Friday, January 30, 2009

What is this 25 Randomness Business??

1. I didn't sleep a wink last night, so I ate Oreos and watched Sex and the City til 4am.
2. Then the trash man came and the yard guy started doing his thing, so yeah I will be taking a nap.
3. I love doing Pilates and Yoga, but my biggest fear is losing the "good fat" I have, ie. front and back.
4. My cat has over 10 names, all of which you will never know.
5. Every day I pass by a tattoo parlor on my way home. Every day I think about turning in and getting one. Every day.
6. One of my favorite things this week was the one hour gmail video chat with Kel.
7. Yesterday I bought shoes and a shirt at Target for under $13.
8. I "tried" to be the girl that washes her hair every other day to give it a break...I am not that girl. Two showers a day is the only way.
9. I hate how tricky it is to blow your nose with a nose ring.
10. I confess I scan the gym for hotties on the way to a class. I also confess to shameless eye flirting.
11. I tried to be fancy and order a Gin Martini last week. It was gross. Conclusion: they only look fancy on tv.
12. I would never kiss an animal on the mouth. That disgusts me on many levels.
13. I am planning a trip out of the country this year. Chile, Greece and Italy are all on the list.
14. Sometimes I wake up with an idea for a novel and/or something to write about. I have a very long list.
15. I sing and pray a lot in the shower. I also dance.
16. I still dream in Spanish every now and then.
17. I fly a lot in my dreams.
18. I would like to master the art of small talk, because right now it is killing me.
19. Sometimes I want to be a counselor for married people even though that is none of my business.
20. I want to live in Europe for some part of my life.
21. I think I will have white babies. In college my friends used to say I would have mocha babies...
22. I am thankful that my best friends (who are married) do not try to set me up with single guys they (or their husbands know). I love them for that.
23. I never thought I would rock leggings, but they are like a second skin to me now.
24. I wish my parents never moved me to the East coast.
25. I am thankful that I have always believed in God.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Emperor's New Clothes

Remember the story of the Emperor's New Clothes? If you need a refresher, the Emperor struts his royal stuff in a parade, naked as a jay bird. He has been told that he was wearing such exquisite clothing, that only a well trained, refined eye could see it. The tailors, or scoundrels rather, had him fooled and because he was so wrapped up in couture rather than the matters important to his land, he made a complete ass of himself. Literally.

I wondered if we were not like the Emperor until the recession hit. We were striving in our jobs and personal life and maybe some of us got wrapped up in matters that weren't all that important. I know I have been humbled, in a refreshing way during this weird time in my life. Just like the child in the story shouted out with an honest cry, “The Emperor is naked!” I think I have looked at my own life and cut the crap a little. The child could care less about keeping up with the elite and his innocence kept him honest. Maybe this time is for us to quiet down a bit and reflect on what the heck we are doing with our lives and what we find most important. I don't know about you but I don't ever want to get so off track that I end up jumping at the idea of walking down the street naked. I'm just saying.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Best of 2008

I did this last year and it seemed to help my girlfriends, so here is your Best of 2008 product list!

Shampoo- Organix (Pomegranate and Green Tea), Pantene, Kiehl's Amino Acid
Conditioner-Organix (Coconut Milk), Pantene
Foundation- Bare Minerals
Bronzer- Clinique (Sunkissed)
Blush- Nars (in Orgasm, makes me blush writing that!)
Mascara- Loreal Voluminous
Eyeliner- Rimmel, Chanel, Revlon 12 Hour (all have great staying power)
Lip gloss- Kiehl's #1 Lip Balm, Cover Girl Fruit Spritzers, Desert Essence (drugstores)
Lotion-Johnson's and Johnson's Baby Shea and Coco Butter, Bath and Body Works in Sensual Amber
Body oils- Kiehl's Argan oil, Neutrogena Sesame Oil.
Nail polish- Sally Hansen in "Flirt!"
Face Lotion- Kiehl's Oil Free PCA Lotion
Mousse- John Frieda
Whitening- Aquafresh (recom. by my dentist!)
Razors- Try the guy's with a 4 or 5 blade
Shaving cream- Use the oil mentioned above for silky stems
Eye cream- Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream
Perfume- Ralph Lauen Rocks and Hot, Philosophy's Falling in Love, Marc Jacob's Daisy
Random new tool- A pick...don't laugh. You know I have super long, super straight hair and this helps to "lift" a bit.
Face wash- Kiehl's Ultra Gentle Foaming Face Wash

And now looking at the list, I feel very high maintenance. haha Enjoy ladies!

