Holli of a quaint street in San Jose…

Okay, so pardon my next title, but I have been watching and reading one of my FAVORITE childhood heroines.  Yes, that would be Anne Shirley of Green Gables.  Oh, my sweet Anne spelled with an “e” if you will please.

I was going to name my post “Holli of Green Gables” but then it just didn’t seem fitting, seemed to ruin the sanctity of Anne’s claim to fame.  So then I was going to put my street name down, but being the internet age – and being thru what I’ve been thru lately – I don’t need anyone knowing more about me than I would like.  I’m learning my boundaries…which I do warn those of you that write online to make sure you have them!

So, this is how I arrived at my title.  Not super romantic, but it will do for now…unless I get inspired for another name as I write.  I laugh at myself as I write…hopefully you get a chuckle too :-0!

As I have been reading/watching my dear friend Anne, I have realized how much I am like this silly, unabashedly odd girl.  As I am thinking of how to mark our similarities, I keep realizing more and more.  I just happened to be born 100 years later, in a much more modern age…but I am Anne, and Anne is me.  And I am learning a lot about myself as I watch/read her story.

Let’s see …
* we are both orphans from a young age.  Mine not quite so young, but young enough.

* Next, Anne was passed from family to family before finding her place at Green Gables with Marilla and Matthew.  I too was passed from family to family before finding my place in God’s family thru my mom’s sister.

* Anne is very persistent that her name must be spelled with an “e”, because otherwise it is a rather plain and unromantic name.  But Anne with an “e” sounds all the better.  I for a long time hated that my name was so different.  There aren’t too many “holly’s” in the world to begin with – and to be spelled with an “i” and not a “y” or “ie” is unheard of.  I always felt is was such a childish name and spelling and tried for a while to spell it with a “y”.  And then I wanted to be called “Christy” for a while even, after my middle name Christine.  And I think I even tried to be called Nicole or Nicky – my favorite name as a child and the name of my favorite babrie doll.  (And again, another similarity to Anne as she loved the name “Cordelia” instead of “plain, unromantic, sensible Anne”!)  Yet, once I became part of God’s family I found out what my given name meant and knew it was God’s providence.  My original name (which I will be going back to soon!) is Holli Christine …which means “Holy believer in Christ”.  How prophetic is that?  Did my mom have this prayer in her heart of hearts when she named me?  And now I LOVE that I am unique with the spelling of my name and always make sure to say “Holli with and ‘i’, just an ‘i’ not an ‘ie’ or a ‘y'”!

* A wildly romantic and unrealistic imagination that gets the better of me.  I don’t know if I get quite as distracted as Anne does, but pretty darn close.  If you ever see me sitting, dazing off into no where – most likely I am rehearsing new plots for a love story that I know I am destined to write some day.  One in which I just know they wouldn’t be able to but help turn it into a movie.  Watch out Twilight fans…here comes ______?  (it’s in here somewhere just have to find it!)

* If you have ever read Anne or watched her story, you know this imagination also is responsible for some hilarious names to the most common places of places.  I.E. Lover’s Lane, the Lake of Shining Waters, Violet Vale, and her latest “Haunted Wood” – a small cluster of trees between her house and her best friend Diana’s.  One night after dusk Marilla asks her to fetch Diana’s apron pattern – but Anne is insistent she cannot unless she goes by the road.  When Marilla presses her why she won’t go thru the forest, she admits that it is such a common place that her and Diana have concocted this entire world of a haunted forest that, while she knows it is all her imagination, her imagination is so vivid and so real to her – that she is absolutely terrified of going.  Marilla insists that she will cure Anne of her silly nonsense and forces her to face her imagination straight on.  My point on this one….not quite sure actually.  I don’t think I ever tried to imagine a haunted forest because it is “so romantic”…maybe the difference between a 100 years and the Canadian vs. American culture.  But I do know that because of my wild imagination, I probably often keep myself from facing my fears unless pushed by a person that loves me because I fear that what I imagine will be true of myself or my circumstances.  Hmm….

