Life to the Fullest

Life is short, so live life to the fullest.  With all the hurricanes going around and tearing up homes and leaving lives shattered you start to look around and see the blessings you have.  I have really been convicted of this lately because we nearly died on the highway.  It makes you reevaluate where you put your priorities and what you do with each passing hour.  Let me tell you the whole story…I am so thankful to be alive! In the beginning of August, my husband and I got into our van heading south to Georgia.  We were picking up our beautiful Airedale who we left there to be bred by a AKC Airedale.  My mother was back on the homestead with all of our precious children while we made the long trip there and back.  On the way, I was sitting in the front when this semi truck smashed into the side of us going down the interstate highway. My husband just slowed to take the hit instead of swerving into the other lane of traffic which could have been deadly! It was a 3 lane and we were surrounded by cars going over 70 mph!!!

In a split second your life can be over.  I remember when it happened.  There was this loud crash to the side, pushing us over nearly into the other lane where another car had been also driving at the speed of 75 MPH.  All I could see was the darkness of the entire side of the truck tearing off the mirror and scraping all the way down the side of the van.  I was sitting right there, my eyes wide open, in shock, bracing myself for what I thought was going to be a HUGE pile up from the other cars surrounding us like a mob.  I mean, we were surrounded on every side and there was no room for any give.  It was like my life flashed before my eyes in that split second.  I thought about us shoving into the car in the other lane and then making a snowball effect of cars rolling and piling over, smashing into each other with us at the bottom of the pile.  Life would have been over for many.  But somehow, God protected us.  Fatal car wrecks happen every day.  People die and they become another number for the death toll.  When it is you facing this fateful moment, and living to tell the tale, the numbers have no consequence.  You just sit there in AWE of God.

I am so thankful he was driving and not me, I probably would have made it worse! I sat there with tears streaming down my face, screaming, THANK YOU JESUS! THANK YOU JESUS!  It was a miracle we walked out of that van.  My legs were shaking and I just knew that God protected us because we were not meant to die that day.  Our God is a god of infinite mercies and they are new every morning.  

What this moment did for me was life transforming.  You know.  We just sometimes go through seasons.  We have problems, everyone does and we just pray through the rough spots.  I had been sitting around at different times in my life as I recall, feeling sorry for myself, or worrying about things I had no control over.  I was healing from a lot of drama in my life, appreciating my new found peace, joy, and fellowship with other believers.  Clinging to my family around the dinner table in prayer, just crying out to God for the world, individuals in need, and the persecuted church.  I had my nose to my bible, clinging to Jesus each day for my hope and stay.  But this moment was when I decided to just run with life.  Just go for it!  I wanted to milk every ounce of life out of this life I was given.  Make every moment count and leave those days of sitting and thinking over things too much, behind.  And that is just the reason I left this blog sitting and why you have not heard from me for awhile.  I was living life to the fullest!

And there is a lot of life to be lived.  There are endless opportunities around every corner of life!  I will bring you on a journey of one of my most action packed months of my life…

After we picked up the precious pet, Lucy, we headed home.  I think I kissed the ground because we arrived home to our precious family.  My mother was still holding down the fort on the homestead and our nephew, Jack.  I did not want to waist a second.  I brought the boys on a caving adventure.  Climbing through caverns and enjoying the peace of being in the earth.  Complete darkness surrounds you and you have only that lamp in your hand to guide you.  At one moment I told the boys to shut their lamps off and we just sat in utter darkness and I took that moment to explain to them this is the world before God, the darkness on the face of the deep until God said, “Let there be light!”  And when I proclaimed this, we all turned our lamps on straight away, and then there was light!

The last morning my mother was there, we had a lovely breakfast.  I did our Sunday morning tradition of Dutch babies and smoothies.  I miss having my mother close by but I know that one day, by the grace of God we will live closer.  Until then we will enjoy all the memories of when we get together.

After she left, I started cleaning, deeply spring cleaning the entire home and organizing every nook and cranny.  It was just a delight to me to have all that energy.  I felt about 20 years younger and could clean from morning until night.  Keeping my home is one of my favorite parts of life.
Here are a few photos of some of the organized drawers in my kitchen or even books on the shelf, what fun!
The Total Eclipse!!!
We live about an hour from the path of totality.  I nearly did not go.  My husband told me it would be crazy traffic and after that crazy accident the week before, I was not ready to be in crazy traffic.  At the last minute I called my crazy friend Vange Johnson to see if she wanted to fly by the seat of her pants and try to get to the totality.  She said YES!!! LETS DO IT!  I picked her up and we took a back road to Franklin and there were absolutely NO cars on the road which could have seemed eery.

