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Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want

Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want

4.8 48
by Maria Goff

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This is a book about discovering what we really need.
There are a lot of second-best options, but we weren’t made to live a second-best life. Finding what we actually need is different than what we are often offered. There are many books full of opinions, steps and programs. This isn’t one of them. This is about craving the things that


This is a book about discovering what we really need.
There are a lot of second-best options, but we weren’t made to live a second-best life. Finding what we actually need is different than what we are often offered. There are many books full of opinions, steps and programs. This isn’t one of them. This is about craving the things that matter. Things that don’t just work, but last.
In a life that may seem to be all fun and games with an endless supply of balloons, author Maria Goff shows how this life is also lived with intentionality, passionate purpose, and a little planning—all of which make a life rich in legacy. But she had to figure out the help she needed first in order to live the beautiful life God wanted for her and wants for us.
Love Lives Here is a collection of stories that include the ways Maria and her husband, Bob, navigated family their way, without clear instructions or a road map. It’s about what they learned to make their lives meaningful and whimsical and how they created a space for their family to grow together while they reached outward.

"What a gift to read Love Lives Here and find within it a friend who is as authentic and inviting as Maria Goff. Through her earnest telling of the stories of her life, she provides greater meaning to all our lives. We were thrilled to read this book."
Donald Miller (bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz and Scary Close) with Betsy Miller
"Grace is a contagious force we all crave and Maria contains so much grace it floods you from just a short time with her. May these pages overwhelm you with God’s love, and hope that Maria knows so well."
Jennie Allen, Founder of IF: Gathering and Author of Nothing to Prove
(and more - see below)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Love Lives Here is every bit as warm and kind as you’d expect from an author known to most of the world as Sweet Maria. If you love the feeling of gaining a new best friend, read this book. If you’d ever wondered how a life some may consider quiet can incrementally impact the world, read this book.”
Shelley Giglio, Chief Strategist, sixstepsrecords and Co-founder, Passion Conferences/Passion City Church

"Grace is a contagious force we all crave and Maria contains so much grace it floods you from just a short time with her. May these pages overwhelm you with God’s love, and hope that Maria knows so well."
Jennie Allen, Founder of IF: Gathering and Author of Nothing to Prove

"I’ve had the chance to visit many places over the years. Finding the purpose behind the places I go always intrigues me. I’ve been to Maria’s home and I know it’s purpose. It’s simply a place where love lives. You’re going to enjoy reading a little more in these pages about how we can each make the places where we live, places where love lives too."
Jeremy Cowart, Photographer and Founder of the Purpose Hotel

"Maria and her words are a gift to every one searching for love, meaning and a place to belong. My life is brighter and my heart is bigger because of what I experienced on these pages. I cried. I smiled. I felt loved. It's an absolutely incredible book!"
Mike Foster, author of People of the Second Chance: A Guide To Bringing Life-Saving Love To The World

"What a gift to read Love Lives Here and find within it a friend who is as authentic and inviting as Maria Goff. Through her earnest telling of the stories of her life, she provides greater meaning to all our lives. We were thrilled to read this book." Donald Miller (bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz and Scary Close) with Betsy Miller

"In a moment in my life when I was desperately looking for direction, God used my friendship with Maria to rekindle in me a long-held vision for hospitality that I'd allowed to be obscured by far less important things. This beautiful book will do that same sacred work for so many people. Maria is an example to me--the kind of mother I aspire to be, the kind of gatherer of people I aspire to be. I'm so very thankful for this lovely book, and the heart and wisdom written on every page.”  
Shauna Niequist, NYT bestselling author of Present Over Perfect and Savor

"Through every page, I loved discovering the powerful, mighty woman who's gentle voice and warm heart belies her strength. Maria opens the door of her heart to reveal life is found in rubble, in broken dreams, in oozing hot lava, and--most importantly--love is found in the places we least expect it. With every chapter I felt like welcomed into her home, invited to sit, and pull up a chair to listen to how to love, live, and act towards others. Not only did I walk away wanting a friend like Maria, I wanted to grow up and BE Maria Goff."
Bianca Juarez Olthoff, bestselling author of Play With Fire

