Saturday, December 28, 2013


just so blessed...

life is not what i expected or hoped for.  but it is rich.  it is rich in love, in hope, in joy.

it's hard to say where this life may take me.  but i am strapped in, eagerly anticipating more.

because that's what he promises: more.  more pain, loss, sorrow, confusion, and being misunderstood--you see, we don't belong here, and this world doesn't get us.  but in every sunrise, he promises more life, more beauty, more delight.  in every rainbow, he promises more faithfulness than we could ask or imagine.  in every star, he promises more generations, more life change, more miracles.

how could i think i was anything but blessed?

Friday, December 20, 2013

something i've learned

emotions are not my master.

this is not an emotions versus reason post.  it's an honest peeling back of some layers around my heart.  i really believe that emotions are good.  and they can be healthy.  except sometimes they aren't.

let me be clear here: it is really important to allow yourself to feel your emotions. 

i have worked hard to do so, because for a long time, i battled depression.  i was at the bottom of a pit and felt everything about a thousand times more than you're really supposed to feel things.  that is why depression is so weighty and why it feels like you can't move.  a pretty natural response, as you are coming up out of that, is to choose to not feel anything at all: it's numb and lonely, but it is lighter.  and easier.

but it's still not very healthy.

so i have actively pursued allowing myself to feel all my feelings, whatever they looked like.  i went from being dead inside to someone who cries nearly every time she prays.  it's weird for me, but it is a direct result of the Lord tenderizing my heart (yes, please do picture pounding the heck out of meat, because that is how it feels sometimes).

and feeling those feelings can be exhausting and downright terrifying.

so sometimes i will feel sad and angry and overwhelmed by the world. and i need to feel them.

but i need to cling tightly to the knowledge that those emotions are not my master.  they do not own me.  they cannot drag me over a cliff.  they.are.temporary.  no matter how heavy they are, they will pass.

this is my hope:
"You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again. Then I will praise you with music on the harp, because you are faithful to your promises, O my God. I will sing praises to you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel. I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me."  Psalm 71:20-23 NLT

Thursday, December 12, 2013

12) winter bane (a double haiku)

"Don't forget: hydrate!"
...but then I will have to pee.
And when I wash them,
my hands need lotion.
"Combat dry skin: drink water!"
The cycle repeats.

Holly Willman 12/12/13

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

winter weight in the winter wait

some people love winter.  i just don't.  and it's more than not loving winter.  it's actually really struggling during winter.  (yes, i lived in wisconsin.  no, i am not sure how i survived those winters.)

winter is hard, depleting, draining.
winter is a time when i want to hibernate.  get this girl into some sweatpants and don't bother her till april.  that kind of hibernate.
winter literally destroys my skin, cracking all around my fingernails and drying out everywhere.  i have to shove vaseline up my nose just to keep it from bleeding.  and i am so itchy!
winter makes me physically joints hurt like i'm a hundred and my head weighs a thousand pounds.  there is snow and ice all over the ground, so i can't go out and run.  also, it's 11 degrees out, so i don't actually want to run.  and not running makes my body feel blahhhhhh.

and you know what else?

winter is a terribly hard time to be a single person in this world.

i love my family of origin, and i adore my niece and nephews.  i am incredibly blessed and thankful for my family of creation, too--the community i am building throughout my lifetime that is not dependent on last names (although i feel so grateful that i enjoy my family as friends, too). 


i'm not sure if there's ever a time where it is so painfully thrust upon me that i am still in this season of singleness.


dear friends, as an ardent believer in and lover of Jesus Christ who still lives in this world, i recognize that life is in constant tension.  and here's part of mine: being present in and thankful for the season of life that i am in while passionately desiring a husband with whom to partner and children to raise up in joy and grace.


so i wait.  and i take heart that, though circumstances may seem to dictate otherwise, God is not absent in the wait.  when they hid, he pursued his children in eden.  when they suffered, he heard their cries in egypt.  when they wandered, he led them like a shepherd in israel.  when they waited for 400 years in silence, he came to meet them in bethlehem. 

in the advent season, we wait because he is coming.  what a promise!  what a hope!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

be still my heart

it is no secret that i love babies.  i love how little they are.  i love how soft they are.  i love how they smell (the clean smell, not the poopy smell).  i love their little faces and feet and hands and mouths.

i have loved many babies in my life, but i love my niece and nephews best of all.  and this new

i could literally eat his face off.  i am just so madly in love.

you guys, he cries like a baby dinosaur.  come on!  how could you not want to nuzzle him just all the time??




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

11) baby james

it's time to rejoice:
a sweet young man is coming!
my heart is so full.

holly willman

ooh baby baby

hey, remember that time that my sweet noah was born, and i was so excited that i ran over my phone with the lawnmower?  oh noey.

and then that chubs named lily was born.  oh gosh.  her face was so fat, she couldn't even open her eyes.  haha shorty mcgee.

and then i was with brittany as she got her epidural to have daniel.  that was a special sister moment.  baby danger was the exact opposite body shape of lily...long and skinny.

and now, james dean aka baby j squishy jd james jimmy jim jim jim jim jim is on his way.  making his appearance in a few hours.  i am...a little excited.

my niece and nephews are pretty much the greatest things on the planet.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

half-hearted rant blog

man, i have my cranky pants on today.

choose joy, holly.

but seriously

yesterday, i emailed someone who is helping one of our 401k participants roll their money to a different account.  this was my email:

[apparently incompetent person],

Please have [the participant] complete the distribution form and send it back to me.  Attaching a scan to an email is fine, or it can be faxed [our fax number] or mailed to the address listed below.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Client Relationship Assistant
[lots of contact information, including our address]

and their response, which was the first thing i saw this morning at work:

Thank you Holly.  Where does [the participant] send the forms after completed and signed?

