Thursday, August 20, 2009

Words of Shame

It's been months since I last posted, but now things are settling down with the release of Shame Lifter (only more radio interview to go) and I thought I'd get caught up on this blog.

Shame. It's such an interesting emotion. It caught me by surprise a couple weeks ago.

I had to go to a medical lab for a routine test. And like most medical offices, there is a sign that reads, "Please register with the receptionist." I stood by the counter and waited for the receptionist to finish whatever she was doing. Without greeting or even glancing up at me she asked, "Name?" I told her. Again, without looking at me she said, "Insurance card." I handed her my card and was amazed how she could, without looking, take it right out of my hand while she looked at her paperwork.

She continued with her work, swearing quietly to herself while I stood there. Finally, she said, "Go take a seat." As I turned and started for a nearby chair in the lobby, she yelled out, "Where are you going? What do you think I just asked you to do?" Now, for the first time she was looking at me and demanding an answer. At first I couldn't believe she was talking to me, but her eyes (and all the other eyes in the lobby) were now staring at me and wondering what I was going to say. I swallowed and said, "You told me to go sit down." Her eyes glowered at me. "Not in the lobby!" She pointed to another chair and commanded, " I want you to sit right over here!" She began mumbling to herself as I sank into the "right" chair. I could feel all those eyes looking at the back of my head. Gratefully, my name was soon called by a nurse and I was freed from my chair.

After the appointment, I had to once again file past the receptionist's desk. Not knowing how I would be received and if I should sit in a certain chair I asked, "Is there anything else you need from me?" "No, I'm done with you!" No "good-bye" no smile, no nothing.

It really was a little thing - but do you know what I felt like for a couple of minutes as that receptionist dialogued with me? I felt like a bad little kid who hadn't followed directions. (But only for a couple of minutes! :) I quickly realized that I didn't have anything to be ashamed of. She was the one out of bounds.

But I do wonder...what was going on in her life? Was she having a most dreadful day in the office? How could I have encouraged her?

Our words - they have such power - both with what we say and how we say it. Truly words have the power of life or death. Today I have a choice, I can either be a shame giver or a shame lifter.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A review from Five Minutes for Books

"A lot of self-help books focus on a variety of individuals and their personal struggles. Not so with Shame Lifter. Author Marilyn Hontz uses her own life experiences to show how she was once a shame receiver who finally realized that she needed some help with shame lifting.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't think I needed to read this book. I just wanted to. I am, generally speaking, a very confident person. I typically have enough self-esteem to go around and share with, oh, say, about half a dozen other women. I don't generally think ill of myself. However, I did find an area where I generally talk down to myself when I was reading this book. I wasn't really surprised about the area of degradation but I was surprised to find that I really DID need this book. Furthermore, I'd go so far as to say that just about every woman does."

Read more here.

Christian Ladies Connect Review

"Moms and dads everywhere: kudos to you. My hats are off to hard-working moms and dads all over the world, who sacrifice time, money, and energy, while giving the best of their love to a new breed that will one day rise up and be our future hope.

Though taxing at times, parenthood is one of the most satisfying jobs life could offer– or…um…at least that’s what I’ve heard from older moms and dads whose children are grown and are now raising kids of their own! Personally, I’m still in the very early stages of motherhood- parenting a voracious toddler and homeschooling a knowledge-thirsty 6 1/2 year old (yes, that’s six and one half, as she so adamantly reminds me). And, yes, I do find those moments of satisfaction and joy. Especially when they’re asleep!"

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Interview on "The Query Queen"

Click here to read one of Marilyn's recent interviews posted on "Ask Wendy--the Query Queen."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Excerpt from Cindy's Stamping and Reviews

Are you a Shame Giver, Shame Receiver, or a Shame Lifter? Author Marilyn Hontz, in this book clearly explains what each of these are, and how to recognize signs in our lives (there is even check lists at the back of the book) She wonderfully presents a interesting book about how we recognize and deal with each of these, in our lives.
Hurting people hurt people. The sooner we recognize this fact in the people we deal with daily and the people who we interact with in our lives. When we become aware of this it will help us to deal with those people who seem set on hurting us. It will also help us to understand our own hurts in our lives.

