Kristine Johnson

Kristine Johnson
Episode 82

Join host Japhet De Oliveira in this episode as he sits down with his guest, Kristine Johnson, for a lively conversation surrounding experiential meals, the joy of raising compassionate children, the serenity of running, and the power of profound thoughts.
Libsyn Podcast
“I feel like there's just a lot of peace knowing exactly who I am, what's important to me, and what I want to accomplish out of life. I'm spending less time worrying about what other people think of me and worrying about what God's plan is for me. I feel like I'm just living it, and I feel more at peace for where I'm at in life than I have at any other time in my life.”

Narrator: Welcome, friends, to another episode of The Story & Experience Podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira, with his guest today and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Welcome, friends, to another episode of The Story & Experience Podcast. This guest today is a good friend. I'm delighted to be able to connect with them, and they're smiling, which is always a great sign. I'm delighted that they're doing that.

All right, so the way it works, if you're brand new to this podcast, is that we have 100 questions. They progressively become more complex, more vulnerable the closer you get to a hundred. The guest gets to choose, between 11 and 100, where they want to go. I'm going to ask the first 10. Let's dive right in now. We're excited. First question, what's your name, and does anybody ever mispronounce it?

Kristine Johnson: My name is Kristine Johnson, and not largely mispronounced, but I get a lot of Kristins, Kristinas, because it's spelled with a K, so people get confused. I'm the youngest. I have three older brothers, so I also answer to, "Hey, you." I'm pretty flexible with the name.

Japhet De Oliveira: But not, "Hey, Jude."

Kristine Johnson: No.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. All right. Kristine, what do you do for work?

Kristine Johnson: I work in the Office of Mission and I lead a learning program called Executive Mission Formation, which is how do we live our mission in a tangible way at Adventist health.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, so the Office of Mission at Adventist Health and Executive Mission Formation. Can you just unpack that a little bit? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Kristine Johnson: Unpack that a little bit?

Japhet De Oliveira: A little bit.

Kristine Johnson: Where do I start? Really, what the idea is, is that, as a faith-inspired, faith-based organization, we should be living differently. We are called to a higher level of leadership, a higher level of ethics and business decisions and caring for our associates as well as our patients. The idea is how do we get together and spend intentional time cultivating a mission-rich culture at Adventist Health with our leadership that will ultimately cause a ripple effect of love and care and compassion in a bold, new way across the areas we serve.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. That's fantastic. What did you do before this?

Kristine Johnson: Oh, the list is long. I've been with Adventist Health almost 18 years, Japhet.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. That's fantastic.

Kristine Johnson: I know I don't look it, right? I don't look it at all. I look so young. I started in IT. I've worked in finance. I've worked in HR, change management, so I've kind of had a long and winding journey at this organization, but I love this organization, and so it feels like I found my home in Mission.

Japhet De Oliveira: Lots of skills.

Kristine Johnson: I appreciate you thinking I have skills.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. No. Very talented, capable of many things, which is great. Hey. It's fantastic. It's good.

Kristine Johnson: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good to see the career growth. In the morning, and I know you have a... What is it? It looks like a tea.

Kristine Johnson: It's tea.

Japhet De Oliveira: OK. In the morning, when you get up, first drink of the day, is it coffee, tea, liquid green smoothie?

Kristine Johnson: I have done all of those things at some point in my life. Usually, water first thing and then coffee, and then I switch to tea for the rest of the day.

Japhet De Oliveira: What kind of water? Is it cold, warm, tap?

Kristine Johnson: I like Brita filtered water in my-

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, no.

Kristine Johnson: Yeah, Brita filtered water.

Japhet De Oliveira: I'm sorry. I'm trying not to judge. All right. No. I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

Kristine Johnson: I'm trying to be green or granola, as my husband would tell me, by using my reusable water bottle, so-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good.

Kristine Johnson: ... Brita filtered water.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well done. Well done. All right. Where were you born?

Kristine Johnson: I was born in Stockton, California, actually, at the hospital just down the street from Dameron, which is now one of our Adventist Health hospitals.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's right. Oh, fantastic, and when you were a child, what did you imagine what you'd grow up to be?

