When is the last time someone told you that?
Do you ever find yourself thinking:
If I were more like her, I could...
If I had more money, or a bigger house, or more resources, I could...
If my life was easier, or my circumstances were different, I could...
When things slow down I will finally....
If your answer to the first question is "no", and your answer to the second, "yes," you need the kind of pep talk that Holly Gerth offers in her new book You Are Already Amazing.
While these questions may not always have definitive answers, most women fall somewhere on the continum of saying "no" to the first and "yes" to the second far to often.
Our hearts as women...they're big, and complex and often insecure. We dream big dreams and then face real life. Our big dreams and real life, when mixed together, often do not produce the outcome we were hoping for.
The beauty is, none of this is a surprise to God and Holly offers us a well stated reminder of that.
The book starts out with Holly pulling up a proverbial chair next to us in a coffee shop. She's there to have a heart to heart, to remind us that we're created just the way you were supposed to be-- idiosyncrasies and all.
Holly builds an intimate rapport with us, her reader, from the very first chapter. It's as if her experiences as a counselor, life coach and writer of (very good) inspirational cards for DaySpring has transcended the pages of the book to meet us right where we are.
One of my favorite moments is when she brings us to the passage in scripture where an accused woman is brought forth and about to be punished (stoned!) for her sins.
The leaders provokingly instigate Jesus..."What would you say? How would you punish her?"
He looks at them, as everyone is watching, including the shamed and embarrassed woman and then, with his finger, leans over and writes something in the dust. Something that makes everyone stop...pause...and walk away.
Gerth says, " What Christ wrote in the dust is a mystery. But whatever it was, I know it was truth. And now we stand as women accused. The enemy is ready to throw stones at us. In the dust of our hearts, I picture Jesus writing truth that covers those accusing words:
Loved. Accepted. Chosen. Mine
My eyes are overflowing a bit now (as I imagine those of the woman accused did too) with happy tears of freedom and grace. Others may speak into our lives. But Jesus has the final say. He covers the lies with love. May he heal us and help us to believe."
Whew. Are those not words that go right to the deep places of your heart?
I have so many words, lines, well made points and moments of encouragement, underlined in this book that I will surely be returning to it. It will take it's place on the bookshelf in my office (the one I reference when I need to be encouraged or inspired!) rather than the bookshelf in the basement (the books that were just o.k., that I might refer to again, but don't have room for in my office!).
One quick confession...I wasn't sure I was ready for another "self-help" type book. You read enough of them and you begin to think I've heard it all before. I've read so many of them, and garnered truth from some, but tend to walk away thinking "that was good", and then nothing changes.
Perhaps it's because many books tell us what we need to do.
Holly's book, on the other hand, changed my heart. She doesn't tell us we need to DO anything. In fact, she prompts us to stop doing and just BE. Simply be who God created you to be and inevitably what you do with your life will be exactly what it is supposed to be.
Thanks Holly! I needed that.
Holly posts regularly on her blog Heart to Heart with Holly. Head on over to website and check her out. Her post today is also linked to a great giveaway from (in) Courage and gives details about the book club that will be starting next Monday. You can join women, online, from all over the country who will also be reading You're Already Amazing.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.