Thursday, April 14, 2011

More about comments....

Cheryl left a comment about my post to clarify our financial position...

Sorry, but I agree with Beth. As someone mentioned it might be more beneficial if you put something in your bio or on the front page of your blog instead of constantly reminding that you live on a low income. Was there really a need to bring her comment to the attention of all your readers? It's like you are looking for reassurance. I feel badly for Beth for sharing an honest feeling. You previously mentioned a relative saying something too. Perhaps there is a bit of truth here?

Although you may live on a lower income, many do the same, including myself. By looking at the pictures of your home and yard, and mentions of all that you receive from friends, family, etc. (whether it be gift cards, a vacation, or help) I think you are doing better than a lot of lower-income people.

I will clarify this one last time and let it rest.   I have worked hard over the years to write and to share with readers the best I can.  I will continue to mention once in awhile we live on a limited income because... well... I don't want to sound snarky but the nice thing about blogs is we can just stop reading if something the blogger writes makes us uncomfortable.

I don't remember what I wrote about a relative saying something as none of my relatives (except my daughter and sometimes my husband and son) read my blog.  I did have former neighbors (in our old neighborhood) who thought we were rich because of the way I decorated our house.  I loved showing them what one could buy at garage sales!

I do receive gifts from friends, mostly at Christmas and a few on my birthday.  Sometimes a friend will surprise me out of the blue because they are just sweet people and not because I have asked for anything.  We are fortunate to live in an area of the country where one can purchase a house in a rural area for very little compared to the rest of the country.  Our house payment is less than what one would pay for rent "in town".  When my husband went on Disability, we qualified for a low income mortgage.

We have beautiful stuff but you must understand we've been married 30+ years and part of it is an accumulation of a lifetime (especially part of our love of thrifting and garage sales) and part of it is inherited.  Unfortunately, we have lost both sets of parents long ago and we remember both every day by the antiques which were left to us... and will go to our kids.  Some items like my mixer were purchased when my husband was still able to work as an engineer (and even then he said it was my birthday and Christmas gift for a couple years).  :)

My daughter and her husband pay for us to visit them once a year.  Partly because they are the most giving people I've ever known (and not just to us) but also because they know that with our health, we will not always be here.  Each year we make memories with the grandchildren is extremely important.  God has gifted us with the most amazingly wonderful kids.  It is cheaper for my daughter and son-in-law to pay our gas and food costs to visit them then it is for them to bring five kids here.

The books and small gifts I've been able to purchase with Amazon credit because lovely people take the time to enter Amazon through my blog is a blessing beyond anything I can say.  I want to reach out and hug each person.

The truth?  Oh, my... if I give you the truth about how little we live on then I do risk sounding like I'm asking for pity.  I need for people to understand that I have believed for years that God has allowed us to walk this path so we can help others as they find themselves in unexpected financial conditions and as I've said before... to share that you can live a beautiful life with little income.

I want people to understand that God takes care of people, that each time I put a meal on the table and gas in the car is a miracle!  Being able to purchase our house years ago was a miracle!   We lived for two different years with no income at all and it was a miracle that God brought us through in such a way we were still able to purchase this small-ish house in the country because our credit rating (while not perfect) was decent.

The only way I can keep blogging is if I don't have to second guess everything I write.  If I have to be afraid of offending someone (whether in what I say, books I recommend, or the fact I love Science Fiction TV shows) then I will no longer have the time or the energy to write.  I'm afraid that what you see is what you will continue to get.

As it is, I can't tell you how close I have come to just pulling the plug on Coffee Tea Books & Me because of comments.  Cheryl, most of the time I do not bring to the attention of others such comments.  I just delete them and go on.  But when someone questions my very reason for writing then I feel I must respond.

One of my favorite bloggers stopped allowing comments years ago because one comment ruined an important family day for her, she just could not get it out of her mind.  Remember... on my blog and on that of others... written comments have the same affect as telling someone the same thing to their face.  Am I asking for reassurance?  Of course!  There are real people writing real posts on real blogs. 

I adore the people who regularly read this blog, those I have come to know through comments, e-mails (although I am still terribly behind in responding!), and some who have their own blogs.  There are so many lovely people all over the world.   I don't want to see any readers leave but I must warn people... the blog will have to stay the same or I'll have to give it up.

The truth?  After we pay the very basic bills and our medical bills (which thankfully were reduced a great deal by the hospital), we have about $20.00 a month left over in cash and we have chosen not to use credit cards.  (We do things like pay cash for the stove when the old one stopped working and put in the raised bed garden with the money my husband earns four weeks a year at the beginning and end of semesters at the bookstore and the few handyman jobs he can find.)

