Happy Easter, Friend…You Are Loved

The words jump out at me:The Lord will again delight in being good to you.” {Deut. 30:9}.

I rub my barely-opened eyes, sit straighter under the covers in early morning light. Did I read that verse right?

With Easter so close, images of parents hiding eggs in yards, parks, under bushes, drift through my mind like a dream. It’s pretty strange behavior, really. But you only need to hear the squeals, watch the smiles, catch a glimpse of the delight in a child’s eyes to understand why we do it.

And if imperfect parents love to delight their children how much more does our perfect Heavenly Father?

My heart whispers three profund letters, Huh.

It feels odd, this kind of grace. I understand giving us hope in hard times. I can grasp tolerant love for undeserving sinners. But the great God of the universe delighting in being good to me?

It’s scandalous.

Squirm-in-my-seat uncomfortable.

Lightning-may-hit-my-laptop scary.

Because it blows up my God-box and beckons me to places I’ve not yet been.

But it’s true.

It has to be true because it’s there, written in holy pages, His secret smile inked onto paper so we could read it.

God delights in being good to you.

What better treasure could we search for and find this Easter?

Let’s celebrate Him and enjoy the wonder of His love, blessings and grace this weekend…

XOXO

Holley Gerth

 

photo: DaySpring Easter Card  {and a little gift for you…20% off everything on DaySpring.com with code HGFRIENDS} 

Finding Hope in Unexpected Places

Sara Torbett - Stronger

Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

When I first read the verse above, I wondered if my Bible had a typo. Wasn’t hope supposed to be at the beginning of the list? That’s certainly where I wanted it to be.

I didn’t like the idea of going through suffering, perseverance, and character to get to hope.

My thoughts reflect our culture today. We view hope as an emotion rather than an outcome of choices we make. We also think hope should be automatic. Then when we don’t find it right away, we despair. But this passage makes it clear that hope is a process.

The first step in that process is suffering. Loss is a part of life. We’ll all endure hardship and heartache on this side of heaven. When we suffer, we have two choices: press on or give up. Jim Rohn once said, “We all must suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

If we choose discipline and perseverance, then this pattern gradually becomes part of who we are—our character. Character doesn’t change based on circumstances or who is watching at the moment. As Dwight L. Moody said, “Character is what you are in the dark.”

Character also becomes a light in the dark because it eventually results in hope. This kind of hope is not a vague feeling or wish. Instead it’s a deep knowledge that you and God can get through anything together. That’s the heart of hope: choosing to walk with God through the valleys of life and finding that He will never leave you–and that you will never leave Him either.

We all wonder how our faith will fare when challenges come our way. If you’re still reading this, my guess is you’re choosing perseverance and character. You’ve faced what you never wanted, and your faith is surviving, perhaps even thriving. Even if you have doubts, fears, and many difficult moments, you’re pressing on and moving forward. And I’m cheering you on with every step…no matter how small or slow.

Take heart, friend, you are doing better than you know. Jesus is with you. Your sisters are for you. And hope is on its way.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

photo and quote design by Sara Torbett {download free on flickr!}

p.s. Hope often finds us when in the most unlikely of places. Claire Diaz-Ortiz experienced this firsthand and shares her story in Hope Runs: An American Tourist, a Kenyan Boy, a Journey of Redemption. I’m giving away a copy of Claire’s book today and if you comment or link up by midnight CST on Friday you’ll be entered to win.

Hope Runs****

Welcome to Coffee for Your Heart! You’re an encourager so I’m asking you to pour out a little love with your words every Wednesday {link-up goes live at 9am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here with us.

If you’d like a writing prompt to get you going, here’s a list I created just for you: 30 Writing Prompts.

Pretty please use this button in your post so others can easily join in with us {link the image back to http://holleygerth.com/coffee-for-your-heart-love/}…

Coffee for Your Heart 150

And when you link up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked up just before yours. Thanks, friends!


Books for Mother’s Day You’ll Love

Mother’s Day is coming quickly and it’s a wonderful time to love on all the women in your life–mamas, sisters, daughters, friends, aunts, grandmas! Because I believe every woman is a mother. And every woman needs to be encouraged. So here are some books you can share this Mother’s Day…

{subscribers, click here if you can’t see the book images below}

 Holley Gerth Collection - Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble is featuring a brand-new exclusive Holley Gerth CollectionYou’re the first to hear about it and there’s a limited amount so get them before they’re gone! The collection includes You’re Already Amazing, You’re Made for a God-sized Dream, You’re Going to Be Okay AND a limited edition journal. You can split up the collection and have four gifts or you can keep it together as one {great for Easter or Graduation gifts too}.

And here are some wonderful books by authors I love…

Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker

Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker

Finding Mommy Bliss by Henny Heikka

Finding Mommy Bliss by Genny Heika {preorder}

Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful by Laurie Wallin

Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful by Laurie Wallin

What other books would you add to this list? Let’s love on mamas with words this year!

XOXO

Holley Gerth

prayergunmetaljeremiah

 

p.s. If you get any of the books above from Barnes & Noble, leave a comment by midnight CST on Monday saying so and you’ll be entered to win a cuff bracelet similar to the one below {donated generously by our friends at Good Works Make a Difference}.