You Don’t Have to Be All Things to All People

In a world full of pressure and expectations, it’s easy to feel we should be all things to all people. But God says to us, “I created you for a specific purpose. You are who you need to be to accomplish what I put only you on earth to do.”

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

Lie Our Hearts Hear: “I need to be all things to all people.”

Truth Our Hearts Need: “I only need to be who God made me.”

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. {Eph. 2:10}

In a world full of pressure and expectations, it’s easy to feel we should be all things to all people. But God says to us, “I created you for a specific purpose. You are who you need to be to accomplish what I put only you on earth to do.”

Your strengths show His glory.

Your gifts serve His people.

Your heart expresses His love.

We’re not group projects. We’re masterpieces who exist for the pleasure and purposes of the Artist. We’re invaluable and irreplaceable.

So let’s breathe a sigh of relief today. We don’t need to be all things to be all people. We only need to be one thing (who we’re created to be) for one Person (Jesus).

XOXO

Holley Gerth

After this post went out, a reader kindly and respectfully sent me an email asking about a place in Scripture where Paul does actually say he has become “all things to all people.” I’m familiar with that passage and I looked closely at it again today. Paul is saying is he changed his outward cultural behavior to reach others. But he doesn’t say he changed who God made him–his character or identity–to please them. In our modern world, the phrase “all things to all people” tends to mean “being who everyone else wants me to be in order to make them happy.” That’s the way I meant it in this post but I can understand how using that phrase could be confusing so I wanted to add this note to clarify. Staying true to Scripture is very important to me and I’m thankful you help me make sure I do so!

*A few weeks ago I asked you, “What are lies the hearts of women are tempted to believe?” You shared many and I decided to do a Wednesday series on the most common ones. You can read all the posts here.

P.S. I’d love to share this with you, friends…  “The source of our greatest struggle may turn out to be the place where God uses us most powerfully.” I am so grateful to have been part of the Addicted to Anxiety conference by Tangible Truth Ministries last week! You can watch the video below or subscribers, click here to view. {I speak at about the two hour mark and speak for 15 minutes.}

More truth to encourage you…

I’ll be joining Emily Wierenga and several other friends for a webinar on September 10th! I would so love to have you join us… sign up here if you would like to be a part.

making it home webinar

****

Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! 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 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to holleygerth.com to see all the fun and join in too.

Pretty please use this button in your blog post so others can easily join in with us {html code in right sidebar}. 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!

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

{click to tweet that you’re joining me here today}


You’re Stronger than You Feel Right Now

Nothing is too much for us because nothing we will ever face is bigger than the God who lives within us.

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

Lie Our Hearts Hear: “I can’t do this.”

Truth Our Hearts Need: “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” {Php. 4:13}

Sometimes what’s in front of us seems impossible. The hill is too steep. The test is too hard. The diagnosis is too discouraging. But Jesus says to us, “Whatever I ask you to go through, I will give you the strength to do.”

When we’re weary, He’s our power.

When we’re afraid, He’s our courage.

When we’re uncertain, He’s our security.

Nothing is too much for us because nothing we will ever face is bigger than the God who lives within us. He already knows what we’re going to face today. And He’s already promised us we’re going to beat it—no matter what.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

*A few weeks ago I asked you, “What are lies the hearts of women are tempted to believe?” You shared many and I decided to do a Wednesday series on the most common ones. You can read all the posts here.

More truth to encourage you…

Would you like to subscribe by email {free}?

I’d love to connect with you on facebook, twitter, instagram & pinterest too.

****

Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! 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 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to holleygerth.com to see all the fun and join in too.

Pretty please use this button in your blog post so others can easily join in with us {html code in right sidebar}. 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!

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

{click to tweet that you’re joining me here today}


You’re Not Invisible

We are never invisible. Instead we are incredibly valuable to the God whose eyes are always on us.

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

Lie Our Hearts Hear: “I’m invisible.”

Truth Our Hearts Need: “The eyes of the Lord are…on those whose hope is in His unfailing love.” {Ps. 33:18}

Sometimes it can seem like the spotlight of life shines on everyone but us. She has more Facebook likes. He has more accomplishments. They get far more attention. But God gently whispers to our hearts, “I see you.”

He notices what we do when no one else is looking. He cheers us on when we take the next step of obedience. He cares when that silent tear slips down our face. He watches over us while we sleep.

We are never invisible. Instead we are incredibly valuable to the God whose eyes are always on us.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

*A few weeks ago I asked you, “What are lies the hearts of women are tempted to believe?” You shared many and I decided to do a Wednesday series on the most common ones. You can read all the posts here.

More truth to encourage you…

My friend Jennifer just opened her new online shop. I shared the news with you last Wednesday, and today I want to gift one of YOU a gorgeous 8×8 print from her shop! Simply leave a comment telling me which one you would choose. Earn an extra entry by liking Jennifer’s Facebook page, then let me know you did so in the comments! {UPDATED 8/26: Giveaway is now closed!}

Simply Tuesday, Emily Freeman’s newest book, just released yesterday. I cannot recommend this one enough! Here is a brief glimpse into the book, found on the back cover: Is your soul being held hostage by hustle? If you’ve grown weary of do more and dream bigger, small-moment living is just what you need. Real life happens in the small moments we find on the most ordinary day of the week. It’s time to release our obsession with building a life, and believe in the life Christ is building within us–one simple Tuesday at a time.

****

Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! 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 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to holleygerth.com to see all the fun and join in too.

Pretty please use this button in your blog post so others can easily join in with us {html code in right sidebar}. 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!

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

{click to tweet that you’re joining me here today}


A Secret to Help You Stay Strong and Beat Burnout

Sometimes the most important, productive thing we can do is nothing at all.

