Monday, April 7, 2014

"Consider the Source" by Holly Furtick

Thank you Holly Furtick for such an amazing post! This is so good, I had to share it!
Follow her blog, The Preacher's Wife
Her most recent post:

"Yesterday we continued our series, Consider the Source, with a very challenging message. Last week Pastor Steven taught us, “Don’t forget where you come from.” This week he taught us, “There’s more where that came from.”
He gave us 4 questions to see if we have a MORE mindset or a SCARCITY mindset.
  1. Do I see myself as ENTRUSTED or ENTITLED? Duet. 8
    Any blessing I don’t turn back to praise turns into pride.
  2. Do I give out of RELATIONSHIP or RELUCTANCE? 2 Corinthians 9:7
    For God so loved the world that He gave! Love gives!
  3. Do I give out of OBEDIENCE or is it OPTIONAL? 2Tim 6:17-19
    It’s not a decision, it’s devotion. If you wait until the optimal time to give, you will never do it!
  4. Do I want to MULTIPLY or MAINTAIN? John 6:32-35
    When you bring the resource to the source, it becomes MORE!!
The message was so challenging I especially love the encouragement at the end that when I keep all the resources I have been given, that’s all it will be but everything that I give to God multiplies!
You can watch the message today on the Elevation Network, in our archive and on our podcast.
And don’t forget, every sermon is also available on the Elevation App for your smart phone." ` Holly Furtick: Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 at

So, Do you have a MORE mindset or a SCARCITY mindset? I highly encourage and will even go as far to challenge you to either watch or listen to this sermon online.

Happy growing!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Is Here!

Yay!!! Spring is here!!

The temperature is rising, the sun is out later and later. What a wonderful time of year.


With all the new beginnings happening around me, this is just encourages me to be as healthy as's the simple things. I recently discovered that Mio water flavor enhancers have been giving me horrible I eliminated these, I saw a tremendous reduction in the amount of headaches that I was experiencing.

 I love the taste of water...but sometimes I find it's helpful to keep motivated to keep hydrating, if there is a refreshing taste to it and I love when it is free from artificial flavorings and calories...It's as simple as adding a few slices of fresh cucumber. Other alternatives are slices of lemon, lime, fresh mint, peppermint, fennel, fruit or a combination of these! The options are endless!
 I recently came across a recipe that was delicious and allowed me to use a delicata squash in a different way than I normally would. They are an amazing alternative to french fries or onion rings.
Delicata Rings:
Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Wash and cut delicata into rings about a 1/3rd of an inch and cut or scrape out the seeds.
In a small bowl add olive oil, oregano, thyme, basil, black pepper and rosemary and wisk.
Spread out the rings in a single layer (no overlapping) onto the baking dish and brush the herbed olive oil mixture over the delicata rings. Bake 10-12 mins and then flip the rings over and bake for another 8-12 mins.
Dill Mashed potatoes:
Boil 3-4 whole red potatoes
Mash with a fork, add 1/2 tsp-1tsp of coconut oil
add fresh cut dill and black pepper to taste and ENJOY!

On another note Ben just informed me that he bought his plane ticket!!! YAAAAYYYY!
 Is it April yet???

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

30 for 30

It's hard to believe that I'm turning 30 this year...30!!! I suppose that this is hard to believe because I still feel as if I am in my early 20's...Perhaps this is partially due to my belief that one's spirit is ageless. So far though I am looking forward to it...I have been told that one's 30's are fabulous because with age, comes certain freedoms including that you stop caring nearly as much about what other people think and that you shed some need to fit in simultaneously embracing and accepting your true self and core values." I do know that this is a milestone that is quickly arriving...and I am wondering what I can do to symbolize this Right of Passage in my life.

What would you suggest I do, or what have you done to celebrate this milestone?

Well as a fun thing I thought I would tell you a little about me...30 things for turning 30...and if any of you know me you will also know how much of a lover and unintentional mental collector of random facts I am... so here are 30 about me! 

