Sunday, February 28, 2010

make it happen.

well. the past week has been a little crazy, in a good way. i've apparently decided that after 26 years of sitting on my butt waiting for stuff to happen, it's time to make it happen.

so, i guess that's kind of my mantra for the next year or so. i had a friend who used to always say "if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." so. it's time. time to be bold. time to face my fears. time to risk.

i have read so so so many things lately about risk, passion, going forward, etc. books, movies, tweets, blogs, etc...

it's time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

andrew belle

let me just take a moment to tell you about andrew belle, and his new cd, "the ladder". this was released on itunes yesterday, and you absolutely must purchase it. i promise there are very few better ways you can spend six bucks.

andrew had a show here in nash about a month ago, and i was able to purchase a physical copy there, so i've had the privilege of owning this music for the past month, prior to the itunes debut on tuesday. and let me tell you friends, in the past month, i've listened to it 18 times, according to my itunes play count.

and that's just on itunes. that doesn't count the plays on my ipod, or the plays on my cd player at home. just itunes, which i really only listen to while in the office.

do you get the point yet? this is good stuff. really good stuff.

you need it. that's all. you're grounded until you get it.

here's a little video of the title track, just to whet your appetite.

now that you've seen that, go get it for yourself!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

questions and coffee

it seems to me that most of life's toughest questions, at least for me, are pondered, discussed, written about, asked, and answered over coffee. whether alone, with a book, with a journal, with a friend, or with a stranger, this has always been true.

this evening was no exception.

and it was good.

the following questions were taken from dan allender's book "to be told":

-what moves me most deeply?
-what do i most enjoy doing?
-where do i find the greatest pleasure and joy?
-what is it about this activity, idea, or person that brings me such a sense of life?
-what is my "ideal self" in the following areas: worker, friend, spouse, parent, child, citizen, believer?

wow. talk about questions that made me think. maybe for some of you the answers are obvious. for me, they took some time. but when i discovered them, i finally started to see my story unfold, starting to see some of the common themes throughout my life.

there is more to be thought of, more to be asked, and more to be answered. but for now, it's a start.

Monday, February 22, 2010

just for the record...

27 so far is pretty freaking amazing.

also, so far, 27-year old holly is a lot more bold than any previously aged holly.

more on that later. hopefully.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

birthday blog

well. it's my birthday. my friend katie is in town from chicago to help me celebrate, and to try to find a job so she can move to nashville. i thought i'd write out a quick blog while she's in the shower (though it'd be easier if the cat would stop giving me birthday kisses).

three and a half years ago, my friend stacy told me that 27 would be my "perfect year". it's just something she pulled out of thin air, but it's been ringing through my head ever since. and because of that, i'm determined to make it true. (not to say that it will all be down hill starting this time next year).

26 was a good year, the best yet. i learned a lot, loved a lot, grew a lot, discovered a lot. i went to 53 concerts in the past year. many of my favorite musicians, i had no clue who they were a year ago. same goes for most of my favorite people. overall, 26-year old holly was a lot happier than 25-year old holly.

27, you have a lot to live up to. bring it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

mr. ben rector.

so, ben rector released a new album yesterday, called "into the morning". i tweeted about it quite a bit, trying to encourage friends to purchase it, even though i hadn't heard it yet. but that's because i pre-ordred it and was waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

well friends, it came today. it's perfect. simply genius. so now i can honestly say: you need this record!

the first time i heard ben was... awkward. it was a live show, my friend and i were late, it wasn't a typical venue, the people there were, well, interesting... it was just an awkward situation. for me, probably not for ben. but i immediately fell in love with his music, and when i got an itunes gift card for christmas, i bought "songs that duke wrote", which i also highly recommend.

just... buy his music. you won't regret it. but you'll regret not doing it.

here's a little clip from one of my favorites off the album, called "moving backwards"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


risk is scary. of course it is. but it usually pays off, even if it's just another lesson learned.

the past few days i've been thinking about risk. and today has been one of those days where i've heard the same answer several times, from different people, who are all unrelated to each other.

and with that, i spend another night tossing and turning, contemplating the "what ifs" and "hows" and "why nots" of life.

"and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - anais nin

Monday, February 15, 2010


"a dream without suffering is little more than a fantasy" - dan allender

the younger me had many dreams. but i believed the lies that said they couldn't be. and now,after years of struggling, i may be starting to shine light on those lies.

this is vague, i know. but there are things in the works that will be huge... maybe not to anyone else, but at least to me.

there is hope. hope hope hope hope hope hope hope hope. i can't ever get away from that word.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

the smell of hope

this evening i was going for a walk, down the same street i always walk down. but there was something different about it tonight. as i turned the corner near the end of mile two, i noticed a familiar smell... for some reason tonight, this little corner of nashville smelled exactly like warner camp. i have never before noticed this scent anywhere other than warner. and those familiar smells tend to do, i was instantly taken back to warner in my mind.

i literally had to stop in my tracks and regain my composure, a double take (or double whiff) if you will.

warner camp is the setting of so many of my stories. the place multiple youth group retreats throughout junior high and high school, a place where so many important decisions were made. hard letters to family members were written as well as received. gifts were discovered.

i went back a few times during the summers of college to lead middle school camps. it was there i learned what i wanted to do with the rest of my life (or at least, what i thought at the time, which brought me to the college i attended, and the major i studied). it was there that i processed my college internship. it was there i decided i was no longer interested in that area of study. it was there important friendships were strengthened.

it's been almost five years since i've been back, but at least once a year since then i have felt the need and desire to go back. perhaps on my own as a personal retreat, i don't know.

