Monthly Archives: September 2014

Well this is a first….

The past few months have been interesting to say the least. With an eye surgery and a packed work schedule, and frankly a loss of words, this space has remained relatively silent.

Earlier this month I started seeing talk about Nester’s 31 Days series. This is the 6th year (yes I am a bit behind the times) that she has been doing this series. The idea is to pick a topic and write every day for the entire month of October.  Feeling a nudge I joined the FB group a few weeks ago but then I didn’t do anything else.

I don’t have a post prepared, or a schedule, or anything….except for an idea that came early this morning when I was exercising. That hadn’t happened much lately either…so big steps here today! 😉

The idea is this.

Seek God, find Him. Find Him in everything. The big stuff, and even more, the small.

So starting tomorrow I am going to do just that. I will be writing everyday (or at least really really trying to do so) and will be seeking God and sharing what I find here. I will also likely be using the writing prompts that Kate Montaung has come up with. She has encouraged the Five Minute Friday writers to join in and write for just 5 minutes each day.

Five minutes of writing each day about finding God. 

So I hope this will be fun for all of us, and would love to hear how you are seeking and finding God!

31 Days Button

Overrated {A Review and Giveaway} #OverratedBook

Overrated

Can I be honest with you?

Sometimes I am all talk. It sucks to admit that, but it is true.

I have a passionate heart for others. I have blogged here before about difference causes I support and believe in. And I DO believe in them.

But you know what else?

Blogging about it, maybe donating $50 here or there feels good, and at times feels like I am doing enough.

But am I?

Could I do more – of course. But do I? Because in doing more I may be asked to step out of my comfort zone. I may be called to give bigger, go places I am afraid of, serve people in my community….am I ready for that?

In his book “Overrated”, Eugene Cho tackles this very subject. In his own words, “I like to talk about changing the world but I don’t really like to do what it takes.”

Yep…the tag line of his book caught my attention in a big way.

Because if I am honest, this is me.

I have always said that I want to DO something with my life. Make a difference, BE a difference. But what am I doing about it? Not much I am afraid.

Eugene Cho wanted to start living what he was preaching. “Overrated” is his and his families journey to doing more. He challenges the reader to research and understand the causes they support and then get out there do the work.

“We owe it to ourselves to be prayerful, knowledgeable and committed to being experts on the work and conviction to which we feel called. While we may never fully get there, it’s a life long commitment to be a learner. This is, in essence, what it means to be a disciple.”

And these words hit home as well..(I am telling you this is a tough book, tough because it IS convicting but in a good way! I needed these words!)

“Don’t ask people to pray if you’re not willing to pray.”

” Don’t ask people to fast if you’re not fasting.”

“Don’t ask people to serve if you’re not willing to serve….”

I have blogged before about a cause I believe in, but then actually never did much else. Not that spreading awareness is a negative thing. There may be someone who reads our words and it is just the cause they feel called to help. But to be an even greater example, I need to be willing to forge ahead myself first!

Here’s the thing, and the point of this book – be aware. Be aware of why we are telling the stories we are. Why we write about causes we love, is it to make change or make us feel better? Are we willing to do the hard work ourselves, and not for our glory but for God’s? “Let’s not just tell a good story, let’s live a good story.” 

“Ideas, dreams, and visions don’t change the world. Rather, it’s people – like you and me, who faithfully, prayerfully, and tenaciously live out these ideas, dreams, and visions – who change the world.”

Eugene is someone who has struggled with these very issues, he writes with honesty and transparency and challenges the reader to think differently. I was fortunate to receive a  copy of this book from FlyBy Promotions in exchange for my honest review.

They are also giving me a copy to give away here to one lucky reader. So to enter please leave a comment sharing one cause/charity that is near and dear to you! Winner will be chosen on Friday October 3rd.

