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The God Box

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  666 ratings  ·  153 reviews
When Mary Lou Quinlan’s beloved mother, Mary Finlayson, dies, her family is bereft—until Mary Lou searches for her mother’s “God Box,” her private cache of notes to God on behalf of family, friends and strangers. To Mary Lou’s amazement, she finds not one but ten boxes stuffed with hundreds of tiny petitions that spanned the last twenty years of her mother’s life.

Note by n
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Worthy Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  666 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan touched me on so many levels I am not even sure where to begin. I requested this book to review several weeks ago. The thing that made me interested in reading this book was my own close relationship with my mother and her lengthy illness which had taken a turn for the worse in December of last year. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing her, but little did I know how soon I would lose her. Right about the time I had decided to read this book, my mother passed aw ...more
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Visible Act of Let Go, Let God.

For over twenty years, Mary, Mary Lou Quinlin's mother, made a habit of jotting down her prayers and placing them in a box that she called her God Box. This was her way of physically acting out the habit of giving control to God over all the concerns that filled her prayers. After her death, the family went through the boxes discovering how Mary used her God Boxes to help her minister to her family and others through her prayers, and the gift of listening. In the b
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Won this on a GoodReads Giveaway. I read this book in one sitting, in about an hour. It is very well written, reminded me slightly of The Wednesday Letters.

I am not close to my mother. I don't think she was ready to be a mom when she had me. She and my dad divorced when I was young and my mom started dating and lived her "teen" years when I was living mine. I think this is one of the reasons we are not close. I am now grown and have 4 kids of my own. I think I am a pretty good mom, but this boo
brandy oliver
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written book that is going to be kept on my top shelf;)
The book itself is gorgeous and has stunning pictures, beautiful cover, and is just a treasure!
It was a tad bit awkward, reading such intimate memories of the author's mother who passed away, I felt so sad and yet so full of joy and still can't get over how very sweet, these little notes that her mother kept around were. Just a wonderful story and I admire this author for writing such a heartfelt book about her own per
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
My thoughts:
I knew I would relate well with the author since I had lost my mom to cancer in 2002. No matter what your age is or the age of your mother, losing my mom was the hardest thing I have ever endured. The reason this book grabbed my attention was simply relating to the lost feeling right after Mary Lou's mother passed away. It is such a fog and you hope to see the one you love walking down the stairs or see them where ever you remember them most. Mary Lou was in the midst of preparing fo
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and I wasn't required to give a positive review if I didn't care for the book.

Having just finished The God Box, I want to jump in my truck and drive up to my mother's house to give her a big hug and share with her all of the emotions I felt while reading this memoir.

And to start my own God Box.

Mary Lou's proudest achievement wasn't her career, her marriage, or even being a friend. It
Lisa B.
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-books
This is a nice little book of 122 pages, with a big message. The author’s Mom would put notes in a box as a request to God to take care of her own or someone else’s troubles – an illness, a lost job, maybe a job interview or a sick loved one. The rule was that once in the box, the issue had to be “let go” and turned over to God. Still want to worry about it? Think you can handle this better than God? Out comes the note (or that was the threat).
I like the book for its strong message about having
Eustacia Tan
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Ever feel like you have a problem so huge you don't know what to do? Well, give it up to God. To be specific, put in in your "God Box". The whole aim of this rather short book (around 120 pages in ebook format) is to explain about the God Box.

The God Box is simply the box that the author's mother uses to place her prayers for people in it. It sounds like a simple concept, but by exploring her mother's God Box, the author discovers how the box helps her to express things like Faith, Love, Compass
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is not a book for everyone, although everyone would probably be served by the message of this book. Severely cynical types, stay away!!

Mary Lou Quinlan's late mother, Mary,is really the centerpiece of this little book. A devout Catholic, when confronted with a problem (or concerned about someone else's problem), Mary would scribble a short note to God and put it in a little box she called the "God Box." She did this to symbolize that she knew she was generally powerless to solve the problem
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was pretty obvious that this volume was put together with layout help from a magazine employee (RealSmart), because it felt like a magazine--artsy photo layouts interspersed with the text, lines of emphasis brought out in larger font (which I really am not a fan of, by the by; if I've read the regular text, I don't want to read it again in excerpts on the same page), and gloss over the whole. It's a very quick read, an interesting idea, and very much like a Hallmark film to give you the warm ...more
Sep 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Honestly, the original concept and idea of the "God Box" is lovely and the fact that the author would want to eulogize her mother by writing such a book touches the heart. However, that being said, she should have waited until AFTER her mother passed away to read her eulogy to her! "I had already written Mom's eulogy and had read it to her while she lay in a hospice room. It's not that I wanted to jinx her. I just wanted her to hear how much we loved her."-(Quinlan, 15, 17). Quite insensitive on ...more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is such a great "find" and one that I am sure the Lord led me to read.

