Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Playing with Sunbeams by Elizabeth Prentiss - 1879

The following is a very sweet, short story written by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss, 1879.

Please note:
    It has been very gently organized and edited (though the words have not been changed), by me (Mrs. White).

Playing with Sunbeams (image) from Elizabeth Prentiss story, 1879.

"Playing with Sunbeams"

By Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss

There is a story told of a little child sitting on its nursery floor, playing with a sunbeam that lay athwart the carpet. Now he would try to catch it in his fingers, and laugh merrily at each failure ; now he would bathe his little hands in its warmth and brightness, and then clasp them for joy.

Now we meet, sometimes, though not often, with charming grown-up children, who can be happy in the enjoyment of the intangible, when the tangible is wanting. They are the opposites of those characters of whom it has been said, that it takes more than everything to make them happy, less than nothing to make them miserable.

Mary Arnold had grown up in an unusually happy home ; she never remembered hearing an unkindly word there.

From this home she passed, when quite young, into one of her own, which promised her all the luxuries to which she had been accustomed. But her husband met with heavy losses just as he had won his bride, and she was obliged to live in a humble style hitherto unknown to her.

He thought he knew what a sweet spirit she possessed, when the day of prosperity shone for her without a cloud. But he was astonished and cheered when adversity revealed her true character.

" It is going to be very hard for you, my poor child," he said to her, " to descend with me into all sorts of petty economies, to which you have never been used. This is the trying part of these financial difficulties ; I do not care so much for myself."

" We shall see," she returned, with a smile.

" It is easy to smile in advance," he said, in reply to the smile. " But you do not know what it is going to be to you."

It is true, she did not know. She had now to do with her own hands what she had had other hands to do for her ; must make a very little money go a great way ; must do without luxuries ; in short, must have that grim and unpleasing master, Economy, sit with her at her table, reign in her kitchen, preside over her wardrobe, and become general Master of Ceremonies. But her friends found her unchanged by circumstances. When they condoled with her, she would reply —

" But think what a kind husband I have ! " And she played with this sunbeam, and made herself glad with it, and was so genuinely happy, that it was a refreshment to meet her.

"But it will not last," said the ravens. "By and by, when she has children, and must clothe and feed and educate them, we shall have a new tune."

Well, the children came, and she had not a moment of leisure. She had to be nurse and seamstress, never got " her afternoon out," never had her work all done and out of the way ; she was industrious, and arranged her time wisely ; but she could not work miracles. She felt, a great deal of the time, like a straw borne hither and thither by the wind ; she could not choose what she would do at such a time, but was forced to tasks, with no room for her own volition.

" Now, then," quoth the ravens, " we shall hear you complain. You have to work like a day- labourer, and see what miserable wages you get ! "

" Miserable wages ! " she cried, " why, I don't know anybody so rich as I am. With such a husband, and such children, and such friends, I am as happy as the day is long ! "

" You have a great deal of leisure for your friends, to be sure."

" Well, I should like to see more of them, it is true. And, by and by, when the children are older, I shall."

" By that time you will be so old yourself, that your heart will have grown cold."

" Oh no ; it is too busy to grow cold."

So she made sunbeams out of her daily, home- spun tasks, and went on her way, rejoicing.

The ravens were puzzled.

" It must be her perfect health," they whispered to each other.

Time passed ; the children grew up, and just as the long-needed prosperity began to flow into the house, the young people began to pass out of it into homes of their own, till father and mother sat at their table alone.

" Now you have spent nearly a lifetime in toiling for your children, and what is the good of it all ? As soon as they get old enough to be a comfort to you, they every one of them go off and leave you."

So said the ravens.

" Just what I did at their age ! " she replied cheerily. "Why shouldn't they get married, as well as I ? And instead of losing, I have gained children. Whereas I had only six, I have now twelve. And I have plenty of time now to see my friends, to read, to take journeys, and to enjoy my husband."

But now long, long days of ill-health came and laid leaden hands upon her. She had twelve children, but they were scattered far and wide, and could only come occasionally, to make her brief visits.

" Very hard ! " said the ravens.

" Oh no ! It is such a delight to me that they all got away before this illness overtook me. It would have cast such a gloom upon them to be at home and miss ' mother ' from the table."

