Book Summary: A Quiet Heart

Title: A Quiet Heart

Author: Patricia Holland

Genre: Self-Help, Spiritual

Basic Overview: In this beautiful book, Patricia Holland teaches mothers how to find peace and joy, in spite of the not-so-peaceful moments of motherhood.  Her book is written to a Christian audience but focuses on principles that are important to every mother: putting essentials ahead of nonessentials, finding our purpose, learning not to spread ourselves too thin, uniting with other mothers, and giving ourselves the opportunity to quiet our hearts and learn what God wants to teach us.

Parts I Liked Best:

(1)  To help us be “less envious of others’ situations” and “less threatened by others’ accomplishments,” Patricia Holland shares an experience she had with two of her sons—one son married in his early 20s, while another son still had not found a wife when he turned 30.  The lesson she learned applies to many different circumstances—whether we are able to bear children or not, whether we have opportunities for further education or not, or whether we “strike it rich” or not.  Her inspiring words are as follows: “I don’t know why two boys who seem so much alike should need such different timetables.  But I do know—I had the divine reassurance—that both boys’ lives are in the hands of God and that their particular situations were carefully, not capriciously, designed for their ultimate individual
happiness” (p.21).

(2)    Many other wonderful books are quoted in A Quiet Heart.  One of these is Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  “…woman today is still searching.  We are aware of our hunger and needs, but still ignorant of what will satisfy them.  With our garnered free time, we are more apt to drain our creative springs than to refill them.  With our pitchers, we attempt…to water a field, [instead of] a garden.  We throw ourselves indiscriminately into committees and causes.  Not knowing how to free the spirit, we try to muffle its demands and distractions….Mechanically we have gained, in the last generations, but spiritually we
have…lost” (p.46-47)

(3)    The main focus of this book is to quiet our lives and our hearts so we can come closer to God.  On page 68, she tells us the secret:  “The secret, of course, is to pray earnestly that we will have enough energy just to do the truly essential things—the spiritual things, the eternal things.  Then we can pray equally fervently that we will have peace regarding the nonessential things….  There are many nonessential things to let go of if we are going to allow ourselves adequate time and freedom to embrace God.  But it is worth it.  For when we embrace him, he will embrace us!”

How This Book Made an Impact in My Life:

For the past few years, I have tried to eliminate the stress and hurry from my life, but I often felt that by slowing down, I was “falling behind” all of the other mothers.  This book helped me to see that I do not need to compare myself to those who seem to be moving more rapidly.  There is value in sitting still, praying, thinking, and uniting with God on a daily basis.  I recently read a quotation by Goethe that reminded me of this book: “All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.”  By investing in the creation of a quiet, pure, joyful heart, I am giving a gift to myself and my family.  This book is a treasure to me, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy the peace in the journey of motherhood.



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