Monday, August 25, 2008


(one of Rachel's flowers)

Prayer works!!! In the same day I prayed for Wisdom, God JUMPED and gave it to me. It was not at all how I expected, but then, with God it never is! First, I will share that Saturday ended up being anything but, the Jane Austin movie and hand quilting. The sun came out and TJ came over. His parents had errands, but that was fine. I needed to cook anyway. I had to make dishes to pass for the Ladies Night Out and the Church picnic on Sunday. I made Rachel's Famous Grape Salad...Niki can vouch for how wonderful it is.
All the ladies loved it and many asked for the recipe. It is easy to make...I will post the recipe later in the week.
Then I made my homemade Macaroni Salad for the potluck....
This is one of Sweetheart's favorites.
I left for LNO (Ladies Night Out), grape salad in hand, at about 6:15. It was my first time there, and BOY WAS IT FUN!!! We played Bunko!!! It was such a great way to meet everyone. These ladies were all wonderful. I felt like me again. Fellowship is so important and I had been missing it. I use to go to a local guild meeting in my old town, but for the last 8 years (when I needed it the most) I have not had it. There were about 17 women there.
They gave out lots of prizes....I was tied for the most losses!! Yes, you can win for losing! I was shocked I had lost 11 of the 18 rounds, as I had way too much fun to lose! I lost the roll for that prize (no surprise) but was given a beautiful gift just for coming...
A beautiful ceramic box. Perfect for holding sewing tools!
Now, enter wisdom....follow me here, cause I am going to tell a story. You all know how I struggle with parenting Charlotte. I feel most of the time I am failing her. I feel mean, unloving, guilty, sad, heartless, etc. When I started the women's bible study, there is a young woman there. She is about mid 30's. SWEET as can be. She shared alot about her life. She is adopted. Her mother got her at close to 2. She shared how much she loves and respects her unbelievably close they are. She is the only girl and her mom and her are like best friends! They go on "dates" together for brunch and shopping...a fairy tale. How great for them! So on LNO I was introduced to this wonderful mother....
That is her sitting on the very far right. This lady has the softest eyes I have ever seen. She looks at you and you can feel the love pouring off of her. NO WONDER her adopted daughter loves her so much. I actually thought, "poor Charlotte, should have gotten someone like her for a mom." I shared with this lady how much her daughter loves her and how she talks so highly of her. She looked a little surprised and then said, "That is good to was not always that way." She then proceeded to tell me about her years raising this little girl. I am not was like she described me and Charlotte!!!!! She told how people thought she was mean and how her daughter changed personalities for different people, especially her husband. How she stole and lied. How she was diagnosed reactive attachment disorder and was told she would only ever hold a minimum wage job (maybe)...I have been told that same thing...By the way, this girl works in a local Doctors office who sees 80+ patients a day and she is in charge of the whole office....She told me how she felt there was no relationship and that her daughter did not love her and would never love her. I stood there with tears in my eyes at the awesomeness of God. HE knew what I needed. I needed to see a success story from both sides. I also heard from the daughter how she was afraid her mother would stop loving she loved her mother all along, but did not want to show it incase she left her. She said she knew in her heart she would not leave, but her head lied to her often. I plan to spend more time with the daughter...she is where the wisdom is. She can tell me how my daughter is feeling and what she needs. I know she said the hardness of her mother setting boundaries was important and that she would not have survived without it. Anyway...isn't that AWESOME!!!??? That night I went to sleep feeling hope for the first time in....well I can't remember when.
Want some more awesome???? Sunday we all...ALL.... our whole family.....went to the Church picnic. We had a really good time. So much fun that I did not get pictures. The kids got some clam shells which they were thrilled about.....From there we went to our son's house. Emerson's room is done. I will show pics later this week, maybe tomorrow. You are greeted by these flowers as you go up the steps to my son's front door.Aren't they beautiful??!! TJ was in his room playing with his ABC's.
I asked him, "Where is the "I"?" He said, "It's right here." and pointed to an eye on his face! I just laughed!
My Rachel has a love for family photos and she has such a wonderful display. This frame is HUGE....
I love these from their wedding...Rachel dancing with her Grandfather and Bud dancing with me.
I am really proud of my oldest child. He has an incredible family! Kyle snapped this picture of us yesterday. He is such a man! How did that happen???!!!


Linda said...

How exciting for you Bren, tears rolled down my face when I read this post. I know it's something you've been desiring for soooo long. God is so good, His timing is always perfect and obviously you were ready to receive His wonderful blessings. Family Church picnic, another wonderful moment.... Praise God.
I miss our chats.

