Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You know you're a Southerner when. . . . .

Today I caught myself saying, "Bless your heart" to one person and "Darlin" to another. Oh my - southern culture is taking over my life.

It's a brand new year

Well, 2008 is over after today so I'll post a recap and New Year's Resolutions.

I had 6 resolutions at the beginning of this year and I'm happy to report that I have exceeded my plans for 5 of them. I've been the the gym (a lot!), gave up sugar and four, found the answers to some strange health stuff, Found more time to do what I love, and make more time for my friends. The only one I didn't really figure out was getting some financial stuff straightened out and switching 401k's, but pretty much the way the economy is going it's no big deal that I didn't make time for that.

So, onto 2009. I take resolutions seriously not just because it's the beginning of the year, but because I make these changes with the Lord's leading and believe they are changes He would have me make. If I don't keep them I feel like I'm letting Him down too. I try to incorporate changes as I can into my time with Him so it becomes a committment that we are making together. So, drum roll please, here are the resolutions for 2009!

1. Health: Give up ALL chemical sweetners. I'm about 90% there, but I have NO faith that aspartame and splenda and all that are in any way good for you, so out they go. I use Stevia for everything and even grow my own (I know-I'm so Martha Stewart!). It's a great alternative to sugar and sweetners.

2. Gym: I love the gym, but I get kind of obsessed with it so this year - 3 times a week and that's all. That's plenty anyway.

3. Quiet time/journaling - This year I plan to make a more concentrated effort to not only be aware of what the Lord is doing, but documenting it.

And that's it for now. I feel like those things are all I'm supposed to focus on this year so that's what I'm going to do! What are your resolutions?

Happy 2009!

A Coffee Filled Christmas

Oh my goodness! I love Christmas and you should see the coffee stuff that has crossed my path during the holidays. I don't know how you all could even know I like coffee (ahem) but I'm so glad you do! Here's the rundown of some of my favorite gifts . . . . . .

A Coffee zip up jacket (oh my word - it's adorable)
Coffee earrings
A coffee house for my kitchen
Starbucks pitcher for steaming milk
Starbucks espresso shot glasses
25 coffee ornaments (so cute!)
Starbucks coffee (pounds and pounds)
Starbucks gift cards
Starbucks coffee mugs
Starbucks Tazo Tea set
A new sign for my coffee themed kitchen that says Expresso yourself! LOVE IT!
A coffee clock that has a swinging spoon as a second hand (the greatest!)
A coffee bank that says money money money for coffee coffee coffee
A coffee desk clock that's a teeny tiny espresso machine

And I'm so sure I'm forgetting something, but I love them all! I'll post pictures soon!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After

Oh I love to see Christmas come and I love to see Christmas go. It might have something to do with working in retail that makes me glad when the holidays leave. I had a wonderfully quiet day. My grandparents were on their way but had some problems in Virginia and have opted to stay there through the weekend. It was sad they didn't make it for Christmas, but since I have had the flu/cold for over a week it was nice to stay on the couch with the dogs all day and watch movies. That sounds pathetic, but when you work 7 days a week you'll take a day off whenever you can get it! Since I live in Georgia I even went out and washed my car to get a little fresh air. It was so nice outside which is partially why it never feels like Christmas here. But, when I watch the snow and ice on the news I'm glad I don't even own a shovel and can always run out if I need to. We get paid back in the summer though when it's 100 degrees every day for 2 months!

I was going to go see Marley and Me yesterday but was glad I opted not to when people sent me messages not to see it. Apparently they were the ones that I saw Eight Below with where the dogs died and Brenda almost died herself of dehydration. Marley apparently dies and all of those people know I can't handle animals dying. Really I can't handle it.

But it does remind me of a great story John Maxwell tells. He was driving down the road when the car in front of him opened the passenger door and going 55 mph pushed a gorgeous collie out the door. The dog slid across the pavement with a visibly broken leg bloody and bruised. But it's what happened next that amazed John Maxwell. The dog limped up and started after the car with his master in it. Though He slay me - I will follow.

Oh how I want to be that kind of Christian. When Satan drags me under the cars of life and pushes me to the ground going 55 miles an hour and leaves me for dead on the side of the road - that I would get up and find Him and trust Him to come get me and heal me and set me free. I'm so glad He came not only to rescue us from this life but to be with us through it. My very favorite name for God is Emmanuel - God with us. We are not alone.

To those of you who feel alone I hope you can feel the Lord wrap his arms of mercy and grace around you and whisper hope to you from His heart. This season is His gift to us of Himself but also a great reminder that He knows, he understands, he cares, and he loves you. Start the new year with renewed hope and trust and faith in Him. If you make no other resolutions for next year, make one to fall madly in love with the one who loves you more than anyone else ever could.

Lord, in the year ahead we're coming after You - wholeheartedly, unashamed, desperately we're seeking your heart and based on your Word, we're going to find it. We're going to stop saying we'll seek you with all our heart and actually do it. We'll push past excuses and put you first in all things. And we'll be different a year from today for making that committment to you. With ALL our hearts we thank you for coming as a little baby, living as a human being, and dying as our savior. And we love you for rising again and taking your rightful place in Heaven where you are interceeding for us and preparing a place for us. We can't wait to see you but until then we're living 100% for you from now on! Amen

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Update on Missy and Ryan

Some of you have asked me for an update on Missy and Ryan. This was posted on their site tonight. Ryan seems to be doing better lately. Missy has had some good days, but continues to fight an uphill battle. She remains on hospice care. I know it is on their hearts and minds that this could be her last Christmas. Both Missy and Ryan face important scans and tests right after the first of the year that will determine their next steps in treatment. Thanks for praying for this precious family - especially this time of year.

From Les (Missy's husband and Ryan's dad)

It's Christmas eve and all a calm at the Morgan house. Why? because so many people filled Missy's shoes and put together a fantastically easy, joyous, bountiful, memorable, heartfelt, love filled Christmas. For that, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart as there was no way we could have come close to pulling it all together this year. I know Missy says she's feeling good a lot but those are simple snippets of her day. The majority of her day she works harder than she should do try and care for our family the way she is used to doing. Most of you have been brought into our lives by the angel hallows that surround Missy and Ryan. They are good and caring. Both relish in bringing a smile to the faces of everyone they meet. They are why we have a small army helping our family through the toughest of times.So Thank you again, one and all, and especially to my Missy and Ryan. With Hope and Belief, Merry Christmas. Les, Missy, Heidi, Will and SuperRyan.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Things are getting crazy in the world of Brenda and I know you all are crazy busy too. I'm going to take a break from blogging until the new year. I promise (again!) to tell you my new year's resolutions. . . . ..goodness, I just love accountability. . . . .ahem. But it worked last year so I might as well do it again right? And I would encourage you if you don't have a prayer journal for 2009 consider getting a copy of Prayers of my heart by Debbie Williams. Beth Moore uses this which is how I knew about it. it's amazing. I've loved mine all year and can't wait to start a new one next year.
A big happpy congratulations to my dear friend from college Katie on her engagement! I wish I lived in California and could help you plan and be excited with you. You deserve all the happiness in the world!
Hope you all enjoy the holiday season. Talk to you next year!!! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let there be light

I have to say that honestly I'm drawn to the darker side of life. I can rejoice with those who rejoice, but it doesn't really come naturally to me. I'm much better at mourning with those who mourn. It's not really a bad thing. There's a whole lotta people in the world who get very uncomfortable around those people who are struggling. I'm just not one of them. I prefer the middle of the night to the middle of the day. I don't mind getting up early, but I'd much rather stay up late at night. I'm not - at all - afraid of the dark. I have at times though been afraid of the light.