Just let me introduce Vange.  She happens to be my twin somehow.  It is a miracle that we met.  It is deeper than even blood, there is a connection that anyone who sees us together will admit that there is something special that happens when we are together.  She and I bring out the wild, the crazy, the free spirits we were given at birth from our creator!

I am excited to announce that Vange and I will be doing LIFE together from here on out.  We will be blogging together, writing books together, painting together, adventuring together, and milking the LIFE out of this LIFE, together with our families.  Just hang on, friends, you will be in for a treat once she and I get going.  Here is a little taste of what happens… This is Vange and I celebrating the Eclipse together.


Life is short.  You may as well be surrounded by people that bring the most of LIFE out of you!  I call her Pippy and she calls me Holly.  Pippy and Holly from now on!  Both of us artists, musicians, adventure seekers, and most important we are Jesus lovers.  She is a mother of 10 children who left at 4 am with their father that morning to see the eclipse in Kentucky.  There they sat in the traffic, the hot sun beating down in a parking lot all day while we had the best.  We had the glorious park without all the crowds, we got there 10 minutes before the totality and enjoyed the freedom of dancing under the moon together.  It was EPIC!
It is OFFICIAL. I am back into doing weddings. After 6 years of being disabled, racked with pain, losing my business due to it, our livelihood, and thinking I would NEVER do this again, I can finally say, THANK YOU JESUS, I am back! From disabled to able, the power of prayer, using the tools God gave me in Plexus to combat my inflammation, I am FREE to be ALL God created me to be. Use my talents to the full potential. This couple has been the most amazing couple ever. Paul and Katie, Be blessed. LOVE YOU both! This is LIVING.   

I could have never done this. Or dreamed of ever doing this again, but all things are possible. Sometimes you have to fight to stay ALIVE and find HOPE. Thank you Jesus!

What is really cool is that since Vange and I are doing our LIVES together, she will be my photography partner.  Her and her husband with my husband and I.  The greatest is yet to come!  We are praising God!

Mark’s brother and his family came to visit and of course I had to show them the the special donut place in Franklin called Five Daughters Bakery.  Oh it is heavenly.  I usually do not like sweets, but these are made with organic grass fed butter and with custards and not too sweet fluff in between the layers.  Just a simple treat every now and again.
I have been enjoying daily walks with my girls and our fluffy friends.  You have no idea how thankful I am that I can walk.  Did you know, when I was disabled, just walking from the recliner to the bathroom several times felt like climbing a mountain. It felt impossible to me yet I would get up and do all I could.  I remember just making my bed each day was a gift knowing that I was not chained to my bed in pain, that I had some value.  I could do the little things to be a keeper of the home.

People come to me and complain about silly things or say that they can’t do this or that.  I remember when I was at my worst and I was still doing 12 hour weddings every weekend racked in level 10 pain.  Groomsmen or my husband would carry me from place to place since I could not walk or be on my feet.

I had people look at me and tell me I was lazy and not doing my job.  I looked normal.  I used the motorized carts at stores and some stores I could not go into because they did not have wheelchairs.  I would watch 90 year old people walking around the stores in better shape than I was.

One time I actually was so embarrassed and fed up with using the carts that I tried to walk the store and ended up with a major screaming flare so that I was laying on the floor and the staff of the store had to help me up into the motorized cart.  That was my life.  But I lived in an Amish house,  I figured out how to still can all our food, make cheeses all without electricity, sew all our clothing, and film homestead DVDs, write a blog, write a book, and still clean even if it took me an hour to scoot on the floor with a dust pan and hand held broom to sweep the floor.  I am a fighter.  No one tells me to stop living.

I can’t imagine how people give up.  Why give up?  Or why people seem so stubborn to try new things.  I remember when I heard of Plexus.  I remember turning my nose up and with all my stubborn pride say that if I can’t concoct it in my own kitchen, FORGET IT!  It is a scam.  It is pink cool aide.  It is a sham.  And one day everyone will regret getting involved.  And I am so sorry if you are reading and you just don’t want to hear about Plexus.  I was there once as well.  I know that feeling.

After it worked to help my husband, I was still not going to try it.  I was glad it worked for him but I did not try it until he told me that I needed to get over myself and take it.  I could not afford it.  People always tell me when they are interested they say, I would love to but it is too expensive.  I get that but I don’t accept it.  If something can save your life and give you an abundant amount of health and life, nothing should stand in the way.  I mean, we just made it work.  We were way below the poverty level with our family income.  Scraping by.  Hardly making ends meet and when you are faced with something that can change your life, you think it is not worth the risk.  You think you might waste money.  I was there.

