2/21/16 – She turned 7…

  
My best friend Stephanie Orr gave me this photo on my 30th birthday last year. One of the best gifts a mommy could ask for.  The original photo was taken by my favorite photographer, Carla Fell.  Carla did a photo shoot for me a few years back in memory of Claire.  These photo’s were to be utilized for my book…and will still be used, God willing.  I took some of Claire’s special belongings and expressed through photography, the loss of a daughter.  Stephanie has now only added to this photo with an image of her as a shadow walking beside me.  I look at this photo and I can imagine what it would be like to still be a mommy.  This picture represents so many things for me and I’m so blessed to look at this picture every day.  It reminds me that Claire is still there.  Just not here on this earth. 

Yesterday, this sweet angel turned 7.  I celebrated her birthday in Charleston for the third time.  Goodness, there is so much I could tell you about my journey in Charleston but I will wait to unpack that for you later!  Claire’s birthday celebration started out with a surprise birthday party from my coworkers at the Marriott Charleston.  I say coworkers…but…they’ve really become my family.  As they’ve gotten to know me over the past year, they’ve also learned a little about my Claire Bear.  So, this year, they decided to go all out.  I walk in the door…and they were all standing there all dressed in purple.  Balloons, cupcakes, signs, flowers…all for Claire.  I broke.  The emotion hit me.  I couldn’t believe it had been 7 years and God still put people in my life that are willing to go out of their way to celebrate her life.    Later that day, they called me into the hallway. They were all standing there again with purple scarves around their necks. Every. Single. Person.  They even presented me with one. …Gosh!  This still gives me cold chills to see first hand how God works.  He knows the desires of our hearts.  One of my desires is to never let her memory fade away.  I’ve been so blessed to have so much love surrounding me.  It feels so undeserving.  I’m so grateful.  Thank you, once again, just isn’t enough.  I praise Jesus for my Marriott family and everything they did for me.  

  
The following day was my angels actual birthday.  This year, I chose to release her balloons on Kiawah Island.  Holy cow it was the most gorgeous day we’ve had!  The beach wasn’t crowded and it was just absolutely perfect!  I could have stayed forever.  I released 7 balloons with 7 different messages.  What’s really cool about releasing the balloons on Kiawah is Clarie has been there before.  Matter of fact, it was our last family vacation together.  One of my favorite things about being in Charleston is seeing that little girl panted all over this town!  It brings back such GREAT memories!   

 
Following the balloon release, my roommate Ashley surprised me with cupcakes for little Claire!  We had our own little private birthday party at the apartment, hehe!  It was so sweet.  Following that evening, with exception of just a few (I sure did miss you), every friend I’ve made so far in Charleston met me for dinner.  It was quite the celebration for that sweet little girl.  We all went to one of my favorites and I just know it would have been Claire’s…Miyabi Japanese Restaurant.  We had so much fun.  Having everyone there just filled my soul.   

 
Can you see God’s hand in all of this?  I can tell you, these past two days were perfectly orchestrated by the man above.  God knows how hard it can be for me to approach Claire Bears birthday and therefore he makes sure he surrounds me with people that love me and therefore love angel Claire.  And it wasn’t just yesterday!  God has been doing this since the day she left this world. If you look back at some older post, you’ll see how he’s surrounded this day with nothing but love.  

So to all of you, thank you!  From my Marriott family, to my friends & family near and far…I cannot thank you enough for showering your love on me and lifting me up in prayer.  I received text, phone calls, Facebook messages, etc.  And every single message was so very uplifting to me and I cannot express my gratitude enough.  

I share these stories with the world because I want you all to know that you are not alone.  I promise you!  We have a good good father looking down upon us.  Go to him in prayer and worship.  Tell him your heart.  He will deliver you from your sadness.  He will bring certain people into our lives.  Even if they only stay for a season, God has a plan and it’s much bigger than our little minds can imagine.  If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to go read a some older blog post of mine.  I pray that you will see what he has brought me out of.  My days are getting better and better.  There is beauty in every tragedy…you just have to see God’s hand in all of it…and I believe you will.  This brings me to a passage I read this week in Psalm 16: 16-19, “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.  He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.  They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.  He brought me out into a spacious place, he rescued me because he delighted in me.”  Have faith that God’s got you…and he will not let you go!

