You Don’t Have to Have All the Answers

God will be faithful. Always. We can trust Him. http://holleygerth.com/answers

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

 

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I have a special treat for you today! I’ve asked my fabulous virtual assistant, Kaitlyn Bouchillon, to share her heart with you. Kaitlyn helps me with editing, social media, creating graphics and a variety of other things. She’s gifted, gracious, brilliant and keeps me on track. I’m so blessed to work with her!

Kaitlyn is graduating from college in three weeks and she’s going to be taking on more clients. If you’ve ever thought about having a virtual assistant, get in touch with her before all her time is taken! And enjoy her encouraging words for you below too…

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From Kaitlyn Bouchillon:

I heard once that God is the one who overcomes — and because He does, we can come over. That sounds like really good news for me right now, and maybe you too?

There are days – maybe weeks, months, or even years – when there are more questions than answers, more things up in the air than things we know for certain. The times when someone you love dearly is sick, a relationship is falling apart, the bills are stacking up or the kids are running you wild.

Can I tell you a little secret?

It’s okay. You’re okay.

Even when life is topsy-turvy and spinning a bit out of control.

Even when it feels like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Even when your hands are full.

Because there is One who has overcome. And so we can come over.

In the Bible, before the curtain was torn in two, the Holy of Holies could not be entered into by just anyone. You and I, we would not have been able to approach the place of the Lord’s presence. The curtain would have separated us – not from His love, because oh friend, how He loves us! – but from His beautiful, consuming, powerful presence.

But when Jesus Christ died as a sacrifice, the curtain that kept the distance and created a separation was torn in two. From top. to. bottom.

It was nothing man could do, but God did it for man. He entered into our mess and invited us into His presence. We can come over.

So when the counters need wiping, the bills are past-due and you can’t remember the last time you showered or got a full night’s sleep, remember this:

Maybe it’s not about knowing all the answers but trusting the Answer. And maybe the world that feels like it’s on your shoulders is really in His (more than capable) hands. You can stop climbing mountains and wondering if you’re enough because the truth is: Christ in you is BEAUTIFUL.

So hold onto hope, friend. Choose to believe He’s got it all figured out and His plans are so very good. Remember that the time spent worrying is time taken away from praying for the very things that cause us to worry. Slow is a frame of mind and today we can pause and choose to come over.

We may not know all the answers, but we can know the One who does.

Kaitlyn Bouchillon
p.s. Can I let you in on a little secret? I wrote these words for you — but I also wrote them to myself. In less than three weeks I’ll be walking across a stage in a cap and gown. I’m so excited and also terrified. There are so many unknowns. But. He has proven faithful in all things, at all times, in all ways.

God has clearly marked the path for me to be a full-time Virtual Assistant, and so I’m stepping in faith! A Virtual Assistant takes care of the behind-the-scenes stuff – like social media, for example – so that you can focus on where God is leading and use your gifts fully. 

One of my favorite things about graduating (besides the fact that I’ll be able to eat grilled cheese for dinner every night without a cafeteria of people judging me) is that I have the huge honor and joy of continuing to work for Holley as her Virtual Assistant! She is one of my very favorite people (Holley, if you edit this out I will add it right back in)

If you’re looking for a Virtual Assistant, I would be delighted to serve you too. Just get in touch with me and let me know what you need. I look forward to hearing from you! XOXO Kaitlyn

Beauty Comes from Broken Places

Growth is a process, not an event. #YoureLovedNoMatterWhat by @holleygerth http://holleygerth.com

There’s an old story about two pots. One was perfect in every way. The other had cracks and broken places. Each day a woman filled the pots with rainwater she collected and then carried them down the path to her home. The first pot felt proud that she never leaked a single drop. The other felt ashamed because no matter how hard she tried, she spilled a lot along the way.

One day the two pots overheard the woman talking with someone who lived nearby. The neighbor exclaimed, “The flowers along your path are so beautiful! What’s your secret?”

The woman answered, “One of my pots is broken, and the water that spills out helps the flowers grow every day.”

We think that we have to take what’s broken and make it perfect in order to be used by God and bless others. But God thinks in a completely different way. He took what was perfect, His Son, and made Him broken in order to bring us healing.

So if you’re sitting there wondering if God can use you because your life is not as it should be, and your heart is aching—know that your greatest hurt will probably be your greatest ministry. Like the disciple Thomas who doubted until he touched the scars of Jesus, some people in your life need to see your broken places more than your victories.

We’re all like the second pot in the story. God sees purpose in our brokenness even when we don’t, and He can use it to bring forth beauty that blesses those around us.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

From You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect

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JennTaylorYoureLovedNoMatterWhat

I love this picture taken by Jenn Taylor!

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.

Giveaway and Optional Writing Prompt: For the next few weeks, the Wednesday posts are going to be about getting free from the pressure to be perfect. I’ll have an optional writing prompt for you about that topic. If you write about it, link up and include my new book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect in your post somewhere, you’ll be entered to win a God’s Heart for You necklace {U.S. residents only}. Thanks to DaySpring for providing the necklaces! Congratulations to Asheritah Ciuciu for winning last week! If you don’t have a blog, you can share today’s post on Facebook, leave a comment here saying you did and answer the prompt in your comment.

The prompt for today was: What truth do you need to be reminded of?

Next Wednesday’s prompt is: Where have you seen beauty from brokenness?

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!

