Today, Kendra speaks to us about showing up, what she finds inspiring from the story of Joseph and finding her identity.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: My childhood is sort of all over the place. I met my father when I was five and was raised by him for a lot of my upbringing. I am the youngest, and the only girl. My dad was very strict, and I was very sheltered. School and church were a huge part of my life, growing up. I was always being challenged. In high school, I was taking college courses my freshmen year, and by the time I was a junior, I was a full-time college student. I struggled with a lot of emotional distress and trauma and ran away to live with my mother when I was seventeen. Shortly after at 19, I chose to move out and began dating my now-husband. We got married when I was 20 and started a family very shortly after.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: There are so many inspiring passages for me at the moment, but as I am studying Genesis, I have to say that Joseph’s story is quite inspiring. I feel as though I can relate to his story; in the sense of going through many hardships, enduring pain as well as mistrust from family while God gives blessings to be able to make it to the side of victory and forgiveness. Joseph’s story reminds me to stay humble, forgiving, and obedient. The way people treat you shouldn’t change your character, and it certainly doesn’t stop the plans of God. If Joseph would have allowed for his circumstances to harden his heart and wallow in pity, He would not have been available to be used by God when needed and he would have missed all of the blessings within those years not only for himself but for others as well. Joseph’s story inspires me for many reasons, but for a few main reasons, I am inspired by his story because I want to be used by God, and I don’t want anything to stop me from being obedient to His will. You never know what’s on the other side of your pain and struggles. There’s always a lesson in all that we go through. God knows all, and I am most inspired to trust in God at all times and to stay gracious, forgiving, faithful, and obedient. God is an omnipresent God, and I am encouraged to have faith in His will, and timing because He truly knows all.
“The way people treat you shouldn’t change your character, and it certainly doesn’t stop the plans of God.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: My spiritual growth focus at the moment is to be open and completely submissive to the will of God, which takes alot of faith, stillness, and focus.
Profession: I have to honor of being a homemaker. I am a wife and a mother to my three amazing children. In my spare time, I blog and create content on social media about my life with hopes of inspiring other women, mothers, and wives.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? If I were to write a memoir I would title it I am Kendra Watson because this was a revelation I had when God finally opened my eyes to accepting all of who I am. I struggled with my identity. Becoming a wife and a mother without dealing with previous traumas caused a bit of confusion over the years. As I began to deal with my pain and accepted Jesus into my life, I began to heal. I was no longer lost; I was able to accept myself in full from my childhood to the adult woman I’d become. God revealed the struggles and prayers I’d had as a child and how He’d answered those prayers present day. I asked for love and a family to love me and to love. I’d been blessed with that but I struggled with my name. I am Kendra Watson is a blessing from the Lord, but it was a journey to receive it.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I’m not sure of my first encounter with God, but I know it was very early on. I remember always talking to God as a small child and always wanting to pray for people. I was the little girl who was talking to God for you because I knew He would help. I wanted people to feel better and happy. I remember one time at church there was an altar call, and I wanted to get saved and from there I was baptized. I was a child but I knew I wanted to live for the Lord.
How would you describe Jesus? I would describe Jesus as the way. Jesus is the way to all of the peace, love, joy, and comfort you’ve always wanted. Jesus is the way to the Holy Spirit; Jesus is the way to salvation and grace. Jesus is grace. I suppose I was skeptical at one point in time in my walk because I wasn’t sure who Jesus was. I allowed the world to taint my focus. I now know that without Jesus, we are hopeless. Jesus provided a way for us to have a direct connection to the Father. He was a beautiful sacrifice for our sins and wrongdoings so we can live, be forgiven, and have access to God. Jesus is love. Without Him, we would not have the opportunity of full forgiveness. Because of the love God had for us, He was willing to send His son to sacrifice, so that we had the ability to come to Him and receive grace. John 14:6-7: “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
“I now know that without Jesus, we are hopeless.”
How has your relationship with Him changed you? My relationship with Him has changed me in so many ways. I was once so shy, easily intimidated, and confused. Knowing Jesus has allowed me to become more confident and outspoken. It’s like through strengthening my relationship with Him, He’s restored and strengthened my identity and my voice. I am happier, kinder, and certainly a lot more forgiving. I feel once you begin that relationship, He works on your heart and you begin to be a little more like Him bit by bit. I now appreciate others more and want to spread as much love as I can.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? I was going through an extremely rough time in life. I was trying to figure out myself while managing life for everyone around me and I felt like I had lost myself. Battling depression for years really does something to you. I was constantly angry, bitter, and sad, and I just couldn’t fill the void I felt. I didn’t want to be in that space anymore, I was tired of living in pain. One day, I was really depleted and desperate, and I prayed. I talk to God about all of my problems, I literally laid everything at His feet. Months later, I met this family and was invited to visit them with my family. Over that weekend, I was spoken to from stranger after stranger about so many of the things I’d prayed about from childhood to that current time. Things were brought up that no one ever knew I felt or whispered to God. During the desperate time, I went to God, I’d asked if He still performed miracles and if He was even real. I didn’t hold back and neither did He. So many things I’d been praying for and about were confirmed that weekend. I officially met God and gave my life over. That was such a powerful moment in my life, and I’ve never felt freer and loved. I now want everyone to know the love and comfort that Jesus can provide when you seriously let Him in.
