Friday, October 2, 2009

Perseverance


So here's the new room: a bed, a chair, a lamp and one lonely decoration. I'm almost through with unpacking; some of my things are still in a little storage building thirty minutes away.

I lost a lot when I said goodbye to Freeman House and the bakery. Things you can touch, like furniture, appliances, dishes. Things you can't, like dreams and hopes and pride. But it was a good thing. No, it really was. As my grief and bitterness have slowly bled out these past few months, I've realized: what's left of me is stronger because of this. I am more compassionate because of this. I can now relate to people who've lost a number of things: a marriage, a loved one, a house, a business and possessions they cherished. Because of this year - because of 2009 - I can look someone in the eye who's facing these things and say, quietly, firmly: I know. I know. But you're going to come through this. It IS going to be okay. And then I can hold them as they weep, remembering the puddles I left at Jesus' feet many, many times.

Romans 5 says it this way: But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

I can't tell you the hundreds of times I've repeated that to myself through tears or clenched teeth this summer... that hard times mean perseverance, perseverance means character, and character means hope.


I think I'm on perseverance. I won't claim character, at this point, and won't lie to you about any earthly hope. But perseverance? I can do that. It's just one day at a time, right?

For now I have a bed, a chair, a lamp, the blanket my Mom made me, and... perseverance. No refrigerator, stove, washer/dryer, or dishwasher, but I do have perseverance. Crockpot cooking, anyone? Washtub laundry? Just watch me make it through this, too, one day at a time.

Or we'll laugh as I try, I guess. Together we can laugh as I try.

35 comments:

Kim said...

I get totally where you are right now. I look around me and see the devastation the economy is taking on lives (my life) and I just squeeze a little tighter to my Father's hand, dig in and perservere. Bless you Brin.

judy in ky said...

Every night as I go to sleep, I am grateful for my bed, blankets, and a roof over my head. So many people in the world don't even have that.
Still, no refrigerator, stove, or laundry would be really tough. We were without a fridge for a while, and it was really hard! I admire your perseverance.

the lady of the house said...

You sweet thing. You are so inspirational - nice job being thankful for what you do have and know we are all praying for it to get better for you!

Granola Girl said...

My son's father and I work with at-risk youth who have serious troubles in their lives and are trying to get through high school in the face of them. Both he and I were at risk kids who got through high school, college, and now are trying to get through a marriage in the face of our issue-filled youth. This post sums up what we tell them (and ourselves) as we battle against the past and how we feel it has wronged us.

It is bizarre though, how once the healing seems to have begun and the dust seems to have settled, you do bless the suffering. I know I am bettered in many ways for all the ways my childhood was worse than many.

It will be a wonderful thing to be able to be grateful for things like a refrigerator, stove, and laundry. You will see the world differently when you make it through and finding God in the smallest things becomes a virtue. Personally, I think that is what all the suffering is for, it helps you find Him everywhere.

FoundProdigalDaughter said...

Thank you, thank you for sharing this...especially the verse.

On another note...have you checked out freecycle.org to see if you can get anything like the washer/dryer, stove, or anything else you might need? Chances are there's a group near you.

***HUGS***

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

You go girl! Hugs!!

Threeblindsheep said...

Oh Brin! What a lovely room. I've never left a comment before, but I've read your blog for the last year. I've watched and prayed for you all through the Freeman House and the bakery. You are such a blessing to so many-your openness and honesty are so refreshing. For those of us walking similar paths, it is like a cup of fresh cool water to read your blog. Thank you so much! Many blessings-

Kathleen Grace said...

Those are some tough things to be without, I can't say I would want to go withut a fridge for any length of time. Just a couple posts ago you were ready to go tobed and pull the covers over your head in despair, I see already that you are dealing with the rough patch and showing the strength we all know you have. Keep believing, keep praying and keep dreaming Brin. I can tell you for certain that the rough patches make us stronger. You'll come out of this some day with a new strength and perspective. Hang in there. I think your bedroom is serene.

Pat said...

Brin-

I caught on at the tail end of your Freeman House adventure...

The New Place sounds wonderful!

Perseverance; I like it. What a beautiful room.

Bless Jesus,
Pat

Patty's Stitches said...

You WILL get through this. I love the sweet bedroom. I see so much strength in you. You're the kind of person I'd love to KNOW.
Blessings,
Patty

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

The true life comes only after the seed is planted in the ground.

You will be wonderfully used by God.

Grateful Gramma said...

You have such a beautiful spirit!

Jenn said...

Oh sweet Brin. I so wish you were closer. I'd make you food to take home:)

RoseMary said...

Look at the quilt on the bed, that makes me happy.
I am at the stage in my life where simple would be nice.
I love your spirit.

