Friday, August 22, 2014

Miss Brenda and her Loveladies by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell - My Review - A Mst Read!

9780307732170 (132×202)  Miss Brenda and the Loveladies!  By Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell
I absolutely loved this book and that it was a true story made it much more interesting.  I couldn’t put the book down. The main character Brenda Spahn had been very successful in her work, monetarily…..but she had a brush with the law, almost lost everything and just missed going to prison.  She made a deal with the Lord to start doing work for him, to live for him, if he kept her out of prison.  She didn’t go to prison as an inmate but she started going to the Julia Tutweiler Prison For Women in Wetumpka, speak to the inmates, she started a small church service there for them.  She decided that wasn’t enough she wanted to do more.  She learned that most of the women who were in the prison for much time at all, usually returned as they couldn’t make it when they got out on their own.  She arranged to take one of the homes she owned that was vacant, to make it a “whole way” center for women.  She wanted to teach them to live in the outside world to navigate the alien, and she also wanted to bring the Lord to them. 
She got permission to turn the home into a “whole way house” but the expected ex-cons that they sent to her, were not the ones with the light sentence.  She got the women who had rap sheets that were very long and they were not going to be easy for her, and the road was going to be long.  She did things with these women that people who ran “half way houses” never could. She was expected to fail.  She didn’t fail.  She held classes in Christianity, also how to make beds, how to clean, how to manage money, things that we all take for granted but things these women never had the opportunity and so much more.

There were a lot of stories, true stories, of each of the lives of the seven women who originally were the first to come to Brenda’s home.  The stories of each of these women were fascinating in that their lives included things most of us would never be able to even imagine.  Brenda even got these women to laugh at some of the awful things that happened to these women, the past didn’t seem to have as much a hold on them when they could laugh at it. 
Brenda called them Loveladies as that was her maiden name.   She and her first seven women and her first unlikely year is what is included in this book.  Brenda went from one small home to a very large facility for which four states now send women for the program.   She has now been Miss Brenda to over 450 women to date.
Of course this is a faith based story and it’s inspirational in that Brenda turned her family and life as she knew it upside down in order to serve her community and her Lord.  I found Brenda’s explanations to the women on different parts of the bible, how to pray, a different way to think of their Lord…..she let them know he was always with them.  Her breaking down of the “Lord’s Prayer” to them in teaching them how to pray was a very interesting way to think about it.  I had never heard it explained that way.
I so recommend this story to anyone.  There is humor, biography, Christianity non-denominational, and a great feel good and the end of the book.  It made me think that I have not done enough for the community I live with.  I’m not sure how much I could do, but perhaps I should find some ways to serve… should everyone else.  The community’s and the people who live in them could only be better for it.  It’s too bad we all don’t go about things the way Miss Brenda did and continues to do! "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."
About This Book
One woman’s fight to provide hope for the hopeless…
Seven ex-cons who changed her heart forever…

For Brenda Spahn, entrepreneur and businesswoman, wealth was a 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 Brenda’s journey from rags to riches to redemption. It’s 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
About The Author
Brenda Spahn

Brenda Spahn is founder and executive director of the Lovelady Center, the largest and most successful nonprofit transitional center for women in the country. It serves 450 women and children every day, providing substance abuse counseling, drug rehabilitation, meals, childcare, career counseling, and job opportunities to women working to establish successful lives outside of prison walls. Brenda is married and has four adult children as well as one young child who lives at home.

The Authors Web Site is located at http:/