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

by Maria Goff

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433648915
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 48,211
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About 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


By Maria Goff

B&H Publishing Group

Copyright © 2017 Maria Goff
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4336-4890-8



CHAPTER 1

The Lodge


We've changed a lot since the night the Lodge burned down.

It's odd how much I still remember about that night. It makes me wonder if God spends much time thinking about who we were and all of the details surrounding the difficulties we've experienced in our lives. I know He could remember everything if He wanted to, but I can't help but wonder if He thinks that the fires we've endured don't matter as much as the future He's promised us. Certainly God uses everything in our lives; nothing is wasted. But among His favorite questions for us isn't where we've been and what we've been through, but "Where do we go from here?" Like the disappointments we've all experienced, what stands out in my memory of the fire are just a few snapshots. The phone call, the family gathered close, standing next to the charred foundations, and the smell of smoke. I think God wired a lot of us to remember just a few parts of our pain, because He knows we don't need all of the details to remember the lessons we've learned.

We're making plans to rebuild the Lodge one step at a time. We don't know for certain what it will look like, but my bet is that it's pretty close to what we had. It was a bad day for us, to be sure, but not as bad as it was for Lloyds of London who insured the Lodge against fires. It could have been so much worse. Our agent said in jest they'd insure us again if we promised not to have any matches or fireplaces or stoves or careless painters on the property.

Nothing remains of the Lodge. The intensity of the fire even destroyed the foundations. That takes a lot of heat. But you know what? I'm kind of glad it did. If there were even one old charred beam still standing after the fire, I'd be tempted to use it to rebuild.

We do this all the time in our personal lives, too. We keep scorched pieces from our biggest failures and incorporate them into our lives as we rebuild ourselves. It's not a good construction practice with wood, and it doesn't make for a good future when we do it with our lives, because it only reminds us of our past. Sometimes we're best served to start all over. This takes getting the foundations out, too. This doesn't mean we get rid of our faith; far from it. We do this because sometimes God wants us to rebuild our lives from scratch. It's what I've done a couple times. Maybe you have, too. We start over in our lives the same way we'll start over at the Lodge — we'll make it a holy place again, nothing more and nothing less. Sometimes getting there requires clearing absolutely everything away from what we had, or who we were. Doing this is both simple and hard, yet we all get to decide whether we'll do what is required. And for the courageous at heart, we simply start again.

When we've suffered loss, starting again always feels like a gamble. Will we risk it all, knowing it might all just burn down again? Each of us has to decide if we'll ante up and play another hand, or push away from the table and call it a day. I don't think God gambles. He doesn't need to. He sees the future and because He does, He already sees the beauty we've yet to find in the rebuilding. He doesn't just make beauty from the ashes; He makes something far better. He shapes us into who we're becoming.

Sure, we could fill in the charred hole where the Lodge once was. We could make a sand volleyball court or put in a deck and some picnic tables. We could make it look like there was never a loss there. I've done that in my life more than a few times. We asked our grown kids what they wanted to build in the place where the Lodge used to be and with one voice they said they wanted to rebuild it. We all wanted back what was lost. It's a question worth asking for each of us, after we've had a setback or two in our lives, whether they are big or small. Do we want what we've had, or do we want something different for our lives? Sometimes different isn't better — it's just different.

The Lodge is a place we built in Canada, which has become a place of rest for all of us. It isn't the easiest destination to visit. In fact, it's pretty difficult to get to. The only way in is by boat or seaplane. There are no roads or power lines or water lines for a hundred miles in the shortest direction and a thousand miles in the longest. We make our electricity from a river, which carries the snowmelt off of a glacier on the property to the edge of the ocean where we live. We get our water from one of a dozen waterfalls on the property. We grow vegetables in our gardens and catch fish and crabs from the ocean inlet behind the Lodge, which is more than a thousand feet deep. The only reason Bob ever flies out of the inlet to the store is to fill up on ice cream and Pop-Tarts. I know. Don't judge him. Our only neighbor for ten thousand square miles is the Young Life camp next door called Malibu.

This part of the world is beyond beautiful. The azure sky, snowcapped mountains, giant cedar trees, and miles of far-reaching inlets are unlike anything I've ever seen. Photographs don't capture the magnitude of pure beauty. The mountains on our property start at sea level and soar to over ten thousand feet in some places. At our home in San Diego, we discover a seagull or two and are wowed. Up at the Lodge, there's a forest full of animals. Bears, bald eagles, and baby seals are common sights, and it's not unheard of for a pod of orcas or a gray whale to make a silent and grand appearance.

