A Tribute to Change

Here is where the road divides, here is where we realize

The sculpting of the Father’s great design

Through time you’ve been a friend to me

But time is now the enemy, I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye

But I know the road He chose for me

Is not the road He chose for you

So as we chase the dreams we’re after

Pray for me and I’ll pray for you

Pray that we will keep the common ground..

                                -Michael W Smith


In the quiet darkness, as I listen to rain against the window- sleep seems a thousand miles away.

I imagine that I’m driving down a road. It starts of back a long farm lane. And memories flood over me… My dad is waking me up and carrying me and my favorite blanket out to that old cab-over Pete and we spend the day on the road… Julia and I are racing up and down our walk… I’m giving Julia that infamous hair cut… Mother is discovering that rabbit that a hired man turned loose in our house… And we all cry the last milking before we move to Paradise Lane…

The road gets a little wider here. I’m beside myself over the arrival of a new sister- Emily Renee “and she looks just like Kendra”. We take her to school for show and tell when she’s about 2 years old and she charms the masses…


Another widening of the road happens when Deborah Lynette joins the gang and I’m as protective as an older sister can be. We spend hours roaming the farm- creating hideouts in the back 40- building dams in the stream… Deborah rides very nicely on the gas tank of the four-wheeler- we shout “C’mon Twerp” and we are off (Aunt Thelma says she has never heard twerp used as such an affectionate term before) And while I fulfill the ” bossy oldest sister” role quite well- I hope they know how much I love them…


The road covers a lot of ground- I fast forward through some thunderstorms and a few sinkholes… But I stop to pet that rescued fawn, to visit that Indian hut in the front yard, to supervise the archeology efforts in the garden, to sleep beside that wood stove… Admittedly we played with “the little girls” sometimes more admirably than others…

Rapidly we are at the construction stage of the road- where we are building a dairy and we have each teamed up with one of Maynard’s kids and we are all trying to keep our secret codes hidden from the rest of our family… We are the most eager dairymen on the block and we are so proud when we deliver the first calf by ourselves. The house is next and  the sad farewell to the place who loved us until its last breath… “Good bye old house” I look back over my shoulder, as the road turns out of sight…

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There’s lots of scenery here. Youth parties, family vacations (although a non-swimmer- My dad is fascinated by the power of the ocean.. This road is waterfront wonderfully often) A trip to the West in a gas hog of an RV, campfires, dragging meal after meal to the barn to feed a variety of work crews… Graduation parties, Trips up Reddish Knob… Responsibility arrives here in a new way- Mother and Father leave us at home alone on various occasions and Emily starts the tradition of having a health emergency Every.Single.Time… And it’s a miracle that Kendra isn’t completely gray.

The road changes courses again. It’s interspersed with travel to exotic locations and trips to barn. The field also beckons often and part of the family spends days working together to get the crop harvested and the next one planted. This mania provides for lots of memory making and epic story time… The barn provides opportunity for a hired man who in turn influence the view by introducing his culture… The most outstanding being the Amish culture- followed by a heartbreaking funeral… And then the experience of the Latino Culture- in which Deborah thrives- Quinceanera,  more Spanish lessons, and Spanish church are seen here. Emily and I take a gang of girls to the West Coast for a month… Deborah hops on a bus of complete strangers and heads to South Dakota to teach Bible School- and this opportunity shapes her perspectives tremendously. Emily starts her training as an Emergency Worker. Julia slaves at the barn. My parents volley between joining in and attempting to maintain control… I love this scene. I want to just stay awhile longer… But there’s no way to stop…


The view looks different here- I enjoy my own Latino experience with a priceless time in Guatemala… Emily and Julia join a medical team trooping up the mountains of Haiti… Julia finds her own Prince Charming… The dairy cows are under new ownership… And her road forks off. Emily is plunging into more intensive schooling and being pursued by her Prince… And Deborah heads out on WATER to Nicaragua… We enjoy lots and lots of quality time- traveling here and there- making the most of the moment… And My parents are facing the reality that slowing down may be a good option somewhere in the future…

And suddenly, the road before me has never been traveled. We are not at a cross roads, but this is where the roads branch off. Emily’s is heading for Weavertown. Yes- it’s official and I’m really thrilled to gain another brother! Kerry is a good guy… August is going to be a busy time around here


And dear lil Debi’s road is taking her to be with her beloved Latino people… I love watching God work things out in my family’s lives. Things that I never could’ve put together, And I know that God will take perfect care of her…

And while I want to cry and to hold on to these days- I realize that there is so much more territory that can be covered when we split up forces… And I realize that our roads will run parallel, yet intersecting as often as possible… And if there is a pile-up on my road- that help is only a phone call away… Having sisters to create memories with has been the biggest blessing ever! And the memory creating phase is nowhere complete- unless I miss my guess…

So, Em Dear, and Darling Deborah- Go with God! May the God who has perfect knowledge of the future- order the direction of our road..

