Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Day 1 Spring Break

Today started at midnight.  Like it always does, I guess, but this time I actually was awake to witness it.  We had just finished watching The Men Who Stare At Goats, a DVD that was mildly funny but I don't know if I would recommend it.  Went to bed and woke up again around 4 am to a terrific thunderstorm.  We kept waiting for little people to run screaming into our bedroom, but they either slept through it or hunkered down in their sleeping bags. 

Finally rolled out around 8 am - God bless MaJo (my mom) who feeds the grandchildren breakfast and lets us sleep in as long as we want, and lounged until 10 am or so when Mom and I took a handful of grandkids and Ford in the stroller for a walk around the neighborhood.  We walked for about an hour, and then took a quick shower and drove to Market Common in Myrtle Beach for lunch and a movie.  We saw How to Train Your Dragon, which was a very fun movie.  Emma sat in between her cousins Maddie and Katy and I sat with Will and his cousin Mason.  I tend to hit the person next to me at sporting events and movies during high stress moments, and I ended up smacking Will on the legs a few times accidentally.  I don't think he appreciated it.  I have hit total strangers at football and baseball games and had to apologize later for it.  It is instinctive and I cannot control it.  Hint: Never sit on my left if things are about to get tense.

Now it's 10:30 p.m., and I am about to go school some women in nertz, a sort of high speed solitaire game that is so fun if you're winning and frustrating if you are losing.  Gotta go!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Night Pre-Ops

Well, we are in Georgetown.  The traffic driving to Charleston this afternoon was crazy!  I was driving, which to me is infinitely preferable to riding shotgun when you're stuck in traffic.  Justin evidently thought so too, because he said his head was hurting from being so stressed out.
We got our race packets, got to Mom and Dad's after fighting every traffic light in Mt. Pleasant, and loaded up on some great pasta that Sam had prepared.  Then Justin realized we had left Will and Jack's suitcase in Spartanburg.  Hope they like the clothes they are in right now because they'll be wearing them until Thursday!
So we are planning on leaving at 5:45 tomorrow morning to find a place to park in Mt. Pleasant.  The race starts at 8 a.m. but who knows how long it will take us to find a place to park.  It's supposed to be 45 degrees tomorrow at the start!  Yikes!  If I had been training in Boone I would be totally ready but Spartanburg is not quite so chilly.  I'll puff my albuterol; I'm sure I'll be fine.  At least, I'm not Mom, who will have five kids to take care of for most of the day.  And two of them will be naked since they ran out of clothes!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Books I am Taking to Read on Spring Break

Tonight, while not attending Jack's 1st grade play or Will's 6:45 baseball practice, I will be packing up for our trip to Georgetown.  I hope none of you are planning on robbing my house while I am gone.  I read somewhere that is not smart to advertise that you are going on vacation, but if anyone wants to break into our house to steal the dirty, lumpy couch, prehistoric TV, or tired old wardrobe, then be my guest!  Enjoy!
Well, the Bridge Run is in two days, I got 5.5 miles in on Monday with no shin splints, and I celebrated by buying real running shorts with the undies built in!  I showed them to Justin, and he said, "What if someone pulls your pants down?"  I must say, the thought never occurred to me that someone would be lurking in the crowd in Charleston, waiting to dart out and yank on my shorts, but I said, "It would be just as embarrassing as if I had on regular shorts."  And he said, "At least with regular shorts you have another layer of protection."  Really?  Sometimes I get a peek into my husband's thought process when I would prefer to remain in ignorance.  Anyway, I'm keeping the shorts, and all of you crazies just better stay away from me.

Here's what I hope to read while I'm gone next week:

1.This is not really for me, I've already read it, but I thought my husband would like it.  He doesn't read a lot of fiction, and this is a good, thoughtful read.

