Archives for August 2012

A True Hero

A man was driving a stolen truck recklessly.  Two West Virginia State Police officers pulled him over, cuffed him, placed in the police cruiser, and called for a wrecker to tow the stolen Silverado truck.

As they waited for the wrecker, the cuffed suspect pulled a gun he had hidden and shot both officers.

One fatally.  The other remains in critical condition.

This story is heart-breaking.

Every time I hear a news story like this, I am reminded that both the officers and suspects are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, or fathers.

These are news stories to many, but life-altering, soul-crushing events to some.

Corporal Marshall Bailey, the officer who died, grew up on Poca River and attended Poca High School in my hometown.

He was the brother-in-law of one of my best friends in high school.

He was a Poca Dot.

He had served as a West Virginia State Policeman since 1995, risking his life daily for our comfort and security.

As I watched the tributes to Marshall roll on my Facebook newsfeed, as I watched this afternoon’s press conference, I was reminded of both the good and evil in this world.

The good…hundreds of PHS classmates, police officers, and well wishers showing up , posting, sending condolences, and praying for the Bailey family – including this post from the Virginia Tech police.

Most people truly are good.

The evil…the fallen world in which we live.  A place where a 20-year-old man named Luke can shoot four men in one night and end up dead.  Tragic.

Today, my issues and my to-do list seemed irrelevant and petty as my husband and I prayed for Marshall’s family.

I can see the faces of Earline and Maxie (Marshall’s mom and dad) as well as his brother, Justin, and Justin’s wife, Ashley, and their children.

Incredibly sad.  Undeniably heartbreaking.  So unfair.

I am reminded that tomorrow is not guaranteed.  We have no idea which day will be our last.

Humbling.  Perspective altering.

Please pray for all the families involved.

Psalm 34: 18 – The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.



The full story on WSAZ News Channel 3

“Like” the West Virginia State Police on Facebook

Be You: That’s Who This World Needs

I am woman; hear me roar!  This has been my mantra most of my life.

Anything boys can do, girls can do better.  Another mantra of mine.

When I was young and you messed with me (girl or boy), I’d kick your rear or die trying.  (Not proud of that; it’s just a fact.)

My drive to become valedictorian? To beat the two BOYS who were in the lead (we all three tied.)

I have always had a chip on my shoulder that read, “I don’t care if you’re a boy, I can beat you if I try.”

However, God’s been changing my heart about my place in this world as a woman.  As a wife.  As a mom.

While I have always served my husband and children (often to a fault), I have always felt less than stellar in these roles. As a result, I have always had a chip on my shoulder about my lack of homemaking skills.

For five years, God’s chipped away at that chip on my shoulder.  He’s given me a piece/peace here and piece/peace there to complete the “who I am” puzzle.

The final piece/peace came in the oddest place:  The Billy Graham Library.

I know, right?  Weird.

If you’ve not been to the BGL, it’s not a library; it’s a museum that honors Jesus just as much as it honors Billy Graham.

After my husband and I took a tour, I was more in awe of God’s work than Billy Graham’s work, which is how I bet Reverend Graham would want it.

All the “exhibits” were amazing, enlightening, and impactful, but one brought tears to my eyes and quickened my heart: The room dedicated to Ruth Bell Graham.

I can’t possibly recount her life’s story here.  But, if you’d like to learn more about her, follow these links:

Ruth Bell Graham (from The Tiny Twig) and/or Ruth Bell Graham (Biography)

What I felt in that room was…”it’s ok to be who I’ve called you to be – a wife and mom.”  It’s also ok to be “other” things outside of wife and mom; roles I have called you to.

I want so desperately to be a good wife and mom, but often feel ill-equipped and ill -suited for the job.  I don’t like to cook.  I only like to clean because I love organization and despise chaos.  My home is well-decorated and lovely, but only because I enjoy the creativity and color of decorating.

I am not very good at any of those “wifely” or “motherly” things.

