Taking Down the Walls

The Wall Around Your HeartHi friends! Today we’re taking a brief break from the Rest series, because I am so excited about the release of The Wall Around Your Heart!

The premise of this book is that pesky wall around your heart, the impenetrable fortress you vow to build higher and higher so no one can break in. When we’re hurt, we protect. We wall off. We retreat. We leave. We falsely believe that life is too painful now, and leaving relationships will protect us from further pain.  – Mary DeMuth, The Wall Around Your Heart

We all do it. We get in a friendship or love relationship or business partnership and end up hurt. Sometimes the hurt is our own fault (admit it, sometimes it is), often the hurt comes from the other party without meaning to (their mess collides with your mess…), and even, at times, we find we have run into someone deliberately bent on hurting others. Regardless of how it happens, when we get hurt, our instinct is to protect ourselves from letting it happen again. And so we build walls.

Using the roadmap of the Lord’s Prayer, Mary DeMuth walks us through how Jesus will pull down those walls through prayer and in community. She even addresses how to protect ourselves from those “wolves in sheep clothing,” and still keep ourselves open to healing community.

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The Wall Around Your Heart is written in an easy-to-read style, with many of Mary’s personal stories interjected throughout. She starts with the Scripture of the Lord’s Prayer as her base, but also includes other Scripture references for further study. Several places in the book have prayers to guide you to pray for specific circumstances and the end of every chapter includes questions to help you grow in being openhearted.

I highly recommend this book to people who have been hurt by community, who are nursing raw relational wounds, with freshly built walls. I strongly suggest this book to people who have scars from years of hurt, whose walls are tall and deep. God has plans to break through all of these. Let’s together declare, “Take down the bricks, whatever it takes,” and find the sweetness of community on the other side.

If you have a wall firmly built around your heart, ask Jesus, the great gateway, to make a doorway through. He can. He is the gate. He is the avenue leading toward a rich and satisfying life—not a stingy, walled-off life.  – Mary DeMuth, The Wall Around Your Heart

You can buy The Wall Around Your Heart on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as in local stores. If you don’t see it on the shelves, ask if they can order a copy for you.

If The Wall Around Your Heart sounds like a book that would help others you know, would you share this review and encourage them to check it out?

One final note:  Mary DeMuth has another book expected to release early next year. Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse was recently crowd-funded after traditional publishers deemed it too risky an investment. From what I’ve heard of it so far, I believe this book will minister to many hurting people marginalized by shame and fear of being marked. Pray for that book and for Mary as she has a lot of work ahead of her to prepare that for release.

Day 12: Cracked Pedestals

Sitting by Dad & my sister on our big arm chair. Christmas 1975.

Sitting by Dad & my sister on our big arm chair. Christmas 1975.

Today, I’m taking a rest from the 31 Day series, to post about a great book that’s coming out on Tuesday, The Wall Around Your Heart by Mary DeMuth. (I may have mentioned it before). I’m writing over at Open Hearted Power, 31 Days of open hearted living:

Cracked Pedestals

My Dad was pretty awesome, but he was also a little bit scary. The good kind of scary, y’know? We’d have friends sleep over, and Mom would tell us to be quiet and go to bed, but as girls do, we’d whisper and giggle in the dark until Dad’s stern voice called up the stairs, “Girrls…” Immediate silence would ensue, because we knew that was a voice of authority, a voice to be obeyed, a voice not to be reckoned with. That awe we had for Dad was good for getting excited children to sleep and to behave in public, but bad in the sense that it seemed that everything Dad did was perfect. Without ever planning to, I put Dad up on a pretty tall pedestal most of my growing up years. I suppose, somewhere inside, I knew Dad was human, which meant he sinned and, thus, was not perfect, but I never stopped to think that through realistically. He was Dad.

There came a time in my teen years, when the pedestal cracked…

Would you join me at Open Hearted Power for the rest of the story? Cracked Pedestals

I’ll be back tomorrow to continue the series on rest.
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A little intro to The Wall Around Your Heart

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Mary DeMuth’s latest book, The Wall Around Your Heart, is set to release in October, but I can’t wait ’til then to tell you a little about it. In my very limited spare time, I’ve been eagerly devouring an advance electronic copy and I’ve got to tell you – it is so good.

Hard, too, though. There are some challenging parts, oh yes. My first clue was the promo video, when Mary says, “the very community that breaks you is the avenue by which God heals you.” Oy.

Community is hard. We, in Karis, often say community is messy. But there’s good in the mess, there’s joy and comfort, and fellowship. I like how Mary says to view the difficulty in community as gifts:

When we have difficult relationships, God often uses them as gifts in our lives—to shape us, conform us to His Son, and make us gutsier and stronger.

We can be thankful for these gifts that God has given us. Here’s to staying in community and working through the tough things together. Here’s to being gutsier and stronger!

I’m looking forward to sharing more about The Wall Around Your Heart as I get further into it. Stay tuned!

 

No ordinary book review: Beyond Ordinary

God doesn’t want to fix your marriage; He wants to heal your heart.

And there, in that one tweetable sentence, is the soul of Beyond Ordinary. Justin and Trisha Davis bravely open a window for us into the dark and (seemingly) hopeless moments of the developing and revealing of  Justin’s adulterous affair. They later walk us through the path of their recovery and restoration as a couple. But as the book unfolds, we learn, as they did, that God’s idea for healing involves so much more than just repairing the rift between husband and wife. God’s plan was and is total heart transformation.

Contrary to what the general public might expect, Trisha doesn’t sit back as a victim and point a judgmental finger at Justin or men in general. Both of them humbly share how God opened their eyes to some of the dark, idolatrous root sins that they, like all of us, struggle with. They mutually shoulder the blame of allowing their marriage to drift toward ordinary.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to a better marriage, you will be disappointed. If you want a simple outline of how to fix your spouse, you’re in for a shock. You are the problem and you can’t do a thing to improve. Well, maybe just one thing: choose brokenness.

It’s giving up rather than just trying harder. Brokenness is a decision, laying everything on the line and then submitting it all to God. It is an awareness that God is your only hope. You can choose brokenness.

God has been at work in my own heart and the reading of Beyond Ordinary came at the perfect moment. Chapter Ten, No Ordinary Healing, was most moving. There it finally clicked.

You don’t need incremental change in your marriage; you need transformational change. You don’t need an improved version of the old you; you need a brand-new you. You don’t need a slight improvement in your marriage; you need a complete transformation. The great news is that God offers to transform you. God offers to give you a new life. God longs to give you an extraordinary marriage.

Get this book and use it to allow your heart to walk the trail of brokenness to transformation.

Want more?

  • Whet your appetite:  You can read the first two chapters of the book for free – here.
  • Read daily blog posts at RefineUs. I’ve followed Justin & Trisha’s blog for nearly three years now. Excellent resource.
  • For weekly emails to strengthen your marriage, subscribe to MentorUs. We just started our subscription and so far feel like it helps open up conversations that we may not otherwise have had.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Tyndale’s blogger book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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