Margin

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We all need it.  Most of us want it. Few of us have it.  And when we get it, we don’t know what to do with it. Margin is a hugely understated need in our culture today.  Without margin, we can’t breathe.  We suffocate in our busy lives. Without margin in our lives, it’s difficult to love well, to spend time with people, and to really know them.  WE NEED MARGIN.  We NEED downtime.

Several times over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that just when I needed it most, when I felt like I was drowning in responsibilities, activities, expectations…I was given the GIFT of MARGIN! Whether it came in the form of a canceled practice, an event moved to a different day, or a friend offering to keep my boys, these moments were all GIFTS!

Through these moments, I have experienced deep thankfulness.  Thankful that I could now cook dinner without being rushed.  Thankful that my family could sit together at dinner.  Thankful that I could sit on the porch swing and just BE.  Thankful that I could feel the FREEDOM to play a game with my boys, read a book, or try a new recipe.

Two thoughts keep swirling around in my head about this.

It’s not good for us to be continually so busy with packed schedules that we have no downtime, no time to just be, no time to invite others into our life.

The other thought is where I will leave you for today.

If life gives you MARGIN, don’t try to fill your time with something else. Instead, accept it for the GIFT that it is.

How can you find margin in your life today? How can you ACCEPT the gift of margin when it comes unexpectedly?

Blessings ~ Kendra

*A note about this post.  I actually wrote this post months ago.  It has been sitting in my drafts box, along with many other future posts, for awhile now. Once again, over the past few days, this theme of margin has been coming up.  It is amazing how, when reading through this, I could have written the same words, nearly word for word, today.  A personal life lesson that I am learning for myself is that when a word or life theme continually comes to mind, PAY ATTENTION!!  It might be time to make some changes!

Radio Silence

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I have an annoying habit. At least, it is to me.  You see, as a blogger and writer, consistency is key.  You have to write.  You have to put in the time.  You have to do the daily work to grow and get better.  It’s all about the compound effect.  But when I am wrestling with life, the unexpected circumstances that come and the decisions I’ve made, I go silent.  Instead of writing THROUGH that time, and SHARING about the struggle, I say nothing.  It’s like there is a conflict inside of me that has to be worked out before I feel like I can present myself to world again.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes the desire for perfection, and the longing to have everything figured out, paralyzes me and keeps me from moving forward.

It has been a crazy few months. Between school, teaching, sports, ministry, and personal interests, I find myself having said too many yes’s and not enough no’s. Simply put, I’m wearing too many hats.  And for the moment, I can’t take any of those hats off.  For someone who preaches essentialism and minimalism, you wouldn’t know it based on what my life looks like right now. It has been a reminder of a very important truth:

Just because you are GOOD at something,or  CAN do something, DOESN’T mean that you SHOULD do something.  And I would add that just because you are EXPECTED to do a certain something doesn’t make it right for you.

I have to pause here and tell you that I’m not saying that my life is bad or that I am unhappy with where I’m at or what I’ve got. That is far from the truth. I am so incredibly blessed by an amazing family, good friends, and community; I have all that I need plus so much more!  But it’s possible to be happy and content, and yet still recognize that you aren’t where you need to be.

I hope that you will join me over the next few weeks, as I slowly unpack the past few months,  what I’ve been up to, and what I’ve been learning through it all.  Who knows! Maybe it will be an encouragement and help to you!

Blessings ~ Kendra

 

The Tuesday Review: A Dale Carnegie Classic

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I finally picked up Dale Carnegie’s classic, How To Win Friends and Influence People, the other day at the library.  It had been on my book list for quite some time.  Honestly, I have no idea what finally prompted me to start reading it, but I AM SO GLAD I DID.  In fact, it has been so life-challenging (if that’s even a term) that I bought my own copy. Continue reading “The Tuesday Review: A Dale Carnegie Classic”

My Version 1.0

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A few months ago, I was able to spend two days at a Business Boutique event (which I highly recommend, by the way), learning about all things “business”.  One idea that we talked about was putting out our Version 1.0 of whatever we were working on.  That instead of waiting for perfection, or overthinking things to the point of being paralyzed,  we needed to realize that time and experience would naturally bring about a better result or product. But that we just had to START. Continue reading “My Version 1.0”

Life Lessons From The Garden

Last week, I came home from a surprise trip with my husband to find that weeds and grass had COMPLETELY overtaken my garden.  As I started to pull the weeds and try to reclaim my garden, I mulled over the many lessons I could potential learn from this scenario that I now found myself in.  I settled on two and thought I would share them with you!

Continue reading “Life Lessons From The Garden”

Blue Apron: Why I love it…and why it’s not for me

     Recently, a sweet friend of mine, who has used Blue Apron meal services for awhile, asked if I would like to try it out for free. Apparently, after using their meal services for awhile, you can receive “free meals” to give to a friend.   Never being one to turn down good food, or the opportunity to cook something new, I was game! It was very easy to set up an account and schedule my first delivery. I did choose to do a 2 person menu, for the sake of keeping my trial run completely free.  (If I had chosen a 4 person family menu, then I would have had to pay extra.)
     In just over a week, this super fun box was delivered! When I opened it up, there were my three recipes for the week, along with some extra information on one of the ingredients, and prepackaged, well-labeled ingredients for each meal.  I have to admit, I was impressed with the packing, and for their system on keeping the food, which included uncooked meat, appropriately cold and fresh.

Continue reading “Blue Apron: Why I love it…and why it’s not for me”

The Tuesday Review: Go For NO!