2. This is an author whom I know nothing about, but friends of ours are huge fans, so I thought I would try him out.

3. The sub-title is Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families.  Need I say more?  Justin has had enough with our children's extra-curricular activities dictating our social calendar.  While I sympathize, I'm not sure what you do about it.  Maybe this lady will know.

The Beekeeper's Apprentice Recommended by Tim Keller on his blog's summer reading list . Actually his wife Cathy recommended the fiction while he did the non-fiction, but I trust her too, so I'm going to try it out.

5. I've never read Janet Evanovich, so this is pure curiosity.

OK, you may wonder how I plan to read five books in six days along with my regular Bible reading and interacting with my family, so I will let you in on my secret:  I won't.  Of course not!  But I love to keep all of my options open, and the thought of not having enough books to read gives me the shakes, so I'm happily overpacking. 

Now I'm off to find the suitcases and sunscreen. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

always against the flow

As believers, our pursuit of holiness is countered on every side by the continual, relentless push of ideas, things, activities sponsored by a society which would place God's rightful crown on its own head.  Every day we must put on our defenses, the armor spoken of in Ephesians 6, our only offensive weapon being "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (vs. 17)

The torrent of culture, the desires to conform, the despondency that can quickly replace our faith in God's goodness all require action on our part.  Who does God think we are?  Has He given us more than we can handle?  Can we daily take up our cross and not be crushed by its weight?

Returning to Ephesians 6, verse 10 reminds us to "be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power."  The trick is to remember the source of our strength - the Lord, who has mighty power, who is greater than any challenge we can face during the day.   It is easy to be lulled into complacency, to stop facing upstream and to drift for a bit, but we were not made to be just bits of flotsam floating along, impactless.  No, we are the rocks in the river, held fast by our foundation beneath the water, unavoidably confronting modernity's fierce current.  And so we pray along with our old friend Paul:
"19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."
Lord, make us also today fearless in proclaiming the good news of the gospel.  Make us rocks.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Personal Assistant to Emma

3:30 Take Emma to her piano lesson.
4:00  Bring Emma home; I work on supper and find her lost black shoe, put out clothes for the next two activities.
4:12  Emma commands the boys to be quiet as she cannot focus on her homework.
4:23 Emma complains that she doesn't speak "science" like her textbook does.
4:30 Emma calls her friend to give her the spelling homework assignment.
4:32 Emma complains that the ponytail I put in this morning was "too tight."
5:00 We eat supper.
5:30 We leave for Converse College where Emma will be performing with the District Six Honors Chorus.
7:30 Concert ends.
7:52 Swing by the house; Emma changes into her softball clothes.  We are already seven minutes late for practice.
9:00 Get home. Emma takes a shower.
10:00 Go to bed.  Hope Emma has less on her agenda tomorrow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Parenting. Again.

I've just been thinking today about parenting, and how vastly different are expectations of our children are than those of just a few generations ago.  Justin and I have been watching the John Adams (HBO Miniseries), and those kiddos knew how to work!  I feel bad sometimes asking them to pick up after themselves (oh, bless their hearts, they hardly get any downtime, all of that hard work focusing in school...).  This is crazy!  I have to remind myself that I am not doing my children (or their future spouses) any favors by not giving them responsibility and...not actually holding them responsible for doing what they are supposed to do.

This has been brought home on a spiritual level by reading the book of Proverbs and stumbling upon a Ted Tripp (the author of Shepherding a Child's Heart) conference podcast available here.  On a side note, the resurgence website has some great podcasts to browse through if you are ever looking for something to listen to that gets you thinking.  Anyway, I've only listened to a little bit of the first talk, but Tripp reminds us that all of humanity will worship something, including our kids.  And it is our job as parents to continually hold up God in all of His glory, majesty, and wonder as the only being worthy of our worship.  This is difficult to do when we parents are continually chasing after our own little idols; this reiterates our need to steep ourselves in God's word and prayer.  Our kids are capable of memorizing more scripture and retaining more knowledge about God than we realize; we are not doing them any favors when we expect less of them.  And we do them a disservice when we allow them to while away the hours chasing after things that will never satisfy.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It is 6:57 p.m. and any self-respecting mother would be sitting down with her family to supper right now, but I boast only in Christ, so I am sitting at the computer instead.  Jack is playing Super Mario Bros. on the Wii (the soundtrack of the Kendrick household was made by Nintendo), Justin is at the Y for his long run of the week - Bridge Run next Saturday!, and I just ate lunch and pitched some wiffleball to Jack. 

