Monday Thoughts: Will You Help Me?
UPDATE: I wanted to let those of you know who check back here for an update, that our sweet Holli ended her earthly battle with painful terminal cancer on April 2, 2021. I don’t know anyone who lived life as full of faith and testimony and love for God as Holli, so it was bittersweet and beautiful that she passed away on Good Friday, just days before Easter. Words are inadequate to describe the heartbreak of the last few days as her husband and six kids have faced this new reality, but her family has been comforted and buoyed up by the knowledge that Holli is finally free of pain and suffering, and they are clinging to the knowledge that they are not alone, that God is aware of them, that He will help them, and that they will see Holli again.
Thank you for your overwhelming support on this post and through other means for Holli and her family. Her sister and I read her your comments as they came in – she was brought to tears every time as so many of you shared your own personal challenges. She couldn’t believe over 1,000 of you chose to do something hard for her. It touched her in ways impossible to describe and gave her peace that carried her through her final days as she contemplated that her life and example might have possibly inspired others and maybe even helped change lives in some way.
We love you, Holli! Life will truly never be the same without you.
I’m taking a little departure from my usual recipes today. We’re going straight into Monday Thoughts (never been done before). Just go with it.
I have some things weighing on my heart and mind that I want to share with you.
But first, I want to tell you about someone.
Her name is Holli. She’s an incredibly dear friend of mine (think: soul sister type of friend).
In all my years of blogging, I’ve never dedicated a whole post to a real, live human. Chocolate chip cookies? Yes. Random Friday thoughts? Yes. Special human beings? Not so much.
But today, I need your help. Holli needs your help.
It might not be the “help” you are thinking of, but if you have a minute, stick with me for a story and then a request (spoiler alert: it has nothing to do with money).
The back story: I’ve known Holli for six years – ever since we moved from Minnesota to Idaho. She’s spunky. She’s hilarious.
She’s a truth seeker and a fighter for justice. She’s an amazing mom to six wildly wonderful kids. She constantly serves everyone around her. To know Holli is to love her.
Amid all of Holli’s greatness, she’s had an incredibly challenging life. Not all of the details are mine to share, but suffice it to say, her life has not been easy. Intense infertility, adoption, countless (and I mean countless) surgeries for health issues related to colitis, job stresses, and the list goes on.
Most people don’t know many of these things about Holli because she is in that rare camp of: Fiercely Independent Non-Complainer.
Seriously, if I didn’t love her so much, it would be almost annoying, because she just.never.complains. That girl can fight through pain and struggle like no one else. (And yet, she still listens when I complain about my pigs escaping or my cookies burning.) #goodfriend
About a year and a half ago on top of all the other challenges Holli has faced in her life, after finding a seemingly innocent lump, she was unexpectedly and devastatingly diagnosed with stage 4 internal metastatic mucosal melanoma. This diagnosis came out of nowhere, and needless to say it has rocked their family’s world.
The last 15 months have been filled with immunotherapy, radiation, flights to Mayo clinic for consultation, more treatments, pain, and indescribable stress and worry.
(Not to mention six kids and all of their daily, busy, and often difficult emotional needs.)
Through it all, Holli has remained one of the strongest warriors I’ve ever seen. She has powered through horrific treatment side effects that would easily fell the rest of us, and has quite literally taken on the full-time job of fighting cancer.
She has not once given up hope. She has retained a strong and abiding faith in a loving God who knows her and has a plan for her.
Miraculously, 2020 gifted Holli more than six months of respite, thanks to a combination of immunotherapy, holistic treatments (gosh, I could tell some stories involving slippery elm gruel and tinctures here but I won’t), and a complete shift to a sugar-free and vegan diet.
Last month, things started to fall apart for Holli again. Sudden seizures, many ER trips, and lots of pain revealed the cancer had ferociously spread throughout Holli’s body and into her brain.
She no longer has the full function of the left side of her body and she is in excruciating pain nearly constantly.
And still. She continues to show more strength in her pinky finger than I have in my entire body and soul.
Today, I wanted to give back to Holli in some way. Sure, that can easily be done through their GoFundMe page.
But I wanted to also do something else.
Holli has spent her entire lifetime being strong for other people and using her inner and God-given strength to conquer her greatest challenges, but her body is failing her right now, and she is no longer able to do some of the things that you and I probably take for granted.
Braid her daughter’s hair.
Take a walk around the block.
Load the dishwasher.
Send a text message.
I don’t believe it’s healthy or constructive to compare challenges. Hardship and stress and grief is individual. It’s sacred. Hard is hard no matter what you are going through or dealing with.
But if I’ve learned anything from Holli’s situation, it is to look for the good (even on very bad days), appreciate the mundane, and be grateful for each and every day.
And this is where I need your help.
Will you do something for me? For Holli? For you?
Will you do something hard today? Or this week? Something that perhaps you’ve been procrastinating?
It may not be something that would be hard to anyone else, but remember: that doesn’t matter. Your life is your own.
- Maybe it’s getting off the couch and finally running that pesky mile even if you haven’t run in years.
- Or picking up the phone to call a family member who you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Maybe it’s just being grateful that you have the ability and motor skills to fold laundry today.
- Or giving your spouse or child a hug even if you (or they) feel prickly and unloveable.
- Maybe it’s finally ditching the three-sizes-too-small jeans hiding in your closet and buying a pair of jeans that fit your amazing and able body.
- Or saying a prayer for the first time in a long time (or ever).
If you feel so inclined to share, will you leave a comment on this post? Even if you aren’t sure you can do it yet, write your plan in the comments and we’ll be strong together.
I am going to plop myself on Holli’s bed and read all of your comments out loud to her. And let her know that there are people across the world inspired by her story and strength.
Holli does not like attention or being a burden or inconvenience to anyone (if you know her in real life, you know how true that is!), but she does feel as though her life has purpose insomuch as it has inspired others that they, too, can do hard things and be stronger for it.
My BeStrongForHolli goal: finally get through a 30-minute virtual cycling class without falling off and quitting and acknowledge that my body is strong and able (and also give each of my kids at least three 8-second hugs today – our home has been filled with contention lately and I need to be the impetus to changing that). Love you, Holli.
Thank you for letting me take a departure from food today.
I’ll leave you with the words of one of Holli’s favorite songs:
And I, I don’t want to leave a legacy
I don’t care if they remember me
And I, I’ve only got one life to live
I’ll let every second point to Him
I have the best readers in the world. Thank you for being here and for all you do to make this world a better place.
1,217 Comments on “Monday Thoughts: Will You Help Me?”
Ugh I had seen this picture before but had no idea of what it meant! I’m so, so, so sorry, Mel. Heartbreaking.
Praise God for Holli’s life and your heart Mel for drawing out love and gratitude from many people reading this blog. Will be going for that 1 mile jog in honour of a life lived in faith.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Even though I am reading this late, I’m going to do something hard today in her honor. I’ve had a bad attitude lately, and I’m going to push to be more positive and kind to my family. Love you Mel!
I’m so sorry for your loss! Holli’s family and you are in my prayers.
Mel, lifting you and your family up with prayers to our gracious and loving Lord, Jesus Christ. I pray for strength and love to guide all of you in the upcoming days. Place all of your suffering and burden on Christ – he is waiting.
I’m so sorry Mel for your loss of your friend Holli. My heart breaks for you, your family and her husband and six kids!
My prayers are with all of you.
Please don’t worry about your blog bc you need to take time to heal.
So sorry for your loss!!! Holli sounds amazing and what blessing for her to have a friend like you!! We are in others lives for a reason, no coincidence. Take Care!
I’m sorry for your loss Mel I’ve been thinking of you and your dear friend. Wishing you, your family and Holli’s family peace as you grieve this tremendous loss
Thanks for the update on your sweet friend. I’ve been thinking of her and the challenge you gave us. I’m so sorry for your loss Mel. I’ve been trying to connect and reach out to those loved ones I’ve lost touch with. Thanks for all of your posts over the years I really consider you a member of our family ❤️
Mel – I have missed seeing your updates on IG and your blog. I was afraid something happened to Holli. Praying for your family and hers as you all mourn a wonderful person. Your warmth and generosity come through the screen to those of us who don’t know you personally. I’m certain Holli was so thankful to have you as a friend. Thanks for being you and challenging your readers to do hard things. All of the comments here made me tear up. As a cancer survivor myself, I need to be reminded to be grateful for my health and don’t take it for granted. Thank you for the reminder. Hugs.
Mel, I just want to say how sorry I am to hear about the loss of your dear friend Holli. I have never posted a comment before, but follow your blog, noticed no new recipes and was afraid something had happened. I am in tears while reading your update and pray for Holli’s family that they will find peace as time go on. I know we can all learn something from Holli and her amazing spirit. I wish you peace in this difficult time. In Holli’s name I will aim to be intentional at working through my fears and going easy on the ebb and flow of life.
So sorry to read that your dear friend Holli passed away. I was wondering if this might be why we haven’t been hearing from you. You and her family will be in my prayers. Take all the time you need. ❤️❤️
I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope you and your friend’s family can soon find some solace in your wonderfully treasured memories of her. She must have been very special, and will be terribly missed, I’m sure. You have my sincerest condolences.
Oh Mel. I am so sorry for your loss and for the loss of Holli’s family. It sounds like they are strong, and you are being strong, but, even though God is there, it is okay to mourn the loss of such a beautiful person and acknowledge the incredibly large hole that has been left in your lives. I wish you many Holli stories to share in the years to come – funny ones, sad ones, ones that remind you all of how fearfully and wonderfully made she was. Wishing you comfort and peace.
Just saw your update, Mel, and I want to express my condolences. Every time I’ve hear the song “Only Jesus” since your original post, I think of Holli. I’m so sorry you lost such a special friend; those holes are deep and can hurt so much. Thanks for sharing her story and for giving me the opportunity to pray for her and her family, as well as for you. I felt my heart growing in a way that I really can’t really describe.
Mel, You are a direct gift from God to Holli and her family. I know you truly will be eternal friends, and soul sister sisters forever. Some changes I’ll make in Holli’s name, exercise regularly, give my kids a hug with humour. Love myself, serve others, and find joy in the journey. Love you Holli, your in my heart forever.Always,
Thank you for providing an update. You and Holli have been on my mind. I am so sorry. The loss of someone close is so hard and it isn’t a pain that goes away quickly. My brother passed away about 6 months ago and when life moved on…far too quickly…I would look around and want to say to people, don’t you know he’s gone and the world has changed forever? I don’t really know you but I know that you know you will see Holli again. I’m so thankful (beyond my ability to say) how thankful I am for that fact. And while that knowledge provides so much peace, it is still so hard.
Good Friday. That is so beautiful. Thinking of you, Friend. I will pray for Holli’s family. We know you are lifting their burdens right now and will continue to forever. I’m going for the 8 hugs a day goal and find a way to get off my laptop! It’s so easy to take time for granted. Send love and big hugs from Italy.
So sorry to hear about the loss of this beautiful person. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and to all her friends and family. It’s so hard to understand how someone as lovely as this woman had to suffer and then be taken far too soon. I didn’t know her, but it seems that she was an inspiration to so many people, including many readers of this blog.
I am so sorry for your loss. My mother finished her earthly journey when I was 14 years old and so I truly understand there are no words. But I am grateful for the promise that Sunday will come and I am still clinging to that promise 30 years later. May Holli’s family and friends continue to be in the Lord’s hands and may they feel of His and her love each day forward. My love and prayers are with each of you
Oh Mel, I am so sorry to hear of Holli’s passing. Thank you for sharing her with us. Her family and yours will be in my prayers ❤️❤️❤️
So sorry for your loss. You were an amazing friend to Holli.
sending you lots of love and hugs, mel. take your time and feel no urgency to get back to things here. life is beautiful but also achingly hard.
Hi Mel, When I did not see any new posts from you since mid March, I new it was because of Holli and you also said you had a neighbor pass away who you were very close to. Blessings and condolences for Holli’s family. I never met her but with seeing all the love and support shown to her she must have been an amazing lady. May God wrap his arms around you with comfort and peace. Take your time coming back, you need to heal also, we will be here waiting, God bless.
Hi Mel. My heart aches for you, and for all of Holli’s family and friends. I have been here since the beginning, but have never commented until this morning. I had a feeling when I didn’t see any of your usual Easter posts that your heart was hurting from losing Holli. I’m familiar with loss and know how earth shattering it is. May God be close to all of you and comfort your broken hearts ❤️ Sending love from Michigan.
Holli, I don’t know you but after reading Mel’s amazing words about you I feel like I do. Thank you for always being an amazing mother and friend (hard to find in today’s world). Your incredible and an incredible example to your children and everyone around you (including me). I will send prayers your way. ❤️
Hard things… I will stop silently complaining about sweeping up my kiddos messes. I will be grateful for their messes that they make and grateful for the ability I have to clean them up. Thank you for reminding me to appreciate the small things. Love you my friend and I know Christ is with you and your family. ❤️
I appreciate hearing Holli’s story so much. I have complicated relationships with a few family members and am learning to forgive them. This post really reminded me to not take for granted the small moments. Thank you Holli.
I am so sorry to hear of all your trials. If you are a close friend to Melanie you must be a great person! I can in no way understand what you’ve been going through but here are a couple of thoughts I would share:
Elder Renlund in General Conference quoting C.S. Lewis:
“[Mortals] say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. … The Blessed will say, ‘We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven.’”
President Spencer W Kimball, who was of course no stranger to pain and trials used to “this poem:
Pain stayed so long, I said to him today,
“I will not have you with me anymore.”
I stamped my feet and said, “Be on your way,”
and paused there, startled at the look he wore.
“I, who have been your friend,” he said to me,
“I, who have been your teacher…
all you know of patience, sympathy, and understanding,
I have taught you. Shall I go?”
He spoke the truth, this strange unwelcome guest.
I watched him leave and knew he’d made me wise.
He left a heart grown tender in my breast,
he left a far, clear vision in my eyes.
So I dried my tears and offered up a song…
even for one who tortured me so long. – G. N. Crowell
“Instead of explaining our suffering, God shares it.”
Elder Anderson gave a great talk on trials entitled Wounded, October 2018.
May the Lord bless you with continued faith and courage and “consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.”
I’m going to pray for Holli her family and her friends.It’s not everyday that a friend like Holli comes into your life.Give her a hug and tell her that we should all be so lucky to have a Holli in our lives .
We went to visit family and ski over spring break. Our suitcases and bags are still packed ( we got gome Sunday). I hate packing and even more so the unpacking + laundry. Today is the day I stop putting it off and get my house back to some order and routine.
I’ve been doing more of what I’ve wanted rather than what I have to get done. I wanted to power wash my house not do my laundry
I wanted to play a game with my kids (taco, cat, goat, cheese, pizza) and skip homeschooling for the day so I did. I wanted to get chicks for years and I finally just did it. I’m not getting wild but choosing my day rather than just living threw motions.
Give Holli a hug for me and tell her I’ll eat a Costco hot dog for her tomorrow.
P.s buy that card game ASAP! Amazon
Stopping to pray for Holli right now. And you know what I’m going to do something hard that I’ve been putting off but it’s important.
Hugs, Holli. You are loved
I’m going to get off Instagram and read my scriptures instead!
Praying for Holli’s family as I type. Thank for sharing this touching story. It must be hard for all the souls involved. Stay in faith Holli, God is in charge of your life. Warm hugs
I am so moved by your post snd sharing the story of your beautiful warrior friend Holli. As someone diagnosed just last year with cancer, it made me beyond grateful for a much more promising prognosis. I made it through chemo and radiation with unwavering faith and hopefulness. She on the other hand puts the gift of life in another perspective entirely. I will add her to my prayers for a miraculous recovery. I will envision her beautiful face if I struggle with lesser trials in the day to day as a reminder of challenges far greater. God has a plan and we are all equipped to weather torrential storms with fierce determination. I pray that Holli stays faithful and that she gets through this in order to be a greater source of inspiration to so many others. God bless her and you too. Your friendship and love is clearly one of her greatest gifts! ❤✝️
I haven’t prayed in a long time Holli, but I will pray for you tonight.
That’s what’s hard for me. To know that I really need to let Jesus back into my life. I don’t know why I’m fighting or turning away from God. It’s hard for me to articulate it and I won’t spend a lot your time rambling about my own problems. You’re strong and you inspired me, thank you.
My BeStrongForHolli goal: Absorb, react, and act on the news received last week that our oldest son has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism and ADHD. Be the change in our household to get the help we all need to push forward and understand that this diagnosis acts only as an accelerant to better days ahead. Peace and love to you.
Holli and Mel – You have been on my heart. I pray for you and your friends and family. I wish you all some time to laugh, to remember, and just be… together. I hope you can feel His love in this message.
I was literally thinking about Holli just a few days ago wondering how she was doing. It breaks my heart that she is suffering again after doing so well for so long last year. I would say “hi” to her and talk to her every time I saw her while we were in Middleton. She is such a light to everyone around her. I didn’t know her well, but I loved talking to her and Stetson had fun with Titus in nursery and sunbeams. My BestrongforHolli goal is that I am going to accept how my body is different now after 3 kids instead of obsessing over what isn’t perfect or what isn’t how it used to be. I am going to be grateful that I have a strong, healthy body. For Holli. Because we all love her and can only hope to be 1/100th of how amazing she is.
I am just now reading this, so sorry it is so late. When I read of Holly’s life, I can truly say that she is what I call a hero. When things are hard, it is so easy to be negative. It is so easy to feel sorry for ourselves. It is the heroes, like Holly, who I look to for my example. God bless you and your family.
I’m so sad to read this. I’m going to step up to a daunting challenge that has just been placed before me in working with Care For Life and spreading hope around the world. My prayers are with Holli.
… totally random, but did she happen to work with Dr. Brewer when she went to Mayo? My husband specializes in Melanoma and works at Mayo.
I never commented but I read this post. The next morning I didn’t want to get out of bed early to work out, but I did it and gave gratitude for my healthy body. My heart aches for your sweet friend. What an incredible woman she is. Every time I want to be a little “thinner” or this or that I just stop and think… I am so thankful for my healthy body. Prayers for her! Life is full of individual trials that refine us, but some are just so stinking hard!
Thank you for the reminder to “Consider it Pure Joy” amidst the mundane of life . Thank you for the reminder of the privilege of searching for sooooo many missing socks !!! I promise to thank God for the pairs and thank God for the feet attached to the human that I get to care for. Holli – you are an inspiration! Praying for Gods sweet blessings for you today – big and small.
– the Hollister family
Love this post! I have followed you for years, Mel, and my recipe binders are full of your recipes. Everyone at my house loves them. But I also love your words. They are inspiring. I saw this post because I recognized Holli. My daughter is the one who took her family pictures at the beginning of the post! (Such a small world) The rest of my family has never met Holli and her family, but they have been in our thoughts and our prayers. Today I am going to appreciate ironing – one of my least favorite household chores that I tend to neglect. Today, though, I’m going to be grateful that I can do it.
I am just seeing this post today. And honestly-today is the day I need it!!! I am starting taking piano lessons again this afternoon and I’ve been crying to my husband about it because I am scared to commit, scared to try, maybe even scared to win. I have some old traumas around creating music and I am ready to lean in and heal. Thanks for sharing Holli’s story!! We can do hard things!! ❤️
I’m a bit late to the party. But today, after reading this, I finally made the Dr’s appointment to get back on my anxiety meds. I’ve been putting it off for at least 6 months. Thanks for reminding me that I can do hard things.
I know Holli from growing up in Cardston, Alberta. I think she may have been the same age as my brother, Derek. She and her sister were both so friendly and were always smiling and laughing. I think they were in the same ward as my friends (Marisa, Tamara, and Lynsey) and that is how I met them. I am so sad to hear she is facing these trials. I came on this site looking for a recipe and found her story. Please tell her hello from me and that she and her BEAUTIFUL family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Mel and Holli,
Thank you for this post. I have been procrastinating about getting some cancer-related tests. My mom died of cancer when she was my age, and the last three times I’ve gone in for these tests, they’ve resulted in biopsies. The whole process brings up lots of anxiety and past hurt, and I hate going there. Because of COVID and family life and the end of the year and this and that and the other thing, I’ve found lots of excuses to avoid, but I will do it for you.
I will also pray for you, for your hearts, for your families. I wish there was a way to send sunshine through the Internet, because that is what I would send you.
Prayer changes things and I will pray.
Love this. I am going to do singing time in front of a camera today and I am scared. I could do it in front of 100 kids and be fine but in front of a camera is a different story. So I’m doing it and I love this post so much. Thanks for your strength and example Holli!
Holli, I’m praying for you right now!
You’re a beautiful person and your story brings a tear and also inspires me to be so grateful for another day without pain and suffering.
Please know there are other believers out here along side you in the fight with you.
I’m praying GOD will give you the peace that passes understanding, comfort and healing.
I’ll be adding you to my prayer list right now!
As a fellow believer in our savior Jesus I know I can look forward to seeing you someday in heaven.
My sister went to high school with Holli and loved her. Because she loved her, I love her too and my heart breaks for her and her family. So for Holli, I will continue to improve as a mother. I will fight to keep my patience with my wonderful kids, and see things from their point of view. Thank you for the challenge. All my love, thoughts and prayers to Holli and her beautiful family. ❤️
I’ve been cleared to go back to the gym on Monday (February 22) after injuring my back the end of May, and after having back surgery on December 2. I’m nervous, but it’s a start! Baby steps!
Holli’s courage and faith are inspiring and beautiful. I pray for her recovery and presence in the lives of all who love her and need her.
Mel’s love and support is also beautiful.
Two more amazing women would be hard to find. Thank you for sharing this picture of love, devotion and faith. It’s a blessing for to all.
Prayers for you Holli! Thank you for helping to inspire me to drive 10 hours each way to visit and help out a friend who’s been going through a hard time. I dislike driving so this was a challenge for me, but I’m so glad I was able to go and make a difference!
Hi. I am originally an Idaho girl. ( where do you all live). Holli, I don’t know you but love you. I have a sister in law who has been fighting stage 4 colon cancer now for over 4 years. They gave her two years to live when she was first diagnosed. Bless you and your family as you all struggle with this.
Mel go get that virtual class done!!! If you want some other virtual classes to do find me on instagram under mom_on_the_move_corrine and DM. I have a virtual studio of online classes and I will send you a special coupon code that you can try some for free. Maybe you just need something fun to get you through that workout.
For my hard thing this week: I am going to be VERY patient with my kids. We live in Oregon where right now my youngest is the only one going back to school and he just barely started going back last week. As a working mom and now a teachers aide ( helping my kids with online school) my patiences can be very thin. I am going to pray for ways that I can love them better this week and breathe instead of getting upset. I am also going to find the time to make sure I spend one on one time with them out side of school work.
Prayers for you Holli and your family.
I read about Holli and her struggle not quite a week ago. I have cried for her, and prayed for her and her family, and remembered our own family’s battle against that horrible, painful, scary, and sanctifying disease, cancer, 14 years ago when our 18-year-old son fought for his life, and lost. We found it to be true, “As a family we learned, strangely enough, that cancer is a disease of love. It provides opportunities to mend fences, say goodbyes, and express love.” (Steven E. Snow, October 2007 General Conference) Holli, the way you are living your life, even with this huge challenge, is a blessing and an example, and I thank you for it, and to Mel for sharing your story. I will prayerfully approach each day, and try to let my to-do list be a guide and not a master. I will work towards doing things out of love and joy, rather than obligation and duty. And I will soon make those Triple Chocolate Scones, which brought me to hear about you in the first place.
Thank you for being the example, the rock star, the kind of mother, wife and friend the rest of us would like to be! Lifted with all the prayers of those who love you, as well as the rest of us who wish we knew you, I know you maintain the strength to live your life to its fullest despite what those cancer cells do to your body. With the body not being at its best, you are coming face to face with your spirit, your soul, the real essence of who you are – if we all lived our lives with that awareness, rather than spending countless hours and money focusing way too much on our fickle bodies, how much fuller our lives would be! My prayers will be with you and all your family. And again, many, many thanks for being all that you are!
Holli for me I am going to walk everyday not once in a while knowing how lucky I am
I can. You inspire me sweeetie. Thank you
I came on here tonight to look for a recipe for cinnamon rolls for my little family for Valentine’s Day tomorrow because my little Liesl asked for them. I’m tired like every other person on this planet and only got on here half-heartedly thinking “it will be too much work to actually make them but I’ll see what else Mel has posted recently.” I am going to make cinnamon rolls tomorrow because I can and Holli can’t. I’m sorry you can’t Holli. I hope you can one day, but if not, we are all better for having known this little part of you. God bless you and your family.
Thank you for sharing Holli. I don’t know her, but I love her and her light shines through your words! I’m going to put aside my to do’s and spend time with my kids. I need reminders that each day is a gift. Prayers for them and thank you for pointing me to Jesus through your story.
I’m late to see this powerful message, but it hits home. Thank you for sharing! I am going to forgive some people where I’ve been hanging onto my reasons for being mad and just let go and let God, I’m going to forgive myself and I’m going to hug my family more. God bless Holli and all those dear to her.
God bless you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
I will finish my family history by April 15th 2021. I have put if off for years. I am the only one who will do this in my family so it is important. You will be in my prayers. Love Lori.
Oh man. Holli and Dawna were my good friends at Ricks College. They lived a few doors down and were (are) some of my favorite people! I remember helping Holli ask Darin to a dance by doing a silly dance to Mambo No. 5 at one of his soccer games! Tell her that more love and prayers are coming from Dine (not a typo–that was my nickname back then and everyone called me that!) Sonderegger. I’ve seen some of Dawna’s updates, but I don’t know if I realized it was this bad. I’m going to focus more on my husband and marriage, especially in the evenings when I’m so tired and just want to go to bed.
You and your family are in my prayers…. praying for rest, peace and healing.
I read this the day you posted, but I wanted to make sure I was sincere in my effort. I knew what I needed to do, but it is a situation that causes me anxiety, so it took a little bit. Holli, you certainly inspire me! I still need to learn to have your fabulous attitude, but thank you for helping me find some courage that I struggled to muster and for helping me do a hard thing. You’ve been in my prayers. Sending love your way!
Holli is one amazing and inspiring women!! She really is that incredible. I love her and am so grateful to have her as my friend. Thank you Mel for sharing Holli’s story and making her a little famous. Haha! As I ponder what I can do better in my personal life, so much comes to mind. The one at the top is Holli’s song. I have decided what the most meaningful to Holli would be to do better at reading and studying scriptures as as family. Our schedules get busy and relaxing in front of the TV is easier than trying to fight to get everyone together for scripture study. I can be HolliStrong! Love you friend!!
Holli is my high school best friend, I love her dearly. We had a lot of good times together. I wish I could be there to give her a hug and hold her hand through this!!!! Holli I will be strong for you by being more present with my kids and husband turning off the screens and connecting more on a one on one level with each kid. Love you to pieces Holli!!!!
Last Sunday a little girl bore testimony that she was okay with tne pandemic became she knew God would only sent problems to those He knew He could trust to handle them and remain true. As I read Mels story of your journey I thought, Holli has proven herself to be 100 percent, all in, no compromise, trust worthy. Your legacy of strength and courage will be remembered for generations of family, friends and total strangers. Thank you for standing tall and giving us all a precious goal to strive for.
I’ve been feeling directionless lately, not wanting to do any of the tasks my kids and home and husband need from me. Just because it’s cold and I miss my family I can’t visit because of Covid and life is sometimes tiring, but this post has reminded me of how I prayed and longed for this family before I had it, and I’m going to get off the computer and go read stories with my kids. On Valentine’s Day I’m going to make the Fallen Chocolate Cake and put out the candles (which seemed like maybe too much work this year) and be pleasant even if the kids are not. Lots of love to you and Holli both.
Holli, I will be grateful for each of my children and the ability I have to serve my family each day. It is so easy to get overwhelmed and lost in the daily tasks of raising children. I will work harder on keeping a grateful godly focus! We will be praying diligently for you and your sweet family
Praying for you, Holli!
I am going to use this STL snow day to clean my at home classroom. I have three bags and a few boxes of junk that need to be dealt with and I keep ignoring them. This may not seem like much of anything but I was going to put it off yet again. I will take care of this dreaded job that has been hanging over my head since August and I will think of you and your darling family while I do it.
Praying for relief from some pain today, even if just for a little bit.
Thanks for the introduction, Mel.
Thank you for the inspiration. Recovering from pneumonia and still determined to get back to walking my usual 6-8 miles, I really struggled to get moving. That is until I read Mel’s post about your personal strength and selfless life, So, although it was cold and gray this morning, I thought of you and walked 3.6 miles. I was winded, tired and uncertain I could make it, but your story gave me the strength and confidence to keep going. Thank you, god bless and please continue to inspire.
Thank you for inspiring me to do hard things Holli! I am going to start up “special nights” again with my kids. Each kid gets a special night once a week where they get to stay up 15 past their bedtime and have one-on-one time with mom. We cuddle, chat, color, or whatever else we can come up with. I stopped doing this a couple years ago because I was just so exhausted and it felt hard adding one more thing, especially at bedtime. My 8-year-old has been begging me for quite a while to start this up again. I have been putting it off, but I realize how precious this time is. Can I give them 15 more minutes?? Yes! Thank you, Holli.
To Mel and Holli and others out there who are suffering…I too feel like I’m suffering. I have appendix cancer and thought it was taken care of through a huge, major surgery, but it has come back and now I am going through chemo and the side effects are affecting me badly. But this just past Sunday, we had Stake Conference and in his talk, our Stake President told a story about a man who has a blind daughter. They were on a train with a friend of the father, the daughter in her father’s lap. The friend said he could take her for a while to relieve the father for a time. After a few minutes, the father asked his daughter, “Do you know who is holding you?” and his daughter answered, “No, but you do.” Faith and trust were shown here. Then the Stake President went on talked about how many of us are going through trials, and then he said that maybe Heavenly Father is asking us, “Do you know why you are going through this trial?” and, like the little girl, our answer should be, “No, but you do.” That really struck a cord with me and so I’m sharing it with you. I need to have more faith and trust in Heavenly Father, that He knows me and my trials, and why they are happening. My bestrongforHolli is to get off the couch more often, even when I don’t feel good, that’s a hard thing for me right now. Prayers for Holli, too.
It may not seem hard, but today I’m going to follow your example and not complain. Also, I love the Lord and prayer. I will pray for you, your people, and peace for you all. Healing comes in many forms and I will pray you recognize His hands.
Hi Holli, today I am going to stop whining about my job, take my dog for a walk in the beautiful but chilly winter weather, and say many prayers for you and your beautiful family ❤️ May you all feel God’s peace and strength
Friends like you and Holli are the best. I’m glad youhave each other. I’m so sorry she is in so much pain. This past year has been so very hard. My brother passed away a few months ago after dealing with extreme chronic pain for many years. Even though I am so happy and thankful he is no longer in pain I am still in disbelief that he is actually gone. My goal for Holli is I will say YES more to my kids and not be in “get things done” mode all the time.
Holli- I went a few days without blatant sugar for you. I was hoping to go a little longer, but it was something! I also started running/jogging a little more on the treadmill and outside. I’ve thought of you many times this past week. You’ve inspired me, even through Mel’s blog post. I have prayed for you and your family. My family recently when through a difficult tragedy and the grief has been hard in a lot of ways. I have also felt the Lord blessing us and have seen His hand supporting us with tender mercies. I pray that you will also be blessed to feel of the Lord’s love for you and see His tender mercies. ❤️ Love you
Oh my heart aches hearing Holli’s story.! I will give my kids more smiles and snuggles, instead of barking commands. Thank you for the reminder that life is short and love is everything.
