Tuesday, October 17, 2017


* This was originally posted on my other website on October 26, 2016.
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

* This was originally posted on my other website on October 11, 2016.
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

* I originally posted this on my other website on August 16, 2016.
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.
Now, I have not finished reading it yet. (And yes, I have a bad habit of recommending books that I haven’t even completed.)  But I’m a few chapters into this one and it is so good, so truly timeless in it’s truths, that if you haven’t read it yet, you need to order yourself a copy TODAY.  It has such potential to improve not only your business, but all aspects of life, including your marriage and your relationship with your children.
I will give one example of how it has already made a huge impact on my life…and then I’ll tell you again…CHECK OUT THIS BOOK.  Or better yet, buy your own copy, because you will want to read and re-read so many sections of this book.
The second chapter of the book is all about giving honest and sincere appreciation of the people in your life, whether at home with your family, with your co-workers at work, your clients in business, your students at school–basically EVERYONE that you interact with or have relationship with.  While reading this chapter, I realized that I had fallen into a rhythm with my own family of not being intentional of my appreciation and praise for them, as well as not really looking out for ways to show kindness and love to them.  I am SO thankful for the wake up call!
I could share so much more…as I seriously already have 30 sticky notes marking different sections that I plan to go back and “chew on”. Ha.  Instead, I will leave you with an old saying that Mr. Carnegie used to close out the chapter on giving appreciation.
     I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now.  Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Blessings~ Kendra

More Life Lessons from the Garden

* This was originally posted on my other website on August 9, 2016.
As I come to the end of another gardening season (for me), I wanted to share a few more lessons that I’ve learned — or relearned — while working in my garden this summer.
Start with the HARD things.  I don’t know about you, but it is so tempting for me to want to do the easy things first, and then by default I don’t get around to taking care of the difficult, inconvenient, challenging, not-so-easy “hard” stuff.  Sometimes it’s just even the things in life that TAKE MORE EFFORT that I put off.  In my garden, the easy tasks are harvesting produce and picking flowers.  The obvious “hard” tasks are weeding, checking for pests, dealing with said pests, and so on.  When you skip out on those tasks that take more effort, you are cheating yourself out of better results and the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.
Be willing to CONSISTENTLY put in the work and effort.  I have struggled with consistency this summer when it comes to my garden.  To be honest with you, it’s not in great shape.  I’ve let the weeds and the bugs encroach on what was a healthy, thriving garden.  Without consistent action in the important areas of our life, the same thing can happen.  What once was a beautiful thing becomes dried up, choked out, and unpleasant to look upon.
LEARNING and APPLYING knowledge are two totally different endeavors. I can spend hours researching how to grow watermelons, what varieties to plant, and when to pick them.  But if I’m not attentive to them in the process, and careful to apply the knowledge that I have learned, then all of that learning was pointless.  Am I the only one that sometimes gets caught in the cycle of ingesting information in the name of acquiring “knowledge”, only to not follow through when it comes time to actually make use of that knowledge?
And last, but definitely NOT least…MORE is not always BETTER!!!!!  You guys!!!  I could write an ENTIRE post about this–and maybe I will someday! But having MORE of something does not make it BETTER!! When you are looking at a blank slate, like a garden in the spring, it’s easy to over commit and plant more than you will have time and space to accommodate. At least it is for me.  More watermelons? Sure.  Lot’s of tomatoes? Why not.  Looking back, this was not smart, as I didn’t have the time to take good care of what I had committed to, and I didn’t have the space to adequately care for what I had planted.  Now I won’t have a good harvest of either.
How does this translate into life? As we start into a new school year, pause before saying YES to one more activity or commitment.  Consider the blank slate of your TIME, and take into consideration how your choices will GROW.  Will you have enough of yourself to give to not only accomplish something, but to do it to the best of your ability? Looking back, I would much rather have planted LESS, but have done it BETTER! Let’s start the year with the end in mind and FINISH WELL!

My Version 1.0

*Note ~ This was originally posted on my other website on August 2nd, 2016.  It makes me laugh! Because here it is over a year later, and I have yet to do what I set out to do.  But I'm going to give myself one more chance.  One more year!  We can all use a second beginning, or third, right?? 
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.
I had several reasons for being there, but the one reason most near and dear to my heart was this very website.  You see, I have blogged off and on for almost nine years.  NINE years.  And while I enjoyed my original platform on Blogger, it was time for something new.  I was ready to take this “blogging thing that I do” to another level.
That said, I purchased a domain over nine months ago.  Yes, NINE months ago. My initial attempts to move over content to this website were not successful and instead of trying again, or getting more help, I got discouraged and put it on the back burner.  For WAY TOO LONG.  But not anymore!!
This website is FAR from where I want it to be.  It’s not even close to what I envisioned it to be for my “Launch Day” when I chose to go live.  But that’s OK.  It’s my Version 1.0.  My first draft.  It’s going to grow and change into something better.  Something different.  Just like my reasons for blogging have changed over the years, from sharing pictures and milestones to bringing encouragement and resources, I anticipate that this website will transform into something entirely different, yet true to my heart and vision.
I would love for you to join me on this journey.  Follow along.  Be encouraged.  And who knows?! You may be inspired to put YOUR Version 1.0 out there for the world to be blessed by.  It may be writing a book or opening your own business.  Or maybe it is starting down a different career path.  Whatever it is, whatever you’ve been dreaming about, I urge you to take a step towards that dream TODAY! Don’t wait. Because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. And the world NEEDS what you have to offer!
Blessings~ Kendra

Monday, August 1, 2016

A New Part of the Journey

You guys!!!!  Today I went live on my NEW WEBSITE! It's not perfect.  Actually, it doesn't look much different than this blog.  YET.  But it will.  And I have great things in store!!  Come see me at www.kendracutsinger.com.  I hope you will join me in the journey!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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!

Lesson #1: Don't put off until  tomorrow what you need to do today.  

Now, I know that this is not an original thought.  I am not the first to learn this lesson.  Nor will I be the last.  And this is most definitely not the first time that I have had to learn this lesson.  A couple of weeks ago, I had been putting off some major weeding in my garden because I thought I would have time later.  Then I was whisked away on a surprise trip ~ which I'm NOT complaining about ~ and the opportunity I thought I would have 'later' never came.  I came back to triple the work, and after several days of working in the morning and evening (and with the help of my boys), I've managed to reclaim about half of the garden.  

Lesson #2: What might be considered good on the one hand might not be so good on the other.  

What am I talking about?? Well, it all depends on perspective. I want grass to grow in my lawn. However, the minute that the grass starts to grow in my garden it becomes my nemesis and I am constantly doing battle with it.  Grass is wanted and considered good while growing in my lawn.  But that same good thing, in a different set of circumstances, is no longer considered good. 

What do either of these lessons have to do with you? I encourage  you to do some self examination and ask yourself a few questions.  One, what are the 'weeds' in your life?  Are there things in your life that are or were good things, but are perhaps choking out the BEST things in your life? I've found that there are often seasons of life, of friendship, and of activity.  What might have once been a fruitful area of life may not be anymore.  And, secondly, what are you putting off until tomorrow that should be done today? I'm not necessarily talking about work ~ what about relationships? Who do you need to reach out to today? Who has been on your mind, but you just haven't taken the time to make that phone call or send that message?

The opportunities could pass, the BEST could get choked out by the good, and then you might look back and wish that you had done something differently.  Now, I know that hindsight is always 20/20.  And none of us are going to perfectly lead the life that we hope for and dream of.  But let's embrace to opportunity that we have TODAY to work hard and love well!

Blessings to you~Kendra