Wednesday, May 20, 2020


Elizabeth, our oldest granddaughter, asked if she could ask me a question.  That's her way.  Most just pop it out, but gracious, considerate E asked for permission first.  

Before I tell you what she asked, let me introduce you to our beautiful Elizabeth.  Her passion runs deep and especially for Jesus.


She's a wise 18 year old, going on 33.  Why 33?  Because Jesus was 33 and she is very Christlike. Oh, she's also very witty, goofy, mouthy and sarcastic.  A lot like. . .me.  We both have so many words that they overflow into writing.

Me with Kimberly, E's mom.

Three generations at Home Good, stimulating the economy, 
midst Covid19.

Last Friday I flew to Florida for a long weekend with Kimberly, our first born, and family.  It was time to break out of isolation and what better place than the Sunshine state? We laughed, cried, talked, played games, watched a Redbox movie (I Still Believe--recommend it), shopped, sunned by a pool and ate extremely well.  

Before I get to THE QUESTION Elizabeth asked me, she posed a second question with a quicker answer.  "Nana, I'm learning to drive.  Want to take a ride with me through the neighborhood?"  Those last three words made my answer a ready yes.  After all, I'd survived a spin with Sean, another grand, through his neighborhood.  I'm a much better sidekick with my grands learning to drive than I was as a mother of three teens when they learned!

During our ride, ranging in speed from 4-11 mph, she asked if she could ask me a question.


"Nana, why are you always so happy?" 

At first I was stunned at her perception of me, thinking to myself, Well, I'm not ALWAYS happy. So my honest answer at first was, "I have feelings too," meaning other feelings.

Kimberly, her mom, quipped back teasing me in a cute pout, "Yeah. I have feelings too." We laughed at her poochie lip.

Then I gave her my serious answer, never really thinking about it before her question.  "Elizabeth, I don't believe there's a difference between the word happiness and joy.  Some do and relate it to circumstances.  My source is the Lord, pure and simple."

She nodded her little philosophical head. 

So I continued, "When I do have negative emotions, like fear or hurt, I just don't linger there.  'You can sit on the pity pot.  Just don't stay there long enough to get ring-around-the-hiney.'   

It's a choice and I choose joy.  I want to be happy so I rely on the joy of the Lord. It's His joy just spilling into me, if I allow it to flow.  He gave me an optimistic outlook in life, but it's still a choice. So I choose not to dwell on the negative, but instead look beyond that and see Him. Then His steadfast joy absorbs me."

She seemed satisfied.  So the discussion ended.


Since then, however, I've mulled a bit on her question.  Several tidbits surfaced:

* I'm thankful to be seen as a happy person.
* Thankfulness is also at the root of my joy.
* Kimberly as a young child expressed it, "I'm thankful we have a lot of laughness in our family."
* Humor is a huge contributor to our collective family happiness.  Sometimes it's wacky and borderline inappropriate but often breaks through and demolishes the mulligrubs!
* Mostly I'm thankful for God's Sovereignty in my life, knowing the final chapter will end in eternal joy. 

So why not pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" and begin that happiness here and now?  Then just ride that joy tide right into eternal glory!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


One of my sweetest gifts came on Mother's Day from my firstborn.  Kimberly reminded me of the title she bestowed on me when she made me a mother.  Then a lifetime of blessings followed through Kent and Katy. Facebook was her stage and podium.

So, my mama's better (and funnier and wackier and cooler) than yours was a game I won. Every. Time. I'm convinced that some of my dates, when I was a teen were guys actually crushing on my mom (sheesh).
Requiring costumes for airport pickups, impromptu (daily!!) singalongs, giggly ugly hat try-ons (often unappreciated by sales staff) were just everyday life with Mom. There's a reason Brian and Karen Tippett Hampton call her "Crazy Aunt Kathy".
Impressively, she's also a passionate Jesus-follower, authentic before it was cool, secure in her identity, and warrior-conqueror through soul-crushing trials. She truly leans on Jesus. Her humility, love for Christ, energy and natural leadership are magnetic.
Now, incredibly, she was a stay-at-home mom, packing lunches with love notes, supporting us through learning multiple instruments and hobbies, cheering our academic progress and just teaching old-fashioned life skills.
She did it all with such grace and zaniness (sooo much wacky, dark humor. We choose to embrace our weirdness). She balanced mercy and truth. She championed us, yet kicked our butts, when needed.
She set the bar high for motherhood, then grandmotherhood.
Thanks, Mom, for everything.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

(May be sung to the tune of GILLIGAN’S ISLE)

 Our Scotia Village Retirement Community had a poetry contest recently.  After a week at the beach Doug and I were quarantined to our villa for two weeks.  So with time on our hands, he worked in the yard and I wrote this poem.  It won FIRST PLACE.  My prize was a golden roll of toilet paper, now proudly displayed in our curio cabinet.  It could become one of the most valuable pieces in our collection!


(May be sung to the tune of GILLIGAN’S ISLE)

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a special place
Called Scotia Village standing proud
With challenges to face.
With challenges to face.

Our leader was a mighty man
Named Allen brave and sure
His residents and staff had plans
To keep us all secure.
To keep us all secure.

