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

I’ll Never Forget…

Random Writing Prompt:

“Why won’t you forget?  List six true sentences that begin with the words ‘I’ll never forget…’ “

I’ll never forget…to cherish the small joys in life.

I’ll never forget…that the One I can count on is always there.

I’ll never forget…that love is perfect, covers a multitude of sins, and is the bond of perfection. It is also sacrifice.

I’ll never forget….that serving others, sometimes at the cost of yourself,  is the best way to love.

I’ll never forget…the healing power of laughter and friendship.

I’ll never forget…that sometimes in life you have to follow your heart.

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Hey Jealousy

Random writing prompt:

“When do you first remember feeling some type of jealousy?  Write about the experience.”

Oh jealousy. I battle you more than I care to admit. I don’t know that I remember the first time I felt that ugliness. But I know how it feels now. I feel scared. Fear drives it more than anything else. I tend not to be jealous of material things. My main jealousy is when I fear that someone who is close to me is forming other bonds. Logic tells me that this is natural and healthy, and heck, I do it to. But fear tells me that this will pull that person away from me – that I don’t have what it takes to keep someone close to me. And when fear wins, it takes every ounce of strength to try and suppress it. I’m not always successful and I start to become irrational. And clingy. And needy. Attractive qualities, I know. The crazy thing is that time after time I get proved wrong, yet it doesn’t seem to affect it that much.

Which wolf will win?  The one that I feed.

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It’s Christmas Time in the City…

Christmas this year was fairly low-key and traditional. Evening worship, morning presents, afternoon dinner and evening at friends house. Nice, simple, and classic. Just the way I like it.

The day after, Nanny and I braved the wind and went to Macy’s to return a gift. That evening, MP and I went to Pete’s in Addison for a fun night of singing. That’s twice in one week I’ve sung Bohemian Rhapsody. Sigh.

Saturday had a few moments of unpleasantness, but ultimately a good day, ending with dinner and games with best friends.

Some lovely celebrations that don’t come close to the loveliness of the season.

How did you celebrate?

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Random Writing Prompt:

“What does that tell you about your mother?  List five products your mother used (or uses).  Write a longer piece about, at least, one of them.”

  1. Cotton balls
  2. Aspen perfume
  3. Electrosol
  4. Merle Norman
  5. Jif

Cotton balls. For some reason I always remember the cotton balls Mom keeps on the vanity in her bathroom. I don’t know why it is such a vivid memory. It makes no sense. Nothing truly important came from her using those. I know she uses them for makeup. I just always remember them sitting on her counter in a hurricane glass from Pat O’Briens in New Orleans. A few years ago, someone who was cleaning the house knocked it over and the glass broke, so now the cotton balls reside in a glass ice bucket, but I still always think of it as the hurricane glass. Maybe I was always fascinated by the fact that she didn’t keep them in a bag or drawer, but in something pretty that she reused/repurposed.

Weird, I know.

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Random Writing Prompt:

“Who answers a question with a question?  Write a fictional conversation between two characters or people you actually know.  The characters/people are only allowed to speak in questions.  How long can you keep the conversation interesting?”

Since I just watched some Veronica Mars, here’s a conversation between a girl named Veronica and a guy named Squiggly:

Veronica: Why am I here?

Squiggly: Don’t you know?

Veronica: What aren’t you telling me?

Squiggly: What makes you think I know something you don’t?

Veronica: Is this about the other day?

S: What happened?

V: What have you heard?

S: Who do you think told me?

V: Was it James?

S: James who?

V: Which James works at the corner store?

S: James White?

V: Is he the one who has blonde hair?

S: Who can really tell?

V: What did he tell you?

S: Why don’t you tell me what you know?

V: What good would that do?

S: Are you trying to hide something?

V: So what if I am?

S: Don’t you know I can help you?

V: Why should I believe you?

S: Who else can you trust?

V: How did you know to come here?

S: Are you surprised to see me?

V: What difference does that make?

S: Do you want some answers?

V: Isn’t that what I’ve been saying?

S: What if I tell you something you don’t want to hear?

V: How would you even know?

S: Why is this so important to you?

V: Have you ever lost someone you cared about?

S: How is that relevant?

