A Book for the Cases: Love Lives Here

Her story begins and ends with fire; A fire that burnt down a place of refuge, a place symbolizing many memories and a place full of lots of love. Sweet Maria Goff, as her husband Bob affectionately calls her, vulnerably chronicles the story of her growth in love, Jesus, and hospitality. Her sanctuary and ministry was a lodge built on an inlet in Canada only accessible by boat or plane. Recently a fire engulfed the lodge leaving little behind. This incident surfaces Sweet Maria’s stories, showing just how beauty comes from ashes.

First, there is constant change…

Our big goals and little goals change overtime.

Find your worth and you will find your release from comparison.

The reality of the world is that it is always in a constant flux of change. There are new technologies released, new babies born, and new directions taken every moment. After a few years of my plan getting tossed out the window, I have realized that my future changes daily. Change is uncomfortable and sticks out like a sore thumb. When you try to keep your life exactly the same, your efforts will crack under the inevitable pressures in a complex world. Comparison can be a way to curb the uncomfortable changes, but it is not the answer for walking into the future that changes daily is.


Fear can be instilled….

Kids…live in constant anticipation of what might happen next, not in fear of it.

Fear wraps itself in career and relationships and behaviors…

[It] helps us defend ourselves but it helps us both find and lose our edge because it points us toward safety…

Comparison is rooted in fear and fear keeps us sinking. In psychology, we learn two responses to fear: fight or flight. You can face the problem head on or you can hide from it. The easiest way people fight the fear is with control. By controlling what is not understood, someone is given an illusion of authority. The other option is to run away from what is causing fear. This may work for a while, but the fear will follow closely at your heels. It won’t be long until the fight will fail and the flight will fall.


Then there is a search for security….

I’ve got you

Insecurity…makes us into someone we’re not as a way to cope with someone we used to be.

Trust is the offspring of Faith.

We love captivity more than freedom because it is familiar. After years of living in fear, we let pain become normal. There is one catch. We must feel secure. Like a security blanket, we cover ourselves in paying jobs, alarm systems, and settled families. These are all good things, but security should not come from them. Insecurity can quickly turn into a monster in your life, clawing at your time and well-being. In faith, we can trust we are secure.


But the proper place of security…

None of us really fully grow out of our insecurities; we just learn how to manage the…

It’s in the sinking where we find our refuge…

Like sin, insecurity will always be crouching at the door. Our whole lives are live in pursuit of knowing the truth and being whole in certainty. Peace comes in the proper place of letting go. What is taken from the right hand will be replaced with the left hand in a fuller measure, but first the right hand must lose its grip. In God’s oceans of love we can sink and be confident that he will always have an oxygen tank just an arm’s length away.


Blooms come from the ashes…

We often find our safest and most beautiful places where the lava once flowed…

No mess is too big for God. When he wipes away our sins, he goes the extra mile and makes fertilizer out of it all. Beauty follows fire. For something to be captivating, it must come out of a place that has been tested and pressed, like a diamond. The tears, the laughs, the years, and the milliseconds all come together and bloom into something magnificent.


Last, rest is created.

Practicing hospitality right where we are with the people we love is always a good place to start giving away our love…fully, completely, and sacrificially

We need rest…our purpose is not in exhaustion…it’s a place we create…a place we feel safe.

Rest knowing that life is a cycle of blooming and burning. Open up your hearts and homes even if there are stained carpets and cluttered hallways. The blooms take a sacrifice, the sacrifice produces rest, and rest sets the soul on fire.


This is just a taste of Sweet Maria’s wisdom. If you are in a broken and burnt up place, this may be the book for you this summer. Read it thoughtfully and sink in the love living here.


P.S. Sweet Maria describes the trinity as Neapolitan Ice-cream. I think God is chocolate, Jesus is strawberry and the Holy Spirit is vanilla.