there's just something special about that land, as anyone who has ever step foot on the campgrounds will tell you. i've been to a lot of places in my twenty-six years of life, but i have yet to discover a place as close to heaven as warner camp.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

when the night comes

"wake up, check. make my bed, check. do something bigger than myself? check." - seth philpott

i went to see a movie last night. but not just any movie, this was a documentary, directed by bobby bailey (founder of invisible children), about the devastating malaria plague. the movie? when the night comes

i'll just let the trailer speak for itself:

i was left with the feeling that i can do something, i can make a difference in my world, i can be a part of something bigger than myself. all too often i am reminded of this, but i never follow through. where am i going? this is part of my story too. i need to know where i've come from before i can fully grasp where i'm going. i've always felt there is some great adventure awaiting me. and the tears fell last as i was reminded again that it's out there. somewhere.

if you are in any of the following cities, please go see this movie:
chicago (2/11)
denver (2/13)
austin (2/18)
dallas (2/19)
philadelphia (2/25)
los angeles (2/26)
seattle (3/4)
new york (3/11)
dc (3/12)

no matter where you are, become a fan on facebook. spread the word. act. do something bigger than yourself.

[also, props to seth, rob blackledge, and andy davis for starting last night off with some excellent music. gotta love nashtown!]

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

it's all about the music.

how could i possibly have not thought of this earlier?

i was thinking back to my previous post about how i celebrate the end of a story, and i realized i had left out the biggest thing: music.

when a story in my life comes to a close, it seems that there are always a handful of songs that fit perfectly to the moment. years will pass, and i'll hear one of those songs an instantly i'm back in that story, re-living those moments.

Monday, February 8, 2010

my name is...

the next chapter from "to be told" discusses truth that we will all be given a new name. it posed the following questions:

what inkling do you have of the name that will be given to you?
in your darkest hours, what name do you fear will be given?
what name do you hope for?

this is where it gets real. without going into details, this is what i came up with:
inkling: hope
fear: coward
hope: beloved

i read this chapter at the coffee shop. and i go to this particular coffee shop a lot. there's a barista there who keeps asking my name every time i order a drink from him. and today, when i told him again, he scolded himself for not remembering. "it's not like you don't come here every freaking day," he said. (i'm not really there every day, but at least once a week.) but anyway. he said he would make a point to remember it, especially now that he made such a big deal about it. then i realized that i have not once asked him his name. so, i did. sean. there's something powerful about having someone remember your name. funny that this conversation happened right before i read the same thing.

and then, when i first opened the chapter, i stumbled upon a little note from leslie, the friend who is lending me this book. i read it, found it encouraging, then moved on to the book. and then after reading the chapter and journaling on it for a while, i re-read that note. those names that i came up with? in the 2-3 sentence note, leslie spoke to each one of those names.

it was beautiful.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

a time for celebration

when my friend leslie heard that i was searching for my story, she sent me her copy of the book "to be told" by dan allender. i just finished reading the first chapter, and it posed the question: how do you celebrate when there is a satisfying close to one of your stories?

so. here i sit, trying to come up with an answer. i have a hard time thinking of what stories i have lived, and how and when they ended.

[fast-forward about twelve hours.]

i've been thinking... and i have my answer. i take pictures towards the end of a story. later, i look back on those pictures with fond memories. and i journal about my stories, and try to share them with others.

but most of all, i mourn the story, because i don't want it to end.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

who i used to be (part two)

the college years. what an amazing time of growth. i don't think anything stretched me as much or had as many ups and downs as those years.

i learned a lot about love. what it means to love your neighbors, your friends, your enemies, god. my faith was challenged in so many ways. did i believe what i believed because that's what i was always told to believe, or did i really know it to be true? the first two years i wasn't going to church. at all. which, if you knew me in high school, was a huge deal. i just could not find a church in that town that met my needs. this is not to say anything bad about any of those churches. i know they are all doing wonderful things to futher the kingdom and improve the community... i just didn't feel challenged at any of them.

but then i went to mac. it blew my mind. it took everything i had ever thought i believed about christianity and flipped it upside down. and then they planted a new church in anderson. the mercy house. i went the second week it started, and never looked back. matt announced that there would be an internship that summer, and i joined. not having any idea what i was getting myself into.

and that's when i learned what community was. we all lived together, in one house. (well, the seven of us girls lived in one house, the five dudes lived in the church). we cooked together. and ate together. and invited anyone who wanted to join us... feeding 30-some people a night. inviting them into our home, into our lives. people from the church, people from campus, people from across the street. we tore down our walls and held no secrets from each other. we let each other into both the joys and the shit of our lives. and i don't think i have ever experienced anything that beautiful.

in the [almost] five (really? FIVE?!?!) years since then, i have lost touch with some of those fellow interns. but others remain near and dear to my heart.

[now here comes the part where i tell you to go check out my good friend and former fellow-intern stacy lantz]

Monday, February 1, 2010

who i used to be (part one)

i just spent about an hour and a half going through old notes and letters from high school. i had this group of friends, we called ourselves "batha"... which not only were all of our initials (brittney, abby, tiffany, holly, anna), but it also stood for "believers accountable trusting honest available". yep, that's how cool we were.

every sunday in church, we would each bring a note for each person. these notes contained words of encouragement, prayer requests, a bible verse that stuck out to us that week, and how often we spent time with god during that week. while reading these notes, i learned a few things:

-i used to be surrounded by encouragement. while i do have community that encourages me today, it's not quite what i had in high school.

-i used to be more encouraging towards others.

-i used to be much more joyful. i think generally i'm still a fairly positive person, but i have become quite the cynic.

-inside jokes never stop being funny. even if you don't remember what they mean.