Failing or Floundering

Are you failing or floundering?

Sometimes I think it’s easier to call ourselves failures.

We are good at beating ourselves up!

But what if we are only floundering?

Failing is defined as, “defect or fault; shortcoming; weakness:

Floundering is defined as, “to struggle with stumbling or plunging movements

to struggle clumsily or helplessly:”
Sometimes looking from the outside in, it may seem as if I have it all together.
I don’t.
This year has been THE hardest year of my life.
I’m struggling in so many areas.
I don’t want to do many of the things I used to do and did well.
I don’t want to homeschool, parent or do anything that requires any type of work!
I’m exhausted!
Beat down!
Stick a fork in me, I’m done!
I’m Floundering!
This is more than likely due to my many annoying health issues and surgeries I have had
to go through this year.
I get it though.
It’s a season.
So, why write about it?
Because, I can’t be the only one experiencing this.
I know there are others out there who are feeling run down.
Whether it be due to health reasons or from being pulled in so many directions.
I have failed to keep track of my kids school this year.
Right now I should be teaching Astronomy.
I was so excited about teaching this this year too!
I bought some great curriculum that encompassed all of the kids’ grades!
What it’s come down to is, “Hey kids, go draw the moon again!”
Haha! I have to chuckle at this one!
I had such good intentions.
I plan to sit down TODAY and make a schedule that I stick to today.
Well, I wrote all this to say, hang in there Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, kids, teens!
Stress, failure, floundering does not define you!
When you feel stronger, get back up.
For the days you just can’t, I leave you with some Bible Scriptures to cling to:
Rest:
“Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the
work of creating that he had done.”-Genesis 2:3
Even God rested!
What makes us think we don’t need to?
Be Renewed:
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like
eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”-Isaiah 40:31
Get Strength:
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”-Isaiah 40:29
Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
We have our days, weeks, months and years!
It does not mean we are failures!
It means we are weak and in need of strength from the only One who can give it!
I hope you feel encouraged that you are not alone!
I hope you know you have an advocate in me!
Feel free to email or private message me for a listening ear and prayer!
Blessings,
Kendra
Definitions from http://www.dictionary.com
Bible verses copied from https://www.biblegateway.com

Menu Planning Made Easy

IMG_2691Something I have done, no matter where we have lived or what our diets were

at the time, is menu planning.

When Tom and I were first married I didn’t do this and I felt so confused as to what to

buy at the grocery store.

I would inevitably end up going more than once a week.

Ugh! Not my favorite chore!

So, I hit on an idea, this was before internet was your answer to every problem,

that if I made a menu and a grocery list I could shop knowing exactly what I

would need!

Now, you may have heard of menu planning and may have even purchased one

of those monthly menu plans.

Again, these weren’t out at the time I did this.

I’m here to tell you you don’t need to buy a weekly or monthly menu plan!

If you have 45 minutes to 1 hour every other week, you can do this!

Just set aside a time and do it!

You can do it!

IMG_2689

So, here is how I go about it step by step:

  1. Get a hold of your favorite recipes and maybe a couple new ones you want to try over the next couple weeks. Pinterest (print them out! Makes them easier to find when it’s time to cook! Also I use magnet clips to put my menu on the fridge and have all the printed recipes behind it, ready to go!)
  2. Pick 6-7 dinner recipes out. (6 would be if you want to have one night a week for eating out.)
  3. Write them down on your menu plan.
  4. Transfer the ingredients you need to purchase onto your grocery list. I usually double everything because whatever is for dinner on Monday we will have on the next Monday night. So your really planning for 2 weeks but writing out 1! I have never had an issue with this or complaints. Because they are a week apart it is not a problem.

Breakfast at our house are the same thing every morning except Saturdays. That’s when Dad makes something special like pancakes or waffles.

Lunches are pretty basic or leftovers. If you go to work or your kids go to school you just need to repeat the process above for lunch too.

Snacks are what I call a “Smorgasbord Tray”. I usually fill it with odds and ends. Some examples would be:

Nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, snap peas, hummus, healthy chips, cheese, etc.

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Just choosing finger foods that are both fun to eat and fuel till dinnertime comes around.

If we are still hungry later in the evening popcorn is our go-to family favorite or grabbing a pickle out of the fridge.

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Now, you may be thinking I thought you were eating a plant based diet? Well, we do! I have picked out meals that are visually appealing and would be what they normally eat but just without the gluten, dairy or sugar.

Some examples, are:

Mac n’ cheese, Lasagna, Spaghetti, Pizza, etc.

These take me just a little bit longer as I’m learning a new way of cooking but, once I have it down, they will be a breeze!

The kids haven’t minded and have been fully supportive (except Jeffrey!)!

I hope this helps you!

If there’s anything I haven’t covered just ask and I’ll address it!

Blessings,

Kendra

P.S. Our FAVORITE meal is Curry!

