Sanctuary In The Holler

Sanctuary In The Holler

I am so blessed to live in what Tennesseans call a holler.  A holler is a valley totally surrounded by hills.  Normally there is only one or two roads in and out of a holler.  Ever since we discovered this holler I have felt it was a very special place.  When I would drive home at night on the single road coming in, peace would fall over me.  The hills would just surround me and I could feel the safety fall upon me.  It was if time just would stop and say rest, this is God’s country that you are in.  I have found that the holler is a true sanctuary of God.  God’s sanctuary does not have to be something as big as a holler!  It could be a bench in a park near the city, a chair in a quiet spot of the yard, or a big soft throw in a corner of your home.  Your special spot may not be a holler, but wherever it is this week, find it and find peace in your sanctuary!

Sanctuary In The Holler

It is here in the holler that I pray.

When the night has become calm.

The only sound that can be heard are all the breaths of sleep.

God lays His finger on our heads to rest.


I speak to Him from my heart.

He can read my soul when the soft dark covers the holler.

Thank You for a time to rest.

And for a time to talk with You.


It is here that I can pray for peace in this world.

Safely in the holler, I can confess my sins and not be judged.

I can ask for blessings on me and my loved ones.

At this soothing time, I can especially ask for healing!


The holler soaks in all your troubles.

And it allows me to be me.

When I am myself, I can hear You speak to me clearly.

I can understand my purpose.


The holler always accepts me.

The trees lining the road to its heart.

Encircle me for protection.

The waters from the holler’s spring provide me with hope.


God’s hope is given by the sunrise in the holler.

His presence is in the colors of the sunset.

I know I am not alone in the holler,

Because God provides me with neighbors, deer, squirrels, bunnies, and birds.


The holler’s mist lays thick across the fields.

Providing moisture to the grasses.

It is here that I can feel the dew against my face.

And know that this is God’s touch upon me.


In the holler, on a clear night,

I can hear all the voices that You speak.

The sky is clearer in the holler.

Where God spells out his creations in the sky.


Here in the holler I came to shout and sing.

My voice echoes amongst the trees.

The holler whispers back a sweet sound.

A sound that settles my mind.


It is here in the holler that I praise.

When the day is sunny and warm.

The only sight that can be seen is the face of God.

The holler is God’s sanctuary on Earth.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Seek out God’s sanctuary this week.  Wherever that might be for you.  It is there that you can calm your life, settle your soul, and find love.  If we are to love people, we must sanctify ourselves and love ourselves first.  What better place than one of the many sanctuaries of God!












Artwork by Marjolein Bastin


Wow!  Spring is a real resurrection!  It is amazing how the Earth comes alive, which in turn brings us back to life!  With the trees returning, the grass greening, and the flowers bursting, we can not help but to feel a renewal.  Make some time this week for your own personal revival.  When schedules get so out of control, we forget how necessary it is to restore our souls and spirits.  So, intentionally make an appointment this week with yourself in order to enjoy this resurrection!


She let the sunshine hit her face.

And run down her arm to the tips of her fingers.

The warmth coated her soul.

Her heart could finally feel revival.


The sky color was a blue spring.

It held the clouds like a bowl of jello holds marshmallows.

Birds darted through the air to and from the bushes.

Their chirps were like music at a symphony.


So much happens in a lifetime.

Especially between revivals like this one.

Her faith had grown so much it would not fit into her body.

And her heart’s layers had been added to from all the love.


The green grass was softening beneath her feet.

It’s brown blades and bristles were withering from winter.

The ground remained cool from the winter because not enough sunshine had reached it.

Each step she took appeared to be a brand new one into her journey.


Her experiences on these mini journeys led her to where she could better understand existence here.

The days could be daunting and trying.

Or filled with joy and peace.

She knew both were parts of the process.


These days of revival allowed her a look back.

They also allowed her a look forward as well.

So many blessings, friendships, and loving times from the past.

But some fear, anxiety, and excitement from not knowing the future.


As the cool breeze softly sweep by her.

A peace soothed her mind.

She knew whatever was tomorrow, she could make it.

Because her faith was in a revival!

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Enjoy the spring this week.  There are so many beautiful physical blessings for all of us right now.  Let Earth’s revival revitalize you spiritually and emotionally!  Prayers go out to you this week for grace and blessings upon your personal revival this week!