 A good friend of mine recently lent me the book, Go For No! And I am SO grateful! I don’t know about you, but “NO” has always been a hard word for me to hear.  And fear of failure has been crippling to me at times. Now that I’m in a business where I get the response of “NO” often, and the sense of failure looms at times, I’ve had to overcome some major fears and expectations when it comes to this word.

Continue reading “The Tuesday Review: Go For NO!”

Listen

     I don’t know about you, but I need a wisdom that doesn’t come from me.  I need insight and discernment that can only come from God.  The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2 that “…the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”  I need understanding that can only come from the Spirit!
     Sometimes this understanding and insight comes specifically through the scriptures, God’s inspired word. Other times it comes through prayer and time spent alone in quiet with God.  And it even comes through the gentle admonishment from a friend or trusted loved one.  Over the years, I’ve noticed that for me personally, when God really wants to get my attention about something, a certain theme or word will come up continually, in all different areas of my life.  Over the past week or two, this has been happening.  A very specific word keeps coming up in my life.
That word is LISTEN.
Through my bible studies.  In my business.  At home with my family.
LISTEN.
Give one’s attention to a sound.
Take notice and act on what someone says.
Make and effort…be alert and ready…to hear something.
Pay attention to someone in order to hear what is being said.
LISTEN.
    It can be so difficult to actually listen.  I often catch myself trying to formulate a response before the other person is even finished talking. And I wonder how often I do this to God. How often do I respond without taking the time to really listen?
Listening is ACTIVE.  It takes INTENTION. And ATTENTION.
I would even say that Listening takes SUBMISSION.
     I believe that if we really take the time to listen, if we lay aside our agendas and actively attempt to understand, that we will be given insight and discernment into the heart of the matter…into the heart of the person…into the heart of God.  And through listening, the Holy Spirit WILL lead.
*This post is inspired by the I Believe study through IF:Equip.

A Day in the Life

No two days are quite the same for us.  Part of that has to do with the fact that we educate at home. But sometimes, that’s just how life goes. I thought it would be fun to pick a day to document throughout and just see what happens.  *As a side note, I’m always taking pictures.  Before smart phones, I almost always had my ‘nice’ camera around my neck.  These days, I don’t feel like I take as many ‘good’ quality images as I used to.  But I do capture things that I never used to, and there is a fun sense of whimsy that comes with using my phone to take pictures. 🙂

My day usually starts early, with prayer and study time.  And then it’s time to let Rox dog, our Labrador, out.  She usually stays close to me while it’s still dark, but once it gets light out, she makes sure to remind me to take care of her. 🙂

     Last Thursday morning was beautiful!  We have 3 giant oak trees in our front yard, and one in the back yard…this is the one in the back.  I love our yard, and where we are living.  The only thing that I would change if I could would be being able to see the sunrise minus the telephone wires and fence obstructing the view. Ha.

 

     Every morning, I have the privilege of taking care of these lovely ladies.  We have 5 Rhode Island Red Hens.  They crack me up!  I bring them scraps first thing every morning, and check on their feed and water.  And then in the afternoon we usually let them out to roam the back yard.  They really are sweet, and they are partial to the boys, who like to scoop them up and carry them around. 🙂

 

     I’ve mentioned before that the boys and I are a part of THE MOST AWESOME Homeschool Crossfit class EVER!!!!  Ignore the fuzziness…I’m not that great at long distance selfies. But we love our class, and will miss it when we break for the summer!

 

     Some days, you just have to multi-task.  This is me, trying to eat lunch while helping one of my sons with Essentials of the English Language for our Classical Conversations class.  Tough stuff!  It has been a learning curve for me as well!  A note about the salad…it was a mix of a quinoa salad and a kale salad from the previous evening’s dinner.  Plus some grilled chicken thrown in the mix.  Yum! And in an effort to do less dishes, I ate it out of the giant bowl that it had been stored in…lol!

 

     Science has been different but good this year.  We’ve been using Apologia for Anatomy and Physiology.  I have loved the content, though we haven’t done as many of the experiments as I would have liked.  The boys begged to do graham cracker/marshmallow hearts…so we did!  The four pieces of graham crackers are the 4 sections of the heart, with the blue and red indicating oxygenated and deoxygenated blood.  And the marshmallows represent the major arteries and veins going in and out of the heart.  Think they had fun??  I’m pretty sure they just wanted the graham crackers, icing, and marshmallows!

 

 

 

     BIG NEWS came out last week about Rodan + Fields!!  We  moved from #4 up to the #2 Premium Skincare Company in the U.S….IN ONE YEAR!!!  This is HUGE!!  We are also now the #1 Anti-Aging Skincare Line in the U.S.!  Exciting growth is taking place right now, and as we expand globally, it’s only going to get better!  DON’T MISS OUT– If you have any curiosity about what I do, comment below and we’ll figure out a way to connect!

 

     I was able to finish this particular day in a very special way!  My dear friend, Jessicca,  was in town for a screening of her new film, Why Not Home, a documentary about home birth here in the United States.  It was extremely well done and very informative and enlightening.  Though I did not have home births with my boys, this is an important topic that needs to be discussed more in our culture.  I highly recommend everyone, especially medical professionals that specialize in childbirth and care, to watch this.  And honestly, every medical student, regardless of area of focus, should view this documentary.  We could all stand to have a little more perspective in life!

 

 

As I said, every day is different! None of us truly knows what a day will bring.  But it is my hope that you will make the most of today.  Make it count.  Because none of us is guaranteed tomorrow.
Blessings~Kendra