Thursday, January 28, 2016

Let's have a cup of coffee, shall we?

It's been awhile since I've sat down and typed out a few words in this space. I have a few reasons. Most of which consist of 15-20 page Seminary papers. Details right? But I miss this little space of mine. It has a homey feel to it and to write without a midnight deadline is just well, nice. 

So how have you been? What I would love to do right now is sit down and have a cup of coffee with you and ask you my #1 question, How is your heart? How has life been lately? 
What has Jesus been telling you lately?

For me, I would tell you life is good. Seminary is well, Seminary. Not what I thought it would be back in the days that I called it C.E.M.E.T.E.R.Y. and that pigs would be flying if I attended...but good. Finishing up a practicum this week, then a week off, and then diving in deep to two more classes for Spring Semester.

Jude-well he is almost FIVE.YEARS.OLD. When did that happen? Seriously. I can hardly handle it. And he's almost as tall as me. I mean, it doesn't take much, but seriously? At FIVE?

So tell me about you? I have more to write about, but I want to hear from you. 
It's been awhile... let me know how you are doing and what I can pray for!

**All photo's are from The Focused Lily Photography and can not be reproduced.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas from the McLendons!

Maybe, just maybe by my third year of Seminary I will figure out how to manage Christmas card ordering season ... and finals. So far I am 0 and 2. Please keep sending them to us. We love them, we love you, and promise to return to the Christmas card circuit one day!

When I imagined a Christmas Card amongst coming up for air from finals, I imagined it arriving in your mailbox looking a little something like this:

Inside would give you a snapshot of our 2015 and giving glory to our sweet Jesus:

I would write you a short letter and would tell you that 2015 was a year that we saw Jesus fulfill the greatest desires of our heart. Robert and I became full time partners in ministry as Robert joined me as a Youth Pastor at RiverStone Church. In July, we were ordained, surrounded by our family and friends. Starting in ministry together in 2005, and seeing this fulfilled in 2015, we are truly thankful to the One who knows the perfect plan for our lives and a church that believes in us.

In September after a two week residency in Wilmore Kentucky for me, we decided to take a last minute vacation, and set sail to the Bahamas. It was the most beautiful time away just the three of us and truly a blessing from the Lord. Jude spent 8 hours straight on the water slide at our day at sea as we would casually look up from our chairs to make sure he was okay every once in awhile!

Jude is the most wonderful gift to us. He is our almost five year old, passionate about life, full of energy, all boy that is ready to take on the world for Jesus. He joined the Atlanta Track Club this year and ran his first timed race/mile in 10:20. I have to keep training just to keep up.

We are giving thanks tonight on this very Merry Christmas. Jesus deserves all of our praise, for He is worthy. Praying that you are resting tonight in the Peace that is Jesus Christ the Lord.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

You are my

With week one of pre-k behind us, this seemed very fitting. 

"You are my I love you"

I am your parent you are my child

I am your quiet place, you are my wild

I am your calm face, you are my giggle

I am your wait, you are my wiggle

I am your audience, you are my clown

I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down

I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice

I am your dandelion, you are my first wish

I am your water wings, you are my deep

I am your open arms, you are my running leap

I am your way home, you are my new path

I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath

 I am your dinner you are my chocolate cake

I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake

I am your finish line, you are my race

I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace

I am your favourite book, you are my new lines

I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine

I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo

I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you

 Author: Maryann K Cusimano

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The almost four year old

The almost four year old is independent.
He wants to wash his own hair.
Bathe his own body.
Pick out his own clothes.

The almost four year old can *almost* brush his own teeth.
Can ride his scooter and asks to do so as a Transformer
in February.
The almost four year old can
Dream big dreams.
Pray real prayers...
and believes God for them with every ounce of his being.

The almost four year old 
pauses long enough to say 
"mama will you snuggle with me."
Loves big squeeze hugs.
Loves to tickle, loves hide & go seek.
Loves fruit, veggies, and eggs.
And pancake picnics.

Pictures taken on a random Tuesday in February-courtesy of Emily Cathryn Smith.

Monday, January 26, 2015

McLendon Christmas Letter: Now that it is almost February...