As always, I want to thank you for reading and sharing with your friends and family.  I pray that each of you reading this will find some way to see God’s glory.  I give it all to him.  I cannot wait to share more post with you.  I hope that you will all visit again very soon. 

Until next time…

Love much, 

Hollie 

The book begins… 2/2/16

 

Hello…it’s me

 Well, it’s time.  High time.  I’ve put this off for too long.  As I said earlier in my instagram post, “New beginnings come with a new chapter…however, these chapters are way over due.”  I’m ready to finally write this beautiful story about Angel Claire Bear.  I pray that God will give me strength, courage, wisdom, and motivation to complete his work.  You see, it’s not about what I’ve been through…it’s about how God brought me through.  I give it all to him and the least I can do is share this with the world.  God willing, my goal is to write once per week (as of today).  In order to discover Charleston a little more, I’ll take my writing to a local coffee shop, a different one each time, snuggle up, sip my coffee or tea, and write whatever God lays on my heart that very evening.  I hope that you will journey with me and maybe even grab yourself a little cup of coffee.  

Friends and family, I ask that you lift me up in prayer and ask for God to let His light shine on me. 

PS – If you’re not following my blog, please go to the home page and enter your email address.  You’ll get new post as soon as I submit them.  

As always, don’t forget to share and comment.  

Until next time…

Love much, 

Hollie 

10/17/15 – If I Could Have Kept Her In My Tummy…

 

Today she received her wings. Not a day I want to remember but it’s just a part of it.

Five years? 

Really? 

It still doesn’t feel real.

If I could rewind time, I’d put her back in my tummy.  

When you become a mother, you can’t wait for them to come out! Especially if you’re pushing 40 weeks. Most women are shaking their heads right now, you know exactly what I’m talking about! 

However, if I knew then what I know now, I’d keep her in my tummy forever. There was that comfort of knowing she was inside me and everything was okay. I remember her tossing, turning, kicking, and even resting. I’d love to put her back there inside my womb and no one or anything could hurt her unless they hurt me. 

Even though all that sounds so perfect, at the end of the day, I would miss out on so much. 

I would never get to hear her cry for the first time (every time I think of that sweet voice, it brings me to tears of joy, there’s no greater sound of new life!!!!), the first time our eyes met, the first time we touched skin to skin, her first laugh, her first sound, smile, dirty diaper, cry, first real food (that was my mamas amazing potato patties), her first cold, her personality, her hugs, her smell, and my gosh her little voice!!! That tiny human was literally an angel. She rocked my world and made me a mom. She has me wrapped around her finger and she always will.

Although this is always a hard day to live out, I try and remember her life and not her death. With the changing of the fall, I always get this stillness in my heart. If I didn’t know months or days, I would always know that fall is around the corner. It’s that chill in the air and the way the sun shines. It’s just different. 

At the same time, I try my best to always find the beauty in the tragedy. When I’m in stores and I’m finally getting excited about holidays again, I think about what I’d be doing with my sweet Claire. She’s everywhere! EVERYWHERE! 

I accept the fact that I can’t put her back in my tummy, but she will always be in the deepest valve of my heart. 

During my bible study a few weeks ago, Beth Moore read aloud a few pages in a book called, “I Will Carry You” by Angie Smith. There is one sentence Angie writes that describes finding beauty in the tragedy. Angie writes, “grief and joy danced together as if they had the right to.” Wow. Just think about that for a moment. Angie couldn’t have said it better! Eventually our grief will eventually find joy, again. I will tell you I’ve found my peace, comfort, and joy again through Jesus. Without him, I would have thrown in the towel. Instead, he brought friends and family into my life that showed me…everything’s going to be alright. And through them, I saw His glory! 

Everyone told me that “in time” you will heal. As much as I didn’t want to believe that, they were right. I can say whole heartedly that it does get better with time. However, time does not take it away. It just gets easier to deal with. Less anxiety , less tears, less breakdowns, and way less days spent in the bed. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. 

Psalm 30:11 says it just as beautiful. It says, “You turned my mourning into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” And his promises are so true! I would read this over and over after my Mama Ann Cartee showed me this verse. I knew that God one day would show me joy and happiness again. There were many days that I doubted his promise but that was the devil getting into my head! 

I can now say that I still have days that can be painful but they are coming fewer and further between. Today I’m counting my blessings. Im grateful that we don’t have the choice of rewinding the past. Every single thing that happens has a purpose and it’s all a part of His plan. It doesn’t mean it will be easy but we have to remember who to look to when we are going through times of trouble. 