My own mother passed away four years ago, nearly five, and what I wouldn't give to have something of this nature to read from her own penmanship and thoughts.

The author's mother passed away and she had left a "God Box" in which she had left notes of praises and requests/prayers for God. I actually have my own prayer journal, but I like the idea of a special box to leave behind for my own children and grandchildren t
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book better than I did. I think it is such a great idea, that you would have a box of prayers. And the backstory of finding her mother's many many boxes of prayers is also wonderful. The daily and ordinary concerns with which her mother filled the box felt sacramental.

But the author's mother felt almost a little too idealized. Other than her mother not being a good cook, she seemed just about perfect. it would felt a little ore real if there had been even a few moments of f
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it
A very easy, quick read. Wasn't sure what to expect but this book is a beautiful tribute to the author's mother.

I very much like the idea of The God Box and appreciate the author sharing her family's story.
Sheila Jacobson
May 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
This 'book' took less than an hour to read. This would be a lovely memento for family members. However,
it isn't for mass market. I won this book on Goodreads.
Barbara Landers
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very sweet and touching story about her mom's prayers which she put into the "God Box." ...more
Mekelle Neathery
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great story! Puts things into perspective and reminds us to not worry and trust in Him. Need to remind myself of that...
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Our pastor brought this book up in church 2 weeks ago and I am so glad that I was able to borrow this book from the library. What a beautiful story of a mom’s faith and belief and letting go to let God handle, by placing her hen scratch prayers on receipts, scrap paper or whatever was available to her at the time to write on. As the story goes on, this woman passed this beautiful “tradition,” for lack of a better word, on to her daughter and her personality also took over in her daughter. What a ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reinforces the fact that God will take care of you (although you may not know the plan and feel like he is not, he is) you just need to let go of your concerns and put them in his hands. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that she often asked for help and didn't thank God for the good already received. ...more
Cheryl Newton
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this book twice. Reading it at different times in my life brought different perspectives. At first, I thought it was a kind, sweet, enduring read. Now, reading it 3 years after the death of my own mother, it brings joy, a better approach to trials of daily living and a reminder to be more gentle with those I love.
Jenn O'Brien
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars. I think I was expecting a little more inspiration from this book rather than memories of the author's mother. I'm sure she was an amazing woman and had a special bond with her daughter. I enjoyed the concept behind the God Box until the "advertisement" at the end to visit the author's social media accounts. ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an uplifting story about love, hope & faith.
So many people will respond "You are in my prayers", "sending prayers"...Mary Lou's mom really took them to heart & to God. I love the simple idea of writing the prayers & by placing them in the box, she delivered them to God. "Let go, let God".
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book for appreciating your loved ones, how to let go of your stresses, and honoring those we've lost. This was a gift to me after I lost my husband, and I was so glad to have read it. It validated some feelings I've been holding onto and it's nice to know others share some same emotions. A comfort to read. Thank you Jessica! ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was a really thought provoking way to practice the Christian faith. Short, simple, and down to earth, I found it to be a pleasant and inspirational read. I would definitely recommend reading!
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well written book about a mother daughter relationship and the finding of Mom,s many God boxes with prayers to God covering many years.
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very quick read ... this book reminded me of my mother so much ... and made me sniffle more than once ... <3
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one meant a real lot to me. It reminds me of my own mom who keeps a similar prayer type God box. I read straight through this. A lovely meaningful story.
Sara Narrow-LaPoint
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, 2017
This was a wonderful, quick read. I've started my own version of the God Box. ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a sweet, inspiring story!
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
very inspiring starting my own God box thank you
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Mary Lou Quinlan has written inspirational features for Real Simple, O, the Oprah Magazine, and MORE, and other magazines and, is the author of the books Just Ask a Woman, Time Off for Good Behavior, and What She’s Not Telling You. She is the nation’s leading expert on female consumer behavior.
As the founder and CEO of marketing consultancy Just Ask a Woman and Mary Lou Quinlan & Co., she has inte

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“She inhaled a worry. She exhaled a prayer.” 5 likes
“My mother knew when to listen and when to pray and when to help. I wonder hoy many people knew the compassion Mary Finlayson held for them and how hard, in the privacy of her God Box, she prayed for them and their struggles.” 0 likes
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