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Verbally Processing

Verbally Processing

By Christi Johnson
I'm a verbal processor. I have to talk about things to understand them, to learn from them, and to grow. In this podcast, I'll share my honest, real, raw thoughts about life, business, family, and faith. No matter how big or small the topic is, I seek to provide encouragement, hope and point people to Jesus. Come verbally process with me.

Follow Me on Instagram: @christijohnsoncreative

Intro/Outro Music:
Almost Bliss by Kevin MacLeod
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How to Know Which Voice to Listen To | VP16
We hear a lot of voices every day. Social media, opinions of friends, family, and even strangers, business coaches and courses, and even ourselves. Sometimes it’s so confusing and frustrating and we don’t know which voice to listen to!! People like to tell me what I SHOULD do. They tell me I should coach swimming, teach piano, do this business idea or that business idea. Sometimes all the voices are equally loud and I don’t know what to do. I think it’s true that you have to listen to yourself or you will feel frustrated. But what if your voice isn’t reliable? What if you’ve been so swayed by all the other voices that you don’t even know where you stand? Read more at Follow me on Instagram at
August 25, 2020
Lessons from Spending Two Months at Home | VP15
I recently spent two months at home, and today on the Verbally Processing Podcast I'm sharing the lessons I learned during my time home. Read more at
August 18, 2020
Why Quiet Time is So Important & How to Stop Neglecting It | VP14
Does this sound familiar to you? You wake up and have every intention of spending time with Jesus, but instead you pick up your phone just to check something. Before you know it, you've spent 30 minutes scrolling Instagram. YIKES. Now it's time for work! Lemme just read a verse or two and say a quick prayer and that'll be good for today. Why are we so content to live like this?? Today on the podcast, I'm talking about why quiet time is so important and how to stop neglecting it.  Find More Resources at Follow me on Instagram @christijohnsoncreative
June 30, 2020
When God's Plans Don't Make Sense | VP13
Have you ever been through something when what God sends you doesn’t make sense? Read more at I’m not talking about just when you go through hard situations. You see, there are some hard situations where you can more easily see what God might be doing. And sometimes there are even Scriptures that seem to speak directly to your situation. For example, losing a loved one. A grandparent for example. That’s hard. I hope that I’m not insensitive in saying this, but for me, I understand that they’re actually not suffering anymore. They’re with Jesus. It’s actually better for them to be there. I'm reminded of the beautiful passage in 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. Or what about a physical injury? Like Joni Eareckson Tada. God redeemed her story; her ministry has brought many many people to Christ.  But what about things where you can't see the good? Where it doesn't seem to make sense at all. Like losing a child or having a child or a spouse walk away from the faith. How can that be good? Maybe it will make your faith stronger. But you see, I think that’s the problem with humans. We’re always looking for something that somehow works to make our life better. But what if it doesn’t make our life better? What if it’s just bad? Paul answers that in Romans 9.  We say things like "God was gracious" when our loved ones were spared from a life or death situation or when things work out the way we want them to. But what if it didn't happen that way? Would we still call him gracious? Do we think of God just like our good luck charm?  I think we see a helpful answer in the book of Job.  Tim Keller says, "Is it possible that a man or woman can come to love God for himself alone so that there is a fundamental contentment in life regardless of circumstances? Yes, this is possible, but only through prayer." We forget the power of prayer. We deny ourselves the flood of grace that is available if we would just pray.  Let's commit to trusting God, wrestling with God, bringing all of our grievances before him. Let's commit to pray. Follow me on Instagram: @christijohnsoncreative
June 23, 2020
Lessons from Moving Across the Country | VP12
At the end of 2018, my husband and I left our hometown of Greenville, SC and moved to the Bay Area of California. Here are some of the lessons I've learned in the last year and a half.  A LOT OF THINGS ARE THE SAME I thought that everything would be completely different when I moved to CA, but really, every day life in CA is pretty much the same as it was in CA. People told me to expect a “culture shock,” but I didn’t really experience that at all. THE STEREOTYPES AREN’T TRUE In the south, Californians are often referred to as “crazy Californians” or “tree huggers” or “crazy hippies.” The truth is, there are crazy people in California just like there are crazy people in South Carolina. I think a lot of our stereotypes just come from a lack of understanding. DIVERSITY IS BEAUTIFUL One thing I didn’t realize about SC until moving to the Bay Area is that a lot of places are honestly still pretty segregated. I don’t think it’s intentional (I like to believe the best about people), but it’s still kind of surprising. In the Bay Area, everywhere I go I’ll see all kinds of different people. But back in SC, I’ll often go into a restaurant or a grocery store and only white people. I HAVE A LOT TO LEARN I think moving, meeting new people, hearing different perspectives, and just being brought to the end of myself after leaving everything behind, I realized that I had a lot of arrogance and pride in my heart. The truth is, I don’t know that much at all, but I was living like I was right about everything. That’s somewhere I never want to be. I’ve learned to listen, and I want to keep learning to do that better. GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF ME ANYWHERE Back home, if Matt and I encountered a problem, we would call our parents and ask them to help us figure it out. But in CA, we had to wrestle with problems on our own. Sure, we could have called our parents, but with the time difference it made it harder, and I don’t think that would have been the healthiest thing anyway. We had to lean on each other and on God and over and over He’s provided for us. I don’t have to be afraid of new places or new experiences, because He’ll always be with me. Follow me on Instagram: @christijohnsoncreative
June 8, 2020
Longing for Peace | VP11
In light of George Floyd's murder and the events of the last several days and the Blackout Tuesday happening on social media, my originally schedueld post didn't feel appropriate today. This is not a political post. Today I'm sharing what I've been learning lately and I'm sharing some hope from the Scriptures.
June 2, 2020
Is Marriage Everything I Dreamed? | VP10
I thought a lot about marriage before I was actually marriage. I dreamed about what it would be like, what our life would be like, and how would I feel. But was it everything I dreamed?  Follow me on Instagram at @christijohnsoncreative Read more at
May 26, 2020
Scars & Vulnerability | VP09
What makes a scar story so relatable? And why do we share scar stories as kids but not adults?  In today's episode, I dive head first into the topic of scars, vulnerability, insecurity, weakness, and shame.  Read more at Follow me on Instagram @christijohnsoncreative
May 19, 2020
How I Got My Scar | VP08
Today I share the amusing (or sad, depending on how you look at it) story of how I got the scar on my chin. I've had it since I was almost 13, and I don't think about it in my day to day. It's become a part of me.  I'm telling the story today because it's something I'm sure people have wondered, and it's a story I love to tell from my childhood. It brings back a lot of fun memories telling it.  It also sparked my interest because 2 years ago I wrote a blog post telling the story and it got the most engagement out of any post I've ever posted. Come back next Tuesday to hear me share why I think it connects with people and also why we tend to shy away from telling stories about our scars, physical and emotional, as adults. It'll be a deep topic you won't want to miss.  If you enjoyed today's episode, feel free to leave a rating and a review.  Find me on Instagram: @christijohnsoncreative Read more at
May 12, 2020
Priorities, Callings & Roles | VP07
Every time I arrange my callings, my business ends up at the bottom of the list, and my own personal entertainment isn't even on the list at all. But without fail, time and again I end up putting my entertainment at the top, my business second, and everything else afterwards. How can I reorient my callings and put my priorities in their place? Listen in for more. In this podcast, I reference a sermon I heard in college. I incorrectly attributed it to Dr. Jason Ormiston, but it was actually by Dr. Nathan Crockett. I distinctly remember Dr. Ormiston giving the illustration of the big rocks in the jar, so I must be getting the sermons confused. If you know which one Dr. Ormiston preached where he gave that illustration, let me know! Dr. Crockett's sermon is the one called "Ingratitude is a Wicked Sin" and I have listened to it several times since he gave it. You can listen to it here:  Read the full blog post here: Follow me on Instagram: @christijohnsoncreative
April 27, 2020
The Comparison Game | VP06
The comparison game. We've all played, we all hate it. Today I break down some of my thoughts when I compare myself to others and talk about how I've found freedom.  Read more at Follow me on Instagram: @christijohnsoncreative
April 20, 2020
You are Not a Slave to Your Personality | VP05
I think a lot about my personality. The good, the bad, the ugly, the Enneagram, the Meyers-Briggs, and what God has to say about it all. Today I'm processing the idea that I am not a slave to my personality. Read more at Follow me on Instagram: @christijohnsoncreative
April 13, 2020
What to Do with All the Feels | VP04
Yep, it’s another coronavirus episode. There are so many events, stats, feelings to process. And that’s what I do here on this podcast. I process and I try to find hope through it all. So, the first two weeks of “shelter in place” I was actually feeling super good. Then last week things started to feel not so good. I’ve felt a range of emotions from sad, to irritable, to frustrated, then sometimes to content, happy, grateful. It’s A LOT to process in a short amount of time, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. One thing that’s contributing to the feelings is that there is so much noise in our world right now! So many posts about what to do, how to do it, what you should be doing, how you should be thinking and feeling. On top of that there are SO. MANY. ZOOM CALLS. I actually feel like I am talking to people more than normal. There are also so many interesting things to do or watch. Museum tours, drawing lessons, reading hours, etc. At first it felt exciting to me, now I feel overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do with it all. It is normal to feel whatever you’re feeling. Kristin Brabant shared a great quote on her email ist recently: “It’s normal...if you’re denying your fear & pain to get through the realities of your day. It’s normal...if you feel furious when you see leaders or loved ones making decisions purely for their own benefit. OR rage when you see others ignoring social distancing practices . It’s normal...if you’re desperately seeking a solution but feeling hopeless while reckoning with HUGE, heartbreaking changes. It’s normal...if you feel depressed because you don’t know when normalcy will return (if ever) and just want to feel a loved one’s hug or walk on a sidewalk without fear again. It’s normal...if you’re in the messy test-kitchen, uncertainly experimenting with ways to pivot and grow in the wake of massive change. And it’s normal...if you feel EXCITED for what’s ahead, if you’re experiencing a BOOM in business or creativity. It’s okay for you to be in a season of JOY, optimism & all-cylinders-firing creation, while your sister reckons with her rock bottom. It’s okay to be thriving personally right now, even as we collectively grieve. You are normal.” I would add, it’s also normal to be any one of these at any given moment. It might even change throughout the day. That’s normal. But just because something is normal doesn't mean it's right, or good, you don't want to stay in that state of depression. Do you go to God first? Or do you grumble to your friends like I did yesterday on Marco Polo? So what can we do? Give yourself time to feel and process Give yourself grace for not accomplishing everything on your to do list Take time for quiet, lamet, prayer Take your sorrows to Jesus Lean more into his word than ever Get out and serve Pray. Keep your eyes on the truth of who God is Do all this OFTEN Read my full blog post for this episode at Follow me on Instagram: @christijohnsoncreative Intro/Outro Music: Almost Bliss by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
