Friday, May 17, 2013

Wrapping Up You're Already Amazing Book Talk

Chapter 11- What God REALLY Wants You to Remember
The journey through this book has been an intimate one for me. I took it seriously, I completed all the exercises and I can honestly tell you that it changed me. It has helped me move a little step closer to freedom from comparing myself to others. It has taught me to start accepting who I am, to see the good of what God made and to learn how to use that for HIS glory, not by own. Not only has this taught me some lessons that my little ears needed to hear, but has put something in my heart that begs itself to be shared with my daughter. We live in a world ladies that is bleeding with comparison. With facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest... it is tougher now than ever before. This message is a message that needs to ring loudly in our ears. WE ARE ALREADY AMAZING!!! We really are! Let's shout it loud and clear to our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, anyone willing to listen.

I know life is busy my friends. I know that some days we are just lucky to get make-up on and get out of our yoga pants, but this is a message that we need to share. I challenge all of you reading this to complete the book if you haven't, dive deep into the exercises within the book, and share this with whom you love. PLEASE!

I am leaving you with some of the things that Holly reminds us to never forgot:
You are made for more than this
" He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end" Eccles 3:11
" This is about learning to turn to Jesus when our hearts feel restless, to have the courage to be wo he made us here and now no matter what, to cross the finish line into everything he has for us in eterminty with a smile on our faces, knowing we ran well every step of the way."
You Really Were Made For Right Here, Right Now too
On page 181, Holly writes, " What you have to give, what you have to share with the world, is far too important to be missed. We need you to be you-not tomorrow, next week, or next year but where you are at this very second."
All You Are Really Can Be Used for Good
"God really can use all of you- strengths, weaknesses, imperfections, and challenges. The only time that can't happen is when we refuse to give an area of our lives to him. But whatever we place in his hands, he can lovingly make into something useful and even beautiful."
All Things Really Are Possible for You
"There is nothing God can't do through a heart fully surrendered to him. NOTHING."
What You Have to Offer Really Is Enough
"Daughters, you don't have to be enough or have a lot. Only offer all you are, all you have, to me. I will turn that into abundance beyond all you can imagine. All things are posible with me... It's not about what we have to offer but whose hands we place it in."
You Really Can Live Differently
"Are you ready to take the next step? You can do this, sweet girl. With Him. In His power. That power created the world, spoke the stars into place, spread the sea from one shore to another. That's the power that lives in YOU. Move forward in faith, into all you are and all He has for you. You're already on your way."
You Really Are Loved More Than You Know
"It's not about understanding but instead about simply receiving. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out how God can love us and what that means. But all we really need to know is that he does. Really. Truly. Just as you are. As high as the sky. More than you can even imagine."
There Really Is a Good Plan for Your Life
"God promises us that in the end it will all be worth it and we'll understand everything we went through along the way. I imagine one day we'll stand before Jesus in heaven and we'll look back over our lives with a different perspective. The moments you lived in your strengths, the challenges you pushed through, the ways you made a difference-they'll all be something beautiful that you can give the One who gave everything for you."
Just the Way you Are by Bruno Mars

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chapters 9&10 of You're Already Amazing Book Talk

I am so sorry that this post is late getting to you all. It was actually scheduled to go out on Monday. However, I have a cornea abrasion that has kept me down and haven't been able to get to a computer. But I am back... so let's get to Chapter 9 and 10

Chapter 9- What are My Next Steps?

This was a really good chapter and one I enjoyed journaling about. In this chapter, Holly talks to us about what hinders and entangles us. Holly says, " You have the Holy Spirit with you, and he will show you what you need to change in a way that's gentle, life giving, and affirming."

I don't know about you, but I needed to hear that. All to often, the world tells me that I need to do more, give more, look different, be better. I feel like I am constantly trying to keep up with a world that is moving too fast for me. This reminds me that is not TRUTH. God is gentle and comes to bring me life, not make it feel like it is being sucked out of me.

One of my very favorite parts of this chapter was the "Going the Distance" section. I loved the line, "Distance first. Then speed." So often in my life, I am all about speed. I rarely take the time to slow down. But that is what it is all about. Holly says, " The best place to start is with one small step. It's the only way to bigger things with God."

Holly tells us, " As you begin to do what you can and live in grace, love will begin to grow even more in your life. With each choice you make, you become a litle more of who God made you and draw a little closer to His purpose for your life."

