sprouted Buckwheat Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

4 cups sprouted buckwheat

1 cup pecans/chocolate chip mixture*

1 16 oz jar peanut butter (or almond butter tastes amazing in it too!)

1/2 cup chia seeds

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup maple syrup

*the pecan/ chocolate chip mixture was an extra large bag of pecans and a bag of chocolate chips put in the food processor together, just to add more protein, fat and fiber to balance out the chocolate.

Mix up the nut butter with the cocoa powder, maple syrup and sea salt first, then add the rest of the ingredients,  it blends a bit more evenly. You can grab an ice cream scoop and roll it in shredded coconut, or make cookie balls and do the same. I’m dehydrating mine to experiment. I also put some straight in the fridge. My kids are happily devouring both!

Recipes are more like guidelines to me, a place to start and let your own creativity flow. Next time I would add more coconut. Feel free to change up the nuts or add more of an ingredient.

The fun part is you can just spread out the mixture on a tray and dehydrate it under 104 degrees and you have an amazing cereal! Watch out though, it’s addicting! It’s also a very yummy and healthy ice cream or yogurt topping!

Acceptance

January22

Nothing compels me to write like sharing a confession.  An intimate peek inside my heart where I’ve been previously withdrawn and sorting things out, morphs into a deep revelation that sustains me and helps me.

I’ve been isolated and in a funk. I don’t know if it’s the pregnancy or a house full of sickness that started it, or the chilling cold that kept me inside too long. When the sun came out and I felt warmth on my skin, I began to feel a shift, like Hope shining through my window.

The truth is I’m battling daily against ugly voices in my head. Fueled by how I’m feeling, these negative words spoken by family and Dr’s just pound me all day. “You can’t do this, you shouldn’t have another baby, your body can’t do it, you’re insane to believe you can, you’re not strong enough,…” and lots more about how it will destroy my body and blah blah blah… just echo through my brain and I am constantly taking it captive and pushing through. I’m also fighting the normal anxiety of birth and how I will do afterwards (since my track record isn’t that great). It’s a weary battle right now, and I don’t have much fight in me.

I’m not able to do much because my body is working so hard. I’ve been having a really hard time accepting this, and allowing myself to slow down this early- I have 7 weeks to go. It’s felt discouraging and hopeless. Two things that sink me fast.

But deep down, I won’t let it. It just makes me quiet for awhile as I adjust and Accept what I need to do.

My body may not be like that of my peers, I may be over 35 (so what!) and so I have some health stuff I daily battle. This does not make me defeated.

It just means I need to take care of myself more, maybe a little better, and I guess a lot sooner than I anticipated.

Everything I have to give, is going to this precious little girl. I’m accepting this today. No need to fight my body and do too much and get run down and become susceptible to the massive sickness that seems to be circulating. Nope.

Tossing my ideals aside, movies can run most of the day in my home, and Netflix can entertain in between what I am able to do. If it means I can slow down and rest more, it’s worth it.

I’m not going to get a lot of stuff done, or nest my way around this house, or take care of everyone else like I am used to. Trips out of the house may be seldom and weary, or none at all. Yep, it’s just gotten to that point.

So that means things will look different, but hey, that’s my middle name. I am accustomed to doing things differently. I rather enjoy it.

I must EMBRACE with a full heart this Glorious season, and soak in what it means. I’ve lost sight of it due to my lil’ trials and tribulations. So I am confessing here that I am ACCEPTING where I am at, with a peaceful smile, Thankfulness swelling inside me as big as my belly…

Family Goals and Dreams

January1

My little family started a tradition a few years back. We have a creative time to design and decorate a Dream-board/  Poster that we can hang up and look at all year. We do this on New Years. We add Prophetic Declarations of what we want to see, goals for our own character growth, and Dreams we want to step into. Anything goes!

The first year I drew a hidden pregnant belly, at a time when there was no way I was able to get off medicine to get pregnant. It was a dream in my heart, but one so sacred I couldn’t even write it out for all to see, so I hid it in a drawing. Each day I stared at my poster, reading the words I had declared, challenging myself to grow in certain areas, reminding myself to go after things. I had it on the side of the fridge where I could glance at it while I was cooking.

I got pregnant that year with my Braham. In fact, everything I wrote on that poster ended up coming true and bearing fruit. Such an Amazing testimony of the power of writing things down! Everything that Elijah had written on his came true too!

We have fun taking a moment to look at the one we wrote out the previous year, just to see how much has turned into reality!

One year we spent all day drawing and crafting our posters, cutting our pictures if we wanted or sketching some amazing art that really meant something to us for the year. We open up with prayer and ask the Lord to lead us to put down words, pictures, whatever He has for us for the year. Keeping it Simple, it kicks it off in unity and is really special!

