Dream Talk 2016

The year of mystery.

Sept of 2015 we were guided to “ditch the bus” and buy one way tickets to Australasia. We were looking forward to a folk music tour booked in Australia Sept-Nov and then had a loose routing through SE Asia for Nov-Jan. However, after that we had no vision or clarity. That wasn’t really to worrisome for us as we typically can only see about three to six months out. And, we knew we had an upcoming dream talk for 2016 on the books. So, we were hopeful to receive some clarity for the new year.

For those that are new to our dream talk, it’s sort of like a family business meeting with a supernatural element. It’s usually at the beginning of the year and takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few days to hash out. The talks involve us sharing the desires of our hearts, insights from the year prior, putting our requests before our Creator and a receiving a tangible vision and routing forward and then sharing that vision with you all. Ultimately, it’s a time where we sit down as a family and wait on the God of all gods to bring things into focus and then build a plan around that vision.

However, this year, our dream talk was unusually different. This time when we sat down, there was no focus, no tangible vision forward.  Our ideas wavered all over the map, from settling in one place, going to back to school, learning new languages, writing books, to traveling more of SE Asia and Europe, and making a new musical album. We were unable to see clearly and our sense of unity seemed unsteady. When we moved all of our personal desires to the side and got to the core, we all agreed that until we heard differently, that we all still felt a steadfastness about our over all calling to be and go into all the world, shining the light of love and offering encouragement. However, the lack of clarity and unrest really threw us off as we could not seem to find the tangibility in any of it, at least, what we could grasp of it with our limited mindsets. Were we meant to continue on in Australia or make our way back to the states? If we stayed we wanted it to be because we had an invitation. Likewise, if we made our way back, we wanted it to be because there was an invitation back. At the same time, after months of living out of backpacks, we also longed for the comfort of our home on wheels and that seemed to be tainting our dream talk as well. Then an actual sleeping dream was thrown into the mix. This would be a first.

I woke the morning of our scheduled Dream talk, aware of every detail.

16circlesWe were standing at the front of large room with our instruments in hand. Lines of children came flooding in. Then lines of soldiers followed and they stood next to the children creating a stripped pattern. (So a line of soldiers, then a line of children, and so on.) A gruff looking Sargent followed and stood near the door. We knew we were suppose to play music but we didn't know what or why. Was this a sacred or secular thing? Was this a school workshop or was it a concert performance?

Time stood still and in a flash we all saw the scene, set in full... We saw the Sargent blowing his whistle and the soldiers turning to their individual child, berating them verbally, saying horrible things about their worth, identity, cursing their future and telling the child terribly graphic things about what the soldier would like to do to the child. Then time sped up and we all flashed to the present. The Sargent was just about to blow his whistle but before he could Graciana began to bellow out the old hymn 'Be Thou My vision.' Then Craig and Banjo kicked in on guitar and drums. As I looked at the children, singing along with Graciana, I stepped off of the stage and began to walk around the room praying in the Spirit. The soldiers began to spew their words of shame, condemnation and death. I walked up to a soldier in the front of the first line, reached out and tapped his forehead with my pointer finger. He was absolutely stunned and fell backwards, knocking the rest of the soldiers down like dominoes. I looked back to Craig in dismay and he nodded for me to keep going. I continued to walk around the room tapping the front soldier in each line, praying and singing. We didn't get all of the words right on the song but kept on and the soldiers fell one by one. 

The Sargent was last to stand. With fear and rage in his eyes he turned around and ran out, disappearing into the horizon. All during this time the children were taking great delight singing and dancing, oblivious to what was going on with the soldiers. Then I woke.

What did it all mean?

We all sat, trying to find some way of making the dream work with our framework of reality. We began to look back over 2015 to see if there was a pattern building up to this dream. We saw that many of our dreams and desires for that year were fulfilled. Moments sharing in deep community, stepping into the thick of it with kinfolk, fighting for our brothers and sisters bound by lies, sharing woes and joys and being used in the ministry of reconciliation. Then there were the many bus riders who joined us along the line, who we were able to share in life, learning, and faith. We experienced a new-found freedom to share music wherever, to whomever, without worry of commerce, traveling to far off places and seeing the beauty of the saints around the world, all of which were and are dreams come true. We were open to continue to walk in that, however, we also noted that it was a season of great transition, new cultures, loss of friendships, physical aliments and such a fast pace that we almost broke as a family.

