A few years ago I came crashing head-on (Okay, not literally) into the Holman family. They had come to visit our church for a brief period and I was incredibly intrigued by them. I could see the love they had for one another radiating from the group, and all of the love they had to share with others in their sweet faces. I’m not making this up, and if you know them or ever meet them, you will know what I mean.
From the first time I walked into the Holman house, I knew there was something about their family everyone needed a piece of. No, they’re not pie… they’re better. The love they have for Christ pours into everyone conversation they share and every aspect of their life. When Sarah sent me a message asking if I’d be interested in reading her new book, There was Always Laughter in Our House, my immediate and exact response was “YES, YES! I would love to!” with one heart emoji…. after I deleted the 12 I initially added.
You see, a few years ago I was digging deeper into my faith. Re-working the way our family presented itself and had longed for quite some time for two specific (along with other non-specific) things that I didn’t have any examples of in my life but wanted a tangible example of and guidance… but no one I knew provided that. The Holmans were Gods way of showing me that I was, in fact, not as crazy or off the wall as I thought, and there were others out there who felt the same way. I wanted a large family I could love on forever, and I wanted our girls (and myself) to wear skirts and adopt a more modest approach to dressing, which isn’t common for our denomination or either of our families. Herman and I discussed these things many times but never came to any solid conclusions. What would people think seeing our still new-to-Christ family suddenly change the way we dressed? That question was between me and God I later understood. Mrs. Holman took us in and loved on us as if she’d known us for years, and I felt so warm and comfortable in their home.
I’ve learned so many lessons from the Holmans and I’d like to share a few with you:
- It’s okay to forge your own path as a Christian: When I met the Holmans for the first time I could feel Christ’s love through them. There are things the Holmans celebrate and do that aren’t necessarily common in the church. I loved this about them and used it as “permission” in my own life when I needed guidance from a Christian family to do less than common things for my faith. The church isn’t always right, but Christ is.
- It’s okay to want a large family (or not): Most of the time people question why on Earth we would ever want a large family. Some, are even rude about it or think it’s irresponsible. The love in the Holman home proved to me that it is possible to have a large, loving family on a single income despite the nay-sayers.
- Homeschooling is doing what’s right for your family. Mrs. Holman has homeschooled since before it was popular, and similarly to the path we’ve taken to get where we are, she also started out with an all-inclusive curriculum only to switch to something more relaxed that worked better for her family. Seeing the way their family worked together like a well-oiled machine, and how happy each child was with their education drove home the idea that homeschooling is not one size fits all and is always best when tailored to your family.
There are many lessons I’ve learned from the Holmans in the time I’ve spent with them, and I hope I learn much more. If you’ve yet to meet the Holman family, check out Sarah’s new book, There was Always Laughter in Our House, which is now available for pre-order until November 24th. It’s not the same as in-person, but it’s close.