I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Karen Smith of Life Connections Academy. Here's the transcript.
Karen Smith: 00:00 Hi, this is Karen Smith from Life Connections Academy. I am so honored today to be joined by Mukkove Johnson and we're going to be talking about her new book, Mess to Majesty. Mukkove Johnson is a certified Christian life coach specializing in childhood emotional neglect recovery and healing emotional wounds. She lives in Alaska with her husband of 25 years and her four children. The oldest is 20 and the youngest is two. She's written three books. The first is Christmas is About Jesus: Family Devotions for December. Then Easter is About Jesus: Family Devotions for the Easter Season, and her latest book, Mess to Majesty. Let God Love You in Your Mess. Welcome, Mukkove.
Mukkove Johnson: 00:47 Hi Karen. Thank you for having me.
Karen Smith: 00:50 You're welcome. Well, why don't you go ahead and just tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Mukkove Johnson: 00:55 Well, I am in Alaska, I'm a transplant but I've been here for over 30 years. So it's home. I homeschooled my kids most of the way through. The three older ones are now my youngest. My youngest of the oldest is a senior this year. God surprised us when I thought I was about done with all of that with another one. And that's been quite a journey. I love to write. I love quiet time. I like to be creative when I make the time for it. I'm never quite sure what people want to know.
Karen Smith: 01:43 Well that's awesome. Thank you so much. Well, what was your inspiration for writing?
Mukkove Johnson: 01:48 It actually started out as an assignment, but I wanted to make it something more. It was an assignment to write a book and learn how to publish on Amazon and all of that. And but I really wanted to write something that was going to have an impact and make a difference. I had prayed through like, Lord, what have you taught me? What do I have to offer? Then came the idea that I can share my stories and how God has transformed me and taught me these different tools.
It originally started out with something along the lines of the overwhelmed mom’s guide to peace. And then as I actually outlined the stories and stuff that didn't quite fit. And so when with Mess to Majesty.
Karen Smith: 02:52 Awesome. So you mentioned there's some stories in the book. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Mukkove Johnson: 02:58 So I've always felt like I am a huge mess and I have learned, thankfully, that God loves me in that mess anyway. He doesn't want to leave me a mess, but he loves me while I am the mess. And so I share a lot of those stories. But I also, I felt looking at the women in the Bible to see where did they have a mess and how did Jesus relate to them? There are four different women from the Bible. Only one of them has a name, which I think is kind of cool because then it can be any of our stories. They're just these women that had messes and Jesus encountered them in their messes and didn't hold it against them.
It was a lot of fun to write their stories and imagine what they might've been feeling and thinking. The response to Jesus loving them and accepting them in their mess.
Karen Smith: 04:02 Wow. That's awesome. Yeah. I do think sometimes we hear a story or we read about something and we can really identify more about, you know, wow, that's me. I can see, you know, myself in them. So that's awesome that you did that. So how many women's stories do you highlight?
Mukkove Johnson: 04:19 Four. There's the woman at the, well, the woman with the issue of blood the woman with the alabaster box and then Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Karen Smith: 04:33 Awesome. So what are some of the things that you're hoping for women to get out of reading this book?
Mukkove Johnson: 04:40 I really hope that they get encouragement and hope. Perfectionism and performance are so rampant. Comparison, trying to be like somebody else trying to be better. That's not what we're supposed to be doing. God made us to be us. He wants us to grow and He wants us to heal. He doesn't want us to turn into somebody else. We’re not accepted on the basis of what we do or how well we do it. We're accepted because He chose us and that's it. That's totally it. We can't do any more. He chose us and that's enough. And He chose us while we were a mess and He's okay with that.
Karen Smith: 05:33 Oh that's awesome. So is it just reading and do you have any other way for the reader like to interact with the material?
Mukkove Johnson: 05:44 So with each story I did a simple activation and I wanted it to be simple enough for the beginner. I talk a lot about what God is speaking to me and what God is showing me. And that might sound kind of scary to people, but I don't want it to be scary. He's a good father and good fathers talk to their kids.