[face palm]

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


though the wind howls
     it tugs my whole person
     and frays my edges
     in a fierce and frustrating manner
though the rain persists
     pelting my face
     and seeping through my seams
     just incessantly
though the thunder rumbles
     pounding my ears
     and rattling my very foundation
     like nothing will be steady again
my rock
my haven
my safety
my certainty
enough, all, and everything.

holly willman

Thursday, November 14, 2013


here are some weirdo facts about me.  in case it ever comes up in a court case or anything.

1) i pee in the shower far less now that i have my own than when i shared one.

2) picking out clothes to wear is one of my least favorite parts of every day. 

3) i used to collect stamps when i was younger.  i ordered them in the mail. i didn't care about their value--i just chose the ones i thought looked cool.

4) i abhor being called 'sweetie' and 'honey' unless it's by my mom.  but she almost never does, either.

5) i like to make my brain work really hard, but not about important things.

6) i hope that a future life opportunity involves a farm or vineyard. 

that's all i have for now.


for a future installment of weirdo facts, leave a comment with 'would you rather...'

for example: holly, would you rather eat rhubarb or pomegranates?  the answer is pomegranates.  yes, i would rather vomit violently from a food i am allergic to than eat rhubarb.

Monday, November 11, 2013

#9) worship haiku

i feel your Spirit
alive in me, dancing free.
a loud shout bursts forth!

Friday, November 8, 2013

stuff keeps changing

i am an organized person.  tediously so, in some areas.  so i like things a particular way, and it pains me when they get moved or changed. gets tricky when i let that mentality spill to all parts of my life.

cause the thing is...there are other people in the world i live in.  and they don't happen to be robots.  they are making choices, and they are in flux.

also, this world changes.  the colors outside are a vivid reminder of that.

so i have really grown to see that, though i love order, i actually live amidst chaos.  no control. 

my options are to go insane or learn to cope.  but how do i, a lover of order and organization, embrace the changes? 


a friend of mine commented on a throwback thursday picture, 'oh, to be young again!'

no, thank you.

i do not want to be young again. 

i want to continue to grow and mature and see what's next...


that's how i know i can embrace and even like change.  because i am not what i once was (THANK YOU, JESUS!), and i have not yet become who i will be.  change is glorious!  change is refining!  change is redeeming!

this world is not my home.  so i am not clinging to what i have here.  i am not wishing for things to stay just as they are.  i am anticipating something much greater.  and i hope it comes soon.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

tennessee, in pictures








classic 1980's vacation.

Friday, October 25, 2013

vacationing the crap out of tennessee

after work today, i am a free woman for a whole week. 

this is big stuff.

i am actually using vacation hours to go on a vacation.

how very grown up...of course, i used the word 'crap' in my blog title, so i guess it comes in spurts.  (and we're probably dear friends if your next train of thought was, 'the crap comes in spurts?  haha.  poop is funny.')



i am heading down to good old gatlinburg, tennessee, for some chill time.  my plan is to do pretty much nothing.  just relax.

that is an important thing for me to do sometimes.  you know, breathe in and out. 

should be good.


in other news, i am a ninja in training.

Friday, October 18, 2013

my anchor holds within the veil

hey, friend.  i hope this week has treated you kindly, full of gentle words and tender embraces.  it has been that kind of week for me, every day bringing little moments of grace and wonder.

here's the kind of weird thing, though.  nothing really happened.

do you remember when i wrote THIS POST just a few months ago?

well, circumstantially, nothing is very different in my life.  i'm still a single lady, hoping and praying that i will get to marry a farmer and have a lot of babies.  (he doesn't have to be a farmer.  i've just really been in a little house on the prairie kind of mood.)  my heart still both delights and breaks when i snuggle with my sweet nephew.  there is a very real loss and sorrow in my life.


i am safe to travel to the edge of that sorrow, to look it right in the eye, to feel the utter extent of that pain and confusion. 

my anchor holds within the veil.

there is no place i can go where He is not.

and allowing myself to fully feel those emotions and acknowledge my life circumstances creates a space for healing and rest.  creates space for holy dancing and jumping and delighting in the freedom He purchased at such a great cost.

do you see?

i fully feel my joy because i fully feel my sorrow.

have a great weekend, beloved.  let me know how i can be praying for you.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


if we are friends on facebook, then you may have seen me hashtagging some things this week.  (and yes, justin timberlake IS the king of hashtags.  watch him here:

i don't normally like to do group-mandated activities, but we were challenged at church to post things for which we are grateful...and this is a good time to tell you to go read 1000 gifts.  just trust me.  so i'm hashtagging my gratitude.  (mom, hashtagging is a twitter term that facebook tried to steal, only it's less cool there.  it means putting the pound sign in front of a word or phrase to try and make it trend...that means make lots of people tag the same thing at the same time.)  because it's actually a very good discipline in my life.

here's what i came up with this week:


#iamgrateful for new mercies every morning.

#iamgrateful for burning thighs and bruised knees because it means this clunky jar of clay can still both move and feel.


#iamgrateful for cups of coffee and the book of hosea.

#iamgrateful that certain foods make me think of people I love. (Brussels sprouts...Stephanie and Holly)


#iamgrateful for sweaters and chai latte k-cups.


#iamgrateful when my ribs hurt, because it makes me think of skydiving with Miranda and Melodie.

#iamgrateful for steak!!!

Photo: #iamgrateful for steak!!!


#iamgrateful for the many quality men i know.


#iamgrateful for a life-changing summer in myrtle beach in 2004.

so what are you grateful for?

#8) breathing in grace

Most days, I awake to darkness,
but this morning,
sunlight steals through the window,
gently nudging me out of bed.
I stand and stretch widely,
opening my lungs and heart,
breathing in grace for the day.
There is quiet all around,
and it delights me to remember
that I, too, am part of the
royal priesthood,
with access to
My words go straight to
the Most High God,
for I am His daughter,
His beloved.
What a wonder, this life.

