Feeling Grateful . . . Anyway

by | Mar 28, 2019 | Kendra's Thoughts, Parenting, Travel | 18 comments

New prayer booklets for April, and other new printables for Easter and the sacraments are up in the shop, details at the bottom of the post, or see here.

If you’re new around here, you can get up to speed on this particular issue here.

And the recent, not so great developments here (but also, what the husband is calling “the greatest voicemail a dad has ever been left”).

As you can see, the husband is in good spirits, as always.

Before anyone gets worried, we were on the path for this and all of our photos. 🌸🌼🌻😊

I have to admit to having struggled a bit. Since, despite that ONE THING, he’s very well, and isn’t experiencing any symptoms or side effects, he got the news on a Wednesday and headed off on a business trip on Thursday. Unsupervised for a couple days there, it was easier for my imagination to drift towards the negative. But I was so comforted by all the prayers and support offered via social media as I was sharing things there, and by my good friend who suggested we ditch the kids for Adoration and Korean BBQ, always a good combination.

For Lent this year, I’ve re-dedicated myself to reading In Conversation With God each morning. It’s a year-long set that I’ve had since 2010 and have read many times, but it never fails to kick me in the gut exactly as necessary. Case in point, on the morning that we’d get the results, I read . . .

And also . . .

Gulp. I believe it, though, I really do. I do ask in prayer for the outcome I want, but always, ALWAYS first that God’s will be done and that my will be conformed to God’s will. I believe that no matter what happens, we will not be forsaken or forgotten by God. We will be okay, somehow. But, for the life of me, I cannot see quite HOW, and that’s what I struggle with.

So it was a challenging week, waiting for the consultation that would set our expectations and next course of action. It is always better for me to keep myself busy, so I finished up a shop update that I had been meaning to do for quite a while, and got the Catholic All April booklet finished and uploaded (here as a pdf and here as a paperback).

On Sunday, we went to early Mass and headed off to see the California Poppy Super Bloom. George was VERY into it.

Perhaps you’ve heard that when California gets a lot of rain over the winter . . . THIS happens:

This was at a state park: the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster. It’s about an hour and a half from our house. Lake Elsinore also has amazing wildflowers, but reports are that it’s really crowded and that you are required to park and pay $10 per person to take a shuttle in. The Poppy Reserve was crowded, but there was a lot of turnover and we were able to park easily (we asked our guardian angels to help us out and someone immediately pulled out of a spot big enough for our beast of a van!), and the paths weren’t too crowded.

If you are anywhere near here, you should DEFINITELY go. It’s uncrowded on weekdays, but even on a weekend (in the morning, anyway) the crowds were manageable and totally worth it.

It is a dazzling display of the extravagance of God.

We’d been out to this same park once before, for the last big superbloom in 2008.

Aww . . . babies.

This also just happens to have been the last time the husband was in treatment.

Amazing but true.

One can’t help but think about the fact that this extraordinary spring beauty comes only after the most cold, wet, miserable winters.

There’s a lesson in there for me . . . I just know it.

In my favorite happy accident photo theme of all time . . . Jack happened to put George in a Cowardly Lion sweatshirt that morning.

The poppies worked.

And just when I had convinced myself to be okay with whatever would be, on Tuesday at the consultation, we got some really encouraging news. So, I’m feeling grateful anyway . . . and actually. 😊😂 The zapping happens a week from tomorrow, and the new treatment regimen will begin the week after that.

Your prayers are appreciated. To be all official-like, you can sign up here. And if, like me, you wonder how and why and what you do for an hour of adoration, I made this (in pdf or paperback). I’ve found it really useful, myself!

The rest of the new stuff is available in the shop, including the Catholic All April booklet . . .


And all this new stuff . . .

  1. Catholic All April Prayer Booklet
  2. A Visit to the Blessed Sacrament Prayer Booklet
  3. Divine Mercy Novena Prayer Booklet
  4. Paschal Greeting for Eastertide (He is risen! He is risen, indeed!)
  5. Prayer After Grace for April (O Sacrum Convivium)
  6. Stations of the Cross Booklet
  7. Holy Week Meal and Activity Planner

Sacrament Keepsake Gifts:

Guardian Angel Prayers for kids:

And that’s it for today! I’ve got a few other posts milling about in my brain, and I’m hoping to get them typed up soon. But the best thing about all this uncertainty is getting to live more in the moment, so we’ll just have to wait and see when it happens.


  1. Jasmin

    Gorgeous photos and I’m so happy that your husband has good news.

  2. Marion

    Thank You for the update. Kendra you have a beautiful family. Happy that your husband received good news. You and your husband are in my daily prayers.
    God Bless you and all of the Family

    • Kendra

      We are very grateful for your prayers.

  3. Amanda

    You’ve been in my prayers, and I was thrilled to read Jim’s update. Who takes these whole family photos? That’s what’s keeping me from having more

    • Kendra

      Thank you! I take the photos, or set it up as ask a passerby to snap it, or I set up the self timer on a travel tripod. I have an older medium-end digital camera with lenses, but the newer iPhones take better photos, so I mostly just use that now.

  4. Marilyn

    Kendra what beautiful flowers. As beautiful as the flowers are your family is even more beautiful. Happy that Jim received good news. I will keep you and Jim in my prayers. God Bless you and your family.

  5. Laura

    Praying for you and your beautiful family. I am also reading In Conversation with God this Lent. I have it on my kindle and return to it often. I pray God will heal your husband. God’s Blessings, Lent can be long but Easter is coming!

  6. Karen

    Praying this over your husband, you and your kids:

    May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:11-14

  7. Julie Graf

    Prayers always for your sweet family! Dear Father, I pray and plead the blood of Jesus over each member of the Tierney family. I pray that you bring hope and healing, peace and grace in each moment. May you fill them with faith when they feel weak, hope when the way seems dark, and perseverance when the road seems long. May they trust you in this journey, and Father, I ask you for divine healing as they continue to minister to each of us. In Jesus name I pray! Mother Mary please pray for us, St Joseph please pray for us. Amen

    • Kendra

      Thank you for your prayers, Julie!

  8. Laurie Connell

    What touches me is your comment about the ‘flowers’ as “an amazing display of the extravagance of God”
    ….right below the photo of your beautiful picture of your family—the amazing display of the extravagance of God
    Praying for your husband and you and your family

    • Kendra

      Hah! I guess it is. Thank you for your prayers.

  9. Katie Heath

    What extraordinary beauty! So many prayers for your family…as many as there are gorgeous flowers in those fields!

    And…the lion asleep from the poppies…a better pic cannot be found;)

  10. Terri

    Glad Jim got good news. I know what you are feeling after 2 years we continue treatment. Finally this week I was able to thank the Lord for the treatment and how well my husband has done. I am learning to be grateful for what I have been given. ♥️ I continue to pray for you all.

  11. Nicole Son

    I’m so sorry to read of your tough news about Jim’s tumors. My husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer a few months ago, so your family has been on my mind and in my prayers. I will be praying for you and offering my own anxieties for Jim’s healing and for your whole family to feel God’s love and peace during this challenging time.

    • Kendra

      Thank you, and I’m sorry you’re also facing this cross!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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