There's a simple activation that relates to the story. And my goal for that is just for you to help connect intentionally to the story. There's journaling space, but if just one word comes to mind or if a picture comes to mind and you want a sketch or be as creative as you want, but the intention is just to take that extra minute or few minutes to really connect with the story and ask, “What truth out of this does God want me to hang onto today?” then do something with that so that it sticks a little bit better.
Karen Smith: 06:51 I love that. I feel like it's almost like a reading experience versus just a book. So I just think it's going to be an amazing tool. I'm so excited about your book. Tell me a little bit about the other books that you've written.
Mukkove Johnson: 07:05 Christmas is About Jesus, I wrote when my oldest three were toddlers because I wanted to bring, well, I had the idea of an advent calendar that I grew up with. I asked, “Where's Jesus in that?” We're celebrating Jesus' birth and the advent calendar is counting down to presents. You'd go to the store and get asked, “Are you guys ready for Santa Claus?” and all of it. There are so many voices telling them that Christmas is about gifts and what you get. I want something that's telling them, no, we're really celebrating Jesus in the midst of all the fun and the gifts. We're really celebrating Jesus. So I wrote 24 devotions and you know, there's a devotion each day. That's the countdown to Christmas, but each one takes a different symbol that you see at Christmas time and has a way that can remind you of Jesus rather than just getting gifts.
The Easter one is similar, but in that one, I added More Time with God. There are discussion questions to help engage your kids with the lesson that was in the devotion. And then also ideas for starting with your kids to be able to start listening to God or just interacting with it in a deeper way besides, we read it and check off the box, then we did that. They are tools for families with little ones to be more intentional about the holidays and teach what we are celebrating.
Karen Smith: 08:56 Awesome. Wow. All three sound amazing. I'm just curious, and we talked a lot about the books and your writing, but what was the turning point of this that made you decide to be a Christian women's life coach?
Mukkove Johnson: 09:13 I've always had a heart for helping women and helping people and the idea of coaching super appeals to me because it's about empowering rather than being the expert and having all the answers. It's about helping the other person see that, especially with Holy Spirit, they have the answers and they just need some support and some direction, maybe a new perspective, but they really know what they need and can walk into that. So I guess I had, I've had a blog since I wrote the Christmas book and have always, you know, kind of tried to keep that going and love to write that. I wanted to do something more. I want to teach what's transformed me, which was the listening prayer and learning to hear God's voice. So I created a course called Transformational Quiet Times. Simple lessons on learning to hear God's voice. Hopefully, somebody that's never heard before, hopefully it makes sense and isn't scary. And but out of that I realized, what I really want is to work individually with the women that take this course to be able to say, “Okay, now you're starting to hear. Here's how you can use that. Here's how you incorporate it in all of your life instead of just this special little quiet time. Because especially as moms like we need to be able to hear Holy Spirit all the time on the spur of the moment when kids melting down or whatever. The heart to be able to work individually with people to be able to answer their questions and walk them through. Especially the healing prayer stuff because you can learn to do it alone. But often it's really powerful to do it with someone else and have someone else helping you to walk through the process and hearing the Holy Spirit with you. That passion to see women healed because as we're healed, then we're healing generations because the things I fix in me, my kids are less likely to have to fix in them.
Karen Smith: 11:35 Okay. Awesome. That's awesome. What a gift you're giving to people, it's so exciting. So thank you. Well, where can people find you online?
Mukkove Johnson: 11:45 You can find me at MukkoveJohnson.com. Or MesstoMejesty.com and that's probably the easiest is to just go to MukkoveJohnson.com and then all the links are there for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. My blog is there at MukkoveJohnson.com, too. That's probably the easiest is to just head over there and find links for everything.
Karen Smith: 12:14 Awesome. Thank you so much. Well, it's just been such a pleasure chatting with you tonight about your book and about your life coaching and about just your heart. It's just been so beautiful to hear all that. So thank you so much for taking the time and I just appreciate the opportunity of getting to hear all about you. Is there any final thought you'd like to say?
Mukkove Johnson: 12:40 I really appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and just bless everyone that was that watching and listening that God does love you in your mess just as you are.