Thursday, March 27, 2008

The McFarlands

My best friend and the other half of these beautiful girls' smiles!

Sweetness beyond any words!

My little alarm clocks and beautiful reminders that life is more than the "stuff" this world affords!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I was recently introduced to the blog of a close friend of mine and was just so encouraged to see that she is seeking and growing in her relationship with Christ! Of course, I was aware of this through random conversations, but there is something about the gift of words that make things more vivid and real! It always makes me happy to see the people I care about truly growing and evolving as the people that God created them to be. Not just going through the motions of church, whether it be Catholic or Protestant faiths, and reciting prayers or "acting" like someone that we want people to believe we are, but truly living with Christ evident in all that we are!

All of the ups and downs of life are balanced by the grace and mercy of God and what a gift for a people who are so in need of both of those blessings! Recognizing God's grace, confessing that we are in great need of it because of our many sins, believing that Jesus Christ is the one and only way to eternal life with Him and constant joy in Him, accepting that grace, and turning from those evil ways is such a challenging concept for some to grasp, but what an expression of love and care for all people to accept and reap great benefits from! I am so very glad that I stay connected to those people whom I have known for years and can share in this "adult" life together, both rejoicing in the awesome times and supporting in the less than stellar moments as God continues to mold our souls each and every moment we are alive!

Thanks, God, for beautiful friendships that allow me to see you in real and perfect ways.

"What's up?"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Cute, Little Shirt off of a Precious, Princess Back

My best friend's little girl, Jovey's best friend, Lillie, is the sweetest, most precious little humanitarian I have ever met. Forget all those people who win huge prizes for world peace. The Nobel Peace Prize contenders or winners have nothing on the heart of this 3 year old, wide-eyed princess! I am so blessed to get to witness even a few of the many things this selfless child displays as what can only be explained as a gift from God.

As the girls and I were traveling to spend some much needed time with Nicole and her kiddos while our guys were away on business, Jovey decided to get car sick just 5 miles short of their house (she's only gotten car sick one other time, so of course, she was due). I pulled over to do a quick clean up, planning to strip her down and do some laundry at Nicole's house as soon as I could get settled from our long trip. I had called Nicole and warned her, so she was ready to help me strip her down. She had gotten some of Lillie's clothes for Jovey to use and was explaining to Lillie that Jovey was going to need a shirt since she had gotten hers dirty. Lillie, looking a bit concerned, immediately started taking her own shirt off. We explained that Nicole had a different shirt for Jovey to use of Lillie's, but she insisted that Jovey use the very one she had on, so Jovey dawned Lillie's shirt proudly the rest of the day while Lillie settled for a different one.

Isn't that what God calls us all to do? No, not take off our shirts and give to people, but to have an attitude, a constant desire to help others that are in need; to love on people, even when it means we may be cold and uncomfortable; to forget ourselves for even a moment and put other people first! I am so thankful for so many reasons for the friendships we are able to share with the Willis family and their kiddos, but it is in those simple, laughable moments that I know that God provides such friendships for more than just companionship; these are the friendships that makes us stop and think, spurring us on to grow and learn how to see ways to become better people.

37 -40"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.' Matthew 25:37-40 (The Message)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Jovey the Artist

Jovey and I frequently use her magna doodle toy, a classic that I once loved to take with me in the car for long trips, to practice numbers and letters (I write them with the pencil and then she traces them with the circle magnet). Tonight, Jovey insisted that I draw a smiley face, to which I responded with a nice circle, 2 eyes and a smile! I was quickly informed that it needed a nose, so I obliged. She traced it, as with the numbers and letters and I then erased it and excused myself to go to the bathroom.

When I returned, I saw the above picture and a preschool girl smiling ear to ear saying, "A boy smiley always has to have hair, mommy!" She had drawn her first recognizable drawing, down to details I hadn't included in my simple rendering! She insisted I take pictures, so I did and I will definitely mark it as a first for the many that are to come as she continues to develop into a young lady, eager to learn!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

"Repunzel, Repunzel, Let Down Your Golden Hair!"

As Jovey and I were finishing up blowdrying her hair tonight (I know. . . I'm not an overachiever, promise. . . but if I don't blow it dry, it has just enough wave to resemble a wet dog when I try to let it air dry, especially when mixed with bed head!), I just made comment on how long her hair was getting. Jovey's response was, "I know, mommy! It's like Repunzel hair," giggling all the while. I just stopped as we were both looking in the mirror and said, "Yes, Jovey, it's kinda like Repunzel hair, I guess, isn't it?"

Again, the connections this girl makes at her young age astound me and truly make me marvel at the abilities to form ideas that God has gifted to humans. As a young child, Jovey takes something common and attaches something familiar and in her head, fun! To her, life is just. . . .fun!

God, thank you for helping me appreciate the little things in life and the fun that they can be through the words and actions of my children each and every day!

Just Dreadful!

"Oh, Mommy! That was just dreadful!"

-Jovey's take on an egg that broke on the screen while playing a phonics game online.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Life lessons

We spend our whole lives trying to grow up and all the time, we still long for the ease, simplicity and security of being infants! This is a comical picture, but what a great reminder of how God wants us to be small, finding complete comfort, peace and pleasure in His care.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mind your Manners!

Jovey was watching "Word World", one of her fav shows that I really like too, since it focuses on letters and words throughout the 25 minute show. We had played well all morning, even including Laney in our tea party, so I let her watch this halfway educational show as a treat before lunch and then, nap. As she was watching the show, it got interrupted by the Emergency Broadcast System to alert us of impending storms in the surrounding area. Jovey was patient the first minute, but then,with frustration behind her eyes, started saying, to the man that was so loud and so rude as to interrupt her show, "Excuse me, sir! Excuse me, sir! I would like to watch my show, now!" He finally finished his announcement and the tv went back to regular programming. She just smiled and said, "Thank you, sir!" I guess being polite counts for something in her mind!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Who knew. . .

. . . the joy that is brought about by the opportunity that Joshua and I, as parents, have to raise children in God's love and ways! That sounds silly, coming from "Christian" people, right. Of course it is a joy. . . it sounds nice to say, but until we have recently started actively and meaningfully doing more with our 3 year old, it never meant more than that, pretty words from Christian parents.

We fall short, as I have mentioned before, in so many ways, which is where we have faith that God is filling in those cracks and crevises our careless work has produced, but to sit down and not only share stories of the great love and grace of God but to teach our 3 year old the actual words from His book is just a blessing. Nothing is better than to hear Jovey recite these verses and know that even though she doesn't grasp each concept perfectly as a preschooler, that hopefully, the discipline of scripture memory and study will be a tool that she will continue to use and soon, understand, as a gift that God has given to help us all become closer to Him in this world that is so often times so far away!

Jovey now has 2 verses in her little memory: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 and "Your word is a light to my feet and light for my path." Psalm 119:105 Our goal is to continue to share and teach the importance of His word in our lives and that someday, when our girls are faced with the choices of this world, they will at least have God whispering in their ears those wonderful words of love, strength and wisdom.