Lynne said...

How can any rented house come without a way to cook? Or a fridge. I understand the washtub laundry as at our cabin I did "pioneer" style laundry in the kitchen sink and hung it out to dry.

Why did you sell EVERYTHING from Freeman House? Makes no sense to me, Brin, sorry ... not sure how anyone can manage without those two basic human ways of survival.

Kathryn said...

Just was thinking about life without a fridge. So I googled it and up came this interesting blog entry and lots of comments. Check it out! I hope it makes you feel better about your current situation. http://littlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/2007/03/no-refrigerator-for-30-years.html

Joy said...

I've been there before myself. Divorce. Left a nice home in a nice neighborhood and moved into a basement apartment next to neighbors that neglected their kids. Left nice furniture behind, washer and dryer,my dog, friends, and money. Took my kids, but they didn't want to live in a basement apartment with a mother who couldn't shell out cash. Left behind an abusive husband--but that was the good part. Bad part: walking at night and crying my eyes out. Seeing happy married couples. Seeing kids. It took all the emotional strength I had to get up in the morning and go to work. Worst time of my life. But I survived. I gave up a lot, but I'm better off today. Jesus is my savior and I have peace and a husband who loves me, likes me and thinks I'm one of the best things that ever happened to him. You'll come through it all, Brin. The day will come when you will think back to this time, and you will think about how far you have come, how much you have learned, and how much you have grown. It will happen.

Tracey said...

You are very inspiring...your strength. Perserverance, yes, and perspective too I always say. Blessings to you Brin!

:) T

Janera said...

What if . . .

there was a woman who read your blog and found the courage and the hope she needed to take a step toward something better that would come after pain?

What if . . .

because of your openness and willingness to be honest and upbeat in the face of loss, a woman found that she could also be courageous and upbeat?

And, what if . . .

you started over, with little more than a bed and a beautiful hand-made-with-love quilt -- then suddenly realized that there, in your new little place, you had every single thing you ever needed and more?

What if that were the case?

Oh, pardon me. I think it IS the case after all.

You go, Girl!

{ L } said...

I don't know your story but you sound strong within. This is a beautiful post...truly it is! It says so much and can speak to so many. I could have written this a few years ago. I have had a lot and then lost a lot. It is difficult. It has been 4 years since the terrible time of loss in my life and I'm in a good place now...I hope that is encouraging. Your heart sounds like it is in the right direction.
Much love...
Oh I almost forgot why I stopped by your blog! lol...I posted about you and your etsy store on my blog today! :)

Sharon said...

I think your room is lovely. Simple and comforting. Probably just what the doctor ordered. I have just found a web site with great teaching which I am finding very comforting to hear what God is doing. The web site is www.prophetic.tv and I was listening to an interview with Larry Randolph an interview about his book called "The Coming Shift" which we of course are already in. It might be worth a look see if you haven't already found it. I don't know about you but the word that I keep hearing everywhere is Humble yourselves!! and I see him doing that not only in my life but many of us..And where our heart is there also is our treasure. I think it is a testing time for many of us and so many different ways.I don't think any of us like the change but it's necessary for us to be positioned where God wants us and bring us into a place of humility and reliance on him. Blessings

Sue said...

Oh Brin, I don't even know you (but yeah, guess I do) and I think about and pray for you as if you were one of my children. You are learning things it takes some of us a lifetime to learn. Your bedroom is beautiful and peaceful. Simple is good- that stuff can really tie you down and not always in a good way.
I linked to your mom's blog and she is one interesting lady too!!!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I'm watching. And cheering. I have learned the last two years of my life (late, I know) that we can deal with much more than we ever thought. I throw many temper tantrums about my own situation, and I feel God watching me, kindly and patiently, but after the tantrum, the calm comes and I have learned that He is good. Sigh. I do think He could have set things up just a little differntly...I'm just sayin'...C

carla said...

About 10 years ago we were in one of our many periods of financial stress. Our sons were 17 and 12 and we didn't have a stove. It took almost 6 months before we could save up enough to buy one at Sears. Meanwhile, I cooked on a single electric burner, microwave and toaster oven. From scratch. No dishwasher. And you know how teenage boys can eat. But we made it and nobody is worse off for it.

Last year our refrigerator quit and we went a couple of weeks with just a big ice chest.

My grandmother had 7 children, made her own soap and handwashed their clothes on a washboard. I've traveled with my husband on business and handwashed our clothes. No way was I going to pay $10 per item for that English 4 star hotel to launder our things. The maids probably weren't used to seeing wet laundry but I wasn't there to impress them.

We Americans are made of pioneer stock! You can do it!