We must adjust, save gas and reach
For one more magazine.
Protection for our friends now means
Remain in quarantine!
Remain in quarantine!

The virus started getting rough
Our neighborhood was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
All Scotia would be lost!
All Scotia would be lost!

The grocery shelves were running low
On toilet paper first.
Then food became a premium.
The battle’s getting worse!
The battle’s getting worse!

But Ken and Steve with mighty staff
Provided meals to go.
We even got our ice cream treats
Delivered like a show!
Delivered like a show!

Then Ellen led our exercise
From driveways one and all.
Just bring your 2 tin cans and come.
Be careful not to fall!
Be careful not to fall!

We’ll get through this 6 feet apart
If everyone complies.
Trust God, He’ll meet our every need.
Through saints He still supplies!
Through saints He still supplies!


Wednesday, February 26, 2020


“Mrs. Henderson, would you be interested inhelping our school next door with their book fair?  We’d like to inspire students to write andwondered if you’d be willing to host a Meet An Author session.”  

It was billed as a gala evening withstudents, parents, teachers and a few authors, even a story-teller.  I gladly agreed.  Last night was a grand success as I talked with several budding authors.

In preparation, on Monday I asked Doug, “Any idea where my box ofwriting is stored?”  After searching wefinally found it!  As I plundered throughmagazines and newspaper pieces, I found this:

Almost 40 years ago I had written the editor ofRaleigh’s News and Observer about recent news. Unable to recall the details, I Googled it and read about Delta Forceattempting to rescue the 52 American hostages held in Iran. The effort ended in tragedy with helicopters down and death to oursoldiers.

I gasped, realizing my next door neighbor,Dennis Wolfe, was a member of that special forces group.  I knew he was part of Operation EagleClaw.  Doug saw him later yesterday morning,“Dennis, got a minute to come over? Kathy has something for you to read.”

He sat across from me yesterday on our sofa as I handedhim the yellowed clipping.   

"To the Editor:

Not since soldiers like my dad returned from World War II have we felt such pride in our country and gratitude to God. The events of the last 14 months have had one positive effect--unity for our country. 

The true heroes, however, are the eight noble men who gave their lives in the rescue attempt.  Each made the conscious choice to risk his life to save others and our national honor. Their families are to be admired for their continued patriotism, even in their loss.  Such brave men throughout history have endowed us with our precious freedom.

Kathy Henderson
Jan. 28, 1981"

He readsilently then grinned hugely, moved by my patriotism even back then as a youngmother of 3.  He met my eyes and I said,“Once again, I thank you for your service.”

“Can I get a copy of this?”  he asked. Doug took it to our copier.  We both realized this was not just acoincidence but a divine appointment, almost 40 years in the making.  He shook his head adding, “You never imaginedwhen you wrote it that we’d be next door neighbors, did you, Kathy?”

“No, but God did.”

Then we spent the next hour just talking aboutHis hand in our lives, weaving the tapestry, bringing us into the persons weare today. 

DENNIS:one of 6 kids. . .few jobs in his small Pennsylvania town. . . fresh out of high school, enlisting in theArmy.  Three recruiting stations stood in a row, before him.  He reached for theNavy office.  Out to lunch.  Then the Air Force door.  Locked. Third try was Army.  He shared thetwists and turns of life that seemed random at the time but led him intobecoming the military’s point man for dismantling weapons of mass destruction,whether atomic, nuclear or chemical. Awards. Medals.  A building namedafter him.  Four U.S. Presidents he’d protected supporting Secret Service.  

Dennis Wolf's Story of Military Valor click here

KATHY: young mother of 3 just beginning towrite. . .Jack Williams, Contact editor, her mentor. . .Navy brat of anofficer. . .her daddy instilled deep patriotism in her heart.   
News of fallen soldiers moved her to write thenewspaper.  Unknown soldiers.

Daddy as a Naval officer
Daddy as an enlisted man

But yesterday I heard first hand from one ofthose soldiers who DID know them and grieved back then. Together we grieved againalmost half a century later.

“Dennis, do you think God had this planned allalong?”

“Absolutely. I used to think things like this were coincidence.  No more.”

Dennis (in black) took a trip with us recently to Hamlet Train Depot and museum.
Friday we're going back for the buffet again!
We enjoy our new neighbors. Dennis and Corlee Wolf joined us for our Christmas Open House and he helped Doug place our Nativity.  Next day, he called out to me, twinkle in his eye, "Hey Kathy!  Last night my OCD kicked in and if those wise men are supposed to be coming from the East, we got it wrong." (Strategic planners never quit!)

"It's OK, Dennis.  Theologically they're also a couple of years early.  You and Doug can get it right next Christmas!"

Yesterday still holding the newspaper clipping and copy, we talked heart to heart about God’s hand inour low points, prayers we’d prayed, miraculous answers beyond all we asked orthought.

“Doug, I can almost picture God watching thisall play out today, slapping his knee with delight, as we discovered theappointment He planned so personally for us 40 years ago!”

What a mighty God we serve!

"My frame was nothidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in thelowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. Andin Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yetthere were none of them" (Psalms 139:15-16