V: Are you an idiot?

S: What makes you say that?

V: Do you even know anything or are you wasting my time?

S: The real question is, do I know what you want me to know?

V: What?

S: Are you confused yet?

V: When will you get to the point?

S: Why start now?

V: Are you going to stop me from walking out the door?

S: What reason do I have?

V: Why do I even bother?

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As I said in my previous post, we are finished with the Fruits of the Spirit, and also, finished with our first semester of WOW. I must say that it is one of the best things in my life. Every week we have anywhere between 8-15 girls come and it is truly awesome to watch them learn and grow. I can’t wait to see what will come in the spring.

We are on a two-week break, but come January7, a whole new series will begin. We will be studying Theology of the Body for Teens (by Jason Evert, Crystalina Evert and Brian Butler). Even better, this will be simultaneously studied with the boys of BOB.  It should be awesome and I can’t wait to get started.

Also, our spring retreat is going to be in the key of BOB and WOW – we will be having two retreats, one for the guys and one for the girls, going on at the same time in two different locations. Things are falling into place and I can not wait to see what comes of these retreats.

It’s going to be a good year.

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Fruits of the Spirit: Generosity

For generosity we talked a lot about tithing. And not just money, but time and talents as well. For many high school students, this is what they can give.

At the end of the night I gave the girls a sheet with contact information on things they could do in their own community to be generous, as well as some things they could do that week in their homes and schools.

I also reminded of them of the clothing drive we had held earlier in the year that ended up collecting more than 3,000 pounds of clothes for a local Catholic thrift store. We need to practice this generosity daily.

And that, friends, is the end of our Fruits of the Spirit series.

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Fruits of the Spirit: Modesty and Chastity

We talked about modesty and chastity on two separate nights, but they are so similar, I’m just going to do one post about both of them.

Having talked about modesty at a life night not that long ago, the girls were fairly familiar with the topic.

The most interesting part of these weeks were some quotes I found about modesty:

“Modesty is important because it is the fort that protects the castle, but it is also the frame that

enhances the picture.”

The girls liked that one, but the one we all liked best comes from a saint:

“You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. … When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body but the soul. And it is not to enemies you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride.” – St. John Chrysostom

We talked for a long time about how when we dress immodestly and lead others to sin, we are at fault just as much, if not more, then they are. At St. John points out, no one jails the one who drank the poison, but the one who poisoned the drink.
We also discussed this passage from Sirach:
A man’s attire, his hearty laughter and his gait, proclaim him for what he is.
Carrie delighted the girls by demonstrating proper “gait.”
We also had some discussions on what to do when friends and sisters dress immodestly.
Two great weeks and they provided such a good setup for next semester.

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Fruits of the Spirit: Self-Control

Ah, self control. Everyone’s favorite!

Once again, I’m pretty vague on this one. I remember that we talked of temptation and what we can do to combat that, but I can’t remember exactly what we discussed.

Sorry 😦

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Fruits of the Spirit: Gentleness

Gentleness was a fun one. It ended up going two weeks, we were having so much fun with it.

I knew that one of the first things the girls would think of when I mentioned gentleness is weakness, because that is the rep that being gentle gets. So, first I found an article that we all read:


Then we talked about what all of that meant and how gentleness is actually great strength, not weakness at all. We talked about how Mary is thought of as gentle (especially since we have a song called Gentle Woman), but that she is often portrayed as crushing the head of a snake. And that lead into a talk about women. Specifically, women in the Church. For this, we turned to John Paul II’s Letter to Women

Now you probably understand what took us two weeks! The girls really enjoyed learning about how perfectly “ok” it was to be feminine – it’s what we are called to be, and how the Church does not oppress women or punish women or hate women, on the contrary it LOVES women. The Church recognizes the unique gifts of women and their role, just as it recognizes the unique gifts of men and their role. And instead of trying to lie and say that women and men can fulfill each others roles, it honors them in their own roles. Ok, that may not make sense, but it does in my head. And it made sense when we talked about it.

A few weeks later one of the girls told me that one of her friends told her that the Catholic Church hated women and that’s why women weren’t allowed to be priests. My teen corrected her and shared with her just how much the Church does not hate women. Fulton Sheen would be proud.

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