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Keep a Quiet Heart

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Peace and quiet--to many of us they're just words. Somehow we have allowed the frenetic pace of life to rob us of the quiet, restful moments with God we so desperately need. Keep a Quiet Heart features the rich devotional musings of one of America's favorite authors and points the way to a deep experience with God, away from the unsettling distractions of day-to-day living.

280 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1995

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About the author

Elisabeth Elliot

152 books1,687 followers
From the Author's Web Site: My parents were missionaries in Belgium where I was born. When I was a few months old, we came to the U.S. and lived in Germantown, not far from Philadelphia, where my father became an editor of the Sunday School Times. Some of my contemporaries may remember the publication which was used by hundreds of churches for their weekly unified Sunday School teaching materials.

Our family continued to live in Philadelphia and then in New Jersey until I left home to attend Wheaton College. By that time, the family had increased to four brothers and one sister. My studies in classical Greek would one day enable me to work in the area of unwritten languages to develop a form of writing.

A year after I went to Ecuador, Jim Elliot, whom I had met at Wheaton, also entered tribal areas with the Quichua Indians. In nineteen fifty three we were married in the city of Quito and continued our work together. Jim had always hoped to have the opportunity to enter the territory of an unreached tribe. The Aucas were in that category -- a fierce group whom no one had succeeded in meeting without being killed. After the discovery of their whereabouts, Jim and four other missionaries entered Auca territory. After a friendly contact with three of the tribe, they were speared to death.

Our daughter Valerie was 10 months old when Jim was killed. I continued working with the Quichua Indians when, through a remarkable providence, I met two Auca women who lived with me for one year. They were the key to my going in to live with the tribe that had killed the five missionaries. I remained there for two years.

After having worked for two years with the Aucas, I returned to the Quichua work and remained there until 1963 when Valerie and I returned to the U.S.

Since then, my life has been one of writing and speaking. It also included, in 1969, a marriage to Addison Leitch, professor of theology at Gordon Conwell Seminary in Massachusetts. He died in 1973. After his death I had two lodgers in my home. One of them married my daughter, the other one, Lars Gren, married me. Since then we have worked together.

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5 stars
1,393 (63%)
4 stars
544 (24%)
3 stars
192 (8%)
2 stars
38 (1%)
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16 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 180 reviews
Profile Image for Cindy Rollins.
Author 22 books2,026 followers
February 9, 2023
In some ways this book is dated and that makes it all the more valuable for us. To step out of the stale air we breath and remember how God worked In Elisabeth’s life is refreshing in every way. Her example and honestly truly continue to speak to us today.
Profile Image for ladydusk.
447 reviews181 followers
April 27, 2023
Sometimes a little dated, but still good, practical daily reading. I was impatient and read the last three articles this morning.
Profile Image for Ashley.
18 reviews2 followers
January 4, 2009
This is one of those books I go back to several times a year for wisdom. It has been a life changing book for me. A quiet heart is something I still long for and pray for.

If you also long for one you need to read this book.
Profile Image for Tarissa.
1,354 reviews80 followers
August 14, 2017
In Keep a Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliot shares articles from her newsletters. It's a collection that encourages you to know God better. You can find Him best when your heart is quieted, and that is what we as Christians should strive for.

"A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough."
"A Quiet Heart", Keep a Quiet Heart

There are countless lessons to be heard in this volume, if you're looking for them. As Elliot prescribes, stillness of mind, quietness of heart, can lead you to God. How accurately she wrote about this subject for modern times... and this was decades ago when she penned it! It's true, busyness takes up so much of ours lives – whether you're involved with extra church, school, and work opportunities, or just taking care of your family – we're often so busy that our hearts are screaming out with worry, despair, and unsatisfactory feelings about our lives. Enter the idea of stilling the loud “noises” in life that interrupt the contentedness of your soul. Because, even unknowingly, it's those “noises” that are breaking up your communication with the Almighty.

"Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy."
"Waiting", Keep a Quiet Heart

A wide range of subjects are covered in Keep a Quiet Heart. I think a lot of them are geared towards women, but anyone can listen and hear the truth behind Elliot's words. Sometimes she shares a special story from her own life and ministry, sometimes about a trial that a friend went through, or we even hear from her own readers. At other times she'll share a devotional on a variety of topics, which could be anything from prayer, peace, culture, marriage, parenting (even about homeschooling!), and more. Always it's an encouragement and inspiration.

Perhaps the chapters that pertained to subtopics under marriage and parenting didn't always apply to my own life right now, but for the most part, I still enjoyed even those areas in the book. Because some of these topics (and others) are covered though, I would best recommend the book for adults.

