Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Am Learning...

... that home is where your bed is.
... that it's wiser to be silent.
... that your bank statement is a print-out of your heart.
... that polite never expires.
... that jeans can't get too comfortable.
... that a dog is a friend forever.
... that no dream goes to waste.
... that steel wool cures any cast iron (!).
... that we can always use a hug.
... that paths to a friend's house can be too far.
... that fireflies are magical.
... that nothing lasts forever.
... and that I can't expect God to use me
in a way different from the way He created me.

What are you learning?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Salty Tears and Caramel Hearts

I woke up this morning and tripped over Millie on my beeline to the computer. As it started up, I jostled Millie's ears. Whatdoya think, girl? Has anyone given for Leah? She wagged her tail.

Of course you have. Fat, salty tears are dripping down my cheeks as I type. The folks who hang out at this blog are the best in the world. I'm honored to share my life with you. Thanks for encouraging. Thanks for giving. Thanks for being who you've turned out to be. Thanks, thanks, thanks. We're off to an amazing start.

Jessica from Preemptive Love Coalition sent me several emails overnight. One included this link to a video she voiced about Leah. It's short and will melt your heart into warm, caramel-like goo, so please do take a second to watch it: click here to watch Leah's video.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Little Leah (No Small Thing)

Everyone, meet baby Leah. Isn't she beautiful?

Do you remember me telling you about my college friends who decided to make a difference and founded the Preemptive Love Coalition? Well, Leah is a little friend of theirs. Leah is from Iraq, a place where "Saddam Hussein’s 281 chemical attacks and experiments on the Kurds of northern Iraq contribute to the high rate of life-threatening heart disease among children in the region today". (That's what the Preemptive Love Coalition found when they got all Erin Brockovich in Iraq.) Leah also has Down's Syndrome, which makes her a tough case and an otherwise low-on-the-list recipient of a surgery that can save her life.

Leah needs heart surgery. Soon.

So? you say. (Yawn.) Lots of people in lots of places needs lots of things. Don't bother me with this today.

But what if today's THE day you go from being ordinary to being a life saver?

Here's the deal. Over 3,000 people read this blog every day. As much as I try not to bombard you with ads, sponsors, frantic support requests, etc., I do have a favor: if you've ever read and enjoyed this blog... if My Messy, Thrilling Life has ever made you smile... or think... or sob... or crack up... or introduced you to a good book or site or adventure, would you consider helping? Kinda by way of saying thanks?

You'll be saving a life, after all. Leah's life. That's no small thing.

So. We need to come up with $3,000 to pay for Leah's heart surgery through the Preemptive Love Coalition. The surgery would be slated for July... and who knows. I may even head over there and introduce you to her myself. In the meantime...

Give $1. One dollar. You'll hardly miss it. And if all the folks who hang out here will do that, together we can give Leah a new heart - we can give this helpless baby girl a hope and a future.

Donate $1 by clicking below. It's handled by PayPal and is private, secure, and super easy. Also, feel free to check out my friends and their organization, Preemptive Love Coalition, by clicking here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. -Brin

Just a note: donating via PayPal/ChipIn means you automatically get a pretty receipt for your records. If a write-off receipt for tax purposes is important to you, consider donating directly to Preemptive Love Coalition. Visit their site here and be sure and let them know it's for Leah. Thanks!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More on cast iron repair soon. For now I'm popping in to say howdy. Hope you're well and had a good hair day. And to all you fancy-pants folks who read your blogs through readers, I wanted to personally inform you that I updated my banner and added a nifty sidebar feature with a few of my favorite travel adventures.

Travel (vicariously) on.  -Brin

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rusty on My Cast Iron

It appears I'm rusty on my cast iron care as rust continues to mock me from deep inside this cast iron pot.  Please... can anyone out there help?

Last week, while scavaging around in a junk store, I found these two cast iron beauties. Four dollars each. Heavy as yours truly after her marriage ended. Problem? Rust. Rusty Rust Rusterson.