What are your Dreams and Hopes for this year? How do you want to grow in Parenting, Relationships, your Business, your marriage? Is there a specific area for each child you want to focus on? Something you want to add to your life but don’t know how to make it fit? Possibilities are endless and I encourage you to Dream and Design without Fear, like Nothing is holding you back!

I am looking forward to doing this today and spending a quality afternoon with my family. I wonder what the end result will be, and I am excited to see what comes out.

Hawaii Calls

December15

Oh how we are missing the ocean.

I cannot tell you how often we dream of moving back to Hawaii…

Especially in the winter time.

Learning to appreciate the seasons, and the layers that implies. I remember when we lived in Kona and came to the mainland to visit, how wide-eyed and enamored we were with seeing the leaves change colors. We even collected beautiful colored leaves for an entire afternoon because of the wondrous colors, completely captivated by the beauty!

SO there’s something for me to grab hold of this season, this cold winter time. Maybe I haven’t figured it out yet and I don’t have to just yet. Sensing an awareness of it could be my first step. 3 months from now we will have a newborn and enter into a new life with 3 Beautiful children and that will hold it’s own shift of seasons.

What does this winter have for me? What Beauty can I find in the Dailies, instead of longing for what once was, that warmer place of simplicity and Island lifestyle…

Hawaii calls, to both my husband and I very strong this week. Night after night of dreaming and ocean breezes and family picnics. It is time to put on the home videos and look at all our pictures. Nestled together as a Family, ushering in Thankfulness for the Opportunity we had this summer.

It snows outside and I sit here under a warm and cozy blanket. The quiet lollygag of a Saturday at home with Family, just us being together, relaxing and having relationship. This winter season that aligns with my 3rd trimester just beckons in a gentle way to slow down. The gifts are a plenty, not wrapped under the tree, but in the midst of the slowing down process. There is something our family is hungry for…

Dreaming together, sharing visions and desires and listening to each other in a deeper way. Laughter and giggles, legos and games. Movies and cuddling on the couch. So many Blessings to enjoy while staying warm and cozy inside.

Hawaii calls and I watch the snow. Wondering and Contemplating, Dreaming and Thinking…

Raw Identity

December7

Finally getting some “me time” and I should be so happy, yet I feel so lonely.

This leaves me to ask, “What do I really need?”

So I’m here in my hubby’s office: quiet, thoughts uninterrupted, and letting my fingers dance across the keys. My fleeting mind-  my fingers try to keep up, but the words fly too fast.

Three months away from the Joy of a newborn in our home, Release from feeling like I must meet everyone’s needs before then, leaves me attempting to uncover my own.

Alone I contemplate…

keys at hand, ready to go…

…but no direction where.

That pretty much sums up a lot of where I’m at.

In many areas.

This ceiling shrinks and closes in. I must make a move or be crushed. That slippery slope awaits my next step.

Declarations in my heart move me.

The tightrope under me is really an illusion.

I am Loved in my emotions.

I breathe.

Release…

it’s what I need.

The wells stand ready to gush forth. Why do I stuff and when did I learn that coping? The pressure grows and I must let tears leak out yet I fight it. Who told me I had to be strong and take it?

I desperately need love.

I desperately need to be heard.

Afraid of getting more lost with a new baby. There, I admit it. I haven’t learned how to preserve myself in motherhood.

I desperately need to be found.

I need to know ME

Intimately

before I can know my needs.

Lord, take me back to who You created me to be,

show me your vision, through Your eyes.

A present,

Beautiful Bow.

Oh how I long to unwrap my Identity.

 

Strength

December2

I just felt like sharing something today. My heart fills with Hope as I think about it, and I know I am supposed to think upon this a bit more…

I’m 26 weeks now, and I’m feeling really tired these days. Growing a person is just a lot of work, and I can easily forget why I am constantly wiped out. I am getting really excited about this baby girl and this whole baby thing is starting to get very real! I can no longer deny this basketball belly that hides my toes. I am reminded at the Miracle each of my children are, and this just stops me for some great reflection and revelation.

But there’s one thing that brings tears to my eyes every time.

This baby is strong. I felt her a month before my boys, quite earlier than normal, I think I was 13 or 14 weeks.  There was just one super powerful kick that came from nowhere and totally caught me off guard. Flutters came later, and stronger kicks again the next week.

I may never be as strong as I long to be. I have a deep inner strength, I know that. Yet physically, I have this dangling carrot over me that hopes and desires strength so badly, so desperately, and I just can’t seem to reach it.

But my daughter is strong.

I may never be strong in this way, but I am having a daughter that will be.

*tears*

You have no idea how this rocks me. My whole life the past 22 years I have been so weak and fragile. I have felt like I have been left behind “Life,” in so many ways. Sitting in a glass box, watching everyone around me do things I could not. There’s a lot of pain there. I’m working on it though. The Amazing part is that in this “weakness,” God has created Strength in me. He’s come in and been the Strength that has led me to Overcome, to find Joy, to Hope.