Well...Robert wrote a Christmas letter this year and we failed to get it in the mail. It is too good not to share, so we are posting it here. For all to enjoy. So, now that it is almost February we are going to officially say good bye to 2014 and say hello to 2015. 
Does anyone else wonder where January just went?

I hope this season meets you with merriment and diminished anxiety (whatever that means). Once again, we decided it was best to send you an update on our family through the written word rather than a picture-perfect portrait of our family sitting in wonderment at how organized we are. We would have done that, but we really couldn’t find one or pose for one long enough for the needed millisecond of camera flash. 

Kristin is still taking on the world one student at a time as the RiverStone Student Pastor. She loves what she does when she’s not drowning in kids. She took a lovely group of students to Costa Rica this year to work with an orphanage and a local impoverished community near the orphanage. She is really good at hitting teenagers over the head with selfless reality. The kids are really no problem for her at all. She is having a blast with her students. Kristin fulfilled one bucket list item this year – she ran from the top of Mount Hood in Oregon, through Portland, and to the coast of Oregon. She did it with several friends and had a great time. They finished the relay in 34 hours! What is currently killing her is her recent decision to go to Grad School!!! She just finished up her first semester at Asbury Theological Seminary where she is getting her Master’s Degree in Intercultural Studies with a focus in Church Planting – this really means she is studying missionary processes both domestic and international. As much as it pains me to say, her school seems to be harder than mine. 

Robert has also had an interesting year. In January of 2014 he started a counseling internship working with individuals who were court-ordered to go to counseling for anger/violence problems and alcohol/drug abuse problems. Whatever you picture in your mind when you read that is probably pretty accurate. He encountered lots or rewarding and heartbreaking moments over the past year. This internship was long and had some late hours, so Kristin was single mother for most of the year. Robert also continued to work at RiverStone as the Missions Coordinator helping missionaries and mission teams get their finances in order and counseling leaving and returning missionaries through transitions. Robert also went back to Scotland this past summer to work with kids and host a summer camp – And his dad went with him. Robert did take time off during the summer to drive a 15-passenger van from the top of Mount Hood to the coast of Oregon. He drove 34 consecutive hours and stayed awake for 42 consecutive hours (needless to say, Kristin had more fun than Robert did). With all the busy-ness, Robert looked at life a lot like Forest Gump looked at running across the country. “When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go, you know, I went.” Robert finished his internship on December 12th, and started working with Kristin at RiverStone as a Student Pastor January 1st. A dream come true for the McLendons!  

Jude has been a beautiful behavioral challenge this year.  I’m sure after reading this letter you can probably deduce that he has been acting out because he has been the only child of a working single mother this year. Jude’s energy level equals that of the sun. He is either “all systems go” or asleep. It is not fair to say he has been all bad this year. We have shared so many sweet times with our boy. We took a road trip to Asheville, NC, Lynchburg, VA, and Charlotte, NC with Jude in October. He had a blast, and we had sweet family time. 4-6 hour car rides are not really his thing, but he managed. 

Top 10 Lessons Life Taught Us this Year

10. If you take your dad to Scotland, don’t let him buy a kilt.
9. Kristin can run longer than most people can drive.
8. Oregon has traffic jams at 3am. 
7. Jude can go through a “hungry-tired-angry-wired-happy-snuggly-screaming” cycle in 90 seconds. 
6. Three-year-olds are the worst.
5. Three-year-olds are the best.
4. Kristin’s bucket list will probably kill Robert.
3. If a 3-year old wants to walk the dog, you have to walk the 3-year old while he walks the dog.
2. Don’t promise a 3 year-old movies for a 5-hour car ride if the portable DVD player doesn’t work.
1. Only the McLendons can get photo bombed by a man in a kilt while picking out a Christmas Tree!

Happy 2015 friends!

**Disclaimer:  Letter was written by Robert**

Sunday, October 19, 2014


When is it that you re-start your blog?  Is it August 1st like I originally intended?  Or Maybe September 1st?  Or wait, October 1st?  Or the start of Fall?  Or maybe just go and publish all the drafts that are waiting in the ole blogger window....'eh how bout October 19th.  That sounds like a good day.  Although I don't know where to start.  The last time I posted was in February and to be honest that about sums up our year in the McLendon household.  We knew it would be by Gods grace that we survived 2014 and after this past week, all back together under the same roof, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Maybe I'll be able to process this past year one day.  But for one thing I know it's Jesus that I held onto ever so tightly.  Knuckles are a little whiter that's for sure.  Faithful is who He is.  Jesus.