We bought this property years ago, and it's been our life's work to build a place where people can come and get the rest they need. We've deed-restricted thousands of acres of forest in the inlet so they can never be commercially logged. Most of what we don't own is known as "Crown Land" and will never be owned by anyone but the government of British Columbia. We built the Lodge itself to have dozens of places for people to sleep. We constructed it out of beautiful, huge cedar logs. Each one was hewn by hand in a yearlong painstaking process with a drawknife. Each log perfectly fit to the log below it. Not even an ant could fit through a crack in the massive three-story building.

At the camp next door, hundreds of high school and college volunteers spend their summers serving the thousands of high school students who come to Malibu as campers. These volunteers wash dishes, clean toilets, cook, and mow lawns at the camp. With very little sleep, they try to make each week for the campers the best week of their lives. What I've always liked most is how they show God's love by what they do more than what they say. The campers aren't the only big winners; the volunteers are too. They develop friendships and make memories, which will last them a lifetime.

A dozen or more times each summer, we invite all of the camp volunteers to come over to the Lodge. We fill them up with cookies, iced tea, banana bread, and hugs. But our real joy is to see them find some well-deserved rest. I've lost count of the exact number of people we've welcomed into the Lodge, but it's been thousands. It's hard to take a break on a day off at camp if you can still hear and see others working hard. So, we invite the volunteers over to come aside and rest. The Lodge is a place to leave our shoes at the door, curl up on dog beds, leather sofas, and overstuffed chairs. It's a place to take the time to stop and breathe.

Because we know what we had, what we lost, and what we want, we'll start again. We'll cut the logs, stack them high, and fill the new Lodge with new memories. We decided there's not much we'd want to change this next time around. Maybe we'll put in a couple fire sprinklers, but who knows. While I'm not certain about all of the details of the reconstruction, here's what I know we'll do. We'll build something that will serve who we've become, not just repeat who we were. The biggest mistake we could all make in our lives is to rebuild things we've outgrown or to live in constant fear that we might lose what we have all over again. It won't be the fires that destroy our lives and our faith. It will be obsessing over not getting burned again that will.

Early on, I thought it was a little strange when people described Jesus' message as "good news" when what Jesus actually said is if we followed Him we'd suffer loss. Tremendous loss. A lifetime full of it. More than we can ever imagine. Painful, searing, dream-crushing losses. He said if we did it right, it would eventually even cost us our lives. If that's the good news, it kind of makes you wonder what the bad news is. There will be people we put our confidence in who will fail us. There will be relationships which should have gone wonderfully right, and they will go horribly wrong. What I'm learning is that the good news in our faith isn't found in avoiding the pain, but in living through the loss, walking through the ashes, and stacking the logs once more knowing they could burn down again. What has been growing inside of me is a confidence that whatever it is we put our efforts into, it's God's, and He can do whatever He wants with what we build in our lives.

We have a routine before heading up the inlet every summer. It's been the same whether we had a Lodge there or a pile of ashes. The transition to get up to Canada always includes a lot of planning and packing and filling a landing craft full of food, supplies, and clothes. Some people are good at transitions. I'm not. My best excuse is that I am a nine on the Enneagram scale. Apparently, nothing sucks the life out of nines more than transitions. Moving from place to place pushes all the wrong buttons inside of me in just the right order. Still, I know what it's meant to our family to spend our summers together in Canada, so I'm happy to do the work. I'm willing to leave places I love to be with people I love more. I wonder if Jesus felt a little the same leaving heaven to be with us.

Arrival day in Canada means unpacking and storing everything and then assessing just how harsh the winter was on the property. There are always a few broken branches on walkways and in flowerbeds, pine needles in the rain gutters, and loose rocks that have fallen on the roads. We affectionately call doing all of this work "waking up the Lodge." While none of it is easy work, it's good for the soul. We all need to wake ourselves up once in a while, too. To take a good look at what's accumulated in the seasons of our lives and deal with it. Oftentimes I don't want to do this. You may not want to, either. But, we need to do it anyway. Don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and move some of the debris or knock down the cobwebs that have amassed in your life and your faith over time.

This year, when we packed to leave for Canada after the fire, I wasn't sure what we would need. On the one hand, since we lost almost everything, it was pretty easy to figure out what should be on the list to bring — everything. On the other hand, it wasn't easy, because what we really needed was to go and be sad and grieve for a while. I didn't know how to pack for that.

A number of years ago, we had built a small house just down from the Lodge and named it the Writer's Cabin. It's hard to believe, but almost a decade after its construction, we had never spent the night there. A few friends have stayed there over the years to work on songs or write books, but we would only visit to drop off cookies and check in on them to make sure the slow writing process hadn't killed them. Now, without the Lodge, it was our time to move in there. What we found when we got to the cabin was that it had everything we needed. There were a couple plates, some silverware, and a trustworthy coffeepot. We were reminded again about the beauty of simplicity in our lives. These lessons often come at a staggering personal cost but are worth every penny.

