It looks like a book. It feels like a book. Open it up and What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days becomes a companion. Each entry, based on the psalms, is like a conversation with a trusted friend over coffee. I found myself leaning in closely as Holley Gerth ties real-life situations with the truth we need to hear. With compassion and insight her words pour encouragement and wisdom into tender hearts. Words that comfort and inspire. Words that challenge. More than that, this devotional is a useful tool that will drive a tunnel through the hard rock of adversity as well as lay the unshakable foundation that will forever hold you up. By the time you’ve turned the last page, you will look up and notice your heavenly Father seated at your table together where he’s been speaking to you all along.
What I love about this book is its versatility. It is organized in such a way that it can be used in different ways, at different times, with different people. It can actually be read quickly in a single sitting if you like to get an overview before digging deeper. You can start at the beginning, dive in randomly, or pick and choose a spot that best fills the need in your heart. Conveniently divided into 52 concise entries, it easily fits into daily or weekly devotions.
Each message opens with a scripture quote followed by a heart to heart with Holley. It wraps up with “What my Heart is Saying To You” prayer prompt leaving room to add your own words. Then closes with a blank space to record “What My Heart is Hearing from You” as you reflect and listen for what God is saying to you. What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days also offers a refreshing way to get to know the psalms. In addition to the lead verse, Holley sets up a reading plan at the end of every entry that will guide you through the entire book of Psalms.
Sure enough, her words will lift the veil off the truths that get masked during those hard times that have us stumbling in the dark through dangerous landmines of lies planted by the enemy to trip us up. Behind the curtain of pain and doubts, she reveals unmistakably vivid reminders that include:
You are forgiven.
You are not alone.
God is the good shepherd taking care of your needs.
He will never reject you.
He gives you the power to trample the enemy.
He is bigger than the mountain you’re facing.
He will make things right and turn everything into enough.
Beyond these assurances, you may catch a few surprises. Unexpected topics like the hidden gift of trouble and value of laughter and tears. Insights you may never have imagined such as how having a burden gets confused with being a burden; that it makes a difference to know the difference between getting hurt and being harmed. Would you believe God is interested in updating our wardrobe? Were you aware of the paradox that joy and anxiety are related in our brain and that we can take both our gratitude and aching emptiness to God in prayer? Can you guess what happens when you stop trying so hard, trust more, and hand over a chance to meet your needs to others? No worries, Holley’s got it covered.
The best thing about What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days is the truths Holley shares are not confined to tough times. They are powerful, valid, and uplifting every day of the year. It’s like a daily dose of vitamin alpha-omega that heals and repairs as well as strengthen, vitalize, and calm. It’s the stuff that pumps our hearts with peace, love, joy and hope as we continue this journey we call life. As Holley put it so well, “No matter what page your story is on right now, this is not the end. With God there is only one ending – and it’s actually the beginning.”
I’m delighted to be included in the Revell Blog Tour for What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days. They graciously sent me a copy of the devotional in exchange for this unbiased review. You are invited to read an excerpt at (in)courage, and join in on the book club discussion at Holley’s Facebook page. As always you can hook up with Holley and the Coffee for Your Heart Community for a warm cup of encouragement and inspiration in this week’s link-up today.
Thank you Holley Gerth
for the Coffee for Your Heart image