Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Book Review

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World (Book, Study Guide, and DVD)
by Joanne Weaver

I first read Joanne Weaver’s book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, years ago and I return to it often even now.  In any women’s small group, most of us would probably identify ourselves as “Martha”—prone to overwhelm ourselves with work—-rather than “Mary,” ready and willing to rest and learn at the feet of Jesus.  The truth is, it’s hard to balance work and worship in this world with its many demands, especially as women filling so many roles every day.  We’re wives, moms, sisters, daughters, friends, employees, bosses, leaders, participants, and servants.  How can we fit time with Jesus into all that?mary

Joanne Weaver’s book (and accompanying study guide and DVD) offers powerful freedom, grace, and practical advice for modern women.  This is so much more than the typical lesson about how we all need to be a little less Martha and a lot more Mary in this life.  Instead, the book follows Mary and Martha throughout the Gospel accounts and reveals what we can learn from Martha’s heart for service and her teachable spirit.  That’s a breath of fresh air and grace for those of us with Martha-like tendencies!

In this study, women are encouraged and taught how to overcome a tendency to worry, how to spend time with Jesus, how to serve with our spiritual gifts, and how to stop being a burden bearer.  One of the object lessons she uses, that of a wagon and rocks, is powerful, sticking with me just about 8 years since I first read it!

The companion study guide is great for small groups and gives space for answers to questions about the DVD as well as the reading material from the book itself.  She includes memory verses, opportunities to create a personal action plan each week, space for prayer requests, and a completely manageable amount of study questions even for those of us who are super busy.

I also loved the DVD created for this study.  The first segment includes images of women joining Joanne Weaver in her home, chatting, sharing in food, and then sitting down to hear her teach.    My small group has commented before about other DVD teachings that feel staged, distant, unrealistic, or over-rehearsed, but this DVD  was so personable and “real,” making the teaching time feel fresh, relevant, and friendly, like we ourselves were sitting in her living room.

Whether you’re reading this book on your own or joining in study with a group of other women, Joanne Weaver’s book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World can encourage and challenge pretty much any woman, whether you’re a ‘Mary,’ a ‘Martha,’ or somewhere in between.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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