Old Stuff

For my faithful followers, you will notice that I threw a bunch of old stuff in this blog. I am condensing, cleaning house, etc.

Ode to a Saint

I just paid for a new book after scanning the aisles of Borders with an eccentric salesman by my side. Eager to show me his new favorites, I smiled and nodded acting interested as I was cautious to seem neutral, not flirt back, just get the book I really wanted, which was the reason I was here. As I swiped my card I felt my phone vibrate in my purse, over and over like a frustrated being, cooped up in a space that was too tight.

"Hey," I said casually. "Hey baby girl, its your pa." He asked what I was doing but I sensed there was another motive in his careful tone. I said I picked up a wrap from Banana Republic for mom's birthday and excitedly told him what a find it was at 40% off. Thats wonderful he said, as he coughed out the next few lines. "Bran, I need to tell you something. I just talked to grandmom and your sweet nanny passed about an hour ago, baby girl."

All of the sudden I was very aware of my surroundings. I felt crowded and hot and my hurried gate slowed to a stagger, the weight of my shopping bags digging in my shoulders. The next 15 minutes I sat in the car hearing the few details that he knew, and when I hung up the phone I cried with no one to hold me.

The next weekend, they arrived at 5:30 ready to drive to Alabama where I would see my great-grandmother for the last time. I was situated next to my sister who slept most of the way, careful not to spill my coffee, knowing I would not finish the cup. I never do. As I drifted in and out of sleep, waking for bathroom breaks and to switch drivers all I could think about was her stories, her laugh, laying my head on her lap as she scratched my back and all of the slumber parties we shared when I lived for 5 months in DC.

She was 95 when she passed. My uncle said she was lying on her side, just as she always slept and as she whispered for the Lord to take her, He did. In her last moments, my grandmother and the Hospice nurses sang hymns loudly, ushering her into Heaven.

I wondered on that car ride why we bury loved ones. How we can help someone to their chair, or to and from the bathroom which such care, gently help them with every day chores and tasks and then in a moment place them in the earth. I didnt like it at all. But there was no other option really. I wrestled with this thought for hours. The woman I helped dress and gave pedicures, the woman I introduced to white mochas at the age of 94 and the one who I sat up with until 2 in the morning on hundreds of occasions sipping tea and dunking gingersnaps, the one who had lived through perhaps the most change this country will ever see, would now be dressed in her Sunday best, fingernails painted a bright pink and laid to rest. Just like that.

She used to tell me how she worked 14 hour days as a telephone operator, just to go home, fix dinner and iron my grandmother's clothes. Sometimes she fell asleep sitting up. My great-grandfather adored her, and as I sat next to her I used to study her face as she told her stories. I loved how I could not tell the color of her eyes anymore, perhaps a gray or maybe dull green, yet still with such fire, or how her makeup colored the edges of her hair beige. I noticed that at 95 she still streaked her cheeks with blush and wore a lipstick to match. She once was given a duster to dust herself with glitter that smelled of flowers, a funny gift for a woman in her 90's she said, but she used it frequently. She wore beautiful jewelry, all gifts, all with a story. Her hands were covered in age spots, and she mentioned that is what she hated the most about getting older. We laughed as I shared with her stories from work, or showed her that jeans that looked old were actually in style. She always noticed my hair done a certain way, or commented on how pretty I looked and always had a kind word to encourage as I told of frustrations.

We loved talking about how we were 70 years apart but we felt like our souls were the same. I would always look at her with wonder, knowing that a young, witty, vivacious, brilliant yet simple woman from Alabama was trapped in a rapidly aging body. From her I have learned a few key things that I can grasp for now.

The first is that when I meet the man I am going to marry, we will know deep down in our souls. Not at first necessarily, but it will come. And when it does she says there is no denying how certain you feel. This is funny because as I shared about the person I was dating at this time or that time, having never met him she would say with such a sweet and simple voice, "Well, that's good honey, have fun, but that is not the one." Her words jostled my heart and settled deep always.

