About the Author

Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, counselor, and life coach. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You. She's also wife to Mark, Mom to Lovelle, and Nana to Eula and Clem.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Mmmm… I just love this. I hope God really is using some of these weird lumps and bumps–the physical and the metaphorical ones–in ways that I can’t see. I just love your perspective on this. Thank you.

  2. I really love this. Thank you for sharing, Holley! I think so many of us want to be perfect, that we miss the blessings in our imperfections.

    I also love Fall and anything & everything pumpkin.

  3. I love that, “chosen for their imperfections.” I’m filled with imperfections. Sometimes I think God uses me because of my imperfections, not in spite of them. As Val said, I don’t know all the ways He’s using me and my flaws, but I know he is. Sometimes in hindsight I’m able to see the beauty He created using the mess that is me. ~Nita

  4. Thanks Holley,
    This is a great post! I really like the idea of God choosing me for my imperfections. Never really thought about it like that but he has been showing me that He will use me and my imperfections by getting me to share my story in ways that absolutely scare me to death! But he gets me through it.

    Fall is also my favorite time of year. Our tradition is to go to a local Fruit Farm each October to take a hay ride out to the pumpkin patches and get our prized pumpkins and gourds. Then we take our time in going through the corn maze that is absolutely, insanely HUGE! When we take the hay ride back to the farm we go through the barn and get our apples, apple butter and the all time best apple fritters, apple donuts and mini pumpkin pies they make right there in their barn turned shop/kitchen.


  5. My husband, niece, and I all have fall birthdays within 3 days of each other. My favorite fall tradition is celebrating each other! 🙂

    Thanks for this great post, Holley. I think we all need a reminder that there is beauty in everything. Even those “ugly” gourds have a purpose and are beautiful in the eye of the beholder. As are we.

  6. Holley,

    That was a beautiful post and so encouraging to read. I’m so thankful that God loves me lumps, bumps and all. What a wonderful reminder that my weaknesses are just opportunities for God’s glory to shine.

    Fall is also my favorite time of year. I love the colors and the smells of fall. Those first crisp, clear chilly mornings are the perfect time to reflect on God’s goodness.


  7. This whispered straight to my heart. It has been a hard year, a year of weakness, and awareness of areas that need intense growth. It has also been a year of moments of immeasurable gentleness and tender love notes from the Lord. This post is one of those. Thank you so much for writing the words He so obviously gave you.

  8. Holley, I needed to be reminded of the worth of weakness. Lately, I feel like I’m going to be swallowed up in weakness, but that’s ample opportunity for God to receive glory. Thank you!

  9. My favorite fall tradition is as simple as taking as many walks as possible and enjoy it to the full, while it lasts, it is my favorite season and I love to watch the color change take place and the beauty of all the autumn foliage.

    I think I also hear a whisper, that He has good plans for me…

  10. Yes – fall is the best time of year for me, too.

    Oh how I loved the idea that God chooses me for the very things I would change. I can relate to the childlike way each bump and line is perceived with creativity – what glorious thougths!

  11. I love that the at the very moment I may be tempted to linger on the negative….God sends me yet another “love note”. Thank you for being His transcriber dear Holley.
    So many times this past year with the challenges and changes that have happened in my life and the lives of those I love, the Lord has used you to keep me focused on Him!
    God bless you friend. Much love,

  12. Hi Holley- I love this part- “What would you change about yourself if you could? What if that’s the very thing God wants to use?” I was just thinking about that very thing this morning. And how better to be used for others than to meet them out of our imperfections, because that’s being real. Thanks for this post- it really spoke to me this morning and has given me a lot to think about!

  13. Dear Holley!!! I love God’s artwork in the fall!! The colors of the changing leaves on the trees are awesome!!!Thank You God for Fall and your Beautiful Colors!!! Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  14. A wonderful reminder today that my perceptions of myself and abilities are not necessarily God’s view. The questions you posed definitely have challenged me today. Thank you!

  15. You really made me think today, Holley–what if the one thing I want to change is the one thing God wants to use?

    I appreciate you–so. much.

  16. Love the connection!! My absolute favorite time would have to be the fall & winter. Although we don’t get too much of the amazing, dramatic changes “down” here in South Florida – It remains my Favorite all the same. (I absolutely LOVE the seasonal changes… That’s the True New Yorker in my).

    I’m so blessed to have “stumbled” upon this blog via Lisa Terkeurst’s blog!!

    Glo 😉

  17. Thanks Holley,
    What an awesome reminder that God can use every part of us, even the parts we see as imperfections. We see ourselves through the natural eye and complain, but thankfully God sees past what we see and makes great use of it all!