Holli, as I start to write, I have absolutely no idea where this is going but felt compelled to let you know you’re being prayed for in AL.
Background…my heart was so full when I read that your family includes some sweet adoption kiddos! I was never able to have kids but my hubby and I didn’t get married until I was 49 and neither thought we were equipped at that time (I’m now almost 70). However, now I have a number of friends who are foster and adoptive families and if I could go back, I’d definitely go the foster route. In fact, one of my dearest friends is 26, single, gorgeous, and began fostering at age 19! Her first was a 6 month old special needs baby, who she brought home from the hospital. She has adopted him, plus two sisters (age 1 and 1 week old when they came to her) and is in the process of adopting another 1 year old. I’m not sure why I’m telling you all of this, except I KNOW foster/adoptive families love to hear about others– and maybe it will make you smile!
Also, I have cancer, too, but I am UNBELIEVABLY fortunate. My Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma is literally a cake-walk compared to what you’re enduring. I only mention it because I have a very small idea of what you felt when you heard the “C” word the first time.
Although I can’t imagine your family life with such a beautiful very large family! Hats off to you, Sweetie! It was always just Jeff and me until December 2019 when my step-Dad died and we moved my (then) 90 year old Mother (with Dimentia) from Virginia to live with us here in AL. It’s been the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done but it’s had its challenges. Gratefully my Jeff has been so wonderful with her. We have a very different life now, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! I guess I’m saying that no matter how hard it is to accept help from others now — no matter how much, how little, how humbling, how embarrassing, or how humiliating that help might be…please know that THEY are the ones who are being blessed by offering that help. Sweetie, please allow them to opportunity to “receive” those blessings.
I’ll stop for now. I’ve rambled enough. I didn’t know what I would say when I started and now that I’m closing, I don’t think I’ve said anything meaningful. For that “oops”, I’m sorry. I will pray for you and your family. I pray that you know Your Lord and Savior and that you are saved. If not, I’d love to talk with you and explain how you can be assured of your salvation.
Give Mel a wink for me and thank her for allowing me to get to know you.
I’m so sorry to hear a story like this. It hits close to home, as I’m a young mom to 4 little kiddos who rely on me for basically everything. I can imagine how difficult this must be for Holli and her family, but her courage and optimism are truly inspiring.
I’ve been feeling lately like I haven’t checked in with my spirituality lately. I haven’t looked for God or listened for His voice in too long. My bestrongforHolli goal will be to pray every day this week to know what God wants me to hear and be quiet and still long enough to listen. And then act on it.
I am so sorry and will be praying for Holli and her beautiful family. I am 69 and am grateful to be in good health for today.
I eat healthy most of the time and try to practice yoga at least 4 times a week. Now in honor of Holli, I am committing to resume running at least 4 times a week and will be reminded of her as I put on those shoes! Thank you for making us aware of this beautiful woman!
Through my tears,
“0 Yahweh, I cried out to You, and You healed me.”
O, Holy and faithful Father we come before You in the healing name of Your righteous Son, Jesus on behalf of Your child Holli … and our dear sister in Christ …. She has been a pillar of Your church … Your faithful vessel. She has been experiencing various health issues. Without even examining her, You know what is in need of Your healing touch. We leave her in Your healing hand.
I know Holli from high school! Even as teenager a year older than me, she was kind and had a snappy fun side with a positive outlook. Ms Holli—all these years and I remember that about you!
I am going to put myself out there to do something outside my comfort zone. My son has been fishing the last few days and I don’t like to touch them when they are alive if he needs to take a hook out. Next time he wants help I will! And think of sweet Holli. Hugs to you dear woman!
I know Holli from high school! Even as teenager a year older than me, she was kind and had a snappy fun side with a positive outlook. Ms Holli—all these years and I remember that about you!
I am going to put myself out there to do something outside my comfort zone. And think of sweet Holli. Hugs to you dear woman!
Thank you so much for sharing. I’ll make sure that I continue to rise up every day even when I don’t feel like it and do the things that make me the happiest and that’s caring for my dog and going into my kitchen and making sauces. Thank You.
Oh, Mel. Oh, Holli. I’ve re-read this post several times over the last week, and the ever growing comments. I’ve cried and reflected. What a lovely tribute- to remind us all we can do hard things, and to commit to doing one to honor Holli’s grace in the face of such a hard thing.
I have been too sedentary lately. I commit to doing something active, every day, for the rest of the month. I’ll think of you, Holli, while I’m walking outside.
I am so uplifted, reading the outpouring of heartfelt wishes and prayers in the comments. I only wanted to add: have faith that it will be okay. You are living an example of perseverance, grace, and faith. You are doing all that you can. You and your family are held in love, and whatever happens, you will continue to be enfolded, here in your community and beyond, by your faith. You are cherished, and your family is cherished. All will be well.
Thank you for this beautiful post.
My heart aches for Holli and her family.
I am going to redouble my efforts to hug and love each child of mine despite the fits, sleep depravation and insane moments.
I want to feel the joy in the midst of the daily storm. I will remember that we have so much to be grateful for!
And now I’m sitting in my office bawling. My heart aches for your sweet friend, Holli and all she is going through and for her little family. I don’t know why some of us have so much suffering, but I do know that God is so good and His love is so big and amazing. This week my bestrongforholli goal is to concentrate on better nutrition. I have some health struggles that have recently come to light and the altered diet that I need to live by has been overwhelming and discouraging. But this week I can be strong like and for Holli and focus on the good that can come from making these different choices so I can take better care of this body God gave me.
My heart is so touched with this story! I will be praying and will send word to our church to begin praying for Holli! We will remember her and her family to the Lord our God. I have lost my own Father and Sister to cancer and I understand how it affects the entire family when someone in the family is sick. Please know I feel powerless and I know that I can minister to Holli and her family through prayer. In the love of Christ, a sister uplifting you in prayer.
My heart and love go out to your sweet friend Holli, and to you for the goodness of your soul, which shines through in each of your blogs, but especially in this one about your dear friend.
I also have a dear friend who is suffering greatly from Melanoma, and like Holli is determined to fight this elephant in the room with all she has. We worked together for years in the Salt lake Temple, so you know we share a special sisterhood. Her name is Joni and I have forwarded your Holli blog to her. I don’t know if she has the strength right now to write her thoughts, but if she does they will be worth the read. She and Holli are so very much alike.
I am sending my love and prayers to you and Holli, and know that Heavenly Father holds you tenderly in his arms.
With love and hope
I hopped over here to find some dinner ideas and now I am crying into my pillow. I don’t know either of you in person, but I am so grateful for this inspired post. I have been pondering about loving others as February has rolled in. My Holli goal is to spread love throughout this week by either writing notes, sending texts or making phone calls. Holli you will be in my prayers. “When there is no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ.” So much love sent to you wonderful ladies!
I’ve been struggling to stay on my autoimmune diet and it has been wreaking havoc on me physically and mentally. For some reason despite pain I just can’t seem to consistently eat, what I feel is, an extremely restricted diet. I mean is there life without chocolate and french fries?
This week I will eat strictly on diet. It’s strange but doing it for someone else makes it seem so much easier.
Prayers for comfort and strength, Holli.
Thanks, Mel for inviting us to participate.
What a great story about such a special person. I have always admired how Holli can joke about a bad situation and make things feel not so heavy, her outlook is always so positive. I remember one time she did a tree swing jump into the water during one of our many camping trips together, my fear got the best of me as it always does, but I was so impressed of Holli rocking that jump!! I’ve come across other jumps like this and always think of her and her abilities!!
I watch every YouTube video she posts and my entire 2021 is to remind my kids & myself daily to be better, do better, just be nicer, kinder humans! Trying to get this through teenagers heads can be a challenge, not to mention life can just be a challenge, but I’m working really hard to stay positive. So many times Holli pops into my head during difficult times and it reminds me of all the good and that everything will be okay and appreciate the little things, when things get hard, I think of Holli and that is seriously the truth, it’s very calming.
Holli and her family mean so much to me & my family. I’ve watched their babies grow and spent lots of great weekends together in the beautiful mountains!
The entire Nguyen family thinks of Holli and her family all the time and speak about them in conversation and many acquaintances also reach out to us showing their concern for them. I’m so proud to call them friends for forever!
I am going to try to be a better friend. Thanks for the great examples, Mel and Holli! The Lord is with you!!
Off and on all week I thought about what my hard thing could be. Then today an opportunity presented itself. This morning I came to the conclusion that my 2 yr old most likely had a UTI. I also had been up in the night for different reasons. Also my husband was going to be gone the bulk of the day. I first thought, I have plenty of reasons to have a lazy and crappy day. Then I thought what if I do the harder thing- make it a good day and not complain. Even if I’m tired or my kids whine, etc. You know the day wasn’t perfect but it was leaps and bounds better than it would have been had I gone with my first thought of allowing myself a crappy day. Because I decided that, I felt in control of my day regardless what happened or others dished out. It was a good day. Thank you for inspiring us to do something hard in honor of your friend. I realized that I should do this more often, challenge myself to do the harder but better thing. Prayers for you ❤️
I’m studying for what seems to me an impossible Anatomy and Physiology test, hoping to go to nursing school next year to learn more about how to take care of my husband who has had multiple skin cancer surgeries (including melanoma) which will most likely someday catch up to him. Thank you for your example of fighting a good fight and living with everything you have left in you – inspiring and uplifting thousands around the world. Your legacy, your story will be remembered.
Right now, every day I just feel so weighed down. My husband is kind of struggling with his faith. He’s not going inactive, I’m confident in that. But sometimes it feels like I need to be carrying the faith load for our family. I often feel kind of alone…not all the time but there are some days that are especially hard. Hard to smile and say everything’s going to be ok. Hard to testify when it feels like it’ll only irritate him. It’s easy to love him but so hard to know how to be there for him. My heart hurts for him every day. I know there are personal things I need to work on with my own faith but some days I just want to force him to talk about what’s on his mind and what he’s struggling with. It’s hard to let go and let God. But that’s what I have to do. Just let go and let Him take my hubby in his hands. Thank you for sharing this. ♥️
I’m so sorry for this late response.. please know that I am lifting up Holli and her family in prayer. Thank you for the opportunity to hear about your sweet friend and pray for her.
Prayers for Holli! God surround her with your love and comfort! Protect her and heal her, if it’s your will! Lord, please help her friends and family through this difficult time. We ask that you show Holli, what a light she is to the world, and Lord may you get all the glory!
I finally cleaned out my recipe binder. I’ve been meaning to do it forever and it always seemed like a daunting task. But, this post motivated me to just get it done, because I could. Thank you for the motivation! Prayers for Holli!
I’m praying for you Holli! The Lord is your strength, thank you for glorifying Him in your life and in your weakness!! I’m going to say “Thank you” to each of my 4 kids today, which I often neglect to do. Thank you for your inspiration to pursue Christ!!
I love you Holly! Sounds like we need to be new best friends! Mel thank yo for posting this! We can’t control life’s challenges, but we Can control our own actions and thoughts: I am going to get up a little earlier tomorrow morning, read my scriptures, and give each of my kids an 8 second hug! This is such a great post! My words don’t so justice to how much I love this post. People are Amazing! Holly you got this girl! Mel you are amazing for thinking to post this and support your friend-who is now my friend! Would it be ok if I mentioned this on my Instagram?
I love this! Thank you!
Love And support to you both
I’m going to get up at 5am and exercise this week! I’ll be praying for you, Holli. <3
For Holli, I’m organizing my pantry! Today! Hugs to you Holli, you brave queen!
Holli—I don’t know you personally, but I feel your pain. Mother to mother-sending strength and love from Ohio
I love you Holli! I am so grateful you guys came into our life! You are an inspiration to all who know you. You and your family are constantly in my prayers. This week, I will find someone every day to help. Whether it be through just a text, or something bigger, I will do this in honor of you! You have helped so many, and will continue to do so. I love you friend!!
Holli, You. Are. Amazing! What an inspiring woman. Thank you for making me realize my long days are nothing compared to so many other hardships people are enduring. Sending virtual hugs to you and your family!
PS: Mel, You should nominate Holli on moreloveletters.com. It is an uplifting site, where people send letters of love and encouragement.
Thinking of you both. Words escape me. The song “Braver Still” by JJ Heller and “It is Well with my Soul” are my virtual gift to you today. Nothing in this world is stronger than your brand of courage and faith Holli! I will follow your lead and live with renewed optimism and belief in God’s plan for me!
I will forgive. I will reach out in love and not judgement and talk with someone and forgive.
Thank you for your inspiration and introducing us to Holli. She sounds amazing. I have always found myself uplifted after visiting your blog.
I promise to pray for her, stop complaining about my minor problems and start working harder on my own health issues.
I was sitting on the couch in my lazy pants, resigned to the fact that I would not be going to the gym (again) because I was tired and lacked motivation, then I read your post. I quickly got into my workout clothing and searched for the keys to our truck. Happens that my husband had accidently grabbed them when he had left earlier that day. Not a problem, my teenage daughter has a car! I hopped behind the wheel and headed down the road. It was then that it clicked ‘we are in the midst of our first winter snow storm here in Wisconsin!’ After a couple miles I almost turned around because I seriously thought the wind and snow was going to push the little car into the ditch… but I persevered because I didn’t want to waste this opportunity I had to exercise! (something your friend doesn’t get to do for pleasure anymore and something I take for granted). I made it to the gym and rushed from my car to the front door- only to realize they had closed for the night only a few minutes before I had arrived!! I had to laugh at myself and the situation. I did end up doing some cardio at home since I was dressed and mentally prepared for exercise. I hope your friend gets a chuckle about my efforts to show my support to you and her.
Dear Holli and Mel,
So self sufficient me tore my ACL ( I went to ski school with my kids♀️) I’m working two jobs and am doing a masters and was prepping for a surgery on the 2nd. You’re website is a happy place and I went to your site on Monday for encouragement and/or a recipe. I read this post in a place of despair and discouragement.
Gratitude took its place; gratitude for friendship and kind words, a loving God who knows us personally, gratitude for prayers answered and unanswered, and a glimpse of, if I can just turn my will over to Him, it’ll be better than I can imagine.
It doesn’t take away from the fact that this is hard-soul wrenchingly hard. It’s the knowledge that we’re not alone, and examples like you Holli, and Mel help us to see past our hurts now and reach to support others.
I fasted and prayed for you and your family on Monday, Holli, and it gave me courage to face my own surgery the following day.
Well I’m post surgery and mostly coherent and came to Mels site and felt the great love from our fellow men that has again lifted my heart. Thank you Holli, for helping me feel gratitude in the hard. I’ll be looking for the humor and sharing my love and gratitude through writing notes to my loved ones this week.
Much love to you both-❤️
Please tell you beautiful, amazing friend Holli, that her story has inspired us all to wake up everyday and be so very grateful for the ability to live and love and care for those around us. I can tell just by looking at her that she is a light in this sometimes dreary, challenging world. Our hearts and prayers will be with her and her family, now and always! Thank you so much for sharing her story with us. Much love to you for who you are as well. How very lucky to are to have found each other!
I just read this post. My heart goes out to Holli and her family. Thank you for sharing her story of courage and strength. Today as I felt discouraged about a family issue, I was reminded as I read this post of my blessings and to go back to the goal I have to skip judgement, and just love. Even those who seem to not want love. THANK YOU for this reminder. I can and will be better. Love you and will pray for your dear friend.
Holli…. my heart goes out to you! Thank you for your example of courage, faith, optimism and persistence. I went on a run for the first time in a long time with my daughter. I tackled a couple house projects I have been really intimidated to start. Thank you again for you example. You are in my prayers. ♥️
Wow. Thank you for the powerful reminder of what we all take for granted everyday. I am not a regular public commenter on anything, but thanks for the kick in the butt to do some hard things this week. Prayers and love to you and your families.
My elementary-aged kids were switched from face to face to online school this past week, and it’s been extended through next week. It’s hard having 3 different school schedules to maintain all day while keeping my younger 2 quiet, but I am trying to be encouraging and to stay positive and to keep my patience. We all need more love. That’s what your example has shown me.
You are a wonderful friend and Holly sounds like an incredible person. God truly has a plan for her and the people around her. I will pray for her and her family and you, as well. While this isn’t earth moving, I find making bread a huge challenge and had given it up until I found your french bread recipe. I am making some now and will continue to practice in Holly’s honor. Please keep us posted. Love to all of you.
Oh you girls. Oh Holli. I’m praying for you and am so in awe of your ferocity and determination. I’m praying for a miracle for you Holli. I have a stupid amount of goals set for myself: don’t buy too much yarn or fabric, raise the kids right, don’t yell at them, love my husband well, don’t quit my job (I’m a teacher. Middle school!!!), finish this half Ironman (in June) better than the last, change careers, paint more, make more, relax more. Goals are hard. I think I’m getting off track here. But I will keep thinking about you; you can have all my good karma (I think working with tweens gets me a lot extra), positive vibes and pleading prayers. You are so loved. Keep fighting.
I was just looking for a dinner recipe and saw this…just a random internet stranger but I’ve been a big Mel’s Kitchen Cafe fan for years and your sweet and sour chicken recipe has all my friends and family thinking I’m a great cook. It’s the first answer everytime I ask my kids, ‘what do you want for dinner?’ So thank you, thank you.
I feel like I can relate a lot to Holli….I’m a teacher and I constantly am trying to be better than the day before. I will keep doing that. And while I am extremely introverted, I do need to do better at reaching out to the people I love and checking in on them. It’s hard to find time but I will do it! The world needs people like Holli!
Holli, I am so incredibly sorry to read of the hard times that you have had to endure. While I have never been in your shoes i do have a daughter who had cancer when she was 16 months old. What I learned was this: cancer cannot shatter hope, cripple love or corrode faith. I am not much of a runner (though I’d like to be) so today I will run 4 miles for you Holli. Usually when I’m struggling to keep moving I think of my daughter and how tough she is but not today. This time I will focus on how hard you are fighting! How strong you are! Today I run for you.
Simply looking for a sugar cookie recipe and I saw this post- now I’m in a puddle of tears. I haven’t prayed in ages but Holli I am praying for you. Bless you and your family. And bless you Mel for your depth and wisdom. I have gotten as much of that from you as I have good food ideas. Love, love, love to you all.
Oh tears. Holli, thank you for your example.
Thank you for accepting such hard challenges with grace. I don’t know you, but I hear your battle cry of “only Jesus”. I’ve been trying to see Christ-like traits in other people and write them on a list. Your “non-complaining” trait reminds me of when Jesus was on the cross. What a gift you are to your family, friends, and to everyone.
And Mel, you don’t know me, but I have followed you for over a decade. (Read: I’m not on social media. I don’t read blogs. This ONE blog has been my exception.)
Mel, you were there for me in 2008 as a new wife when all I knew how to make was from a package. I read your posts like a novel and have made dozens (100+?) of the recipes. I had freezer meals when I had my first baby because of what I learned. My waffle recipe (loved by so many now) came from you. I always have cookie dough balls in my freezer.
Over the years you taught me how to make bread… and now I make your French bread weekly. I feel like a “bring food to a sick friend/new mom” pro because of that one post.
I tell my family and friends that all I know about cooking I owe to you, my friend Mel.
And your gift guides! We own probably half the games on your lists now and we love them. How does a thank you cover my gratitude? My husband has a high-profile and demanding church calling… and I’ve thought… maybe Mel understands what I’m experiencing too.
And since I’m already crying… I wish I could give you both a hug to say thank you. Thank you for doing what you were born to do. For being exemplary mothers.
For magnifying your gifts and sharing your light.
It inspires me. You have a friend here that would fight for, and with you, too.
I went back to work full time after 11 years home with kids. My time management has not caught up, and my bible study has fallen by the wayside. I will pick it back up, even if it’s after work. And I will pray for Holli and her family and friends.
Ohhhhh Mel. OOOOOOhhhhhh Holli. Ooooohhh her sweet family. I promise I will.
Color me selfish and ungrateful. I will try to do my best…..that’s all I can do. I remembered you in my prayers last night Holli, you too Mel; said your names out loud. My “outloud” prayers are my most fervent. Here’s hoping they were heard by someone other than my cat! I was going for a smile with the cat comment…..hope it landed.
Mel, I have followed your blog for years, made many of your recipes, and shared the links with friends and family. I am not a social media person and I don’t think I’ve ever left a comment on your site. But you have been so helpful in my life, when I saw that you were asking for help, I thought “I would be so happy to be able to help Mel!” Your friend Holli is in my prayers. This year I had a falling out with a friend. I really don’t know how to handle it. I am in prayer constantly to help me forgive and work to rebuild. I can’t say I will have to strength to do this tomorrow or even in the near future.
But in honor of Holli, and with God’s help, I will try.
Mel, thank you for being you, and being you bravely, boldly, kindly. Thank you to your friend Holli for sharing a bit of her story through you. I sometimes think I pride myself in being a private figure it out try not to complain and just keep plugging along without wanting to every burden another person person. But…I’m learning that there is something powerful in being vulnerable and imperfect, and allowing each other to be, and supporting each other in whatever challenges we are working through. It increases our compassion and patience and love of each other as human beings trying to do the best we can, and have some joy along the way. There is power is sharing that joy, too. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about people I care about who are going through hard things… and that I need to take advantage, in the good way, of the things in my life. So, in solidarity with you, Holli, and everyone else who has shared their heart in comments on this post, my BeStrong goal is try better to live fully, not to waste my now, and continue trying to focus on the good around me.
This is by far one of the MOST beautiful ways to honor life-Holli’s life.
For the last 3 years, everyday, I been offering my most challenging moments for some one-anyone in need. It’s been a powerful devotion and I have to total faith that God receives my measly little offering, and transforms it into the graces we need to heal-spiritually, physically, emotionally, intellectually.
My offering for Holli is, every moment that I am able to, I will make a sacrifice for her and her family. Whether it be pausing in the middle of a joyful moment to pray for her or pausing through a stressful moment to pray for her. If I stub my toe, I will honor Holli by praying for her through the pain. We are all in this gorgeous crazy beautiful painful existence called life together and we need each other all the time but especially in the challenging times.
It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to pray for you, Holli. Be at peace knowing that we are.
I felt strong emotions as I read this post, which could be considered interesting when it has to do with people I’ve never met and have no attachment to, but there was so much truth in what you shared it touched me. Life is hard, but God is good. People like Holli are an intense reminder of how important it is to be grateful for all we have, but especially the little things. I just had a new baby(number 4) and those first weeks usually involve a lot of complaining from me, but my Holli goal is to find joy each time one of my Littles wakes me up, joy that I can help them and use my body to love them. Thank you for the inspiration.
Thank you for sharing the story of your beautiful and brave friend. Over the past year I have made it a point to slow down, appreciate the little things, and to be grateful for every day that I wake up healthy. We don’t know what the future may bring, and Holli is an inspiration and a reminder to not take a minute for granted. I will get out and run, love on my babies, smile more, worry less…and send positive thoughts, vibes and love to you, Holli, and her beautiful family. What a gift to know someone as special as her.
Thanks for sharing her story with us.
This post resonated deeply with me and was something I feel I was divinely led to read. I will pray for Holli and her family. Thank you for sharing this and I will do something to honor Holli’s admirable strength. Thank you, Mel.
Prayers for your sweet friend and her precious family!! Stay strong Holli and know that you are being surrounded and held up in prayer! With love and sincerity ~ Paulette in Michigan
I came here looking for a recipe for baked donuts that a friend posted on Facebook. Instead I found a heartbreaking but inspiring story of Holli. I will keep Holli in my prayers and I thank her for the inspiration to keep strong and trust God. I will not complain when I am waiting on my husband whose back and legs are aching from a slip on the ice. I will be so thankful for my good health so that I can help others. Holli you are blessed to have a great friend like Mel. I am also blessed to have a group of women who are like sisters to my. Our Prayer Group has been together for over 30 years (I am in my 70’s) and so are they. I promise that we will keep you on our prayer list for continued strength and peace and for you to get all the help you need from the angels that God will send you. Sending virtual hugs.
Mel, I love reading your posts and your recipes never disappoint. Reading this post about Holli really made me stop in my tracks. Sounds like you two have been blessed with a friendship many only dream of having. I have been having anxiety because my husband is about ready to start back up traveling, leaving me home for multiple days with four small children and a new puppy. Sounds silly typing it out, but this does give me much stress. However, now, when I am amid that stress I will stop and pray for peace for not only me, but Holli as well. Your story has been heard and I will carry it with me as I mother my children. Holli, you are a child of God, loved and saved through Jesus Christ. Prayers attend.
Dear Holli, you are a living testimony to your family and to the world, of the power and the truth of the living God. We never seem to get the “why” questions answered in our lives but God always answers the “what”. I know God is answering you whats and that you are strengthened, comforted and filled with peace.
Praying for you and your family.
Thank you, Thank you for showing us all to love life fiercely, to continue no matter how hard, to love no matter how weak we are, to be who we are no matter what comes our way. Forever grateful and forever praying.
You’re right, Mel. Your readers are amazing. Their willingness to help (in whichever way) is inspiring. Love and prayers to Holli, her family, and friends who obviously love her.
I’m grateful for this post. It reminds me to care for those who need us.
I’m grateful for this post. It reminds me to care for those who need us.
Have never seen this blog before and it is so random that I accidentally came across it today. I had googled something about basal cell carcinoma and up popped Mel’s post about having her spot removed from her nose. I loved how she wrote about it and appreciated the photos (yes, I looked.) I then noticed this was from about 5 years ago so I decided to go to the blog and read what was there today and—-there was Holli.
Holli, know that I will be praying for you and that you can stay calm and focused on using all your energy to fight this disease. And praying for your family too. Mel, you have helped me with your basal cell post as well as with this post, helping me to push myself on a lot of things that I have been knowing for a long time that I should and have just been plain lazy not to do so. I am grateful to have found this post in such a random way. There are no coincidences. I was meant to read it. Prayers and positive energy coming your way.
This post broke my heart. I came here for easy dinner recipes and I’m leaving with more insight than I’ve had in a while. I’ve been struggling for a long time trying to figure out if I was working the right profession. I’m not happy. And I’ve felt stuck. But life isn’t guaranteed. I can’t sit around forever being unhappy and thinking I am guaranteed to get to a place of happiness. I need to do what makes me happy now. Thank you so much for sharing, Mel. And Holli, God bless you. You’re one of those souls that shines in life and we all flock to it. Wishing you and your family the best from a Minnesota gal.
Mel and Holli, thank you for inspiring me to be better! I am going to work hard on improving my prayers. You will both be in them!!
I don’t think I have ever commented on a blog post. This one took me by surprise and is such a beautiful idea. I also have had a devastating diagnosis a few months ago. I will have 3-9 pain-free months and then life is going to get very difficult. Sometimes my fear of what’s coming overwhelms me to inaction. But because of this post, that time I have been given feels really precious. The commitment is to take some time this weekend and plan out how I am going to use this miraculous time I’ve been gifted. I’m going to make a list of things that I want to do before my illness makes things things too difficult. What a good friend you are. It’s so easy to think we are alone in our struggles. But the truth is that life is just hard. Knowing that other struggle helps me to know I’m not alone
Holli is my little sister everything you’ve said is true. I have admired her strength as she has powered through every challenge in her life. I am deeply saddened due to international travel restrictions, I haven’t been able to see her. Knowing she is suffering and her Canadian family can’t be there to love her, help her and comfort her has been heartbreaking, Thank you for being her friend and offering her the love and support you do. She speaks very highly of you,
I wish I knew how to cook
My hard thing I will do, inspired by Holy, is to find gratitude throughout my day.
I hate to say but I usually don’t read your posts… for some reason, today I did… and it brought me to tears. Hugs, prayers, well wishes and good vibes to Holli. She sounds like an amazing person. And thank you for being there for her…❤️
It sounds like Holli has created a Christlike legacy. Prayers for her and her family. She is truly inspiring. https://youtu.be/_zi3CkmEAnc
I have never comment before but was in tears reading this post. My goal is to serve others more and not take my family for granted even in the midst of the chaos. I am praying for this precious woman, a sister in Christ and her beautiful family.
My hard thing will be to pull myself out of this depressive funk I’m in today, and go do something productive. I have my struggles but they all seem much smaller now. I will keep Holli and her family in my prayers.
Holli….lifting you up in prayer, to our Most Wonderful and Gracious Father……
I’m considered a front line worker, and frankly, this past year has been physically exhausting and mentally draining as well, People have been nasty, mean spirited and not gracious at all….on the other hand, I’ve been complimented, appreciated and thanked…I’m worn out from the nastiness, but I’ve decided to follow Mel’s advice and I’m just going to concentrate on the niceness and leave the nasty people out of my head and lift more of those nasty people to HIM and let HIM deal with it and not me.
Holli, I will continue to pray to HIM for your health, well being and safety….sending a hug, actually, like a million!!!!
Thank you for sharing your friend with us today Mel, what a beautiful example she is to all of us without even knowing her personally! She has made me want to be a better person by recognizing my blessings everyday! Living with a grateful heart and lifting those around me, thank you Holli! You will be in my prayers!
My bestrongforholli goal is to believe that I can make a difference in the world for good. That I can spread the love of Christ and the love of the scriptures to my family and other women and beyond. I find it really hard to believe that I can do it. That I can succeed. So I’m working on believing. Love to you and your dear strong friend.
Thank you for sharing about Holli! What an amazing woman! Her example has helped me just have a shift in my mind to remember to be more grateful for my life. It’s a blessing to have the ability to put that pile of laundry away, catch up on doing dishes, and snuggle my kids. Thank you!
I don’t know Holli, but your story propelled me to give. Through the GoFundMe page, I learned she is a dental hygienist, as am I. I just wanted to say that I am praying for Holli and her family. She sounds like an amazing person, and I am proud to call her my sister of the scaler!! God’s healing to you.
I am new to your website and read your article about Holli. I was overcome with thankfulness for friends and the desire to be a better one because you let me see the beauty of yours.
As much as we love our friends here on earth, we are also called friends of God. Just imagine.
God bless you both.
I never ever thought I would reply to a bog post, but your request truly touched me.
I am probably a whole lot older than your average readers-more that 3/4 of a century!- and therefore have seen many instances where my complete faith in God and his mysterious ways is challenged by the pain and suffering I witness . I have come to many conclusions, one of which is that it truly is all right to say out loud, “Okay, God, I do trust you but I am hurting so much as I try to understand .” The second thing I believe (& it is probably why I am answering you) is that you, Mel, need a little extra love and care also. So tell your family – both your husband and your children and your pets and farm animals too- that you are hurting and need their love, support and understanding. Whatever struggles are occuring within the family (and there’s always something going on when there are children, adults and responsibilities involved) it can be put aside so they can envelop you in their special love and care. While none of these actions will cure your friend, they will help you as you fulfill your call to be a change agent of God by bringing more love, peace and caring into our world and to your friend. And I will add you and Holli to my prayers.
Dear Holli and Mel, Wow! I just made Mel’s Chocolate Chip Cookies and my family said they were the best ever! I went to the website this morning to look for a sugar cookie recipe and found your heartfelt post! I am will be praying for you, Holli, and your precious family. I am thankful you know where your strength comes from! I pray your faith in Jesus will continue to be strong, a testimony to everyone that needs to hear it and lives will be saved!