Questions for discussion:
1. What tends to hinder or entangle you?
2. What organizational strategy fit you best? What did you learn from that?
Chapter 10- Is it Okay to Take Care of Myself?
I think this is something that we as women struggle with the most. When we do things for ourselves, we tend to feel selfish. We are all about helping others, but when it comes to people helping us, we think we are inadequate or incapable. Holly says that when we feel this way, pride can be a part of that. Holly says,
" In order to receive, we have to open our hearts, hands, and lives. We put ourselves in a position that is vulnerable. Receiving feels messy, more unpredicatable. But it's essential. Look at the world around you. Everything in nature is about give and take, offering and receiving, graspiing and releasing. If you only feel safe when you're giving and consistently resist receiving, then you may have some fears holding you back from getting what you need."
When God looks at us, he sees us the same. " He wants us to love ourselves the way we love others in our lives. You are worth investing in. You are a daughter of the King, a holy princess, a woman with a purpose in this world and a calling on your life. Take care of yourself. You are blessing all of us when you do , and you bring joy to the heart of God too."
"Dare to take a risk. Love yourself because He loves you."
Questions for Discussion:
1. What fills you up and brings you joy?
2. Why is it so hard for women to receive?
Song: I'll Wait by Sara Groves

Free Printable

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chapter 8- You're Already Amazing Book Talk

Chapter 8- What Does God Want Me to Do with My Life?

Wow! This could possibly be my favorite chapter yet. ( I may have said that for every chapter so far. What can I say! I love this book.) There was so much truth spoken to me through this chapter and I really feel God at work in me. This chapters constant theme is LOVE.  From His goal for us, to our expressions and expectations, it all is grounded in LOVE.

Holly says on page 131, " God is love, and everything he does is loving. As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. What does God really want us to do with our lives? Not make them perfect. Grow in love."

She calls us to ask a very important question of ourselves. " How is God asking you to live in love, first with him and then wtih family, friends, and others he's called you to serve.?"

To answer this question she asks us to make a LIFE statement - " Love Is Faith Expressed". She helps us start it with Galatians 5:6 " I am called to express my faith through love..."

To make a LIFE statement, you start with " I am created and called to express my faith through love... especially by (verb)+ (what)+(who)+(how)

After thinking for awhile about this, about how God designed me, where I feel Him most alive in Me, I ended up writing my LIFE statement.

" I am created and called to express my faith through love, especially by bringing hope and encouragement to my family, friends and community through active and intentional relationships."

Our LIFE statements all will look different. We all have different strengths, different places and different ways we are able to love others. She says that our own LIFE will even look different based off of seasons and circumstances. For me, this is so true. I am at a time in my life where my children need me. They are busy, very involved, and with me working full time, I don't have a lot to offer in the way of time and service to as many people as I would like to. That is okay. This is my season currently... one of teaching and being a mom. There are times when I would love to see my friends more, be involved with more things at church, help more in the community, but just not right now. For some of you reading this, you may be in the same season or different ones and I am sure you can relate. I get so tired of trying to do it all... of being the BEST mom, the BEST wife, the BEST friend, the BEST bible study leader. It just gets so overwhelming sometimes. God isn't calling me to live a life of unrealistic expectations on myself, to be the BEST. Holly writes, " We are not to be under anything but GRACE, the love of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit."

Holly asks the question on page 137 "What does God require of me?". We find that answer in Micah 6:8
" The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you; to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

There doesn't need to be any expectations or rules, only to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him. Holly writes, " God is love- whatever he directs you to do will be loving to others too. Let go of what you're simply to please people. You are nto required to please people. You don't have to meet their expectations. You are a servent to one master."

I loved Holly's topic of Fear vs. Love. Those of you that have known me for a long time or have read my blog for awhile know this about me. I am a person easily led by fear. Holly really spoke to my heart here. She invites us that anytime we feel like we need to do something, we need to measure whether it is motivated by fear ( what people will think of me) or love ( desiring to make a haven for my family). If the only reason we are doing something is out of fear, then that isn't from God.

Holly ends this chapter with a beautiful quote that I actually have written next to my computer as I type this. " You are FREE. Free to love. Free to live in joy. Free to be who you are. If you're loving God, others, and yourself, then you're already doing enough."