Thank you God for bringing her out of my tummy and allowing me the opportunity to be her mommy. Granted, I wanted more time, but she was only here for as long as you wanted her to be. I accept it and I give it all to you. You can have her for now but when you call me home, she’s all mine, sir 🙂 

To all of my friends and family, thank you for putting up with me through these past years. I wouldn’t be here many days without your encouragement. You all mean the world to me and you will be blessed for all that you gave me! I’m forever grateful. 

I pray that you will share and comment. I pray that it heals and touches someone else. Know that no matter what you are facing, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Mathew 5:16

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.”

Until next time…

Love much, 

Hollie

11/17/14 – Time To Get Started

Last week I turned 29 years old. Heavens!  I never thought I’d see the day.  To me, I was going to stay in my twenty’s forever!  Nopppppeeeeeeeee.  Reality has just set in.

I’ve been saying for a long time now that I wanted to write a book before I turned 30. For the past few months God has laid it on my heart to start writing.  I’ve not been obedient to His calling.  However, tonight He laid it on my heart again.  This time, I can’t stand still anymore.  It’s time to get started.

I have less than a year. I’m going to do this.  Every week I will write something even if it’s just a paragraph.  I will blog in the mean time and I will post a few quotes from the book.

Why would I choose to write something by the time I was thirty? I don’t really have an answer other than, God said so.  Will it be published by the time I’m thirty?  I hope so but I will leave everything up to God.  I don’t have everything figured out and I certainly don’t have a clue of what’s ahead…but…I do know that all the pieces will fit together in time.  I don’t need all the answers right now.  This journey is frightening to think about but I’m ready to roll with the punches.  I know there will probably be more times of discouragement than encouragement.  That’s what happens when you do things for the Lord.  The devil will find a way to get into any small little crack and try to destroy you.  So I’ll have to remember this from time to time, even though I already know it.  God doesn’t want to destroy us; he merely wants to promote us.  So, no matter what the peaks and valleys will be, I trust that God already has everything worked out.  James 1:16-18, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

I’ve always wondered if I would go back to school and accomplish getting my degree in MBA. That just sounds good doesn’t it?  It takes time and it certainly takes money.  I’ve decided that I would rather spend my time writing and putting my energy into glorifying God.  I’m not saying an education isn’t important.  Right now, at this time, God has another purpose for my life and it’s to pursue Him.  I’ve not went through what I’ve went through to stay silent or still.  These life experiences are for a much greater purpose.

I’ve questioned many times, “God, when will it be my time? When will you send me a husband?  Will I ever have a family again? …Oh Lord, you know what I would give to hold another child in my arms.  I see families all around me.  Weddings happen often and more lives are being born.  God, I also want that.  You know the desires of my heart.  I’m waiting, just waiting on you Lord.” And waiting is exactly what I have to do.  “Be still my soul.”  I realize that it’s not my time, not right this moment, but I know with all my heart it’s coming.  Until then, I have work to do for the man I ask my questions to.

I hope that you will follow, comment, share, pray, explore, motivate, and help me get through this journey. We don’t have to do life alone.  The purpose of writing my book is for the Glory of God and to encourage, inspire, and help others see that there is hope. I pray for strength and guidance from the ONE AND ONLY Jesus Christ.  Satan, get behind me!

Until next time….

Love much,

Hollie

I always end with a song. This one was laid on my heart tonight.  Oh how He makes me brave!  Take a moment to worship with me!  “For You are for us, You are not against us!”

10/17/14 – Back to that day…receiving her wings

Thank you to Carla Fell Photography

Remembering Claire Photo Shoot

Today marks 4 years that my Angel Claire Bear passed away.  I think her death day is always the hardest.  I almost feel more sensitive this year than any other.  The memory I have of her on this day, 4 years ago, is the saddest.  It’s forever imbedded in my brain and heart.

As the seasons change throughout the year, October is happy and sad for me all at the same time. Growing up, I loved the Holidays.  It really is a very happy time of the year.  I’ve had to learn to embrace the season and her death.  When I start to decorate, I imagine if she were here.  I could see; how excited she would get to pull out the decorations.  I could see her and I both walking around giggling.  I’d take her to Michaels or Hobby Lobby so we could see the new stuff that was out.  If she wanted something, I’d get it for her.   Maybe even a little coke and popcorn as we shop.  If she were still here, I know I’d feel our home with smells and traditions.  I would bake with her and do little projects that would make her little heart feel whole and secure.  Her costume would probably be homemade and Pinterest would be my best friend.  I’d curl her hair and paint her sweet face.  I would hug her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her.  Family photo’s would be taken and shared for years to come.

So as I decorate my home for the season, this little girl is on my heart the entire time. This weekend she gets a new flower arrangement where she lays to rest.  I don’t go as often as I would want to but when I do go, it actually gives me a sense of peace.

When Claire was born, my life changed forever. Moms and dads that are reading this right now know exactly what I mean.  I was sooooooooo scared to bring a little girl in this world but when she finally arrived I had this strength that was unbelievable.  I remember like it was yesterday; her first cry, the first look at her, the way she smelt, the way I held her in my arms, the way we connected when she was breast feeding (her and me, just the two of us, and I supplied her food – the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced in my life),  bringing her home and the life becoming real, her first tooth, her first ear ache, her first smile, the first time I heard her speak, crawl, walk, her kisses, her hugs….these are the things I hold tight to.

What rips my heart out the most is the feeling of fulfillment after having her. The unconditional love is unexplainable.  Once upon a time she was here and now she’s gone.  Just like a mist, only here for a moment.  I have a constant hole in my heart longing to be filled.  I know nothing will ever replace her.  I just hope and pray that God will trust me enough and believe in me again to bless me with a husband and then a child.  Even though I say I hope, I know our God is faithful.  My hope is in Him.

I share the feelings and thoughts with you today as I remember this being the day she received her wings. She is in Paradise.  It’s the hardest day of my life.  But I do have to see the beauty in the tragedy.  It’s important for me to live my life right because I couldn’t imagine not ever seeing her again.  I do believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. As angry as I get sometimes, I know that His plans are so much greater than mime.  Regardless of what happens.  I couldn’t have gotten through these past years without believing there is a higher power.  I’m counting my blessings for Claire.   Her life was taken, but her mommy’s life was saved by the blood of Christ.  Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Please know, I thank God for my blessings and I will forever Praise His name. No matter what I go through in life, He is my rock. He has blessed me with family and friends. I can get through my work day because of my family here at Hyatt. All of my friends encourage me and lift me up more than they (YOU – the one reading this) realize. Prayers I’ve receive are so comforting and bring me such peace. Thank you all for keeping her memory alive. It means the world to me.

So before I go, I want you to leave you with this. Our Father loves us unconditionally just as we love our own children. If you feel lost and your heart is longing for something more…God is waiting for you to come home. Will you come home? Take a listen to this song. I know many of you know this beautiful voice.  RoseAngela Merritt is blessed with a voice of an angle.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3TmIn7PGds)

Let’s pray,

Father, thank you for your forgiveness. I know I’m a sinner and I make mistakes. Thank you for my blessings. I praise you with all my heart for saving me. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t know what it would be like to be completely selfless. Lord I pray that you continue to work in my life and show people the glory of all your goodness, even in the midst of tragedy. I’m thankful I turned to you.  I pray that anyone that’s reading this you will touch their heart.  I pray that if anyone doesn’t know who you are, I pray they come to you for a life time of fulfillment.  I pray you bless my friends and family for all the days of their life. I pray for all family and friends that knew and loved Claire Bear.  Her dad (Will, or as she would say, Weeaall), his family, my family, and all of our friends….I lift them up to you Lord and ask that you fill them with peace today.  Now I ask in Jesus name, Amen!

Love much,

Hollie

7/23/14 – Claire’s Quilt Begins

They say you never meet someone by accident.  Oh how I know this is absolutely true!  Every single thing we do in life is for a purpose.  We may not know it at the time but some way, some how, it circles back around.

A few months back I joined a local gym in Easley.  My purpose of joining the gym was of course to lose weight.  Hahahahaha!  Little did I know…that was not my purpose.  My butt lost and then gained 5lbs.  Muscle you say?  Oh no no!  I just ate more!   The secret is, “you don’t eat what you want just because you are working out.”  It’s all good.  No. Really.  My purpose for joining the gym was not for me to lose weight…and I’ll tell you how I know this is true…

When Claire passed away, I had a friend named Michelle, that gave me the idea of getting Claire’s clothes made into a quilt.  I thought it was a brilliant idea.  Needless to say, until I joined the gym, it had been almost 3 and ½ years before I found someone. 

