The Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Today I’d like to remember Robert Murray M’cheyne who gives so much richness and truth in this letters and sermons, which thanks to Andrew Bonar, M’Cheyne’s good friend, we now have this Presbyterian Reverend’s entire collection of writings, sermons, and letters—his “remains”. I come back to his work time and again because his words are so alive with the Holy Spirit that his work serves to strengthen me when I feel dried up and brittle like a dead branch.

.

.

.

“He became a babe, and was laid in a manger, for there was not room in the inn. The inn was like your heart; it was filled with other lodgers, and had no room for Jesus.” —Robert Murray M’Cheyne. (A letter “To One Awakened: A call upon a soul to choose Jesus. 1842).

M’Cheyne died when he was only 29 years old of Typhus and was buried at St. Peter’s church in Dundee, Scotland where he served. There was an estimated 7,000 people at his funeral. 💕

M’Cheyne Photo credit: lukesblog.org

Sharing my Gwen Frostic Collection

I have a collection of Gwen Frostic poems and prints. Some she has signed. If you don’t know about her, she is a poet and artist who lived in the upper part of Michigan and had a little print shop all her own. She is quite famous around here. She used nature for contemplation and found a lot of inspiration with the birds, trees, seasons. During quarantine I too have been finding my own way of contemplation through whittling. Since I was little I always wanted to try it. I stain wood a lot using a variety of layering colors so carving it was the next learning step I guess. If you swipe 👉 you will see my second creation, St. Therese of Lisieux. She typically holds flowers and the rosary. I still have much to learn but I’m having fun. What has inspired you during this time of reflection? .

The Living Forest by Arthur Heming

The Living Forest: Two young boys in the Canadian Woods is a book I enjoyed very much. Written initially for children, it is the story of two boys and a man who has lived with the indigenous tribes of Canada his whole life. Together they take a trip through the wilderness in 1891 and along the way the reader is taught how to make sinew rope, a canoe, how to build a proper fire and shelter, and we get to enjoy the marvelous sketches of Arthur Hemming, a famous Canadian painter and novelist, while we’re at it. Swipe to see 👉. It is a lovely wilderness story.

Irish Poem…

A SONG OF FREEDOM

by Alice Mulligan .

.

.

In Cavan of little lakes / As I was walking with the wind / And no one seen beside me there / There came a song into my mind / It came as if the whispered voice / of one, but none of human kind / Who walked with me in Cavan then / And he invisible as wind. .

For the Bride: Today is our Wedding Anniversary

For The Bride: A scrapbook for brides from 1920’s. My mother gave me this as a sort of joke on my anniversary one year along with a book called, The Silent Hostess, also another inside joke. .

.

.

My husband and I were married 14 years ago today. I was 22 years old. It was 70 degrees in Michigan, and the leaves were still brilliantly colored on all the trees. We were indeed blessed. It was before everyone got really creative with wedding pics. Ours are very standard and professionally posed. Nothing fancy like people all jumping at the same time or pictures of shoes and rings, etc. Some details I remember: Our photographer had been hit by a car that day and had managed to limp his way to our wedding despite this. There were ladybugs flying all over the place, got themselves caught in my veil, on my gown, in the hair of bridesmaids and groomsmen. My uncle Jack flew in from California to surprise me on this day, and my dad asked if I was nervous before he walked me down the aisle. I denied being nervous but hummed Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture because I WAS nervous (and because I’m a weirdo). I couldn’t find Bryan for most of the event, and everyone kept asking if I was pregnant. 😂 .

.

Here’s to all the brides out there!

Cheers 🥂 .

.

.

#bridesmaids #bride #wedding #celebration #weddingparty #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #booknerdigans #bookshelf #library #bookphotography #reading #bibliophile #mansion #booksofinstagram #booknerd #bookgeek #cheers #party #writersofinstagram #writingcommunity #readingcommunity

The Gospel of Matthew

Disclaimer: I have no authority to teach you about any of these wonderful books, so if you read on, please take what I say lightly. As a writer I find the Bible an interesting home for allegory, I could decipher every line for a lifetime of endless fun for me, but for you, I can only communicate what I learned. Perhaps you disagree and that’s OK!*


“‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, so he cried out, ‘Lord, Save me.'”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand & caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why doubt?'”
-Matthew 14:28-31

Doubt is a very dangerous emotion, and can indeed make us sink. We can feel on top of everything, then if we allow doubt to enter our minds, our moral sinks like a stone in water. The wind here can represent persecutors in any form–people at work attacking us, our friends, our family. It could be an obstacle in the way of our success, addiction, or our own phobias. Peter took his eyes off Christ for a moment and noticed the wind–his body began to react (a fight or flight scenario), and he began to doubt. But if he had total faith, he would have stayed afloat. Sort of like Peter Pan which could have very well been written based on this story from the gospels. “PETER” needed a happy thought to fly. If you are a Christian that happy thought is Jesus and his perpetual guiding hand of comfort and safety.

