Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guest Blog with Jennifer Johnson

Hello Friends,

First off, I gotta tell you…I LOVE THIS BOOK. If you like it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it, then you’ll be as tickled with it as I am.

One thing I really like is the male main character, Harold Smith. He’s a simple guy leading a simple life when he up and decides to fall in love with a woman who has three daughters, two of them teenagers at that! One of my favorite things about Harold is his name. My own children and best friend argued me into the ground over naming him Harold. They just couldn’t see a HERO who had such a name. So I tried several names, but nothing would stick. To me, he was Harold. Good ol’ Harold. Steady and consistent Harold. Hard-working, true-loving Harold. A real hero.

Another thing I like about the story is that my heroine, Kelly, is a woman about my age who teaches English, as I do, and who has three daughters, two teen and one pre-teen…and you guessed it, that’s true for me as well. Many of the quandaries and struggles that Kelly deals with, I know them all too well. In fact, I really only focus on the oldest daughter in the story…there just weren’t enough pages to really dig into the challenges of raising all three.

Probably what touches my heart the most about this story is that Kelly and Harold are forced to deal with a wayward teenager, her oldest daughter, seventeen-year-old Zoey. This rebellious girl touches me so deeply because I relate to her so well. Zoey is a Christian, she truly loves the Lord, but she’s fighting him tooth-and-nail. Like Zoey, I endured some rebellious years. And like her, I faced some consequences.

When I was seventeen, I became pregnant with my oldest daughter. My boyfriend and I married within a week of discovering I was expecting. To say “things were difficult” doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual challenges we faced. Some of you have lived this as well, personally or through a child, grandchild, or friend. It was the most embarrassing, humbling experience of my life.

But, God is good. He is merciful. He is the author and finisher of redemption. He restored my life and my husband’s. It was not easy, but He forgave and He blessed. This past Monday, January 11, my husband and I celebrated our 19th anniversary. We have three beautiful daughters. Our oldest, Brooke, is a freshman at Western Kentucky University. Our middle daughter, Hayley, is a sophomore, and our youngest, Allie, is in sixth grade. I was able to go back to school and receive my degree in education. I now teach 7th grade language arts. And because God is more amazing than I could ever describe or deserve, He has allowed me to write for Heartsong Presents. My dream was to teach and to write. At seventeen, I believed neither would ever be possible.

This truth is what I pray to portray in all my stories. God forgives and renews. He forgives and restores. He forgives and blesses. With God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. It’s the truth. If you don’t believe it, I pray God will WOW you until you have no option but to shout it from the mountaintops. Praise God!

I’m including a few pictures of my family. I hope you will feel free to stop by and visit my website at or send me an email at

Easter 2009
Brooke, 17, Hayley, 15, Jennifer, and Allie, 11

My husband, Al, and me

Al, Brooke, and Jennifer
Brooke was Sandy for her high school’s
play, Grease

Question: How has God restored and renewed you?


  1. Good ol’ Harold. Steady and consistent Harold. Hard-working, true-loving Harold. A real hero.

    The world needs more Harolds. Sounds like a hero to me.

  2. first I could see your girls' point, but then as I thought about it, I remembered that some of my favorite romance heroes have had names that weren't at first glance glamorous...not Dirk or Sterling or something like that. One of my favorite heroes in a book I loved was Hugh.

  3. Aaron McCarverJanuary 13, 2010

    Hey Jennifer!
    Can't wait for this as I love all you do! Diane and I have an ordinary hero coming in our next book. As an ordinary guy, I love them that way. Not everyone knows that I gave up writing for a few years after my mom died and some other tough things came into my life. I thought I was done as I had given up a true gift of God, but in His true loving, Job-like fashion, He has restored what I gave up, and more so! How great is our God! Thanks for the inspiring post! Hope we get to work together again soon!

  4. Thanks for sharing how your true life story relates to this Heartsong story, Jennifer!

  5. Aaron, I hope we can work together again as well!!! And forever and always, I will love Harold...and Aaron. :) JoAnne, I can't wait to share with you a reader email...from one of the guys I teach with...very humbling, in a good way.

  6. I love the name Harold for a hero!

    Thank you for sharing some about yourself, Jennifer. God is wonderful, isn't He? God has restored and renewed me from a very challenging point in my marriage. I had only been saved for just over a year and went through a terrible time that would have been impossible without Him. But since then, with his help, I have grown and tried as well as I can to place my life in His hands.

  7. I'm so happy for you, Cindy. God can do amazing things. :)

  8. I'm so glad God gives us second chances (and third, fourth...). I made a mess of my young Christian years but God got me back on track and blessed me beyond measure with a wonderful husband, children and chances to minister in so many amazing ways I never thought possible. Praise His name!


  9. I'm praising Him with you, Merry! :)

  10. Tess YoungApril 13, 2013

    Hello There,
    I just wanted to see if you were currently interested in additional guest bloggers for your blog site.
    I see that you've accepted some guest posters in the past - are there any specific guidelines you need me to follow while making submissions?
    If you're open to submissions, whom would I need to send them to?
    I'm eager to send some contributions to your blog and think that I can cover some interesting topics.
    Thanks for your time,