I loved these two pages of print so much that I read them to my kids for our devotional time yesterday. My son said, "That's really pretty, Mama." Then we discussed the imagery and message behind the text. Tonight my daughter came out of the bathroom carrying one of my "bathroom books" (having been inspired by yesterday's snip) telling me how much she loved it. I think Charlotte Mason is right - kids really thrive without "twaddle".
So here it is; the little morsel of wisdom that brightened my heart:
Have you brothers or sisters living anywhere in this great world? Have you allowed the friendship to grow cold or the ties to be forgotten? Have you permitted all intercourse to be broken off? Lose not a day till you have done the first thing, taken the first step, to gather up the shattered links and reunite them in a holy chain. If they are far away, write them in words of love. If they are within reach, go to them in person. If you are still living side by side in the old home, and if your life together has not been close, intimate, confiding and helpful, seek at once by all the wise arts of a loving heart to make it what it ought to be.
Then, no matter how plain, simple or old-fashioned your home may be, the sacred friendships beneath its roof will transfigure it all. Poverty is a light cross if there is love at home. Toil, hardships, care, sacrifice, and even sorrow affection twines over them as cold, bare, rugged rocks are changed into beauty when the wild vines wreath them all from every crevice and fill every black nook and fissure.
"Dear moss," said the thatch on an old ruin, "I am so worn, so patched, so ragged; really I am quite unsightly. I wish you would come and cheer me up a little; you will hide all my infirmities and defects, and through your loving sympathy, no finger of contempt or dislike will be pointed at me." "I come," said the moss; and it crept up and around and in and out, until every flaw was hidden and all was smooth and fair. Presently the sun shone out and the old thatch looked bright and fair, a picture of rare beauty in the golden rays. "How beautiful the thatch looks!" cried one who saw it. "How beautiful the thatch looks!" said another. "Ah!" said the old thatch, "rather let them say, 'How beautiful is the loving moss that spends itself in covering up all my faults, keeping the knowledge of them all to herself, and by her own grace making my age and poverty wear the garb of youth and luxuriance!'"
Is your home plain and bare? Must you meet hardships and endure toil? Have you cares and privations? Do you sigh for something finer, more beautiful, less hard? Call up love to wreathe itself over all of your home-life. Cultivate home friendships. Bind up the broken home ties. Plant the flowers of affection in every corner. Then soon all will be transfigured. You will forget care, hardships and toil, for they will be all hidden under lovely garments of affection. Your eye will see no more the homeliness, the hardness, the anxieties, the toils, but will be charmed with the luxuriance of love that shall cover every blemish.
- J. R. Miller ("Home-Making" - originally published in 1882, reprinted by the Vision Forum)
I don't think there needs to be a single word added to that, nor a book review done. I just can't find a thing bad to say about this book. I suggest it as a family devotional... there's something for everyone in the household and many snips of poetry and parables to help the reader apply the truths of a Christian way of "home-making" to their lives. God really deserves a lot of credit for making a home wonderful. I know He's made mine more wonderful (even with it's hardships and toil) than I could have ever imagined in a million years.
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