We have friends who live on the Lodge property year-round. Some people would call them caretakers, but they're much more than that to us. Thankfully, Paul and Dorothee were in one of the other buildings on the property when the fire happened. Losing the Lodge was hard on them too. They led the original crew who built it. After the fire, they thoughtfully helped haul away most of the charred debris. It was a miracle that the fire consumed the Lodge and left everything around it intact. There were fuel tanks with thousands of gallons of aviation fuel, diesel and gas less than one hundred feet from the fire. If the tanks had gone up in flames, so would the entire forest. I call it a miracle. I am not exactly sure how angels work, but I keep imagining a team of them, covered in soot, standing shoulder to shoulder with singed wings keeping the fireball from destroying the forest and surrounding buildings.

Each time we walked past the crater where the Lodge used to be, we hauled away a little more of the charred bushes, trees, and pieces of melted metal and glass. Doing it all at once would have been too much for us, but doing it a little at a time was better. I think we're all this way. Most of us can deal with our losses a little at a time. Going slow gave me the time to find an object buried in the dirt, pull it out, and try to figure out what it used to be. For some reason I don't fully understand yet, I needed to identify each of the things I found before I could get rid of them. Was it part of a light fixture? A piece of the stove? Hardware from a door? I felt a special kinship with one bent and scorched snowman cookie cutter found in the rubble. It was as if we both knew we'd gone through a lot of trauma. I'd stand there, turning each thing I found around in my hands like they were a puzzle piece, until I could figure out what it was and where it had been before everything went up in flames. I think I had to accept what was lost and properly say goodbye as a necessary part of moving on. To a greater or lesser degree, we all need to do this with our sorrow. We have to figure out what it was that we lost and then name it. Even more important than naming it is letting it go. Our motto after the fire became this: "We're sad, but we're not stuck."

We got the whole family together at the place where the Lodge once stood and had a small memorial service. We named things we lost, remembered the beauty of the people who had come over the years, and said goodbye to the Lodge that had been a witness to it all. We reminded ourselves that memories aren't flammable and reassured ourselves that there would be more to come. We know these new memories won't replace the old ones, but will stand beside them as silent witnesses to the goodness of God and the resilience hope gives us all.

Every time a wave of emotion hits me, I'm still surprised. Just when I'm feeling a little bit stronger, the tears come and then disappear just as fast. We don't need to understand what we feel in order to experience it deeply. Life can be painful. It's what we do next that becomes who we are. What some of us do is medicate our pain with activities and routines. Some of these serve us well and others don't. Find the ones that help you get more real and do plenty of those. Don't let pain keep you from going to deep places, from doing some work on your hurts so you can get on with the important business of living the rest of your life. Sad is okay, stuck isn't helpful.

One thing about pain is that we don't get to decide when we'll deal with it. When the most severe pain arrives, it demands center stage in our lives. Mine hit the hardest when I was pruning the bushes and trees that had been planted next to the Lodge. I'd pruned and clipped them yearly before the fire. Some of the plants had survived the blast of heat and some didn't. I spent hours apologizing to them for letting this happen. Even odder was the lawn in front of the Lodge, which still stretched out like thick green carpet in front of the now empty space the Lodge had occupied. I watched Bob lovingly mow the lawn because it still needed to be done, and the tears would come again. I quickly realized that these things we were doing weren't random chores; they were our personal offerings.

One day as I walked past the burnt foundations I came upon a deer and her fawn. They had wandered in among the rubble and were standing side-by-side. Their noses were up in the wind and their ears perked as they turned their heads toward me in perfect unison. They looked as confused as I was when the fire happened. What the heck happened here? is what their expressions seemed to say. I felt like I'd let them down. I whispered back, "Sorry, guys," then reminded myself that the beauty of the Lodge and surrounding trees would return again someday.

Loss visits all of us. None of us gets to opt out. Rather than praying that I never experience loss again, my prayer has been that God would show me what's possible on the other side of the loss. While we're waiting to find out what God might have for us, we might be sad for a while but we're not going to be stuck. We're going to move forward. Love keeps us going and hope moves our feet.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Love Lives Here by Maria Goff. Copyright © 2017 Maria Goff. Excerpted by permission of B&H Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword Bob Goff xiii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 The Lodge 7

