How Much Love

Who doesn’t love a friend who looks for the best in you and then makes it a point to show you what they see? Tori Johnson is that kind of friend. As you read her words I am sure you will get a taste of her sweet spirit. Thank you, Tori!  

“He just has no idea how much love is waiting for him.” – Donna Jackson

This past Saturday, December 4th, would have been my father-in-law’s 71st birthday.  He was so special to us and had many wonderful qualities. He was a sinner saved by the grace of God through Jesus. He was eternally adopted as a child of God.  He knew the depth of what that adoption meant in a wildly wonderous way, more than most of us. He was also ADOPTED into his earthly family.  

For the past 7 years on December 4th, as a family, we drink Diet Cherry 7up and eat Honey Buns – 2 of his favorites to share with his two grandchildren.  We thank God for the birth of our Daddy Bob on this day years ago.  We thank God that his birth mother chose life through adoption and for all that choice has generationally yielded.  We also thank God for Daddy Bob’s birth in Christ and what THAT has generationally meant to our family. 

Speaking with Mrs. Donna Jackson about the adoption of her 6th grandchild, she said those words that I opened with: “He just has no idea how much love is waiting for him”.The wheels in my heart immediately began turning as I thought of this new son and grandson arriving into this family. He would soon experience:

  • 4 older siblings who have patiently prayed and waited,
  • 4 grandparents with love, time, snuggles, listening ears, and attentive eyes,
  • great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and more cousins to wrap him up in a beautiful and belonging embrace,
  • AND, Mama and Daddy who have prayed, prepared, pressed in, and pursued.

As the wheels continued to turn, I thought of what a parable this is.  The Lord is most merciful and gracious to us as He often allows us to see Him and His ways like this.  I just kept saying it again and again, “He just has no idea how much love … he just has no idea how much love … it’s waiting for him … SO MUCH LOVE!”  

Is this not a beautiful picture of the love of God through Jesus?  If you know, YOU KNOW. 
Who have you been praying for that does not know Jesus as Savior and Lord?  Who have you labored in prayer over that has not surrendered to the Lordship of Christ?  Who do you know that is striving and straining within themselves to earn and prove? They just have no idea how much love is waiting for them!

Surrendered. Saved. Secure. Found. Free. Adopted. 

 Adopted as sons and daughters of God, that abounding and abundant love is like a fountain overflowing from Calvary.  His love poured out through His obedience to His heavenly Father gives us the right to be called children of God. There is nothing we could do to earn that, He just did it. Who has ever loved you THAT much? 

My father-in-law knew that love twice over.  He was adopted into his earthly family and was enveloped by the secure and abiding love of those two earthly parents.  He came to know Christ as his Savior and was adopted eternally into the family of God at the age of 7. He understood that it was not because of anything he had done to earn it; it was just the endless love of God through Christ.  He experienced that endless, merciful, grace-filled, rich, and deep love on earth and now in heaven. 

He knew that in his earthly adoption he was given the surname of his father, Johnson.  That allowed him to “bear” the family name.  It said he belonged, he was theirs, he was their representative.  Others may have known the Johnson family by knowing him and when other’s saw him or met him, they would know that he was a Johnson. 

He knew how that mirrored his adoption as a Son of God.  His adoption gave him a new name – Child of the Most High God.  Now that’s a belonging!  He was a “bearer” of the Name Above All Names. He wanted others to see the Savior through him so they might come to know His heavenly Father.  

Love never fails! 

What have you seen love do?  Think on that.  If it doesn’t take your breath away for at least a moment, think on it some more.  

This new son/grandson will be given a new surname. “He has no idea” what waits for him.  The full display of the love may have to be a slow roll-out, but it awaits him. 

 That love can overwhelm at first. Actually, that love can overwhelm, often.  Isn’t that the beauty of that love?
Love never fails!  God’s love, and it poured out through us, NEVER fails.  

This precious child is going to experience something my father-in-law did years ago, the unfailing love of God through the gift of family.  I’m not saying families offer unfailing love … in human form we fail and falter, for sure.  But, the unfailing love of God, abounding in family form, works through all our humanness and remains unfailing.  That humbles me endlessly.  Even through my failures and flaws and my continued change for the better or worse, He is unchanging.  His unfailing love truly NEVER FAILS.  