Holly Willman

#7) a portugueseish haiku

eu escrevo
...syllables are different
[i write in english]

holly willman

Friday, October 4, 2013

you, too, can learn another language!

i think i have made it pretty clear that i like to learn.  (if you know what strengths finder is, i have gotten learner as one of my strengths both times i took the test.)

at work, i ask for resources to learn more about this new field (401k stuff).  at home, i read, i do logic puzzles, and i ingest random tidbits of information all over the place.

i don't have any desire to be great at one particular kind of bores me, actually.  so i try and develop skills in many different areas.  this is why i could teach myself acoustic guitar and bass guitar and be content with my medicore skills.  probably why i am a decent athlete in many sports but not super talented at any of them.  i just like to take in more and more content.

so i took 3 years of spanish and a year of sign language in high school.  passable...i can say things like 'por favor, puedo sacarle punto a lapiz?' in spanish (roughly, 'please, can i sharpen my pencil?') and sign, 'i'm sorry your cow is dead' in asl.  you know, important conversational pieces.

i met a friend in college who was from brazil, and i thought portuguese was such a cool language...kind of a smash up of spanish and french.  so i bought some cds to try and learn it, and she gave me a new testament in portuguese.  i learned a couple things but didn't really stick with it.


last week, i was killing time and looking through free apps for my phone, and i found one called duolingo. 


this thing is baller.  it's totally geared toward a mind like mine...give me the lessons in little chunks, have lots of checkpoints so i feel like i am doing well, etc.  you can learn a ton of different languages, but if you're starting from english (which...i'm going to say the majority of my readership is...), you can learn spanish, german, french, portuguese, and italian.

it teaches you in a variety of ways: they write portuguese, and you write in english and vice versa.  they have a sentence in portuguese and give you options with which to build the sentence in english and vice versa.  they say a phrase or sentence in portuguese, and you write it in portuguese.  they have pictures to help you learn vocab.  they give you multiple choice questions.

i think it's really fun.  :)

travis is learning italian, so you'll have to ask him how it is. 

but now my speech is filled with phrases like ' eu como frango' (i eat chicken) and 'voce gosta o livro?' (do you like the book?)

check it out.  let me know what you think.  i think it's pretty sweet, especially considering it was free.

yes, i am talking about a product that is awesome.  no, i am not getting paid to do so.  yes, this is all my opinion.  no, i was not forced to say this.

Monday, September 30, 2013

poem #6

unsettled, again.
pushed [hard] up against a wall.
sigh: rocks in my shoes.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

claiming small victories

i wore my contacts for the entire day yesterday.  i rocked a low to mid level migraine all week, so that was pretty special.  still not feeling 100%, but i seem to be on the upswing.


i don't know if you're keeping tabs on my list over there, but i am behind on almost everything.  and i have thought lots about that...should i take things off the list?  should i just give up on the list?  should i change things?  and i probably will end up changing some things, but i am not giving up just because i am behind.  instead, i am trying to sit quietly with the concept of disciplined grace.

there are seasons of life where i am really good at discipline.  and there are seasons of life where i am really good at grace.  so i want to wrestle with a season where i try to unite those two suckers.  where i practice discipline because it pushes and expands me and keeps me from being lazy.  and where i practice grace (for myself...i am usually pretty good at grace for others) because it is exhausting to try and control every moment, it's defeating to see empty spaces on my checklist, and it sucks all the joy out of the things i actually want to do.

so.  you can pray about that for me.  :)


in the meantime, liz and i hosted our first 'official and check it off the list' dinner last saturday.  we went to a corn maze that we thought would be pretty quick.  and while it was fun, we ended up trudging through mud for an hour and a half, not even finding all the checkpoints (thus, no popcorn prize...some participants were more upset by this than others), and feeling ravenous by the end.  which was inconvenient since i had not prepped or made any of the food ahead of time.

luckily, liz is good at entertaining while i cook.

i made four recipes out of bread and wine (and if you don't trust my endorsement of this book, go talk to emily sutherland.): brannon's caesar salad, white chicken chili, blueberry crisp (except i made it with peaches this time), and gaia cookies.  everything seemed to be a hit.  i took the leftover chili for lunch every day this week.

here are the girls:

they are lisa, erin (surprise guest), ashleyne, kristen, and liz.  they are cool.  we missed kim, who was busy throwing up, and heather, who was on a beach somewhere.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

posted from the comfort of my very own bed.

oh, yes.  you read that correctly.

we have internet in our apartment.  which is actually the cause of the late-in-the-week post.  because every day, i was all, 'oh, i can just write something at home SINCE WE HAVE INTERNET!'  and then i obviously forgot to do it.

and since i can't rant about the internet anymore, i just don't know what to write about.

oh, got it!  i'm going to tell you random stuff i like.  cause it's my blog, and i want to.

i like bread and wine by shauna niequist.  actually, i like everything by her.  read all her books.  this one is great because it has recipes.  and they are awesome.

i like broccoli chips.  think kale chips, but use broccoli instead.  throw on a pan.  spray with pam.  toss some sea salt on 'em.  425 for 13 minutes.  thank me later.  (actually, thank shauna.  it's in her book.)

i like hollywood game night.  takes me back to the days of win, lose, or draw.  i will shamelessly admit to the fact that i love when celebrities are competitive and look ridiculous.

i like having internet.  ha.

i like that the colts acquired trent richardson.  we'll see how it turns out.

i like cafe escape chai lattes for the keurig.  they are yummy.

i like our coffee shop in pendleton.  so cute.

i like this season of life.  (the season of weather is only my third favorite, but it's a million billion points above winter, so...)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

oh, it's the little things

i have always been drawn to particular sounds or sensations.  they connect to me very deeply, for reasons i cannot necessarily explain. 

here's a random example: in the movie 'on our own' (yes, it's a feature films for family movie, and yes, you should watch it), one of the characters is carrying grocery bags.  they kind of crunch and rustle in a particular way, and that sound is embedded in my soul.  obviously, if i am writing about it this many years later. 