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

For years I operated on this principle: “I’ll rest when the work is done.” But I slowly came to realize the work is never done. And as a result, I was never resting. It took a brush with serious burnout to convince me I had to change my thinking. I needed to learn to say, “I’ll rest when I’m done.” In other words, when I become weary or depleted it’s my sacred duty to stop for a bit.

Jesus illustrated this when He said to His disciples, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile” {Mark 6:31}. Those words might lead us to believe they had helped everyone they could and done all that was possible. But the opposite was actually true. The same verse continues, “He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”

I’m convinced one of the reasons we see so much burnout, especially from those in ministry, is because we don’t think God gives us permission to pull away, slow down or take a break. But our souls are not made to go nonstop. Our hearts are vessels that need to be refilled. Our bodies have limits we need to respect.

When we ignore those realities it’s like driving a car and saying, “I’ll stop when there’s no more road.” It’s much wiser to say, “I’ll stop when my fuel gauge tells me my tank is getting low.” The latter ensures we’ll go much, much farther. And avoid a lot of pain along the way.

These are signs it may be time to stop and refuel…

  • We lose the joy in what we’re doing. What used to be a blessing now feels like a burden.
  • We are irritable or resentful of others who don’t work as hard as we do or appreciate our efforts.
  • We’re consistently relying on quick fixes to keep up our energy like lots of caffeine or sugar while neglecting healthy food and exercise.
  • We’re doing so much for God that we don’t have time to simply be with God.
  • We’re anxious, depressed or discouraged but can’t figure out why.
  • We’re falling back into bad habits or destructive choices to numb our pain.
  • We hear from those who love us that they’re concerned about our well-being.

All of the above point to this: We are exceeding our personal capacity. Even if it seems like we’re getting away with it, there are unseen costs and consequences we can’t escape.

And while we get caught up in the urgent of each day, Jesus is focused on what’s important for a lifetime. He knows we may “gain more ground” now only to lose all of it and then some when we come to a standstill from exhaustion. As a life coach, I said this probably more than anything else to clients: There is a significant difference between what’s doable and what’s sustainable.

Choosing to say “I’m done for now” is not weakness. It’s wisdom. It’s also essential to staying strong and finishing well. The work will be there tomorrow. The real question if we refuse to rest is, will we be?

Thankfully, Jesus still extends the same invitation He did to the disciples: “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” We can trust He will use those times to fill us up then send us out again to serve even more powerfully than before.

Here’s the secret I’ve finally discovered: Sometimes the most important, productive thing we can do is nothing at all.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

Books to encourage you…

Books by Holley Gerth
Would you like to subscribe by email?

****

Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! 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 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to holleygerth.com to see all the fun and join in too.

Pretty please use this button in your blog post so others can easily join in with us {html code in right sidebar}. 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!

 

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

{click to tweet that you’re joining me here today}


Helping Someone When You’ve Never Been in Their Situation

Big Yellow Umbrella Card by DaySpring

I often get notes from people saying something like, “My friend/family member is going through a hard time but I don’t feel like I can help because I haven’t been through the same thing.” Here’s my response: “You don’t have to experience the same storm to know what it’s like to get wet.”

I’m certain you know what it’s like to feel soaked to the bone by discouragement, have fear thundering above you or watch a dream wash away. Don’t we all? It’s not our ability to duplicate details but to relate on a heart level that lets us have empathy and be able to encourage.

I once wrote a card for DaySpring that says:

I wish I had a big, yellow umbrella that would keep all the rain out of your life.

I would hold it over your head and the drops would splash, splash and you would never even feel it.

But I don’t have a big yellow umbrella, so I’ll walk through the rain with you.

When it comes to living that out, here are three ways you can walk through the rain with someone no matter what storm they’re facing:

1) Simply listen. When I did grief support groups I heard people say over and over again, “It was so comforting when someone just let me talk and cried with me.” When we’re hurting, what we need most isn’t answers; it’s to know we’re not alone.

2) Be a safe place. When someone shares their struggles with us, we’re to treat them with care like precious treasures. After all, it seems that’s what God does. “Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?” {Ps. 56:8}. These three C’s can help us remember how to do so: Never criticize or condemn. Always keep it confidential.

3) Don’t try to fix it. When I got a masters degree in counseling we were told over and over, avoid giving advice. We empower people most when we trust them to figure out their own lives with God’s help. We are simply there to be an encouragement and sounding board.

Ironically, the need to prove we’re useful can push us to talk too much and try too hard. When we feel that pressure, we can take a deep breath and remember we don’t have to be anyone’s God, Jesus or Holy Spirit. It’s not within our power to resolve the problem, change the circumstance or even make the pain go away. In other words, we can’t make the sun come out again.

That reality doesn’t mean we’re a failure. It simply means we’re not God.

So what is success when it comes to helping others in our lives? After hearing from thousands of hurting people I’ve come to believe it’s simply this: Having the courage to step into the rain–even if it’s not our storm.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

p.s. Have you seen my gift book for rainy days yet? Under God’s Umbrella: Gifts of Hope & Encouragement to Shelter Your Heart in Life’s Storms

p.p.s. My friend Jennifer is launching her brand new site {StudioJRU}, full of gorgeous prints and home decor. This one would be a sweet gift to a hurting friend. {Use the code newshop! for 20% off your purchase!}

Under God's Umbrella by Holley Gerth

****

Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! 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 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to holleygerth.com to see all the fun and join in too.

Pretty please use this button in your blog post so others can easily join in with us {html code in right sidebar}. 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!

 

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

{click to tweet that you’re joining me here today}