Monday, July 13, 2009

Gems of Wisdom

Today I welcome a very special post from Angela Breidenbach! Those who know Angie realize she is a woman of faith & spirit.

Angie is on the road (or rather in the air) today, but she will pop in to answer questions.

To let you know what Angie is doing right now, here it is in her words:

"I'm competing this week for Mrs. International (currently Mrs. MT International 2009.) People can follow me through the competition on my facebook page and blog. I've also added a Mrs. Montana International Group page on facebook so people can check in for specific pageant/competition chatter and hopefully, photos too.

"Please keep me in prayer as competition is very energetic and stiff. Folks can go to
Mrs. International and see all the contestants.

"I'll be in Chicago July 12-19 with the judges interview on July 16th (5 job interviews in one day!) This is 50% of the score. 25% is fitness and 25% is evening gown/on stage presence.

"The preliminaries are July 17th and the finals are July 18th. I just finished teaching the ACFW course loop on Battle Your Inner Pirates--And Win! this week. What an amazing experience! Totally affirming that what I do helps people and means something. I was overwhelmed with joy on learning how it affected the students. Wonderful adventure!

"And now off to the next, competing to win Mrs. International and the honor to represent Hope's Promise Orphan Ministries, the Jadyn Fred Foundation and the American Heart Association all over the country and world."

An excerpt from Insanity Rules: Gems of Wisdom...


Gemstone: Opal

The most surprising thing about opal, to me, is the water content. I had no comprehension about the significance. At fifteen, I’d been given a precious gift for Christmas. It was a beautiful creamy white opal with flecks of orange, blue, and pink set in a curling gold band. Unaware of the water content and the fragility of opal, I wore my ring everywhere, even in the swimming pool.

One day going from a warm school building into the winter freeze, my most prized possession shattered. Stunned and in tears, I stood on the cement walkway staring at the empty setting.

Years ago it was thought that opal should be oiled to keep it moisturized. Once the stone was replaced, I kept it oiled regularly. But I found out I couldn’t wear my new opal in extreme temperatures. The water inside the gem (usually from 2-6% in gem quality stones) continues to dehydrate, especially when exposed to heat and chemicals regardless of surface oil. The lower the water content of the original stone, the more stability exists. Common white opal is more stable than the more colorful types. Who would consider a rock that feels and looks solid to be full of water and some kind of ancient gel? But it is.

Ponder Point:

I once watched an artist friend of mine build a dream. She shattered precious glass and tiles to rearrange them into a gorgeous bench inlaid with beautiful things. She mixed opal chips into the mortar surrounding the mosaic. The opals had shattered from heat and were not usable in jewelry, but the glisten was unmistakable.

“Why are you breaking all that beautiful stuff?”

“How else would I create the mural on the bench?”

The bench is used for a mundane purpose: to hold up those who need to rest there. But they were drawn to the beauty of the shattered pieces first. The way it held the sun and the opalescent sparkle of something unusual. Those who needed rest were drawn to a beautiful resting place.

I realized that instead of wallowing in the hurt as a daughter of a paranoid schizophrenic, I could help others deal with that same hardship. I could pass on something I’d learned from my pain. I’m offering some of my shattered pieces to help build a resting place for you. What I share in my speaking, writing, and chats when I meet with people one-on-one is now other focused because of what Mom and I had to go through. Maybe something or someone bigger than all of this has some sort of plan for me. I could handle that idea. Then I began to ask the question: How could I make a difference in this world with what I know, from what I’ve survived? I began to see how those bits and pieces of my shattered spirit could be formed into something new and beautiful. How I could glean and translate those helpful lessons from others too. –Angie

Pique Point:

In what way do we offer our hurts as a place for others to rest safely?
Is it possible that the shattered pieces imbedded into our lives might uphold someone else?


Angela Breidenbach is Mrs. Montana International 2009 working with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries, the American Heart Association, the Jadyn Fred Foundation and drawing awareness to Fair Trade practices. She also serves as the American Christian Fiction Writer's Publicity Officer and is a multi-award winning inspirational author, speaker, and life coach. Angela is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a Stephen Minister and Assisting Minister at her church. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom's brain, but she is also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. She is married, has a combined family of six grown children, one grandson. Angela believes: Personal growth = Powerful living!

You can interact or learn more about Angela Breidenbach at these sites:

My Gem of Wisdom
Angela Breidenbach
God Uses Broken Vessels
Writing by F.A.I.T.H.


  1. That's quite a list of accomplishments! Good luck with the competition.

  2. I didn't know all that about opals. Very interesting. My daughter's birthstone is opal, but she's never liked them.

    Best of luck with the competition. It would be great to have this platform for you to share your experience.

    Straight From Hel

  3. This line struck me as something to consider… “How could I make a difference in this world with what I know, from what I’ve survived?” Seems to me, each of us could ask that question of ourselves. If we did, and if we found a positive way to contribute, think about how much better the world would be. Now, what do I have to offer? Not sure. Need to give it some thought.

    Best regards, Galen

    P.S. Interesting stuff about opals. Never knew that.

    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  4. Hi Jane and Helen,
    Thank you so much for being here today and for your well wishes.

    I love opals. I found out so many varieties that it shocked me. Fire opals don't have any white. They are clear like diamond, though they have color. See what you think when you google those:-)

  5. HI Galen,

    This is exactly why I wrote it, so that people will see themselves as having the power to affect the world.
    Thank you!

  6. Gems indeed. I'm impressed! And certainly appreciate the what and why of what you do, Angie. :)

    The Old Silly

  7. Hi Marvin,
    Thank you. I feel like a lot of people do what they do but don't always recognize it. Once we bring it into our conscious living, we can become intentional about our purpose.

    Very appreciative for your comments,

  8. Glad everyone has enjoyed Angie's visit today!

  9. Wow, you have such a busy schedule. But they are such a fun as you are doing things you love. Good luck!

  10. You are so right, Jonathan :-)