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Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life
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Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  16,549 ratings  ·  544 reviews
With nearly a million copies sold, Joanna Weaver's popular book shows women how to blend intimacy with Jesus and service for Him. 

An invitation for every woman who feels she isn't godly enough...isn't loving enough...isn't doing enough. The life of a woman today isn't really all that different from that of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 18th 2000 by Waterbrook Press (first published 2000)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Aug 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel a little guilty about not liking this book very much. I know so many Christian women who found it quite nice, and I really wanted to love it and feel changed by it in some way...

I don't believe my dislike for "Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World" has to do with lack of faith or lack of a personal relationship with Jesus; rather, it has to do with the book itself. First off, it is basically a self-help style book, complete with space for notes and journaling. As one who subscribes to th
TheReadingKnitter/ Kasey
Oct 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: devotions, 2011
An invitation for every woman who feels she isn't godly enough...isn't loving enough...isn't doing enough

The life of a woman today isn't really all that different from that of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. Like Mary, you long to sit at the Lord's feet...but the daily demands of a busy world just won't leave you alone. Like Martha, you love Jesus and really want to serve him...yet you struggle with weariness, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy.

Then comes Jesus, right into the midst of
Nov 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-it
Any woman who has ever been overwhelmed by the responsibilities in her life needs to read this book. It's a Jesus book, let me just get that out there right now. But it's a Jesus book that's full of insight into why we need to stop doing doing doing (as Martha did) and start stopping and listening as Mary did.

Oh, and the "Martha World" doesn't refer to Martha Stewart -- although the allusion works quite well. It refers to the New Testament story of Jesus going to visit Martha, Mary and their bro
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and did find it helpful for a time in my life when I have been overwhelmed with responsibilities that I have not previously had. It has given me some guidance in keeping faith and prayer at the forefront of my life while also accepting these new responsibilities with less resentment.
Christine Abraham | Bible Cafe
A wonderful book for any Christian Woman to read is Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. This powerful book details the differences between Martha and Mary, the two sisters of Lazarus in the bible. Martha is described as “the original Martha Stewart, the New Testament’s Proverbs 31 woman, and Israel’s answer to Betty Crocker.” She is busy serving and preparing for Jesus, while Mary worships and listens at the feet of Jesus. While both roles are important, the purpose of the bo ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interestingly enough, I started this book right when the coronavirus hit home. Three members of my family became sick so you can imagine that I developed a Martha personality for the month of June.

This book focuses on the situation many people find themselves in our busy world. There is much to do at home, work, with the family, activities, and so on. With so much constantly going on it can often feel like we are constantly working and losing that special time we have to learn from God's Word.
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
I had a hard time getting through this book and switched to audiobook half way through just to finish.. I think the theology was off - too much “let go and let God” and added assumptions/meanings to the Bible (over dramatizations). There are some good ideas and applications, but I’m not sure that I would recommend it to anyone.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book really hit home with me. I am a Mary type, while my sister is a Martha. It really made me see that both types are important but that you need to be aware of the differences. It tells you both types are a way to serve God. I really enjoyed reading this book.
Elizabeth Meadows
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: print-books-2020
This is a very nice inspirational book that I read in small bits over the course of two months along with my Bible reading and devotionals. I wish I had realized that there are some devotional study guide type questions in the back of the book and I would have worked through those along with each chapter. But that's fine. I will spend the next few days and work through the questions as I review each chapter and get even more good from the book. ...more
Dianne Bright
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At parts, this book was so convicting—I was brought to tears. It takes slowing down to appreciate some of the chapters though—if you’re trying to sprint through this book, it might not be the one for you. When I adjusted my attitude about how much it might influence me personally, I began soaking in the words like water for a dry soul.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Lines that I loved from this book:

Have you ever tried to do it all? I have, I do, and I probably always will. It’s not only in my nature; it’s also in my job description – and yours, too. Being a woman requires more stamina, more creativity, and more wisdom than I ever dreamed as a young girl. And that’s not just for today’s busy women. It has always been the case.

With everything still left to do, there sits little Mary, being quite contrary, crashing a party meant only for men. But worse, she s
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful bible study that a group of women just finished at my church. We used the DVD that our leader had also. I am so glad that this was our choice for our spring study.
Jan 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I really tried to take my time reading this book because I wanted to reflect on the author's observations. Two things I really liked about this book:

1) The author's transparency, in giving examples from her life experiences and also in how hard it was for her personally to write this book. She really struggled with it and you really understand her sense of wanting to be changed by what she is learning and sharing in this book. I too, feel I have so much further to go in my journey and struggle w
Oct 03, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished, spiritual
There are things to be gotten out of this book, but it's definitely too Protestant for me to feel comfortable with it entirely. Again, I didn't finish the book.

----one-star below, October 1, 2007
Not really something I would choose to read. Vassi asked whether anyone had read it, so I got it from the library to review for her. I had to return it to the library before I finished the last chapter and a half, as someone else had requested it.