“May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
I pray for God’s healing touch, a miracle! I love the song, “I Speak Jesus” by Here Be Lions.
It has been my prayer the last year when praying for my family, especially my precious grandkids. When worry and fear enter in I speak JESUS over them. It has spoken to my heart when I have listened to it over and over!
Sending God’s love and prayers to you both, Holli and Mel.
Thank you for sharing Holli’s story. It must be so difficult to watch your treasured friend go through such hard trials. I read your post this morning (Friday) and was inspired to take your advice and run a mile. I love to walk and get a few miles in most days, but I Do Not like to run/jog. So, I challenged myself to jog a mile on the treadmill today. At 3/4 mile, I was done and really wanted to walk. But as I thought about Holli and the hard things she is trying to do, I slowed the speed slightly and pressed forward, finishing the mile. Holli was my inspiration to keep going even when it was hard. I know the Lord is mindful of Holli, her family and their struggles. May the Lord bless her and her family in their righteous desires.
Tears and admiration for both of you. What a wonderful friendship you have. I have chronic daily migraines, and I want to be more like Holli and less of a complainer. Sometimes I just complain to myself, but that is definitely not doing me any good. When I look for the good in my life, I find lots of it. I’m going to re-adopt my forgotten mantra of “See the good & be the good”. Daily pain can make daily tasks a little extra challenging for me, but I am about to get up and empty the dishwasher and then fold the heap of clean clothes on my floor (which I was about to keep putting off) and I will do it with a grateful heart because of Holli! Hugs and prayers for you and your family, Holli!
Thank you for this post. I normally don’t read through blog posts. I just skip to the recipe. Holli, you are amazing. I will do my core corrective exercises today. Thanks for inspiring me.
I’ll call my mom. We grew apart a lot last year, and we haven’t spoken other than texting in probably over a month. Thank you for your example, Holli. Bless you.
Hi Mel and Holli,
I posted a comment a few minutes ago, but just felt like I wanted to say that I know Holli’s strength and compassion and love for others will make me a better person, will make me not put off a simple act of kindness because I am to busy. Please know you are touching many people who have never met you, and you are making a positive change in our lives. I hope the best for you. God bless you! xoxoxo
Hi Mel and Holli,
Thank you for sharing Holli’s story. What an amazing, courageous, woman. My heart breaks for her and her family. What inspires me is her upbeat attitude, her smile, and her willing to help people along this journey. To still show love and bravery. even when each day must be a challenge. I hope that I could be even a little bit like her under those circumstances. I wake up each morning feeling blessed and thankful for my health and my family and friends. Now I am thankful that Holli has such wonderful friends and family standing by her side and loving her.. She will be in my thoughts and prayers, and I know hearing her story will make me appreciate the little everyday things even more, and reach out to help other people. God Bless you Holli.
I will pray for Holli and her family. I had had a really bad morning when I read your post on Monday. I hadn’t been the best mom to my kids that morning and had been very impatient with them in getting them out the door to school. I will appreciate these moments with them; even the rushed ones. For Holli, I will not take these mornings for granted!
I read this Monday and have thought about it non-stop since….all week everything I’ve done she has been in the back of my mind and I sent little bits of love and light and honor to her and in the silliest of ways I hope that she can feel it in a little tingle or pinch or something. Holli you are an inspiration to me. xoxo Andrea
Thank you for this post. It really makes me stop and be thankful for everything that I do have and for the very little things in life that aren’t so little when you actually step back and take a look. Like the warmth of my bed, the feel of my blanket on my skin, the promise of a new day, fresh, fallen snow that shimmers and shines, hot water in the shower, the smell of freshly brewed coffee…I could go on and on. I will stop and appreciate the little things and the little moments and know that I am so fortunate to have what I have and experience these things fully. Thank you, Holli. Wishing you peace and love.
Why don’t we dedicate a hashtag on peloton to her and do a ride for her?
I was inspired by this post this morning. After I read it I realized I needed to respond to a strange and unexpected note I received in the mail. The note was from someone who was apologizing that she had been mad at me. I had no idea she was mad but hearing her apology brought up all kinds of feelings about a difficult situation that happened more than a year ago–I’m not positive but I think that’s what she was referring to. Anyway– I was prompted about how to respond and realized that my initial reaction was quite prideful and passive aggressive and wouldn’t help heal anyone’s emotions. I realized that I don’t need to get the last word or explain my position and I was able to feel kindness and grace towards everyone involved. I didn’t even realize how much I needed to do that and I honestly wouldn’t have done so if I hadn’t read this post. Thank you and I will remember you and your family in my prayers Holli.
My heart aches for you Holli, your family and your friends. I am inspired by your strength and courage! I was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma when I was 23 and pregnant with my 3rd baby. Going through the surgeries and year of chemotherapy was the hardest thing I have every done. I cannot imagine what you are going through! I often get consumed with fear of the possibilities of what is reality to you. I am grateful for your example and feel inspired to try harder to live with gratitude in all things! I will try harder to have hope, faith and have more courage. My BeStrongForHolli goal is to say more gratitude only prayers, spend more one on one time with my kids each day this week and be strong in a challenging goal I have been working on for my own health. I will be praying for you and your family!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I know Holli adores your friendship! I want to do something amazing to honor Holli but I’m not sure yet what it is..I have so many things I have been slacking on lately. But I will hug my girls and show my husband a little more
Holli and I were junior high/high school best friends. So many great memories together. Going to the video store with $1.06 to rent a movie. Tubing down St. Mary’s. Road trips to Lethbridge, Calgary, and Edmonton. Countless sleepovers and walking home after school discussing life. Holli used to joke that she was going to start the first Mormon Nunnery, but I am still single and she has a beautiful family. Holli has always been a strong individual and my heart breaks for her and her family and if I could swap places with her to give her more time with her kids I would. I love her to bits because she has persevered in life with her hard work and determination, while always keeping a smile on her face. She is a great friend and example to me. Love you Holli! ❤️ Ginger
My bestrongforHolli goal is to do something for someone else each day this next week in honor of Holli.
Holli holds a very special place in my heart … and always will. I remember driving her and my sister, Ginger, to dances and watching them giggle for hours. Holli is a ray of sunshine! I was particularly touched by Holli’s last YouTube post, when she shared about not taking for granted your abilities. My hard will be improving my “self talk” to include more gratitude for my abilities rather than criticism and self judgement. I love you, Holli! ❤️
Holli sounds as self reliant and independent as I am. I quietly carry my set of challenges. I never want to be a burden for anyone, almost to a fault. I’ve been a single parent for over 13 years & have 3 amazing teenagers/missionaries. Holli inspired me to ask for help. In doing so, the spirit of God was incredibly present. Jesus Christ has amazing power to fill our hearts with love us as we work with one another. Thank you Holli!
Thanks for this invitation Mel. My BeStrongForHolli goal is going to be pray to know who might feel invisible today and let them know they are seen. I have been blessed to have been reached out to in that way. Praying for courage, continued strength and comfort for you, Holli.
I will never, ever grumble about folding laundry again.
To Holli and her family, may God be with you always. I have put off calling some elderly friends simply because they are chatty Cathies. It’s been embarrassingly long in two cases. I will call this week, and remember that agape love involves self-sacrifice, which I’ve been such a recipient of myself. Love to you.
We don’t know how much strength we have until we need it. Sometimes we need to dig deep for strength, sometimes we have to feel extremely grateful that we’re not experiencing the challenges that others face. I’m saying prayers for your recovery. You are a beautiful example of how important human connection is and how much each of us can impact another person.
I don’t know if you have already read these comments to Holli but here is mine. Holli you are not alone. I won’t get into my medical history but sufficed to say that I too have a body that has betrayed me. When I got married I was a spunky active person and now I am in a wheelchair and I am unable to do many of the things I used to do. People often tell me how they can’t believe how I hardly complain and the truth is I always think, what would that solve. When I hear stories like Holli’s it makes me want to drive straight to Idaho (trust me I seldom have that desire) and throw my arms around you to let you know you are not alone. I know you can be surrounded by family and friends and yet feel completely alone because you know that they just don’t get it. I get it. It is the worst club to be a part of but know you have a club. You have those that understand and love you. I know you don’t know me at all but know that I am thinking of you and hugging you from Utah. I do hard things everyday when you become disabled but for you Holli I promise not to be frustrated with my husband when he helps me clean the closet on Saturday. Trust me that is a good one.
Thank you so much for the reminder that each day is a gift and life is so precious. I have so much to be thankful for! Inspired by Holli, I will take the first steps to work on a goal I’ve needed to accomplish and I’ve been putting off for a year (and will try to be grateful for the opportunity to do it!) prayers for Holli and her family!
I set a goal to run 25 miles this week. This was a big deal because I never run more than 3 miles in a single workout. but I am almost there!! so thankful for this body!
I love Holli, and I don’t even know her! I love Mel for being Holli’s friend. (I also pretend like Mel’s my BFF, and she doesn’t even know me!) My BeStrongForHolli goal is this: I will make dinner a meaningful event for my family every night this week. I have two teenagers–18-year old boy and 16-year old girl–and a husband. We usually sit down to dinner together, but making dinner meaningful family time is really hard. I’m going to do it for a week. For Holli. Also, I’m super good at praying. I’m not trying to brag or anything. There are a lot of things I’m not good at, but I’m good at praying, and I am praying for Holli!
Our family loves Holli and her family dearly !
I am so amazed and how positive you have been through this obstacle Holli
You are a example to us all .
I am going to focus on pushing myself a little further in all things , maybe even getting my teeth cleaned on the first appointment and not rescheduling twice because I really hate going . But mostly I want to seek those out in need
Like the older lady at the store today who needed a hand , Holli the Seeleybunch loves you !
I picked up my friend’s son from school so she didn’t have to wake her other 2 nappers to go and get him. Love this post. And you. And now Holli. ❤️
Praying for Holli and her family! <3
For my hard thing… I'm going to push myself to go the extra mile and complete the long workout I've been telling myself I'm not quite ready for. But I am – I will push through it and even do the jumps!
I’m not a natural optimist, and for the next 24 hours, I’m going to be an optimist about everything. No negativity for me!
My prayers are with you Holli!
Today I will take a test I have been putting off. You see, I just went back to school to get my Masters in Counseling 3 weeks ago. I haven’t been to school for 21 years! My first test has been looming over me this past week and I was tempted to put it off until next week. After I read Mel’s post I knew I had to take it today to show that I can conquer my fears.
I read this post when it was first posted, but hadn’t commented yet because I didn’t think I had anything to say. Yet, today I realized it has affected me. I had been feeling very discouraged about my job lately, but the past few days I have felt more grateful to be able to work. I had been feeling very disappointed in an important milestone that will go uncelebrated, but the past few days I’ve been grateful for the hope to make future plans. I had been pretty lethargic about my prayers because I felt so distanced, and the past few days I have made it a point to start my day with prayer. Thank you, Mel, for the sweet post about your friend. It has already helped me improve my perspective. I will pray for Holli and her family.
I’m going to seek each of my kids out and really talk to them. Give them hugs and make sure they know I’m here. Prayers for you Hollie. ❤️
Mel, I never, ever have left a comment on a public blog before, but today I need to tell both you and Holli thank you! Thank you for the reminder that every day is a gift and each of our lives are precious and beautiful in countless ways. Holli, thank you for your example of trusting in the Lord with all your heart, even and especially in the crucible of cancer. You and your family will be in my heart and prayers, and I will be thinking about you while I fold my laundry and do my dishes and all my other million mom jobs (without complaining!) today. May the Savior’s peace and promises bless and comfort you today and always.
I find myself searching for the right words to say after reading this story and just can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said by so many that have commented. May Holli and her family remain strong and I’ll be saying prayers for them all. In Holli’s honor, I will strive to be more present in my life and will remember to be grateful for my health and the things I GET to do (like exercise, work, etc) instead of thinking that I HAVE to do them. It’s so easy to take the little things for granted.
Prayers for Holli and her family. In her honor, this week I will dedicate each workout to her to express gratitude for my body and my ability to to move, breathe hard and get stronger. I will put extra effort in to being patient with my small children who are learning and growing like me. When tempted to complain or vent discouragement I will think of two positive things about the situation instead. Thank you for your example, Holli and Mel, and for this challenge that encourages me to be a little better.
Mel thank you for sharing Holli’s story, and Holli thank you for being willing to share your story. It has truly made me stop and think about my life and all that I have to be grateful for. Today for my challenge I am going to choose to have more patience with my 5 kiddos who have been home now for almost a year because of covid. I am going to love every second of it and see it as the blessing it is! Also, when one of my children talk to me to stop and look then in the eyes and listen:) My prayers are with you Holli and your dear sweet children and husband.
I have been swamped in the “to do list” lately. I am going to slow down and focus on personal touches with each of my 6 children this week. I am going to think of them individually, rather than collectively. I will do something to connect with them, 1 on 1, if even for a few minutes. I am so inspired by Holli’s faith and inner strength to keep putting 1 foot in front of the other. You will continue to be in my family’s prayers. Hope you are feeling enveloped with love and peace at this difficult time.
Today when my kids and husband talk to me, I’m going to stop what I’m doing, look in their eyes, and really listen to what they are saying. God bless you, Holli.
Prayers for your well being ! I will cook and think of you !
Your story is inspiring! Can I just say that I know God knows you by name and loves you. I believe someday we will know the “why” for our trials even though we wish we could know now. Today I walked 3 miles instead of 2 and almost all of that time I talked to my dad (that’s not hard, he’s an amazing 92 year old) and my heart was filled with gratitude for the technology we are blessed with that I can still feel connected to him (he’s an Idaho guy) even though I live 15 hours away. I pay the Lord will bless you and your family. In my religious world we can put names on a prayer roll in a temple where millions of people join in prayer. Even though I don’t know your last name, Holli, (God does) I am adding your name to those prayers. May His peace bless you and those you love.
*Tears in my eyes right now.
Holli’s story resonated with me big time.
You’re right, our pain and struggles are so sacred and individual.
Thank you for reminding us to be grateful. Thank you for the invitation to do something hard today. I beat you to it, but your story reminded of why I allowed myself to feel the heartache I once felt and continue to feel. You see, I am trying to serve a community I once was a part of— wife of a prisoner— and even though both my husband and I had two young children at the time and were very actively LDS and the conviction came as a complete shock to us and he was taken from us for five years— life just simply sucks sometimes and we feel so isolated and lonely. Now that I am going to grad school and we’ve been reunited for two years now and have had another beautiful baby boy (Sam born 11/11/20), I feel called back to that dark time to help others through it but it So. Hurts. Thanks for giving me that little nudge to remind me we need to help each other through this hard life and it’s ok to do that, to be vulnerable. Prayers for Holli and family. Prayers for you. And thank heavens for food, am I right?! We made your shepherds pie this week. Amazing.
I was going to leave a long message but viol` everything has been covered in these amazing compassionate messages already. You two are so blessed to have each other and such a beautiful friendship. Few in this world have such a thing. My prayers are with you both. God is aware of the two of you and eternity will be such a glorious gift to embrace one day….. God and His son Jesus Christ love you both, of that I am certain.
I grieve for your suffering, but I know without a doubt that you both will be richly rewarded. Not just the two of you but your whole families will benefit too.
I worked out today for the first time in months. I had been procrastinating it and Holli gave me the the strength to prioritize my health and appreciate the gift of my body. Thank you for your strength, Holli!
I never ever comment on blog posts but this was a really beautiful and timely post. I have always wished I could be more like Holli and people like her. I wish that gratitude and an upbeat attitude came more naturally to me. This is a wonderful reminder that even if it isn’t second nature, I can choose to be that person one small choice at a time. Thank you Holli and Mel for your inspiration. It has been a tough year for everyone and on those days that feel the hardest this is the kick in the pants that I need. I will keep on trying, and maybe one day I can be like you.
Praying! What a powerful story!
Accepted your challenge – Conquered a major fear and insisted on the higher end of the advertised salary for a job I applied for, and I hung in there to love a few people who were being spicy or prickly.
I’m going to get up, drink a glass of water. Fold and PUT AWAY some laundry, figure out dinner and make some freezer breakfast burritos. And when I pick up my kids from school I am going to put my phone down and play with them. Holli you are now in my prayers.
Love From Minnesota
I hopped on this morning to find a recipe for some type of breakfast bar that my 10 yr old might eat on oatmeal mornings since she refuses to eat oatmeal (yes i’m catering to her but it’s worth it to not have her hangery) . Your recipes and commentary on life have saved many a day at my house. I’ve often thought we would be friends in real life. I am filled with happiness thinking that Holli gets that blessing of having you as a friend. God knows who we need and who needs us. I admire Holli’s grit and strength and faith. I also am grateful for your use of this platform to share her story and lift me out of my current state of mind – bugged at my kid for not liking my delicious oatmeal – to serving my kiddo and being grateful for a refreshed perspective.
It really is the little things. So when I fold my laundry and do the dishes, or shovel the driveway, I will be more grateful because I can do them. I will think of Hollie and send my positive vibes to her and her family, instead of wasting time being negative. Thank you Hollie for your inspiration. My prayers are with you and all that know and love you!
I am going to play with my four year-old today. I’ve been so busy helping the olders with school, she’s been left most days to find her own fun.
My prayers are with you Holli ❤️.
I’m going to keep on moving forward, even when I want to give up – responding calmly to angry teenager, cleaning up the mess when I would rather go to bed, basically choosing the best instead of good choices. Sending prayers and love for both of your families.
You are an amazing role model Holli! My BeStrongForHolli goal will be to not get behind on my laundry. While I am doing laundry, I will be thinking of you and praying for your health, strength, comfort and any individual blessings you need at this time. I will also take extra time to visit my Nana.. You are in my heart and prayers.
Thank you for sharing Mel.
I will…do something hard. In fact, I have something hard planned already. I have to go through my deceased husband’s clothes. I’m grateful to Holli for reminding me that I can do this. Tears are likely to fall. I adored him. ♥️
Keep holding on Holli❤️ Your courage is a powerful message to me and I thank you. I am going to listen with patience and love to my husband of 43 years. Sometimes I forget to fully love the person in front of me after all these years. God bring Holli continued strength.
I just read your post about Holly… Wow… She is a true warrior.. As a Christian I know all. Is in Gods plan…each of us have our own journeys some easier than others. I believe in the power of prayer. So Holly and her family will be in.y daily prayers.. I start my day with prayers and stop often thought out the day to send my prayers to Gods ears….
Thank you for this post. It was so touching and beautifully written. My life is currently a time of stretching, growing, and shoving myself out of my comfort zone. My hard thing for Holli is to sincerely listen to my children. They need me. They deserve to be listened to, and I know I will learn a lot as I do. Thanks for making me think about this, and giving me the push to make it happen. God bless Holli and her family <3
Dear Holli, “Only Jesus” That’s one of my favorite songs too! I love you! This week , yesterday in fact, it was confirmed that my mother in law has Multiple Myeloma Cancer. It has changed our world. She had compression fractures in her back which was just a symptom of what was really going on. Life is full of surprises and it sounds like your life has been chuck full! You are inspiring! You have courage and determination to keep up the fight! Please know that you are not alone! EVER! We’re all pulling for you and we will pray for you! Thank you for smiling through the pain! Thank you for your beautiful and amazing self! May God keep you close and may you feel His comfort always I’m going to do hard things! I just don’t know what yet.. but I will! Thank you for your encouragement! <3 <3
Mel, thank you for your Monday thoughts. I understand your motive is only to shine a light on the sister and friend who you love. In your love for Holli, you have given her strength (sounds like she is doing just fine on her own in this category), and support. Thanks for including her go fund me page very discretely. But a girls gotta use all the powers she possesses in times like these . We all need a boost here and there. You both are fiercely loyal and brave women.
I am a woman, a mother, a homemaker, a healthcare provider, and as of late, a Covid-19 specialist/warrior. I understand bravery, fierce independence, motherhood, loyalty, and kindred spirits. Take care of each other, we are inspired by you both. Love and light, Stephanie from somewhere in Montana (5th generation).
You are an inspiration, Holli! What a year to be fighting such a fight. It is a demonstration of your incredible resilience and faith. Because of you, I am committing to touch the little people around me all day long with more regularity and more affection. Less talking and more hugging. May God continue to grant you strength!
Holli sounds like an amazing person and inspiring. Keeping her and her beautiful family in my prayers. My be strong for holli goal is to call my elderly aunt and catch up with her.
Praying for your dear friend, Holli, May God heal you completely in the name of Jesus, Mel, appreciate you being so caring and love this idea, I am going to learn how to do a pull up in 2021
Amazing story. Holli, you are creating a legacy that can never be taken away- a legacy with your family, your friends, everyone who knows you and those who don’t. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful for every single day and to not complain. Praying for your peace and healing.
I moved across the country recently to get away from an abusive so called family member. My spouse and I aren’t in a new home yet and don’t have jobs so we are feeling a bit displaced but hopeful. I have disabilities of my own (of which i have been told to just get over them and grow up by said family member) and have just been letting myself live below my abilities-and i guess just accepting that’s how things are.
But they don’t have to be.
Thanks for opening up enough to let Mel post this and inspire the rest of us. (Inspire me, at least). Every day I have to do things that are hard for me and I will now carry you along with me in my mind as I do them and fight to heal on my own. I may never be safe around this person. I may never be the person I once was before I met them. But I can fight and be a new person and still be beautiful like I see you are.
Thank you for being who you are.
I will not ask God to guide my footsteps if I am not fully committed to taking the first step.
When she sees broken beyond repair, God sees healing beyond belief.
I will be keeping Holli and her family along with you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. What a beautiful friendship each of you have. And for this exact moment, I will not take anything for granted. Thank you for reminding me of how insignificant my problems are. And if you will, keep my brother in prayer. His name is Curt and he had surgery due to immunotherapy complications today. God bless each of you.
Your suggestion to pick up the phone and call a family member who you haven’t talked to in a while really resonated with me. I have a younger brother who considers himself the black sheep of the family and he tries to avoid most contact with me and our three sisters. Usually when I call it goes to voice mail and he rarely returns a call. When I text I normally do not get a response. It would be easy to just ignore him since he has shown that he really doesn’t want anything to do with me, but I really want to have a relationship with my only brother. So, after reading your post I picked up the phone and called him–and to my surprise he answered. We had a really pleasant 30 minute phone call, which is the most I’ve talked to him in several years. Tell Holli thanks for her inspiring strength and thank you, Mel, for your suggestion. I feel like Robin Hood (Kevin Costner) in the movie when he looks at Will and says “I have a brother?!”
I can’t stop thinking and praying for you. I pray for peace for you and your family.
I am going to be better at doing the ‘hard’ things more quickly on my to-do list. The ones that usually take me days or even weeks to do. They are easy for others, but for some reason tricky for me.
Thanks for giving me the courage to do so.
That cloth diaper laundry I’ve been putting off for several days (don’t worry- it’s been washed, it’s just waiting to be folded and put away)- I’ll do that today. And I’m going to try my darndest not to loose my cool on my very sweet, but very loud 10 month old while he’s screaming and/or getting into all of my cupboards and drawers while I’m trying to make dinner tonight with my perfectly able body. Thanks for the inspiration. xoxo
Today, I took the time to visit some elderly people in my neighborhood. It is totally out of my comfort zone and because of the pandemic, they’ve been isolated. They have been welcoming certain visitors into their home and they were ok with a visit from me. This seems like something really small to most people but between work and family, I make time for these types of “social” activities. I’m inspired by Holli and the choice to push forward with hope. I am a fairly private person and wouldn’t want the attention either, but I am so thankful that you shared her story. There is comfort in knowing what everyone has hardships, some more obvious than others…but something good can and will come from it. Life is hard, but we can do hard things. <3
30 minutes on the treadmill today (that one stubborn New Year resolution that keeps stymying me!). We’re with you in (the) Spirit, Holli!!
In honor of Holli’s fight and strength, I’m going to be extra grateful today for being able to work all day teaching and then come home and workout and make dinner for my family. Love to you, Holli and her family. ❤️
I will never take doing normal everyday things for granted again and I will stop complaining about the tiniest inconvenience when there are people like Hollie who are so considerate and loving even when they are going through so much pain and so many trials. We love you, Hollie. Never lose faith. God loves you and has a plan for you. ♥️♥️♥️
Today I am going to listen to my teenage son with love and give him a hug. He is the hardest of my kids for me and he needs to know that I love him.
Prayers for Holli and her family. Thank you for sharing this Mel! You and Holli are both inspirations to me. I will hug all my kids today and try to feel more grateful for everything in my life—including my current trials that sometimes feel too heavy. God knows us and loves us.
Mel’s recipes nourish our bodies… the story of Holli, her family, and her friendship with Mel nourish my soul.
May there be peace……
I was lucky to have a best friend who sounds just like your Holli. Her name was Kristen. She also fought many battles and did so without complaint and a heart full of love and faith. To honor her and your beautiful friend, I’m going to stop nagging my teenagers. I’m still going to be tough, but I’m going to be more Christlike. More patient, more willing to look for and express the good they do. God bless Holli and those like her for their example!
I immediately sat down with my 5 kids and read books to them.
Prayers for Holli.
I’m going to follow a prompting that I had to take homemade bread to several people. It is totally out of my comfort zone but I’m trying to follow the Holy Ghost.
I’m going to smile when I fold my laundry today, and give each of my kids a huge hug.
This post is dedicated to Holli. I introduced our daughters to Mel’s kitchen cafe because a friend told me about it long ago. I have never posted anything before, but my heart “feels” with Holli. I had breast cancer, stage 1 on my right side in 2008. Had a masectomey, and 4 rounds of chemo. My youngest was 11 at the time. Amazingly, with the help of the Lord, my life went on. Then in 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer on the left side, completely unrelated to the 1st breast cancer. It was Stage 3. So another masectomy, 12 rounds of chemo, off to Mayo Clinic for proton radation, and a slow back to life. Just a month ago, I had stage 0 melanoma removed from my arm, which was only discovered by God’s providence to me. I really still don’t call cancer my enemy. It has made me realize that each day is a gift, no matter what it holds. Yes, there are still ups and downs, but I give God the credit for whatever he allows in my life and I know He will be a faithful friend to me as long as I put my complete trust in Him. I will say a prayer for Holli and her family as I go about my duties, that she can be given strength and courage for whatever the day may hold. I am sure her life will not be lived in vain, as you have so amply expressed to all of us. I will try to live my days more gratefully. 😉
This world is filled with amazing, strong, beautiful, inspiring people. Thank you for reminding me of that today. I am in tears reading just a handful of the 977 comments (so far!) on this post. Holli, you have done so much good this week for all of these families, friends, homes! Today I will stay present with my children during the entire witching hours instead of escaping to my room to read a book. I will strive to see the good amidst the noise and chaos. Sending prayers and love to you and Holli.
Wow, please let Holli know that even know she can’t do the many things physically that she has done in the past,she has stirred my heart and strengthened me spiritually and emotionally today. Today I will look around at all the beauty that God has given me. Thank you Mel for your very connecting and supporting post about your friend.
This. Was. Beautiful. So so beautiful. I don’t know you or Holli I will for sure keep her and her family in my prayers. But I will also workout for the first time in two months. And Tell each of my five kids one thing I think they are really good today.
Holli, I’m not sure what my “hard” is… I can’t go out and run at -30! However, you are inspiring me to make a real effort to complain less. It’s mostly an internal dialogue, but it is not healthy, so I will make a concerted effort to correct it, remembering how you rarely complain, with far worse circumstances than I have. Most importantly though, I will be praying for you and your family.
God bless you, Holli! I’m so sorry for your pain and struggles. I read this quote today “Try a little harder to be a little better. It was said by Gordon B. Hinckley. “
I hope that helps! As far as trying to do hard things, I got up early yesterday went running in the rain with my friend. Usually, I just want to stay in my warm bed so that was an accomplishment . Then I homeschooled my son, who complains to be back in in person school. Here in Oregon they don’t allow that yet . You and Mel are shiny examples to us all. I pray for love and peace to you and your family!
You are both blessed to have a great friend. That is a treasure! Hugs to you Holli- know you are prayed for and may you feel God’s arms around you and your family. I will finish cleaning the cupboards in my kitchen and take time with people – either in person -when I can -or on the phone and to hug my older daughter everyday. Thanks for the reminder of what is so so important. Hugs and love to both Holli and Mel. Thanks for sharing and helping me look at my blessings.
Holli, I am not sure I have the right words to say. But I am inspired by you. I hope you know your strength and faith have blessed the world, including me 🙂 Take care friend.
Please let me start by including you in my prayers. Asking God to bring whatever healing HE can but also peace to accept whatever journey He has planned. You are clearly loved and I’m sure that means the world. All of our day to day struggles seem so petty in light of your struggles. Thank you for sharing and reminding us what’s important. I really related to paying attention to family, to being in the moment. I related to that closet of clothes that no longer fit that once seemed so critical and now has no significance. We’re reminded every day that none of us knows what the next minute, hour, day, year holds. All we can do is trust in God and know He has a plan for us. I know God will bring you the peace that passes all understanding. And thank you for providing peace to me and my family.
I published my first book in 2020 and absolutely loved the experience! But for many years, I have had another, more daunting book idea that has been hard to begin, but I keep feeling prompted to do so. In Holli’s honor, I had the courage to begin and am looking forward to whatever miracle I need to bring it to pass! Prayers for you, beautiful Holli!
Use my remote Wednesday time to not only do errands for 89 & 86 y.o. parents, but sit and be still with them, share a cup of tea and a conversation – the things they deeply hunger for more than the groceries I deliver in a flurry of activity I am grateful for this reminder that I am only given this moment. Be still and know….
Thank you so much for sharing this beautifully touching story with us, Mel. Holli- I am so grateful for you and your example of enduring well through the hard. I’m praying for you and your family and hope you will feel relief from the pain you are experiencing. Your example has made a difference in my life and has definitely changed my perspective and outlook. Today I asked a friend for forgiveness for something I did years ago. It has been hard for me to find the courage to do it but after reading your story I knew it was time for me to do that hard thing. Thank you for your example and God bless you and your dear family. Lots of love and prayers.
I have so many things I have been putting off because of this odd Covid year and my time spent with homeschooling for the first time ever. So here are a couple things I’m going to just start working on now:
-creating a more beautiful home (I always question myself and put this off since I don’t have the budget to do exactly what I WANT, but it’s time to do what I CAN and make a home that inspires goodness and keeps our home as a sacred refuge).
-doing real, personal scripture study each day. We read as a family, I listen to gospel material and podcasts, but I really need to have a habit or direct study for myself. I have felt the pull of it, and it’s time to make it a lasting and real part of my routine.
Thank you for the call to action and the inspiration of amazing people and their unique stories. Love to both of you and your families!
Thank you, Holli, for serving Him. ♥️
I started new goals yesterday for the beginning of February and was too tired at the end of the day to do my exercising goal. Then I read this, got up, and did a workout. My be strong for Holli is to complete all 6 of my February goals each day without fail. I have a habit tracker sheet I’m using to make sure I don’t miss a day. Holli I’m so sorry for what you have to go through, but if you can be strong, so can I. Thank you for giving me that motivation. I’m thinking and praying for you each and every day this month! Aloha from Hawaii, Jenn
Randomly came across the post late tonight and gave it a read. Sending a prayer to heaven for you Holli. I hope you feel very comforted and enveloped in love this week. Thank you for allowing your friend to share some of your story with the public – experiences like yours somehow make us all stronger and a little softer. My hard thing…I commit to deep cleaning my bathrooms tomorrow. I know that sounds silly. And alarming – I promise I clean my bathrooms! But the deep clean, the get-your-back-into-it clean…I avoid that kind of bathroom-cleaning. Tomorrow though, I’ll put my back into it, and I’ll think of you.