That... my friends... is why my life is a miracle.   This will be the last post about comments (at least for now)...


Karen Twombly said...

Seriously, I do not understand why anyone would have a problem with your writings and why they feel a need to even say so if they do. Quite frankly, sharing such things only lends to seeing everything you have as a provision of God and I am startled to think that could be construed as a bad thing. Let us never stop giving our God praise. Even those with higher incomes need to remember that God is the source of their provision!
Why is it a BAD thing to have a low income? Why should it not be mentioned? I deal with chronic pain. Am I not allowed to mention it for fear that someone may actually have sympathy for me and pray for me (shudder...)... So if you mention low income and someone feels badly, can't they just pray for God's provision. And when that provision comes can we not rejoice with you?
I thought we were suppose to "bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." If you are not allowed to mention it, how can I be a part of fulfilling the law of Christ??
Just a thought...
Karen Twombly

Scrappy quilter said...

Dear friend, I agree...if others don't like what you write on your own blog, then find other blogs to read that they do like. Your blog has always been an encouragement to me and yes, you live daily through miracles. And I'm glad you share them with us. Those miracles area testament to the grace and faith of our God, whom we serve. Never stop sharing your heart. Hugs

MSW Mom Jan said...

Honestly, please don't pay attention to these rude folks that post comments that are unnecessary. You said what I was thinking when you stated that if a reader does not like what a blogger writes then he or she can stop reading! I identify with your situation and with what you write about. I have enjoyed everything I have read on your blog. Please don't let this ruin your day or your blogging.

Vee said...

You certainly have received a lot of feedback on that former post. I had to go back to refresh my memory...yup, mind like a sieve... I noted that you have many anonymous commenters. I suppose one could do the stats on the number of prickly ones and the number of supportive ones and realize that it might not behoove you to eliminate anonymous comments. I did very early on because there are too many snarky people in this world who love to jab. They visited me often and didn't mind throwing a punch. I dispatched them with smug satisfaction in the power to do so. (In my former online life, I had no power to lose a snark.) You're a better woman than I, Brenda. "Don't let the basters get you down" as E.B. White would say.

Susan said...

Hello from Zurich - I love reading your blog, and as I said before you inspire me! You are testifying of the wonder of God's provision when you remember how He has brought you through tough times, and share with us how He continues to be merciful to you.

Thank you for blogging. Don't change.

Even though I don't blog, living overseas away from "family" has caused me to reach out to those around me for fellowship (others who are far from family and home) - AND - to receive "fellowship" via reading faithfully certain blogs that are encouraging, ones that feed my soul. Yours is among them, and I'm very grateful.

Blessings to you and your family,
Susan in Zurich

Anonymous said...

I find that knowing that you struggle with finances and seeing how you remain positive and constructive despite that very inspiring. We too have very little income and I have found very few blogs where people show how they manage on very low income and still try to make their surroundings beautiful. If you know of any more, please give links! Anyways, I love your blog - it always lifts me up when I feel down about our situation.

anna said...

I subscribe to your blog, and wanted to tell you that you inspire me with your posts. Your financial/health situation makes me feel as if you are a kindred spirit, and how you share your insights and experiences have made a difference to me. When I got sick yours was one of the few blogs I would read, in between wondering if I was going to get to see my youngest grow up and throwing up!

Thank you for blogging.

jackie said...

i am sorry that you have received comments such as these. i love reading your blog just because you post about REAL life! Living frugally and having a good time doing it. It inspires me to do more of the same. My husband is not disabled but he retired last year (although he still goes to work every day, he just doesn't get paid for it :-) ) but we also are living on a fixed income with a little extra from my soap business. i love reading how like-minded people are living in these days of a difficult economy. Keep on as you have been. You are a blessing to many and those who complain don't have to subscribe, do they!

Sheila said...

Dearest Brenda, Bless you for continuing to blog. I read your blog every day and find inspiration in the words you write. I am a single parent, working full time, going to school part time and live on little income. It is amazing what you can do with God and a little creativity. If others find your blog offensive or feel you are looking for pity or reassurance, then they need to stop reading. It is their choice to continue. I, for one, am glad you continue and that you are honest about your circumstances. It truly is helpful to me! May God watch over you and yours, each and every day!

happy momma said...

