Reckless Words; The Struggle to be Real

The burden of the future has become to heavy for my weary soul. My fears and anxieties have bubbled over and the acidic residue has seeped out and burned those around me as well as myself.

My own words taunt me.¬†“Reckless words pierce like a sword… You pride yourself with moral standards, teaching the world as their commander. Hypocrisy bleeds from within. Oh! for the state of sin.”

I want to walk my talk. I want to be authentic but my heart is exposed when conflict arises and fears heightened. My mouth exposes me and I am a hypocrite. I bow to the lowest common denominator and venom spews from my lips (or in the recent case, my keyboard) I could blame the send button, but I’m the one who pushes the send button.

I realize this is contrary to our current culture of “self love” but the honest truth is that when I am consumed with self and protecting self, my pride takes over and I become a double tongued snake. I become a reflection of the short sighted, ill-tempered, weak, ugly, jerk of an enemy. And, I hurt people I love and really anyone in the way.

“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” I John 3:18

The Light exposes the darkness, thank God. Although it is painful to look in the mirror and see this truth, the isolation and condemnation I have felt over the past week is more painful. I want out of shadows. No matter what uncertainty comes in this life, the idea of realizing that I’ve¬†hurt another to feel more in control, ¬†and doing nothing about it is no life at all. And so, I cry out for mercy. I cry out for forgiveness. Thankful for the provision of the ministry of reconciliation. Longing for reconnection with God, my fellow man and self.

‚ÄúSo, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.‚ÄĚ Colossians 3:13

Transition and Lists

We generally do well with transition. We have both traveled extensively, lived in different countries, and the rhythm of motion suites us. However, as we move closer to the dream the anxiety and fears start to come in. So, we refocus on the desire that started it all; the longing to share our gifts and talents with the world, to be available to encourage reconciliation, growth and community where ever it might be. That is what drives us.

And so, I make lists. ūüôā

  • The House: ¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† We need to visit with our neighbors and let them know we will be saying goodbye. Put the sign in the yard. (I know that sounds simple, but it’s been 2 weeks since we got those signs and although I’ve blasted it all over the internet, the reluctance is there.)
  • Garage Sale this weekend and again after the house sells: ¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†I’ve been weeding through our stuff. It ALL must go, but the process of striping in layers seems to be a bit more comforting. ¬†I know that when it is all gone I won’t miss it. I know this because the stuff we’ve already sold or given away is not missed. However, I’m more of a “tear the bandage off slowly, rather than one quick rip.” (pain is not my forte’)
  • Continue researching Rigs:¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† The initial thought was to get an RV and pull our van. But, we are also open to selling our van and purchasing a Truck and 5th wheel. There is much that will come into play as we research. We are looking for a home, so walking into an RV or 5th wheel it need to feel open. Cost is very important, understanding that we will be living on much less than we do know, we want to be responsible with our finances. So finding a rig that fits our budget is VERY important.
  • Booking and looking for community:¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†We can not do this alone, wandering around this land looking for work, trying to get by. We need community. We need others to see us in their big picture and invite us in. We reach out and hope and pray.¬†Regions and Seasons are:

June – WI
July – WI, IL, IA, NE
Aug- MN, MI, IL
September- WI, NE, MO, IN
October- IA, NE, CO, ID, CA, OR
November- CA, OR, WA, MT
December- OR, WA, CA
January-  CA, AZ, NM, NV, ID, UT
Feb- AZ, NM, KS, MO, AR, TN
May- Midwest

  • Kids:¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Graciana¬†and Banjo are finishing up at St. Matthew’s School in Allouez. It is a supportive and kind community and we will miss them. Grace graduates in two weeks from 8th grade and Banjo will finish up 4th grade. We have them signed up for Wisconsin Virtual School and went with Grace yesterday to pick out her freshman year courses.¬†They are both so excited for our new adventure.¬†Banjo turns 10 in a few weeks. The day after our CD Launch. Time to start planning his party!

Tried and True

From our release “Ashes To Beauty”¬†You can purchase our¬†Album at BANDCAMP

Video by Josh Kufahl.

Vocals- Jana Holland and Graciana Holland                                                                   Mandolin- Jana Holland                                                                                                         Guitar- Craig Holland                                                                                                                   Cello- Kimberly Souther

The Holland House

The Holland House has been a place of refuge and community over the past 6 years. We have hosted countless dinner parties, 3 fantastic gallery nights featuring 25 amazing local artists and 12 awesome musicians. We have had 22 bands stay in our home and three students. Craig has created a solace in our side yard crafting a cottage garden style patio and our interior has been well maintained. This house is a house full of laughter, joy, peace and love.

Our neighborhood is one of the most friendly and warm places we’ve ever lived. Astor Park is a unique and lovely place to live. The community is organized and hosts fun family and adult events through out the year. In fact, the Astor Park wine night was where we meet most of our neighborhood friends. The park is two blocks from our home, offering tennis and other fun programs in the summer. There are a number of great public and private schools within walking distance, including our children’s school, St. Matthews (a wonderful choice).

We are sad to leave it but happy to share it with a new owner.

Our desire is to be mobile and available to communities around the globe and selling our home is the this the key to the future.

So without further ado, Here it is. If you are interested contact Jana at or call 920.883.6874

  • Price: $147,500
  • BR/BA:¬†5 BR,¬†2 BA
  • Location:¬†Green Bay, WI
  • Description:
  • Two family home, great second income or easily converted to single family home.
  • Area: City of Green Bay
  • 4/5 Bedroom(s)
  • 2 Total full Bath(s)
  • Approximately 1962 sq. ft
  • Two Story
  • 2 Car Garage
  • Heating/Cooling features: Gas, Central Air
  • Interior Features: Basement, Carpet, Formal dining rm, Range and oven, 2 Refrigerators, Hard wood floors, Central Air, Air Purifier,
  • External Features: Front porch, Side patio/gardens, Public sewer srvc, Public water supply, Wooded lot.
  • School District: Green Bay/Brown Cty
  • Taxes: 2330.00
  • Property Type:¬†Homes
  • Sq feet:¬†1,962 sq. ft.
  • Amenities: New AC/Water Heater, Parking, Patio/Deck, Refrigerator, Stove, Washer, Dryer, Hard Wood Floors

It only takes a spark, so please pass it on…
The Hollands!

Here, There or In The Air

My Paw Paw used to say this in conversations with others as a good-bye greeting. He’d bellow, “Here, there or in the air.”

Although, I only knew my grandfather til I was 16 and my time with him was limited, I grew up with a very vivid memory of his legacy and all that went with it. In my mind, he was a sort of “Johnny Cash/Al Capone/Billy Graham” sort of character. Grander than life, full of colloquialism and most especially mystery.

I knew his story like the back of my hand as my father, his 1st born son, would read the “track” written about my grandfather every christmas before we opened presents.

Following the footsteps of his elders, raised in Indiana by outlaws, bootleggers and God-haters, my grandfather found himself in the Indiana State Penitentiary. He was a hard fellow with 30 day old twins (my father and uncle), a daughter from a previous relationship (my aunt) and married to a teen wife.

While in prison he found himself in the “hole” as they call it. The only way out was to attend a chapel service. He sat reluctantly, listening to a man preach about the cross and a blind girl sing, “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus”. Although, I always thought it was “The Old Rugged Cross” Either way, ¬†it was there that the story changed for my Paw Paw. He sat, his mind wrestling and felt a tug on his heart, maybe a whisper in his ear. He began to argue, “I’m not selling out to some sky pilot in the sky!” he said to himself, “I did the time, I can do the crime” but his heart betrayed his hard prideful mind as he began to feel his feet move out from under him. Eventually, he submitted to the call and without hesitation walked towards the altar saying, “swim, sink or die, it’s all the way with Jesus.” ¬†And, that was that. He laid his life down, came home and began to serve those down trodden and tired.

As my story continues to evolve I find I am becoming more and more drawn to the past characters in my lineage and the impact this story has had on my life is profound.

I was not raised by God-haters and criminals, rather a father and mother walking the continued path of commitment and service to the triune God. I know they each had to come to a place of surrender and acknowledgement of that path but was it a little easier because of the foundation laid?

I’m not so sure. Although I do believe that environment has something to do with our belief systems and ideal, I think that deep down, despite our circumstance we are all faced with the same question. Do we recognize the “hole” we are in (this can be as drastic as my grandfather or a realization that we have failed to love) and are we willing to swim sink or die to reach up out towards the provision that God has for us?

