Wednesday, March 31, 2010


just can't wait to get on the road again!

One of my favorite songs and it really fits who I am right now.  I lived in KS all my life until 2006.  And since then I have lived in Utah, Missouri, Mississippi, California, Texas and Kentucky.  I just can't stay in one place for too long any more. I figured out there is a world outside of KS....and I love it!  I remember when I got engaged and my future husband & I talked about moving away from our hometowns of Pittsburg and Franklin.  How I wanted to get out of Kansas!   To see the world.  He said we would!  But it wasn't to be, at least not the way I had envisioned it.  After we were married, we moved to Frontenac!!  Argghhh!!!

Most of my travels are in my car.  I really like driving.  In 2007 I took a drive from MS to CA to UT to KS, back to MS to pick up passengers, then on to FL and back to MS.  And I've done most of it on my own. I've taken several mission trips.  Ukraine in 2004.  Christmas 2004 I spent in Mexico.  And in 2006 I was blessed to take a mission trip to Israel.  (I am ready to go back, thank you very  much!)  I went to Mississippi for six weeks one time and ended up staying for 14 months.  That was my first domestic mission trip and it ended up changing my life.  I would love to have that experience again.

Wow!  Who would have thought that this girl, who was scared to drive to the Kansas City airport by herself, would end up going to all these places and, in some cases, with people she had never met before!  When I went to Ukraine (not knowing anyone else on the trip) I was privileged to minister alongside two great people - Paige & Taffie - and I am still in touch with them.  A lifelong friendship, based on the love of Jesus Christ, was formed and I love both of them! And I laid in a pothole while there just so we could get a picture of how big they were!  And in Israel I sat in some kind of big round stone pot / planter that was in the square of the Old City.....just cuz.

A really amazing experience in Israel:  we had just landed, deciding to go the bathroom before picking up our luggage.  We didn't take that long....I promise!  But when we got to the luggage carousel, there was no luggage there but ours and it was surrounded by IDF....they wanted to know why no one had picked it up yet.  They had guns! We had to pee.....again!  When I went to Mexico (again, no one I knew was on the trip) I got to participate in handing out Christmas love packs to the poor.  I'll never forget the Precious Moments dolls that had been donated for the trip.  Or the day we were stopped by the Federales who had guns, really big guns.  We were eight hours south of the US border, in the middle of nowhere.  We had dolls.  They had guns.  The dolls won.

Do you know how fun this is?  To be free enough to go wherever you want?  There is nothing like it....absolutely nothing.  And I would highly recommend it to anyone. Are you sitting there thinking there's got to be more to life than those four walls?  There is!  There are bathrooms in Mexico that have hardly any water pressure.  There are bathrooms in Ukraine that don't have toilets in them.  (You have to ask for the toilet in order to get the toilet.)  And they have "squatty potties" in public places.  And yep, what you have pictured in your mind is just what they are!  And in Israel you can have either a small flush or a big flush....just pick the knob you need to get the job done.  I'm thinking this is something we in the US should really look at seriously.  And I'm wondering why I'm suddenly fixated on the facilities in foreign countries. 

All this to say........on the road again.  Just can't wait to get on the road again!  Which I will do on Friday morning.  Driving.  By myself.  And guess where I'm going?  Kansas!

Monday, March 22, 2010


I made one of the hardest decisions of my life tonight.  It was the right decision, but it was still hard.  Because I made this decision I was unable to have dinner with several people, including one of the best people I know....a friend that I love and admire and don't get to see very often.  But I did the right thing.  After a very hard few months, months in which I have been an "it's all about me" person, I looked at what I truly believe and I made the right decision.  The people that were the reason for my decision may never know about the decision made.  And that is OK with me.  If they ask, I will tell them.  But I won't offer it up to them.  I believe I looked at the whole scenario, thought about what Jesus would do and did what I believe He told me to do.  And if I do that, what else matters?  My friend and I will be able to have dinner again soon.....May is just around the corner! 

And I can go to bed tonight knowing I did the right thing.  And I will able to look my friends in the eyes, the ones I supported tonight.  I lived up to what I said I would do.  And I can thank Jesus that He is my Savior, my Salvation, my reason for doing the right thing.

