Sunday, November 23, 2008

How could I not continue?

After receiving so many beautiful comments and e-mails so soon after the attack by the trolls. There is a reason they call them that for trolls are the most hideous creatures in all of fairy tale land.

It was the timing of all of this that hit me so hard. Partly because it should be a joyous day in our house as we celebrate a birthday. Christopher was our surprise mid-life child when we had been told we couldn't have anymore children. Stephanie was not a surprise but she was our miracle, born after the doctors told us I may not be able to carry a baby full term since Matthew had been born so early.

I had enough baking supplies left in the pantry to make him a Texas Sheet Cake to take to work with him. I had used a few dollars of what Stephanie sent me to purchase a box of Krispy Kreme pumpkin spice donuts as a birthday morning surprise. I had given him his sister and brother-in-law's gifts the night before, as well as the gym bag I found at Goodwill and the Archaeological Study Bible purchased with Amazon credit.

I would have loved to take him out to dinner as we used to on birthdays but that wasn't possible in the year I find myself looking for change at the bottom of my purse to buy milk. Many of you have been there.

So, you can imagine, to have someone tell me there are poor people out there needing that food. Um, yes... waving my hand in the air. Today I could see the humor in the situation but at the time, nothing was funny.

I don't think of myself as poor but government statistics tells me I am. Except for the state in which I live, which counts Christopher's income he uses for college as part of the total. We've already decided he may become "independent" next school year, living with some of his friends near campus. It will cost him more but remove his income from our total so I can get Medicaid in case I need to be hospitalized.

I never want to emphasize the seriousness of our situation. Long time readers know bits and pieces. How like a slap in the face it is to be put down because your husband has been standing in long lines (in cold weather) to bring home food for the family and be told we don't deserve it because we stock the pantry when we receive extra money, through a gift or from the paychecks we earn twice a year at the bookstore.

In one of David Wilkerson's recent newsletters, he said good people are going to suffer in the coming years as we continue to see the economy falling apart. I thought of that when we were standing in the cold off a busy bypass with a flat tire and no way to change it.

We're not bad people. We are just a family who has been through many trials and tribulations due to poor physical health (which led to mental health challenges from the continual brain swelling) with the breadwinner. Then when "Mom" became ill, it only added to the challenges.

However, nothing touches us without first going through the hands of the Father and I can already look back and see good things coming from bad circumstances. By the time I reach Heaven, I won't need or want answers.

I called my daughter after leaving yesterday's post. Even though she is the daughter and I the mother, she is also a first born girl... one to go to in adversity. I am the youngest girl of eight children (although the only child of my parents later-in-life marriage), sometimes needing the help of the first born personality.

Her words? People are stupid. It brought back to me the very words I used with my children through the years. Why I have such a soft place in my heart for the non-Christian who is turned off by the Person of Christ because of the People of Christ they have met.

This morning I opened my Bible for my quiet time. A couple of times a year I read through the letters to the churches in Revelation. This morning I was stopped by the nearby Third Letter of John, where he is writing to a friend. In it he talks about the malicious gossip against them. I once told Christopher that persecution is a sign you are doing something right. I can agree with that today.

Starting next Monday, I will have to turn off anonymous comments. I hate to do that because of a handful of people who have been with me almost from the beginning who have to comment "anonymous". I will also have to moderate comments so at least when a troll comes along, it is only I who see their malicious writing and not you readers.

I was crying on Stephanie's shoulder (albeit a thousand miles away) that I put so much time into this blog and I'm not sure it is worth it. You have shown me every hour sitting at this computer... in this tiny office... at the edge of the forest... has rewards. Thank you.

47 comments:

Angela said...

I've been praying, crying and praying, crying and praying. Went through alot of kleenex. You know I was going to put a pic up of my pantry, with the food items I have stocked piled and the thought came to me, "people will say look at all that food, how can they say they are having tough times".

Guess what?! I'm taking that pic Brenda, BECAUSE it was God that provided for us.

Your wisdom, your 'as iron sharpens iron' (Proverbs) has sharpened me to be wise, to be frugal, to ACCEPT food during these times. I love you and thank God for you my precious sister. Thank you for your honesty, for sharing from your heart. You are truly 'precious in His sight'.
((hugs))

Heartathome said...

