You’ve waited long enough! It’s here! PUBLISHED! Making Heaving My Home!
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BOOK OF THE MONTH
Making Heaven My Home (MHMH) is a fast-moving story that deals candidly with the issue of “church hurt.” On a 40-minute drive back to her hometown of Still Lakes, the backstory of Raina Reonne’s shattered life unfolds as she speeds over the freeway seeking vindication.
Having endured abuse suffered as a youth at Truth and Grace Church, she navigates life with the jaded attitude of a person whose youth was stolen well before her prime. The poignant details of her past loves, breakups, marriage, divorce, and coming of age in a cult-like religious setting are masterfully executed through M. J. Smith’s descriptive writing style.
Smith’s raw, uncompromising portrayal of the detailed moments embedded in Raina’s mind result in her readers’ awareness of the universality of suffering at the hands of others. These moments interspersed with joyful and hilarious moments capture her readers’ attention transporting them on a journey that mimics the jagged courses of their own lives.
While reading, the guilty pleasure of a momentary departure from the mundane chores of life is embraced with abandon. MHMH reads like a memoir through Smith’s conveyance of Raina’s soul level experiences of pain, joy, naïveté, and epiphany. The complexities of Raina’s unresolved hurt and anger are juxtaposed against her zany antics from adolescence to adulthood as she reminisces the best and worst of times both before and after she escapes the pain of her home and church at just 15-years-old.
With dogged determination, trusting no one, Raina fights her way to what she perceives to be heaven. A sudden, supernatural twist to her story leads to the miracle she dared to believe was possible, even for a “sinner” like herself, as she accepts the unexpected grace that makes heaven her home.
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“Although she was heartbroken over her forced breakup with Pierre, Raina felt secure in her dad’s love for her. Her poor Daddy had left the state after the scandal had broken out, ‘to keep from killin’ somebody.’ There were many players in the deceptions and many residual effects that destroyed whole families after what happened—some never fully recovering. Stories were flying as hard and fast as the sideways spring rains. The rumors lingered into the summer months like the heatwaves that hung in the air. It was as though the angry heat storms matched the chaos that had hit Raina’s beloved town of Still Lakes, lighting the sky with the furious streaks of Satan’s light show. Raina recalled the scripture where Jesus says, ‘I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning’ (Luke 10:18, NLT). He had certainly fallen in Still Lakes” (Smith 2022, 35-36).
I sat down on a Friday night and read this book cover to cover within three hours! Growing up in church, I’ve seen most everything, and this book brings such a poignant view of the “other side” of church regarding the sinful nature of God’s creation. Hearing the story of redemption and forgiveness brings back the main theme of God’s kingdom regardless how we flawed humans get in the way. Thank you, MJ, for the obedience to the call to expose the things that need to be exposed so that true healing can occur. Jocelyn
The storyline is consistent and flows, and the author’s use of descriptive words is perfection!” [She] definitely has a gift for writing and brilliantly allowing the reader to see, feel, and relate. This is truly a MASTERPIECE, it’s very descriptive, detailed, and personal. We all have a story, the author expresses that regardless the struggle or what your story is, it needs to be heard, it’s not only healing for yourself, but for others. No matter what, GOD will always be with you, HE will see you through! Definitely one to add to your MASTER collection! Job well done, Author MJ! A. Russell, Global Author Award Winner
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MJ, “I love your writing. You truly are gifted.” C. Cowell, Author and Publisher
“Raina, a young girl raised in the faith, has a strong sense of right and wrong as well as of who she is and who she is not. She is a dreamer with many aspirations and ideas of how her life will play out and the wonderful things God has in store. She loves the Lord and her convictions are absolute. She trusts God above all, and she is taught to trust her elders in respect and obedience to the God she serves; however, at times her spiritual intuition pulls at her thoughts, questioning the motives behind the behaviors of certain trusted individuals. To her devastation, she later learns she was spot on with her internal judgments when her life is shattered by the actions of one person the entire church community trusts with their souls. MHMH bravely and honestly brings the travesty of “church hurt” to the forefront. Raina turns her anger towards God for pain inflicted by people, even worse, trusted individuals, including those in positions of authority. MHMH is an inspirational attestation of how God transforms Raina’s most painful tragedies into her greatest testimonies.” S. Faith Davis
This book left me with a full heart. God is Always the answer! Vickie
“Making Heaven My Home is ABSOLUTELY CAPTIVATING and BEAUTIFULLY written. I did not want to stop reading it; it is so engaging! I laughed, cried, and felt many different emotions. I felt as I was standing right beside Raina Reonne watching her movie instead of reading a book . . . MHMH is so descriptive, engaging, and gripping. It has many interesting and exciting twists and turns. MHMH is RIVETING. It will have you at the edge of your seat waiting to find out what happens next. As someone who has gone through abuse and unjust treatment from others . . . I can attest that reading MHMH will help you. It will shine a bright light into your situation, and it will encourage you to get past the pain . . . to turn your life and heart over to God, [to] TRUST Him knowing that He will give you the VICTORY over whatever type of abuse you have had to endure because of others’ evil, selfish, and destructive behaviors. It will help you not to blame God, but to turn to Him [knowing] that His grace will heal you [and that] He will never hurt you. MHMH will inspire you to turn a tragic situation into a BEAUTIFUL, PEACEFUL life. Giving your HEART and LIFE to GOD is the only way to move forward. He is the answer to a fulfilling and purposeful life. [MHMH assures you that] YOU can do it with GOD.”
Wow, I read this book in one evening. Had to read till the conclusion…which lets us know God is ALWAYS there! It’s us that step away. If you have been hurt in a church situation or wronged, abused, slandered this book is for you. With a tear in my eye as I read the activation prayer at the end, I finished the book. Denise R. Bryan
This work is a powerful story that will move and inspire you! It leaves you with a good feeling of hope. The author’s descriptive words will enable you to feel as if you are there. You won’t want to put it down. 6 stars! 🙂 Don Smith, General Contractor
Paperback, 6 X 0.35 X 9 in, 10.2 oz, 154 pages, Glossy Cover Design