We had a surprise birthday party for Justin at the house today!  He was completely surprised!  That was the best part.  The worst part was trying to figure out how to keep him out of the house long enough to guests in and set up for the party.  I ended up weaving a web of lies that involved our dear friends having some marital difficulties and needing my help to pick up the pieces (completely not true) and Steve, my partner in crime, had Justin over with the kids for a 20 minute hot dog lunch that ended up taking an hour and a half while Justin thought he had lost his mind.  Steve also ferried Emma and Will back and forth to baseball and softball games for us during the surprise party.  What a trooper!

I have absolutely no pictures, which never, ever happens to me.  I even charged my camera battery last night, but there was so much going on, it never made its way out of the house.  This is a shame!  It was a fun afternoon with dear friends and the weather was so nice!  I am thankful.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March Madness

Jack had Adam, his favorite friend in the world, over today to play since we had no school.  Emma had two friends over, and Will had Jesse over.  A very active and beautiful day.
...Well, not as active for some of us.  Justin is watching March Madness, but just "resting his eyes" during halftime.
Tomorrow - baseball scrimmages, lots more sunshine, bring on some Springtime!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Everyday I choose how I will spend my time.  Some of my time usage seems like it is chosen for me by other people...but really, even if I was in an isolation unit at a mental ward, I could choose how I spent my time there.  I'm choosing to write this blog post right now instead of countless other things vying for my love and attention.  It is important to me, and I think blogging has helped my mindfulness about a lot of things.  Everyone should blog, or journal, or something along those lines.  A pause during the day to assess your view of life is good for the soul.

A thought from my 4th and 5th grade Catechism Class last night at church:

If God tells us to love our enemy, and Jesus' enemy is Satan, does God love Satan?

I've never thought about it before.  Hmmm.

And some scattered prayer requests.  Prayer requests last week took so long that I only had 5 minutes left after we prayed to teach the lesson.  I vowed that last night would not be the same, but it was very close. 

Pray for my cousin's dog because he is sad.  This sparked enormous debate about whether or not dogs had emotions and if one could tell whether or not their pet was "sad."  After the debate was over, I said that I would not pray for the cousin's sad dog.  After the class, I regretted it.  What would it have hurt to pray for the dog?  Maybe I could have slipped in a prayer for the cousin who is so finely attuned to his/her dog's sensibility.

Pray for my aunt and uncle who are traveling.  They live in New Mexico...don't ask me why.  As if living in New Mexico was a clear indication of their lack of good sense.  Why would anyone want to live in New Mexico? 
The kicker, though, was another friend's response to her prayer request:
They live there because everything's cheaper down in Mejico.  I said, New Mexico, not Mexico, Jake.  It's a state, in the United States, to be exact.  He said, "Oh."  Haven't they learned the States of the Union by 5th grade?  Honestly.

And so we prayed for the 140 various people who will be traveling for Spring Break, or whose noses are running, or whose dogs are sad, or whose grammas are arthritic, or whose brothers are very annoying!  Everyone who wanted to prayed out loud, and most basically prayed for the prayer requests they themselves had mentioned.  Their self-focused prayers reminded me that we all, children and adults alike, live in our own internal world of big important stuff that may be important only to us, and it made me hope that their stuff would become more important to me too.  The body of Christ...thanks be to God.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Something in the Ceiling

This afternoon I cut up fruit for our church's Wednesday night supper.  Why, one may ask, would I cut up fruit for 50 people when I have more important things to do like read my new cookbook cover to cover? So far I am on sauces.  Anyway, tonight is Chick-fil-A night, our family's personal favorite.  We do not attend Wednesday night supper when it's pinto beans, cornbread, and collard greens, but the Kendricks are definitely in the fellowship hall when it's time for some fried chicken sandwiches!