Check out the book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqvd12mEEK4&list=UU4vF_MunQDVGg-P497Bj6nA

Official Websitehttp://areyouoverrated.com
Disclosure: Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and not infulenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

I had PRK surgery – My Experience Part Three

Thanks for sticking with me on this journey through my PRK surgery. If you are just joining me you can read my all about surgery day and some of the heart work I have had to go through up to this point and finally my first week after surgery.

Here I am at 3 weeks post surgery!

PRK 7

Knowing that I wouldn’t be driving for another whole week until I was checked again at week 2 was almost unbearable. I know, what a baby I am, but I wanted my freedom back!

It was hard to tell each day if there was much difference. At times I felt like things were really clear, and then the next day things would seem to regress back. One day my right eye was good, and the next my left. Over the course of almost 3 weeks now my left eye is consistently less clear than the right.

My time on the computer has gotten much better, my eyes seem to be adjusting faster and don’t get as tired as they did in week 1. It isn’t perfect like when I wore glasses, but it is getting there and the bonus is I don’t wear glasses anymore!

At the week 1 visit my eye doctor did some refraction testing, just to make sure that the blurriness I was seeing couldn’t be corrected with glasses. Good news, it can’t, which basically means that I need to let my eyes heal. If it had turned out the other way it may have meant that the correction either wasn’t enough or was too much…so I am grateful that it is just an issue of time and healing.

At week 1 the cloudiness I experienced initially is completely gone. If you research PRK you will find that there is a drug commonly used called Mitomycin C. It is applied during surgery and is used to prevent hazing that sometimes comes with PRK. The waiver I had to sign scared me, some of the stuff I read online did as well…that was one of the hitches I initially had.

After the surgery was done I asked if they had used that drug and they didn’t. Vance felt that it wasn’t necessary because they didn’t have to remove much of my corneal cells to get the correction I needed. I was relieved, but initially those first few days I wondered if that had been a mistake! Today the hazing is completely gone. Praise God!!

I don’t know that I ever said this before…my vision before the surgery was 20/200 and 20/300 with astigmatism in both eyes.

At week two I was hopeful. Although I knew things were still fuzzy, for the most part I felt like driving shouldn’t be an issue. I tested 20/20 in my right eye (although it was fuzzy and not crisp) and 20/50 in my left. My left eye was also giving me some double vision. I only noticed it when I covered my right eye, but it was there and made reading the eye charts very difficult.

But I was cleared to drive in the day time. She said to use my best judgement at night, and until a few nights ago, almost 3 weeks from the date of surgery, I had not driven after about 6pm. It wasn’t worth the risk, especially in deer country here!

Tonight I drove across town…maybe less than 5 miles. I was impressed with how clear everything seemed and also that there were no issues with starbursts. (Another common side effect.) I have to believe that each day it IS getting slowly better, I just am not noticing it maybe?

My next check will be on October 1st, at 4 weeks. I am very curious to see how things look then and will be sure to post an update here.  When I saw her at 2 weeks, I had just finished all of my steroid drops. She did recommend that I use the re-wetting drops a couple of times a day (the preservative free, single package ones) but honestly my eyes rarely feel dry, so I forget that I need to use them.

I did not suffer from dry eyes prior to the surgery. I understand that if you do you could experience more issues after this type of surgery…it is something that they tested me for early on. I am also still taking those Thera Tears supplements that are supposed to help with the moisture in your eye. So is that helping, or is it placebo effect? I can’t really say! 🙂

I was talking to my mom last week and said I am not sure yet if I can say that I would recommend this specific type of surgery to someone. If Lasik had been an option for me I would have jumped on it with no reservations. After watching how things were for Dominic, how he saw 20/15 the 2nd day, didn’t experience the changing vision or much light sensitivity…if I could choose that would be an obvious choice.

Although I did my research, prepared myself for what could happen…having it take this long HAS been frustrating. Knowing it is normal doesn’t really make it any better either. I wanted to be better than normal! ha! 🙂 If you don’t have someone available to help with your driving for up to 2 weeks, the grocery shopping etc., if you have a job that is all day at a computer and you can’t take some extended time off…even part time, this surgery may not be for you right now.