The menu print out came from here.

My Favorite Bible Study Tools

Once upon a time there was a Mom with 4 kids who were quiet as mice in the morning.

They all sat together and had morning Bible time and everyone loved it.

No one complained and everyone sat and studied their Bible’s while birds were chirping

just outside the window.

Aaaahhh! Such a beautiful picture of complete serenity!

Not at all true to reality though.

Nowadays, I can usually get in my Bible time while the kids are still in bed.

If they wake up they are self sufficient enough to fend for themselves.

They aren’t always quiet because, well, they ARE siblings!

Fights seem to be an inevitable part of our mornings!

So, I parent a little and then return to devotions.

When the kids were little, if I didn’t get up before them I had two choices:

  1. Skip Bible time altogether or;
  2. When they have Bible in school make it my time too.

Just know, God does understand.

He sees those tiny hands and feet.

You are in ministry just by caring for their daily needs.

It may not seem or feel glamorous sometimes, but it is vital.

Stay encouraged knowing you are feeding little souls for Jesus.

You are the biggest testimony to them.

Just keep trying, trying, and trying!

That is a beautiful testimony!

Now, here are some books I feel have helped to simplify my morning Bible time.

I get easily distracted and they help me keep on task.

They will work with whatever Bible book or study you are doing.

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Quieting Your Heart 6 Month Bible Study Journal

Quieting Your Heart 6 Month Prayer Journal

I use both these books every morning!

I really enjoy how you can color them or just leave them as is and they are still visually

appealing.

I also love the verses with each day.

That’s it!

Sometimes, we make these things too complicated!

Keep it simple and focused on God!

What do you like to use with your Bible Study?

Blessings,

Kendra

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How to Fly the Friendly Skies; When You’d Rather Keep Your Feet on the Ground!

IMG_2652.jpgThose who know me know I have one ginormous fear……heights!!

Get me up high and I think everyone is out to kill me!

I’m serious!

Just ask Tom!

When I say I hate heights and someone says, “You just need to face your fear!”

I internally roll my eyes!

They obviously JUST.DON’T.GET.IT!!!

I have tried to face it many times.

You know when you walk in a room and you turn the light on by flipping a switch?

That is exactly what happens to me when I get up high!

It’s like a switch inside me and it feels like death is imminent.

So, knowing an airplane ride is coming up is not a feeling of excitement to me.

I can’t even watch T.V. or movies without seeing someone on a plane and immediately

feeling extremely nauseous!

As the trip was just a couple days away I went and did what I do best….research!

I thought maybe there is something out there that could help me!

I’ve made oil roll-on blends, oil inhalers, oil in my necklace but surely there was

something else.

I even considered going to the doctor and seeing if they could give me something to help

me relax about it all!

If you know me, you know this is a big deal too!

As I started to research and read I found that those type of meds do not help up in the

sky.

I can’t remember why right now, but I think it’s something with the altitude and your

anxiety, I guess it might even have a really bad, like death effect on you!

Ya, no thanks!

Back to the drawing board!

I found an app of all things called SOAR.

It was created by Tom Bunn, who is a retired airline captain turned therapist.

I read EVERYTHING on that app!

There are videos too but they cost so, I haven’t watched them.

The tips in there helped me to stay extremely calm.

To the point that Tom, my husband, was even amazed on the plane trip.

God also gave me a verse for the trip.

The one on the way there was:

“11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”

Ephesians 6:11-18

Although, to be honest I could only remember the part that says, put on the shield of

faith!

My mind goes blank in stressful situations! Haha!

So after such great success in feeling calm and confident on the plane I wanted to share it with you too!

If you suffer with these same feelings I hope it helps!

Knowledge is KEY!!!

If you want to check out the app you can click here.

I hope it helps you as it helped me!

Blessings,

Kendra

 

 

What I Eat In A Day

IMG_2631I know! I know!

I’m just a beginner vegan for health reasons, why am I posting what I eat in a normal day?

Well, it’s simple, to encourage myself to keep it up by making myself accountable to

whomever reads this blog!

Also, to chronicle my journey as I go through it.

Lastly, to encourage anyone else who may need to make some health changes that are difficult.

Please, please, please be kind!

I have only just begun and I know everything I’m consuming may not be the ideal vegan

choice or even THE healthiest!

However, if you had seen how I was eating you would be so impressed!

Not that it was horrible but I did love my potato chips and would sometimes eat them for

lunch! Haha!

Okay, let’s get started!

IMG_2624For breakfast, I usually have homemade granola (Ya, I’m making more today) with

unsweetened raisins and I am loving the vanilla flavored almond and coconut milk!

It is so yummy combined!

I love that it has no sugar too!

Make sure to read the labels on the dried fruit as most have added sugars.

Raisins were the only thing I could find at Walmart that wasn’t sweetened.