The message that blessed me the most is one that negatively affects the heart's quietness: giving yourself too many tasks and too little time. One of Elliot's stories in particular was about a time in her life where she was stressed about hitting certain deadlines, and the dread of knowing she wasn't finishing in time. Yet, she's the one who made these deadlines, and became stressed when other elements in life appeared out of the blue, knocking her off a predetermined schedule. Well, this happens to us all, and certainly to myself. Do you know why it happens to me? It's my fault. I tell myself way too often that I need to accomplish this, this, and that by week's end, and (guess what!) many times I'm unable to finish every bit of it. This, of course, irks me, right where it hurts, in my unsettled, unquieted heart. Elliot's example showed me, that quality of work is often better (and safer on your heart) when you get things done as needed, and trim out unneeded deadline worry. Already, my days seem a little easier, when I don't have to be quite so focused on the timeliness of my actions.

"Let's never forget that some of His greatest mercies are His refusals. He says no so that He may, in some way we cannot imagine, say yes."
"Lost and Found", Keep a Quiet Heart

Overall? It's a good book. You should read it. I guarantee it will help you find balance in a crazy busy life.
Profile Image for Erica.
362 reviews4 followers
February 18, 2021
A compilation of articles that Elisabeth Elliot wrote for her newsletter. Filled with practical wisdom, encouragement from scripture and even current events from the 1980s. I'll definitely be revisiting this book.
Profile Image for Becky Pliego.
687 reviews371 followers
March 19, 2017
We all need to be exposed to the influence of godly women like Elisabeth Elliot in our lives.

(2017) I am so grateful for the many books E.Elliot left for us to read. She has been -without a doubt- a great influence in my life.

Profile Image for Naomi Joy.
35 reviews
July 31, 2020
My mom gave me this book several years ago and I just got around to reading it. I feel awful rating it below, but it’s explained in my system for rating Christian nonfiction books:

1. Is the writing professional, understandable, and entertaining? No. This book is divided into many 1-3 page little sections of various things EE writes about. Many of them are repetitive, come to illogical conclusions, or are obvious conclusions with no new ideas.

2. Are the author’s ideas well organized and thought out? No. As mentioned above, the sections either just repeat one another or are totally unrelated. There is no clear structure to this book and absolutely no focus or main idea. Often she will reference a letter or email she’s received from somebody who had a legitimate question, and then go on a tangent on something only semi-related. I also struggled with MANY things that she said in her book because her theology is NOT what I agree with personally and her ideas I’ve found to be relatively toxic to Christianity. For example, she has MANY sections where she talks about marriage and homemaking being the absolute highest calling for women and the disgrace of working outside the home. She explicitly says that EVERYONE is commanded to pursue marriage (NOT TRUE) and then afterwards have children. Otherwise, they are disobeying God’s calling apparently. To women who haven’t found a husband, she gives this solution in reference to encouraging more men to get married: “I’ll tell you what would change things fast- if all women decided they would not ‘give out’, I mean give men what they’re looking for but are unwilling to make a commitment for.” Okay is that REALLY how you want to find a man? Sure, more men would get married (which according to EE is the ultimate good thing for a Christian to do) But it’d be for all the wrong reasons, and who really wants to marry someone that only marries them for those benefits!

3. Are the main points supported with scripture or reliable sources? No. If she used scripture at all, it was out of context and super americanized into the context she wanted to apply it. NOT good hermeneutics. I felt like most of her content was based on her own opinions and creates an appearance-based Christianity that does not care about the heart or the grace of God.

4. Did the content make the think critically (whether or not I agreed with it?) This is where my one star rating came in! Although I disagreed with most of the content, I would underline things and write in the margins to try to think through exactly why things didn’t sit right with me and come up with my own personal arguments and beliefs. So yes, this book made me think critically.

5. Would I reread this book or want to own it? No, I would not.
Profile Image for Leslie.
71 reviews
August 28, 2012
I feel honored to have spent a month or two with Elisabeth Elliot. This book was timely because we faced a severe grief this summer that made space for the mysterious, quiet heart of which she speaks (or better yet, the need of it).

Keep a Quiet Heart is a collection of her articles featured in her newsletter, which is printed six times a year. Reading this book is like coming to her kitchen each morning for a cup of coffee and a lesson in faith. Its central message is to know and love the Lord in all arenas of life. While admonishing believers onto faith, Elisabeth introduces other Christian saints like Dr. May Powell in her humble upstairs room in England, her own faithful grandparents and beloved mother who raised six children to love and fear the Lord, the great George MacDonald, Amy Charmichael, and others who have inspired godliness and faith. Elliot's words are full compassion and wisdom, which makes this book perfect as a daily devotional. Read one or two chapters a day and glean numerous faith-building truths and even practical applications for life, love, parenting, work, etc. It's wonderful, and I will come back to it again: in yet another season of faith, of life.