One morning at the gym, I came in early and over heard two ladies talking about a quilt and a memory teddy bear one of them had made.  I politely interrupted and asked what they were talking about.  One of the ladies named Dionne (I call her Dee) said she quit the corporate world to do what she loved and that was to make quilts.  I was so overwhelmed.  I couldn’t believe it!  I knew right then and there, this was going to be the lady to make Claire’s quilt for me!!! OMG what a blessing!  I’ll take the 5 extra lbs, I found a lady to make Claire’s quilt!  I didn’t say anything and later wrote her an email.  Dee was taken back and honored to be a part of this journey!  Although, I have to say, I’m a little more honored that she’s the one because that was all in God’s timing!  Dee gives off this beautiful spirit and I knew immediately she would be the one I could trust with little Claire Bears clothing. 

Here’s what Ms. Dee writes as her and I journey together on this project:

“When I was asked to make this quilt for Hollie I was honored. We met at the gym and when Hollie told me her story I was touched. I could not believe that someone was so moved by what I do for a living. Making memory quilts bring me much joy. I struggled with my decision to leave my corporate job to have my own business. I was doing it on the side as extra income now it is my main stay. Hollie made me feel so good about what I do and gave me much confidence to continue trying to make this business a success. I am going to journal my progress to creating this quilt for her.

When I received the clothing, I took a picture of the items and put it on facebook telling everyone about Hollie. The support I received was awesome and people encouraged me to continue.

 Attached are pictures of the quilt in the making.

The front and back of the dress with the pumpkins were separate and the pumpkins were sown to the front so that it could be incorporated. When making a memory quilt, I try to include as much of the garment as possible.

 Sometimes the focus of the garment is not in the center. So you have to “fussy cut” the fabric to achieve the look you want. That is illustrated in the square with the bird and the Charleston square.

 Not sure of the layout yet. Still at the stage of cutting the fabric and making the squares.

 Stay tuned…”

 Dionne Sandiford A Celebration of Us! 864-915-6264 http://www.acelebrationofus.com

 Now, if she isn’t a blessing then I’ll smack your momma!  I’m so blessed and thankful for Dee.  I went to the gym to meet her not to lose weight.  I even live in Greenville now…what are the odds? 

God is good…all the time.  Even when you least expect it.  Who would have known?

I would ask that if you’ve been searching for an amazing quilt maker for whatever the reason…I would highly recommend Dee (information above, tell her Claire Bear sent you J).  She’s amazing at what she does and she’s super compassionate.  Go ahead, send her an email!

Thank you to everyone who followed my blog last week!  Please keep sharing, reposting, and subscribing.  Keep this journey going!  We are not done yet J

Until next time…

Love much,

Hollie

One of my favorite songs…take a minute and rejoice and worship Him:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA3QqIYkKJI

7.16.14 – God Told Me To

Hello world. Oddly enough it’s been almost 1 year since I posted my last blog.

Here lately, I’ve started to hear God speak to me. I don’t literally hear his voice but I have a movement in my soul and I know it’s him. For a long time I’ve wanted to start my own Small Group. I put it off and put it off. I put it off mostly because I told myself all the time, “you’re not perfect enough or Godly enough yet to start a Small Group.” Well if that isn’t a lie from the Devil himself! Lets get something straight…I will never be perfect, none of us will.   Godly enough? I never want to be “Godly enough” because to me, in my mind, that means I won’t continue to know and learn God on a day to day basis.

Soooooooo, I finally quit listening to those lies I continued to tell myself.

Tonight I started the first week of a 6 week long bible study with some really great ladies…because God Told Me To! We prayed, we ate, we laughed (Mephibosheth – how do you pronounce that again?), we ministered to each other, we ate some more…LOL! Needless to say, it’s been the most uplifting time I’ve had in a really long time. Being in the word and surrounding myself around some really good women…what more could you ask for?

After having such a good time tonight…I thought to myself…I listened to God. WOW! I listened to God and this was amazing. Wait, wait, wait…what’s next? If this is what happens when you listen to God…then…. I never want to NOT listen to him again. Don’t get me wrong, I also know that when you listen to God…it’s not always rainbows and butterflies…IN THE BEGINNING! But in the end…it’s all to glorify Him which in return is Good…because God is GOOD!