Kristine Johnson: I think I thought I would be a teacher when I was a small child and quickly decided that that was not for me. Teaching children all day long, I think it's a beautiful job, and I'm thankful for the people that teach my children, but it is a very difficult and mostly thankless job. That was my younger career self. I think that, in high school, probably I decided I wanted to be a motivational speaker or do broadcast journalism or something like that, both very different markets to break into. Sometimes you just need a job, and Adventist Health provided me that opportunity to build skills and grow, and now I'm getting to do elements of both education, motivation and a form of journalism, so it all works out.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. This is actually fun because Kristine usually is the one who's asking questions every single week in Roseville, California, at the head office, and so this is great. This is great. Good. Personality. Would people describe you as an extrovert or introvert. And would you agree?

Kristine Johnson: They would definitely describe me as an extrovert, and I would say I do largely agree. I think we all like our time to ourselves and, if we're an introvert, I think we do enjoy social time because that's who we are, but I definitely feed off of the energy of others. I love being in community with others. I love hearing other people's stories and seeing their face and connecting. I'm a hugger by nature, so definitely energized by being around people.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. Habits. Are you an early riser or late night owl?

Kristine Johnson: More of an early riser. In fact, the older I get, the more that internal alarm clock just goes off in my head even on a Saturday or a Sunday, but I find I'm more energized, I'm more alert in the morning. On the weekends, I run in the morning very early, before my kids have soccer or baseball or whatever sport they're currently doing, and so there's a fair amount of energy in the morning I find myself if I can just get myself out of bed.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. That's fantastic. OK. In the morning, when you get up, first thought that went through your mind today?

Kristine Johnson: It wasn't even that many hours ago, Japhet. I'm trying to think. Usually, I lay in bed and I think what do I need to accomplish to manage my household, to all get out the door, where we need to go. I make a quick mental list of, "Am I going to start getting ready first? Do I need to get breakfast first? Pack lunches first?" I try to do a mental inventory, and then I rush around like a crazy person for however long it takes to get those things done.

Japhet De Oliveira: I think that would be a very similar story for a lot of people. Yeah. All right, here's a leadership question. You have led in many different spheres. Are you a backseat driver?

Kristine Johnson: I try not to be a backseat driver because I have seen in my career, when leaders trust me with a task, they've helped empower me to feel like I'm in control of it and capable, I thrive better. I think, when you're trusted, it resonates with you and it makes you want to be that kind of leader. I endeavor to not be a micromanaging leader and I endeavor to, when I do what I would consider follow-up-on tasks, to do it in a kind, gentle way that doesn't feel punitive or not trustworthy.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. Good words. Good words. All right. Brilliant. Well, we've done with the first 10, so the floor is open. This is now where you get to choose between 11 and 100 where you want to go. Yeah, where would you like to begin?

Kristine Johnson: I want to start with 11.

Japhet De Oliveira: 11. All right.

Kristine Johnson: I'm going to just test the waters like a toe.

Japhet De Oliveira: No. No. That's good. All right, so tell us about your most adventurous food, meal you've ever eaten.

Kristine Johnson: My most adventurous food-

Japhet De Oliveira: Or meal.

Kristine Johnson: ... I've ever eaten or meal I've ever eaten? When I was in college at Sac State here, I took a cultural communication class, and one of the things we had to do was go and eat at restaurants that were not our own cultural food.

Japhet De Oliveira: I need that class. It's a sacrifice.

Kristine Johnson: It was amazing. It was such a sacrifice. I mean, I was 20 and didn't have any money to eat at these restaurants, but I took my... He's in my husband now, but we were dating at the time, and we went to a Moroccan restaurant locally. I had never eaten Moroccan food and didn't really understand the experience and what's beautiful about it, which is so many cultures outside of America, where we just eat to eat and then move on to the next thing, it's an experience. We went to this restaurant. You have to go at a certain time because dinner is an experience and it takes several hours. You sit, and there's no menu. You didn't pick. You don't say I don't want that on my whatever you're eating. You eat whatever they bring out, and there's belly dancing and there's a display with somebody with swords. It's a whole experience, and the food was delicious.

