BRAVE. It’s a word that’s been on repeat since about a week before I discovered this tiny, new babe growing within. It’s come up in conversations, popped up in cross-references, and was engraved on a bracelet that my brunette best quietly slipped off her wrist and put on my own in the middle of a beach path walk. . Four years ago, we were about to embark upon the bravest thing I’ve ever done by choice. Packing up an entire marriage into one 10-foot storage unit and hopping one-way flights to a tiny island in the middle of the ocean with five suitcases and big dreams seemed crazy. But it was the kind of chosen bravery I could control after a sort of forced bravery from circumstances that were otherwise outside of my control. The kind where being brave and being strong wasn’t really an option because there was no other thing to be. . Last weekend, I sat down for a quiet time, turning the page to a new chapter in a book I had been reading when there it was again, staring me in the face. So I stopped right there and asked it honest before God: “Why that word? Why brave?? It makes me nervous... like, what do I need to be brave FOR? Because being brave is usually to face big, scary things. And I’ve had enough big and scary for awhile.” . I put my pen down and began to read. And just as quickly, God began answering my prayer-question. “We’re addicted to big and sweeping and photo-ready. To crossing oceans, changing it all, starting new things, dreams and visions and challenges. But the rush to scramble up onto platforms, to cross oceans, to be seen and heard and known sometimes comes at a cost, and sometimes the most beautiful things we do are invisible, unsexy.” . And then came the power-punch: “Being brave is trusting that what my God is asking of me ... is totally different than what our culture says we should do. Sometimes being brave looks boring, and that’s totally, absolutely, ok.” (@sniequist, Present Over Perfect) . And I let out a deep sigh of relief. Because He doesn’t always call us to the big and scary. Sometimes, He calls us to the totally, completely, and altogether boring. #fromjanesblog
“There’s something special about this island,” a girlfriend told me a week or two ago as she prepared to get on a red-eye home with her family. “All your dreams have come true here.” And I smiled and shook my head in that “it’s really unbelievable, isn’t it?” kind of way. Because she is absolutely right. . It’s on this island that I found healing. True, deep-down-in-my-bones kind of healing from an excruciating season of waiting and loss. It’s where our ten-year-long prayer for a babe was finally answered. It’s where my book was born and written (and soon to be released into the world.) And it’s where the miracle-lightning has now struck twice. . Jordan and his graham cracker are thrilled to finally share that ANOTHER miracle babe is joining our family in December. . Oh, the greatness of His glory. ❤️ #miraclebabyjohnsontake2
I had high aspirations of making it to 1am last night for the wedding, but I tapped out by 9:45. However, my sweet husband knew how much I wanted to watch it and set my alarm for me when he came to bed. And it was perfect timing, too - I cuddled up on the couch with bleary eyes and a bowl of 1am cereal just as Meghan was making her way to the church. I remember my Mom telling me about watching Princess Diana’s wedding in the middle of the night when my sister and I were just about Jordan’s age. It’s a fun little sentimental thing that I was able to do the same thing in the same life stage that she was in back in 1981 - next-day-exhausted with a toddler and all.
#tinylittleeverythings • beach path cat naps to chase the crankies away • bed head and banana hands • bedtime books and floor beds and face-hugging toddler hands • waist-deep Mother’s Day sea snuggles
Dear @josh_johnson, . I had the opportunity to affirm you around our table the other night, and I felt surprisingly uncomfortable. Because how in the world do I sum up everything that you are to me in just a few moments? But the words that came first are the ones that are most true: you are everything that I am not. You are extroverted, I am introverted. You are business-minded, I am creative. You are astonishingly patient at 3am and I... we’ll, let’s just put it lightly and say that I am not. You give life to my dreams and pull me back to reality when those dreams need a subtle tug-back. You spur my faith in the strongest and always unspoken kind of ways. And watching you as a Dad has been like witnessing another side of you come alive that I hadn’t yet known - just when I thought I knew all the different parts of you after all these years together. . You are kind. And generous. And the most kissable human aside from that tiny human you are kissing in this now months-old photo. And I cannot wait to celebrate you tonight. Just the two of us. You know - because it’s always better when we’re together. . Those Jerry Maguire writers put words to a sentiment that is just as delightfully cheesy as it is true: “I love you. You... complete me.” . Happy, happy birthday. . Love, Jane
Remember that special gift my sweet husband gave me the spring before we got engaged that I told you about a little while back? Well, no sooner had Josh given me that brand new Bible than I was breaking in the pages – scratching ink on blank margins and making notes of my own thoughts as well as any other insightful information I came across. By the end of that year, there were verses underlined and promises bolded and journal pages dog-eared in “return to this” reminders. I closed the book of Revelation one morning and opened my Bible right back up to Genesis the next morning, determined to maintain the rhythm of morning reading and new morning mercies. . When I really began getting serious about digging deeply into Scripture, I was gathering information from so many different sources that I needed a way to organize my notes—especially the ones that were written in the margin of my Bible. I had to recognize what were my own thoughts, what were translations from the Amplified Bible, and what were notes from other pastors, speakers, and commentators. I wanted to be able to open to a passage and quickly make sense of the chicken scratch in its margins. So I came up with a color-coding system using a set of rainbow-colored pens, and I assigned a color to each genre of notes. . You can see the entire color-coding system I use in my daily quiet time on my blog! Go to the link in my profile and tap My Color-Coded Bible Journaling System to read it!
