My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow–
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Robert Louis Stevenson
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the combine in transport a sunny day last fall; shadow fun on OBX

“No shadows can come without a light making the way”

I think I’ve always had a fascination with shadows.. As a child, I remember playing shadow tag. The object of the game was to not have your shadow tromped on by the person who was “It” ..  I became aware of the different length of shadows towards evening- the shadows would be long and tag became a lot more of a challenge, at noon, it was short and fat and not nearly as easy to be caught..

And I’ll admit to having this childish notion- that as easily visible as shadows were- I should be able to turn around fast enough to see my shadow behind me.. And So I’d attempt and attempt… (Can you believe I’m admitting this? 🙂 )

I still watch shadows- as I’m on the road or in the field. I find that when my brain is not engaged- I’m subconsciously watching my shadow- how it rushes along beside me; stretching out over the median-racing over trees, and bridges and hills..

I have so many blessings in my life, but there are also  some shadows… And I don’t think that’s abnormal.. We all have difficult things that we wish to change… Sometimes shadows are self-inflicted, but a lot of times- it’s circumstances that are completely out of our control… So what to do with them? Helen Keller made the statement “Keep your face to the sunshine and you can not see the shadows…” I like that. To be so fully convinced of God’ s love, that He allows hard things to teach us lessons we wouldn’t comprehend otherwise and  to rest in His wisdom… He knows the finished product that we are working for here. .. I long for that kind of peace…  My theory looks tremendous, but in reality, I want to run from pain… To find joy in the midst of it? That’s not typical… But I’m convinced it’s possible…  I like Keller’s thought… If I focus on the Source of Light, and the end results- these temporal disappointments will fade from view..

“Dear God, please help me to be able to dance in the Shadows- like a carefree child- fully trusting that You are in Control of my life..”

Blessings, Kendra

Bonus Pics:


Julia has a shadow right now- Kalila has adopted Julia as her “Alpha person” and follows her everywhere. It was hilarious to watch her following Julia while we were picking rocks, Kalila “helping” by putting her paws on whatever rock Julia was attempting to lift- creating an issue. Kalila is so funny, she shadowed them to the golf course, and felt it was her duty to reach out and stop the golf ball as it rolled past.. Not the type of caddy they had in mind… Having your own personal shadow is over rated though- from Kalila’s perspective.. Last Sunday, we were over meeting Allen’s 6 week old Chocolate Lab, and when little Beretta tottered over to say hello- Julia and Sherman’s 65 lb hero panicked and ran for another room, they called her back in and she took cover, cowering behind Julia. When Beretta followed her there- She retreated behind the couch… I love how you can read a dog’s emotions…


Another Shadow in my life has been eliminated.. . After being haunted relentlessly by my dad’s rooster- Sqwack-for the last 4 years, He has been recommitted to his Creator… After he attacked Emily as she was going from her car to the house-in the garage, SOMETHING had to  happen… So to those of you who were molested by this monster- we apologize… And to my dad who is mourning- I’m sorry. Hopefully time will ease the pain… But I sure am thankful Paradise Lane is once again a free land… Thanks to Aunt Martha Ann for the pic..

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Detroit spent the day with our crew recently- as we hit the fields with a vengeance… I love watching him, he gets so excited… Pretty sure he know how to deal with the shadows… Although I’m not sure barking your head off all night-announcing to the world- because of them, is the approach to take… Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned there.. 🙂 He does take the wind in his face with out flinching.. Good ol boy.. 🙂


How do you sum up 10 days packed full of activity and adventure into one hopefully not too lengthy blog post?

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Through an incredible amount of open doors, I joined a team heading for Honduras. Upon arrival they announced that the temp at San Pedro Sula was 95 degrees..  “Perfect” I thought.. But I wasn’t too sad when a cold front followed us and it was a balmy 80..


To the dear people who joined in this experience I was honored to have met you.. Thanks for blessing me!!

Having spent time in Guatemala, I was excited to see how the countries compared. It was definitely not the same I soon realized. Honduras has a lot more traffic safety rules: There was one guy standing in the aisle of our one public transport experience, and the police stopped us.. So the driver went back and negotiated (usually this means gave the police “pop money”) and we went on our way-collecting more passengers for the aisle as we went..


Our Base was at Camp LoveJoy. I was so blessed by getting to know the missionaries there. They have a bookstore that started after several young men had a vision to backpack Bibles into remote areas. So they’d leave and they wouldn’t hear from them a month at a time..

“Made in the image of God” kept running through my head.. We spent a morning at a children’s home and as we had fun connecting with those precious young lives, it was easy to look into their faces and think of the Creator.. But the crippled boy out making his way in the side of the street, and the drunk man who was leaning over the side of the pickup bedding trying to get our attention.. Or the little toothless lady with a paper that was supposedly “official” that she had 9 children and no husband asking for a hand out.. I found myself wanting to recoil from.. Ah to be truly compassionate..

