Friday’s Guest blog by Jennifer Johnson

I am so happy to showcase Jennifer on my blog. As she says below, we have been critting for each other since 2002! Thanks to Jim Peterson for suggesting it! And since she is the same age as my oldest daughter, I also consider her one of my daughters (and sisters) in the Lord. She is so precious to me, and as you read below, you will see some of the reasons why!

Hello! I’m Jennifer Johnson, author of fifteen books (three will go to print later this year). Rose and I have been writing buddies for the past eleven years, since before either of us was published. I’m thrilled she would allow me to visit with you all on her blog.

My latest release is titled Shoebox Surprise. Main characters, Mirela Adams and Josif Sesely were born in Serbia to mothers who were the best of friends. When her parents pass away, missionaries from the US adopt her. His family moves to Tennessee to find a better life, and the two are separated.

But Mirela has never forgotten the shoebox filled with toys, hygiene products, and candy that she received when she was a small girl. She accepted Christ as a result of that gift. With the help of her church in Tennessee, she puts together hundreds of boxes each year. Her local newspaper runs an article about her ministry, and Josif’s mother reads it. Mirela lives only forty-five minutes from the Sesely family, and Josif’s mother sends him to find out if she is the child of her deceased friend from Serbia. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens! J

Shoebox Surprise was so much fun to write. My inspirations for the story made it even more precious. In 2009, I received an email from a woman named Mirela. She lived (still lives) in Serbia. She wrote that she had become a Christian in 2008 and that many of her friends and family had rejected her. A missionary had given her several books to read to encourage her faith, including mine. She’d been blessed by the story and wanted to send me an email of thanks.

Well, talk about touching a girl’s heart! I was thrilled. I mailed her every story I’d written (still send them). We emailed each other and became facebook friends. Though she felt blessed by my stories, she could never imagine how much her words blessed me. I mean, that is why I write! To encourage Christians in their faith…and to do so to a woman who lives half a world away!!!! All I can say is God is so good!

My second inspiration for the story was a woman from my church. Andy was in charge of the shoebox ministry. Under her direction, church members donated various gifts and hygiene items throughout the year. In November, the church would come together to fill hundreds of shoeboxes to be sent to Operation Christmas Child in Boone, North Carolina.

Because of those two ladies, an idea was born, and Shoebox Surprise was the result. I hope you enjoy the book!

I’ve been married to an awesome guy for the past 21 years. My high school sweetheart who’s supported me in every endeavor I’ve ever dreamed to try. His name’s Albert. Here’s a picture of us in Cancun for our 20th anniversary!

I’ve got three amazing daughters. I’m serious; they’re pretty cool. My oldest daughter is 20 and a senior in college. We are planning her wedding next December. She’s marrying a terrific man, Derek. Here’s a picture of my oldest daughter and my future son-in-law, the night he asked her to marry him.

My second daughter is Hayley. She is a senior, planning to attend college in the fall. She’s a terrific young lady, kind and sensitive, willing to give you the shirt of her back…or one of her sister’s shirts if you need it. LOL! Here is one of her senior pictures.

My youngest daughter is Allie. She’s in the eighth grade at the middle school where I teach. She was one of my students last year. She’s a great gal and an awesome soccer player. She’s exceptionally fun-loving, and this picture suits her completely!

As I mentioned, I’m also a seventh grade language arts teacher. Spending eight hours a day with 150 thirteen-year-olds is challenging, possibly a little ludicrous, but also highly rewarding. I love my students. I love being able to share my love of words and stories with them. Love the new Hunger Games series. A big fan of Jordan Sonnenblick and Jenny B. Jones and Melody Carlson. If I’m going to be honest with you, I have to admit a little more. I’m also Team Edward. Here’s proof.

Well, it was great to spend a bit of time with you! You can visit me anytime at I’d love to see you on Facebook (Jennifer Collins Johnson). Or email me at It was great to spend a bit of time with you! Here’s one last picture of my whole family on vacation last summer!

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2 Responses to

  1. Jackie says:

    What a great interview. So glad to get to know you better, Jennifer.

  2. I had a great time brainstorming with you, Jackie. Thanks for opening your home to all of us. :)

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