Thursday, December 30, 2010

Of course!

We got to enjoy Laney's first preschool Christmas program this year and upon leaving the little reception they had afterward, Joshua proceeded to tell Laney that he recorded the program on our video camera and that she could watch herself when we got home. Laney then replied in pure Laney fashion (which means, with lots of drama and a flair for humor in her sweet, high-pitched voice), "Um, Daddy, I ALREADY saw it when I DID it!" Joshua, unable to dispute the obvious, just replied, "Yes, of course!" Love that girl's fun-loving personality!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pomp And Circumstance




"Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.: Proverbs 9:9

It has been a journey. . . a long, challenging, frustrating, beautiful, winding, amazing, tiring, defining journey that we have been on these past 5 years. When Joshua finally surrendered and applied at CU-Louisville after much prayer, study and fighting within himself, we knew that we would go on a journey that would prove to be all of the above adjectives! Little did we know that God would change us in ways that would prove to not only allow us to see Him more clearly, but to truly love him more dearly! To cling to him when hours seemed long. To rest in Him when body, mind and spirit were all exhausted, either from too much school work, too much job work, or too much housework and kiddo stress. To be with Him when we were clueless on how to be with anyone else under the pressure, the thin-stretched time with family and the chaos of life. To trust in Him that when he says, "It is ok, my child" that truly, it is going to be MORE than OK! To learn to praise Him when hours spent in class also meant hours spent away from home, bedtime fun missed and the only friends being occasional texts to each other, the clock on the wall and the tv/computer combo that connected us to life! To praise Him that we are no longer the people we were 5 years ago and that as He promised, we are all OK!

Congratulations for the accomplisment of yet another piece of paper to hang on the wall, Joshua. But for more than that, for always seeking, moving and bringing us along on this fabulous journey to which you have been called in Christ's name! I'm so glad that I get the opportunity to minister alongside you and encourage you toward excellence! I have always known you can do anything you put your mind to, and now, there are framed pieces of paper to help back that fact up!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

6?



6? Really? This beauty that we named Jovey, an idea for a different, cute name that we heard in a movie that is now one of our fav holiday flicks, is really 6 years old? It seems like yesterday that we were just a family of 2, talking, praying and joking about what life would be with kiddos, but of course, waiting and enjoying our time together. Then, after almost 2 years of marriage, we felt the nudge from God and made the leap and God blessed us with a pregnancy that although wasn't easy, was a time of growth in our lives as people, as each new season of life should be! I didn't get to even hold this sweet beauty right after birth, due to the high doses of morphene medical staff quickly put into my IV after birth, but wow, I instantly fell in love as they laid that crying, wiggling, big baby on my chest. This little miracle quickly stole both Joshua's and my heart and we both viewed God, ourselves and life through different lenses!

Jovey is. .. well, she's just Jovey! She's happy, dramatic, giggly, bright, quick witted, sassy (we are working on that one), a leader, a perfectionist and quick to offer a smile! We love her more with each new day and as we sit back to see how God works in her little life, we stand amazed at the miracle that she is; that we all are! That God would see fit to entrust us with her little life for a few years, teaching her the things of life and most importantly, the things of God and the grace offered through His son, Jesus! We are in no way experts in how to raise the two precious girls, but we sure do enjoy trying and then laughing, crying and being covered in glitter and tears (Joshua's observation of life around the McFarland homestead) along the way!

Happy birthday, big girl! May you always know that home is a safe place to fall for you , that we love you so very much and that God loves you so much more than we ever could! May you always remember that you are very special and that you are always loved! "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. . ." Jeremiah 1:5

Crunches

Joshua busted his ankle in good fashion after playing a pick-up game with a friend on Monday. To spare you the gaggig, I will not post a pic, but trust me, his ankle is all sorts of pretty colors and roughly the size of a small grapefruit. The doctor at our church looked at it last night and ordered x-rays be taken this morning so she could look at them and know whether or not he needed to be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon from there (too bad the one we know and trust is in Florida doing his fellowship before he moves a short 45 minutes away from us).

She did suggest he buy a special lace up brace as well as use crutches to keep pressure off the tendons that are probably pretty damaged. A sweet church member ran home and came back within 5 minutes (love a small town) with a pair of crutches for Joshua. So, Jovey and Laney are excited, to say the least, to see daddy hobbling around on his crutches.

"I LOVE your new crunches, daddy!" says Jovey. Joshua told her quickly that he'd rather be on the floor doing crunches than hobbling around with crutches! ha!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lights, Wreaths and Flip Flops?



No, I didn't make this wreath, but after we decided to do some outdoor decorating on this beautiful, unseasonably warm 22nd of November, it may be a bit more appropo than the evergreen wreaths we are currently hanging on our windows, while I am standing outside watching the girlies and Joshua enjoy this fun, festive time of year with shorts and flops on! Isn't this usually a horrid, cold, frosty job whose completion is always merrily met with mugs of hot chocolate and warm baths? I'm not going to complain, though, and even with the gusty wind and the warm temps, I will be glad to greet everyone with a big dose of "Merry Christmas, have a glass of iced sweet tea!" :-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

These are the days

Today, I got to experience a great perk of being married to a man in vocational ministry within the local church: THE BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL, MOST AMAZING, BLESSED, NECESSARY, FUN, (hmmm. .. I'm sure I could keep going on, but I will refrain) DAY OFF DURING THE WEEK! You see, Sundays, although wonderful and amazing because it's a day that is set aside to worship and praise our awesome God with others who desire to do the same, and made even more amazing to a pastor who gets the humble opportunity to share the gospel with a large group of people gathered at one time to hear from God, it is also a day that is considered a "work" day for those within the vocation of ministry. Many times, on top of worship gatherings, there are also counseling sessions (many times impromptu), meetings, and other things that require a pastor's attention, which usually doesn't include the sacred Sunday afternoon nap. So, many congregations, aware of the need for some extra "recharging" will require pastors to choose a day off during the week to claim as his day off. For now, Fridays are Joshua's "day off" and it's been a lovely day so far!

We got to take the girls to school together, and then, grab some coffee and some breakfast at the sweet, little, local coffee shop in town. It is hidden in a gas station and it has more than comparable Starbuck's quality coffees and other drinks! It was nice to sit down, chat about the week, and just really be able to share in all that God is already doing as we have been living in Hillsboro for the past 20 days! We then headed back to church for the IT lady to come and check some things out and get things a bit more updated and running a bit smoother (Joshua could have done this, but is learning to appreciate that there are people in line for these things and what he has always done as the "anything" guy is being a bit lifted from him and he is starting to enjoy the weight lifted!). Then, off to the YMCA to take a tour and join up. We figured this would be yet another venue for us not only to enjoy activities as a family as well as boosting some fitness opportunities for us all, but to also build some relationships within the community outside of the church walls. Because, as always, it's NOT about church and programs or even worship services, but it IS all about Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross and then, gave us mandate to share with all we can while living this life that we so gracefully have been given! Then, it was time to pick up our sweet Laney Belle from preschool and enjoy laughing at her silly ways and eating lunch together at home.

These are the days that make the last 5 years of 2-3 jobs plus full time school all worthwhile. These are the days that make this past week that has been a bit hazy and bumpy for me seem just that, a thing of the past! These are the days that remind me what a precious gift it is to have beautiful girls together that connect Joshua and I on an even more amazing level than we could have ever imagined! These are the days that seeing God in the little things, including taking a tour of the cute little gas station that houses a generic "Subway" sandwich shop, a little pizza place, a locally owned coffee house, and your usual drinks, smokes and snacks, makes me more and more grateful that God has lead us to this little town for this season of our lives!

These are the days that I have nothing else to do but to be grateful for a great God who saw fit to put me with a wonderful minister (both to his family and to all he meets) of a man, to gift us with two beautiful, wonderful, wide-eyed little girls and still, loves us all through the cross of Christ, even on our worst days!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great Big World, Sweet Little Town


There are so many things to catch up with on here and there just is not enough time, or enough patience to get my brain in order, so I guess I should just start with a quick update!

Joshua, my sweet, hott, minister of a hubby, was recently called to be the lead pastor at a church in a little town in Ohio about 45 minutes northeast of Cincy called Hillsboro. It's a sweet little town that is drastically different than the big city life that is Louisville, but we are learning to adjust to the quiet, more laid back lifestyle offered by a small community again!

The girls are loving their schools and we are always greeted with smiles upon their pick-up! My oldest, Jovey Kay, is now in kindergarten while my baby, Laney Belle, is in preschool 3 days a week. They continue to be more than blessings to Joshua and me, and everyone they see each day! They fill the house with giggles, cries, pouts, excitement and at times, drama and attitude! They are two of God's greatest gifts to us!

Joshua is loving the fact that he finished his master's study in theology in October and that he is only claming one job now. He will receive the official degree in December with all the graduation regalia and will hang another display of the hard work and sacrifice that we have all put forth to see this act of obedience become a joyful time of celebration and fruit, as he now feels more prepared to share the gospel with even more knowledge, conviction and fervor! It is truly amazing how God says to do something and then, in time, always rewards the effort with a deeper love and respect for Him as our creator! Truly, we are forever changed for these past 5 challenging, beautiful, wonderfully tiring years of Joshua's schooling!

I am finding my way. I was born, ironically, just 45 minutes from our new town in the little town of Maysville, KY. Even then, I was definitely a "big city girl" and always would find new energy each time we would go to the nearest cities of Lexington or Cincy or Florence to truly "shop" or experience "downtown". So, moving back to a quieter, gentler way of life has been nice, but is definitely taking a little bit of getting used to! I mean, the nearest Target, Starbuck's, Chick-fil-a and mall are all a 45-50 minute drive! Before, I was within a 2 mile radius of multiple locations of each! Yes, silly, but it does definitely change one when a physical move is involved. Unfortunately, it's never just physical, since with new locations also are included new relationships, so I rely on my super big God to help me see where I fit in this puzzle called Hillsboro, OH. I can't wait to see what He has in store for this little lady in His great big, beautiful world and in this sweet, sleepy little town in southern Ohio!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Where He Leads Me"

I've been missing lately! Not just missing on keeping my posts updated on here, although, that's pretty normal for me, but missing truly surrendering. Surrendering what I want, what I think I deserve, where I think I should be. All the while, God has been reminding me that all I need to do is to follow Him. It may not produce my dream house as an abode or a new wardrobe each season or even every little thing I would like to keep my fridge and pantry stocked with without concern to budget, but it will produce joy, contentment, blessing and a desire to live out what God has called all of his children to, to truly manifest Christ in the world! May I stop dwelling on me and remember that it has nothing to do with me, but has everything to do with making Him known! "That ye may know what is the hope of His calling . . ." Ephesians 1:18


1. I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
"Take thy cross and follow, follow me."
Refrain:
Where he leads me I will follow,
where he leads me I will follow,
where he leads me I will follow;
I'll go with him, with him all the way.

2. I'll go with him through the garden,
I'll go with him through the garden,
I'll go with him through the garden,
I'll go with him, with him all the way.
(Refrain)

3. I'll go with him through the judgment,
I'll go with him through the judgment,
I'll go with him through the judgment,
I'll go with him, with him all the way.
(Refrain)

4. He will give me grace and glory,
He will give me grace and glory,
He will give me grace and glory,
and go with me, with me all the way.
(Refrain)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

This is Laney Belle. . .




This pic sums up our little Laney. ..slightly pigeon-toed, always trying to figure out what's going on and where she is (she gets this from her mother), compact, and completely adorable! It's hard to believe she will be 3 in just a couple of months! I'm not sure when that happened, but she definitely keeps this house interesting with her pranks, her giggles, and yes, even her whines and her quirks that make her completely Laney Belle!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Made New Again

It's Spring! The sun is shining brighter, the temperatures are a lot more conducive to a light jacket as compared to an Eskimo coat and gloves, and though I can look at the pic below and have wonderful memories of snow, hot chocolate and cuddling up with my best friend by the fire after the girls were tucked in for the night, I was more than ready to say a loud, "Adios!" to Winter!

As I look toward the things that spring brings, I can't help but also remember the season of hope, the season of love and the season of renewal that comes with the celebration of the Gospel; the death, the resurrection and the realization of who Jesus Christ was, is and always will be in the hearts of those that believe! I have been studying the book of Romans lately, and it's such a reminder of who I am and continue to become, all because of the Gospel! Nothing more, nothing less! I boldy get to proclaim that I am nothing good apart from Christ (Psalm 16:2) and that unashamedly, I claim a love that is like no other, for everyone, and for every time! As I look forward to the joy that comes with the new season, I pray that I will also be able to find joy in the new season of life that God has called me to, to be still before God, to be hungry for the things of God, and to be willing to discern the difference between what I think will make me happy and what God truly knows will bring Him glory!

"I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of EVERYONE who believes in Him!" Romans 1:16

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Princess

Last week's snow made for perfect snowman creating, so I give you:

Princess Tiana, the Snow Princess, (and of course, my princesses, Jovey Kay and Laney Belle!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And, more snow. . .

. . . OK, I will be lying if I were to say that I was just simply thrilled with the impending storm that was being predicted for our area once again this week. Once I see a good snow, get some cute pics of my kiddos loving it, have some hot cocoa (that always tastes best after some time in the snow), have some snow cream and make a snow man (or princess in the McFarland home's case), I'm pretty much over it. I don't love seeing snow mounded up for days and weeks in parking lots, I'm not a huge fan of snow clothes laying all over the place and boots sitting by the door to greet us as if to say, "wanna stomp around in us for a while. .. those flip flops get way too much time out in the open", I don't love the wind chill that is made even chillier when mixed with the moist snow. . . I'm just not a huge fan of snow overall, except in small doses.

So while my niece is over playing with my girlies today, with her mom and dad busy at work, I have had more time to look out of the patio door and really consider the snow. Not the cold, not the mess, but the snow. One of my favorite hymns growing up (when I LOVED the snow, mind you), was Whiter than Snow by James L. Nicholson. I used to sing the words, but now, I truly see the beauty in the lyrics and the message that is so simply put. . .

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain
Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow.
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
Apply Thine own blood and extract ev’ry stain;
To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice.
I give up myself, and whatever I know,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
I wait, bless├Ęd Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing, I see Thy blood flow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait,
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst “No,”
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Refrain

The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
O glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.


Can the Gospel be applied any better? Can we all long for more than to sit at Jesus' crucified feet and be made whole, fully clean before Him? Can we ask for anything better than for a new heart to be made within us each day, to focus wholly on the things of Christ?

May the snow be not a reminder of the mess, of the cold, of the dirty mounds that sit in parking lots, and not even just the joy that comes with watching my children throw it up in the air and trudge knee deep in the squishy goodness, but may it ALWAYS be a reminder that I long to be whiter than snow in my own heart, to "all things forego" so that I can experience only the things that God wishes to teach me, even in the still and the silence of the snow!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Snow!

I was starting to feel guilty for having not taken the girls out in the two sizable snows that we have gotten since the cold, dreary winter set in. So, when it was predicted that we would get a possible 2-5 inches, I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity for . . . daddy to take them out to play in the snow! :-) I was available for bundling up, photographing, hot chocolate making and stripping down to get warm, dry clothes on! The girls had a blast and daddy did too!I think we can now say that we have lived completely this winter! "Come as fast as you can, Spring!"




Wednesday, January 20, 2010

". . .as Christ loved the Church."

Ephesians 5:25-27 (The Message)

25-28Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.