Frankly, dried fruit is already sweet so it’s silly that they add it in there!

For lunch I love to combine a quinoa and garbanzo bean salad with greens and

guacamole!

If I have gluten free organic tortilla chips I sprinkle those on for a crunch.

If not, I use slivered almonds!

So delicious!

Or if not guacamole, I put an avocado ranch dressing on there! YUMMY!

Here’s the recipe.

Snacks, usually at 3 something I start to fade!

I will get a rice cake and munch on that or if I am craving something sweet I will eat this

gluten free oatmeal cookie Kasedria and I make!

We are still fine tuning the recipe so stay tuned for that.

You will love them though!

Lastly, for supper I am trying different recipes to see what we like.

We love pizza movie night so we made a gluten free pizza dough with our homemade

pizza sauce.

We used Daiya brand shredded cheese (website lets you put in your zip code so you can

find where to buy it locally) and while the pizza was different there were only

3 pieces left and there were only 4 of us eating it since the boys were at camp.

However, I feel there needs to be a better flavor in the pizza dough so when I fine

tune that I will post it too!

IMG_2512.JPGSometimes, when a sweet craving hits we will make a frosty that is healthy.

Click for recipe!

If it’s just you there is enough to make popsicles and freeze them.

Either way I’ve had them, they are yummy!

Now, how do I feel?

Bloated and gassy!

I know TMI!

Remember, I just want to be honest here! Haha!

I did some research yesterday and I guess when you switch over to a plant based diet

you are consuming way more fiber then you were before.

So it’s completely natural to feel this way and even sick!

I stayed home from church Sunday with a belly ache because of it.

It made me feel good that it’s normal and that my body will adjust in just a short period

of time.

Everyone else in the house seems to be fine.

The hubby has gas too but no bloating.

We are getting there, one day at a time.

I look forward to being in better health and beginning a workout routine once I’m ready.

Hope this encourages you to do that healthy thing you’ve been debating over!

Share with me your journey or if you have been here, how you got through it!

Blessings,

Kendra

Interview With a Soldier

Tomorrow, being the Fourth of July, I thought it would be fun to interview a soldier.

Aka. My husband! Lol!

I didn’t have to go to far since he has a 4 day weekend.

When did you join the military?

“April, 2006”

Why did you join the military?

“There are a few reasons, the primary one being 9/11.

Even though it was 5 years after the event, it took me awhile due to my family size and age.

I ended up being 33 when I joined. (So Old!!Haha!)

I had to determine if it was me just feeling patriotism for my country or if it was truly God calling me!

In the end, I knew it was God calling.  At the age of 33 I had not yet served my country

and now men and women were dying doing that which I had not.”

Who is your favorite hero?

“I have men that have played a significant role in my life, “heroes” at various times.

Ed Coxon spent countless hours late into the night to share and show the love of Christ

with me as a young man.

Mike Avery was a solid role model and example of godliness and Christian strength while

I was in Bible College.

Troy Keaton demonstrated ministry done right early in my ministry.

Gary Moore displayed a great balance of officer and minister job of a chaplain.

I think at this stage in my life I am searching for my next “hero”.”

This one caused me (Kendra) to think, who might be watching you because you may be

their next hero? Anyways, we continue…..

What is your favorite thing about serving?

“Its difficult to narrow it down to one.  I love being a part of something bigger than

myself, I love doing that which few others are able or willing to do, I love the

brotherhood and bond that exists between those who serve together, I love the

challenges that result from serving (physical, intellectual, emotional…), but I guess my

favorite thing about serving is that in my job I get the honor of serving and caring for

those who serve.”

Where are some places you’ve lived because of the military?

“Fort Stewart/Hinesville, GA

Schofield Barracks/Kapolei, HI

Fort Bragg/Souther Pines, NC

and Al Asad/Ramadi, Iraq.”

Where would you like to live?

“That is a hard question.

This is another great aspect of serving, the opportunities for you and your family to see

the world are incredible.

Germany, Italy, Hungary are just a few overseas options.

Colorado, Washington (state), Washington DC, and of course Hawaii are some great

places within the U.S.

Anyone of these would be amazing, but today, if given the choice, I would go back to

Hawaii.

Until then, I’m content right where I am at Fort Bragg, NC.”

Describe your best day on the job.

“My best day on the job begins with a great workout.

One that is difficult, yet leaves me feeling a sense of satisfaction with my performance.

Followed by a day of great camaraderie with the people I work with.

The capstone would be the opportunity to encourage and help a Soldier grow in some

aspect of there personal life, but particularly in their walk with God.”

Well, I hope you enjoyed this snippet of a view into a soldiers mind.

Blessings,

Kendra

Yes, You CAN Homeschool!

imageOkay!

I may get some backlash for this one!

Just know, I know every family situation is unique.

I am talking in general terms.