I hope this chapter helped you and that you are enjoying this journey of discovering that you don't have to be more or do more. You are already amazing.. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!
Some scripture reminders:

Song: " Your're Grace is Sufficiant" by Shane and Shane


Discussion Questions:
1. If you feel okay with this, please share your LIFE statement and how you feel about the process of making one?
2. Are you driven more by fear or by love? Is there anything that is helping you be more driven by love than by fear?
3. What has been the best part of this book so far for you?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Do Your Kids Like Junie B. Jones?

If your kids are anything like mine, Junie B. Jones has become a family member of our home. My kids love these books. Today, I found a great deal that I just had to share. You can find it by clicking below: This is from

By signing your child up for the Junie B. Jones reading club, they will receive a free starter kit that includes a free book. Hope you and your children enjoy.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Chapter 7- You're Already Amazing Book Talk

Chapter 7- How Do I Connect?

Holly tells us in this chapter that " God formed each of us with certain ways of reaching out to others. God knows you better than anyone, so also ask him to be your partner in this process and show you what you need to know about who he's made you."

The chapter focuses on finding our Social Strengths. She gives us a question that helps us recognize our preference. "If you have a free evening to do anything you'd liek with others. Would you plan a party, have dinner with a few friends or make time for a long chat over coffee with just one person?

Once you have answered this question, you then find the description that sounds most like you. Are you a One-to One person, One-to Few or One-to Many?

For me, I am mostly a One-to Few but also love the One-to One. I am a person who lives off of deep connection with others.

Holly then goes on to talk about the structure of relationships you're drawn to. She talks about three structures: leading, partnering, and following/serving. She says that there is may be more than one area that you are drawn to, but usually one that you naturally gravitate to more of the time. For me, I could post identify with "partnering".

Holly then goes on to focus on the way we see the world and how that can become a strength as well. We look at the world either externally or internally. I loved the way she described each of these. I hadn't really thought much before about how I "look at the world". This really opened my eyes to some strengths that I wasn't aware of before.

Lastly, she descibed our "sphere of needs". She says on page 121, "When you use your social sight to focus on others, needs begin to appear. The needs that stand out most to you and the ways you feel compelled to fill them for others are the final aspect of your social strengths". She puts these into four catergories:
Practical- When you see a need, you are likely to do it. You use your hands to meet needs.
Emotional- You offer heart first. You like to encourage and bring hope
Relational- You see your presence as the best gift you can offer. You show up whenever it matters most.
Intellectual- You try to connect them to truth first. You might offer to pray for them right away.

For me, although I could see myself in all of them, I believe I feel most needed emotionally.

Answering some of these questions about ourselves is very important to the process of recognizing that we are already amazing. Our strengths are worth protecting. Not only does God have a plan for our life, but the enemy does to. I want to stay at the core of who God is calling me to be. One of my very favorite quotes of this chapter is this,
"Whether we're talking about strengths or weaknesses, the biggest temptation is to rely on ourselves. When that happens with our strengths, it shows up as arrogance and pride. When it's our weaknesses, it leads to insecurity and shame."

When we are led by the Spirit, instead of ourselves, " its a moment by moment, day by day dependence. It's acknowledging that even in our strengths, we need a of  help. And even in our weaknesses, God can enable us to do more than we imagined. We are AMAZING, not because of WHO we are but because of WHO lives WITHIN US."

Video of Chapter 7 with Holly Gerth from

Questions for Discussion:
Which setting are you most drawn to? Describe your favorite way to spend time with other people.
Which sphere of needs does your heart feel called to most?
When it comes to sight, are you more internal or external?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chapter 5&6- You're Already Amazing Book Talk

I am loving this book and praying that everyone reading this blog can get their hands on it. This is a message EVERY woman needs to hear. The book just keeps getting better and better for me.

Chapter 5- Where Am I Going?

This chapter talks about our journey. Holly writes, "God has a journey for your life. It looks different than anyone else's. The road he's carved out for you is yours alone. It's always the road less traveled because you're the only one who is ever going to walk it."

This chapters talks about the feeling of being " In Egypt", where we feel that we are in a period of waiting. She describes three reasons why this may be occuring: we're weary, we're being prepared, or it's just not time yet.

She also talks in this chapter about being in "The Promised Land". She describes the Promised Land as this: " a desire of your heart that God guides you into through an intimate journey with him." This is when we see His blessings in our lives. It may be a new home, a baby who have prayed for, a new relationship, a new job. All of our "promised lands" look different. God says when we are in the Promised Land, we should possess it, defend it, and enjoy it.

