Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birthday Suit and Battles

...or dress, rather. I have several yards of a dove gray fabric, purchased a year ago, that I'm hoping to shape into a dress similar to this, the Epilogue Blouson Dress from Anthropologie. (No way I can afford the $158 dollar price tag... even for this special occasion!) I even have the perfect shoes to pull this off. I'm thinking it's the perfect dress to turn 30 in...

The bakery's been closed for a week now. Last Tuesday as I was happily serving coffee and selling muffins, the Health Department walked in. Someone had called them, then drove over 20 miles to file a formal complaint against henrybella's. The inspector who came through apologized over and over again, then said our 1901 building simply wasn't up to code as it pertained to sinks. Yeah. The inspector sighed as she delivered the verdict: I had to give away the rest of the food, shut it down and lock the doors. It broke my heart.

But what someone meant for meanness, God meant for good. The building's owner was here when it all happened and was deeply outraged. She immediately called a contractor and told them to get their men here to make necessary changes. In a week, a commercial kitchen's been added at NO COST to me. Commercial equipment, including a stainless steel monster sink, a stove, bakery tables and shelves have all been donated. As in, given. (Some were birthday presents, but still!) I'm short a water heater and a big refrigerator, but at this point, I have no doubt they're on their way.

I'd like to say that last Tuesday, when my business was shut down, I was the model of faith and perserverence. Ha. I locked the door and sat in a chair and cried for a good five minutes. I called someone, bawling, barely coherent, and sobbed, Why is everything so hard? Why can't anything just WORK OUT? Why is everything a battle? Why does everything hurt? Why couldn't I at least have made enough money to catch up on my bills before they shut me down? What in the world... in the world?... am I supposed to do now?

Yes, I was upset. And then I was directed to this blog... this particular post... and felt all that anger and frustration dissolve into nothing. I have only to do three things and three things only, realized. I could do those. And it was another miracle to watch God part my Red Sea and hurry me across another deluge to solid ground again.

Man. Am I ever looking forward to putting on that dress and kissing these 20s goodbye! There have been battles, there have been wars, there have been defeats and there have been glorious victories. But I've learned the most important lesson a girl can learn: I have a Heavenly Father who holds my life in His mighty hand and keeps me with a fierce, eternal love. I might as well trust Him, then put on my dress and dance....

32 comments:

Kimberly said...

I feel the need to finally make a comment after following your blog for several months. First let me say that I love the way you write and the way it makes me feel like I am there with you. I think why people are so sad to see your blog go is that you make us feel like old friends. I have always had the dream of opening a cafe' but then I always start thinking about the level of day to day committment and worry that I will never get to do my favorite thing which is to travel. I seem to have a split personality - I am a domestic wanderer!! I will turn 40 on April 8 and I wanted to let you know that we are birthday "sisters" both facing a milestone birthday with all the emotion and excitement of leaving something behind while moving onto the promise of a new decade. I found my 30's to be a time of great discovery and I am looking forward to spending my 40's being the me that I really am versus the me that I think I should be. I wish you every joy on your birthday and I will think of you as we both embark on our next journey.
Love,
Kimberly

Vanessa said...

Brin,
I have been following your blog for awhile now and have marveled at your tenacity and authenticity. This was truly an inspiring post! Thank you so much for sharing.
May our gracious God continue to grant you KINDNESS as only He can.
Blessings,
Vanessa

lovelyjubblylondon said...

Hopefully the past few weeks will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. A new commercial kitchen will hopefully help soothe the hurt! I hope the rest sorts out quickly so you may reopen quickly, refreshed and ready to take on the world. Many blessings!

p.s. you can bet if I ever make it to that part of the world, henrybella's will be my 1st stop!

Vee said...

Yes you have learned the most wonderful lessons and you've TAUGHT the most wonderful lessons... Sometimes, we simply must trust and then watch as He works His miracles.

You're going to look fabulous in your dancing dress!

Sue said...

Thank you for sharing your struggles and more importantly what you have learned. It is such a joy to read your blog and I for one will miss it dearly. I remember my 30th birthday so clearly as if it were yesterday (where did those past 20+ years go?). Enjoy your day of celebration and may you continue to have the same sense of adventure and perseverance. May the Lord continue to guide your path.
Sue

Rosemary said...

happy birthday! Sorry about the weeks events, but it looks like things will work out in the end....unfortunately, its never easy. I have no doubt you will do well though :)

Terri and Bob said...

Yes, God has a marvelous way of turning bad into good. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow! I know you will look like a million bucks in your new dress. I would love to see it (and you) in your birthday finery! I believe that you must have needed a tiny break to make this dress and therefore, God provided it for you out of someone's spitefulness. I wish I could go buy a muffin from you now.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I just love David Wilkerson!

I wrote on my Sunday Afternoon Tea post about the gift of "keeping on".

I've thought of you and prayed for you, even though we'd not even know each other in person, because I remember a long season of trial and how God used it to refine me like gold and silver. He is doing that to you. :)

A very difficult time in my life came during the season of my 40th birthday.

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday! :)

Victoria said...

I echo Kimberly's comments about you making us feel like old friends.

I rejoice with you when things are great and my heart aches for you when something goes wrong. How wonderful that you now have a commercial kitchen!

Just think, if you hadn't stepped out to do the things you have done, you would have never seen God do all the things he has done in your life! You inspire me to be courageous.

Cindy Brick said...