Patsy said...

Brin, Love your mom's blog! Love it! Like mother, like daughter.

Lulu said...

you are such an inspiration...
Have a wonderful weekend..

Sara said...

People, Compassion that just talks and doesn't do anything is not real. Oh, and sarcasm is NOT encouraging. Pardon me...

I love you Bri, and if I wasn't living halfway around the world, and didn't depend on the gifts of others to provide for our family, I would save up enough money to buy you one of those machines I believe you completely need! I will pray that someone in America is compassionate and loving enough to make some huge gifts to you.

ARGH!

carla said...

After reading Sara's comment, I wondered who she was referring to. Hoping it wasn't me, I read back over mine. It doesn't sound like I meant it to sound. I was trying to be encouraging to you, wanting you to persevere in the midst of all these trials which are happening. I wanted to salute your courage that caused you to be independent, even without the modern luxuries. Maybe it didn't come across that way, but that's the way I meant it. It's awful when someone comments critically on a blog and that was certainly NOT my intention. As has been said many times, all this technology is faceless and silent. We can't see the look on the writer's face or hear the tone of their voice. Please know that my is sympathetic and hopeful.

Sara said...

No fear, Carla, I was NOT specifically referring to you. It's the empty comments from people that want to sound like they understand but don't that frustrate me so. I can't even understand all that my friend has gone through, so all I do is tell her that I love her, that I'm sorry for all of the things that have happened to her, and do the only thing I CAN do; pray. I live in a country where people DO things for each other when they have needs, not just talk and walk on by like the "Important People" in the Good Samaritan story. From your story, I have a feeling you know how it feels to be passed by such people, and for them, I apologize to you. It should be different there, especially in the community of people who call themselves "Little Christ"s.

Bri, I hope I'm not embarrassing you, if I am, I sincerely and completely apologize. You know how much of a "Defender" I am. I hope it's one reason you love me? :o)

Debi said...

What a lovely room. Simplicity. You are not recognizing it, but you do have courage along with your perseverance. This too shall pass and all will be right with your world again. You are an inspiration.

LeAnne said...

Brin, how many readers noticed that you gave us a sneak peek at your mom's blog?!!! I very much enjoyed reading it. I see where you get your talent.

I've been a struggling single mother most of my adult life...one child had several bone joint related birth defects. We spent most of her childhood at Shriner's Hospital. And one time my refrigerator went out and I couldn't afford another one, so every two days I bought a bag of ice for my ice chest so we could keep milk, etc. around. That went on for 6 or 7 months before I could get another used frig.

I was always blessed with some kind of work, so I never had to go on welfare, medicaid, or food stamps. So hang in there. God will open windows for you.

Blessings,
LeAnne

a woman who is said...

Let not your heart be troubled...was a little message from God one morning as I was just about to face a new day. Hmmm was it even in the Bible? Yes it was, and I can't tell how those six simple words have changed my thought patterns for the last three weeks. As I pondered those words, they became a choice I was going to have to make over and over again in the weeks ahead. But the choice NOT to let my heart be troubled proved a great way to navigate...trouble. Sounds awfully simplistic I know, but for me I learned a new level of trust. Those words are found 2x in John 14

Betty in NC said...

How I wish we were neighbors. I'd gladly help you. Right now I'm trying to think of ways that I can help you but all I can think of is to pray for you and to continue to cheer you on.
Someone suggested freecycle, a great resource! Try it! I know with your talent, flair, and spirit you will come through this with style and grace.
As my Grandmother alway said, "This too shall pass" Maybe not as soon as we'd like it, but it will pass.
You are an inspiration.

Vee said...

Just catching up a little bit with you this morning. I have missed visiting and knowing how you are doing and what you are doing. You could create "home" under a bridge, Brin...it's so charming. Those who need a compassionate embrace will certainly find yours comforting. And, of course, you know that a book recommendation from you means that I must go find "The Forgotten Garden."

Blessings to you...

Kristine said...

We couldn't pay our gas bill and had no stove or water heater for three weeks. I used the crock pot and microwave. We made it thru. We still aren't sure if we'll get to keep our house. My heart prepares for the worst while I pray every night and have faith that one day things will get back to normal. You have already helped so many and taught so much with your wonderful blog. I cried when you lost Freeman House and rejoiced when you came back. Believe it or not, you are inspiration for so many. I had forgotten about "perserverance" until you blogged it. I didn't like feeling that I couldn't get thru another day like this, but yet had no other choice. I realize now that all along I've been perservering...and you showed me that. Your room is lovely. Your life is lovely. As my mamaw always used to tell me, "Keep your chin up and say a little prayer". :)