A Decade and Counting

Hold tight to the sounds of the music of school days

Happy songs from the laughter of children at play

Let us stroll through the halls and step out on  the  playground

Making memories of what was today..

It’s been a long time since I thought of that song.  Ten years, I guess. Our class sang it at graduation. Ten years ago. This reality caused me to go to the archives for some old pictures. I told a friend that I didn’t think we had changed much since high school.  Ha DENIAL..:) Enjoy the pics from the Class of 2004.

photo image image image

Last night we enjoyed a very beautiful evening at Calvin and Su’s. The food and fellowship were fantastic and as always- I loved the opportunity to be around my peers’ families. Children are so much fun and we were blessed with lots of little people with lots of personality, last night. The years have brought lots of change, and not in a bad way!

So my thoughts are running in all directions, this weekend. Friday night was the graduation ceremony of two of my cousins. (Congrats to the class of 2014!) And then the reality that it’s been 10 years since that was me…

As I listened to the sage advice that always comes at graduation, I had to wonder what I’ve learned/am learning since then.  Too much to write, obviously. Those 10 years, that passed by in the blink of an eye, were packed full of laughter, adventure, unique experiences, and so much learning. God has dealt so graciously with me! But a few things came to mind- that I wish I’d learned earlier- things I still don’t have a complete grasp on- but I’m trying.

Dear Kendra,

  • So obliviously, you “become a teenager”, “turn 16”, “get your drivers license”,” graduate” , these are all things you attain, and after that, its accomplished. You do not “become an adult” and it’s “game over”, with everything being handled in a mature “adult like manner”.. 🙂 Instead being an adult is a journey.
  • Learn to embrace change, realizing that the God who sees the sparrow fall, has a perfect plan for you, and can only accomplish that through change. So relax. It is not your job to worry, God will work out the details. Your job is to have faith, and rest in that knowledge.
  • Learn to love unconditionally. This is the core of Christianity, and yet it’s so easy to only have compassion, IF the recipient meets our level of expectations. True Christ-like love is there no matter what. A friend of mine often used “the soap box” stating that “People are your best investments ever.” That is so true. Never be too busy or preoccupied that you don’t stop and look into the heart of the situation.. Put on compassion.
  • Along with Love comes the need of forgiveness. It’s such a beautiful thing. But learn to extend that to yourself. You cannot achieve the perfection you desire (but do keep trying.. 🙂 ); learn to give yourself a little bit of grace.. I discovered this quote recently and it spoke to me…

“The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the  name of Christ–all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of these my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover the least among them all, the poorest of all beggars, the most impudent offenders, the very enemy himself–that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness– that I myself am the enemy who must be loved–what then? As a rule, the Christian’s attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say “Raca” and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the  lowly in ourselves…” -C.G. Jung

  • “Those were the best days of my life”. One day, that phrase stuck out to me as we were traveling. So I asked, the DJ riding shotgun if he already had the “best days”. He laughed and said “I hope not!!” Today is the best days of your life.  Learn embrace it for the beauty it contains, because tomorrow holds only the promise that God will be there. Savor the moments, and seize the opportunities, and hold on tight for one exhilarating ride..

And that’s where I’ll stop…  Look forward to the next 10 years, they go so fast, just like EVERYONE tells you. It really is true! And I’m guessing that can be said about the next 15… And next 20…

Blessings, Kendra

Bonus Pics:


I was in OH at an Amish settlement this week, I overheard this conversation…

VA lady: “You have so many bird feeders! Is that a Baltimore Oriole feeder?”

Amish Lady: ” It is”

VA: “And it’s just sugar water?”

Amish: “Yes, but what the Orioles really like is the grape chelly”

So I’ll admit my brain goes into neutral after I arrive at my destination, but I caught myself thinking “What on earth is ‘chelly’?!” Then I looked- two little containers of grape jelly..  🙂


A souvenir from an OH hailstorm



“..Take me home, country road..”


I love country livin’

There is something about living in the county that can’t be beat. I love it, working the land, living in the country. I’ve pondered that a lot recently. Words that describe the feelings that come with my line of work, and play- my country lifestyle. I interviewed my ever patient family and they added to my list. Maybe you have somethings that you could share as well! I’d love that.


