There’s Always Hope When Jesus is Writing Your Story

Never place a period where God has placed a comma.

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

Most of us know the story. The two famous biblical sisters, Mary and Martha, have a brother named Lazarus who becomes sick. They send for Jesus but He doesn’t arrive for two more days. And by that time, Lazarus has died. It seems it’s time for “The End” to be written on the final page.

But as a quote by Gracie Allen hanging on my Mama’s refrigerator says, “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.”

We all have a Lazarus in our lives. A dream that seems to have gasped its last breath. A hope that’s lifeless and still. A relationship that seems beyond resurrection.

Jesus understands the pain of those places. As Joanna Weaver says in Lazarus Awakening:

“Where have you laid him?” Jesus asks Martha and Mary through His tears {John 11:34}….

Where have you laid your pain? Jesus asks us tenderly. Where do you keep all your shattered hopes and dreams? Where have you laid the part of you that died when you were abandoned, forgotten, betrayed? Where are you entombed and enslaved, hemmed in, shut down, and closed off?

Come and see, Lord. That’s the only response we need to give.

Come and see.

Because when Jesus shows up you can be sure the show isn’t over. After He weeps with His friends by the tomb, He calls Lazarus to come forth. And suddenly the period placed by humanity becomes an exclamation point inserted by divinity.

We serve a God of life. Of resurrection. What He does may not look exactly like what happened with Lazarus. And, yes, sometimes our exclamation point may be added on the other side of eternity. But you can be sure that death will not ultimately win in any situation in your life. “Death is swallowed up in victory” {1 Cor. 15:54}.

And until then, we have the same hope that Mary and Martha did even if it felt delayed: Jesus is coming. He knows your hurt and He cries with you. He has not forgotten. He will not abandon you in your time of need.

The Author of Life is asking, “Where have you laid your Lazarus?” and He will tenderly, powerfully transform your story in ways beyond what you’ve yet imagined.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

LazarusAwakeningP.S. I’m thrilled to offer a giveaway of Joanna’s new book, Lazarus Awakening! Her words will show you how to embrace the truth that Jesus loves you apart from anything you accomplish, apart from anything you bring.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post by Sunday {7/26} at midnight. Feel free to tell me a story of a time when God replaced a period with a comma, if you’d like.

{The giveaway is closed and the winner has been contacted.}

Let’s All Be a Little Kinder to Each Other

Be Kind - HolleyGerth.com{my graphics are free goodies for you}

I pull on my tennis shoes, open the front door and begin to run. The sky stretches blue above me and the road feels firm beneath my feet. I stand tall with my shoulders straight and arms swinging rhythmically by my sides. I even feel a little cool in my shades.

By the end, things have changed. I’ve gone into what I like to call “T Rex” mode. My arms are bunched up under my chest like tiny little claws and my cadence has the grace of a dinosaur doing ballet. Yes, it really is as awkward as it sounds.

Cars whiz by and I worry about what they’re thinking. I didn’t mind other people bearing witness when I first began and felt strong. But now I want to shout, “Look away! Look away!” (And I might but I can’t breathe).

Even more, I want a t-shirt that says, “Be kind: You can’t see how far I’ve already come.”

Maybe the whole world needs t-shirts like that one. Because we’re all just trying to take the next steps as best we can. And while it can be easy to judge, we can’t see the hill she just conquered. We don’t know this is her third lap around the same struggle. We missed the miles she put in while the rain poured down.

Less criticism. More cheering.

Less assuming. More understanding.

Less gawking. More seeing the best.

Being Kind Make You Feel Happy Journal by DaySpring

Journal by DaySpring

I open the door of my house and practically collapse on the floor. My husband comes over to make sure he doesn’t need to call 911. “I made it,” I manage to gasp, “I’m home.” And suddenly that’s all that matters. I don’t care that I’m a mess. That I smell bad enough to scare the dog. That Nike would probably pay me not to ever wear their shoes.

The next time I run I notice a woman struggling up an incline one slow step at a time. I smile and give her a thumbs up sign. I get it. And I would want someone to do the same for me.