April 6, 2020
How to Cope with Closed Chapters | VP03
How many closed chapters do you have in your life? Maybe it was a job, a summer program, school, or a season with a sports team. We all have a lot of them, that’s for sure. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I experience sadness when I think about the closed chapters in my life. We have another layer of closed chapters in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. So many chapters were closed without people even having time to prepare for them to close.  I have a lot of closed chapters. I absolutely love where I am now. But sometimes it makes me sad that I can’t do it all, or that some chapters of my life are over and I’ll never experience them again to the same extent that I did when I was in them. How can we find comfort during these situations? Here are my suggestions: Recognize that God has you right where he wants you Recognize that God is sovereign over all things, even your mistakes Recognize that your calling is the path right in front of you Recognize that all of your experiences are what make you you, and God prepared you every step of the way. God is the great weaver, and he's weaving the threads of our lives into a perfect tapestry.  There will be a lot of closed chapters. C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters writes, “He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time, which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which [God] has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity or with the Present--either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.” God cares about our sorrows. He cares about every part of us. Let’s stay the course. Let’s do the next right thing. And let’s keep our minds fixed on Jesus. Read my full blog post at Follow me on Instagram: @christijohnsoncreative The books I mentioned in today's episode: Ravi Zacharias, The Grand Weaver and C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters Intro/Outro Music: Almost Bliss by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
March 30, 2020
What Could God Teach You During the Coronavirus Outbreak? | VP02
Today, I'm putting a different perspective on COVID-19. Everything seems terrible right now. People are suffering, losing their jobs, weddings are being canceled, work is being canceled, and maybe you're not sure how you will make it. Everything seems terrible right now. People are suffering, losing their jobs, weddings are being canceled, work is being canceled, and maybe they’re not sure how they will make it. Today I’m speaking to all the moms out there that are unexpectedly homeschooling their kids. I’m talking to all the people that are now working from home or have even been laid off. I’m talking to everyone whose wedding has just been postponed, whose next project has just been put on hold, or had to cancel an event they were working really hard on. I’m talking to photographers, business owners, and creative entrepreneurs. Could God be using this as a gift in your life? For my full blog post on this episode, visit Follow me on Instagram at Check out the IGTV video from Katelyn James that inspired this episode: Intro/Outro Music: Almost Bliss by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
March 21, 2020
The Story Behind the Podcast | VP01
I experience an overwhelming desire to talk about things. To get them out in the open. But talking about it doesn't seem to be enough. I don't feel settled until I share it with someone. When I moved to California last year, I realized that I'm a verbal processor! I hadn't put it into words because I always had so many friends to talk about things with, so I didn't realize anything was missing until I moved to California and didn't have any friends around me. One night, at 3AM, I had a revelation that it was time for me to start a podcast. I wrote down 80 episode ideas. I was on a roll!  But then, I started to doubt myself. I started to feel afraid, weak, scared. I thought, "who am I to share all these things to the world? What do I know? What do I even believe?" You see, so much of what I knew was changing. I wasn't even sure of my identity anymore. I spent my whole life hiding behind the things I did: photography, piano teaching, music ensembles, swim coaching. Then, when I got married and let go of a lot of that, I put my identity in my friends and family. But moving to a new place shook me up. I realized I didn't know who I was anymore. What I found in that dark hole was a lot of pride, anger, frustration, anxiety, worry, and fear.  In that place of fear I lost joy. I became depressed, lazy, unmotivated, and irritable. I started to distract myself with entertainment and media. I felt so weak. But when the COVID-19 pandemic started, and I lost all my work and I was forced to live with the quiet, I realized God has been trying to get my attention all along. He was saying to me, "wake up Christi!!! Stop being so afraid!! Let me strengthen you!!"  Something has awakened in me and I realized that I do have something to say. I do believe in something. Maybe my overwhelming desire to share things just means I was meant to create and share. And I'm ready to share with the world what God is doing in my life. My hope with this podcast is that the things I say will be relatable, they'll be honest, they'll be encouraging, and they'll point you to Jesus.  Visit my website at Follow me on Instagram at Intro/Outro Music: Almost Bliss by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:
March 21, 2020