you’re going to be okay

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the girls and i headed up to savannah’s mother/daughter weekend at her sorority house. unfortunately madison had to work that day but a super fun time was had by all!- gotta love a photobooth!

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several weeks ago i had agreed to read & review Holley Gerth’s latest release, “You’re Going to Be Okay”. i’ve read a few of her previous books and i loved her session at Allume on creating your brand. she’s a gifted writer, life coach & just all around someone you’d wanna be friends with in real life.

being a little bit of a procrastinator, it actually worked to my benefit to put off reading this book until sorta the last minute. when i picked it up last week & realized it’s all about encouragement when you’re in a tough place, i gave myself a mental fist pump because this book was exactly what i needed to read!

have you heard this quote before?

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

that’s how i feel about holley’s book. she reminded me of truth i already knew, but the truths just got lost for a little while. i don’t want to want to steal any thunder, but i’d love to share some of my favorite passages.

” when & where does god want to use me? the answer is always, right here & right now”. i sometimes wish i was doing something dynamic. being used in a big way. whatever that means. as if somehow i’ve labeled where i am now as not enough. right here & right now is where & how He wants to use me. the take away for me- don’t miss the sweet spot of my now while wishing for the possibility of the something else.

“use what little i have to make much of You”. i often times feel like david & goliath in the world of photography. it’s a competitive field. i’m self taught. there’s many many many more who know more technical things than i, have better equipment than i, do better than i. but my prayer before each session is that i can bring Him glory by capturing moments of the person right in front of me at that moment…and make them feel special.

holley quotes lisa jo baker and adds a little as well.  i love this. ” the illusion that there’s an inner circle we’ve been left out of; the lie that we’ve been left out on purpose. we’re built for friendship,yes. we have community in our bones. and when we’re desperate and blinded by the taunting mirace of the inner circle we will drink the sand- angry, gritty, bitter and confused. we can fight to find a way in or we can love on the women where we’re at. we can obsess over who didn’t talk to us or we can focus on the woman we’re talking to. we can keep looking for a seat at the more popular table or we can pass the bread basket and an introduction to the woman sitting right where we’re already are”. yeah. amen.

“when i talk to women who are experiencing depression or anxiety, they almost all have one factor in common. guilt.” i read a tweet this weekend someone quoted rebekah lyons at the IF gathering. who said, the root of anxiety is unfulfilled responsibility. goodness ya’ll. i have thought about that the last few weeks. guilt and what to do with it. i sure doesn’t need to be hanging out in our spirit. guilt does not need to take up residence in our heart. there’s conviction which is the avenue to head down for change while guilt is a slippery slope to the depths of all kinds of ugly.

conviction brings healing, guilt more pain. conviction is all about love, guilt the law. conviction brings us back to who we are in christ, guilt condemns us.

holley’s chapter on ‘you were made for the promised land’ was probably my favorite. she dispels a handful of myths, not the least of which is happiness is selfish. “happiness will not make you selfish. it will most likely do just the opposite- allow you to serve even more out of an overflow”.  happy people serving out of an overflow. that’s what i’d like to be when i grow up. wink.

another point she touches on that i love, is that joy is a gift and must be received.  its not something we earn. it’s a gift. i loved it when she said, ” dare to find the joy where you are now. dare to drop your expectations. dare to believe that only one thing in your life can be perfect- and that is the One who gave it to you!” bam!

thank you holley! thank you. my heart had forgotten some of the words…and you sung them back to me.

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(you can follow holley here.  her latest release is through Revell )

February 9, 2014 - 8:18 pm

Amy Avery - Thank you for this post Paige. It is exactly what I needed to hear at this given time. I have been in a process of discernment about where God is leading me and have just recently had a revelation that has left me raw and vulnerable. My natural tendency is to hole up and pull the covers over my head, but I am trying to fight that tendency by just putting one foot in front of the other on this walk of faith and trust in God. I thank you for your prayers and I thank you for the ways in which you love on and encourage. You are a blessing!

