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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

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  14,422 ratings  ·  451 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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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,422 ratings  ·  451 reviews

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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
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
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
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
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
Shelves: non-fiction

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
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.
Oct 03, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: spiritual, unfinished
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
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
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this awhile ago, own it, and will re-read it again. It's a very powerful book that emphasizes the importance of prayer in your life. Mary was busy but Mary was at Jesus feet. So many times we get caught up being "busy" that we forget to take time for God and listening for Him, even when we are busy for Him. This one has been lent out and I plan to re-read it again soon.
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.
Apr 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I think this book was written for me. It was such a great biblical based reminder of how we should live in this world. You need to read this book if you have a busy life.
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic, I wish I could have taken time to read it through a second time and do the study portion at the end. I learned so much about keeping the right focus and balance in my life.
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
I am loving this book, I'm reading and studying a chapter a day. Great bible study for women. Very insightful and relevant. This will be a book I will refer back to. Striving for that Mary heart!
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
good book, wonderful message especially for those of us who feel pulled in a million different directions and wonder why we're having trouble hearing God's voice.
Irene Susanto
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I could say that this is of the best Christian books I've read so far. It's an easy-to-read-and-comprehend book and the way the author dissect a part of the passage of Luke 10 is amazing! The relevations that the author brings about was highly applicable to the real world, as she refer to many important elements essential to our Christian life: Love, Transformation, Fear, Worry, Serving the House, Problems of life, but most vital of all, our Relationship with God himself!

Personally, despite bein
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Joanna Weaver does a phenomenal job of illuminating the deep yet practical secrets of achieving "living room intimacy" with God and balancing "kitchen service". If we are honest, it is a balance with which we all struggle; the desire to sit at His feet battles the pressure of carrying on the work He left us to do. Despite different weaknesses and varying personalities, Christ invites each of us to enjoy the close relationship He created us for and desires to have with us. As Weaver puts it, "We ...more
Pam Herrmann
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
How to get close to God even though you lead a busy life.
I liked this:
The Lord is my pace setter… I shall not rush
He makes me stop for quiet intervals
He provides me with images of stillness which restore my serenity
He leads me in the way of effiency through calmness of mind and his guidance is peace
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day, I will not fret, for his presence is here
His timelessness, his all importance will keep me in balance
He prepares refreshment and rene
Taylor Segar
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so helpful in finding the balance between service and worship, between personal intimacy with God and working with excellence. As with any other book outside of scripture, it must be read with discernment and thoughtfulness, but overall it is very well-written, very convicting, and very encouraging. I would especially recommend this book to anyone who feels like they tend to get caught up so much in “doing” and serving that they neglect their time with God — this is really where I w ...more
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
My husband and I read this together. It really put a lot of things together for me.

Distraction. Discouragement. Doubt. All real forces in my life right now that lead me away from Living Room Intimacy. But -

A product requires a process. The same is true of our Christian walk. Becoming like Jesus requires a process as well... it's a journey, not a destination... if we want to be like Jesus, we won't be able to escape the refining process.

This is reassuring. That maybe I'm meant to be at this pla
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this because a friend lent it to me, otherwise I probably wouldn't have picked it out myself. I'm so glad she did. The practical sidebars alongside the wealth of wisdom, much of which sprang off the page by way of quotes from saints of old, served to provide a nicely prepared dish of palatable wisdom. I plan to reread my favorite sections before I return the book and make note of the practices I intend to put into apply to my life as a result of this book.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I got half way through this book and never got to finish it, but i must say it is a good read. The writer has a realistic approach to everyday ways in which we can all relate to the Martha character. There are parts when talking about biblical scripture where i felt she added to the interpretation or comparison to biblical texts then i cared for. Its a book i would read again and actually finish next time!
Brandi D'angelo
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I was introduced to this book years ago by a fellow passenger on an airplane. One of its main points was that we struggle between the urgent and the important. In our fast-paced world today, it's so easy to spend all of your time on the urgent, like Martha in the bible, who is working hard at service in the kitchen. We all need to slow down a little and be more like Mary, who worked on her spiritual life, caring for Jesus. It is a balance.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoughtful and well written book about cultivating balance between Christian spirituality and Christian works. Spoiler alert: they are both important and need to be tied together. I was given this book as a gift over 15 years ago where it has sat on my shelf. glad I finally read it when it was assigned for a study.
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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.
“We only trust people we know,' says Martha Tennison...'If you're struggling to trust God, it may be because you don't really know God.” 11 likes
“All over the world, people go to unimaginable lengths to find God--which is sad when you consider the unimaginable lengths God has already gone to find us” 10 likes
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