I still couldn't tell you all of what it was, but I think sometimes when we free our minds of the construct of what we think we're going to like or not like based on what we've heard or see with our eyes and we just eat it as part of embracing that culture, it's a beautiful experience where we end up learning more about ourselves than what we learn about that culture.

I would say that Moroccan food was probably the most diverse food I've ever eaten. There was this one dish that had... It was like a puff pastry that had powdered sugar on top. It's what it looked like, but inside it was a Shepherd's Pie meat with vegetables. I was very confused of why it was sweet and savory. It was quite delicious, but it was one of those things. In your mind, you're like, "I don't know that I want to eat that," but it ended up being very delicious. Maybe somebody can tell me what it was called because I don't remember.

Japhet De Oliveira: We need to find out.

Kristine Johnson: Yep.

Japhet De Oliveira: We need to find out. That's good. All right. Well, that was 11, so where next?

Kristine Johnson: OK. Let's go to 17.

Japhet De Oliveira: 17. All right. Share what day is the most special for you in the entire calendar, and why?

Kristine Johnson: The most special day?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Kristine Johnson: I love Thanksgiving. It's not a specific day because it moves through the calendar. Thanksgiving is just it's always been special to my heart. I love the fall. I love being warm and cozy inside. I host Thanksgiving for my family. We do not have a large home, like 1100 square feet, but somehow I fit 25 people in there around a table, and we just have a great time. We eat and we chat, and we visit and we watch football and we joke around. It's just a beautiful time of family and friends that I consider family and people who didn't have a place to go. It's not about gifts. It's not about any of those other things. It's just a day to be together, and so it's my favorite day.

Japhet De Oliveira: It is a great day. That's good.

Kristine Johnson: It is a good day.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. All right. That was 17, so do you want to go up or down?

Kristine Johnson: I'm feeling OK right now. Maybe we'll-

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Great.

Kristine Johnson: Let's go to 24.

Japhet De Oliveira: 24. All right. All right. Tell us about a time you were over or underdressed for an occasion.

Kristine Johnson: Over or underdressed-

Japhet De Oliveira: For an occasion.

Kristine Johnson: ... For an occasion? Let me think about that for a second. Interesting. Interesting. I'm trying to think of a specific occasion. I think I tend to usually overdress than underdress. Man, I'm trying to put my foot on a specific example. My husband and I went to a party at one point. I thought it would be like a holiday party, and so we were dressed to the nines, high heels, the full makeup, jewelry, and everybody else was like I think... I don't know if it was an ugly sweater party, but it was something very casual. Nobody made me feel bad about it. It wasn't like a large group of people. It was friends, but it was more funny the rest of the evening to be so dressed up, and you can't do anything about that. You've left your house dressed to the nines.

Japhet De Oliveira: You were letting them know you were doing something else afterwards?

Kristine Johnson: I was elevating the party was really what they didn't know. I didn't know I needed to do that, but that's what's sticking out in my mind. Luckily, it wasn't too socially awkward though.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's good. That's good. All right. That was 24.

Kristine Johnson: OK. OK. 24. That wasn't so bad. 30. 30.

Japhet De Oliveira: I don't think it's bad. I think they're great. All right. Tell us about something that you are really looking forward to.

Kristine Johnson: Something that I'm really looking forward to?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Kristine Johnson: In a couple years, my husband and I are going to have a 20-year anniversary, two more years. We always plan big trips, so it's something we started doing where we leave our kids with grandma and grandpa and we go do something just the two of us to celebrate at that point in our life. We've been to Maui. We've been to Miami. For 20, we're planning to go somewhere abroad, somewhere like Costa Rica or Belize and do something like that now that our kids are a little bit older.

We're starting the early stages of planning. I'm an anticipator by nature, which is the antithesis of my husband who's like, "I'll be excited when we're on the plane going," and I'm like, "Let's start planning two years ahead," because I get excited just thinking about it, so I would say that's something I'm looking forward to is that time just the two of us.

Japhet De Oliveira: Two years ahead? Yes, it is. Good for you.

Kristine Johnson: That's what's on my radar two years ahead, but I live in the moment 99% of the time because I've got two small boys, so very little to anticipate.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, we'll see. All right. That was 30, so where next?

