Wednesday, September 16, 2015


  1. a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person,cause, etc. (usually followed by of):

I am a relatively mellow person. I try not to make waves. I try to be peaceful. I try to do what I think is right in my own quiet way. 

However (you knew that was coming didn't you?) lately I won't and cannot be silent.

I am so tired of all the pandering, the excuses I'm hearing for Planned Parenthood in spite of the damming videos that have now been published.

Obviously, I don't know all of the excuses here are my top 3 "favorites".

1) Only 3% of Planned Parenthood services are abortions. 

Is that supposed to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Oh goody! Only like 350,000 (not saying that's the exact number) babies are being killed. Phew! All better, I am sure those 350,000 babies were never needed on this earth. Why give them a chance? (sarcasm!)

Not to be so sarcastic, but I'm not buying it. I don't care if it's .0000003%. A life is a life and they are all precious.

I am an advocate for life.

2) Planned Parenthood provides so many services for women. 

Let's see from my understanding, PP provides many health services, mostly about reproductive and sexual health to women. Well, I have heard of these great institutions that provide the SAME thing for women called clinics and guess what percentage of abortions they perform? Zero, Nada, Zilch Percent.

I would be happy to have my tax money that is supporting PP to help women obtain these same services at such a place. Even those that may not have insurance and are in poverty (Isn't that what the great Obamacare is supposed to help as well..the uninsured?) Listen, I am okay helping the disadvantaged obtain what they need, but not at the price of another human being! 

Yes I am an advocate for the disadvantaged, the helpless. INCLUDING unborn children.

3) (In all fairness this isn't particularly against pp, but abortion in general.)

If you don't believe in abortions don't get one. But don't infringe on my rights do so.

Actually, my stance against abortion is all about rights. Children's rights. You know the saying "it takes a village to raise a child?" In this case it takes a village to defend a child, because the child is unable to defend his or herself. So I'm all about choice and rights too, it's just for a helpless, innocent child. So don't tell me to stay out of your life when another life- just as precious as yours- is being killed mercilessly. 

I will advocate for children. I am part of the village.

So if I offended you, I'll bring you cookies. Because I care and love you as a human being, I just disagree with your position. But I will not back down.

Because you see this blog is about humanity. Respect and love for EVERY human being. Born or unborn. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015



verb \ˈhēl\

a :  to make sound or whole <heal a wound>
b :  to restore to health
a :  to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome :  mend <the troubles … had not been forgotten, but they had been healed — William Power>
b :  to patch up (a breach or division) <heal a breach between friends>
:  to restore to original purity

I have been thinking about this concept a lot lately. I was talking to someone who is going through something similar that I went through a few years ago. The darkness and just plain torment I went through daily. At some point, Marc would tell me that I was "healing" and I didn't believe him. 

I know my friend is healing also and I told her so.  Of course, she didn't believe me, like I didn't believe Marc.  I then said how I learned through my healing process, that healing hurts. Physical, emotional, spiritual.  Healing is a painful necessity to restore wholeness in ourselves.

I then thought of a book that has been part of my passion for helping those less fortunate than myself. Nobody Don't Love Nobody is a book documenting a teacher's, Stacy Bess,  experience working at the homeless shelter in Salt Lake City.  

It is such an inspiring book that it has motivated me to become a teacher someday,  especially to children in poverty. Towards the end of the book she talks about more about adult homelessness. Although homelessness is so complicated, she said the homeless adult is the unhealed child.

Perhaps in a nutshell, we can say many who are suffering-homeless or not- are unhealed OR healing.  And in that healing there is pain that is not understood as healing and then the cycle of pain continues and that healing never happens.

I know that if I didn't have the amazing support system I had in my darkest time, I would not be healed. If I didn't have faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I would still be in darkness. 

Stacy Bess continues by admonishing all of us not to judge the homeless, but to love them.
Isn't that best medicine for healing EVER.  Love.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


  1. 1.
    a small wave or series of waves on the surface of water, especially as caused by an object dropping into it or a slight breeze.


rip·ple ef·fect
  1. the continuing and spreading results of an event or action.

I have thought about this a lot.  How our small, seemingly insignificant actions affect the universe.  I can't help but think it would be cool to think if an action we do has some kind of effect that goes on and on.  The smile we shared with a stranger two weeks ago has effected someone somewhere random today from the ripple effect.  You know what I'm saying?