For me, this chapter was eye opening in many ways. I don't particularly think I feel just one of these all the time. They change for me. This is probably due to the fact that I am a "heart" person and not much of a "head" person. My feelings seem to lead me in my life, although, I am learning that this isn't necessarily good all the time. For instance, right now, I feel encamped. I want to do BIG things for God but yet, I really just don't know what that is yet. I know that my job now is to be a mother and wife to my husband and the best teacher I can be to my students. I believe that I may be just in a season of growth with Him. I know that He has a lot to teach me, so I think He is just calling me to be still. I also feel like I am in the Promise Land at my many times. What I have learned about myself is this, I don't defend it. My prayer is that He will help me to possess, defend and enjoy it.

Chapter 6- Who's With Me

This chapter is all about connection. God is all about relationships. It is who He is. I love her quote on page 101, " The kingdom we serve in is one of love, relationships, and intmiacy. We're not made for each other, but we're certainly made to share life with eachother."

She talks about our fears, why we hold back, the safety we feel when we hide, our desire to be perfect, our fear of getting hurt. I shed a few tears in this chapter. Fear has been a driving force for the majority of my life, but I am determined to break free from this. The control part of this chapter was very powerful to me. I love her quote by CS Lewis on page 111. " To love at all is to be vulnerable. Loveanything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one. "

Holly goes on to write, " Control keeps us alone. God invites us instead to love. We're to give him the reins of our hearts, and then he loves others through us."

I have a strong desire to be a reflection of Christ's love and know that when I am free of fear and allow Him to love others through me, I am in His perfect will.

Below are a few things that will enrich your reading of this book.
1. The video for Chapters 5 and 6 from
2. A freebie printable for you from:

3. A song by Cold Play called "Fix You"
4. Questions for discussions. I would love those of you that are going through the book to comment.
Where are you currently with God? Are you feeling that you are in Egypt or the Promised Land and why?
In the description of internal and external cotnrol ( chapter 6), which one could you most relate to? What helps yuou let go of control and trust God?
Join us Friday for Chapter 7 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Chapter 4-You're Already Amazing Book Talk

Chapter 4, Why Do I Feel This Way?

This chapter couldn't have come at a better time for me. My picture would probably be listed in the dictionary under the word emotion. I am one emotional girl, and come from a very long line of emotional women. In fact, I am raising an emotional drama queen right now. Just last weekend, I had a heart to heart with my best friend about my emotions getting out of control. Holly Gerth, the author of our book, had a lot of wisdom for me this week, just when I needed it most.

This chapter is about our emotions. Holly says, "All of our emotions are gifts from God to help us process everything we experience. Emotions are also a big part of what makes you amazing. Our emotions display our hearts-our beautiful, broken, blessed, glorious hearts."

On page 57, Holly gives an exercise to determine wheter our "head" or "hearts" are the dominant force when it comes to how we approach to our emotions. In all but one area, I fell into the "heart" catergory. She explains that if you are dominated by your heart, "you're more vulnerable to being controlled by emotions. You may jump to conclusions or make decisions without getting the facts you need." Um yeah, that would be me. When my emotions are in line with God, I am good. I am serving him, I am actively seeking to be a light to others. But girls, when they aren't in line with Him, I am a wreck. I am one of those girls who reacts without thinking sometimes, and this leads to a lot of guilt.

She helps us to see how God wants us to respond to our emotions. She says, "at the end of the day, we've got to listen and follow God's Spirit more than our own hearts. He's the ultimate reality check. We also need sisters of fiath who will speak truth to us when we can't see or simply don't have the strength to believe it in that moment."

I underlined or highlighted practically this whole chapter, so I won't go into my favorite quotes because this post would be entirely too long. Just read it, you won't be sorry.

Below are a few things that go with this chapter:

Video from with Holly Gerth on Chapter 4

I found this quote from Lysa Tekeurst that I loved. This is from her book, Unglued.
Song: "All About Your Heart" by Mindy Gledhill
Discussion Questions:
1. Are you dominated more by your head or heart?
2. Which description most fits your family growing up- stuffers, screamers or surfers? What parts of your emotional history still fit you well and which ones have you outgrown?
3. What is one specific way you can guard your heart this week?