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


You Don’t Have to Be Like Anyone Else

Each of us are made in the image of God. That means we're created to show Him to the world in a way no one else ever has and no one else ever will. http://HolleyGerth.com

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

I walk through my house, thoughts swirling through my mind like the dust bunnies doing dances in front of my vacuum. I think of other women who have cleaner houses. Which leads to thoughts of other women who cook better meals. And that goes on to other women who have cuter outfits, and are better at Twitter, and can make small talk with ease.

I wish I could be like… is the refrain that goes round and round in my mind.

Finally I hit the power button on the vacuum, feeling drained myself.

I whisper a question, “God, why do I feel I need to be like so many other people?”

It seems there is an answer that comes so quiet…

Because the enemy would rather have you be like anyone but Jesus.

As we used to say in Junior High, um, duh. If I’m busy trying to be like Mary, Martha and Margaret then I’m left with no time to be me. Or, more specifically, to let Jesus be who He is through me. Each of us are made in the image of God. That means we’re created to show Him to the world in a way no one else ever has and no one else ever will.

I do that by being who He made me.

And you do that by being you.

So listen, brave friends, let’s decide together that we will stop trying to be like each other.

And instead be conformed to the One whose likeness we’re made in.

I empty the vaccum into a bag, dust and clutter giving way to clean again. I smile because my heart suddenly feels like that, too. Comparison replaced by clarity–about who I am, what I’m called to do, and the God who’s wild enough to choose me for His purposes.

And you.

And you.

And you.

All of us.

Just as we are–and unlike anyone else.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

* this post was also featured on (in)courage *

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Healing Our Souls from Hurry

God isn't in a hurry. He never runs out of time because He has eternity. So do we. http://HolleyGerth.com

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

I sit on the back porch rocking in a chair and staring at the trees. It’s hard for me to be here in this place of stillness. My to-do list tugs at my mind, beckons me back inside, but I pull my knees closer to my chest and stay.

I watch birds find dinner at the feeder. A baby squirrel balances tentatively on a limb. The laughter of children drifts over the fence. The trees whisper “shhh, shhh” with their branches. And it seems they are speaking to the stream of thoughts running endlessly through my mind.

I think of the first Psalm where a person who walks closely with God is described as being “like a tree planted by the rivers of water…that brings forth fruit in its season.”

Fruit in its season. 

That phrase feels awkward to me. It’s not instant or immediate. It implies waiting and patience. It doesn’t fit in our fast-paced, get-it-done, make-every-second count world. But as I stare at the trees I’m reminded of how we’re created to live. We need silence and stillness because it’s in those moments that growth happens.

Fruit in its season.

I think of the blueberries now ready just down the road. I wait all year for those berries. And they taste so much sweeter because of the wait. God isn’t in a hurry. He never runs out of time because He has eternity. So do we. And God doesn’t need me to make five, fifteen, or forty more bushels. The expectations I place on myself are more mine than His.

As Ann Voskamp says, “Haste makes waste. The hurry makes us hurt.

I seem to hear another whisper as I sit on the porch. This time it comes not from the branches of the trees but from within my heart. The One Who Loves Me whispers “Shhh, shhh.” It sounds like an invitation that could heal my soul. And this time I listen, embracing the new stillness in and around me.

There will be time for fruit tomorrow, or the next day…whenever the season is right.

I hope you have a restful weekend, friend.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

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It’s Okay to Call for Backup

Our lives are about love and not performance. #YoureLovedNoMatterWhat by @holleygerth

I recently picked up my phone in the middle of a wild week to text a friend about a lie that my heart kept hearing. Then I simply asked, “What’s the truth? I can’t come up with it right now.”

She wrote back and told me what I already knew deep inside but couldn’t quite recall in the moment. I read her words over and over, then got up with new strength to face the day.

Years ago I wouldn’t have sent that text. I would have tried to come up with the truth on my own. I would have given in to shame and guilt. I would have spent the day thinking about how everyone else was more spiritual than me and how I should try harder. But I’m learning this: it really is okay to call for backup.

Most of us know the story of the man lowered down through a roof by his friends so he could be laid at the feet of Jesus and find healing (see Mark 2:1–12). We all have days when our hearts, not our bodies, need the same thing.

We think if we can just muster up enough “faith,” then we should be able to get there ourselves. But that’s not the way it works. And, friend, when we refuse to let others help us, it’s not being spiritual . . . it’s pride. (Yeah, I don’t like hearing that either.)

We’re made to share life with each other. We’re made to say, “I need you. Please help me.” Those aren’t words of weakness—they’re the strongest words we can say. It’s easy to try to figure things out on our own. It’s much harder to say, “Please carry my heart to Jesus today.”

But you know what? The man who was healed that day wasn’t the only one who received a blessing. His friends did too because they got to be part of the work God was doing. We can give people in our lives that same opportunity when we stop trying to be perfect and instead simply let them love us.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

From You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect

Books to encourage you...

Would you like to subscribe by email?

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What fun company to be in! Photo by the lovely  Meghan McGuire

What fun company to be in!
Photo by the lovely Meghan McGuire.

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.

Giveaway and Optional Writing Prompt: For the next few weeks, the Wednesday posts are going to be about getting free from the pressure to be perfect. I’ll have an optional writing prompt for you about that topic. If you write about it, link up and include my new book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect in your post somewhere, you’ll be entered to win a God’s Heart for You necklace {U.S. residents only}. Thanks to DaySpring for providing the necklaces! Congratulations to Ronja Oksanen for winning last week! If you don’t have a blog, you can share today’s post on Facebook, leave a comment here saying you did and answer the prompt in your comment.

The prompt for today was: Where are you learning and finding freedom from perfection?

Next Wednesday’s prompt is: What truth do you need to be reminded of?

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!

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