    Continue Blessed!!!!

  18. What a beautiful reminder of who we are in Christ, BECAUSE of Christ… Love this!

    Love you & being able to enjoy your gift… always look forward to your emails.. xo

  19. “What would you change about yourself if you could? What if that’s the very thing God wants to use?” Love that. Really love it.

    There is so much we can learn from a child’s perspective. They view the world through a lens of imagination instead of cynicism. When Jesus upholds having faith like a child, I think that means much more than we often realize.

    I love fall. The changing colors of the leaves re-opens my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me every day that I too often fail to notice.

    I think next year I may intentionally choose some pumpkins with large bumps and imperfections. Thanks for the reminder to see beauty there, too.

  20. I love Pumpkin anything. I recently bought some coffee flavoring in pumpkin spice. It has a little more fat content than I wanted but oh my goodness, the taste on my tongue of pumpkin and the smell, those extra fat grams just seem to fade away (hopefully not on me). Anyway, I do love fall with the explosion of colors in the hills, the orange, yellow, brown, dark purple colors that all look so good together. You have a great day Holley and keep up the encouraging words. I love them and it seems they are just right for me at the most appropriate times. Love ya

  21. Can relate to the part – “What would you change about yourself if you could? What if that’s the very thing God wants to use?” I would love to change my personality. It is becoming rather “yucky & very opinionated”. Would also love to change my hearing & speech.

    I was “blessed” to have 2 punctured eardrums as a youngster (4-8 yr. old). Surgery did not correct the left ear. This has affected the way I speak, both in tone (loudness & how I pronounce words & letters). On the upside God has used my hearing loss in a unique way. I knew some sign language for certain contemporary Christian songs. Doing those in church our music director asked if I would do sign language to music for “special music”. The last song was a bluegrass instrumental version of Amazing Grace. Everyone just loves watching me–plus I’m learning more and more sign language at the same time.

    As for cooking love pumpkin! My favorite is pumpkin bread! It smells sooo good!

    Your writing is so wonderful Holley–wish I had that talent, but God thought otherwise!

  22. SomeHow My Nature is to Root for the UnDerDog.
    As I Read Holley’s Writing it Came to Me.
    SomeTimes We Can be Distracted.
    But. In the End Our God Given Nature Shines through.
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
    –Proverbs 3:5

  23. there are several things that make fall my favorite season, the main ones being that our wedding anniversary and 2 family birthdays occur in Nov.; celebrating 41 yrs. together this year+youngest daughter/grandaughter’s birthdays make it a very special month. other reasons: the easing up of unreasonably high temperatures, the beautifully colored leaves, particularly in Oct.,, when my original hometown, Baldwin City, Ks, holds their annual Maple Leaf Festival to celebrate the beautiful red maple trees that are an outstanding mark of the town.

  24. Thank you, Holley, that was sacred…and at superficial glance at first, those gourds looked like doughnuts!

  25. I love that! And I love how God loves us the way we are and uses all our imperfections to His glory.

    As for fall traditions, I think pie baking is my favorite. It’s not fall without a pumpkin pie or several, and I love to make bourbon pecan pie this time of year, too.

  26. I love baking too. I love walking through the crisp, cool air with my little son. By the way do you have a good recipe for moist pumpkin muffins or squares? I would love to get the recipe. Just joined on your email/blog list and I love it! Thank you for the encouraging words….really need to hear them lately.
    God Bless you in this teaching.

  27. Thanks for all your wonderful insights. I hope God does take my faults & shows me my strengths.I appreciate your words which sometimes gives me a nudge that I apparently need fr8om Jesus. I also love fall & the glory of the change of the season. In which sometimes we take for granted when it is all done by the grace of our wonderful father. Blessing to you & your family always.

  28. Oh, Holley! This brought tears to my eyes: “Jesus looks at us and says, “I want that one.” Whew! I immediately thought of my weakness in parenting. May He use that to His glory, first and foremost in my daughter’s life. Hopefully, I will be able to share and help others due to all the challenges I have gone through and am going through. God is so good to choose us and receive us “just as we are.” My most favorite saying about God’s love is that it is UNRELENTING!
    PRAISE HIM! Thank you for reminding me, Holley, and sharing God’s heart with us!

    Fall is my favorite season. I praise God for the all the wonderful, beautiful colors and eyes with which to see them. My birthday is in October. We have the Mountain State Forest Festival here in Elkins, WV, – the Mountain State – in the fall – celebrating the glory and beauty of the forest. A Queen is crowned with great fanfare – to include 38 – 40 princesses clad in beautiful, colorful dresses. There are also flower girls, a crown bearer, train bearers and jesters all equally beautifully clothed – a feast for the eyes! 😀 I thank the Creator of it all! I am thankful for all five senses with which to enjoy all of His creation!

