Thursday, August 30, 2007

3 Minutes

When confronted of the danger, of what she might possibility be giving up,
she smiled slowly and replied,

“I’d rather have three minutes of something wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special.”

Julia Roberts as "Shelby" in Steel Magnolias (1989)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Not too long ago I heard someone say, “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you chose to respond.” It puts perspective to the degree of control we actually have over our choices and reactions. Except in reality the depth of expectations and blame relate to these percentages in an alternate ratio of “Life is 90% of what other people do to you and 10% of how you react.” This view creates victims without any control over who they become. Energy is based on what happened as apposed to who we chose to be even though a situation occurred. Blame turns into defensiveness and then into anger, and soon they are out of control.

The hope is that we will understand individual human ownership. We are not victims of the things other people do. Perhaps there is another viewpoint of those who reap consequences for their choices, but even in that, they could chose to respond with humbleness and an eager heart to learn from their mistakes. We must somehow find out who we are in the little moments as well as the big ones. In the small misunderstandings we have with spouses or friends, as well as the catastrophic moments when war has left death, our reaction is the key.

In this, I am not saying a reaction is absence of emotion, empathy, or even anger. The “90% response” comes later, when we decide what we will do with these valid emotions. It comes when we decide whether we will live in anger to the injustice of what we experienced whether that be aimed at God or people. Viktor Frankl, the author of “Man’s Search for Meaning,” invented logotherapy. It exemplifies this possibility of finding meaning, power, and usefulness even in the most terrible situations. If you have not read this book, it is a great way to be challenged. Perhaps this all feels very true to me because I learned this the hard way through my pain and suffering. I determined truth in survival is reacting wisely.

Choosing to believe this view of being accountable to our responses creates an environment of growth. And once we begin this journey of knowledge, we will begin to see so much more. It is an endless road to wisdom, and we can acknowledge and be challenged or we can stay exactly where we are forever.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Newest Creation: Point of View

© 2007 Inspired by Grace
All rights reserved Olivia M. Brigham

Friday, August 10, 2007


Today Bryan and I met “Oliver.” He had been hanging out in our sink and Bryan noticed him when he was about to take a shower. He brought him in the bedroom covered by two hands and told me he had someone he wanted me to meet. It wasn’t to scare me. I love little critters like that. In fact I was so delighted I grabbed my camera at my bedside to take pictures! Bryan carefully opened his hands and there he was! He was an iridescent pink with little brown stripes on the feet and tail. Well that is at that point when he still had his tail. I took some photos of him on his palm. Now he was officially a part of the family…ya know…the photos are initiation. Then, I decided Gracey needed to be introduced to Oliver. She loves little critters too! How about that? He opened his hands again so Gracey could see and Oliver popped out and ran on the bed. It would have been helpful if the bedspread was black, but no, it is a yellow that only camouflaged Oliver even more. I got frightened because I did not want to hurt him and he was so small and FAST!!! I jumped away and Bryan struggled to catch him. In the end, we got him back…well most of him. He lost his tail. It made me so sad that I cried. We brought him back outside where he belonged. And now all I have to remember him by are these photos and the little piece of tail that is in our bathroom trash. But hey, they re-grow them. It is actually a defense mechanism!!! Read more about it at:

Oliver is the size of Bryan's wedding ring.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Something In Common

Riding the elevator has potential for being uncomfortable. Being in confined quarters with people and smells you are not familiar with is a violation of my personal space. So challenge presents itself today, while taking the elevator to consider it an opportunity rather than a possible traumatic encounter. An older gentleman joined me and after determining which floor we were each going to, I opened my mouth and began to talk. But here is the part where I notice something deep. I am not much for small talk. In fact it annoys me to hear different conversations with out any relevance to anything really important. Ya know, the grass, the weather, and natural disasters. But as I spoke with that man about the rain here in Abilene that uncharacteristically seems to be pouring down, I recognized our need as humans, as God’s people to connect with each other. Maybe it is not at all a conversation about the weather, maybe it is really is the desire for relation. We are all different people with separate lives, but when we walk into that elevator what we have in common is weather, and talking about it helps us to relate to one another. And this is what God has done. He has created us to seek community and people and our hearts all long for others to understand us. We desire to work together for a purpose. Look at all humans; they seek each other for company, for encouragement, for love.

My new approach towards small talk is an affirmation of people actually loving each other. And although people who are trying to get to know each other, shallow conversation is not where you would want to stay, it serves a purpose for those who don’t know each other and may never again see each other. In the 20 seconds I had with that man, it showed me we were people who are living together on this earth. It proves that there is a deep-rooted desire for connection. And that longing is a reflection of who God is, and who He is to us.

What an amazing thing to have noticed! Thank you God for allowing me to see this today.