I am going to set up a time to take 2 sweet girls to lunch who just lost their mom, because losing your mom is hard, whether you’re 40, 20, or 10. Thanks for this sweet post Mel, praying for Holli, her husband and her darling children. ❤️
Hold on to Jesus Holli. I will do the same and I will finish writing my story to inspire others. Praying for you and your family to rest in God’s grace and His hand as you are enveloped by His loving kindness!
I shared this post with some friends and it turned into picking each other’s ‘hard thing’. I’ve been assigned the task of using catch & release mouse traps for our current rodent problem.
Joking aside, this is an inspiring & beautiful post. Holli and her family are in my prayers. Sending lots of love from NM. ❤️
Thank you so much for this post Mel. Holli I love you, you are an amazing, brave, fighting, soul and your example is unforgettable. You’re a hero and I look up to you for your faith and strength. You are a special human being and we have all been beyond blessed to know you.
For my hard…
I will spend a little more time hugging my babies and my kids and spending time with them, instead of being so driven to get so much done in a day.
I am also going to spend more time with my husband who I love and adore and just really don’t get to spend enough time with.
I am going to write a hard letter to a family member hopefully mending some hard feelings.
I am going to spend time with my 17 year old just listening instead of trying to fix the hard struggles she faces in her life.
I love you Holli, thank you for being an inspiration to all of us.
All the best to you Holli. This year I am working on improving my relationship with my teenager (no easy task) and trying to soften my heart towards someone who has hurt me deeply. Both very hard things for me. Your courage is inspiring, and yours too, Mel. Thanks for giving us encouragement to do the hard things as you do. May God bless you both with your families. There is consecration in the struggle.
Mel, you are an angel. Thank you for sharing Holli’s story and challenging your readers to honor her by doing something hard.
When life gets tough I tend to mask my feelings, or bury the problem by staying “busy”. The hard thing I have been doing since reading your post has been to be still…. to give my mind and heart the space to sort things out, feel emotions that hurt, and allow tears to fall freely. Holli’s journey has been close to my heart. Darin and our son, Brian grew up together. Holli and Brian were diagnosed with cancer within months of each other. The highs and lows of Holli’s journey have been forefront in our prayers, right along with fervent prayers for our son. I don’t understand the “whys” of our challenges in mortality… but like Holli, I know that God’s plan is perfect and that we can trust Him. I know that because we have a Savior, someday everything that seems wrong or unfair will be made right and our sorrows will be turned to joy.
Being still gives me a renewed perspective and a greater desire to “Let God Prevail.”
Much love to you, Holli, and all that are carrying heavy burdens!❤️❤️❤️ -Melissa Schlerf
Dear Jesus, I pray for Holli. I pray you hold her tight and give her body the healing it needs. I pray you abolish all the cancer in her body and replace with healthy cells. I pray you give strength and peace to her family and friends. I pray this I’m Jesus name. Amen.
Thanks for sharing this Mel. Holli is a warrior who’s light shines brightly among the greats of this world. In honor of Holli, tomorrow I am going to not complain at all nor raise my voice at any of my children or 180 8th grade students. I’m going to try and find only the good in everyone I come across. We love you Holli! Thanks for shining your light so brightly and being a Christ-like example to all!
I’ll be honest, today I was struggling with the heaps of laundry from 7 people feeling a little bad for myself. I’m so grateful for this post to help me bring it back to what matters most. My faith and my family are what matters most and I’m so grateful for the reminder even through the moments that are hard for me. Saying a prayer for Hollie and her dear family. I thank her for her example of faith and hope in Jesus Christ.
Thank you:). This week and from here on out, I’m going to work on forgiveness. I’ve been holding onto some hurts for so long. It’s time to try, really try to let it go. Life is fleeting. Thank you Mel and thank you Holli. May God’s grace and peace be a constant comfort to you.
I admire your friendship. Holli sounds like an amazing friend and person.
I will slow down today by not checking my phone when I am with my son, and really listen to him when he talks to me instead of thinking of all the things that need to be done.
I don’t consistently check your website, but I’m glad I checked today to read your sweet tribute to your dear friend.
I will contact a difficult family member. I will only be positive, I will encourage and recognize small successes.
I started following your column Mel because you had the same name as my daughter that I lost 4 years ago to cancer. I look forward to your recipes and insights on life, You have a beautiful soul and I am so sorry to hear of your friend Holli. Such strength is rare. How blessed you are to have each other. I will add Holli to my prayer list, knowing God’s will will be done. Sending love and healing to you both.
I have been a regular follower so many years. I’m am so thankful for all your stories, recipes, and reminders to take care of ourselves. My heart goes out to you and Holli, but at the same time what beautiful a friendship and sisterhood you have in each other.
Holli, your continued strength, fight, and faith are inspiring. My BeStrongForHolli goal: This week I will one being more joyful and understanding at work. I take more to time to spend with my family…the dishes can wait, the dust can gather, and the laundry pile up, the after hours emails can go unanswered.
I will strive to be patient with one child who normally gets upset over many things-homework, having to eat dinner, do chores, etc.
this post is so tender. Lots of prayers for Holli, her family and friends.
Amazing…I will share this with my group of prayer warriors
I’m not sure what brave thing I’ll be doing yet; there are quite a few I could choose from. But I wanted to simply leave a comment letting you know that Holli and her family will be in my prayers. She sounds as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, and I’m sure is a blessing to all who know her. How lucky you both are to count each other as friends. Sending much love, positive energy, and prayers to Holli, her family, and to you as well Mel. xoxo
You are an inspiration to all you have crossed your path. I’m blessed to know you and to have served with you. I’m praying for you every day. My goal is to take time off from work to spend with my kids and Stephen without feeling guilty for all I need to do. I need to do a better job of passing on some of that to other people to focus on where I need to be the most. I love you dear friend!
Thank you for sharing Holli’s story. What an inspiration she is. I am going to do my best to start seeing what I do have & what I can do, not what I can’t. And to see all Gods blessings in my life. I will be praying for Hollie & her precious family
I was feeling very sorry for myself today. My son might be sick again. Holli’s kind of sick. And I have been wasting time being so angry about it. For Holli, rather than being angry about it, I am going to get up and put one foot in front of the other and find things to smile about. Then I’m going to walk up the hill near my house. All the way to the top. It may as well be Mount Everest. But I got this.
Wow thank you for sharing! My goal is to purposefully meditate to practice for giving birth in a couple weeks. It’s my second and I’ve been quite scared and haven’t made time to do the necessary mental preparation. Best to you and Holli! ❤️❤️
I don’t know Holli, but one of her sisters is a very dear friend of mine. I’ve followed Holli’s journey through her youtube videos and her sister and I am always so inspired and in awe of her faith and ability to see miracles and show gratitude in the midst of her trials. She is such an amazing example to me. Finding things to be grateful for is something that is hard for me because of mental health challenges. Every day this week I will write down things that I am grateful for. And Holli, I have been praying daily the past couple of months for you and your family to be surrounded and lifted up by ministering angels.
Thank you for pausing life for a brief moment to share Holli with us and allow us to all pause and be inspired. After reading about Holli and her beautiful light through her struggles, I couldn’t stop the tears. I realized my own inability to shine through my darkness. I am inspired to live more fully and intentionally, starting with gratitude every day.
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
Thank you Mel for sharing this story. Holli is very brave and hopefully knows that she is helping so many people’s faith.
I was able to be patient when my husband wanted to change, well, cancel really, our plans for our 25th anniversary. Due to the Coronavirus we’ve changed plans several times already. The day is April 21st. I’ve narrowed it down to an Airbnb in a relatively isolated lakeside community in our state (NM). It even has a dog run for our two dogs! I’m willing to take all of our meals so that they’ll just need to be heated (obviously relying heavily on MkC). We really won’t need to interact with anyone. We like to fish and there’s an excellent lake. But fishing is not a requirement. I just need to do something different!!! However. We had a heart to heart talk today and he admitted he really doesn’t know why he’s objecting and that he’ll keep an open mind. So will I. Thank you Mel and Holli.
I know what a blessing it will be to reach 25 years together regardless.
You have a beautiful family Holli. Our prayers are with you.
I’m not going to complain about all the things I’ve been routinely complaining about since the beginning of the year for the rest of the day (but it’s 4:10pm so I better include tomorrow, too).
And I’m going to pray for Holli and thank God He sends people like her and you to it.
My heart just breaks for Holli and her sweet family. Please send our love and let her know that we will be praying for her, for her comfort, her peace, and the knowledge that she has a Heavenly Father who loves her and is aware of her immense challenges. He had them too and he will comfort her if she asks. So very sorry.
I’m praying for Holli and her family. I will apologize to someone I hurt with my self-righteous judgment. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while now, but I will stop putting it off.
I will make the effort to memorize doctrinal mastery scriptures (probably in the shower), and take the time to figure out the right things to feed my body, instead of grab whatever, all week long. I appreciate Holli’s strength and good example. I have such friends, so I know she can be real!
I will make healthier choices for my body and focus on the things I *can* do with limited time and a lot of people/things demanding/needing it. Thanks for sharing Holli’s story and for asking us to do something hard. Life is Good 🙂
Heavenly Father please hear our pleas of comfort, protection and health for Precious Holli, her family and friends.Praise Holli is surrounded with a loving community near and far that continue to be inspired by the gifts you bestowed to her. It is by your divine presence that our hearts feel the kindness and Love of Hollis spirit through an electronic device. My pledge is to pray on my knees every night for 30 days.
Thank you for sharing Holli’s story. I got really brave and started a medication today that I have been needing to start for a while. Prayers for Holli, her husband, her children, and her family.
We all have hard things, that’s for sure. And I’m sorry that Holli’s are so hard right now, but she is lucky to have you as a friend. I’m going to put my phone down more and tackle my huge pile of mending, so that the kids can actually wear the clothes again before they outgrow them. It’s so easy to keep pushing little things like this aside, but I need to do them and need to stop having excuses. And I’m going to add Holli to my prayers as well!!
Mel and Holli, I have been deeply touched by your story. My eyes are filled with tears. I struggle to know what to say or do when friends or acquaintances are faced with huge life losses and trials. Sometimes I say very little. It tears me up inside because I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing so instead I say nothing. I will think about this person and their trial everyday yet not do anything because I don’t know what to do. Today and this day forward I will say something! I will send the Thinking of You cards, the Sympathy cards and I will pray for you and others. Sending you my love and prayers.
You are an inspiration to me as I got to know you just a tiny bit through my cousin Mel. I’ve only had small tastes of some of what you’ve been through and can’t imagine it all together, and I certainly can’t imagine enduring it without a fair bit of complaining. But I guess that’s what makes people like you (the few that there are) so very special and important. You show the rest of us how to endure well the tests & challenges of life. I pray that you will continue to be buoyed up by the love of your family & friends during this last, long stretch in mortality. You emanate beauty & it is reflected in the faces of each of your hard-won children. Whatever comes, please know that in far-away Wisconsin, you lifted & inspired another tired mom of six to keep fighting that good fight and to maybe have a better attitude in the process. I’m glad you’ve got Mel in your corner, she really is awesome, but hopefully she won’t start posting your recipes for the vegan slime quite yet…
Love from one Momma Bear to another
What a beautiful post — your friend Holli sounds incredible, as you are an incredible friend to her. How lucky you have each other. I will do some hard things. And I will pray. Sending healing thoughts.
Thank you for this post and your beautiful invitation. My goal is to look for the beautiful moments in the midst of the mundane and sometimes frustrating moments of trying to raise my little humans. And also to find some simple ways this week to look outside myself and find ways to brighten the days of some people around me. You and Holli are both an inspiration to me. Please tell her I’m adding my love and prayers to so many others on her behalf!
Holli’s story is so inspiring me and helps me remember it’s not what happens in life, but how I face it. I am going to try giving more self more love and less criticism. There’s a good me inside!
My BeStrongForHolli: honor her strength and faith by finally put pen to paper on my prayer journal. Holli gets the first line, the first prayer, so I can come back and give thanks for giving me the boost I needed to put what’s on my heart and mind down intentionally. ❤
This touched my heart to the core. I want to wrap my arms around both of you! I wish I were more like Holli. I love how you describe her depth of faith and lack of complaining. I joke with my kids that they will never refer to me as that “angel mother” that you always hear church talks about because I complain too much. In Holli’s honor I am going to make a mammoth effort to change that bad habit because really that complaining is a lack of gratitude and faith. Thank you Holli for reminding me to do better. I am also going to be kinder to my body that works so hard for me in spite of how I treat it. I read today that “suffering in righteousness helps qualify you for….God’s elect.” (Matthew Holland) You are a queen, Holli. Thank you Mel for sharing with us and all you do to light the world.
I bundled by kids up and took them outside today.
I met Holli once several years ago and she is just as you describe her! There are so many unnecessary distractions in life, and I’m guilty of getting sucked into them. I’m going to try to work on being more present, and focus on the important stage of life I’m in.
As I was telling my kids about Holli this morning my 9 year old said she wants to write and send letters to 50 people to brighten their day! Thanks for the inspiration to do and be better. Thoughts and prayers are with you Holli and your family.
Praying hard for Holli and her family. My goal is to take time reading at bedtime tonight and to not rush through the routine – it is such a special time and a gift.
I have 7 kids (one adopted) and so I instantly felt connected to her! Tonight I’m going to leave a note for each person in my family to read when they wake up in the morning, so they know how grateful I am for them and how much I love them. I will keep Holli and her family in my prayers, especially tonight.
Teaching my child math today! I have been homeschooling my 4 kids for 6 years now and it doesn’t get easier. Giving hugs, encouragement and keeping cool when they get so angry when school work is challenging is hard! Attitude is everything! I admire that about your friend, Holli. The attitude of joy when going through hard things is no easy task. I want to be more like that.
It’s hard for me to find time for myself during the day. The last week I have been focused on my nutrition. The next hard thing….exercise. I am going to walk today and one day at a time move up to running again. And show up big for my family with a smile and laughter in my Attitude.
I feel pathetic that this is my thing. But it’s a thing for me that I know is holding me back. I will not turn on the tv and zone out after my kids go to bed. I will open my scriptures, read a book, write in my journal. Sending all my love to my home state of Idaho and the dear people there.
She sounds beautiful ❤️ I will say a prayer for her and her family. My goal: I will make an effort to prepare healthier food and snacks for my family.
Thank you for sharing this, what an example of true friendship and strength. I’m a young mom and have loved reading your blog and trying your recipes over the past few years. I will be praying for Holly and her family. For Holly, I am going to delete Facebook and Instagram off my phone for a week so I don’t spend as much time scrolling, so I can spend more time doing things that really matter. I don’t want to just let me life pass me by!
This week I am trying to enjoy the small things and maybe things I don’t love that much… cleaning up dinner, packing lunches at night, figuring out what to eat for dinner, helping kids with homework. Thank you to you and Holli for reminding me that everyday is a gift, and I am blessed to be able to do these things for my family.
Mel, I read your story and honestly have not been able to get this off my mind. What a challenge you presented to each of us and honestly I did not think it would be this hard to comment and help in this way but what a beautiful idea and gesture for your friend. Through you, you can let her know that her story is helping countless others like myself. This is how I will be strong for Holli- I will work hard to let things go, not be so hard on myself, lay off of the guilt trips and enjoy each moment with the family God so lovingly blessed me with. Might seem easy, in the light of everything she is facing and honestly it does seem trivial in comparison but I do struggle with this daily. I will keep Holli and her family in my prayers and will be strong for her! Thank you and God bless!
The “feeling prickly and unloveable” part rang true today. Thanks for the inspiration and nudge Holly and Mel. I gave my kids some 8 second hugs and took my toddler outside to play. And lo and behold, I feel much better! And more ready to make dinner, which is why I came here her in the first place ;). Life is so very beautiful, even amidst the hamster wheel of the day to day.
Dear Mel and Holli,
I thought I posted a comment yesterday but I can’t find it now. So, if I’m repeating myself, I apologize. I am so happy for your enduring friendship. How wonderful that is!
Holli, you are an inspiration but I am so sorry that I am inspired because of your suffering. I hate that fact! Please know that I hate it that you are suffering.
For you, Holli, I will arrange the house and furnishings to be easier for my physically disabled adult child to navigate and tolerate. I will ask permission to do the basic housework that she sometimes finds
intolerable — laundry, dishes, cooking, etc. due to heightened sensitivity to sounds, odors and movement. It is the least I can do. Thank you, Mel, for creating this opportunity to self- correct! I love you both.
I’ve only had the chance to talk with Holli once, but I remember her being so hilarious! Today, I will work towards mending a friendship that has taken a turn for the worse. It’s hard to apologize and forgive, but it will be worth it in the end.
I hardly ever comment on anything ever. I don’t love Facebook or Instagram, but I DO love Mel and her food blog. I’ve been a follower for years and now refer to Mel like she’s my friend. In fact, last night I made the most amazing crispy shrimp tacos (with chicken) , and I said this is Mel’s recipe. He laughed at the fact that I talk about you like I know you and were friends. I really wish we were friends! I was born in Boise and grew up in ID, so I feel like we’d for sure have a good time! :). And if she’s friends with you, Holli, then I’m sure WE would be friends too! You are inspiring hundreds of people with your story. Your positive attitude toward life is contagious! I promise today (and really I try everyday) I will hold my tongue when my kids frustrate me. I tend to speak my mind about frustrating things, but often my kids are in front of me, and often it’s about them SO that’s not good!! But I promise today I will not do it! My heart and prayers goes out to you and your family during this trying time.
My husband & I have said two Rosaries special for you Holli. I will pray for you daily, I have added your name to my prayer list. I believe in miracles, don’t stop asking for the Lord to heal you. I wish I lives near you so that I could help in anyway that I could & get to know you & Mel.
Mel, please keep us informed on Holli progress.
I’m very close friends with Hollie’s sister Liv in Onoway Alberta. I’m leaving a comment because I love Hollie so very much! We’ve never met, but I have listened to Liv about her, and prayed everyday for her for over a year! She really is an amazing person and I wish we could have met in person in this life, but there is always the next. I pray that she is comforted and at ease for what time is remaining, and that her family will be cradled in God’s hands ❤
I think I can say this for everyone that this past year has been hard but when I hear your story all I can say is Jesus forgive me for complaining. I am so happy to hear a positive person even with all the strains of life is living inside of you and my family and I will be praying for God to lift you and your family up in all ways. God Bless you, your family and loving friends.
I will be grateful for my husband when we argue or disagree, and I will not carry my phone around with me as much when I’m with my kids.
I came here for a soup recipe, but you gave me so much more! I’m going to think about that hard thing, but I’m committed to it and have a feeling it will have to do with doing some form of exercise even though I’ve met myself get a far way from in shape. Thank you for the inspiration. Hugs.
I will do two hard things that I’ve known I need to be better at and Hollis story has inspired me to not put it off. The first is to eat healthier and to start with a healthy breakfast. The second is to be more attentive with my kids so my time with them brings light and peace into our home instead of grumpiness. I’m praying for her and her family also!
Thank you for sharing Hollis amazing example! What a perfect way to serve your friend- by knowing her needs and serving her in a way that would mean something to her. My bestronglikeholli goal is to keep the promises I make to myself and be more intentional with how I love my people. Thanks Mel for being an uplifting place on the internet!
I am suffering from some minor, but what feels like crippling health anxiety this week. I have pushed myself through the motions with my husband and 3 boys this week, filling the empty spaces in with unproductive “what if’s”, naps, time wasting and self pity parties. I needed to read Holli’s story today and get my slug body off the couch and live this life intentionally when by boys and husband walk through the door this afternoon. I need to love them fully and be present t for them. I have to remember that God won’t lead me to anything that He can’t walk me through. I will do it for you, Holli- strong, fierce and faith-filled Holli. You are a wondrous example. Thank you for sharing the gift of you with all of us! (Thanks for you too, Mel!) God Bless you both!
Hi Mel & Holli,
With 870 comments so far I almost didn’t post anything, but when Mel (one of the wisest women I know) asks me to do something, I usually do it.
The hardest thing I had to do last week was prepare a talk for church. Just so you know, I used to be Catholic, and the Catholic Church never asks anyone to speak in church! I left that cushy existence years ago to join The church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints, where they ask you to do lots of things! Anyway, that is a long way of saying, I did not grow up preparing and speaking in church. On top of that, my topic was President Nelson’s talk Let God Prevail, which is a beautiful sentiment, but the talk itself was kind of all over the place
(I still love you President Nelson), so it took me awhile to realize I needed to go rogue and put my own meaning to Let God Prevail if I was to ever get something done. I won’t write my talk here but I will share only what I think might be important. The definition of the word “prevail “ is: Prove more powerful than opposing forces; be victorious. Nothing says victorious more than Jesus himself. He was victorious in overcoming death, He was victorious in providing us an atonement.
Rather than darkness, He brings us Light. Rather than despair, He brings us Hope. Rather than doom and gloom, He brings us a vision of glory. Rather than damnation, He brings us redemption, Rather than self-loathing, He brings us self-esteem. Rather than inadequacies, He brings us wholesomeness. Rather than loneliness, He brings us companionship. And probably most important of all, rather than disdain, He brings us LOVE. He brings us Joy, and a reason to REJOICE.
Holli, I hope you feel His love and companionship as you endure this most challenging time in your life. And I hope you see His hand through the loving service that I know Mel is providing you, and your family at this time.
Soul sister…this girl picks them few and far between. I too am one and I couldn’t have said it better. She’s my girl, my “best friend cuz everyone else sucks”, my inspiration, the one who has loved me no matter my flaws, she’s my girl. She imprinted on my heart to always keep fighting and has more faith than anyone else I know. She’s a fearless fighter and is with me and I with her everyday from a distance. Faith is what I will always carry with me and continue to build upon everyday. Faith over Fear no matter what. I love you Holli babe ❤️ D
I first happened on this post when only 4 comments had been made. After reading all the way through I felt concern there was only 4 comments and then pressure to add another but to think it through to make it more meaningful. When I came back today I found there are now almost 1000 comments, which was gratifying to see. After pondering more I realized I put too many things off because they are “hard” but nothing worth mentioning. I am inspired by your lack of complaining amidst heavy trials. So I am endeavoring to follow your example by complaining less (in my head and out loud) about my paltry tasks and not procrastinating or avoiding them. You have a beautiful family, I hope your pain is not so great that they can’t still give you lots of hugs and soak up every minute together. And Mel, one of the hardest things is watching a loved one struggle with no way to ease the suffering…I hope these comments bring some comfort to you both.
I have been procrastinate writing a segment on God’s true nature and when we understand that, feeling our worth is so much easier because we know how much He truly loves us. I’ve been putting this off for a long time. I’ve had numerous experiences nudging me to write this book. I’ve started, but stalled with fear even though I feel God’s hand guiding me, pushing me and helping me. Holli, you can fight cancer with God. I can write a book with God about how our worth is there – despite cancer, despite insecurities, despite fear. Thank you for this post Mel and forth the pounds you’ve given me in delicious food. And Holli, May God grant you peace and His love and security at this time that you might have the confidence you have always had in facing your future. Love you both!!
I’m so so very grateful we made pizza last night because it led me to your sight and to this post. Please tell Hollie she is not alone, sounds like she knows that, but also that she is strong and can do all things with the help of the Lord. I have a new, very minor health issue. I have been complaining and not a trooper. This post hit me in the face and answered my prayers. I ask to be a better mother every day and being so tired makes that hard. Hearing about Hollie’s strength and dedication made me realize that I can be that way too especially since my suffering is so so minimal in comparison (I know, comparison is dangerous, but in this case it has helped me) I was able to be cheerful and fun with my kids despite how I was feeling and it was a huge blessing. Now I know I can still be a good mom despite the way I feel. Thank you Mel and thank you Hollie. May I also suggest, I’m taking a huge leap in assumption so forgive me if I’m wrong, take time to read about the ‘wintry doctrine’ as he calls it from Neal A. Maxwell. He refers to it in a few talks and books, but I bet a quick Google search will bring something up. Bruce Hafen also speaks of it. Love to you both and prayers all around.
Sending love and gratitude to you and your dear friend, Holli. I often get caught up in my outward appearance and feel negatively about my body. It’s so easy to hate on our bodies and how we look. Today I will remember Holli as inspiration to love my body, to love myself and to have gratitude for the healthy, strong body I am blessed to have. I will remember Holli as I make choices to exercise, not because it will help me look better, but as an act of self love and appreciation for my body. Thank you for helping me remember how blessed I am. I hope you can feel peace and love through these messages
I read this post yesterday morning and have not stopped thinking about it. My heart goes out to Holli and her entire family. I pray they will feel peace and love amidst such incredible heartache. In honor of Holli, I will call my Grandma. She is my last remaining grandparent, and while I love her dearly, phone calls with her take a long time! But, without fail, everything time I finish a phone call with her, my mouth hurts from smiling and laughing so much. She has a quick wit, and a realistic, but optimistic way of looking at life and it always fills my soul. Thank you for reminding me to take time for the things that matter most.
Thank you, Holli, for your courage. My burdens are inconsequential compared to yours and I will stop dwelling on them and know that the Lord has it all handled in His way and time. You will be in my prayers, as will your husband and children. May God bless you abundantly
Mel, thank you for sharing Holli’s story. Holli, please know that I am praying. I, too, have suffered through intense infertility and it’s nearly crippled me. Reading your story and all that you’ve been through has made me realize that I need to show the same kind of strength- not because I have it in me, but because Christ has the strength and He wants me to be strong. I am praying for you and for your family. What an example you are leading!
I hate doctors! Yesterday I sucked it up and called to make a dermatology appointment because if Holli can go through all she is with a smile and good attitude then I can do this stupid thing that needs to be done for my health.
BeStrongForHolli. Beautiful words Mel for a beautiful woman. I will finally put pen to paper and record all of the tender mercies that I have experienced over the past 3 plus years with my husband’s health issues and his eventual, miraculous double lung transplant over 7 months ago. He loves cycling and he is trying to make a cyclist of me. Every day he invites me on a bike ride up and down the hills of our neighborhood. I want to find a reason to say no (I am a reticent cyclist) but I am so grateful for another day with him by my side. I love you Holli. You and yours are in our prayers.
Thank you for this beautiful challenge! I will wake up at 5:00am with my husband to exercise and I will be positive doing it. I will also commit to keeping a daily gratitude journal so I can better see the blessings I take for granted. Holli you are an inspiration and I will also be fasting for you and your family on Sunday!
Mel – I read your post and immediately thought, “Yeah! An influencer who is influencing others to fill the world with more good.” Thank you. (Also, I saw my cute college roommate, Amy, sporting an apron on your new site and wondered if you could tell her she looks even more darling now?)
Holli – I am going to start categorizing joy as a ‘need’ instead of a ‘want.’ You don’t know me, but you have brought inspiration into my life. I prayer for hope and healing for you and your family.
You have inspired me to appreciative of all the blessings in my life. My goal is to have my first thoughts every morning to be giving praise and thanks to God. Thank you for this gift. My prayers are with you.
Hi Mel and Holli, I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with a desire that doesn’t appear to be God’s desire. My husband and I are on that infertility path–so familiar to so many people. Two of our babies went to heaven before we had a chance to hold them. I’ve felt so low. I needed this invitation to see God’s grace around me which is rich and astounding. Oh my God, can I trade this desire for Holli’s? Can I trade all my prayers for her prayer? Is it possible for my heart so far and so small and so weak to sing in unison with these sisters I’ve never met? Only Jesus. Only Jesus. Only Jesus
I just completed breast cancer treatment last year. And I still need these reminders from you and Mel. I commit to squeezing my family extra today, tacking the challenges that aren’t really challenges, and finding gratitude in every circumstance.
Sending love and strength,
Today I will give someone the benefit of the doubt. I will assume they have the best intentions. I will give them the grace that the Savior gives me. I will do it because I have been touched by Holli’s own grace and dignity and want to pay that forward. From the other side of town – love and prayers to you Holli! -Lori Bishop
Love you both…so much! Because of Holli and this post I have made a greater effort to be thankful for and recognize all the little things I get to do everyday. Especially the things I don’t necessarily love…laundry, diaper changing, exercise
This is absolutely beautiful, Mel. Holli, I felt inspired reading about who you are and all the things you have and are facing in your amazing life but what got the tears coming out of my eyeballs was when I got to the comments and there were 860+ messages from people everywhere who were equally inspired and uplifted. Holli, your story has helped a load of people you don’t even know want to be better and do more good in the world and recognize and remember the beauties of their own life. I have much to improve on in all aspects of life but will be working to organize my time better in order to spend more meaningful quality time with my children. I wish you the best and I pray for comfort and peace from Heavenly Father to you and your family. God bless.
Prayers for Holli and her family! How has a purpose and reason-but gosh it is hard at times!
I will embrace each day more-be more productive and embrace those hard moments-driving with my daughter who is learning to drive, helping my other daughter with schooling and snuggling and loving my two year old more when she is hard to put to bed.
God is good-and one day this will all make sense and be worth it! ❤️
I will take my medication. Smile. Look each of my children in the eye and tell them I love them while giving them a long hug. I will also clean my house from top to bottom while my kids are at school instead of sitting on the couch reading a book or scrolling Instagram. Because a clean house makes me happy and right now I’m overwhelmed and depressed. I will think of you, Holli. Grateful for you, Mel. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and helping me strengthen myself and family through Holli. Bless both of you.
What a hard struggle to endure. I’m often blown away at what others go through in this life and am amazed at their goodness and strength through it all . Prayers for your friend and her family. Sounds like she’s surrounded by good people to help her. I added her name to our temple prayer roll and hope she’ll feel uplifted and strengthened during this time.
YOu got this! Keep the faith. Heavenly Father will guide you. You’re amazing. Tell Mel I will do the one thing that I dislike the most for you… go without food. I’ll be fasting for you this Sunday Feb 7. You’ll feel the power, I just know it.
Jesus said he would come forth in the resurrection, but he has to go to his rest like all human beings. But until that time comes, let’s not be cheated out of life, for service for God, ’cause it’s Satan’s business to cheat you out of it. Yes, sir. But God is El Shaddai (Amen.), the strong One, the breasted God. The Nurse, the—the Giver of strength to His sick children, when His children gets sick.
Heavenly Father, In the name of Your Son Jesus, I ask for healing for Holli. For total relief from the pain. You are able. Anything is possible with You. But if that is not Your will, continue to strengthen and embolden her spirit. Let Your love penetrate every cell of her body so she feels nothing but You.
Oh my heck. my BeStrongForHolli goal is to forgive easily. I am going to let go of hurt. I am going hug my children for 8 seconds everyday. I’m going to be more intentional with my time.
Holli, what an amazing person you are, one of those people that I would love to know because they make you want to be a better person. Thank you for making me more grateful. Thank you for having trust in Jesus. Thank you for the example you set in voicing that trust. I will keep you and your beautiful family in my thoughts.