I've only been reading your blog for a short time and haven't had time to look back at previous posts but I was greatly dismayed over your post from yesterday.
People are always very quick to pass judgement. I'm not sure why we all think we have the right to judge others by a different standard than what we ourselves would want to be judged. The Word is very clear about this-the "trolls" will be judged themselves and likely, it will be in the way that they themselves passed judgement without even bothering to ask WHY were you having to go to a food bank.
I pray that you have peace-it is not easy to be dependent on help from others-but try to remember that they are blessed because they are able to pass on a blessing to you.

the pleasures of homemaking said...

Hi Brenda, Gee I've missed a few posts and I see I missed the drama! I'm so glad you've decided to continue to blog - I truly do believe it's a blessing to so many people including myself.

I know it hurts to have people judge you like that without knowing the whole story. I see more and more bloggers going to comment moderation recently and not allowing anonymous people to leave comments. I've gotten a few snarky comments myself, but nothing like this. I never used to get any with my other blog and I'm just wondering if it's a sign of the times. People need to vent their frustrations maybe with their own situation and this is a easy way to do it.

But you know, a part of me feels like I have to take the good with the bad. I don't know how to put it, I guess I don't want a blog where people can't feel free to express their opinions. I've been to blogs where everybody gangs up on the one person that has a different view and that's not good either.

Anyway, you've handled it very well and I think those two ladies have a better understanding of the situation (I hope). I also hope they come back - they have a lot to learn from you.

xo,

Manuela

moreofhim said...

Dear Brenda:

I am a fairly new reader of your blog and I totally look forward to coming to my computer to see what you have written. I'm SO glad that you decided not to give up your blog. You truly inspire and bless people through your blog and I know that the Lord is using this through you to touch people.

I have been where you are now. I still live a lot of what you live. Health issues abound for my hubby and I and until you've been there and done that, you have no idea what it's like.

People who judge and condemn usually have never been where we are. They have no clue what it's like to not have enough food in the pantry, to buy gifts at the thrift store (I do this all the time!) or to not know if you're going to have enough money to just pay your bills. I'm know you and I could tell horror stories about not having enough money just to meet the basic needs.

I can tell you are like me - you wear your heart on your sleeve - because you truly do care about your fellow man. People like us get hurt more easily than others, but I look at our tender-hearts as a gift from God. We care because He made us that way. Sometimes, it's hard, though, when there are such cruel, cruel people out there.

I am praying for you and your family. Know that there are far more of us out here that care about you and are blessed by your blog than there are those who condemn.

Continue to write your blog and know that the Lord and so many of us know your heart. Know you are doing this as a ministry to others, because that's exactly what it is! I really am blessed by your blog and wanted you to know that.

May God bless you ~ Julie

ru4real said...

Oh! I'm SO happy to see you back in the saddle this morning, my sister! I been grieving over the hurt those insensitive trollers caused you, and I was praying for you and your family before this crisis came along ... but I've prayed all the more because of it. May God continue to bless you with gifts of love and compassion ... with food, and health supplies, and money for bills, and loving words from God's family, and the wisdom to stand ever so close to HIS side in the face of persecution.

Linda said...

I read your blog daily. Although, I do not always leave a comment, but, I just wanted to say, it is a shame concerning your other post. How people in general can be rude and mean. When you get time, please go over and pick up an award at my blog (I realize you have no idea on who I am,lol).I love your blog, please continue bringing us your uplifting life stories. They are truly a blessing.♥

Sharon said...

Dearest Brenda~
I am glad you are still here.Yours is the first blog I read and the only one I read daily.If you left you would be missed by me immensely.My husband and I are in almost the exact same place as you are.Husband got ill and had to go on disability,I had to stay home to care for him.Then I got ill.We have to use food banks here every month.We also get help from the local housing authority to pay rent on our impossibly small apartment.My insurance is state funded but has also been absent at times.There was a time I had to go a sliding scale clinic and make payments as well.We are forced into shopping very cheaply.We seldom get fresh produce.So I completely understand and greatly appreciate you and your blog.My heart breaks for you every time I read about these trolls(ugly little people that live under bridges)leaving such comments.I would be interested in knowing what their situations in life are like,If they have not been where you are then how dare they judge you for doing the best you can to be a wise and prudent woman with such a small amount of funds.You are so loved Brenda by God and by me as well.You hang in there and do not let people like this deter you from sharing such important and encouraging posts!!!What you share matters.Much Love from Oregon~Sharon

Anonymous said...

