.

.

Friday, February 3, 2012

fifteen.


Tomorrow I turn fifteen. In some ways I feel as if I should be at least thirty by now, in others I feel like I'm still five. But I'm not going into how much I can't believe I'm fifteen and such in this post. I'm going to reflect on the fifteen years I've been blessed with already, and what I hope to accomplish in the next year.




I don't remember much of my early childhood, but the things I do remember are vivid. I remember sitting on the roof of the chicken coop (which I was not allowed to do), gazing at the sunset. I remember jumping on the bed (again I was not supposed to do this) and writing poems. I remember catching spiders in our backyard and bringing fireflies in my room (probably wasn't supposed to do this either). I remember drawing pictures of Daniel and the lion's den on my parents bed, and I remember how much I enjoyed reading the Boxcar Children series. I remember talking to Jesus as if He were my friend, I remember imagining scary creatures in my backyard and killing them off.


see a picture of how I looked at age seven here. (i'm the one with the short hair hugging my brother. ps also look extremely fat in the picture.) 




When I was eight we moved to Jordan. I remember being so excited to get on a plane and go somewhere different that I didn't even think about leaving my friends and family behind. I wondered why everyone was crying at the airport. After all, it was going to be fun moving to a different country! Little did I know how much I would miss my grandparents and friends later on. In Jordan I spent time trying to figure out how to let my brother and his friends let me play soccer with them, how to keep Anna out of my stuff, and how to play pranks on my family. Once I dressed up like a poor beggar, smeared dirt on my face and walked into our house crying and asking for food. My mom gave me a watermelon and didn't even realize it was me until I walked out of the house laughing my head off. I was a joker.


(the plants are extremely confused. so am i. it's february. it's not supposed to be 60 degrees outside.) 

Then I turned nine and we left for Sudan. The days there were long and hot, but I had such a good time I didn't care. I met some amazing friends (hey, who cares if hardly any of them were from America?) and we had a good time swimming in the Nile. No, there were not crocodiles floating around in the river. It was dusty in Sudan but the people were the nicest I've ever met.

pictures of me in sudan here and here. i'm the one on the left in the first picture and the one with the blue headband in the 2nd. 






When we moved back to the states I was excited to see my grandparents and live on a plot of land with grass and trees. It was strange seeing white people and seeing so much bare skin. I was used to the women wearing floor length shirts and at least wearing a head covering. At eleven years old I became sort of a tomboy.  I didn't care a thing about fashion, boys, or even how I looked (not that I care now, haha). But, you get the point. I ran around outside and didn't care what others thought of me. To be honest, I really didn't even care what God thought of me. Oh sure, He loved me, and I loved Him, but I didn't do much to please Him. 

how I looked at age eleven and age twelve (i know, i look nothing like myself in the first picture. it's creepy).




The year I was thirteen dad announced we were moving back overseas, this time to Egypt. I tried to act excited about it, just as I had before, but deep down inside I didn't want to leave my friends. I didn't want to leave the beautiful country side or the clear creek. But I cheerfully helped pack up, telling myself I did like adventures after all. All of us (except mom and the baby, they were coming a few weeks later) headed to Egypt in August. The house wasn't what we had expected. It needed repairs (bad), and lots of cleaning. So I set to work, while dad was gone most of the day trying to buy a car, buy food, ect. I stayed at home unpacking, cleaning, watching the other kids and taking care of them. The water we had was too salty for me too drink, even though I tried to filter it over and over with our filter. One morning about a week since we had arrived in Egypt I woke up with a fever. My stomach hurt too, and I felt that way for about a week.

Then mom came, bringing Nehemiah (surprise! he had begun walking) along. I felt relieved and we were sure I was going to get better in a few days. But then I came down with a cough, and I felt bad for weeks. Mom took me to doctors, and I still didn't feel better. That's when I started reading more and writing more. I filled myself with words, I traveled to different lands in my head where people seemed to have much harder problems than me, but they were solved easily.