Tonight we were challenged to hold each other accountable for an area in our lives that we need help with. I chose blogging. I mentioned to them how I’ve been silent for way too long. One of my personal goals was to write a book by the time I was 30 yrs old. I’ve not got much time left. This book would be God’s story and how he led me through my tragedy. I told my girls to hold me accountable to blog at least once per week. Well…girls, here’s the first blog!

For so long I didn’t know where to pick back up on blogging. I’m sure a lot of it had to do with my conscious telling me I needed to be perfect. Totally not true. LIE, again.

So friends, please pray and hold me accountable. Sign up and follow my blog. If it’s been over a week and I’ve not posted anything…call me out! We don’t live life alone and I need your encouragement!

I look forward to many more post…and hopefully a book…God willing!

Here’s a little take away from tonight’s bible study:

“Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to His love, and the future to His providence.”

Embrace your life offered by the King…don’t let nothing hold you back!  

Love much,

Hollie  

4/26/13 – Flowers Sparked a Memory

ImageAs most of you know, I went and put new flowers on Claire Bears grave today.  I don’t do this as often as I want but when I do, it certainly gives me a sense of peace.  I know she’s not there but I can still make her grave look pretty.  I guess that’s just the mom in me.  Wanting her to have the best…

I did her flowers a bit different this time.  Typically, I will make the arrangement at home and then take them to her.  Today I sat at her grave and arranged them in the beautiful sun.  It was refreshing and calming.  

But ohhhhh did it spark a memory…  

Funeral arrangements.  No one thinks about those.  But we had to make them.  

I’ll never forget going to the funeral home and meeting with one of the Directors.  We sat in a room with a large dinning table.  Our family surrounded us as we were about to make decisions we never imagined.  I thought I was doing pretty good…until the Director looked up at us and said:

“Mam, I’m so sorry.  We typically have a casket to show you.”  Tears filled  his eyes…and he continued talking.  “Mam, we have adult size and infant size caskets.  We don’t see your daughters age often so I don’t have a casket to show you.”

I lost it.

The gentleman put his head down and slid a magazine in front of me.  Everything became a reality.  My worst nightmare had come true.  

Did I really have to do that?  How do you pick?  How??????  

The Director cleared the room so we could take a moment to gather our thoughts.  I finally grabbed the magazine and started looking.  As a mother wanting the best for her daughter, we picked out the most beautiful casket.  It was white, with many details.  It put me in mind of Heaven.  For what it’s worth…it was perfect.  

This is such a sad memory but I needed to go back there.  For whatever reason.  All I know is, I sure do miss that baby.  Lord, I’d give anything to have her back.  I’m just thankful to know that I will see that sweet face again 🙂

Until then, she lays to rest at Robinson’s Memorial Gardens.  The most beautiful grave yard in Easley.  She’s under a tree and beside the chapel.  At 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and 12 o’clock she hears a lullaby.  And one day, when it’s my time to go, we’ll be buried together 🙂 Me and my sweet angel.  BUT, until then…I will cherish every SINGLE day of my life.  My Claire gave me the gift of appreciation.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 it says, “13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”

Thank you Stephanie Cartee for bringing me to this verse many months ago.  

The Lord know’s I’m not perfect but I’m so thankful that I believe in Jesus.  There is no GREATER peace than knowing who has Claire’s hand right now.  I pray that if you are reading this, and you feel lost…your world is out of control…please know that our Lord is BIGGER than any circumstance. Ask Him to come into your life and take over!  Be still my friend.   

Thank you friend for letting me share….

Until next time…

Love much, 

Hollie 

What a beautiful song…it certainly hits home but in such a good way…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrPQ-isJnd8

4/20/13 – Encouragement

It’s been awhile since I’ve written my last blog. You remember the peaks and valley’s I’ve told you about? Well, I guess you could say I’ve been in the valley lately. Since my last blog…I guess life has just happened. The usual. Work, relationships, friendships…you name it. Just last night I was in a pretty dark spot. Lots of negativity had been surrounding my life. I honestly thought I had reached one of my lowest valleys. Thanks to a good friend Dave (best friends for over 12 years, if not more)…he brought me through. He came by last night on his way to a movie just to check on me. Needless to say, he was exactly what I needed, and he was my saving grace.