Yes persecution is a sign you must be doing something righ...and you are. You are as one person said tender hearted. I also worry what non Christian people see in me as an example and worry when they get the perception of what I am about wrong. I too do not ever want to be a stumbling block. All we can do for those nasty commenteers is pray they will open up their hearts and minds to the Truth and not do to others what they have already done to you. Not giving in and quiting being what our missions in life is is the right way to go...but it is hard at times. I am saddened that anonymous comments can no longer be submitted after today so I will have to ask someone how to go about doing comments without being so. I should have learned this a long time ago. You have added Joy to my morning as I turned on the computor this morning dreading thinking I would find you saying goodbye. Instead I breathed a sigh of relief and said a prayer of thanks to the Father and a prayer for you and yours. Thankyou again and again. Jody

theresa said...

Thank you for deciding to continue blogging. Had you stopped, those trolls would have won.

I also appreciate your willingness to open your home and family situation to us ... I am where you are -- money is so very tight. What an encouragement you are to me.

Kari said...

I, too, have only been reading a short while.

But, I, too am not unfamiliar with hard times - financially and physically.

May I just say how deeply sorry I am for your pain and grief.

I think that not only will many good people know hardships they've not known before in the coming years, many of us will also come to know persecution as we've never experienced it. May it only lead us to know our God as we have never known Him!

cindy said...

I have been reading your blog and I was so shocked about how cruel people can be. I lost my job last year due to the business selling out and my hubby one was the breadwinner has a injury. There are times when we dont know if we will have enough food to last us. The food pantries out there are to help people, like me and you. So many people are quick to pass judgment, but let them walk a mile in our shoes and then they might just see how life can be turned upside down in a minute. You have a very nice blog and I enjoy reading it. God is helping us by providing food pantry and those shallow people cant see that well they need to look into their hearts and find the true meaning of the Lord. Hugs to you

Suze said...

Yay!! When I commented on your post yesterday, there were only 14 comments. Now there are 73!! All of them in support of a lovely lady - YOU!! I'm so glad you will continue to inspire and comfort us in these very troublesome times.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are going to continue to write. I'm sure you have much more to teach, about many things.

Like another poster said, I guess I will have to establish a "web identity" so that I may continue to comment on your words of wisdom

Marianna in GA

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh it's so good to read your words today and know that you are in a better place. Time often does that for us. I am reading a book now that recommends a 72 hour time period when facing some difficulty. It's based on Christ's dying on the cross on Friday, but Sunday's coming. Anyway, we've been trying to put that in place when beside ourselves over this or that. That time, whatever the time may be, makes a lot of difference. That and Stephanie's comment about people being stupid. I can see it embroidered and hanging on a wall plaque somewhere.

I am sorry that you are going to moderate everything. I considered that after my recent episode, but eliminating "anonymous" posters seems to have done the trick.

Mama M said...

Glad you will still be blogging ;o).

Veronica said...

Brenda, Thank you so much for continuing to blog. Driving home from church today I was thinking of you and praying that you would continue. I'm sorry that you had such hurtful comments. I look forward to your posts and your information on pantry deepening has been very helpful! The pantry came in handy this summer when my husband was out of work. Thank you!!

Susan B said...

Brenda,
I am so thankful that you will be continuing to blog. God bless you.

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

Brenda~
I am so very sorry that a troll came along and left such a nasty note.
I need to tell you - that you are such a blessing to so many people and I am one of them. I love to read your blog. You have so much wisdom and peace and trust in God. And it is so inspiring to me.
Thanks so much for your time and energy that you spend on your blog - it is well worth it to me!!
Thanks,

Lisa in Texas = )

Angela said...

Just finished posting the pics and sharing your blog link ((hugs))

cheri said...

Brenda, thank you for your courage in the face of adversity. Count me among the many who are thankful that you will continue to blog.