Books couldn't fill me up. I read all the ones I had brought with me at least once. I couldn't always write. My hand grew tired and the internet went out at least everyday. I went outside in the yard one night and just cried. I felt sorry for myself, sorry that I was sick for all these weeks, sorry that I was a teenage girl with no one my age to talk to. Feeling sorry for myself didn't help me, it just made me feel worse. I asked God to lead me to Him. I asked Him to show me who He really was. Then I remembered two songs I had listened to back in the states. One was "Lead Me to the Cross" and "By Your Side". I thought over these lyrics and prayed. I asked Jesus to really become my best friend. I really started reading my Bible. No, I didn't suddenly become well, but we eventually went back home to America. Things just didn't go as planned in Egypt, and dad felt God wanted him to return home.




I've learned so much in my fourteenth year. I've learned that life is not about me, that being a woman doesn't mean I have to like fashion or lipstick, and most important, I've discovered more about Jesus. I hope to become like Him more and more in my fifteenth year. I'm sure that I'll have ups and downs this year, but I'm excited.

And maybe now people won't say, "wow! I thought you were so much older than fourteen! I mean you're so tall and mature and blabla!". Maybe now they'll be like, "Oh, fifteen. You seem like you're exactly fifteen years old." 

17 comments:

  1. wow this is sooooo good!! i love the way you write!! :) and HAPPYY BIRTHDAAYY!!!!<3 (: eat lots of cake for me!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy Birthday! :D

    And speaking as an older girl, you are mature for your age, but I think 15 sounds just about right. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your story. I also lived overseas for 5 years of my life. (I still visit overseas often.) And Im fifteen too! Sorry I just think it’s cool we have these things in common. :) ha. I hope you have an amazing birthday!

    -Victoria Horea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's interesting! where did you live?

      Delete
  4. This was amazing.
    And you read the Boxcar Children, too! They're cool books.
    Anyway.

    Hope you have an amazing birthday. It's awesome getting to hear your story. You're two years younger than I am, yet have experienced so much more. Is it wrong that I'm a tad jealous?

    ReplyDelete
  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENDRA!! I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. cool posst kendra. Happy birthday. im only gonna be thirteen this year. kinda excited.

    love,
    kelsey!

    ReplyDelete
  7. KENDRA I LOVE YOU AND HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This post was so cool to read - i LOVED the pictures you posted of yourself when you were younger. Oh, and in that first pic, you.were.adorable. Jus' sayin. :)

    I'm so glad we've become friends, even if it is over the Internet. I can't wait till the day we meet - whether its somehow here on Earth, or better yet - IN HEAVEN!!

    Love ya girl,
    Manda
    http://meandjesus-amanda.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy Birthday Kenny!! This was a really cool post, and I agree with Manda, you were adorable! and now you're pretty. RAL.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy 15th birthday! Hope this year is a good one for you =)

    *heart flutters* Is that YOUR horse? Officially jealous, right here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. ;) No, it's not my horse, the farm we live on boards racing horses. We get to help out with chores, but no riding, since the horses are on a break. But they're great for taking pictures of. =)

      Delete
  10. Happy Birthday, Kendra!!! (Wait - have you ever noticed people tend to capitalize the 'birthday'? Why do we do that?!)

    Ah, well. I don't feel like changing it. But, really? You're fifteen? That means I've been following your blog for over a year now. Huh. You managed to capture the exact feeling I felt when I turned fifteen. And somehow, the comments like "Whoa, you seem older!" have sorta stopped. Maybe because I got myself a blog and found a way to leek my immaturity. :P

    Anyway, for the real comment - you are an amazing, very unique girl. Your deep friendship with God is so obviously effecting your life. And, just so you know, you write as if you've had the experience of a thirty-year-old. :) May God bless your fifteenth year in ways you never imagined. <3

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy birthday (yesterday), Kendra!

    You know, as another MK. a lot of this I'm reading and nodding my head. :) It is hard being so far away from so many of your friends. But you also make many other friends. It's hard being so far away from your family, but you make new friends that are like family. It's hard leaving the culture that you are used to, but you learn a new culture. It's hard being an MK - but I wouldn't trade it. It's worth it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This isn't a birthday comment, but could you please go read my latest blog post? :)

    http://fromtherisingtothesettingofthesun.blogspot.com/2012/02/ive-realized.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. Aw I miss those times! You NEED to come and visit us in England some time. It'd be totally awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! that would be totally awesome. or we could just go to Sudan together.

      Delete
    2. Yes! Once we got older, we can both head off to some real tough country to be missionaries! Oh yeahh! :D

      Delete

thanks for sharing your thoughts -- comments make my day!