1. If it’s good coffee or tea I tend to be a purist
2. I have been mistaken for being a vegetarian numerous times…I just love my veggies but I will eat some meat.
3. I’m an excellent swimmer but have a hard time with BIG bodies of open water…
4. I have been called, “Ms. Holly” from multiple and unrelated people for my entire life…I don’t know why…apparently it must seem to “fit”
5. My 3 ideal dream jobs as a child were to be an ice skater, elephant trainer or cashier...needless to say I have achieved one of the three...I'm pretty sure you can guess which.
6. “Put Me In the Zoo” by Robert Lopshire is one of the first books that I remember reading in it's entirety as a child...Funny how long it felt at the time.
7. I’m an introvert at heart who makes a daily effort to not be ruled by these tendencies
8.I prefer small group hang outs 1-3 people…as opposed to meeting with a larger group of friends
9. I find the term, “Take a listen” rather annoying…it just sounds weird to me
10.Give me tomatoes or mustard over ketchup(…or is it katsup?) any day
11. I have more scrap book paper than I know what to do with…but I’m working on that! J
12. I was called “Cousin IT” and Harry and the Henderson as a child because I had a LOT of hair.
13. Notorious for leaving things too long in my freezer…It could easily be considered a non-edible time capsule
14. Don’t end a sentence with, “Just Kidding”…we all know you aren’t.
15. Knock on wood but so far I have only had one cavity
16. I would love to participate and finish an IRONMAN (especially Ironman Hawaii!)
17. I love a good or cute pun or adorable knock-knock joke (I loved this cute design and fruit pun from Ashy Designs...she has a few more that you should check out.)
18. I love a good, dark beer…funny that often times the wait staff try to give the guy the darker beer. Haha nope surprise!!! That one is for me!
19. I’m definitely a crier while watching movies…sad, happy, moving…yup let the tears flow!
20. I seem to receive more compliments on my hair when I haven’t washed it in a day or two (unbeknownst to them)
21. Just the thought of bunnies gives me warm fuzzies!!! (No I didn’t plan for that to rhyme!)
22. I am definitely on the leave it end of raw cookie dough
23. What Kryptonite is to Superman, Dark Chocolate is to my willpower.
24. I get some of my best reading time in while on the elliptical machine...multitasking at its finest right? 
25. Some of my favorite work mornings are when I realize that I don’t need to touch up my makeup from the day before! Ha!
26. I have hated cooked peas since birth and this dislike is still going strong
27. Give me a cute pixie over longer hair any day!!!
28. My scary age…103!!! At which time I have promised Ben I will sky dive…I figure by that time I won’t have nearly as much to lose. lol
29. WONDER WOMAN!!!! Enough said. J
30. I would choose hiking and camping over an expensive night out 99.5 % of the time!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

For the love of cars! at Deluxe Customs

Here are some photos from my recent trip with Ben to pick up his 67' VW Fastback which is being restored. We arrived at Deluxe Customs in Tempe, Arizona and watched Ben as he saw his "Little Blue" be unveiled...literally like seeing a kid on Christmas.
We were warmly welcomed by all staff of Deluxe Customs, their work on this little vehicle was...stunning...immaculate and above and beyond.
 Matt talked with Ben about every aspect of this project, showing him in detail the work that was completed... but truly and I know Ben will back me up on this...the work speaks for itself.
 I was given free reign in their shop to take pictures to my hearts content...what an incredible opportunity to try and capture the moment, the atmosphere and the fun of this day.
 I can only hope that my pictures captured snapshots of this awesome day.
 Tools of the trade.
 Parts and other automobiles in various states of restoration at the shop.

 One of my favorite pictures from this session...I fell in love with this old rusted car hood.

 Ben and the full cast and crew of Deluxe Customs.
 Wheeling her outside to be loaded into the trailer.
 She's seeing the light for the first time since her paint job!