For those who won't be able to comment anonomously, I don't think it is too hard to set up a blogger account, even if you never intend to actually blog.

Blessings to you, Brenda and to your family. Your blog is another thing for which to be thankful.

Shari Smithwick said...

Oh, Brenda -- I have never left a comment before this. Just always read your blog, and think, "When I get to heaven, that dear Brenda is a lady I want to sit down and have tea with! To talk about our precious Lord, although we will be in His very presence, and just hearts."

But then I read the nasty comments left to you, and just wanted you to know that every morning, your blog is the first I go to. I ALWAYS feel uplifted; sometimes I feel like I have just read the Psalms. No matter how sad you are, no matter how disappointed you are, no matter how hard life is, you ALWAYS lift the name of Jesus. He loves you, Brenda, and so do I. Thank you for being real!

Rain said...

Oh, I am so glad you are still "here" blogging. It is was very upsetting to read those unkind words written to you. And I'm soooo glad many more kind words were written to provide the balm and uplifting you need. The blog world is so unique and can be wonderful but obviously has a down side which is simply a big reminder of the fallen and imperfect world in which we live. Hard times is certainly bringing out more of the ugliness, and I am so thankful for the beacon of light you provide.
May God bless you and your family abundantly!

Tracey McBride said...

Dearest Brenda,

Just popped in for a good read on your lovely blogs and found out about your troll (great word for that sort). I'm not sure what happened, but please know that your blog is so valuable and uplifting. It's hurtful when an unkind soul has to stir the pot. I must confess that we've had our share of trolls through the years (some quite rough). Prayer and positive attitudes were the soul-soothing ingredients that repaired our wounds beautifully. My husband reminded me not to let a few sour notes--among the countless beautiful ones--capture any of our attention. What we focus on grows. Our prayers are with you for a total shift of focus back to what is lovely, right and good. Many blessings to you and your family. Thank you for not giving up. We all need you and your writings.
With love, best thoughts, and strong prayers for all concerned,
Traceyxo

DebD said...

I've only been reading your blog through Bloglines lately, so I missed the comments. That is too bad. I surely do wish people would keep their negative comments to themselves. Does it really serve the purpose they intend other than to tear someone down??

DebD said...

Oh, and I would recommend that you stop allowing "anonymous" comments. I find that most people don't like the own up to their judgmental attitudes.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I am so happy to hear that you are continuing with your blog. Also happy that you have seen a bit of how many people are grateful for the gift that you give us by sharing your life. And I was also thinking about how wonderful it is that we can call our loved ones even when they are far away! Long ago, when people moved away they could only write, and sometimes not even that. You and Stephanie are able to help one another. I have a close relationship with my children too and it is the joy of my life.

When things are so difficult in your own life, you are still able to give amazingly wonderful gifts of your well-considered ideas and uplifting example and loving heart to your readers, to help us. thank you with all my heart.

Heather said...

Brenda,

I am so sorry that you have had this happen. Thank you for sharing your life with us! You are an example of counting it all joy when you face various trials!!

Love to you my sister,

Heather

hislivingsacrifice.com said...

Angela sent me to your blog. I didn't know you had been hurt so bad by anonymous trolls. (((hugs))) I am glad you decided to continue. I look forward to following your journey as you continue down this road of life.

Love in Christ,

hmsclmom said...

Brenda~
I am just getting caught up on reading your blog after about a week "away" from it. I am so sorry to hear about the trolls who would try to steal your joy. ((((HUGS)))). Everyone goes through hard times in their lives and it is how they handle them and that shows what they are truely made of. From what I have gathered from reading your blog and your lovely email to me, you handle things with grace and know WHO your provider and protector is.
That being said, I am so glad that you are going to continue to blog and share. I have been inspired by your "realness" and how you try to make a lovely home for your family on a very limited budget. Please continue to do what you do best and that is lead by example. ;)

Blessings,
Debbie

Grace said...

I hadn't checked in with your blog in a very long time, but I'm so glad you weathered this storm. You made the right decision -- as you can see from the outpouring of feeling, your "ministry" here matters to a lot of people and to let that end because of a couple tacky people would've been a tragedy.

ginny said...

