If you knew me in a personal way you’d know I don’t dote on people much. Yes I do believe that a lot of admirable people are functioning out there in the world, most however do it for the glory. Some get caught up in the admiration and they change, and not always for the better. There are a lot of people I do admire and could write about, today however it is one woman. Her story, that she would for sure tell you shed give up in a heart beat being in the lime light for. It’s a bit of her and her beloved daughters life story. As I said, it’s unusual for me to do this. Yet I want to explain why I admire her. She is one woman who these days stands out far above the rest of all those who’s who of people. Yes, it is Beth Holloway. As if I need to mention this, but I’m going to say it, she is *and forever and always will be* Natalee Holloway’s mom♥
Now you might want to say that she “was” Natalee Holloway’s mom. I and anyone else who is a mom, along with Beth Holloway, we know better. We know this because, as any mom worth her salt knows, being someones mom doesn’t change because they grow older, get married, go away, or even go Home to Jesus. Being a mom is a forever and always lifetime achievement. Each of our children make us a unique mom. Each child brings something new to the table of our life. Being a mom is a gift, one I know for sure Beth is still proud to be for Natalee. One she is happy and proud to be for her son as well. I as well have two children, and each is as unique as the sun and moon. Each brings me joy, and each brings me on my mom journey on different paths. Something else that I believe Beth would agree with, each of our children shape us as well. Each of them teach us things about ourselves. Things we didn’t know we could feel, think, or say and most assuredly, do!
How I Came To Read Beth’s Book
I was in Hospice Thrift Store. A place I frequent almost every Thursday. I was looking at the cookbooks; no big surprise there for anyone who knows me. Out of the corner of my eye I caught the cover of this book. Loving Natalie. The made for television movie had just been on, maybe that’s why my eyes caught it. I picked up the book, read the cover and placed it back on the shelf. As I did this I heard that still small voice whisper to me, “Buy it, read it Jeannie.” My thought in my head? No way. My own daughter was traveling to the Key’s for Spring Break and the last thing I needed in my head were these visions of “what if’s”. “Buy it, read it Jeannie.”
Now over the years I’ve come to listen to that voice as CHRISTian. I know when the Holy Spirit is prompting me, when He is not. This time though, I did what I should not do. I did not listen. Shame, shame on me. I used the excuse of not having the money to really spend right now. I left and went on my, I need to stay merry, way.
I went home that Thursday and the Holy Spirit did not stay silent. Each day the words came, “Buy it, read it Jeannie.” Finally, on my Monday, my day off, I was doing the dishes, and no lie, I heard again, only in a firmer voice, “Jeannie go buy that book and read it.” Now I didn’t have a car that day, I don’t usually on my day off, because my husband takes it, instead of getting driven to work. See, we really do need the money =) That was a lame excuse for not obeying. Always, when the Lord leads, you listen, you follow the directions. I am ashamed to say I didn’t. I’m also grateful.
You see I decided this was something I must do. I needed to obey. If the Holy Spirit was telling me, I best go and get that book, and as reluctant in my human momness to read it, I was, I knew as a Child of GOD, I must.
What did I do. I got on my bike and yes, I scooted my little old self up to The Hospice Thrift Store. There is always quite a turnover at the thrift store. The sign even says, no lie, “If you don’t buy it today, it won’t be here tomorrow.” I knew however, I believed, that because the Holy Spirit was still prompting me, the book was still there.
I got off my little old self off my little old bike and entered on into the store. Went over to the bookshelf and there it was, unlike before, where it was tucked in on the shelf, like all books do on a bookshelf, it was facing forward. As if the Holy Spirit placed it there and it was waiting for me. I put the book in my hand, thanked the Lord for giving me another chance, and I purchased the book.
Now I will share that I cried on the way home on my bike. As I was pondering, praying and wondering, “Why Lord, why do you want me to read this so badly?” I knew only one thing though, I was to read it. The why’s were not answered, not yet any way.
The Long Read
I read that book. I slowly read it. Beth Holloway is a wonderful writer. Why do I say this? Because she put me in her world, and she did it not just for the love of her Natalee, but for the sake of every one of us. She did it, she will tell you also, because… wait… I’ll let you read it from her. Get the book! Take it from me, although the Lifetime Movie was a depiction of what happened during those days for Natalee Holloway’s family, it is anything at all like the digestible, and even painful, yet insightful read from Beth Holloway in Loving Natalee.
It’s not a book you pick up and read and devour. Oh it’s a book you read and can’t stop. You, or at least for me, I couldn’t read it all in one swoop, though I could have as an avid reader. I couldn’t however as a human being, and especially as a mom. It’s a book you sink your own heart into.