I started 2008 with an entry in my journal about suicide. Not that I was planning to commit suicide (I don't know if you go to hell if you do, but I'm not trying to find out), but just that for the first time I could honestly gut level relate to why people do. I don't really mean that to sound morbid, but I was just at the end of everything. I was tired - really tired - of being depressed. Actually I was tired of everything. And that's the problem with suicide - it makes people think things will always be like they are right this moment. The truth is, we don't know what's around the bend. But He does.

I started to send out a Christmas newsletter, but soon realized nothing terribly exciting has happened in my life this year. I think it's occasionally interesting, but not enough so that other people would want to read about it during the busiest time of the year. Plus, this blog serves as way too much information for most of the people in my life anyway.

I don't know exactly how to put into words what the Lord has done in the past few months, but even more so the last few weeks. He has delivered me from the bondage of depression, out of the pit of despair, out of the depths of sorrow and into his glorious light. On January 1st, 2008 I never could have seen it coming. I'm still not really sure how it happened, but I'm so glad it did. The only way I can even come close to explaining it is to say that I feel like one of the wise men, traveling through the desert - tired, hungry, thirsty, and miserable and when I thought I could not take another step or another breath, looking up to see the star, the light, what I had been searching for all along guiding me to a gift of peace and hope and joy unspeakable.

I have heard and continue to hear the voice of the Lord in the depths of my soul saying, "Let there be light" to all kinds of situations in my life. Jesus came over 2000 years ago to bring light and even with the world spinning seemingly out of control, he's still bringing that light to every heart that beats for him. I'm so glad he came. I'm so glad his gifts keep giving. I'm so glad he cares enough to bring his light to this little life trying to live for him.

I wish I could send every single one of you a handwritten Christmas card that would tell you how wonderful I think you are and how much I hope you have a wonderful year, but unfortunately I do not have time for that many cards! I hope you know how much I appreciate all of you in my life this year and how I wish the very best Christmas for all of you. Praying God would meet you at every turn and be faithful to you each step of the way. I hope you hear him speaking to every situation you face saying. . .. . . . . .

Let there be light!

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tagged-Eight things about me

I've been tagged to answer these questions so here you go.

8 TV shows I watch
1. Nancy Grace
2. Good Morning America
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. Oprah
5. Ellen
6. Top Chef
7. Whatever Martha
8. The Soup

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. Applebees
2. Quizno's
3. 306 North
4. Zaxby's
5. Moe's
6. Wendy's
7. Hungry Howie's
8. Papa John's Pizza

8 Things that happened to me today
1. I delivered Christmas presents for our adopt a family
2. I had my brand new featherbed delivered (YIPPEE! I can't wait to go to sleep!)
3. I ate at Slapdaddy's (an experience!)
4. I made my own gingerbread latte at home with my espresso machine (and it was good!)
5. I played ball with Ella
6. I got 3 Christmas presents - a coffee bank, a sign, and a gift card :)
7. I ate grilled cheese for breakfast
8. I wore my favorite high heels

8 Things I'm looking forward to
1. Finishing cleaning my house
2. Sleeping in my new featherbed
3. Playing with my dogs when I get home
4. Having my Christmas shopping done after tonight
5. 2nd work Christmas party on Friday
6. Enjoying the 80 degree weather this week!
7. Driving home with the top off my convertable
8. Putting my new Cocker Spaniel flag in my yard tonight


Tuesday Book Review

This is one of my favorite books of all time. It's a beautifully written memoir of a man who's wife is dying. It includes entries from her journal, comments from their children, and the beautiful acceptance of grace when her journey "home" becomes inevitable. I have given this book many, many times and it remains one of my favorites.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Operation clean my house

I keep my house picked up maybe 90% of the time, but I do not CLEAN my house every week. 1. I'm the only one who lives there and 2. I don't even live there that many hours a week. So, usually when I end up with company coming it throws me into a tailspin. I would really like to be a person who's home stayed ready for company and that may make the new year's resolution list, but quite frankly - I'm not. So when my grandparents announced that there's a good chance they are heading to Georgia SATURDAY as in THIS SATURDAY I was like uh oh. So, I'm forgoing the gym this week to get my house and guest rooms in order and trust me - it will be a workout!
On a positive note I have gotten rid of a whopping 350 books in the last few weeks and have 16 bags of clothes ready to go to goodwill. Progress has been made! Just not enough really :) With any luck I can work really hard tonight and tomorrow night and be done! I see starbucks in my future - like in 2.5 hours!
To cleaning!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ticking Clock

I really don't mind working in mental health - I definitely have the personality for it. I can spend all weekend laughing and crying and listening with people who have never been in a more terrible state - and then go home Sunday night and not give it much more thought until Friday night. I care about the people while I am there, but I don't dwell on it when I am not. You can't. It would drive you crazy. Mentally unhealthy people are draining. Really draining. But really I don't mind. I know they're draining and I expect them to be just that when I walk through the door.

And the endurance of all people is different. I have seen some addicts come in bound and determined this will be their one and only attempt at detox, they give it all they've got, and they succeed. I like these people :) I've seen others fail a few times, but not give up, and end up being successful. And some people just don't get it before they give up. And sometimes the depression, the Bipolar, the Schizophrenia, the grief, the addiction, the loss - it's eventually too much.

I call these people ticking clocks. Those of you not dealing with the suicidal and desperate may not relate. I can see the same people over and over and over again, but sometimes, in some people something in their eyes change. I can't really describe it, but I just know and it gives me chills everytime. I've seen it happen too often - Oh, they go through the motions, but you can tell in their eyes they have a secret and the next chance they get, they're getting out of here. And at least 99% of the time, I see their obituary pop up in the newspaper within a week or 2. It's morbid - I know - but it has happened too often to not be true. And I dread it happening because as much as I believe and pray for a miracle in their life, usually this is the beginning of the end.

I saw it today in a woman who has seriously fought the good fight. I just saw her not too long ago, but today, again, her eyes were different. I even asked her if she had given up and she assured me she had not - lie. I just know. I don't know why. I just do. And even though I can see it coming from a mile away, it will still take my breath away if her name pops up in the newspaper in the next few weeks, but I'm telling you - it will.

I wish people came with a gage - a little monitor on the outside so that you would know exactly how much more they can handle before they totally lose it. I'm thankful that we have One who knows just how much we can take and promises not to overburden us if we give our burdens to him. The one who holds the future and reveals it as we are able to receive and understand is gracious and kind. People who are living without Him are spiritually miserable to start with and have nowhere to place the burdens of this world - I'm glad I can't imagine. I pray peace for them all the time and that in their journey of desperation they would find the burden bearer who is standing willing and able to take their load. I pray that tonight even for the woman who is in ICU fighting for a life she does not want anyway.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Quote of the week

I love Ezekiel and this is one of my favorite verses.

Ezekiel 1:28 (New International Version)
28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

Have a great weekend! Talk to you Monday :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008


If I do say so myself, my deviled eggs with bacon are YUMMY! I can't wait to take them to the party tonight! Yippee! Every once in awhile I have to remind people that I can cook - I just usually choose not to :) Should be a fun party. I'm breaking out some new stilleto heels for such a time as this! I may be barefoot before the singing begins :) Hope you guys are enjoying the holiday season!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There will be a day

No book review for yesterday or this week because I have no time to read! Goodness knows. I'm at work until 9 and then I have to go home and make 2 dozen deviled eggs for a Christmas party tomorrow night. I could go the rest of my life without eating a deviled egg, but nonetheless I'm going to make a really cool recipe for them with bacon. I almost finished my Christmas shopping yesterday and have 2 gifts to finish making then I can be done with that. I have managed to buy everything Dora on our little adopted family's list - good heavens, who knew Dora ruled everything from toothbrushes to t-shirts?? Remember - I have no kids! I was impressed the status of Dora though. . .she's everywhere!

