Monday, July 22, 2013


Brie is currently in Uganda on a medical relief mission. She's posting updates about her trip on her tumblr blog, so check it out if you're interested. She is working with a team who cuts insects (jiggers) and their egg sacs out of the feet of Ugandan residents, many of whom are children. She is actually doing the excising herself, cutting into tender flesh; flinching internally, while keeping a steady hand, when she draws blood or hears the sharp intake of breath or a cry from one of her patients. Brie shouldn't have the capacity to amaze me. I've been her Mamma for nearly twenty years and she has been an exceptional person from the day she was born. And yet she has the ability to stop me in my tracks, frozen in awe of her character.

I have learned so much being her mom, and she has so much more to teach me. She is humble when her beauty, character, and ability shine so brightly that it's hard to look at her sometimes. I have never quite been able to achieve her strength of faith, but her unwavering belief cheers me on and gently nudges me to keep going in my own spiritual quest.

She worked her tail off this summer to be able to go on this trip. She worked at two restaurants and accepted all of the babysitting jobs she could find. When she was home, she was exhausted. She only spent a couple of nights socializing with friends. Brie chose to spend her last night home before leaving for Uganda watching The Princess Bride with her little sister. What character this young woman has. I'm ashamed to think of what I did the summer after my freshman year in college. I worked those couple of months so that I could pay for clothes, shoes, CDs, and nights out with my friends. My focus was on me at that age; I was not considering how I could make a difference in this world.

I wish I could take credit for this amazing human being. It's easy to say things like, "She got her musical talent from her dad, and she can write like her Mom." But that doesn't hold water when she takes those talents that she may have inherited from us and uses them with such force, such impact that it leaves anything her father and I have done in the dust. I know that for her entire life, Brie will inspire others to be just a little more selfless. She has already made such an impact on this world, and she inspires me to do more with the resources, the talents, and the privilege I have been gifted with. I really could not be more proud.

(As a postscript, the mom in me has to throw out a note to say that Dusty and I hit the lottery with all four of our kids. They are each amazing in their own right. I know they know this - but it feels weird bragging on one kid without at least giving props to the others.)

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