As you said, if we don't like what someone has to say on their blog we can choose not to read it. I read many blogs and I don't always agree with everything they say or do. I'm sure it's the same way with those who read my blog. I write out of my own life and heart, and it's not the same as everyone else. There's enough made up stories of life and it's good to read about real people and real life. That includes the hardships as well as the joys. God Bless!

mamajuliana said...

Don't second guess what you write. Keep being the wonderful, honest person you are! That is one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much....though I am jealous of your decorating/style savvy!

I have learned to do more decorating on less because of you.

cyberhugs from me!

Pen Pen said...

I find it very refreshing to be able to read about peace and contentment on such a limited income. Your blog lets people know that one can be happy without money! Keep on writing!

La Tea Dah said...

A blog is a web journal --- b-l-o-g. It is a place for an individual to share from their heart, and you have done that so very well over the years, Brenda. Your blog is like your home; your place. It is a written home for you to express yourself. Peace to your home.

LisaZ said...

Brenda, I completely support your writing about your financial situation. I do not ever get the feeling it is about wanting pity, but that you do it for the reasons you have said--to show others it is possible to live well on a low income. It is one of my missions in life to show people they can live on less, and more simply, and be happy while doing it. So I share that with you.

The topic of money is like the last taboo in our culture (even more so than sex), and I think that is wrong. There is too much shame and a lack of knowledge around finances and I think part of it is that we treat the actual numbers like a big huge secret. Over at my blog, I am writing very specifically about our money situation. We are in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class and I am using my blog to log our progress in becoming debt-free. I love to find other bloggers being as open about their finances. Plain and Joyful Living is one blog that I have noticed doing this, as well.

Jesus said, "The truth will set you free", and I think that applies to truth about money, too. Whenever we have secrets and lies, we have shame and trouble. I appreciate all you do here, Brenda!

Trisha said...

God bless you as you continue to glorify Him in all you do. His mercies truly are humbling and leave me in wonder!

I enjoy reading your blog so very much!

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I just want to say I love to read your blog daily over any other blog I have checked out. I believe if we have it on our hearts to send a 'rebuke' we should do it with love. I did not feel any love flowing in Cheryl's message. Please remember there are SO MANY of us who would miss you GREATLY!
I pray if you have offended anyone--they would forgive you as God commands us to.

Love to you,

Shan said...

Dearest Brenda,

I haven't been for a visit for awhile so I was astounded at the comments that readers have left with regards to your financial situation.

Personally, I think your blog is a testimony and ministry to people of all walks of life...

Most people at one point or another in their lives face financial difficulties, and it is comforting to know that there are people out in the real world who have walked before them and made a lovely life from mere pennies.

My husband and I have faced our own challenges over the years and it would have been so nice to have had a blog like yours to help me keep my chin up. Instead, I fumbled along feeling lonely and frightened by our situation.

I have never thought you sounded as if you were asking for pity or begging for help. I thought that you were incredibly thrifty, creatively frugal and had very sound advice about stocking up and being prepared for a financial setback.

Maybe the comments were left by someone who has not read your blog for long because you also have so many posts about your deep faith, wonderful books, fabulous food and KITTIES!

Please don't let these folks hurt your heart and cause you to stop blogging...the rest of us love you just the way you are and we would be very lonely without your voice in our little corners of the world.

Yours so very kindredly,
Honey Hill Farm

Becky K. said...

I said it before and I still stand by real.
This is YOUR blog.

You are loved and appreciated!

Deanna Rabe and I will sometimes find ourselves discussing something you have written...most recently the books that you and I had written about.

I have stated on my side bar that I know my readers and I will differ on some points but hopefully we agree on a lot more.
The world would be so very boring if we all saw everything exactly the same way.

You are relevant and your information useful. I would encourage you to keep it up as long as you feel led to do so.

Becky K.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,

This is the first time I have ever commented on a blog.
My family lives in rural Ontario in Canada and we homeschool our two boys, age 14 and nearly 16.
I just want to tell you that I LOVE reading your blog and hope that you never quit!
It's a real encouragement to me to see how others live thrifty and cheerful lives.
We've never lived "on the other side" and had a lot (and sometimes, I wouldn't mind trying it out :) ) but there is a real satisfaction in seeing how far we can stretch the blessings given to us by our great God.
Anyway, just wanted to encourage you that many of us enjoy your blog and would miss you if you ever left the blog world!

Bernideen said...

I think it is very helpful that you share the limited budget you are on and in blogging - that means repeating because your last post just went bye - bye for many people who only read TODAY. I believe it is very helpful that you share how you have made the best of some very tough circumstances. Others who are struggling need help. They need to know they aren't alone! You are providing a wonderful PLACE HERE!