The second, is to drink coffee every day and indulge my sweet tooth. Nanny and I conversed over coffee and sweets hundreds of times and these were the moments I cherished the most. Also, love God first and simply love my neighbor. She did not read the Bible every day. She did not have to. The hymns of old and the Scripture itself had been engraved in her mind and heart over the years in such a way that it poured from her mouth at all the appropriate times, never sounding preachy or condescending. Just as an answer to a simple question. And another is to live life fully as a wonderful adventure. She certainly did.

As I saw her laying peacefully surrounding by the most magnificent array of pink roses I thought she looked like a queen. As hundreds piled in that tiny room, that hot day in Alabama, I was never more proud to say that I was her eldest great-granddaughter. I wore a new silk dress vibrant with color to celebrate her life and clung to a solid flower from her grave as they closed it for the final time. I am honored to have known my great-grandmother. To have known a women that lived out the life of a Proverbs woman with dignity and grace.

A song comes to mind when I think of her now, "I want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me, did I chose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things? I want to leave an offering. Child of mercy and grace who blessed your name, unapologetically....I want to leave a legacy." Her legacy lives in my heart and I am forever grateful for my precious Nanny.

Go Soak in the Tub

I am at an interesting point right now. In my community where I sell townhomes, there are only two homes left and no talk of the second phase. All of the other communities are at a standstill as well. In all reality there is no future for me at Portrait. Every week they let more people go. Last week it was 20. My numbers are great, but they just don't have the inventory for us. You might think that I am in a state of panic, or living in fear that I could at any moment lose my job, that I am worrying like crazy. Well instead of doing all of that I drove home to the lake.

While at home I saw Smart People with my mom while sharing an extra large popcorn and king size junior mints (my favorite). I ate at my favorite cafes and drank lots of sweet tea. I went on long walks with my mom every day. I woke up every morning to the smell of freshly brewed coffee (thanks dad) and sat looking out over the water while eating breakfast and reading magazines. When I was tired, I took a nap. I enjoyed a beer with my dad. At the end of the night I filled the huge slipper tub with bubbles to the top and read a book by candlelight.

Lately I have sounded like a broken record to my friends. "It is ok that he was not the one. It is alright that you have not found your true passion in a job. No you don't have to have children after a certain number of years of marriage." So while I was at the lake I decided I would listen to my own advice and just relax.

No doubt I am tempted to fall apart. Honestly I am the type of person that likes to really be loyal to something, to really give it a good try. And I am disappointed that this did not work out as I hoped. I am working really hard and wanted to see the fruits. I have customers but no homes to sell to them! But I have to move on. Hey I have to eat! At first I felt like I failed at something. But then I realized how dramatic I was being and how hard on myself (as usual). This is life. This is how it goes. I can either go along ruffled by job changes, life changes, relationship changes, or simply put... I can trust God.

This is something we have to really, truly wrap our minds and hearts around. We have to digest it. We have to marinate in it and let it soak so deep that our thoughts, actions and emotions would fall in line. We have to stop looking at the "seen" and consider the "unseen". As I lay in bed the other night I let this sink in. Our only purpose on this earth is to love God and glorify Him. As we become more like Him we are to radiate His love so that others would turn to Him as well. We are called to be different and love deeply and passionately. That is it. I don't have to be successful, have a certain amount in the bank or be in a certain place in life right now. So, when markets fall, jobs change, we have to move or we don't get the answer we were looking for, let's not be moved. Let's not fall apart. Let's not pout or get angry. Remember the real reason we are here and it will all be put in perspective. So don't worry...go soak in the tub.

More to their stories...

Last night a friend of mine flew in from San Fran and a group of us met downtown for dinner/dessert/drinks. This is a dear friend, close to my heart, and his being in Charlotte gathered a unique group of people from college. Most of us knew each other, some brought their significant other. It was a very interesting dynamic.

It was interesting how people were sharing what happened in the course of the past four years. After a quick review (married, moved, jobs, new jobs, vacations, a baby on the way), we settled into old stories, our laughter filling the restaurant. I felt when I looked in people's eyes, there was so much more to their stories.

