First Corinthians…

These are only my own contemplative thoughts. You may disagree and that’s OK!!

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I

reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of

childhood behind me.”

—1 Corinthians 13:11

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To doubt His mercy is like being a child when they sob and carry on

because they do not get what they want, and you, their guardian, are

appalled at the greed and neglect they display when they say they hate you, or when they storm off and say “you don’t love me!”. When my kids do this I just want to hit my head against the wall! Do they not

remember all the previous love and tender care I gave them in the

past? But they are children. They cannot see the bigger picture or the

life lessons I’m trying to teach them. Nor can they fathom all that

previous love I gave them, they are greedy for the ‘right now’. If you’re not giving them what they want ‘now’ you must hate them, you

must not want them, you must have forgotten them. Sometimes we can be the same way to God—if our prayers are not answered swiftly we feel He is not there, He has forgotten us, He doesn’t want us. But He is merely looking out for our best interest—maybe that job you wanted wasn’t for you? Maybe you would have gotten into an accident had you left for work on time today? We have to trust His guidance and keep our faith. We must not be like spoiled children, but humbled always and patient to put those childish ways behind us. I must remember this next time my kids are throwing a fit. I’m sure God rolls his eyes and shakes his head up there a lot, but always with a loving, tender

smile—for His love for us is great.

Sissinghurst by Vita Sackville-West and Sarah Raven

The sudden warm weather in Michigan has got me thinking of the garden. A couple years ago I wrote a garden blog every week dedicated to the garden writings of Vita Sackville-West. Some days I miss her writings, her wonderful way of describing “ordinary” flowers and plants like human beings. She knew them all so well—more so than humans actually which made her a bit cold when it came to her human relationships. Her friend, lover and muse, Virginia Woolf was an expert on people and enjoyed exploring the human condition. Thus being opposites, they made a nice pair. I think I have collected the entirety of Vita’s garden works. Her books helped me get through some of the most cold & dark winters of my life, she kept me alive and green. Anyone needing a little lift would be right to pick up something of hers. This book gives a great introductory view of Vita’s talented green thumb.

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#books #bookstagramer #garden #gardening #gardeningtips #flowers #winter #spring #readersofinstagram #reading #writersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #blogger #bookblogger #booklover #bookshelf #bookgeek #virginiawoolf #sissinghurst #british

The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II & St. Teresa of Avila

The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila is more of a workbook than I would have liked. I have read it over and have prayed the Glorious Mysteries using it as my guide today. Though I was hoping for more a reflective experience from these two Saints on praying the rosary, I think this book is helpful. However, I began my own reflections on it. Today I journaled my experience and let me tell you, when I reflected after each decade the impact of it as almost meditation on both my mind and body, I realized many things. Maybe I’ll type it all out for those of you interested. I was really surprised at the beauty of the experience because praying the rosary can sometimes be like a chore, and I never think I’m going to get anything out of it…until today when I used this book. So maybe it is a useful book after all.

The book of Judges

“Then the Lord raised up judges who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.” –Judges 2:16

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Judges is one of my favorite books of the Old Testament. In this book, God raises up 12 judges over the course of 325 years to help keep the Israelites on the right path. I enjoyed this book because it helped me realize that I too had judges raised up for me in my life to help guide me. When my great grandpa (my grandmother’s father) died, I went 12 years before another person ‘passed through’ my life to lead me further to God. And I was lucky to have the perpetual guidance of my mother and grandmother. My other grandpa (my mother’s father) was a born again Christian and had a very aggressive approach to evangelism, but his wrong way guided me also, because I didn’t want to be like that. Since, I have thought much of my judges, and I give thanks to/for them and pray for them—which, to me, is basically any time I think of them with pure love and gratitude and meditate on their well-being with the knowledge of God’s presence(in this way many of us have ‘prayed’ without realizing it was prayer). Let us all give thanks to those who may have been our guides in the dark.

The Call of the Lapwing by Howard Jones

Fun adventure story about a boy who goes into town to visit the fair but wanders into a court room where a young girl is being sentenced for practicing witchcraft. In the exciting and suspenseful climax, he rescues her from prison under the cover of night.

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Illustrated hardcover copy from 1961. This story and Jones’ other work, Beware the Hunter! had both been broadcast as plays for the BBC Children’s Hour.

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#yafiction #childrensfiction #bookstagram #bookshelf #library #read #readersofinstagram #writers #writersofinstagram #bookshop #booklover #bibliophile #bookphotography

Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Said to be the calming pastoral voice for Robert Louis Stevenson, The Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a Presbyterian minister in Edinburgh, Scotland in the early 1800s. Although very passionate in his vocation to ‘Save’ individuals and bring them to Christ, almost obnoxiously so, M’Cheyne’s writing is beautiful and his love & passion for his “flock” is felt throughout his work. One thing he writes that stuck out to me was that we should not just read scripture but try to FEEL the words we are reading. I thought this was very good advice. This work is edited by his good friend Andrew Bonar.

The entire work is a compilation of letters, full sermons, his memoir and his ‘Daily Bread’ calendar, which gives a bit of scripture to read everyday. Some quotes of his I have collected are below…

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“One gem from that ocean [the gospel] is worth all the pebbles of earthly streams.”

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“You know that a lighted lamp is a very small thing, and it burns calmly and without noise; yet “it giveth light to all that are within the house.”

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“Pray that you may pray to God, and not for the ears of man. Feel His presence more than man’s.”

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#bookish #preacher #robertlouisstevenson #edinburgh #history #memoir #bookstagram #bookstagramer #bookshelf #library #religion #inspiration #advice #writing #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #bookishescape #christianity #bible #bookphotography #bibliophile #booknerd #bookgeek

Letters of Mozart and his family 💕 🎵 🎶 💕

This time of year I always have a craving to read the letters of Mozart and his family. I have not finished these yet, they are perfect to leave and come back to. The cold here makes me want to be cozy under blankets for the rest of the winter and this is the perfect collection for that. Maybe it’s the family factor, maybe it’s the way Mozart talks about the cold weather in his travels, I don’t know, but I love it! Always in carriages, always at parties in grand estates. 😌

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#mozart #music #library #bookish #bibliophile #bookphotography #letters #classicalmusic #composer #booknerdigan #bookshelf #booklover