Cheers to actually hitting publish on this blog post.  Cheers to my theme song of 2014.  Thank you Jesus for being my source.  Thank you for being faithful and being the One that remains.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Yvonne is Running This Year!

Happy Friday Friends!  Excited to share another #RunThisYear Runner's Profile with you today!!  Don't you just love this community?!  

Today I have the privilege of introducing you to Yvonne!  Praying you each are encouraged as we share her story today!!!

Hi Yvonne!  I believe one of the best ways to be encouraged is to hear one another's "stories".  So let's start out by hearing YOUR Story!  Tell us your "Running Story!!"
Growing up, I was a tall-uncoordinated girl.  I was never, NEVER, picked to be a part of a team.  I tried out for everything – volleyball, basketball {hello .. I did say tall}, softball and cheerleading (not even sure what I was thinking there-remember “tall-uncoordinated”) and wasn’t selected for a single one.  The only thing I could join was band {tallest trombone player in the marching line-up}, ha, because I couldn’t be turned down!  In my head – I am not an athlete!
I sit here now, a “twenty-year wife”, mother of two crazy teens and a 4-legged pup.   I am a vegetarian, part-time vegan foodie, and a dedicated running road and trail {race} fan.  Some may even say now an athlete.  Somewhere in my later 3rd decade, I decided to really run full force and haven’t stopped, only sped up!
Are y'all encouraged yet?!  I am! :)  

Is this your first year participating in #RunThisYear?  What is your goal for this year?
This is the first year for RTY for me.  I watched from afar last year and was mad I didn’t join in.  So this year I was ready with my goals:  an Ultra and 2400k or 1200 miles for 2014. 

Having a schedule and a race to prepare for helps me stay on track.  This year (running wise) so far will be my biggest race accomplishment.  The goal is to cross the finish line feeling strong and happy...then there may be a second Ultra shortly after!!

Tell us about your favorite race to run and if you follow a training plan to meet that goal!
I did my first "race" almost 11 years ago and it was a full marathon -- it wasn't graceful, fast or love at first run either (up until this last California International Marathon 2013, I disliked full marathons).  Yes,  I learned the hard way TRAIN PROPERLY and you succeed. It was after my first not so fun marathon when I fell in love with the half marathon distance, my first one in 2007.  Since then, I have ran approximately 17 half marathons, as well as 4 full marathons, three 200-mile relay races (Ragnar Relay) and several road and trail distances in between.  None of my races have been "easy" but I have found that if I stick to a schedule and stay consistent I finish successfully (as mentioned above this too was learned several races into my journey) -- and I am always ready to sign up for my next!

Right now, I am now just a few weeks out from my first Ultra 50k (on March 8th!).  I started running the trails about 3 years ago and  I love it! I am currently following a plan from Tiffany (Running Hutch) and one from a local running store.  I've also recently added strength training into the mix.  I really do think it's added to my successful long training runs that have varied from anywhere from 13-24 miles, with my longest trail run to date coming up tomorrow...26 miles!!!!

To close us out, do you have any tips to encourage us with?
One of my biggest tips or lessons that I've learned is to stay consistent with a training schedule.  It is okay that some days are good run days and some not so good.  It is the act of continuing to move forward that makes success. For me I feel so lucky and blessed with my running friends who motivate, inspire and cheer me on every mile along the way! Seriously some days you don't feel like running, but once I get out there it is like therapy, and it turns every day into a better day! 

I also finally feel that I have learned how to properly fuel my body for endurance training.  In several races and during training in the past, I found myself crashing towards the end or immediately after.  This too is something that I finally took seriously and stuck to.  It has made a huge difference in the way I feel during and after long runs. 

Thanks Yvonne for encouraging us today!  
Yvonne has her eyes set on her BIG RUN--Ultra50k just around the corner and her longest trail run TOMORROW!  Let's jump in and encourage her today!!!

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