February 9, 2014 - 8:24 pm

lisa - hey you – just wanted to say to you – in case i haven’t before (i THINK i have – but maybe i just thought it, but didn’t say it?) …YOU are a very talented photographer. period. end of story. no qualifiers like “you’re a good photographer for someone who is self taught”…NO. you are GOOD… REALLY GOOD. and i’ve done it for money before…i know of what i speak. i think there are people who have great equipment ( i loved it when people would ask what kind of camera i have because it “takes good pictures”!!). great equipment is only going to take a really expensive and BORING shot if you don’t have an eye for photos. REALLY good photographers can take a “once in a lifetime” shot on an iPhone. (not that you want to just bring your iPhone to a shoot – don’t do that….) but you know what i’m saying. yes, great pictures should be taken with an understanding of technical parameters – BUT a really great picture tells a story. evokes an emotion. makes us understand someone. and by THAT yardstick – YOU are one of the best i’ve seen in a long while. ….that is all.

February 9, 2014 - 11:14 pm

Carroll - Powerful and encouraging words. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. I certainly needed to hear this today. 🙂

February 10, 2014 - 10:28 am

Joleen - Sounds like an amazing book! Thanks for sharing. Love your multiple book tabs…noone ever wants to read a book after I’m through with it, I mark them up to kingdom come. 🙂 Maybe I’ll get smart like you someday. 🙂

February 10, 2014 - 3:53 pm

Peggy - hey there girl, i just don’t know what to say… this is so where i have been off and on much of my adult life. guilt… for things done to me that i had no control over as a child, for not reaching out, for denying, for admitting, for loving, for not loving, for being a bad mom/wife/friend/daughter/christian… you name it! No one knew the guilt i was carrying around inside.. i was the encourager because i knew it was a gift i was given, i carried others burdens but rarely shared mine… not even with the Lord. and then it hit… why am “i” doing this alone? its not me… i’ve been released from the guilt and it felt like a BURDEN being lifted from my shoulders… not just symbolically but physically as well. its something that i still deal with… off and on… and then almost two years ago the walls came crashing down… in the Christian circle I was quietly labelled a failure behind closed doors… or at least that is what i told myself. and i believed the lie! yes a lie perpetrated by the devil himself… a lie to take my eyes off the Lord… am i 100% completely “recovered” from the lie? no but its easier now. my burden is being carried by someone else… the Lord. and do you know what? He uses you too! You, my friend speak words of truth into my soul. He uses you to encourage me like no one else has since we moved here… and i thank Him daily for the words He brings me… not only through the Word but through friends. Words of encouragement, of vulnerability, just being real… and those words make me search deeper in the WORD. So thank you! You are TRULY a blessing from the LORD! Love you girl!

February 10, 2014 - 4:04 pm

Susan W - Ditto on what Lisa said (Feb 9, 2014 @8:24pm!!)
This sounds like an awesome read!

February 10, 2014 - 7:02 pm

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Oh that’s a big mass of good quote goodness right there. I used to keep a quote book back before Pinterest. LOL Encouragement is such a HUGE lift. Thanks for sharing yours.

February 11, 2014 - 8:58 pm

pamela - Great insight into a subject so real for me too Paige. After having my three girls leave the nest and only my son still at home, I oftne doubt myself and who I am now and where I want to be. What is God’s plan for me now and for the future?

It’s so sad that we don’t see ourselves as others see us. I see you Paige as nothing less than a rockstar! Your journey as a widow, to finding your true calling as a photographer/business woman/nurturer, and of course as a talented blogger. You need to see yourself as WE see you. I thank women like Holly Gerth and so many great women today who are finally realizing that we are in this together. We need to support each other… stop judging, stop comparing, stop trying to measure up to what we THINK is enough. God has already told us we are enough for him.

P.S. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book. I can’t wait to read it!