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Ordinary People. Ordinary Things. with Melissa Radke

Jan 15, 2019

Johnna Hensley is someone who I immediately liked when I met her. She's super kind. She laughs at my jokes. She's easy to talk to. She's a good listener and a deep thinker. She also loves her family fiercely. Johnna and her husband Ryan have three children. One of them is special needs. She is a mother living in two different worlds right under the same roof. I wonder how she does it. I'm so excited to have Johnna on the show to find out.

Johnna Hensley is a native Texan, a writer, and a lost sinner who found hope and redemption in Jesus. She is the wife of an energetic and giving man, and a homeschooling mother to three wild and sweet little boys. Her life is nothing as she expected it would be, but finding beauty in the broken is what makes it worth living.

You can find Johnna Hensley here:

Johnna Hensley
JohnnaHensley on Instagram

Show Notes

  • [04:12] Johnna made a video with her son Hayden. They did a CrossFit parody.
  • [07:28] Johnna's son Hayden has spina bifida and he has a tracheotomy to breathe.
  • [07:40] He sleeps with a ventilator at night.
  • [09:00] Johnna and Melissa went on a hayride.
  • [09:58] Johnna has three boys. She took her sons to a pumpkin patch. She carried Hayden to the hayride. His issues are physical, but his mind is on point.
  • [15:27] At about 18 weeks, they found out there might be a problem with their baby. He had spina bifida which means the spinal cord did not close all the way. Johnna and Ryan were 24 years old. Their entire world crashed into the ground.
  • [19:57] We declared that this doesn't change anything and we aren't going to treat him differently.
  • [21:35] Johnna was against having more kids. She heard from God that what ever baby he gave her it was his glory not hers.
  • [23:20] She had her second son, and he was perfectly healthy. Her third was her bonus baby.
  • [24:54] Raising the boys is like being in two different worlds.
  • [27:14] They booked a Disney cruise and Hayden was sick. They didn't know what to do. Her neighbor assured her it was okay to leave Hayden and take the other kids on the cruise. She felt really guilty. Then they actually had fun.
  • [30:07] It's challenging for Johnna and her husband to make sure that they are doing enough for everybody.
  • [33:01] There can be resentment for some of the children. Sibshops helps siblings of special needs kids. There is a camp for siblings of special needs children.
  • [35:01] Now that Hayden is older, he is honest about how he feels about the situation.
  • [39:16] There was a time when I was taking things out on Ryan. Then we implemented Sunday family meetings and lay everything out so that the logistics are all on paper.
  • [40:32] We have a night nurse that comes in at 7 pm. It's kind of weird trying to catch up on your day when there is someone else in your home.
  • [42:06] It's challenging for Johnna to have other people in her home when she is trying to unwind. It's something she's still getting used to.
  • [42:37] Johnna and Ryan understand each other on a level that will never change. There are some things no one else will ever get.
  • [44:16] To keep the romance alive Johnna and Ryan also tried Date Night In which was a gift from a friend.
  • [46:15] Johnna goes to the school answers questions about Hayden's condition, and she is writing a book. They decided to be real honest with the kids and get it all out in the open.
  • [47:57] It's perfectly lovely for a child to ask Hayden his name and ask what is the story with the chair.
  • [49:22] Hayden has taken Johnna out of her comfort zone. She calls him the VIP.
  • [51:35] Mom's struggling, need to find their tribe, even if it is through a Facebook group. Special needs parents just get it.
  • [54:48] Being a special needs mom is like canoeing up your driveway every day while everyone else gets to drive. Sometimes you need to throw a special needs mom a paddle and help them.
  • [55:42] A friend inviting themselves over for game night is one of the nicest things that someone has done.
  • [59:54] Johnna answers Melissa's lightning round questions.

Thanks for joining us on Ordinary People Ordinary Things. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review. Just like your mother taught you.

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