I like news, but it's depressing lately isn't it? So many people are struggling, Illinois representatives are acting ridiculous, unemployment rates are skyrocketing while the economy plummets. It's all too much really and it makes me long for a better place where there will be no need to worry and the end will never come. I think that day we'll be finally where we've longed to be since before we were born and we'll know we're home.

If you don't have Jeremy Camp's latest CD you should, but this song is quickly becoming my new favorite. It's There will come a day and here are the lyrics. . . .

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have. But I feel the weight of what it brings,
and the hurt that trys to grab The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth, that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings That there will be a place with no more suffering There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always I know the journey seems so long You feel your walking on your own But there has never been a step [ Jeremy Camp Lyrics are found on ] Where you’ve walked out all alone Troubled soul don’t lose your heart Cause joy and peace he brings And the beauty that’s in store Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why this is why I sing….There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face There will be a day, He’ll wipe away the stains, He’ll wipe away the tears, He’ll wipe away the tears…..there will be a day.

Whatever you're facing today He knows and more importantly he cares. Don't lose heart!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Nancy Grace

Maybe I'm just a little bit sarcastic but I LOVE Nancy Grace. I try not to miss it on CNN. She's probably a little harsh at times, but if I was in trouble with the law I would want her on my side! I've especially enjoyed her commentary lately on the crazy girl in jail who lost her daughter/sent the daughter with the nanny/whatever her story is at the moment. Nancy Grace - the best!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Top 10 of 2008

Well, the year is winding down and before much longer it's going to be out of control crazy, so I'm going to do this now before I forget. Here's the top 10 events of the life of Brenda for 2008 :)

10. When Starbucks announced a ton of closures my starbucks was not on the list :) Maybe because they have a not so annonymous donor??

9. Keeping my last year's new years resolution to go to the gym 3-5 times per week. . . success!

8. Giving up eating sugar 14 weeks ago. Stuck with it!!!!!

7. Giving up eating flour 14 weeks ago. Stuck with it!!!!!!!!

6. Having my grandparents stay with me for 3 months. They keep my house clean, do laundry, all the yard work, and are great company. See you guys this winter!

5. Hiring a lawn man last spring. . . . best money I ever spent.

4. Getting rid of my iphone (hated it) and switching to a Blackberry (love it) - don't shoot me - just my opinion!

3. Going to Yoga 2 times a week. I love the calmness of it.

2. Seeing Tina Turner live in concert for her farewell tour during a WONDERFUL weekend!

1. Finding God to be infinitely faithful in the big things and the small, in the easy and the hard, in the mundane and the eternal.

To 2009!!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Simply Heavenly

I'm not a huge bath and body works fan, but these 2 products are my new favorites. The new Sleep aromatherapy in lavendar chamomile and the new bubble bath sets are HEAVENLY. They have some great deals for the holidays and who doesn't want to smell good?? :)

A blessing

My sweet friend Kathy sent this to me a few weeks ago and I meant to put it on the blog then and forgot. So, I'm including it now. It's from Beth Moore and might just be the most encouraging thing to cross my path in a long time. Enjoy!

My Beloved Sister in Christ -
May God keep your heart set on your pilgrimage. May He keep your eyes upon the destination and never let you forget that your goal is a person - Jesus Christ and He is waiting for you --in person-- at your finish line. May you always remember what a great cloud of witnesses cheer you on in your journey to Mt. Zion and bids you to “be brave”! The race is not long, Beloved, so run hard! May your eyes be open to snares your enemy sits in your path and should you tumble in the ditch, may your troubled heart be disallowed to condemn you. Jump in the air, twirl around and buck like a bronco with repentance before your God until not a single speck of mud is left on your feet. Let God wash them in the water of His Word and plant them back on your path. When we feel heavy laden in our journeys, may we check first to see if it’s the burden of taking on a role that only belongs to God. May we lay down what has no place in our packs and run with the wind. When life is excruciating, may you find strength in Christ to crawl on your hands and knees, sowing the Word of God and watering it with your tears. May you never forget that you are inconceivably loved and that God will prove infinitely faithful. And on your way to the great feast in the heavenly Jerusalem, may you glance often to your right and to your left and offer a fellow pilgrim a helping hand. May the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, bless you from Zion.

Thank you Kathy! You bless me every day!


I love December, really I do, but I also dread it. I cannot tell you how packed slap full my December is this year. I realize that I have no children and no family coming and STILL, filled to the brim. It's frustrating.

I have put off annual dr. visits until this week, personal training at the gym till this month, 2 work Christmas parties, gifts wrapped and shipped all over, and 2 full time jobs mixed in. We support a local family for gifts at the store which I'm so blessed to be a part of, but it's not everyday I go shopping for Candyland and Dora books. . . my heavens! Add to it the month where you cannot get away with not cooking because everywhere you go wants you to bring something . . . .ugh. And since I haven't eaten sugar or flour in the last 13 weeks I'm real excited to go to holiday feasts! I digress.

I just want time to sit on the couch with a cup of coffee and thank the Lord over and over again for coming to Earth for me. I want to thank him for surviving adolescence and the hardships of a young adult and the weight of being fully human and fully divine just to die on the cross. . . .for me. I want to read the Christmas story every day and realize how amazing it is that Mary was obedient and Joseph was understanding. The absolute miracle that was his birth, his life, his death, his life everlasting. . . . .I'm still amazed.

I want time to admire the baby in the manger and try to grasp the idea that in that tiny baby hand was eternity. That somewhere in that tiny little package beat a heart that had my name on it. That somewhere in the mind of that infant was the knowledge that 2000+ years later a young woman in the Earth, North America, Georgia, Valdosta, Hilltop Circle would need a Savior. I hope He knew even then that I would love Him and aspire every day to be more like him.

So, I'm going to take care of all of my responsibilties this month because I'm committed to them, but I'm also trying despreately to fit in little moments where I can stand in his glory and appreciate his earthly life. What are you doing this Christmas to keep Jesus in focus?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Personal Training

Well, I love going to the gym, but I pretty much just stay there until I get either bored or tired (I know great strategy!). So, it's time to crack down to stay in shape through the holidays. I hired a personal trainer who works at my gym. It doesn't cost that much more than the gym membership and it will make me actually go stay there until I finish a workout. I feel 10% excited and 90% like I'm going to be half dead after tomorrow morning!

Tuesday Book Review

This book is filled to the brim with great quotes and it is an amazing book, but this quote is my favorite.

"Ill winds may blow, more character defects may surface, sickness may visit, and friends will surely die, but a stubborn irrefutable certainty persists that God is with us and loves us in our struggle to be faithful." - Brennen Manning

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Odyssey!

To my favorite boy in all the world! I can't believe we've been best friends for 6 years. . . oh my. I remember flying all the way to Illinois to get you and the first night when you wouldn't sleep thinking I made a huge mistake! It was short lived because you had my heart on the plane ride home when you peeked out of your crate every 5 minutes just to see if I was still there! You have taught me so much about loyalty and being a friend - you're the best at it!

I love that you always know what kind of day I've had.
I love that you jump up and down when I come in the door even if I just went to get the mail!
I love that you don't hurt Ella even though she fusses at you sometimes.
I love that if Ella pitches a fit you'll give her your bone even if you're not finished with it.
I love that you'll do anything for cheese and chicken.
I love that you love your bear and you go get it at night and take it to bed with you.

