Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Kindness and Stubbornness

there's no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.
-Scott Adams

A truly kind friend made me the most beautiful tea time lunch awhile back. Stilton cheese and everything. It was wonderful and meant so much. Those small, thoughtful things always do.

People... friends and strangers alike... continue to surprise me with kindness, generosity and... warmth. Cookies-from-the-oven warmth. I've been meaning to say thank you - to all of you - and of course I get behind and use that as an excuse and the thanks come later than they should.
For all who gave so generously and willingly to Boomer's family, thanks. As of Saturday they were in receipt of it all. You blew us away with your giving. It means so much.

For those of you who support my efforts at Freeman House... whether you read about it here or come by and help paint... I appreciate you. It's a huge, overwhelming, often frustrating project. Every sweet word and gesture keeps me hanging on around here for one more day.

And for the many of you who show up here to quietly read and bounce along with your day, thanks. My monitoring services say there are almost 12,000 hits from folks who stop in at some point during the day. Wow. I don't know who you all are, but I hope you feel welcome and know I'd relish the opportunity to have you here.

In my post yesterday, I mentioned my inclination to make this blog private. I mentioned that Blogger only allows 100 readers in such cases. Undoubtedly I have such a large family -and circle of awesome friends - that the readership invites would be spoken for lickety-split and would likely never be extended to people I don't personally know. Anyhow, it's not the readers or the commenters on this blog that are problem, surprisingly enough. But don't worry. I'm not going anywhere....

I'm telling you. Stressful several weeks. I've carefully negotiated oil and gas contracts with THREE new clients in the last 10 days. In the end I've had to walk away from all of them. Disheartening, to say the least. I called a colleague on the way home from the city last week and said, "I don't think I'm cut out for this business." To which he replied: "You're crazy to walk away from a $200,000 contract." To which I retorted: "What does it profit a girl if she gains the whole world but loses her soul?" To which he said: "You aren't losing your soul, Brin. You're making money. You're just not able to teach Sunday School or make apron things or write." To which I replied: "...said the man who's lost his soul."

We laughed but I was mostly serious. So now the question is: am I fearless enough in my faith to trust that God would provide for me outside the deep pockets of oil companies and the offers of greedy publishers? Do I dare leave a lucrative industry and try to make it on my own with nothing more than an unfortunate-looking house, a sewing machine, a few amazing recipes, a garden and a bunch of words?

In the meantime, this blog isn't going anywhere. I might starve or have to cut up my own clothes and sell them as aprons online, but Lord willing, you can count on the fact that Freeman House and I will be here. You might be hearing more ideas bounced around as a result .. and more... "do y'all think this would work?"... but I'll still be here.

Tomorrow, the magical apple pie filling recipe. I'm sharing it for free. Ha.


{Emily} said...

I'm so glad you've decided to stay Brin! And I think you could totally make a run at something on your own...whatever it may be. You have a very admirable determination about you! :) Can't wait for the apple pie recipe - I know my husband will thank you for it too!


Unknown said...

You know, I read several blogs that have "Donate to This Blog Now" buttons w/a Paypal account attached.

And, Matthew 10:10 = take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.

I think you're good to go.


Heather said...

I'm living vicariously through you, so you can't quit blogging. :o)

Unknown said...

Oh sweet Brin, we love you for the strong woman you are, and that strength will take you where ever you go and do with your life. Your blog is such a blessing to me and you made my day knowing it will still be around! Follow your heart girl and trust God to lead you. Hugs!!

Elenka said...

Halleluiah!!!!! Thank you, Brin, for now, anyway!!
You are a joy! You have no idea.....

lorie said...

Hi I'm "de-lurking" at last...I love your blog...reading about your home and your adventures.I stop by everyday just to catch up on your "Messy, Thrilling Life" Thanks for sharing....

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

If you cut up your clothes and sell them as aprons, I'll buy them! I absolutely love reading your blog - it's honest, inspiring, faith-building, and full of dreams. I'll be around to read it as long as you keep writing.

sheila from life @ #17 said...

trying again :)

I believe I said something along the lines of what a Great Big Soul you have and how I believe you'll find a way to make your bliss work...

and how I believe I hear the universe whispering "B & B"...with a cute little critter farm...and your own line of jams/preserves/butters to sell at the inn...

with your knitting classes for special weekends...or jam making classes (something I've always wanted to be but been scared to death of poisoning someone...)...


and if you get 2 comments, just delete one :)

Linda Z said...

Oh, I just want to give you a big hug. I'm sorry you've had such a rough time of it. Maybe you could just publish your own "e-books" and we could all buy them online!! And there's got to be some way to get a small business license, publish your own "food book" and sell it here, right? I'm sure we all want the fabulous recipes all compiled with your beautiful photos and in our kitchens. I do! Who needs a middle man anyway?! Keep following after the Lord, Brin. If He provides for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, He will provide for you whom He loves.