I was tempted to lie when asked what I had been up to. Seriously. When asked, I would think to myself, do they really want to know? They should order another drink, because this may be awhile. But I couldnt just say I have been working in real estate because someone would ask me like this, "So the last I heard you were in Los Angeles." Then another would pipe up, "Wait I thought you were in Houston." And another, "But your telephone number is from Virginia." Here we go.

After a brief, brief, edited, summarized (notice emphasis on the small amount that I told) version of the actual adventures I have lived, they were happy. But I realized my travels as well as a slight, itty, bitty, little comment on cancer caused people to all of the sudden get real. It was interesting. Some people over the course of the night pulled me aside and wanted to talk more in depth of what "really has been going on" in their lives. Divorce, disappointment, etc.

Authenticity is refreshing. Honestly is refreshing. Now I am not saying you walk around and answer questions like "Hi how are you" with "Horrible. Never worse. I have a terrible upset stomach and my life is falling apart. How are you?" I am just saying, balancing laughter, old stories and lightheartedness with a little "real" is OK. Especially among the closest of friends. Now these were not my close friends, so that it why I didn't share details, I did not want to waste words. I guess I am just trying to get to my point about "being real" with closest friends. In fact that is what I cherish the most about my best friend. We can laugh and be silly and random, but she can also call on a whim and fall apart if needed. I called her many a times riding back from the hospital last year around midnight in tears.

I guess this is a weird confession of sorts because I am still trying to process how to get back into social settings. It sounds funny coming from someone who is so social, (I love to be the planner, always have a fun thing to do)but well there you have it. I guess with cancer you cut the crap. Conversations become so real, so alive, so meaningful. Conversations are on purpose. Laughter and lightheartedness is 10X as wonderful and more frequent, however conversations on faith and reality and heart matters were quick on the tongue as well. If someone was hurting, they said it. There was no time to hold it in, or play cool. It was then that we were able to minister to each other, offer hugs, prayers, sometimes just embracing in silence.

I don't know, I don't want people to think that I am some Debbie Downer that needs to have deeps conversation every day. I can see it now, "There's Brandee. Quick think of something deep and meaningful." No. I just want us to be honest if we need to be. If we need a friend to hear us out. That is what the Body of Christ is about. Connecting. Now don't go spill the details of your heart to the guy in line next to you at Chick Fil-A, maybe better with a good friend.
But trust me. It is a beautiful thing.

Solo Adventure

Driving down 77, she began to feel increasingly more calm the further she got from the city. Soon she was far enough down the road where the radio stations were mere fuzz, and she slid in a CD for the remainder of the ride. John Mayer. One she had not heard in a while, but knew every word. She had looked forward to this meeting for months. It had been a year since she saw the mountains in spring. Besides one meeting this evening and one in the morning, she was on her own to stumble into coffee shops and get lost down the winding roads. This would be the first solo adventure she'd had in a while.

Stopping in a convenient store, she purchased a few disposable cameras to document the days. She drove by the entrance to the condo she would be staying in, missing it twice, thinking it would be nice to have someone to help her navigate as she attempted an awkward three point turn on the narrow road. As soon as she walked in, she began snapping pictures here and there. It was nothing more special than she had seen before, in fact she stayed in the one next door a year ago. But this time it was different. She was there on business. And she had the place to herself. Hardly anyone knew she was there, and she liked it.

After the meeting ended, she slipped out of her brand new pencil skirt, heels and camisole and into her favorite jeans. Deciding it would be a bit cooler than in the city, she grabbed a sweater wrap and headed for the restaurant. Everything seemed to be in walking distance and she felt like a foreigner in a town full of acquaintances. Dinner with men you do business with is always a bit tricky, she thought, and she found herself a bit nervous as the only woman joining the table. It was a pleasant evening, everyone casually talking business and what a wonderful addition she would make to the team. They were constantly asking her advice about the city and how to penetrate the market and for the first time she realized her opinion was valued among a group of seasoned salesmen. It was an odd feeling, one she liked and yet wasn't overly excited about. She had worked hard for years and it was nice to not be considered just another young, starry eyed face, but someone with experience. She ordered eggplant, making sure it was one of the least expensive meals on the menu, even though she knew it was on the business account. She learned the man who owned the development she would eventually sell, also owned the restaurant, and she liked that he had not mentioned this fact before.