Yesterday afternoon, I got Jordan up from his nap and we soaked in the last afternoon hours at the pool. But as the day wore on, my anxiety built inside of me. And it wasn’t until I said the words out loud that it finally began to release: “Mother’s Day makes me uncomfortable,” I told Josh. Everything about it. The expectations and verbal affirmations and endless posts of happy mamas with smiling photographs of their kids. Even though I am able to celebrate it now, I still feel a little bit like the woman on the other side of the glass peering in to a party I wasn’t really invited to. I guess ten years of watching and waiting will do that to you. . Yesterday, I was uncomfortable celebrating motherhood because my heart is still tied to so many of you who long to. Who are desperately hurry-up-and-waiting to. I remember a girlfriend gently encouraging me one time to not miss out on these special moments because I’m too busy carrying a torch for the women still in waiting. But I am. I can’t help it. And thankfully, yesterday, my husband wouldn’t let me take any photos. I tried to take one, and he stopped me. “Put your phone down and enjoy the day with your son,” he said. And I did - the entire day really was so special, and I was relieved with the permission to do such a thing. Even recounting Josh’s words makes my eyes well up. I was talking with a dear friend last week about the upcoming Mother’s Day. And how it still makes me feel so uncomfortable. But in the quiet stillness when it’s just me and God, I ugly-cry with thankfulness for His miracle rendered. For this gift He finally gave. And the prayer He finally answered. And I ugly-cried when I told her about it right there on that lanai. And I told her what I had prayed just that morning: that I would still ugly-cry in thankfulness at this miracle of being a mother when I’m 80 the same way that I do now. . And I also pray that I will never be comfortable with Mother’s Day. That I will never, ever forget the heartache of that ten-year-long wait or the women who are still in their own version of it. Because that’s a secret club too. It’s just that nobody ever wants the membership to it.
“Every family has a story,” the letterboard says right there in our entry. “Welcome to ours.” These new Friday posts are kind of our family story - little snapshots throughout the week of everyday moments that are gone in a flash. The ones that are my #tinylittleeverythings • poolside thigh squishes • bedtime books • snort-laughing at our little babe whose personality is already so big without any words • love-language kind of quality catch-up time with one of my very best • the joy of dad’s truck
When @josh_johnson was Jordan’s age, his family lived on his grandparents’ cattle ranch that was tucked into the base of @smith_rock_park on a gorgeous stretch property that is now @ranchatthecanyons. The breathtaking view of those towering Central Oregon rocks was his everyday backyard. I’ve always been fascinated by that - him growing up there, like that view was everyone’s normal, everyday life. And this morning, as I watched our little babe splash around in a tide pool with that tropical ocean right there, I thought about how interesting it is that he is also growing up with a breathtaking backdrop for his backyard. The kind that other people flock to and we too easily take for granted. . I’ve said it over and over since he was born: “Oh, babe, you don’t know how good you have it!” But I do. And I will keep reminding him until he is old enough to know just how lucky we are to live on this tiny island. And that this moment is just another Wednesday morning. #raisingjordy
It’s the little moments - like the first time your tiny little hand reached up to hold mine. Those are the ones that my heart is forever reshaped by and never fully recovers from. 📸: @simplyheavenphotography
This little monkey eats bananas like they are soon disappearing from this earth. He pretty much wakes up by eating one and then gets altogether giddy when it’s offered as a snack. He also has his very own mini table and seeing him sit there with his favorite snack is pretty much the cutest thing ever. . I have gotten out of the habit of getting my camera on this sweet boy of mine. To be honest, I think the monthly growing photos got to be so much toward the end that I got a little bit burned out in it! But then I remind myself that these moments are fleeting. And I will only regret the photos I didn’t take. So I plop him at his tiny little table. And photograph the pure joy that comes from eating his favorite snack. Because, really, what else in life is better than a “naanuhhh”? I’ll tell you what - when he says the one word he can in that sweet voice of his, the answer is “absolutely nothing.” 🍌🐒 #jordygrows
Is it too late in the day for #fridayintroductions? Maybe. But as you are winding down your Friday, I’m sitting in the sacred silence of the afternoon nap. Hello, friends! My name is Jane and I’m living on Maui with my overly handsome husband (@josh_johnson) and miracle babe (#miraclebabyjohnson) who is currently sleeping off a rough morning in the other room. I am a photographer (@themauiphotographer), designer, and writer with my very first book all on the story of our ten-year wait for a family (and the treasure-truths I dug up in Scripture along the way) that’s set to be published in October! . Oh, and plot twist! Remember a few weeks back when I did a survey on the book title? Yeah, we just hit the title drawing board again and I think we have FINALLY circled in on the winner! . Swipe through to see a small glimpse into my week. It’s a new end-of-the-week habit I’m creating to push myself to take more everyday snapshots and worry less about perfect, big-camera photos. Welcome to the first installment of #tinylittleeverythings: • girlfriends and stories and Mexican street corn • lanai haircuts and al fresco lunches • afternoon catnaps • belly laughs and soul calibrations with my brunette best of 20 years