Mim said...

I am so glad you are staying. Your determination at whatever you choose to do is so admirable.I hope it works for you to continue with your oil brokerage business while you are finacially getting your feet on the ground for your other ventures. However.. somehow it seems that no matter what you put your mind heart and soul to, you will make it work for you. You are a strong brave single woman and it is so inspiring to those of us out here who are reading about your life.Mim

Betty said...

Oh Brin you have made me so happy! I am so glad you're staying!
Big decisions for you and I believe whatever God is asking of you..you will be faithful. I'll be praying.
I'm waiting for the 'free' apple cake recipe you are so kind to share with us!

Harbor Hon said...

Dear Sweet Brin, we LOVE you and are glad you are going to stay with us. I almost panicked thinking we would lose the thoughts, pictures and recipes of one of the kindest souls. You are special to God and you are special to us, your readers. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.
Carolyn xxoo

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about the message in your blog from yesterday this morning and preparing myself to lose this daily ritual and treat just as I did when my favorite coffee shop closed. Your blog is a blessing and a gift to me-- in such an indescribable way! I appreciate your sharing yourself and all that you are in the ways that you do. Thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

If the "middle men" publishers are reading this blog and these comments, this blog is exactley why I would buy Brin's books. To be honest, I don't care if she gives away all her recipes on this blog and then puts them in a book, I would still buy it!!!! But Brin, I have a feeling a B&B, with your touche, would be just the thing this Big 'Ole World could use. Let me know 'cause I want to have a reservation on the Opening Weekend. Heck, let me know when you need some help, I'll be there!!
Denise in L.C.

cupcake studio said...

Hi Brin,
I'm one of your 12,000 lurkers :)

Your blog brings me comfort & hope...and while yes, I do enjoy it "for free" I'd also buy your books! I'm (a little) familiar with the book industry and my only fear is that once you start writing more & more to "meet deadlines," the work loses some soul.

What you share & write here on the blog is so heartfelt and I'm sure it brings much joy to many.

I'm sure the Lord will guide you and continue to bless you with creativity, ideas and opportunities!

Best wishes, -tami

Rebecca said...

I love Sheila's ideas! :)

I have to say, I'm sitting here silent and stunned. You and I are in the same boat right now, with huge decisions about life and career, ultimately finances. I posted a generalized entry to my blog yesterday facing the same sort of decision you've mentioned today, but with a few differences. :) But I've made my decision.

We tend to trust those things most that we can see, feel, that bring us steady security. Its hard to let go of those "things" to trust God completely, especially when it doesn't seem to make good economical sense. Just talk to him about it, listen for his direction, then don't be afraid to cast your net out into the deep water. He's in the deep water too.

I'm glad you're sticking around here. We love you. And isn't it a shame with all those "business" folks? Its always all about the money.

Rosa said...

Now I'm no business woman (far from it!) But it seems to me that if you are coming to a publisher or someone interested in one of your ideas, with a ready made audience, would't that make you more attractive?
You have already done some of your own marketing and the 'free' items are just the teaser designed to get us interested in buying the whole product!
I mean, 12,000 hits! Even after subtracting a few for those of us who stop by a few (ahem) times a day to see if there is a new post, seems to me to be a good base to start with.
But then I'm no business woman.
I pray that God will bless you in all you do.

Anonymous said...

I say close up your business dealings (oil) and open your B&B on the beautiful land you are looking to buy.

I'd invest in that!

Love your blog.

French Knots said...

I enjoy reading about your life and am glad that your blog will still be around to make me think and remind me of what is truly important in life.
I left a lucrative career and sometimes it is hard to budget and not buy pretty things for the house but you soon adapt. Now I treat myself to a bunch of flowers that cost less than a pound and enjoy their scent and beauty or some old linens from the jumble sale for a few pence.
You are crative and hardworking, if the publishers don't see all your regular readers as a bonus and potential customers who would buy your book because we know how wonderful it would be then they are shortsighted.

Anonymous said...

Standing up...raising my hands above my head...and clapping.


You are such an inspiration!


Linnee said...

So glad to hear that you're not going anywhere. :)

Debe said...

Life and all the choices we have to make! God tests our "free will" doesn't he? I wish all of us out here could give you the answers but as long as I have been reading you...I think you have the right stuff to make the right Brin decision. I'll say a prayer and wait for apple pie...

Anonymous said...