Amen.

Adam Bede by George Elliot

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Today, if an agent were presented a query letter and the manuscript of Adam Bede, they would have rejected it over and over again and society would have lost a fabulous story. But I doubt that many people today would have the patience for this book. It took 100+ pages for me to get into it where I didn’t want to put it down. It was like a really innocent pastoral soup opera. Every sentence is delicious and every character is well developed to the point that you are sad when your journey with them is over. .

.

.

Pictured is a 1909 edition set against a 1972 sketch of a cobbler. This print was originally hanging in the shoe department in the old Hudson’s in Downtown Detroit, which has since been demolished.

.

.

.

#bookish #booknerd #booknerdigans #library #vintage #edwardian #reading #writing #writersofinstagram #readersofinstagram #writingcommunity #bookreviews #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookstagramer #farm #methodist #love #bibliophile #bookphotography #nerd #geek #vintageprints

My Summer in a Garden by Charles Dudley Warner

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ As the summer draws to a close I’m compelled to remember the stages of my garden with Mr. Charles Dudley Warner. In 1870 he documented one summer in his garden recording every week. He talks about women voting, his neighbor Harriet Beecher Stowe, the visit to his garden by Ulysses S. Grant, and the curious life of his pet cat, Calvin. I read this on a road trip to Cleveland where I visited the most beautiful cemetery I had ever seen. (Pics of family crypts posted below)

Reaching the end of this book, with my kids and husband in the car, all restless, hyper, and obnoxious, I began to cry because Warner’s beloved cat was dying. He described his passing in such beautiful detail while granting the animal humility and grace. My family saw I was crying and made fun, of course, but I couldn’t stop and continued shedding my tears—laughing at myself also—as we checked into our hotel. .

.

.

Pictured is the 1888 edition. Some weathering with inscription: Lizzie W. Nothe (?) from Parents—Xmas 1889 .

.

Vita’s Wish For Nasturtium…

What about Tropaeolum speciosum, the flame nasturtium, with brilliant red trumpets among the small dark leaves?  This is the glory of Scottish gardens…

-Vita Sackville-West
In Your Garden
November 24, 1946

Something rather peculiar happened when I was planning my garden back in April.  I knew I wanted to plant seeds, two in particular; the zinnia and the morning glory.  But a picture of a brilliant red flower caught my eye so I picked up the packet to examine it.  I had never seen nor heard of the nasturtium before.  However, I didn’t want to bother with new seeds I knew nothing about so I put it back…or so I thought.

I came home that day and discovered the packet in my purchase bag as if Vita herself had put it there.   I took this as her spirit coaxing me to try them.  I carried her spirit with me a lot in those early days of spring, unsure and uneducated in the way of gardening.  But she helped me very much, and I do believe this was her way of coaxing me along to experiment.   So I did.

SONY DSC

They soon came up in these cute little clumps of lily pad-like leaves and they grew and multiplied; covering the ground, expanding and taking over my bare areas where I needed the extra growth.   I love the leaves with their defined veins reminiscent of exploding stars, and the tiny flowers hide inside their abundance as if they were a secret.   My Grandma came over and noticed them.  She told me that her mother, my Great Grandmother use to grow nasturtiums all the time.  This I never knew.  However, I waited a long time for them to flower.   They took all summer to do so, but they are lovely!  They are indeed like flames among the green, coming in bright orange and brilliant red.

SONY DSC
The other day I experimented by clipping a few of the flowers for a vase.   Although they didn’t last more than a week it was a good opportunity to see the flowers close up and get a whiff of their delicious scent, which is like a delicate baby powder.  They are so low to the ground one would have to get on one’s hand and knees to smell them.  I’ve often thought that next year I should try them in pots.  That way I can move them around to my liking and have them burst and melt over the sides of the pot.  They will also be at eye and nose level for my ultimate delight.   I do recommend these curious ground loving plants. Go ahead and grow something different.  As Vita would say, “Try“.

SONY DSC