I hope you know I've loved you every day of your life and there's no stopping me now. Happy Birthday sweet boy!

January book of the month

The first book in the bookclub is The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen. This print hangs in my dining room and I love love love it! Henri Nouwen is one of my favorites. So, enjoy and we'll talk about it the end of January.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Well, my hat off to those of you who got up before 3 this morning to go shopping. No way that was happening here, but good for you! I'm always amazed at the sheer number of people out on this day.

I do want to say that I was VERY disappointed in America today though. I don't know if you heard about the man who was trampled TO DEATH at a Wal-Mart in New York. Not only was the poor man trampled, but when EMS arrived to help him the people running in wouldn't move. I cannot believe this man's family is without him tonight just so people can get whatever it is they don't need for a few dollars off. Ridiculous.

Working in retail my black Friday was spent at the store which was busy. Then I went to the mall and got cool stuff at Bath and Body Works and had my hair blown out (can you GET any lazier than having your hair blown out - I know. I just don't want to do it this weekend!). And now I'm super enjoying not having to go to the hospital until 7 am. yippee for holidays.

Hope you guys had a good day!

Quote of the week : Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over - she became a butterfly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas comes early!

The Sony E-readerChristmas came early to my house yesterday. I have been debating for several months whether to get the Amazon Kindle or the Sony e-reader. Basically it's a handheld device that looks like a book that you can download up to 160 books on at one time and read them. Genius. I finally settled on the Sony e-reader and thanks to early Christmas money - IT'S MINE! I'm so excited. I've already downloaded 2 new books to it that I can't wait to read. I hope people want to stay sane tomorrow so I can read them :)


Since I will be at the hospital from sun up to way past sun down tomorrow I wanted to wish you a happy thanksgiving today! I hope your holidays are happy ones. For those of you spending time with relatives that you love - enjoy it! For those of you spending the holidays with those who are difficult I pray God would bring great peace to your gatherings and you would leave surprisingly refreshed and encouraged.

And if you're seriously bored, come by the mental hospital and visit me! Starbucks is open so if you bring me a pumpkin spice latte when you come I promise not to admit you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday book review

I love Maya Angelou. I've read just about everything she's ever written and this one is still one of my favorites. It's a collection of short essays like most of her work, but so powerful. And I think the title about wraps up my feelings this week because I really Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now! I recommend it!

Thank you.

(This picture is from my backyard!)

I am humbled seriously from your sweet sweet comments. Thank you for caring about yesterday and being happy with me. And I appreciate you thinking I'm super spiritual, but rest assured, the place I am now where I can praise him in good or bad did NOT come easily. There were many, many very un-spiritual nights of kicking and screaming and crying and doubting and wondering if He was there or even cared. And, all thanks to Him, I still feel really great today. And thank you for sharing your stories with me. I know some of you think because I listen for a living I wouldn't want to hear about what's going on in your life - not true my friends! You are always encouraging my faith with what the Lord is doing in your lives.

And thank you for being excited about the bookclub! I really can't wait to share it with you.

And as if this week couldn't get any better - Door County Coffee just sent me a box with 6 pounds of Christmas coffee - yes you read that right - 6 and fear not - they'll ALL be gone by Christmas!


Monday, November 24, 2008

A good day.

Not many of you know the emotional struggles of the past few years for me and it is certainly not my intention to turn this blog into a depression (not so) annonymous blog! But I just wanted to say that only if you've ever truly struggled with depression can you know when it has lifted. I have hesitated to write this entry all day because I am so aware that the enemy is everywhere and unfortunately I think he speaks english! But I don't want the sun to go down on this day without God getting the glory.

On this day in my life for the first time in a LONG time I feel like I can say I am not depressed - at all. Can I just tell you that I cannot remember the last time I felt "good" like really good? Sure there have been some good days, but they seriously have been partly cloudy at best. It has been at least several years since I've felt this good that I honestly did not recognize it when it hit me this afternoon. I'm probably making no sense at all.

I don't know why God lets us be afflicted with things and I certainly am not so naive to think that I could not wake up tomorrow in a mess of tears, but God is teaching me how to live in the moment. And this moment - I cannot tell you how unbelievably happy I am to be happy. NOTHING has changed in my life, NOTHING terribly exciting has happened in the last little bit - but still, I feel good. For the first time in a long time I feel hopeful, content, and somewhat balanced. To put it plainly - my prayers have been answered.

And I would not have guessed it, but can I just say that if tomorrow I wake up more depressed than ever, I will still be so thankful for today. I am so grateful for this reprieve I do not have words. I feel like for the 1st time in 2 years - I can breathe effortlessly. I feel free - like the hours spent on my knees have been cashed in for total peace. Worth everything.

And the human side of me is so tempted to brush this day off by saying, "Well, I slept more, I'm healthier, it's the no sugar no flour life, it's been a good day - but NO, I'm not believing any of that because that has all happened before. I'm saying that this day, this moment, at this time is a precious treasure of a gift flowing down from the throne of GRACE to this feeble attempt at humanity. A GIFT and I recognize it as such.

Dear Lord Jesus, today I am humbled by your graciousness to me-just one little life who doesn't often get it right, but who so wants to be like you. I don't know why the tide has turned today, but I thank you for hearing my prayers in the past years and for the tools you have brought along the way. I want you to know that if depression never returns I will praise you. But I also want you to know on the record that if it returns tomorrow and never leaves again - I also will praise you. We have made it through some long dark nights of the soul - together. I trust you in the sunshine and I love you in the storm. Amen

Since I believe life should be set to music I will say that I have believed in these lyrics for a long time and today I feel like I'm living after the rain.

After the Rain
I cover my heart
Turn from the wind
Button my coat
Here comes the storm again
What can I do but to trust in Him

Cause I know the deeper my faith runs
The stronger I become
And the thunder, it may shake me
But I always know that

After the rain
You can look to the sky again
The clouds will give way
To the light of the sun
After the rain
You know that you've made it through
And you'll finally see the joy from the pain
After the rain

Everyone needs
Everyone hurts
Everyone feels
The weight of the world sometimes
But don't let the wind sweep your heart away
'Cause even the roughest waters cleanse
So when they come again
Let them serve as a reminder
You can always know that


Thanks for listening :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Brenda's Book Club

I love books - no secret. I love sharing Tuesday book reviews with all of you. Some of you have mentioned that you would like to read what I'm reading when I'm reading it so we could discuss it. I understand that. I love to discuss books with people. Authors are superstars to me. Those who can put pen to paper in a way that changes peoples minds, their eyes, and their perceptions - magnificent. A well written book is like the best to me. And the greatest thing in all the world for me is knowing that when I'm done with this book, there's another one unopened on my nightstand just waiting for me. I find the written word so powerful - from the Bible to St. Augustine, to crazy fiction, to modern classics, to the chronicles of Narnia - I love them all.

So, for my blog friends, I am announcing today the start of Brenda's book club! Starting in January it will be a monthly book selection so you'll have plenty of time to read it. Because I only believe in recommending really good quality books, it will be a book I've read before, BUT, I promise to read it along with all of you and if you've read it you have to promise to read it again. The only thing I like better than a good book, is one worthy to be read a second or third or forth time - now that's a classic!

I will be announcing January's selection December 1st which gives you a whole month to get it. We'll start reading it January 1st at your own pace and I will do a complete review of the book the last day of the month including your comments along the way. I will not post comments about the book throughout the month because we'll all finish at different times.