I will tell you why I come here.I am 42...42..how did that happen?..anyway...When I get a few minutes to myself or late at night when the house is still..that is my time.my time to come here..look around..just to enjoy what you share with us.I love decorating and your home pictures are just wonderful!You giving of yourself on this blog would not stop me from buying a book of yours..good gosh..this blog is a glimpse into your soul..and no one should be forced to put a lid on that.whatever dream you may have you can make it..you can do it and you can live it.My mom has two kinds of cancer and congestive heart failure.I am taking care of her.I look at her and see many regrets she has.She is 76.You and she are the reason my home will be up for sale and I am going to find a little run down cottage and fix it up..see, we all have dreams and the thing that seperates most of us is some people choose to follow their dreams and others only dream about it...waiting for the day...and sometimes through the waiting you wake up and wonder where the time went..sometimes you can't count the cost of living your dream..or going for it.You can make freeman house work for you...whatever you decide, just know a bunch of us are behind you and thank god we found this inspirational blog!
geneen from calif

Sissy said...

Well, there isn't much more to say than hasn't already been said about you, Brin, but I'm glad you'll stick around. Those mean publisher people ought to know that all of us would still buy your cookbook, recipe book, devotional book and any other thing you write even though you blog here. "If you build it, they will come", as the movie says. Consider us your own personal Field of Dreams.

redeemed diva said...

I'm praying for you, Brin.

Anonymous said...

I think God has BIG plans for you. Can't wait to see what they are! Praying for you.

Cyndi said...

As the strong girls say......SAY I CAN'T...ha

Beverly said...

Someone said in yesterday's comments that your blog is your ministry and I totally agree. Your words inspire and heal and warm each of us and add so much to our day.

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

Priceless post! I for one am thankful, thankful you will continue to plant seeds and pull those crappy weeds!

Hugs Brin!
Kathi :)

Anonymous said...

Do what you've gotta do, follow your heart (faith) and they will come!


Anonymous said...

Yippee!!! So glad that you are standing up for your "soul" and are not letting anyone push you around. Bravo! I will continue to visit daily and be refreshed by your beautiful words, musings and recipes.


Gracie G. said...

Glad you're here to stay. I so enjoy reading this blog and all of your adventures at Freeman house and outside it. And it's good to hear from another sister in Christ and read about what you are learning from Jesus.
Just continue to trust God to lead you to the place He wants you to be. Whether that's in the oil industry or at home sewing aprons and making recipes.
God bless,

pk said...

Hey, I'll buy a book you put out , use a verse a day along with a recipe or however or whatever you decide, tips, you do it ! There are a whole cabudle of us out here that are so very happy you did not cave in. God is honored and all is well, praise Him 1st and always. I'm new to your site and I don't write well so you keep writing for me as well as others and we'll keep on enjoying and praying for you and yours. Thanking the Lord there are sincere christians who will not bow to the dollar and serve their only true master Jesus. hugs, pk

Anonymous said...

i really enjoy your blog and am glad you are keeping it public. it is amazing that 12,000 people stop by. awesome!! be strong and hold your principles.

Vickie said...

Brin - I don't think I've ever commented on your blog before, but I say "PUPPY POOP" to whoever "they" are, too.

You have such wisdom and insight and such a creative and "alive" spirit about you for one so young. I'm 51 and I've read your blog for several months now. I have seen your pain, your growth, your changes, your questioning, your searching, not to mentions all your talents - we all have. You have so much to give.

God has given you a great talent and I pray that you will use it to His glory. You are intuitive, entertaining, sensitive, and whether it's books or something else, I feel certain that you will succeed by doing what you love.

I, too, am in East Texas and I, too, have a little old cottage home (besides my regular home) and we plan to move into it one day. I find "myself" there, my roots, my soul, my ancestors, my peace. It strengthens and fulfills me to be there (after God of course). I can't wait to be there full time.

You pray without ceasing and watch for signs and listen to your heart and to all these people out here in blogland who obviously love and support you. I hope you will be able to live and support yourself financially by doing something that you LOVE. Glad you're not closing your blog to all us "lurkers", too! Vickie

Anonymous said...


I only found you a few weeks ago and I've commented several times. You inspire me to make my blog more "open". I love that your heart & your faith come through your writing.

I'm so looking forward to your books, full of your delish recipes, your awesome photographs and your design ideas.
And then at the end of a long day, your Devotional Book.

We believe in you deary. Whatever you want, you can do it!
We're right here, willing to help should you need it.

Kay (just one of the thousands)

Vee said...

Can I do a happy dance while still being somewhat concerned?

Personally, I think that you're brilliant. I think that I'm in good company, too.;D You can go as high and as far as you're willing to allow God to take you. How far, how high do you suppose that is?

Looking forward to the recipe tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog last week and it is a wonderful blog! Then, I saw this post and worried that you will stop blogging. Your blog is the type of blog that I just love to read. I have been reading blogs for a few years now and gosh, I think that the blogosphere is just an amazing phenomenon. Blogs make me happy! I don't watch tv at all anymore and I haven't been reading as much either. I love looking into other folks' lives, especially when they are great writers and post beautiful pictures and recipes, etc. I'm cooped up at home with three little boys and the internet saves my sanity some days! Nancy in Alaska

Anonymous said...