Ridgely said...

Good for you! A blog should be a place for an individual to write from their heart without reservation! Readers don't have to agree and can stop reading whenever they choose to. Their comments should be kept to themselves if they are not edifying. How many passages in the Bible deal with the tongue? :) Same goes for the written word! I am encouraged often by your blog as we have often found ourselves in financial straits. I remember one year deciding to figure out on a monthly basis how much income we needed to pay the bills throughout the year and our income didn't cover it. I put it all away and turned it over to the Lord and somehow, someway all those bills were paid for...yes, MIRACLES all! Hang in there.

Heather said...

I think I found your blog through Sally Clarkson's blog. I enjoy reading your blog for the very reasons you say that you write them!

Anonymous said...

Brenda, please do not stop writing this blog. I, for one, really appreciate reading all that you have to share with us. I appreciate your honesty about your life and how you deal with the hard times. You always seem to try to look at the bright side of things in life. My friends have been known to call me a Pollyanna. I think that is a good name for you also.

I would like to say something to Cheryl about a comment she made, "Was there really a need to bring her comment to the attention of all your readers?" You were referring to Brenda's previous sharing of Beth's comment. Sorry Cheryl, but Brenda did not need to bring anyone's attention to what Beth had to say. Beth did that all by herself when she wrote and posted her comment. It was a legitimate question on Beth's part, and it was a legitimate handling of it by Brenda. I know that if I had a blog and I received a comment like that, I most definitely would need to clarify with all of my readers, not just one, on how they think I am coming across. I give Brenda credit for wanting to know the truth. And, if she got some needed reassurance from all the positive comments, good for her! Does anyone seriously think that Brenda is the only one to read comments to any of her posts?

Personally, I was offended for you, Brenda, and all the rest of us poor people when I read Cheryl's comments, "By looking at the pictures of your home and yard, and mentions of all that you receive from friends, family, etc. (whether it be gift cards, a vacation, or help) I think you are doing better than a lot of lower-income people." Wow. Does that mean that since someone is poor, they have to live, look and act differently? I am living way, way below poverty level and am surviving. Over the years, I have been able to furnish my home with fantastic purchases made at garage and yard sales, thrift and consignment shops and clearance sales. Anyone can find a great deal, if they want to and if they are willing to look for it. Everyone who has been in my home, whether wealthy or poor, has commented on how lovely it is. It is because I choose to make my home loving, welcoming, neat, and clean. Does being poor mean that my family and I should live in squalor? I think not. Thank you, Brenda, for sharing your home and life with us. You really are inspiring.


Anonymous said...


I am a lurker, I very seldom comment although I read daily.

This post makes me want to comment because I feel you don't owe anyone any explanations about your life/finances. You are doing your best to life your life, just as many others are doing.

I so enjoy your blog and have learned alot. I appreciate your honesty and encouragement to keep on with my life the best I can with God's help.

Please be encouraged that you are helping many and you are cared about.

Sorry for the long comment by someone who doesn't comment. :)

Lori in PA

Laura Caldwell said...

#1. I am not the least bit uncomfortable with you stating sometimes that you live on a VERY low and fixed income. I have always thought that you do this to make sure that those of us who also have low/lowish incomes feel that we can benefit from your posts, and to make sure that ALL of your readers know how grateful you are to God for His provision.
#2. Why would a reader who is uncomfortable reading something on someone's blog not either stop reading it or ignore those sentences? It is a blog, not an assigned reading!
#3. Please do not stop blogging, and include whatever you feel like writing. Yours is one of the first blogs that I started reading regularly and one of the few that I must read immediately after seeing that you have posted a new message.


Joan said...

Dear Brenda,
Please do not change the way you write. Your honest words flowing from your heart are so very helpful. If a very few folks are offended then perhaps they should move on to another blog. There are certain types of media that I avoid because they are not helpful to me or they are, indeed, offensive to my personal sensibilities. So be it. I take note and move on.

As a mother to four teenagers, I have noticed that the more mature my teens are, the more able they are to feel secure in their own skin and are able to see that different takes on less important issues (Not moral or spiritual truths, but lighter issues such as whether an author shares her feelings about her financial standing :-) ) are okay and are not mutually exclusive.


I find that as I approach fifty, I realize that my days on earth are more behind me than before me and ALL of my words to others should be an encouragement. Why be hurtful to each other when this fallen world provides enough grief already?
I pray that you will continue to blog, Brenda. You are an encouragement and resource for this mom and I appreciate your words.


Love the Decor! said...

