Book Review: What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days


Is your heart broken, burdened, or self-condemning? Are you trudging along on a pathway of darkness, desolation, and despair? Then Holley Gerth‘s new book – What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days: 52 Encouraging Truths to Hold On To – is written especially for you.

What-Your-Heart-Needs-for-the-Hard-Days-Holley-Gerth-698x1024In 52 truths using verses from the Psalms, hope spreads a soothing balm in our weary hearts as Holley invites us to lean into the faithful love of Jesus and embrace His love and compassion. These devotions can either be read daily or weekly or just when our heart needs a gentle reminder that we are loved, we still matter, and we are enough just as we are. God cares so much, He is still in control of our lives no matter what is happening, and His grace is sufficient to get us through anything.

The table of contents reveals the title of each devotion, so we can even select one that is fitting to our needs at the moment. Some examples are:

  • God Wants to Lift You Up When Life Lets You Down
  • God Will Give You Courage, Not Condemnation
  • God Will Never Reject You
  • God is Bigger Than Your Problems
  • God Is Not Tired of You

After each tasty morsel of truth, What My Heart Is Saying to You encourages reflection and prayer timeHolley begins a prayer for readers to continue on three lines. For example, at the end of “God Notices When You Cry,” she writes:

“Lord, it means a lot to me that you treasure
all of who I am, even my tears.
Help me to express my heart to you in the
sad and happy moments of my life,
as well as everything in between.
One thing that has made me cry lately is…”

The conclusion of each devotion is What My Heart Is Hearing from You with three lines for you to sum up what you feel God is saying to you in the Psalms suggested.

Your heart will be inspired, uplifted, and strengthened when you read this book. Holley has a heart for hurting souls, and each of her books nurture hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus.

“The book of Psalms is like a table covered with God’s goodness. It’s a place I’m often drawn to when I’m feeling down. And it’s where we’re going to sit together in these pages. So pull up a chair if you’re feeling tired, if you’re discouraged, or if you just feel a little empty inside.”
~ Holley Gerth



21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Alzheimer’s: I’m Still Me!

Imagine slowly losing your thoughts and memories. How awful it would be to live with the fear that someday you won’t even remember your loved ones!

I just finished reading a novel that told me more about Alzheimer’s than dozens of nonfiction books and articles on the subject. In Still Alice, Lisa Genova leads us into the life of a 50-year-old woman who has early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She tells the story from Alice’s point of view in such a powerful way that I actually felt transported into Alice’s surreal world.

Alice gradually lost more of her ability to connect concepts and to remember even how to do simple everyday tasks we take for granted. She had good days and bad days, times where she was lucid and times where her brain would not cooperate. She had placed her identity in being a well-known psychology professor who was applauded for her expertise in linguistics, but she had to re-evaluate her life and where she belonged in her relationships with her husband and her three children. She became someone who was defined by her disease, someone feared and avoided by many of her former colleagues. But in the end, no matter how far the disease progressed, she was still Alice.

What I especially loved in this story is how the author shows a side of this debilitating disease that many people don’t realize or understand. Somewhere in that vacant stare, there still remains a living soul with feelings. And even when the ability to express words or to communicate deteriorates, there is a heightened sense of emotional awareness above and beyond our own. Thinking ability may spiral downward, but no matter how far, each uniquely created person cries from within, “I’m Still Me!”