" But the time is so long ! What a sad pity that you are not allowed to use your eyes ! "

" Oh, do you think so ? I was just thanking God that in my days of youth and health, I learned so many passages in the Bible, and so many hymns. I lie here repeating them over, and they are like honey to my taste."

" At all events, it would be a good thing if you could see your friends more."

" I do see them, in imagination. I call in now this one, now that ; and make him or her repeat the pleasant, affectionate words they used to speak. I am never lonely. And I have other delightful things to think of; books I have read, sermons I have heard, little kindnesses shown me by some who are in heaven now. Sometimes I wonder why, when others are so afflicted, I am passed by."

"Have you forgotten that you have wept over little graves ? "

" No ; I have not forgotten. I lie and think of all the winsome ways my little ones had, and how tenderly the Good Shepherd took them away in His arms. They might have lived to suffer, or what is far, far worse, to sin. I can't help rejoicing that three of my children are safe and happy. So many parents have ungrateful, wild sons and foolish, worldly daughters."

" Is it no trial to lie here, bound as it were, hand and foot, and often racked with pain ? "

" It would be a great trial if I had not such a devoted husband, and if he were not able to get for me everything that can alleviate my condition. But you see I have not a wish ungratified. Think what a delightful room this is ! In the summer-time, when the windows are open, I can hear the birds sing, and the voices of little children at their play. In the winter the sun shines in ; that cheers me."

" The sun doesn't shine every day."

" No ; and that is a mercy, because it is so welcome after absence. On cloudy days I think over the sunny ones, and remind myself that clouds never last for ever.' It is said that ' the saddest birds find time to sing ' and it's true. Nobody is sad all the time, or suffering all the time."

" You are in the prime of life ; others of your age are at work in the Master's vineyard. Doesn't it pain you that you are doing nothing for Him ? "

" It did, at one time.   I said, all I'm good for is to make trouble for other people, and use up my husband's money. But it was made plain to me that 'they also serve who only stand and wait.'  It might be nothing but a cold, flat stone in a sidewalk made to be trodden on, and fit for nothing else. But if the Master's hand put me there, I ought not to complain that He did not let me form a part of a palace instead. We can't all be servants ; some of us have got to be served ; and I am one of them."

" Do you expect to get well ? "

" My physicians do not tell me what to expect.  I know that I may live many years; but I also know that I may be called away at any moment."

" How dreadful ! Such a life of suspense ! "

" I am quite used to it now. At first, I did not know how to act when I found I might die at any moment.   But afterwards I reflected that this is true of every human being. I do not expect to do anything it would not be fitting to do, just when the summons came. And it is very sweet, to think that I may get my invitation and go, without the grief and commotion my death would have occasioned when my children were all young and needed me."

" But your husband — could you bear to go and leave him alone ? "

'' My husband is older than I, and I hope he may go first. God has always been so good to us, that I think He will."

" But you could not do without him.  You would be left entirely alone."

" Yes. But whenever my heart ached, I could remind myself that it was my heart, not his, and rejoice that he was spared this suffering. You see, everything has its good side."

By this time the ravens were exhausted, and flew away.

And now let us see whether this faithful sufferer was doing no work in the great vineyard.

Here are six homes where she is quoted every day, almost every hour. Her children have all learned her song as she used to sing it to them in their nest, and they are teaching it to theirs. Cheerful endurance lights up and beautifies every life. And the influences going forth from these lives are beyond computation.

And here are friends who love her only less than her husband and children do; who have watched her all her life long, and have borne the burden and heat of the day, in humble imitation of the patience with which she bore hers. They have never heard a murmuring word fall from her lips. They have always heard her wonder what made God so good to her ; wonder that, full of discipline as her life was, she had so few troubles.   And they have gone away rebuked, with lessons impressed on their memories that should bear fruit she might never see, but should be refreshing in every weary day.

And those who were with her when death stole away three cherubs from her heart, knew that it was not stoicism that made her refuse to complain, but thank God that she had had them, for a season, enjoyed them while they were hers, and could feel that they were safer, happier with Him than they were with her. Yes, when she wept over the little graves, she caught sunbeams even then, and said, ' Though He slay me, yet will I Trust in Him ! "

The truth is, our own hands have more to do with shaping our lives than we fancy. We cannot control Providences, nor ought we to wish to do so.  But we can be willing to see the silver lining to the cloud, to " nurse the caged sorrow till the captive sings," to count up our mercies through those dark days when the rain falls and is never weary, knowing that it never rains always.

And now let us go back to the sick-room, which, to its patient occupant, has so long been a prison.

She has grown old, and her strength has greatly declined. She cannot talk much now, and no longer hears earthly voices. But she knows what our eyes say to her when our tongues are silent.

" Yes, I knew you would come to me as soon as you heard of it; so kind of you. Everybody is kind. I wish I had strength to tell you all about it. We had lived together fifty years. He died on our golden wedding-day. He had been unusually well, and we had laughed together over our young married life. The children were all here with their children ; the house was like a beehive, every bee humming. He said it renewed our youth to see them ; I'm sure it did mine.

Well, they all assembled here in this room, and the children gave us their presents. Their father told them about our wedding-day so long ago, and every time he stopped talking, to rest a little, I said, ' Every milestone on our journey marks a mercy ; there's a new one. And it will be so to the end.' Father smiled ; for you know I couldn't hear a word he said, but I always did say I had mercies when other people had miseries. At last he had said all he had to say, and Robert — you know my Robert is a minister? — Robert knelt down, with his brothers and sisters and the children about him, to pray. Father knelt just here by my side, with my hand in his.

It was a solemn time. I was with them in spirit, though I could not hear. But when they rose from their knees, father kept on his. We waited a little while, and then Robert and Edgar went and lifted him up. Well, I thought it would be thus ! God was always so good to us; he'd slipped away so gently that nobody heard him go.

" Don't grieve for me. The parting will not be for long. My old feet will soon go tottering after.

God is keeping me here a little longer to give me time to tell my friends all about this crowning mercy, and then I shall go. It has been a great shaking ; but I think I could hardly have borne to go and leave him alone."

As she falters forth these words, slowly and at intervals, her children and a few dear friends standing about her watching the smile that mingles with her tears ; a sunbeam darted suddenly into the room and lay, a line of golden light, across the bed. She laid her cold hands in it, in the tender way in which she would clasp that of a friend, and said —

" I've had nothing but mercies all the days of my life."

And so she passed painlessly away, " playing with sunbeams" to the last.

- The End -


Thank you for reading! 

Be sure to visit our book page to find some inspiration for homemaking!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Inspiring Christian Quotes

The following is a list of inspiring quotes to encourage the Christian:

[I will be adding to this regularly.]

"While I am sowing in one place, they ravage the field I have just left. I cannot be everywhere. If Christians had the Scriptures in their own tongue, they could themselves withstand these sophists: without the Bible it is impossible to establish the laity in the truth. If God give me life, ere many years the plough-boys shall know more of the Scriptures than you do." - William Tyndale

"I want people to fill their minds with passages of Scripture while they are well and strong, that they may have sure help in the day of need. I want them to be diligent in studying their Bibles, and becoming familiar with its contents, in order that the grand old Book may stand by them and talk with them when all earthly friends fail." ~ J.C. Ryle

 Total Inability -
- "No man ever made himself to live. No preacher, however earnest, can make one hearer to live. No parent, however prayerful, no teacher, however tearful, can make a child live unto God. “You hath HE quickened,” is true of all who are quickened."- C. H. Spurgeon

“If you give your soul up to anything earthly, whether it be the wealth, or the honours, or the pleasures of this world, you might as well hunt after the mirage of the desert or try to collect the mists of the morning, or to store up for yourself the clouds of the sky, for all these things are passing away.”
- Charles Spurgeon

"Your trials, crosses, and conflicts are all temporary." ~ J.C. Ryle

"The trees of the garden should bear more fruit than the trees of the forest." - (Puritan) Christopher Love

"If you are strangers to prayer you are strangers to power." - Billy Sunday

“So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year.” - John Quincy Adams

Puritan Jonathan Edwards once urged people to "total deadness to the world." I wonder what that would look like today?

"Not my will, But Thine" - Really means: Something I don't want to do. Something I know I have to do, but drag my feet, procrastinate, put off, and try to ignore. . . Yet the moment I yield to it, and start the task, I am blessed and overjoyed with peace.

"One who walks with God reflects the light of His countenance upon a benighted world; and the closer he walks the more of this light does he reflect." - Horatius Bonar, 1800's

“Is there nothing to sing about to-day? Then borrow a song from tomorrow; sing of what is yet to be. