Category Archives: Ponderings

i receive it.

I have one of my favorite Christmas songs on repeat right now and a pine scented candle burning…Christmas lights surrounding me and the beautiful realization that I am done with school until 2018.  Don’t get me wrong, I have LOVED school this year- it’s turned my whole world upside down right side up in the most amazing ways but I really enjoyed running errands and drinking coffee with no time limits today.  I think I’m going to relish the rest of this year, savoring each moment in simplicity.

To say I love Christmas would be such an understatement.  Every surface of our tiny home is covered in bottlebrush trees and red plaid…I cannot get enough.  Yesterday we sang Christmas carols on our last day of class and I cried through almost the entire hour.  It was so special.  I find myself staring at our Christmas tree so much, just so in love with this season.  It’s not just the smells (which i love!) or the traditions (also my fav!!) but the anticipation of the celebration.  It’s the best.  Lately, I’ve felt like God is giving me a front row seat as He once again brings to remembrance the most amazing birth this world has ever seen.  He’s the most amazing Father.  I love that He’s mine.

Someday I’ll share about school and how God is literally revealing more than I could have dreamed…but the one thing that has been so impressed upon my heart is His overwhelming, never-ending, uniquely special, vast love.  The beauty of Him is that all I have to do is RECEIVE it.  I’ve muttered and shouted “I receive it” at least a thousand times in the last few months; believing in faith that something was happening.  And while this will be my life-long journey, it’s working and I feel free-er every day.

Christmas represents ultimate joy to me…and not because every other decoration I own spells joy (that’s because it’s my name)…but because I’m becoming more and more aware of the Father’s radical love- He sent his Son- because He loves me.  Because He. loves. me.  I receive it.

Merry Christmas.



not done yet.

There are some nights where i’m literally stopped in my tracks…headed to bed usually, when I get the urge to write.  Sometimes I say no, but some special moments I choose to forgo sleep and sit down in front of my computer.  I rarely waste a moment before opening the site I blog on…and never have to spend a second wondering what to write about.

It just comes.

I have an overwhelming feeling of excitement for our next kiddo.  This is a bit odd considering we just moved across the country and just this morning I got our second son’s school squared away.  I am on the eve of sending both boys back to school and it’s been almost a month and a half since I last dropped them both off to a classroom.  To say I’m relieved is an understatement…for all of us I believe.  The boys love school and I love that they get to go.  But it hit me tonight- what everyone always told me- the little years are special and they are few.

I get to be a mom.  I want to be the best one I can be.  I want to do this job better than I will ever do any job in the whole world…always growing, learning, adapting, stretching.  This move has created space in my mind to realize that I don’t have to do the same routines that I’ve always done.  I can make up new ways to get the same ol’ stuff done…and maybe I will even come to love homework time?!  I’m looking at miracles people.

But what really hit me tonight is that we’re not done.  We’ve known that all along, but as each passing year goes by sometimes I wonder about the when.  Yet I feel so confident that God will share that detail as I just keep following His beauty, His ways, His delight.  And I feel a joy rising in me for the next Farrell…however, whenever.  It’s gonna be good.

And no, in case you’re wondering- we have nothing brewing, no secret adoption match- we haven’t even done a california home study, so seriously- this is simply about my heart.  My goal this year was (is) simply to say yes and I’ve loved how it’s opened my mind up to endless possibilities already.

Yes incubates hope.

We need hope…in every single area of our lives. It breathes life into this journey we have the privilege to live.  I am so grateful that this year, 2017, I get to see everything in a whole new light simply because we said yes to a seemingly crazy idea that landed us on the opposite coast of our country…and right into everything Jesus has planned next.

It’s a beautiful life and I can’t wait to see what’s next.



*Another one from the archives I forgot to post.  This happened last fall

and it’s still very much etched in my memory.*


I got pulled over yesterday.  It was traumatic.  Mostly because it hasn’t happened in over ten years…I drive like a Grandma- for reals.  It was because I was talking on Voxer- a lovely app that I’ve grown attached to since I can’t stand talking on the phone.  I am a stickler about texting and driving- NEVER do it and since I NEVER talk on my phone- I don’t do that in the car either.  But alas.

This might sound weird but it felt good to get in trouble.  Being an adult without a boss sometimes gives too much leeway…and I keep forgetting who my ultimate Boss is.  I have lost some of my fear of the Lord and I don’t like it.  Yesterday reminded me that God cares about me so much- and there are things in my life I need to rearrange.  While I can’t get a ticket for being lazy…it was good to be reminded I have a loving Father who is watching me- and I will be accounting for my time when I leave this earth.

The fine for using a phone while driving is $250 and 2 points but thankfully the cop was nice enough to only give me a $54 ticket and a few ‘be carefuls’ bless his soul.  Josiah was relieved that I wasn’t going to jail and when my heart stopped beating out of my chest, I realized I was gonna be ok.

what is my prize

One of my goals for this year was to choose one book of the Bible to focus on in depth for the year.  Of course, I will read other parts but each year God highlights one book in particular and it helps me truly get to know that book well.

I Corinthians is my book for 2016.  I admit to being slightly bummed when He told me, but after reading through it so far I’m grateful.  God is always faithful to make His words jump off the pages and pierce my heart in new ways.

I Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

As I read this passage, Holy Spirit challenged me with a question- What is your prize?  Ultimately, we are all running for the same prize, but I felt like He personalized it for me in such a way that I felt compelled to answer.  A lot of my time with Him lately has been focused on my major goal to lose 100 pounds this year, and I love how it’s all interwoven.  In the margin of my Bible near this verse, I wrote long ago- “If you wanna get big, pick up something heavy.”  Quite literally, as you know, when a weightlifter wants to grow their muscle, they choose heavier weights.  I want to be a mighty warrior in God.  I don’t want to be pushed down at the slightest defeat and swayed by the littlest of lies.  And so I realized that this year, God put a massive weight in front of me- a very long race (though one year is a blip in the whole scheme of things).  Losing 100 pounds will not be easy or simple or quick, but it’s going to be worth it, mostly because it’s not just about the losing.

It’s about the prize.  It’s about what happens to that muscle when I continually say yes to Jesus and no to the enemy and my flesh.  I prayed about what my prize is, in this season of my life, in this race I’m running today.  First, winning more revelation of His love and who He is would be the greatest outcome of this journey.  I long to know God more and love Him well.  Second, conquering my health and overcoming the enemies constant lying in the midst of this specific battle.  Third, I look forward to the prize of greater BELIEF and understanding of His power in me- that if we can do this race, what else is He going to do in and through me?  And Lord willing, I will have SO MUCH MORE faith to go further with Jesus than ever before.  This one ties into the last prize- being more confident to walk in the things He calls me to, with joy and fearlessness.

This excites me for so many reasons, but mostly because I see freedom as my finish line.  And that alone would be enough for me to diligently run.  Yet the Lord in His kindness loves to reward us.  He has laid out all these special prizes just for me and my challenge to you is to ask Him what race you’re running right now and what prizes He has already chosen for you.

Because let’s face it.  I’ve always been a rewards kinda gal and thankfully I know God is a rewards kinda guy.  Don’t believe me?  Go ask Him.


As I sit in the dark by the light of one lone candle flame, I am overwhelmed.  God’s vehicle into my heart tonight was a book that I bought many months ago, written by a dear woman I got to know briefly in Kansas City.  I knew bits and pieces of her journey and thus had deemed the book one-i-will-read-when-i-am-ready…and tonight for some reason, I heard a whisper.  He said read it now.

Two hours passed and a steady stream of beautiful tears came along…it was as if God himself was sitting with me, urging me to keep going, to remember and believe who He truly is and how much He loves abundantly.  I’m not sure why I’m writing at the moment, because He has left me speechless.

I feel so loved.  

It’s powerful to read another’s testimony of how they’ve walked through valleys and mountains with Jesus…it led me straight to His feet…in awe of who He is and how He loves.

I want to live my life with this feeling.  The feeling of being loved no matter what, by the God of the universe…my heavenly Father, my faithful friend, my constant cheerleader.  This is the gift He promised- His everlasting Love.  I know feelings can be fleeting at times, but some feelings are meant to root into our soul and plant.  I could not follow Jesus with my whole heart without feeling Him, and I don’t think He wants me to blindly follow either.  He cares about my frame, about my will, my emotions, my dreams, my quirks, my fears…He knows it all and STILL HE LOVES ME LIKE THIS.

He knows my name.

He is writing my story and cares about each day that I wake up to.  What a gift to behold… His love.  Thank you Sara for sharing His beauty so tangibly, and thank you Jesus, for everything.


*Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty*

Thankful 7x

I am thankful for my church.

I have always wanted to be a part of a small body of believers who love like family.  I am so thankful that we found a place to belong but also to serve.  I am grateful for the open arms that greet us each Sunday and other days of the week too.

I am thankful it’s not a club.  It doesn’t feel weird to greet new people every Sunday and invite them into God’s house.  I am thankful that I wake up on Sunday mornings excited to go to church.  We are known, our kids are known…we are loved and we get to love.

I am thankful for the joy that encompasses that place.  I am thankful for the wisdom and leadership; for the Holy Spirit who guides it all.  I am thankful for the tears that form in my eyes so many Sunday mornings as I worship.

I am thankful for Life Chapel.

Thankful 6x

I am thankful for pain.

It’s taken me awhile to say that and mean it this year.  I have always known that pain can be good in the long run…but knowing and believing are two very different things.  I haven’t dealt with a whole lot of pain in my life thus far so I’m not expert, but I will admit that even though it hurts, I’m grateful.

“Our glory is hidden in our pain, if we allow God to bring the gift of Himself in our experience of it. If we turn to God, not rebelling against our hurt, we let God transform it into greater good. We let others join us and discover it with us.”   Henri Nouwen

I haven’t shared much of my journey in the last 6 months, and not sure when the time will be right to do so.  But one book that I read Turn My Mourning into Dancing definitely rocked my world.  I haven’t even finished it, because I kept breaking down each paragraph that I read.  But the most significant lesson I learned so far is the freedom that comes in thanking God for the pain.

I do not believe that God gave me the pain, but I do believe He allowed it.  He loves me and knows me intimately- better than anyone else, even myself I’m guessing.  He knows how to draw me to Himself.  Through the pain of this year, I met the Comforter.  I’d never known Jesus quite like that before.  I’d never felt that peace that passes all understanding, even though I’d prayed it for others a million times.

And so I am thankful for pain.  It’s not eternal and for that I am so glad.