I signed up for the Role Mommy Book Club and received a copy of The God Box by Mary Lou Quinlan and I just got through reading it. I must admit when I first began the book I was not impressed, it is a little book with good size font, lots of pictures, and lots of large quotes. I honestly thought this book was going to be just fluff, a gift book that you might find at Hallmark, but by the end I was challenged and inspired, I didn't see that coming. Mary Lou Quinlan shares the story of her parents' marriage and her mother, Mary's spiritual habit of writing down her prayer requests and putting them in her "God Box." Quinlan explains that her mother would use whatever paper was available (receipts, stationary, business cards, etc), write down her request in a short note to Jesus include the date, and would put it in the box and let go. The letting go part really made me think and challenge me. There are so many time I have prayed for something and prayed and prayed and prayed, but never really let go, I lacked the faith that it is taken care of. Mary Lou explains that her mother fully believed that God was big enough to handle these requests and once the request was written down and put in the box you had to let it go, believe that it is taken care of, I want faith like that.
Just the idea of the God Box and writing down requests whenever and wherever really struck a chord with me. Years ago, we visited a church in Wilmington, NC and the pastor was talking about Thessalonians 5:17, "pray without ceasing." While reading about the different prayer requests Mary had made, the big and the small, I realized that she was living that out, she was praying without ceasing, she didn't put things off to later, she would stop, focus on the request, take the time to write it down, and then place it in the God box.
I was also challenged and inspired by Mary Lou's parents marriage. She mentioned that her parents made it clear that their relationship "took precedence," with today's high divorce rate and the focus on children, it is easy to lose focus on our marital relationship. Reading about the love these people had for each other gave me the desire to work on my own marriage, to love more, and hope that I can leave a legacy of love to my children.
The other major take away for me, was the importance of listening to others, and carrying each others burdens but to release those burdens to God through prayer. Honestly, too many times I will admit I just listen to people, but not really LISTEN to them, this was a good reminder that listening is not always giving your advice or answers, but listening, just being there.
So this book quite surprised me, it had more in it then I thought. It was refreshing and inspiring to read about real faith from a regular person who experience true love in ordinary times, it gives me hope for my life and I hope that the little nuggets I took away will stay with me in the future.
I was not paid to write about this book, but I was given the book to review, and my thoughts of this book are all mine, thank you very much!