Garden of the Gods, Illinois… I love you!

I recently shared with a friend that it’s where I find my center. Sitting there on the edge or on top of a rock looking out over the world, somehow calms me. Perhaps it’s because they aren’t going anywhere and practically everything else has. In that moment, even if for just a moment, my troubles are overshadowed by their will to stand. I think of the storms they’ve withstood, the bitter cold, the raging sun. How they’ve adapted, yet stayed their beautiful selves…


The Broken Fence

There’s a broken section of a fence up the road from me. I bet I’ve driven by it 1,000 times. While I’ve noticed it, I’ve never had the desire to stop and fix it or to care how it got broken. I just know it is… and that it’s beautiful!

Sure, I could go to Home Depot and get the stuff to fix it, but then it would be like every other section. It wouldn’t stand out, it would be ordinary, you would never know it’s ability to stand there being visibly broken.

People have told me to smile through my tears, to hide my pain and keep it to myself. While they’re saying that, they’re also saying to be strong.

I don’t think strength is about hiding, I think strength is showing your brokenness. I think strength is showing the world that while you may be falling apart, you’re still standing… That you’re still holding your own even with your broken planks.

Maybe, just maybe, if you stick it out, you’ll have some Morning Glories come beautify your life like that old fence has. Had the plank never fallen, they’d have no place to climb! If there’s no connection between the broken board and the beauty that found it, then how come they’re not climbing on one of the unbroken sections?

Think about that!

Every pain has a purpose. It’s ok to not be ok, just don’t give up!!


Hey, I know that girl!


You’ve gotta love Facebook and their “You have memories to look back on today.” Looking at this picture makes me think I should’ve entitled this blog something else. Perhaps it should’ve been “Journeys with Hollie White”. Trust me, when I decided to write this, I had no intention of literally not going anywhere. Emotionally, I’m all over the map!!

I look at this picture and say, “Hey, I know that girl!” She was fun!!! “Can’t” wasn’t in her vocabulary. She could tackle anything! And she did it in a way that was relaxed and calm. And she didn’t have any wrinkles!!! Her calmness led others to know they could also¬†handle anything. She offered hope to thousands with her cancer support page on Facebook; she donated thousands to cancer fighters. She organized fundraisers in different states. She sent well wishes to cancer patients all over the United States and even to some in Canada. She became someone that embodied the word hope.

But, today, she has none.

Today, she’s just a shell.

In the past few months, she’s lost everything she considered normal. She used to dance. Not well, but she danced! She used to sing. Damn, can she sing! The problem is, she sang with her whole heart… and it’s broken now. She used to write every day. She’s been published 6 times and has a best selling novel on a floppy disc in her top drawer. Why? Well, just like Forrest felt like running, she just felt like writing! Only a few have ever read it, but they read it straight through. No stopping, on the edge waiting to find out what happened! What happened?? The fairy tale came true! Isn’t that always what happens?

Apparently, not in real life…

Real life is learning that just because you mean it when you say, “I promise”, not everyone does. Love can be one sided. Someone else’s version of what love is may not be the same as yours. In fact, it may be entirely different. There’s a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone.

Being in love means to feel fire and passion. The feeling that when standing together, you can face anything. To have your eyes meet another’s and be blown away. Loving someone happens when the fire has died out. When you literally have to stand with that person and, although your heart may not still be completely in it, you’ll still stand to face whatever comes. Loving someone also means letting that person go if that’s what needs to happen.

As I stand on the brink of becoming a single lady, I know there’s still a chance my husband will find “the one” and that it isn’t me. Loving someone means being selfless. My desire to have matching rocking chairs on a front porch when I’m 80 may not ever happen. And that’s ok.

Loving someone means saying, “GO! Go see what’s out there! Please…” It isn’t, “Stay even though you’re unhappy.”


Your troubles don’t define you!!! I look at myself and remember who I was. What the heck happened? Where’s that fearless girl?? Where is she? She’s terrified!! Terrified and selfless. She knows that she tried her hardest to match things step for step, but she just couldn’t keep up. Life’s always gonna happen whether we’re ready or not. It’s already written, babes! Try to just go with it! There WILL be a light!!


May the light find us!


The sun comes up over an Illinois cornfield casting it’s light on every leaf, individually. Funny how a cornfield is seen as just that… a field. It’s seen as one thing rather than many individual plants, but the sun doesn’t see it that way. The sun illuminates every single plant! I hope wherever you are, the sun finds you and shines on you and shows your worth to the world. Even if it’s rarely seen by others, I hope you can see it. We’re often told when going through hard times that we’re a part of a bigger picture. While truthful, it’s easy to feel as if our feelings aren’t justifiable, like we’re forced to put ourselves aside. We’re taught to pass over hurtful times because our loving God knows more than us and what’s better for us and that the hurt is part of a lesson or saving us from future hurt. Personally, I’m caught up in learning that while wanting to scream, “Hey, remember me???”. The light will find me, I know it!! I pray it finds you, as well.