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An Explanation

An Explanation.

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Found this online today. What a discovery!

~ The Perfect Church

I think that I shall never see

A Church that’s all it ought to be:

A Church whose members never stray

Beyond the Strait and Narrow Way:

 

A Church that has no empty pews,

Whose Pastor never has the blues,

A Church whose Deacons always deak,

And none is proud, and all are meek:

 

Where gossips never peddle lies,

Or make complaints or criticize;

Where all are always sweet and kind,

And all to other’s faults are blind.

 

Such perfect Churches there may be,

But none of them are known to me.

But still, we’ll work, and pray and plan,

To make our own the best we can.

 

—Owen W. Glassburn

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A new leaf turning…

As the leaves turn rusty and dry and rattle on their branches in the chilly Autumn winds, I have felt a new leaf turning in my life. Once, what now seems like another lifetime ago, President Calton, my mission president in Bolivia, laid his hands upon my head and blessed me that the Lord would make me a “polished shaft”. There was no way he could have known that this scripture from the Book of Mormon (1 Ne 21:2) was a phrase that had been marked in my scriptures for years, and every time I happened upon it I pondered anew what it would mean to be a polished shaft in the Lord’s quiver to be sent out from His bow to hit the mark exactly where I was sent. I never thought during my painful and awkward life that I could ever become polished, but in spite of my lack of confidence in myself I have always longed for it to be so. Heretofore I have always been a broken thing and not useful or effective. But now, I feel a little polish coming on. I think it is time to finally turn again to the Lord and let Him make me into that shaft after all. (I hope this doesn’t automatically post to Facebook. I checked my settings and it says it won’t, but some of my older posts automatically posted there before I even knew it was a possibility and stunned me and probably everyone else who took the time to read them. I hope my posts here in the future will remain, as intended, only on this blog.)

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I’m getting older, too

it just hit me that i’m gonna be 32 in just two short months! no worries though; i’m not one to cry over getting older, in fact, i’ve always looked forward to it. i’ve believed for years now that forty-something would be the best time in my life, and i still believe it. i’m looking forward to such a time as i’ve always imagined my forties would be:  my life will be settled then, no more broke pay check to pay check kinda living, no more mac n’ cheese from a box and ramen noodles for dinner…. Kelly will be done with school next semester and then we’re on to bigger and better things. We hope to get rich (not the quick way but the way that requires planning, hard work and dedication to sacrificing “the now” so that “the later” will be all the more luxurious). We should have our dream home and all our children will be growing up…. We’ll do tons together as a family: bike rides, camping, picnics, hiking, watching our favorite shows together with popcorn and laughing. I’ll be graduated. I’ll be a big fish in my small community. We’ll own a lake house with boats and a private dock…. We’ll have a beach cottage that’s walking distance to the sandy shore. Our business will have grown and we’ll be happy bosses of happy employees. There’ll be money for pursuing hobbies and for recreation and vacation and not just for the essentials. We will be in a position to help and strengthen others, our community and honest hardworking business owners whose products and services will bless our lives and sweeten our mortal experience. We will be able to be generous givers and influencial leaders.

Ah, yes! There’s so many reasons to look forward to getting older. I’m just daydreaming of course, but i wouldn’t be surprised if when i finally get to my forties it’ll be even more spectacular than i’ve imagined it could be.

However, i’m not really looking forward to the decline in my physical body. i never thought that 32 would feel old, but it does. i mean i can feel in my muscles the strain of the past 32 years and i get tired so easily. now i can literally fall asleep anytime, anywhere. it’s pathetic but i passed out while kneeling on the floor yesterday.  strange how my body just wants to shut down sometimes.

well, it’s early in the morning. i’ve just been killin’ time cuz i can’t sleep. i’m gonna kill time with scripture study for a while and then try to lie down again…. so this is good night and sleep tight!

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Lacie – just six days old.

Welcome to my arms, Lacie.

I’ve held my breath at the rugged Rocky Mountains .

I’ve heard God’s voice whisper through the pines.

I’ve wondered at the quaking aspens,

and listened to the roar of Maine’s rock-bound coast line.

I’ve stood in awe at the mouth of the great Grand Canyon

and watched the waters of Niagara fall.

I’ve climbed about the Andes Mountains

and have been drenched in humid South American jungles.

I’ve chased rainbows and caught snowflakes on my eyelashes.

I’ve bathed in Root Beer Falls.

I’ve seen ocean waves and grassy hills rolling,

and have been haunted by the loon’s alluring call.

I’ve watched the Autumn leaves change color in New England.

