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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

grace & gratitude | june

“June is the pearl of summer, shining with warmth and joy." - L.M. Montgomery

I'mma be real. June is one of my least favorite months of the year. Not only for obvious reasons, but also because June is so hot, so sticky, so busy, so buggy, so everything I don't like. It's really the pearl of summer, and I hate summer.

So this June, I'm determined to get some goody out of this month, this season I despise so much. VBS started yesterday (today for me as I write this), and I'm teaching a class of we'll see how that goes. 😅 I'm pretty excited, but also nervous, because despite having six younger siblings that I'm with 24/7, I'm surprisingly horrible with kids. 😭

We plan on going up to Lane orchards again this year for peaches, which automatically makes everything a billion percent better. (Peaches are one of my favorite fruits, but sadly, we live on the blueberry side of Georgia. [No offense, blueberries.])

I want to spend a lot more time in prayer, journaling, worshiping—all that good stuff—and maybe (Lord willing, literally) start a student-led Bible study with those in my age group at church. I feel like young adults (as in 18+, not the literary age, which is younger) get overlooked in church and discipleship. And yet folks complain about this demographic never going back to church after moving/graduating or leaving the faith entirely. Although there's a lot that goes into it + people are responsible for their own choices, I'd argue a big factor is that we ignore this age group. We expect everyone to graduate and go off to college and find a new church family and just fit right in. But it's not that simple, and if we as a church (both the local body and the Body entirely) would actively disciple our young adults and provide small groups and events for them, and welcomed them no matter where they're at or where they've come from, we might would see them sticking around more. 👀 Just sayin'.

My church honestly does a fantastic job, and we have a lot of young adults who are still in town and at church, but I wanted to do something with them as peers and maybe get folks from in the community itself as time goes on, because my church is kinda the only one who does anything at all for my age group. ANYWAY. I don't know where all that came from.

All of that to say, there's good in June. There will be good in June. I may not like warmth all that much, but I'mma find joy, even in my least favorite month. 💕

scripture of the month

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

John 11:21-27 ESV



making my first sourdough starter

homemade hamburger buns & BBQ chips

hydrangeas in blue, purple, & pink

opportunities to serve

free books

Isaiah and the Bible in general (how spiritual of me 😂)

fresh blackberries that become cobbler with ice cream

becoming an LLC

olive oil iced coffee (don’t knock it ‘til you try it!)

my little lavender plant (which my dad accidentally weed-eated right before this post went out)

The Sound of Music

first lines

Held Captive


So, in May, I didn’t make a single goal or write down my tasks for each day (minus, like, the last two days of May, after I realized I literally hadn’t cracked open my planner all month 😅). As a result, I wasn’t the most organized in my efforts…but I did manage to do a wee bit of editing, form an LLC for the press (and make a lot of other progress on the behind-the-scenes stuff!), record/post a podcast episode after a really long hiatus, write a few devos (some for fun; others for a future devotional), AND wrote 458 words in Held Captive 2.0.

I honestly don’t need or intend to write HC2 yet…I still have a story for OS&S to finish, and The Forsaken to finish. I intend for TF to be published first, as sort of a platform builder (I’ll have to explain my intentions for my platform in a later post), before I republish HC and the rest of the series. BUT, since I’m doing literal years of prep for HC2 (to make up for doing absolutely nothing for the first one), I’m “allowing” myself to do some writing, along with the brainstorming and outlining I’m doing, here and there, just to ease myself into it and get a good grasp of the story and the characters again. (Frankly? I wanna write HC SO STINKIN’ BAD that I can’t help myself. I have to work on it. 😭)


As for June…I dunno, man. I wanna make the most of the last tendrils of spring (I say spring as if summer hasn’t already begun down here in the Swampy South 😂) and finish the reading I’m two months behind on + cross a few things off on my spring bucket list (and make a new list for summer). Naturally, I want to officially launch the press. I’m literally THIS CLOSE. I just need to file for an EIN, file my BOIR, open my business bank account, and then I can publish the site and make everything public. The site itself is pretty much done. I still need to get as much stuff added to the resource library as I can, finish putting together the newsletter sequences, and have a few more folks look it over—but that shouldn’t take much longer than it will for me to do all that other stuff.

ANYWAY. If any of y’all felt led to pray for Sky’s the Limit Press, I would appreciate it. 🥰

Once the press launches, I plan on moving forward at full steam with Of Storm & Sea. Progress thus far as been nil as I’ve been focused on the press itself and all the legal stuff that needs to be dealt with before we can publish anything, so I’m excited to get through with editing and actually bring this anthology to life!