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the sun be always at your back,

May the rain fall soft upon your fields,

And- until we meet again-

May God keep you in the palm of His Hand

 My love,


Bonus Pics:

Beautiful Springtime/ we still have two puppies unspoken for- do you need an amazing pet? 🙂

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Celebration of Our Calling

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:13-15

These words spoke to me recently… How can anyone preach unless they are sent? In the next few months, there are three ladies leaving the Valley to serve on the foreign field. And since one of them is my sister, Deborah, I feel especially passionate about this. As she’s packing her bags, it’s fair to say that I’m a little bit jealous of the adventure she’s embarking upon. To experience another culture is priceless. I am also aware of the tremendous sacrifice she is making- missing all sorts of family events, the comforts of her friend group, her native language, living off of her missionary allowance ($200/month), her beloved dog, moving into a city and the reality that her new home was broken into with in the last few months… No, this will not be all sunshine and roses, but it will impact her life forever and I’m excited at how God is leading her!

One of my friends was telling me about his trip to Africa and about a couple who left everything to move to Mozambique and took over a government-run orphanage… Years later they have 10,000 bush churches in operation- God has used their ministry and their His orphans in an incredible way to impact an entire country.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine- that God calls some to make such a difference in His kingdom… While others of us aren’t asked to sleep in a grass-hut in the middle of nowhere. This leaves me feeling a little bit guilty…

But then these verses hit me on top of the head… Along with that came this quote from the book Serving as Senders: “In a secular war- for every person on the front line in battle- there are no less than 9 people backing him up- in what is called the line of communication… And how do we expect to win with any less than that ratio? God is not looking for a Lone Ranger- He wants an army- Soldiers of the Cross”.

Those who send, or those who are sent- this really does need to be a joint effort- and we are all called to join in… There’s lots of work for the sending team- moral support, logistic support, financial needs, communication support, re-entry support, and most importantly- prayer support…

If we join together- this effort can impact the world! What an opportunity! The battle is the Lord’s… And, I purpose to be as passionate of a team player/ sender as I can…  Blessings, Kendra

P.S We need you too

Bonus Pics:

Last week we enjoyed a Ladies Night/Mission Awareness with the afore-mentioned “Ladies-who-are-leaving” and several of their friends. The purpose of the night was worship God, inspire all of us to join in the effort ( build a bit of team spirit), to create a memory for them to take with them, and to encourage all of us… Everybody was tremendous sports and joined in incredibly well… Special thanks to Rachel Heatwole for taking the pics

Team Development Activities:

  • Communication
  • Cross Culture Challenge
  • Teamwork/Patience




Photo Booth Fun; “Jesus loves the Little Children of the World”

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Corn Salsa:

6 cups of whole kernel corn

1/3 cup cilantro

1/3 cup onion

2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers

1.5 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons salt

Mix together and enjoy! Incredible on rice and tacos


Cookie Dough (similar to DQs)

1 cup butter, room temperature

1.5 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

6 oz mini chocolate chips

  1.  Cream butter and sugar
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix
  3. Roll into small bite size balls
  4. Try to keep out until dessert time

This is a neat addition to ice cream sundaes… And yes, I had my work cut out to keep these away from the cookie monster before supper… 🙂

My (com)PASSION WEEK Experience

December 24, 2014 Mother Nature delivered a Christmas Event that will mark the lives of Columbia, MS forever. Not one, but two tornadoes roared their way through town flattening numerous homes and leaving 3 dead. For the under/uninsured homeowner this turn of events was crippling with the future looking frighteningly bleak… Until- help arrived. MDS/ Storm Aid set up a base in town about a month ago with construction of multiple houses underway and CAM moved their base from Oklahoma to Mississippi a little over a week ago. Volunteers from all over are showing up with hammer in hand ready to rebuild homes and lives and offer hope.

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And so last week found me driving a van southward as hard as we could go. On different occasions, I’ve been included in such work weeks and I always love it (maybe its because I get a chance to shake hands with my inner carpenter-lol ) So I faced the week with excitement.

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The first job that I helped with- we were scraping mud from the dry wall crew off of the floor and pulling up staples left from the previous carpet. It is already August in Southern MS- like 85+- and even with our crew of 5- we scraped and scraped and it was hot and boring and I had not caught up from my 922 mile nonstop drive to the southland… AND basically the first day did not include a lot of fun and I was second guessing myself and wondering why on earth I was thinking this was going to be so amazing. Then I remembered a quote I noticed written on the wall back at base “You are the hands and feet of Jesus today” . That doesn’t promise the gravy job or the most exciting position.  Serving people for our Savior isn’t assuring us an easy thrilling road. We are asked to SERVE. To do the dirty work. To reach in with both hands and love the recovering addict. To stop what we are doing and listen to the homeowners tales about her favorite dog or the fact that she lost a third of her swine in the storm. To be a sport and attempt to eat the crawfish even if those eyes look like they are daring you to try (which incidentally is amazing eating. sparse- but delicious). To touch people with the love the Father has so generously bestowed on us.

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And in doing that- the blessing is ours. I was inspired by the testimonies of these survivors. I was blessed by Miss Debi’s sharing about the good that has come from this destruction (God continues to move in a strong way in her life) I was challenged to take the time to listen to the heart of people wherever I am…

And a side bonus- I’m now a non certified laminate floor laying specialist and have enlarged my portfolio of painting experience… 😉

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So whatever task is facing you this week- whether it’s exciting and challenging or mundane and uneventful- may we remember the nail pierced hands we represent and perform with compassion…

Happy Easter,

Bonus Pic:

DSC_0487 We spent Palm Sunday morning in New Orleans- enjoying the unique culture in the French Quarter…


DSC_0448 Rolo’s got her paws full these days.. 🙂