See the rest of this review here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Review from The Living Word Book Club

Below is an excerpt from The Living Word Book Club:

Are you bombarded by negative thoughts like "I am so dumb!" "I’m ugly." "I’m worthless." "I’m inadequate." These are berating words that we tell ourselves and what Marilyn calls "shame language." This also includes comparing ourselves to others. "Why can’t I be like him/her?"

You can read the rest of the review here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Review from Gwen Jackson

Here is an excerpt from a recent blog review from Gwen Jackson:

"Marilyn Hontz – friend, fellow pastor’s wife, mom to five grown children, grandma to six, speaker, and author – recently published her second book, Shame Lifter. I was looking forward to getting a copy when I discovered it at a friend's house when we were staying with their kids while they were on a cruise. I debated what book to take with me for reading material, but never really settled on anything. As soon as I saw Marilyn's book, I knew that was the book to read. I finished it in three days and found it to be thought provoking and insightful. Anyone who reads this book will find themselves reflecting on their own life. Shame-givers come in a variety of forms... for me it was two grade-school teachers who instilled a shamed based sense of inadequacy in me..."

Click here for the remainder of the review.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ministry in a Shame Filled World

Here is an excerpt from a leadership blog written by leadership guru Kevin Harney on Shame Lifter:

"One in four girls is sexually abused before age 18.Shame Lifter

One in six boys is sexually abused before age 18.

Sexual abuse and the collateral damage it brings have reached epidemic levels. Those who lead in the church and Christian ministries must be equipped to support and walk with people who are processing the shame, pain, and fears associated with abuse. Marilyn Hontz has given a gift to those who have faced abuse personally or who walk with people who are seeking healing and freedom from their past. Her book, Shame Lifter, tells her own story of God’s grace and power to overcome the pain and shame of abuse.

Shame Lifter is not gratuitous or voyeuristic. Rather, Marilyn tells her story with grace and thoughtfulness. Those who minister to people who have faced painful family experiences, rejection by a loved one, and abuse of any sort will want to review this book. As a pastor and leader, I have talked to, prayed with, and tried to minister to many women and men who have faced abuse. At times, I have felt very ill-equipped for the task."


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And Yet Another Blog Review!

Review from Corn Husker Academy
I was excited to get the chance to read this book - it is dealing with such a huge issue - shame. Marilyn approaches this issue from the heart because she dealt with it her whole life, sometimes not even realizing it. She tells her personal story and it is so interesting and gripping that I read through this book in two days. I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing that, because it is meant to really help you dig deep and work through shame issues you might have. But you need to understand that while I can read a non-fiction book in a day or two, I struggle through most non-fiction books. I didn't struggle here at all. Marilyn's writing is wonderfully light and easy to read, while incredibly engaging. Her story will pull you in while the end of the chapters will help you heal. At the end of each chapter she has 3 things to do...

1) How About You? There are a few questions that get you thinking about whether what Marilyn dealt with in that chapter might be something that you need to deal with too.

2) Shame Lifters. Here Marilyn mentions some things you can do to start working through these issues, practical self-help, along with scripture to lift you up.

3) A Prayer. The chapter ends with a prayer that you can pray that helps pour your heart out to your Heavenly Father.

I can't even begin to tell you the list of people that I want to pass this book onto! It is wonderful! Shame Lifters could change the body of Christ one reader at a time by letting them see themselves as God sees them instead of through the eyeglasses of shame that they usually wear.

Another Blog Review from the Wild Card Tour!

Dynamic Uno here:
Wow! Marilyn's story was so open and honest that it was hard to read at times because I wasn't sure I wanted to suffer the pain and heartbreak that she felt throughout her life. I generally keep a "quote book" beside my reading table so that I can jot down little thought s and treasures through the quotes I get from books, but there are whole chapters in Shame Lifter that I would have liked to write down! (Chapter 5 especially!) When I first started reading this book, I didn't really think I would fall into the category of having "shame." After all, I'm a pretty cheerful person. But, when you really listen and hear Marilyn's story, there are many places where I could have inserted my name instead of hers. ("Perfectionism" anyone? Yep--that's caused by shame too.)

What I really enjoyed about this book was the frankness and sincerity of Marilyn's words. This is her story--one that many of us may share or mirror with our own lives. The sad part is that many of us may not recognize that we are filled with shame. (Myself included.) This book will make you more aware of your past hurts, but more importantly, give you ways to move beyond those hurts to be set-free of the shame and doubt in your life!