You just keep being your very sweet self!!
May your day be blessed beyond measure!

Karol Loew said...

Don't ever stop teaching the richness of frugal living. I owe all to my Heavenly Father too, and I feel my life as a senior is more blessed in my old age. I have so much that I constantly give stuff to others.I eat healthy,dress nicely and tithe too.and all on a very low income. My car is very old but still chugs here and there.

Leaking Moonlight said...

I admire your heart and your style. I hope you will continue to write without censure.

(The "unsubscribe" button is a always a reader's option.)

Anonymous said...

There are many sides to this issue, as you well describe. I do fall into the catagory of wishing to have a blog, but knowing I have skin too thin to deal with possible comments. We all have to realize that we have limited understanding of the complete person or whole situation in this method of communication. It is very easy to misunderstand when words are the main way to talk to each other. And as you say one can always NOT go to the blog anymore. And if you cannot express yourself honestly, what reason to right. I hope you will keep posting as I think most of your readers understand that you are mostly wanting to express how well GOD takes care of you...maybe that is the true issue with some...they are not happy thinking that GOD even exists, much less intervenes in our lives.

Blessings, Elizabeth

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I am sorry that some people seem to just not get it, but I'm glad that it doesn't hurt you as a comment did a long time ago...I don't understand why a very few don't see that you are sharing very positive things about your life and not negative ones. You are inspiring your readers. I don't have the same financial problems, but still want to be frugal and live a good life... And I have had years of trials of my own. Still do...Everyone has. We don't all have the same ones...That knowledge should make a person more able to empathize with others.

Brenda, please keep your blog as it is. It is an inspiration and a blessing to 99% of your readers.

freetobeme - Anita said...

One of the good things about blogging is that I can be real. I can write my feelings without being interrupted. I can give my opinions, my beliefs, my shortcomings, my strengths. I can share my life with the lives of others. In writing perhaps I can and will be a help to someone else who is struggling. I understand you, Brenda. God loves you and so do I.

Anonymous said...

I am humbled reading this post. I didn't catch the original which prompted this, but am so thankful for your honesty.

Many of my friends and family members "Shop" garage sales, clothed their families or have furnished/decorated their homes. All which have been beautiful. I don't seem to do as well at garage/yard sales but have the ultimate blast at thrift shops!

Thank you for your compassion on this matter.


Anonymous said...

Please don't stop blogging. I enjoy reading your blog so much. Your insightful writing has entertained and uplifted me many times. Topics such as when good enough is good enough really hit home. I agree, if someone doesn't appreciate what is written, stop reading. Please don't criticize and ruin something so many of us appreciate. I'm glad I got to "know" you through your blog. Thank you for sharing everything.

Catherine said...

Brenda, Your blog is uplifting and refreshing. I don`t care if you mention low income. This is my favorite stop. We are on a limited income too, your frugal and pantry posts are very helpful. I am a better person because I am one of your readers. Don`t change.

alana said...

hi brenda I have been reading your blog for about three years. Sometimes we can find out alot about a person through their writtings. I feel you that you are a very honest woman and not someone whom whines or whinges. You inspire me how I can also live on a limited budget and still enjoy life's pleasures. Please don't give up blogging, as through your blog you give alot of people alot of pleasure, lots of love alana, great britain xx

alana said...

hi Brenda I have been reading your blog for three years and thoroughly enjoy learning about how your manage to survive to live on a small budget, as it helps myself to be able to do the same.Please don't ever stop blogging because of a few unkind comments , as, you would really be missed by alot of people around the world. lots of love Alana xx

moreofhim said...

Dear Brenda:

I, for one, find your blog refreshing, inspiring, and just plain encouraging! Yours is one of a handful that I have continued to read over the past 2 years. I, too, am on the same kind of income that you are on. My husband is a real estate broker...need I say more? The bottom has dropped out, but I'm fortunate because we've been down this road before and it's not shocking. I learned to live like you're living years ago and, while it's hard, I agree with you - it's also fun to find the bargains. If we don't find joy through the small things and in our Lord, we are sunk and you are, in my humble opinion, like a light showing the way to those who have not had to walk this road before.

This may sound harsh, but I don't understand people who feel compelled to leave a cruel comment - or give their opinion on your life or intentions. If they don't like what you have to say all they have to do is quit reading your blog! For goodness sake, I don't understand why they don't just do that!

You're one of my favs, Brenda!! Keep doing what you're doing...I truly believe that God has called you to this!!

God bless you - Julie

Kel said...

