Sunday, January 26, 2014

Extractions from 2013



This post is made possible by Hilary Thompson. Her brave and exposed way of sharing her life has inspired me to dare to be less guarded with my approach to writing. Thank Hilary, for sharing one day to write a letter. Here goes.

Dear 2013,


You broke me into fine pieces. Many bumps, turn, construction and rebuilding. It was beautifully disastrous. Being left in a heap of rumble was the best place I have ever landed. Probably the most dark and alone I have felt in my entire life. I wrestled with culture's notion of healing, my idea of healing and what true healing is. And stripping away everyone else from my healing process so I could truly connect with a God that loved me and even my terrible pain. I have exposed more of me, to (probably) many's dismay my actual self, sorry it isn't that pretty but it is beautifully my imperfection. Take me or leave me but I don't have any time for b.s or being someone I am not so you will be happy with me. When you are shaken to the core I think you are forced to dig deep and extract something out of your faith, that is so fragile it is hardly understandable with your human mind. How pain when left in the hands of the Healer can birth amazingly precious things.


I am reflecting over much this January. Mainly about this mind blowing verse Jer. 15:22 that wrapped around me in the darkest of months in 2013.

“If you return, then I will restore you—
Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become My spokesman.



I have reflected and feel brave enough to finally share this part of our journey. Not because of the victory but actually because of the battle it was this past year. Making a hard choice about your child's body is so hard. Especially with so many loved ones chiming in on what they feel is best. I will be honest I lived in trying to please" everyone mode for his first couple years. It was embarrassingly hard for my head, and easy for my heart to follow the path God had for healing for him. But I am glad we have made it thru and seen some "precious" stuff in my heart and for Frank's life. No regrets.

I needed to share this picture that still makes me cry today. I remember my feeling,fears, doubts and hopes all messed up in my head. The lump in the throat and the inability to form sentence and words.



Our trooper 2013 after surgery


One year later



As I found out at our 3 month check after surgery was that Frank's Dr. was a Christian and I was able to share with him my journey God brought me on through his surgery. It was a sweet gift for my journey and such a blessing to share our joy in with him in new child we have seen grow and flourish this year has been humbling to get to watch unfold to say the least.


Finally can say Yours Truly (and mean it!)

T

Monday, June 10, 2013

30 day countdown!

My dearest support team!!!

I want to thank you all for supporting me both donations and prayers. I am so thankful to be 75 % funded! Yeah!

I am blessed to have praying friends and family covering me and the team as we head out and land in Swaziland!

I am excited as I am preparing to be involved in daily devotions with the "gogos" (grandma/older women) that care for the children at the Care Point in Ekudzeni! This means myself and two other ladies on our team will be doing devotions, bible study and prayer times with them. I am looking forward to this chance to get a glimpse into the lives of the women that are shaping the next generation.

More things our team will be engaged in is to host a VBS of sorts for 3 days, along with making home visits for the people that are dying and unable to leave their home.

I am headed to Minnesota (solo!) with the kids to bring the kids to my grandma's house while I am away. Prayers for her and my sister as they manage the lil Holmies for us! I will leave July 5th and it will take 25 hours....ya I said it....25 hours of driving!!!! So I would love prayers for safe travels, patience and supernatural grace to make that trek alone! I may be more nervous for that than the trip honestly.

Here is how you can partner in prayer-
-safe & pleasant travels to Minnesota with the kids before the actual trip
-wisdom as I prepare to share with the gogos, that it is excatly what God wants to speak to them
-my heart to be open to hear, see and get all God has planned for me
-my trip to be fully funded

Again, thank you isn't enough for your support and friendships! I feel so blessed!

I will keep you posted on how to follow the team blog when it is launched! This way you can follow our daily adventures in Swaziland!

Blessings!

Tammy


Here is the link to give online towards my trip simply add a memo/note saying TAMMY HOLM SWAZILAND TRIP!

Monday, April 8, 2013

90 day countdown!



90 days countdown to Swaziland has begun! I am sitting here tonight after seeing an heartbreaking and moving documentary call "STUCK" highlighting the need for reform concerning international adoption and the global orphan crisis. My heart is in millions of pieces for every orphan especially those stuck with families caught in 1,2,3,4, and yes 5 years plus of waiting and 10's of thousands of dollars later to bring their babies home. Seriously do mankind a favor and check out this site. The best kind of heartbreak is the one that cries for those who have no voice. www.stuckdocumentary.com

Swaziland is a country with thousands of kids and very little adults. Adults die off in their early 30's due to HIV and Aids early leaving the kids behind with a giant generational gap taken by disease. Many times we picture missions as heading to "fix stuff" "fix people" "solve problems".....I am experiencing more and more that there is HUGE need and importance in being fully present with the hurting and poor without gathering the fix it plan. So I am really going to try to "be" and not "do" this trip and every step leading up to it. Hard when naturally I want to do and fix!