And to get this deep revelation that my daughter is Strong!

It just brings me to tears every time!

It gives me Hope, it Strengthens me to Press on and Persevere.

I make a lot of sacrifices and live a very strict lifestyle with food so I can continue to get better. It’s all for that long-term Dream and Goal to be well, physically strong, and actively participating in Life.

I was just thinking that I started this year with a serious bone infection, and I’m finishing it off growing this precious little baby who stands for Strength. It’s part of her name and I didn’t realize that til just this moment. Wow, I love how God gives us these little gifts…

I am Believing for more Healing with this pregnancy and More Strength this coming year.

I love that I will be birthing Strength.

Voice and Value

November7

Voice and Value.

Two things God has put on my heart lately.

Seeing it in women around me too, as they awaken to the dreams in their heart.

My spirit longs for my voice to be heard. I often allow it to get drowned out; it’s easier that way and feels safer to not “rock the boat.” Yet this is doing myself absolutely nothing but stuffing a Desperate Inner Cry and feeding it passive aggressive milk to subdue it. I’m ready for some meat in this area, so I’m facing this head on today: spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

Sitting here contemplating why the fear feels so big. Wondering why I choose to hide and be insignificant, and a bit fed up with myself for that. I need to Face my stuff if I want to grow. I need to understand and take a good, honest approach to it before I can defeat it.

I am weighing my Value with my Integrity. This longing to be heard and intention to speak out is because I need to honor myself.

I am realizing I was never taught to ask for what I wanted. Instead I grew up believing this was wrong and selfish and you just need to be thankful for what you get. This is a giant mess I need to sort out because I can see why I never knew how to dream. I was never groomed to or empowered to. Perhaps I missed it, I just don’t know.

This process of asking for something that makes you feel valued and honored… it’s really scary when it’s something that’s really important to your heart. That’s why I’m sitting here weighing it all. Trying to understand my heart and Soaking for a bit.

About to take the necessary risks and Leap. It’s what needs to happen and it’s what will usher in this Value for myself; it will give me a Voice. It will make me grow where I need to grow, it will even shift something, whether it’s my mindset or my heart, I am engaged and ready.

All things are Possible.

Voice and Value.

Is it a stumbling block or a launching pad?

Today, I will choose the latter.

Guinea Pig With a Tacklebox

October29

All of my babies have been born in Faith.

Years ago, I remember Doctor’s saying it may not even be possible.

A lot has had to line up and happen before I could even “try” to get pregnant.

I was a guinea pig with a tackle-box.

Now that’s quite the visual, right?

I was a Shriner’s patient by 15, which ushered in a new humility in my life that I had never known. It was brutal to be a teenager with arthritis at 14, feeling deformed and relating to grandparents’ ailments. It absolutely Humbled me to see younger children with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, handful of surgeries by age 5, suffering and not yet knowing how to put it into words.

I felt like a guinea pig, an experiment on a cold hard table. Lots of drugs, some helped, others didn’t, nothing made it all go away. I literally had a tackle-box to keep them organized and in one place for easy access wherever I was. It was a world of “you can’t,” and a glass box of limitations, while watching my peers do things I should be doing.

In order to have children, I had to get off all the toxic drugs for 3 months to get it all out of my system, BEFORE trying to get pregnant. Not so easy when you are in pain. Not so possible when you are brought to the Flesh with every throb and ache, jolted into Reality.

SO my babies are born in Faith, from the moment they are dreamed of, thought of and planned.

But you must Dare to Dream the Impossible.

Before I got pregnant the first time, I was involved in a healing church in Hawaii and had some miraculous things happen to my body. In Faith, I started taking myself off my meds, one at a time. It hurt a lot, but I have never enjoyed needing medications to move. I have never liked the side effects and the domino affect that spirals you into another drug with more side affects, and so on…

It was mind over matter for awhile, and suddenly, with a  Prophetic word one Sunday, I melted on the floor and I couldn’t move. My heart was being filled with baby dreams and it was time. In Faith, I stepped into a place and was able to endure the pain long enough to safely get pregnant.

After I had Elijah, my body flared up so extreme that I was forced to stop breastfeeding and get back on the toxic drugs. It was my only chance at being able to pick up my baby. I gave it a good fight and lasted 6 and a half months before giving in.

When Elijah was 2, I started thinking about the next little kiddo, and my heart sunk when I realized my body couldn’t do it. I entered a season of trying to get off meds and suffering the consequences. I had tried 4 or 5 times to get off medicines, each time resulting in extreme flare ups and wheel chairs. I was defeated and depressed, for years as I wrestled with the desires I felt in my heart, and the Reality I felt screaming inside my joints.