Beth immerses you into the world she faced during those days of looking for her Natalee. She brings you into the real world we live in; sadly we live in it still. I don’t want to give away Beth and Natalee’s mother daughter story, you’ll just have to read it yourself.
Books often don’t change me. The Bible, yes. Every day books, not so much. This book however changed me. It also helped change a couple of ways we handle things, my daughter and I.
My daughter went to the Key’s, is safe home from the Key’s. I’m thanking the Lord for that, and for Beth Holloway walking through those days with me. She doesn’t know this. I doubt she will ever, but the Lord knows, and I do. I know it as sure as I breath. The breath of the words of the Holy Spirit that afforded Beth to continue on, to write that love story of a mother and daughter, are the same words of inspiration, from the Holy Spirit, that led me to the book.
Why The Admiration?
As I said, I don’t admire a lot of people, not in the way of putting them up on a pedestal, where as we’ve all seen, the fall downward is very far, because we allowed them… normal everyday people, for this or that reason, to be seated on some superhuman throne of admiration.
I’ll tell you how much I don’t go all crazy over So much so that I even got a paid trip to the Red Carpet Emmy Event from Duncan Hines, and I did not go. Praising, ranting and raving over actors is not my thing. I’m not picking on them, they do a great job at entertaining us. However, as we know from all the media hoop-la, the media goes way over board on making them some sort of super hero human beings. Able to leap above the rest of the everyday human race. Truth is there are every day people who go daily without recognition, who leap even taller buildings of life living in one day at a time, one hour in each day. People who face so much and go unnoticed because they are ordinary. Others just don’t know all the extra ordinary living they do.
Beth Holloway was that woman. Beth Holloway is that woman. She was living a life without notice already, doing something I know me, let alone many of us could not do. She worked in a world of special needs, she met those needs with the gifts and talents she had.
Yet these are not the reasons I admire her the most. I admire Beth Holloway so much because she has been honest, up front and vulnerable to all sorts of other people’s opinions. Above all… it’s that honesty factor. The fact that she was able to not sugar coat anything and everything that happened regarding Natalee.
If you have not read her book, Loving Natalee, and you are a mom, or a daughter, or even a son, read it. Do yourself one giant growing pains sort of favor and read it. You will grow. You will realize that in a world where we pick and choose, and choose and pick, we are in the end, all human beings who need to realize that. We haven’t though. The media and all the people who read all the garbage who’s who magazines out there have done that.
We the people, we’ve allowed people to become so big, so strong, and then when they get away with murder, we complain. Beth Holloway and Natalie and every one of those who have faced similar life lived out situations like this, know this on a first hand level. Yet Beth Holloway did all this with grace.
Now, if you have read the book, Beth will tell you she didn’t, in her words. She’ll tell you of the moments she lost it; mind you, which of us, would not? Which of us could, or would do better than she did? Not unless I’m almost close to being comatose could I. That is a fact.
For the first time in ever reading about anyone who’s gone through something people go through like this, Beth’s honesty, brutal honesty at some points, it’s refreshing. She doesn’t sugar coat anything, and by anything, I mean anything. She tells it like it is, facing all the facts of the real, very human person her Natalee was. I love that Beth is that transparent in her writing. Yes, it left her open for criticism and vulnerable for attacks from others. At least though, she told it like it is. She told it like it was. I completely admire her for her honesty.
This, this is the reason I admire Beth Holloway. Right now, if I could meet anyone living, who’s a somewhat who’s who, if I could sit and share a cup of coffee with anyone particular, it would be her. Not the president, not anyone related to Whitney Houston, or Michael Jackson. Not anyone else… just Beth.
If you look to the side of my blog you’ll see books I’ve read. Loving Natalee is one them. Read it, listen to your heart. Learn a little more about loving, about safety, and about how the Lord draws near to those who draw nearer to Him.
Thank You Beth Holloway
You may never see this blog Beth, but one day when we do meet in Heaven, I will want to meet you. I will want to personally say “thank you for giving to the Lord, I was life that was changed.” Your book is a book all moms everywhere should read. It’s a truth-filled, yet gentle nudge of a reminder of us knowing a little more of what it means to be a mom, as well as what it means to allow ourselves the ability to know our limitations. It should be handed out to anyone thinking of even having children. Parenting is a huge responsibility, raising children to be safe, is a huge part of that. Raising ourselves up as we go along is also a very big, one day at a time, one hour in each day giant learning curve.
This song might not seem the right song for other people, but for me, it is appropriate to give to Beth. Our lives are changed when we accept Jesus into our heart and lives. The changes that come don’t end there though. We still give, and give and love in many ways. I was a life that was changed, again. Thank you Beth!
The poem and the song below are for you.
Ray Boltz, Thank You
Until all have heard of and know, His Love,