Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Tomorrow, I get my tooth pulled. To be honest, I'm a bit nervous as I am a wimp about stuff like this. In fact, I finished up a crazy night at work (tutoring kids under the age of 7 years old is a real experience - I give kudos to all elementary school teachers!!!), and I felt my stomach do that swoopy, drop to my toes thing when I thought about tomorrow's procedure.

My dear mom is taking me - I hope I don't act like a moron when I am loopy from the drugs they give you. It's always funny when it is someone else - not so much when it is you. lol

So, I got home at about 8:15 p.m. and did the whole make lunches, get everyone ready for tomorrow routine. I sat down to put the final spit polish on my article (have to get it in early since I will unavailable tomorrow which is my usual deadline) and here comes Brody with something purple in his hands.

"Here, Mom," he says cheerfully, "your shirt came in." The school had a fundraiser and it had different sayings and then a verse on the back.

Wanna know what mine said? On the front it said FEARLESS. On the back, it said, Be strong and of courage; be not afraid for I the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Isn't that great? God has such a wonderful, timely sense of humor! I have to wear short sleeves tomorrow so I'm definitely wearing it! lol

Wish me luck!
Blessings, Bronte

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I really can't stand fakeness. Please don't pretend you like me and then walk away and tell someone I'm a jerk. I'd rather you just tell me to my face - really. As a former passive-aggressive person, I can spot that attribute a mile away and it drives me absolutely bonkers. Maybe it's like the person who used to smoke but now the smell of smoke bothers them more than the people who never lit a cigerette.

On the other hand though, I don't like it when people use "truth" as an excuse to be mean and ugly to people either. "Well, I'm just telling you the truth," they will say as they stick the knife in and give it a sadistic little twist.

It seems that we either have truth without love or love with much truth. I'm not sure that is the biblical way of things. Granted, truth sometimes is hard to hear and it stings. Love is not always warm and fuzzy - sometimes, it is tough.

I was reading through I Corinthians and I ran across the thirteenth chapter about love. It's read at a lot of weddings, but really, it is a message to all believers, not just the newly wedded. I've also been reading in Ephesians which talks about how to deal with each other, too.

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bone of peace...but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, cause the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." Ephesians 1-3; 15,16

Obviously, this is not an innate skill because Paul had to explain this to the believers in Ephesians. We are one body and we need to dwell together in unity and peace. The only way to do that is with humility (not thinking too highly of ourselves), by being gentle with each other and by showing patience with each other's weaknesses and foibles. You'll notice I emphasized how all this happens - in love.

But what is love? The definition of it we get from popular culture is actually quite selfish - it's all about what you can do for me. According to the Bible, that really isn't what love is all about. It's certainly not what was modeled by Christ - He gave Himself for us without anything in it for Him, really.

In I Corinthians 13, it states more of what love isn't than what it is.

Love IS:
rejoices with the truth
bears all things
believes all things
hopes all things
endures all things

Love is NOT:
act unbecomingly
seek its own
take into account wrongs suffered

Love like this never fails. So, the love I speak with the truth needs to line up with this passage. I guess that means I will be keeping my mouth shut a lot more!

"If I speak with tongues of men and angels, but do not have long, I have beome a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned but do not have love, ti profits me nothing." I Cor. 13:1-3

Blessings, Bronte

Friday, November 18, 2011


I suppose it was inevitable that once I taught on the topic of thankfulness, God would allow some testing to see if I had really absorbed the lesson I shared with others.

Today, I got in a car accident. This is my second accident in eight months. Honestly - I've driven for 22 years and have been in 4 accidents in that entire time. It's just two of them happen to be this year. It was my fault - I rearended someone while talkng on my cell phone. I shouldn't have answered it. Talking and driving are just not a good combo.

So, as I sat sobbing on the side of the road, I can say I felt pretty discouraged, particularly since the day started out so well. I got a call from the head editor who asked me to do another weekly feature. He also asked me to do the front page for Christmas Day! I couldn't believe it - I was so excited I think I actually squealed when I got off the phone. Then I went to interview some people for a different article. It is going to be on a chapel in a senior citizen home. The ladies I talked to were so sweet - I enjoyed meeting them so much.

It just seemed like such a huge drop from the top of the mountain to the puddle in the valley. My first thought was, "I give up!" But an interesting thing happened while we waited and waited and then waited some more for the police officer to show up (I think it was about 90 minutes total). I began to calm down and God poked me about being thankful for my blessings.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that at first I irritably wanted to know "WHAT blessings exactly? The large ticket or perhaps my increased insurance premiums?"

But the truth was, I was sitting there without a scratch. The other driver wasn't hurt either. My car was also not in bad shape either - just a broken headlight. The other driver had some damage to their bumper.

In addition, the other driver was so nice to me about the whole thing. She apologized for having to call the police to the scene of the accident. The police officer, once he arrived, was very kind, too. Before he left he told me not to feel too badly because as he put it, "They are called accidents for a reason - they aren't on purposes."