You shouldn't have to explain what you write or worry about if it will bother anyone. They don't have to be a reader here if they have a problem. They can just move on and leave us, the ones that appreciate what you write so much.

Please continue to be yourself.
God bless-
With love,
Kelly Lynn in Texas

Remembrances said...

Some people do not know/believe/understand that they can lean on God and the He will provide. I am glad that you do and that you are not afraid to express your thoughts freely! I enjoy your blog - and pray that God will continue to bless you and your family! Karin

Tracy said...

Brenda, this is *your* blog and you have the right to write whatever you want. Those who don't like it, don't have to read it. I am one who likes it though. Stay strong and carry on! :)

Anonymous said...

Hello. It is, after all, your blog. I believe you should continue to share whatever the Lord directs you too. We will never be able to please everyone, all of the time.
That is what I enjoy about blogs. The writer's personality shines through and there is opportunity for "freedom" of expression.

I, for one, enjoy your style of writing and everything about your blog. It has lifted my heart many, many times.

Please just continue to be "you"!!

Thank You.

Amy said...

Good for you! We should never be less than what God has made us or where He has put us. As a reader fairly new to your blog, It if helpful for me to know your background. The information you share is of great help to me and I appreciate it. Everyone who reads blogs should be able to simply let go of what they do not like and move on.
May God continue to bless your faithfulness in declaring His miracles. So many of us fail to see them every day!

Cheri said...

Keep writing from your heart, Brenda. I love your blog and have never felt as though you are asking for pity.

Indeed you are very careful to give GOD glory for your ability to live a beautiful life with limited means.

Bless you, Brenda!

Charlene said...


I read your blog fairly regularly, but don't know if I've ever even commented before. I'm aghast at any commentors who have the chutzpah to make such comments, and sorry that you feel the need to defend yourself. Do people not understand, the blog belongs to the owner, and they can write what they want, for whatever motivation floats their boat. Sorry that you've had to face this, not just once, but multiple times!

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to negative people. Your finances are none of their business anyway.
We all enjoy reading your blog because it is about living a good Christian life and enjoying it too-even on a tight budget.
You're not going to let some negative commentor spoil that, are you?

Echoes From the Hill said...

It might be better to just ignore these comments.

GardenGeek said...

I love to read your blog. And, even though you did not want to tell us, the small amount you are able to gratefully live on was a true inspiration to me.
Please keep writing!

Lena said...

Hi Brenda,

I read you often, because I enjoy your writing. I don't, as you know, share your feelings about some things, but I've always found you to be a sincere, kind and thoughtful person, and when it comes to enjoying life's simple pleasures, we have much in common. I respect and enjoy your company, and appreciate your efforts to share what you've learned from your life experience. I hope that you will continue to write your posts for those of us who enjoy them.

Take care.

Sunshine said...

OH my goodness - I hope you never, ever pull the plug on your blog. I LOVE my daily stops here - thank you for sharing your heart, it is beautiful and delightful. Sunshine

Kelly said...

Oh, dear, I haven't been by for a while and I am sad to see that you have been receiving some negative and critical comments. I love my visits here and wish I had time to visit more often. Your posts are encouraging and helpful to me. I love your deepening the pantry posts and all of the posts you do about living on a small income, as we are a family of five and we, too, choose not to use credit cards, and we have decided that my husband would be the soul bread winner while I remain home to school and care for the children and the house. It's certainly not easy living on one income in these poor economic times and I feel blessed to be able to visit your blog for encouragement and ideas. Please don't let the negative and critical people keep you from blogging. I would truly miss you.

Mrs.Rabe said...


This is your blog and you can say whatever you want! People don't have to read it.

That being said - I love your blog. You are a kindred spirit. I love that you share what you have learned about frugality - it helps me as we live on a single income, and raised 6 kids, and now have our 10 month old granddaughter living with us with her Momma (our son's girlfriend).

God is good and it builds my faith as I see Him meet your needs. If you didn't share that, I wouldn't know - and I love to see how God cares for His children.


Veronica said...

Thank you for your lovely blog, Brenda. I have loved reading it over the years. You have helped me a great deal with your pantry and frugal posts - please keep writing!

Linda said...

Well I just hope you can take heart from all the good comments you get. Many of us love what you write. Linda

Vicki in UT said...

Please keep writing just as you have. Your blog is one of my favorites because it is real.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, Thank you for your honesty. You have been such a blessing to me. I enjoy your blog and will keep reading. God bless!

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Oh, Brenda! I'm so sorry you keep getting these sorts of comments. I, for one, have enjoyed your blog for years and have benefited greatly from your wisdom in living frugally. Your pantry posts are a great resource for anyone.