Shanda here,
I'm so glad you decided to stay.
Always, Always follow your heart. There is a saying that goes:
Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you do. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment and you can see forever.
I truly believe our heart is our own voice. We just have to listen for it to speak to us.
I posted a beautiful poem for you today on my Blog. It's called "My Mission of Serving" by Vernable Henry Newman. It's way to long to write here in the comments box.
The poem is about our mission in life, and what God has planned for us.(Our Mission), "we may never know it in this life, but we shall be told it in the next." Some how we are needed in his great purpose, a link in a chain, a bond of connections between persons.
I do hope you will go and read all the poem. It always brings me peace and comfort to read it, and it helps me to know and understand God's love and the work he has set forth for us.
Sometimes our little mind can cause us a heep of trouble.All that think'in and wonder'en. It takes us down many roads and just leaves us empty and confused. Your heart will never do that, Your heart my dear, can't think. It can only feel. Those feelings in your heart, are your soul.
When the beating of our heart ceases, for the very last time. It is this very moment, our soul leaves our body. Our soul is our spirit.
Don't ever let anybody take your spirit. It's what sustains us on our darkest hour of our darkest day.
Brin, Only you, and you alone, know whats in your heart.
Follow your heart.
Your Friend,

Anonymous said...


You will be fine. I have enough faith for you and if you need me I am always here to help any way that I can. You won't be happy with all the money in the world if your heart is not in your work. I know you and you are happiest when you are doing for others. Your gift from God is your uncanny ability to share your thoughts with others and paint the world in such a way that everyone can see God through you. Don't give up, I won't let you. I love you very much Sis,

Adrienne said...

I held my breath as your blog opened this morning! I hoped, oh how I hoped, it wouldn't say your blog was by invitation only. And I wasn't invited! I admire your decisions. I truly believe they will be honored.

Nearly three years ago I walked away from a very lucrative job and took a 'leap of faith' to do something that God - and my heart - was calling me to do. I've not regretted it for one minute. I will pray that you have clear direction and that you will be able to follow your heart, too.

Anonymous said...

Yes ma'm sometimes that choice between what you know and what you feel is difficult. Seek Him and He will guide you, teach you, and comfort you.

So very glad you've chosen to keep this an open blog.

You are blessed!

Anonymous said...

Success is not measured by how much money we have... 12,000 hits a day?? That's success. You are the most gifted person I've EVER encountered (and, I'm picky, picky, picky!!). I would buy ANYTHING you sew, bake, or write. He truly works through you to touch us all everyday. Maybe the thought that so many are waiting everyday for what you have to say is overwhelming... it's just a sign that you are already a star.

gems4me said...

I am one of people that love your Monday Inspirations. You turned my world upside down on Monday. Because of it I come here often. Please don't let the nasty people make you go and hide. You have so much to offer.

Kristy said...

Bravo to keeping your soul, and your self intact under pressure to do otherwise!

Dinah said...

I've been enjoying your blog for a long while now, but I've never commented. Yesterday I wanted to, but felt speechless. I'm so very glad to read your post today and couldn't help but sigh with relief when I read it. I am sure that this is one purpose of your life and there is no telling what all of your other purposes are. He will lead you.
By the way, I bought The Sacred Ordinary yesterday and was up past bedtime still reading. I'm loving it!

Anonymous said...

I am so thrilled that you have decided to allow us to continue visiting. I love it here.

Jean M said...

You're amazing--please continue to stick to your guns! God will bless you abundantly beyond what you could ask or think!!

Terri Steffes said...

Good heavens, Brin. It is your blog that makes we want to BUY your cookbook and inspirational books when they do come out. What morons think that if I don't see you that I will want to BUY you??? I believe you have enough words to fill up more than this blog, more than one recipe book, more than one inspirational book. If your publishers don't think so, then find a publisher who recognizes talent.


Anonymous said...

I am reading from Bremerton, WA and can't really remember how I found you. I think your publisher's are crazy. If anything I think you writing on your blog freely would make people wish to read more and purchase your book, article whatever. SOme of us are just old fashioned and long for the feel of a page---we'd buy your book even if the whole thing was free online. I believe you've made the right decision and you will find success.

Steph said...

Thank goodness!
I don't think I've ever even commented before, but I truly love your blog!
Your are so full of wisdom at such a young age!
I used to live in an "older" house and never fully appreciated it... your stories make me want to move to the country and find an old home to love!

Daffodil Hill said...

What about publishing your books yourself? With such a wide readership and your connections in the business world, I think you could do that successfully. You touch a lot of people with your writing. Thank you for caring more about your readers than your income. {{hugs}}

The Babysitters Love said...

Thanks Brin!