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Fire proof Scripture pillow case?

“I went from 36 and single to a ready-made home,” Cindy Johnson says about marrying her husband who, at the time, had an 11-year-old, 7-year-old and 2-year-old. The 7 year old came to live with Cindy and her husband full-time while the other two kids would come part-time. “Blending a family is tough. You can’t force love. It takes time. I never wanted to take the place of their mom. I did want to be there for them.” Johnson adds, “My dreams for my stepchildren were real and we are very close.”

They were so real, in fact, when they would face challenges, Johnson would take it to heart. Since faith plays a big role in Johnson’s life, she would write scripture on a notecard and slip them under her stepdaughter’s mattress at night. “I didn’t want her to know I was doing this. As a stepmom, you don’t know what’s going to be right and what’s not.” About eight years later, the 7-year-old grew into a mature 15-year-old. For whatever reason, the 15 year old decided to flip her mattress and discoversed notecard after notecard — each one filled with Scripture. Johnson, who was out of town, received a phone call immediately. “She called me and thanked me. She was very appreciative.

When I came home she had all the cards taped to her mirror.”

Johnson then became pregnant and delivered a little boy. She decided to do the same for him, only she slipped these notecards in his pillowcase. “Then I realized I didn’t need to hide this from him and I could put this on his pillowcase with a sharpee and make it look really pretty.” Johnson came up with a design and found others to help implement the designs on the pillowcase. Then she created a website and named her company, Its All Yours. As a hairdresser for 30 years, Johnson views her uplifting pillowcases as a hobby right now, but hopes one day it will become her profession. Her faith has played a huge role in her inspiration for the pillowcases. Johnson mentions the time she first began to lean on her faith. “My mom died when I was in my 20’s. She was my rock at the time. When I lost her, I didn’t have a rock. God became my rock. That set me up and prepared me for the next trial in my life. I have learned over the years to trust that. Each day may not be a great day, but I know that He has a purpose and destiny in mind for me.” Johnson also believes, “God has a purpose for all of us in the world. We all work together as a team. If my pain can help you or the next person, then it will all have been worth it.”

Many folks have told Johnson time and time again how her pillowcases have helped them through painful situations. A story that sticks out in particular is one that may provide instant goosebumps. Johnson’s friend bought thirty pillowcases and had them blessed by a priest at Christ Episcopal Church in Walnut Cove. The friend then gave them out as Christmas presents. A couple who received the gift had an unfortunate incident. Their house burnt to the ground. Everything was in ashes. The house was a complete loss. All that survived was the pillowcase which remained in its plastic casing along with a Bible — both blessed by the priest. Neither burnt. Neither one turned to ashes. “The plastic had a small brown spot. The plastic didn’t even wrinkle. The firefighter said he had never seen anything like that in all his years of fighting fires.” Johnson says, “The girl who lost her house said she was comforted by the pillowcase.” So what was written on the pillowcase? “Comfort. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Johnson says she was completely humbled by this story and it inspires her to pursue this hobby even further.

The pillowcases, which are sold at Hip Chics and online, is just one part of Johnson’s life. After being married for sixteen

years, she is keeping up with her busy family. Her two stepdaughters are 28 and 24. Her stepson is 18 and her son is now 13. With a big household and a big heart, it sounds as if Johnson’s professional journey is much like her family life — one that will continue on with strength and comfort.

“Your Neighbor” is a feature by Jill Osborn. If you have a neighbor everybody should know, reach Jill at jill.n.osborn@gmail.com. Also follow her blog on parenting at MuchAdoAboutMothering.com/