You do not have to explain anything to anyone. I understand your living dilema, because I am going through it also. After 40 yrs. of marriage, I would have been the last one to believe that I would be hurting as badly as I am. We are on a fixed income that barely pays our mortgage pmt.but, I have to believe that God will see us through as He always does. Looking at my home you would not think that we are struggling. Most of my furniture is hand me downs or garage sale buys. I try to keep my home warm, cozy, and a haven for my family. You don't need money to do that. Don't let THEM get the best of you. Keep your blog and continue to speak to the rest of us who appreciate what you have to say.
ginny

debbie said...

Dear Brenda,
The Bible talks about the devil running among us like a roaring lion. That's what these attacks are! It is the enemy working thru people who either don't know better or don't care.
You do so much good with your blog. I know about pantries but I know there are many women who need this guidance.
In these tough economic times we need to encourage one another.
I know how you feel. I have been off work for a month due to pending surgery and new work rules concerning working while incapacitated. I have two more months to go. Money is very tight. Even tough our home is paid there are the mounting costs of living expenses not to mention my medical bills like the insurance co pays and such.
I'm only getting about half my regular earnings from a short term disability policy from work.
Should I apologize for what we have worked to have for over 35 years? Should I sell what I have to make an envious soul feel better( and make no mistake that troll was named envy)? The day may come when I will need to sell off my things and I'll do what I have to do.
People are too concerned about what something looks like as opposed to what they really are.My partner at work always says you can't have money problems. Look at your house and your car(the car is not paid for and since I'm scraping up a payment I can't afford I wish I had kept the old car)!
They don't realize that we belong to the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and will provide according to His riches in Glory as my mama used to say.
I want to encourage you today. I have always come away from your blog feeling better.You've inspired me with your Christmas jam and next Friday my daughter and I are going to try to make it.If we can get it right we'll have a few more gifts for Christmas.
I was so angry at your trolls when I read their statements. I was beside myself!
I need to pray for them and for my anger against them. I'll also pray for you and yours. Keep up the good fight!
I usually comment as anonymous but today I'll sign my name!

Cathy said...

Brenda,
Ro 8:1 -
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Sabine said...

(((Brenda))), I'm so glad you are continuing to blog!

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee


So very thankful that you are going to continue! Brenda, you are a writer, a wordsmith, who uses her talent to encourage. You must write...one way or the other.

You are a blessing to me. My hubby and I "get by" month to month. Very very blessed to have no debt (old car, house in need of repair, etc. but all that is okay). My husband is barely hanging on to his job and will not get another job when this one is gone because of his age. I fear the future even though I know I shouldn't because we do know Who Hold the Future. I truly know from my childhood that one visit to a doctor can change your life in all aspects...financially, emotionally, and physically. It is a fear that I have carried into my adulthood and approaching retirment years. Your blog helps with this fear and anxiety that resides deep within me. Thank you.

Shirley said...

Hi Brenda - I wrote you yesterday after I had read your blog including the troll comments. I prayed for you off and on yesterday, asking Our Father to give you eyes to see and ears to hear His truth about this whole situation. I was gone all day today (Sunday) and came home this evening to immediately go to your blog and get an "update". I was blessed to read what God had shown you through His Word, through your family/daughter, AND through your friend here in blogland. I was very thankful for your decision to continue to share your insight, wisdom and grace on your blog. We need these more then ever now - for such a time as this...Bless you Brenda!
With love, Shirley in Washington

Lori said...

Brenda, your blog is a great source of encouragement to me. I guess sometimes it is easier for other people to stand from the outside looking in and assume things but you never know what is going on in someone else's life. It seems easy enough until God allows you to walk through some similar difficulty, then you understand.

I am thankful for your willingness to be vulnerable and for sharing. I have learned so much from you. I am sorry someone hurt you. It takes great courage to share from the heart in times when you struggle but I have seen you share the things the Lord has taught you and I have gleaned a lot from your words.

You are not the only one who struggles with the kind of things you have struggled with. Homelessness can happen to anyone at any time. Mental illness can show up in someone's family and we are totally unprepared and then it changes our focus and we beome what you already are, full of compassion, kindness and we extend to others the mercy of God as we try to walk with them in their trial. As Christians we are called to do that and you have given us a fine example of how that is done. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Yahoo!!!! Romans 8:28 Loud and clear :-) Brenda, the ignorant posts from those two shmoes (though hurtful & cruel) could actually be considered a blessing. I'm looking at 79 comments of sincere support and heartfelt wishes from just "some" of your readers. What I'm also realizing is the powerful ministry your blog has been providing to many, grateful individuals.

