Discouraged? There’s Help for Your Heart.

What Your Heart NeedsI am currently working my way through a wonderful new book by Holley Gerth: What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days: 52 Encouraging Truths to Hold On To. And I am finding so many words of encouragement that I can personally relate to. In fact, I have already flagged a number of pages that I know I will want to go back to so I can reread and savor the messages on days when I might be feeling a bit discouraged.

Holley is a best-selling writer, licensed counselor, certified life coach, and speaker. I have followed her blog: Heart to Heart with Holley (www.holleygerth.com) for quite some time now and often share her posts or some of her words or graphics with friends and family on my Facebook page.

Holley also works in partnership with DaySpring, one of the largest publishers and distributors of Christian greeting cards (and other inspirational products) in the world. Plus, she is the cofounder of (in)courage, an online “home for the hearts of women,” which I love; I have found so many great articles and bloggers through this site.

In fact, there was a recent post on (in)courage from Renee Swope titled “Words for the Weary” that made me think of Holley and the importance of her newest book. To me, Holley Gerth is the encourager of encouragers.  

Words of Encouragement

If you haven’t heard of (in)courage before, you should check them out.

So, back to the book: What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days contains 52 similarly formatted devotions based on the book of Psalms, written in a way that helps us remember that “God is good and we’re all in this together.”

Because there are 52 entries, you could easily use this book as a weekly devotional to be processed over a year, taking your time to read the opening Scripture quote and Holley’s words. Then adding your own words to complete the prayer, which has already been started for you under “What My Heart Is Saying to You.” During the week, you can go back and write in your thoughts under “What My Heart Is Hearing from You,” and at any time, you can open your Bible and read and reflect on the three Psalms referenced at the end of that week’s entry.

Of course, the devotions are short enough that you could also choose to read them as daily devotions. Either way, in this comforting book, Holley invites us “to be filled with the strength, peace, and joy that come from God’s promises.”

She provides real-life stories for us to connect with, as well as encouraging thoughts and passages from God’s Word to help us focus on what’s really important—the internal and the eternal.

All we have to do is be willing to open our hearts and receive.

Open Your Heart

Already a fan of Holley Gerth, her latest book does not disappoint. Not only will you find this book to be soothing for your own soul, but it would make a great gift for a hurting friend or perhaps even a wonderful donation at a women’s shelter. It is also the perfect companion to one of Holley’s other books: You’re Going to Be Okay.

I hope you get an opportunity to read What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days. I will likely be posting excerpts from it in the days ahead.

God Exerts His Strength

“God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.”

Psalm 46:5

“The Lord is my strength and my shield:
my heart trusts in him,
and I am helped.”

Psalm 28:7

 

Disclosure: This book was sent to me free of charge
from Revell for my honest review.

 

Day 6: 21 Days of Rest

I have been reading a book about rest for the past month, and even though a lighter work schedule has given me time away from my desk, the “doer” in me has continued to find a way to fill up my schedule. I have been making promises and setting up self-imposed deadlines for projects that really don’t need to be completed by a specific date/time. So, I was delighted to read Bonnie Gray’s post this morning “The Clock Is Not My Shepherd,” where she shared her decision to change her 21 Days of Rest blog tour. She says,

“I am so excited to continue sharing 21 Days of Rest and Whitespace Challenges.

But, these will not be consecutive 21 Days.

These will be 21 Days written with the rhythm of rest. I will write to you out of a heart fully alive, engaged.

Because Faith Barista is about making a quiet space for you and me, I want to always return to my own heart to live and write from a journey of rest myself.”

Rest


Read more about and/or purchase the book here.So, in keeping with the spirit and intention of the book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest, and the Faith Barista’s words, I will also be giving the perfectionist in me permission to move away from self-imposed deadlines and toward living a journey of rest. I will add blog tour posts as they coincide with Bonnie’s posts so that others may continue to enjoy her words and my photography. And I may write other posts on various days of the month, but quite likely, there will be days with no posts at all. The rhythm of my life, slowing down to allow me to breathe, will set the pace.

Meanwhile, here is my Day 6 blog tour contribution, containing my photo and Bonnie’s words. Feel free to share it.

Acceptance and Rest

Also, check out this rewrite of Psalm 23, “The Clock Is My Dictator” by Marcia Hornok, which appeared on the Faith Barista’s Day 6 blog. This was the first time I had seen it, although it has been around for years. I think many of you will relate to it. I know I did.

The clock is my dictator

I shall not rest.

It makes me lie down
only when exhausted.

It leads me to deep depression.
It hounds my soul.

It leads me in circles of frenzy
for activity’s sake.

Even though I run
frantically from task to task,
I will never get it all done.

For my “ideal” is with me.
Deadlines and my need for approval,
they drive me.

They demand performance from me
beyond the limits of my schedule.

They anoint my head with migraines.
My in-basket overflows.