I am no homemaker.  And, the more I try to be, the more frustrated I become.

I beg God…just make me a homemaker.  Help me to LOVE it and do it well.

After 12 years of praying that?  Nothing.

Yet,  as I stood in Ruth’s room, I heard something…

“It’s ok to be who I’ve called you to be – a wife, a mom, a writer, a servant.”  And, as I gazed at Ruth’s Bible and her letters to Billy, I knew.  I finally knew what God was saying…

Be content as the woman I’ve called YOU to be.  Not the wife I’ve called your friend to be.  Or the mom I’ve called so and so to be.  Or the career woman I’ve called that other woman to be.

God whispered, “This is the story I’ve penned for you and for no one else. “

While I hate parts of that “story,” I know he’s chosen me to live this story and live it well.

I/ you /we don’t need to live up to anyone else’s standard, except God’s.  You don’t like to cook?  That makes you no less of a good wife or mom than Paula Deen.

You want to homeschool?  Or, you don’t want to homeschool?  That makes you no more or less a mom.

You have dreams of becoming a writer, teacher, astronaut, or world leader?  Awesome!

As I looked around Ruth’s room, I felt the impact of a woman who had raised her children and served her husband well.  She’d written books and served others in her church and her community and her world.

Women…Your calling from God is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 30-31

Wives and Moms…Part of your calling from God is to love them and raise them up in the way of the Lord.

Love God.  Love others.  That’s our calling.

Who are you?  His daughter for whom He made the ultimate sacrifice so you could be free to live the life he penned for you.

Your calling is not to compete with, compare yourself to, or keep up with the callings of other women.

Be you; that’s who God made you to be.  And, that’s who this world needs.


The Billy Graham Library

Ruth Bell Graham (from The Tiny Twig)

Ruth Bell Graham (Biography)

1 Corinthians 13:  4-7

Mark 12

Welcome Home…

Coming back to “real” life after a week in Honduras is difficult.  I feel guilty about living in such excess when I know so many have so much less.  I miss the twice a day worship services and total focus on Christ.  I’d move to Honduras in a minute if God called me there long-term, but He hasn’t.

However, my 12-year-old daughter, Hannah, made this homecoming particularly memorable.  She reminded me of perhaps why I’ve not been called to Honduras or another foreign land…

Because I have been called to the Farish family.  I have been called as a wife to Steve and a mom to Hannah and Owen.

The weightiness of this calling hit me more than ever when I walked in the front door of my house at 3:45 a.m. Sunday morning.  A carefully crafted “Welcome Home, Mom” sign, a beautiful bracelet, and three sleeping bodies squeezed on the couch awaiting my arrival.

While I was deeply touched by each, one gift reminded me that my work at home is as important if not more important than the work for which God sent me to Honduras.

A bracelet made by Hannah.

She wove yellow, blue, brown, and red threads together in a chevron shape and placed a white bead in the center.

Beside the bracelet was her official “Bracelet Color Code.” This is what it said…

Yellow is the hot Honduran sun. Blue is the clouds you flew through and the water you drank. Brown is the color of the house and the dirt paths. Red is all of the hearts you helped.

(No mention of the white bead.)

I was blown away by her thoughtfulness and love. My heart was full and thankful as I hugged her tight.


Late Sunday night my friend, Lisa, visited us.  After seeing the bracelet and code, Lisa asked Hannah, “What’s the white bead?”

I’d never thought to ask.

Hannah answered, “God.  He is the center of the bracelet because he is always the center.”


Hannah understood what I’ve prayed for her to understand since her birth: “Lord, help her to always see you as center.  Help her to see that all things point to You.”

God has entrusted me and my husband with two very precious lives.  In Proverbs 22 his Word says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

My call in this season is to my home, partnering with my husband to train our children in the way they should go.  Loving them, showing them grace, and pointing them to Jesus.

I am thankful for God’s gentle reminder through Hannah.  She teaches me  continually, and I pray I keep a teachable spirit.