Know this before you read any further, I love homeschooling, am passionate about it, yet this was NOT always the case!

One of the comments I receive the most when meeting people who find out I homeschool is,

“I could never do that, I don’t have enough patience.”

Or simply, “I could never do that!”

They begin to list out the different reasons why they couldn’t, and the number one excuse I hear the most is, ” I’m not that patient!” “You must have the patience of a saint!”

Ha! If they only knew!

Those first few days of schooling my own children were anything but fun filled precious moments!

I had to grow a lot!

I had to let go of my selfishness a lot!

It took FOUR years for me to grow in this new role enough to “like” it and be more patient in it!

I like a tight schedule and things all nice and neat!

While you can homeschool like this, it can make a person very stressed when dealing constantly with others who are not like this!

If they could’ve seen those days when I was not at my best homeschooling mommy self, they would say, “You are not a good homeschool parent! You are NOT a saint!”

Thankfully, I serve a God that believes in changing you one step at a time!

He doesn’t just leave you hanging there by yourself!

Neither does He leave you the way He found you!

He begins to slowly chisel away at all those insecurities that Satan has lied to you about!

While most days we fumbled through school the best we could, I knew something had to change!

Anyone who is familiar with change knows it has to happen with you first!

You can only change you!

I gave my insecurities, impatience, army drill sergeant attitude over to God!

I gave Him my strong HATE for homeschooling.

You see, I hated it because I felt inadequate!

Remember those lies Satan whispers?

I gave it all!

God in turn showed me I had chosen a very boring and rigid way to homeschool my kids!

One that wasn’t working for any of us!

They were bored!

I was bored, which made me feel like I had no value!

Workbooks were teaching my kids, not me.

While this may work for some people, it was not cutting it for us!

I began to search for curriculums that were taught by me, where we worked together, cried together, and laughed together!

I found a passion for teaching that God had placed in me!

While we still have days where we are not too patient with each other, after all who wouldn’t living with other people 24/7?

WE love it! I love it!

I can truly say that most days, when I’m not sleep deprived, I love love love teaching my kids!

Now, back to that part where I said you can do this!

If you allow God to change you one step at a time you can do this!

After all, if you are a Believer, you are probably familiar with the verse, “I can do all things through Christ!” (Philippians 4:13)

image.png

If you truly believe this then you know He will equip you!

You will have good and bad days!

Don’t you have those now too?

Maybe you are saying you can’t afford it!

Do you know how much is free out there in homeschool internet land?

Also, there are hundreds of used homeschool curriculum buy,sell groups on Facebook.

I know we couldn’t afford it when we started but we knew God wanted us to do it right then.

We took a step of faith and right after we had purchased the curriculum God provided a check in the mail of the exact amount we needed down to the penny!

Are you debating whether or not you could do this alone?

There are homeschool groups EVERYWHERE!

Lots of support is out there now!

Lastly, maybe you just want to do your own thing while your kids are at school!

I get it, there were days I would longingly watch the school bus pick up the other kids on our street!

Now, I had to learn that God had blessed me with these children and it was my responsibility to ensure they knew about God, knew how He loved them and finally, it is my job to guard their hearts till they go into the world!

Once I realized these things, I fell into a rhythm of homeschool where it feels odd if they aren’t here with us!

When one kid goes to a camp the whole family misses them!

We are such a close knit unit now!

So even though one graduates this coming year, she will always have a strong family tie.

One I hope, will bring them back for visits when we are old! Haha!

Most importantly, one where she knows, loves and follows God wherever He may lead her!

I hope if you are on the fence you are now encouraged to take a leap of faith!

If you would like prayer in any area of homeschool feel free to email me and I will pray for you whatever the reason!

Love and Blessings,

Kendra

Counting Down the Days….

Recently I took our oldest daughter to a Women of Joy conference.

We had a very sweet mother and daughter weekend.

However, while it was so sweet it was also filled with that sick, nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Questions rolling around in my head were:

When did she get so tall?

How is she so mature already?

What’s with this makeup?

How am I already the mom of a 17 year old?

Can time please pause?

Have I thoroughly prepared her to face this world?

Did I teach her everything she needs to know?

I took a picture of her walking on the beach:

IMG_1725

I added the quote, “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” (author unknown)

I’ve kept it on my phone as a way to remind me to not worry about how many days we have left or how fast it’s all going but to ensure the time we are together is sweet, meaningful and cherished!

Please know, we still get on each other’s nerves!

I still worry! A LOT!

But I’m leaning more into Christ and the truth that she was never mine to begin with!

When God blessed our lives with her, from that moment on she was His!

Who am I to stand in His way? Or struggle with letting her go??

Trust me, I still will when the time comes but I will do my best to remember these truths!

Here’s a couple more pics I took!

I stink at selfies!

Love and Blessings,

Kendra