  29. thank you for sharing this enlightening thought … it is so true, but some times it is so wonderful to be reminded of that – such a relief, really!! Thank you and thank the good Lord!

  30. There is a lot I would change if i could. One thing I would never want to change though and that is the fact I am a child of the living God who delights in using this frail vessel for His glory.

    Our traditons have had to be very flexible for lots of years since we have lived over seas for many holidays. One thing we have had to learn is to be thankful even when there are no punkins around to makes pies with….and you are sweating like crazy as you cook what ever is available. Being home now during my favorite season has been so wonderful.
    That truth Holly in your blog was bought by the blood of Jesus and transends no matter where one lives. Chosen to glorify Him no matter our flaws, no matter our failures, no matter what we do or where we do it or the season we do it in…..such sweet truth, truth that sets us free to enjoy being chosen. Reminds me of a song.

    Oh yes, Oh yes, I’m a child of the King
    His royal blood now flows in my viens
    And I who was wretched and poor now can sing
    Oh yes, O yes I’m a child of the King

  31. This reminds me of a time back about 7 years ago. I was so close to God that I could literally feel Him walking alongside of me as I went through my day. I was also unemployed, very sick, saw myself as very Christian. As I fell into a feverish sleep I had a very vivid dream. I walked into an old musty store, the kind that sells antiques and other “old” things. A man approached me and asked me if he could help me find something, I said “no, just looking”. And then my eyes saw it, there towards the back, kind of forgotten but in a locked glass case. It was the most beautiful vase I’d ever seen, exquisite beyond words. Excitedly I asked if I could get a closer look to which he agreed. He told me it was very valuable and one of a kind. As I took it from him, gently turning it suddenly I saw it, a flaw right there in the midst of all that beauty hidden from first sight in the back. I was crushed and told the man, ” no thank you.” I asked God why would He show me a flawed vase? He gently told me that I was just like that vase. From a distance I saw myself as being “perfect” but upon closer inspection I had some flaws that only He by His hands could turn into a masterpiece. I woke up and realized that as “flawed” as I am, even today, God takes each piece of my life to perfect that which concerns me. Where I see glaring flaws, He sees work that needs to be done until I am that exquisite vase in all it’s designed beauty and perfection.

  32. Oh Holley I just love you. You make me laugh and cry all at the same time.
    “Someone has good plans for you.”
    Yes I believe that, He have wonderful plans for you and for me!!! 🙂
    Thank you for the little peep talk. Have a blessed day.

  33. This one is a keeper …I love your way of communicating in such a way that creates a visual picture for those of us that had yet to see a gourd such as you describe…each of us has our own imperfections/weaknesses, but isn’t that the very thing whereby Jesus
    shows Himself strong through us? II Corinthians 12:7-10 esp vs.9-10.

  34. Holley – thank you for your words of wisdom. I was praying this morning about my desire to change some issues in me. I was working on a post to this effect when I took a break and “happened” to read your post. Obviously, God has a plan in every little area of our lives. :-), Thank you Lord! I included a link to your post and this blog, and used your questions to help me put into words what I needed to mentally process. Thank you.

    As for Fall being my favorite season…in Alaska we get a very short fall, but it includes leaves changing from green to variations of yellow (we don’t get much red or orange) and often the snow creeping down the mountains making the air crisp. It is beautiful in its own way. I find I think every season is my favorite season when it’s changing. 🙂 As much as I don’t like change, I love the season changes. I’m always ready for the next one.

  35. Hi Holley,

    I love this article…it really got me choked up (as usual w/your poignant pieces:)

    I’ve had this analogy in my mind for years now…one where God looks upon us with the unconditional love that most people have for their dogs or any pet really. To me, every dog is adorable and lovable and perfect in their ability to love us, their masters. I like to think of us humans as having those same traits in God’s eyes 🙂

    This article really touched me as I struggle to accept some of my imperfections…but wow, I love the perspective of God using my weakness for His glory….that is really, really beautiful.