"This book is the hug you didn't know you've always needed. Maria's words of hope, purpose and vulnerability ring true in the deepest parts of my soul, inspiring me to live and love better."
Ryan O’Neal, author of Sleeping At Last

"Maria has cultivated a beautiful heart and home where the Lord dwells richly. Love Lives Here shows us how we can experience amazing joy from the inside out. This book will change you and your family."
Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries

"Maria Goff is the wise, gracious, and witty mentor you always wanted. With hospitality and vulnerability, she invites you to sit in the coziest chair of her home, warm cup in hand, as she tells you her stories. And in the telling, you hear anew your own stories and God's stories too."
Katherine and Jay Wolf co-authors and co-founders of Hope Heals

Product Details

B&H Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Maria Goff has made a career out of loving her family, serving her neighbors, and turning houses into homes. She is married to Bob Goff, whom she calls the most helpful and interesting man in the world. They’ve journeyed to Uganda, Nepal, and Northern Iraq to start schools for marginalized kids. They have three adult kids, who are starting families of their own. She lives in San Diego where she and Bob continue to dream about fun and adventures yet to be had with their growing family.

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Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
BSchafer 22 days ago
Sometimes, the encouragement I needs shows up in a testimony of God's faithfulness. Sweet Maria writes gently, but with great strength and great love, of the faithfulness of the Lord. The thing that stuck out the most (and seems to really sum up the message of the book to me), was not even Maria's words, but a Scripture verse she shared early in the book: “Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.” 1 John 3:18 TLB. I took away that you don't have to live a fast, outgoing, "large" life to make an impact--each choice you make each day is what builds a legacy of love, loving out of the love of God. That's what I need AND what I want. I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This is my honest review.
KBShank80 22 days ago
Love Lives Here is one of the most beautifully written books that I've read. The most appropriate word I can think of to describe Goff's style and tone is simply "lovely." She has a magical way of telling even the most difficult parts of her life in a way that is relatable and allows the reader to use her experiences as a path their own stories. One of the best parts of this book is the way that she gives the reader freedom to be the kind of mother that best fits their individuality while fully embracing love for those around them. She strips hospitality and family down to the parts that matter the most and truly allow us to thrive. It's liberating to hear her give us freedom to be different, to create a family rhythm that values togetherness, peace, and rest. All the while it feels like she is sitting beside you with a cup of tea cheering you on to be the best for your family. I received an advanced copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Teadrinker 22 days ago
Five years ago I read and reviewed Love Does by Bob Goff. Bob inspired me to show love in action because Bob is an action-oriented guy. However, Bob's wife, Maria, says she is quieter and shows love differently than Bob. In Love Lives Here by Maria Goff she shares a series of essays from her life that share how they navigate their family life, love God, love each other, and love others well, using their differences to love differently. Overall, I most enjoyed how "real" Maria was in sharing her stories in Love Lives Here. Some stories are happy and some are not, but they are all part of what make up Maria's life, who she is, and how she shares love with those around her as she serves God daily from a place of quiet steadfastness, often at home. One of the points that struck me most in her writing was how we all have value (stay at home moms too!) and we do not have to all be alike. She and Bob are very different in personalities but she shares how they both minister to those around them but they do it differently. She shares how they both add value to their marriage and to others. What an important message we all need in our world today with so many voices around us! Maria is a wife and mom who makes a difference in what she does each day. She gave me hope as I follow in her shoes living the life of a wife and mom, a life that is no less important than my husband's life even though they do not look entirely the same. I would encourage you to read Maria's book, Love Lives Here, and think about how your own life is meaningful and how you relate to others around you. I think you will then be encouraged to love on those all around you. I received Love Lives Here by Maria Goff from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for the book.
MaddieDumas 22 days ago
I have been a Goff family fan for a while, and I love the joy conveyed in their stories. I enjoyed Maria Goff's writing style, and I'm inspired by her stories. I'm encouraged and ready to look for Jesus under the surface. "Love keeps us going, and hope moves our feet". I made lots of highlights, and I plan on sharing this book with others for many years to come.