i recently (aka yesterday) got a new keyboard and mouse at work.  this is a delightful thing on multiple fronts.  for one thing, i had no idea how bad my old ones really really were.  oh, i knew they were awful.  they had been going downhill for at least a month and required a special kind of finesse to right mouse button had to be gently and evenly depressed using the entirety of my middle finger.  the keyboard...well, let's just say i had a few heart to hearts that ended with me slamming it to make it work.  i didn't think it was asking too much to type letters and numbers when i hit the appropriate keys, but it seems that was reaching a bit too high.

another plus: the news ones work well.  super awesome rockstar well.  the mouse zips around my screens (psh yeah i have two screens.  don't you?) like it's the greatest thing to do on earth.  the sides of it have this grippy rubber that feels so cool.  and there are clicky buttons on the sides that let me navigate between folders.  which is actually a neat feature for the work that i am doing.

but my favorite part (and the reason for my sound/sensation post) is the noise that my keys make.  i'm not sure how to describe this sound.  there's a smoothness to it.  it's not thunky, like with keyboards from the 90s.  those keys were higher up off the board.  these are lower and probably a little smaller.  sleeker, certainly.  and when i get typing at an accelerated pace, i could close my eyes and breathe the sound right in.

yeah, i might be a weirdo. 

i am not a soft typist.  i think my mom, with her secretarial school training, probably is, though.  and maybe heather.  could be the delicate piano skills they have acquired.  but i type like i play piano--loud, hard, with the belief that speed is always the right choice.

so i have gone from a keyboard that made it sound like i was abusing the hard plastic in unmentionable ways to a keyboard that essentially reads my mind.  it absorbs my force, has a gradual incline to support my wrists (instead of awkwardly force them upward), and has a button devoted solely to pulling up the calculator on the computer.  this thing is awesome.

if you want one of these bad boy sets, it's called the microsoft wireless desktop 3000. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

i was hopeful...and other miscellany

oh, so hopeful...hopeful that i would be able to type this at home. 

but alas.

it is not to be.

we are still without internet.

and that is all i have to say about that.


our apartment is cute.  you'll have to come visit.


very fall-like weather we are having these days.  that's bittersweet.  i like fall--the colors, the bite of the air, the apples and pumpkin and cinnamon smells everywhere, the bonfires, etc.  but i am a summer girl.  born for the sun.  born for the heat.  plus, fall means winter is right around the corner.  barf.  i am NOT a winter girl.


peyton is still the man.


i am in the middle of several books that i am really enjoying.  what are you reading right now?  not that i should, but i might add it to my pile.  :)


we have an unusually high number of bugs, etc. in our apartment.  it does not seem to be as a result of cleanliness or uncleanliness.  they just sort of show up for no reason.  i feel like i should start a list to keep track of all the different types.  i shooed a cricket out yesterday.  maybe if i killed more of them, word would get around that we are bad mofos and not to be trifled with.  maybe not.


these are just a small collection of the things in my head.  hope it was as good for you as it was for me.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

yeah, i'm pretty much a vegetarian until 6 pm

my friend emily (who is an engaging/lovely/honest writer/musician/mother, among other should really check out her blog HERE) started following me on pinterest a while ago.  mostly cause we are dorks and talk about food a bunch.  being a faux-foodie is fun.  i think emily is a real foodie, actually.  but i don't know if i have the commitment to be a real foodie.

i digress.

so i have a food board that she follows.  if you want to see it, it's HERE.  (fair warning...i am kind of terrible about pinterest.  i will go through spurts where i will look at it a bunch for about two days and pin things...and then forget it exists for three months.  but this board serves as an online recipe box for me, so that's helpful.)

emily and i hung out a while ago at hearthstone (apparently, this is a link happy blog...but the place is awesome, and you should investigate it HERE), and i ordered one of their flatbread pizzas because the menu description contained words like pesto, mushrooms, and cheese.  duh.  so emily commented, 'are you a full-time vegetarian?'

i almost choked.

me?  a vegetarian?  the daughter of a hunter?

definitely not.

emily explained, 'well, most of your recipes on pinterest are veggie ones...'

she has a point.  i think if you did a search on my board, you would notice words like asparagus, avocado, spinach, hummus, and goat cheese come up over and over.  BECAUSE I LOVE THESE THINGS.

seriously.  love.

(you will also notice a theme of olive oil and garlic: two basic staples that i want to put in everything, even if there is no reason to at all.)

and when i get on pinterest, my eye is naturally drawn to these foods.  can't be helped.  so there are many many many vegetarian-friendly recipes on my board.

but let's get serious.  i love meat.  boy howdy, do i love meat/animal protein.  i love the basics (pork, beef, chicken, seafood), the hunted (squirrel, rabbit, venison), and the lesser-talked about (tripe, offal).  i'll eat it all.

but most days, i don't have any meat until my evening meal.  and not always then.  so about 70% of my life is vegetarian by the sheer coincidence that i happen to love fruits and vegetables. 

so yeah.  i'm pretty much a vegetarian until 6 pm.

(if you want to know the foods i don't like, they are as follows: rhubarb and grapefruit.  there are other foods i can't eat because of my allergies, but it doesn't mean i don't like them.)

**edit** it has been pointed out i also hate chocolate milk.  not sure how i forgot that.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

just another first

i wanted to learn
to share my heart, words inside--
a brick wall, haiku.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

read this book immediately

getting naked later: a guide for the fully clothed
kate hurley

it. is. amazeballs. 

funny.  full of truth.  honest.  hopeful.

you should read it if you are single.  you will connect and high five the book, make circles, draw arrows, and yell 'preach it!'

you should read it if you are married.  you will hear the wounded heartbeat of so many people around you (but you will not feel like you are being lectured).

seriously.  it's just so excellent. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

rant blog: not in the cards

i used to have a secret blog where i ranted about stuff.  not very many people had access to it.  probably for the best.

but there are times where rant blogs are necessary and helpful.  and, as i explained to mj last night, laughing at my pain can ease yours.

so laugh away.  i am [mostly] not full of rage anymore.