However, I always feel faintly sick to my stomach after Chick-fil-A night because we have the glorious sandwich with - yuck - a side of chips and cookies.  No unprocessed food to be seen!  Now I am not sure why that offends me when I would gladly eat fast food every week - maybe it's the lack of french fries that puts me off - but I decided we need fruit to balance out our meal.  So Mark the church intern gave me a budget of $20 and I trundled off to Sam's to see how much fruit that would buy me.  Not a lot!  But I was already committed to fruit salad, so I bought what I could and came home and washed and chopped fruit for about an hour.  Not sure now if it was worth it, and I am almost positive that it is not enough fruit to feed 50 people.  I think next time I will make my own personal fruit salad and not enforce my wacky nutritional ideas on the church family at large.

While I was chopping strawberries, pineapple, apple, grapes and bananas into bite-sized pieces, I noticed a scratching noise coming from the ceiling.  At first I thought it was a wasp or a fly banging up against the kitchen window, but it was too consistent and too loud to be an insect.  It animal, of some sort, in the attic, trying to find its way down to my fruit salad.  It sounded very much like it was tunneling through the ceiling, and I turned on the sink light hoping it was up in the wiring and it would get fried!!!  That did not work.  So I turned my little kitchen radio up really loud and chanted to myself, there is not a rodent about to drop in the sink, there is not a rodent about to drop in the sink...eventually I finished chopping and evacuated the kitchen, making a mental note to set traps in the attic.  Or better yet, to send my husband up there to do it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

unexpected gifts

How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition), Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great FoodMy sister sent me this cookbook in the mail this morning.  Is there anything more wonderful than getting unexpected gifts?  Not much, I don't think.  She sent one to my other sister too, who thought it was a mistake because Mom's birthday is tomorrow so she thought it was meant for Mom.  But no! it was meant for you, Sammie-Lou, so enjoy making amazing pizza and waffles and pico de gallo...all from scratch!  Here's Sam holding her sweet baby man.  He's so sweet, it's not even really fair.  I have to resist the urge to pinch him when I'm around him just to make sure he's human and not some sort of droid. I don't know if his parents appreciate that, but a little cry every now and then is good for your mental health, I always say.
 Anyway, thanks for the cookbook, Ann!  I know I will make something fabulous out of it very soon.  In the meantime, I am enjoying its newness and touch it fondly every time I pass the kitchen table.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, and I'm headed for Irmo

Aaaaahhhh, there's nothing like getting up early on a Saturday morning and driving to scenic Irmo, South Carolina, where your daughter attends a conference for young writers and you, my friend, drive to Panera Bread and read for two hours.  I guess there's worst ways to spend your day.  BUT even better, tonight is the the night of the annual Church Basketball Games, pitting the women against the girls, and the men against the boys. 
I have been asked to participate, but I am hoping for a lot of bench warming, since the art of dribbling a basketball still eludes me.  I am 5'2", so I never thought to add basketball to my renaissance woman-like collection of skills.  I am only looking forward to it because I want to wear knee socks and put my hair up in pig-tails.  I meant to buy sweat bands, but never got around to it.  You gotta look the part, right? 
Wish me and my sore shins luck!  I'm bringing my C+ game, high school girls, look out!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shin Splints

Have any of you ever had shin splints?  I have been running a lot lately, trying to get past 5.5 miles so I can crush the Cooper River Bridge Run in just a couple of weeks now.  Instead of becoming a gazelle-like sprinter, however, my pace has slowed and I am having horrific, I-can't-run-through-it-must-walk-type pain in my shins.  Debilitating!  Demoralizing!  Might as well pick up the Valu-pak of Snickers and some elastic-waist pants the next time at Wal-mart, because I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.