Once back in the condo she changed again but this time into a tee shirt and sweatpants. It was freezing and it took her forever to light the pilot and adjust the fireplace, once again wishing she had someone there to help her. Finding the remote sandwiched in between one of the carmel colored leather couches, she settled in, pulling her hair in a pony tail. It was nice, she thought, watching a tv above the fireplace. Her mind drifted as she imagined what it would be like to have the job. She would be selling multi-million dollar land, and later homes her clients would build on it. She imagined having a larger cushion at the end of the month after she paid her bills and then thought of the condo and the other various perks that the job would provide. She was unimpressed by the money she would make, but realized it helped. But something was missing. And it was then that she imagined what it would like to work hard day in and day out, and then come home, as she had tonight, changing into her pajamas and making some tea, to no one. The thought swallowed her.

As a single, hard working, determined woman, she was accustomed to doing things on her own. She thought nothing of carrying loads of groceries up several flights of stairs or making sure all of her bills were paid on time. Taking out the trash, fixing things around the house and remembering to get the oil changed were chores her father used to help her with, and now for the past four years she accomplished the tasks without a thought. Men were not sure what to think of her, wondering if someone this independent needed care. She seemed confident and put together they thought, knowing exactly what she wanted, and were sometimes not confident to ask her out for coffee. They were not completely right. She did need care. More care than most, her parents would say, being sensitive and compassionate almost to a fault. She could do all of these chores solo, make money, build a home of her own and fill it with memories, she thought, but she was ready for a partner, someone who would not leave at the end of the night.

Curled up on the couch, she knew he was out there. If he were here now, they would make coffee and have dessert, cuddled under a blanket. She would review, play by play the events of the meeting, stopping to ask his thoughts about how she responded to this or that question about work. In the morning they would go for a run or a short hike nearby and then find themselves at the coffee shop down the street she'd discovered earlier. Snapping out of the thought she knew she could not think about it any longer. It would come. He would find her, call her, write her and she would have someone to share this adventure with. No need to think about it now. Now, she took off her glasses and set them on the table and spread out in the king size bed. Now, she thought, it was time to go to bed.

In the morning she showered in a room decorated with rustic stone, under a rainfall shower head. After a quick walk to the coffee shop, she sipped on a latte while thumbing through the Economist. She must look smart to those looking at her, she thought, little did they know she was only looking at the pictures. For the next few hours she road around in a truck, bouncing along 1000 acres of freshly cleared mountain land. She saw golf holes and ponds carved out of the dirt with no green on them, only visions of what was to come. She was surrounded by men drilling, nailing and climbing on the 30 foot exposed beam that would soon be completed, and she thought as she drove away they looked as though they sprouted from the earth covered in granite, stone and bark, blending in with the Blue Ridge view.

Soon she was on the road again, careful to leave the condo as she found it. She was offered the job, details of compensation and percentages would follow. Instead of driving straight home, she took a detour to Blowing Rock and ended walking down to the historic district. Most of the boutiques where closed, so feeling a bit hungry, she settled on a cafe where she ordered a blt with fried green tomatoes. She sat alone and decided not to get on her cell phone, sipping sweet tea and adjusting the napkin in her lap. She would on occasion go to the movies alone on a whim, but eating alone was different, something she had not done in awhile. She got out a pen and her notebook and scribbled down things she could write about. She studied her surroundings, people and smells, all things writers tend to be aware of as if they are storing it all for later use.

Carrying her to-go bag, she wandered in and out of various stores, a fudge shop, an antique store, smiling at couples as they passed with dogs or small children. She drew a deep breath filling her lungs with the mountain air, and caught her reflection in a decorated window display, the transparent image looking back at her. She was at peace. She was wonderfully whole, and she knew he would find her this way.


While worshiping in church this morning I was contemplating how I want to continuously grow. I want to always be maturing in my faith and developing into a stronger woman. I asked God what was standing in the way of that today. Now, while there are many many things I could work on, the one thing that came to my mind very clearly was forgiveness. (aren't we glad God picks one at a time!)

I was listening to Charles Stanley the other day on the radio and he was speaking on forgiveness. He was explaining that the first step is to confess the unforgiveness you have to God and to repent. But what caught me was when he mentioned that when we are reminded of the hurt we felt, the wrong done to us, we must EACH time make the decision to forgive again, and again and yet again. He also mentioned that eventually our feelings will follow. One day we will think of that person or situation and we will not feel the same. Only a God who heals can do such things.