The wide open spaces of the West make me feel small;

I’ve gazed at starry constellations,

And I’ve been up to greet the sun at dawn.

But the most breathtaking of all of God’s creations

are my precious babies who chose me to be “MOM”.

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The Clothesline Project

I heard the front door to our house open as I was coming down the stairs after tucking Miley in bed just after seven last night. Kelly, whom I hardly see during the week, had come home early. He was excited. I smiled at him, "You’re
early!" He explained, "I had to come home so I could tell you about the
clothesline project on campus tomorrow." He opened up the link on the
UVU web page to show me the photos of colorful t-shirts from last year’s
event. "I wanted you to have time to think about what you will write on
your own t-shirt," He continued. "And I can watch the kids on my lunch
break so you can go down there tomorrow."

Well, today it was
decided that we should go together, kids and all! So we filled the
diaper bag, buckled our angels into their car seats and drove to campus.

In the ballroom were hundreds of colorful shirts each with a
personal message. Some victims were writing to the one who had hurt
them, others to the world at large. Some of the shirts had messages of
hope scribbled over their fabric in permanent marker, while so many
others seemed to be bleeding with the ink of sorrow, their fabric
stained with pain and aching. And as I walked about reading the
experiences of other survivors of violence, I understood them, all of
them. It was as if I could hear them crying out in unison and in such
anguish. There is only One that can fill their longing. As I stood in
that room filled with shirts representing victims of violence, I said a
prayer in my heart for them, that each one of them might know the peace
and wholeness that comes from knowing Jesus Christ.

And all the
rest of today I have been singing the favorite hymn of Hermana Ponca, a
missionary companion of mine; the hymn reminds me of my dear brothers
and sisters who are out there in pain. I ache for them and weep as I
sing to myself (not even laryngitis can keep the words from rising out
of my mouth), "Dear to the heart of
the Shepherd, Dear are his "other" lost sheep; Over the mountains he
follows, Over the waters so deep…. See, the Good Shepherd is seeking,
Seeking the lambs that are lost, Bringing them in with rejoicing, Saved
at such infinite cost. Out in the desert they wander, Hungry and
helpless and cold; Off to the rescue he hastens, Bringing them back to
the fold."

I know
that He has brought me home to His love and has taught me to love
myself. After more than half a lifetime of domestic violence and rape, I
am whole because of Him. And now the rest of the hymn overflows from my
heart and spills out of my lips, "Hark!
He is earnestly calling, Tenderly pleading today: ‘Will you not seek
for my lost ones, Off from my shelter astray?’… Green are the pastures
inviting; Sweet are the waters and still. Lord, I will answer thee
gladly, ‘Yes, blessed Master, I will! Make me thy true under-shepherd;
Give me a love that is deep. Send me out into the desert, Seeking thy
wandering sheep.’ Out in the desert they wander, Hungry and helpless and
cold; Off to the rescue I’ll hasten, Bringing them back to the fold."

This
hymn is descriptive of the victims of abuse who are hungry for
happiness, wholeness and love; yet they wander helpless and cold in
abuse or the aftermath of abuse. I want to help "rescue" them and bring
them into the fold of His love.
 
It was such a neat experience
today; I wrote on two shirts, telling my experience on one, and I wrote
on the other shirt in memory of the angels who suffered with me. Thanks
for helping me to get through the toughest of times and here’s to all
the best of times we have yet to experience together. You two are my
eternal family! I love you, Cindi and Sarah.

Forgiveness
has always been easy for me; it’s not something I’ve had to struggle
with. But good people will always be angry when bad people hurt others.
Good people will always ache even when they are not the one who was beat
or raped or abused…. That’s what good people do – if such gross
wickedness didn’t offend us, well, then we would be "past feeling", a
condition described in The Book of Mormon as a point in which God can no longer strive with you, if you are past feeling.  

And
the thing that amazes me the most and brings tears to my eyes as I
remember the wrenching experiences other victims shared anonymously with
me today, is the amount of times I read the words "I love you" on those
t-shirts. The overwhelming feeling of forgiveness and love for the very
people who injured these survivors of violence, well, it’s inspiring
how big the human heart is that it has room in it to forgive the
fathers, mothers, brothers, friends and neighbors who shattered it. Our
hearts may be splintered into a bazillion-gazillion pieces but they are
not broken; they still function – they can still forgive and love.