I iced my shins last night.  Everything online (O blessed fount of wisdom!) says rest, ice, time to replace the shoes, cross-train...I bought new shoes today and paid $9.99 for a single pair of socks (are you kidding?), so I better be good to go.  Any other ideas, other than quitting running which is out of the question?!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The info cards arrived!  Yippee!  and I misspelled Justin's email address on them.  All 200 of them.  All $52.00 worth of them.  I have never ever in my life felt so pushed around by a 4x6 piece of laminated cardstock.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday already?

I have a good reason for not being able to post for a week...really, I do.  On Thursday of last week, I left for a girls' weekend with three of my sweetest sisters in Christ.  When I left, the chicken pot pie was in the oven and I had just handed Justin his cheat sheet for the next three days.  Included entries were: 

1.  Give Jack stomach meds every morning.

2.  Here's the recipe for waffles for breakfast Saturday.

3.  Don't forget about the birthday party Saturday afternoon.

4.  Be sure and feed the dog.

He survived and when I got home Sunday, the dog was still alive and all of the children were clothed and fed.  Success! 

On the church plant front, we finally got the cards done to our liking and I placed the order today.  (Insert sigh of relief here!)  Justin spends his days meeting with every community or non-profit organization in downtown Spartanburg.  He said you can tell that most of the people he meets are glad to have someone interested in what they do, and they are passionate about their causes.  He also got to talk with the guy who's going to start RUF at Wofford College next Fall, and he and his wife are coming from St. Louis sometime this month to house hunt.  We are looking forward to meeting them and hope this is the beginning of a great friendship. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reading and Writing and Homeschooling

Jack the 1st grader is on an all-out campaign to be homeschooled.  His reasons, so far, are that school is too long, the math is not challenging enough, and recess only happens twice a day.  This morning I reminded him that even though he would definitely get to play outside more often if he was at home with me all day, there would be no one with whom to play.  He did not respond, either because he had moved on mentally to a new topic or my point was a valid one, I don't know.

There are days I would love to homeschool my children.  They are three of my favorite people, and I care about what they are learning and the influences on their little minds and hearts at school.  It does not escape me that my children spend more time each week with their teachers and classmates than with their father and me.  And I think (perhaps idealistically) that they could get more school work accomplished in less time if they were doing it at home, and not waiting on the rest of the class to finish up.  I love the idea of us all tromping to the library or out in the woods together, researching whatever they are passionate about at the moment...though that would probably be winning American Idol, secret passageways in Super Mario Brothers, and how to make it to the NBA without practicing too much.

I wonder, however, about the isolating aspect of homeschool.  I tried to homeschool our eldest child when she was in first grade, and the result was me banging my head against the wall of her bedroom when I could not convince her that I knew more about first grade math than she did.  The boys, who were four and three at the time, just wandered around the house by themselves, making sure the toys were evenly distributed to every room and unoccupied toilet they could find.  The whole scenario was not quite what I had envisioned when I was picking out curricula a few months back.   Emma and I made it one semester, and we were both relieved when I dropped her off at the elementary school in January.

Before Emma went to school, I agonized over her schooling.  Were the public school teachers really the Priests of Baal, as some have suggested?  What would homeschool look like for us? Would we survive it?

When the Bible talks about children, there are very few mandates to parents.  Sometimes we make up more because we want a formula for raising happy, successful, God-fearing children, but homeschooling + Catechism questions + long skirts does not always equal Christians advancing God's kingdom.  We are told to teach them about God and His law (Deut 4:9, 6:7, 11:19, among others), to correct and train them in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6, 22:15, 13:24, among others) and not to embitter or exasperate them (Eph 6:4, Col. 3:21).  This training, teaching, correcting, and disciplining looks different from parent to parent, and that is because we are all different (one body, many parts).  While we may not have a formula, we do have a mandate for child-rearing, and here is what it boils down to:

1. Guard against foolishness by consistent, loving discipline.

2. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.