Of course everyone heals differently. I met someone who had 5 bad days and then experienced great vision after that. That was not the way I experienced this. It has been a slow process so I guess I would say if you can really be comfortable with the “waiting”, then I do believe that the end result is totally worth it.

I think the point is that before you make the choice to have any elective surgery like this you need to research, understand the risks and possible healing time etc., and make sure that this is the right choice for you.

Do I regret having the surgery?

Not at all. I know soon I will  have the vision I once had with glasses. And I won’t have glasses, and I LOVE that. Seriously I can’t say how often I think that I am glad I am not wearing glasses. All the time – so I am glad I did the surgery. I also had a great support system, from my husband to the doctors who answered my questions, to my family who helped with things when I couldn’t. That has made all of this much easier!

So that brings us to the present. I will post again about my 1 month appointment when I have it!! Thanks for reading and if you have any questions please leave me a comment and I will answer them based on my experience!

Kristin

I had PRK surgery – My Experience Part Two

Thanks for sticking with me on this journey through my PRK surgery. If you are just joining me you can read my all about surgery day and some of the heart work I have had to go through up to this point.

I wanted to use this post to try and describe the days and now few weeks after my initial surgery date. I had surgery on September 4th, 2014. As I described before it was fast and painless.  After doing a bunch of research I was concerned about how bad the recovery would be the first 4 days. I read those were the worst days and people described it as anywhere from extreme light sensitivity to burning, itching and constant watering of the eyes.

As any good office manager would do I scheduled a couple of client meetings for Dominic in Sioux Falls on the afternoon after my surgery. All work and no play apparently…so he brought me to my parent’s house so that I could relax there after the surgery was done. We had lunch and I was feeling pretty good, didn’t even need sunglasses. Everything looked hazy to me. Like I needed to blink away a covering over my eye. I have heard others describe it as having wax paper over their eyes, and that is a pretty accurate description.

I slept for awhile and then got up again and really felt good. I wasn’t having any pain at all. I am allergic to codine and typically they prescribe Tylenol 3 after PRK surgery just in case. I knew that I couldn’t take that so Tylenol/Advil were my only options. Thankfully I didn’t really even need those!

PRK 4

My poor selfie a few hours after the surgery. I look a little miserable.

I was worried about the bandage contacts getting dried out as I slept, so I did set an alarm the first few nights at 2am just so I would get up and put the rewetting eye drops in. On the 3rd night I thought I didn’t need to set the alarm and when I woke up both contacts felt like they were slipping out of place. Rewetting drops helped get everything back to normal.

My worst day was Saturday (Day 3). I had to wear sunglasses in the house in a darkened room. I spent most of the day on the couch listening to a book on tape and only got up to do my drops. A lazy day for sure. I was lucky because my mother-in-law volunteered to take the kids with her to their house for the weekend so that I could have quiet to rest and recover. This really was a blessing, so if you are considering the surgery and have kids I would recommend you ask for help for those first few days.

My vision remained cloudy for the entire weekend. It was pretty blurry as well and I wasn’t feeling confident that when I got the contacts out that I would be seeing the 20/40 required. The doctor thought that I would be driving by Monday (day 5), but when I was checked I just wasn’t there.

I was devastated.

Because my surgery experience was so good and I didn’t really experience pain I thought that the time it would take for my vision to return to normal would be fast. In my case that hasn’t happened.

I understand this is normal. My eye doctor says that the cells are healing, my eyes look good…but because I had the PRK, it can take anywhere from 2-5 weeks to get to 20/20 vision…and even then there are people that don’t achieve that until 3 months.

I knew this going in, yet I believed that this wouldn’t be my reality. So it has been a frustrating few weeks only because I had some unrealistic expectations that weren’t met.

