Monday, April 18, 2011

Thankful for Molly


I love books! I should confess right up front that I mostly love fiction. I own more books than any other single thing. I am ashamed to admit how many books are sitting on the "to read" shelf in my closet. And yet...I still can't go into the Half-Price Book Store and come out without an armload of books. I'm a little more conservative at the local Barnes and Noble, but it takes vast amount of will power for me to walk out empty-handed.

I have had to do some serious weeding through my bookshelves in recent years. We still have our house on the market and hiring a moving van just for my books seems a little extravagant. So the books that remain are those I treasure; the ones I know I will read again and again.

I am reading one of those books now - for the third time. I spent hours yesterday in a little English country village losing myself in the story of a young girl who, even in my dotage, has become a favorite heroine. Her name is Molly Gibson. Her story is written with beautiful elegance by Elizabeth Gaskell in the book "Wives and Daughters."

When I finally grow up, I want to be just a little bit like Molly. Here is just a little taste:

"Molly was dejected, she knew not why. Cynthia had drifted a little apart; that was not it. Her stepmother had whimsical moods; and if Cynthia displeased her, she would oppress Molly with small kindnesses and pseudo-affection. Or else everything was wrong, the world was out of joint,and Molly had failed in her mission to set it right, and was to be blamed accordingly. But Molly was of too steady a disposition to be much moved by the changeableness of an unreasonable person."

Oh to be of such steady character. I am all too easily influenced by the attitudes of those around me. It is easy to be sweet and kind when all is going well. If that sweetness and kindness isn't returned or appreciated, it is another matter altogether.

All of that to say I am thankful for good books - ones that are so beautifully written they take you to another time and place, all the while edifying and uplifting. I have no patience any more for books that make me squirm uncomfortably. I suppose that's why I more often than not find myself carried back to the 19th century.

I am thankful

165 - for Mrs. Gaskell and Molly
166 - crisp, clear spring days
167 - hummingbirds who have returned, entertaining us with their antics
168 - doves cooing
169 - answered prayer for a friend
170 - beautiful black and yellow butterfly
171 - chamomile tea before bed
172 - car - all repaired and looking like new
173 - calves frolicking
174 - horses playing in the fields
175 - smell of newly cut grass
176 - little pink roses
177 - time to sit in the sun room and read - the room filled with spring breezes and birdsong
178 - a letter from a new friend
179 - working outside - getting it done one small step at a time
180 - another drought, but knowing that He is faithful
181 - finding just the right outfit for the wedding
182 - the ministry of a smile

linking to Ann's Gratitude Community

Blessings,
Linda

11 comments:

Kristin Bridgman said...

I saw your link on Ann Voskamp's website. I enjoyed reading your post. I also love books! :)
And am so enjoying unwrapping all my gifts.
It was nice to "meet" you:)
Kristin

grammy said...

I have never read that book (o:
I love calves frolicking too,
and easter egg hunts, hot air balloons, puppies, Hot Turtle Coffee drink at my favorite coffee shop (o:

S. Etole said...

I enjoy books set in that time period as well ... thankful for the reminders of spring in your gratitude list.

Anonymous said...

Linda,
I feel like I have found a treasure when I stumbled upon your blog over at Heather's site. I love your music!!! While I was reading about the man who wrote "My Saviors Love", I noticed he worked with Homer Rodeheaver's Publishing Company. There is a site you can go to (although you probably already know this) and hear an old recording of Homer Rodeheaver's voice. He led the music in Billy Sunday's meetings. It is not clear recordings because in those days they were on some kind of cylinder recordings. I LOVE to listen to these, though. You can Google Sermon Audio and click on Sermon Topics, then classic speakers until you find Rodeheaver. I enjoy going there.
Ann Parker

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

I am so happy to hear I am not the only one with a pile of 'to read' books and still come home with more! lol Love books. How wonderful to have hummingbirds visit! We have seen one a time or two. Rare around here. I am looking forward to getting back outside. It turned cold on us! :)

B. Meandering said...

The setting with the bookshelves between the window with the crisp white curtain and the door with the braided rug looks so charming and inviting.
I do not know of this book or author, but am intrigued--will put it on the summer list. I already have a pile waiting me.
Of your thankful list---they were all wonderful things to be thankful for, but sitting on the sun porch reading with the breeze blowing, sounds so relaxing and lovely and had me sighing.
Also, having had to buy two dresses --one for each child's wedding, I all too well know the relief in finding the perfect dress. I'm so glad you did.:)

Anonymous said...

at first i thought that 181 said, just the right outfit for weeding. not that it's strange to want a just the right outfit for weeding, but, a wedding is much better than weeding.

:-)

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Oooo! "The ministry of a smile." How cool is THAT?

Maria said...

Good morning Linda!
Your books of old are so important to read; they do bring us back to simpler times ~ perhaps more reflective times.

Your list of thanksgiving is beautiful Linda! I would especially love for you to send some sunshine to the northeast :o)
My son and husband are in Austin right now. Jason did get his job there and apartment hunting is quite daunting. {so many complexes... no little 2 bedrooms over the landlord ;o)
They all look beautiful, but which one will have the right environment and lease policies?!!!
Keeping them in prayer as they search...

Have a peace-filled Easter week and a glorious and joy-filled Easter Sunday.
~blessings always,
Maria
ps. Your banner is sooooo sweet!!!

Sandy said...

I enjoyed your list today,
dear Linda. I am a book lover
as well. Of all your items
listed the one that touched
me most was "the ministry of
a smile." How true! A smile
can change someone's day.
Blessings~

deb colarossi said...

ha... I love to read... I am running out of room to store my books as well.

I don't read a lot of fiction though.. but still.