Kristine Johnson: Oh, 30. 32.

Japhet De Oliveira: 32? All right. If you were featured on the local news, what would the news story likely be?

Kristine Johnson: Ooh, man, I think I need to go backwards after this. If I was featured on a local news story, I hope it would be something that I did that was inspiring to others.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Kristine Johnson: That's what I would hope. I hope I was a part of an event or an experience or a display of love and affection to my community or those around me. That's what I would hope it would be for.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. I like that. See? Great. 32. Where next?

Kristine Johnson: 37. I'm very cautiously moving.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, this is great for you. What do you like most about your family?

Kristine Johnson: I love being a boy mom. I have three older brothers and I have two sons. I love that. I love being one of the only girls around, but I love the energy of little boys. I love how much they move around. I love the silly things they say. I love going to all their sports events. I love being active with them. There's just a lot of joy and a fun energy. I mean, you have boys. You know.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah. I do.

Kristine Johnson: I have nieces, and I love them. I'm sure if I had a little girl, I'd love her, too, but there's just something special about the boys in my life and what they mean to me that has always resonated with who I am.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's lovely. I knew you'd like that question. 37.

Kristine Johnson: 37 was a good one.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah. Great. OK.

Kristine Johnson: Actually, I think they're all good. Some of them are just making me work harder for it. Let's go to 41.

Japhet De Oliveira: 41. What are you excited about in life right now? The present that you were talking about earlier, yeah.

Kristine Johnson: What am I excited about in life right now? I feel like I'm at a season in life where I know I'm old enough to know who I am and what's important to me and what brings me joy and what brings me hurt or angst. I'm at a point in my career where I have some freedom to push and to learn and to grow and to do great things. I have enough financial security at home to not worry about if we're going to make our mortgage payment or our rent. Been there. I think we all have at some point in our life. My kids are old enough that I feel like I kind of got that dialed in until the next stage comes that I have to work on.

My husband and I have a strong marriage. I feel like there's just a lot of peace knowing exactly who I am, what's important to me, what I want to accomplish out of life. I'm spending less time worrying about what other people think of me, worrying about what God's plan is for me. I feel like I'm just living it, and I feel more at peace for where I'm at in life than I have at any other time in my life.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's a good phase to be in.

Kristine Johnson: Yeah, it is.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. A good chapter. Yeah.

Kristine Johnson: It is. I think we have to get through the earlier chapters. You don't get here just by nothing. There's almost a peace in knowing that you've overcome a fair amount of things in your life, that your faith is still intact, you still have strong relationships at home and with your family. There's some beauty in that.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. Good. Brilliant. All right.

Kristine Johnson: That was 41?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes.

Kristine Johnson: 44.

Japhet De Oliveira: 44. All right. What is something that you are proud of that you have created?

Kristine Johnson: I want to say my children. I want to say my children. Now, when they misbehave, obviously, I'm not super proud in that moment, but children are a beautiful creation. To have the opportunity to influence the people that they're going to become and the trust that I feel like God has put on me to raise them that way, there's just such beauty in their life and the way they think. My kids are very emotionally intelligent. They're very compassionate, and so they push me to be better in spaces where I often have been apprehensive. They have a bleeding heart for any homeless person. They think we should give them money or give them food or care about them. They're very compassionate. They know how to stand by your side and just hold your hand when you're having a bad day. I'm very proud of the children I'm raising.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That is great. They will grow up to become leaders that will change the world, so that's good.

Kristine Johnson: I hope so.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. Yeah. No. Believe it. All right. That was 44.

Kristine Johnson: 47.

Japhet De Oliveira: 47. All right. You just met someone. What would you want them to know about you, and why? Yeah.

Kristine Johnson: Yikes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah, a total stranger, what-

Kristine Johnson: A total stranger. Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm Kristine. This is what you need to know about me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, and why would they need to know this?

Kristine Johnson: Why would they need to know this? I think would say I'm Kristine and I have a lot of energy, and that could be frightening to some people, so don't be afraid. That's what I would say.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. Don't be afraid.

Kristine Johnson: Don't be afraid. I bring you no ill will. I's almost like a Star Wars movie or some kind of Odyssey where it's like... or like divine, right? When the angels say, "Don't be afraid," and you're looking at them, thinking, "That's terrifying." You're saying don't be afraid. I think sometimes, as a woman, when you have a lot of energy and you're like a go-getter and you're not meek, sometimes that can be off-putting, and people don't know how to operate and to celebrate that. I'm not saying everybody, but I think often it can be, like I said, off-putting. I would like people to know this is just genuinely who I am. This is not fake, and the reason I'm this way is because I have that much energy for life.

Japhet De Oliveira: I want to unpack that a little bit because-

Kristine Johnson: Uh-oh. Is this therapy now? Who wants to unpack it?

Japhet De Oliveira: No. No. This is pretty good, 47 A.

Kristine Johnson: 47 A.

Japhet De Oliveira: What advice would you give young female professionals in a world where energy is misinterpreted? Yeah.

Kristine Johnson: Well, it's interesting you say this. It's something I'm working on personally with a coach that I have in my own life is to not apologize for being who you are. I think that women in general tend to apologize a lot for being successful or making a choice that they think others won't like, whatever it is. I think that I would tell women, young professionals, that they can do anything that they can set their mind to, but you have to look at your own heart about what's really important, because I also think that the shadow side of that is that we think we can have it all and we can push ourselves so far that it's not healthy. You can have it all, but you got to prioritize what's really important, and you got to manage your time to take care of yourself to achieve what you want. We can do it all, but you got to decide what that all is within the confines of a healthy life.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. Good. I appreciate 47 A.

Kristine Johnson: 47 A.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Great. All right, where next?

Kristine Johnson: That was deep. Now I'm worried that there's going to be an A to every other question.

Japhet De Oliveira: No. No. It's all good.

Kristine Johnson: 51.

Japhet De Oliveira: 51. All right. Tell us about something that you know you do differently than most people.

Kristine Johnson: Something I do differently-

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, than most people.

Kristine Johnson: ... than most people? That's interesting. I think I'm a little bit neurotic about things around my house. I like things. Everything has its place. Everything has a spot. I like it to be clean. At the end of the day, my kids aren't allowed to have their iPads, video games, whatever, until the house is back to normal, but one of the things I have found that I thought was totally normal that my friends tell me is not, is that I change my sheets every single week on Friday. I love clean sheets. In fact, if I could have somebody change my sheets every day, but be the ones who washed them and actually did all the work, I would do it every single day. I think that that's something. Apparently, that's unusual. I didn't know this, but I change my sheets every week, and I've actually created that my sons like it, too. For them, sometimes I'm like, "I'll skip it. I's a busy weekend," whatever, but it's like a clean sheet.

Japhet De Oliveira: It is good.

Kristine Johnson: It's a clean sheet Friday. That's in the Johnson house.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, fresh sheets is good. All right.

Kristine Johnson: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Crisp.

Kristine Johnson: I don't know. Crisp.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. All right. That was 51. Where next?

Kristine Johnson: 53.

Japhet De Oliveira: 53. All right. Can you tell us about at least one important person in your life?

Kristine Johnson: One important person in my life? If my husband listens to this, he's going to be upset that I didn't pick him. I'm going to pick my mom. I'm going to pick my mom. She's a very special woman, and she and I have always had a special bond. The older I get, the more she is a very dear friend that I trust with all aspects of my life. She helps raise my kids. She's retired now, but I have learned a lot from her for how she endured through trials in her own life, things that she overcame to achieve what was important to her. I mean, she bought her first house I think in her mid to late-50s all on her own. She's achieved a lot in that aspect, and she's always there by my side, always the best champion, willing to step in whatever. She's a woman of faith that I aspire to be. She's a prayer warrior is what I would say.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic.

Kristine Johnson: She's the kind of woman when you say, "Can you pray for this?" she literally will send you a text back that's a written prayer of how she's praying for you. I just think that's real. It's not like a, "Yeah, I'll do that." That's good, too, but she's a pretty special woman.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. That's great. Lovely. Great tribute to her as well. All right. That was 53. Where next?