    Ty for sharing your insights, xo

  36. Thanks you for this inspiring and thought provoking perspective. “What would you change about yourself if you could? What if that’s the very thing God wants to use?” God loves us unconditionally. Remain blessed

  37. Dear Holley,

    This was such an encouraging post. Thank you. It just makes me smile to think that Jesus is showing His strength through my weaknesses. It’s so nice to remember that I don’t always have to be strong — as long as He’s with me — and He ALWAYS is. 🙂

    I love pumpkin at this time of year but I also love apple — apple pie, apple cake, apple crisp, hot caramel apple cider — and even a nice crisp apple. Mmmm! Your post made me hungry today, too. 🙂

    Love and blessings,

  38. Dear Holley, I am so happy to have you as a new friend. My imperfections are many health issues and they are a big struggle for me. I can;t thank you enough for your encouraging words that you sent today. Thank you for your love and prayers.

  39. Chosen with my imperfections… A daily and much needed reminder! Even as a pastor’s wife, the enemy attacks any way he can. God is good! I know He is glorified in my weakness… He is Awesome!

  40. Oh Holly….what you said…what it means to me- to all of us…thank you.
    Have a Window of heaven that pours you out blessing upon Thanksgiving blessing.
    A family tradition at Thanksgiving is before the meal we look from person to person and eye to eye and we savor a moment to thank God for whoever is present at the table and those we miss. We let our heart speak through our eyes and then we pray. Mom brings out the appetizer in tiny cups ( fruit cocktail and sherbert ice cream with Ginger Ale or 7Up poured over it) yum
    Blessings always

  41. Love your writing and encouragement. Share a lot with friends on FB. Thank you for your love and dedication to the Lord and to us as women. May God continue to bless you richly as you do His work.

  42. Holley thank you so very much,I look forward to your posts and I’m always forwarding them to the people I love in my life,as I write this your post today brings tears to my eyes I have many imperfections and I know that the lord see’s them differently,if we were all perfect there would never be room for improvement with the lord.

  43. Holley, I loved reading this post today! I’m sure that little someone smiled when you put that pumpking back. I too love fall because of the vivid colors surrounding us, and I love the smell of pumpkin anything baking! In fact, I’ll be doing that tomorrow — come on over. 🙂 Oh, that you could!

  44. Oh, yes, Someone always has good plans for me! For I am His daughter. I love all the seasons but fall is special. One of my favorite activities is raking leaves into a big pile with my kids and jumping in them (I also adore fall hikes!)!
    Thanks for the breath of fresh air.

  45. Dear Holley:

    I see where so many others have responded to imperfections about themselves that I want to respond to the positive side of your commentary. I know I have many imperfections but I want to concentrate on my strengths as a woman, mother and wife. We need to pray for forgiveness and move on to those strengths we have as women of God. I pray for God to just get me through the day and for Him to lift me. And He does. I have bumps but I hope those bumps do not mar the other character points I hope to have with the Lord.

  46. Hi Holly
    Wonderfully said! Thank you for reminding us that we have been singled out / chosen for a purpose

  47. Judging from the outside can be misleading: we are taking chances, but God —- He sees the inside as well as the outside. Watch out: the white plaster will not mislead Him.
    Thank you!!! Have a nice day!! God bless you and keep you!

  48. I had a dear friend with sailboat ears and one day he had surgery to lay them close to his head like most people. It was like taking off the bump that made the gourd look like a camel! Seriously I “loved” the imperfection God had put there in the first place!
    man looks at the outward appearance… God looks at the heart!

  49. Hi Holley,
    Lovely post! I make pumpkin muffins every thanksgiving, usually freezing 2 dozen. Later, in the winter I like making pumpkin soup with the fresh, cooked pumpkin that I’ve also frozen.
    I enjoy all the seasons, but do love the beautiful palette of God’s creation in the changing leaves.

    I’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada, May yours be blessed and full of special treats.

    Shalom, Sandy

  50. I LOVE all things fall and pumpkin too! I love making Buttercup (not nut) squash soup and carving pumpkins and going on hayrides and just breathing in the lovely fall air each day : )

  51. Ever harp on past mistakes or phases in your life you wish you could erase? The older and more mature I get, it seems the more bad decisions of the past seem to become apparent to me, and lately I’ve been trying hard to accept forgiveness from the Lord because he does not want me to hold on to any “self-loathing”. Nothing horrible or illegal! Just things/relationships/decisions from my college and shortly after days..you know, that all-to-common phase. In this process of laying down my sins and moving forward, I first realized, to sum up, that I am “more than the sum of my past mistakes” (in a Christian song). And tonight especially I was trying to figure out what to do next to actively be healed of such regret. You message definitely gave me much to think about. I can USE what I have learned in life to help others. Perhaps I can mentor to students at church, or through another organization. I can be that older sister that CAN relate. (coming from a family where I didn’t feel comfortable talking about my imperfections when I was younger). Thank you, Holly, for those two questions you posed.