And so, the dream, although it evoked a deep desire to be used in the fight, was a bit overwhelming. We sat on it and began to pray for words of insight, knowledge and wisdom. Over the next few weeks we were each given a word. Craig received the word, ‘Praise’ and I received the word, ‘Healing.’ Banjo received the word, ‘Learning’ but Graciana received the most profound word, ‘Wife.’ Her word signified separation from us as a family unit, which we had obviously sensed was coming but the how, when, where, was unknown. And, how did that fit into the dream? So, we cast it aside for a time, just focusing on trying to get our feet on the ground in a new country.

When we landed back in Australia from SE Asia, we met with our kinfolk in Glenrowan, VIC. We were weary and weathered from the road. We shared our lack of uncertainty and vision for the year. Then our friend, Di, prayed for us and for our future. As she prayed, she saw a picture of us all.

IMG_0153This was her picture: 'There was a family; a mother, father, sister and brother, bound to one another in blood and a vision to spread a deep and unequivocal love throughout the lands. They found many along the way who were hiding in the shadows. They offered light and love to all they met. They ran and ran as fast as they could to as many places as the fingers on their hands. 

Then, one day, they stumbled upon a cave. They wandered in, They followed the path deeper into the cave and finally into a large open cavern. They halted to observe the many openings. 

12718056_10154298429069026_6590766396457928282_nThey knew this place for this place had been foretold to them and they knew that it was time for each to take a different path. They were told that this was an important part of their journey. That the individual journeys would strengthen them and they were assured that these paths would one day all wind back together. 

They meandered around the opening for quite some time contemplating, praying, putting fears aside and saying goodbye. And then, one day they got up, bid farewell and each entered into their path."

My heart panicked at the thought of all of us going in different directions. However, she could see the other side of the cave system and assured us that the paths would all lead back together. The picture didn’t really give us a grand plan but it did offer comfort when a few weeks later we all literally separated, Graciana moving in to her first new home in Bendigo, Craig and Banjo tooling around Victoria staying with family and friends and me flying over to the USA to help my parents through a time of healing. That took us to April. When I flew back, the fella’s picked me up from the airport and the three of us made our way to Adelaide to refresh and regroup, then drove north to Byron Bay. However, it definitely felt like we were all still in our own tunnels, with Craig starting an online University program in International Studies, Banjo beating to his own drum with schooling and the things a typical fifteen year old enjoys, and a bout of spiritual and physical issues for me.

As we made our way up to the Byron Shire however, things started to shift. Our first stay was with a small community of believers who welcomed us with open arms but also warned that they were in a season of disarray. We were grateful for their welcome and for a place to call home for a moment. We were also grateful for the openness they showed us in allowing us to come alongside them in their difficult season. We found that through the working out of our gifts of wisdom and counsel that a sense of purpose and renewal in our energies emerged. Our time with them was fruitful as we saw the mystery and ministry of reconciliation take hold. We found a deep sense of friendship and community with them and are so thankful for the ways that God knits us together with the body.

As I write, it’s late August and were in Sydney for a few more weeks. We’re house sitting for our dear friends, The Perini’s and the opportunity to stay in this home as offered us a bit of a reprieve from our backpacks and well as a hub to host gatherings, which we love. We’re just starting to feel comfortable with the way this year is rolling out, just now feeling ok with the lack of control over our future. We can see that this year has been less about us neatly packaging our year so that it is palatable to both us and you and more about us taking an even deeper launch into this life of faith, one step at a time, praising, learning, healing and exploring all it means to rely totally on Him as His bride.

In the meantime, we’ve done some really cool things and visited with some really amazing Saints throughout Australia. We’ve released this need to control the dream talk and we’re excited to get back to sharing those stories. We’ll continue to walk day by day as the Spirit moves and trust that the sleeping dream is a sign of things now and to come. We’ll keep singing and know that when we do that the powers of darkness will be overcome. Oh! that we might be used to set captives free and to make way for celebration. That’s the ultimate dream right?!