Brin, you're right. You WILL make it through this period, and triumphantly. I hope you've decided to keep your blog going -- it gives me such encouragement. (And the "Three Things" post was just what I needed to hear about this morning!) If you have a minute, punch in "Her Morning Elegance" on Youtube... somehow it reminds me of you.
Thanks so much for sharing yourself with your friends -- the ones you know, and the ones you don't.

Susan said...

messy & thrilling ...
it certainly is.

How's that sweet chocolate dog ?

Sandi said...

Brin,
Once again after reading your post... I stand AMAZED... we serve and AWESOME GOD and times like this make me realize it even more! I was reading along and got to the part where you had to close and I thought, "WHY GOD...NO!! Then I read on and saw where God once again came to your rescue and I am so excited.
Blessings today to you dear blogger friend...we have never met , but you are a kindred spirit.

welltraveled said...

Praying for you to have a FABULOUS 30th year.. You deserve the best God has to offer..
I have been watching your blog for a long time and was so happy that your henrybelle dream was coming to pass. This snag will just make the bakery so much better..

Kathleen Grace said...

I was wondering about the whole health dept. issue but didnt want to bring it up. Small towns can be a lot less stringent about those kind of things, but I have a food service job (lunch lady) and if you work with food you have to know the rules. I am so glad it all worked out for you Brin! My advice is to get yourself a copy of the latest health rules for your state and take a look at them. They can save you a lot of tears. Better to have this happen than for someone to get sick (whether from your food or somewhere else) and blame you and have your reputation ruined and a lawsuit to contend with. God is taking care of you and I am sure the proper equipment will make it easier and more joyful to work in the kitchen at your beautiful bakery:>)

betty r said...

You go girl..God loves you and He will do what is best for you..rest in Him!
Keep on dancing..

Shelley in SC said...

Oh, my word! I felt my stomach churn while reading this. Hooray! God walks WITH us through our trials, testings victories. He never leaves. I can face life WITH Him.

Amy said...

People are cruel and would always like to see others miserable or fail. Glad it still is working itself out though. xoxo

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

God is good, so good! Make that dress, dance and laugh your 20's away, great things are heading your way! God loves you and so do we!

Christina said...

God is so good! We can do all things through Christ who strenghtens us. The lights are shinning on you Brin. Love the dress! Much joy...

P.K said...

Wise words from Kathleen Grace, check and double check if everything is compliant with the regulations. That aside, all the best with the cafe, it sounds charming. I have enjoyed your blog, the photos and writing. May you have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and may your dreams and wishes come true.

Gi said...

I love the dress and would definitely make it....! This is something you can dress up and down so I know you get to wear it more than once. I have never spent $158.00 for any piece of clothing. I either find it on sale or I make it.

I am so glad that everything work out with your business.

My 20's I would never want to re-visit; I welcome thirty and loved turning 40...life does get better.

Happy Birthday and I can't wait to see the dress with the shoes...make sure you take a picture and post it.

~Mad said...

Check page 54 - Stranded, Stuck or Delayed - in the Sacred ordinary: Embracing the Holy in the Everyday by Leigh McLeroy. A book, one of many recommendeed by you on your blog.....

And - this was my devotional for today!!! I've passed it all over Facebook - here it is for you.

God look it up again.

Love,
~Mad(elyn) in Alabama
www.xanga.com/madewyn

~Mad said...

OOPS!

(I hate typos - I just wish I could let them go!)
*recommended* *Go look it up*

Ugh
~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

As I said in this post: http://harborhon.blogspot.com/2009/03/are-you-prepared-for-eternity.html
'Believe and have faith.' It'll work out, just keep being you. Someone is trying to 'throw the devil' at you, but just brush him off your shoulder. Keep reaching for the stars, keep walking the path, keep your chin up, and keep your wits about you. Shed not tears, for the unjust relish in them. God is there and He'll be your shield against people who would try to bring you down. Firm your jaw and keep on keepin' on, sweet girl. xxoo

Cecelia said...

I am so glad that the situation is working out so well. Thank you for linking the other blog, it's a lesson I needed to hear again. Have a happy birthday!

Lisa said...

Wow! God is great, isn't he? Congratulations on your new kitchen. I'm sure it will make things easier for you.
How sad for the person obviously so jealous of you. Sounds like they desperately need some of God's grace in their life as they have lost site of him.
I too, will miss your blog. I hope someday in the near future to make the trip to henrybella's. I'd love to get a tasty morsel on one of those cute plates. :)

tara said...

dance like you know who the real dj is!

Lynne said...

Do you have boots that go with your new dress?

Deb said...

Going through trials is no fun when you're in the midst of them. But just remember:
coal + pressure = diamonds!

May God continue to bless you, and may you continue to give Him the glory!

Happy Early Birthday! (Even though it means all of us will miss your blog terribly. Any thoughts to continue with just a Sunday post, at least? Hint, hint!)

a woman who is said...

Great post, I clicked on the David Wilkerson post. Excellent stuff. I must agree with this battle plan. It seems to have been a theme for me this year in the place of prayer. I know you are about to go off the radar in blog land. Just know many of your friends here are praying and cheering you on dear Brin.

II Chronicles 20:1-26 tells of a similar battle plan :)

Bethanie said...

Brin~ I am just now catching up on your blog after a week or so of not reading, and I can't believe it--the Three Things, because, well, a friend of mine who is going through some life-changes recently e-mailed me a devotional from David Wilkerson, about being preserved for a purpose, (Ps 121) and I was so blessed by it. I knew about him (D.W.) but did not know he had a blog and those daily devotionals, until my friend sent me that one. Anyway, and then to see it linked on your blog...I don't know, it's kind of just simple, but it was really a blessing. THanks. :)