* Trouble seems to follow Anne wherever she goes.  Whether it is just her dumb luck or her own doing, it is there and she always makes the most of it.  While I am like Anne in getting myself into trouble…I think I am still learning from her how to make the most of it.  At least as I have aged, I have learned to laugh at the silly quandaries I get myself into.  I would share one of my latest here, but it is way too personal to share – and I don’t want to give away too much of myself.  But every time I think of this social blunder (does it count if it was just “in front” of one person you don’t even formally know to be called a “social blunder”), I get a good laugh and a little blush.  And it taught me an extremely important lesson…which made the whole ordeal well worth it!

Onwards and upwards, I am so not done…

* Her use of big, silly words and/or descriptive words…I find myself taking a huge liking too.  It adds so much spark to life and to my imagination to think of things she says, such as being “exceedingly wicked” (don’t you love how people at the turn of the 20th century were so honest about our sinful state?), “kindred spirits” (my new favorite phrase…for which I am finding just as she did that there are more kindred spirits in this world than I originally thought, but that would be an entirely new post just on my last 2 outings and the strangers I have met that are now my new kindreds), “irresistible temptation” – oh, so good, usually talking about a new imagination thought!, and so many more.

* Anne’s ability to talk and talk and talk and talk and go from one subject to another in the same breath…hmm, I think there is an example of this one in me from the previous bullet point!  Sometimes I don’t know how my dear counselor keeps up with me – but she does…

* Anne is always looking for the next big thing in her life to happen, which often she mentions that something like “from now on, I will be ruined for the ordinary.”  I was just mentioning this to a friend yesterday…that I’ve always had this sense about myself that I would never lead just a “normal”, average life of getting married, raising my kids and spending my days in quite solitude.  While this is nice at times – I’ve always imagined (there it is again) that I was destined to make an impact on the world in some small way.  While I LOVE being a mom to my boys, I have had a hard time not wanting to be out in the other part of the world making a statement.  I’ve tried since they have been born to do this thru creative memories, my coaching/workout classes, and now my snack business.  But I now know that beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only thing that will satisfy my soul, satiate my spirit is to serve the Lord in whatever work it is He has for me.  I’ve had some very clear direction as to the field and age group this work will entail…and see God in just the last few days and weeks opening up doors to begin in that path.  I had a good friend once tell me when I was about 10 or so that God was saving my “good times” for when I was older.  Now, I wouldn’t call much of my life “good times” (can any of us!?) – but I now realize why I have gone thru what I have gone thru and KNOW that God will use it for His good.  I pray He repays all the years the locusts have eaten!

* My dear Anne has an unstoppable spirit.  She may get down for a day or two, but she always picks herself back up, dusts herself off and carries on with her chin jetted out and a determined look on her face.  Again, so much like the blessing of the spirit the Lord has given me.  After all I have been thru, I think I can honestly say I do not hate any one that has done me wrong and that I am working towards forgiveness, full and thru.  Forgiveness is such a process as God reveals more and more in my heart…but I learned a LONG time ago – even before I was a follower of Christ – how evil unforgivness is.  It eats you alive, from the inside out.  But FORGIVENESS is true freedom, true salvation from the bondage of sin that strangles your thoughts, words and deeds.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t hate the “exceedingly wicked” sin that lingers in my heart and in others…nor the ultimate deceiver of them all – for I do hate him beyond all words.  I hate what tragedy he has brought on the world – getting us all to doubt the love of our perfect and Holy God.  And most of all I hate the deception, slight but true, he wraps us all up in.  But the gift God has given me is a spirit that yearns to seek his face and that means to seek forgiveness…and while I might get knocked down for a day, a month or years…God has given me the unstoppable spirit that will get back up, in His strength, stronger, more sure of myself than ever to go out and try again, and again and again until I see Him face to face!