DO NOT feel like you have to participate - you so do not. You can still be a friend of my blog without doing the books, absolutely. But, if you want to or you want to do some months or you want to do all of them - this is a fun way for us to "hang out" even though we're spread out all over the world! It will be fun to know we're all reading the same thing.

I'm excited! I can't wait to tell you the 1st selection, but I will. And by the way, I am excluding Robert Benson (My favorite author of all time) from the list. I would be tempted to only choose him and all of his books are classics to me. Plus, my friends are all SO SICK of hearing about the dreaming and the coming true they could throw that book at me no doubt. So, he's worthy of your reading, but he won't be on my list. And all the people in my life breathed a huge sigh of relief :)

To reading!

P.S. I also love a great deal on a book so I'm suggesting you get the books on Amazon. Sometimes with shipping it's still less than $5. I will also be glad to get them for you and you can just send me a check or whatever. I do it ALL the time for people at the store so honestly I don't mind at all. Just let me know.


Some people have asked me lately my spiritual opinion of people going to therapy. So, here it is.

I haven't been to therapy since college when I had to go for my degree - quite frankly - I enjoyed it! I was a little intimidated by the process at first, but seriously it can be the best conversation you've ever had! I didn't really mind it at all and it gave me some clarification of some things so no biggie. Would I go again now like on my own accord? If I felt like I needed it - yes, for sure.

I don't really think therapy is a spiritual decision necessarily. If you're going through something that you feel like you could benefit from talking to a non biased party - do it. Sometimes we just need someone to help us put our thoughts in order.

I assume people have been asking me because they have considered going recently, so assuming that let me say the following.

Don't bother scheduling an appointment with a Psychiatrist unless you want to start with the medication route. They don't generally do talk therapy so you'll be wasting your time and up to $200 an appt.

Don't assume your pastor is a therapist. I'm all for spiritual guidence, but pastors are not necessarily trained to help you sort through your thoughts and emotions. Spirtiual guidence, prayer support, biblical questions - go for it, depression and other issues - no. (just my opinion!). We have a pastor who works at the hospital with a masters in counseling - genious combination, but hard to come by.

Don't necessarily settle for the 1st counselor/therapist you go to. Therapy is like finding a great pair of shoes - you'll know when you've found it, and you know when you missed it totally. You should feel comfortable and able to have a productive dialoge. If after a few sessions you don't feel like it's "working" for lack of a better word, don't be afraid to tell him/her that you may need someone else. Chances are they feel the same way.

Don't think it's going to be like the movies. No one is going to make you lay on a couch or cry your eyes out or be hysterical. Most people report a very professional experience with a great conversation and some goals to work on in regard to the situation.

Another word to the wise - don't assume your husband/wife or best friend are your best options. Women especailly grow up thinking they will get married to the man of their dreams who they can talk to about anything, he will listen patiently and then have all the answers. That's not fair to him and most married women report this particular scenerio leaves them feeling unheard and alone. Even if you are married to a great man who will listen to you ramble on, he may not have the answers you are looking for which can lead to resentment, etc.

However, for general day to day life stressors - if you have an attentive spouse or a best friend that you can discuss anything with, if you have someone in your life that when something bad happens you start dialing without a thought to what time it is - you have found therapy in it's purest form and for that you should be thankful. Having someone listen attentitively to your concerns who also has your best interest and well being at heart is a GIFT. Cherish it.

Working in the counseling profession myself I will say on this point I agree with Freud who said, "We don't really cure anyone - we just stand by and cheer while they cure themselves." Therapy is a valuable tool and if you need it - get it :)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Well, I'm glad it's finally Friday. It's been a good week. Trained at the hospital this morning - passed - good! You gotta love self defense training. So none of you better come up behind me and try to pull my hair cause I will tear you up!! Ha ha. I think I'm still going to just try to get out of the way, but you never know.

Three and a half more hours at the store and then home to take a LONG nap and head to work tonight. You never know how the weekend before Thanksgiving is going to go. Either totally crazy or totally dead, but not usually anything in between. We'll see. Either way there will be at least 4 triple venti non fat one pump no foam no whip one pump extra hot pumpkin spice lattes in the near future!

I hope you know that wherever you are physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally - he is near.

To those of you are facing unspeakable things where your heart is undeniably broken - he is close to those who mourn. I pray you find his comfort.

To those of you rejoicing - He rejoices with you.

To those who have fallen away and feel so far away from him - he is as close as your next breath. Call on him - he promises to answer.

To those on the mountaintop - he is clapping and cheering with you.

To those in the valley - he is holding you up and encouraging you to stand.

Wherever you are he is there. Have a great weekend! Talk to you Monday.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for SLEEP! The next few days are going to be rough with some training at the hospital and working all weekend so I'm promising never to take sleep for granted again!
I'm thankful for my journals. I haven't always been cosistant in journaling, but I'm so thankful now to have a record of all that the Lord has done for me. They would also be the first thing I would want burned if I died!

Stevia! This little marvelous herbal sweetner has saved my life or at the very least my coffee. It takes a little getting used to, but it's so much better for you than sugar!

And as always I'm thankful for these 2 little friends. They make me laugh, are glad when I get home at night, and are easily amused by a short walk or a Dingo Bone. They have taught me so much about unconditional love and are the best listeners I've ever found.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I remember

It's no secret that I love love the Old Testament. I love the stories and the customs and the traditions. I love the way that they didn't have to wonder what the power of God was like because every once in awhile He just came around and showed them! I think they had the healthy fear of God that many of us lack. They knew He could wipe them out because they'd seem him do it before!

If I could wrap up the Old Testament in one word it would be - Remember.

God did NOT want his people to forget. He instructed them to build monuments and temples. He wanted them to celebrate holidays and events. He wanted them not just to remember that they were delivered from Egypt, but WHO delivered them. He wanted them to remember the heights from which they had fallen. He wanted them to remember the God of their youth. I think the Jewish faith is fascinating. I don't agree with all of their teachings obviously, but I can appreciate that they still celebrate Passover and days like it. They don't want to forget.

I don't want to forget either. I don't want another day to go by or another breath to be taken without remembering that I am His. I always say if you need to be reminded that God is with you, feel your pulse. That's God saying, "beat, beat, beat, beat." And when he doesn't say "beat" anymore - it won't. I might think at times that I can live without him, but that's like breathing without lungs - can't be done!

I heard someone say a few weeks ago about overcoming addiction - "plant your stake, walk away, and don't do it again." I'm thankfully not trying to overcome any addictions, but I am trying to determine in my heart once and for all with everything I am and all that I have to live 100% for Him. WAY easier said than done and it gets tested every single day!

So, tomorrow morning I'm planting a stake in my rose garden with tomorrow's date on it. I want Him to know I mean it. There is nothing in my life more important than Him. It will remind me to keep short accounts because I'll see it before I leave in the morning and as I'm coming home at night. There's no power in the stake, but there is wonderful power in Him.

It will say from me to Him - I remember.
I remember that the sacrifice you made will always be greater than any I make.
I remember that I'm to pray for those who persecute me.
I remember that nothing will ever separate me from Your love.
I remember that I am flawed and repeatedly forgiven.
I remember that with You all things are possible.
I remember that You will never leave me.
I remember that Your love is never conditional.
I remember that You have already done far more for me than I deserve.
I remember that today is a gift.
I remember that Earth is temporary.
I remember YOU.

You might not be as literal as I to actually put a stake in your yard, but what spiritual stake can you put down today to say, "that's it, from here on out we'll do things differently?" What can you put down once and for all and say, "No more." What is Jesus asking you to remember?


