Teacake Chat with Holley Gerth…

It doesn’t always happen, but one thing I love when doing interviews is finding that one moment when the person you are talking with slides open a window, draws back a little more of the curtain, and invites you into a corner of their heart you maybe only glimpsed before. 

And when they do, you find yourself thinking – oh, I’ve felt that way too…

Such is one of the poignant moments in my tea and conversation with Holley (To read the “out of the blue way” we came to chat, see my post Hobnobbin’ with Holley Gerth! 🙂 And… chocolate!) — when  she sort of stops and confesses, maybe a tinge sotto voce, “I’m an off the charts introvert.”

Right there, I imagine her leaning in, hand aside mouth.  I hear the echo of all those meant to be encouraging but faltering words of so many of my own years  … “You are such a great listener, BUT…,” “If you  were ONLY more [fill in the word]…” and so many other phrases couched in what they really conveyed.  Something is wrong with being an introvert.  It needs to be overcome… Like, trying to catch right-handed with a left-hander mitt…

And I remember the day when God dropped an illuminating, perspective-changing word to my spirit…pillowy as a feather…there in a church seminar exploring the uniquely tailored (or God-sized, if you will)  spiritual gifts God has anointed in us each.

“Being an encourager is one of my Spiritual Gifts in you,” He seemed to say in thoughts  dawning over me.  “A good listener, a person of thought…the world labels introspective, then tries to fit you into the box of… outgoing. As if there could be something wrong in my creation.  I do not want you to overcome who I have made you to be, but to flourish in gifts I put in you…  I purpose each in different ways… ”

And my dumbstruck answer…Oh Lord, how LONG I thought you made a mistake in making me more on the quiet side…and that YOU wanted me to somehow squelch that…because it didn’t please You either…           

That’s why today… in this conversation… I think I hear His smile.  “See what I can do with those who think they are TOO introverted…”

For if anyone is flourishing in her gifts, and thus encouraging us each to do the same,          to allow the Spirit to move in Who HE is in us… it is Holley. 

So now… with no further delay…Won’t you pull up to the sofa with your warm cuppa – and enjoy a slice of tea cake chat with Holley?  🙂


Pam, Apples of Gold:    Welcome Holley!  Thanks so much for joining us here today.  As I think of all the fun and lovely insights you shared during Ladies Night Out the other evening, so many things struck a chord with me.  One was how, looking back, you now find seeds of encouragement in you as a child. It is amazing to recognize that in ourselves from this vantage point, isn’t it?  For me, I think it began with listening and absorbing from my mom. Is there one woman in your life who sparked and nurtured that joy in your littlest years, made you want to lift others up even more?  Do you have a special such memory you might share?

Holley:  Yes…There are several women in my family who influenced my love for words. When I was a child, my mom used to make up bedtime stories and tell them to us. They included favorites like “Dainty Doodlebug.”

My maternal grandma owned a bookstore where I spent hours curled up with stacks of books as I grew up. And my paternal grandma was an English teacher for many years.

 Pam:   Mmmm.  Books, or stories – even those in warmhearted television or movies — have always been such an influencer for compassion in me too.  Do you have a childhood book favorite that maybe awakened that sense of being an encourager in you?   

Holley:  Oh yes… I always read nonfiction—even as a child! I remember going through Kevin Leman’s Birth Order Book and analyzing all my friends. In my grandparents’ store, I skipped the kids’ section and went straight to the grown-up books. I think those books showed me how living in ways that align with who God created you to be makes a big difference.

Pam:  That reminds me of what you shared the other night about being a “greeting card” style encourager even at 12 or 13…  🙂   Do you remember what was on those lists of “10 reasons why I like you” that you gave your school friends – and what their reactions were at the time?

Holley(Grinning) I think it was very deep things… like “I like your smile” and “Your bangs are really big.”   My friends would often save my notes or even hang them up in their bedrooms.

Pam:  Do you think that was the Holy Spirit moving you back then?

Holley:  Yes, I think God was already teaching me to be an encourager even back then. It was Junior High—we all needed all the encouragement we could get! Ha!

Pam:   What you said about ALL women, physical mothers or not, being a mama, born to birth something unique and beautiful in this world deeply touched me.  Motherhood is a dream I’ve had to surrender back to Him… Still, in so many ways, I see myself as having such a nurturing mother heart – especially in praying for others, encouraging them. There have been times when I’ve prayed for someone 25 years older than I am, and still felt in some way like my prayers stemmed from a mother’s heart for them… if that makes sense.

I can see that behind my writing (even in my artwork), and so strongly in yours.  Do you feel that your desire to become a Life Coach may have come out of that sense of nurturing others as well?