Anonymous 22 days ago
Love Lives Here is a wonderful new book by Maria Goff. If you are familiar with her husband (Bob Goff, author of Love Does), then you will know Maria as “Sweet Maria,” and after reading Love Lives Here, I understand why! Maria is the type of friend anyone would be blessed to have in their life. Maria gives voice to the women who dream of being a wife and mother. Oftentimes in our modern culture, people think you need to go BIG and LOUD to make a difference. Maria shows us that small things done with great love are just as important. I’ve struggled with wanting to do more and feeling like I’m not making a difference, but Maria reinforces that I’ve been called to my most important work, which is raising my family. Throughout Love Lives Here, Maria shares many personal stories - happy, sad, funny, and touching. She gives great advice (even if she wouldn’t call it that) and I’m thankful that she was willing to share her life with her readers. I received a copy of Love Lives Here from the publisher. This is my honest review.
HollyWaugh 22 days ago
Sweet Maria is full of the type of wisdom that all of us can learn from. Love Lives Here is full of wonderful stories of Maria's life. It isn't just the stories that makes this book a must read, it is the lessons that Maria shares about life, that are hidden in those stories. A see Sweet Maria as the older and wiser mentor who is passing on the hard lessons to those coming up behind her. Each chapter stands alone which makes it a good read when you only have short bursts of time. I received an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
amandakjones13 2 hours ago
I received a copy from the publisher. This is my honest review. When I signed up for the pre-launch team and requested my advance copy, I had no idea how much I would need this book... It has been the refreshing, restful, easy read my soul needed desperately during an incredibly busy and emotionally draining season of my life. I cried, I laughed, I soul-searched... I was left with a deep desire to just spend a weekend with Bob and "Sweet Maria". Maria's message is easy to read but not watered down. Her vulnerable honesty makes it easy to connect with her and recognize the ways God has worked through the messy moments in your own life. She acknowledges the pain and even admits to sitting in it for a while at times, but ultimately weaves a story that beautifully displays the ways that Love was working even when she wasn't aware of it
Fitzysmom 12 hours ago
Love Lives Here is the most poignantly beautiful book that I've read in some time. My heart was captured from the foreword by Maria's husband Bob Goff. His words echo what every woman wants to hear about themselves from their man. Each chapter that follows stands alone yet a theme of love and grace winds through the entire book. While reading through Maria's thoughts about past experiences I found pieces of my own story woven in. I've had many of the same experiences and I'm sure that you have too. Some of the stories made me laugh and others made me weep. But regardless of the emotion that was brought forth the leading hand of God was present. The theme of the book is obviously love. That love is manifested in the lives of the Goff family. The way that they love each other and others will stick with me for some time. They leave no doubt about where their ability to love comes from. It is a gift from God. As you read through the book it is abundantly clear that this gift is readily available to you and me. I heartily recommend this book to everyone. Whether you are in a hard spot or not this book will speak to you. I think it would also make a wonderful gift for a friend that needs a little lift in their spirit. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
jacobson93 10 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Maria Goff's book Love Lives Here. She honestly tells stories of her life - both good and bad. She helps a reader see how they can build a legacy of love in their home and community. She is an inspiration! ***I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
mikkywilliams 12 days ago
Just finished reading this book- it is amazing! Maria uses simple but profound stories and examples to both challenge and encourage her readers to bravely and boldly live out their faith. She shares that the secret to joy and contentment is to walk the unique life God has planned for you and your family. I have already started going back through, re-reading, studying, and praying about exactly how we can apply this to our family. Cannot wait to read it together as a family!
IamCindyT 12 days ago
The book is an easy read and filled with lots of encouragement. The stories feel authetic and give you hope. Perfect read for those days when you need a reminder of why we should love others. I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This is my honest review.
KDeLong 14 days ago
Sweet Maria Goof has given us the most precious, most sacred look inside her heart with this, her first book. She has opened her heart and home to us in a way that quietly invites you to sit with her and soak in her gentle words and wise teachings. I just wish I could visit with her and study more in depth her ways of hospitality and gentle peacemaking. That would be a treasure. And while her husband Bob is lively and excited, Sweet Maria is so tender and calm. The two go together perfectly and yes, their books look perfect on the shelf side by side.
