Thankful Musings from a 30 year old

So it’s happening. The passage of time has marched right up, and the end of November is here.

I love the fact that my birthday is always right around Thanksgiving. It gives me extra reason to reflect on the blessings of my life.

I remember when my mom turned 30. I was so impressed, our Maryland family came rolling in with a box of 30 gifts. I couldn’t imagine that many gifts on a pile- or being that old, really.


July 1992

Then our Virginia family surprised her by hosting a party at Uncle Galen’s. I remember Father making up these excuses to be picked up in the field, and (to save time) he was going to stop by Uncle’s place . Since I had a bit of trouble keeping secrets, I doubt I was in on the surprise, but at 5, this again left an impression. What a party it was.
I tried to decide which way to go with the thought process here. Humor is never wrong and always welcome. Well, there are times when humor needs to be handled with caution, but this is not the case here. So I wrote a poem. In my mind it said exactly what was on my heart. But when I read it to my editor (aka my mom) she sweetly said “that’s good Kendra” in a strangled voice and in my heart I knew that it shall remain unpublished. Forever. In fact, as I reread it- I can’t even have the faint dream of it being discovered posthumously.

You see, it’s kinda free verse. How would you get life and stereotype to rhyme anyhow?


Valentine’s Day, 1987

Another memory from way back in the cobwebs is November 24, 1996. I remember distinctly spending a part of the afternoon enjoying the luxury of my parent’s waterbed, thinking deep thoughts (my parent’s waterbed was the coolest thing ever, I thought) I was so impressed with the fact that I was 9, almost 10. And I just wasn’t sure about the idea of going from 1 digit to 2… Ha.

Somehow, the changing of decades makes me reflect extra much. How close am I living to my own expectations of what adulthood required? What are my goals for my future? How am I living to impact the world for the good of my Creator?


November, 1990

There are so many blessings in my life. My favorite being the people I’m surrounded by. God, in His goodness, placed the most caring, affirming people in my world.  And although I probably don’t express my excitement as obviously as I did when Juanita gave me 2 goldfish (see above pic) I am this excited to embrace the next 30 years (Or 60 ☺️).

A million thanks to those of you who take time out to support me on this incredible ride.

God is so good,








#16for30: Life Lessons in Basket Weaving

Saturday, I was the recipient of one of the most thoughtful gift ever. My dear cousins were apparently on the quest for a multipurpose gift for my  impending milestone, which is rapidly approaching on the horizon…  Juanita was texting my mom for a while trying to get everything arranged. The mark that they’d set was to find something fun, something for us to do together, AND help cross something off this #30for30 list.

Enter Jess, her hilarious sidekick Lauren, and the Basket Case.


Jess’s parents graciously opened their home to our invasion and so we ventured over amidst the frosty morning air. What a wonderful day.

I finished up the day back in the dairy barn, milking, and rehashing with Julia.(I loved this too 😉 ) We decided that there were some life lessons in our experience. So in short, here they are:

  • Upon arrival we were all given identical bases. We had 2 options of shapes for our basket, depending on how we wove. So with our finished product in mind, we set off.


  • As I wove, I tried to make sure my weave was “packed” tight against the bottom of the base. This wasn’t hard to do, and both times that I felt rather smug with the job I was doing, the instructor came by and with experienced hands, packed my basket down another half-inch…


  • We each had a moment or two (or more) of panic when we looked at our basket and realized that we were rapidly heading in the direction of a shape that we had not intended… (who wants a basket where the top is smaller that the base and its side shape in 😦 ) Again, the experienced hands of the Instructor took over and had us back on track in no time

Julia: “I’m trying to look like I’m concentrating”

  • Words of encouragement are never wrong. We had great fun exclaiming over each others work, but  there was something really fun about affirmation from an outside source, whether it was the man of the house, or my mom stopping by to check in on things.


  •  It’s important to be surrounded by good humor. The sidekick Miss Lauren and her Nana added lots of chuckles to our day. Lauren came by often to help hand out reeds and most importantly play in the water that the reeds were soaked in. She invariably had a song like “row row row your boat” or “hallelujah” Even her melt down over the fact that the water had disappeared in her absence was adorable (“All gone All gone All gone” in the most devastated voice) Oh and her determined aversion to her imposed nap time… A 2 years old’s take on life is great. 🙂


  • But I think what stood out to me the most, were the end results. As I mentioned, we started with the same tools, instructions, instructor, and a clear vision of what we wanted, but things happened. A reed or two broke, We wove tighter here than we did there… And the finished products were not quite like we’d envisioned. (Close, but not exactly) And each basket, though beautiful, was unique to itself.


Isn’t that life? We start out determinedly, with a clear vision of what we wish to conquer. Then life happens. And, the face of our vision changes…


But we continue on. Sometimes needing to alter the course of where we are heading, or take time to add some fancy work to the task at hand…


In the end, it’s a beautifully unique piece of handwork, ready for service… Bless all of you who came together to make this happen. I loved this!


May the basket weaving of my life be beautiful when I present it to the Great Instructor…



Mountains of Reasons to Worship

If you were to ask which part of nature speaks most of the Creator, I would have no problem answering that. “The ocean,” I’d say “impresses me with the vastness and mystery and unconquerable depths… The constant power of the surf. The unrelenting tide… yes, definitely the ocean.”


But recently, I’ve had a number of days I’ve been called to the mountains. I spent a very relaxing weekend reconnecting with old friends, watching- from the porch of our mountainside cabin- as the world yawned and shook the dark shadows from its valleys in the fresh morning light … I stood in reverence from multiple mountainous precipices, as the sun slipped behind the clouds and bid daylight adieu. I am inspired by the different attributes of God that the mountains call to my attention: Strength. Constance. Color. Stability. Solitude.


I need these reminders right now. There are so many things that can cloud our vision of Who the Creator of the Universe is and what being His Child means… Maybe it’s fear- fear of the future- I’m honestly so tired of this election roller coaster ride. Or the grieving process that our family is currently in… Or an unexpected diagnosis… … The list can go on and on- there are so many hard things in this ol world… So I’m going to the Promises in Scripture to turn my Worries into Worship…


1 Chronicles 16: 27 Splendor and majesty are before Him;
    strength and joy are in His dwelling place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
    bring an offering and come before Him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.


Ps 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    He lifts his voice, the earth melts.


The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done..

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”.


 Psalms 19:The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of His Hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun…


It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.


14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in Your Sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.



Bonus Pic:

No buyers regret for the $2 I spent at an antique store to be able to add this trivet to our kitchen… This was one of Pappy’s favorite sayings: