Thursday, December 3, 2009

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Monday, November 16, 2009

God At Work in My Life

It has been a roller coaster ride over the last few months. I have been doing a lot of soul searching about my purpose in life, why I write this blog and how God can use me. I wasn't sure I should continue writing this blog. I never wanted it to be about me. I wanted to use it so I could keep my friends informed about all of the stuff surrounding Tonia's death and about the prayer needs that we have.

I have decided that I will continue to write about what I am learning from God, about the legal details and anything else that God brings to my heart. If you read this and it touches your heart than God has used this blog to reach out to you. I will continue to pray over what I am writing and I will continue to be very honest about my feelings. This is who God has created me to be; a mess of words that need to be said! On that note:

Recently I attended a woman's retreat for our church. Janet Helms was the speaker and her topic was "Lord Make Me The Woman You Want Me To Be". It was very moving. I am still working on becoming that woman but I have figured out a few things.

I love people! If you know me then this probably isn't a surprise. I love to talk to people, I love to hug people. I come alive when I am surrounded by people. It is when I spend time alone that I become sad and tired. But I also understand that I need to have my quiet time alone with God. He uses that time to speak to me, to rebuke me and to turn my thoughts to Him. Which brings me to the next thing I have figured out.

God doesn't want me to live in the past. I miss Tonia so much and that is okay. There is a hole in my heart that will never go away. The tears and the sorrow are part of who I am and reflect the love that I have for my daughter. I think that God wants to use the hole in my heart to reach out to other people with His message of love and healing and hope! Some days this is not so easy. I get overwhelmed by all of the needs surrounding me. I want to help everyone and fix everyone. I can't help or fix anyone! Only God can do this; but I believe that I can be available for Him to use.

I also know that I have a need and desire to express myself both in my writing and in talking to others. I want to tell the world about how gracious and wonderful God has been to us during this very crazy, mixed up time. God has taken a violent tragedy and used it to create love and joy. People have been blessed by hearing His message of salvation and love. People have accepted Him as their Savior. What was meant for evil, God has used for His glory and honor!

I have and continue to have a choice to make. I can spend the rest of my life grieving and angry and living my life in the past. Or I can live out the purpose that God has in mind for me. Living, a verb, a choice, a movement forward. I can choose anger and hate and bitterness or I can choose love and joy and submission to God. One poisons; the other brings healing. I can choose to be silent or I can choose to speak out. I can allow the evil in this world to win or I can allow God's love and eternal life to win.

I choose God! I choose life. I choose healing. I choose joy, laughter and singing. I will not be silenced by the critics or skeptics. Bring it on! If my God is for me than who can be against me! I have a long way to go in my walk but I know that I am not on this journey alone. God walks with me. He carries me through the storms when they come. He picks me up when I fall. God wins: I win!

God bless you! Hugs!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

UPDATE: Remembering Tonia: A Christmas Prayer concert!

The concert is a go! We would like to invite you to attend Remembering Tonia: A Christmas Prayer on Sunday, December 6 at 7:00 pm.

We will be using this concert as the kickoff for the Tonia Brundage Memorial Foundation. This is the non-profit group that we are working on establishing. I know that most of our friends can't physically be at the concert but I also know that you are all prayer warriors. Please be in prayer for the people involved, for travel and for all of the details. This is going to be a very special evening.

If you are able to attend, let me know! This will encourage all of us and also give us a chance to say hello in person!

Here are the details:

Save the date! There will be a Memorial concert held on December 6 at St. Johns United Church of Christ 183 South Broad Street, Nazareth, PA 19151. Their phone number is (610) 759-0893.

Tonia's high school friend, Karla, wanted to do something in memory of Tonia. Last summer she sang at a benefit concert for a local woman's shelter and dedicated one of the songs in Tonia's memory. She created a poster with pictures and had it there with her. This year she wanted to do more. Tonia graduated from Nazareth High School in 2000. A bunch of her friends did not learn of her death until after the funeral. Slowly we have been hearing from these friends via email, by phone and even through this blog. It has been very sweet to hear the stories about their antics during high school and see some pictures from then. That brings us back to this concert.

