Brenda West rises each morning looking to make the most of the day, which sounds like such a simple blessing on the surface. But with seven children, that commitment to herself, her husband Adam, and her family is an incredible act of love.
Brenda has long since moved past the idea of trying to survive the inevitable challenges with raising a group that ranges from 1-year-old Simone to 21-year-old Victoria and includes Lillian (18), Mitchell (16), Moses (13), Marcel (9) and Tatum.
Brenda and her husband Adam love their family and want the absolute best for each and every one of their kids. They also have great faith in one another and in the Lord, so they know they are in pursuit of what they’ve been guided to do.
Brenda, of course, plays a beautiful and leading role in that.
“We’re a faith-based family,” Adam said. “By the grace of God, we rally around each other and believe this is the plan. We’re here to execute the plan, and we’re humbled by the tasks we’re given. Brenda doesn’t look at any of it like, ‘Woe is me.’ She’s embraced the challenges and looks forward to the next one.”
In other words, the West family has found the “How” of their situation exponentially easier because they always know their “Why.”
Even so, logistics still must be explained, and Adam can simply point to Brenda, with her love and her intentionality, as the root of any and all of the family’s successes.
One of those is the not-so-simple act of rising with the sun, waking up the kids, feeding them and getting them off to school or their activities. None of that happens without discipline or organization, but also the truest kind of love to push the kids, especially the oldest, to understand their own responsibilities.
“They’ve got it down,” Adam’s sister Alyjah said. “It’s all under control and they love it. I’m thinking of having seven kids, and I’d just be trying to survive the day. They really do it so gracefully, especially Brenda, and they’re such a beautiful couple. My husband and I look up to them and always go to them for advice.”
Patience, as one would guess, is a virtue, where Brenda must be slow to anger and quick to forgive. But her heart also shows in the fact that she makes no judgment whatsoever. She is Christ-like in her approach and how she pours out her heart to her kids, her family and her friends. There seems to be plenty to go around.
Christine jokes that she is the oldest sister and it should be her responsibility to set the example for Brenda, but their relationship often feels like the exact opposite.
They’ve maintained a loving relationship through long distances and busy lives, mainly because of devotion that flows in both directions. Christine gives credit to Brenda for that, and she admires the person she is and the impeccable character she has.
“Brenda is absolutely a true-to-herself woman with strength in her core beliefs,” Christine said. “She has a heart that leads with love, and she is amazing at looking at the whole picture. She has always been a person I look at with pride in the way she handles herself.
“She is an honest and hardworking person who stands out because of her efforts to excel in all she does.”
Brenda’s desire to excel is an incredible feat in its own right, and everyone in the family benefits because of it. Part of that effort is to never cave into the temptation of throwing a one-size-fits-all parenting approach at the kids. Brenda approaches them all as the individuals they are with their own unique personalities and needs.
She always has the time because she wills it to be so, and that goes for Adam and the support of his career. Brenda has grace for him, the big goals he sets for himself, and the time commitment he makes to work hard in pursuit of them.
“I have a tendency to go to the fullest in everything and be the best version of myself, to my detriment sometimes,” Adam said. “She’s very loving and catering to that. She knows who I am and counters that with a great level of commitment to me and the kids.”
Great commitment is at the heart of everything Brenda does, and Adam got a good sense of that the first time he met her as the new employee at Gags And Gifts. She was charged with training him, but also had an “overwhelming” and immediate effect on him, where he could feel that their paths were supposed to cross.
Since then, Brenda’s commitment level has been off the charts for Adam, her kids and her entire family. She continues to give and sacrifice for them, as they all walk in faith together, knowing that Brenda is a rock of support who will always stand beside them.
“Brenda is just amazing at always putting everyone before herself,” Alyjah said. “She just shows her true love and sacrifice. She’s an amazing mother and an amazing wife.”
To Christine, the commitment Brenda makes to her family is downright heroic.
“Brenda is my hero,” she said. “She is a beautiful person through and through. I admire how she navigates through the days with pride and thankfulness, yet manages to pull together a great home-cooked meal time and time again. Our world is a better place having her here in our lives. We are the lucky ones!”
Adam knows that nobody is luckier than him and the kids for Brenda and the love she has for them. From Gags And Gifts to nearly 20 years of marriage, Brenda has made a lifelong commitment to her family. She is a wonderful mother, wife and friend who is always there for the people she loves.
“Brenda sacrifices so much for us,” Adam said. “She puts herself aside and finds joy in taking care of her family. She makes me better by handling her daily commitment to the kids’ education, health, and overall well being. She is a great listener and is always willing to help me work through a difficult time.
“Lastly, she’s a great friend. We enjoy laughing together, spending time together doing absolutely nothing and being a good couple for others to use as an example.”