3. Teach your children, at every opportunity, to do the same.

This is our job as parents, regardless of our schooling methodology.

PS. Will the 3rd grader just came and read this as I was proofreading it and wants to point out that he practices for the NBA a lot.  He also asked me what he should do this afternoon since he did his chores and used his screen time this morning (school was on a two-hour delay), and I said, "Go read your Bible." 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snow, snow go away

That's right, people, I am officially a snow grouch.  I don't even care if it sticks.  The best part of the snow event was seeing my happy children's faces at 11:30 today, when school let out and the snow was flying fast and furious.

Emma invited Sam over to spend the afternoon with us.  Sam's dad is the man in our church who was killed in a car accident a week and a half ago.  Sam's mom dropped her off and said she was going to write thank you notes and then take a long nap in her quiet house.  I just saw Sam and Emma walking together to Sam's dad's grave (we live next to the church cemetery) and wondered what they were talking about.  

The dog and I went for a long run this morning.  It is cold and wet, but I just don't have time to go up to the Y to run indoors.  So I used my inhaler before I went running today, and I hate to admit it, but it made a huge difference.  The reason I hate to admit that is because my husband often suggests I do the inhaler before I run, and I brush him off.  For some reason, I seem to think that I should not need medicine like mere mortals do, and so I'm constantly trying to ween myself off of my various daily medications.  I only do the inhaler for emergencies, and to me, if your lips aren't turning blue and you're not on the floor gasping for breath, it's not an emergency.  But because it's been cold and only turning colder and because I did not want to turn into a zombie this afternoon, I did some preventative steroid inhaling and ran for 55 minutes which I haven't done in several weeks now.  Amazing!  Maybe Justin (and the doctor who prescribed the inhaler for precisely this purpose) knows something after all.

Happy wet, cold March!

Monday, March 1, 2010


"And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - Gal. 2:20b

This morning as I was reading my Bible and writing in my prayer journal, I could not focus.  So instead of praying I started flipping back through prayers of years past.  And I was startled to read this from February 2006 (forgive the grammar):
Lord honestly I look at my life and think - how could God use me, so mired in my own sin?  And I am scared, almost terrified that your going to kill one of the kids or take us through some horrible ordeal to sanctify us.  Is that warped?  God, I still don't trust you, and I'm sorry.  I'm scared of what you are going to do to me.  I think of Jeremiah about the plans you have, plans to give a future and a hope, and I think, oh, that's heaven.  Heaven is our future, and Jesus is our hope; but Lord, I do not look forward to anything -- except visits from relatives, nap time, and the possibility of moving from Boone.

Wow.  I would like to take the Me of 2006 in my arms and just give her a big, long hug, because she is one depressed, frightened little soul.  Nowhere in that prayer does she "grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ..this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you maybe filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Eph. 3:19)  No, I was convinced that God was out to get me, and that life this side of eternity was hopeless. 

It amazes me that during this time I was counseling and discipling college girls and being about the ministry when inside, I was quietly waiting for God to drop the hammer.  And I probably gave those girls good counsel because I knew the good news of the gospel and could explain God's grace and forgiveness to anyone who needed it, but the truth was only in my mind and had yet to take root in my heart and soul. 

The reason I tell you all of this is because that prayer, though so sad to read, was a source of encouragement for me this morning.  For get this:  I am not who I once was.  I no longer believe that God can't use me because of my sin, because I know that Jesus has taken it away, so far away I couldn't go get it to use as a testimony against myself even if I tried.  And not only can He use me, but He loves me.  He loves me with a love that "surpasses knowledge" and invites me to "taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8a) 

He was with me through those dark times of doubt and self-loathing, and He is still with me now.  And so I can say today with good ol' King David (who had his fair share of dark times):

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears."
Psalm 34:4