Tuesday book review (on Wednesday)

SORRY! I don't know what happened to yesterday. Well, this is my new favorite book, but you're going to be mad at me. It doesn't come out until January 9th, but I got an advanced copy. HA HA! So you'll have to wait till next year to read what I read last night. Yes, that's right, I did not clean my house, I only read this book. That's sad. Ted Dekker is my favorite fiction author and his latest co-author will knock your socks off. So appreciated his darkness combined with her spirituality. So, when you get the book next year - tell me what you think. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's a good news kinda day!

Soooooo, some of you know I've been having crazy trouble with my right ankle. Besides the fact that I've sprained it (at least) twice in my life, I also hurt it somehow at the gym last Tuesday. I have been trying to heal it miraculously on it's own, but no can do. I finally went to a foot dr. guy today who did a bunch of x-rays and the short version is . . . . . . .2 bones of my ankle are now too close together and are hitting against each other. I was definitely thinking the worst until the Dr. said. . . . .."I can do surgery on it, but I'd rather just put a cortisone shot in it, give you some anti-inflamatories and oh, it would really be better if you only wore heals." HELLO! I've been wearing flats for weeks thinking heels would hurt it more. I'M SO HAPPY! Tell a girly girl to only wear heels. . . . . you got it doc! I'm heading to the mall after work and then sending the flats to goodwill. Happy day!


A False Sense of Security

I don't have a lot of faith in security guards. Don't get me wrong-I'm happy for the big guys that help to keep us safe from the crazy people, but in all reality - We could get really hurt before they got to us and that's true anywhere.

I have no faith in restraining orders either. I think it's a good feeling to think you're "restraining" people from getting to you, but quite frankly, anyone who requires a restraining order be taken out on them probably doesn't care that much about violating it. I'm just sayin.

What I am sure of is the security of Jesus. We can put our hope in someONE who cannot go against Himself. By very nature he is a shelter, a safe place for us. When we put our hope and trust in Him we are secure from the inside out. We are in the world, but we are not of it. Our eternal security rests in the One who knows the end from the beginning. We are at war with powers and principalities here on the Earth, but one day we will be where nothing will ever harm us again. We will truly live happily ever after.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


You don't have to work in mental health very long to realize we don't exactly have control of our destiny. I've seen those who should be dead walk away and those that never should have died arrive DOA to the ER. It's always strange to me and always reminds me that God really is in control.

One of our long time patients shot himself in the head this week with a 347 magnum. Shot himself in the ear, through his skull, where the bullet lodged in his neck. He did not require surgery. He was not dead. He walked away. Came in on a gurney - could walk, talk, no long term injuries besides a blown ear drum. WEIRD. He has no family, no friends that I know of and has been miserable as long as I've known him.

Another gentleman the same day - 78 year old married man with a seemingly happy life of volunteering-also shot himself in the head. He died instantly. He had a marriage, I assume children, probably grandchildren, maybe great grandchildren. Seemed to have a lot to live for.

So, my question always is - was it the 78 year old's time to die? Was it not the other man's time to die? Did providence play a role even in the act of 2 people trying to harm themselves? Both hoped for the same outcome, but only one got it. I think God knew what would happen to both of them, but did he CAUSE one to die and one to live? Interesting to think about.


Friday, November 14, 2008

The end

It's the end of another week! I feel out of sorts with being gone and getting back into the swing of things. It is humid and rainy and yuck here today and it's making me want to take a nap! Hope you guys have had a really good week. I'll have more exciting things to talk about next week. . . . ..
Brenda :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A special prayer request for a special family

Since my friend Jenny's little girl died of cancer 2 years ago I have been part of a cancer ring that prays for children with cancer. It's really amazing, but I usually don't comment on them on my blog because it's seriously so sad. There are some victories, but a whole lot of defeats. I wanted to share with you this special story tonight because I can't even imagine how this family is getting up in the morning. Ryan has had cancer for several years. He's 10 years old. He's gone into remission, relapsed, remission and now has relapsed again. During his last remission his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was doing well too until a few weeks ago. She went downhill very quickly and now has hospice care. She will die not knowing if her son will live - I can't imagine. They have 2 other children that are struggling as well. If you can today lift up a prayer for them. They are a sweet family having such a tragic time.

This is a post from their blog -

There are a lot of things that are wrong in this world. Tonight, Missy and I had to tell our three beautiful children that their mommy is dying. The only thing possibly worse than that, is losing a child. We have appreciated the support from all of our family and friends so much over the years since we started SuperRyan. I never, in a million years thought that I would have to type this on his page. Missy has been every bit as amazing as Ryan while fighting this hideous disease. She was full bore right up until last week, never a complaint about her condition, just constant worry about Ryan and the rest of us. It is still her main concern. She is on a number of medications for pain, cough and sleep. Our hospital appointments have been changed to Hospice care. Thank you for being there for us, praying for us and letting Missy know how much she is loved.

The Election

First let me say, I'm super happy the election is over. 2 years is toooooo long both for the candidates and the American people. I think it all got very confusing after hearing it 100 times. No, the election did not turn out the way I had hoped and prayed, but again I say, it did not take Jesus by suprise. There is a reason Obama will take office in January and His plan is perfect. I do have great respect for anyone going into office in the mess this country is in currently. It's an unbelievable task and I do wish him well. He will have my prayers and I think we all need to pray especially for the safety of his beautiful family. It's got to be a scary thing to be in the political spotlight - especially now. And again I say - I'm glad it's over!

SOOOOO funny!

You guys crack me up. Thanks for all the funny comments about Tina Turner. There were many that made me laugh but the one that wins is . . . . .

"Brenda, you can be a christian and like Tina Turner. It's been done before. A few times." So funny.

To answer back to a few comments -

To those of you who asked what movie is about Tina and Ike's life - it's What's Love Got to Do with it and it's on Lifetime all the time. Love it!

To those of you who are jealous you didn't go to the concert - You should be - it was awesome :)

To those of you who want to go with me next time - there won't be a next time! It's her farewell tour, follow along!

Did I get anything at the concert? - Yes, a mug that looks like the one above. I'm drinking out of it right now!
Now, I'm over my Tina obsession for now, so I'll blog about some other things tonight. Thanks for being excited with me. It really was Fabulous! Okay, I'm stopping for real. . . . . .

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm back!

THANK YOU for letting me take a little break. It's been a great week, but I have missed you. AT least twice a day I've thought "I can't wait to blog about that!" So, I have much to say, and I will in the next few days. I'll start with last night and work my way backwards.............

TINA TURNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fair Warning - those of you who have me on a spiritual pedestool may not appreciate this post. I'm definitely a Bible believing, saved, spirit filled believer of the only true God, BUT, additionally - I adore Tina Turner. Cat's out of the bag. Get over it :)

Those of you who ride with me in the summer or happen to be in my bathroom when I'm getting ready, it will not surprise you that I have a (not so) secret love affair with Tina Turner. Really to the point that I can sing her entire The Best CD from start to finish, all 18 songs, with no music.
So, 4 long months ago she announced her final tour which included a stop in Atlanta. I made 2 quick phone calls and had tickets not long before they sold out. And after waiting (forever!) last night was finally the night! It was like Christmas eve in my world, seriously. We had such a good time. Met the best people who sat next to us. And she was AMAZING! There are so many reasons I like and respect her not the least of which is she's an overcomer, but on a totally superficial note - SHE'S 68 years old! I wish I looked like that now! Amazing. And she totally exemplifies my life motto which is "get better with age." She so does - what a legend! It was a wonderful night of dancing singing laughing and great fun with friends. And it was worth the LONG few days of working 37 hours, driving to atlanta, concert and back all in the same weekend. So wonderful. . . . .