I've tried scraping it off. I've tried boiling it off. I've tried reseasoning these pots with oil in a hot oven. Still the rust persists. What's a girl to do?

Anyone with advice on how to cure my cast iron woes is encouraged to write, comment, or come over.

My sincerest thanks,
(Cast Iron Obsessed FarmGirl at Heart)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cottage Dreams

Cusato Cottage KC 1200
Every day, most of the day, I dream about my cottage. This is the one I've chosen. This is the one I hope to build soon. Picture it, though, as a white cottage with a stone path. And picture it sitting in a field of wildflowers, not up on some hurricane-force foundation. Imagine it, too, with an ivy-covered chimney and a rocking chair on the porch that creaks as the wind blows through. Pretend you're peeking through the screen door and see wood floors swept clean. A pie just out of the oven. Candles flickering, Yes, you're almost there. That's almost it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


 I got creamed over yesterday's post. You should see my email inbox. Whenever I write about God, questions come at me like ping-pong balls - fast and forceful and all over the place. I want to write another post, soon, explaining my faith... what I believe and why.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Artist

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
-Jeremiah 31:3

We get this idea in our heads... somewhere along the way... that God is powerfully snobby. Cold. Vengeful, even. That He keeps scores and settles them. That He's a watch dog, ever-vigilant and ready to attack. That He's a cranky old man, finding fault and calling us out. That He's a distant father, stingy with love, affection, forgiveness.

We couldn't be more wrong.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mental Vacation

I'm working today but my mind isn't on it. Obviously. Outside the air is light. Clouds are puffy and lazy. Bees are buzzing about. Buds are swelling and dew is drying and I'm longing to hide in a leafy alcove and watch it all. And yawn. Maybe sleep. Definitely lose myself in a book. I think I need a mental vacation.

Holly Hill would be wonderful right about now...

Thank you all for the kind birthday wishes. I had a quiet, happy day, and hope that's telling of the sort of year I'll have, too. -Brin

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

If We Didn't Know How Old We Are

How old would you be
if you didn't know how old you are?
-Satchel Paige

If I didn't know how old I was turning tomorrow... (thirty-one years old, to be exact)... I would think I was twenty-four. Not sure why. But definitely twenty-four. My heart is stuck in that age.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happiness Designed... and Not Postponed

My old strawberry patch at Freeman House. I'm trying not to look back... trying not to be wistful... trying not to be a smidge sad... especially as gardening season gets underway.

It's hard to be sad, anyway, when thinking about strawberry patches.

I bought pots. A few. And I got strawberry runners from a nursery. I'm watching, eagerly, as the berries begin to blush.

It may be awhile before I get this sort of bounty from a little garden again. That's okay.

For now I have my pots. My strawberry patch pots. After all: "Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present." (Jim Rohn)

Here's to happiness designed - and not postponed.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

And he departed from our sight
that we might return to our heart,
and there find Him.
For He departed, and behold,
He is here.
-St. Augustine

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. -John 11:25-26

Happy Easter Sunday. -Brin

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

There I was.
The things I'd done wrong bled together and followed me like a shadow, haunting. Jeering. Pointing fingers. Just look at her. Look at what she's done. She isn't good enough. She will never be.

And there God is.
As much as I love you, I cannot abide your sin. I cannot look on your disobedience. But I will make a way. I will bridge this gap.

So there was Jesus.
He put on skin and became one of us. Human, yet divine. Tempted, yet blameless. And when the time came, He climbed a hill and was nailed for my sin.
Found guilty.

The Creator took the fall for the created. The Innocent accepted punishment for the convicted. And one Friday night, a many, many years ago, Jesus looked into the face of His Father and cried, "It is FINISHED." I have made the way. The Holy and the guilty need not be apart. I have bridged the gap.

And by His wounds... through His love... I am healed.

As it thunders and rumbles outside my dark window tonight, I think of the night Jesus died for me... the night Jesus died for you. And my eyes cry and my heart sings with gratitude over a God who loves this big. This openly. This freely. This selflessly.

And I am awed.

Happy Good Friday. -Brin