It will be held at Karla's church. We will be there of course: to cheer her on, to meet Tonia's friends face to face, to cry, to rejoice, to remember! What a perfect way to remember Tonia through the songs that she loved. There is no fee to get in but Karla will asking for a love donation to cover expenses. She asked us what we wanted to do with any left over donations.

After much thought and prayer we have decided to create a new non-profit organization in Tonia's name. I have been in touch with our accountant and we will be starting the process very soon. The foundation will support our desire to help other family members and friends heal after the loss of a loved one through a sudden violent death. The goal is to help others find healing through God's grace. More details will be available soon!

So if you are in the area please come out to see us, to hear some wonderful Christmas music and to share in the joy of remembering.

With anticipation and hugs! Kathy

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Birthday my sweet girl

At 4:22 am on August 29, 1981 you took your first breath and let everyone know you had arrived. Our friends Bo & Christy were in the waiting room. They had followed us to the hospital; Bo panicked and called an ambulance to meet us on the highway. We pulled into the emergency room driveway and the nurses were waiting with a wheelchair. They explained that the wheelchair was for an emergency delivery coming in so they would quickly take me into the labor and delivery room but they had to hurry back. I starting laughing between contractions and explained that my friends had called for an ambulance but that I was okay. They looked over at Bo's car as he sheepishly walked over. They grinned at me and gently helped me into the wheelchair. Just a few hours later you entered the world. I remember how overwhelmed I felt when I finally got to hold you. My heart somehow had left my body and embedded itself into yours. I didn't know I could love so intensely and be so proud to be your mom. I cherish every memory that I have: Your first smile, singing to you while making Lolly Dolly dance, taking you to Indiana Dunes State Park, watching you start to crawl and then walk.

I miss you so very much. I miss singing with you. I even miss our fights! I miss hearing you say I love you. I miss teaching you to dance. I miss watching chick flicks while your Daddy and Sean just put up with us!

Sweetheart, you will always be in my heart. I know that you are in Heaven singing with the choir and rocking the babies. No more hurts, no more tears. So I would never wish you back into this life! But I miss you so much today and I want you to hear me sing Happy Birthday. Your Aunt Leslie is singing the Beatles birthday song to you. Can't you hear her: today is your birthday, we're gonna have a good time!

Happy 28th Birthday. I hope you love the purple carnations and the butterfly that I am taking to the cemetery. They make me smile!

I love you honey!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lessons of Life/ God's Strength

Tonight I have been thinking about events of the last several days, months and years. I am grateful that God has been carrying me and giving me strength as I know that I cannot experience or survive life without His mighty strength and love. If you are from Pittsburgh or have seen the news, the shooting at the LA Fitness center is already known to you. A sweet lady, Betsy, that I knew from the hospital was one of the women killed. Betsy was sassy and vibrant and full of life. She will be missed by so many people in her life. When I heard her name mentioned on the news I thought it couldn't have been her. Things like this just don't happen. Not here, not now.

I became very discouraged, very hurt, very confused about why people I know keep dying in such tragic ways. So many losses, so many families forever changed. God why are these violent acts and senseless tragedies happening? Then I remembered this verse: John 16:33" me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

God knew that we will lose friends and family members. He knew that we would experience trials of many kinds. This world was never meant to be our home. It is flawed and full of sin. I sin. I try not to but I do. There is sin in this world and because of it tragedies happen. Young adults are killed in car accidents, a friend becomes a widow too soon, friends are killed in a senseless rampage, loved ones die from diseases, and daughter's are murdered in their home. This is not my home! I will be going home to a place that is filled with love. Radiant, eternal, undeserved love!

While I am here in this temporary home I have choices to make: I can either become depressed, anxious and afraid to care or to live or I can choose to live out the moments that God gives to me. Not afraid to proclaim that I love God. Not afraid to feel emotions. Willing to dance when my spirit is filled with joy and willing to cry when my heart hurts. I will never understand why these tragedies happen but I can choose to wake up tomorrow and maybe hug someone who hasn't been hugged in a very long time! God has given me today. I accept this gift for today!