Let Your Smile Change the World Journal by DaySpring

Journal by DaySpring

Until the whole world gets those t-shirts, let’s all be a little kinder anyway. We don’t know how far anyone has come. Or how far they have to go. And we don’t know when it might be our turn to climb that hill.

XOXO,

Holley Gerth

A little thank you for stopping by: Get 20% off anything and everything on DaySpring.com {excluding clearance} with my friends and family code, HGFRIENDS.

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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

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Why You Can Pursue Excellence and Skip Perfection

Excellence is simply doing what you can, with what you have, where you are, as you are.

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

Whenever someone starts talking about how it’s okay not to be perfect, I can watch the women in the room begin to squirm (myself included).

Yes, we desperately want more grace and freedom in our lives. But we also have this fear that if we let ourselves off the hook, everything will just go to pieces. We won’t do a good job anymore. Our parenting will be halfhearted. Our work will be shabby. Our house will get a visit from the health inspector. So let’s get this clear right up front: not being perfect doesn’t mean you don’t work hard and try to do well.

We’re clearly told, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Col. 3:23). We’re not to slack off, become lazy, or do less than what we can because of grace. Instead, God’s love and kindness become motivation for our hard work.

But we’re also not told, “Whatever you do, do it perfectly.” Working “with all your heart” simply means being intentional about what we do and doing it out of love. Pursuing excellence leads to joy and satisfaction. Pursuing perfection leads to burnout and frustration.

Excellence is simply doing what you can, with what you have, where you are, as you are.

Let’s take a deep breath, whisper a prayer, release our grip on perfection, embrace grace and live with love–which the Apostle called “the most excellent way.” That really is enough for one day…and one wild, beautiful lifetime.

XOXO,

Holley Gerth

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You've Loved No Matter What

Seeing your pictures of You’re Loved No Matter What is so encouraging! Photo taken by Lander.

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 Tasha 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 does perfectionism sneak in and how can you replace it with gratitude?

Next Wednesday’s prompt is: What does ‘excellence’ mean or look like to you?

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!

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How Saying Thanks Can Heal Our Hearts

Gratitude is kryptonite for perfectionism.

{my graphics are free goodies for you}

My friend and fellow writer Ann Voskamp took a dare to write down one thousand gifts in her life. That list pulled her out of a season of depression and awakened her in new ways to God’s presence.

She says, “All gratitude is ultimately gratitude for Christ, all remembering is a remembrance of him. For in him all things were created, are sustained, have their being.”

And gratitude is like kryptonite for perfectionism.

Perfectionism says, “It’s not enough.”

Gratitude says, “It’s more than enough.”

Perfectionism says, “I’m lacking.”

Gratitude says, “I’m living in abundance.”

Perfectionism says, “God is holding out on me.”

Gratitude says, “God is good and gracious.”

Perfectionism says, “I must try harder and go farther.”

Gratitude says, “I will be fully present in this moment.”

It turns out giving thanks not only connects us to God, it increases our day-to-day happiness as well. Researchers did an experiment with three groups. The first wrote down five things they were grateful for each week. The second group wrote down five challenges they faced. And the third simply wrote down five random events. Those who recorded five blessings increased their happiness by 25 percent over their baseline level. That’s a significant amount!

Let’s practice defeating perfectionism as well as building our holiness and happiness together: What’s one thing you’re grateful for today? {If you’re reading this by email, come on over to www.holleygerth.com so you can share your answer.}

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Sunshine + You’re Loved No Matter What = a fun summer read. Picture courtesy of Abi!

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 Bev Rihtarchik 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: Do you have a hard time asking for or accepting help?

Next Wednesday’s prompt is: Where does perfectionism sneak in and how can you replace it with gratitude?

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!}


Keep Your Confidence No Matter What Happens

Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. {Psalm 27:3}

Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.

Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.

{Psalm 27:3}

There is nothing you will face this week that’s bigger than your God. No problem. No struggle. No opposition. He can’t be defeated and therefore you can’t be defeated either.

Yes, there may be some battles. You may even be wounded. But you will not be overcome.

Hold tightly to your confidence and refuse to let anyone or anything take it from you. You’re stronger than you feel right now. And your God is even more powerful than you can imagine. With Him on your side, victory is sure.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

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