I was checked at 1 week and still no driving. I believe at that appointment there were tears. I was NOT handling being dependent on others this much. I missed picking the kids up from school, I wanted that few 5 minutes alone on my way to the school. I wasn’t supposed to get checked again until the 1 month mark, but when things weren’t as hoped at 1 week, my eye doctor said that she would check me again in a week.

The worst part the entire first week was seeing at the computer. The white, bright background with black letters was almost impossible to read. If I were to go do it all over I would have not scheduled any clients meetings the entire week after my surgery and just taken time off. I stained to see clearly, and got headaches because I had to constantly move back and forth to try and get some clarity.

That is one reason these posts didn’t happen sooner…I couldn’t spend a single moment longer than I needed on a computer.

I do wonder if my rushing back to work slowed my healing at all…had I spent more time resting my eyes, would things have changed sooner?

I am going to end here again, and will come back tomorrow for an update on my week 2 check up and what is next!

I had PRK surgery – My Experience Part One

So last week I shared a little about my PRK eye surgery and how I was dealing with it all. I have wanted to write more about my experience for a couple of reasons. First of all when I first considered the surgery I did lots of research and the personal stories were all several years old so this hopefully will be a more current experience to share, and second really just for my memory of everything that has gone on thus far. I realize this isn’t my “typical” post…so I hope you stick around until I am done with these updates! 🙂 If this is a surgery you are considering and have more questions please leave me a comment or email me and we can connect!

I had my surgery done at Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls. I can’t speak for other centers because I haven’t been there, but I can say that Vance Thompson is a doctor who has preformed over 50,000 surgeries. He has been doing these surgeries since they first started and has been a leader in research in the field. He may not have been the cheapest in the area, but with his experience and the most up-to-date equipment available, I felt that paying a little more for the expert in the field was well worth it.

Once I decided that I was going forward with the surgery I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything possible to help this be a successful experience. (And just for the record I am NOT a medical professional, although I have successfully diagnosed several diseases/conditions with the help of Google, this is MY experience only so that is what I am sharing) 😉

I read that taking supplements prior to and after the surgery could help healing time so about a month before the surgery I started taking Omega 3 Fish Oils and Vitamin C. I am still taking them and for the small cost (less than $10 a month) I figure it is worth it. I also stopped wearing eye makeup completely for about 2 weeks prior, I wasn’t told to do this but I didn’t want any risk of infection and you just never know with mascara and eye liner what might irritate your eye!

PRK 1

The day of the surgery I was initially feeling pretty calm. I had prepared myself for what I thought might be the “worst case scenario” and yet felt that this was something that I was supposed to do. I was ready.

Once checked in, they brought me back to a room where I was given a Valium (which I gladly took because I was starting to feel nervous!!) and they gave me some different drops for my eyes. Antibiotic drops, and numbing drops. They also use that beta dyne solution and clean all around your eyes…Dominic took a picture but I can’t find that he sent a copy to me.

Dominic was able to watch the procedure on a screen outside of my actual surgery room, they assign a tech to come and talk through step by step what they are seeing and what is happening. I was able to do this with his surgery too – pretty incredible stuff!

I will say this about the surgery, IT WAS FAST.

Like start to finish less than 10 minutes fast! It is pretty crazy. With Lasik they have to cut flaps in the cornea and then they do the actual laser correction. With PRK they can’t cut the flap because for me my cornea was too thin. Instead they use an alcohol solution that dissolves away a layer of the cornea so that they can go in and do the laser correction. Gross I know. This is also why PRK has such a longer recovery time compared to Lasik.

I was able to see everything that was going on, but I couldn’t feel a thing. And to be honest when we first started I was staring up at the ceiling and just kept praying “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”, over and over again. I guess it calmed me (maybe it was a little of the Valium too??) But it was all over so quickly and there was no pain, that I wasn’t scared at all.

