Finding Faith 'Down Under' With Becky Holland
This week, I’m taking you on a trip to the Outback, folks. I’m doing so because there is a mom blogger there that has touched my heart so profoundly that I couldn’t refrain from making the trek or bringing you along with me. To say they grow them “hardy” in Australia is an understatement, including, obviously, when it comes to their mum bloggers.
The loving mother of two children and the devoted wife and cheerleader of ‘geologist’ hubby, Rodney Holland, Becky’s life might not look all that different from yours and mine...at first glance. But dig deeper by reading her blog My Faith in My Adventure and you will come to realize just how incredible and inspirational this woman truly is.
Becky displays a deep beauty and ruggedness rather like her own birth country’s and she demonstrates both through her heartfelt devotion to the happiness and health of her entire family but, especially, to her daughter, who suffers a multitude of abnormalities that could overwhelm any parent. They include Spina Bifida, Symptomatic Arnold Chiari ii Malformation, Hydrocephalus, Symptomatic syringomyelia, and Complex regional pain syndrome.
And yet, to read her blog or chat with her, you would think that Becky’s life was all peaches and cream. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong…it’s much, much more than that. It’s a powerful reminder of the importance of ‘gratitude’ in your life, even when circumstances are less than perfect. We all need these little reminders, at times, and Becky’s regular posts will, undoubtedly, do the trick, I assure you.
It is the reason I brought you all the way to kangaroo country and want you to continue your journey by reading Becky’s interview below.
What is your full name?
Rebecca (Becky) Holland
Where do you live?
In a regional town called Lismore, on the North Coast of New South Wales, Australia
How many children do you have?
Eleanor (5 years-old)
Tobias (1 and 1/2 years-old)
If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?
Smile. I am always told I am smiling through most things and have a positive outlook on life.
What is your personal mantra?
Everything has a season and whether happy, challenging or sad, it too shall pass.
Do you believe you have a “life’s purpose?” If so, share it.
Before I had children, I think I was rather a 'selfish' person but having children has taught me about how to love without conditions, how to find strength within even when I don’t think I have any left, to be an advocate and voice for my children, to ensure I leave my little corner of the world a slightly more beautiful place. My life’s purpose would be to care for my husband and my children to the best of my ability.
Tell us about you and your life.
My husband and I met in college and have been married for fourteen years. We have a weekly breakfast date where we don’t talk about the children and we get to know each other all over again. We are proud parents to Eleanor and Tobias . Eleanor means “shining light” and we chose it because she was (and IS) our shining light through the difficult days of managing the challenges of having a child with special needs. She is just so brave. Eleanor’s blue eyes and long eye lashes light up a room as she eagerly drives around in her compact, green, motorized wheel chair. Our days still involve the normal stuff - like preschool, tantrums, arguments over the iPad - but they are interlaced with tube feeds and learning how to eat, therapy appointments and worrying about if "where we are going" has wheel chair access. But through the challenges we find special meaning in living and appreciate the small things.
Tobias means "God is good" as he is our blessing. He joined our family and, with him, he brought new experiences and a view of life we hadn’t seen before. He brought a bundle of energy and zest for life that is enriching. He teaches Eleanor new things and she has learned to be the 'big sister' and boss him around, nothing like a sibling to bring a positive change to family life.
Our days are busy and challenging but joyful. When I am not madly chasing Eleanor from room to room in her wheel chair or negotiating the terms of her iPad use or bouncing high in the trampoline with Tobias, I spend my spare few hours writing, patch working, boxing or working out at the gym. I love being fit and healthy as it allows care for me but also for my family.
Finish this sentence, “The best part about being a mom is ________.”
“….is the snuggles.”
How long have you been blogging for?
Since April 2011 when I launched My Faith in My Adventure.
Do you blog for any group blogs or websites beyond your own?
Yes, I blog for The Huffington Post, Kveller, Mamalode, Literary Mama and many more.
Share with us the significance of the name of your blog to you. How did you come up with it?
At first, I wrote with anonymity as I was trying to process what was happening in my mind. My brain was full and I wanted to download it. Faith is my daughter’s middle name and we are all on life’s adventure.
What is the primary focus of your blog?
To share the joys, triumphs, challenges and life’s precious moments of living with a child with disabilities. I also wanted to spread awareness of what life is like living in a different normality. Connecting with and encouraging other families has been wonderful.
What makes your blog unique?
I focus on the joys, challenges and the progress of my daughter blended with writing about 'mothering' in general.
Tell us about your blog, including what you hope to accomplish through it.
I began my blog as an outlet to process my thoughts, emotions and built up overload due to my parenting a child with special needs. I did not realise what a world it would open up for me -- with connection and encouragement from new friends from all over the world. I wanted to document our journey so that they would not be forgotten. When I was pregnant and found out Eleanor had medical problems, I struggled to find support. By writing out my journey, I hoped - if someone found my blog - they might see the hope in her life and the joy she has brought us. We are not alone and sometimes we all need to be reminded of that.
Beyond your blog, do you engage in other social media outlets such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.?
Facebook is my primary social media outlet but I enjoy Instagram and have just began using Twitter.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to moms who may be interested in beginning a blog?
Be authentic and true to yourself and you can’t go wrong. Just keep going! Write for yourself.
Are you an entrepreneur or professional beyond your blog (and outside of being a mom)? Please share.
I have spent ten years in marketing and have happily returned to my heart’s love of writing.
Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?
Yes, The Spina Bifida Association since my daughter Eleanor has it.
When all is said and done, what is the one thing you hope your loved ones and those who knew you remember about you?
That I love my family and would do anything to give them happiness.
I marvel at, Becky....something I rarely say, and yet, it is true. I marvel at her because I rarely meet someone who has achieved her level of awareness, clarity, contentment, joy, and wisdom at such a young age. Nor is she afraid to admit that she loves cake (read her blog). That alone, speaks volumes to me as I experienced my own ‘awakening’ at a very early age due to an unexpected life-change and responded similarly.
Suffice-it-to-say, I am extremely grateful to have e-traveled halfway across the globe to learn more about this special woman, wife, and mother. I hope you do the same each week by visiting My Faith in My Adventure. Undoubtedly, you will uncover more ‘faith in your own’ if you do.