JHutch 14 days ago
I'm so thankful for the Goff's. Bob and now his wife Sweet Maria have such a way of speaking love and encouragement straight into your soul. Love Lives Here is ripe with encouragement for the daily mom trials, the daughter from the rough home life, and the woman whose experienced the ultimate betrayal by loved ones. Don't miss out on what this book can speak into your life.
Julie12 14 days ago
I have been incredibly blessed to be on the launch team for this book. I have been able to get to know, through our group, Maria Goff and her sweet, loving personality and her true caring for others. This book just shines with her godly spirit and it is truly one of the best books I have read in a long time. It came into my life at a time I really needed encouragement and focus on what's really important. I love how Maria shares how important it is to me ourselves. To know what our gifts are and not compare ourselves to others. We each have a unique gift and personality and we need to cultivate that. The comparison mind set only stresses us out and leaves us struggling to live the life fully that God gave us. I could relate so much to Maria as she is an introvert and so am I. Like her, I am married to an extrovert and I can see how perfectly this has worked for her and for me. We minister in different ways because of our introversion but it doesn't make it any less loving or important. I think the greatest thing about this book is how completely real Maria is. She shares the ups and down of her life and always, always talks about love and grace. I felt like I had made a new friend by reading this book and it also made me realize that a lot of us go through the same things, even if we don't realize it. Maria shows how the really devastating things strengthened her because she allowed God to work through those situations. Such encouragement for me in my own life and situation! After reading this book I want to love more, live more fully and have an attitude of being willing in whatever situation God calls me into - even if it's uncomfortable. I also feel like she gives us new eyes to see the value in the little things we do. Caring for our family, making our homes inviting, or other small things that really do make a difference in how we love others. I highly recommend this book to every woman out there! It is so life changing, mind changing and soul changing. Her love for God is contagious and has give me more joy for my life lived for God. Seriously, if you don't buy any other book this year - buy this one! You'll be so glad you did! I give it 5 out of 5 stars. *This book was provided to me by the publisher and author for my honest review which I have given here.
Jennidickey 15 days ago
There are so many things to love about this book. She weaves lessons we need in the stories of her friends and family. She draws you in and you want to be her friend, her neighbor and her family. I especially love the relationship she has with her kids and the rituals they have as a family. From "running away" and writing letters after 9/11. She gives woman permission to be the best wives and mothers and not feel like they have to be more. Do what you are passionate about not what society thinks you should be passionate about. I haven't read Bob Goff's book Love Does yet but it's next on my list so I can learn more about them and the lessons they have for us. I hope she continues to write more books for us. I highly recommend this book.
j9doyle 15 days ago
I haven't had this feeling reading a book since I read "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. It's as if I know these two from reading their books ..... we've shared a cup of coffee and opened up our hearts, even though they are not physically in the room with me. Maria is a kindred spirit, her writing shows us the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly and how God works all of it together for His good in our lives. Looking forward to the rest of the journey and sharing her book with friends and family!
CarissaJoy 17 days ago
If you've read Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World, you're familiar with the style of writing in this book: short independent chapters with vignettes tying memories and moments from Maria's life to spiritual truths. But Bob and Maria have spent so much time digging into their unique attributes as husband and wife, so this book is also nothing like Bob's. If Bob's book teaches us how to live adventurously and fearlessly, Maria's book is about faithfulness and what we do in everyday life, when we're with the people we love. She encourages her readers to find redemption in pain and loss, to do the hard work of dealing with our "stuff," and to learn how to live out our own skills and talents right where we are. This book is a must-read if you want to live more fully and deeply and love the people around you well. Maria is a great teacher, and you'll feel like you've been sitting in a chair in front of the fireplace with a friend. This book is best served with a cup of tea.
LMSimmons 19 days ago