Once they have done the laser correction a bandage contact is placed on the eye. This is to allow the corneal cells to regenerate without you feeling the pain of having it uncovered with each blink. My eye doctor told me after the procedure that early in the development phase of this type of surgery people did it for free as test dummies and they originally didn’t use the bandage contact. Yikes!

The contact stays in for 4-5 days, depending on when you have your surgery. My surgery was done on a Thursday morning and I had my contact removed the following Monday.

I was sent home with a bag full of drops, one antibiotic drop, and a steroid drop for swelling. They also gave me some drops that could be used for pain if needed the first 2 days, those drops can slow healing though so I was only allowed 2 drops per day. I was fortunate and didn’t need to use them like I thought I might.

PRK 5

In addition to the drops they give you these awesome goggles to wear every time you sleep. They don’t want anything getting in your eye, or you bumping/rubbing your eye those first few nights. They were not awesome.

PRK 3

I only had to wear them until I got the bandage contacts out – Dominic got to wear his for 2 weeks after his Lasik surgery. 😉

They also send you home with a schedule of when to take all the drops.

PRK 6

Since I am totally Type A – I HAD to actually check the box. I wasn’t sure I would remember where I was in the day if I didn’t. Another thing I would recommend, that I needed, was to have timers set on my phone to tell me when to do the drops. One was every 2 hours, the other 4 times a day. I used alarms on my phone and labeled them so I wouldn’t get confused on what to use, when.

PRK 2

Once I took one of the drops, I reset the alarm for the next time I needed to use them. Invaluable for me really.

I am going to come back in another post and blog about my recovery – that has been even more significant for me and honestly where I have struggled a little. I am thankful that everything went just as planned and my surgery experience was a good one.

Join me again and I will share about how the last 3 weeks has been and where my vision is at today.

Kristin

In Beginning to See

Sunset

I have been silent again here recently and it hasn’t been because of a lack of words, but rather a lack of sight.

I had intended to share this “news” after all of the healing had taken place, I guess to be honest I didn’t want any judgement about it and was afraid if I shared my reality that I might get some of that.

But I am beginning to see that God doesn’t and hasn’t called me to share the perfect here.

As much as I would rather do that…I am seeing that the times when I grow the most, learn the most about myself and my trust in God, is in the messy times. And I have been in the thick of it this past week.

Last Thursday September 4th, I had eye surgery. PRK to be exact. I plan on blogging more specifically about that experience because as I approached this surgery I did a lot of research and had a hard time finding quality/reliable information. But that isn’t for today.

What I feel God is asking me to share instead is the heart journey I have taken.

But let me back up just a bit. My husband and I both started researching Lasik surgery several months ago. As is the case for most things, much of what you find when you google these surgeries is negative. We had initial consultations and discovered that Dominic was eligible for the Lasik surgery, but because of my thin corneas, I was not. PRK was my only option and while it is a “safer” surgery it has a much longer recovery time.

After reading some horror stories online I got scared and cancelled the surgery I had scheduled. But Dominic made a decision to move forward.

I initially didn’t agree with him. Partly because I had fear and mostly because I was so jealous that he was going to get the “easy” surgery. Dominic is a Type A, like myself, and I was worried that if things didn’t turn out liked he hoped they would that he would be miserable. Miserable to be around, and I didn’t want to deal with that.

It stinks even having to admit that was one of my primary concerns but it was. And I let him know it on more than one occassion.

Surgery day came for Dominic and I spent time praying that everything would be better than expected. And, praise God, all went perfectly. On day 1 he was seeing 20/20 and 20/15…by the end of week 1 he was 20/15 in both eyes…almost 20/10. He is more than pleased with his results.

Throughout this entire process I was sure I wasn’t going to move forward but there was a hitch in my gut about it. I wanted the surgery but I was afraid. Afraid it wouldn’t be easy for me and afraid of how I would react if it wasn’t.

