Over the course of the summer I will be sharing with you a few books that I think you’ll especially enjoy. The first book I am excited to share with you is Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want written by Maria Goff.
Encouragement. Hope. Possibilities. Marriage. Family. Joy.
These words encompass the meaning of Love Lives Here, Maria’s first book. After Maria’s husband, Bob Goff, wrote Love Does, questions stirred and inspired her to share personal stories about extreme loss and childhood trauma. These stories connect you to Maria’s emotions, thoughts and heart while at the same time guide you to God for direction and healing. Maria said:
“I believe in the power of sharing a story. The point isn’t the story itself, really, but to forge a connection between the teller and audience. I hope these stories pull us together.”
In a recent interview with Maria I loved hearing more of her stories:
You shared a story of your children “running away”. Your response to their declaration is distinctly different than all other parenting how-to’s available today. What was going on in your mind when this was happening?
That day, when that was happening, it was as if God was saying, “Pay attention.” In all honesty, letting them follow through on their crazy idea to “run away” in our backyard was one of the hardest things for me.
As it was happening, I remember thinking to myself, “I can’t let them run away. What kind of parent lets their kid run away?” But it was as if God was just with me, urging me to let it happen. It was almost like it played out more for me than the kids––I was re-learning through them what it looks like to have unbridled joy and believe that anything is possible.
Our kids came home at the end of the day with a great story to tell, and they were braver for the experience. In addition to reconnecting with the wild courage it takes to follow through on a crazy idea, I think we all need to be reminded that God is in control of our lives. When it happened 20 years ago, I didn’t know this funny little story illustrating freedom, exhilaration, bravery, and faith would end up in a book I’d write someday, but I’m so glad it did.Ability is what we can already do and ambition is who we want to become. Click To Tweet
I love what you write about kids not being afraid of their ideas––and how they live in constant anticipation of what’s next, not in fear of it. Now that we’re grown, how do we get some of that back?
I love kids. They’re just the best. It feels like we come into the world with the abilities to dream, believe, and not be afraid.
But this is a fallen world. Life is hard, and that reality can consume us. As adults, I think we can get that childlike eagerness and courage back only by going through inevitable hard things. When we push through pain, we’re forced to develop “muscles” that help us be brave and strong. The more we face, the stronger we can get.
I also believe in God. That means I know that no matter what I go through, God is there. He promises he’ll be with us the whole way. I believe that he’s been with me during every trauma––from childhood trauma to the fire that destroyed our family’s beloved lodge. He’s there through loss, grief, lost childhoods. Knowing that and trusting him makes me believe that I can do anything every morning when I wake up.Comparison is the thief of Joy. It will steal our lunch money every time. Click To Tweet
You share your and Bob’s love story, and it’s so inspiring. We don’t hear enough stories like that today.
I’m glad it’s getting out there. I hope it encourages others. If there is one thing that I hope Love Lives Here moves readers to realize, it’s that whatever they’re missing in their lives right now is possible. I urge readers not to believe the lies the world feeds us: “It doesn’t matter, It can never be that good. It’s just a dream.” Those are lies. God can do anything in our lives.
You write about loving people uninhibitedly, whether it’s your kids, your neighbors, your family, or people you don’t even know. What else can you say that will encourage people to put this into practice?
Instead of feeling like we need to be stingy with love, like we’re going to run out because we only have so many tickets at the carnival, we need to give it away freely. Don’t wait for a plan or an invitation, either. Just do it.Follow the gold in your life and you will see the gold in others. Click To Tweet
You write about the importance of reflection, diving deeper than the surface of our past and truly dealing with it. What makes this process so important to you?
It has to do with the juxtaposition hinted at in the book’s subtitle––finding what we need in a world telling us what we want. The world is so good at keeping things on the surface, promoting stuff that’s shiny and easier. I have found that when I dig deep and keep going, determined to keep growing, I discover a richness that is unmatched. As hard as it was for me to write and share some of the stories in my book, I know it’s worth it. I’ve encountered God in the dark places, and indescribable beauty. By telling my stories, I can offer hope and encouragement to someone else––because when they reflect on who they are and where they’ve been, ignoring the debris and clutter, they’ll find that beauty, too.
About Maria Goff
Maria Goff has made a career out of loving her family and neighbors, raising her children, and turning houses into homes. She is married to Bob Goff, whom she calls the most helpful and interesting man in the world. They’ve journeyed to Uganda and Northern Iraq to start schools for kids who are marginalized. They have three adult kids, who are starting families of their own. They live in San Diego, where she and Bob continue to dream about fun and adventures yet to be had with their growing family. Maria’s first book, Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want, is available wherever books are sold.
Buy Your Copy
You can purchase a copy of Love Lives Here by ordering online at LifeWay Christian Stores or in your local store.
a Rafflecopter giveaway