Why We Need You to Be You

Dare to Be You by Holley Gerth

{this graphic is a goodie for you to enjoy & share however you’d like}

We sit in a circle in a living room, a mini-arena where we can see each other’s faces close-up, watch eyebrows go up, enjoy the sounds of each other’s laughter. I’ve been invited to share with a group of young mamas.

Women who change diapers and the world. Who know how to rock a little one at night and a job in the day. Who grow tiny bodies as well as dreams and hopes. Wonder women. 

We’re talking about our strengths, skills and who we’re called to serve. We put that all together so they can create a Life Statement. They’ll work on this at home this week.

Before they go I say this, “Your statement isn’t something to live up to instead it’s meant to be an affirmation of what you’re already living. So when you’re up to your ears in dirty dishes and diapers you’ll still be able to know, ‘Yes, this is where I’m supposed to be. And it matters.’ ” 

May I kindly whisper the same to you? If something in your life makes you continually feel as if you’re falling short then it’s probably time to put it through the shredder. That goes for parenting books, sermons, lectures from well-meaning people who love you, magazine articles and Facebook posts.

It’s funny how often “they” think there’s a right way. Most of the time that simply means this: it’s their way. And if it works for you too, great. But if not, it’s okay to walk away and find the path Jesus has uniquely for you.

Scripture is very specific on the what. But it’s very vague on the how. For example, “love one another.” Right now for me that means sitting at this keyboard and typing encouraging words to you in my pajamas {oops, did I admit the pajama part?}.

For you, that might mean fixing a snack for your kiddos. Or listening to a coworker who’s just gotten out of a tough meeting. Or taking a nap because if you don’t you may end up in jail. Love one another can be lived out many different ways depending on who you are, where you are and what God has for you to do that day.

This is why I’m passionate about helping women know who they are: If you don’t know who you are then you will be vulnerable to someone else trying to make you more like them. And if they succeed, we miss out on you.

And you, my dear, are irreplaceable. God doesn’t have a plan B for your life. You’re it. {Also, we’re not supposed to be more like anyone but Jesus. I’m just sayin’.}

So take some time to ask God today, “What do you want me to do with my one wild, beautiful life that no one else can?” Then listen to the whisper you hear in response. {And, yes, compared to the other loud, bossy voices in your life it will sure sound like a whisper. But it’s the only voice worth listening to with all your heart.}

Then dare to be you. Dare to be loved. Dare to live your one extraordinary, ordinary life.

Because you’re the only one who can.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

Finding the Hope in Your Dark Moments…

Diamond Mine by Holley Gerth

necklace by Premier Designs

{image is a gift for you to use and share however you’d like}

“Count it all joy when you meet trials of many kinds.” {James 1:2}

I shake my head a bit at the words above and think, “I’m not so sure I wanna do that right now.” Normally I would have been tempted to skip to a friendlier, easier verse {I’m sure I’m the only one who does that}.

But I’d been invited by Premier Designs to speak on exactly this topic. And deep down inside, I knew I needed to figure out how to “count it all joy” for my own sake too. After all, I’ve been in a season of loss lately.

So I looked closer and prayed, “God, can you please help me understand what this means? I know you’re compassionate and you’re not telling me to just plaster a fake smile on my face. After all, Jesus wept with us when he was here. But I’m gonna be honest–I don’t get it.”

As I continued to pray and considered the passage more, I realized when we count something it means we’re intentionally recognizing the worth in it. And when we count something as joy, we’re saying there’s not only worth but also even something good.

Those thoughts brought up a memory of another challenging time in my life. I’d been through several losses and felt utterly discouraged. One day I prayed, “Lord, I feel like I’m in a deep, dark cave right now.” Of course, I didn’t hear an audible response, but He did impress on my heart, “You may be in a cave but you have a choice: You can sit in the dark or you can diamond-mine your difficulties.”

I decided then and there I wasn’t leaving that cave in my life empty-handed. I was going to take every blessing I could find with me. There were still many days when all I did was sit on the floor of the cave and grieve but I also walked away from that time in my life with treasures I never would have found otherwise.

I can hold those diamonds now and count them each as a joy. Yes, count them all joy.

Do I want to go back to that cave? No, ma’am.

But do I see the worth in it now? Oh, yes.

I’m discovering “counting it all joy” isn’t a one-time thing. It’s more of a process and a promise. It’s something we’ll be learning to do until we step into heaven where all the darkness is finally gone. Until then, we can know that with our God nothing is ever worthless. It all counts even more than we can see right now. And that hope can light the way to treasures we never imagined we could find in our hard times.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

p.s. I’m speaking to over 6,000 wonderful folks from Premier Designs today and would appreciate your prayers! The necklace in the photo above is one of their beautiful pieces of jewelry.