I did some more research, talked to the Dr. again, and some people who had the PRK procedure done recently…and felt like I needed to move forward. I know it may sound crazy but I felt like God was asking if I was willing to trust Him with this too.

So I scheduled the surgery. Told a few close friends to pray for me and went in believing I was fully prepared even if the “worst case” scenerio occurred.

As far as the actual surgery went, it couldn’t have been better. I didn’t experience the terrible pain I had read about and only had 1 day in the first 4 where I had an issue with light sensitivity. I believed that because I was better than expected, I would be seeing 20/20 in no time.

On day 4 the bandage contacts were removed and my vision was tested for the first time. While my vision had improved, it was not good enough to pass the standards for driving. I was crushed.

You see I DO NOT like having to rely on others to do things for me. Especially things that I should be able to do on my own.

Instead of being grateful that my mother-in-law was here to help take care of some of those basic things for me, I got resentful. Resentful that she got to hear the end-of-the-day stories before I did. Resentful that I had to ask for a ride to the grocery store, resentful that I was struggling to see my computer at work and couldn’t do my job well.

Are you seeing a theme here?

Instead of gratitude, I was filled with resentment.

On Thursday I was scheduled for my 1 week check. I wasn’t seeing a difference in my vision but I NEEDED to be able to drive again. I felt like my sanity depended on it.

When I didn’t pass the test I broke down in the Dr’s office. The good news is that everything is healing perfectly. It basically comes down to the fact that my eyes need more time, and that is normal and expected.

As Dominic drove me back to our office I had another meltdown. Maybe more like a crazy episode, but who’s keeping track?! I wanted my life back, I wanted it to be easy and gosh darn it it wasn’t fair that I still couldn’t drive!

Hadn’t I been so worried that Dominic would act the very way I was now behaving? Here I was faced with a choice – accept my circumstance with grace, or remain resentful.

Remaining resentful just takes so much work…it doesn’t feel good and it makes everyone around me miserable.

This is getting long, I apologize. I feel like I have to get the post out and amazingly can see my computer screen better than I have all week…so I am sticking with it.

Tonight Isaac had his senior pictures. A local friend took them and we went out to her farm for some fun outdoor shots. At one point she apologized for the mess in her yard. Because you see, not many of us are comfortable with other people seeing us in our “mess”.

I wouldn’t have necessarily known if the yard was more messy than usual…but she could see it.

Often our faults, and our flaws…our mess, bother us the most of all. (<====Click to Tweet)

We want to cover it up, put it in a closet, or apologize it away. But God sees our mess each and every day and loves us anyways.

When we don’t have it together, when we have crazy flip-out moments and unrealistic expectations…God walks through all of those moments with us.

We are not judged, we are not condemned. We are loved.

Do you hear that tonight?

You are LOVED.

There may be things you are hiding from, things you feel need to be explained away, messes that remain long after they should have been dealt with, heart-isssues that you try and manage by your own devices when God is the only One that can heal them.

If you are there…would you stop with me and find something of beauty to focus on?

The picture above is the sunset we saw when Isaac was driving us home tonight.

Beautiful, the picture doesn’t do it justice.

A reminder for me that while my sight today isn’t perfect, there is still beauty around me.

God is in the blurry and the  clear. (<====Click to Tweet)

I didn’t act like I believed that this past week. If things had gone better than expected, of course God would have gotten the glory.

But because they didn’t, does that mean He deserves any less?!

No!

So tonight I am seeing His beauty in a simple sunset. I am praising Him that I am on a road to recovery and He is with me every step. Because I don’t need perfection to find peace.

With Love, Kristin

Finding Beauty in the Abandoned Dream

Abandoned Home

In late July my family and I took a road trip out to the Black Hills of South Dakota. As we were driving I noticed several abandoned homes scattered throughout the landscape.