I also wanted to give you all an update on where I am at on fundraising for my trip. I am currently needing approx 2,200 dollars left to meet my goal. If you have already given THANK you so much! If you would like to donate a buck or two below is a link from K2 The Church's website to give financially online towards my trip. Simply follow the online instructions for giving and make sure to add a note in the message box stating "Tammy Holm-Swaziland Trip".


https://k2thechurch.securegive.com/SG/WebOnline/index.aspx?WO=k2thechurch


Donations also can be sent to K2 The Church, mailed to the address below with a memo-Tammy Holm Swaziland Trip. I am grateful for all prayers and any donations.

Yours truly-

Tammy Holm (if you rather send to me directly message me and I will give you my mailing address)

Mailing address -
K2 The Church
193 W 2100 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Best blog post ever- Swaziland 2013!!!!

Dear friends and family,


I never write you letters..or emails OR Blogs! Wow, that’s a weird way to open a church missions trip support letter. It was suggested to use a form letter to follow but it felt even weirder! The truth is that I don’t write anyone letters and if I opened up this letter by pretending this is just the latest in a lengthy chain of correspondence we’ve kept up over a long time, that would feel as fake as when people run out of things to say and ask you questions like, “hot enough for you?” Wow, that was a really atrociously long run on sentence, but I’m excited about this missions trip and I’m not going to let sentence structure stand in my way! (My sisters probably just pulled out a chunk of hair over that horrible misuse of the English sentence structure. Apologies.)


My heart has burned for overseas missions for years (like since the permed hair and staring into Minnesota cornfields days-sorry for that mental flashback). I have been well aware that the gift of motherhood would take precedent over the desire to "globe-trott" for Jesus. What a joy motherhood has been and continues to be! I am glad to be able after many years to take the life lessons (however profound & small they may be) to a new longitude and latitude.


I’m super excited to be going with my church, K2 The Church, to Swaziland, Africa for 11 days in July. Saying yes, wasn’t a hard decision. 11 days of caring for hundreds of orphans and making an impact in a community that is in desperate need, feels like a no-brainer. Nope, deciding to go was easy. Paying for it however, is a real challenge.

I just don’t have $3,500 laying around the house. The thought has crossed my mind of selling my plasma 87 times. Instead, I thought it through and decided to send letters to people I don’t usually write and ask for something I don’t usually ask for, money! I’d love it if you could financially support me on this mission trip. A little, a lot, anything would be great! (Currently, I am at about 35% funded)


Obviously, by now you realize I am not a huge fan of a typical "support letter". However, I DID really like something in the "normal" letters included- a request for prayer. If you could pray about the trip, that would be awesome. I truly believe that prayer changes things, goes before us and works inside of us. We will no doubt face challenges as we prepare to go to the people/children of Swaziland and will have obstacles once on the ground. Knowing that you are praying for the team is something so valuable to me personally and I would be honored to know you are praying!


To give you an idea of what we are embarking on here ya go! Ekudzeni is located to the west of Manzini, Swaziland. There are just over one million people living in the small country of Swaziland, however this small nation faces the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world. One in four adults in Swaziland is living with HIV and 69,000 children have lost one or both parents due to HIV/AIDS. The rural area of Ekudzeni has few employment opportunities and a high rate of alcoholism, and many families in this area go without food on a daily basis. Many children are abandoned and are left to be raised by the community “gogos” (grandmothers). There is an incredible need to support orphaned and vulnerable children in the community.


The Ekudzeni CarePoint currently provides food for more than 200 children—from ages one to 18. There are currently 5 "gogos" who volunteer and cook at the CarePoint. The people at this location have an incredible vision to holistically care for the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of the children at this CarePoint by meeting basic needs and providing life-giving discipleship to give them hope and a future. K2 has partnered with Kids Against Hunger packing highly nutritious meals to send to countries all over the world. So far we have packed 135,000 meals just to feed "our kids" at the Carepoint in Ekudzeni!


