Top 10 Quotes on Having a Mary Heart


I struggle with balance.  I think I may have multiple personalities.  My pendulum swings from completely lazy to frantically busy.  Somewhere in the middle, there must be a happy medium.   That’s why I read Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.  I was hoping she would show me how to sit at Jesus’ feet but still have a clean house.

Here are my top 10 quotes from this fantastic book on cultivating a joyful life of intimacy and service:

1.  “When we put work before worship, we put the cart before the horse.  The cart is important; so is the horse.  But the horse must come first, or we end up pulling the cart ourselves.  Frustrated and weary, we can nearly break under the pressure of service, for there is always something that needs to be done.  When we first spend time in His presence–when we take time to hear His voice–God provides the horsepower we need to pull the heaviest load.  He saddles up Grace and invites us to take a ride.”  p. 10

2. “The only requirement for a deeper friendship with God is showing up with a heart open and ready to receive.”  p. 11

3.  “He knows the journey is difficult.  He knows life is rarely fair.  Jesus fought the same frigid winds of distraction, discouragement, and doubt that keep us from knowing God’s love.  But like the Father, He longs to gather us in His arms.  He longs to trade the flimsy blankets of our own self-sufficiency for His all-sufficiency.  The Lord Jesus invites us to cast our doubts, our fears, and anxiety upon Him, to discover how much He really does care.  Trust Me, My child, He whispers.  I have your ultimate good in mind.”  p. 29

4.  “So often we give God the gift we think He needs rather than take the time to find out what He desires.” p. 56

5.  “The thing we need to understand is that God did not choose to ‘use’ us.  We are not spiritual Oompa-Loopmas in some cosmic chocolate factory working day and night to churn out a smoother, better-tasting Christianity.  We were not created to fill some egotistical need God has for praise — the angels forever encircle His throne with worship.  We are not some celestial science project; laboratory mice let loose to see how they interact.  No, the Bible makes it clear that God created us because He longs to have fellowship with us.  Our Father longs to pour His very life into us, to give us an inheritance and a share in His divine nature.  What does God desire?  It is actually very simple.  He wants you.  All of you.”  p. 62

6.  “Make no mistake.  Satan enjoys using our hectic schedules, stressed bodies, and emotional upsets in his efforts to put up barriers to our intimacy with God.  That’s why we need to take a close look at any thought, feeling, or activity that diminishes our appetite for intimacy with God.”  p. 69

7.  “Does it sound harsh to say that cooking or cleaning or taking care of your children or doing your job might be sinful?  But think about it.  The very definition of sin is separation from God.  So no matter how important the activity, no matter how good it seems, if I use it as an excuse to hold God at arm’s length, it is sin.”  p. 105

8. “Waiting four days may have made Jesus a late for a healing, but it made Him right on time for a resurrection.  So never put a period where God puts a comma.  Just when you think the sentence is over, the most important part may be yet to come.”  p. 127

9.  “Until we determine whom we will serve, we run the risk of developing a Judas heart instead of a heart of sacrificial love.  For whenever our interests conflict with His interests, we’ll be tempted to sell Christ off as a slave to the highest bidder, rather than spend our all to anoint His feet.”  p. 164

10.  “The secret of balancing worship and work, devotion and service, love of God and love of people is maintaining our connection to Jesus Christ.  Our relationship with Him is the fulcrum, the anchor, the steadying point that makes balance possible in the first place.  And the deeper that relationship goes, the more stable the balance will be.”  p. 190

Q4U:  Do you have multiple personalities like me? How do you find balance between your Mary and your Martha?

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Photo Credit:  Joanna Weaver Books

7 responses

  1. Great list of quotes from one of my favorite books. One I haven’t opened for awhile and probably need too. I really think God calls us to be both Mary and Martha – he certainly loved them both. My challenge is to be balanced in as two.

  2. Wow! So timely, as always. I am so amazed by your blogs, Lyli. What a tremendous ministry it is! I read them constantly and they always touch on something God is teaching me.

    Lvs u!

    P.S. I never even knew what Laverne and Shirley said! 😉

  3. “We are not spiritual Oompa-Loopmas in some cosmic chocolate factory working day and night to churn out a smoother, better-tasting Christianity.”

    This made me smile. I am often torn between being Mary and Martha so these quotes are good for me. I still haven’t read that book–must make time for it soon (says Martha as she keeps on working…). Thanks, Lyli.

    • I came across it quite a few years back and took it to the register immediately. The title grabbed me. Balance is a constant struggle for me — if I have read my Bible, the dishes are dirty. If I clean the floor, I do not exercise. If only there were more hours in the day perhaps… 🙂

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