So, yeah, that’s June. A lot of editing, a lot of filing random papers with the government so they don’t think I’m a shell company for terrorists. 🫡

sneaky peeky

So, since I “accidentally" wrote some in Held Captive, I thought I’d share a snippet of the first page I wrote this past month. This is super rough, so feel free to cringe or critique. 😉


The sun went down in flames. The heavens crashed into the earth, into the sea, and for a golden, burning moment, the veil was torn asunder. Waves rippled into the skies. My hair caught in the wind, in the stars. My breath was the breeze snapping the sails. Salt and brine stung my nostrils and filled my lungs as the ocean broke against the hull of my ship. For a second, I clutched the day in white knuckles, and in another second, night descended with nary a sound.

The clatter of bottle against bottle heralded the coming of the moon and stars and commemorated a successful raid. Leastwise, my crew considered it successful. All the gold in the Seven Seas would not satisfy me until my most valuable possession was back in my grasp.

I turned away from the horizon swathed in Tyrian purple and indigo, and to the less appealing view of my men cheering and guzzling their rations of rum. A game of knucklebones had begun on an overturned barrel by the mainsail, and Billy, my youngest and newest crew member, appeared to be losing his rum and a portion of his plunder. He’d learn ere long not to challenge Jaime to anything involving dice.


If you liked that, you can subscribe to my Held Captive updates list for additional sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes, and more! I try and share something at least once a month, so readers can stay up-to-date on my progress + learn more about my writing process and how to rewrite/republish a book.


How 'bout you, lovely? What are your plans & hopes for this summer? How do you find joy in June? What's a unique (or downright weird) coffee flavor you love? Share your thoughts, goals, & gratitude below!

(Pst! I'm an Amazon affiliate, which means I make a small commission from qualifying purchases made through my Amazon links.)

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7 days ago

Aaah, that snippet of Held Captive is AMAZING!!!!! I love is so much, and the prose is beautiful!!! ❤

That's so exciting that you want to start up a young adult Bible study!! I hope it works out!!

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
6 days ago
Replying to

Thank you so much, girl!!!

Me too! :D


Jun 11

Ah! I wrote a comment on this last week but apparently it didn't send, oops!

Let me see if I can remember how it went ;D

I know what you mean about June... but, I am ready for the best month of the year yet! This is God's month and He can redeem it!

I hope it doesn't get to hot for ya'll over there! It's still spring weather over here-- looking forward to proper heat and English roses this month!

So true! That is so cool that you might start a bible study at your church. I'd totally join if I lived over there ;)

Coffee flavour... I'll admit I've never tried one! I take mine black, preferably with…

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jun 11
Replying to

Ah, I hate it when that happens!


Ooh, y'all enjoy that weather, girl!

Awww! 🥰

What?? No flavor?? 😭 Nah, seriously, if you can take it black, you're a stronger woman than me. 😂

Thank you!!! 🥰

You too, girl!!

Thanks, Malana! You have a great week as well!


Saraina Whitney
Jun 08

Ahhh my poetry-loving heart...that sneak peek is beautiful. 😍 Lol I both love and hate that feeling when I'm dying to write a story I shouldn't be working on yet 😂 How far along are you into TF?

Also I LOVE that you want to start a young adult's group! I wish more actual young adults would be the ones to start those kinds of things! (Also fun story related to that: my dad started a young adult - well, more like singles' - group at his church years ago and there were only two other people who joined: two gals, one of whom was my mom. So that's how they got to know each other. :P 🤣)

And I'll…

Saraina Whitney
Jun 08
Replying to

Ah, okay! I'm so excited for it! 😍

(Right? 😂)

Of course!! <3


A.M. Revere
Jun 05

Aww, teaching preschoolers?! That sounds like a lot of work, but fun. Those kiddos are blessed to have you.

This Summer it’s all hands on deck (my hands only lol) to republish ATL, finally. Grateful for the beautiful weather, my loved ones, and my health. 🤍

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jun 08
Replying to

Yes!! Hehe, it was fun! Aww, thank you!

You got this, girl!! Ahh, yes!! 💕


Stephanie Chittle
Jun 04

I'm going to go backwards and start by saying that I think your snippet is so BEAUTIFUL! I mean, I was reading it and literally thinking, what am I supposed to say as a critique? Sorry, your writing is too good, tone it down please?

At my church, we have this thing during the school year called Soirée Ados, or Youth Night. Basically, one Friday every month (can't remember if it's the first or second Friday) all of us 13 to 19 year old kids get together in the church basement with some volunteers and discuss our faith. We also play games, eat pizza, ask a priest dumb questions, etc. It's really fun, even though it ends in May every…

Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jun 08
Replying to

Aww, Stephanie, thank you!!! 😭🥰

Oooh, that sounds so fun!! Too bad it doesn't last through the summer!

Exactly!! Haha, yeah, June bugs are nice, but mosquitos? No, thank you. 😂


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