Friday, February 25, 2011


I have a confession to make. I love washing dishes. Well, let me rephrase that. I love washing them when I’m not exhausted and there aren’t a million of them to wash.  Otherwise, I love the smell, the satisfaction of another clean plate, the suds. I still remember the day when I came into my parents' kitchen and saw my Nana with her hands in those heavenly suds, suds that made my 7 year old mind spin. I had to ask. I had to know. What was her secret to such lovely, glorious suds?  She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and responded with an “It’s magic!”  The next time I saw her at the sink, I watched her from behind the corner and saw her sink overflowing with bubbles. I vowed I’d try that one day when I was a grownup. Ironing is another one. I love to iron. Same reasons, same feelings, same results. Clean, smooth clothing, and a nice result (unless the power goes out in the middle!). But I suppose the main reason I love both of these tasks is because it’s thoughtful work. I pray, I sing, I listen, I think, and sometimes I even attempt to wrestle with bigger issues.  Listening has been my biggest challenge as of late.

There are times that I wish working with people was as easy as hot water and soap, or could be smoothed out with a hot iron.  That's not how God works, especially as He's still smoothing me out! But there are times that I wish to myself: ‘Why don’t I have more education? Then I’d be able to understand this better or help better!’  But I am forced to cry out to God, to ask for His help and understanding, and to seek His wisdom. . Then, in the end, the praise and glory is for Him and I am drawn to worship Him, not myself nor my own understanding.

I love the picture presented in Galatians 5:25, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” I have been thinking and praying through this throughout the week. I love the thought that the Spirit who lives in me is always a step ahead of me, knowing where I need to go, wither I will trust and obey - or not. It’s comforting, especially when it comes to mentoring and training my children.  He’s like a father with a wide step, ahead, yet not beyond his grasp or voice.  He’s saying “Keep up, my child. I know the way, I have the words. Just keep in step and listen.”  I wish it was always this clear and simple.  Often it’s my pride that keeps me from walking in step or listening. 

Back to the bubbles.  I think I like them because I like the cleanliness, the freshness.  I’m thankful for His freshness, and His deep love expressed to me this week through His Word and His Spirit. His washing through the Word is such a gift! I am nothing without Him.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Updated Wish list (5/30/11)

This is for all who have asked while we were on home assignment for ideas for care packages! Here's your list! My mom has found that items mailed in a bubble envelope get here within 9-21 days. It is also cheaper to mail them that way. Don't believe the post office people that Priority Mail is quicker- it's the same as regular "air mail". Any box sent our way can take from 3 to 6 months to get here! So, better to send out a few bubble envelopes then to mail a box. Our mailing address is: Keith and Laura Beth McFarland C/O New Hope Uganda, P.O. Box 16, Luwero, Uganda, East Africa. There are also times a team can bring out items for us, so if you're hoping for that, please contact us and we can send you an address for doing so.

-CD's or DVD's of your favorite, recent music or movies! Kid/adult
-Kids books
-Chocolate chips -Gheradelli's semi-sweet is dairy free
-Gluten free beef jerky!
-Gummy worms/bears
-M&M's -peanut or coconut OR Reeces' pieces
-Extracts -maple, coconut,raspberry, banana, mint (put in ziplock)
-Crystal Light -all flavors
-Granola bars (gluten free and regular)
-Fruit snacks
-Walnuts or Pecans
-Chocolate -both dark without milk and with milk
-Seasoning packets -Please please check ingredients for dairy and wheat! Both are not welcome!(put in a ziplock before mailing!
*Taco (Ortega, Trader Joe's and Old El Paso are safe)
*A Taste of Thai -all kinds
*Shredded Pork (McCormicks SLOW cookers) A Favorite!
*Italian salad dressing

-Gluten free Oats, Potato starch, and tapioca flour! These can be mailed in a ziplock bag + a bubble envelope or with a team. These are VERY needed gluten free cooking/baking items!
-Gluten free brownie, cake, or bread mixes. Betty Crocker's new Gluten Free brownie mix is available at most supermarkets now and is fantastic!
-Tea -an assortment of both herbal and regular (also ziplock them as the flavors can permeate other things)
-Coffee -reg or decaf! Decaf is no longer available in the country, so it's a hot item! We love Starbucks via too! We enjoy both Dunkin Donuts (inc. French Vanilla) and Startbucks.