Keep writing, my friend!

(from a different Cheryl!)

Ann said...

You -- we -- cannot please all the people all the time. Life is what it is for each of us and learning how others cope with difficulties, whether they be financial, health related, relationships, etc., is generally helpful in forming a way to deal with our own ups and downs. Do keep on writing as you have done since I've been reading your blog ... it is interesting and helpful. Blesssings, Ann

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I'm sorry that you have been hurt by thoughtless comments by a few readers of your blog. Don't let them rain on your parade! It is your blog; it is your creativity you are expressing.
If others don't like what you write, they can stop reading it.
I'm grateful for your writing.
I've gotten some wonderful ideas inspirations and recipes from it. So thank you!

I hope that you don't let the unkind and unnecessary comments of a few apparently discontent souls stop you from blogging if you enjoy it!

Has it warmed up in your little "edge of the woods" yet? It was absolutley lovely here this afternoon. My walk home was a pleasure. But rain is expected tomorrow. It's been a damp and chilly spring but I've got four types of tomato seedlings, rhubarb asparagus, broccoli and hollyhocks growing under droplights in my kitchen window. Can't wait to be able to put them in my garden! I'm running out of room, but it is just so much fun to se what I can grow from seed. What are you growing this year?

D in NY

Anonymous said...

Your blog has been a great encouragement to me and very enjoyable for me to read. I've learned much from you about finding and making beauty in spite of circumstances, financial and otherwise. Thanks for being real.

Lori said...

There have been many times in my life when I have wondered how to make ends meet and there have also been many times when I longed for someone else who has been in difficult places of life to share it with me. Your blog has been that for me, a touch of encouragement and kindness. Thank you for taking the time once again to continue to share your story and your heart with those of us who can use what God has put on your heart.

Martina said...

Dear Brenda, your blog is a great encouragement for me. I admire your way of life! I never had the impression you wanted pity - never. So don't bother with comments like the ones you mentioned. Keep up with your beautiful writing!
Blessings, Martina

Anonymous said...

Bravo Brenda! I will continue as always to come to your blog first thing. I would think that your honesty would be a help to all. Don't change a thing. :) Your fresh honesty has been a great help to our family, We too , like so many, have always been in tight circumstances. That we can come here knowing you understand and know how things really are is a blessing. We have gleamed extra knowledge from your experiences to keep us moving forward. We get things done but some times have to think out of the box. At times you have given us new ways of thinking to do just that. How you accomplish this working through your illnesses and family stresses etc is beyond me..but you do, and do it wonderfully! :) Sarah

Anonymous said...

Dearest lady, as I have said before- this is YOUR BLOG and you can write whatever you wish!!!!! My goodness! I LOVE your writings and it is such a bright spot in my day. I am so thankful for you and others who give of themselves so generously and freely. Don't change a thing! I totally understand if you close comments- whatever would give you peace :o) Blessings to you, Dee

Trish said...

I've been reading here for a long while now and have enjoyed your blog very much. I especially love reading your "stocking up" posts. I enjoy your thoughts on the economy and being prepared.

I know words hurt, but honestly I wouldn't put any stock into anything negative people say. Unfortunately, there are those who make it their lifes work to try to put others down, meddle where they don't belong, and do everything possible to make everyone miserable. I say, "Phooey on them!"

I hope you continue this blog because I, for one, would miss it! :-)

jlt said...


I find your posts inspiring as I try to make do on a limited income, too. Please continue to be yourself. I always enjoy what you write.


Linda said...

Brenda, I wanted you to know that it encourages me to hear how you handle the changes that have happened in your life over the past few years. It is not easy to share with everyone the struggles we have whether it is with our health or finances. I feel that every one of us should be encouraging each other instead of being critical. I also am going through the same trials as you and your husband. Sometimes, it helps to share with others what is going on in our lives. There are those who are also going through their struggles and choose not to talk about them. That is their choice. Your choice was to share and encourage others. Do not change who you are. God has given you a gift of encouragement, please do not change that.


Linda said...

Brenda, I wanted to write this to encourage you in your ministry of encouraging others through your writing. I also have had the same struggles you have had over the last few years. Our lives are very similar. In fact, we did not live far from each other when you lived in Michigan. My husband suffers from health issues along with myself. I also am so thankful of how God is caring for us and for you. I think that instead of being critical we should encourage one another in our struggles. Some of us do not like to share our difficulties, but then there are those who do. Many things I have is because of family or friends. Our house is small and needs a little work. But, I am so thankful that we have a house to call home. You and I are very much alike as we love our family and our homes. We also have the same taste in decorating. I really like the way your kitchen is decorated. Brenda, Jesus told us to not be discouraged. Please contine writing and sharing. Thank you!!! Linda

Andy and Amy said...