In honor of your amazing friend Holli, I will intentionally go about doing my household chores with a grateful heart and celebrate my able body. I will never clean my house again without thinking of her. Thank you for your post, Mel. Prayers for Holli and her family- ❤️
I am baking for my uncle & aunt family that just lost their son- my cousin that was 49 to Colin cancer yesterday. But right now I am forwarding this to my best 2 friends from forever before high school (we are 56) and telling them how fantastic they are and how much I cherish them. Sending blessings to you both
I tried leaving a comment earlier in the pickup line at school, but I’m not sure it posted. Holli, you are amazing. Yesterday I took my teenage son out for lunch and didn’t nitpick, give unsolicited advice, but just enjoyed our time together. Love heals and it matters more than all the corrections in the world. Thank you for your example of faith and perseverance. Thank you Mel, for sharing and for the opportunity to lift each other through faith, prayers, words, and deeds. Look at all the good!! ♥️ It warms my heart to see so many expressing their faith. Thank you all for being the good in the world. Let’s continue to be strong together.
Dear Mel, thank you for introducing us to Holli. I am so glad you two beautiful souls have each other. 2019 was a bad health year for me. I had never experienced pain, agony, surgery or not being able to walk ever in my life until that year. I called it my “Health Hiccup” year. Because of it, I can empathize now with folks like Holli much better and I am sure God gave me that experience for this reason.
Holli, bravery and courage are two of your greatest assets. Your strength is amazing and nothing can take away your hope! Keep fighting! In fact, fight like a girl cuz women are tough cookies. Speaking of cookies, I am confident Mel has been bringing your family some amazing treats. I wish I lived near you both so I could help up close instead of at a distance. The tough thing I am going to accomplish is to pick up learning French again.
I know with Mel by your side Holli, your rocky journey will have some joy, laughter and something tasty to eat. I will be praying for you and your family. Sending lots of love, Amy
Love this so much, Mel! Kelli, you’re inspiring!! God bless you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I shoveled my driveway. It sounds a bit silly, but we got nearly 18″ of snow and it took 2.5 hours to get it cleared!
Love this so much, Mel! Kelli, you’re inspiring!! God bless you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I shoveled my driveway. It sounds a bit silly, but we got nearly 18″ of snow and it took 2.5 hours to get it cleared!
Oh Mel, this just really really touched my heart. I will be giving up white flour and sugar through March 11th in honor of Holli. We can do hard things!! ❤️
Thank you Mel for your continual outpouring of goodness. Holli has left my life with eternal marks. I woke up and read this post and was motivated do go out of my comfort zone to make a visit I kept feeling “nudged” to make. Because of Holli, I had the courage to do this little visit and left it feeling God’s unconditional love for all His children in a way I had never before felt. Thank you sweet Holli and Mel.
Hi Holli! You are inspiring. I am grateful for your example of resilience. My “hard thing” is to be more present with my children and husband. I often get distracted with my phone, my to-do list, work, school… I will pay more attention and give more snuggles. Much love to you, Holli!
Holli. My mother always told me that God always gives you what He knows you can handle. You are so Blessed by God. I pray for you and for your family.
Sending love and prayers to your sweet, strong friend, Holli. I strive to be grateful for every little thing, every single day.
As an adoptee, I want to thank Holli for being a mother to children who would have never known that love. I lost my adoptive father to cancer when I was age 10, but his love for me and our bond is remembered as always perfect and pure. I never knew him or his flaws from an adult perspective, so my dad will always be my hero and protector from my childhood point of view. Please let Holli know that she has changed those lives for the better, and will leave a lasting memory of love.
Mel, thank you for sharing Holli’s story with us. Standing by a friend during the hard times is a testament to your faith and friendship. What a blessing to Holli and us, too, as we learn how to walk next to our friends during trials.
Holli, today I commit to praying. REALLY praying and sticking with it. I’m in what we’re calling a “dark night of the soul”–lots of questioning and grief and doubt. It’s hard for me to show up and pray without falling apart…so I just don’t. Your story is an inspiration to perseverance in faith and BECAUSE of faith. I commit to praying and listening to what God has to say, waiting for what He wants to show me, and maybe not ending it with “Welp okay bye.” 😉
Thank you both for your visible faith! I hope these comments provide joy, hope, peace, and laughter. If you need some comic relief hit me up–I’ve got multiple videos of my toddler trying to say “truck” and, well, that’s not what it sounds like he’s saying. 😉
Praying for you both. <3
Get my 72 hr kits actually redone instead of sitting in the basement dumped in a pile. Thank you for your example of strength and love. All our love and prayers Holli!
Get my 72 hr kits actually refine instead of sitting in the basement dumped in a pile. All our live and prayers Holli!
This post and all these comments made me weep. This year has been so hard on so many. Including me. I struggle to not crack like glass under all the strain. You, have taken the enormous pressure put on you and turned yourself into a diamond. This is beautiful. You are beautiful. My gift to you, myself and God is that I will go through the hoops and get food handler’s permit this week so that I can cook food for the homeless in my town. Thank you.
I have three children with a number of health issues. We’ve moved around quite a bit and I spend so much time and get so overwhelmed finding new health specialists for my children and getting everything I order that I typically neglect finding them for myself. We’ve lived in our current home for over four years now and I still don’t have a personal doctor. I haven’t had a physical or been to an obgyn in ten years (when my youngest was born!) This week I’m committing to prioritizing my own health along with my family’s. I’m going to find a general practitioner, obgyn and other specialists and schedule appointments. Thank you Holli for giving me the motivation to do something that has been overwhelming and overlooked for years!
Many many prayers are coming to you. God bless you.
What a beautiful and heartbreaking post, Mel. This is one of the very many reasons you are the best of the best. I am going to stop complaining about my aching back and continue to do my PT, even if I feel progress is minimal/slow. My thoughts and prayers are with Holli and her sweet family. You and Mel are an inspiration to us all!
I have been thinking about this post since I read it yesterday morning. When my husband asked me what I was reading, I burst into tears because I was so moved by your story. My three-year-old could not figure out why I was crying! I will work every day this week to clean up around my house. I have been a terrible housekeeper for the twenty years of my marriage, and I know that a clutter-free home would make my husband so happy.
Sending prayers your way. God bless.
I decided to go to the gym again. I’ve had back pain for years and last week at church I ask a spine surgeon friend what is the starting point to fix my upper back pain. I basically said I would like a pill, a new mattress, maybe some medical marijuana or a massage to fix it, but I really hate exercising. He said I should meet with their PT and she would show me some moves and stretches to help. Well darn it ♀️ I knew what he said was right. I needed to exercise and start eating better to fix it. So rather then spending a bunch of money to have someone tell me I needed to exercise I thought I’d start going to the gym on my own. I do the row machine and eliptical (exercise my ortho brother-in-law told me to do) I still had pain last night, but I’m working through it and not giving up. I hope your friend will see the peace in her trial. I have had hard thing as well happen to me. I’ve lost a child that was still born and nearly lost my husband twice once to a gunshot wound in his leg 12 years ago and again to a horrible dirt bike accident just 2 years ago. He spent 27 days in the hospital and had the same tear in his heart that killed princess Diana. While he was being healed physically I was being healed spiritually. Here is a quote I found while going through Instagram while I sat with my Husband at the Hospital that helped me so much I had it made into a sign.
NEVER REGRET A DAY IN YUR LIFE:
Good days give happiness
Bad days give experience
Worst days give lessons
And BEST days give memories
I’ll pray for your friend and her family. Mel I’m a big fan of all that you do. Thank you for asking us to share.
I have a friend whose family motto is, in this house we do hard things. Wish I had thought of that.
Blessings and strength to you both.
Tried to be extra patient with my husband and kids. Saying extra prayers for Holli and her family. This morning the song “Go Light Your World” was stuck in my head, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of your friend. She seems like the type of person who brings light. And, by her example, is encouraging all of us to bring light, too, even though we’ve never met her! God bless.
I work in a school, and the staff was asked to share something about their faith during the morning announcements. This is WAY out of my comfort zone as I am an under the radar type of person. For some reason, when I was asked if I could fill in for someone who dropped out, I agreed. This is a tough but good challenge for me. Prayers of comfort and peace to Holli. Thank you for the inspiration!
Thank you for sharing about this amazing woman. It helped inspire me to do something to help someone with challenging circumstances around me. I’m giving a man from church rides to and from his doctor’s appointments this week. I’m doing it for him and to honor Holli. May God bless Mel and Holli!
Good Morning Holli,
This morning as I was reading and praying I came across a song title “Raise A Hallelujah” by Bethel Music. Mel please play it for her.
Glorious Father we lift Holli up today in prayer. With one touch of your hand her health will be restored. We ask that you heal her body and comfort her soul. She is a warrior and a Jesus girl. We trust in your faithfulness and know that you surround her with your love. Give her strength for this journey and remind her that you hold her children in the palm of your hand. We love you Lord and give all the glory to you, In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
In Holli’s honor today I will enter into prayer on her behalf raising her up to the father than knows her best. Much love……..Tina
Hi Holli and Mel,
I wanted to share how your story has touched me and acts as an ever-constant reminder that gratitude and perspective are needed in living life every day. I know your husband and kids think you’re the rockstar amazing mom and woman that you are. Sending you love, hugs, and prayer. It sounds like you have an awesome support group around you <3
She sounds so, absolutely incredible. I have tears reading this. Saying a prayer for her and one for you for sharing this and encouraging us to show gratitude and to do hard things. I’m going to spend some one on one time with my little girls and put my phone away.
Dear Holli, I feel like I know you, you are an inspiration to us all. I want you to know how
proud of you I am. I will keep you in my prayers for as long as you need them, Thank God for your faith in Jesus. God Bless you and your beautiful family, take care and know how much you are loved and needed..
Many prayers being sent to you and yours! You are officially a member of the, “The No Sissy Girl Gang!”
Praise the Lord that God made women to be full of strength, grit, and the ability to serve and love selflessly.
Thank you for sharing Mel and introducing us to your amazing friend. It touched me deeply and made me see how I can be stronger and show more gratitude for my own life. Something I have needed to do for a long time is reach out to my brother. He is going through a difficult time and needs support but is in that “prickly”category which makes attempts to help tricky and sometimes feel unappreciated. But he is my brother and I love him.
Please tell Holli thank you for the little push I needed. I know it will help me feel better about my relationship with my brother. ❤️
Holli: Thank you for your being a faithful servant of our Most High God, with whom you have found favor. You are following the purpose you were called for, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…
Not my words, but I’m sure you know that God gave Peter these words so we can find comfort in knowing that He knows how deeply we will suffer in this life to Glorify God. You have made a difference in so many lives and many people will be touched by your suffering. I’m sending you this verbal hug and prayer for you to have peace and blessings for your running of the race! Love and blessings.
In honor of Holli, today I’m not going to complain about being tired or exhausted or whatever little comments Have become so routine that I don’t even think of them as complaints anymore. I’m going to focus on speaking joy and positive thoughts today! Thank you for the reminder of what really matters in life and a perspective shift today to mediate on the good reports as the Bible says. Bless you Holli!
I went to High School with Holli and her sister Dawna. I am sad to hear about her situation. Although Holli and I weren’t in the same friend group, so was always kind to everyone, and made you feel like you were a friend.
Hollie I admire your strength and I will call my brother today (haven’t spoken to him in years). It will not be easy, but your beautiful courage has inspired me. Bless you and your family and friends. I will keep you in my prayers.
Holli, I will keep you and your family in my prayers! I will be grateful for every ache and pain in my body because it reminds me that I can still feel and move and it reminds me that I need to get up and move MORE! And I will not let the things I can’t do, keep me from doing the things that I CAN do and try to see the world through a half-full-glass lens. And because this is a baking blog I want to share that I have put a little snoopy mailbox in the front hall of our house and when I have baked something for my husband, I put some cookies in the mailbox, and put up the flag on the cookie mailbox so that when he comes home from work late at night, he can see that he’s got a little package sent with love. Yesterday’s surprise was https://www.melskitchencafe.com/soft-banana-bread-cookies/ and I received a text from him at work telling me he loved the flavour and texture. I also brought some over to a neighbour to share the love. Thank you to both of you, Mel and Holli, for inspiring me to do better and be better.
Mel and Holli thank you for the perspective shift and loving kick in the pants. Sending prayers of strength and comfort. My be strong for Holli goal is to get out of a prickly rut I am in with my teenagers. I will try to actively listen today, help solve problems, show love ❤️- not just see the things undone.
Praying for you and your beautiful family…such a hard story to have read but you must be an inspiration to many…keep up your fight!
HUGGGSsss First! (I miss Hugging so much now!) and Sending you and your beautiful friend..LOVE & Light~. I wanted to comment to show you support. You have the strength and the LOVE in your heart to show you the way….to guide you and comfort you during these very difficult times. I’ve been there and know how each moment is so very important. Nothing else matters…just be with each other as much as humanly possible. Since the pandemic hit, I found that my meals on wheels (I love to cook) has been helpful to others that are sick. I am dropping off a meal to a dear mentor/friend who just found out her and her husband have COVID. Thank you for sharing your heart…we love & support each other…we are warriors together <3 Love, Leelee
Holli, I am so inspired by your courage and your faith. I read this post yesterday and today when my alarm went off for my morning alone time (I have 2 small kids and try to get up before them), I didn’t hit snooze. I appreciated the fact that I can get right up with my only issue being that I’m a little sleepy. I’m bringing more grace and love into my day. Thank you for that. I’ll also be praying for you and your family – for strength and healing.
Hi Mel, hi Holly, I came to read this post as soon as I saw Mel´s story in IG. I am writing this a couple of hours later though because I wanted to find something real hard for me to change. While making the beds, doing laundry and baking Mel´s delicious white sandwich bread I had time to think (these daily chores are great to let your mind do its thinking quietly).
Since we are confined at home, with home schooling, home office and a kitchen that is open 24/7 I came to the conclusion that My BeStrongForHolli goal is to be less dramatic. I would love for my kids to collaborate more at home, to be more patient with each other, to sometimes go the extra mile with their school homework and invest a little more of time and dedication while doing it, but they are not going to learn that from a mother that is talking to them in a dramatic way. It is frustrating having to ask 1000 times a day (every day) to please pick up the toys and help me with basic chores, but I will do so in a good manner, even the 1001 time. It is going to be hard, but it is nice knowing we are doing this challange together.
Even if I don´t get them to collaborate more or to be nicer to each other, it will anyway be a winner situation since we will all have less drama ;). By the way, I am sure my kids ignore me when I am a “drama mode” and I am the only that ends up upset.
Thanks Mel and Holly for encouraging to be better every day. Lots of love from the other side of the world :).
This is the first time I’ve ever commented on a blog. I’m sitting here at 2am so sad. We lost my 16 yr old nephew 2 days ago in a terrible car accident. My niece is still in the hospital recovering. Your strength inspires me. Thank you so much. I don’t know you, but I love you. I love your family and will pray for them and for you. I’m going to go to bed now and wake up and take care of my hurting family. Tomorrow I will be strong for them. Thank you.
I am going to go one whole week without criticizing my children. If they need correcting, I will do it in a positive way and in private when possible. I’m going to smile more. I’ve been following Holli’s journey and I have been inspired by her example to try to be more like Jesus. ❤️
Holli, thank you for your example of doing the hard with love. I am going to forgive my ex-husband. Then I’m going to take the energy I’ve wasted being mad at him and turn it into more love for my children and more compassion for myself.
Holli, you are a rare person and I look up to you so much. I’ve had a lot of physical and mental ailments in my life, and I try not to complain, but sometimes I do. I admire you because you look outward and give in spite of how you feel, instead of giving into despair. Sometimes I get so discouraged that I can’t do as much as I wanted to with my life that I feel like a failure. I feel like I have failed God and my family and the world, somehow. So I loved these words, “And I, I don’t want to leave a legacy. I don’t care if they remember me. Only Jesus.” It struck me that there is so much humility in that, and that sentiment comes from a very forged character (like you) who is far greater than somebody who has “accomplished” the things they want. I love your positive outlook, and you have inspired me to do everything I can to forgive my shortcomings and be positive and happy with what I have in this life. To be happy for life itself. For me to see that you know your worth, and to recognize your humility, and your strength and courage, makes me realize that a positive mindset alone can make a huge dent in this world. I’m going to strive to change every negative thought I have to a positive one until I forget about myself. Thank you for inspiring me.
I will give up worrying about past choices and live grateful for where I am RIGHT NOW.
your friendship is inspiring and holli your spirit is beautiful. I promise I will work out every day for 100 days (starting tomorrow). I will think of you and your beautiful family. sending you love and strength from one mom to another from ann arbor, michigan <3
Last night 1-31-2021 my son -in-law passed away. He had been battling brain cancer for 3 years. He was the ultimate cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was so excited last year when the chiefs won the Super Bowl. This Sunday we will be in Montana watching the supper bowl and cheering on his team and celebration his life. he was 45 years old and they have 2 kids that will miss him along with his wife, my daughter
Holli, I live in Cardston Alberta and have a few friends that know you quite well and love you!!! They give me such a warm feeling when they talk about you and your strength. It makes me wanna try harder to be a better person all around and reading this post today… i felt the spirit and knew i needed to make some changes I’ve been procrastinating forever (more because I’ve mean nervous and doubtful that i can make it better ) but after reading this post tonight i have signed up for parenting coaching and I’m gonna work on my relationship with myself and my Sweet Daughter who i often butt heads with. Thank you
You and your family are in my prayers
Hi Holli! I’m so sorry to hear how difficult your challenges have been. Your faith and will to always see the good is so inspiring! And reading Mel’s words, it’s evident your positive impact stretches long and wide. Sending lots of love and prayers from SLC!❤️ I’m going to write thank you cards to people who have been a light to me through this past year of trials I’ve faced in your honor.
I struggle every day to want to stay alive. I feel incredibly guilty that my body works just fine, when amazing people like you have to go through what you are going through. I run marathons and do Ironmans, all the things. Chasing the next thing that might make life worth living. I’ve got a husband and 3 wonderful kids. But every night, I don’t know how I’ll get up the next day and do it all again. Since you are doing hard things though, I will try my best to be grateful tonight that I get to wake up tomorrow. That I get to be here for my kids. God bless you and your sweet family.
Be strong for Holli goal: be present with my children and truly listen to the wants and needs with not distractions. I want to be more consistent with my exercise and appreciate my muscles working to keep me strong and capable to live my best live with my husband and children! Thanks Holli, you and your family are in my prayers ♥️
My goodness. I love you Mel. And it sounds like I would love Holli too. Today I went and visited one of my ministering sisters. I didn’t want to go, but my companion was insistent, so I made it happen. It was wonderful. I just finished an amazing book called “all things new” by terryl and fiona givens. It was beautiful. Talks about how our goal in life should be to be healers, like the Christ. I am in my own suffering having just lost my dad. Visiting today was a sweet offering, and made me realize even more that we need each other. I also need to look outward in my grief. Holli, you are a beautiful soul. I can tell just by looking at the pictures. I am so very sorry for your pain. So very sorry. You will be in my thoughts, and I will be intentional with choosing to do hard things this week. I love the 8 second hug idea. I’ll go with that tomorrow. Holding space for the both of you here in my corner in utah. Much love, bri.
I. Love. This. Thanks for the invitation to be better today, Mel and Holli! My hard things are ridiculous but I for sure would not have done them without this encouragement. I registered and paid for tests to get my TX teaching license, changed my address on 4 websites and signed up to feed the missionaries. I have been putting it off for a solid month. Love and hugs to you both.
Oh dear Holli my sister in Christ may Jesus be with you may you have an overwhelming sense of His Presence and His deep deep Love for you we ask why Lord why this and we may not ever know that answer in this lifetime but one day He will show us and one day all this pain His children have experienced on this earth will be a thing of the past never to be remembered when we are in the Presence of the One that gave His Life for us so that we can be with Him and our loved ones forever no more sickness or crying or pain Holli I will be praying for you and with God All Things Are Possible so I am praying for healing and miracles for you and that all your needs be met
I will prioritize FUN. My to do list is going to take a back seat.
Thank you for making me think and feel.
Currently bawling over this post Mel…I’ve adored you for years …my mother in law died today and it’s sooo complicated … but I’m awake too late tonight and read this message…tomorrow morning I will get up to help your friend who totally deserves it ❤️♥️
Thank you…for showing up for us. You are a bright spot in my day as you share not only your wonderful recipes but your fun family life as well. Holli is blessed to have you in her corner at a time when she needs all the encouragement she can get! Blessings to Holli and her family as they face each day with love and courage.
Wow! What an incredible story. Thank you for sharing Mel. Holli, you are an inspiration and it gives me way more courage to do those things I think are hard which when placed in perspective aren’t so bad. I’m raising teenagers, enough said. I have one in particular that causes me sleepless nights. I take on a lot of guilt and worry myself over what I could do or should do past, present and future. I’m going to do something hard and try to give myself some grace. Try not to shoulder all the weight of his choices. I think I’ll follow your lead Holli and forget myself and go to to work. Serve more, love more. Thank you for inspiring me!
Ps great name!
You’re incredible!! Thank you for your example of strength, love and positivity. Especially in the world today. Wow!! You’re a rockstar!! I’ve been in a funk through covid but am committing right now to change those habits tomorrow! Thank you to your friend Mel here and you for setting the example to be better, be kinder, and show more love. God bless you! You and your family will be in my prayers ❤❤❤
Dear Holli, tomorrow I will reach out to that person I’ve been putting off contacting because every convo is a forty five minute emotional roller coaster. I’ll make the time for her because your example of strength during trial has inspired me. Sending you love and prayers for brighter days ahead. Xoxox Jenny
It is hard to be the one suffering and to be the one watching others suffer. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing this story. My BeStrongforHolli goal is to get up earlier than my children and before work to exercise or read scriptures…even when I am tired. Also, I want to do better at being grateful for my strengths/weaknesses and all of the things that make me, me in order to spend less time in the world of comparison. I don’t know either of you, but thank you for inspiring me to be better. Prayers for you and your family, Holli!!
I read your story on a morning when I could barely get out of bed, I was feeling so crushed by the weight of my own failings and fears. I told God I couldn’t do it today. But if you can show up for your life, then so can I.
We lost my sister-in-law Alisa to melanoma almost six years ago, at 36. I believe in miracles and that God can will you to live. But if He chooses to bring you home, know that I can promise you Alisa has been involved in her husband’s and her children’s lives and they have known it. She is an active angel in this family and her work as a mother, wife, sister, aunt and friend continues. God bless, sweet Holli. I will be praying for you by name.
Praying for Holli!!
OMG! Mel! What an amazing email! Holli came to life to me through your words. I feel like I know this wonderful woman, this sister in Christ, this dear friend of yours! She’s an amazing Mom, wife and friend. She’s stronger than I could ever dream to be, smarter and more devoted to being the best that she can be! Wow, God has to smile many times daily watching her with pride! I thought you wrote great recipes- geez, you need to write a book! Holli has inspired me to get my lazy 66 year old butt off this couch more often than doing laundry, dishes, paying bills, cleaning, cooking, personal stuff and I’m going to walk every single day! I haven’t done it since Covid started and I’m in Florida! I live in a gorgeous mobile home park that is safe and has great streets that aren’t heavy trafficked and allow me to just walk, enjoy the fresh air and exercise and I’m going to devote that time to praying! I used to do it and had that peace that Christ promised would surpass all understanding! I’m going to get it again! I’m also going to pray for Holli, her husband, her kids, her friend Mel & family and even me! God’s got this Mel! Trust Him! It may not make sense but like Romans 8:28 – God works everything out for our good and His purpose! You’re wonderful and I’m also going to that Go Fund Me page! Please keep me updated and don’t ever feel like you have to apologize for writing what’s on your heart, and put there by God to share! Who knows who may turn their life to Him because of your email! God Bless You Mel!!
God Bless you Holli! We will be praying every night for peace and comfort for you, your husband and sweet family
I’ll be praying for you and your beautiful family. I will also hug my children tighter and remember to be thankful for all the wonderful gifts in our life. You are an inspiration but I will pray so that you don’t have to be. So you can be just another mom dealing with all the annoying and little problems of raising a family. That is my most heartfelt prayer and hope for you.
I am going to take charge of my life and stop purging when I get stressed out. Thank you for helping me find the strength and courage to do so.
What a beautiful post, Mel. Holly, you are an inspiration. Tomorrow I will be heading to the high school for my cross country team. We have our time trials and there will be two of us wrangling 45 high schoolers. They’ll all make the team, but they will work hard during the time trial. I am going to ensure that I look each one of them in the eye and compliment them on something specific about their effort.
You are a beautiful woman and your light and love shine through in your photos. Your family shares and bathes in your light and love. Thank you for inspiring us with your courage and strength.
Amazing Grace….how sweet the sound of your story Holli. It takes an amazing and grace-filled person to fight the battles. And to adopt. And to be strong for those around you. You have an infectious smile…strong and beautiful. I wish every day for you to be filled with love, laughter, and even tears (because they are healing). In honor of you, your family, and your strength, I will take better care of myself both physically and mentally starting tomorrow. Thank you Mel for sharing this powerful story of your Amazing friend. God bless you both.
Wow! What an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing her story. I have been battling c diff foe the past few weeks (thought it was a nursing home disease, not that I could get it at age 35), and I have been feeling bad for myself. Time to stop! Time to be thankful for this amazing body I have. Time to put on a happy face to homeschool my wonderful children. Thank you. Prayers for Holli and her family. And you.
Wow, this past year has strung our hearts on a high wire of stress and fear. People like Holli provide the counterbalance and steadiness to remind us what balance really depends on: inner strength, hope, and faith. I’m committing to laugh and breathe deep through the challenges of homeschooling instead of getting angry and lashing out, I can certainly use Holli as a source of inspiration to do this hard thing.
I’ve had Postpartum Depression since my almost 6 year old was born. During her birth the umbilical cord Ruptured, they had 1 minute to stop her from bleeding out and 3 minutes to stop me from bleeding out. My husband said there was so much blood everywhere. I suffered with PTSD for almost 2 years as well.
Fast forward to 2019 when I woke up in excruciating pain in my neck and mainly my left shoulder and arm. Physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and pain meds didn’t help at all. Had an MRI and they found 3 bulging discs in my neck, 2 severe enough to need surgery. We were in the middle of relocating to another state and my father dying so I did an epidural steroid injection. Which helped 100% for about 9 months when the pain came back. A visit with a neurosurgeon, x-rays, another MRI and talking about another steroid injection when I took a bad fall down icy steps that made the injection no longer an option; it was time for a double disc replacement. I had the surgery January 8th which was successful in relieving me from all the pain I had before. What I never expected was the depression to come back full force to a debilitating level. Recovery is long and painful but I “look” fine. So I feel like people look at me like I’m lazy instead of recuperating, honestly I look at myself that way too. I couldn’t leave the house for 2 weeks after the surgery I rarely left my room. I couldn’t do anything physically and my thoughts spiraled downward. Some days I got out of bed only enough to make sure the kids made morning car pool.
Today I not only got up but I got dressed, put on a tiny bit of makeup, went with a friend to a store and worked on diy crafts for valentines. ♥️
I pray the Lord will bless you and your family with peace and a knowledge that Families can be together forever. I pray that you and those around you will feel of His love and that you will be given the enduring power of the atonement in your remaining time here on earth, however long that is. ♥️
I will be praying for you, Holli.
I get severe anxiety on occasion. There was a point in my life when I obsessed and feared over dying and not being here on earth with my kids. I feared going out of my house, driving in the car, etc., because of what could happen. I turned small health issues into huge ordeals. I went to doctors for conditions that I created with this anxiety.
I overcame that in part (I still struggle all the time, but I feel more able to deal with it) by listening to some programs on the SaintChannel (it was the MormonChannel at the time) called Enduring It Well and Conversations. Listening to others’ experiences increased my faith in Jesus Christ and helped me move on from being frozen in fear (Thank you for sharing your experience, Holli. Your faith, endurance, and strength gives me hope and has increased my faith.). Lately, I have felt this anxiety creep up on me again. I have to remind myself daily of my faith, my testimony of Christ and the plan of salvation. For my hard thing- I will walk forward in faith, trusting in God’s plan for me, embracing each precious moment I have with my kids and husband and as a homemaker (even the not fun moments and the mundane mom-tasks). I won’t let this anxiety freeze me from living and using all the time I have with those I love to the fullest.
I’ll be praying for you Holli. Thank you for your example and strength. I am inspired by you. I will be running with a friend tomorrow morning. Getting my body moving and also strengthening a friendship.
We all have different battles to fight and different mountains to climb. Honestly, I hate the mountain that I have to climb right now, but I will do it tomorrow with hope. Thank you for your faith and courage!
Even though this is the first I’ve heard of you, I’m thinking we could be special friends.
I do have things in my life I can work on, but I think I will focus my prayers on you this week. Power of prayer can do amazing things. Hang in there, stay strong, and don’t forget to breathe. Life can be so chaotic—here’s to clearing your mind and leaving your worries in the hands of the Lord. God’s blessings to you!
God is surely with your friend or she would not be able to bear what she is going through and still have hope. I have seen my sister in such a circumstance from cancer and yet , her faith shone through every single moment. She was an inspiration to all around her.
God is working through Holli to show us all what kind of life we should lead.
So , it is incumbent upon the rest of us to receive that gift and try to emulate her strength and conviction. May she continue to have the grace that God has bestowed on her throughout her trials. In God’s love to Holli and all who surround her, Peace be with you.
I am going to slow down and make a better effort to hear my kiddos and take the time to respond…also to have more fun with my spouse. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thank you for sharing this message- Holli sounds amazing and saying prayers for her and her family.
Holly sounds amazing. My goal for this week: to spend a few minutes one-on-one with each of my kids, giving them my full attention. They love this time, but it has been so hard for me to carve out the time. Putting it on priority status.
I am praying for you, Holli, and for your whole family.
My day is over as I read this, but today, by the grace of God, I was able to treasure precious moments with my two daughters as we had a school day at home, and then played in the snow.
Every day is a gift, and I learned that in a vivid way when my 3 month old son, Josiah passed away last year.
And yet, your story, Holli, is such a needed reminder for me- to continue to praise the Lord and be strong in His strength.. to be thankful for the many gifts and blessings I have.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation…”
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4a)
I am praying that the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
I am praying for you, Holli, and for your whole family.
My day is over as I read this, but today, by the grace of God, I was able to treasure precious moments with my two daughters as we had a school day at home, and then played in the snow.
Every day is a gift, and I learned that in a vivid way when my 3 month old son, Josiah passed away last year.
And yet, your story, Holli, is such a needed reminder for me- to continue to praise the Lord and be strong in His strength.. to be thankful for the many gifts and blessings I have.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation…”
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4a)
I am praying that the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Praying for Holli & her family. My #bestrongforholli goal this week will be to stop what I am doing and look my kids in the eyes when they talk to me.
Tomorrow I am going to be happy that I have the time and resources to be able to pick my sons up from school so one can go to the dentist. I’m going to hug that kiddo after the dentist who only loves hugs on his own terms and tell him how much I love him before I send him back for the end of the day.
Sending prayers and love and good wishes Holli’s way. ❤️
This was so timely. I have felt like I’m sinking for awhile, and with two special needs boys, whose ups and downs often take a heavier toll than I tell anyone, I have often felt like just a failure. So tonight I did something simple – I cleaned my bathroom. It was my hard, but it was overdue, and it was a reminder of simple things make the world feel better. Your friend sounds like a fighter and an inspiration. Thanks for sharing. ❤️
Oh, Holli. My heart and prayers are with you. Thank you for being an example of what is truly important. My hard thing will be to stop complaining and to be grateful for the wonderful body that I have. Sending love.
Hugs for Holli ❤️❤️
Mel thank you for posting about your friendship with Holli. I love what you’re asking of us. We can help! Holli you are loved & I don’t even know you.