Holley:  WellEve is called “the mother of all living” and we are her daughters. So I believe that every woman is called to bring life into the world in some way. I’m called to do that through birthing words that encourage the hearts of women and also being a midwife to their dreams. I do that as a life coach as well as in everything else I do too.


It is beautiful how you express that, Holley… I know you’ve been open somewhat about your own surrendering of wanting to be a physical mom.   Please don’t feel you have to answer this if it is too personal, but I wonder — do you and your husband consider adoption?


We prayed about many different options for many years and we have come to realize that we are called to be kid-free so that we can serve the Kingdom in other ways. We’re still parents—just not to physical children in the same way most people are.

Pam:  Yes, I can see that in your speaking. Nurturing dreams, as you say. Speaking seems to come so naturally to you.  What do you enjoy most (or dislike or worry about) in doing book signing events?

Holley:  Confession: I’m an off-the-charts introvert. Speaking and small talk are not easy for me. Yes, they’re fun and I absolutely love being with people. But I always have to go back to my room and completely crash. Sometimes it takes me days to fully recover. I love seeing my readers face-to-face and hearing their hearts. That totally makes the energy it takes worth it for me.

Pam:  What refreshes and replenishes you, especially after those enervating situations?

Holley:  I love just being with my husband. We are both pretty quiet and we can enjoy each other’s company whether we’re taking a bike ride, sitting on the patio, or just hanging out with friends together.

Pam:  Sounds like you are best friends.  🙂  Anyone else you enjoy hanging out with?  Why?

Holley:  I have a close group of friends who live in my town. Most of us have been friends for almost a decade—long before I started writing books. I treasure the history we share and the way we encourage each other now. I also have a close group of friends I’ve connected with online and I love how they help me be brave, reach out, and share the ups and downs of this world of words.

Pam:  Well, I have to say it’s always heart-lifting to connect with you online, and so fun “hanging out” for a bit with you here, Holley.  As we finish, I’ll just ask… Can you share a bit about the mama dream God has birthed in your heart regarding your future writings? 

Holley:  Thank you, Pam. 

In whatever I write, I want to encourage the hearts of my readers so that they grow into all God created them to be. Like I shared about at the book signing, I believe we’re all here for one main purpose: to bring God joy {Matthew 25:21}. The more we live out who we’re called to be and what he desires for us to do, the more that happens. And in the process, we find true joy too.


©   Pam Depoyan

Note:  Please excuse these frustratingly funky fonts and spacing issues here today.   Seems to be some technical stuff going on with the host server and it’s not letting me fix it…  (aargghh)   😉


In Holley’s words…
“I’ve adored words and ideas ever since I was a little girl growing up in my grandparents’ bookstore. I feel grateful every day that my God-sized dream to be a writer actually came true {pinch me}. I’m the best-selling author of You’re Already Amazing, You’re Made for a God-sized dream (New Book)  and also partner with DaySpring.
“When I’m not in front of a keyboard, I love encouraging women in other ways. As part of doing so, I’ve had the joy of co-founding (in)courage as well as Squee! I’ve got a masters degree in counseling and I’m a certified life coach because I want to be right in the middle of all that’s happening in hearts of women. My favorite new thing is doing {e}coaching–it’s like having coffee with a purpose.
“Outside the word world, I’ve been married to Mark for twelve years. He keeps my feet on the ground so I can have my head in the clouds. I love coffee, cooking, naps and saying ‘y’all.'”

Holley also loves making you welcome at her site!  🙂   Heart to Heart with Holley


Sharing with:

  Tell Me a Story    Beauty in His Grip Button 

Chasing Blue Skies

   Scattering the Stones

Imperfect Prose  at Emily Wierenga’s place 

A Holy Experience

Faith-Filled Friday

Teaching What Is Good

About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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8 Responses to Teacake Chat with Holley Gerth…

  1. Janis Cox says:

    Following you at Simply Helping Him. Very interesting interview. Thanks,
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com author of Tadeo Turtle

  2. Your post was such a pleasure to read! I catch Holly occasionally at “Day Spring.” and she is always such an encouragement. Looks like being an introvert is within many of us. God uses us in his special ways. Thank you for sharing at “Tell Me a True Story.”

  3. jdukeslee says:

    Just wonderful, Pam. Holley Gerth is one of a kind. I love her encouraging heart. Thank you for sharing this Q-and-A with #TellHisStory.

  4. Hi Pam,

    I really loved your post, interviewing Holley. Encouragement is so important and something very close to my heart. As an introvert myself, it’s lovely to be encouraged in this way – a real blessing to read. Thank you.

    Thanks for linking up 🙂

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