In the movie Dan in Real Life it says, "love is an ability." I also believe that beyond a feeling, love is a choice. I believe this to be true for forgiveness as well. When I was younger I thought that if I truly forgave someone I would instantly "feel" like I forgave them. If I thought of that person or situation again and still felt a little pang of hurt or maybe even anger, I thought I must not have truly forgiven. I don't believe this anymore.

So this morning, during prayer, I quietly told God that I forgave this person and I also asked for forgiveness for myself for the feelings I harbored. Now I am sure I will think of this again, and I probably won't feel all warm and fuzzy at first, but that doesn't mean I didn't forgive. The Lord cleansed me of this I am sure. But I am human and a very sensitive human at that, so I know feelings don't just disappear. But I will consciously make a decision every time I feel this way to understand that one day my feelings will match my heart.

When I quietly prayed this prayer something strange happened. A women sitting very close to me began to cry loudly. In fact, it quickly evolved into a wail. I could identify with her because this is how I felt inside when I forgave. It was a tremendous release in my soul. Her loud cries echoed in my heart and I was so thankful for a God who draws us near, purifies us bit by bit, all the while holding us closely to his heart.

Officially A Couple

He has wined and dined me for nearly a year and a half. He has let me come and go, a constant and steady force in everyday life. So today when I changed my number to area code 704, it was then I announced I am officially dating Charlotte. That's right, don't listen to what you have heard about me running around town with anyone else, the Queen City and I are a pair.

I needed to commit. Charlotte knows I am like the main character in Chocolat, when the wind blows I feel a need to move with it. Besides that, Charlotte residents were a little frustrated with my previous 703 number. My Harris Teeter card has never worked and I attribute this to the fact they entered it in wrong. I also don't want to lose business and I have heard that the 704 lady that had my similar number, is a bit peeved.

So, I have decided to stay...for now. So Hotlanta, Chi-town and Boston, call me.


For the past few weeks I have been very specific in my prayers to the Lord. They would go something like this, "God, I am good at my job and I like it, but it doesn't thrill me. It is not my passion. Please lead me." Period. No pouting or sulking. Simply here is my thought, You are my God, guide me. And let it go. The difference lately is not that my words are so few, it is that I am really wrapping my mind around the fact that God is IN CONTROL and therefore I just haven't stressed. There is a big difference between believing God is in control and acting like it. I want to learn this early so I don't waste years living outside of this truth. Anyway to the good part.

So I have been thinking about my writing a lot. Wednesday I told my parents while driving home from the beach that's what I really want to do for a living. It is what makes me come alive. I write for bridal mags and I recently picked up one that will be featured in places like Barnes and Noble and Borders. (so excited!) So last week I stopped looking at the careers posted on CondeNast (publisher of all major woman's mags) and I actually applied to about twenty. They are all in New York. I created a profile, attached my samples and prayed, "Lord do what you want to with this." Then I went back to selling homes. That was Thursday. Friday, I saw Sex and the City with a friend and came home in a strange mood because I was overwhelmed with the thought of writing full-time (like the main character in the film.) When someone asks me what "that thing" is that makes me "click" I say my writing. I dream of writing for Allure, Glamour, Marie Claire. I dream of slaving away at the computer for who knows how many hours writing about real world issues or something as silly as the latest shoe trend. I am the dork that reads every caption on every page of InStyle, Women's Health, etc.