I want to combat against any kind of gossip & be the one to stand up against it! Today I could’ve and should’ve done that, but I’m not going to back down any more! I will stand strong for Holli! I will speak & listen to goodness & be resilient against any negative talk! ♥️♥️♥️
I’m so sorry for Holli’s condition and so grateful for her story. Our Lord’s eyes have never left her, He is carrying her through this. Because Jesus lives, we can face tomorrow.
For Holli, I’ll start exercising daily, which is really hard for me.
May the peace that transcends all understanding guards Holli’s heart and mind through Jesus Christ. I’ll be praying for her and her family.
May God be with Holli and her family through this challenge. May she find comfort in the arms of Jesus who is walking beside her each moment of each day.
The hard thing I am going to do for Hollie, is forgive a brother in law and love him (even if he isn’t ready to be loved by me). Family is everything. Love is everything. We are prayer warriors for you and your family. ♥️
Holli you are an inspiration!
My hard thing will be done tomorrow. My first grader is a online-school terror. Our relationship has gone down the drain this year because I’m constantly yelling at him to sit down, turn on his camera and listen to his dang teacher. Tomorrow I will not yell at him even once. Sounds simple but to me it’s hard! And I’ll do it for you.
Hi Holli: I have been struggling with a lot of pain for a year and a half due to a back issue. Long story short I’m off work on lots of meds to control pain even though I’m still in pain. I have to do exercises every day that I don’t do. I’m either feeling not well or too much pain or yet another excuse after another. After reading about your story on here I am going to push through the pain and make sure I do my exercises no less then three times a week on top of my one Physio appointment no excuses! You are amazing and God is with you always!!! God bless and great big hugs!!!
I have let myself become mentally crippled with all the “great” things I want to do. I’ll come up with a great plan (like, make a couple of extra dresses to donate, while I’m making my granddaughters dresses, then my brain decides to make a hundred dresses) and just like that I’m too overwhelmed. Sometimes I’ll even execute my plan (like make a small gift for some neighbors) but decide I need a great way to package it or a cute card to go with it and the gifts just sit. I want to write the best, most amazing letters rather than send a simple note. Many times I’ve made baked goods to take to neighbors but couldn’t find the perfect plate to put them and ended up eating them before they go bad (hello calories). This week, tomorrow in fact, I’m going to start acting instead of just thinking, offering what I have instead of waiting to offer “more”, sharing the things I have been blessed with as they are because they are enough. Thank you for the opportunity to think about what I can do right here and right now.
I have just one quick additional thought I have learned in my years: God puts us where we need to be, when we need to be there.
Many prayers, MaryAnn
Oh Mel! Oh Holli!
Here is my contribution. I said affirmations to myself today. It was hard and I cried. But I need to remember that I am a daughter of God everyday.
Holli is a true inspiration and my heart aches for her, and her husband and kids. What an emotional roller coaster they seem to be stuck on. Holli has my truest and best wishes for moments of peace, laughter and wisdom through all of this. Holli, you have been an inspiration to ME today and for a long time to come. I have thought of you many times since I read your story this morning, and I’m so blessed to know your story and your character. Today, I sat on the floor and played with my little boy, who is only 3 years old and is my last baby at home. I haven’t heard him giggle so hard in weeks, and it brought tears to my eyes. It was such a simple gesture to sit on the floor and play, but it truly meant something much larger. Because of you, Holli, I will focus more on what really matters (family! health! sleep! nutrition! exercise! belly laughs!) and less on what doesn’t actually matter (dog hair! fingerprints on the windows! email! gossip!). I will make a concerted effort to treat my body better; to nourish more healthily, to move it more, and to appreciate how it moves me through this life. Thank you, Mel, for lighting up the world with Holli’s story. She is a courageous and beautiful soul and we are so lucky to hear her story and make changes in our lives because of it. What power. Thank you!
In honor of Holli’s strength and courage I am starting something new this week. I really dislike talking on the phone, especially with strangers. This week I will begin taking phone calls from 6 partners for our church’s monthly food pantry. I’ll try to be a cheery voice that takes their order, asks about joys and concerns and if there are ways we can pray for them.
I have been so blessed to have known Holli. 5 years ago I was going through a very tough time. I felt so alone, confused, angry, embarrassed and hopeless because of a new trial. One of extreme anxiety in my child that looked to the observer and sometimes myself, like I just needed to use more tough love. My first memory of Holli was a day at church when I was struggling with this child, probably both of us sweaty, angry and frustrated. Holli looked across the room and into my eyes with compassion, kindness, understanding and humor. Zero judgement. It was the first person who somehow gave to me exactly what I needed in that trial. I treasure each interaction I’ve had which was often just running into Holli in Costco or in passing at school events because she gave me gifts of spiritual strength, joy and encouragement every single time just with her spirit and strength. I love Holli and her fantastic kids and husband. My hard thing I will do in honor of Holli is walk or exercise in some way every day. I never do it and I need to desperately. Also, I will set goals to spend time with all the little people in my life who would love to have some attention- 4 daughters, 14 nieces and nephews, 7 grandchildren.
This likely falls under the category of internet TMI… oh well! Hopefully it makes Holli smile. (Or her husband.) I commit to initiate intimacy with my husband tonight. There are certainly some mental hurdles to overcome with that, but I can be strong in my hard things, too. My husband thanks you, Holli! 😉
Praying for you, Holli. You sound like a fun friend to do life with and I admire you for adopting. Love your favorite song!
Dear Holli ~ this post has touched me in so many ways and for many different reasons. I wish I could give you magic words to take your life and your world back, I would do it. I wish I could take away the pain that follows you, the things you must be thinking about every day instead of laying back and thinking about only yourself. I wish I could explain to God that this is not what anyone should have to endure, but who am I to question his plan. So, instead, I am using your story to remind me of all I have to be thankful for, because I needed this wake up call and because your sweet friend Mel asked for help on your behalf….
I promise to begin my mornings sending you love and praying for you and your family.
I promise to stop whining in my own head about what I don’t have and live in the moment with all the blessings I’ve been given.
I promise to resume walking every day in your honor, to get back to a healthier weight.
I promise to remind myself of your battle and let it energize me in whatever struggles I face.
And I promise to remember your story when my pain rises and I think I’ve been given more than I can deal with. You have reminded me I am a woman and we are strong. Strong enough to lean on, strong enough to fight like a warrior and strong enough to be there for our friends when they need us. I will never forget you or Mel for sharing her love for you and your precious friendship.
Thank you for making my life better…when I came here to enrich yours.
I am sending prayers and well wishes to Holli and her family. I applaud her strength and resilience. Bless you for telling her story! I commit to complaining less, about not being able to travel, freely dine out, seeing friends and family, due to the pandemic.
After reading about your friend Holli today, I have tried to just really be in the moments with my family today. Really stop and listen to each person and give hugs and smile and laugh together. It is easy to take for granted what a wonderful day to day life I enjoy with my family and your message today was a good reminder to treat it with the importance it deserves. My thoughts and prayers are with your friend and her family at this time and I hope that they will have peace and courage in the days ahead. Much love. ❤️
This is so inspiring! I decided my hard thing would be to not eat the chocolate chip cookies or Ben & Jerry’s in my freezer. I didn’t think it would be that hard, but considering I’m a nursing mom (hungry 24/7) and related to Mel (read: addicted to Dark Chocolate)- but oh my gosh it’s been so hard! I’m sitting here light headed and grouchy because I just want it! Anyway, its been a good wake up call for me!
Love you Mel, thanks to you and Holli for being such an inspiration to so many!
My be strong for Holli goal is to stop complaining about virtual school, which has been haaaaaard on this family. I’m lucky to have time with them and be a part of their education for this time. I don’t think I’ll miss it when they go back, but I can try harder to see the positive in the situation.
In honor of Holli’s strength, warrior spirit, and example to all, I will make a phone call which I keep procrastinating and which causes a pit of fear in my stomach.
And I’ll be praying for you and your loves, Holli. You are clearly an amazing woman and a treasure to many.
I have only met Holli once. I am her son’s seminary teacher, what a privilege that is for me. He is such a great young man! I just wanted to say I am so blessed to read his comments in seminary and his willingness to participate. This tells me so much about his mother and father. Your family continues to be in my prayers!
I’m not sure you’ll be able to read all of these comments to Holli. And you probably won’t get to mine, but I feel very inspired by her, so I wanted to comment nonetheless. I try to exercise every morning. I ran out of time this morning and when that happens I just don’t exercise. I’ve lost my window. But today I read the post about Holli and I kept thinking, “I’ve still got to go today for Holli.” Time kept going by and every minute of it was filled with so many things I had to get done. On top of that I was exhausted bc I went to bed at 11pm last night and got up at 4:45am to get a jump on all the things I needed to do and STILL, time was running out in my day. And I wanted a nap. I had a moment where I could take a nap or go for a run and I decided–GO! I felt really sluggish as I started running. I never run any time except in the morning. It felt weird and wrong. But the more I ran the more I thought about Holli and her impressive way of taking on hard things. The more I thought of her example the harder I pushed and the more energized I felt. I ended up running one of the fastest miles I have run in months. Thanks to Holli’s example. This evening I came across this quote on Instagram, “We all know that more faith won’t make our problems disappear. But I believe as our faith increases, we become more able to not only survive the hard times but become better because of them.” –Virginia H. Pearce When I read that quote, your description of Holli testifies that is true. She is truly a light and an example to us and I am grateful you shared her story.
My heart aches for your struggle with cancer, but I also know you have been so blessed to be a mama to those beautiful kids. My hard thing will be to spend 5 minutes having one on one conversations with each of my kids. I am home with them and am great at reminding them of what they need to do, but lately I have forgotten to look them in the eye and really listen to them. Thank you for giving us the chance to be more like you and more like our savior. He is real and he is there for you and for your family who is grieving with you. Much love, Maile
Your email had perfect timing today. I live in Colorado and have trained to do the Manitou Incline which is over 2700 steps up the side of a mountain. It’s so intimidating that I couldn’t talk any of my friends or family into doing it with me. Today was the day and I was thrilled to be able to dedicate it to Holli! I did it… sending all the strong happy thoughts your way! I love you and I don’t even know you. : )
Today I jumped on the trampoline with my kids. They ask me to do this almost every day and almost every day I come up with an excuse not to. But today, I am grateful for these small moments of joy with them.
So grateful for this post and to have time to read through a few of the comments. I’m in tears. So grateful for loving angels around us to bear us up during difficult times. So thankful for time to try and be better each day…even just if in little ways…a little more patient, a little more gentle. Time to repent, time to forgive, time to try and be more Christlike. Praying for your time here to be filled with miracles and tender mercies. Praying for your family members and friends who have to watch you go through this. Praying we can all be better for the hard things we attempt today and tomorrow. Also, I just listened to a BYU speech that struck a chord with me this week it’s called “Why Mountains” it was so good and reminded me to get out of neutral and keep trying to climb…but way better said than that. Sending so much love. ❤️
Thank you Mel for sharing Holli’s story. My heart goes out to her and her loved ones, including you. Today I will pray for Holli- something I do not do enough of – and I will give thanks for all the good I have. Sending you love through this difficult time – Jennifer from Montreal, Canada.
love you Mel and love you Holli
People come into our lives for a reason. Your story touches my heart so deeply. Sending so much love and support to you at this difficult time in your life. You are rock solid and I am cheering you on. Hang in there my friend.
Thank you for sharing Mel. My dear sister Marilyn, introduced me to your blog and told me you were amazing. She was in your ward several years ago, but I am now finally so enjoying each day your delicious recipes, they truly are tried and true! Sorry this is the first time I have commented, so much more I could say but I knew I needed to comment today for Holli. Prayers for her and her beautiful family. What I want to say is a down to earth thank you.
I will start playing the piano again. And when it’s safe, I will contact the local hospice and offer to come play for them. I will also offer to take my very friendly cat for a visit.
I will pull out my journal tonight for the first time in a long time and write. I appreciate this challenge and to be able to see a beautiful example of friendship in action.
Precious Holli – since I mastered my favorite sport (baking chocolate chip cookies!) at the tender age of 10, I have loved baking. And sharing. And, of course, enjoying the crumbs of my labor. At the ripe old age of 71, I wear my 5 foot tall round ice cream scoop-shaped body in humble gratitude to my loving Heavenly Father for making the necessary physical nourishment delicious and pleasing to the eye. I am grateful every day to be blessed to live in a land of plenty. My sons and daughters are great cooks, and several grandchildren have exhibited culinary talent and flair. I pledge to encourage them to be grateful for dirty dishes because that means we have food to eat. God bless you and yours, little sister. ❤
After a terrible night of sleep, which is happening more often than not lately, I woke up feeling frustrated that today was going to be hard because I felt so exhausted and drained. I grabbed my phone to check the time and saw a text from my sister in law sharing this story with me. As I read, tears streamed down my face. I have spent the last year fighting and winning stage 3B triple negative breast cancer. I feel the guilt of survival sometimes. My heart and prayers goes to this sweet mom who I don’t know but feel so much love for. I got out of bed, reminded myself that I can do hard things, and would do them in honor of your friend Holli today. Thank you for sharing this with us today and helping change my outlook and my day for the better.
Holli, I’m praying for you! We’ve only chatted a few times but I feel so inspired by you! You are a wonderful example to me. You are strong, beautiful, funny, faithful, and inspiring. As I’ve watched your videos on YouTube, I’ve cried with you. I can only imagine what you are going through but just know you are very loved and I know Heavenly Father has a plan for you!
I’m going to be praying for your friend, Holli. I know that the Lord loves her and will give her just what she needs. I love that song too, Casting Crowns, I think.
I’m a deacon in my church and during this whole time of covid we haven’t been meeting live. I have a portion of the church that’s my “district “ and I’ve been trying to call these families or send notes, texts etc. I’ve been slacking lately. It’s just felt so hard! This week I’m going to contact all those people! And I’ll be thinking of Holli when I do.
Thank you Mel for being such a good friend. Holli, my heart breaks for you. I vow to finish cleaning out my son’s bedroom. He died of cancer 8 years ago at the age of 24. I will buy that sewing machine I have been wanting and make the quilt out of his shirts that I have been meaning to do. It’s hard sometimes because everything reminds you of the memories, but that is all we have in the end. I pray that God gives you the strength and time to make more memories with your family. You are an inspiration and a rock star! Be brave.
What an amazingly resilient spirit you have! Thank you for allowing Mel to share your story with us, you are an example and an inspiration! You have inspired me to be more present with my family – as in give them my full attention when they are talking to me. Our relationships are more important than everything else. My thought and prayers are with you, may you find comfort, peace, strength and happiness throughout your trials. Much love, Julie
I can definitely pray for Holli who is precious to our Heavenly Father. My life has been blessed in many ways, but also had it challenges. You have had tremendous challenges, but remain strong. My tough thing will be to not complain or think I have it tough. Compared to you, my life is a piece of cake. Prayers for you, sweet Holli!
Holli…..I believe that we are all here for a visit and if that is true, God, please help make my footprint purposeful and in your honor….you have done that!!!!! Prayers for the rest of your journey to be filled with love and thanksgiving for the “gift” you are ….
prayers for your amazing friend! I just spent the last four days helping my mother in law care for her dying parents, it was such a gift to me to be able to serve them. I will try to remember it’s a gift to have a capable body even if it’s not a size 2…or 10
I will stop and take time to reflect on simply the joy in life that we all can find when we need them. And I will pray that these joys will be infectious to you and those who surround you.
I’ve struggled a lot lately with being able to be physically active. Today, I got up early before work and took a walk and after work even raked the yard. It took a lot out of me, but I pushed through it.
Praying for you all!
I made it a point to give 8 second hugs to all my kids today, even my 12YO who is not loving hugs (at least openly). Prayers and love to all of you and yours.
Hi, Mel and Holli! Mel – I read your blog religiously, have made so many recipes, but have never commented. Here in Chicagoland it’s 8:00pm, 26 degrees, with a wind chill of something lower, and I’m standing outside watching my seven year old’s outdoor hockey practice. I was going to make a semi-sarcastic Facebook post about the late night, freezing cold, etc etc… and remembered this post I read this morning. Yes, it’s cold. Yes, it’s late. But… yes. I have the beautiful opportunity of watching my son do something he loves under the lights. Thank you for the reminder and perspective change. Thank you, both, for being you. Sending prayers, love, and good vibes your way. ❤️
Praying for Holli and her family. I can’t write what my struggle is because I have never spoken it out loud yet, but I can say that I will face it more bravely and more cheerfully because of reading about Holli. May the Lord bless her!
Thank you For letting your friend share your story with me .
It was exactly what I needed to hear . Even through our trials We need to stay faithful And continue The journey Here on Earth And stay strong .
Your children will always remember your strength . As I slowly Regain contact With estranged children I am finding They remember. They remember our Patience , Our acts of service , Our love , And All the Small Things We Do.
I will keep you in my prayers Along with your family . Love , Susan
my heart breaks for Holli, her family, and you, her very dear friend. I can not imagine the physical and emotional pain she has been through.
I am going to call those people on my “to call” list. Friends, relatives who I have been meaning to contact but keep forgetting or putting it off.
Love and prayers to Holli and her family.
Wow. You used words I’ve regularly used, “hard is hard”. My hard has been my 30 year old son passing away on Nov. 30th from Stage IV colon cancer and my dear mom passing away exactly one month later. In both scenarios my to-do lists relate to both of them and has been long-so much so I haven’t had time to grieve or care for myself. My son could always look at someone else’s situation and feel empathy and my mom’s glass was always half full and it certainly sounds like your sweet friend, Holli, is in those same two camps, as well. I’m sorry for her pain and admire her heart. I appreciate you taking a break from your regular topics to praise and honor her. Today, for her! For me! I went on a walk and I listened to a chapter from a book that only I would like (vs my son or husbands’ choices). I mindfully took some deep breaths. Small things for many, but big things for me. For Holli. May God bless you both dearly and I raise both you and your prayers up to the heavens.
What an incredible friendship you too have. Praying for you and your sweet families. Praying for strength, joy, love, peace, and precious memories made together.
Your story inspired me to work out again. I’ve been putting it off since the holidays. Today is the first day of many more.
Love and prayers,
Holli (and Mel), I appreciate girls like you who share and inspire and lift others. In your honor I am texting everyone of my lady friends tonight to tell them what a gift they are to me. You are in my prayers.
I will pray for Holli. I will pray she will continue to feel God’s grace to pull her through each day. I will certainly be praying for her family as well. Isaiah 41:10 is a favorite of mine when I am scared.
This story touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Mel, you are a phenomenal friend, and Holli, you are in my prayers. In honor of you, I am going to put forth some extra effort in a hard relationship that I’m experiencing with my daughter right now. I need to let go of some past hurts and work at moving forward.
Holli, I will pray for you and your family. Hang in there! I have been focusing on finding the things I’m grateful for each and every day and as I continue to do so, will remember and pray for you.
We love Holi. She has been such an example of faith and service. An amazing visiting teacher, bringing Sunshine fruit bars when I was dehydrated and amazing carmel candy among other thoughtful things. She is in our prayers daily. I want Holi to know that Pat Whiteley is my sister-in-law. She wanted me to let Holi kniw how much she means to her and sends her love from St. George God bless this sweet angel on earth.
My BeStrongForHolli goal: I’m going to finally start clearing the clutter in the living room. It shouldn’t be as hard as all that, but I need to JUST START!
I’d also like to share this prayer of St. Francis de Sales in hope that it can bring some peace and comfort. “Do not worry about what might happen tomorrow; the same loving Father who takes care of you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.” God bless you, Holli — and your family. Praying for you all.
Thank you for sharing. I’m inspired by Holli’s courageousness. I’ve stopped feeling frustrated at my currently living situation and have been reminded to look to God for peace, and to help me find a way through.
Holli and Mel, how wonderful you are friends in Christ. My husband was diagnosed at age 58 with Early Onset Dementia which is now Alzheimer’s Disease. Now 9 years later he has no immediate recall. He can’t tell you what he had for dinner 5 minutes ago or even that he had eaten dinner. My daily goal is to have more patience and to make his life as meaningful as I can. Years ago I found this verse underlined in my mother’s bible: “… And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:9 I will remember you and your families in my prayers.
I have read your blog for years and often do not comment. Your friend is in my prayers. This is very inspiring. This week I will stop complaining about all the work tasks I have to do that I feel like will never get done. I will also put my phone down and spend quality time with family. God bless Holli.
Holli and Mel, I’m writing this through tears after reading about Holli’s struggles and her courage. Holli, I’ll add you and your family to my prayers.
This may be cheating but I wanted to tell you something I just did, well that I’m kind of finishing doing, that was hard. Potty training my 3 year old. I first started last March when the pandemic hit, thinking if we were going to be at home anyway, we might as well potty train, right?! Wrong! My anxiety was already too high and I gave up. I tried again in August before he started preschool. It ended with me almost having a nervous break down! This time, it’s working a lot better, but I still had at least one major cry session and thoughts of, “Maybe I’m not cut out to be a Mom. Maybe my body was telling me something when I wasn’t able to have children of my own and we adopted our three beautiful boys.” And other crazy, unhelpful, self-defeating thoughts.
Today’s our 3rd day of all poops and tinkles in the potty! And as I read this post, I’m reminded how lucky I am to have this awesome (though stubborn!) Little boy to potty train. How lucky I am to have his younger brother (15 mos apart, same birth mother), and their older brother. How blessed I am to care for them. You’ve inspired me to just be grateful and not feel sorry for myself.
I wish I were with you both to read what other people say. I love you both for what I’ve read here and what you’ve given me today. God bless.
Mel, I woke up this morning to take a deep breath and have a day of honoring my Dad of whom I lost 3 years ago today to glioblastoma, stage 4 brain cancer. I find cooking to be something I love and is healthy for my mindset, so I naturally came to your site for inspiration. Yet, here you were bringing me inspiration I needed even more. I’m praying for your friend Holli and all of you that know and love her. We can’t control the past, the behavior of those around us, and so much more. But we can decide how we show up today, and as you so well described “do the hard things” and be our best selves, whatever that looks like. Today, in honor of Holli and all of you, I read the book Anxiety Refined front to back (been meaning to), and asked my family what I really needed from them today. Being vulnerable is hard for me. Our house also holds a lot of contention right now, and despite my requests of some space and peace, today was no different. May God bless Holli & her family, and you as well. Hugs to you all!
Dear Holli, tho I don’t know you personally I know my Lord Jesus does, and He walks with each of us on our life journeys. You are His child and are precious to Him. Be strong in your faith and of good courage, He will never leave you or forsake you. Prayers for you and your sweet family & friends that He holds you all close to His heart. May His grace and healing surround you.
Kim in SC
Mel- thank you so much for taking the time to share the AMAZING HOLLI with all of us today. I am Jewish and believe that by sharing stories about a person, we help keep their spirit and memory alive. Holli will now live on in each of our hearts, because you have described this incredible woman to all of us. I appreciate so much about your post. That you honor her strength and resiliency. That you keep it real about how much of a struggle she has had through her life. That you give us tangible ways to lift up and pay tribute to Holli. Thank you for all of us, and if you are able to be close to Holli, please give her a ginormous hug from me. With a great deal of love, Emily from Maine
Instead of retreating into screen time coma this evening as I had planned, I will gather my family for family night; we will read a book about kindness I have been meaning to read with them for a long time and instead of cleaning the kitchen myself (because it’s easier), I will make it fun for all of us to clean together.❤️ Thank you so much for the reminder that life is precious and that doing hard things are worth it.
I am going to put my phone down for the rest of the week and be present with my kids. Only check stuff at night when they are in bed. Holli sounds amazing and it has inspired me to not take little things my kids do for granted.
My challenge is nothing compared to Holli…
My challenge is teaching through a pandemic! Your post reminded me that so many people are struggling, so much more then just dealing with Covid-19!
Holli- May you God’s amazing peace surround you and your family. May you gain strength while others lift you up!❤️❤️
I am in tears reading this post and my heart goes out to Holli, her family and friends. She sounds like an AMAZING woman, the kind that you thank God for being able to know and love. “I can do hard things” is above my closet and I see it daily. We all do hard but seeing or hearing of those doing it so graciously is a beautiful and inspiring thing. My BeStongForHolli goal will be to stop wishing and hoping a loved one will change and starting by looking at myself first and what I can change and praying to love this person as God does. Hugs and prayers to you and your friend!
Sweet Angel, I vow to find the strength and vision to make two beautiful lap quilts for my friend and her daughter from the shirts and jeans of her son who took his life two weeks ago. Holli, you are my inspiration. May peace be with you and your family. Sending love and
I first met Holli when she walked into my grade 7 class, wearing pink and white stripped shorts and white Keds. (I remember the outfit, cuz I love it!). I was thrilled she, like me, had a sibling in the same grade. Little did I know, I had WAY bigger reasons to be excited that she was in my classes. This girl motivates. She was always one step ahead of everyone: school assignments, getting a first job, planning/applying for school, etc… Holli had it figured out. I’m just glad this clueless girl (-me) had someone who knew what was important, and I could follow. This blog perfectly described her: spunky, determined, independent, and loves fiercely.
I’m going to reach out to 2 people tonight that need some love, encouragement and friendship. (For Holli)
Hugs for Holli and her family! Hugs to you Mel for sharing Holli’s story and supporting a dear friend. I’m making a commitment to volunteer.
The brown wall in my living room is looming and ugly. I have wanted to paint it for years. I will go to the store and get pretty white paint, that I’ll add teal accents to, and paint that ugly brown wall! Thankyou for the inspiration Mel and Holli! Hugs!
Today I volunteered for Meals on Wheels. I used to be a regular volunteer. They needed me today because I have snow tires. I’m grateful for the chance to help others. I will be praying for Holli.
my love and prayers are with you and with your beautiful family. It sounds to me like you have set an example for your children that will inspire them to live their very best lives.
I’m grateful that you have good friends surrounding you, and I pray that you may find peace and comfort in their love, and that of your family.
Please know that your story inspires me to love better.
Kathleen, Morgan Hill, CA
Holli, my thoughts and love and fierce conviction that there is joy to be found in our lives no matter what we are going thru because of our Savior. I have decided to find ways each day to try to bring some extra light, ” some Holli light” (dedicated to you and your tremendous fight) into my life. There have been also some sadness and darkness in my life because of choices loved ones have made and are making and of course this awful pandemic going throughout the world. But,,,,,, there is still love, joy, kindness, light and hope. Not every story has a perfect or happy ending, but really there is. It is with our
Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ. So our endings will be happy and there are miracles everyday if we look for them and the light (Holli’s light) in our lives.! Much love and prayers for you and your family.
Praying for miraculous healing and comfort for her and her family!!!!! Yes, this really makes one put their own struggles in perspective. As long as we have our health and each other, everything else is just stuff. Thank You for sharing this so we can send positive thoughts and prayers her way!!!! All the way from Grand Marais, MN❤️
Thank you for sharing this. Praying right now for Holli and thanking God for blessing me with 4 healthy wild and crazy children who I’ve been having a hard time dealing with lately and I’m going to be thankful tomorrow for them by holding them a little longer and enjoying them.
I am inspired by Holli and her journey! Her family is adorable. I will do Valentine’s service for my neighbors and pray for Holli.
Wow, that’s so beautiful and made me cry. You see, I lost my best friend to lung and brain cancer quite a few years ago now, but I think of her and talk to her regularly. I also have a friend who is fighting cancer, she has been for many many years, it spreads, she gets treatment, it goes into remission, back and forth it’s been for many years. She’s generous, funny, kind, never ever complains, and continues to move forward and share her generous spirit no matter how sick she is, or how much pain she’s in. I always marvel at her strength, on top of other life issues that would knock many out. We are 61 and go as far back as jr high! All of her friends were told to come and say goodbye several years ago, and then somehow, she got better. Seems Holli is also such a friend that I feel I don’t deserve, I’ve told her I think she’s been a better friend to me than I’ve been to her.
Yes, for Holli and my friend Barb who never complains, I can get off my butt, stop complaining about my thyroid problems and acid reflux issues, and get moving! I’ve said if I could get my acid reflux and thyroid issues under control with a vegan diet and exercise…I’d feel great. But continue to procrastinate.
Thank you for such a lovely story about friendship, and a wonderful spirit.
What an inspiring, beautiful and good soul you have. Reading about you makes me absolutely sure you are a light in the world. Thank you for sharing your goodness with those around you. I have had a lot of things in my life lately, with this post adding to the list, that reminds me to enjoy every moment. The good, the bad and the hard. Every moment is precious. My goal in your honor will be to express gratitude to 7 different people this week. Sending love and prayers to you and your family.
This message was so more important than receiving a new recipe.
I will keep Holli and her family in my prayers. God bless you for being such a wonderful friend.
Um…YES I will leave a comment and thank her and you both for the blessing this post’s perspective gives. What a sweet friend you are Mel. Holli, Bless you and your beautiful family. Thanks for ‘letting’ Mel share this so we (read me) could be pushed to do harder things than I have been and more of the things that I think I have time “later” to do. Prayers from this home for you and yours sent and will continue. Blessings to you Mel for your home and your Holli-inspired challenge. I am inspired and grateful for people who make the world a better place where they stand. Thank you both! XOXO
I think the words from Romans 8 applies here:
What, then, can we say about all of this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32The one who did not spare his own Son, but offered him as a sacrifice for all of us, surely will give us all things, along with his Son, won’t he? 33Who will accuse God’s elect? It is God who justifies! 34Who is the one to condemn? It is the Messiah Jesus who is interceding on our behalf. He died, and more importantly, has been raised and is seated at the right hand of God.
35Who will separate us from the Messiah’s love? Can trouble, distress, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger, or a violent death do this? 36As it is written,
“For your sake we are being put to death all day long.
We are thought of as sheep headed for slaughter.”
37In all these things we are triumphantly victorious due to the one who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor anything above, nor anything below, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is ours in union with the Messiah Jesus, our Lord.
Be strong for Holli: I’m an old lady Realtor. I’m out of my depth when it comes to promoting my business on Social Media. Your post about Holli inspired me to post a live on my business Instagram page even though it wasn’t perfect! It sounds so silly but it was significant to me.
Holli’s story made me realize I need to seize the moment and stop worrying. It reminded me that I am grateful for my ability to work, for my health, for the people who buoy me up when I feel like I fall short.
I am so grateful for inspiring people like Holli who make me reflect on my legacy and the things I want people to say and think about me and then how I need to be living to make them be true. My prayers and thoughts will be with her and her family.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
I was suddenly diagnosed with a rare disease that causes scar tissue to grow in my trachea for an unknown reason. At its worst point my airway was 90% obstructed and I couldn’t walk across the room without my heart racing and being completely out of breath. The only thing that is certain about this disease is that even with repeated surgery the scar tissue will always come back. Some people don’t get 6 months between surgeries, I have lasted 16 months.
Today in your honour I will not dwell on when it will come back or what the future will hold. I will be content with these good days, and be grateful that I can help my four kids with their homework, walk my dogs and fold that mountain of laundry.
God bless you, I’m praying with you. Your story inspires me to live better.
Today I’m trying harder to be patient with and understanding towards my children. Something that I especially struggle with when we are all locked inside together so much more. And I’m going to include Holli and her family in my prayers tonight.
I just love that we have women like this in the world. People who strengthen us through their trials. People we can love and love us in return. Thank you for this remi see if gratitude and strength.
