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    22nd February 2006

    A long distance happy birthday!

    Today is my cousin Elizabeth’s birthday, though where she is in Germany it is already tomorrow. I called and said hello to her and her husband David (who is my actual blood relative) this afternoon. Dave and I started at Calvin the same year, though he as a PhD student at the seminary and I as an undergraduate. Dave and Elizabeth have been my family away from home while I’ve been at Calvin. Elizabeth has at times been a bit motherly to me – in a good way: feeding me from time to time and making sure that I’m taking care of myself. She has to be one of the best cooks that I know; she likes to cook and I like to eat, so it was always a good partnership we had. Besidesthis, Dave and Elizabeth give me sage advice that I accept more easily partly because they aren’t my actual parents but more because they are my friends. Without them here in GR I wouldn’t have had anyone to discuss the bizarre little things about the Calvin College and Dutch Reformed culture that we were immersed in, or to complain to about the ridiculous Michigan winters.

    Elizabeth, it turns out, is also the most avid reader of this website. She tells me that I need to post 3-4 times a day so that there will be new content every time she checks it. While David is researching at a Library in Emden, Germany, she has been watching out for their 2 month old son Zechariah. Check out Elizabeth’s blog at

    In other news, no one has told me what to do with my life yet, so I might not do anything. Ever. Including posting on this website. So somebody should at least tell me to keep doing that. Or if you think I should stop, tell me that. But be nice about it, or it might make me cry.

    21st February 2006

    What should I do next year?

    This is an interactive post. I’m asking you what I should do next year. On May 20, I should be graduating from Calvin with a BA – Greek major, Religion minor. I’ve been praying about it, but I’m not sure what to do with myself after this. I would love to play lots of music, expecially in a church-like context – but on the other hand, I wouldn’t mind working on my biblical language skills (like, I wanna learn Hebrew…) – and I also wouldn’t mind not doing anything in particular, and instead spend some time putting together a book of some sort or learning how to walk again (which might be harder than I just made it sound). So, if any of you out there have great ideas or good advice or anything of the sort, please – PLEASE !– please tell me what to do with my life…


    16th February 2006


    I’m sick again. I’ve been telling people that I’m suffering the due penalty of my sins, so perhaps its time for a little confession:

    Last week and weekend I was pretty busy getting ready for that Friday night thing and the other thing on Saturday. On Sunday I went to church and then had lunch with Tyler and Jesse. After hanging out for a while, I found it to be nearly impossible to actually start my homework. I tried to take a nap, but it didn’t work. Finally, I started doing a little Greek – but then everyone from my house was downstairs doing stuff (my room is right outside the “entertainment room” of sorts). So I ended up staying up a bit late and getting up early to get ready for class.

    Now, I would say that for me to feel adequately prepared for my three Greek classes these days, I need to put in about two and a half hours for our 300 level class, an hour and a half to two hours for the 200 level class in classical Greek, and 30 minutes at least for the New Testament class. Altogether, I figure I need to put in about before class days, which are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

    So on Monday I was minimumally prepared for class and starting to feel a little sick. When I got home at the end of the day, I was tired so I sat around for a while and then talked to my mom on the phone. I was planning on getting some extra sleep, so a little after ten I’m thinking that I’m going to get ready to go to bed. I go out of my room and Tyler and Jesse are out there and they’re like, Hey, we never made Valentine’s cards like we said we would.

    This is where I comitted my first great error of the week. I said, Hey, lets do it right now!

    And so instead of going to bed I began to rustle up a whole bunch of supplies to make Valentines. We got out some National Geographics and some old advertisements and cereal boxes and started cutting and taping and drawing. Tyler and Jesse retired around midnight, but by this time I’m not really tired anymore, so I’m up for another 45 minutes working on them. I agree to bring them to the fieldhouse the next day before track practice to give to Tyler and Jesse so to hand out to people.

    Tuesday and Thursday mornings are when I usually do most of my homework because I don’t have class, so even though I stayed up too late, I still get up pretty early to do some work. I was quite sick Tuesday morning and regretting staying up too late, but I still get this idea in my head that we should have some more cards to give people because everyone who gets left out will be sad. So I spend an hour more working on cards before bringing them to the fieldhouse. I just get really obsessed about doing certain things well sometimes.

    In any case, the cards are well received, but then it was time to help Tyler with the Valentine surprise that he had been planning for his girlfriend Jenny. Tyler wanted to fill up Jenny’s dormroom with balloons and then be waiting for her when she came back from practice. So Tyler and Jesse had run early and we met up with Jenny’s roomates and Chris Hoff, another guy who lives with us, and started blowing up the 1500 or so balloons that Tyler had purchased. An hour an a half later we had blown up all the balloons and Jesse, Chris, and I went home to eat dinner. It was 6:30 and I had a guitar lesson to teach at 7:30.

    The lesson goes well, but I’m starting to realize that I might be in trouble. I haven’t really done more than an hour of schoolwork all day, and I remembered that I was supposed to turn in a short paper the next day for my art history class. I hadn’t even thought about this paper yet, but it was worth 1/6th of the classes’ grade.

    But I was also supposed to be at a small group that I’m usually part of on Tuesday nights that meets at 9:15.

    And I hadn’t prepared for my 300 level Greek class at all.

    So… I…

    …skipped the small group, explaining that I’m not feeling well – which I wasn’t – and went to the library to see what I can find to write with. I checked out a couple books and started looking through them, but before I knew it, its midnight and the library had to close. I went home and read a bit more before going to sleep.

    The next morning I got up early and make it to the library just as its opening. I worked on the paper until 10:30 when I had to go to class and take a quiz. Not being done with the paper, I skipped my 11:30 class to finish it. I made it to my art class 7 minutes late and turned in the worst piece of writing that I have created during my time at Calvin, and then skipped my 300 level Greek class to go home and sleep, again explaining that I wasn’t feeling well – and I wasn’t – without mentioning that I also hadn’t prepared a single iota for class.

    Now I’m quite sick and far behind in class and all I have to show for it is an IOU from Tyler.

    Forgive me Father, I have sinned…

    13th February 2006

    Late Happy Birthday and Early Happy Valentine’s Day…

    My brother Michael turned 17 on Saturday. I did get him a birthday present (if you don’t know why I would mention this, look down a few posts to January 16…), and gave him a ring-a-ling. Mike is becoming one of the best Holmlunds ever – not only is he the tallest in my immediate family, but he’s also probably the smartest in terms of book-smarts, and potentially the best dancer in the family – though I think Carrie and Melissa might give him a run for his money (both my sister and sister-in-law teach at a dance studio). This last year I’ve seen Michael grow more and more into his own unique person, growing in aspirations, inspirations, and motivations. I think he’s about to have a breakout swim season and then this summer he’s going to Guatamala on a missions trip (I’m not sure how those are realated other than that they exude my brother’s sweetness in my mind). Happy birf’day brof’er!

    The Friday Night Thing (see post directly below) was fairly amazing. We worshiped for several hours and then people prayed for many hours, and now I’m pretty tired. We (the band) played for about four hours, and by the end I was starting to worry that I would get carpal tunnel syndrome. Luckily I was feeling better by Saturday so I could play at the closing service for a conference on International Development that Calvin hosted over the weekend. That was also a very enjoyable experience – particularly because it forced me to learn a great new song called “God of Justice” by Tim Hughes.You can listen to it here.

    Finally to all you lovers out there, Happy Valentine’s Day!
    To Tyler Z and Jenny Z, Carrie H and Loren V, Dave R and Katie A, Jesse K and Sara Lee, Brett W and Dendra, Aaron Iverson and Mother Nature, and Bill and whatever lucky girl he finds: Have a magical and romantic day celebrating the fantastical love that you share.
    And for me, between the Olympics, homework, and doing my taxes (a Valentine’s day tradition from high school), I think I’ve got a pretty full day planned for myself…

    1 comment

    9th February 2006

    The Friday Night Thing

    I’m not sure what it’s really called, but it might be part of the “Burning Heart Contract”, a 40 day prayer event wherein students from each of 40 colleges are praying for a 24 hour period. Calvin’s 24 hours starts at 9pm Friday, but before that, at 7pm, there is going to be a rocking time of worship featuring a message or messages or something from Becky Tirabassi. All I know is that it is going to be sweet. If you are interested in more information, check out the Calvin press release, or the Burning Heart Contract page.

    7th February 2006

    The Father’s Touch…

    Last semester I was part of a small group that met on Thursday nights in the apartments at Calvin. Our only objective was to meet with God together. We would spend time singing praising and we would pray for eachother or we would just quiet ourselves and listen to see what God had to say to each of us. It was pretty sweet.

    Mark Speyers, who is the organizational power behind this group, would send out e-mails to the Calvin apartment-dwellers telling people to come for “the father’s touch”. I thought this was a sweet way to describe what was going on, and the phrase sort of became our group’s name.

