Monday, October 31, 2011


My two favorite months of the year are October and May. Both, to me, are signals of change. October to me brings to mind beatiful trees, crisp days when I can wear my cozy sweaters and sweet, juicy apples. We love apples at my house - I think we go through one to two of those 5lb bags every week. Hey, it's better than sweets right?

November is my least favorite month - mostly because the weather is usually ugly. It's starts to get dark and the trees have lost their leaves. It is that time between the breathtaking wonder of changing leaves and the beauty when snow blankets the trees. I don't like March for the same reason - everything seems to be colorless and wet. Bleck!

Of course, today is also Halloween. I know there is a lot of angst in the Christian world about Halloween - do we celebrate or don't we? Is it bad or harmless fun? Maybe it's okay if we pass out tracts with the candy. So, a lot of places take the middle road and either do harvest parties or draw the lines at "evil" costumes like witches or devils. For me, Halloween is just a non-issue.

I have kids, and when they were little they dressed up in costumes and we visited grandparents and maybe about 10 houses in my inlaws' neighborhood. Nobody has had any interest in doing that for a good 4 to 5 years now.

Growing up, my parents took me trick or treating, but I didn't really like it. I was easily scared and prone to nightmares so going around to houses with cobwebs, eery lighting and adults who answered the door dressed as very realistic werewolves wasn't exactly something I liked. On top of that, we had those nylon costumes with the plastic masks. Those masks really weren't very comfortable and we lived in Michigan. Generally the weather was on the chilly side and those nylon costumes weren't much protection. I think I stopped by the time I was about 5 or 6.

The only issue I've ever had with Halloween is with the well-meaning folks who took it upon themselves to share with my kids that by dressing up as Bob the Builder and getting candy from a few houses they were worshipping satan. Honestly, my kids had no idea that Halloween was anything but costumes and candy until someone said something to the contrary. Personally, I don't know anyone to whom Halloween is anything but costumes and candy.

My only thought about Halloween is I do hope that we can all be considerate of each other, no matter what side of the Halloween debate we fall on. As for me, I'm going to revel in the last of the fall colors.

~ Blessings, Bronte

Saturday, October 29, 2011


It's been interesting around here with all the health issues that have come up recently. The big one for me has been my tooth. Honestly, most of the time, unless I am brushing them, I don't really think about my teeth. They are just there and come in very handy when I need to eat something.

In July, I started to think about them a lot more because a couple them started to make their presence known through pain. I was sort of kerflummoxed though because the pain moved around. Hmmmm. Then the pain would go away and I'd forget about it for a couple days. Finally, it came back with a vengence and didn't leave. So, off to the dentist I went. I thought maybe he'd tell me I had an abscessed tooth or something. But no - there was a huge crack in one of my molars going up into the root of the tooth. (just for your information - percacet will only make you feel high and your tooth will still hurt but it will be slightly funny)

Now, I'm not blaming my oldest son, but the truth is I cracked a couple of my molars when I was in labor with him. It's not his fault, of course, and I'm really not bitter. Really. But I have had the four of them worked on in some fashion or other over the past 13 years.

So, the dentist, after drilling in my mouth for over an hour (did I mention I had clenched every muscle in my body on the off chance it might hurt and was drenched in sweat by the time he was done?). He put in this temporary crown. It's a metal one and I kind of liked it. I felt very edgy with my metal tooth (I have to take coolness wherever I can find it).

However, the temporary crown didn't work. It still hurt. Oh and the dentist's bill lady informed me that she would only do 3 months of payments to pay off the approximately $465. She wasn't very happy when I told her I couldn't pay it off in 3 months. That was just the crown. The root canal I was pretty sure I needed at this point would cost another $900. I called around to oral surgeons and found I could have it pulled for about half that.

So, back to the dentist I went to get my referral - grumbling the whole way I might add about the added trip and the expense and, well, you get the idea.

In addition to my costly dental issues, my dear hubby had had some expensive tests for his heart issues, the largest of which had not yet rolled in. To say I was a bit concerned would be like saying Obama is a little bit liberal.

I was trying really hard not to fret about it but to trust God to provide. I received a very generous amount for catsitting from some friends who are out of the country, so I was very thankful because I saw that as God providing.

He wasn't done yet though. At the appointment at the dentist, the nice man told me he'd just waive the rest of the bill for my crown work since I was going to have the tooth pulled! That would be $400 waived. Add to that my normal monthly income from the newspaper was a couple hundred more because of the happy circumstance of October having five Saturdays and Mondays plus an extra article, and God came through BIG TIME!