May God bless you with hugs, love, laughter and friends.

Friday, July 24, 2009


The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

Last weekend we had a house full of Penn State former and current students. They stayed the weekend at our home to say goodbye to their friend, Jessie, as they celebrated her life at her funeral. What a beautiful weekend. Tears amid laughter. Joy mingled with sorrow. Life mingled with death followed up by eternal life. The circle continues. As I was talking to one of the young women at our home; she reflected that they all needed the time to fellowship together and that the time after the funeral was so important for their hearts. They needed to remember Jessie. They needed to cry. They needed to be angry. They needed to laugh as they told Jessie stories. They needed to love and to be loved.

I got to be mama for the weekend to these precious young men and women. My heart was overflowing. Sean had his friends and his family around. It was good.

We had a party for Jessie since she was already partying in Heaven. We shared in the joy. We said goodbye for now. One day we will all be together celebrating at the foot of God.

How awesome is our God. Have a blessed day. Hugs!

Looking Forward to Heaven?

Looking Forward to Heaven? by Randy ALcorn
With the deaths of several celebrities on the forefront of people's minds, I want to focus this week's question and answer on Heaven. Because the reality is, as human beings, we all have a terminal disease called mortality. The current death rate is 100 percent. Unless Christ returns soon, we’re all going to die. We don’t like to think about death; yet, worldwide, 3 people die every second, 180 every minute, and nearly 11,000 every hour. If the Bible is right about what happens to us after death, it means that more than 250,000 people every day go either to Heaven or Hell.

David said, “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath” (Psalm 39:4-5). Picture a single breath escaping your mouth on a cold day and dissipating into the air. Such is the brevity of life here. The wise will consider what awaits us on the other side of this life that so quickly ends.

God uses suffering and impending death to unfasten us from this earth and to set our minds on what lies beyond. I’ve lost people close to me. (Actually, I haven’t lost them, because I know where they are—rather, I’ve lost contact with them.) I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people who’ve been diagnosed with terminal diseases. These people, and their loved ones, have a sudden and insatiable interest in the afterlife. Most people live unprepared for death. But those who are wise will go to a reliable source to investigate what’s on the other side. And if they discover that the choices they make during their brief stay in this world will matter in the world to come, they’ll want to adjust those choices accordingly.

Yet you may be wondering, How can I change my perspective so that I truly look forward to Heaven?

Consider these Scriptures:

Luke 6:21 says, "God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh."

Luke 15:10 says, "There is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents."

Nobody wants to leave a good party early. Christians faced with death often feel they’re leaving the party before it’s over. They have to go home early. They’re disappointed, thinking of all they’ll miss when they leave.

But the truth is, the real party is under way at home—precisely where they’re going! They’re not the ones missing the party; those of us left behind are. (Fortunately, if we know Jesus, we’ll get there eventually to join the party.)

One by one, believers will disappear from the world. Those of us who are left behind will grieve that our loved ones have left home. In reality, however, our believing loved ones aren’t leaving home; they’re going home. They’ll be home before us. We’ll be arriving at the party a little later. Laughter and rejoicing—a party awaits us. Don’t you want to join it? (If you aren’t certain you’ll be at the party, check out How Can We Know That We'll Go to Heaven?)
Yet even that party, in the present Heaven, is a preliminary celebration. To be in resurrected bodies on a resurrected Earth in resurrected friendships, enjoying the resurrected culture with the resurrected Jesus—now that will be the ultimate party! We will all be who God made us to be—and none of us will ever suffer or die again. As a Christian, the day I die will be the best day I’ve ever lived. But it won’t be the best day I ever will live. Resurrection day will be far better. And the first day on the New Earth—that will be one big step for mankind, one giant leap for God’s glory.

About Me

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Pennsylvania, United States
Christian Mother, wife, & nurse. Love to read and love mentoring teenagers.


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