Remembering 2017

As the year started, we looked forward with great expectation. But with great expectation often comes great accommodation, because rarely do things work out as we plan or hope. The Lord, however, blesses us with exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine.


All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
1 Peter 1:2-4 (NLT)

A quick recap of our amazing year:

We built it.

This was the year we built our house. We broke ground in December, when UBuildIt placed a sign on our one-acre lot in the Texas Hill Country. Forms for the foundation were set up over the Christmas holidays and the foundation was poured in January. Construction moved along fairly quickly and despite some challenges and frustrations, everything came together and we closed on the house at the end of June.
To see pictures and read detailed descriptions of the building activity, check out my Country Living blogs.

In Loving Memory

My dad, sister and I sadly shared the news of our loving wife/mother, Shirley Ann English, 73, going to be with the Lord on Friday, May 26, 2017.
In May, Jon and I felt a prompting to make a crazy, weeklong road trip to the northeast. Daniel’s girlfriend, Kd, received her master’s degree at UMUC and invited us to the ceremony. We combined the trip with a surprise visit with my mom for Mother’s Day. We had the sweetest visit and we are ever grateful we went.
A week later, I received a phone call. My mom was back on the ventilator and unable to come off again. Too full of life to live on life support, mom made the decision to be taken off. I flew up to Pennsylvania to be with my sister and dad at mom’s side when she entered into the presence of the Lord. Her memorial was held on June 3rd.
We miss her very much, but rejoice in her glorious, inexpressible joy.
Read her full obituary at Glunt Funeral Home.

Welcome to the World

Proud parents, Heather & Jarred happily announce the birth of their second daughter, Charlotte Ann on October 15th.
Jon and I flew to Norfolk in February for a few days to visit granddaughter Scarlette. While there, Heather & Jarred surprised us with the wonderful news: Scarlette was going to be a big sister. Baby number two was due in October. Over the 4th of July weekend, we hosted a gender reveal party in our new home. Another little princess!
Then in October, toward the end of our visit in Pennsylvania, we received a text telling us Heather was in labor. We packed up and drove the nine hours to Norfolk.
In the early morning hours on October 15th, Charlotte Ann made her grand arrival. Right on schedule and right into our hearts.

Other Notable Events

Heather: notified in November she made Aerographer’s Mate First Class (E6). Congratulations!
Jarred: begin a new job as a mechanic at  U-Haul in January.
Daniel & Kd: transitioned from the Navy to civilian life and moved from Hawaii to Colorado in September.
Jonny: worked as a research assistant all summer and began his sophomore year at Baylor in the fall.
Jon & Jill: published their first book together, a photo devotional.
Praise: Proclaiming the Glory of God.
Check us out on Amazon.

A Time such as this

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die…, a time to tear down and a time to build up, a time to cry and a time to laugh, a time to grieve and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones, a time to embrace and a time to turn away…, a time to keep and a time to throw away…, a time to be quiet and a time to speak…
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-7, NLT)

May all your days in the coming New Year be a time of grace and peace.



About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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