 I'm pretty sure she's smiling!

Thank you so much to all of the crew at Deluxe Customs for taking such care and pride in your work. Check out more of their work by following the link (You might see a picture or two of mine too!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Another Life?


I have been asked: “ Do you believe in reincarnation?” or some version of that question…many times…

Let me tell you a little bit about my background. I grew up in a practicing Christian home. It was around the tender age of three I remember having some of my first thoughts and questions about the idea and belief of an "after-life" and Heaven. I was sitting on the floor with my mother looking at our book lined shelves when I asked my mother how one becomes “saved” and what that really means…and then concluding that conversation with the decision and prayer to giving my life to Christ. Over the years there have been bumps, smooth sailing, battles and joy in my walk as a Christian. I have explored and searched, I have had moments when I distanced myself as much as I could from God and returned the prodigal daughter. I am drawn to many things that isn’t typical of what one thinks of or defines when the word  “Christian” comes to mind. Traditionally though I can say that the topic of reincarnation is frowned upon or simply not talked about or brought up in my experience growing up in the church…

To put it as simply as I can, this is what I have come to know on a personal level:

What I have come to know and focus on is that I have been given and incredible gift for this current life as I know it, in this human form. With this human body there are certain limits and as well as responsibilities. I cannot re-live the past (other than in my mind…and usually this is not a healthy mental practice nor is it recommended to re-live things over and over, learn from YES, remain there? No.) and I do not know what the future holds for my life on many levels. What I do know is that I have today….today is where my power lies. I have the power to form my day…to be healthy and take care of this body and yes to plan and hope for the future but again, to recognize that nothing is ever guaranteed, and to enjoy the ride with all of its seen and unforeseen twist and turns. Although we love to live in the illusion that we have control and find security in that, I do believe that in reality everything is in a delicate balance.

I also know that by wondering what I might have been in the past…IF I was anything at all, just as wondering who I might be in my “future form/life” takes away from the here and now takes away from the present…my present moment…precious irreplaceable moments of time. I want to be a good steward with the time I have since I can simply push a “do over” button.  I do not want to regret any part of THIS life. I am working daily at embracing every moment and learning from every joy and challenge that life brings my way. Because I don’t want to live with regret, this pushes me to improve myself in as many different facets as possible… And is it me or does the thought or hope and wondering if one will come back in another life, have a hint that one didn’t live to their full potential in THIS life?

It is simply not for me to know…and this is liberating because it frees up my thinking space and I can better use my time and attention on other things. By accepting the notion that some things are out of our control, this gives us permission to “let it (the things that we can’t control) go”, to move forward and enjoy the NOW…after all now is all you have got isn’t it?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Where does the time go?

Romans 15:13
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I have been drawing a lot of strength and comfort from these two verses lately and have actively been pursuing embracing more, calm and quiet as a necessary part of my schedule. Do you run your schedule or do you let your schedule run you? I am notorious for this...sometimes living out of two or more planners at a time...trying to juggle every time commitment and forgetting that I can be just as productive by leaving some of those spaces blank in my date/calendar book to simply take a breather. So far this year I have been doing significantly better at this and I think that it has finally clicked in my brain that "Holly Time" or downtime is just as important in my life to being productive.

I have been finding so much joy especially when I get lost in the moment...where time gets away from me...
It's so important to just enjoy where you are, remembering to breathe and count your blessings.
I went walking on my lunch break and got pleasantly distracted by playing on the swings at a nearby playground. The next thing I knew my lunch hour had passed and I had to head back to work.

That got me to thinking, "What are the things, or moments that allow me to lose track of time?". Firstly, I recognized that those moments are when I am involved in something that I actually enjoy! What a concept right?!? I know this might seem like a no-brainer but it's a lot easier said than done sometimes. The second thing that I noticed most often occur when I am able to give it my full attention (tunnel visioning if you will) and refusing to multitask.

