I love the beginning of each month when I get to connect you to some of my favorite women who are doing absolutely wonderful things for the Kingdom.  That is what Build A Sister Up is all about!  I want to give you an opportunity to get to know other amazing ladies who can encourage you, inspire you, and walk with you in the craziness of life.

This month, I’m excited to introduce you to my sweet friend, Holly Haynes.  If ever there were someone who can get you into the Christmas Spirit, it is Holly.  You guys.  Her actual name is Holly Noel, she was born a few days before Christmas, and I’ve never met anyone who loves Christmas quite like she does.  She is a writer, speaker, and Bible teacher and she aspires to encourage women in their faith.

Meet my friend and Sister at Build A Sister Up, Holly Haynes!

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a wife to my hubby Chad (we just celebrated twenty years! yay!) and mom to amazing sons, Brendon (20) Tyler (17). I am a writer, speaker, bible study teacher and I adore Christmas. I was born three days before Christmas and my parents named me Holly Noel. They couldn’t have given me a better name. 🙂 I live in Monroe, Michigan and I actually love the snow we get, I know call me crazy.

2. Coffee or tea?
Coffee all the way. (Though I will say when I visit the South I love sweet tea!)

3. Exercise or nap?
Both! I love to nap and I dread exercise most days but I always feel great afterwards and am so glad I pushed through.

4. Cake or pie?
Both! My FIL brings me a coconut cream pie from Amish country that will knock your socks off. Chocolate Chip cookies are my fav though and my SIL’s are THE BEST.

5. High heels or sneakers?
Well, I wish I could say heels, I love heels. Unfortunately, I have never been able to wear them due to being born horribly flat footed. I did have a life changing surgery where I had arches put in and my feet reconstructed, but my feet still aren’t fond of heels. So, I always say when I get to Heaven I’m running to Jesus in Stilettos.

6. Vacation or staycation?
Vacation. Preferably a cruise. 🙂

7. Early riser or sleep in?
I usually cannot sleep in as much as I try. I was so use to getting up with my boys during school years and I still can’t sleep much past eight.

8. Read the book or watch the movie?
Read the book then watch the movie.

9. Dogs or cats?
Dogs. We love labs!

10. Introvert or extrovert?
I never dreamed I’d be saying this, I always thought I was an extrovert my whole life. But the last few years I have discovered I have introvert qualities as well. I love my alone time.

11. Country living or city girl?
City.

12. Do you have any hobbies?
I am a voracious reader. I seriously read like a crazy person. Mostly non-fiction, I love to learn. I also enjoy cooking and baking. Recently I have realized my love for Christmas decorating is totally a hobby. I absolutely have a blast each year.

13. What are you listening to, reading, or watching that you are loving right now?
I love listening to Jennifer Allwood. She is amazing at teaching business and how to connect with others through social media. Right now I am reading Remember God from Annie Downs and I usually do not watch TV, but This is Us had me from day one.

14. What are you passionate about?
Jesus and sharing the gospel with as many people as I can. My heart is to make disciples and I told the Lord to use me in whatever way He chooses. Whether it’s writing, speaking, or sharing about the Lord with my neighbors.

15. What/where are you writing?
Right now I am working on a few pieces for my Christmas series I have on my blog and facebook page each year. This year it will be a little more low key being that I feel the Lord is saying to not be plugged in constantly during the season. My theme this year is connecting with Christ and each other.

16. Are there any other projects or ministries that you are working on/with?
I’m currently trying to write a book proposal. Jesus take the wheel it’s hard, but I’m pushing through.

17. How can we connect with you? (website, social media, events?)
My blog is hollynoelhaynes.com
My writer’s page on facebook is under Holly Haynes.
And my Instagram name is Hollynoel1222.

18. What is an area that you’d like to grow in?
Being brave about facebook lives and doing them more consistently.

19. How can we build you up?
Prayers for my book proposal and for the Lord’s will over my writing. Also, you can follow me on Facebook and follow along on my Christmas series.

20. Is there a parting thought you would like to share?
I recently read this quote from Charles Dickens and I loved it. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

I pray to be more kind and to take the time to notice those around me in need. We get caught up in thinking we need to accomplish “big things” when at the end of our lives what will matter is our kindness and how we treated one another.


 

Honestly, I’ve never really paid much mind to the weeks of Advent.  I knew that in the liturgical calendar they celebrate the coming of Christmas, but aside from that and the recognition of The weeks of Advent at church, I haven’t really given Advent much attention.  Maybe you’re the same way?

That’s something that I’m changing this year.  It’s so very easy to get caught up in the festive holiday spirit and put all of my focus into gifts, meals, parties, and family celebrations.  Those things are all wonderful things, however, if they are all that I’m focused on in the weeks leading up to Christmas, then I’ve missed the whole point!

This year I am choosing to use the celebration of Advent as a time to focus on God’s word, prayer, and a real celebration of the reason for the season – the birth of Jesus Christ.  I hope that you will join me.  Together we can really get to the heart of Christmas and truly appreciate the gift of our Lord and Savior.

I had the wonderful privilege to write four Advent prayers for iBelieve.com.  There is one prayer per week with scripture reflections to dive into throughout that week.  I will be posting the prayers each week, and my hope is that you will choose to follow along with me.

Let’s not miss it this year.  Pray along with me.  Dig into the scripture with me.  Click the image above or copy and paste the link to your browser and let’s get to the heart of Christmas together!

http://www.ibelieve.com/faith/advent-prayers-week-one-the-hope-of-advent.html

Love and blessings,

Bobbie