Brenda, I enjoy your blog very much for the simple beauty that you show. I think it is awesome that you give glory to the Lord for his provision and it is perfectly appropriate for you to acknowledge with honesty that things can be a struggle at times. Perhaps people are uncomfortable with your honesty, because in similar circumstances they would not be able to live with such grace. It's your have the freedom to express yourself and share whatever part of your life you wish!

a8383 said...

Oh Brenda this just breaks my heart for you. The reason I read your blog (and Manuella's and a few others)is BECAUSE you live on a small income and are able to create a warm, cozy, lovely home. It is encouraging to those of us in the same boat. While many blogs are beautiful, for me , they lead to discontent because I cannot "gut" and I have ceased to read those for my spirit's sake. I guess someone is always going to be offended no matter what we say-but know you are saying exactly what many of us need. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Angela

Anonymous said...

Dear Brenda, I have not commented before, but as someone who thoroughly enjoys your writings, viewpoint and pictures I just wanted to say that for myself I got the message at the beginning of reading your lovely blog a couple of years ago, that what you were telling us was all about glorifying God. That it was Him that sustained you and your family and gave you the blessings and joys of your heart. That was the reason that I saw why every now and again you mention the low income and how you managed. I never for a moment saw it any other way, perhaps the Christian and his viewpoint is different to someone who doesn't "get" God's providence and care for us on a personal level. I think that you are doing wonderful work of ministry of encouragement for wives and mothers and I hope that I can read you blog for many more years to come. God bless you and your family. Antonia.

Andrea said...

Ditto to what Sheila, the single mom/student, said. I'm in the same boat, except school full-time and working part-time. It's definitely a struggle, and I come here for an attitude adjustment when I'm in the "poor, pitiful me" mood. You show how to live on little and be thankful for it. This is the one blog that I read every day.

Stephanie said...

I love the way you are honest with how you live. I say to those that don't like it, don't read it! No one forces them to read your blog. And seriously, can't everyone learn the lesson that if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all?!?

Anonymous said...

Dear Brenda, Thank you for sharing these difficult interchanges with your readers. One reason I post anonymously is because of cruel and hurtful actions from others IRL. Your posts and the ways in which you use (and even increase) the gifts which God has given you are beautiful testimony to your caring, thoughtful and faithful soul. May all who post here, or anywhere online, be a source of hope and encouragement to one another! God bless you!

becka said...

I honestly don't understand why people feel like they need to make negative comments on blogs. I guess in some perverse way it makes them feel superior.
I, too, appreciate all of your posts showing the Lord's provision for your family in spite of a limited income. Even those who have more financial resources can rejoice with you and learn from you how to stretch what they have to be able to share more with those in need or to save for the future. Please don't be discouraged by a few who feel they must tell you what they think is appropriate on your blog. Just keep up the good work. You are a great blessing and encouragement to many, including me!

Storybook Woods said...

Brenda, please be you and nothing else. Do not change a hair or a thing about your blog!!! xoxo Clarice

SUGAR MOON said...

Don't worry about what a few rude people have to say all you need to do is look at the 75 comments written here and be encouraged and I agree it is your blog.

Clare said...

Brenda, please don't stop blogging! I so look forward to your posts and have got so much inspiration out of your writing. I'm so sorry for the insensitive comments you have had and I hope you are feeling the love from your fans who DO understand the purpose of your blog and have been so inspired by you and your honesty and and the wonderful way you are so grateful and praise the Lord for everything you do have.

villarosa said...

Just don't forget that what you have shared about you and family as far as the ups and downs has been a real inspiration to all of us.... let go of those who are judgmental and don't think twice about it! We need to you keep writing and sharing just as you have all along!!

The Journey said...

It is exciting when we got to the resale and find bargains - a lot the times we get to know people and they will offer to share something. After being low income for several yrs we really learned where to find the bargains - now not having to watch it as close, I still find the joy in bargain and when others find them too.

Monica said...

Please ignore Beth and Cheryl and listen to the over 80 comments from people like myself who love reading your blog and enjoy looking at your beautiful pictures of your home. My daughter was looking at the pictures with me, and we agreed you have such a cosy home. When you get discouraged, just reread all the positive notes and know that you would be missed if you stopped blogging.