Kristine Johnson: 53. 56.

Japhet De Oliveira: 56. Share an activity that, when you're in it, you just lose all sense of time.

Kristine Johnson: I run, Japhet, outside, not on a treadmill. Treadmills are awful. When I run, time kind of stands still because you're out in nature. You really only have your legs and your abilities, whatever water you brought, and there's just something that makes the hustle and bustle of a schedule and things that are pinging on your phone unimportant. I don't get that in very many aspects of my life, not to be on task, and so running affords me the opportunity to be doing something that feels productive and energizing, but is really a time when I let go and I don't worry about whatever text messages and phone calls or emails. It's a time of just mental-space time.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you run with no headphones then or are you just like-

Kristine Johnson: If I run by myself, I sometimes have one headphones in and so I can hear some music, but as a woman running alone, you cannot not have both headphones in. I tend to run with other people, and so often we are just in nature. The pad of your footfalls on the trail and the birds singing in the trees, wrestling. There's just a quiet serenity that we don't get in other aspects of our life.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. Hey. That's fantastic. Great. All right. That was 56.

Kristine Johnson: 59.

Japhet De Oliveira: 59. In your opinion, what subject would you add? I ask this because I know that you did have to homeschool your kids for a while during COVID. In your opinion, what subject would you add to school curriculum? At what age would it be?

Kristine Johnson: Yeah, that's a very interesting question.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah, all the way.

Kristine Johnson: I think that I would add some kind of, I don't even know what you would call a course, something about emotional intelligence, because I think we're largely raising a society of people who are not aware of other people's emotions or how their words impact other people, the perception of how words matter and hurt and how we carry ourselves.

I think I would want to teach children at a fairly young age. It would actually be maybe something that is taught throughout as it grows maybe mid to late elementary school through middle school. I think there's a gap of emotional intelligence for our children. I think we are raising a compassionate, very inclusive, younger generation, which is beautiful, but, unfortunately, we're not teaching them how our words matter to other people, so we say whatever we want without thought of what it means.

Japhet De Oliveira: What age would you think that would be most easily adopted?

Kristine Johnson: Well, I have a middle schooler now, and I think that we would've needed to teach it. He's fairly emotionally intelligent, but now he's interacting with other teens that are not, so I feel like we'd have to catch it probably in the late elementary school age before they're totally, early enough to teach them. It's almost a value of how we operate. It's not a skill that you test. It's more about your character. I think you'd have to teach it, I don't know, fourth, fifth grade probably to teach that.

Japhet De Oliveira: It would be good to teach that and reiterate it. Yeah. Good. All right. See? This is great. Where next after 59?

Kristine Johnson: 61.

Japhet De Oliveira: 61. Tell us about a time in your life that required incredible courage.

Kristine Johnson: Incredible courage?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Kristine Johnson: When I was working in finance here at Adventist health, I was in my late 20s. It was a great job. I had wonderful coworkers. I learned a lot, but I was not feeling fulfilled personally. I felt like I was ready for more, but I didn't know what that looked like. When you spend 10 years doing something, people think that's what you do, right?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Sure.

Kristine Johnson: I had to find a courage in myself to prioritize how I was feeling and the calling I felt like God had on my life to do something bigger. My husband helped push me in that way, and I put myself out there, and I sent an email to somebody at this organization and was like, "I'm interested in this job that really has nothing to do with what I'm doing right now." It was an act of faith, and they gave me an opportunity to move into a space that was more learning and training and that kind of thing.

That took a lot of courage because you're essentially looking at yourself doing something you've been doing and you're saying I'm going to prioritize my own wants and desires, and I'm going to step out in faith. It took a lot of courage. I was terrified because, when you're at the top of your game, you've done something for 10 years, you're the one who knows all the ins and outs, all the processing. I was essentially taking a 180 as far as a career, and I didn't know if it was going to work out. It did, but it took a lot of personal courage to step forth and imagine myself in a different place. Now, I can't imagine being anywhere different. I'm very thankful, but-

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Kristine Johnson: ... it's hard.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great, encouraging to others as well.

Kristine Johnson: I hope so.