God bless you all!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Can I?  I guess the answer to that question is "yes, once I know who I am".  I am a daughter of the King of kings. But do I truly know that? If I know that to be true, why am I not able to tell most people my true feelings, my true thoughts, my true dreams?  Why do I feel that if anyone knew the true me, they surely wouldn't like me, would look down their nose at me and judge me?  Why am I afraid that if someone knew what I had done in my past, then they would walk away from me?  Why do I have this mask? 

And why do I let myself get to the point of hurting so bad, that the only way to "fix" it is to walk away from the one who I believe has hurt me?  I would rather not have any further contact with that person than face them and say "I am hurt."  And yes, I know it doesn't fix it, it only puts it on a shelf to raise its ugly head at a later time.  And besides, most people today don't care whether or not they have hurt you.

And why does it still affect me so deeply, the things that have been done to me?  The things I allowed to be done to me?!  The things I have done to me?  And why does it matter?  Why do I allow these things to make me stiff, unable to have a good time?

And why do I keep running into articles, posts by friends and email daily devotions that talk about telling the secrets and not letting them control me any longer?  And about cleaning house, metaphorically speaking, and not just throwing the stuff into another room and closing the door? And ones that say it's OK to dream and that I am only hurting myself...and God...if I walk away from my dreams?

And why am I afraid to crawl upon my Daddy's lap and cry on His shoulder?  And to tell Him my dreams and what I desire.  Doesn't He know already?  Why I am afraid?  Because I don't trust Him enough to be there for me and to not walk away, or throw me away, like most everyone else has.  Rejection.  The core.  I need to look at that.  Because my Daddy will not reject me.  I just want to be myself.


So, I am at work.  The phone is ringing off the wall.  Well, it would be if it were on the wall!  A co-worker is IM'ing from CA.  My cellphone is vibrating at me....2 text messages from 2 different people.  I have Yahoo Messenger up on my computer. Two people are IM'ing and there is someone yelling for me from the front room. (I work from home.) Wait...there's a new voice mail on my cell and on my work answering machine.  I am on the phone & I am at work! 

When did I become a slave to these machines that have on and off buttons? And why do I think I have to answer each one of these right now?  I remember going to work to rest and get away from everyone.....nobody dared call me at work.  And why do I let it get to me?  After all, I just need to turn off my phone, shut down the Yahoo Messenger and tell the person yelling for me that I am at work and can't be disturbed. 

I truly don't understand people who get a rush out of this kind of stuff.  I've heard it called living off the adrenaline.  That is entirely too much adrenaline for me......I'll take a valium, please.  They must need to feel wanted.  I do too, but to me it's just too much pressure.  After all, don't I control each and every one of these machines? When did they begin to control me?  Well, OK, I do have to answer the work phone and the work IM, but c'mon...the rest are just going to have to wait!

So tomorrow, I'm going to turn on my computer and nothing else.  I don't need my cell phone at work.  I don't need Yahoo messenger at work.  I don't need it! 

I'm sure there is an off button on my cell....where in the world is it?!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Siblings.....some are close.  Some are not so close.  In  my family, they are not so close.  The trouble in some families bring siblings closer.  The trouble in other families tear siblings apart.  My siblings have been torn apart.  I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters and we have never been in the same room together.  Granted, part of the reason for that is because Susie, sister #8, had been put up for adoption at birth and we didn't know about her until a few years ago (see previous blog!).  But the others and I have not been in the same room together since 1972.  At my Grandma Trout's right after my mother's funeral.  Thirty-eight years ago.  And this year is the first year in a long time that I even know where all of my siblings are living.  Which brings me to the reason for this post.

My brother Tom was the most often "missing' one of the family.  He would come back into my life every few years for a little while and then disappear again.  This was hard - very hard - on me.  He is 2 years younger than me and at one time we were very close.  We worked together at Sonic.  We ran away from home together once.  We drank beer together in the parking lot of the bowling alley.  We watched out for each other.  He lived with me after I got married.  He lived with my daughter and me after a divorce.  One of my best Christmas memories came from the Christmas of that year.  Silly String!  And then change came.  He went one way and I went another.  But I never stopped loving him and wondering how and what he was doing.