Our Daddy Bob wrestled with that as well; maybe we all do?  Maybe we will until we are face to face with Him?  If so, may we all default quickly in our wrestling back to His work and not ours.  His Work is Certain.  His Word is truth.  His Ways are sure.  His Love is Unfailing.  
Almighty God, full of unfailing love, 

Thank you for the birth and life of Daddy Bob and for his adoption into the Johnson family.  Thank you for the abiding love he experienced through his earthly family. Thank you for his adoption through salvation into your eternal family.  Thank you for being his Father.  Thank you for your unfailing love in his life and through his life, into ours.

Thank you for the birth of this precious boy across the world and for his adoption into the Ellis family.  Thank you for the overwhelming, gentle, abiding, pursuing, accepting, Christ saturated love he will experience through his parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family, and friends.  May that love be a grand glimpse, over time, of the unfailing love of you.  May He know your love and the saving grace of Christ through this earthly family you have chosen for him.  Your love overwhelms me, even as I pray this.  
We love you, because you first loved us.  


“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, 
to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.  Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:4-7)

Posted in
a photo of a measuring cup with text saying “HOW MUCH Love”

Donna Jackson

My God Story – Ella Van Deusen

By Donna Jackson | June 21, 2022 |

I’ve waited weeks now to introduce you to my sweet friend Ella Van Deusen! We first met when I began to serve the elementary aged children in our church. At the age of ten, Ella’s understanding of God and His Word made leading her small group a huge blessing. I’ve watched her grow into an…

One of the Good Ones

By Donna Jackson | June 14, 2022 |

You may call me shameless, and that’s okay.  However, I have someone who deserves a pat on the back. Some royal treatment. A great big “attaboy”. I’m sure you have a “someone” in your life who deserves the same. Even the apostle Paul told the Romans they should give honor to those to whom it is…

Weary and Discouraged

By Donna Jackson | June 7, 2022

As the iconic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” opens, we meet George Bailey, a banker who soon finds himself trapped under a boulder of challenging circumstances. Even though he has a wife, children, extended family, and friends who love him and would gladly help, he still feels trapped. At his lowest point, he feels like…

Your Story

By Donna Jackson | May 17, 2022

Have you ever wondered how your life’s story would read if it were part of the Bible? Would it be complicated or comical? Melodramatic or monotonous? Apathetic or adventurous? Heartbreaking or heroic? I wonder what Moses thought of the whole Exodus story. His exploits were definitely legendary – the stuff blockbusters are made of –…

I Don’t Want To

By Donna Jackson | May 10, 2022

For several years, our small tribe of women met for Bible study with female inmates in our local jail. They shared their stories of abuse, drugs, tragedy, and great sorrow. We did our best to point them to Jesus, the only One who could heal their hurt and help them find lasting peace. Since we…

No Time to Play Games

By Donna Jackson | May 3, 2022

Last Monday rubbed my patience about as raw as sushi. And I hate sushi. Everything I tried to do went sideways. In my mind, I imagined flinging my computer across the room so it would feel the same amount of grief it had caused me. Every click of the cursor apparently filled the hard drive…

A Life That Matters

By Donna Jackson | April 19, 2022

The motley tribe of seven disciples sat quietly beside the sea trying to understand the most recent swirl of events. Their time spent as Jesus’ close companions had given them direction and a purpose. But now, everything was changing so quickly. Their teacher, friend, and Messiah had been tortured, humiliated, and killed by Roman soldiers.…

You May Argue, But …

By Donna Jackson | April 12, 2022

Whenever my brain waves begin to lay flat and my mind becomes exhausted from a day of writing, I grab a glass of tea and the TV remote. I depend on Joanna Gaines and Giada DeLaurnetiis to give my mind a break. They offer the inspiration I need to fill a skillet or two for…

What Do You Want for the Children in Your Life?

By Donna Jackson | April 10, 2022

What do you want for the children in your life? That was the question I posed this week to a room full of courageous ladies in drug rehab. Answers flew back: “Happiness”, “Peace”, “Strength”, “A relationship with God”. In a previous Bible study, they had asked for a message on parenting. My wheels immediately began…

Why Travel Perfection Road?

By Donna Jackson | April 5, 2022

On the outside my grandmother Josephine looked like any other grandmother. She wore glasses, gray hair, and her share of wrinkles and spots. But on the inside pumped the heart of a playful little girl. We cut paper dolls out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog, sang at her piano, and turned brand-new pointed Crayola…