Sunday, March 29, 2015

Miss Brenda and the Loveladies: A Book Review

When you hear the word 'prisoner', what comes to mind?

If I were to be 100% honest, I would have to say the first word that comes to my own mind is fear.

Intentionally or not, I was at a young age (like many of us) taught to be afraid of prisoners. I grew up in a prison community, and we were told early on that picking up hitchhikers was very dangerous because of this. On the rare occasion that someone would escape, we knew to take extra precautions as well. Of course, I know that we are not supposed to judge, and yet with messages like these, it's hard not to, right? We're only human, and this fear seems to come pretty naturally.

Now, imagine opening up your home to not one, but SIX prisoners, fresh out of prison. Could you do it? Again, if I were being entirely honest...I'd have to say that this sounded pretty crazy to me. And yet, this is exactly what Brenda Spahn did. She felt God calling her, and she listened. In Miss Brenda and the Loveladies, she tells this remarkable story:

Miss Brenda and the Loveladies
 tells the story of entrepreneur and businesswoman Brenda Spahn and how she went from rags to riches to redemption. Brenda lived a very wealthy lifestyle until a brush with the law threatened to send her to prison. In those dark moments, Brenda made a promise to God. 

Spared incarceration, a renewed Brenda glimpsed into the lives of women serving time in one of the worst places in America—the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama. What she saw prompted a God-inspired vision.

With a heart to help and a will that couldn’t be crushed, Brenda fought the system and overcame tremendous obstacles to take ex-cons into her own home and help them navigate the alien world of life on the outside. 

This is the story of the first unlikely year of her "Whole Way House" and of the extraordinary lives of the first seven women who came to call her "Miss Brenda." It’s a story that testifies to the power of faith and how God changes hearts every day.

This sounds like the makings of a Hallmark movie, doesn't it? It certainly did to me... I found myself thinking that this couldn't possibly, REALLY be a true story. But it WAS! With each passing page, I found my preconceived ideas of the idea of prisoners changing.I am not saying I condone the choices made...but I can see how people can be put into a situation where they truly feel that crime is the only way of life. It's a sad reality that many face, and few are willing to take the chance to give these prisoners a second chance.

But beyond being a story of redemption, it's more importantly a story about stepping out of your comfort zone and giving in fully to God's plans for your life. Even to Brenda, this idea seemed a little bit crazy and scary...but she knew that it was what God was calling her to do, so she did it! I could not help but be reminded of a verse my son recently shared with me:

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised... Hebrews 10:36

Brenda's 'Whole Way House' was not without its challenges... there were in fact MANY. But she kept moving forward, and God took care of the rest. It truly is an amazing story and one that I'm glad to have had the chance to read.

Miss Brenda and the Loveladies is available now to purchase at Family Christian. Find more great inspirational stories and connect with them at the links below:

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  1. Family Christian has a great bible assortment for all ages.

  2. They have so many wonderful things to choose from for everyone in the family!

  3. Family Christian has a great selection of just about everything you could want! Love their variety of movies and gifts for the home.


"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24