liz and i are on a budget.  (it turns out that moving is craptastically expensive, and this is why married people get wedding registries.  strike one against singles.)  so in our efforts to save a little cash where possible, when choosing our internet options, we made some decisions.  we bought our modem instead of renting it for $7/month, and we are doing self-installation instead of having someone come do it for us for $40.

so last monday, as i was trying to check out online, it said there would be a $20 shipping fee for the self-installation kit.  this seemed stupid and terrible and in direct contrast to what the helpful sales person had told me in an earlier conversation.  so i talked to another person, and they assured me if i went and picked it up at the location closest to our apartment, i would not have to pay this fee.  awesome.  however, it had to be me, and i had to show my id.  which complicated things a little, as

a) i don't work particularly close to that location
b) they close at 6
c) i get off work at 5

but no worries.  i would bolt out the door and make it there in the nick of time, and everything would be wonderful.  just to give myself peace of mind, i double checked to make sure it would be there that evening.

nope.  they don't keep self-installation kits on hand.  that would be silly.  it would take 3-5 business days to get there. 

as you may recall, i left for wisconsin on thursday after work.  so i conceded that i would not be picking up the kit last week.  not a huge deal.  we were both out of town, so who needed internet anyway?  not us.

so even though i had a long weekend with a lot of driving, i was all set to pick it up on monday.  i left work, hopped on 69-n...and sat still for about an hour.  police had blocked off all lanes going north because of a suspicious backpack.  which turned out to have water bottles in it.  and was reclaimed during the investigation.  sigh.  it was an inconvenience, but i ended up having dinner with my parents since i was rerouted that way anyway.

but yesterday was the day.  it was going to happen.  i sprinted out the door at 4:58 and got on 69-n in record time.  there were absolutely no delays and surprisingly little traffic all the way to anderson.  i couldn't believe it.  i figured it was some kind of justice for the annoyance of the day before.

i got off my exit, turned left, drove about fifteen seconds, and was greeted with a police barricade.  SERIOUSLY?  no idea what they were doing.  so i whipped out my phone and figured out my detour plan.  eta: 5:44.  ok, cutting it closer than i wanted, but i would still make it there in time. 

the detour, unfortunately, took about 300 cars through a stop sign.  which was a bit slow.  so i watched my eta change from 5:44 to 5:48.  5:52.  5:53.  5:58...

i got to the stop sign, turned right, drove, turned left on the road that had been blocked off (still couldn't see why), and booked it through anderson.  don't worry.  even in my panic and stress, i was driving reasonable and safe speeds.  i'm not a lunatic.

cruising along and making up a little bit of time, i think, 'even if i get there right at 6, and they have locked the door, i will bang on it and make them let me in.  i don't even have to pay for anything...just pick it up.'  this made me feel a bit better.

and then there was a train.  i am not making this up.

it was sitting perfectly still on the train tracks for no apparent reason.  i wanted to do violent things.

my eta kept creeping up.  6:02, 6:03.  but i refused to give in.  i had come this far.  it was going to happen.

the train finally moved.  i zipped down the road.  and then came to the heart of downtown anderson, which is full of stoplights and one way streets.  my eta was hovering around 6:02, and i died a little inside every time i had to stop at a light.

i turned on 10th street and searched high and low for this store.  nowhere to be found.  so i did the only thing you can do in this situation.  i kept turning down random one way street s to try and find it.  this resulted in driving several large squares and rectangles around downtown anderson.  but it worked, because on one of these ventures, i spotted a van with the name of the place i was looking for (notice how i have worked so hard at not disparaging the company itself because only some of this annoyance is actually their fault?). 

so i jetted down the street, only to see that it was an exit only.  no idea how i had missed the entrance, i let out a shriek of agony and tried to turn around.  that was a poor decision, but nothing bad happened.  i made a large rectangle around several blocks and realized the entrance was past the exit, which further enraged me.  but i found it and pulled in the parking lot.

i looked at the clock.  6:07.  willing my heart to slow to a normal pace, i walked to the door.  unsurprisingly, it was locked.  heartbroken, i looked inside.  an employee stared back out at me.  and looked away.  i stood around, looking pathetic, for several more minutes, but it was clear there was no way she was going to open the door.

so i drove home.

and we do not have internet.

but maybe someday...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

less profound

i feel a certain sense of pressure to write something awesome since my last post got an insane amount of traffic.  (let's be real...insane for me.  normal posts get about 20 views.  the momma post got 300.  what.)

but after a weekend of moving and trying to adjust to a new place and a new drive, i don't have profound thoughts.  i barely have any thoughts at all.

our apartment is cute.  it's nowhere near being finished.  and both of us are leaving for the weekend, so it's remaining a bit incomplete.  oy.  but the move went well.  aside from the washer flooding...that was kind of gross.  many people helped us, and they are wonderful.  even kim, who went to the wrong apartment and carried a box in for strangers.  who were actually moving out.  haha.

i've been pulling out clothes and cds and books (ok, not yet on the books.  but it will happen.) for donations, so the 'donate 31 items' will be done in a heartbeat.

the only other list item of note is that i 'helped' heather with her scavenger hunt.  essentially, i sat on a bench, yelled at high school girls to run faster, and drove home.  now that's what i call qt with the big sis.

and...i am headed to the wisco tomorrow after work to play with mj and jb.  yes, the one and only time my little booty is getting to the great state this entire calendar year.  depressing.  but spending great heart time with my girls. soon as the apt gets whipped into shape, i'll delight you with some pics.  deuces, everybody.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

to the mommas

i have many thoughts on singleness, its joys and struggles, and what i have learned from it.  but those posts are for another day.  today, i want to share something that's been percolating around my little heart lately.

i want to be a mom.  so very much.  thought i should throw that out here at the beginning, but if you've ever had a conversation with me about what i want to do with my life, then you already know it.  (i even say it in interviews.)  that hope and desire permeate everything i am about to say, and i want you to know i feel it very strongly every day.  

so it's a painful sort of delight that just about every other person i run into is pregs, just had a kid, or has like three already.  (and if your name is mrs. bearclaw, then you fit all of those descriptions ...)  recently, i have had some amazing conversations with moms of littles, moms of tweens, and moms of college students.  all i can say is...