What I Can Share

What I Can Share

At some time in your life, you will encounter relationships that make you feel you have nothing to share.  You may have chosen to be a part of this relationship or life’s direction may have put you into this relationship.  If you are in the beginning of your journey, you may have not experienced this yet.  However, if you are further along with your journey, you may have experienced this happening to you several times.  Individuals bring all types of things to relationships.  But no matter the type of things that are brought, both or all parties involved need to be able to share.  Unfortunately, some people want to control all variables in a relationship.  They are self-centered and need to be the “star” of the relationship.  They will force

everyone to concede to them regardless of right or wrong.  If you find yourself in this type of relationship, the best thing to do is run!  No!!  Actually, stand your ground if possible, because your confidence could very well help this person understand the feeling of others.  The relationship might be strengthened and grow.  If little progress in growth is made with this person, you may need to just walk away.  There are too many other people in the world that can value you and what you have to share.  Your love and time are too valuable to squander, especially if they are not appreciated.  I hope today you are inspired to give out your love and value to the right people.

What I Can Share

I just want to be a part.

I just want to share what small part I have.

Is it fair to not consider my love?

Or the love I have to give?


I have not been judgmental.

I have not been overbearing.

I have kept my negative thoughts silent.

But ignoring or purposely not including my love is wrong.

It is wrong.

Ignoring this is wrong.


Great emphasis is placed on this one special event,

Especially prior to this great wondrous event.

Heightened expectations are present.

You build your emotions to meet these expectations.

You want to so be a part.


Not the main character.

But a character that can give wisdom

And love that no one else can give.

I just want to be a part.

I want to try to be a part.


Reading and sharing was to be our time.

We were going to garden together.

Together would we be problem solvers.

Our special paint times were going to be our time.

But this has not been the case.


It is disappointing.

I am hurt.

I have had to work for them.

Not spend time with them.

Expectations can be so different than the tradition.


I am not here to change these souls.

But I am here to share this soul that I have.

To share with them the part of me that is a part of them.

I am not here to replace anyone.


It will be too late,

When they realize the pain that this separation has caused.

Too late,

When they realize the pain that has been created.


Pain by not allowing this relationship.

Grief of the heart.

Please just make time for me.

Please give me the chance to show what I can share.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

I hope this week you can decipher which of your relationships are valuable to you.  Which ones allow sharing of all involved.  It is so essential in this life that you do not hide your genuine self to fit into someone else’s mold.  Share and love with those that can appreciate you this week!  God’s grace be with you in making great decisions in relationships this week!










The Emptiness of My Heart

The Emptiness of My Heart

Losing someone you dearly love, hurts so much.  Even though their journey has turned toward an everlasting blessing, our journeys must continue to move on without them.  This is a much easier said than done situation.  After six years this week, I still miss my Mom, Em.  There is no doubt it was Em’s time for peace due to her condition, but it just seems we are never really ready to let them go.  My piece this week addresses that pain, but it does display how there is a great hope after the pain.  My prayer this week is for you to know you are not alone.  If your loss was tough and has been hard, know there is hope.  Time does distance the hurt to some degree.  However, know most of all that we were blessed to love, know, and share these special individuals. Letting them go is part of this painful process.  God’s love be with you this week as you miss your special soul.

The Emptiness of My Heart

There was an empty void in her soul.

Time would not heal quick enough the spirit that once rested within her heart.

The deep void brought her sadness.

She just could not hold back the tears.

She wept for days.


And she could not fill the space left by the one she loved.

She so missed their voices, their calls, their smiles, their hugs, their tales, and their laughs.

She laughed with others.

She shared with others.

She accepted their hugs and exchanged smiles.

But it just did not fill up that missing space.


Will time plug this void with others?

Or is time responsible for leaving this space so this one is never forgotten?

Is this space suppose to get smaller?

It is as if you lack one more stitch on the picture to set the scene.

Will one more stitch complete the quilted patterns?

Maybe there is the piece of puzzle that draws the other pieces to complete the picture?

Or maybe it is to be left out in order to verify their life here on Earth.


Maybe the void is to be there.

Whichever way fate takes it, and it hurts.

It hurts to lose that one that has enriched your life.

The soul that made you dig deeper for your true self.

The one that sacrificed so that you might live a better and richer life.

The one who demonstrated unconditional love.


You will be the void that I will never fill.

Because your life stood for so much more than a working, breathing soul.

Your life represented me,

And when you left you took part of me with you.

My soul will always hurt for this.

And it will mourn for your touch.


My soul would have it no other way.

But to have known you, loved you, and shared time with you on this Earth.

And my soul holds great hope in that void.

Because it knows one day that reunion will be again.

And once more the empty space will contain your love.

The void will be filled to complete the picture.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Remember we are so thankful for the special souls that come into our lives.  If we did not mourn them for their existence, life would be so wrong.  Let that mourning turn into the true celebration of that individual.  My love goes out to you as you remember your loved ones.  And Em—Happy Heavenly Birthday this week!  Thank you for continuing to watch over me through the grace of God!