Methinks the judgements of those cowards has only resulted in a complete and thorough backfire of their efforts. The One we serve always has our back!

I am THRILLED you are being guided to continue to share your gifts with us. These days, my household is a party of one. Yet, I've been hoppin' on and off your blog, checking out all the great links you offer on the pantry project. Great work! You've done some good research.

Agree with you regarding the "Anonymous" comments. I'll just have to open a Blogger account - it's worth the opportunity to participate in your blessed work here.

Hugs and whistles,
:-)
Jean

Wendy said...

wow - I miss one day of reading your posts and look what happens!!!
Dear Brenda, you are like an old friend even though you don't know me and I'm sure I speak for many, many, others out there! Almost daily I check your post and then leave my laptop on the kitchen table so I can cook and clean and listen to your lovely music selections for hours. I even sent your blog link to my sister yesterday and she told me over and over how much she LOVED it and thanked me for sending you to her.
I was near tears reading your blog this evening. If I were there with you I would give you a big hug and tell you not to let these unkind remarks settle into your spirit. It is an attack from the enemy and we
are on to his schemes.
Please know that you are loved and appreciated - your wisdom and insight are light and truth.
Thank you for keeping on ....

lady jane said...

(*(*( tender embrace )*)*)

lynda said...

People can be so mean sometimes. When I took WIC so I could get proper nutrition when expecting my 3rd child, I was really put down by a friend, a Christian friend- she knew I only had small amount for groceries and soap- we ate a lot of potato soup. No- you are wise Brenda, stocking your pantry and being a Prov. 31 woman. God's provisions comes in different ways. Never let someone who doesn't understand steal your joy.

Amanda said...

I'm also so pleased that you are going to continue. Yours is one of a handful of blogs I check daily and I am always so pleased to see a new post. Thank you for your Titus 2 wisdom. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your sweet family.

~Amanda

churchmouse said...

Please do not stop blogging.Your blog is real and I so enjoy reading it. I read several blogs and I come away from some feeling sad that I can't afford all the faboulessness that they have. I look forward to your blog because you are sweet and kind and because you are struggling through life like a lot of us. You are an inspiration and my prayers are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Brenda,

I just logged on this morning to discover what happened over the weekend. I'm so sorry that this happened to you.

I'm so glad you have deceided to keep blogging. I have enjoyed your blog & have learned a lot.

Just remember you are doing goo-- there are many people who are learning from you.

Sharon C

P.S. I have to use Anonymous because I don't a have a blog

Melanie said...

Hi, Brenda. I just recently found your blog and just my visit here. I am saddened about the trolls who visited you. How people can be so unfeeling, I don't know. I don't know the whole story of what went on but I understand hard times and the strength that comes from the Lord during the those times. I too have a daughter that I rely on for wisdom and friendship. What a blessing she is!
On a different note - "The Long Winter" is my favorite Laura Ingalls book to and it's the only of hers that I have on that book shelf.
So glad you've decided on a way to moderate comments and not abandon your blog. It is a treasure. God bless.

Anonymous said...

I think it is terrible that a couple of trolls have ruined it for the rest of us who have to post anonymously because we are not bloggers. I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog, the posts on the pantry, and your lovely home. I have often been mistaken for someone "with money" because I have been able to furnish our home beautifully with thrift store, yard sale, and curbside finds!! It's amazing what people will wastefully throw out. I consider it my gain. Are we not supposed to have beauty in our lives when times are tough? I think that is when our homes need to be cozy, pretty, and comfortable. It is our refuge from a harsh world. Keep on keeping on, girl!!! Hold your head high and don't let the judgemental trolls get to you. What goes around comes around.... and they will find that out, unfortunately. God bless you and your lovely family. I will be praying for you. DMV

Kelly said...

My thoughts
Judge not ....lest you be judged....right?
We all love you and adore your blog~

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving~
Kelly