King Family Update – Building the Right Kingdom

Welp — we haven’t blogged since our Christmas Letter. A lot has happened and we have been on a roll since January 1. I am almost to the end of the first trimester with our 7th pregnancy and in the midst of that we have had some amazing things going on. It has been nice to be off social media a little more, using the spare time we have to rest, date, and connect as a family.

I’ll back track in case you’re interested in all the details or new to following us!
At the end of January we shared that Drexel would be resigning from his full time job at Baylor University to accept a two-year pastoral internship at our church. The position at the church is part- time. The Lord has provided other employment opportunities.  Drexel will be hustlin between 3-4 jobs, full-time school, father, and husband.  He is selfless and a servant leader so as you read the rest of the post, know that he sets the amazing tone for our family. We are excited to see how these vocations work in unison and build up our family’s calling.
With the job transition, we also saw fit to transition housing during this time. A move provides the opportunity to be closer to our church community and also adjust financially. We prayed long and hard about what to do with our house/land, and God saw fit to open the doors for us to keep it as a vacation rental. We have deemed it The King’s Farm and we are booked every weekend until the end of June! We are thankful for consistently amazing reviews and that guests are falling in love with our home.
We spent February preparing the house for guests, purchasing white linens and packing up the stuff we would need. March has been full of bookings and we are currently managing the property and turning everything over ourselves. I have enjoyed cleaning and feel like I own a Bed & Breakfast which has always been one of our dreams. It’s not fun making bunk beds of course, but the feeling of having everything ready for the next guests is super fun. We leave farm fresh eggs, flowers and more — then in return receive sweet notes from people all over the country.
Where are we living you might ask? Well, while Drexel finishes up full time at Baylor, we are staying in Baylor housing. It’s a 2 bedroom condo in downtown Waco and we are enjoying Drexel stopping by at lunch and making new friends around the campus. I’ll come back to the size and how we feel about that!
People have also asked who is taking care of all the animals at The King’s Farm. We prayed for our land to be a blessing to others while we are not living there and the Lord brought amazing people into our lives. There are pigs and horses on the property and their owners care for them. We are only 13 mins away so we still care for the chickens, collect eggs and make sure everyone is alive!
Where are we going next? April 1 we are moving a little further out into the country. God is too kind with the amazing people in our lives and provided a perfect place for us to live. I’ll share more as we cross that bridge, but we are excited for that blessing and know God is making a way for us as He clearly has been!
I also get, “Ok, so how are you…like really?” And I love that question. I am a super transparent person and often overshare. I appreciate a genuine question that wants to make sure I’m not just acting like I’m ok — then going home and weeping every night. So here goes…
I am really thankful and really humbled. God has seen fit to stretch our lives in a way we never imagined. The seasons of change, although temporarily uncomfortable, are always fruitful. We joked about it maybe 2 years into our marriage — about seminary, about ministry and how that probably wouldn’t be us. Although we are only ankle deep into things, please know that we are walking by faith and not sight. Shepherding people’s souls and preaching the Word is a heavy calling that we regard very highly and when we are tempted to get overwhelmed, we know this is not of ourselves and we cast any tiny anxiety on Him. We have cried together once and that’s honestly really good for us! We both see that God is carrying us through this transitional time and neither of us can trust in our own abilities. Also, I am finally learning to love challenging seasons because they are great opportunities to be reminded of truths I easily forget.
We once attended a church that taught us to be ATAPAT. Any time, any place, any thing. To be ready when God asks…whether to go, to serve, to send, to love, to share the gospel — be ready. We have applied this mindset to our entire marriage. Quite honestly, Drexel is better at having an ATAPAT heart than I am. I love that about him and I’ve always prayed for the Lord to shape that in me. As we nestled into our house on 5 acres, with generous provisions, raising our kiddos and building relationships — we have always felt we are doing good, even GREAT things. We still consider those wonderful things, but clearly see that God may have even GREATER things for our family. And greater may not mean more comfortable.
When settled into our ‘secure’ lifestyles, I am tempted to think ‘my things’ are the greatest. My homeschool routine, my tidy kitchen, being a hostess with the mostess, stability for my kids, the list goes on. Again, these are all good things, but as we walk in faith I see that those things can easily become my false kingdoms. As we have transitioned I prayed the Lord would sustain me emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. And that when it is slight chaos or tomorrow looks like a massive list of stress, that I would stop and rest in His KINGDOM, and not my own. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” All of us our building kingdoms in one way or another. Careers, finances, stability, education, personal legacies, Pinterest perfect homes — large or tiny territories of our hearts where we think we rule supreme. My kingdoms were quickly disheveled, and yours can be as well, but His Kingdom will never be shaken. I’m thankful that in the midst of packing our house, the Lord showed me this so clearly. I was able to release my desire for order, control and routine early on and receive whatever God would have for me during this season of change. I knew that if I could not withstand this transition with steadfastness, it would reveal that my hope, my joy and my peace were wrapped up in my way versus Jesus and His way. I am so thankful He has affirmed this growth in my life over many, many years and that I can enjoy this season!
I am thankful that as I “delight myself in the Lord, He gives me the desires of my heart.” Psalm 37:4 does not mean He gives me what I want, but He is faithful to change my heart’s desires and conform them to His perfect plan. I am thankful that I don’t miss my school table or my stuff. I verbalized “I miss my house” a time or two and realized I didn’t actually mean it. I missed what felt normal and realized I want to be better at creating new norms. I am thankful that He continually protects our family, keeps us in unity and adds rich relationships to our lives. I am thankful to hear guests at our house feel a sincere blessing and peace when they stay there. Sharing peace is a privilege! That brings me to the tiny house living arrangement and how I like it. Well I actually love it! It is less to clean and I don’t care if things are cluttered. At the end of the day I light a candle and vacuum our 5×5 kitchen/living area, then go to bed with a tidy house. Less stuff means less stress. The kids are well and I check on them in the middle of the night all wrapped around each other in their two twin beds. I peek on the baby and he sleeps like a rock in our room. I am thankful that God knows best for my children and although schooling isn’t up to “my standard” right now and their routine is a little off, they are learning a lot and growing in more ways than I realize.
Finally, I am humbled that God sees fit to add another life into our family at this unique time. I am humbled that by His grace, I am healthy and given new energy each day — in my eyes it’s a modern day miracle. I will write more about the pregnancy in the next post on why another baby is always a blessing, but I am humbled when each evening and night, the Lord meets me with perfect peace. No doubt when I hit my pillow I am tired, but I only have to do one day at a time and there is amazing freedom in that. Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” If my mind wonders even one degree, I can redirect it to Jesus, the sovereign Ruler of all things — “to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:14
Thanks for reading and following along on this journey with us! I look forward to sharing how God is faithful in all things.
With Love,
Johnna

2 Responses

  1. Joann Deliz

    Beautiful!

  2. Appreciating your transparency, your enormous faith, and perseverance. Love you all without limits.

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