Kara Kennedy

What is your favorite thing about working at ClearTrust?

I see my job at ClearTrust as an extraordinary opportunity to bless other people. We confer dignity to each of our team members, empowering each person to do something they love to do with people they are really friends with. Not everyone gets to wake up in the morning knowing that their work will contribute to the livelihood and well-being of others. I get to do that, and it’s a gift.

What are some of the small things that make your day better?

I have a morning ritual that’s positively sacred to me. I make our coffee using a vintage Colombian pour over we received as a wedding gift, and say a blessing over each member of my family as I pour the water over the coffee grounds. Saying the blessings helps me keep count of how many cups of water I’ve poured. (By the time I get to blessing Julieana, the fourth member of our family, I know I’ve made four cups.) It’s a small thing to make coffee, but doing this is the absolute best way to start every day.

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?

In Bali, Indonesia I found myself at a plantation producing Luwak coffee, which is coffee that is harvested from civet cat manure…. I was definitely far from home. 

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

I only read real paper books! And I love sending real letters to people. I think letter-writing has become a lost art, and I try to preserve it by sending authentic mail to people.

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for?

Laughing! Once my husband was able to find me in a loud crowd of 300 people by simply standing still and listening for me to laugh. He found me immediately.

 

What is something you will NEVER do again?

Eat durian. It is the blue cheese of fruit, so offensive in odor that it is illegal to bring onto the Singaporean subway system. But it’s quintessentially a part of the Asian experience so I donned plastic gloves, braved the stench and ate the bizarre custardy flesh on a recent trip. My friend, a local Singaporean and a durian aficionado, captured that ill-fated moment on video. Never. Ever. Again.

What book impacted you the most?

The Bible. A man named Ambrose, who was the 4th century bishop of Milan, captured it for me: “As in Paradise, God walks the Holy Scriptures seeking man.” Every time I read it, something new jumps out at me. It's amazing.

What is something that your friends would consider “so you”?

Trees! I am completely obsessed. I have trees in jewelry, on clothes, in house décor… For my 30th birthday we commissioned an artist to create an original tree painting depicting Jeremiah 17:7-8, which, of course, is an inspiring life metaphor featuring trees.

What’s the latest adventure you went on?

Recently I circumnavigated the globe in search of truth and healing after suffering from deep personal loss. I filled three journals with insights and have never been more stretched, challenged, overwhelmed, exhausted, overjoyed and awe-filled. It was refining by fire, a completely amazing adventure.    

What do you like most about your family?

When we gather, we bring together generations of food and stories for what seems like endless feasting and laughter. Our gatherings are the stuff of legend. The spirit of joy we usher in can make a house literally glow, and that joy lingers long after everyone’s gone. Ours is the kind of family that makes everyone else wish they were part of it.