A little departure today. I've read many books over the years, but I think I must be a romantic at heart.
I love to read the old classic stories.
Austen's Pride and Prejudice stole my heart. The love story between
Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy wrapped me up in their emotional
interludes. Love/hate/misunderstandings/reconciliation/happy ending.
How could I ask for more?
And then there was Emma,
spoiled country girl who tried to be the matchmaker. Only to find that
it was she who would lose in love. Ah! But there is also another
Sense and Sensibility............
Two sisters, two loves, two broken hearts, two happy endings.
Jane Austen is not the only author I favor.
recently listened to the "Little Women" CD's. I found this to be a
most enjoyable book. With so many characters and story lines. The book
has so much more depth then the movies.
And speaking of movies,
last year I watched "North and South", a PBS made for TV movie. I
thought the production was good, and ventured to find the book. It was
very elusive. But I finally came across a
telling you, I was gripped by this book. The movie is nothing compared
to the story of Margaret and Mr. Thornton. One reason I love to read
these old classics is that their emotions are written in such beautiful
detail, and yet there is nothing unsavory.
Yep, I think I am a romantic at heart. Love the old classics. How about you??
all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the
way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and
ask to be taken to the store..
Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not.
one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or
even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at
I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a
pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can
you open this?
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a
human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite
guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to
order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these
were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history
and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had
disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's
going; she's going; she is gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England.
had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on
about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at
the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and
feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'
was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .. I wasn't exactly sure
why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To My Dear
Friend, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when
no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the
book. And I would discover what would become for me, four
life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can
say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see
finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The
passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of
God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich
man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he
saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam; He was
puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving
that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will
ever see it..' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.
was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the
sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act
of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've
baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a
great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'
times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a
disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my
own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As
one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see
finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever
be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to
sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't
want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for
Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade
pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all
the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a
monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if
there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're going to
love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We
cannot be seen if we're doing it right; And one day, it is very
possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built,
but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of
Self-preoccupation, self-broodings, self-interest, self-love...these are the reasons we jar each other.
Turn your eyes off yourself; look up and out! There are brothers and sisters; they have needs that you can aid.
Listen for their confidences; keep your heart wide open to their call, and your hands alert for their service.
Learn to give and not to take; to drown your own hungry wants in the happiness of lending yourself to fulfill the interests of those nearest or dearest.
Look up and out, from this narrow, cabined self of yours...you will find to your own glad surprise the secret of the meekness and gentleness of Jesus, and the fruits of the Spirit will all bud and blossom from out of your life.
My hubby and I attended a wedding last night. It was not the prettiest or the nicest wedding we have ever attended. It was an outdoor wedding, the reception to be held in the barn. The smell of manure was a bit overwhelming. And the sun, setting in the west, flickered between the moss covered trees, blinding most of us sitting on the left. The bugs couldn't decide if this was their party or their feast. The poor photographer danced about, trying to capture shots as the sun played hide and seek with him.
The young bride, a gifted musician, planned the music. Which turned out to be too long, the sound mostly lost between swaying trees and airplanes flying overhead. We sat three rows from the back, and could not see anything but the two bridesmaids on the left, and the two groomsmen on the right. Missing all of the beauty of this sacred moment. The father of the bride married the couple. After attending the wedding of two of her sisters, we knew what to expect. The microphone warbled in and out, the jokes were not very funny, although people laughed to be polite. And truthfully, why did he have to bring up things about the girl that were not really relevant?
I'm sad to see so many young people throw off the traditions of the wedding ceremony. Maybe it's because we live in an entertainment driven society. Personally, I like saving the first sight the groom has of his bride to when she walks down the aisle. I like traditional wedding vows. I enjoy hearing the triumphant sound of the wedding march. I mostly like to be able to hear and see the ceremony, given that I usually shed an emotional tear or two. This time it felt like the sound was off, and the party was happening just out of view.
But in the end, the two giggling kids are married and on their way to building their new lives together. I can attest that the years will fly by quicker than you can ever imagine.
I've turned off comments as this was a personal rant which is not meant for controversy.
Idleness is the devil's best friend. It is the surest way to give him an opportunity of doing us harm. An idle mind is like an open door, and if satan does not enter in himself by it, it is certain he will throw in something to raise bad thoughts in our souls.
Everything is an affair of the spirit. If God has a way of dealing with you in your life, it is the only way. Every little thing in which you would have your own way has a mission for your redemption. And he will treat you as a willful little child until you take your Father's way for your own.
It takes a long time for concepts to become convictions and
longer still for our conviction to become our character, but we can still be
thankful God never gives up on us. For those of us who have put our faith in
Him, a work has begun that He will complete. All of us will be used in one way
or another, as good examples or as bad ones. Someone once said that people
either serve the Lord with their lives or complain about the service of others.
Maybe those are our only options – to serve or to be served. It seems that
those who want only to be served are never satisfied.Until we are willing to comfort others with
the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God, we are not likely to
rejoice in the tribulation.
Trials don’t make us – they reveal us. We must admit what we
are so God can make us what He wants us to be. Not everyone will experience a
painful physical trial, but all behavior will be purified in the way that God
has planned for each of us. He knows what we need. He will do what’s best.
“He that hath my commandments, and keepth them (before his
eyes), he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my
Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him”John 14:21
I will think about their troubles – Psalm
32:10, Prov 4:19, Prov 10:24
I will know God is angry
with them – Psalm 7:11, Psalm 11:5-6
I will not covet their
riches – Prov 15:6, Psalm 37:16
I will not fret over them
– Prov 24: 19-20
I will realize their time
is short – Prov 10:27, Psalm 37: 35-36
I will treasure a good
name – Prov 10:7, Prov 15:9, Prov 22:1