The Artist Heart

My friend Rose has a little quote by Saint Francis of Assisi hanging in her bathroom that says,

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

IMG_9929If you’ve ever met my husband Craig, you would surely know him as a laborer and craftsman. However, if you were to spend any amount of time with my husband, on any kind of project that involves woodworking or building, you would know that he has the heart of an artist. And so it is when we get invited to come alongside kinfolk who are working on any sort of building project, that Craig Holland comes to life.

In March, we were invited by the Vincent family to come and stay with them in Bendigo, Victoria and partner with them on an epic month-long project remodeling their home. The bedrooms were in the back of the house and the kitchen living room in the front. Their hope was to flip it around and put the bedrooms in the front of the house and the living areas in the back of the house, thus enjoying the gardens and having more space to host gatherings.

Andy, a civil engineer and fellow “artist,” was the perfect partner for Craig, as he had already worked through much of the tedious details around his home reno project. The stage was set, materials were gathered and many gracious hands came to join in on the mundane tasks of the everyday jobs. Had it just been a cut and paste job however, there wouldn’t have been any artistry or joy but it was during those moments of conversation where Andy and Craig had to solve a problems, entering the mystery of the unknown, that the artists heart was allowed to flourish.

The final product was not just a functional space but a space that felt like an artist hands had touched it. The finally was a home, sacred and secure which is surely a gift to those living in the space, but so much more to the head and hands that created it. We are grateful for opportunities like this, to exercise our gifts and talents, to be in community, working alongside our kinfolk, excited for the coming joy of dreams come true.

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Camp Tekawitha

Summer Camp! Craig and I both have great memories of camp during our childhood and teen years. Including; canoeing, swimming, horse back riding (well, not so much for Craig), arts & crafts, friendship bracelets, theater, archery, songs, stories, campfires, etc… So, when Camp Director and friend, Eric Blumreich, expressed a desire to have us at Camp Tekawitha in Shawano, WI, we said, “YES!”

Camp Tekawitha is open year round for all sorts of retreats and groups but in the summer it caters to K-8th and a CIT (Counselor In Training) program for 9th-12th grade. It is located on a small manageable lake called Lake Loon. We’ve served at Camp over the past two summers but this year we were able to bring out our bus and come for two weeks of fun. Our kids each experienced life as a camper and Grace was able to participate in the CIT program. Meanwhile we shared musically throughout the week, playing a few Hollands! set, fun camp songs and leading a sound scape exercise where the kids broke into groups and created a sound track to the creation story. Also, Craig took some time to help build a storage unit for the sails/sailboats.

Volunteering at Camp Tekawitha offered an opportunity for us to plug in and use the gifts and talents that we long to share and gave us a much needed rest from the fast track of touring that we had been on. It also gave each of our children a chance to spend quality time with other young people, many of them friends from their days at St. Matthews School in Green Bay, WI. These are the moments that we cherish and as we continue down the line, we look forward to opportunities to serve in these ways.

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