About Brenda

Me, starring in Gone With The Wind (just kidding)


I have lived in Colorado all of my life, save for two years and eight months. Two years of that time was in California, while my dad was in the Navy, and eight months of it was spent in Indiana. But that was just when my husband and I became lost – or “powerful confused,” as we like to say.

I am slightly over 40, and have been married to Shaun for almost 25 years. Here we are at a recent writer’s conference, taking a selfie because we’re introverted and too shy to ask a passerby for help:


We have three children: Ashlee, Jessica, and Andrew. Here’s me with Andrew, my fishing buddy:



Ashlee is married to Daniel, and on September 24, 2012, they gave me a new title: Marmee (roughly translated: Grandma). Jack David is the little one’s name. This is the two of us being … well, the two of us:


I think I love him as much as I do my own children.

On September 28, 2014, Karl and Jessie brought their “honeymoon baby” into this world. His name is Todd Gabriel, and he’s just … perfect. I mean, he has his issues of teething and not sleeping and all the jazz that babies go through, but we just sweep his baby jazz right under the rug because he’s just so beautiful. And ours. So, so ours. Just look at this picture and tell me we are not blessed:


Baby blues!!

On December 19th, 2014, God decided add to our family Jack’s little brother, August Fynn (Auggie). He completes our little trio of grandsons. His personality is as unique as his name, and he brings me joy every time I see him. And happiness. Because he’s just so squishy and cuddly and smiley, those around him can’t help but light up. He’s contagious, don’t you think?


More baby blues!


Clearly, Ashlee and Jessie and I need to take some pictures together, but we have trouble thinking of ourselves with all the baby beauty going on.

Ahem. Where was I? Oh yes. When I’m not being a wife, mom or Marmee, I like to read, write, quilt, sew, knit, and play the piano. Blogging has become a true love of mine, and I have recently started writing my first book (okay, truthfully I’m writing three). I also write devotionals, inspirational true life stories, and a goofy poem here and there.

On the more personal side, I grew up in a small town, went to the same Christian school for nearly all of my life, and enjoyed close extended family throughout those years. If you asked me whether I had a good childhood, I would say a hearty yes in so many ways. However, in a lot of ways, it was not ideal. I just didn’t know it until the latter years of my childhood. Regardless, I believe God used all of my experiences to shape who I am today, and I choose to focus on the blessings of my childhood, and simply learn from the turmoil and heartache. It has only been by His grace that I have been able to head in that direction.

On an even more personal note, I struggle daily with chronic illnesses ranging from heart problems to intestinal diseases. Due to SVT, I had open heart surgery at age 17, followed by a shiny new pacemaker. I get a new one of those every eight or nine years, depending on how long my battery lasts. I’m sure you can imagine all the Energizer Bunny jokes. At age 30, I became severely ill with celiac disease and gastroparesis. They are both incurable, hard to manage, and a never ending source of frustration to living the life that I would like to be accustomed to living. Paul asked the Lord three times for healing. I’ve asked the Lord at least three thousand times.

We both got the same answer.

However, I am learning each and every day that His grace is sufficient. The fact that I will one day be whole again is by no means a small comfort. It is my only hope. Knowing that this is temporary allows me to carry on in this life, and it will make the day my health struggles cease all the more sweeter!!

I hope The Broken Quill will be a place you can come to for hope, encouragement, refreshment, some sneak peeks at what I write offline, and a good laugh. My goal is to be a transparent vessel that God uses to accomplish all of the above. May God bless all of my readers, both great and small, weak and strong.

Before you hit the exit button, please tell me a little bit about yourself below in the comment box. I would love to get to know you better!

18 Responses to “About Brenda”

  1. Peter P says:

    I’m Peter.

    I thought I was going into business to become my own boss but I have learned that I’m actually in business to become the personal slave of a succession of WordPress novices.

    However, that’s fine by me because I’d rather be a slave than have people keep their blogs on that other system!

    • admin says:

      Well don’t hold back, Peter. Tell us how you really feel. Haha!!

      And yes, I’m glad to be done with “that other system.”

  2. Dad says:

    Brenda Pooh,

    What a great blog my dear daughter. I thank you for spreading God’s word on here and love you very much.


  3. I’m glad that you spend your summers at baseball games, soaking in the sun, catching up on reading, and enjoying your family. I’m just so sorry to hear you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease and gastroparesis. I can understand them being a never ending sourcce of frustration to living the life you would like to be accustomed to living. I too have asked the Lord for healing and got the same answer. You might or might not have heard what I have stuggled with. Well it has got to do with my emotions and it’s nearly destroyed everything I had. I’m just so thankful for my son Robby. He’s turned out well. I know what it is to have hope to one day be whole again and that it is by no means a small comfort. I admire you for the saying of, “Knowing that this is temporary allows you to carry on in this life. It will make the day our health struggles cease all the more sweeter!! You’re inspiring me.

    I would really be nice if I could come here for hope, encouragement, refreshment, some sneek peaks at what you’ve written offline and a good laugh. I am strong and doing so very much better. I really can’t tell you how thankful I am. He’s just so good. This is long. My English teacher would probably want to kill me. I sure would like to see some of your work by way of the internet or however it’s done. What’s your novel about cuz. Not sure you’re coming to the reunion or not, but if you do, I’ll see you. My prayer now is I’ll feel good then. He’s been letting me know that I will. I need to know that I’ll not be wrong on this. Alright for now…

    • admin says:

      No, I haven’t heard what you have struggled with. But I’m glad you are strong and doing so much better. I see you on Facebook, and see that you are focusing on Christ. I’m betting that has something to do with your recovery. :)

      I can’t tell you what the novel is about. I think that’s cheating. Haha!

      I don’t know if I’m coming to the reunion or not. But I’d really like to. REALLY! I’ll certainly seek you out if I do.

      Love ya’!

  4. […] About Brenda […]

  5. okiewife says:

    God bless you for sharing Brenda. You are an inspiration to many. I am a cancer survivor (19 yrs.)by God’s grace, now have to struggle with diabetes and the occasional attack of cellulitis. I am happy to be living one day at a time. I think that is the best thing to do. Blessings to you and your family.

  6. Joy says:

    It’s so nice to meet you! I’m mom to four children, two with congenital heart defects, one of whom passed away in the fall of 2008. I like how you describe your childhood as good but in retrospect, not ideal. I can relate. And I too amy trying to write more openly about what God is teaching me through the pain and loss we’ve endured.

  7. Glenys Hicks says:

    Hi Brenda. Thanks for commenting on Sacrificial HomeKeeper today. I am sorry to hear of your struggles: I sure can relate to them! It is so difficult to keep upbeat even with the LORD: I don’t know how chronically ill people cope without Him! I am enjoying your blog. Blessings!

  8. Dan Haynes says:

    Brenda Mc Phooey,

    I just stopped by to say hey. Looking forward to that breakfast & coffee when you guys get here for hunting season. When is that anyway?

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