2013: The year of adventure

Like Bilbo Baggins, we can sit comfortably at home, or we can take a leap of faith and set out on an adventure. Choose the adventure! Photo: Warner Bros.

WASHINGTON, DC, December 31, 2012 — This week I saw “The Hobbit.” This was my first introduction to The Lord of the Rings movies. Up until now, I just haven’t had a desire to see them. But after watching the movie trailer and seeing the lovable Hobbit, and after my friend told me that not seeing The Lord of the Rings should be some sort of sin, I decided it was time.

I loved it. The Hobbit is a story of adventure. It is the story of Mr. Baggins, the Hobbit, moving out of his comfort zone, leaving material things behind, and overcoming his fear, doubts, and insecurities so that he could ultimately be used for an incredible purpose … a purpose that will impact the world.

I couldn’t have seen “The Hobbit” at a more perfect time, for yesterday, I set out on an adventure of my own. I am currently traveling to Russia, the homeland of two of my children, for a two-week visit.

For years the idea of returning to the orphanage where my children were cared for has been stirring in my heart. But like Mr. Baggins, I haven’t necessarily wanted to leave my comfort zone. I’ve also had some emotions like fear and doubt holding me back.

Over the last few months, after much prayer, I realized that my going to Russia was part of God’s plan for my life. Like the old wizard in “The Hobbit” extended an invitation to Mr. Baggins to go on an adventure, God was extending an invitation to me to join Him. Like Mr. Baggins, I had a choice to make: stay home or go. Either I could stay in my comfort zone and miss out on joining God at work, or I could go and be a part of something amazing. As is evident by the enormous amount of luggage surrounding me in my hotel room, I chose the later.

As I prepare to leave today on the next leg of my journey, I have no idea what lies ahead. I don’t know what God has planned other than the He has placed a great burden on my heart to share the love of Christ with women who took such wonderful care of my children. I’m prepared to share His unconditional love in many ways. But as in the movie, I’m sure there will be twists and turns, maybe even hurdles to overcome. As I encounter them, I will remind myself of Mr. Baggins, a brave hobbit who kept putting one courageous foot in front of the other and I’ll quote, “For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NLT).

May we all courageously put one step forward after another in 2013. Truth be told: An adventure awaits us all! And with God on our side, nothing is impossible. No adventure is too great! Why would we want to settle for anything less? Why would we want to stay in our comfort zones when we could experience new things, things far greater than what we could ever hope for or imagine; and more importantly, experience seeing God miraculously at work amongst us and being used by Him for an incredible purpose?

I ask you one simple question: What has God placed on your heart to do? What passions have been stirring in your heart, what dreams and desires have been rising up within you, maybe even for years, but you have just kept pushing them aside, covering them with excuses? It’s time, my friend, to uncover those dreams, to rise up, and to move out.

Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has great plans for all of us, plans of a hope and a future. He is just patiently waiting for each us to rise up out of our comfort, lay aside our excuses, and move out with Him in His plan. When we do, we will never be disappointed. God will be with us every step of the way. He will equip and strengthen us for the journey, fight our battles, and provide everything we need.

So what are we waiting for? 


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Kristi Overton-Johnson


As a professional water skier for over 20 years and the World Record Holder in women’s slalom from 1992-2010, Kristi Overton Johnson has taken to the waters of the world with passion and perseverance. Kristi began her waterskiing career at the age of 4 and turned professional at 13. For 15 years, Kristi dominated women’s slalom, accumulating 80 professional wins and capturing more number one world rankings than any other female skier in history.
Before retiring from professional sports, Kristi founded a non-profit water sports ministry In His Wakes. Since its inception, In His Wakes has touched the lives of over 10,000 at-risk youth across the nation and internationally. This unique ministry brings hope, healing and encouragement through the avenue of water sports and through the message of God's love.
For years, Kristi has travelled nationally and internationally as a faith-based motivational speaker encouraging people through her life experiences as an athlete, wife, mother and ministry leader. Kristi also ministers through song and through her gift as a writer. In Running the Course, her first book, she wrote about her experiences as a top professional athlete and how through faith she found purpose for her life. 
Although Kristi is committed to helping others achieve their God-given destinies, she realizes that her first priority is her family. Kristi has been married to best friend Tim Johnson since 1994. Tim and Kristi have three children, the youngest of which were both adopted from Russia in 2004. They reside in North Florida where they raise their family and serve their community through Kristi Overton Johnson Ministries

Contact Kristi Overton-Johnson


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