Author: Holly Newman

Lessons from Handbells

Christmas / Music / Uncategorized

Lessons from listening to a handbell choir Everyone has their own bell to play. Each bell sounds different from the others. Not everyone plays the same number of times. Some bells need to be played very softly. Some bells are played loud and often. Sometimes a bell is played with glad abandon, holding the bell up and letting its tone resound. Other times a bell is played very briefly, and then tamped to stop the […]

Learning About Brokenness by Actually Being Broken

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Broken Leg / Brokenness

About a month ago I broke my leg while in Orange County to celebrate my granddaughter Emma’s 16th birthday.  Though I had had a knee replacement on the same leg 3 months before, I was well recovered from that and my slip on a steep driveway covered in leaves was just a simple mishap that could’ve happened to anyone. Nonetheless, it does make you wonder why such a thing should happen!? Sometimes we may think […]

Filipinas on my heart

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Babies / Breastfeeding / Cross cultural ministry / If Gathering / Traveling

I had the magnificent opportunity to engage with Filipino village women on some topics dear to my heart a few months ago. An opportunity I almost missed because I am fond of leisure and comfort. But in a rare-to-me display, God pressed it on my heart to accompany my husband. Here’s the story, written for a quarterly publication for our denomination. The unwelcome thought was hovering at the edges of my mind at the IF:Gathering […]

Southern Musings from Rand Terrace

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I am in the South again for three days after being away more years than I can say. I’ve already said y’all about a dozen times and been called honey, darlin’ and ma’am, all to my delight! I’ve had grits, fried chicken, and BBQ and been offered sweet tea, though I like it plain. I attended a thought-provoking lecture by a world-renowned philosophy professor and then discussed it over salad in the student dining hall […]

Old-fashioned me

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Cooking dinner / Food / Grandparenting / Mothering / Writing

1. I believe in love at first sight; it happened to me. Okay, maybe not first sight since I am not that shallow, but at first conversation. I knew then,  but he did not for many months. Somehow I managed to keep it to myself until he had seen the light! We’ve been married 45 years, and are each others’ biggest fans. 2. I use cotton handkerchiefs and so does my husband. I even iron […]

Another Way to be Resolute in the New Year

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January / Learning / New Year's Resolutions / Time

I recently took an afternoon and fled the red glitter, lego pieces underfoot, and cookie crumbs that have permeated every corner of my home, the detritus of a happy holiday with my large wonderful family. I escaped to the public library. I found a lovely table all my own facing a window and spent a few hours thinking, praying, reading, writing, and contemplating my calendar. I had found a little notebook no one had scribbled […]

Franee’s Famous Nut Bread Recipe

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Some asked for the recipe…… it is! Mix in large bowl with a whisk: 8 cups flour (I use mostly whole wheat) 8t baking powder 3 t salt Add: 2 cups sugar 1 box raisins 1 box currants 2 cups chopped nuts I like to mix all of this in by hand to coat all the fruit and nuts with flour. Add: 4 eggs 4 cups milk Stir it all up, pour into four greased […]

Thankfulness, that age old cure all

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Christmas / Recipes

Today I mixed up my yearly batch of Franee’s Famous Nut Bread. Franee is my beloved mother in law who went to heaven many years ago. I first had it in her kitchen at Christmas time a few months after meeting my husband. The bread is rich with nuts, currants, and raisins, and after we married and moved away she gave me the recipe. Now I love making this bread at this time of year and […]

Comparison is the Thief of Joy, Even on Mother’s Day

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Mother's Day / Mothering

I shared preaching with two pastors  (one my husband!) this Mother’s Day. Here’s what I said: Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy”, and he was a man who did not try to match up his life with other’s lives. But for us as women, and perhaps especially as mothers, our lives are often filled with the noise of comparison with others and an obsessive need to be perfect. How can we begin […]

Nairobi to Kilimanjaro to Olduvai

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Cross Cultural / Cross cultural ministry / Tanzania / Traveling

Next morning our taxi driver from the night before was there right on time at 6:30 am to catch our plane for our short flight to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Unfortunately, the famous mountain was completely clothed in clouds, so we missed the view. Safely through customs, all bags arrived, we went to meet Amanda and Bill Batterson and their son Owen who were waiting just outside. They were very happy to have the suitcase full of […]