For our logistical friends. We can see far enough out to know we’ll be in Australia through the New Year. Our routing looking something like this…

Currently we are in Sydney

Mid-Sept, Melbourne area then west to Adelaide by first of Oct.

Mid-Oct, Alice Springs back to Bendigo

Nov- Dec, we are hoping to make our way down to Tasmania and possibly to New Zealand. Back to Melbourne to be with family for Christmas

Our desire is to do what we do, making merry, story telling, encouraging, and offering a helping hand. If you’ve got kinfolk in these areas, please let them know we’re coming.

Peace and Love, The Hollands!

If you feel led to lend us a helping hand, we have partnered with Modern Day Missions and hope that you find the giving process safe and efficient.

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Our friend Jeff Skeens, wrote: “Jesus, move us. His Spirit changes us. He gives us beautiful dance moves. He give us courage to act in the face of oppressive pressure, as well as, to remain silent. He grants us grace to rest and listen. He offers his presence to us in fresh new ways. He shapes our thoughts, directs our passions, creates new life, and moves us to continue reforming. And when he does, his people listen, follow, and give him all the glory and fame!”

May you be encouraged to step deep and wide! May you be encouraged to dance and trust His unfailing love.

Dream Talk 2015

North America - 16x20 Close Up-800x800We are so excited for all that 2015 will and already is offering. This year, (October) we will celebrate four years of full-time family travel! And, even more exciting, this year will be our first trek to the East Coast & Eastern Canada.

As we look forward our vision is clear and we are ready to go ahead with what we’ve been given. Over these three years on the road, we’ve received a hardy portion of amazing grace and freedom. We’re deeply rooted in the message of reconciliation and know our way around the faith. We’re ready to do what we’ve been taught and continue to let our living intoxicate those we meet along the way. Musically, we have a strong sense that more will come, but hold loosely to whatever shape that might take. We are excited to see who ends up riding with us over the next season of travel. We can barely contain the joy when we think about all of the community we will meet on this new route and know that serendipity will find us every single day!

As we embark on new territory we would love to invite you to join us on that journey. If you have kinfolk on the East Coast, that you think might be interested in a visit from us Hollands! please send us their way. Or, if you’d like to ride the bus for a stint, please contact us at thehollands@thehollands.org

We will be in Austin until February 8, shoring up loose ends with our bus. We have to get a new tire, finish off a few building projects and refuel, which we’ll be able to afford thanks to our kinfolk, who have generously given through our Helping Hands/Modern Day Fund. We also need to say one last goodbyes to all of our precious friends here in ATX!

Here is a very loose itinerary for 2015:

FEB: South Padre Island TX, Beaumont TX, Lafayette LA, New Orleans LA (Celebrating Jana’s Birthday, all are welcome to come and camp with us the last weekend of Feb)

MARCH: We will be in Florida for the whole month of March. We are not exactly sure of our routing in FL and totally open at this point. We do have our sights set on a stop in the Ocala National Forest where we hope to bring our merrymaking to the Rainbow community. We also feel a strong pull to go to Key West. Who wouldn’t, right?! 🙂

APRIL/MAY: Hoping to connect with kinfolk in the southeast, including: (and anywhere in-between) Savanna GA, Charleston SC, Atlanta GA, Asheville NC, Wilmington NC, Richmond VA, Washington DC

JUNE: Philadelphia PA, Allentown PA, New York NY, Cape Cod MA, Boston MA

JULY: Portland ME, Old Town ME, Mid-July we’ll make our way up through North East Canada through Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto

AUGUST: Lansing MI, Muskegon MI, Chicago IL, Door County WI, Delavan WI

SEPT-DEC: We are applying for festivals in Australia and hope to be overseas by the middle of September. Our desire is to continue on through Oceania and make our way up to SE Asia or Europe. We’re open however, to other options. So stay tuned.