i know some damn fine women in this world. 

they are women who prayed ceaselessly for their miracle babies. 
they are women who love and serve their husbands and families.
they are women who are open and honest about their joys and struggles (and we need to hear both!).
they are women who model dependence on the Lord each and every day.

i am so thankful for these women.  not just for who they are as mothers--because that is not what defines them--but for the women they are.  their character.  their courage.  their friendship.  and then for the joy and strength with which they take up the role of motherhood each day. 

the older i get, the more i think being a parent must be one of the more challenging adventures in this world:  to raise up a child and know they may not appreciate anything you do.  to pour love and affection into someone who will make a multitude of wrong and hurtful choices as they grow.  to model so many right things, yet get called out on the others.  to try to protect something so fragile while not smothering it.  it sounds exhausting.  and terrifying.  and completely humbling.

you impress the crap out of me. should know your kids aren't the only ones watching you.  ignore the world's critical eye for a moment and hear this:

i have been watching you.  and i am awed by you.  i have been sharing some of these joys from a distance.  i have been stunned by the capacity you have to run on three hours of sleep, balance having a high schooler and a kindergartner at the same time, and still truly serve others with a genuine smile.  i have been noticing the subtle ways you model authentic love.  i have been listening to your sorrows and praying for you.  i have been so appreciative of how you allow yourself to be changed into women of greater character through your trials and victories.

i am so thankful for you.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

and if you didn't know it, i'm a fiddle player, too...

i'm not.
but i'm friends with at least two people who are.  so there you go.

dearest darlingest momsy and popsicle,

i am pooped.  which is why i am quoting without any consistency or reason.  yes, there will be some quotes substituting for my actual words in this post.  sorry in advance.

so back to the poopedness.  that's not even a word!

i am in the midst of training for the sprint triathlon.  and it is tuckering me out.  but i think it's good for me in a way that marathon training definitely was not.  a sprint tri means that i swim 500 meters, bike 10 miles, and run 3.1 miles.  i grew up watching ironman competitions, so i have to work hard at telling myself that there is absolutely no reason for me to do that.  because this is super challenging enough for my poor little body.  i have been running regularly since april.  (no particular reason.  i just kept on going.)  so my cardio is there, but adding in two things i am not used to at all is tough stuff.

you can check over on the right side of my blog for any poem updates.  there are some.  but i don't plan on announcing when i put new ones up.  you can also keep track of some of the other things i am doing.  (you may notice i finished a book.  it was a good one.  life together by dietrich bonhoeffer.  i'll have to have some sort of chat with you about it later, cause it was quality.)

this is pathetic, but i am really too tired to write anymore.  i will give you a better post next week.  start working on your suggestions.

...and for those of you who patiently read this but didn't know what i was quoting:

'and if you didn't know it, i'm a fiddle player, too' is from 'the devil went down to georgia'
'dearest darlingest momsy and popsicle' is from 'wicked'
'that's not even a word!' is from 'friends'
'no particular reason.  i just kept on going' is from 'forrest gump'


Saturday, July 27, 2013

everybody was kung fu fighting

g'day, mates.  welcome to the 'i committed to blog once a week for a year and this is the first week of that' blog.  i'm sure it will be a post full of wonder and adventure, so get your backpack and compass, and we'll be on our way.

yo, did you see this cuteness from my birthday?  please.

with regard to the list, i don't have a lot of updates.  i'm plugging away on my weekly items, although it was more of a challenge this week than it will be most weeks, i think.  i put a good little dent in my running miles, and twice this week, i ran much faster than usual.  so that's weird.  (yesterday, i ran 3.64 miles at 8:06 pace...bizarre.)

i also went through heather's list to try and identify 31 items with which i might want to help.  if you're not familiar with heather (she's my older sister) or her list, go HERE.  you should probably just follow her and make snarky comments.  she'd like that.

for the bulk of this week's post, though, i thought i should probably fill you in on what the heck is going on in my life.

at the moment, i am in my parents' house.  i'm hanging out with b & d for the weekend.  the past three weeks, i have been housesitting for my favorite grownup.  but on monday, i will be back at travis & kelli's.  which should be fun, since my room is currently being painted for baby squishy.  and in two weeks, i am moving.


well, not yay to the moving part.  but yay to everything it implies:

1) i will have a permanent residence for the first time since jennifer and i lived together.  yeah, that was in 2010.  remember my BLOG from back then?  haha.  :)  (in the past three years, i have lived out of suitcases and boxes (and occasionally dressers) in the following places: mom & dad's, aunt betty & uncle jon's, adam & alicia's, aunt betty & uncle jon's, wigger, mom & dad's, asian holly's, mom & dad's, travis & kelli's, rich & heather's, and travis & kelli's.)  ready. for. a. home.

2) i get to live with liz.  nonstop shenanigans, most likely.  and we will be neighbors with allyse and cam, which will be so fun.

3) i get to unpack all my books!!!!!!!!!!!

4) i get to organize an entire apartment.  my heart is metaphorically exploding with joy about this!

5) we will live in pendleton, which is such a cute little town.  you are all invited to come hang out.  in fact, i'll probably invite you for a meal or a tea party or something else on my list.  :)

five is enough, i think.

i am extremely grateful for the people who have housed me.  but i am so excited for this next chapter.  i would appreciate a lot of prayer in the next couple of weeks.  if you know me at all, you are aware that my mind has gone into insane list-making mode (and not the fun kind of list).  so i am trying to create lots of pauses and space in my days to remind myself to breathe and that the details will come together.

whew.  i'll see you in a week or so.  :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

thirtyoneders " it. looks like the o'needers."

i know you have been just chomping at the bit to see what shenanigans i would commit myself to over the course of the next year.  well, wait no longer!  the list is posted.

here's what you should know about my list:

-it starts on sunday.  it lasts for a year.

-some old favorites are back.  it turns out that i like hosting meals and being active.  who knew?

