Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

Fruits of the Spirit: Love

I knew that as soon as I wrote that I would post about our fruits of the spirit series at WOW, I would slack off. In my defense, we’ve only talked about one over the course of two weeks, and then this past Wednesday was XLT.

We began with Love because, well, Paul does. We discussed the different types of love and what it means to love – and what it means to love when it is hard. We managed to get on the topics of capital punishment, euthanasia, death, and Jacob and Rachel. We had some great conversations and it made me more excited to explore these fruits with the girls over the next several months. Here are some quotes and verses that inspired my discussions with the girls:

36″Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

16″For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

28″You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. John 14:28-29

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:7-21

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

CCC 1822-1845

One of the main messages that comes through loud and clear from studying our Bible is the extreme importance that God the Father is placing on that everyone learn how to love Him, love ourselves, love one another, and to even go as far as to be able to love our enemies and those who will try and hurt us. Unknown

You can be the greatest man of God and have some of the greatest gifts of God flowing through you – but if you are not walking with all of this in the spirit of love and humility, it will have all been for naught. Unknown

From Elizabeth George’s book, A Woman’s Walk With God:

Principles of Love:

  • Love is an act of the will
  • Love is action, not just words
  • Love reaches out to the unlovely
  • We need God to help us love
  • Love expects nothing in return

Things to do to walk in love:

  • Love the people God puts in your life: family, friends
  • Look to God when love is hard
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Keeping Track of Praises

Let’s face it, the working world is not the same as it used to be. One of the big things that has changed is company loyalty. While my grandfather worked for Exxon for more than 30 years, these days, people change jobs frequently and everyone is always on the lookout for their next job.

This means it is more important than ever to keep resumes updated and always be aware of your work-related accomplishments. At my last job, I had to write up my monthly accomplishments at the end of every month. It had a summary of tasks as well as details of special projects and assignments I had done. I never quite appreciated it though until I started applying for a new job. At my fingertips was all the data I would need to prove that I had done a phenomenal job.

I’ve been in my new job for just about 60 days now and I have already started keeping track of accomplishments, tasks, and recognition. Here’s how I organize them:

Special Projects: I have an Excel spreadsheet for special projects where I record the date range I worked on it and my specific responsibilities.

1:1 Meetings: An Excel spreadsheet that records comments and conversations at my 1:1 meetings with my boss. A log of compliments and concerns, mainly.

Recognition: this actually has three forms. I have a folder in My Documents called “Recognition” where I save emails I receive giving me praise or announcing an achievement (top producer, etc). I have an Excel spreadsheet where I keep track of awards, and I have a physical file folder where I write down when someone give me verbal praise. Not only does all of this help track my success, but on days when I feel like I can’t do much right, it’s nice to have evidence to the contrary.

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Back in 1979-1980, my parents hosted a 16-year-old foreign exchange student from Germany named Tina. Since then, we have remained in contact with her and her family, including several trips from both sides of the ocean. Tina got married 16 years ago and now has two children of her own. The last time we saw the family was in 96 when my family spent time in Germany. On Saturday, Tina, her husband, and her two boys (now 14 and 11), came to visit us! This is the boys’ first trip to America and her husband’s first trip to Texas (he has spent time in California before).

Saturday we didn’t do much except let them recover from their long day of travel (they stayed awake close to 24 hours to recover from jet lag). Sunday we all went to church (where the 11-year-old developed a deep love for donuts) and went to the Rangers game. Baseball is not very popular in Germany, though the 14-year-old played in a youth league for several years. The boys loved the game, and thankfully the Rangers pulled off a win for us!

This morning they left with my parents for Austin, New Braunfels and San Antonio, but we will have more fun with them next week before they head for the Grand Canyon and California.

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Fruits of the Spirit

This year, to my delight, we are replacing the teen bible study at church with discussion/faith-sharing groups for the guys and the girls. To my greater delight, I get to help lead the girls’ group.

To start things off, I decided we should concentrate on …..the fruits of the spirit! (queue song). Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Self-Control, and, because we’re Catholic, Chastity, Modesty and Generosity.

I’m so excited to share with these girls. We’ve already had two weeks and they are enjoying it. As one of them put it, these are the things we all want to have as a woman of God.

I’ll admit it, half of my enjoyment comes from preparing the lessons. I’ll try to blog a little about each one as we talk about them. Feel free to share back in the comments.

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Blast From The Past

I was going through my grandmother’s photos and found the following gems:

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The Bass Player of Grammar

Back in the days of college, I helped our college church group’s praise and worship band. I was the power point guru, and more importantly, the band “mom,” a title I wore proudly. Being around the musicians taught me many lessons. One of the lessons I learned is that there are two types of musicians: the ones who have studied and know the technical aspects of music and the ones who simply know what is right and what is wrong. The band was made up of a healthy mix of both. Our “lead” (he hated that term) belonged to the first group. He had been in school band for 10 years. He could transpose music, tell you whether something was mezzo piano or forte, and knew things like “music theory.” We affectionately called him “band-o” and “the walking metronome.” Our bass player was the other type. He learned on his own, he tended to learn music by hearing it and then playing it, and while he couldn’t always tell you the specific notes/chords he was playing, he knew what was right.

All this to tell you my big secret. I am the bass player of grammar. It doesn’t matter that I have spent so many years as a proofreader, editor, writer, or that English was always my best subject or that I have had things published; the fact is that I couldn’t teach a grammar course because I never remember the actual grammar rules. Sure I know what a noun and pronoun are, but you start moving toward verb, adverb, adjective, participle, etc., and I get foggy. So how did I become so good at it? I just know what looks or sounds right and I go from there.

Not that this is bad. It means I rarely have to pay attention to what I am saying or writing to make it come out ok. I once was at a speaker’s workshop because I was giving a talk at an upcoming retreat. All of the speakers had to stand and tell everyone a childhood memory as if you were giving it in a talk. The other speakers were watching and listening for verbal and physical crutches. One person had their hands in their back pockets. One person fiddled with his ring the entire time. My crutches were minimal, but the one comment I remember is that one of the speakers, who was a grad student in speech, looked at me and said, “You speak grammatically perfect. Do you know how rare that is? Even people who write in perfect grammar rarely speak that way.”

It’s a fairly hidden talent, and probably the reason I didn’t minor in English. But I think we all have something like that. Some talent where we never actually knew the mechanics of it, we just naturally know.

As to why I never retained those rules – I have a theory. But that is another post for another time. I’ll tell you this much, my theory involves 4 letters that strike fear in the hearts of anyone I went to elementary school with: C S M P.

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Last week we celebrated Dad’s 60th birthday with a surprise party. He doesn’t actually turn 60 until the end of July, but that is part of the whole surprise thing.

It was great and fun and full of laughs. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Tonight was filled with things I love:

-dinner with Joe and Angela

-Macaroni Grill

-Penne Rustica


-Coke with stuff


-phone conversations

-reminders of an old friend


perfection. except that i left my leftover penne rustica in joe’s fridge. i’m sure he won’t eat it before I see him tomor..oh, who am i kidding. his fridge has powerade, cool whip, salad dressing, butter and penne rustica. it’s gone.