Tommy came back into my life about a month ago after being gone for about 5 years.  There was a time a couple of years ago that we talked on the phone, but that time he was gone just as quickly as he appeared. I used to call his phone number every couple of months, leaving messages, telling him I loved him, until the new owner of that number called me and let me know there was no Tommy at the other end! When I had last spoken with him, he had told me he was having health issues.  As his sister, I worried.  As I believer in Christ, I pray for him.  Now he is back and his health issues have escalated to the possibility of needing a heart transplant.  He is younger than me......he is not supposed to be having these problems!  When I first heard about this from him, I went numb.  Me, who has spent 90% of my life crying, couldn't (or wouldn't) cry.  That changed tonight when I read his blog and the reality of it hit me.  My baby brother has heart problems and may need a heart transplant.  I cried and I am crying as I write this.  It is not supposed to be this way!  This is not what I had planned!  But then, life never is, is it?

So, I will cry and I will pray.  And I will trust that God is God and He is the One I can lean on.  Knowing that His word is real and I trust that what He says will be, will be.  Lord, I lay this one in your hands!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Six years ago today - March 5, 2004 - I got a new little sister.  Now, I have grandchildren, so this was no easy feat!  And she truly is my sister.  We have the same blood as well as having the same mom and dad as our six other brothers and sisters.  So, how did it happen, you ask?  Well, Mary Ann, as I knew her in 1966 was baby number eight.  And,  according to my parents who came home empty handed from the hospital, she died of heart problems.  Turns out that Susie - as we know her now - did not die.  Our parents put her up for adoption.  And Susie had been looking for us for about 18 years.  And on March 5, 2004, she finally found us.  On another sister's 40th birthday!  

I remember when my brother Aaron called to tell me the news.  At first I couldn't figure out what he was telling me.  Was he dating a girl named Mary Ann?  How funny, I thought.....that was my mother's name as well as my sister's name.  Believe it or not, the sister who died was often on my mind.  No, no!  I finally understood! Our sister, Mary Ann, who we thought had died at birth, was alive!  She had called him and her name was now Susie.  Wow....just amazing.  But you know what?  I knew from the moment I talked to her on the phone that she was my sister.  No doubt about doubt at all. 

According to older members of our family, my mother's twin sister for instance, no one knew that Susie had been put up for adoption.  My mother had died in 1972, taking the secret to her grave.  My father did the same in 2002.  I know now why my father had that far-away look in his eye the day I said "No, Dad, you have 8 kids! Remember Mary Ann, who died?"  What those words must have stirred up inside of him.   

We talked for quite a while that first night.  And there was no doubt she was a Johnson.  She sounded like us!  She emailed me a picture of herself and I remember I just about fell over when I saw her picture.  My first thought was that she looked just like me in that picture.  Amazing!  Once I met her though, I realized how much she looked like my mother.  A very pretty lady.

And it was mind-boggling how Susie had the mannerisms that I had always attributed to the Johnson's.  A wave of the hand.  That sense of humor.  The way she stood.  The way she sat.  It was incredible!  And the other similarities - she had a son named Aaron.  She now had a brother named Aaron.  She had adopted three children.  One of my sisters had adopted one child.  She had grown up across the state from us.  Her first job was at Sonic.  So was mine!  And Tommy's!  She was bright!  As are all the Johnson's!  She was shorter than me!  Yes.....finally, I was no longer the shortest sister!  Being the oldest sister, I really thought I should be the tallest girl.  A dream come true.....well, almost.  I guess the other two will always be taller than me!

I'm glad that Susie came into my life.  She is an amazing woman and she has an amazing family.  I would like to stay in touch with her better than I do, but you know, I keep in touch with Susie as much as I do anyone else in my family.  One thing about us Johnson kids - we all tend to  be loners.  How in the world did that happen in a family the size of ours!?

Susie, I just wanted to say, you have filled a void in my life - that empty number eight space.  For which I will always be grateful.  I may not get in touch with you much, but know I love you.  I will always remember our first canoe trip!  What a blast that day was!  And I will always remember my first horse ride as an adult - it was with you, at our brother Kurt's house.  How fun was that?!  And I will always remember trying on hats with you...what a hoot!  

Susie, here's to you!  Glad you found us!