While some of the details of our itinerary are still firming up, we will be spending our time in Swaziland in Ekudzeni with the children and people there. Through the leadership of the church there, they are completing the school building currently. By the time we arrive, some of the projects we have helped to fund as a church, like the well, kitchen, fence, and latrines will be under construction. It is very possible that we will be able to serve alongside the church there in completing some of these projects. a short summary of the type of work we will be doing in Ekudzeni, Swaziland for those of you that want to know more. http://www.hopechest.org/community/ekudzeni/">Children's Hope Chest is the organization we are partnering with
(over achievers can go to and read more! )

Below is a link from K2 The Church's website to give financially online towards my trip. Simply follow the online instructions for giving and make sure to add a note in the message box stating "Tammy Holm-Swaziland Trip".

K2 The Church Secure Online giving click here

Donations also can be sent to K2 The Church, mailed to the address below with a memo-Tammy Holm Swaziland Trip.

Thanks for reading my enthusiastic ramblings and down-to-earth approach to fundraising! I am grateful for all prayers and any donations. Looking forward to sharing more of my upcoming experiences in the next few months!



Yours truly-

Tammy Holm

Mailing address -
K2 The Church
193 W 2100 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

#1 HALF MARATHON- CHECK

Run a half marathon

The start of the project, the first one the list has now been crossed off.

My dear friend Stacey and I headed to Moab to run the Canyonlands Half Marathon. All the training, running, smart eating, was hopefully gonna pay off.

I got the flu a week before the race and lost 6 lbs. Not good, so I rested and didn't run at all for 10 days pre race. The nerves were high but thank God for moral support! My friend Stacey and I keep saying..."We are doing this!" with the dear in the headlights stare!

In the gitters of the morning (we may have) forgotten our race bags, had no pins, and no patience to wait for a proper porta potty. (thank you big giant rocks of the canyon) But we nervously jumped into the massive crowd and waited. It was breathtaking in beauty to look around at God's creation and marvel, rocks and river meeting and thousands of people running for the goal. I am amazed that of all the people I know, Stacey and I are both fulltime working moms that are very involved in church and our families and we proved that it can be done. No excuses, no way out-if there is a will there is a way! She ran from mile 5 with "gigantar" blister forming on her foot. And mile 10 it hit us, holy cow. Mile 10-13 was the hardest thing I have ever done. Mentally that was a new ceiling I broke through, challenging and eventually rewarding! At the home stretch we hear families cheering and we can see the finish line when we hear people looking in our direction.... "GO GRANDMA!!!" We turn around to see grandma closing in! We made eye contact with each other and dug for the last energy we had to finish! We laughed later about that "grandma almost beat us". ( I am sure hundred of grandma's finished before us too) We ran the whole thing, I am sure Stacey could have knocked off 10 min from our time if running alone. But she hung with me the entire race.

We finished in 2 hr 40 min. My goal was no walking and don't get picked up by the carts! (Step up from "not to die") Neither happened and I didn't feel sick at all afterwards which was a plus. However we were super sore, and poor Stacey the "gigantar" blister was huge by the next day!

You might be wondering -then what was the point? What did ya learn? What I took away from this is all my fears slowly trickled away when I took a bite out of this fear of the word "marathon" and started to chew. The idea and process took awhile to chew, swallow then digest. But man did I feel full afterwards. Tears of joys -that I didn't let fear hold me from trying and also from succeeding.

Fear was only there to hold me prisoner to the possibility of failure. Once I realized, worse thing is I fail then a new world of possible opened up.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The 2012 Fear Project's beginning

I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I sometimes do goals or a vision for the year ahead. I am not against it I just don't take lightly the things I set out to do. So making a lofty goal and then failing isn't an option! However this year, something has been happening inside me over the past 5 months. So leading into 2012 I guess I was being prepared for what I would set as a "project" or God forbid I use the R word.... RE....solution.

Many that follow me on facebook see that I have turned into a runner. (All those who don't please pull yourself off the floor and back on your chair regain breathe and continue reading) I said a sentence this summer that I believe God totally "caught" me with. The word Marathon came up amongst my friends and I spewed out " Ahhhh, marathons now THAT scares me!". Almost right away I knew God was gonna try to tell me something about that statement! Of course week after week I ran and God impressed one thing onto my mind and heart. " You need to run a marathon-BECAUSE it scares you". Of course my "get out of jail free card" was to tell Peter in hopes of hearing "now that's crazy talk". But he agreed and said ya you need to go for it and that ...You totally can do it. Plan B failed. Time to suck it up and face my fear.

2 friends and myself March 17th are gonna do it, a half marathon in Moab. The date is creeping far to fast closer and I am nervous. And scared who is kidding. July 6th I started running....and now a REAL race. I can't even believe it 7 months ago to the day, I started exercising for the first time in (gulp) 3yrs! Yesterday I hit a milestone-I RAN TEN MILES!!!!