The English-teacher side of me appreciated Maria Goff's ongoing use of metaphors (Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper!) to help apply her messages. As I read any book, if I like a passage, I underline it. If I want to remember it, I also put a star by it. If it's so good I can't wait to share it with a friend, I turn down the corner of the page. Usually I'm a 3-turned-down-corners kind of gal. I just counted, and in Love Lives Here, I have 16 turned down pages. Told with warmth, insight,and a generous heart. I love how every chapter is a stand-alone encouragement, tying every-day life to God moments and truth. I was given a publisher's copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I'll be buying many more to give to my friends and family.
KelsieH 19 days ago
Love Lives Here is one of the sweetest and most encouraging books I've ever read. Sweet Maria and Bob Goff are wonderfully witty, passionate and kind examples of Jesus. Reading this book is like a front row seat to their lives filled with service and whimsy and love. This book is well organized with stories and the thoughts and lessons learned penned right in the mix. It's definitely a quick page-turner. I've read her stories during a pretty lonely season of my own and have cried as she shares the struggles and victories that each made her beat a little bit stronger with the heart of God. It's must read. And then read again. I revived an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher. This is my honest review.
Anonymous 20 days ago
Maria Goff has written a very engaging narrative of the places that we find ourselves in our journey with Christ. Her vulnerability and honesty are quite refreshing. It is a powerful thing to know that your road with Jesus does not look just like someone else's and that if you are living in His LOVE, you are traveling it well. *I received a copy from the publisher. This is my honest review.*
Anonymous 21 days ago
What an amazing gift that "Sweet Maria" has given us in Love Lives Here. It is such an important reminder of the true gift - Love. I plan to give this gifts to many others in hopes that Maria will also remind them, like she did me, to focus on God - even in a world that is constantly telling us otherwise. She is so wise on love, faith, raising children, and marriages - opening up her heart and sharing her life and stories with us.
7200933 21 days ago
I received a copy from the publisher, this is my honest review. Maria Goff pours her soul into this book from the very first chapter when talking about loss to the end of the book you are constantly being inspired. There will be times where you laugh, cry, and others where you will just take a moment to think about your own life. Sweet Maria, wife of bestselling author Bob Goff, is as sweet as Bob makes her seem in his book, "Love Does." This book will inspire you to think about how to make life meaningful and how to create a space to grow while loving others.
Anonymous 21 days ago
Love Lives Here is a wonderful book of "Sweet Maria" Goff's life stories. She does a wonderful job making her personal life stories into lessons about loss, love, and personal growth. What she takes away from these situations is presented in such a way that you can relate and find a way to take a lesson away for yourself. If you're someone who cries easily (like for TV commercials per se) I'd have a tissue ready. Between the amazingly sweet forward from her husband to her introduction, it's enough to make a person tear up. As the book continues she takes you through stories from her life. Some stories are ones most of us have been through ourselves. Some are definitely unique to her and her family. Somehow we can all learn from the stories regardless. While there are moments this book feels more like it's written with a formula and less like a novel, it's still an excellent book overall and I've already purchased a second copy to start passing around to friends and coworkers. Please note: I have received an advanced copy from the publisher, but the opinions written here are my own.
Anonymous 21 days ago
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and this is my honest review: I loved this book! Each chapter was a new adventure- including personal stories, truth of the gospel, and how to practically apply necessary wisdom. Thanks Sweet Maria for sharing your story with us all!
Jane Whittaker 21 days ago
'Love Loves Here' gives encouraging inspiration and insight into the family life of Bob and Maria Goff. On reading the book I almost felt that I had been invited into their home, sat down with my feet up and spent a few hours listening to how God had changed every tragedy, disappointment and mishap in their lives completely around and brought glory to His name. Through every single situation that Maria has gone through, God has revealed His purpose to her in a gentle, calming manner. Despite her personality being so different than that of Bob's, God has treated her so individually and taught her through all the difficulty that He is in control and has a purpose in all things. Reading the book has helped me to appreciate my own family life story. How, if we look hard enough, we can see God is every season of our lives. Whether things go as we planned or in a totally opposite direction, we know that all things work together for our good and we don't need to stray much further than our own doorstep to realise that love truly does live right where we are. I received a copy from the publisher. This is my honest review.