At the end of each chapter there are focus questions, as well as a section that gives ideas for becoming Shame Lifters. There is also a scriptural-based prayer that deals with the subject matter of the previous chapter. At the end of the book is a beautiful Love Letter called
Father's Love Letter. (I had seen it before and am SO glad it was included in this book because I think many of us need to be reminded every now and again that we really DO MATTER. That God really does love us--even if we don't live up to our own or someone else's standards. There are also lists of behaviors that classify people as shame givers and receivers. (You'll have to read the book to find out the actual definitions for those terms.) And, some beautiful letters that were written by Marilyn. I am actually going to buy several copies of this book for MANY of the women in my life. Even if you are not normally attracted to "this type of book," please read it anyway. I'm certain that there is someone in your life that could use it for themselves. If nothing else, it will help you become more of a Shame Lifter in the lives of people around you.

Let me know what you think! Happy Reading!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Review from the Wild Card Book Tour

Book Review from:

Most likely, you'd never know this unless I told you, especially after browsing here at My Bookshelf--but I prefer non-fiction to fiction.

Told you you'd never know it! I love a good story, one that not only entertains but educates and inspires, free from the 'ick' factor and full of the Spirit.

But a non-fiction book that changes me, that takes me on a real-life journey with someone who's walked the road I'm walking---that really is what I tend to hunt for.

And that's what I found in Marilyn Hontz' book, "Shame Lifter". It was worth having just for the gorgeous cover art alone, but I must tell you--I wouldn't have missed this journey with Marilyn for the world.

In her book, "Shame Lifter", Marilyn truly bares her soul, sharing episodes in her life and thoughts from her mind that may shock some, but most likely will make others think "Oh, praise God, I'm NOT alone!"

Marilyn talks about talking with an accent--an accent of shame. She shares how one moment--a compliment, actually--created a break-through for her. How even the thought of writing a book caused shame based thoughts to race through her mind.

I'm SO glad she didn't listen!!

As one who has lived nearly my entire life battling the voice of shame inside my head and my heart, I drank in Marilyn's book like a thirsty sponge. The power of her message will join the ranks of Beth Moore's "Breaking Free" and books like "The Relief of Imperfection" to help Christian women (and even men) blow aways the clouds of shame in their lives.

Marilyn makes the quick distinction between guilt and shame, and talks about how shame can be used to motivate people to change. This isn't the shame Marilyn sets us free from.

The shame she has been held captive by, and the shame I still battle, is a sense of "why am I even breathing air" kind of shame. An over-the-top sense of unworthiness that keeps one bound and unable to serve God in freedom.

If you've never battled such shame, read Marilyn's book, because I'm certain you know someone who is battling it. You may even be heaping inappropriate shame upon them without knowing it. Let her book set you free.

If you're very familiar with shame and long to crush the tapes that play constantly in your head, allow the voice of God to speak through Marilyn's experiences and to lift up your head as a child of the King. Let her book set you free.

If you are a counselor, you won't find a better book (besides God's Word) to give to others to read. Marilyn is relatable, inspiring, transparent, and informative. She is a kind and wonderful companion who's forged ahead on the path of healing just far enough to guide us along the way.

Also included in Marilyn's book is 'The Father's Love Letter', used with permission from the original authors, along with some other useful additions to the story she shares with us.

Each chapter concludes with questions, shame lifters, and prayers to guide you in your path to healing and deliverance from unhealthy shame. I cannot recommend Marilyn's book to you enough. This is one I will be buying and handing out to others I know who battle with shame.

It's also going to stay on my 'read again' shelf...because I know I'm not done yet. Christ has my victory already won, I know...but I still live with me, and I can be my own worst enemy.

I'm giving "Shame Lifter" the Golden Bookmark for writing excellence and genuine heart, as well as voting it "Best Christian Living/Inspiration Book of 2009". Go out and get your copy TODAY. Don't wait another moment.

You'll be SO glad you did.

Happy Reading!

Review from the Wild Card Book Tour

Book Review from Wendi's Book Cover Blog:

Perfect for :
Personal Use, share with those who are experiencing

** Even if you don't think this is the book for you, I hope you will scroll down and take a peak at the first chapter - it was very eye-opening for me!