Finally, my dear husband came to the scene. He was so kind and never laid any guilt on me at all. And really, after the year I've had and the money I've cost us with my accidents, even if they weren't "on purposes", it wouldn't have been too out there for him to be upset with me, even temporarily. Instead, he rubbed my back and talked to the police officer when he arrived. He made sure I wasn't too shakey to drive home. In other words, he took good care of me. :)

It could have been so much worse. God protected me and He showed me that I had a choice. I could grumble and beat myself up and descend into discouragement or I could take my thoughts captive and choose to be thankful instead. I'm glad I chose to be thankful - it made things that much easier. Which brings me to another truth - God never asks us to do things that aren't for our own good. He's just cool like that!

~ Blessings, Bronte

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I find it sort of ironic that yesterday I gave a devotional at my mom's Bible study group about thankfulness. Yes, I waxed almost poetic how thankfulness is a choice, a perspective, and something that is good for us.

God has a funny way of putting things I teach about to the test in my own life. Over the past couple months I've been interviewing for a job to be a insurance salesperson. I've felt a lot of angst over it, to be honest. The idea of working in an office from 9 to 5 every day sort of gave me the heebie-jeebies. I'm not much of an office person and neither am I much of a structured person. The idea of doing basically the same exact thing every day would wake me in the middle of the night in a panic. At the same time, we do need me to bring in more income - at least more than I am doing at the moment. Things are, well, let's just say interesting, at the moment around our house. There were many pros about getting this job.

However, the bottom line was I felt like I was selling out my calling for money. I prayed very earnestly though that if this is what God wanted for me, then I would do it to the best of my ability and with joy in my heart. After all, just because God puts you in a place that isn't what you imagined, it doesn't mean He doesn't have things for you to do for Him there either.

So, to say I was conflicted about this possible job opportunity would be an understatement. Turns out, I didn't need to decide. I got a letter today stating that I just wasn't what they were looking for. Ouch!

It doesn't matter that I wasn't sure the job was for me - it was still rejection. That's never very much fun, but at the same time, would I put into practice what I had been preaching just yesterday?

I decided yes I would. The truth is I had been praying that God would make it VERY clear to me if this was not the job for me. I had felt that but I felt like I had to see it through to the end because of our financial situation. The boss telling you he isn't hiring you would be very clear direction right?

The other thing I am thankful for is the graciousness of the person I interviewed with - instead of leaving me hanging to wonder, he graciously sent me a letter and even offered to explain why he didn't hire me. (although I am pretty sure I know how I messed up the interview - note to self, do NOT ramble incoherently about your dog when asked about teamwork).

The final thing I am thankful for is now I have possiblities in front of me for job opportunities that would probably be a much better fit, that would work better for our family and that I'd enjoy more. Who knows what's around that bend in the road?

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you, not to harm you and give you a future." Jer. 29:11

I can't wait to see what He has in store!
~ Blessings, Bronte

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


If you thought this would be a deep blog post, you might want to stop reading now. My youngest son, Brody, has a goldfish. He (or she as I have no idea how to tell the gender of a goldfish)has been with us for over five years. Yes, you read that right - FIVE YEARS!!!

As a household that appears to be the Bates Motel for cats, we were all pleasantly surprised when Finner (my son named him - I thought it was quite creative for a 5 year old) was still swimming around in his tank when we got up every morning.

Well, today, I sat down to work on articles, got up to grab a snack (need carbs to think clearly and creatively) and realized that Finner was looking a bit odd. On closer inspection, Finner appeared to be floating on his side. Then he'd wiggle and struggle and swim to the bottom of the tank, only to bob to the surface and slowly roll to his side again. This is when I knew that Finner's days - probably hours at this point - were numbered.

While I feel badly that poor Finner seems to be fighting so hard to live (as I type, he is still doing his wiggle, swim to the bottom, bob to the top, roll to the side thing), I have to be completely honest and say that his passing won't leave a very large hole in my life. In fact, if you promise not to tell my son, I'll share that I'm sort of looking forward to not having to clean that tank anymore!

Of course, his death - presumably today sometime - leaves me with a parenting dilemma. If he dies before Brody comes home do I flush him (will he clog the toilet as he is rather large-ish for a goldfish)? Do I leave him floating for my 10 year old to find? Do I pull a switcheroo and get another, identical fish and hope nobody notices? Do I buy a new one that is obviously different and let Brody find out that way? Do I leave it all up to Brody?

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge issue, but I have this haunting feeling that some day about 20 years down the road, my dear son will be sitting in some therapists office lamenting the shock and trauma he suffered because his mom did X with his goldfish.

I still remember my mom telling me that when you flush a fish it comes up in your neigbor's toilet. I think I was in high school before I stopped peering nervously into the bowl every time I went into the restroom.

In this small thing, God showed me a bigger truth. The little things we do as parents matter. No, my son probably won't have lifelong scars if I choose the wrong choice of how to deal with Finner's demise (or if, heaven forbid, the fish clogs the toilet in at sea burial), but he will notice if I talk about other people when they aren't there. He'll notice if I actually read my Bible rather than just tell him to read his. He'll notice if I tell the occasional little white lie but scold him for doing the same. He'll notice if I am loving and gracious or if I am short tempered and harsh in dealing with those around me.

I'm guilty of getting hung up on the big decisions and not paying nearly enough attention to the daily, little things that show my kids what I truly believe. After all, daily decisions and actions are what living out our beliefs and principles is all about.

Hopefully, in the end, I come out flush!
~ Blessings, Bronte