8 Fab Black Friday {& Beyond} Finds for Encouragers & Word Lovers…

My favorite gifts this time of year have three things in common: meaning, encouragement and words. {You too? Yep, I thought we were a lot alike!} In the middle of all the Christmas shopping craziness those things can be surprisingly hard to find. So here’s a list of some my favorites…

Grateful Heart Memo Chalkboard

Grateful Heart Chalkboard {60% off}

Jeremiah 29:11 Silver Bracelet {over 50% off}

Jeremiah 29:11 Silver Bracelet {over 50% off}

My favorite tank top ever. Designed by Aliza Latta. All proceeds go to charity.

My favorite tank top ever. Designed by Aliza Latta. All proceeds go to help Hashtag Hope.

Personalized Family Tree Ornament by Lisa Leonard. Ours says "2014: First Family Christmas...Mark, Holley, Lovelle, David"

Personalized Family Tree Ornament by Lisa Leonard. Ours says “First Family Christmas: Mark, Holley, Lovelle, David.” Free So Loved necklace with any purchase while supplies last {coupon code: soloved}

20% off any Print of the Month from Red Letter Words with coupon code Love20

20% off any print of the month from Red Letter Words {coupon code Love20}

30% off the entire Heart-to-Heart with Holley Card Collection {code 30FRIDAY14}

10% off all my books, including Wall Street Journal bestseller You're Already Amazing {coupon code: CoffeeForYourHeart}

10% off Holley Gerth books, including Wall Street Journal bestseller You’re Already Amazing {coupon code: CoffeeForYourHeart}

30% off Everything on DaySpring.com until December 1 {coupon code 30FRIDAY14}

What Introverts Can Give Our Wild World During the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. But if you’re an introvert–especially one with a highly sensitive nervous system–then they can be the most overwhelming time of the year.

For years I felt guilty for not being as enthusiastic about the season as others around me seemed to be. Yes, I loved being grateful and celebrating the birth of Jesus. But the endless socializing, loud music and crowded shopping centers? Not so much.

I’m hoping I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. If so, I’m going to feel like the biggest grinch ever. But I’ve got a hunch there are a lot of us out there who would prefer a silent night to decking the halls. And I’ve finally decided to stop fighting who I am and instead see it as a gift I can offer others.

If you’re a fellow introvert, I hope this list will encourage you. And if you’re an extrovert, I hope you’ll take full advantage of what the introverts in your world can add to your holiday season this year…

Holiday Introverts by Holley Gerth

{my graphics are freebies for you}

* Introverts connect us to the deeper meaning of what we’re celebrating. Introverts are contemplative by nature. They can lead us back to what really matters and readjust our perspective when it’s easy to be distracted. They may skip the small talk but they love to talk through questions like, “What are you most grateful for this year?” or “What are you dreaming about for the new year?”

* Introverts provide much-needed silent nights. The holidays can seem like a social marathon. Between parties, family visits and catching up with friends it can be exhausting even for the most extroverted among us. When I ask people how they are this time of year I often get one of two replies, “busy” or “tired.” Introverts can help you catch your breath. They can sit with you and watch the snow fall. They can curl up beside you on the couch with a good book. They can help you start the new year refreshed instead of exhausted.

* Introverts give us a buffer from too much materialism. Because of the way their brains are wired, introverts are less susceptible to external rewards–the latest and greatest gadget, the must-have sale item, the shiny temptations that are everywhere this time of year. Spending time with introverts can help keep you grounded, grateful and living simply.

* Introverts bring a peaceful presence into our homes. If you have family or friends visiting, it can feel like a lot of pressure to entertain, entertain, entertain. But introverts don’t need {or even want} that kind of hectic pace. Give them permission to read, nap, spend a cozy evening watching old movies or whatever low key activity appeals to them. And feel free to join in too.

* Introverts love on us in quiet ways we need more now than any other time of the year. Holidays can be a time of constant giving in every possible way. Introverts want to sit across the table from you and ask, “How are you, really?” They can be a safe place and sounding board when family drama happens. They can help you think back over the past year and do some dreaming for the new one. And you’ll both feel better when you’re done.

******

If you’re an extrovert, you may relate to some of what I shared above too. That’s because none of us are 100% introvert or extrovert. We’re all a glorious mix of both. If you have things you want us to know about extroverts, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section! And if you’re an introvert, please feel free to add anything else you can think of too.

Let’s all do what we can to bring joy to the world…and especially to each other. 

XOXO

Holley Gerth

If you like this post, you’ll enjoy 7 Ways You Can Love an Introvert too. 

Would you like to subscribe by email {free}?

I’d love to connect with you on facebook, twitter, instagram, google+ & 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 with us.

If you’d like a writing prompt to get you going, here’s a list I created just for you: 30 Writing Prompts.

Pretty please use this new button in your 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}

If you don’t have a blog, you can still come by holleygerth.com to read the posts and join in too.


God Writes the Best Love Stories: How Our Daughter Adopted Us…

Lovelle & Holley

I watched as a single line spread across yet another pregnancy test. In that moment of silence and disappointment, that pink line felt more like a billboard with neon flashing lights declaring: “No! No! No!”

“No, you can’t be a mother.”

“No, your dreams can’t come true.”

“No, you don’t get to end this waiting game that is slowly shredding your heart.”

When my husband and I married, we believed, like most young couples, that starting a family would be easy. After all, we knew how it worked and God would surely answer our prayers because what we longed for was a good thing. But after years of those single pink lines, endless trips to the doctor, and one baby in heaven, we realized our journey was going to look different than we hoped.

As time went by, God began healing my heart and showing me that my idea of motherhood had been limited. He led me to Genesis where Eve is called “the mother of all living.”

I came to see all women are mothers because we all bring life to the world in some way.

After that realization, several different people prayed over me on different occasions and said God would bring life through my words. I began to get the picture: I was a word mama. I settled into birthing books and felt a new fullness deep within.

But one night I watched a television special on foster kids who age out of the system and unexpected tears began to slip down my cheeks. This is not okay, I thought. These kids can’t spend the rest of their lives without parents. In case you aren’t familiar with the system, when foster kids turn 18 they’re simply sent out into the world as adults. I kept asking myself: Who will help them learn to be grown-ups? Who will walk them down the aisle on their wedding days? Who will be grandparents to their babies?

My husband and I had considered adopting a baby, but we never felt that was the direction God had for us. But after that night of unexpected tears, I started running around and saying something crazy: “If we ever adopt, our kid will probably be a 20 year-old…”

Will you read the rest of our story on Today’s Christian Woman? You can find it here. Thank you!

XOXO

Holley Gerth

My adopted daughter’s blog: Lovely Letters

Would you like to subscribe by email {free}?

I’d love to connect with you on facebook, twitter, instagram, google+ & 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 with us.

If you’d like a writing prompt to get you going, here’s a list I created just for you: 30 Writing Prompts.

Pretty please use this new button in your 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}

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

{click to tweet}

If you don’t have a blog, you can still come by holleygerth.com to read the posts and join in too.