WordleWe look forward to the road that lies ahead and anticipate an awesome year of learning and growing. Our dream talk wouldn’t be complete without our “naming ceremony.” It’s time where we each quiet our hearts and listen, hoping to hear that still small voice speak a word over us; a word that will take on new meaning as trials and joys come our way. This year, Craig’s word is “embrace.” Graciana’s word is “patience.” Banjo’s word is “courage.’ And, my word is “treasure.” Each word by themselves is significant to each of us individually. However, we see the beauty in all four of our words impacting us as a whole. As we move through each day of 2015, our hope is for a spirit of abundant and bountiful thanksgivings. And, as we show our gratitude through our merrymaking, coming alongside, mentorship & craftsmanship that others will be moved by the extravagance of God in our lives.

We hope that you are encouraged by our dream talk and that you might sit down with your family allowing time and space to really hash out your thoughts, dreams and desires; looking for the interconnectivity of them and spurring one another on through out the year.  If so, please share, especially any other traditions that you might incorporate into your dream talks? And, if you do the naming ceremony, we’d love to know what word comes to mind when you quiet your heart?

Wake Up

We sat down one evening, a few weeks ago, to have what has become our traditional “Dream Talk.” Over the years it’s been fun to see what dreams have been birthed through these conversations and how the One who gave us the dreams brought them to fruition.

When we arrived in Austin to rest, it seemed like we were at a cross roads. After three years of traveling and converting our bus, the bus was finished (although, there is always more to do). At the same time, our daughter began turning a corner towards adulthood and much attention was and is still being given to that process.

We floundered for a bit, wondering if we were going to move forward as “The Hollands!” or was there a new vision or dream? We tried to be open, paying attention to anything we might be holding to tightly, as we explored an inkling of desire to travel globally. Then there were stirrings in our hearts to continue to offer our merrymaking, in whatever form, to those who would listen. We were especially drawn towards stories of those who have lost everything and wandered through foreign lands as refugees. We spent a bit of our practical time in Austin sharing our music and selves with the homeless, as well as, young adults who we would meet out and about, who had homes but longed for a deeper sense of community.

Our minds stirred with ideas of starting a new musical project, a community, new business, and there was even talk, well maybe whispers, of potentially staying even longer. The closer the new year came, the more restless we became, as we still had no clarity or direction for our future. And, the calendar was certainly empty. However, as we moved into the mystery of the unknown, our conversation shifted from our future to remembering. We started at the beginning. Remembering the betrayal and reconciliation that God brought us through and how the freedom that came through that process led us to the vision to bring that reconciliation and joy to those we’d meet along the way. We remembered the launch in our bus and how we had no idea what was to lie ahead, only that we must continue to move forward. We remember how God wove us together as a family, healing many wounds and giving us a new song. We remembered how our needs practically were always met whether through a friend offering a helping hand, or a stranger blessing us at just the right time.

I once heard that if you have been giving a task, vision or direction, that you continue on in that until you hear something different. We realized that although somethings seem to be shifting, that our call and our vision was still the same. “We are The Hollands! We are a Mother, Father, Sister and Brother. Bound by blood and vision to travel about this earth, spreading a message of reconciliation through LOVE. We make our way sharing the gifts and talents given us; Music, Craftsmanship, Mentorship and Instruction, Merrymaking and Community building. Our desire is still to connect with those we find along the way and encourage community and growth in relationship.”

We did some practical dreaming, like where did we feel a leading to go after Austin, but the reality of this season was more about moving deeper past the dreams and desires to the core of our faith. After three years on the road, we see that this rest was needed to offer our bodies a chance to recharge, as well as, put emotions and memories back into working order and heal in areas we didn’t even know were wounds.

IMG_0937And then, our friend, Billy Hollis, gave us these words of encouragement. He said, “you guys are like a river – a river that flows from a great source (ocean – God’s love) and as the river flows it changes the ecosystem of everything around it – it changes the land… a metaphor for your travels together, but now it’s time to make a damn and let the river fill up so you can enjoy it and just rest.” He said that he saw a deep lake that was created for the purpose of drawing from. (We just happened to be resting on Lake Austin, which is on the Colorado River!) He said, that as we began to travel again, we would have these waters to tend to us during difficult times and drought. Then he shared these beautiful words from Hosea about a place where the Lords speaks tenderly and restores.