But it worked like nothing ever before because it targets the two major things that cause poor health to begin with.  I will not say it cures anything.  Because I would be lying.  It does not cure anything.  It just is the most effective tool that I have found to target the gut health, getting rid of bad bacteria that destroys your immune system and balances out the blood sugars which are your control center for a lot of function like energy, mood, sleep, and hormones.  So, we could not spend our normal grocery budget while our bodies were healing and starting to work the way God created.  I just made dried beans and some rice.  I simply bought some greens, some lettuce and other simple cheap vegetables.  We ate like kings on a dime.  We had the extra to buy the supplements that changed our health.  I understand being pretty poor in the standards of our american lifestyle.

Why I know it works on most people, because I actually helped my Pippy Vange!  She eats the healthiest of any other person I know.  She only puts greens and highly nutrient dense foods into her body.  Her passion is health and it is super funny because she would ask me about my health and I told her what I did but never wanted to push it on her or anyone for that matter.  I told her that it is a tool just like anything else.  She had come down with some strange sickness and it took the wind out of her sails and she was barely surviving her life.  She was so tired and hardly sleeping.  I came over with all my plexus tools just to bless her.  I was so done with trying to drag around dead horses and try to convince anyone nor twist arms about the very thing that changed our health, so it was totally a miracle I even marched over to her place with Plexus.  I knew she would turn her nose up at it, come to find out she tried to concoct it in her kitchen just like I did!  LOL!

Just when I was sick and tired of people saying no and saying they can’t afford to feel better, they just want to feel like garbage rather than try something and stick with it to rescue their health.  I poured myself into sweet Vange and brought her back.  Plexus actually made her feel alive again.  She was sleeping for the first time in her life like a baby.  She had the energy to do all her adventures again.  Clean, power fueled energy and she wanted more.  I had to come to the realization that this Plexus is a gift to give people another chance to live again.  Why not?  What is our purpose anyhow in this LIFE?  If someone is sick do we just walk by and say nothing?  Should we care?  Should we try to help others?  Who cares if it is in the form of this goofy pink drink we call Plexus.  I had to get off my high horse and know that I just need to be ready to give an answer to those that are sick and need a boost to their health.  It is the right thing to do.

The next amazing adventure this past month is when we decided to get in the van and drive down to the beaches of Florida where Vange and her family were camping.  I took that photo early in the morning and I was just so thankful for God’s mercies!   A year since Molly had her big seizure from her meter failing and overdosing on the insulin.  Here is my lovely 16 year old daughter with her faithful sidekick, TEDDY to protect her from this happening again.  We are so thankful!  It is also a tool!  Service dogs are a tool to help those in need so that they can live a more normal life.  He loved the beaches of Florida.
Vange and I were at camp here Living LIFE to the max.  Here is our short, fun video…


One day we snorkeled at the beach.  We dove into seaweed and jelly fish infested waters.  I was busy talking to a shell hunter and my husband, son, and Vange and her husband and son were out to sea off the Jetty.  I could not see more than 2 feet in front of my face with my mask on and I was giving it all I had.  I swam out to sea and it was way deeper and farther from the Jetty than I should have been.  Jelly fish blobs nocking up on my body everywhere which did not make it any more pleasant.  I could not see the crew and I nearly panicked but I just rested on my back and took deep slow breaths.  Once I could see the crew I knew what direction to continue swimming.  On our way back, I just plowed ahead of the crew to shore and beat them all there.  That is the LIFE!

Adventure to the max, is what you call it.  Being able to do all these crazy things is what I am loving most of Life.  Here is a before and after photo of Vange and I after our adventure.

The next morning we went out to sea on the kayaks.  Vange and I paddled out to the middle of the BAY when our husbands caught up to us.  That was such a glorious trip.  We biked around the campground back and forth, racing around like a couple of school girls and we were feeling like Life could not get any better.
I enjoyed the beautiful sunsets each evening and you just can’t put a price on health, I am telling you!  You just can’t.  We can feel half our age and make the most of LIFE, there is no price for that.  It is a gift, not a cost.  A gift.  And a gift that you have seen, keeps giving.  The more I can share and help others, I find that the sweeter life is for them and that is the icing on the cake!  What a blessing!
I could cry writing this all down, only because I can’t believe how I have been given a second chance at LIFE.  As I road my bike with Vange I said to her, “Pinch me, I must be dreaming!  I can’t tell you how much miracles I have had in this life and how much God is giving me than I deserve. To have someone to enjoy life with is beyond amazing.”  It is what life is all about, when we WANT what we have!  That is true joy!  I can say I am living life to the fullest and I want what I have!  God is good!

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