The Presumptuous Ladybug

A blog about Faith, Family, Life....and Anything else

Month: July 2017

Review of “Coffee For Your Heart”

The cover grabbed my attention;  Coffee For Your Heart.  Something about it connected immediately to a deficit within my soul.

Coffee represents a lot of things to me; all positive.  I have a deep affection for the bitter black liquid because it speaks to everything I love in this world.  Beauty, friendship, comfort, consistency, versatility, connection, and…purpose.

Coffee is a faithful companion that helps me get through exhausting and difficult days.  It’s the stuff that warms me on a cold afternoon.  It’s the stuff that says, “Slow down, let’s sit for a spell and enjoy life,” in the morning.  It’s the thing that says “Yes, you can!” when my body says “not today.”

Coffee is, often, a shared experience that connects me to others and it’s comforting in awkward situations where words are few and the sips are long.

Coffee is my ready companion.                                        

Truth be told, I am rarely seen without a cup attached tightly to my hand.

Is it no wonder, then, that coffee intended for my heart sounded appealing?

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but when the book arrived, it felt a bit like Christmas morning and when I cracked it open I wasn’t disappointed.

Coffee For Your Heart is actually a small devotional book crammed full of encouraging words for the faint of heart, the disconnected, and the faithful wanderer.

The Author, Holley Gerth covers topics like acceptance, strength, being enough, being valued, being redeemed, and being irreplaceable.  Ultimately, her message throughout the devotional series is that we are precious, wanted, seen, and deeply loved.

Empowered

Gerth reminds her readers in Chapter  12 that “God places all of His power within us,” but that “Like a power cord plugged into an outlet, the current starts flowing when there’s an intimate connection.  When that happens, nothing can stop what [God] wants to do in and through us.”

Ephesians 1:18-20

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know…his incomparable great power for us who believe.  That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”

It feels a bit like Holley is empowering the reader to “grab the bull by the horns” when she ends with “You’re God’s powerhouse.  Go light the world in your own wonderful way.”

No, we aren’t all Billy Graham.  We aren’t even all Holley Gerth.  But she reminds us in Coffee For Your Heart, that we do have our own unique purpose in this life and if we cling to the One who formed us… we can see that purpose realized.  So…

“Go light the world!”

 

Hope over to HolleyGerth.com to check out this Wall Street bestselling author, her book Coffee For your Heart, and her uplifting blog.  I think you will find much of what she writes about encouraging.  Please take note that Coffee For Your Heart was originally published as God’s Heart For You.

 

Author: Jacqi Kambish

Hope for the Disconnected Heart

I haven’t written anything in several weeks.  Somethings are hard to explain.  Somethings are hard to process.  Life isn’t an easy cake walk where you stroll along to the beat and, once in a blue moon, collect a prize just for trying.  Some roads you walk alone and it seems like there isn’t a soul on this planet who can understand exactly what’s going on inside.  It’s a messy journey and at the end of the day we can find ourselves tired, broken down and terribly disconnected from the world around us.

As a Deputy’s wife, a special needs Mother, a Christian, and a contemplative soul; I have found myself disconnected from the people in my life on a variety of levels on more than one occasion.  The result is my own internal spiral into silence; an awkward quiet where I desperately want to speak and connect and show you my heart but where instead only silence, or worse, inadequate words bounce around in the distance between us.  My quiet attempt to save you the awkwardness, and me the verification that we are walking different paths, can leave me stranded at sea while the cruise ship goes celebratorily sailing by.  The voyagers wave at me and I smile and wave back as they pass, and though I want to call out, and though I want to say, “Throw me a rope”…I can’t.  I even mutter that “I’m ok, just out for a swim.”  There are no words for deep sorrow and turmoil.  There is a hope that “this too will pass,” but also there is no explaining it; there is only silence.  There is only watching, and waiting, and feeling and silently screaming in the dark and wishing someone could hear it.

I want to be connected.  I want to be, not just seen, but understood.  I want to know that someone out there is bobbing in the waves, just as I am.  There is comfort in thinking you aren’t alone in the deep dark…but sometimes…you are.

And it can be easy to miss in someone like me.  I’m social, outgoing, and laugh easily.  I can find joy and humor even as my heart breaks.  It isn’t a mask; it is genuine joy in sorrow.  Optimism is easier to show the world, but it isn’t always the whole story and getting the other half of the story out is a much more difficult endeavor.  It isn’t me hiding; it’s me unable to communicate what’s turning inside.

So where does a heart deeply stranded and isolated find an anchor?

Where does a soul like mine grab hold when the waves are crashing and life makes no sense at all?

Where do we turn when there are no words for the brokenness?

Who can we trust?

I need to know, and maybe you need to know…

Because the looming question is…

If I let the waves take over, will I wash up on shore or drowned in the sea?

I can’t explain all of the sources of my grief here, but they do find me in multiple areas.  Some circle around, some are fleeting, and some simply take time to heal.

The really important thing is:  I do have an anchor.

I’m tied to something that keeps me from getting washed too far out into the ocean.

I’m tied to a source of strength that always pulls me back in; little by little, hand over hand until I’m safely on shore again.  Wet, soggy, exhausted and a bit beaten up…but standing on the shore, eyes on the clouds, as the sun breaks through.

I don’t have a “prayer language.” I don’t speak in tongues when there are things I can’t voice.  But that doesn’t mean I’m left without a life line to Christ or that we aren’t in communion.

For me, the greatest source of peace is right there in the torment of silence…just me and God; together in a quiet space of seclusion that no other soul in this universe can enter.

We don’t have to speak, we don’t have to communicate.  I have no words anyway.

But there is hope….there is assurance…there is the satisfaction and understanding that no matter how hard, no matter how deep the struggle within me…I am not alone.

He is there, always.

I can’t rely on people; they don’t always get it.  They don’t always understand.  They can be flaky and dismissive and hurtful.  They can leave me feeling lonelier and more disconnected than before.  And no matter how hard they try, I know…I always know…that soon they will be gone, chasing other dreams, other relationships, other friendships, other purposes, and other people.

And, I will be standing on the edge of the sea, peering into the swirling madness with God alone by my side.

No words are spoken because there is a knowing; an understanding between us…a conversation of souls in the silence.

The people, they don’t know.  We are disconnected, and maybe we can never be connected in the way I desire.   Even so, I am not alone.

You are not alone.

And there is peace there.  Peace in the knowing, in the silence, in the presence of God.  And there is comfort and tears and release and healing.

Right there in the mists of the sea, in the silence, in the storm.

Isolation, loneliness, disconnection, depression…

They can get a hold of any one of us.  But there is hope.  There is always hope.  No matter how bleak or desperate or hopeless you may feel.  There is hope.  There can be healing.  There can be rest.  There can be redemption, resolution, and recovery.

Stop fighting the terrifying waves and surrender to God.  Let Him pull you into shore; hand over hand, one day…one moment…at a time.  Stop looking to people to fill the void or bring healing; let God be your sanctuary, your peace, your anchor and your connection to life.

The hope for the disconnected heart is that we can be deeply connected to the One who created us; the faithful One who will never leave us, or disappoint us, or misunderstand us.

The One who knows…

even in the silence.

“The LORD is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8

 

Author: Jacqi Kambish

Note to readers:  Please know that I am not advocating that you reject treatment for depression when needed.  Counseling, medication, and proper care can be essential elements for health and wellness.