The Wild Art of Dreaming

 

Hearts photo by Stephanie Ackerman

photo by stephanie ackerman…check out her fabulous site!

Last week I got to share about God-sized Dreams with a group of amazing women at Camp Create. As I stood up to speak the first night I confessed, “Creating art used to scare me silly. I wouldn’t even go near a hot glue gun.”

My fear came from a false belief that there was a right way to make art and that the end result had to be perfect. A few months ago I did an art journaling class that set me free. And I came to understand this: creating art and dreaming aren’t that much different. And they’re both good for our souls. Here’s what I mean…

Creating art and dreaming both require giving up control. Things never turn out the way you picture them in your mind. This can be wildly frustrating and incredibly freeing all at once. Art and dreams teach us to let go and trust.

Art and dreaming also both mean getting messy. We have to get our hands and hearts right into the middle of it all. Neither one are spectator sports. They’re not about perfection but instead growth and beauty.

Art and dreaming are more about the journey than the destination. We may think we want a certain outcome but what really benefits us most is the actual doing and becoming that happen along the way.

Art and dreaming are unique to each of us. No two people will create the same thing or have exactly the same goal. We reflect the wonder and glory of the God who created us when we open ourselves to one-of-a-kind expressions.

Art and dreaming both involve fear. And the only way to become braver is to put ourselves in situations where we feel fear and do it anyway.

Art and dreaming aren’t necessary for surviving…but they’re essential for thriving. They make us come alive deep down inside.

We are works of art made by God. We are living dreams that began in His heart. Creativity isn’t something that belongs to a few of us–it’s an essential part of all of us.

Make art.

Dream.

Be.

Wherever you are today.

In whatever way you can.

Even when you feel afraid.

You have beautiful gifts to offer the world that only you can create. 

How do you enjoy expressing your creativity? What helps you dream?

XOXO

Holley Gerth

p.s. If you’d like encouragement for your dreams, my books You’re Made for a God-sized Dream and Opening the Door to Your God-sized Dream can help.

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God Wants to Encourage You Today

God Encourages by Holley Gerth

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

You encourage them and you listen to their cry. Psalm 10:17

It would be easier to pull the covers back over her head. It would be simpler to let the sun stream through the windows and not rise to greet it. It would be less painful to turn over and let sleep seize her again.

But she doesn’t let the depression win. Not today. She pushes back the blankets and puts her feet on the floor. She stretches her arms to the heavens and whispers, “Help me, Jesus.” She takes a step away from her comfort zone and into the arms of the Savior who is waiting to walk with her through every moment of her day.

Depression is real. And I believe we are whole beings who need help with every aspect of it—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. So if you’re struggling with ongoing sadness, then learn the symptoms, go see your doctor, find a wise counselor, and do everything you can to help yourself get what you need.

Also know this: God doesn’t condemn you for your feelings. Many of the well-known characters of the Bible struggled with periods of depression too. You’re not alone in your struggle, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve personally wrestled on and off with depression—and most likely will for the rest of my life. I don’t understand why this is a “thorn in my flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7). But thankfully I’ve learned this truth along the way: God is on my side, especially in those times.

I love that the verse above says that God encourages us. Have you ever thought about that? When the day seems difficult, when you’re weary, when you feel like a failure . . . God is encouraging you. For so long I thought of him as standing by and shaking his head as he wondered, “Why can’t you get it together?” But that’s not his heart toward us at all.

To encourage literally means “to give courage,” and that’s what God wants to do for us on the hard days. He says to us, “I’m here. I will help you. I will give you strength to take one more step.”

He looks at your life with infinite love and tenderness. And he knows how hard it is to be us sometimes. He lived in this world. He experienced pain. He died on a cross. Jesus understands how brutal this world can be.

Depression is a hard enough battle on its own. God doesn’t want you to add guilt and shame to what you’re already trying to overcome. Instead he wants to encourage you.

What if, on the days when it’s hard for you to get out of bed, you imagined him reaching out to lift you up instead of being disappointed in you? What if he’s cheering as you take your first step into a day that’s not one you want to face? What if instead of saying “get it together,” he’s whispering, “Let’s do this together”?

And it can change us.

You are encouraged, not condemned, my friend.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

The excerpt above is from my new devotional book, What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days. We’re going through it together on Facebook and we’d love for you to join us. Come on over, friend.

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days

It’s finally here!

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days - Holley Gerth

Hey Friend! Do you ever have hard days and need encouragement? Me too.

That’s why I’m so excited to share with you that my new devotional book What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days: 52 Truths to Hold On To officially releases today! Woo-hoo!

You can order your copies by clicking here and it’s on sale right now

And for the first time ever, I’m going to host a book club. Think of it like us gathering in a corner of our favorite coffee shop for some heart-to-heart encouragement. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? {To be part of the book club, all you need to do is like my Facebook page.} We will kick off the book club next Monday, September 8th so you still have time for you and your friends to get your books!

To give you a little taste, here’s an excerpt from the introduction…

We all have hard days. The kind that make us want to pull the covers back over our heads, move to Hawaii, or eat a dozen cupcakes. Deep inside we know those aren’t the best options for our lives or our thighs. So what’s a girl to do?

Thankfully, Jesus said we don’t “live on bread alone”—that includes cupcakes—“but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). That means while we may crave all kinds of things, what we really need is truth. We need to know who God is and what he’s promised us. We need to remember who we are and have confidence that we’re going to be okay. We need to find a way to quiet the hunger pains in our hearts.

The book of Psalms is like a table covered with God’s goodness. It’s a place I’m often drawn to when I’m feeling down. And it’s where we’re going to sit together in these pages. So pull up a chair if you’re feeling tired, if you’re discouraged, or if you just feel a little empty inside.

Because this book has fifty-two entries, you can read it as a daily or weekly devotional. My prayer is that by the end of our time together, you’ll walk away with a heart that’s full. You’ll have more strength, peace, and joy. You’ll feel refreshed and nourished in a way that will sustain you through whatever the future may hold.

You’re not alone, my friend. We’re in this together. Let’s “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8).

God used this book to speak some truths to my heart that I find myself going back to again and again on tough days and I can’t wait to share them with you!

You can order your copies of What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days by clicking here {and it’s on sale right now!}. And to be part of the book club, all you need to do is like my Facebook page. We’ll start going through the book together on Monday, September 8th. Who can you invite to join us?

I’m really looking forward to this time with you. And I’d love for you to bring some friends with you too! Who else in your life needs encouragement for their hard days? I hope we’re not the only ones who ever feel this way! :)

XOXO

Holley Gerth

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