I used to think that if it weren’t for my grandfather changing directions we’d all be going to hell in a hand basket and maybe we would, but I believe that God is faithful and whether it was my grandfather, my father or myself, there would be an opportunity. I am thankful for my grandfather’s choice and I think his story is amazing but I also know that to live vicariously through his testimony is to continue to live in the hole. It’s just a pretty hole.

And so, the question becomes why does it matter then, to remember our heritage? My conclusion is that it matters because the story of my lineage testifies of God’s presence and desire to connect with all people even those in the “hole”, which is why I especially love my Paw Paw’s quote, “Here, there or in the air.” It’s inclusive and far-sighted. We are one body, all in the same boat. If one of us falls, we all fall. My desire is that we would focus not on condemning those around us but just as my grandfather did, looking in the mirror to see our own junk and testifying about God’s amazing love and amazing grace. I believe that the way to God is Christ and Christ is for everyone.

EXCLUSIVE music video by FARSON’S ARMY, from the Haunted Cassette Tapes release, “REFORMED RAVER” created a video mixing old footage of our Paw Paw to electronic music.

On Hospitality and Citizenship

I’ve had random thoughts racing through my mind all day. They’re all seemingly important but not necessarily connected. So, I chalk it up to cabin fever.

First thought: I have moved over 19 times in my life. I have lived on three continents and in 5 US states. I have been the visitor and the local. ¬†Through all of these moves I have come to understand this; being hospitable is crucial. I’m not convinced that folks understand the impact they have on others and the life-giving ability they have to make someone feel at “home.” To bring someone into the fold, to treat one like kinsfolk. That is the calling for us all. Not just the few Martha Stewards out there (bless their hearts)…

Second thought: Craig is going to the consulate office tomorrow to take his big test to become an American Citizen.  Australia and the US have an agreement allowing him dual citizenship.

What does it all mean? Well, first and foremost, he’ll be able to vote. When I met Craig 12 years ago, he was in politically based punk band. Typical of most punk rockers, ¬†he was pretty opinionated about the powers that be and the way the poor and downtrodden are oppressed. However, living as an alien (legally but still an outsider) pulls a bit of voice out of one and for the past 10 years or so he has been observant but relatively silent on most issues. As we near his citizenship I have noticed his voice getting louder and I wonder… if ¬†becoming a citizen makes a difference in one’s credibility or feeling of credibility?

Third thought: The house is getting in order for our grand gallery night event coming up this weekend. It was started purely as a way to make friends and build community with like-minded creative folk. And to support the arts, which we love dearly.  In a sports town that over shadows the arts this event has been a diamond in the rough for us. We are looking forward to hosting our 4th and possibly final gallery night.  How it works: We invite about 15 local fine artists to show 3-5 pieces.  We live in an old Victorian house in Historic Astor Park. We take all of our decor down in the 4 lower main rooms and use them as the gallery walls. The kitchen is used for a delicious spread of desserts, wine and cheese. We also invite many of our musically inclined friends to perform throughout the night.

As we prepare to move on this fall, our hope is that folks in this area will continue to see the value in creating and connecting with each other. I hope that we inspired those we met to be more hospitable. To reach out to those who are “visitors” and bring them into the fold.


Ashes To Beauty

“Ashes to beauty, healing has come. Will you look in the mirror or turn and run?¬†Redemption has come, now rest your weary soul. Will you consecrate your life or go back to war?” ~jh

We are excited to reveal the cover art by Kara Counard.

“Ashes To Beauty” is the name of our new album.

The name feels right, maybe a little cleche’ but it’s fitting. We have been married for over 10 years and this album reflects many of the highs and lows of our commitment to each other. Everything from our first love to betrayal and the act of reconciling our love for one another. It would fair to say that we are¬†MORE¬†married today than yesterday.

It’s not only for married people to listen to however, our desire is for the listener to hear a message of hope and encourage the connection that comes with commitment whether it’s in marriage or in community. We chronicle our journey, to show the process of healing that comes through reconciliation.¬†¬†When we are open and look in the mirror to see our impact on others, redemption comes and our ashes turn to beauty.

Release date to come…