When God puts something in you, it just doesn’t go away, despite the circumstances, despite the natural around you telling you it’s impossible. I felt my desires being restored in Freedom after working through a lot of stuff and we happened upon the Bethel scene and just charged forward into God’s mercy and Love. I began to have visions of another baby and hear God’s promises. I held on and allowed myself to dream.

I was able to get off medicine and Voila, little Abraham, my child of Promise, Born in Faith. Again, my body flared up in an extreme way, and I was forced to get back on medicine. I had a really tough time his first couple of years, stumbled on the GAPS diet, started a 40 day juice fast and my whole life changed.

People think I’m crazy to do this again. My husband said no more. He was adamant about that. He said he wanted his wife back. I needed to be strong, not just on the inside. I understood where he was coming from, but my heart ached with the war of Reality and Heart’s Desire.

The Dreams that God puts in you, if they are really from Him, He breathes on them and keeps them alive, no matter the darkness around you. Since I was a little girl, I always wanted 3 or 4 kids. I struggled with this dream and laid it down before the lord.

I told him something like this in January of this year,  words between weeping:

This is just too painful and it hurts too much. Please take this desire away if it is not from you. I am Thankful for my 2 healthy boys and I love my family. But there’s this longing in my heart, and I can’t ignore it. Please make it stop. Change my heart. It’s too painful to bear. My husband is done, and I cannot say those words. Change my heart or change his, Lord.

and then I felt something rise in me, and it took a lot of courage to whisper…and the tears flowed even more…

…and God, if this desire is from you, if YOU put this in me, please keep it alive and protect it.

And then I felt Freedom. No more pain, not more obsession with the idea. I felt Peace.

Then Hawaii happened. And it was there Josh told me he wanted another baby. Oh how the tears flowed! This has been a GIANT Leap of Faith for us. I know what the past says, but I have battled it, and I believe the past does not determine my future. I am Believing for Good things.

I was able to ditch that tackle-box 15 months before I got pregnant. I am healthier than I’ve ever been with my diet. I reinvented “guinea pig,” and made myself one in my kitchen. That’s where the passion and discipline comes from folks, I am on a long journey to restore my body after 20 plus years of toxic drugs.

So this baby girl, my Miracle, the One God Promised, is on her way.

Another baby, born in Faith.

It just makes me giddy.

It Humbles me that I am walking in a Dream.

So, to all the guinea pigs with tackle-boxes out there:  never let go of the Dreams God has put in your heart. It is the most Beautiful thing to walk in, the most Precious thing to Hope for, and worth every Tear to Believe in.

Checking In

October29

I was just looking at some goals I wrote for the year last night. I love the power of writing things down. I love the power of the written word.

It’s a catapult from Dreaming to Reality.

I wanted my Blog to be Resurrected, to give it a Renaissance makeover. Ha!

Well, good thing there’s a couple months left in the year, cause honey it sure ain’t over yet!

It just got me thinking and asking myself, “Have I been a good steward of this blog?”

Ugh.

I am such a pen and paper kinda girl, I don’t often open up my laptop and just start typing.

But I’m doing that now.

I have so many excuses why I haven’t blogged. Sad that I let those excuses defeat me and rob me of my special time where writing feeds my soul and launches me into an identity I rarely feel…

But one that I am Desperate for!!!

There are many nights I cannot sleep and I’m blogging in my head. Dang, they are amazing posts ya know. If only I could get out of bed and have that oomph needed to make it happen.

So I’m dedicating the rest of this year to writing more and getting back on track with my original vision.

I wanted a place to be vulnerable and real, to open up to my friends and family who wonder what it’s like to conquer pain and get out of bed everyday. I wanted to inspire, encourage others;  reminding them of the simple little Blessings we often take for granted. I have a unique perspective to share, and I want to make an impact, especially for those who suffer from arthritis and have endured the awful words of doctors and worrisome love of family. I want to share some recipes and put my foot into the world of Food Blogging, cause my mantra is “Making healthy food taste good.”

One of my goals was to “Check In, not Out.” I wrote this regarding my kids and my marriage. I’m living a more “Checked In” life, at least, with my own family. Yet I keep a lot of walls up still with my extended family and friends.

So I am here just Checking In.

I have so much to share and write about. I have been in boy land for a decade and we are embarking on a new adventure having a daughter! Each of my babies are a miracle in Faith, and Hope, and a Tale of Overcoming the Natural. I cannot wait to write about this.

I’m starting my fourth book with Loving On Purpose, and taking baby steps with a precious book I’ve held dear to my heart, “Little One.”  I’m on a Dream Journey, discovering the dreams that have been inside me. I am Learning for the first time in my life, how to pace myself better and take care of me because (and here is the huge spiritual catharsis) I AM VALUABLE!

So wow, I did it. I just blogged without a pen and paper first.

Is this what Freedom feels like?

 

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