    This semester, Father’s Touch is meeting on Tuesday nights, so if you’re in the area, and you need to feel “the father’s touch,” come by Gamma 4 tonight around 9:15ish.

    By the way, I did finally finish the papers that I was trying to write during interim…

    6th February 2006


    I’m now in the second week of classes for my last semester as a student at Calvin College. I think its going well enough. On Wednesday, last week, the school had a “Regathering” service to kick of the new semester. It’s kind of funny that a lot of professors are sort of anti-“regathering” because it screws up the class schedule for a day. I myself kind of like having screwed up class schedules. It mixes things up a little. Like in elementary school when we would have a special assembly at the end of the day and so all of our classes were 10 minutes shorter – it gives you something to look forward to.

    In any case, this guy spoke at the regathering. Gary Haugen. He’s a lawyer with International Justice Mission and he gave to us a wonderful message that I’m sure he has given to many other groups. IJN works helping disadvantaged people with legal battles in developing countries. The stories he told were of freeing children who had been sold into bonded slavery or forced prostitution in India; of freeing a man in Kenya who had been thrown in jail for no real reason; and of Jesus’ disciples giving up, overwhelmed by the task of feeding 5000 people, while a little boy gave what he had and Jesus turned his sack lunch into a miracle. These stories are related to a topic that I’ve been wanting to address on this website, but not today – maybe next time I write.

    In the meantime, congratulations to Peter and Anne Hoekman! Peter lived at 120 Madison last semester, but won’t be living with us anymore because he and Anne were married on Saturday in Holland, Michigan. It was a good wedding (good in the most meaninful sense of the word – as in the Genesis 1, “and he saw that it was good” sense) and I wish them the greatest of blessings. They both graduated a semester early so they could hang out a bit before Peter starts medical school at Michigan State in the fall.

    It is very cold in Grand Rapids again, so I guess global warming isn’t working as well as I was hoping, but I that’s probably better for the polar ice caps anyway…

    1st February 2006

    I am a bad…

    …blogger. Not only do I do it poorly, but I should think that I can judge my work morally as well. Here I’ve left all the people that check my site – which is mostly my family, whom I never call – I’ve left them in suspense because the last thing I wrote was that I would be driving across the country and trying to finish my papers. For all anybody out there knows, I might have never made it to Grand Rapids, or – heaven forbid! – might not have finished my papers.

    Well, be assured that Michael and I did get to Grand Rapids safely. The drive was long and uneventful except for a few moments. Early in the trip, just into Nebraska, Mike was sleeping and so was I. AND THEN I WOKE UP AND REALIZED THAT I SHOULDN’T RUN INTO THE CAR IN FRONT OF ME! It wasn’t really as bad as that, but it can get difficult to pay attention in the middle of nowhere with the sun right in front of you and you didn’t sleep nearly enough the night before…

    The next interesting development came while Mike was driving. I had been trying to read and type some article summaries when I noticed some funny stuff going on with my arms. There were several lumps, slightly red, but they weren’t itchy or painful and didn’t look like bites. As we went across the country, the lumps became more and bigger, and I found that they were on my stomach and legs as well. By the time we got to Michigan, I was thinking of stopping at a hospital before going to the Madison house. I decided not to and just hoped I would wake up in the morning. I did, but the lumps were not any better – actually a bit worse. I took some benadryl and told myself that if it didn’t get any better I would go to a doctor. Then I told myself that it was getting better, and maybe it was a little. By the next day it was getting better and the day after that it was gone. I’m not sure exactly what caused it, but I had been taking amoxicylin for the sinus infection, and the day the perscription ended was when the lumps started to go away – so I think there might have been a connection.

    Michael hung out in Grand Rapids for a couple of days before flying back on Sunday. I hope he wasn’t too dissappointed with the college life this time of year. The unfortunate part was that since Calvin didn’t have any classes while he was out here he didn’t get to check out any classes. He probably didn’t really mind and I don’t think that he would ever think of coming here for school anyway.

    Now I’ve started classes again. I have three Greek language classes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the class sizes are very small (6,8, and 4) which means that I will have to actually prepare translation for each and every class period. I will either be fairly good at Greek by the time I graduate, or I will have a BA in Greek and never want to see it again. Speaking of which, I have to go to my third Greek class of the day in a few minutes.

    And if you’re wondering why I didn’t assure those of you who might have been wondering about the completion of my papers…

    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.