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When the Heart Waits
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When the Heart Waits

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  1,383 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Combining personal experience and classic Christian teachings, this inspirational autobiographical account of a woman's personal pain, spiritual awakening, and divine grace received "Virtue" magazine's "Book of the Year" award.
Paperback, 217 pages
Published August 14th 1992 by HarperOne (first published January 1st 1990)
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Jun 01, 2008 Shannon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mothers and artists
"It's always difficult and risky to try to put soulmaking into words." - Kidd. This is a worthy disclaimer in the preface. Kidd's description of crisis and dispair and spirituality sometimes lean on the heavy, waxing, maudlin side - and if I had not experienced such times myself, I would abhor their description. However, I've been there as almost all of us have, and the few moments of tangled emotionl overkill are well worth the many nuggets nestled in between. I am thoroughly enjoying this and ...more
Having just finished "Dance of the Dissident Daughter," this book is almost painful to read. It was written before she had her awakening and you can watch Kidd trying to force her spirituality into the tight, constrictive box of Christianity. I am so glad she was able to break free and find her true, unique, authentic path to faith. I realize that she needed to go through this stage to get to where she is now, and for that reason this book is interesting. Her writing style is still beautiful, I ...more
Jayne Mattson
I loved this book because of the time I read it in my life when things were just not happening the way I thought there would professionally. Since I am comfortable in the reflection part of life, this books reminds you that the waiting period is where alot of your growth and learning occurs.

One of my favorite books I've read and often encourage others to read it too.
Mary Beth Gibson
This book has been a God-send to me throughout the years. I first read it during a difficult time in my life and it was instrumental in pulling me through. I have since bought copies for friends and relatives, some of whom feel the same way I do. For anyone dealing with a personal crisis or has ever faced an internal struggle at all, this book is a wonderful tool.
A must read for every woman.
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who is going through a change and questioning it's pace, purpose and/or meaning.

"When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the Spirit laughs for what it has found" (118).

"Love consists of this, that two solitudes protect, and border, and salute each other" (167).

"I'd spent a lot of my life wearing masks to fit the occasion, being everything to everybody even if that mean being someone other than myself. Now, after long months of passionate wait
Anita Zinn
This book is full of very touching analogies, that have given added dimensions - (effective ways to apply our darkest times, into a healthy, new beginning)

"I said to my soul, be still, and wait.....
So the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing."

"The shell must be cracked apart if what is in it is to come out, for if you want the kernel, you must break the shell.". Meister Eckhart

Psychiatrist Scott Peck says, "Pain won't kill you, but running from it might.". Here is one of the
I have read both The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair; the author of those novels wrote this spiritual work some twelve years before writing the novels, and I very much enjoyed both the novels and this nonfiction book.

The essence of this book is that a vital part of the spiritual transformation process is waiting; that one cannot always be doing, but that one must also wait on God and on His timetable. The author’s main metaphor is that of the transformation of the caterpillar into the
Spiritual crises. We all go through them. However, I never heard of a "Mid-life spiritual crises" until I read "When the Heart Waits". Recommended to me by Author, Ken Gire, I saw myself as if staring into a mirror.

Sue Monk Kidd, describes her own mid-life spiritual crises, with poignant, detailed stories of her own journey. Using the symbols that gave her a depth of understanding into her own soul, she takes you step by step down the path that completely altered her life, and set her on a new p
Jan 08, 2012 Kerith rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kerith by: Lucy Gauvin
I read this for the first time in October of 2006, actually -- it was loaned to me by my friend Lucy. Around the holidays I went out and bought myself my own copy (and one for my mother) and proceeded to start re-reading it, bit by bit. At the time, I was expecting a child through adoption and was trying to actively wait with patience and grace, which was really a challenge. This isn't why Sue Monk Kidd wrote her book, but that's the beauty of books -- we bring ourselves to them and sometimes fi ...more
Good quotes throughout as she describes her midlife experiences and crisis of spirit. I quote: "Sacred intent of life, of God-to move us continuously toward growth, toward recovering all that is lost and orphaned within us and restoring the divine image imprinted on our soul." Another quote: "...the confetti of scars and torn places we would like to be rid did we ever get the idea that God would supply us with quick fixes, that God is merely a rescuer and not a midwife?"
Amazing book! This is a book that needs to come into your life at the right time. If you are not connecting to it, then it is not the right time for you to read it. This book came to me at the perfect time and helped me to get through a long period of waiting and change. I don't recommend reading this book straight through quickly. It needs to be read slowly, one section at time.
This is one of my top five favorite books of all time.

I know something about waiting, and yet, I know nothing about waiting. This book reopened my eyes to the holiness to be found in waiting.
I "discovered" Sue Monk Kidd when I finally read her breakout novel and watched the movie, "The Secret Life of Bees." I enjoyed so many things about her writing that I wanted to read more and was delighted to learn that she writes nonfiction as well as fiction.

In "When the Heart Waits," Kidd takes us along on her spiritual journey of discovering who she really is. She offers no simple answers or shortcuts. Like the ancients, she finds the spiritual disciplines of solitude and simplicity essentia
Really loved this book--I would say 4.5 stars. It resonated with me to my very core. The only thing preventing me from giving it 5 stars is that I felt like many parts of it were repetitive (perhaps that's fine because I needed it said over and over to get the point), but I felt like some of the more poignant part were overshadowed by the parts that weren't as necessary. But as a whole I would say it's been a long time since I read a book and related to so many of the passages. I kept underlinin ...more
Rebecca Waring-Crane
Over 15 years ago a spiritual director pointed me to this book. Timing matters. I know that I read through Monk's personal journey, but it didn't resonate with me then. Now every page found home in me.

