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Monday, December 31, 2012

out with the old and in with the new



I've had an adventure this year. Sometime in late 2011 I decided to take a leap and let God completely take over my life. Things got crazy but in the end, I have to say my life makes so much more sense that it did last year. I've learned and grown so much. I can't be prideful though -- all the credit goes to Jesus.

In January I realized how much God really loves us. I learned love isn't a feeling. I learned I couldn't be good enough for anyone, much less God, on my own. We also went to Tennessee and I saw the smokies again. In February I turned fifteen. (funny how fourteen seems so young now) I learned that even when I don't feel God, it doesn't mean He's not there or any less great than He is. I spoke at a middle school with my brother and wondered what sort of stories all these faces I spoke to had to tell. In March I started running a lot more and read all the Hunger Games books, and saw the movie. It sounds weird but those books changed the way I look at life and the way I view our culture. I mean seriously, am I the only one who thinks America gets more and more like the evil capital everyday? It's creepy. I learned to let go of all my dreams and plans and everything really and just give it to Jesus. His plans are so much bigger than mine. I also got my Cameron and freaked out. DSLRS have so much better quality than the cameras I'd been using over the years, and I seriously wouldn't put mine down. I also became so much more thankful for life that month. In April I grew closer to my church and youthgroup. I watched a hot air balloon take off. I let some negative thoughts take over myself for awhile but then realize how blessed I am. I starting telling stories through pictures. In May I learned that I don't have to clean my mess up before coming to Jesus. I can run into his arms, dirty as I am, and He will change me. I got the 50mm 1.8 lens and I learned to step back and enjoy life. In June I grew more excited about the path God was leading me down and fell more in love with Jesus. I shot my first official family photoshoot. I went to Philly in July with my youthgroup and that was a life changing experience. God worked in the lives of all the people we reached and worked in ours. In August I said goodbye to the farm and we moved in town. I learned that God will use me wherever I am. In September I grew more active in living out my faith and found my identity in Christ. I actually started to like our little town. In October I did more photo session with families and my first senior shoot. I started to really love the people I'm around and prepare myself for going back overseas. We went to Florida and that was nice and relaxing. I learned to be thankful all the time, not just at thanksgiving in November. I realized how fast times flies. And that God allows everything for a reason. December has been so amazing and I'm blessed with all the gifts God has given me. There will always be ups and downs to life, but with God, things can never be better.

That's my long (but honestly short) review of 2012. This year I have new things I want to do and learn, but honestly I just want to fall more in love with Jesus and give glory to God through that. (you can read more on my tumblr blog that i just got) Since that is what makes life matters.

So with that I can now say: BRING ON 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

the reason for everyday

I really do have a lot of things to be thankful for. I think going without those things and then getting them back makes you appreciate them more. Christmas was one of the things we went without for a few years when we were overseas. We still celebrated it as a family, but it never truly felt like Christmas without friends, extended family, decorations, and presents. Funny, since those things aren't even the real meaning of Christmas.

This Christmas didn't feel as Christmas-y, if that makes any sense. I feel so loved and blessed but the things I cared about a year ago honestly don't matter as much. I don't get excited about Christmas and presents and all that like I used to. It's a little sad. Yet when I think about it, it must be a good thing.

Though Christmas is a good time to be with family and celebrate and eat sweets, that's not the point of it. And I know I've heard this many, many times, but Jesus is the reason for the season. What I think people got wrong is that Jesus isn't just the reason for this season, he's the reason for every. single. day. Not just Christmas.

I think I realized that this year. My heart explodes with joy by all the gifts and blessings we have, and I celebrate. Because my Jesus is with me everyday. Everyday I should rejoice. And so I do. But honestly, should I rejoice less on any other day or time than I do at Christmas?

His love never ends and never changes. I am so blessed.



























Saturday, December 22, 2012

oh the weather outside is frightful



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So it snowed. It really does feel like winter now. Today I decided not to do much and not even do school. I drank hot chocolate, read books and the new kinfolk magazine, listened to Christmas music, made presents, had Jesus time, danced to music, went through pictures, got to talk to a lovely young lady who is leaving to go overseas in a few weeks, and took lots of pictures of the snow. (i mean obviously couldn't you not tell already?) Speaking of pictures, I got a new lens today. The 50mm 1.4. I had the 1.8 earlier and thought it was useless to upgrade, but amazon had it for 100 bucks off the normal price and I couldn't resist. pluuss I have some more secret santa plans but I can't say anything on the blog right now.