So here’s a few things that I’ve come up with:

Satisfaction: This one hit me as I was taking the planter back to the shed after Father had run most of the night finishing up bean planting at our one farm, and those huge raindrops started pelting my windshield. I couldn’t help but cheer. We had successfully worked with Nature and had a crop in the ground in time for the first rain. That is a great feeling. My heart swells with Thanksgiving. “It is a good thing to receive blessings from God, and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life- that is indeed a gift from God.” Ecc 5;19


Security: Emily shared this, and I thought it was interesting because within the last few months she, with her 911 habit, has responded to several heinous crimes here in our neighborhood. Yet we feel secure- surrounded by our friends and neighbors- People we see every day. Our world is at Peace. We have nothing to fear. Mother added that she loves the early mornings- watching the sunrise and listening to the birds- as she sips that cup of coffee and prepares for the day- a quiet, peaceful time to savor the stillness and commune with Our Heavenly Father.


Beauty: It’s everywhere! So often we breeze past, all caught up in what’s on the” to do” list. But Mother made me stop coming in our lane, and get out of the vehicle and look at a “Jack-in-the-Pulpit” beside the lane. I miss so much! As I continue to hone my new kayaking habit- My eyes can scarcely take in all the beauty! We were floating the river last weekend and came across painted turtles sunning on fallen logs, Canadian geese setting on nests, a half-dozen little ducklings frantically swimming off to one side-which I almost missed since I was observing the” wounded bird act” from the Mama Wood Duck on the opposite shore. The green of the new leaves on the trees and the blue of the sky and the warm sunshine- What a way to spend time immersed in creation and the Creator! Julia loves the night sky. I guess getting up every morning at 3 am gives her lots of time to enjoy it. But it is incredible.Reminds me of the song  “My soul cries out in awesome wonder-viewing countless stars-only God can number, how many million miles up to the nearest star, I feel so very small- How can I see so far? Oh Mighty God, how great Thou art! You have no ending, You have no start. I know by faith You’re real, for You’re love I daily feel. Almighty God, I believe in You!!”

image image

Enjoying the journey: Sometimes I wake up in the morning and there’s so much to do- there’s no way to cover everything. And that, in an absurd way, is fun- to be swamped performing a task that I love- whether its seed-time or harvest (or travel;) )- I like to be busy. And it’s equally fun to have leisure time- to peddle our Giant bikes the 11 miles (Kinda downhill) to Dairy Queen where we know that an ice cream cone and our return vehicle await us (Everyone thinks this exercise program would be much more beneficial if we would eat the ice cream BEFORE the trek-idk..:) ) And to have a farmer friend and his wife- apparently also out on a “drive to stay alive” pull up beside us in their pickup and chat amiably for a mile or so. Enjoying where I am, who I’m with, while there’s time . Deborah added riding with the windows down and the music up- especially in the mountains.. Living life to the fullest.


And then it hit me. No, I’ve never experienced City life in a daily grind, but these feelings are not just a country idea. It’s a place of the heart. I’m sure there’s satisfaction to be found in a job well done anywhere. Security? Definitely- if You’ve placed your trust in the One who controls all things. Beauty? Again- maybe it comes in a little different form than poppies in a corn field- but Nature is everywhere- impossible to escape- if you look for it. So enjoy the journey- where ever it finds you. Seize life with both hands and conquer it for the blessing that is at hand, taking time to savor the flavor of the goodness around you.. May that come easily for you this week. Blessings, Kendra



Detroit listens patiently as Father gives me instructions. That mutt’s been having to put in a lot more hours as farm manager these days to make up for the fact that he discovered he does NOT work for VDOT, and therefore carries no weight when it comes to merging into traffic- unannounced, and cost us $800 to fix up some poor guy’s car… Plus another $500 visit to the canine hospital… Silly ol boy- I was away for the day, but from the reports I heard- they thought you were a goner… And I know Mother would say it’s too much info to tell everybody who-all cried over your miserable hide- so let’s keep that a secret..;) So glad you’re back on duty!