High on a hill the house stood, windows broken, door weathered. The once straight roof was wavy with time and wear. Gaps between the boards in the walls were visible. Clearly this place had been long since abandoned.

And I couldn’t help but wonder who had graced the spaces of that home?

A newly married husband and wife, seeking to start a new adventure on the plains? Did children run in the adjacent fields? Young men eager to farm the land and provide for their families?

Dreams start that way don’t they?

We feel the trill of a new start, we anticipate all of the positives and try not to focus on any of the negatives. We push forward in faith, maybe with a little fear, but filled with hope and the promise of what’s to come.

And if we are lucky all those hopes, those dreams and ideas are fulfilled. But it doesn’t always end that way does it?

I am sharing more over at the God-sized Dreams website – will you come and join me there?!

Shared by: Kristin Smith

Photo Credit: sub35089  (If using sunset pic it is Kadek Susanto)Ka

What Your Heart Needs

Phone booth

I am not much of a phone call kind of girl. In fact they sometimes scare the daylights out of me. It is those awkward pauses that might happen and “what if I say something stupid” kind of fears.

I don’t enjoy having to call and order the pizza, in fact for years I refused to do it. (I know what am I 12?!) Calling clients is one of my biggest fears at work, when the reality is that most often I can answer any questions they have and our conversations usually end up just fine.

I guess it is something that has always caused me some sort of anxiety, so I just avoid it if I can. So let me apologize right now if you have ever called my house and I haven’t answered the call…. : /

But this weekend I got a voicemail from my friend Kami (this call I totally missed I swear!!) and I called her back and just had the most wonderful conversation with her.

We don’t see each other but maybe once a year, it isn’t often enough but it was so nice to just catch up and share life a little. To talk to another mom who gets where parenting isn’t usually glamorous or even wonderful. A friend who knows what it is like to have “that” child….you know the one that doesn’t listen and seems to like being naughty. 🙂

And when I got off that call my spirit felt lighter.

I didn’t even realize that I was feeling a little down, but that call lifted me and I am so grateful for it.

Some days we just need that pick me up don’t we?!

Maybe it is a call from a friend, or some retail therapy, even a good cup of coffee if you are into that sort of thing! 😉

If I have learned anything the past several years it is that life isn’t, and won’t, always be easy. I will get frustrated, feel lonely or angry and upset. I will feel misunderstood and left out.

So knowing that these days will come, what can we do to counteract it?

I find for me that I need to surround myself with truth.

The truth of God’s word, a favorite scripture taped to my mirror (Ephesians 3:20-21), or a devotional book filled with inspiring truths that encourage and offer hope.

My dear friend Holley Gerth has written a new devotional called “What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days.” And it releases TODAY!!

What Your Heat Needs

It is a beautiful book filled with 52 short devotionals. At the end of each day is a prayer and a space where you can write a reflection from the reading.

Holley is the real deal. She is a woman that writes from experience, someone who has been dealt the hard days, and walked through them with grace.

This doesn’t mean that she has enjoyed the process, or even always handled it well, who of us have right!?!

But as you read these devotionals you feel as though you are sitting across from a friend, pouring out your heart, and she understands all you are dealing with.

In her words “Acknowledging the hard parts of our lives doesn’t mean that we’re not grateful for the gifts God has given. We can thank him every day for the child he’s given us while also feeling exhausted when that same child gets on our last nerve….”

“God understands both”

God wants us to bring the good and the bad to Him. (<====Click to Tweet)

He knows there will be hard days, days when our hearts need a lift.

I am so grateful that He has called and gifted Holley with words of hope so that she could bring that message to us. This is a devotional that you will want to get and keep close by for those times when you need a reminder that you are not alone.

Thank you Holley for once again filling my home with words of light, His light that shines through you. I am so blessed to know you and honored to be able to help promote this newest book of yours!

I was graciously given a copy of Holley’s devotional from Revell Books to read and review as a part of a blog tour. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Phone Booth Photo Credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin

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