After a bike accident 2 months ago my injuries are slow to heal. I seem to be on my way to a frozen shoulder and possible surgery. Been feeling quite frustrated as biking and swimming are my thing. I will try to remain positive and be patient so I can heal. Remind myself that it isn’t the end of the world. Today for Holli I’m going to do two things I’ve been putting off…mending clothes, and some paperwork for my daughter.
After reading your beautiful post about your beautiful friend I have a new desire to be grateful for all the day to day things I GET to do. I also have six children and my days are filled with taking care of them and I commit now to not ever complain about those tedious things that are actually great blessings. Housework and dishes and cooking and chauffeuring and diapers and all the things. They are privileges and I would like to always see them as such. Thinking about Holli has helped me to realize that I would miss all this if I wasn’t able to do it for my family. Perspective and attitude for me have shifted from what you’ve shared today and I am grateful! Sending prayers and thoughts to Holli and her family!
Holli- May God bless you and your sweet family. Today I wrote a card for someone who is in a dark place. It wasn’t hard, but it was people I know that are like you that made me want to do it. You are a light.
Thank you for sharing Holli’s story! Some people are just true warriors in ever sense of the word. I am so inspired by people like Holli and I know stories like hers simply help me cherish all the little moments of life! Today I invited a friend who is struggling to attend an online Emotional Resilience Course with me through church. She is not active in any church and the invitation was scary, but I felt prompted to do it and I’ve been trying to follow prompting even when they seem hard. Your friend will be in my prayers!
Long time reader. First time commenter.
I am going to find something to love about myself today. I am really hard on myself and having been struggling with what I am supposed to be here on this earth. Maybe being myself is enough. Prayers for you and your family Holli. ❤️❤️
Medical school is really hard some days but people like Holli help me remember that the hard is worth it <3 I’ll think of her when I’m studying tonight!
I am so sad to read this post and my heart goes out to Holli and her beautiful family. What an example of strength and faith. I’m praying right now for her husband and kids…praying they will find strength in the Lord in this incredibly difficult time.
My husband and I are missionaries. We live in an unreached people group in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. As we live life here, I am going to remember Holli and her trials…and I’m going to love on our people well. Praying that some day when they face many trials, they will also be able to turn to the Lord as their comfort and strength.❤️
Today I will not take for granted the time I have with my family. Many prayers for your beautiful friend who seems to be changing the world.
Please tell Holli that she inspired me to embrace the day and to do what I have been putting off for so long, which is to help my community by making lunches every Wednesday for the homeless. Today I went to the grocery store fueled by your inspirational story and filled my cart ready to prepare and pack lunches. Just remember that every Wednesday you are the reason many homeless will be enjoying a homemade lunch. We all need to be reminded that we aren’t alone and for that reason I love Psalm 46.5 “God is within her, she will not fall.” Trust that you won’t fall and that this is just a small part of your story!
Holli – your strength and your perseverance both humble and inspire me. Because of you, I am going to start a daily gratitude journal and work to focus on the beauty and good in my life. I am also going to write your name on the top of every page so that each day I open it, I will be reminded of your light and I will pray for you and your family. I am holding a space in my heart for you. xo
Hi Holli & Mel,
Right now we’re in the middle of a snowstorm.
My mom has been in the E.D. for hours.
She wants my husband & I to pick her up.
After reading about you, I changed my attitude about picking up my dear mother,
in the snowstorm. Our house is warm & cozy and the wood stove is burning.
But…., what you and many others are going through, is so much bigger & challenging.
Our dear lord takes care of all of us, but especially those who are suffering.
Sorry about your struggles.
There’s a reason for everything.
I have a relatively healthy body that I don’t appreciate enough. I am super hard on myself and often put myself down. I am not at my ideal weight but worse than that, I am unhealthy. I have a 25 year old Handicapped Son that I need to be able to care for and lift for his whole life. I need to be strong to be able to do this. I have been putting off starting a more healthy attitude about myself and healthy eating habits. Today will be the end of this. I will keep Holli in my thoughts and prayers. I will keep her in my thoughts as I think of giving up. I will have faith that maybe a miracle can happen for her and she can regain her health as I seek mine. Thank you for sharing and for the challenge. I believe if you put faith and goodness out there it can uplift and help where other things cannot. All my best to you Holli.
So glad I clicked through your story – it sure was inspiring. Isn’t it amazing that we can be moved and inspired by those we don’t know – have never even met?
I hope Holli knows that she has had this effect and I hope you know that you have facilitated this wondering thing.
Today I will be compassionate – towards others and towards thoughts and beliefs that I can’t always reconcile. And, tonight I will be saying a prayer doe you both!
My heart is breaking right now for you and your family. I’m so very sorry. I’m vowing right now to be a little more patient with my grandson and to be kinder to everyone I see. Life truly is too short for all this negativity our world is going through right now.
Prayers sent for you and your family and also to Mel.
Hi from Colorado! Holli, you are so brave and strong. I’m going to work hard to really listen to understand people instead of listening to respond. I’m going to look for all of the ways I can love some of the difficult people in my life. Thanks for the opportunity Mel.
Thank you Mel for inspiring all of us but, especially me to think outside myself and my life and be a little better today and hopefully every day.
I will express my love and gratitude for my hardworking, farmer husband who gets up everyday and faces all that comes his way with a smile on his face and joy in his voice. I will hug him tight for 8 seconds and express my gratitude for providing me and our children and grandchildren with a beautiful, pure example of Christ like love and service for everyone who crosses his path.
May your friend Holli’s suffering be eased and may she feel the love of her Heavenly Father. May the enabling power of Jesus Christ’s atonement fill her heart and soul. ❤️
Holli, I’m sending love. Peace to you and yours.
Praying for Hollis and her family. You are both lucky to have each other’s friendship. It is a great gift. Thank you for sharing and allowing others to help, because that, in and of itself is a gift. Gods Grace and healing shine on you.
Thank you for this post, Mel. I donated to Holli’s Go Fund Me with tears streaming down my face. Please tell her she will be in my prayers tonight. I have been recovering from Covid (nothing compared to what Holli is going through) and was finally able to run this morning. I was thankful for my returning health and the use of my body. Our health is such a precious, fragile thing. Thank you, Holli, for being such an inspiration. May God bless you and your beautiful family.
Holli has cleaned my teeth and been a wonderful hygienist for my husband. We are heartbroken. We love her and her family. She is a warrior. It seems so unfair but with her example I know she feels some peace, and our prayers will constantly be with her and her sweet family.
For Holli I will run 2 miles every day I work out. That doesn’t seem like a big deal to most people but I absolutely hate running as a form of exercise, but know it’s good for me. It’s hard and doesn’t come easily. But I will do it for her. Love you Holli.
Hi Holli! This is Amy from Cedar City, UT ☺ I over scheduled myself this week but instead of getting stressed I’ll keep remembering how blessed I am and stay in the moment, finding the small things and the small moments to be grateful for ❤
Sending all the good vibes to Holli!! I’m balling reading all the comments in your feed. Today I cleaned scraped glue off the basement walls so I can paint. I am also determined not to raise my voice in anger today, so far I’ve done pretty well. Thanks for the post and the reminder that we can do hard thing!
You hang in there Holli….We are all out here praying for our sweet lord to embrace you in his big loving arms… Bless you Mel for being such a great friend!
Thank you for that amazing post. I pray for Holli and her family. Today I’m going to say a prayer of thanks that I can physically do the tasks that need done. I too am going to hug each of my kids and tell them how much I love them. Hugs to you Mel
This is a beautiful tribute to your friend, Holli. I have put off cleaning out our guest room for a year because it is piled high with all the junk in our house we quickly hide when people come over or throw stuff we don’t know what to do with in. I am going to start cleaning it out today and work on it everyday until it is clean in honor of Holli. I probably need to print out a picture of her beautiful family to remind me not to stop when I’m exhausted and want to quit! I lift Holli and her family up to our God, the ultimate healer. Blessings to you both, Mel and Holli!
My family had a rough weekend after an emergency appendectomy and positive Covid test sent all of us in quarantine. We were all feeling a bit sorry for ourselves. I know Holli and talked to my kids about their family’s latest news. Our grouchy attitude turned to one of gratitude. Gratitude for doctors that did the surgery. Gratitude that we don’t have any horrible Covid symptoms. Gratitude that we have each other to be bored with. Grateful for the perspective that God’s perfect plan gives us. Thank you Holli for sharing your joy, your faith, your optimism, and strength with all of us!
Dear Holli~as Storm Cooper is dropping 18” of snow on us here in Connecticut I will get on my knees and pray to God for you tonight. I promise not to complain about the weather, I can’t control it, I promise not to moan about who’s turn it is to clean the litter box, I will just do it……LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOUR GOOD WORKS AND GLORIFY YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.
Inspired by your story and will be praying for you Holli. I have been toying with the idea of being a CASA advocate for children and after reading your story it made me realize there’s no time like now. . I submitted my application today and have an interview tomorrow. Hoping to help children and give them a voice! God is good!
Mel & Holli, you are so lucky to have each other.
You both inspire me to be a better person. I shall put both of you on my prayer list.
God bless and I shall be waiting for good news.
I was lifted today reading this beautiful post about Holli. What a great example and inspiration she is to all of us. Ive had a few health issues going on the last few months and it has been hard, at times not knowing why I get sick or when relief will come. When I read how Holli has changed her diet for the better, it gives me strength and courage to eat better. I will be praying for Holli!!
Today my son asked me to make Mel’s flatbread pitas. I wanted to tell him no until I read this post. I am going to cheerfully make them and enjoy the time we spend together as he helps cook them on the griddle. Praying for you Holli!
I love this story and this woman, even if I don’t know her. Just reading that short story you wrote of her has brought me strength.
Today I jumped on the trampoline with my youngest for a hour and (I stole this one from you Mel) gave each of my boys a 8 second hug as well.
I pray the Lord will comfort Hollie and everyone close to her. ❤️❤️
Today I did two things. One that makes me uncomfortable and one I actually hate.
First, I reached out to a man I don’t know to check on how he and his wife are doing. I used to work with his wife. She is an amazing person. Just before Christmas she went into heart failure because of a virus she contracted. My soul aches for them. She has now undergone multiple open heart surgeries in a little over a month, and is trying to get stronger so she can get back on the heart donor list. It was good to reach out to her husband and I believe he appreciated I. But, the introvert in me struggled.
The second thing is I’m starting on painting the main level of our house…for my wife. I would rather clean bathroom toilets than paint. I do not enjoy it. But I love her and would do anything for her.
And these are nothing. These are not hardships. These are not worth mentioning in light of the trials so many face. I pray for your friend, that she will have comfort and strength. God bless.
Wow. I’m so sorry, Holli. You sound like an incredible fighter. Thanks for letting Mel share your story to remind us all to be grateful and to never give up! Today I’m tackling the tedious task of creating an inventory of my food storage using Mel’s gigantic (and helpful) spreadsheet! 🙂
Holli, you are my inspiration to record a podcast today. I’ve felt overwhelmed by it for over a year now, but if you can do tough crap, so can I! You’ve got this sister. Sending all the good vibes I can possibly muster!!! Thank you for sharing your strength❤️❤️❤️
What a beautiful & touching tribute to your friend, Mel. She sounds like a rockstar human and she has inspired me today to really dig deep and remove the yelling from my own parenting in my home. I seem to have an endless commitment to reduce the yelling from my parenting, but today I’m placing that much more creativity, focus, and energy towards parenting with love & patience.
Thank you so much, Holli, for fighting your fight for your family. It’s absolutely inspiration of the truest sort for this mom to find peace and gratitude in her every day chaotic home life.
There is an East Coast mama rooting very hard for you today. Keeping you in my thoughts.
Holli & Mel,
This past fall, I was headed to visit this sweet, faith-filled, friend who had just lost her husband and sister in a horrible car accident. (You probably remember the story.) I wondered what I could say to help comfort her.
In the back of my scriptures, I have a “favorite list.” As a friend drove us to her house, I started scanning the list, looking for something that felt right. Nothing seemed to fit and I started to worry about what I may say.
Then, my scriptures fell open to a bookmark I’d placed there in 2004. (I know this because it has verb conjugations and I put it there while I was learning Spanish in the Missionary Training Center. I don’t think it was a coincidence that it somehow and just lived on that page all those years.)
I probably put it there because of Psalm 46:10. “Be still and know that I am God” was the favorite scripture of my Pastor that was such an influence on me during my teenage years.
But, this time, it was the first verse of the chapter that stuck out to me. I knew that those were the words that my friend needed. Psalm 46:1 states, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
In our times of trouble, God is “very present.” He is more than aware, He is there.
He is a strength and will share that strength to help us move forward on the covenant path. He knows the next steps even when we do not.
He will be a refuge. Synonyms of the word refuge include stronghold, sanctuary, protection, fortress, haven, retreat, and shield. He will provide a place of rest, comfort, and security even when we may feel we have nowhere to turn.
Holli, like with my friend, I can’t even begin to comprehend what you are experiencing on every level. But I know someone who can and that someone loves you (and your husband and kids) dearly. Find comfort in His love and compassion.
Today, before I read this post, I texted a friend who I haven’t heard from in a while who I heard through the grapevine might be struggling right now. I took a shower and reveled in the increased movement I am getting in my arm and how i can finally turn my hand to wash my hair after breaking my arm just over two weeks ago. I squished my 8 month old in a tight hug and kissed her and played peek-a-boo.
Holli, your story is inspiring. I’m going to lift up my Rosary this week for you (I pray it with my 6 monkey, I mean kids….im also going to get off my butt and get out for a 30 minute walk, even if it’s too cold to go out…
So inspired by Holli! I’m going to avoid the grocery store this week and stretch our budget by getting creative (not my strong suit) and plan meals for the week based off of what we already have. Thank you Holli for being an example of strength and perseverance! If you can do all of this hard things, sure I can make my brain get a little creative. Sending love and prayers!
What a good friendship. What a blessing you must be to each other. My hard thing will be to continue to encourage my mother with the mental health struggles she currently have. Big hugs to each of you.
Holli, you’ve inspired me to appreciate the little things in life. Thank you for your faith, thank you for your hope and thank you for your courage. You are amazing! My #BeStrongForHolli goal is to help a total stranger this week.
Thank you Mel! And, thank you Holli! Both of you are such incredible examples of the kind of woman I want to be. Holli – you inspire me to never complain again and enjoy the little things that I almost always take for granted. Mel – you are the kind of friend everyone needs in their life…especially when the going gets tough. Thank you for the reminder to look on the bright side today and look beyond my own problems to see how I can lift someone around me. Praying for you, Holli and your family! ❤️
Hi Mel. I have a very hard time not falling apart over stories like Holli’s. My ‘mom heart’ is always so tender,. I wanted to thank you for giving me a Action to take, instead of being frozen fear or sorrow. I don’t know Holli but I feel her strength and her power and I’m grateful for her.
Today I have done 2 things that I often think about doing but don’t: 1- commenting on this post, 2- donating to Holli’s journey. The 3rd thing I have done today is commit to a WFPB diet. This is hard for me!! I am always thinking of all I can’t eat (allergies, addictions), but today in Holli’s honor I will change that thinking and look at ALL I can eat!
Thanks for sharing Holli with us, and through her personalized mortal journey, inspiring us to BE and DO better. ❤️
Holli, I found this post so awesome! Mel I started following you about 12 years ago when I lived in Toronto while my husband was going to school. I had the privilege of attending junior high and high school with Holli and Dawna many years ago, ah they were inseparable then as well! When I saw this post it warmed my heart so much to see the two of you were friends, god is so good! My goal that I dedicate to you sweet Holli is to read my scriptures everyday this week and journal my thoughts, I will play at least 2 board games with my kids before the weekend and go on one nature walk with my daughter before the snow flies on Wednesday. Holli you have been on my mind so much, I’m sending you all my love, all my good vibes and praying the pain will be abated and you will be surrounded with a blanket of love and peace. Give Dawna a squeeze for me too! Thanks Mel for this, I know you were inspired to do this ! ❤️❤️❤️
Today I killed a spider, cleaned under the bed, tackled a very dirty diaper, and went for a run. All things I didn’t want to do, but I decided to be like Holli and not complain. I found so much joy spending time with my baby and living in a clean space without my 8 leg friend peeking over my shoulder.
Holli, I don’t know you, but we are praying for you and each of your kids! It’s evident that you have been such a positive influence on all those around you, but especially in those kids lives. From the post it’s clear to see that your life and influence will continue to reach so many people! Thank you for your example!
I’m 35 years old. My entire life I’ve been terrified of my parents. Their abuse was without cause, out of control, and left me a most bewildered and lonely person. In church we’re taught families are forever, as a child and teen that sounded like hell, not heaven.
For Holli, I am writing down and practicing what I will say to my parents. I want to invite them over, sit on the couch, and tell them my feelings but mostly tell them I’m giving this pain, these nightmares, this devastating loss of not having loving parents, to God. I’m giving Him my pain because he knows what to do with it and I don’t want to let it canker my soul any longer. It’s poison and I don’t want to drink it anymore. They don’t have to change but I’m going to. My little brother killed himself two years ago. I don’t want to let the loneliness win. I’m still scared of them, their anger knows no bounds. But they are like broken children in adults bodies, and more than that they are children of God. I don’t think they’ll lose it if we’re at my home. I can be brave like you and face my biggest fear.
Prayers for you I know there is so much more to our existence. I nearly died in 2019 when my lungs filled with blood clots. I know there’s a place where pain, fear, and crippling loss does not exist. I know because God took me there and let me choose if I was ready to come home or stay and keep learning.
Bless you for your strength and light.
Thank you for sharing your friend Holli with all of us. Yesterday a friend’s 16 year old son died after a tragic car accident. His older brother urged everyone to hug their loved ones and even though that is simple, it is profound. We o my have this moment for sure. So hugs. And I suppose I should also fold some laundry too, at some point this week.
I walked 6 miles today on knees that betray my every step! All of this world’s goodness and God’s blessing for you, Holli! ♥️
I am praying for sweet Holli and the people she loves!!!!
Your story reminded me so much of my dear sweet friend Kim White IG @kimcankickit. I want You to know that I’m so incredibly impressed that you share with my late friend a toughness that only God can perfect. As requested, I’m going to do something hard in honor of you! I’m going to do the positivity course that Yale University put on for free that I signed up for but hadn’t had time to sit and do it. I’m pretty cheerful person but it will be interesting to learn more on this topic that the whole world could use. I can do hard things!
I’ll be praying for you to have strength and energy to enjoy those around you. Lots of love to you!
Holli sounds like an amazing person and friend! I am so sorry for the hard challenges and am praying for her!
Today I called the dentist for my 4 kiddos to make an appointment. This sounds silly but my husband has been unemployed for over a year. We can’t go to our amazing pediatric dentist anymore without insurance so I need to take them to the dental clinic. Every time I have tried to call before I hung up crying because it is just a reminder of his job loss.
But kids need the dentist so I did it.
Thanks for being an amazing example Holli!
Hello You Two:❤️
Quickly, let me say that I am 68 years old and have suffered severe neuropathy in my feet for the last 16 years. Like so many afflictions it came suddenly and out of nowhere; I try never to complain about this particular misery—“just keep going.”
“Extra” walking is very difficult. But, today I will walk an extra mile praying for Holli all the way.
❤️ “Leaning on The Everlasting Arms”
This breaks my heart and has me in a puddle of tears. And even still I am inspired by your relentless, strong, humble friend, Holli. My prayers are with her.
I have struggled off and on with depression for years. After progressively going down yet another dark path, I’m finally owning up to my struggles and getting some help
Holli is a great example of doing hard things. ❤️
Holli we love you!! I am going to be asking someone to preference (which is so scary!!) for my first dance and you have helped me find the courage to do it. Life can be so hard (especially with a pandemic) but people as strong as you help make it so much better, get feeling better soon and we’re praying for you
I’m going to get myself to exercise this week. It’s been forever. I know it will make me feel better mentally and physically. I’m so grateful for a healthy body and I need to take better care of it!
Mel, thank you for sharing. Holli, thank you for the inspiration to do hard things with hope and faith and a smile. This week I will do something that I have avoided for too long, family history.
Holli, your story deeply touched my heart. I have tear stained cheeks right now! You are such an inspiration. I’ve never heard that song until today, but it made me want to be better. Thank you for sharing Holli’s experience so beautifully, Mel.
Today, I will start reading my scriptures and praying before I do anything else on my phone like emails, texts, social media, etc. My goal is to do this for the whole month or longer to get my priorities straight. I will also try to spend a few quiet moments of hugging and talking to each of my six kids individually today. Thank you for the motivation to do something that is hard for me.
I will choose to be greatful for yet another snow day that means all ten of my kids get to be together for one more day before my oldest seven his mission. Today I started out out this snow day a little grumpy that there was no school, barely any snow and too cold to go do anything and a husband working nights who needs it quiet to sleep. I will choose to cherish the snow day they just announced for tomorrow. And not be grumpy about it’s stresses.
Thank you for sharing about your sweet friend. It sounds like she has definitely been through a lot lately. I know a lot of people have suffered this past year, and I am not discounting this pain in anyway. We have all suffered to some extent. Today, I am trying to recommit to a life of positivity in honor of your friend. I will follow her example and seek for joy in any circumstance. I like to think of life as a trek , my pioneer ancestors, after trekking during the day would sing and dance at night. I like this African Proverb, “when the music changes so does the dance”, when life gets hard I still want to smile and dance
I’m going to hold my kids and husband a little tighter this week and forever! Prayers to Holli Darin and the kids Thanks Mel
2 Corinthians 4:8 – ‘We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. ‘
Keep fighting your fight, running your race Holli. May God bless you and keep you.
Bless that sweet girl! Life is rough but God will never give us more then we can handle (even if it seems excruciating and confusing) and often times we will choose our own trials a thousand times over when opening our eyes to others. I for years have wanted to start an interior design business and get extra education in the field. This is the week i will find a school and enroll. Thanks for the push Holli! Prayers and love!
Wow, what an incredible person Holli sounds like. Thank you, Holli for this reminder today (and to Mel for delivering the message so many of us needed to hear). I started a new ‘diet/lifestyle’ this week for various reasons. There will be some hard moments as I adjust to this…and instead of saying, ‘poor me!’ I will be thankful for my able-body and the fact that I get to choose this path for myself. Take care, Holli. You will be in my prayers.
Today I sent a message to someone apologizing for a knee-jerk reaction I had toward them when I felt offended.
Thank you for the inspiration to be brave. My heart goes out to Holli.
Prayers from Kentucky. My heart goes out to you and your family. God is a big God and he loves you bigger than we can imagine. I pray that God heals you completely and you continue to live an amazing uplifting life .
I want to voice my feelings on this post too! I was so touched!! Holli it sounds like you have some amazing courage! Also I’m so thankful that you have a friend like Mel! And reading all the different replies just shows how close to our hearts a situation like this is!! First of all I want to tell you too that I will be lifting your name in prayer to our loving Father in Heaven. That you and your family can feel His nearness. And then after that I want to say that I will have loads of love and patience with my lively, busy, sometimes fighting kids! And to just ponder the wonderfullness of being able to care for them and calm them and settle their disputes. I take that all too much for granted!!
Love & prayers
Oh Mel, that story tugged at my heartstrings and brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing friend that you have in Holli and she has in you. I am so sorry to hear what she is facing now. This is what I plan to do as my BeStrongForHolli goals:
1). Pray for God’s Healing Grace for Holli and her family.
2). Take time every day to enjoy and celebrate the blessings in my life: my kids, my husband, my parents, my extended family, my dog my friends, my neighbors and my colleagues.
3). Learn to take better care of myself so I can live a long life. I hope to find time to eat better, lose weight and get my HA1C in better control as a type 1 diabetic.
4). Tell people I love, care about and appreciate them more often.
Mel, my husband and I have followed your blog for about 10 years now, and your recipes and posts never fail us! Please give Holli and extra hug from us, and please tell her that we are praying for her!
Bay Village, Ohio
Today I will take joy in helping my kids with their school work and create a peaceful environment in our home.
Mel and Holli… today felt so full and busy today, I couldn’t add another different hard thing. So I thought of Holli as I grocery shopped (which I always dread) and tried to remember my gratitude that I CAN do that for my family. So much running and helping kids today, it’s hard to be the mom sometimes. But such a gift at the same time. So I’m grateful for my small hard things today, while I think of and pray for you Holli!
I am going to go swim laps because I love swimming but I have avoided it for the last year because I have gained a lot of weight and moved to a new place, and going somewhere new is scary for me. BUT I am going to go celebrate and USE my body as an instrument not an ornament to do something that makes me happy instead of being stuck and unhappy behind my insecurities.
I will happily wash all the baby bottles tonight and be grateful for the opportunity I have to do so. ❤️ Thank you Mel.
She sounds like an amazing friend/mom/person! Thank you for sharing her story with us…good reminder to be grateful and use our time here wisely, as we never know who we will inspire. Sending light and love to Holli!!!!
I love your recipes more than words can say but I loved this diversion from your recipes equally so! Thank you for sharing Holli’s fiercesome spirit with us!
Today I will not complain about the 1 billionth day of distance learning for my kids but embrace this time I have with them. I will cherish this rare opportunity during their childhood rather than bemoan the extra dishes, mess and bursting at the seams feeling of having everyone home all day.
Thank you for your perspective and call to action.
Sending so much love to you, Mel, and to Holli and her family!
I literally sobbed through most of this. You are an amazing and thoughtful friend. Oh how we take so much for granted. I think it’s a big deal because I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, however, we pray that it is non malignant. This posting puts my life in perspective. I will hold Holli in my heart and in my prayers. In the meantime I will get all those valentine cards addressed to my widowed friends and those who are alone. WE LOVE YOU more than you will ever know!
That stinks. Big time. Life is hard. In honor of Holli I will finally write in my journal about the birth of my sweet baby boy who was stillborn at 34 weeks old almost six months ago. I keep putting it off so I don’t have to relive all the emotions. But I’m going to do it today. Take some time to feel all the feelings.
This week my hard will be reaching out to 3 people that I do not know that I go to church with. Sounds easy for someone that loves people like I do, but reaching out to those I do not know is HARD for me. Thanks for being the inspiration that I need this week. May you feel the Savior in your life and the life of your family.
So many prayers for your friends journey on this earth. She sounds like she has that whole “well done thou good and faithful servant” thing done! And I guess that’s all any of us really want deep down. I promise to tackle some of my hardship, and seek Jesus with more urgency and delight. So much love to each of you.
This brought back a memory of my dear departed sister. She had brain cancer. But there towards the end, I remember her fighting to walk. She battled and tried to walk for a good 2 weeks after she started having trouble moving her feet. Through Covid and less going out, my own disabilities have become worse because of not moving like I should. I’m going to appreciate that I can move and start moving, even if I have to start 5 minutes at a time. God bless you.
We never know how much time we are gifted here on earth. Holli, you have inspired me to forgive someone who honestly doesn’t deserve to be forgiven but I know I can give this burden to the Lord and I can forgive and move on. I feel angry when I can’t sleep at night because I’m upset at what this human has done to my family and I but I know that is not productive and I don’t want to give them one more minute of my life. Thank you for your example. Our prayers are with you.
After a serious eye injury this summer I have had to put a hard contact lens in my, just turned two, year old sons eye every day. It’s really hard and I spend most mornings dreading him waking up because I’ll have to put it in. My husband and I wrap him in a blanket and hold him down. He screams and cries and it’s the worst. It brings back the pain of the accident everyday and I’ve really been struggling with it. Your story has inspired me to do two things that have felt impossible for me. 1. To stop feeling so much resentment that I have to do this to my sweet little boy everyday and to trust that God can make all of this work for good in my life and my sweet little sons life. And 2. To look at it as a privilege that I am physically able to put the contact in his eye.
Thank you for your wonderful example and may God bless you and especially your children every step of the way. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Sending prayers and love for all of you!
Thai post spoke to my heart. Sending love to Holli. She sounds like a warrior. ❤️
My heart goes out to Holli and her beautiful family. I am sending prayers for peace. I can see the wonderful friendship you two have in what was written here. I will try to be like Holli and not complain about things!
Today for Holli I worked out to my friend Hillary’s Zumba video, she is also battling cancer right now!
I finally mailed those cards to three friends and made a donation to the Pool family. Keep up the fight!
We’ll add you to our prayers.
Mel – you are right, our “hard” things are different for everyone. While my hard things aren’t physical in nature, they are still a challenge and a struggle that I deal with every day. This week I am going to do my best to not complain to my husband every night about how hard it was dealing with our children’s behavior in relation to their remote learning school. And I am going to try to be more patient and kind with my children as they struggle with online school.
Holli – prayers for you and your family. I know the Lord will bring you and them peace in this challenging time.
I’ve been dealing with some health issues recently and had an experience that reminded me that angels were helping to buoy me up. Heaven is so much closer than we realize. From a far I pray for you and your family that you will feel the strength and comfort of those who came before you. I’ve had a hard time wanting to move my body as I’ve felt sad and disappointed that it has let me down, but today I am going to put on my winter coat and take a walk in the fresh air and move my body-because we can do hard things.
mel you a a True Friend !! Holli will be in my Prayers.
Thank you for sharing Holli’s example today. It totally changed my trajectory. So I slowed down and snuggled by sweet babies who are growing too fast. Gave myself grace for not checking off as many things off my to do list. Thank you. Prayers for Holli and her sweet family.
Holly and Mel, thanks for the reminder to be thankful I am an 8 yr breast cancer survivor! Prayers for you and your family for strength, Peace, and Love.
You can face anything in your future with God at your side.
Holli…. lots of fun laughs we had during our college visits with you and Darin, Brett and I. How rude that I spent hours holding sweet baby girl, staring at her and you packed your place up to move. I’m sorry for that! Good heavens. And a few visits you have us when you came to Idaho Falls.
Today, I got in a good workout, even though I’m in pain. I didn’t complain. Just for you…I laughed through it all. That’s what you have taught me. Never a dull moment and there is always something to laugh about. We love you.
I do not think that it was by chance that I dropped by Mel’s site today to print off a recipe for a friend. Holli your story is inspiring. I’m so glad Mel has you. I miss her very much and it is wonderful to know that she has a bosom friend (think Anne of Green Gables) in you. I read a story this week about a man who was hiking in southern Utah when a giant boulder fell on his arm, trapping him. After 5 days, when he was about to give up and accept death, the man saw in his mind a small boy running toward him and being scooped up with his left arm. This was enough to assure the hiker that survival was possible. He was able to amputate his own arm and hike five miles for assistance. I cannot imagine the courage that must have taken!. The writer summed the story up with these words, “When we have a vision of what we can become, our desire and our power to act increase enormously”. I think Jesus knows you Holli. He has incredible faith in your potential and so must you. Today I will squeeze my out of shape body into work out clothes and brave a weight room full of bodies that I wish I had. I will be thinking of you as I sweat and struggle for air through my mask, but I will press forward with hope, knowing that you will too. God Bless your way!!
This seems like such a silly thing to comment about considering what I just read about your sweet friend Holli but here it is. A hard thing I am going to do is color my hair. I’m a red head and have always loved my hair color. I haven’t colored my hair for probably 18 years but…. I’m noticing so many grey hairs that it’s time. It’s an odd thing I’m feeling kind of guilty about but I’m also a little excited. Like I said, silly, but hard for me. You are an example of strength to us all Holli!