But once she has nothing, I’ll be able to get through to her.
        I’ll entice her and lead her out into the wilderness where we can be alone,
        and I’ll speak right to her heart and try to win her back.

We’re beginning to rouse from our rest in Austin, TX. It feels like the early morning hours of waking, as we stretch our limbs, and slowly open our eyes to the twinkling of dimly lit lights. We reflect and remember. Knowing that the Lord is faithful and knows the plans waiting for us. There is hope on the horizon. There is purpose. And in that remembrance, when the time is right, we will move forward with this promise from the ancient text of Isaiah.

The Eternal One will never leave you;
    He will lead you in the way that you should go.
When you feel dried up and worthless,
    God will nourish you and give you strength.
And you will grow like a garden lovingly tended;
    you will be like a spring whose water never runs out.

IMG_1083 Merry Christmas!!

Dream Talk 2014

…But when desire cometh, it is a tree of life!

We were able to travel over 17,000 miles, repair the brakes on our bus, create a new album, start a new way of home school (road school), welcomed travelers on the bus, begin the healing process from Skin Cancer, and learned so many wonderful things from experts and laymen alike. We were graciously welcomed into over 40 communities and homes through out the USA, all open to hearing our message of reconciliation and restoration, sharing our gifts of music, craftsmanship, mentorship, merrymaking and community building. 

Dream Talk for 2014.

These are all tentative plans and dreams. Your prayers and well wishes are so appreciated as we move forward.

Jan-April;  AUSTRALIA, excited to see what adventures wait for us down under.

April-June; 

-A young friend, Greg, has graduated from University and is looking for an opportunity to serve, play music and seek mentorship. He has asked to ride the bus.

-We hope to serve again, alongside Hope in Transit in Show Low, AZ and East Central Ministries, in Albuquerque, NM

– We hope to connect with communities in Austin TX, Hot Springs AR, Memphis and Nashville TN, St. Louis MO and Mt. Vernon IA, and anywhere in between.

June/July/Aug,  We made a commitment to volunteer at a Catholic youth camp in Shawano, WI June and July. We will be helping with maintenance, mentoring counselors, bonfire jam sessions once a week with the campers and working in the kitchen.

Sept-Dec, We are looking for a community that is open to caring for us for a season. Our hope is to rest, create, record a new album, and prepare for 2015 where we hope to nurture verbal invitations to Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Philippines, Israel, Germany and Italy. We’re delighted to go where ever the doors open and are actively pursuing what it might look like to serve globally.

Will you consider helping us on our way in 2014? 

We have partnered with Modern Day Missions and hope that you find the giving process safe and efficient.

Please visit Modern Day to set up your tax-deductible giving account TODAY. 

 

 

Refocus

20130930-160911.jpgAbout every three months or so we have a “dream talk”, a sort of come to the table talk as a family. Our hope is to refocus, hear each other’s longings, dreams, desires and frustrations, placing them on the table and offering them up to the author of our journey.  We want to be obedient, we want to be good parents, we want to be good stewards of our finances and we want to succeed. However, this isn’t always an easy task as we each often come with different agenda’s.

Our latest table talk exposed a few twisted ideals. We found that we’ve worked so hard this summer, playing shows, releasing our third album, and toiling in the music business that we’ve drifted towards self-sufficiency rather than interdependence without even noticing. We also found that our dream talks were becoming angsty with both of our children making demands about their expectations and us feeling guilty for not meeting them as parents. Needless to say, it has been an emotionally exhausting couple of months. And, although we have seen some beautiful parts of the country, explored rock caves, beaches, forests and rivers, we have forgotten our first love. We have learned that humility is not something we have until humbling ourselves is something we do. We have been isolated much of this time and we are longing for community and purpose beyond just playing music and exploring nature. (Although, we do love both!) Ultimately, this past table talk revealed that we needed to go back to the beginning, to remember where we came from, why we made the life choice we did to swim upstream, and who the author was. We needed to lay down our pride and revisit our vision statement:

“We are The Hollands! We are a Mother, Father, Sister and Brother. Bound by blood and vision to travel about this earth, spreading a message of reconciliation through LOVE. We make our way sharing the gifts and talents given us; Music, Craftsmanship, Mentorship and Instruction, Merrymaking and Community building. Our desire is to connect with those we find along the way and encourage community and growth in relationship.”