Monday night my friend Simeon asked me to hang out with a couple of guys he knows from home. We all went to eat and I learned these guys were in ministry in some capacity. It was the first time I had met them. As I was enjoying my Jamaican jerk chicken nachos, something happened that has not happened in years. God used a man at the table to speak to me so clearly I almost couldn't even believe it was happening. He asked me casually, "Brandee do you like to write?" I said yeah casually. (mind you these people know NOTHING about me. Simeon never spoke a word about me. He knew my name was Brandee and we had known each other for about 15 minutes.) Anyway, he said, "Brandee when you walked in I felt like I had all of this stuff to tell you. I hope you don't mind." I said sure. He asked if I would ever consider writing for women's magazines. I nodded. Everything around me fell away and I was fixed on his words. I felt extremely calm and discerned just to listen, that what was being said was not from this guy who sat before me sipping a beer and munching on fries. He then asked if I would ever consider moving to New York. I responded yes. He said, "Have you ever heard of the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? Or that girl from the Family Stone Sarah what's her name? Sarah Jessica Parker I said. Well, when you walked in the door I thought of you in those positions. Your job now is what you do because it supports you, but writing is what you do because you love it. And I want to let you know that because you don't write for money, God is going to take this gift and use it. I see you writing for women's magazines and writing compelling stories that will be a little different. And you will think that they are insignificant, but it will be a sort of ministry to women. Well Hello God. I was blown over by the power of God. He knew I needed hope, something to hold onto and He gave me this morsel, this manna. Two days later I was chatting with a coworker and she said, "Hey what is the thing that you would do if you didn't have to worry about money." Easy...write. She said "Do you know the publisher CondeNast?" I braced myself. "Well, my good friend from high school, works for them and writes for Vogue, here let me give you her contact info, you never know." So of course I raced home and emailed her.

All of this to say, wow what a week. I have been overwhelmed at my new job, I sold a house in a neighborhood I barely know and I heard a good, solid word from the Lord. huh. I have no idea what is next. And ironically I am not anxious. It could happen tomorrow or 10 years from now. But I know what I heard and I will hide it deep in my heart.

I guess I want to encourage you today. I haven't been walking around thinking about writing full-time. I have not been seeking it out hard core. I have however not forgotten my dream. When I get a new interview I will stay up till 1AM writing. I am always calling new magazines and sending in my samples. I never get tired of it. I have steadily and quietly worked on it. And just last week God surprised me and brought my desires in the forefront of my mind the same week He spoke to me about it. What is it that makes you feel this way? What would you do if money was not an issue? If it is not your current job, do not be discouraged. God will lead you there and the skills you are developing now, whether in skill or character are important. They are necessary. Real estate pays the bills and puts food on the table but writing makes me excited. Tell the Lord today what it is that you desire. And then get up and go to work. I trust somehow, sometime, He will answer you. Let my week be a testimony to His promise.


Missing: Tall, dark-haired male between the age of 26-33 with athletic build and witty sense of humor. Christian, with years of experience living out a Godly life with passion, purpose and vision. A leader with integrity who values family above fame. An entrepreneur of sorts, doesn't complain, not easily discouraged, works hard yet knows how to relax. A delight to his mate because he is just as easily satisfied with a quick dinner as he is a well prepared meal, in other words not particular in matters of food. A sharp dresser who never wears black socks. One who doesn't need another mother. He already has one. Not partial to spending Sundays in front of a game. Spontaneous, sexy, loving, attentive, affectionate, sharp, artistic, well traveled, with loads of patience for his talkative mate. A decision maker who is confident but not vain. He is just as comfortable sleeping on the floor as he is in a five star hotel. Comfortable with other cultures. Hikes. Grills. Doesn't beat himself up or take himself too seriously. Loves his grandma. Is gentle with his words. Can get along with anyone. Wouldn't mind shopping. Works out, showers regularly, doesn't collect unnecessary piles. Could sleep in for hours on a rainy day without feeling guilty. Content to go out, just as well to stay in. Not irritable or moody. A man's man... whatever that means. Smells fabulous. Cuts his nails. Is just plain fun. Manages money well, likes to give it away, save it and have a little fun...guilt free. Doesn't judge and always has a plan.
When found please return to:
Brandee Dishner Central Ave. Charlotte.