-some old failures are back.  if you've been with me for a while, you know that make my t shirt quilt goes back at least to my 27 things list.  i think it might actually happen this time.

-some of them are a little vague.  this is intentional.  it leaves flexibility.  and if i decide to put something even cooler on my list, one of the vague ones might get removed.  (so if you have a great idea you want to suggest, you still can!)

-many of them are social!  i know, it's difficult to believe that the hermit crab would put so many social items on her list.  if any of them sounds appealing, let me know you want to be invited.

-i am committed to blogging this one out.  and yes, that even means VIDEO blogs.  after watching the lizzie bennet diaries (and if you haven't, you absolutely should.  immediately.  here's the LINK to the first one.), i have been asked to document my nonsense for the world to see.  oy.  i'll keep you posted on that.

let me know what you think!

Monday, June 17, 2013

gentle words

you are loved.
you are not lost.
you are not alone.
tears are redemptive.
sorrow is refining.
you are loved.
you are chosen.
you are wildly blessed.
seasons are illuminating, and they do not last.
you are a grace-bearer.
you are loved.
you are not the same as you were.
you are full of love.
joy comes in the morning.
you are redeemed.
you are loved.

you are beloved.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

this was yesterday

without warning,
the ache courses through me--
loneliness and longing
sitting like a pit in my stomach.
empty and waiting,
the hurt creeping to my
fingertips and toes.
tears in my eyes,
a groaning sigh
escapes from my core.


though my heart feels
restlessly desperate,
i will speak truth:
you are faithful.
though i feel blind and lost,
i will press into you:
you have grace for each moment.


though i am weak and weary,
i will give you this heart.
let my sorrow be a holy offering.


holly willman

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


i will post more about it later, but i am compiling a new list of sorts.  and don't worry...i will announce it with lots of the snark and shazam you have come to love and expect on this blog.

in the meantime, i am looking for suggestions of challenges you have for me.  they need to be mostly practical, particularly where my budget is concerned.  so traveling challenges are mostly out for the time being.

if the challenge is a more personal one, feel free to email or facebook message me instead of leaving it in the comments.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

i am here: here i am

i have not forgotten about you.  and there are some things that i want to share.  so hunker down for a minute.

i have been making some really healthy choices for my life in the past month.  nothing drastic or life changing, at least on the surface.  but below the surface?  oh, they're making an impact.

some of my active/physical choices:

i started running again.  not a lot.  my body simply won't tolerate a lot.  but some.  and to be honest, it feels good.  no matter what i say, please don't ever let me run a marathon again.  not all people are meant to do that. 

i've also been incorporating yoga and volleyball.  so i am doing restful things and fun things.  those are important keys to being active and not hating it.

some of my habit choices:

i'm drinking at least 80 ounces of water per day.  that was really hard initially, and i still pee alllllllllll the time, but i can feel the positive effects of it on my body. 

i'm getting at least 6 hours of sleep every night.  that number might still seem low to some of you, but the consistent amount is the important part.  my body certainly appreciates it--i have never been very good about quality sleep in the past, so this has been a nice blessing.

at least until my birthday, i'm not eating candy, dessert, or fast food.  i'm not drinking soda.  and i am being very deliberate about not eating excessively.  that means slowing down and thinking about my food choices. 


there are other things i am doing that pertain to whole life wellness.  i set some mental and spiritual goals along with my physical goals.  and my heart is really resting a lot more.  i'm recognizing myself and remembering who i want to be and where i want to go...and allowing the Lord to speak so much truth and grace into me. 

it's a good season.  and i wanted you to rejoice with me in it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


And the weight becomes unbearable.
The pressure?  Too much.
I crack, ever so slightly.  Tiny bit by tiny bit.
I can feel it on the inside. 
But I disregard the warnings.
Keep the game face on.
Head down, plowing through…
as though there is nothing to be done.
The tension increases.  Systems fail.
And I am too weary to pretend, to fight.
So my pride seeps out the cracks.
You can hear the weariness in my voice--
it breaks as I try to speak through the tears.

My pride dissipates.
My sorrow fades away.
My anger wanes.
My hurt feelings sharpen, then soften, then evaporate.

I can feel the raw edges,
see my imperfections.
The flaws would overwhelm me if I’d let them…and I used to.

Grace for the graceless.
He calls me beloved,
whispers through my whimpers.
He is faithful
to this faithless fool.

The truth remains that he makes all things new.
And that is enough.

Holly Willman

Monday, March 4, 2013

Must be the learner in me...

I think I miss being in school. I miss having projects to do. Especially on the computer. Kelli will tell you I have a minor obsession with the budget I built in Excel. It's ridiculously dorky. And awesome.

I am contemplating learning how to code. Maybe. Just a little.

Does anybody want me to make them something in Excel? Please?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

psalm 10

Psalm 10

Yahweh, why can’t I feel your nearness?
Why do I feel so alone when my world is shaking?
Bad men, full of pride, chase and abuse the helpless.
I hope they trip over their own wickedness.
They talk and talk about their wicked schemes.
They fawn over other evildoers and blaspheme you, Yahweh. 
Those fools can’t see you because they are so full of themselves.
They stupidly think you’re in the grave, Yahweh!
And still…they achieve what they want.
They don’t know you are storing up pain for them.
They mock their foes and think they will get away with it.
They say, “We are invincible, untouchable!”

Everything falling from their lips is rotten.
They speak words of destruction and think terrible thoughts.
They hide in dark alleys, waiting to pounce on the innocent.
All they want to do is ruin and kill others.
Creeping through the shadows,
stalking and hunting their prey…
they attack and capture the defenseless.
Who can stand against them?
Their wicked ways are too much!
They think you don’t see them, Yahweh!  Fools!
They think you are sleeping on the job and that they will get away with all of this.

