Miss Brenda and the Loveladies: by Brenda Spahn & Irene Zutell
I find prison/jail reality TV shows so intriguing! For one, how one can mess up so badly and be so angry. Secondly, it can be quite entertaining. On that note, I will never look at this group of people in the same light. Everyone has a story and a history--some have one that most people couldn't dream of in our most horrible nightmares.
I really enjoyed this book because it took the prison reality shows and dug deeper into these torturous, sad lives.
This is the story of Brenda, a very wealthy businesswoman, who has it all--family, vacation homes, money, and everything that money can by. She is faced with the very real reality of spending some time in prison herself. She makes a promise to God that if He spares her, she will devote her life to helping prisoners, one way or another. God does spare her and she makes good on her promise--although a bit begrudgingly at first with not a lot of confidence. Brenda, by God's grace, convinces the state of Alabama to allow ex-convicts (from the roughest women's prison in the country) to come and stay with her instead of a half-way home. These 7 ladies arrive at her beautiful home and immediately her staff quits out of fear. Brenda is left alone--with Shay, the gangleader, and her followers. Brenda envisioned the women showing up,
"thank me profusely, sit, drink tea, share laughs, and get to know each other...The women walking up my driveway didn't look like they wanted tea. They looked like they wanted blood!"
This story is truly heart-warming and sad, but yet Brenda's way of reliving those days is so, so funny. She has a great sense of humor. It's a beautiful insight to how God works, changes hearts, and blesses us with love when we need it most. These women not only changed and were given and shown a fresh start, Miss Brenda was changed just as much. When you think you are the one blessing and helping others, God has beautiful ways of humbling us! He sometimes shows us we are just as much as in need of profound change and the guy or gal next door. His grace and mercy abounds.