* No matter what Anne does, she seems completely comfortable with whom she is.  Okay – so this one I am growing into.  Instead of being embarrassed about my physical or spiritual or social shortcomings, I can learn from them, laugh at them and seek to always be better tomorrow, which “is a fresh day with no mistakes in it yet!”  I am learning daily to be more comfortable with my own body and soul – with whom God created me to be instead of always trying to be like every one else.  How boring is that?  How boring would the world be if God only used one color!  Funny thing is I know most of us have tried this at one point or another in our lives, to be like others.  Which usually in the end just doesn’t do what we want – draw people in to be near to us and know us.  But when I am the real me, the bubbly, silly outspoken me that talks or writes WAY too much – a crazy thing happens – I find kindred spirits who seem to actually like me and get me for who I am…crazy!

* Always on the hunt, Anne is looking for her devastating tall, dark and handsome man – who she doesn’t realize is right in front of her all the time, Gilbert Blythe (oh, what a romantic name!).  Even though I haven’t found my earthly version of Gilbert – and am quite okay if God never does bring him along – I have found my Jesus, who is tall, dark and handsome to me.  He is the perfect husband, perfect best friend and I get to spend so much time with him lately.  He completely spoils me, loves me just as I am but seeks to not leave me as I am – and is wanting to spend as much time with me as I will allow.  What more could a mid-western girl at heart want?

Okay, I’ve got to wrap this up!  I doubt anyone has time to read all this…but maybe you can make a nightly habit of reading a little bit here and there…oh I pray so!

* So I will end with my last one (for now)…my home.  Anne was adopted by her family quite by “mistake”  and ended up at Green Gables, which she fell immediately in love with and treasured for the rest of her life.  Now I have no idea how long I will be on the “quaint street in San Jose”, but I do so love the abode God has given me that was quite by chance, or his divine providence I have found.  It is very close to a lovely area in the Bay Area called Los Gatos, in fact there is a picture of the mountains (as us mid-westerners would call them!) over on my Facebook page, a perfect location near some very dear friends, on a quiet street with no street lamps so I can see the stars on most nights.  It is amazing, I feel like I am out in the middle of now where as I can see the big and little dipper and all the others consolations I don’t remember now – but it is truly awe-inspiring!  My friends and I are going to plan a camp out for the kiddos…pop up the tents, fire up the fire (as soon as I get a BBQ) and cozy up with some good stories.  Well, I’ll probably end up sleeping inside cause it does get quite cold around here at night.  Anyhow, my abode is only 960 square feet…on the smaller side for homes in Cali even.  But it is a perfect retreat for me!  The kitchen is small, but I’ve set it up in such a way that it is very convenient to cook and move about in; the living room has no TV – just my new “baby” I write to you on now, a cozy antique restored writing desk, a “Holli painted and detailed” computer armoire, a very luscious and way too comfortable couch, my favorite Green Pottery Barn prayer chair – among a few other great pieces…again all on my Facebook page.  The 2 rooms are of very good size – and the closest are HUGE for a house this old and this size.  They are actually “walk-ins”, maybe not by most mid-westerner standards, but you definitely can walk all the way, turn around and close the door – and not see a thing!  The kids took to playing hide ‘n seek the first time we came in – but not since, probably too dark.  Furthermore, the neighbors, while still Californians for the most part – are friendly and amiable and welcoming.  One of my neighbors, knowing I am a single mom, made sure to give me his information and told me to call him whenever if I heard anything and needed help.  Isn’t that sweet and neighborly? (But there is a small part of me that got a little scared of what that said about the place…but really when I tell people where I live that know the area say it is a phenomenal location.)  So I am very blessed by the Almighty for however long I live here to have my own, private haven.

And with that, I will bring this rather long post to a close by sending out an eternal “Thank you” to L.M. Montgomery – the creator of miss Anne Shirley.  I believe I speak for a lot of us when we look at Anne with an “e” and say we see a lot of our selves in her, or at least can “imagine” we can :-)!  She captured readers’ hearts from the get go – and continue to do so 100+ years later. Thank you for giving us a little bit of yourself Ms. Montgomery!

I’m off to shower, pack and head up to the Sonoma County fair for the David Crowder Band tonight – so excited to go worship with this band live – I can’t even begin to describe my excitement!!!  Have a most excellent, blessed day in the name of our living Savior – Jesus!

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