Japhet De Oliveira: Brilliant. All right. Time for the last two questions.

Kristine Johnson: Last? Oh, and I hung out in the 60s.

Japhet De Oliveira: I know. I know. You get to choose. You could tell me both numbers or you can tell me one at a time. You decide.

Kristine Johnson: I'm going to jump further down because I feel like I want to be courageous now that you just asked me a courage question. Let's go to 87.

Japhet De Oliveira: 87. All right.

Kristine Johnson: Yes, and then I'll decide after that.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. OK, 87, when you are under incredible stress, what helps to ground you?

Kristine Johnson: I learned many years ago after a season of upturn, a season of profound loss and grief, the power of deep breathing. I was on antianxiety medication at the time, very stressed out. I was in counseling, and she helped me learn the power of deep breathing combined with positive statements. You're taking a deep breath in and you're breathing out in a specific cadence, but you add in the power of a profound thought. You're breathing in the peace that comes from knowing that God is in control, and you're breathing out chaos or fear or sadness, and you name those emotions. It brings your heart rate down. It allows you some mental space, shockingly, to get some perspective to say, "I've got this."

I would say, when I'm under immense stress even now, and I'm teaching it to my children. When we can't sleep at night because we're afraid, we do deep breathing and we pray, and we say, "God's got this." It's combined with the meditative breathing, and I think that it's hugely beneficial to me. I see it benefiting my children, and I hope they don't end up in counseling in their 30s trying to learn how to do it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, Kristine, that was fantastic. Thank you. Thank you for going. You see? It wasn't hard to go high. It was great. Thank you for sharing. It is so important. Where do you want to go for your last number?

Kristine Johnson: All right, I'm going to go to 97.

Japhet De Oliveira: 97. All right. All right. Here's 97 then. Tell us about a time when you did the right thing.

Kristine Johnson: When I did the right thing?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Kristine Johnson: Well, I'm a rule follower by nature, Japhet, so I feel like maybe this question is not going to be as deep and as meaningful.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's OK.

Kristine Johnson: When I did the right thing? I'm going to take a different spin on it just to go a little bit deeper.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I like this.

Kristine Johnson: I tend to do the right thing because I'm a rule follower, like I just said, but I think that sometimes doing the right thing means that we have to put ourselves in a situation that might not always be easy to do the right thing. 15 years ago, when I lost my dad, I had to make the choice to do the right thing, which was to step up and take care of things that I didn't want to take care of. I wanted somebody else to do it. I wanted to raise my hand and be like, "I'm the little sister. Somebody else take care of this."

That wasn't in the cards at the time for how my family was, and so I feel like I made the right choice in that moment to realize I could be more than where I was at in my life. I stepped up and I said, "I'm going to take care of this." I made funeral arrangements. I went to cemeteries. You have to deal with stuff at the hospital and all these different things. I think that was a choice I made in that moment to not just do the right thing, but to step forth in a place that said, "This isn't easy," but I'm going to do the right thing anyway. I'm going to honor my dad. I'm going to take care of my family.

I think I learned more about myself as we often do in these situations where we learn more about ourselves and our own abilities, and we grow in profound ways during that time. I tend to do the right thing, but that was a time I think I chose to step up and do the right thing when it wasn't something I wanted to do.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good, Kristine. Thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time, for being part of this conversation and for sharing. You see? All through the numbers, it was good.

Kristine Johnson: It was all through the numbers. I was a little afraid in the 40s, and then you said two, and I thought, OK, I'm just going to jump two feet in, but you're easy to talk to, Japhet. This was a blessing. Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: No. No. No. This is a good. Thank you so much, and I want to encourage everybody who's listening to do the same thing. Sit down with a friend. Ask them a good question. Listen because we are transformed by these conversations. Thank you for being the great leader that you are. These stories and experiences that you shared shaped you. I know you have so many more to share, so we hope to hear more at some other time. Blessings to everybody else. God bless. Until the next time.

Kristine Johnson: Thank you.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for the Story & Experience Podcast. We invite you to read, watch and submit your story and experience at The Story & Experience Podcast was bought to you by Adventist Health through the Office of Culture.