Things I liked: The concrete what-to-do blurbs suggesting
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
The premise and scripture that supports taking time for God is right-on, but the style of writing and journaling is not for me. And I still don't understand how things get done if we don't take the time to do them. ...more
Joanna Weaver has an enriching way of bringing bible stories to life. In this book she takes us with her to Bethany, to Mary and Martha's home and lets us be part of their life for a few hours. There we learn about the two sisters, their struggles and spiritual enlightenment and we meet Jesus through there eyes. It is a perspective that moved me to tears several times. By telling their story Weaver makes excellent points for daily living in the 21st century. It motivated me to make time with the ...more
Cheryl Neer
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing

In Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weavers struggles with her readers to find balance in life. She describes Martha as giving Kitchen service and Mary as giving Living Room worship to the Lord and talks about the strengths of both. My best takeaways are: 1. There are seasons in life where you are called to primarily serve and there needs to be respites of worship; likewise there are seasons where one is called to primarily worship and it must include some service. 2. By surrenderi
Autumn Rose Knutson
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Joanna Weaver does a very good job addressing the issue of “serving or listening” through a detailed study on the sisters-Mary and Martha. One of the biggest problems that women in ministry have these days is finding that balance of time with the Lord or time serving the Lord. Weaver puts it as “two-sided spiritual schizophrenia”, which I thought was an appropriate description. HOWEVER, I would recommend that you read this book with perception, perhaps a small grain of salt and your KJV Bible ne ...more
Dec 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
the "quotes" of supposed scripture are not accurate. Then finding page 469 and the additional copyright information I see all of the versions used.
I am always suspicious authors who use multiple versions to fit what they are trying to convey.
pg 67, she "quotes" Luke 10:41, but what version? She doesn't list it and Zondervan recalled.
Suspicious? You should be. The only way man should profit off of God's word is through salvation.
I did not finish this book. It's inaccuracies don't sit well wit
Jenni Hysesani
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Did this book as a study with a friend. Highly recommend with the study guide as it guides you in more scripture passages related to what you read. Very practical book on balancing between being in the living room with Jesus and serving in the kitchen.
Jordan H
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some of these books I read to feel less alone in my own struggles. While Weaver offers this, the work is also extremely convicting. I truly believe this is something every woman needs to read as they continue on their journey through life.
Susan Barnes
Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Joanna Weaver uses the Biblical characters, Mary and Martha, to discuss developing a closer relationship with Jesus. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World is well written and relatable with personal stories and a lot of references to other books and material.

For the first few chapters, I found the book insightful, helpful and encouraging. Then for a few chapters, the book became quite legalistic, even reducing our relationship with God to a formula: Prayer + the Word of God + Time = Intimacy wi
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am often guilty of shunting aside intimate daily time with God in favor of my to-do list. Praying the practical applications in this book help guide you a little closer to making that a priority as I hope they do me.
Desiray Schultz hayner
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Loved her writing style and all the exerpts from other books. Took our group awhile to get through it but still enjoyed it over a period of time.
How do we have a “be still” Mary heart in a Martha world? The author explores why, how, gets vulnerable and tells us what keeps us from it!
Rating: 4 stars
Thoughts : good message but poor communication, interest level and writing skills
Recommend: for Christians
Read: 5/25-28/20
Oct 26, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: spiritual
Given to me by Melinda
Karen & Gerard
When I saw this title, it peeked my curiosity because I have been making more of an effort to be more like Mary than a Martha. It is a reference to a short story about two sisters in the Bible. Martha is the busy frazzled one preparing the meal for the company and Mary is the one who visits with Jesus instead of helping Martha. Jesus said Mary chose the better part. I think Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World Joanna Weaver would make an excellent Bible study. It is loaded with scripture and pr ...more
Barb Klear
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read for a women's Bible study group. Quite pertinent in this world of easy distraction.
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Becky
Shelves: spiritual
This book was aloe vera to an overwhelmed spirit; I've rarely been so perfectly "in tune" and needing exactly what a book delivered at that moment as this book now. I've struggled with this story, struggled with the reality of trying to live a spiritual life, at a slow and savoring pace, and still getting done all the "stuff" that perpetually needs doing.
Weaver does an exceptional job of taking meaning from this story and applying it to real life, because she has struggled with the exact same th
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every woman who wants to know about Jesus
Recommended to Shelly by: My sister
I first thought " how could there be a whole book on this topic??", but the author provides so much how important it is to have a daily relationship with the Lord. I love how she talks about not giving God what you want you think He wants you to give, but rather being like Mary, She came to Jesus with everything she had(a vessel of fragrance) and poured it on His feet. She didn't just use enough to clean Him, or enough to get the job done,but she broke open the container to give ALL, ...more
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Joanna Weaver is known the world over for her transparent and life-changing books, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World, Having a Mary Spirit and Lazarus Awakening. These books have sold over a million copies. Joanna has appeared on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio and television broadcasts. She loves sharing the heart of God for women at conferences around the country.

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