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Blog break

It's been a long time since I've taken a break from the blog and now it is time again! I know you're all sad, but it will be okay - no worries. It's a very busy week and with some other craziness going on, all of my attention needs to be focused on these things. I am leaving Sunday afternoon to go out of town for a few days. I will be back on November 12th with a complete update. I'll miss you till then :)

Monday book review!

I know it's not Tuesday, but tomorrow has the potential to be really busy and I definitely wanted to share about these 2 books with you.
First up is Heaven has blue carpet. This is a great read about a suburban housewife who started a sheep farm. Her insights about being a 'Sheperd' and then in turn offering insights about Jesus as our Sheperd are amazing. It's a very easy read and I really enjoyed it.
And the last one is LIfe is Mostly Edges by Calvin Miller. This is his memoir. I love Calvin Miller and greatly enjoyed his insights on his life. It's a long book which I'm a big fan of :)

I recommend them both!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


This is my quote of the week. It's from the preface of Dr. Robin Smith's book Lies at the Alter. I love when people can put into words exactly what my heart tries to say. . . . ..

"And pulling up the rear, always having my back, the foundation of my life and the circumfrence of my being - God! Most of all I thank you for witnessing my life, and for allowing me to know that I am non-erasable and irreplaceable to You. That knowledge and understanding has transformed me. Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love - and I love you back."
Dr. Robin Smith

Saturday, November 1, 2008

20 Things you may not know about me

I haven't done one of these in awhile so here goes. . . . . . ..

1. Once I decide to be in a relationship with someone I am fiercely loyal. I am not a fair weather friend. I have and will walk through fire with the people I care about (good triat!). On the flip side once I get it in my head that I don't want to be in a relationship with someone, it is extremely difficult for me to change my heart's mind. (bad trait!). Jesus and I are always working on that one.

2. I love Starbucks (duh), but really to the point that if I don't get it, I could end up in a bad mood for awhile. I would give up Starbucks if Jesus asked me to because I love Jesus more than Starbucks. . . .but I might cry a little :)

3. I love, love, love having a convertable. South Georgia is a perfect place for a red PT Cruiser convertable with a turbo engine.

4. My secret wish is to live on a deserted island with my dogs and a huge trunk of books and wait for the rapture while eating pineapple and kiwi and mangos.

5. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be grilled cheese.

6. I eat a little tiny bit of meat very occasionally, but I really wish I didn't.

7. I've never wanted children and at this point I still don't. I do have a fear though I'll wake up one day and be 40 and wish I would have.

8. I have no great desire to be married, but I am afraid to be the crazy cat lady and to die alone.

9. I wish I felt like I fit in with my family.

10. I give blood every 56 days like clockwork and feel guilty if I miss it by even a day.

11. I hate jury duty and am always glad when I say I work at a mental hospital they let me go :)

12. My current favorite movie is The Waitress and when I watch it I feel like I can make pies too! (I can't)

13. Still every Sunday 6 years later I miss my church in Kentucky and wonder sometimes why God didn't let me stay there!

14. I care nothing about being domestic and it's a huge chore every week to do housework.

15. After being on call all weekend I resist the urge every Monday to run over my cell phone with my car!

16. I have a tattoo on my left wrist that says Hope in Hebrew. I've never regretted it for a minute and it didn't hurt nearly as bad as I thought it would.

17. I hate this weekend because the time goes back an hour which makes me have to work another hour!

18. I love having something to look forward to and I'm happy I only have to wait 7 days for the next exciting thing!

19. My favorite restaurant of all time is 360 north downtown (if you come to visit I will so take you there!)

20. I wish it was Sunday night instead of Saturday night.

Until next time :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Final thoughts on the election

This is it. My last post on the election. Soak it in :) I am, like the rest of you I'm sure, so tired of hearing about the election. Empty promises, hope filled statements that may or may not come true, and a whole bunch of mean chit chat. Is it just me or has it been like 10 years since this one started. . . ugh.

I will be casting a vote for the McCain Palin ticket because I believe in what they are all about. If you are considering not voting - VOTE. People in our history have given their lives so that women especially can have the opportunity to vote. It is our responsibility as a citizen and I believe as a Christian. God believes in doing things decently and in order and part of that is participating in local and national elections. I live forever far from where I have to vote and plan on waiting forever on Tuesday to vote, but I'm still going to do it. You do it too :)

Even though I hope I'm wrong, I don't think the McCain Palin ticket will win. Obama will get the popular vote and I'll be very surprised if he doesn't get the electoral vote as well. I don't know what the future of America looks like, but I certainly know who holds the future. I will be on my knees for this president either way. I believe we're living in end times and I would NOT want to be president anyway, but especially at a time like this.

So, we'll see! God knows who will be the next president and soon so will we. We need to praying in these final days that God's will would be done on earth as it is in Heaven.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

I saw the Lord

I am so excited to be starting this study tonight! I hate the seasons in between studies because it gets me out of fellowship. WAY happy to be starting this 8 week study tonight. I love Anne Graham Lotz. My heart could use a wake up call, so this is EXCELLENT timing! I'll let you know how it goes.


Thankful Thursday

I feel like I've moaned and groaned enough on my blog the last few weeks so I'm turning Thursday's posts from here on out into Thankful Thursdays. It will give me a chance in my own life to stop and remember to be thankful and maybe it will remind you of some things you can be thankful for too :)

So today I'm thankful for . . . . . . . . . . .

1. Jesus. How anyone makes it a single minute without him is a mystery to me. Even though I have miles to go in my Christian life, I'm so grateful He has brought me this far. I could never, ever love anyone more.

2. The steps the Senate is taking to ban partial birth abortions. I know you don't want to hear me go on another rant about abortion, but if this doesn't pass - I will. I hate abortion and the idea of it comes from nowhere but the pit of Hell. It is murder plain and simple. As a mental health professional I can tell you it NEVER NEVER NEVER leaves your thoughts and it WILL haunt you forever. Never let Satan convince you that a short term fix is his ultimate solution. It's a lie.

3. Starbucks. If you didn't know I love love love coffee then we haven't met yet. But it's more than the coffee, it's the experience. I love to walk in there and hear at least 4 people say BRENDA! It's good to be known :)

4. Brown Rice Cakes. Since my new eating system started 2 months ago I've fallen madly in love with rice cakes. You can turn them into pizza, mexican, or sweet with all fruit spread in just a matter of ingredients!

5. Sugar free pudding. I don't plan to leave this in my diet much longer considering it's packed with chemicals, but for now I like it :)

I'm sure there's much more I'm thankful for, but for today that's all. I have to save some for next Thursday and the next. What are you thankful for today?


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Changed by Your Love

I wish I knew how to live fully in the love of the Lord. I wish I could fully grasp how he feels about me and what his thoughts are towards me. I think if we could really wrap our minds around that, it would truly change us.

I spend a lot of time thinking about change, wondering about change, and worrying about things that may or may not change, but very little time letting the Lord do something about any of the changes. I'm convinced good intentions have more to do with Satan than God. I don't want to have a list of prepared excuses ready for the Lord on Judgement day. When he asks why I didn't spend more time with him or why I didn't do the things he has asked of me. . . .

I don't want to think or say
"I meant to, but. . . . . ."
"I was going to, but. . . . "
"I would have, but. . . . ."
"I didn't have time"
"I was too tired"
"It just wasn't covenient for me."

I want to say
"I did it because you told me to."
"I did it when you told me to."
"I didn't complain about doing it."
"I did it even though it hurt."
"I did it even though my flesh thought it had better things to do."
"I did just as you said."