Just Another Reason I Love Ceebs

Britt: Hey, sorry I was calling so much in a row but I really need to know something. Do vegetarians eat chicken?
Bran: No. They don't eat meat.
Britt: Yeah I know they don't eat meat but isn't chicken beef?
Bran: What? (laughing) wait say that again.
Britt: I mean isn't chicken not really a meat. Like pork is definitely meat and so it cow. But chicken isn't really.
Bran: Chicken is poultry.
Britt: That's what I was thinking! See I knew I wasn't that off.
Bran: Vegetarians don't eat meat, vegans don't eat anything that comes from an animal, eggs, butter, milk.
Britt: Then they must be really skinny. And hungry.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I wish I didn't have a grown up filter. I spend last weekend celebrating a baby shower with my best friend and her family which included two very energetic children, 6 and 4. In the morning, I would ease out of bed and shuffle to the coffee pot to find that the kids were well into their day, sprinkling the living room floor with barbies and dinosaurs. As I managed a few cheerful words, they were full of energy bursting with random squeals of delight. “Play with me,” they asked, and next thing I knew I was catching butterflies with a net, dressing dolls and fighting with dinos. Considering the last time I spent time around young children was when my sister (who is now 20) was a baby, I felt a little rusty. Was I cool Aunt B? Was I lame when it came to dreaming up conversation between barbie and her horses?

One thing I couldn't help but notice and secretly envied was the fact that children really don't have filters. If they think something, they say it. If they want something, they ask. They don't hold back. I wondered at what age does this change? When do children catch on to the “socially accpetable” ways to communicate? When do we stop saying what we think and keep quiet merely to be “polite?” Who says what is polite?

To celebrate the oldest turning 6, we all were given instruments to join in the annual “Birthday parade.” Next thing I knew I was shaking bells in line behind other adults my age and older who were blowing horns, kazoos and other noise makers. It was freeing. We looked like crazy people and we were having a blast. With the birthday girl leading the way we pranced around the house clapping and singing.

My small conclusion was that I spend far too much time trying to “act cool” and far too much time not saying what I really think and feel. Thanks to a weekend of barbies and dinos, I am reminded to relax and have a little fun.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I had a lot of time to think at yoga this morning. As I was twisting and turning my body making sure to concentrate on my breathing, my mind wandered everywhere. There was one pose where we laid on our backs with our feet over our heads, so basically our shoulders were the only thing touching the ground. We hung out there for quite some time. And that's when it hit me. First, how ridiculous I must have looked and then, Commitment. I wondered what would happen to my body it I became committed to yoga every day. How would my body change? Staring at the wall I applied this thought of commitment to every area of my life. Church, friends, Charlotte, job.

I was asked to join a team at church to serve on Sunday mornings, set up, take down, etc. I said yes and now I have been stressed about it. I'll just do a couple of times, you know, not get too involved. But twisted in that crazy pose, I thought, what if I really committed to helping on the days they asked me? What am I afraid of?

I think about leaving Charlotte all of the time. I visited Athens this weekend and spent the day after I got back searching the web for jobs there. What if I committed to Charlotte and called it home? Let's say I get more involved in my community, volunteer, make it point to search out new places...would I get as easily restless and bored?

I picked up a few copies of some magazines I was published in this month and noticed they had been edited heavily. Feeling disappointed and a little confused I thought maybe I should start doing something else, looking for another type of job. But then I remembered all that God has done to get me where I am now, and decided to commit, for better or worse.

Commitment. Why are we so afraid? We hate wandering and change and yet when God puts us in a place, we always try to wiggle out of it. We always try to pick out what is hard or bad about it and reason why somewhere or someone else would be better. Is it because we don't want to be stuck? We want to be mobile with one foot out the door just in case we change our mind or things get hard? In terms of commitment, when do we stop casually dating our surroundings and actually become exclusive?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Don't Let the Door Hit Ya...

Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Good riddance. These are just a few saying I think of when looking back on 2008. I can confidently say, when ringing in the new year I was never more happy to see the old one go.

First I broke a man's heart. A man I cared deeply for. Then my nanny past away in March, I lost my job in May and lost the new job in October. By the time November rolled around I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself.

I often think if I was watching my life as a movie I would be yelling at the main character to "look out!" "stop that!" or "quit worrying!" I would be rooting for myself to make it. Looking back on the year I tried to make it on my own, with my own strength. Enter Jesus.

I have no idea what this year holds, but I am hopeful and excited. I am writing more on a full time basis, I am meeting new people, get better acquainted with the ones I know and enjoying my little city more every day. The reason I know this year will be better is because I am fully confident in God and I am choosing to depend on Him for whatever this year holds. Another reason I know it will be a good one is because Starbucks finally decided to offer tea lattes, I finally found a pair of gray Chucks in my size and standing in Barnes and Nobles I see 2 mags on the shelf with my name in them. So cheers to '09.