There is this woman... she is amazing, and loving, and just overflows with encouragement, and oozes Jesus in all the best ways. And there is this book that arrived on my doorstep during one of the hardest weeks of Days so far...
I had the honor of briefly meeting Holley Gerth last year at Allume. I had been reading her books and her blog and I was already smitten. She is so full of hope, and yet she is not at all cheesy or fake or head-in-the-sand clueless. No, she has had her own struggles and battles and she is authentic and honest in sharing her own Hard Days. She is a sister, a life coach, a friend... she is inviting and strong and always offers coffee (and so I love her. That is all.)
Only not really. That is not all... she is also wise beyond her years and what pours out of her, and into the reader, is Jesus... it is Hope, and help, and faith stirred up. It is a Light shining in the darkness and hers is the voice of a mother who lovingly lifts you up. She is a releaser and will help you stand up tall in Truth and reach for those God-Sized Dreams that are hidden down deep.
"What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days" arrived in the midst of a difficult week. I knew it was coming... (the book, not the tough times) but I didn't know how much I would need it until it arrived! We had some unexpected battles, some heartbreak and uncertainty, we fought off some darkness and despair, and we suddenly lost a friend who, as her family said over and over at her Celebration of Life service yesterday, "graduated" to heaven. She was ready; we were not.
Through all of it, I slowly turned the pages of this little book and found hope... found peace... found again the Anchor that we cling to Who steadies our hearts and the One who beckons us to come and walk on the water.
The truth, the stories, the encouragement and hope - I love all of these things that are packed into this little book of 52 meditations based on the book of Psalms. But what I love the most is the invitation at the end of each one, inviting the reader to pray.. and to listen. (And then, of course, to write down what you hear!)
I am a huge encourager of Listening Prayer. In fact last October, I wrote for #31Days on Encountering God and one of the best ways to do that is to not just whisper off a list of requests, but to enter into a conversation with the Lord. I love how Holley makes it simple and paves the way for conversation on the days when it feels like it's just too much to know where to even start!
Because of the battles that unfolded in our life, I read this book in gulps and swallowed down every page quick like in order to pass it on and share the Hope that is so beautifully held out here. However, I encourage you to read through it slowly if possible, and let it sink in deep!
It is a great companion book for "You're Going to Be Okay" which I am reading through now, slowly (and loving it, too!)
* - I am honored that Revell sent me a copy of 'What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days' for free for my honest review. I highly recommend both books.