Today was a new day. I attended a class at First Baptist Church in Simpsonville. The class was called, “God’s Healing for a Mother’s Heart.” It was a day-retreat for women who have experienced the death of a child. I have to say it’s been the biggest blessing to me! I was surrounded by many woman who had experienced loosing a child. Today was filled with encouragement, pampering, loving support, food, presenters, and comfort. This was certainly what my heart needed. My best friend Bridget prayed with me on the phone this morning and lifted my spirits and gave me motivation to go!

I thank God for the woman that put this class together. There were a total of 12 breakout sessions. I attend:

Physical Symptoms
Prayer Walking
Stress and Spiritual Health

I learned so much information about death, grief, and our Lord!

The first class taught me the four different groups of grief.

1. Normal Grief
2. Complicated Grief
3. Grief Related Depression
4. Refusal to Grieve

These topics were important to grief because it helps you understand where you are and how much help you should be seeking. There are many unhealthy grievers. I learned that I’ve grieved fairly well and I’m doing pretty good! I still have a long way to go but it’s completely normal! I look forward to blogging about the different groups.

The second class I had was called Prayer Walking. It’s important to take time away from your house, get out and walk, and be with nature. You need to take time to be alone with God. Talk to Him. Tell Him what is on your heart. Don’t lie to Him because He actually already knows 🙂 One of the coolest pieces of advice I received from this class was to stop asking Why? I’ve asked this question over and over and over and over and over and over again. It really doesn’t get you anywhere. So instead of asking why, ask, “What now.” MAN!!!! Doesn’t that already feel better! WE cannot control what happens. We will never have all of our questions answered but we can keep moving forward!!!!!!! Remember, God will tell you yes, no, or maybe….in the meantime…Be Still. I’m sure I’ve already been told that before but it certainly hit home today! I also learned that when you pray you should A.C.T.S. What does that mean? Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication!

Adoration – find what brings you close to God. Maybe some inspirational music. Whatever it takes to bring you to Him.
Confession – honesty! Tell God how you really feel, it’s okay to do that.
THanksgiving – Tell Him what you are thankful for! Thank Him for His blessings!
Supplication – You can ask anything but if you don’t believe, don’t ask. Do you want to stay where you are? If so, how is that working for you? THAT hit home!!!!

Prayer and time alone with God is sooooo important to your healing. God is a healer! Why turn to anything else?

Guess what this girl is about to get serious about????? Time alone with God EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! Starting today!!!!

My next class was Stress and Spiritual Health.

John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

If we could only be reminded of that verse every single day!!! In Him we will have peace for He has over come this world! HELLO!!! Wake up!! We can get through anything if our eyes and heart is focused on HIM!!! I know I’m preaching to the choir. But I can guarantee you I never want to lose focus of the Lord.

Back to this stress class. Stress happens and it can kill you! Stress can make you physically ill, spiritually empty, emotionally drained, and mentally spent! Stress can be major or minor. Stress can be good or bad. Stress can be real or imagined. No matter what, the body responds the same way. The leader of the class went through some very technical aspects of the human body. It was so much, I’m excited to dedicate an entire blog to it! More to come!

After our classes concluded, we gather back together to hear one final speaker. Her name is Alyce Kemp DeWitt. One of the most inspiring woman I’ve ever met! I thought that I’ve been through a lot at a young age but she has been through more in a lifetime. She left me with encouragement. She was the cutest little lady with the most positive little spirit. If she can do, I can do it, you can do it, and we can all tell about it! We are not meant to live life alone!!! She taught me to have Motivation, Humor, Cry, and Communicate. I’m going to do some research on her as well and see if she has a book. I need for everyone to know about her! She’s not only been through losing a child but she suffered a divorce, she’s a victim of rape, and she was deceived. At the end of the day, she’s making it with a positive attitude. She’s taught me how to find the desserts in life. No matter what we go through, there is always good that comes out of everything! I can’t wait to start sharing my dessert with you! Everyone meet Ms. DeWitt…

My Inspiration

My Inspiration

This was so uplifting and encouraging. I’m thankful for all the woman that were there today that shared their story. I’m thankful for the entire group of woman that put this group together. I had the opportunity to encourage other woman that went through my same experience!!!! That is a dessert!!!! A blessing!!!

I pray that if you are reading this blog…I hope you will be encouraged! No that you will get through anything that you go through in life. Seek God and the worldly things will become dim 🙂

Thank you for reading and allowing me to share with you!

Until next time,

Love much,

Hollie

Enjoy this song if you’ve lost a loved one!!! This song is from your loved one, dedicated to you 🙂