 Last night was pretty great. I have some really neat ladies in my church that I get to babysit for. Miss Danielle, one of the ladies, called me and said she wanted me to babysit last night. So I was all ready to go, she picks me up and tells me I'm not babysitting. She told me she was taking me shopping. I really didn't know what to think at first, I used to hate shopping but I've actually enjoyed it the past couple of times! So I was super surprised and ohmygosh Danielle is so sweet. I love surprises and honestly it felt so good just to know that someone really cared about me that much! Anyway. We had some good girl time and I feel so blessed.

 Speaking of being blessed, I really can't count all the blessings I have. This year has been so different, it's gone by so fast, but truly I think it's been the best year in my life. I've grown a lot, thanks to our God, and I have some cool people in my life and lots of new opportunities. Oh how great our God is! 

Merry Christmas everyone, and make sure not to get too caught up in everything. We are blessed. Let's step back and see that!

 - kendra

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

real talk. some late night thoughts.

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I have a couple of pet peeves. Or things that make me burn with anger and clench my fists. Okay, maybe they're a little more serious than pet peeves. Whatever you call them.

One thing is when my siblings get into my things. They hide my sharpie pens, my good old music CDs always end up getting scratched, mess with my guitar tuners (seriously people, I have to tune my guitar every single time I play it), and I can't ever have gum, because somehow it disappears.

There's other things too. When people talk bad about others. When big people pick on little people. I think the thing that bothers me most though is when people are fake.

For some reason everyone does this. At least, most people I've known. You meet them and they're all smiles and laughter. They have a personality. The personality is a lot like everyone else's.

I'm learning that there's more to a person what what meets the eye. I used to think I was the only one who got annoyed with myself because I couldn't do something right. The only one who compared myself to others and thought I wasn't as good as them. The only one who sometimes thought I was ugly or fat. The only one who felt left out sometimes. The only one who cried herself to sleep on some nights.

Please don't think I'm saying it's ok that we go around beating ourselves up or crying all the time. I just think that people, especially younger ones, need to know that we're all human. We all fail. We all think we're stupid sometimes. I need to know this. We need to know this.  Knowing that I am a young woman with things in my life that are wrong. That are lies. Yet my Jesus is there to make me whole. To make me good. And that's the beauty of it.

I'm striving to be a person who is open about my struggles and fears. My worries and pains. I want to share them with others. Not so they'll judge me or feel sorry for me. So they know they're not alone. We can talk about these things together. We can have times where we laugh. But we can have times where we cry. We can have times where we're serious.

Then we can be stronger. We can't be authentic people who are raw and open about our lives if we don't acknowledge our struggles. Not living two lives and having two sides. Fake perfectness just makes me sick.

real humans, who can truly laugh and cry and share their hearts and dreams, those people are beautiful and radiant.


-- kendra

ps: it's really late and i should be in bed...



Thursday, December 6, 2012

grammy's house





There's something comfortable and familiar about it walking into your grandparents' home. It's usually quiet, but there's still that same piece of furniture here, the same rug there. The same pictures hanging up.  The same books line the wall and the same welcoming fresh smell fills the air.

Tools are scattered in the basement here and there, where Papa has been working hard on a project. Yarn and knitting needles are in a basket in the corner. Grammy has sketched and painted a new canvas. The kitchen is tiny, but there's always enough food. The food is healthy -- yet somehow Grammy makes it taste delicious.

I get a cozy warm feeling inside, especially when I hug my grandparents, my arms wrapping around them. This place stays the same, no matter how many times I move, no matter how much I've changed.

Then, if it's a holiday, or if other family members are visiting, grammy's house gets even cheerier. Laughter fills the rooms and echoes off of walls. Smiling faces and little eyes that are sparkling, bright with joy.

Many happy memories stay in Grammy's house. Maybe that's why I like it so much. Or maybe it's because every time I walk in I see someone I love.