This is not the first time God has come through for us financially. It isn't the first time, by any stretch, that He has provided what we needed. Yet, I still doubted. I still wondered how it would all work out. I tried not to - my head knew that He would come through but my heart fretted and freaked out a bit.

Thank goodness that God is patient and loving and kind. I remember reading about the Israelites and wondering how they could doubt God when He so clearly intervened for them so many times. Yeah - feeling a bit of egg on my face now. The truth is, I'm just as bad sometimes. I suppose that is why God always told the Israelites to build alters and memorials to remind them of His provision and intercession on their behalf.

"And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19

My God provides over and above what I need or expect because that's just the way He rolls.
~ Blessings, Bronte

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I hate it when I make dumb mistakes! I recently made two dumb mistakes in an article I wrote - I wrote SOUTH America instead of CENTRAL America (although technically you could say central america is part of the continent of south america) and then I got a number wrong, too. The person the article was about wasn't very happy about it and I felt terrible that she weren't happy with the finished product.

To be honest, in the almost year since I've been writing for our local newspaper, I've only gotten positive feedback from the subjects of my articles and readers alike. So, for me to get very negative feedback, well, let's say it was sort of like a kick in the gut.

I'm sort of a perfectionist when it comes to my writing. My goal is to accurately portray the people I write about - to give them a true voice so readers can be helped and encouraged and maybe even want to get involved. The result of my dumb mistakes was that the past two days I've spent kicking myself - going over and over the "what ifs." What if I had stuck with my original wording (which, ironically, would have been correct)? What if I had done this, that or the other? On and on, around and around I have gone in my mind - regret tasting very sour.

At this point, though, there isn't much I can do about it. We could print a correction nobody would see or probably care about if they did see it. I have already apologized profusely. Nothing, however, changes the image this person has in their head of me, my writing and my incompetance. And that is hard to swallow.

The truth is, more than anything, my pride hurts. I can honestly say I tried my best with the article - I didn't make the mistakes on purpose. I can also say that in the grand scheme of things, they won't matter much in eternity. I can also say that the average person reading the article didn't notice them. Nobody was hurt in the publishing of that article - including the subject. But I want everyone to like me and my writing and I can't seem to let it go, can't seem to stop beating myself up about it.

It's embarrassing.

It's my pride kicking up a fuss.

Even if it isn't perfect by normal standards, God can still use it - despite me. And really, that's how He always uses anything I do - despite my own weaknesses and frailities that come from being human. Through my weaknesses, God is made strong. Personally, I win some and lose some, but God ALWAYS comes through.

So, I have to let it go and move on. I can learn from this and hopefully, not make the same mistakes next time. The truth is, it is a little article, in a little paper, in a little state, on a small part of the earth, on a small planet in a huge solar system. I'm really not important enough for all this angst. Seriously.

As Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."

Blessings, Bronte

Monday, October 17, 2011


I'm a fretter by nature. I think, if you have read my blog for any length of time, you have probably figured that out by now. lol Most of the time, I tend to be sort of laid back and go with the flow, but in certain areas, I can get very uptight. I think part of this is an over-active imagination and the other part is because I tend to overthink things. I mean REALLY overthink things.

I'm doing this Bible study by Beth Moore called The Psalms of Ascent. I'm really enjoying it because for one reason, it's Beth Moore. (I just love her!) The other reason is I love, love, love Psalms. I spent about two years reading through the Psalms and recording all the things they say about God. It completely changed my perspective of who God is and His character. So, I've been enjoying this Bible study.

Of course, it goes without saying that this Bible study had things I needed to hear and learn just when I needed to hear and learn them. God is always so good to me in that way. :)

Recently, I've been facing a lot of indecision and a lot of the unknown. I don't really mind new things or jumping into something different, but I can be a really horrible decision maker, particularly when I let fear get into the mix. Then I become sort of paralyzed with this deer in the headlights look - "Which way should I go?" So I fret and stew and go through all the "what if" scenerios in my head and basically make myself (and those around me) nuts. I've spent a lot of time borrowing trouble. The only problem with that is you always end up paying interest in peace and serenity.

The day I was really struggling with this feeling of "what should I do next," was the day we went over Psalm 131. It's short, so I'll include the whole thing here.

"O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from thi time forth and forever." Psalms 131

This picture of a toddler resting in its parent's arms is so sweet to me. My youngest is 10 years old, but he will still climb up in my lap and rest his head on my shoulder when he is really tired. I'm so thankful neither of my boys is too old yet to hug me (although not in public of course!).

That picture of complete trust is so sweet to me. The truth is God knows my heart. He knows my desire is to go where He wants me to go. He knows our needs (and even wants and desires) better than I know them myself, plus He knows the future. He promises to direct my paths,and I can trust that whichever path He directs me to, He will also give me the strength and perserverence to walk it.

Like a young child tired from being so busy, I can climb into my Abba's lap and rest in His love, His faithfulness and His mercy. I don't have to figure it all out - He's got it covered.

I'll leave you with the refrain from another Jamie Grace called God Girl that I really love.

I'm a God girl, that's who I be
from the top of my head to the soles of my feet
No I can't deny it, wouldn't even try
I'm your girl, in a crazy world
God girl that's who I be,
from the top of my head to the soles of my feet
I can't deny it, wouldn't even try
I'm yours
Oh I'm a loved girl and I'll always be
from the top of my head to the soles of my feet
I can't deny it, wouldn't even try
I'm Your girl for the whole wide world to see."

Monday, October 10, 2011


I have found a new singer I really like. Her name is Jamie Grace and she looks like she is about 15 years old. Of course, the older I get the younger everyone else starts to look. I see college graduates and think, "Wow, how did you get out when you are only 12?" lol

God is always so gracious to me. He seems to bring books or speakers or songs into my life just when I need them. To be perfectly frank, I'm tired. I'm weary. It's been a tough 18 months in my life. It started out a year ago this past April I had a betrayal. Well, it wasn't me so much as a loved one. Why is it that fellow believers, the ones that are supposed to have our back, seem to the one to stick the knife IN your back? And why is it that it hurts so much worse? Maybe because, since we are one body, it's just unnatural to stab yourself, so to speak. I really struggled with anger and forgiveness over that one. God and I wrestled it out for months.

Just about the time, I was really able to forgive, I started to get sick. Three colds, influenza, the stomach flu, strep throat, pink eye and a double ear infection later, we were now into spring.

I had two car accidents. My brother who I hadn't seen in a long time, came home. While this was a good thing, reunions after that long are always a bit stressful.

We had to replace more things than I think have ever happened in our married life. It started with our washing machine and progressed to my car's brakes, alternator, starter and tires. Add to that our coffee pot, telephone/answering machine, and a sewer pipe that needed cleaning and it was rather expensive.

Of course, the list just wouldn't be complete without several medical issues. My last post I shared about my husband's heart issues. To find that out included a lot of expensive tests. About the same time, my tooth started to hurt. I mean REALLY hurt, and I found out I had a cracked tooth that still might require a root canal. And let's not forget the precancerous spot that needed to be removed from my lip. Fun times.

The final straw was that I got kicked off my husband's insurance. Fortunately, I was allowed to stay on the policy but now have to pay the full premium.

The past few weeks have been a time of indecision. Do I get a full time job? Will I be able to take care of my family and work a full time job? Should I start my own business? Would I be able to make enough with my own business? What happened to being called to write? It felt like circumstances were conspiring against me. Add to this my husbands desire to eat healthy - which for him means an endless supply of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

After buying my 3rd loaf of bread in 5 days, I'm really wanting that whole miracle of the feeding of the 5000. I could use a basket of bread about now! lol

So, to say I am feeling tired the past week or so is an understatement. It just sort of all caught up with me and I would really like to take about a 3 day nap.

Enter Jamie Grace and her song "Come to Me." It just couldn't have come at a better time! I'll leave you with the words of her song.

Come To Me
I had a dream I was standing on the shore
Two feet planted in the sand
Soakin' up Your glory
Saw You walking from a distance
Without a hint of resistence
had your arms open
And a warmth in your eyes
You took my hand and whispered
Come to me when you're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
rest from your burden now
I woke up to the weight of the world
Right back into reality
And all that's wrong
Cuz in the midest of this chaotic life
I try to find peace of mind
But you've been there all along
And even now I hear you whisper
Come to me when you're weary
and I'll give you hope when you're hurting
I'll give you rest from your burden
I feel the weight is slowly liftin'
As you close the distance
And I know it's gonna be okay when you say
Come to me when you're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
oh, I'm gonna carry your burden
Come to me when you're weary and
I'll give you hope when you're hurting
I'll give you rest from your burden now
The weight is lifted now

Blessings, Bronte