With this new focus we are anxious to enter into our next chapter of service and although we don’t know exactly how we will be used we know that we will be used well.

As we make our way down the coast of California we will be connecting with our friends at New Hope Community in Oakland again. They have just experienced the tragic loss of their youth pastor, Jose. He was helping to push a car that was broken down to the side of the road when a drunk driver hit him. He was rushed to the hospital but did not make it. We are prayerful as we make our way to them and however we serve, our hope is to bring a tenderness and strength to our time with them.

The second week of October we will be serving alongside a new community in Monterey, CA. We connected with Brian Bajari through a mutual group on Facebook called The Parish Collective. (on a side note, we also met New Hope through this group.)  We are looking to meeting Brian and his community Gathering By the Bay, learning about their work with the homeless and helping any way we can. We are also keen to learn to surf and Brian has offered to introduce us to that world.

By mid-Oct we will be in San Diego with our hosts, the Penley family. We met them when we visited with our friends and their family in Colorado Springs, CO. They gave us an open invitation. My grandfather was stationed in San Diego and I have always had a fondness for the city. This will be our first time there and we are excited to neighbor with the Penley’s.

The end of October takes us to Arizona, where we will park for seven weeks and work alongside our Kineo Community in Central Phoenix. This will be our second long-term stop since we launched in 2011. Our longest was our first stop in Sister, OR where we stayed for twelve weeks, serving at Vast Church and building our bus.

We are so grateful for our Kineo community’s commitment to us and to all of those around the country who have encouraged us on our way. We are thankful for God’s amazing grace and patience. Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.

Community Caravan

There is a chair waiting for you. 

One of our “dream talk” desires is to have friends and muso’s  join us on the bus and/or community caravan. As we gear up for our summer of touring we though it might be fun for you to see how it breaks down in two-week increments. Although, we’re happy for folks to join us even for a weekend. We’ve got room for three on the bus and we have guest rooms (tents) when needed. We’ve already had our first family sign up for the weekend in Galena over the 4th of July and another traveler for the month of August.

If you are interested in exploring what it means to live intentionally in community, to travel and to tour, contact us at thehollands@thehollands.org. Come on and join us for the ride. We’re looking forward to a fantastic summer.

Great Lake Plains 1
May 31- June 14 Starting off in Chicago, traveling through IA and back to IL (Waukegan). We have 4 official performances during this time period.

Great Lake Plains 2
Jun 14-28 Staring off in Waukegan IL, We travel to St. Louis and back up through Madison, ending in Green Bay, WI. We have 6 official performances

Great Lake Plains 3
June 28-July 14 Staring off in Green Bay, WI. traveling between to Door County, Milwaukee and Galena IL. Ending back in Door County. We have 5 official performances.

Northwoods
July 15-29 Starting off at Camp Tek in Shawano, WI, traveling between Appleton, Fon du Lac, up into Minnesota (Minneapolis and the surrounding areas) Ending back in Shawano, WI. We have 7 official performances.

Great Lake Plains 4 – Michigan
July 29-Aug 12 Starting off in Shawano, WI, ending in Chicago, IL Currently we only have 2 official performances and are hoping this will be a time of beach, community and rest.

Westward Ho!
Aug 12-Sept 1 Starting off in Chicago, IL, traveling through KS, CO, WY ending in Salt Lake City, UT. We have 11 official performances.

FALL OPTIONS:

Sept 2-16 Starting off in Salt Lake City, traveling through Boise, ID to Bend, OR

Sept 17-24 Starting off in Bend, OR, traveling up to Bellingham, WA back through Seattle, Portland and ending in Bend, OR

Sept 25-Oct 10 Starting in Bend, OR, traveling through Roseburg, OR, Eureka, CA, Redding, CA, Modesto, CA and ending in Irving, CA

Oct 11-24 Starting in Irving, CA, traveling through San Diego to Phoenix, AZ