In a nutshell: In Shame Lifter, Marilyn has written a very revealing and helpful book about how to discover the things in your life that have created a feeling of shame, which may result in feelings of inadequacy and fear. Not only does she help you to discover things that have contributed to these feelings, she gives you the tools to help understand how to heal from them! This is a great book to read for yourself, as well as to share with others.

Extended Review: I am a perfectionist, and yet I never feel done. My husband would laugh at this statement, as he sees a completely different side of me - the one where I can completely overwhelm myself because I don't think I know what I'm doing, or that there is no way I can do it correctly. As I began to read Shame Lifter, I realized that according to Marilyn's description of a shame-based perspective on life (described in the introduction): I'm always afraid that what I do will not be good enough, that people won't like me, that I will forget to mention something important, etc. While I've always assumed these faults were based on a lack of confidence, the author points out that these are traits of shame. At some point in my life, I must have done something (probably many somethings that added up) that made me feel shame. As I think back, I was never the most popular girl in school, I felt bad if I missed a word during a spelling contest, etc - I think the early years of school can either build you up, or really make you weary.

As I continued to read through the book, I found that I could relate in little ways to a lot of the things that Marilyn was sharing. Then I found inspiration and clarity in the questions at the end of each chapter, and the Shame Lifter activities.

I think that a lot of being able to change is understanding how we became what we are, and then having a goal of what we want to be - and this book is the perfect companion to accomplish this. I really hadn't given much thought to the things that have sculpted me over the years to create the woman that I am today, I am very proud of some things, and have discovered that I will be even happier if I stop ignoring the fact that the fear of rejection or making a mistake was holding me back from fully experiencing life.

Now that I am more aware, I can continue to re-visit some of the chapters that were more relevant to my life and heal by going through the questions and Shame Lifter Activities. I also plan to share this book with some of the people in my life.

Content: Marilyn has written a very good introduction that explains how Shame Lifer came about, and what it is. She then has eleven chapters that focus on different things. Then she has a Father's Love Letter (p. 185) where she has shared many inspirational scriptures, and finally there is an appendix section with some really helpful information.

Format: In each chapter, Marilyn uses an example from her life to illustrate the main points. (She includes pertinent scriptures throughout the book where appropriate.) Each main chapter ends with a series of questions to help you make discoveries of your own, then a few Shame Lifter activities to help you heal, or allow you to help someone else heal. Finally, there is a prayer at the end of each chapter.

Readability: The book was very easy to read and understand.

Overall: A wonderfully helpful book for anyone experiencing fear, shame, guilt, etc, or for someone who wants to help others experiencing shame. The book does help you find the truth and change your fears into hope. I plan to share this book with a lot of people in my life. Hopefully some will find comfort and hope, and others will be inspired to help others by becoming Shame Lifters.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Prayer for Radio Interviews

Marilyn would appreciate your prayers as she participates in several upcoming radio interviews about Shame Lifter. The interview dates are:

Feb 20, 2009 - Pittsburgh, PA
Feb 23, 2009 - Birmingham, AL
March 2, 2009 - St. Paul, MN - live
March 4, 2009 - Bowling Green, KY
March 5, 8:30 a.m. North Carolina
March 5 - Grantsville, MD
March 10 - Cleveland, Ohio
March 11 - Brentwood, TN
April 4 - New York, NY (2 hr broadcast)
April 14 - Chicago, IL
May 20, 2009 - Colorado Springs, Focus on the Family

Please pray for Marilyn's presence of mind, for clarity, for the Holy Spirit to direct her words, and for the way to opened up for many to be encouraged through the message in Shame Lifter! Thank you!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Blog Postings on Shame Lifter!

Several blogs will be posting about Shame Lifter this coming Monday, March 2, as part of a virtual book tour. You can click on these links to read a variety of reviews.


Welcome to the Shame Lifter blog! Your comments and responses to the book are very welcome. We'd love to hear from you!

If you're looking to purchase a copy of the book, you can find a display in Holland, Michigan, at the Jude 3 Christian bookstore. If you're outside of Holland, they can be found at your local Christian bookstore.

Books may also be ordered on Amazon at:

Thank you!