I cannot really read without writing and underlining, (nor can I write without reading). Happily, I realized this was a keeper and returned the library copy and got one of my own to enjoy and digest at leisure. As I write about life changes and the process of transition, I found Monk's thoughtful
Bess Eckstein
I tend to read books very, very quickly - one or two days, usually. So the fact that this one took me over 2 months to get through is really saying something. I found it to be so important at this time in my life that I wanted to make sure I read every word as carefully as possible so I wouldn't miss anything. If you're going through a big internal change right now, I can't recommend this enough.
This book is pretty deep and requires a lot of thought. It is great for someone trying to figure out who they are from childhood to today.
Jacqueline Snider
I liked the book and her ideas about the chrysalis and the need to wait. I found she wrote a lot about God and is obviously religious and saw her evolution in relation to her relationship with God. That kind of turned me off because I am an agnostic. I don't see my evolution in relation to a God at all, I see it in relation to myself. I found that she relied very heavily on God and that I had to force myself to finish the book because I liked some of her ideas.

I like her fiction books a lot and
The first thing I have to note is that the title of the book, When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions, doesn't quite fit. Very few questions are asked directly throughout the book and it offers direction only in a very broad sense. Having read the entire book, I *guess* I can understand how they chose the title, but frankly they could have done better.

The book focuses on Sue Monk Kidd's personal experiences as she goes through a midlife crisis. Although this was the
I always enjoy a good play with words and analogies, however sometimes Kidd leaned a little too heavily on these techniques; I yearned for a few more specifics. Still, there were a lot of uplifting and relieving gems to be found throughout this book, regarding being patient and forgiving with one's self, and allowing that self to take its time to grow and flourish. If nothing else, this book served as a great sense of opening of my soul.
Reading "When the Heart Waits," while reading another memoir. I think the feeling Sue Monk Kidd expresses is an emotion we all grapple with at times in our lives. There can be a wave of emotion that can be so deep and yet so undexpected, there is no reason for the shift. Internal observation of ones thoughts and feelings are the only way to move past moments like these. Society by design has trained our souls to stay distracted from what hurts. However, my early years in acting and theatre class ...more
This book was a perfect match for my current needs. The author takes us on her two year spiritual journey, a journey that is so familiar to me. Because of my current relationship with Christianity, I had to strip out the Jesus and God references that are very prevalent, which was fine. It was worth the effort because I learned that she describes in Christian terms significant parts of the Vipassana journey that I am now on.

I loved her references to Bible passages and stories. I especially loved
Most people know this author from her book "The Secret Life of Bees" (Fiction) but I would describe this as her spiritual memoir. The idea of "waiting" focuses on how God teaches us when we pause/wait etc. Insight comes in increments. While the book slowed at points, she offers some great thoughts.

"I often need permission to do daring things. And when I can't get it from myself, God often sends someone else to give it to me. As I struggled with whether to embrace this experience or banish it, a
A thought provoking book about transition, crisis and spirituality. A great reminder that transition takes time and patience. I also needed the reminder that the changes I make in my life impacts the people I love. There is so much interconnection in life.
Juliana Haught
In this book Sue Monk Kidd shares her own process of navigating her mid-life crisis, through a spiritual and religious lens, specifically Episcopalian. Formerly Baptist, and most definitely Southern, Kidd reveals many of the obstacles of her personality and social upbringing and how she challenged them to become a more authentic person, using scripture and the works of other spiritual explorers as her anchors in her inner storm. What Kidd offers is a pathway for others who follow. This is actual ...more
I read this book as part of the women's book group at my church. It was okay but I felt that I was at a different point in my spiritual journey than the author was and much of what she had to say did not speak to me. I did find myself taking some notes for later discussion but realized that most of the quotes I was drawn to were by people that she was quoting...not her own words. We discussed the book at book group one night after reading a third of it and as a group decided not to finish the bo ...more
Sue Monk Kidd articulates her spiritual and psychological struggle through her midlife journey. Her quests are grounded in the Bible, Christian spiritual writing, contemporary spitituality and psychology. She shares some profound experiences of personal spiritual breakthroughs.
She compares the "waiting process" of becoming your "true Self' and giving birth to the Christ within as the catapillar developing in chrysallis of the cocoon. During this waiting time being nutured by Mother nature until
Debbie Dodson
Loved this book. Such an incredible balm for my "mid-life" soul (and empty-nester heart). One of the most thought-provoking books I have read in quite some time.
Sherry Covey
The second book I skimmed by this author as she shares thoughts from her spiritual journey. Dangerous, conflicting & doesn't line up with scripture.
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SUE MONK KIDD was raised in the small town of Sylvester, Georgia. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 1970 and later took creative writing courses at Emory University and Anderson College, as well as studying at Sewanee, Bread Loaf, and other writers’ conferences. In her forties, Kidd turned her attention to writing fiction, winning the South Carolina Fellowship in Literature and the
More about Sue Monk Kidd...
The Secret Life of Bees The Invention of Wings The Mermaid Chair Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

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“Back in the autumn I had awakened to a growing darkness and cacophony, as if something in the depths were crying out. A whole chorus of voices. Orphaned voices. They seemed to speak for all the unlived parts of me, and they came with a force and dazzle that I couldn't contain. They seemed to explode the boundaries of my existence. I know now that they were the clamor of a new self struggling to be born.” 12 likes
“That's the sacred intent of life, of God--to move us continuously toward growth, toward recovering all that is lost and orphaned within us and restoring the divine image imprinted on our soul.” 9 likes
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