Heart Wide Open by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson ~ A Christian Living Review

Nonfiction / Christian Living / Women


As a Bible-believing churchgoer, author Shellie Tomlinson harbored a secret in her good-girl heart. she longed for something more than routine faith; she wanted to love God with a genuine, all-consuming passion. So she got honest with Him:
"I admit it. I don't love you like I should, but I want to love you. Help me!"

In Heart Wide Open, Shellie invites you to answer the call of your restless heart and refuse to settle for anything less than the intimate friendship of God. Through her heartfelt and honest words, you'll find practical inspiration to help you:
  • exchange your "just enough Jesus" mindset for an all-out pursuit of Him
  • put sizzle in your Bible study by asking God to show you the wonder of His Word
  • trade formulaic devotions for a devoted life
Are you ready to stop struggling to make time for God and instead live every moment with God? Discover how to live with your heart wide open.


My Thoughts

I first fell in love with Shellie's work through her first two books, Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On and Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy! Those two books just tickled my funny bone. But let me tell you, Heart Wide Open struck a nerve.

This book is written for those of us who grew up with not only Vacation Bible School but Backyard Bible Club. If you could do a sword drill in your sleep or recite the books of the Bible in perfect order or sing all the verses from hymn after hymn from memory, this book is probably written for you. 

It's written for those of us who fell deeply in love with Jesus as a child but somewhere along the line that love of all things Jesus began to fade. The tyranny of the urgent began to replace what was important, which is our very relationship with Jesus. We entered that awkward Jr. High era that took our eyes off of Him and put them on him. Then before we knew it we were young mommas with a growing family and all our efforts were directed there. We still love to say and sing "Oh how I love Jesus!" but do we really? Or in the words of Shellie, do we just want to want to love Jesus? The good news is that Jesus promises that He'll take that want to and turn it into a need to.

In fact Shellie talks about how He will take all of those failed Christian rituals of ours like, daily Bible reading and devotions, prayer time, and faith and breathe fresh life into them. The secret is admitting we need the help in the first place. Instead of hiding our lackluster feelings like Adam and Eve in the garden, we just need to get naked before God and cry out "Help me!"

I have to be honest and say that until I read this book I hadn't really realized how apathetic I had become. But as I turned page after page I continued to think, "Yep! That's describes me to a T." The good news is that Shelllie also points out the simple fix . . . Jesus! So if you are longing for a deeper relationship with Christ, pick this book up and let Him pry your heart wide open. Trust me . . . you won't regret it!

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