Surely fatigue and time pressure
shall follow me all the days of my life.

by Marcia Hornok
(1990, In Discipleship Journal)

Let’s give up the quest to reach the end of the “to do” list, and accept that it will never happen. Instead, think about maintaining a more realistic schedule and reaching for physical and spiritual rest along the way. If you’d like to participate in this faith journey that I’m on and connect with the Whitespace Community, click here.

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Day 5: 21 Days of Rest

Whispers, etched in pain but spoken with truth, hope, and encouragement …

Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista, offers these things to readers of her book Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest. Follow Bonnie on a journey of the soul through the broken places of your past (painful memories you may have buried or tried to erase) to spiritual whitespace, where we can rest together with Jesus.

“Jesus wants us to know there is no place we can find ourselves where his presence cannot reach us.”

Join me this June as I post some of my own photos enhanced by some of my favorite quotes from this thought-provoking, heart-touching book. (Feel free to Pin or share my images.)

Finding Your Whitespace

 You’ll find Bonnie’s Day 5 blog post here.

“Am I the beloved?

This is a complicated question for my heart.

But what good is truth if I am not living it, experiencing it in my story?

Jesus didn’t love us simply with his mind far away in heaven.

Jesus became rest for us. As a person. Not as some idea or concept.

Spiritual whitespace is not an ideal concept of rest.  Spiritual whitespace is making space to engage our heart with a Person.  Jesus.”

 

Somewhere along the way, we stopped valuing the idea of rest. We lost sight of the fact that it’s a critical part of creativity … our health and … our faith. … If you’re tired of being tired, read this book. … If you feel too busy to read this book, then that’s probably the best sign of all that you need it.” Jon Acuff, NYT bestselling author of Stuff Christians Like  (From the foreword for Finding Spiritual Whitespace)

 findingspiritualwhitespace_book-194x300

Take this journey with me and find your own rest using this beautifully written guidebook: Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest. Click on the link (the title of the book or the image above) to order.

Join the 21 Days of Rest blog tour by sharing stories and photos of your own  moments — on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest — using the hashtag: #spiritualwhitespace

 

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Day 4: 21 Days of Rest

Join me on a journey this June to seek rest. I will be posting some of my own photos enhanced by some of my favorite quotes from Bonnie Gray’s book — Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest. I hope you enjoy them. (Feel free to Pin or share my images.) #spiritualwhitespace

Created for Beauty

 

You’ll find Bonnie’s Day 4 blog post here. “I want to make room in my life to be His canvas, that He can fill with beautiful, mysterious things that reflect the unique me He designed. …

God as artist lavishes time on his most beautiful creations in nature.

How can you and I be any less?

God made our hearts hungry.  For beauty. Dreams. Intimacy with Him. Friendships. Quiet. Rest.

God made our souls long for all these things — that take time.

We are not projects for God. We are poeima of God.

We need spiritual whitespace.

 

Check out these TWO special book launch giveaways! — GIVEAWAY #1:  {35 Winners} Times of Refreshing Journal from DaySpring and GIVEAWAY #2: {15 Winners} A Gold Connected Hearts Necklace by Lisa Leonard PLUS Times of Refreshing Journal Gift Set Giveaway from DaySpring. You must enter by Friday (6/6) so go check it out.

Take this journey with me and find your own rest using this beautifully written guidebook: Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest, which released yesterday! Click on the link (the title of the book or the image below) to order.

 

findingspiritualwhitespace_book-194x300

 

Join the 21 Days of Rest blog tour by sharing photos of your own  moments — on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest — using the hashtag: #spiritualwhitespace

 

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Day 3: 21 Days of Rest

Join me on a journey this June to seek rest. I will be posting some of my own photos enhanced by some of my favorite quotes from Bonnie Gray’s book — Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest. I hope they bless you and speak to your heart and/or intrigue you to check out the book for yourself. (Feel free to Pin or share my images.)

God's Artwork

 

You’ll find Bonnie’s Day 3 blog post here. She explains a little bit on how her book came about during her own personal quest for soul rest, and she is celebrating her book launch by offering TWO giveaways! — GIVEAWAY #1:  {35 Winners} Times of Refreshing Journal from DaySpring and GIVEAWAY #2: {15 Winners} A Gold Connected Hearts Necklace by Lisa Leonard PLUS Times of Refreshing Journal Gift Set Giveaway from DaySpring. You must enter by Friday (6/6) so go check it out.

God knows that many of us tend to overdo it and allow ourselves to become worn out, exhausted, and weary. He encourages us to seek rest, especially in our times of weakness:

“The Lord is the everlasting God …
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak. …
those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

“The next time you feel too tired or frustrated to go on, remember this: Our God is not exhaustible. Instead, He is faithful to provide a supply of endless divine strength to those who are willing to wait for His perfect timing. In all things, He gives exactly what we need for the moment at hand.” Chuck Swindoll (inTouch.org)

Take this journey with me and find your own rest using this beautifully written guidebook: Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest, which released TODAY! Click on the link (the title of the book or the image below) to order.

 

findingspiritualwhitespace_book-194x300

 

Join the 21 Days of Rest blog tour by sharing photos of your own  moments — on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest — using the hashtag: #spiritualwhitespace

 

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace