On the eve of my 30th birthday I felt it appropriate to stop & reflect…share some of my favorite moments over the last 30 years.
No, this list will not cover the abundant life that’s been lived – but it should give you a pretty strong picture of who I am, what I cherish & why I’m so thankful to have come this far.
So in NO particular order I am going to map out some really awesome, moving & hilarious moments of Sincerely, Holly…. And to all who are near & dear to my heart, do not take offense if your name does not appear in this chronicle. It just means my life has been REALLY full of undeserving love & I will never be able to capture all the magic – but here goes nothin’…
- My very first allowance purchase with a whole $11.00: TOTAL HAIR BARBIE. Yes, this was quite a victory, for it took WEEKS to save the cash & when I finally did, Mom & Dad took me straight to Toys R Us. I felt like such a grown up.
- Graduating… again… and again… AND AGAIN. 3 degrees later, I’m a chick with her Master’s.
- Picking Fancy. My dear friend Brandi Lum (now Smith) bred her rather cranky dog, Mackenzie. She had the cutest litter of mini-schnauzers around & because my puppy was a GIFT, I went straight for the darkest girl of them all (the silver pups sold more successfully). Turns out, she’s platinum, both inside AND out.
- Playing at Ronald McDonald House with Ashley, who gave me tons of attention because I was having surgery the next day. I don’t remember being scared that night, I remember feeling ELATED to play with my big sister.
- Dancing to “Celebrate Good Times” with my little sister at Joni and Friends Camp. This little sister, who I call Lacey Lou Lou, has become one of my closest friends & in many ways taken on the role of being my big sister, stepping into the places I need her most.
- Feeling my Mother’s soft hands caress my back after every surgery. Watching her prepare small buckets of warm water, for I never had the strength to walk to the shower. Feeling SO much comfort, even in so much pain.
- Taking my first air plane ride ALONE to Southern California… to see one of the greatest women I’ve ever met, Cindy Fahy.
- Taking many road trips to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital & not because I was looking forward to 2 days of clinics, specialists, NEW BRACES (puke) & therapy… but because I had one-on-one time with my favorite guy: Gene Strother. He counseled & encouraged every trip up to Dallas & in those moments I really believed I could be anything I wanted to be.
- Riding a bicycle with training wheels one hot afternoon in Paris, Texas. Sure I was 11 & ok fine, I fell off & skidded across the church parking lot…fracturing my elbow… but I RODE A BIKE WITH MY FRIENDS.
- Having so many flowers in my hospital room (after the bladder rupture of 2003) & ALL the Nurses coming to hang out with me because they wanted to visit, “Holly’s Flower Shop.”
- Hearing my Dad sing, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” from the pulpit of Victory Baptist Church.
- Convincing Linda Ayala to be my dorm-mate our Sophomore year of college, as I FORCED HER to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
- Reading “Redeeming Love.”
- Journaling after reading 1 Samuel & writing my own heart’s prayer, fashioned after Hannah’s.
- Singing, “Give me Lord, a Servant’s Heart” at Church Camp.
- Driving to meet Candice Click (now Chapman) for dinner… because it was the FIRST TIME I DROVE ALONE.
- Sharing Papaw’s chicken fingers, baked potato & green bean meal one lonely night in college, listening to him call me “precious” & saying how much he loved the woman I was becoming.
- Sitting under the prayer of my parents my Junior year in college, as tears streamed down my face, feeling so alone & discouraged by the many weddings I stood in as a bridesmaid . I’ll never forget my father’s words, “Lord, sometimes you have us wait for the good things in life.”
- Being a bridesmaid in ALL of my most precious friends’ weddings: (Linda, Megan, Stephanie, Candice.. just to name a few).
- Watching ANNIE over & OVER again after MAJOR back surgery at Stanford Hospital… in a hot pink body cast to boot.
- My first conversation with Ed the Cake Guy… 8 hours on the phone is no joke & not easy to forget.
- Discussing the Lord’s goodness with my Memaw every time I see her (too many times to pinpoint one moment). She is a woman of unmoving faith & I pray to be like her every day.
- Listening to my Grandma’s stories about my dad when he was growing up. My favorite will always be GRAVEYARD FOOTBALL.
- Asking my Grandpa to sit next to me at the breakfast table when they visited us in Turlock, California. One of my last memories of him.
- Meeting the most beautiful baby I have ever laid eyes on, Ty David, & watching him grow, feeling like he is my very own. I am so honored to be this crazy kid’s Aunt Holly, for he satisfies a silent desire in my heart: to feel like a mother.
- Meeting Joni Eareckson Tada, for she was a rockstar in my eyes all through childhood. My Mom told me her story when I was very young, encouraging me that there was a woman who couldn’t use her arms & legs, but yet, she painted with her mouth. I was starstruck as she wheeled up to me at camp saying, “I’ve wanted to meet you all week.” My quiet response, “I’ve wanted to meet you my whole life.”
- Boarding a plane to London, for it was the FIRST TIME I ever left the United States… a dream come true.
- CHUNNELING TO PARIS & standing atop the Eiffel Tower… I never even DARED to dream this, but it came true too.
- Landing my first full-time job & moving into my very first apartment. Even if it was in Texarkana. 😉
- Reading Psalm 139. And believing it.
I love this list. It’s my wonderful life. I could never have imagined a more beautiful 30 years.