image image

If two is company- then three is…? Emily, Mr W, and of course- Detroit 🙂 Emily gets photo credits for the second pic. #ryeharvestcompleted


Deb shared this pic as a “truly country meal time” with four animals gorging on dog food.. 😉

My Junk Pile

This week marked the beginning of Phase 1 on my river land… Man, I’ve been anxious to get started! I attempted to be Father’s right hand assistant until we had our early beans in the ground and were FINALLY around to play in the dirt in beautiful Fort Defiance… (Actually- I attempt to fill that role- whether I’ve got an agenda or not.. 🙂 )


So we were planning how we were going to work around the impending rain showers and I said- “Well, I guess you probably won’t have that much for me to do- if you’re running the trackhoe…”  Father’s eyes bulged and he said “Let me tell you something, there will be work for the aged and work for the young..” So Monday found me happily going behind the Farmer and his digging machine and picking up the debris left in his wake- fence posts, tree stumps, barbed wire…

I had never met the lady who lives in the original farmhouse that adjoins my property- I talked to her on the phone once because the presence of our machine was scaring her cat- but I was anxious to meet her. I saw her picking her way across the field to where we were and realized “today must be the day”… What a special lady… She brings compassion from me unlike anything I’ve ever felt. She is rather your stereo-type “cat lady”- who lives in her own world… Dear heart… She was on a mission- she’d left a black piece of plastic in the fence row last fall- something about scaring a cow away and she was coming to retrieve it… It was the “biggest piece of plastic I’ve ever seen… I don’t know how to tell you- it was that big… I could use it for a bench… I should’ve just left it as a bench…”

We walked over to the edge of the hole that the Trackhoe Operator had just dug, and deposited the entire fence row into, and there I could see it- down under an entire barbed-wire fence; torn and useless…I was afraid she was going to go after it- for a little, but I assured her that we’d attempt to replace it, and apologized profusely…


And that got me to thinking… As I unloaded the next load off the pickup- I had a conversation… (I do this a lot when I’m working alone- please bear with me…) I envisioned my pickup all laden down with a lot of things my memory pulls up from time to time… Regrets. Things I wish had never happened. Mistakes I’ve made. Painful things my experience has brought me…  And I started unloading my pickup into this gigantic hole… Talking to my Heavenly Father… “Remember how bad of a situation that was?” “Throw it down, child- you don’t need it anymore..” “But that was terrible misunderstanding- I’m not sure I’ll ever get past it…” “So what does lugging it along with you prove? Into the pit, my dear…” “But God- I hurt! This isn’t fair! My confidence is shattered! I’m not sure I can deal with this! I’m not sure you understand…” “My dramatic daughter, look at what you’re holding…” I looked down,and in my hands, was a piece of a thorn tree- about 3 feet long, with huge menacing thorns jutting out…

What a terrible crown for a King… No matter what kind of pain, rejection, sorrow- I experience- It’s nothing compared to what Christ suffered for me… Because of love… Because of grace… Not because it was anything he deserved… The instigator of most of my problems starts with “K”.. 🙂 Christ was completely blameless and yet-went through a horrible death- and offered forgiveness and compassion to the very end. “What was that you were saying, Kendra?”

So I started throwing everything in. It felt good to stand there and just wing it in and hear it crash as it hit the ground… And then I stood on that empty pickup bed and enjoyed looking in at a job complete… Barbed wire; black plastic; old grudges-painful memories-and a lot of other ugly things that I should’ve dealt with long ago; all laying in a tangled heap in the bottom of the pit…

And I smiled thinking what an idiot I’d be to try to retrieve any of it- and drove off whistling -to order pizza for our crew…

How are you doing? Is your pickup empty? If you’ve got some junk to get rid of- I know the perfect place and the Most Patient Heavenly Father to oversee the operation…

“Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and by burden is light…” Matt 11:28-30

Blessings to you,


Bonus pics:

image image image

It is the most incredible time of year! Nature is beautiful everywhere I look…


Finally got a chance to meet Kendra Grace- what a sweetheart! Congrats to the Herschbergers 🙂

P.S Do you suppose that Amish lady was photo-bombing the “Kendra Photography sessions” on purpose? 🙂