Here are a few of my personal "Lose track of time" moments/activities:

A good book
Baking or cooking
(I recently made a lemon, poppy seed and coconut bread and it was a complete success!)

Going to a live performance particularly the ballet, symphony or a musical
Editing photos...or for that matter taking photos
Singing...whether for a show or singing during praise and worship at church
Going for a walk or hike on a beautiful day
Spending time at the beach
and last for this list (but certainly not least) is Painting and drawing

 (A recent attempt at picking my watercolors back up)

What activities or moments allow you lose track of time?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Perspective, Choices and Reactions

What do you see? I often hear people commenting on what kind of person they are, using this glass half full/half empty analogy but I have to say that often times I like to just focus on the fact that there is something in the glass…and to recognize that it is more important to ask one’s self…what will you do with what’s in the glass??? If you don't feel that there is anything in it that means that there is room to fill it…if it’s overflowing share it…and if it’s empty what better container than to collect more? Also when your container is empty what better opportunity to clean it!

I’m sure you have thought this as the weekend comes to a close, “I HAVE to go to work”...but what if we switched it up a little and look at the other side of the coin which would be, “I CHOOSE or GET to go to work”. What a powerful way of switching up the thought process into a more positive and truthful point of view.

I have been reading the book, “The Element” by Ken Robinson who encourages the reader to ask, not how intelligent are you?... But rather, how are you intelligent ? By a simple rearranging of a couple of words it brings a whole perspective to this question! What are your strengths? It is important to focus and remember what our strengths lie, especially when improving in other areas that make you feel as if you are on more shaky ground or those days that feel especially tough. This is a positive way of looking at things while allowing truth and thus a healthy perspective to shine and empower us.
I came across this quote by Charles R. Swindoll that says, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”  We hold the power of our thoughts and focus. We have control over so much when we really think about it...why so often do we allow ourselves to believe that it is the other way around? To be helpless or to decide that there is nothing that one can do to improve a situation in some way also a be passive, proactive, reactive these are all still choices that begin with ones thoughts. Where do you choose to let your focus and thoughts land?
(NIV) Matthew 6:35 states, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Today I felt that this scripture verse is really an examination of faith. To worry is often to fret about possible and often worst case scenarios that haven’t even happened yet! If we are worrying, this means that we are not trusting that God is in control of all including our well being. What do we choose? I don’t know about you but I would much rather adopt God’s (who is in control of all things) view of my life scenarios rather than the more lonely and often limited world’s perspective. It is important to keep ourselves in check...A good reminder to give God our concerns because He is the only one who can take care of our tomorrows. What an amazing relief! This gives us freedom and an ability to appreciate and live in our “now’s” much more fully...and it is also a much better use of our time and energy! Such a nice thought... again, our perception is such a powerful choice...and what an incredible opportunity it is to choose.
A real life example of this positive life outlook, occurred recently when I was sitting in my office and I overheard an amazing conversation develop between two clients in the lobby.
Working at a chemical dependency rehab center I am surrounded by many people who have “messed-up” and are looking to go through the various programs either willingly or court ordered and often begrudgingly.

These two younger gentlemen were waiting for group to start and going back and forth at how important it is to speak words of positivity and how when you, do it’s amazing how positive things begin to happen in your life. Their view of why they were here was also positive realizing that God put them here for a reason. A way of filtering out the bad (in many different forms in their lives such as drugs and also relationships). Rather than wallowing in how much they didn’t want to be here and were fighting the “system”…they were looking at these struggles as an opportunity to improve their lives and the lives of those they love as well. A starting point…

What a good reminder and dose of perspective that I needed right in that moment. It was convicting yet refreshing.

Our choice of words and thoughts are powerful!
What do you choose…mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually?
What words are you choosing to fill up on and proclaim for yourself and over your life?
Robinson also mentions that, "The way that we think can either imprison us or liberate us"...So I must ask myself daily and now ask you, what are you choosing to build with your thoughts, actions and reactions?