Holly’s Story

This story is hard for me to read because it is partly my story.  I love this woman dearly and she has been through some messiness this side of eternity.  I am still posting messy stories, life stories of all kinds.  I’m trying to post them on Mondays (Messy Mondays) and I’d love to hear yours if you have one to tell.  Send me an email at jessplusthemess@gmail.com.  Here’s Holly’s story. 


This is my story, some of it is old and some, new and fresh and some just to private to tell. I grew up in a loving Christian home with a Mom and Dad who are still married along with brothers. We had a lot of fun and my brothers could get pretty crazy on occasion. Because I was a book worm and introspective, I often felt lonely. I felt God calling me at a young age and accepted Jesus at 11. We never missed church or Sunday school and getting ready was always a big deal, shoes lined up and polished, Sunday clothes, hats and gloves for me and for Mom. After I graduated from high school, I went to nursing school, met my future husband, graduated and got married.

We had three wonderful children Jason, Kimberly, and David, each unique and special, gifted and so loved . We had fun times, and I tried to teach our children good Christian values and instill in them a love for Jesus. The joy of raising our children is certainly a highlight in my life. We had the normal ups and downs as a family, joys, friends, financial issues at times and some pretty serious surgeries for me. Faith during difficult times was essential, and without pain or hurt I learned we can never truly love. Without it we are shallow, without any depth, with nothing to give. In this mix came divorce which really broke me, it took a long, painful time to heal and again God was always close and faithful. Thankfully friends, family, and God whispering to me, led me through the pain.

 In the off Broadway play “the Fantasticks” the villain El Gallo charms the young lady and leads her boyfriend astray. As he leaves and she packs to leave with him, he goes and she says, you can never really know love unless you have been hurt. Hurts, pain, and tragedy can bring us to a depth we never imagined, but in that depth God is always faithful; he always keeps his word, and he never leaves. Which leads me to the meat of my story, as you know if you read this blog,  Jason my son, passed away. He and his lovely wife Jessica had a difficult time with both sets of parents divorcing and Luke who is awesome being born with some pretty serious handicaps requiring surgeries and special care.

It is immensely difficult to watch your child become critically ill and struggle with the effects of cancer while trying to be a good father and husband. He was a strong warrior for God, and his faith grew exponentially as he became weaker. I loved my son so much and it was so hard to give him back. I always said the worst thing would be to lose your child, I could not imagine that but I was called to do this very thing.

After his death, through much prayer, I was blessed with a wonderful husband and new grandchildren, sons and daughter-in-laws. I am so blessed because I know where my son is, he is in heaven . How cool is that!!! God told me that Jason finished the job he had for him to do, he was pleased with him, that he ran the race he was meant to run. I had been praying for a new Godly husband for Jessica and the kids. He told me it was Ryan’s turn now, and that I was to be Mom and Grandma to them because God knew my heart and knew that would be best.

Jason loves them from heaven and Ryan loves them on earth.

After I married Gord, I suddenly seemed to have a proclivity for falling down and having surgery, three times in our marriage so far but who’s counting. Last November, while I was visiting my daughter, I noticed a quite large lump in my breast.  When I arrived home we did the usual tests, ultrasounds, biopsies, etc, and come to find out I had invasive,aggressive, metastatic breast cancer. I have just finished  chemo ,will have surgery, more chemo and then radiation. The good new is, I have a loving husband who is by my side who unfortunately lost his first wife to breast cancer. He has certainly been there, done that. But I am good, God is good, I have a peace about my situation no matter what happens because I know where I’m going. The joy of The Lord is my strength. In the end what is really important? Work ,yes….family of course…..money ,not in and of its self, it’s best when you can spread it around and do good. Fame? Power?  Nope, we’ve seen where that leads. Really the only thing that matters is living a life that is pleasing to God ….as the song says “loving God, loving each other, making music with my friends.” That’s it.

The joy of The Lord is my strength, and if God can use this or any part of my life to turn someone to Him, it’s all worth it!!!


Just keep livin!!

Our Highly Anticipated Plans

People have asked if we have big plans for spring break, which we are currently in the middle of.  Are we planning on loading seven children onto an airplane or better yet cramming them tightly into a car, driving for hours on end to visit some magical place down south or up north?  Nope, we sure aren’t planning something as delightful as that idea sounds, but we do have some big plans unfolding nonetheless at the Ronne homestead.  I am finally getting a laundry room!

This has actually come out of pure necessity rather than a planned event.  I had a washing machine and a dryer stuffed into what used to be a bathroom until my dryer suddenly died on February 13, 2014.  

oldlaundryIsn’t it lovely??

I know, not a world-wide crisis, but with seven small, muddy on a daily basis children, and a husband who is known to romp a bit in the murkiness as well on our 20 plus acres, this has been a trying situation to the core of my soul, and I’m not even one of those people who likes to do laundry.  I have a sister in law and a former mother in law who are professional laundress’s. They do laundry as if they were creating a masterpiece, their finished products are AMAZING.   Their laundry is soft, drenched in lavender or spring scented goodness, as if it had been soaked for days in Downy Delight.   Their towels are the kind of towels you can’t wait to wrap your cold body in after a nice, warm shower.  My laundry is not that laundry.  It does not smell good unless you happen to come across the one load a month where I actually remembered to add fabric softner; it doesn’t feel very soft because along with forgetting the fabric softner, I also forget the dryer sheet most of the time, and finally, I make money saving, homemade detergent so, well, it’s not Tide.  (Laundry Detergent recipe can be found in the recipe box)

We have no idea what happened to the dryer and after numerous attempts at trying to fix it, my husband gave me the green light to buy a new one.  That led to the green light of buying a new set because the washing machine hasn’t sounded real healthy either for the past few months. In the meantime, we have been laboriously hanging our clothes in 40 degree weather.

Honestly, I enjoy hanging clothes, it’s a relaxing practice, especially when the sun is out, and I have an excuse to occasionally step outside throughout the day.  However, I do not enjoy crispy clothes, especially crispy jeans or crispy towels.  A nice, hot shower after a long, tedious day, only to be wrapped in a hardened towel is not exactly how I imagine the best day ever.  But, I have been thankful my washing machine has continued working so I didn’t have to employ a washtub and brush like our ancestors. 

My generous, fabulous husband has put my laundry room at the top of his renovation schedule.

It has been a super fun journey already, as is everything we put our minds and agendas to.  We were so excited to discover this beautiful, slate blue washing machine and dryer pair at Lowes clearanced out as the last floor models.


We bought them, without much thought, and then once home realized our electric hookup wasn’t going to work real well with our new gas dryer.  That beautiful pair went back, much to my dismay.  But…. the same day, approximately 2 minutes later, I discovered this pair, a bigger pair, a white pair, a more options with decorating pair, a pair that was the exact same price as the pretty blue pair.  We took them as I whispered convincingly to my husband that I must be a dream wife to shop for appliances with as it took me literally two minutes to make the life changing decision (sometimes as wives we need to point out our obvious strengths). He agreed with a happy smile etched upon his face.  Here is our new pair….


Stay tuned, laundry renovations to continue…

Just keep livin!!