(A cute picture book that illustrates this sweetly is a book called Mordant's Wish


Our actions, have a ripple effect.  I admire and revere Mother Teresa as you know, and she talks about this very thing.  She stated, " I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."

Image result for mother teresa with children

Another person on my "never-met-yet-favorite-person" list is Elder Jeffrey R. Holland who poetically delivered the most  stirring talk concerning poverty a few conferences ago.  He also gave counsel as to our role as disciples of Christ to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.  His plea was to  "do what we can".  

Make a ripple.  Smile. Serve.  Care.  Do what you can.  Our actions make a difference.

Image result for ripples


Wednesday, March 25, 2015


  1. 1.
    a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.

Each night as crawl into my bed I seem to savor the feeling of the cotton sheets, the warmth of the blankets promising seven to eight hours of restful sleep. As I routinely did this the other night, I thought of the many who have no bed, no sheets and sometimes, no blanket.  Their bed is on a park bench, in an alley, in a cardboard box, or in a  car...

Have they experienced this simple joy that I feel every single night?  

And that's just one thing.   What do they do when they are thirsty?  Need to shower?  Go to the bathroom?  Hungry? Lonely? Scared? Cold? Tired? Sick?  Lost hope?

Although my house is a small and very humble, I must remember it is my home, full of comfort, ease, and safety.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


transitive verb
:  to press tightly especially in the arms
a :  congratulate
b :  to hold fast :  cherish <hugged his miseries like a sulky child — John Buchan
:  to stay close to <the road hugs the river>

When I was just out of high school, I volunteered in a nursing home.  I loved associating with the residents there.  However one particular lady there scared me. She looked about 200 years old .  She was in a wheelchair, and she would wheel through the halls screaming with her unkempt wiry gray hair.  I avoided her.

Until one day I decided to conquer my fear.  I approached her and took her flailing, panicky hand in mine.  She stopped screaming and clasped my hand as if I was her only lifeline.  She just wanted to feel loved.  She wanted to feel human despite what time had robbed from her.

Humanity is described as the quality of life.  I think our human interaction helps us feel human.  Touch, a kind word,  a hug, and even a smile can improve someone's humanity.

I teach a Leadership class to 6th graders and the the other day I told them that according to a study, humans need 12 hugs a day for growth.  

"We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." (Psychotherapist Virginia Satir) 

I explained physical hugs are so important, but according to Stephen Covey, states hugs can be physical, verbal, visual or environmental. 

I love one of the definitions of hug:  "to hold fast or cherish".  That's what my friend in the nursing home wanted.    She wanted to be hugged, cherished, touched, and seen as a human being.

We all want that.  We all need hugs.  I challenged my students to give 12 hugs that day, because I believe we receive "hugs" as we give hugs to others.   As for me, I am working on giving "hugs" to my family, friends, and those I come in contact with every day.  

Image result for touch quote mother teresa

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


  1. 1.
    of a size that is less than normal or usual.

A favorite quote of mine by Mother Teresa:  

“We can do no great things; 

only small things with great love.

I have it paraphrased in my kitchen this month:

And it being the Month of Lu-uv, I thought I would talk about this quote.  What small things can we do with great love?  Here is a list I came up with:

Smile  (Hey sounds like small)
Be kind 
Send a card to someone 
Call someone
Send flowers
Pray for someone
Help with homework
Open a door for someone
Make cookies
Give a gift
Foot rub
Remember someone's birthday
Help others with responsibilities

And the list goes on.  

Some more ideas from a prophet of God:

"Mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”  (Howard W. Hunter)

From the scriptures:

 "...but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass;"  ( Alma 37:6)

Finally, a favorite video of mine that shows Love so beautifully demonstrated by many "small" things done with Great AND Christlike love.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


  1. the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

I thought it would be appropriate to do the word on "kindness" this week as it is Random Acts of Kindness Week.

Now I look at this week and say as you probably do,

"Shouldn't we focus on being kind all the time, and not just this week?