A favorite quote:

"It is through the tender austerity of our troubles that the Son of Man comes knocking. In every event He seeks an entrance to my heart, yes, even in my most helpless, futile, fruitless moments. The very cracks and empty crannies of my life, my perplexities and hurts and botched-up jobs, He wants to fill with Himself, His joy, His life...He urges me to learn of Him: 'I am gentle and humble in heart.'" (pg. 99)
Profile Image for Jeanie.
2,852 reviews1 follower
October 1, 2011
There is scripture on keeping a quiet heart. "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" I Peter 3:4. Elisabeth Elliott takes many topics from faith, Why God, Suffering,work, prayer, marriage, abortion, children, and with a story and scripture, how our hearts can be quiet and surrender to God's sovereignity in our lives. I loved her candor, the simplicity and the need for the quiet heart in our walk with the Lord. My favorite was "rest comes by His sorrow, life by his death. His purpose in dying for all was that men, while still in life should cease to live for themselves and should live for him who for their sakes died and was raised to life...Any message that makes the cross redundant is anti-christian... How can we survey the wondrous cross and at the same time feed our pride?. It is a daily struggle but it is the only way for true rest.
Profile Image for Trace.
949 reviews39 followers
July 2, 2016
4.5 star rating.

I am so thankful for Elisabeth Elliot's refreshingly honest and often pithy viewpoints. She is among a dying breed of Christian women. When you read her work, you can tell that this is a woman who has put in years of time spent on her knees worshiping God and that she's known pain and difficulty.

Her essays and thoughts have MUCH depth to them. I find it difficult to read many of the popular blogs of Christian women because they lack this sort of intellectual depth and experience.

This book was a compilation of essays from her long running newsletter - which I'm sorry I didn't know about till now...she no longer writes these newsletters but they can all be found online on her website - so I look forward to sampling those as well.

I would have given this a 5 star rating, but out of stubbornness, I cannot. Elisabeth is vocal about her viewpoints on spanking and disciplining children which is the one thing about her writing that irks me.
Profile Image for Sarah.
127 reviews3 followers
June 12, 2012
I read this in conjunction with my morning quiet times, and I can't even express how blessed I was by it. Every morning I came away with a better understanding of my role in this world and, most importantly, God. I was refreshed, my heart was quieted, and my love for the Father grew. I highly recommend this for any woman at any stage of life, but particularly for married women and young mothers.
Profile Image for Hanna Lee.
814 reviews4 followers
April 16, 2019
This was a wonderfully encouraging and edifying read. It is a collection of short essays (1-5 pages each) that were originally published in newsletters Elisabeth sent out. They cover a variety of topics and are filled with scripturally based truth in love. It was quite easy to read and I enjoyed it far more than I expected.
Profile Image for Ada Pop.
8 reviews2 followers
January 30, 2022
Cartea emană înțelepciune și bunătate, lecții învățate în suferință. Ce alt lucru ne poate aduce pace și liniște decât îmbrățișarea suferinței și înțelegerea ei ca fiind parte dintr-un plan dincolo de noi?
Profile Image for Amanda Tero.
Author 27 books525 followers
July 14, 2018
This was a collection of random articles by Elisabeth Elliot, organized into different subjects.

This was my first time to read Elliot after years of hearing high praise of her. I didn’t absolutely love every article of hers, though. Maybe it’s because her personality is more intense than mine? I would read a few sections then hit one that just didn’t... sit well with me. Some of it were more her opinions than actual Scripture, yet she stated it in just as certainty as she stated biblical truths.

At the same time, some of the articles were exactly what I needed at the time that I read them. So I guess because it was an assortment of articles rather than just a one-topic book, there were portions I really liked and portions I just didn’t.

A couple quotes:
“Jesus knew when to take action and when to leave things up to His Father.” (Pg 18)

“Life is likely to continue to hold many forms of torture and dismay for that unhappy person and for all who refuse to receive with thanksgiving instead of complaint the place in life God has chosen for them.” (Pg 50)
Profile Image for Kaitlyn  Pindak .
157 reviews12 followers
December 19, 2018
A treasure trove of wisdom bound in this book based on her newsletter, radio show, musings and correspondence with those who would ask her advice. This book reflects on the practice of being at peace. Highly recommend this book! It has advice for all seasons of life! Elisabeth Elliot has ALWAYS been one of my favorites!
Profile Image for Danette.
2,656 reviews4 followers
October 29, 2021
Not my favorite E.E. book but you can never go wrong spending time with this wise woman.
The "chapters" are from her newsletter and are about two pages long each. She deals with many topics including marriage, parenting, the sovereignty of God, culture, and godly character.

2021 A book about Christian living
Profile Image for Maggie Mince.
22 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2023
I’ll be revisiting this one. A beautiful collection of snippets of wisdom from our dear Elisabeth.