Come on, Yahweh! 
Defend your people!
Make those evildoers suffer!
I don’t understand why their plans succeed—plans that mock you, Yahweh.
I know they think there is no punishment.
But you are not sleeping, and you are not blind.
Their awful behavior has not gone unnoticed.  You will act!
The forgotten and neglected turn to you,
because you care for the least of these.
Smash those evil people!
Completely wreck and demolish each and every one of them.
Yahweh, you are the ruler of eternity!
Tribes and nations who have walked away from you will soon be forgotten.
Yahweh, you hear the secret whispers of your people.
I just know you will shelter and care for them in their need.
You will call the wicked to account,
creating peace at last for the harassed and helpless.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

psalm 9

Psalm 9

I will glorify you, Yahweh, with every fiber of my being;
I will broadcast your amazing wonders to the world.
My heart is both full of delight and can rest quietly because of your great love.
My life cries out, ‘Yes, Yahweh, you are high and holy!’

No one can stand against me--
they run and perish when you stood with me.
You have declared me innocent--
through the blood of Christ, you have cleared my name.
You have called out the liars and sinners around the world; you have kicked out the evildoers;
they are gone forever.
My foes are done, hopelessly wrecked--
the homes you destroyed are erased from memory.

But you, Yahweh, are the king of eternity!
You bring justice and righteousness to this world.
Your kingdom will usher in a new system,
where goodness and right living will rule the day.
Yahweh is protection for the whipped and beaten,
a safe harbor for weary and battered sailors.
All of us who know your intimate love rest securely in your arms,
for you, Yahweh, will always be a faithful father for the children who cry out to you.

Glorify our Yahweh!  He is king of Zion!
Shout out all he has done—the personal stories of his victory in your lives!
The great judge, defender of the martyrs…he is on our side!
He is acquainted with torment and trials, and he hears our desperation.

Oh, Yahweh, take pity on this suffering soul.
Do you hear their mockery?
Rescue me from their grasp, from their tentacles of pain and evil.
Redeem my life, for I want to declare your glory in the town square;
I want to shout out that you are my hero!

These evil men have seen it all blow up in their faces--
what they meant for others’ harm has come back to ensnare them.
Yahweh is the one who rights wrongs—it’s what he does!
Evildoers and sinners can’t get away from their own wickedness—it imprisons them.

Sinners will die and miss out on glory--
that’s what happens to men and women who disdain Yahweh.
But the weary and brokenhearted will soon have a voice;
indeed, their victory is coming!  Hope and restoration are on the way!

Up, Yahweh, rise up!
How can you let these wicked men defile your people?
Declare them guilty!  Punish them!
Terrify them with your greatness, Yahweh--
let them know they are nothing, and you are everything.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

psalm 8

Psalm 8

O Yahweh, Yahweh, our Yahweh—your beauty and honor fill all time and space!

The weight of your presence is greater than both the heights and depths.
Mere babes speak your story—you put it in their hearts from birth.
Your foes have no words to explain this.
Your opponents cannot stand against you.
Yahweh, when I gaze at the dark sky and know you spread it out…
the sparkling, twinkling perfect lights you placed with precision…
who are we? 
Simple, tiny specks.
And yet—you know us!  You delight in us!
You cared for our eternal position—near to you—
and blessed our lives.
You gave us purpose and hope.
You let us work with the wonders of your creation—
cows and sheep,
badgers and baboons,
pelicans and piranhas,
shrimp and great white sharks.

Oh, Yahweh, Yahweh, our Yahweh—your beauty and honor fill all time and space!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

i remember that swagger...

hey.  it's your negligent friend, holly.  let me just blow the dust off this blog here...

uh, you should back up if you have asthma or allergies...

ah, that's better.

so, a quick life update.

location: indianapolis, indiana
more specifically: travis and kelli's house

why i love it: well, to start, travis and kelli are there!  duh.  living with them is fun and awesome.  there's lots of good food, movie quoting, hugging, and jeopardy watching.  i am only an hour from marion, so i can get up there a couple times a month to meet with students and spend time in that heart community.  i am close to my family while not living in a room that is full of boxes that have been packed since last april.  when it's warmer out, i have quick access to a pool.  and i have a rad prayer closet in my room.  and it's only ten minutes from work.

wait, what?

yeah, i got a job.  no, it's not specifically using my degrees (and i still wouldn't trade them for anything).  but it is using the sum total of knowledge and skills i have accumulated in thirty years.  i work for capital analysts of the midwest.  i am pretty much a glorified receptionist.  but they want to turn the position into more.  cause of all my sweet aforementioned skills.  ;)  it's a wealth advising/management company.  what they do is pretty cool, actually...helping people steward their money, etc.  i really enjoy the environment there.

reminds me of interning at bridgeway: there is a lot of randomness to my job, and i work for a ton of different people/personalities.

reminds me of managing finish line: there's a money focus (but kind of the opposite of the one there) and a helping people focus.

reminds me of being a financial specialist for rec sports: i get to use excel so much!  i work with checks and help take care of lots of details for many people.

reminds me of grad school stuff: i am interrupted a bunch, get to organize and create helpful systems, and get to make up parts of my job as i go.

reminds me of powernine: i listen to people speak a language i don't understand, i think everything makes more sense in spreadsheets, i direct emails, and i wear t shirts and sweats (ok, that last part is a lie.  i have to wear nicer clothes.)

i guess if you want more, you'll have to ask.  but i like it.  i am in a settled season, which is a nice change for me.

i really am going to try harder about blogging (at least during my nors), so if you have writing challenges you would like to throw at me, i am open.  i may even consider creating a goals list.  so let me know if you have any of those, too.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

ragged pursuit

My intimate,
most precious love!
How you have yearned for
and eagerly sought after me!
I have felt the heat of your affections,
the weight of your hungry love.
I have offered fickle
and half-hearted love in return.
I have been foolish
and unfaithful.
I have tried to earn the gift
you desired to give freely.
But oh!
My sweet and gentle love!
Your pursuit, even unto death,
is the greatest love story ever told.
And you have captivated me,
body and soul.
My beauty is found
in the glory
of your love.

Holly Willman 12/31/12