I’ve done some amazingly hard things. Losing grandparents seemed easy after the passing of my father and brother-in-law to suicided; I’ve watched a close cousin pass to cancer. I’ve survived a failing marriage, suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety and through the grace of God, I and my husband have put it together where we are now thriving because of the Lord. Through all this, I know the Savior is the only way to overcome our trials. I’m sure you know that.
God bless you, Holli, and your family. I love Joey+Rory’s songs on youtube. Like you, Joey is a strong, amazing, woman who battled cancer. She inspires me and I hope you will find strength in her life and in her songs. Even though the cancer took, her she and her husband have an amazing story and celebrate a life well lived.
Yesterday, I renewed my temple recommend. I’ve reserved names to take to the temple and as soon as I get to go, I’ll dedicate that day to you.
Weather you survive or not, it’s all going to be okay. You’re family will make it! Families are Forever and you are too. I promise you that you will be there for them no matter what.
Today – I will complement each of my children and husband. Like you, they are my world.
“Our God is an awsome God, He reigns with wisdom, power and love. Our God is an awsome God. Blessings, and strength to you.” You do not face this journey alone. God bless you Holli and your family, I commit to supporting you and your family in our prayers. For my hard thing – counting my blessings instead of complaining of my difficulties.
I’m going to keep my social media off for the rest of my day, be grateful I can feed my kids a healthy dinner (cilantro lime bowls), and play a game with my kids. Later this week I’ll be ordering an exercise bike and will dedicate my first ride to you, Holli! Sending you, Holli, all my love and prayers. Your friend, Audra
Today, I did a virtual cycling class and instead of being angry that I was a few miles off my goal or didn’t quite complete it as fast as I wanted (dang OCD!!), I’m grateful for the way my legs can carry me through hard workouts and still walk me back home. My body is strong and capable, and I am grateful for what it can do!! So sorry about your friend, Mel, I’ll be praying for Holli!
Thanks for sharing, your friend sounds amazing. I know I take a lot for granted. I will pray for Holli and her family/friends. I will also strive to do some hard things today. Thanks again!
Holli, your story touched me deeply. My father passed away from cancer when I was 13, and as much as it hurt me to lose my father, I weep when I think what it was like for him to have to leave his family. With that perspective, I just want to say: your kids will be okay. They will thrive, they will fly, they will remember you always and miss you every single day. And they will be okay. When my dad died, I thought that was the end of happiness for me. It wasn’t until years later, when I was a mother myself, that I looked down at my baby sleeping in my arms and it hit me that I was SO HAPPY. There was so much joy in my life, and there had been for years and years. The Lord truly traded beauty for ashes. I miss my father every day, even though I’ve lived more of my life without him than with him. But there are things in my life that I’m confident he helped orchestrate, and blessings that have come that I’m certain he was a part of–he was just doing it from the other side. God bless you and your family. In your honor, I will cherish my time with my children today in the chaos of the after school hours. You are in my prayers.
Hi Mel and Holli. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. It sounds like you’re an amazing person. Today I went to therapy. I didn’t want to go and had planned on cancelling but then I read this post and decided to be strong and go, and I’m glad I did. I lost my mom to cancer several months ago and I was avoiding sitting down and processing it. Thanks, Mel and Holli, for the motivation. I will hold you and your family I’m my heart, Holli, and you and yours too, Mel.
You’re a fighter, Holli! You’re an example to us all. I am going to go on a walk outside to breathe the fresh air and say a prayer for you and of gratitude for my body that moves. I believe in miracles. Each of us in and of itself is a miracle and we are fortunate to be on this earth and learn from each other. And thank you, Mel for teaching us about the great human that Holli is!
I want to say thank you for sharing your friend Holli with us!
First, I held space for Holli! I prayed for her and her family! I was deeply moved by Holli’s story. I’ve had her on my mind since this morning.
I think it’s just beautiful the friendship you have together. What a blessing you are to each other. A friend that needs help and you offer it with a big heart! May God continue to bless you all that are part of her journey!❤️
I was motivated to get off the couch and get things cleaned up for my family. Then, I did some self care and as I was doing it I held space for Holli.
I then reached out to some of my friends that I hadn’t done so in a while.
Thank you! I will continue to pray for Holli and her family!
I will pray for you and your loved ones. I wish I knew why bad things happen to good people.
I will try to be someone’s rainbow.
You are a wonderful friend to Holli.I believe that friends can be an amazing source of inspiration and strength . My husband suffers from dementia . He isbbn physically healthy so we spend our days talking and enjoying each others company. My co-workers are always there for me. My heart goes out to Holli and her family..
I am forever changed having Holli show up on my journey in this lifetime. Holli because you have shown me what Christ like love is I will always feel the presence of Christ when I hear your name. So today I reached out to my ex husband and officially let go of all the animosity and pain I have held onto for 5 years, you are a light and an inspiration . I love you,
I’m supposed to give a Scripture talk tomorrow to a group of ladies. I’m a young mom, and many of them have been walking with God far longer than I’ve been alive. I’m nervous and intimidated, so I kept putting off the preparation. Checking my email, refreshing Facebook, finding something to pick up around the house–pretty much anything but what I was supposed to be doing.
After I read your post, I tossed all my excuses aside, picked up my Bible, dug in, and found some insights that are special to me even if they aren’t to anyone else. Thanks, Holli.
I’m ugly crying now, Mel. Thank you for this challenge and letting us know someone so amazing and inspiring!
Holli – I am going to go fold a mountain of my laundry, with a little cranky 10 month old on my lap, and I’m going to think of you. Not innately hard, but I’m so incredibly sick right now, in the middle of another 1st trimester pregnancy fog. But, man, I’m so grateful for my beautiful, amazing life. Your life, Holli, definitely points me to Jesus. Thank you! ❤️❤️❤️
You are an incredible example Mel, I’m so glad you two have each other and that you’ve welcomed this community. My BeStrongForHolli goal for today is to remain positive and optimistic, complete a tough workout and create my monthly calendar. praying for Holli
I took my teenage son out to lunch today and withheld any correcting, nagging , unsolicited advice and just “was.” It was an enjoyable time together after a month or so of differing opinions. It’s important to put those things aside and just lean into love. The rest will work out. Thank you for your inspiring story Holli. I will also keep you and your family in my prayers. I pray you will feel cup held in this most difficult time. ♥️♥️
Praying for you today, Holli.
The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26
May God fill you and your family with his joy and peace.
I moved my body today even though I had a headache. Its hard to do that but I try to exercise every day because bodies are cool—even though they’re also weird and frustrating. Hugs love and positive vibes your way!
Thank you Mel and Holli. I’m in tears, and I’m more grateful today for my healthy body. From California, I’m going to take on your challenge and go work on some strained family relationships.
Hugs and prayers for you and your family Holli!! For my hard thing I am not going to complain anymore about my kids not being in “in-person” school. I will try and see the bright side of the situation and not focus on all the negatives. This is going to be super hard for me!
Long ago our oldest daughter taught her younger sister to run through the sprinklers. Something she had been afraid to do until then. When I got home the youngest ran up to me saying, “Mommy, mommy, Amy teached me bravery!” I’ve been thinking today it is Holli teaching me the bravery of everyday tasks!
A bathroom floor and shower were scrubbed removing mildew and the last of builder crud!
A blanket was washed and worked with until the grubbiness was gone! (Finally!)
A core workout was not only not avoided, but was attempted in good faith! (Even though it reminds me I’m weaker and older than I was)
Thank you to Mel for sharing the courage and beauty of Holli’s life!
Wow, this brought tears to my eyes as a read about all Holli has been through. I am going to do all the hard things today, without complaining, and with a smile on my face. I have been reminded today how lucky I am to easily do and be, so today I won’t take that for granted. I will enjoy the sun, the apples, reading a book, making dinner for my family, and hugging the ones I love. Wishing you nothing but the best Holli. I will pray for you and your family. And Mel, you are the most caring friend, what a thoughtful thing to do. Soul sisters are the best kind of sisters. Keep on being YOU!
Thank you for sharing and helping me to look outside of myself today. Prayers for Holli and her family.
Thanks so much for Sharing. You both sound like extraordinary people. I don’t know why bad things happen to such good people but Holli’s life has great purpose and she has impacted everyone she has come in contact with. Sending prayers and hugs. My neighbor has just been diagnosed with Covid and I am going to clean off their vehicles after the snow storm today that left over a foot of snow.
Please give Holli and her family a hug from me and I’ll hug my family also.
Holli – You are in such a difficult place, but I know you are fighting with all the strength you have to win this battle. I want to encourage your heart that Jesus is by your side helping you fight this critical battle. I pray for a miracle of healing by the power of Jesus’ blood that He shed on the cross. I ask for Him to bring His healing touch as Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. We know that there is nothing impossible for you Jesus and I ask that you bring healing to Holli, to her body, mind and her spirit. I pray that Holy Spirit would move to call many women to pray for this dear sister and that she would be strengthen and touched by the power of these prayers. May your love Jesus wash over her as well as her family so that all of them will experience your peace, comfort and faith.
Holli, I pray from Psalm 34:4-5,8-9,18 over you:
4 I sought the LORD and He answered me, and rescued me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! 9 Fear the LORD, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no lack of anything.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Holli, I pray that you feel Jesus’ presence with you in a real way, know that He is giving you all that you need to carry your through, even carrying you in His strong arms. May His love and blessings overwhelm and touch your precious heart so that you know how much He loves and delights in you!
Blessings and love to you and your dear family.
Heavenly Father puts women like you in our paths to help make us better people. I can certainly share that each week I serve at a local Food Pantry and my hands and heart reach out to each client. Tomorrow I will think of you!
You are fortunate to have Mel in your life.
Stay for your dear ones and let God do the rest.
My Be Strong for Holli goal: I will do my homework without complaint.
Holli, Heavenly Father does answer prayers. I am praying for you and your family. Thanks for your example and strength. I believe in miracles, and I believe you are a miracle and that Heavenly Father is very proud of you.
Dear Holli ! As my little children ask to be dressed for the snow the 3rd time today (normally I would try to encourage another activity after already dressing and drying the outfits twice today ) , I will be joyful and grateful that I am able to help them and I will give their sweet faces a kiss and ask them to build a snowman named Holli
I will write the two letters to two different friends who have been on my heart. One widowed a few years ago and another recently widowed. I want to send Gods promise of love, mercy and grace when you find yourself in a valley. Thank you, Mel, for being MY friend and giving me inspiration of all kinds. Holli is one of those once in a lifetime ladies and friends!!
Sending all my love and prayers to Holli and her family. She is a very brave woman and they have all been through so much.
Holli and her family will always be in my prayers, God Bless
As a mother of six (youngest is now 17!) I can’t imagine running a household from my bed with little ones! I am recovering from a pretty intense ACL repair and my husband and kids (who still live at home) have had to take up the slack. It has made me immensely grateful for their love and support personally, their help with the house, dishes, dinners and laundry. It has made me keenly grateful for them, for the help of neighbors and friends, and for all the functioning parts of my body too, and for my Savior who brings peace even amid the struggles. My prayers go out to Holli and her family! She is an inspiration! And I believe that Holli’s children will grow into empathetic, kind and thoughtful adults because they are truly needed to help and support at home, instead of just always being recipients. And to Mel, thanks for all the great recipes!
I am going to kiss my grown up kids good night. They’re older and have been back home due to covid and it’s not that it’s “hard” so much as they’re often up after me/not wanting me to, but reading this makes me realize I need to seize the opportunity while I can and also reminisce of the days when I always tucked them in and kissed them goodnight.
I am so very, very sorry. My love and prayers to Holli and also to you, Mel. I started home schooling my 12 year old middle schooler today. Schools are still not open in most of Oregon and it just wasn’t working doing what she was doing. For me this is HARD! I’m trying to have extra patience and show extra love and encouragement, as she’s a typical 12 year old and does not always respond well to her mom!
I am deeply moved by Holli’s story, Mel. Thank you so much for sharing. She and her family will be in my prayers. I am going to go on a walk today even though it hurts when I do. #strongforholli
First, my thanks to Mel. Mel’s kitchen cafe has helped my daughter and my husband get through the difficulties of 2020. My family has enjoyed many a good meal and dessert thanks to you! My daughter read me this post about Hollie. My heart goes out to Hollie and her family. A year ago, I learned the frustration of not being able to do the mundane things. My vestibular system is broken…my brain feels like I have internal vertigo 24/7. I have constant feelings of imbalance., like I’m trying to walk on a surfboard on the water. My eyes were impacted such that I couldn’t read, look at screens, drive, or see the world correctly. Every minute of every day was SO HARD! Hollie—I’m sorry that this has happened to you. How I pray that God will continue to strengthen you so that you can enjoy the moments. Thank you for your song. It has given me the words I feel in my heart. I needed them today. Thank you for doing hard things. You have given me the courage to do hard things today. I will keep on walking, even though it’s a challenge. I will push through the pain in order to enjoy the moments with my kids. I will find ways to share God’s love with others, even in my broken state. May God strengthen you and comfort you. I know He is a God who weeps with us in our struggles.
I am saddened to hear of your struggles Holli. I appreciate being able to have a moment to encourage you and pray for you and your precious family. I will remember today to be grateful for moments with those I love and to be grateful that I can go on a walk today. May you be blessed with the blessings you need for today.
Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave your nor forsake you.” My prayer for you is that you feel the loving arms of God wrapped around you. —Billy Graham
Isaiah 66:13. “As one who his mother comforts , so I will comfort you.”
I’m sorry about your friend, Mel. How devastating for her family and loved ones.
Today I baked chocolate crinkle cookies with my 3-year-old while the big kids were at school and felt grateful for that time with him. I’m often impatient with his “help” and it felt good to slow down and cherish him.
Our family motto is “We can do hard things.” I love your challenge to everyone to do something hard and appreciate how much we CAN do. Sending love to Holli.
Your story has touched my heart. Today I will stop complaining about all the housework I need to do and instead do it with joy because it is helping my family.
Holli, Eleven years ago (two days ago was my Cancerversery) I was told my doctors I had stage 4 melanoma. It was all in my lungs and intestines. I was told I had 3 months to live. I went to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. It was a 9-10 hour drive for us one way. We sold our home and brought an RV to recieve the treatments. You and I have had procedures I wouldn’t have done on a pet, but the will to stay with our loved ones drives us to do what ever it takes.
My family are LDS and it was nice to have the support of our ward to pray. I also called all our local church in all religions and asked them to add me to their prayer list. After I did everything I felt I could do, I turned it over to Heavenly Father. I never asked why me but why not me. I wish so much I could take this from you. I am praying for you to know you need. I”m sure you are already past this, but I joined a Melanoma Facebook group that was a real blessing of knowing new procedures. You are in my prayers daily!!
Thank you for sharing Holli’s story. She is truly an inspiration to us all. Praying for Holli and her beautiful family. May God rest his hands upon her and give her strength and peace as she fights this current battle.
Her story has encouraged me to fight the negative thoughts that flow through my mind and focus on Jesus who loves me just as I am.
Dear Holli, I admire your strength, courage and kindness in every day life and especially during this most difficult time. It sounds like you are a hero to so many. My BeStrongForHolli goal is to complete a random act of kindness every day for a week, in honor of you❤️ I will keep you and your family in my prayers
Although I am not a religious person, I am a spiritual one who believes in universal truths. Love being top on that list. You have been truly blessed with all the love you have in your life, and I believe those blessings will continue on for you. Kindness begets kindness, love begets love. It sounds like you are surrounded by both. You are TRULY blessed. I wish you continued love, light, and peace on you life’s journey.
I know Holli’s family well from childhood and I’m just heartbroken she’s in this hard place. We’re praying for you and holding up your sister Christal when she. can’t come to be with you. Lots of love. In honor of Holli, I’m extra grateful for my health and wellbeing and I’ll relish in all the work I can do.
Oh my goodness – what an incredible women Holli is and a great friend she has in you. Holli you sound like an amazing women/friend/mother and wife! Love and hugs to you.
Make all the memories you can with those that love you and you love. It sure sounds like GOD has plans for you and your family.
With love and prayers for Holli, her family and her friends.
From Lisle, Illinios
I’ve been thinking of you all day, Holli. I’ve spent the day finding joy in the mundane of motherhood because I know you would give anything to do just that.
Instead of grumbling about tackling the mountain of laundry I had, I felt gratitude as I folded it all thinking about each of the people I love and get to take care of. I wish I could come fold your laundry now.
I made a nice dinner for my family (doesn’t happen on a regular basis) thanks to you and felt gratitude that I can do that. I wish I could come make your family dinner.
Instead of grumbling while potty training my toddler today (it’s been a doozy today in that department) I tried to be patient and loving. I wish I could be there to help your children with milestones they’re facing.
I love you even though I don’t know you. You have an army of people praying for you and My family is part of that army.
You’re in my fervent prayers, as is your husband and children. For comfort and for peace. Bless you and bless friends like Mel.
I’m about to go fold our family’s laundry today, and for the first time ever, I will be grateful for the motor skills to be able to do it. Prayers and love to Holli. Thank you Mel.
Today I will dust off my journal, and I will begin writing in it again. I often feel like my life is not really important enough to record, but there are so many daily miracles, treasured moments, and tender mercies that I do not want to take for granted or forget. My life may be small and simple, but our Heavenly Father’s love is great, and I want to do so much better at being a witness of Him and His Son.
Sending my love and prayers. ❤️
Beautiful post! I started a hard thing just this last week, I went back to school to finish my degree. I’ve been away from school, being a mother for far to long, this is a scary thing! In tribute to your friend, I want to take on one more. We moved to a new place not long before covid hit. Because of that, I haven’t really been able to make friends where we live. Putting yourself out there is hard! But as soon as covid gets better and we can get back to a social life, I am going to remember your friendship and plan a ladies night and try to make some new friendships! I’ll be thinking of your sweet friend and praying for her
Dear Holli, May the grace of God be with you and your family. His Love endures forever! Rosanne
Thanks for being such a wonderful friend example of faith a perseverance. I decided today that I’m actually going to get up at 6 to work out before my kids wake up. This is hard for me as I am a night owl and like my sleep. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Your Heavenly Father loves you and I’m sure you have felt His love so much! I’m so glad you have a great friend like Mel and family around you so you don’t have to go through this alone!
God bless Holli. I will pray for her. Your story has motivated me to get up and move for at least 30 minutes today and every day. Holli sounds like an amazing friend, mother and Christian. I’m glad you have one another. Thank you for sharing this story. Please tell Holli we are praying and pulling for her.
I am sending you loving positive healing thoughts and virtual hugs to you! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!
I will honor my health today by making wise decisions and denying what isn’t good for me. Holli and Mel thank you for the reminder and Holli you and your family will be lifted in prayer for peace and tranquility. God Bless you-Prayers up!- Kris in Akron, Oh
Beautiful Holli who I have never met but feel her spirit through your beautiful words about her. My mother had so many health issue while I was growing up. What I remember through all my mother’s health issues, is that it was rare for her to complain. Takes so much strength to be that kind of a women.
So in honor of Holli’s warrior spirit I will step on the dreaded scales.
May God’s blessings abound upon Holli and her family
I will keep reaching out to the people who are difficult for me to serve because it is hard to know if I am making a difference. Sending love and prayers your way.
So grateful for your post and for good friends. Thanks for reminding us how quick and fragile life is and to stop and look for the wonder in it. I’ll think of and pray for Holli! In honor of Holli I will try to stop nagging my kiddos and enjoy who they are right now. I will pick up that guitar that is collecting dust and work my way through a few how to’s on youtube and try and learn a song. I also have a huge toy organization project that keeps getting pushed back week to week in my planner and will dedicate that one for her as well. Love your way Holli. We all wish you and your family the best.
I’ve been reading through your recipes for years and enjoyed vicariously your stories about food and family. I lost my senses of taste and smell many years ago to antibiotics so I don’t cook much anymore. I’ve always been extremely impoverished so it was a way of gifting my friends and family for their many kindnesses and generosity, over the years, to make them a meal now and then. I was extremely good at it, as you are,. It was a way of giving back. I was vegetarian and could convert anything – people often couldn’t tell these lunches and dinners were meatless. But You can’t cook if you can’t smell or taste, I came to realize. I read through your recipes because I like to remember what it was like.
I became allergic to gluten, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and citrus, and I was told I could not have wheat, sugar or dairy because of Hashimotos disease. I am extremely sensitive to pesticides, also because of Hashimotos, and can’t eat anything that isn’t organic. I developed lectin poisoning when I turned to a wheatless, organic vegan diet and became very ill. For a long time I couldn’t eat grains or beans and relied on protein supplements made with seed milk. I can’t eat anything with citric acid or maltodextrin in it. It doesn’t leave much. But I don’t have the medical challenges your friend has. I went back to eating goat’s milk cheese and pressure cooked my beans. I can eat eggs cooked in things but they are high in sulfur and to eat a whole egg poached causes a significant reaction. I mention these things because your friend’s diet probably needs to lose its wheat and pesticides, citric acid (very toxic) and maltodextrin (very toxic) if she hasn’t already. Small amounts of egg cooked in casseroles that have a ton of vegetables won’t hurt her. Most processed foods, however, would not be healing for her. I would love to see recipes like this on your website. You could dedicate each one of them to Holli.
I lost both my parents within the last four years to Alzheimer’s (my father) and COPD complicated by severe dementia (my mother) and they both loved life in the way your friend seems to love life. It was an extremely difficult time for both of them but being surrounded by the love of friends and family, even though they could not always remember who we were made all the difference. There is nothing easy about shuffling off this mortal coil, which is a better description of life than you might think. I walked both my parents through their transitions and I can tell you that death is absolutely life’s greatest adventure. Holli is by no means alone when she makes this journey. It is not only Jesus who waits for her, but friends, loved ones who have passed, teachers and guides. A whole new world of experience waits for her there. It isn’t what I would call heaven. Heaven is what we create for ourselves here in overcoming the challenges that life on earth throws at us. Your friend’’s performance in this particular area seems to have been stellar. I am still in touch with both my parents, even though they have passed on. My mother is full of joy and what seems to be excitement, interested in everything that is happening in the lives of her children, all of whom are still here. She was in a lot of pain at the end and is so relieved to have dropped the body. She and my father are often together though they divorced when I was seventeen (trust me, this was a good thing).
I don’t know if this is the kind of reassurance you are seeking for your friend. I must confess that I am not very good at doing things that are hard. I am always trying to find easier approaches to hard things. I find that it soothes the hard times to find pleasure, even gifts, in simple things. I started writing them down, the startling wonderful small moments that were coming into my life from unexpected sources. The longer my list, the more often I received these unexpected but cherished little happenings that truly brightened each day.. You don’t have to be tough and strong to receive a gift. Enjoy what you can while you can, love the ones you’re with. You can love her, give her ease, hold her hand if you can’t give her that. Read to her if she can’t read – light things, funny things. Laughter is a gift that is supposed to be more healing than meditation. It sounds to me that she has been strong long enough and she can now leave that part of her experience to you and others around her who love her so very much. It might be better for her if people didn’t celebrate her by doing hard things. Celebrate her by doing funny things, having moments of laughter that can be passed on, that you know she will find funny when she is able to receive them. My love and compassion and best wishes to you both.
Hi Holli, my thoughts are with you! We have never met but I wish you all the best. I have donated to show my support. Love, Monika
Hi Holli an Mel, I will help. I will be praying for you Holli. Mel you are a good friend. A little about myself, I will try to be brief. I’m a disabled vet and just celebrated my 36th wedding anniversary this year with my wife Mitzie. Last year Mitzie was diagnosed with liver disease. They said she had about a year and a half before it would take her from us, now a little less than year. I always assumed I would go first, but I’m not in charge of such things.
That is why I turned to reading some blogs, to get vegan recipes and recipes for the things Mitzie loves. Keeps my thoughts occupied and between the recipes and my faith I stay strong for her. Jesus is my strength and Mitzie is the true gift of love that he gave. Im over sixty now but Mitzie only grows more beautiful every day. She buoys my life!
Mel, I find your blog and recipes a comfort in a difficult time. I thank you for telling me about Holli and she will be in my prayers. You as well.
My best to all, Larry
Today, I will conquer my mountain of laundry and take special time to hug and/or cuddle each of my kids. I am inspired, touched, and moved by Holli’s story. I knew her sister, Dawna when I lived in Raymond, Alberta, Canada for a short time. She is also an inspiring and faithful human. I now live in Elkford, a small mountain town in B.C.
This week, I will try to focus on my blessings and express gratitude to others and especially to my Heavenly Father. This quote will be my mantra for the week:
“To enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.” -Thomas S. Monson
Holli thank you for allowing those close to you to share your story and your fight with the world. You are inspiring more people than you realize! My prayers go out to you and your family.
What a beautiful way to lift one another! This post is gold. Thank you for allowing people to fill in a few words that we all need these days! Despite feeling not so well these days, my Be strong for Holli goal is to finish decluttering my closet, bath vanity and school room this week and make some bread for my children today. Life’s flowers are those friends like you both. Thank you for the example and the love expressed here. Offering prayers and sending you all hugs and the best feelings to make today amazing!
Mel and Holli, thank you for sharing your story. I have a wonderful aunt who has been fighting hard against breast cancer for years and is going on hospice today, so I’ve already been thinking more about how I should remember to appreciate all the little blessings in my day-to-day life. Your post only reinforced that message so I just ordered a gratitude journal and am planning to write down my blessings each day before I go to bed. Life is short and unpredictable, and sometimes very hard things happen, so I don’t want to spend another day not being grateful for what I have. Sending love and prayers to you both.
I will say a prayer for Holli today and I will try to overcome my tremors and cut some fruit. I will never forget her story. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve followed your heartbreaking story and videos through Dawna and can only say you are amazing. The picture of you in a wheelchair watching one of your kids in a gym will stay with me forever as a reminder that no matter what we are going through as a mom, our kids want to know that we still care about what’s important to them. We will continue to pray for you! And my hard thing will be to walk with my tween to the neighbors for his piano lesson, even though it’s right at supper time and being gone for 1/2 hour isn’t ideal. May you, your husband, and your kids feel the peace and strength you need ❤️
What an amazing reminder that we havev so much to give and so much to be grateful for! Thanks Holli! Today, I’m going to extend forgiveness to a person who has caused serious issues in my life. It’s hard to hang on to forgiveness, and I’m sure I’ll still struggle in the future, but I’m going to start today. Praying for you to feel God’s peace and love today and a respite from the pain.
Holli, it seems that you and Mel struck gold in the “ golden friend” department. I will pray for you daily, that you may find comfort and respite from your pain, for healing, and for your beautiful family that they abound and flourish in your and God’s abundant love.
There is something that is a hard thing for me. There is an acquaintance of mine whom I have had a hard time forgiving, and I have this hard place in my heart toward this individual. I am going to let it go and soften my heart and spirit toward this individual.
Many blessings on you, Holli.
I will get up early in the cold to go on a walk with my husband tomorrow. ❤️ I will be thinking about this post all day and will especially be treasuring the ability to hug my two little girls-2 1/2 years and 4 months-and let them know how loved they are!
May Holli and her loving family be blessed with an aura of love and strength to guide them through this journey. Mel you are blessed to have Holli as your friend. I do pray for you too to have the strength to give to Holli a lot of love when she needs your love the most… Today I spoke with my husband of 42 years via FaceTime. Sad to say that I am no longer able to care for him because of many medical issues. He is cared for by absolute angels. Due to a strong snowstorm, I doo. not know whether or not I will be able to visit with him tomorrow for 1/2 hour by appointment. This was to be the first time in 3 months that he will have had a visit. This is due to restrictions of Corona virus.
Sending prayers and love to you and to Holli and her family.
Hello, I am sending you a wee bit of my Irish Warrior soul. In the words of my most favorite singer/song writer (or as my family hears me call him “my boyfriend “)Jon Bon Jovi,I’m going to live while I’m alive. If you want to get those toes jamming, have Mel play “One Wild Night ” by Bon Jovi . So many heart felt thought coming your way.
I’am so very sorry for what you are going through. I can tell that you are a brave and beautiful woman that is very close to our God. The Goddess that you have is rare and beautiful in this time that the country is going through. Yet you keep going to be strong for your six children and husband. I can see how unselfish and giving you are in this time of horrible painful time. Tonight I will say a prayer for you Holli and hope you will be able to carry on with your mission of getting better.
Love and prayers for you both, your families and also Mel for giving us the opportunity to take a moment to pray for someone special and to contemplate our own blessings and abilities that we may take for granted. xoxoxo
Today I went for a follow up mammogram for a problem spot that was found six months ago. While checking in, another woman came in for a biopsy. I wanted to offer her some words of encouragement but got called back. I did say a silent prayer for her strength & hope for a positive outcome for her test.
I’ll also hold Holli & her family close to my prayers tonight. Much love to you all.
Dear Holli – I love Casting Crowns also and when this song comes on I sing at the top of my lungs (although to be honest my first impulse is to say this is a Mercy Me song ). I pray for continued comfort for you. It’s evident that you have been blessed with amazing friends and family who I’m sure are cherishing every moment with your beautiful spirit!
Tonight, I will go home and hug the surly teenager, tell her I love her, and request a date to spend more time together.
May God bless and keep you Holli. I’m thankful for your friendship w/ Mel and this post to remind us all of what’s truly important in this life
Mel and Holli: thank you for this beautiful post! My heart breaks a little more each day for Holli. She is my sister. She is so young… her babies and Darin mean the world to her…. she has faced every challenge head on with inspiring faith, and with fierce determination and turned everything over to God and his plan. We have prayed for miracles we have seen miracles and because of her intense belief in our Savior and a loving father in Heavens plan we have felt prayers answered and miracles. When I get on my knees the tears fall thinking of being in her situation and it makes all my challenges, all my fears and all my insecurities fade and reminds of the things I have to be thankful for because when I imagine switching places my heart hurts even more. Than it also makes me more grateful for my blessings for every. little. thing. I’ve been doing all day everyday lately the simple things. My heart hurts that I can’t jump in a car and be there too to hold her, hug her and tell her in person that I love her.. But unforeseen individual challenges face us all in this world especially right now like you said. Holli has already inspired me to hold my children tighter, to cherish them and my husband more intensely. To serve others even when we are in pain ourselves. She has inspired me to face each day with faith and to find the good in the small things. I will be forever grateful for you and all those who have stepped in and taken care of her when we are so far away. With meals, rides, laundry, babysitting everything! She/They have and continue to be so blessed by all of you. Our hearts break that covid has made so many things harder for some of us to be able to come and love our families especially in times like these please hug her for us. Thank you for this beautiful post to find the gratitude in the small and simple things the things we take for granted. Love you Holli♥️
I am sending Holli prayers and love from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. You are a warrior. Keep up the fight. God bless you and heal you. Cherish your friendships.
Holli, I have definitely added you to my prayers, that you might have strength. And thanks Mel for posting this today. Last night I didn’t sleep very well. In fact, I was laying in my bed for 3+hours in the middle of the night. When I woke up this morning I wasn’t planning on getting anything done that wasn’t the absolute bare minimum. I gave myself permission to complain, to be snappy with the kids, and to be completely grumpy. I felt being tired granted me this right. But instead, in honor of you, I will change my attitude, be happy, have patience with my family, get something productive done, and fill my thoughts with gratitude. It will definitely be a challenge, but at the end of today I hope my family feels loved and I want to look back and know that Holli made a difference in my life.
It is so easy to get caught up in the minutia and small frustrations life brings; I want to try to let some of the small stuff go and remember life is precious, time with my family is precious and be grateful that I am here on this earth.
I am in tears reading this post because I know someo