“In every event He seeks an entrance to my heart, yes, even in my most helpless, futile, fruitless moments. The very cracks an empty crannies of my life, my perplexities and hurts and botched up jobs, He wants to fill with Himself, His joy, His life. The more unsatisfactory my “performance”, the more He calls me to share His yoke. I should know by now that mine makes me tired and overburdened. He urges me to learn of Him: ‘I am gentle and humble in heart.”
Profile Image for Joy Rojas.
39 reviews2 followers
August 6, 2019
This is a really good book. So convicting and encouraging!
Profile Image for Mary.
185 reviews1 follower
January 2, 2023
One of my favorites from years ago. I need to read it again.
So good!
Profile Image for Audrey Kate.
46 reviews13 followers
June 10, 2021
Elizabeth Elliot never fails with her excellent words.
Profile Image for Cheryl Linebarger.
78 reviews5 followers
September 15, 2022
I’m not sure how many times I’ve read through this classic by Elisabeth Elliot, but it surprises and encourages me every time. Though it was originally published well over twenty years ago, Mrs. Elliot’s biblical wisdom applies to the issues concerning today’s Christian woman the same as it did to her original audience. Biblical truth doesn’t fade nor fall out of fashion. Reshelving this to pick up again in the future.
Profile Image for Ron Lohrbach.
20 reviews3 followers
Want to read
May 28, 2008
How I located:

This piece about an ant’s fortuitously retrieving a mountain climber’s lost contact lensis a charming enough parable about the concept that the Lord may sometimes call upon us to bear burdens for reasons we do not understand (but which ultimately prove beneficial to ourselves or to others), although its circulation on the internet has resulted in a widespread misattribution.

Josh and Karen Zarandona are not the authors ot this item: they’re merely two people whose names became attached to it when they forwarded it on to others. Its original source is the 1995 book 'Keep a Quiet Heart', by Elisabeth Elliot. where it appeared in a chapter entitled “Lost and Found." Ms. Elliot attributes the story to a first person account sent to her by Brenda Foltz of Princeton. Minnesota, who maintained she wrote it based upon an event that occurred during her first rock-climbing experience.

via: www.Snopes.com
Last updated: 22 August 2005
Profile Image for Rebekah Jones.
Author 14 books224 followers
February 6, 2017
This book is a collection of articles by Elisabeth Elliot wrote over the years for her newsletter, and collected together and published in a book. The articles are a combination of encouragement and instruction for following the LORD and keeping a quiet heart in every circumstance; learning to give over every ounce of our own will and sense of self-preservation to the Almighty. She touches on bereavement, singleness, unfaithfulness in a spouse, and the struggle in the every day, among other things, and where our eyes should be focused.

Mrs. Elliot draws on her own experience, as well as that of others, to build up and encourage. She quotes extensively from the Bible, as well as hymns and other men and women of God.

Overall, I found this book a blessing; an encouragement, though sprinkled with areas that brought conviction. I would recommend this book.
Profile Image for Grace.
18 reviews4 followers
September 24, 2007
Elizabeth Elliot is a master at understanding Human Nature. Her insights in this book (which is a collection of short devotionals written over a period of several years) are amazing. She can tell just what you're thinking, and sometimes the application the day's reading has to the day's events are uncanny. It's like she's speaking just to you, for just this day, and just this problem.

I read this book at kind of a difficult growing time (story of my life), and it really made an impression on me. Highly recommended; even if you don't feel you need it, read it anyhow; you'll get something out of it.
Profile Image for Melanie.
430 reviews25 followers
March 23, 2011
I first got this book from a friend in 1995 so the inscription in front reads. I pull it out every few years to read it. You can either read a story each morning for a devotional time, or read the stories through. Elisabeth Elliot is a dynamic writer, missionary, encourager. I strongly recommend this book that has stood the test of time if you want to feel connected to others in the body of Christ.
Profile Image for Becca.
539 reviews15 followers
August 2, 2016
I would recommend this book to any woman in any stage of life. Elisabeth Elliot speaks wisdom learned through experience and her own study of the Scriptures. Her words read in a conversational way, sometimes deeply spiritual, and sometimes very practical (for example, lessons in parenting). I took my time with this book and savored the little "nuggets" of wisdom given. Definitely looking forward to passing this one on.
November 24, 2017
It took me a while to finish this book. I started it, then misplaced it for several months, then found it and took my time. I read a a section or two nearly every day to supplement my daily Bible reading, and God really used Mrs. Elliot’s book to work in my heart regarding prayer, family, attitudes, my view of God and my view of self, etc. It by turns refreshed, encouraged, challenged, and convicted me. I was sad when I finally finished it!
Profile Image for Julia Bickford.
55 reviews2 followers
April 20, 2019
Great book! Her wisdom was very helpful to me! I think this book would be best as a daily devotional over sitting down and trying to read it in a month (like I was trying to do), because the sections are so short and don’t relate to one another (it’s a compilation of her newsletters she sent out).
Displaying 1 - 30 of 180 reviews

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