And I want that to be true in every situation. When he impresses something on my heart (and you know when it's from him!) I want to do it NOW, not spend the next week wondering if it was from him and the week after thinking I should have probably just done it already. When he says pray, I want to do it now because I KNOW I'll forget by the time I collapse in bed at night. And you know what? Would it really be that bad if he asks us to do something good for someone and it wasn't really from him, but we bless someone anyway? Yeah. . .. . . . .

Sunday afternoon one of my friends called. She said, "I just felt like God was asking me to call you, is anything wrong?" No, nothing was wrong. Was I still glad she called? Absolutely! I don't really know if God was asking her to call me or not, but it still way blessed me that she called.

I mean are we or are we not at a stage of maturity in our Christian life that we can just obey? I sometimes feel like a toddler and I make God have to say to me, "because I said so." He shouldn't have to. I should have already done it. His Word saying I need to should be enough for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhh-it's so frustrating. I feel like a little kid sometimes asking 100 times "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" BECAUSE I SAID SO BRENDA!

Dear Lord Jesus,
I know I've been changed by your love. I can barely stand my flesh the way it is and it is WAY better than it would ever be without you. You are working a work in this life that I will never know until I go home to be with you. I want all of that change to happen right now, today, but that's not the way you work. You do heart surgery with a safety pin because you know we can't handle a total heart overhaul all at once. I just ask you today for progress in my life, that daily I would trust you more and love you more and do more of what you say. I ask you for a trusting heart, that I would believe what you say about me and trust that what you ask of me is best. I pray I wouldn't make you say Because I said so. I want to be more spiritually mature than that. I give you this moment. I believe that any place I am that you are with me is Holy and holiness requires maturity. So I committ every day to grow up a little more in you. Amen

Eyes to See

If you ever want to see all your flaws up close and personal, have a friend who's a photographer! My word! We had Christmas pictures taken last night and she kept saying, "Just a little closer." Ah - NO! They turned out well, it just made me laugh how close she kept getting to my face. I'm a big fan of the pore minimizing face wash, but I don't want anyone trying to prove that it works! :)

yes, this is my eye larger than life, but more importantly today I've been praying that God would give me spiritual eyes to see His world around me. To be aware of the universe he created, the wonder of his creation and what's going on in the people around me created in his image. I get so focused on myself and what's going on in my life today that I don't take the time to really "see" those around me.

Psalm 97:6The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.

Lord, help us to see your glory today in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Let us see YOU Lord and by the time we go to bed tonight feel like we know you better than we did this morning. We relinquish control of the things we are holding that belong to you and entrust them to your care. We look forward to really seeing you face to face one day. Amen

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Book Review

Falling into the face of God literally changed my life. I haven't read it recently, but my friend Jeremy just read it after he told me he was struggling with finding God in his life. I think it's fair to say that it has changed his as well. If it weren't for the bugs and the heat, I may want to spend 40 days in the Judean Desert myself! It chronicals his experience and I just think he has a unique perspective. I recommend it!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Wow, I love to read. If I was an heiress and didn't need any money I'd stay home and read at least for 10 years! Here are the books on my list this year.

HUE Pajamas

My ultimate favorite. This is the newest set that I don't have (yet!). You can see all their great clothes on


I love love love love love Philosphy products! these are a few on my list this year! The coffee flavored lip shine collection and the pure grace collection. HEAVENLY! I also suggest the amazing grace collection. All of their stuff is amazing.

Starbucks! (DUH!)

STARBUCKS GIFT CARDS!! Enough said. :)

Soap and Glory

Soap and Glory collection at Target - Clean on me soap and the wash away the day bubble bath. All their stuff is GREAT!

Christmas list for my mom

This list is for my mom who always likes a Christmas List, but you guys can see what's on my list this year in case you need some ideas of your own :)

The new lamb blanket at Bath and Body Works and the black lamb slippers to match!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Because He Lives

I have been thinking today about religion. Personally I don't get all caught up in denominations or what people call themselves. As long as you believe you have made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and have put your faith in him to save you, how you go about "practicing" your faith is of no concern to me.

If you feel at home in a cathedral - good for you. If you like like loud shouting charasmatic Sundays - also good for you. If you find Jesus in a temple, on a hillside, or in your living room with Charles Stanley - good for you too. I have at different junctures found Jesus in all those places.

It's funny living in the South for a whole bunch of reasons, but the one that I find concerning is that EVERYONE is religious in the Bible belt. I always say the south is where atheists go to church - and it's true! It's not "proper" or something to not believe in God in the South. And I think people here really do believe in God, I'm just not so sure they believe in Salvation. The verse about even the demons believe there's a God always comes to mind here for me. There's such a critical difference in believing there IS a God and believing IN God. I think Satan would like for people to believe they are one in the same.

I have been spending a lot of time in the book of John. I love to return to the place where Jesus became so real to me and for me, that's John. If I could have been anyone in the Bible it wouldn't have been Queen Esther (although I'd love a few months at the spa!), it wouldn't be Mary (I'd have freaked clear out to be pregnant with the son of God!), it wouldn't have been Daniel (I love animals, but not great big teeth so close to my head!), and it wouldn't have been Jesus (I hate to admit it, but I think I would have called on those angels to come GET ME OUT OF HERE!). No, I want to have been John.

There's something in me that so wants to be the steadfast loyal friend that was John. John had no more answers about what was going on than the rest of the disciples, but he was faithful. His attitude and countanence were not dependent on his circumstances. He trusted in Jesus before there was evidence he was trustworthy. And after Jesus ascended and the disciples were probably out of control trying to piece things together, I think John winked to sky and said to himself, "see you soon friend of mine." And I think John is and has been with his very best friend and his father for a long time already.

God is not a higher power like the new age theories believe. God is not us and we are not God. It's definitely not enough to believe there is a God. It is necessary to put your trust in God and believe in him for his gift of salvation. After that, I believe where you find him and how you walk out your faith with him is between you and him. I think God is just big enough to meet us all as individuals and speak to us in a way that we understand and feel connected to Him. I try not to judge what God is doing in other people's lives because I know I have much to learn with my own! I do know for sure that He is God, He is infinitely good, and He is Mighty to Save!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday quote of the week - take 2

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." -Churchilll.

Quote of the week

2 Chronicles 7:14 (American Standard Version)
14 if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And Breathe

I normally dread Fridays. Fridays signal the end of a normally peaceful week and the start of the uncharted chaos that is the weekend. But this week? I'm glad Friday finally made it. Weird weird weird week.

It's my job at the mental hospital to admit people and 99% of them are unknown to me. Admitting someone I know will always be hard for me and embarassing for them. It's not a best case scenerio, but sometimes it works out that way. This one this week was probably worst case scenerio and did not end well. I have admitted, did admit this week, and in the future will probably admit people I know, but I'll never get used to it.

This week I'm thankful that for now my job at the hospital is safe. I could just as easily be working at one of the outpatient offices that are set to close mid December.

I'm thankful that this week required WAY more triple venti non fat no whip no foam one pump extra hot pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks than one person needs to survive, but that the overdosing gave me opportunities to laugh with the people who work there. They crack me up and if I ever win the lottery I will quit my jobs and be a Starbucks barrista just for fun :)

I'm thankful that even though it cost a fortune my car got it's 30,000 mile tune up. At least the headlights that get cloudy are still under warrenty!

I'm thankful for so much that the Lord has done for me in and amidst craziness this week that would never fit into words on a blog so I won't try. Just know He is faithful. So, so, so faithful. He knows what He's doing and nothing takes him by surprise. Our days are stairs taking us right to Heaven's door where one day we will see Him. Have a good weekend!