My husband and I have been married for 8 years as of yesterday. I remember most every day after we met (at Cedarmore Discovery Camps while on mission teams for the state of KY comprised of college students from all around the state known as Son Teams). Even from the very beginning, I thought Joshua was someone different than any other guy I had met. In wonderful ways, of course! We quickly came to know each other and began coming to one another at the end of the day to share about our campers and pray for each other as well as the students we were ministering to. Shortly after camp was over, as in the first evening we were back at our homes after our 10 week commitment, we began our journey of dating. From there, it was all about committing to something that was very obviously bigger than us, it was a God ordained gift that we should marry and live this life together.

Yesterday, we got the opportunity to share lunch together, as our two beautiful girlies were at Parent's Day Out. Joshua already had made plans for us to go out and celebrate on Friday night, so when he came walking in at 8:30 instead of the 10:30 he usually does on Tuesday evenings (he has his master's class every Tuesday night from 6-10), I was more than excited. He had Godiva chocolate covered strawberries in one hand and beautiful flowers in the other. He had skipped class, gone to the mall for the fun treats and was now here to give his full attention to me. He is allowed to miss one class in the 8 week course, so he had chosen this night (and we now pray that he doesn't get sick for the next 5 weeks), telling his professor that he wouldn't be attending because he was going home to see his wife for his anniversary. It is these moments that I can see him back at camp in 2000 when we met, see his smile and know that when I felt that he was different somehow, that I can truly testify that he IS very different.

Last night wasn't just a simple class skip to get out of class or to come home. By skipping class, going to spend crazy money on one of my favorite treats, and coming home to just be with me, he was loving me as God has called him to, "as Christ loved the church" as seen in Ephesians 5. To make me more holy and to point me to Christ by being unselfish and choosing me above anything! When I think on my life, I thank God first of all for loving me and sacrificing everything so that I may have joy in life as well as an eternity with Him in heaven, but then, I am quick to thank him second for sending me such a man of God that treats me as I pray that someday, my girls can be treated by their loving, God fearing, unselfish, Christ-like husbands!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just a few catch up pics!

Joshua and Lela enjoy a fun, free gift from a friend of a broadway show of White Christmas and an evening at the Galt House to ring in 2010! Thanks soooo much, Sara!

The girlies enjoyed their new princess gowns!

Jovey turned a big 5 and was more than excited. . . mommy, a little mixed emotionally! :-)

The girls loving on each other before being flower girls for Uncle Drew and Aunt Lauren's wedding!

Brothers Joshua, Drew and Caleb, sneaking in a pic before Drew ties the knot!

It's been a while!

Wow! August 19th. . .the last date of my blog. Of course, I never kept great care of blogging "regularly," but that has definitely been a bit of a hiatus! What has been happening? Hmmmm. . . My Jovey has turned 5, we celebrated 1 year (as of Sept. 1, 2009) in ministry with Joshua as the lead pastor at Elk Creek Baptist Church in Taylorsville, KY. We had a wonderful Christmas that was much lighter on the physical "gifts" and much heavier on the beauty of what Christmas is about: the bringing to earth of Jesus Christ that began the sacrificial giving of His life and resurrection to secure both mankind's eternity with the Father God in Heaven as well as a life full of purpose and joy on earth; even in the midst of trials that are to draw us nearer to Him, if only we accept His gift of grace and love. We watched as our baby Laney walked into her classroom at Parent's Day Out and trusted again in God's provision of yet another opportunity for her to learn and grow in a safe, fun environment and learn more about the gift that friendships can be. .. these are just a very few of the highlights.

God continues to mold us all into more diligent students of His Word and even more determined seekers of learning who God is and how He desires for us to move as His creations in this world He created! It is a blessing to trust in a world that gives us many reasons to doubt and to question what the next phase of life looks like, but as we start to wonder, Joshua and I point each other to the center of our marriage, the center of our lives, Jesus Christ, and we focus . . . still, watchful, silent, humbled and ready for the wisdom and guidance that He is waiting to pour out!

Now, to see you before 2010! :-)