Chapter 2 Meeting Bob 21

Chapter 3 Just Imagine 35

Chapter 4 Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper 45

Chapter 5 Reverse Economy 55

Chapter 6 The Gold Mine 69

Chapter 7 The Jeweler 81

Chapter 8 Board of Directors 91

Chapter 9 Running Away 103

Chapter 10 A Neighbor's Love 113

Chapter 11 Work It Out 123

Chapter 12 I'll Be Back 137

Chapter 13 Fear Not 147

Chapter 14 Be Ready 157

Chapter 15 Let Love Set the Table 169

Chapter 16 Tossing Rocks 181

Chapter 17 Finding Rest 193

Chapter 18 The Fire 201

Chapter 19 The Chalkboard 211

Epilogue: In Their Own Words 221

Acknowledgments 231

Connect with Maria 236

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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. 55 reviews.
BSchafer More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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.
Madalyn More than 1 year ago
A very inspiring book. The Goff Family know how to live love. I have read Bob's books and this book by his wife Sweet Maria just gives emphasis to the need in all of our lives to love big and love real. To go beyond our self and easy love to what and who we have opportunity to love in our everyday life. I can't do exactly like the Goff family but God calls me to love in the setting of my own life. Love Does and Everybody Always by Bob Goff should be read along with Love Lives Here.
Amaack More than 1 year ago
Love Lives Here is a different kind of book. Rather than being a prescriptive book that tells you how to fix something, Goff shares how she experienced love in her daily life. By sharing vignettes and pieces of her story, you get a glimpse of how Goff learned to understand God's love and then share it with others. Goff reminds us that life isn't all sunny all the time. It's through those trials when we learn to lean on God. Goff reminds us that love lives in the spaces in the middle. Between the highs and the lows. In the everyday moments that we all encounter. But you can't just keep that love to yourself. Love Lives Here reminds us to share our love with those around us. With our families inside the walls of our houses. With our family inside the walls of our churches. And with the family we invite into our lives through friendship. Love Lives Here is a beautiful reminder to look for the beauty that is in our lives and all around us. It's an invitation to live your life your way. To not get caught up in everything the world says and expects we should do and say. When we remember to live our lives in the way God created us to, we are able to shower those around us with love. I received a copy of this book from LifeWay and B&H Publishers. This review is my own, honest opinion.
Sarah Connatser More than 1 year ago
After reading Love Lives Here cover to cover, I can safely say you'll be encouraged in so many areas of your life. Maria shares stories from throughout her life in order to inspire readers to live with intention and love well. I so appreciated her vulnerability and courage in inviting the reader into her heart and home through her words. Maria has a way of simplifying things we tend to make complicated; it's refreshing. She talks about things like loving our neighbors and showing hospitality, dealing with fear and learning to rest. She offers challenging thoughts with grace and encouraging thoughts with whimsy; and it all inspires us to go back to the teachings and life of Jesus and become more like Him. Maria offers beautiful wisdom throughout the book. Although Love Lives Here isn't marketed as a marriage book or a parenting book, just like with her husband's book, Love Does, I walked away feeling incredibly encouraged and spurred on in both of those areas. Her words about hospitality are very needed in this perfect pinterest age. She gave wonderful reminders that being hospitable isn't fancy or expensive or flawless. I have a tendency to overcomplicate the idea of calling and work and rest, so I found myself greatly encouraged in what I'm called to and how to live simply in that. I relate to Maria in many ways, and the things Maria said about the importance of the work of motherhood resonated deeply with me. Overall, I felt challenged to love well and given insight into how to better do that. It reminded me there is a ministry in simply saying yes. I must say that if I hadn't have read Love Does previously or follow the Goffs on social media, I might have felt a bit confused in reading Love Lives Here. There seems to be an unspoken understanding that the reader is at least somewhat familiar with the Goffs, which isn't necessarily a criticism. It all adds a layer of depth to the whimsical adventures and joy-filled life so many of us know about Bob and Sweet Maria. The one critique I do have is just over the lack of transitions. There were quick jumps between stories and sentiments. I'm sure most people can read it and not think anything about it. But with the way my mind works, I felt just a bit scattered. Nevertheless, Love Lives Here is a beautiful work that I am definitely thankful for and greatly appreciate. It is a lovely book filled with sweet, courageous, loving, profound insight from Maria. I am better for having read it; I know it will have an impact on my life.
MarkRex More than 1 year ago
I suspect some people will pick up this book to read what Sweet Maria, the wife of Bob Goff has to say. However, it won't be long before people start picking up Love Does to see what Bob, husband of Sweet Maria Goff, has to say! This book is dripping with the grace that so many of us crave and it is delivered in the beautiful words of a person who knows what it means to truly love.
AE456 More than 1 year ago
Maria Goff's book Love Lives Here has just become my new manual on "how to do life". With kindness and an abundance of love, she gently shares how God has shaped her life and led her to create a warm, inviting place for everyone to come home to. Warmth, grace, hope and love spill out from these pages. This book will be one that I recommend to many and reread time and again. Note: While I was sent an advance reader copy in return for my review, it was my joy and privilege to be included in this book launch.
amandakjones13 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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.*