Friends! Suffering from the disease to please? Anyone needing freedom from multi-tasking? Fret no more, thanks to author Maria Goff. Grab her book for some HUGE kind of relief from this wild world in which we’re living.
The book? Love Lives Here—Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want.
Yes, Maria’s the wife of Bob Goff. (Do not miss how they met and ultimately got married. Killer funny.) Many of you have probably been blessed by hearing Bob speak. John and I’ve seen him at Southeast, and some of our kids saw him at Northeast.
We all chime in with, “Could he possibly get any crazier?” Bob’s a man with an entertaining-but-sincere message (the Gospel) and a heart the size of Texas times two or ten.
Reading Maria’s book, which includes a Foreword by Bob as well as many tales on their family, is a complete blast. I say it brings relief because Maria is brutally honest about various life scenarios giving us freedom on many levels. She shows us her very genuine responses. Priorities weigh in revealing valuable lessons, especially with their strong faith propelling them forward.
Any of you Moms out there, parenting ideas are also plentiful in the book. You will laugh out loud more than once!
Early into the book in her chapter entitled “Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper”, Maria tells of a classmate who she wanted to be just like. Needless to say, that didn’t go so well. She gifts us with this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
Maria strongly suggests, “Spot comparison coming our way, call it a liar, and simply refuse to make eye contact with it…We weren’t created to fit in; we were made to stand apart.”
We readers also get to watch what good neighbors look like in the chapter called “A Neighbor’s Love”. It includes easy ideas to get to know our neighbors and to simply be the hands and feet of Jesus. She states the obvious, “We can’t love our neighbors if we don’t know them.”
Two years ago, some new neighbors moved in down the street from us. I toyed with getting the other neighbors together so we could all meet the new ones. I toyed a little too long apparently. Before I knew it, there was an invitation to come to dinner at our new neighbor’s home. Huh? They are hosting us? How unusually lovely.
When we lived in Lake Forest a few years ago, my across-the-street neighbor, Kay, and I frequently met in the middle of the street with a cup of sugar to borrow, an egg or two, one time even a new puppy to meet. Maria says, “I think God wanted us to love our neighbor so we could learn how to bookend our lives from them.”
I knew Kay was special before we ever moved in. One night John and I were at the house planning for the move. As we were leaving, Kay and Dick walked across the street to introduce themselves. The first thing out of her mouth was, “Are you our new neighbors? We’ve been praying for you.” I’ll never forget it.
The Goff Family also cherishes time at the table together, making it one of their priorities.
My two favorite ideas from the chapter called, “Let Love Set the Table” are:
1 – Have a “Good Manners” night around the table and conversely have a “Bad Manners” night around the table. Fun and more fun. I missed the boat on this with our boys, but you can bet we will give this a “go” with our grandchildren!
2 – When you have company, after dinner, have them crawl under your table and sign it. How fun is that? Then over the years you can see who all has put their feet under your table, dining with you and your family. (My friend Judy has had countless people pull up around her table over the years including missionaries, preachers, authors, athletes, coaches, celebrities, friends and family. She says one of her regrets is she’s not kept a record of all of them. Start now with those signatures!)
Maria says, “The table is not only a place to eat, it’s a place to learn about life and each other.” She adds, “Don’t overcomplicate it. When gathering together is rooted in love, free of unnecessary stress or self-serving motivations, bonds are formed, hearts are mended, and lives are changed forever.”
One time the Goff family was going to entertain a unique family in that the father was the ambassador to a small country. (Can you imagine?) They had no idea how the evening would go. Maria confessed she stewed and stewed over various meal ideas. They ultimately ordered pizza! Everyone therefore relaxed, and the couples’ seven-year old son enjoyed being decorated with balloons by the Goff’s children.
Finally, don’t miss the chapter, “Board of Directors.” It’s one more of many fabulous ideas from Maria. We’re not meant to be marooned on our own little island. Seek advice, forming your own version of a Board of Directors…Watch how Maria did this.
May you be inspired and experience some relief found in this book in your next endeavor.
‘Til next time!