Funny how small promptings can lead into something bigger and even more scary. This is only the baby step beginning of what the 2012 Fear Project holds for me (and those around me). I had to give a bit of the back story so people could get where I was coming from.

I am swallowing the remaining pride this year, crushing all hurdles that have stopped me from pursuing dreams and challenging my insecurities and fears to a stare down-nose to nose.

I woke up and realized that as long as the fears stay at arms length away....nothing EVER will change. To offer a complete shock to the system I am pulling it all BRUTALLY close to my face and staring it down with a resolve to not walk away. At least not to walk away the same.


My next blog entry will be one to read for sure.....check back soon.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Help (courtesy of The Help)

To all the " daily circus" fan(s)-

I do know there is one person reading at least. Thank goodness I am not trying (obviously) to make blogging a business! Right? Blogging is the cheapest form of therapy next to my Frogurt meet ups with my girlfriends. Which also prove very effective! So time to get back into it again.

Well it has been 6 months (shameful blush) since I wrote last. Not because I have not wanted to at times. But let's rewind to explain.

May was a crazy month for us alot of changes at church and that meant extra hours of preparing and work. Our hearts were gearing up for taking our first foster child, we had even found a child we felt very connected to and got our hopes up. We prayed for her like crazy yet were not chosen to be her forever family and we trust that she is placed with the best forever family. So hard to be totally fine with that NOT being us.

Soon after June rolled around we got a phone call to take our first placement. That was a flurry of a day. 1pm got a call and we picked her up at 7pm. So things happened fast. "A" stayed with us for only a week. She moved to another foster home that was close to us and she also enjoyed our church K2. So we have been taking her as much every time we can and kept in touch with her over the past months. "A" is a sweet girl and once she can get motivated for her preparing for her dream- I think she would make a great social worker. I haven't seen her in weeks and my heart is sad about that.

June-August was a bit of recovery for the soul. I found myself searching parts of my self I really hadn't been able to see before "A" came into our lives. Peter and I felt like we needed to take a "hold" on actively searching out the child that would join our family for awhile. I think we have gained great knowledge and experience this summer. I think we are getting more focused on the age range we will be pursuing in our foster adopt journey. But I do feel the speed of the journey has slowed down rapidly. Which now, I am ok with. ( However has taken me a few months to be ok with that)


September brought new change. The girls transferred to public school. That always brings new challenges along with some financial relief! For the most part it is going well. I am thankful they finally got a seat on the bus and my running is a little less crazy everyday! Back in the routine of school is nice, and fall weather here is amazing. I embarked on something with thanks of my friend Trudi. She got a bunch of us women at church to make a team for the Dirty Dash. Which is a 10k Mud Obstacle course! I went from 3.5 years with no exercise to running 3 times a week! And the biggest part is I HATED RUNNING. And well now, I think I kinda crave it. As some would say this life lesson is gonna preach someday! We did the mud run and it was one of the most fun things I have done in a while! Training continues and I will have to post a new post about that soon. (Bonus part is I have lost 13 pounds!) Oh ya and we got another dog. (insert moment of silence for my sanity)

October was a blur, can't remember much of that actually. But I do know November has been great! Had a great birthday with a realization I am almost "Mid Thirties" (ew??!!) I don't know if I like that term and I in the same sentence. But really I am just getting more anxious about bigger and better things. Like changing the world, bring cultural change and solving global problems. (All pretty easy things to solve!)

November brings people and countdowns more people arriving! I have my sil Malin coming for a visit. Then my lil sister E. Then some friends from Cali. THEN (big fingers crossed and praying and hoping) more family! So we will have a flood of people in our home soon and I wouldn't have it any other way! I wish everyone would come and visit!

Should I bring up December since I have a hunch I will get to busy to blog?

OK! December comes with a giant red marker to cross off a bucket list item! We got tickets to see Andrea Bocelli at MGM Grand in Vegas. We got good seats too! I am working hard to fit into a REAL ( like fancy) dress too. Imagine that a chance to get dolled up! So I am brushing up on the Italian and getting the list ready for my sister the babysitter! Vegas here we come!


If you have read this far you might be wondering about the title of this post. You might have guessed I just saw the movie The Help. The main character said something in the last scene that moved me. Something to this effect "When I write the truth of how I feel, I never felt such freedom". I felt that like hit home for me. So out I walked from that movie thinking, it's time to dump all the feelings out and be free once again.

So here I am back again. Still the same me just totally changed.