I saw so many people in that secluded room where the survivors of
violence were writing on the t-shirts provided by the University. Some
were full grown and now aging adults suffering still from abuse  they
experienced in their childhood. Some were young college students fresh
out of the hallways of high school and still pimple-faced and
self-conscious. There was a lovely mother in that room with several
children of various ages, some of them still quite young, but all of
them etching their experience of shared abuse on t-shirts colored for
domestic violence. One tall and burly man whose broad shoulders nearly
filled the room, laughed lightly as though relieved, "Oh, I thought I
might be the only one in here!" A young self-loathing man with his head
hung low responded, "I was hoping I would be." The mother asked if she
could read my t-shirt, and I readily agreed. When she had finished she
told me something of the abuse she and her children had endured, then
asked if I had been able to heal. I smiled and answered in the
affirmative, realizing to myself that this time I was completely healed,
entirely whole, full of confidence and not the one in need anymore. It
wasn’t therapy that had saved me from suicide and that feeling of being
broken…. It was Jesus Christ. He did what my therapists all agreed was
impossible – to heal completely from such a devastating and long
lasting blow. I struggled for so many years to find an antidote without
success that I was all but convinced that my therapists were right.
There were so many voices all calling out to me different solutions:
"Just get over it!" "Don’t worry about anyone else until you’ve taken
the time to find yourself." Etc., but it turns out they were only
diversions, distractions that took me temporarily away from the pain,
but when the parties were over, the dance clubs closed, my friends had
gone home and I was left again in the quiet of aloneness with my
memories and my broken heart.  she smiled back with a look of hope and
determination, "I have not healed yet; I’m still in therapy."

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Provo’s Mayor, John Curtis’ favorite quote

When asked why he never seemed discouraged or depressed over certain of
his efforts in Congress to help bring about the official abolition of
slavery, John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States
replied: "Duty is ours; results are God’s."
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walking with my feet off the ground

I can’t remember a time in life when I’ve been more happy than I am now. I have lots of reasons for feeling satiated.

First of all, I’m listening to "Walking in Memphis" by Lonestar and other great songs. Music can really set a mood Thanks Pandora Radio!

Secondly, God hasn’t given up on me yet! His patience with me is truly something to celebrate. In fact, I want to climb to the roof of my Provo home right now and shout HURRAY until all of Utah Valley hears me rejoicing. Ha ha ha, that would be one way of sharing my joy, but since it’s ten o’clock and the sun has long since set, it is probably much more appropriate that I sit quietly and share my joy in this blog entry with those of you who have nothing better to do than web browse.

Also, Kelly really loves me, and knowing that someone loves me is a feeling that fills me up and lifts me up. He is smarvalous and swonderful. And then there’s Miley, my two-year-old who is already going on seventeen, and what a wonderful handful she is! I am always entertained by her antics and her facial expressions. And even with my hands full with such a demanding toddler I am still looking forward to welcoming Lacie into our family this August. We are on our way to becoming an eternal family. We are not failing to plan; we have great plans that are going to get us to where we want to be. We are excited and united. It feels good to finally take part in happy family life and know how fulfilling it can be. Kelly and Miley and Lacie are my life now, and it’s a good life.

I am learning not to take myself so seriously. It is fun to laugh at me God’s example of patience has rubbed off some cuz I’m feeling much more patient with myself lately.

Well, I can go on forever… but, I have other things to do (my to-do list never ends). The internet is like a black hole that sucks me in, so if I’m not careful I could spend hours and days in the online void. It would be so easy to neglect my to-do list with the wonderful world wide web available to distract me. But this is the voice of self-discipline saying goodnight, folks. And yes, it is a good night.

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Resolutions!

I want to be a Maine State Senator in 6 to 8 years. I’ll be 37 or
39-ish; that’s not too young, is it, to be a State Senator? There is
lot to do in the mean time if I am going to reach that goal. Sigh, I
just wish I had more than 24 hours in a day (and that I had a lot more
money). Then it would all seem less overwhelming. The problem is that
when I am overwhelmed I get stressed and do nothing but think about all
the things I should be doing. You’ve heard that the road to Hell is
paved with good intentions, well, so is the road to failure. I just
can’t let myself get overwhelmed. Like right now, our house looks as if
Christmas was chewed thoroughly and then thrown up all over the floors,
which are covered in wrapping paper still and pine needles, all over
the couches and table tops…. There are puzzle pieces scattered
everywhere and toys strewn about the place. Dishes still sticky with
holiday baking clutter the countertops, and honestly, there isn’t a
tidy place in all 4700 feet of this house. Waaa waaa! I don’t want to
have to clean it; it is all so overwhelming! If I approach politics the
way I am approaching housekeeping, I will never even be a volunteer in
a small town caucus, let alone a paid and elected reperesentative of
the people. Wish me luck!

Oh, and a happy new year to all!

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summer in our driveway!

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