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The Lady of the place where we stayed had this quote on her fridge.. I loved it.. “We love people whether they turn out or not, and the successes do not vindicate our ministry, nor do the disappointments nullify it. What is important is whether we have loved in a real way-not preached in an impassioned way from the Pulpit.” – Pullinger


I think is the heart cry of this Easter season.. Love no matter what. It’s hard to imagine the feeling of Christ as He went through all He did over this time.. For Me.. For you.. For all of mankind.. And He went regardless of how His sacrifice was to be received.. It’s so easy to qualify who is worthy.. Whether the response merits our love.. May I be faithful in portraying that kind of love and sacrifice to a thirsty world who needs it so.. Blessings, Kendra

Bonus pics and Highlights from my travels:

*Busing from the Base to Guimaca by public transportation (At one point when there were people all around me and the sun was shining and the AC non existent and then the guy beside me shut the window, I thought I was going to die or melt or heat stroke.. My life flashed before my eyes several times that trip- like when we were going up a mountain and pulled out to pass a truck – into the oncoming path of 2 semi’s.. Or when we were in a little beater of a taxi and we had a bus grill practically coming in my window and the front of a truck coming in Lucy’s.. Taxi Sandwich, anyone?) It was so much fun to visit that area and connect with some of the people there.. And the flowering trees.. Wow..

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*Pulpanzak Falls: a 140 foot falls that we visited.. It was amazing and for a little bit of nothing- we paid to go behind the falls.. I thought we’d maybe get a little wet.. I envisioned us walking through a dirt path behind the downpour.. Wrong.. We got drenched swimming through water waist deep.. Jumping off of rocks into pools collecting at the base of different falls.. Keeping our faces down- so we could breathe.. Creating a human chain with our guide helping us up slippery rocky surfaces.. It was unbelievable.. And then the opportunity to stand in a little nook, peering out into the face of the descending waters.. Unbelievable.. 🙂

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*Travelling 4 hours one way into the mountians to visit the mission clinic (on the back of a pickup, over dust roads..) And being amazed at the poverty and how little the world would be to the locals.. And getting SOO sunburnt because the air is thin and the UV factor high..

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*Delicious food.. Meal after meal after meal


*Target Prayer.. This blessed me.. To pray specifically for something and allowing God’s spirit to move in a mighty way..

*And the pottery.. We stopped at a pottery shop and had so much fun shopping.. You may know that my dad has a pet rooster that torments the rest of the family and I am afraid of poultry.. Well as we were leaving the shop, the owner-in spirit of generosity- followed us out and gave Rebecca a beautiful vase, Lucy and Bev-each a cute little Winnie the Pooh figurine.. And you guessed it- I got a rooster.. Story of my life.. 🙂IMG_1192


If at First You Don’t Succeed…

If at first you don’t succeed.. Wait until the next Rhodes wedding..:) What you ask? Well, let me start at the beginning.. My dear Mom has a green thumb and as Julia started hearing wedding bells, Mother had the brainchild that it works splendidly to force Amaryllis bulbs whenever you need some cheer in the wintertime, why wouldn’t it work to do the same with Calla lilies? So after some research on trusty Google search (guaranteed to be accurate..)  The bulbs were carefully planted 10 weeks before February 14.. Woodland Plants graciously agreed to keep these precious plants and we were well on our way to an original idea.. Homegrown Lilies in February..


Well, it soon became apparent that we were not going to make the deadline, as they had beautiful foliage, but no blooms.. So the day came and went with plenty of flowers from Kroger, and Julia and Sherman lived happily ever after..  I actually forgot about the project for the most part.. Bless the faithful greenhouse crew who kept watering..  The owner called the first of March and said ” Y’all are welcome to come get these whenever, I’m ready to give up on them blooming..” It so happened that Mother was out of town at the time, and by the time she returned and went to collect the failed project, blooms were shooting up all over.. Here we are 4 months after the planting, with beautiful lilies in time for Katie’s wedding.. It’s really easy. Just plant the bulbs and they grow.. And bloom somewhere between 10 weeks and 4 months.. So I’m not sure what to suggest if you need the flowers by a certain time.. And to the customers who have inquired if the flowers are for sale, they have served their purpose- to be at a wedding, and are officially on the market..:)


Blessings to Katie and Clint.. I considered blogging all my memories of you.. Katie as my cousin and friend.. Clint as a neighbor and schoolmate and all our experiences riding to school together.. But I’ll spare the rest of y’all the sentimental journey and deliver my message in person..:)


I was stuck again with the blessing of family this week.. During the excitement of the wedding, and then as I connected with Father’s family in MD and cousin Rhonda and her family from Kenya.. Marj and I went out to check on the children playing in the haymow of their barn, and I got the big idea to help them experience the fun of a hay tunnel.. They ended up getting hay everywhere and I felt a little bad for leading them astray.. Lol.. Babysitting is something I’m rather dangerous at.. 😉 So good to see everyone again.. Bless Rhonda and her family, as they carry the Gospel oversees..

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And one last pic.. Mother and I were driving by the local John Deere dealership and thought this tractor smiling in front of the rainbow and Massanutten Peake was photo worthy.. It’s such a lovely time of year..


And that all for now.. I’m going to be out of the country until Easter.. Say a prayer for me and I’ll be glad to tell you all about it, after I return.. May God bless you abundantly as You are faithful where He’s called you.. Have a fantastic day.. -Kendra