Jennifer said...

Bren, thats so encouraging.
God will always find ways to teach his childen, and usually it's in the most surprising ways.

I recieved a lovely gift from you and I wrote all about it! :)
I wanted to thank you for the gifts and how much I appreciated all the little details, like the "Jen" on the back of the table runner! ^.^
The apron is beautiful! I've already been wearing it, but I'm afraid to wear it too much! I don't want to get it dirty! lol!
Thank you SO much Bren - they're beautiful.

~ Jenny

One Christian Mom said...

How wonderful! It's great to hear success stories, especially those which closely mirror our own lives. You CAN do it - if you couldn't, God would not have given her to you. And I once had a psychologist tell me that it is only when he encounters a parent who doesn't question their parenting skills that he questions them! I don't know you personally, but I know you are a wonderful person, and couldn't imagine you as less than a loving mother to all of your children. May God continue to bless you and encourage you!

Alesha said...

Aw, Bren, isn't He so merciful to us?!!

I bet you thought His wisdom was going to give you some great project or hard task; and all He had you do was listen to someone else's story!

I always think it's going to be so much harder than it really needs to be!!! ;-)

So glad to hear you're full of "Hope" again!


Christy Lee said...

Hello Bren, I came over to your blog from Niki's and I enjoyed my visit. I also live in northern Illinois, as well. Stop by my blog for a visit anytime! You have a beautiful family.

Cindy said...

Hi Bren
Glad to see you all had a great time. I am home now. girls went to school today and that was great. I think everything with Anya is a failure but Elizabeth and Edwin have had friends with siblings from Russia and they keep saying, it will be all right. I am praying so. I know I am too leint on her at times and too hard at others. I think you have done amazing with Charlotte. If I ever said I wanted her it must have been a time when Anya was at her worst! We both have our challenges and God has given us the means to teach our daughters. Anya needs more praise from me and I fail daily on that.
I am home most days except Mondays so if you a have a day and time you could come up and help me with my blog, it would be great. Oh, when I was traveling to Atlanta, I was actually longing for some hand sewing so i think i am going to have the surgery on my thumb and wrist. Later, Cindy

NeeCee said...

I needed to read this post. I needed to hear a success story. Sometimes you just need to hear that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is not an oncoming train.

I also have heard many many times, "just send him to my house and I'll have him straightened out in no time." Most times it hurts like crazy and then there are those times you feel like saying, "really, because I can have him packed in five minutes." ;0)

Sarah said...

I am so glad that you had fun at LNO, and I am especially glad that you found someone who went through what you are going through now. What a blessing!

Milah said...

God is good all the time! I'm glad your hope has been restored.

I'm sure raising Charlotte has its challneges, but God chose YOU to adopt her, so don't listen to the enemy when he puts all that doubt in your mind. God will see you through.

Angie said...

Your post brought big, ol' tears to my eyes.

First of all ... is that a hibiscus? Looks just like one - they grow naturally over here in Okinawa!

Secondly ... Bren, you are so hard on yourself it makes me cry now. You're a wonderful Mom ... even if we can't see behind closed doors. So many others would've given up and let friends/family take her for awhile or longer. God knew what he was doing when he chose you. You have the Spirit, the love, and the desire.

I'll continue to pray for you ... and I'm SO GLAD you found someone to reach out to who went through a situation very similar to yours.

You're a sweet, sweet soul and I greatly admire you.

Marilyn R said...

We may feel at times that God is late with the answers to our prayers. What we have to remember is that God is NEVER late. Our timing is not always God's timing. It looks to me that God led you to your current church for you to meet the Mother and Daughter to give you hope and wisdom! Glad your whole family had a great time at the picnic!

Guðrún said...

I am glad you enjoyed your "night out".

Karen T. said...

Dear Bren, I am just so HAPPY for you, and so AMAZED at our God though not really SURPRISED because that is just how He is!! Oh, I hope you get lots of time with this dear daughter who can be your support and cheerleader with your dear Charlotte.

I've not had much time for commenting on blogs over this summer as my mom has been visiting this summer and I have kept very busy. But I have been reading still and my prayers are with you!

I am looking forward to fall and the steady schedule it brings back to me!

Have a great day! Karen Twombly

Julie said...

Bren, thank you so much for sharing this! I too feel those feelings of regret sometimes when I look at my oldest daughter. I always think surely there was someone out there better for her. I am often reminded by a still small voice that God knew where He was putting her when He put her with me. It's an overwhelming task sometimes and you feel like there are some days when there is no love between the two of you. I really needed to read what this mother/daughter team told you! Thank you!