And then I say:  "Self, it's just a good time to refocus on how we can be a little more kinder to others"

 And then I say:  "Okay"
Image result for talking to yourself ecard

So how can I be just a little kinder.  Well lately, for me, it seems like I need to follow promptings.  I need to stop suppressing my generous thoughts ( quote by Camilla Kimball) There are times I get a thought in my head that I should do this, or a person pops into my head ( not the person, just the thought of the person;) to help or visit someone.  Simple, simple little things, but I'm constantly second guessing myself.

 Self:  You should say Hi this person on facebook" or or call them and so forth.  

 Self:  "I haven't talk to them forever, they'll think I'm weird...or they may not like me anymore, or I might say the wrong thing..."  And so it goes in that vicious cycle.

Lately , I have tried to do small little things that I think of, no matter what.    

Simple Simple example:  I was in the Target parking lot, walking in to the store, when I see some lady unloading her cart, and kiddos into the car.  The cart starts going AWOL.   Should I stop it?  I 'd have to go a little out of my way, and she might think I'm a weirdo (No, not that!).  Well, I put on my flimsy make-believe cape and stopped the cart and then put the cart away.  Guess what?  She was grateful AND how easy was it for me?  Why do I question?

Another example:  Last Saturday, Marc and I went up to Salt Lake with a group called Legacy Initiative, and handed out burritos, hygiene items and other items to the homeless population.  It was in the middle of the day, unlike our previous outreach (see "Outreach" post).  Although some people were obviously  in need and homeless,  others it was hard to know whether they needed help or not. 

 We asked.  We did not ask if they were homeless, but if they were hungry.   Perhaps some of the people we asked didn't need it, perhaps some were even a little offended.  However, to many of the ones we asked, we were able to help.

Self:  "Brenda, be kind"  
Self:  "But what if...."  
Self:  "Stop suppressing a generous thought!"  
Self:  "Okay". 

 I'm learning.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015



Reach further than

Last Saturday my alarm went off at 3 a.m.  Although I have been up at that time, it was never with the goal of being totally awake.  And if you know me at all, mornings and I are not on the best of terms.  We tolerate each other ( I mean do I have a choice?) But neither of us have made an attempt to strengthen the relationship.

So why 3 in the morning?  Marc, Alyssa and I did a homeless outreach.  Each year in January, groups are asked to go out and count the homeless population and conduct a survey.  It is federally mandated 3 days in January and at 4 in the manana.
We were part of that effort.

We found some homeless spots.  Places where the homeless were obviously living, and in one case, one was hiding and clearly did not want anything to do with us.  We did find one lady who was homeless and was very kind.

The experience left me philosophical.  Do those homeless persons not want help or is it they don't trust humankind?  I could not answer that question, but why would they trust us?  Strangers invading their space in the wee hours of the morning offering our "help".

Who knows how many times they have been harassed, kicked out and/or treated without the dignity and respect EVERY human deserves.  

Now I know this Outreach is done each year with intentions of helping and understanding the needs of the homeless community, and I am sure it does provide helpful information. 

 The experience just left me with a lot of questions of how we can help them and to reach further (outreach) in order to break through the barriers created between them and society.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015




wastefully or recklessly extravagant

Call me a slow learner, but I think I finally got the story of the Prodigal Son.  This parable always bothered me a little bit.  I get that the father was super excited when the Prodigal came home and all, but I always felt the other son was very justified in feeling shafted.  I would be.  I mean  if I had been here working my tail off while he ( the Prodigal) is out being reckless, rude and dare I say, having fun! No fair!  That calf I've been taking care of you are going to kill so we can have a party for him? Where's the justice?  

The Prodigal Son is about a father's love for all of His Children.  All of them.  Even the ones that don't deserve it.  But guess what?  None of us deserve His love.  Even the so called "good son".  His sin of jealousy, and yes pride is just as reckless as the Prodigal. 

Are not we all reckless somehow with  the Father's love he bestows so freely on all of us?  Do we not all sin and come short of the glory of God? (see Romans 3:23)  The Father's love is shown through His Only Begotten's Atonement and Sacrifice.  And yes all of us are undeserving, reckless, AND in desperate need of our Father's love which He has given so abundantly.  When we come unto Him,  no matter where we have been, done, felt, it is ours. Unearned.  

So what does that have to with humanity and service?  Everything.  

As followers of Christ, we are instruments in His hands to tell the "good news' of His love.  How?  Through serving all of God's children, letting His unconditional love shine through us.