“During the desperate time, I went to God, I’d asked if He still performed miracles and if He was even real. I didn’t hold back and neither did He.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Reading the Bible, being intentional with my time, and what I allow to influence me has really helped. When I began to seriously seek the Lord, I cut out a lot of fluff in my life. I spent less time on social media, and I stopped listening to secular music and watching tv. Instead of watching shows, I would listen to sermons, podcasts, or the Bible app. I only surrounded myself with things that added to me and shared the same values, and morals I had. I was amazed at the impact cutting certain things out of my life instantly had on my mind and allowed me to grow spiritually. I don’t think we realize how much harm seemingly innocent things does to us. Surrounding myself with true things of the Lord really helped me grow.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am currently reading Pastor Sara Jakes Robert’s Woman Evolve. I have not finished it yet, but this book is amazing. Woman Evolve has taught me so far more about seeing myself the way God sees me and changing my relationship with the hurt I’ve endured and allowing me to move forward. I have more to read but I will say that this book is already transformational.
Top three essentials: My top three essentials would have to be my faith, family and self-care (personal time). My life revolves around these things. If any of these things are off, I am not functioning properly.
How did God speak to you recently? I feel like God is always speaking to me in different ways. I’ve taken a liking to nature however, and I feel like He always speaks to me through nature. Plants are my favorite, I’m always in awe of how they simply obey the instruction God gave to them. In all of nature, they simply obey. In raising my family, I am always stunned at the way God designed our relationships to resemble the ways we rely on Him our relationship with Him. God is amazing a speaks in so many ways. I learn a lot about God and hear Him so much through my daily life.
Hobby: I have so many hobbies. I’m a very artistic person, so I just love using my imagination and creating. I love crafting, I’m a huge fan of DIY projects. I love sewing, When I find the time I could sit at my sewing machine for hours making my baby’s outfits. I also love YouTube and writing.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1. Be careful what you are allowing yourself to be influenced by;
2. Give yourself grace and know that Jesus does not expect you to be perfect. He knows we are not and we will mess up. That’s not a green light to sin but it’s a comfort in knowing that God loves you so much and gives us the ultimate, love and grace;
3. Surround yourself around people of sound faith. Play your favorite worship songs. Try replacing secular music or watching secular shows, with finding a good podcast or YouTube with sound Christian advice or practices. Most of all, you can never go wrong with reading your Bible. The Bible app has so many good plans you can participate in, and starting your day off, with 5 – 15 minutes dedicated to listening to them and praying will change the way you go through your day. Don’t get bogged down by doing everything right, know that you are saved by grace and you are accepted as you are. Write down a few Bible verses that fill you up, look at them and recite them whenever you need encouragement.
“Most of all, you can never go wrong with reading your Bible.”
Favorite person in Scripture? My favorite person in Scripture changes, but right now it would have to be Joseph. I appreciate his story, and the ways he handles all that was thrown his way. He reminds me to stay faithful and forgiving at all times. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Genesis 50:19
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want people to learn that God is the truest form of love and transformation. He’s able to change and help you through all the pain, hurt and issues you just have to be truly willing and open to letting Him change you for His good.
“I want people to learn that God is the truest form of love and transformation.”
How do you engage with your community? I believe I engaged with my community through social media. I also engage with my community by how I show up daily. I feel by showing up daily as my best self, I am able to spread the love and light of Jesus. Being kind, merciful, showing grace and understanding for others, no matter what.
Favorite holiday? My favorite holiday was Christmas because of all of the cheer, festivities, and of course the birth of Jesus, however, I’ve really found Easter to be my favorite holiday. The celebration of Jesus’s resurrection is my favorite; there’s so much meaning.
A goal you have? One day, I would love to be a speaker to motivate and inspire women who feel like they may have lost their voice by encouraging them to show up every day.
The question you will ask when you get to heaven? I’m not sure if I will have a question when I get to heaven. I’m sure I’ll just be ready to praise.
The thing you want to raise awareness about: The importance of showing up. It’s living your life in the truest form. Allowing for God to do good works inside of you and living your life the way He intended. Eating properly, loving yourself, loving others, and seeing and living life the way life is meant to be lived. Showing up is for yourself and others and will change the world slowly but surely, by representing Christ truly and daily. People speak about self-care a lot, but I don’t think we actually take the proper time to do it. Showing up is self-care and more. Self-care to me is taking care of your mind, body, and soul; it’s a maintenance of yourself. Wives and mothers definitely experience a lot of silent mental draining, and we don’t have to. I’d like to bring awareness to the idea of showing up! Taking care of yourself first so that you are available for everyone and things on your plate. Even Jesus stepped away for time alone.
“The importance of showing up. It’s living your life in the truest form.”
What does your morning routine consist of? My mornings consist of listening to my devotionals and doing a workout. I try to get a load of laundry done and make breakfast. I love my alone time in the mornings; it really gives me a boost in my day.
What is on your nightstand? Books, water, and my diffuser. Knowing my husband, there’s probably some random electrical stuff like wire nuts and electrical tape.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity is the following of Jesus Christ’s teachings. Having faith and understanding that God sent His son, Jesus, to save us from His wrath because He loved us and sent the human sacrifice that gave us the way.
For more Kendra:
Until next time, keep witnessing!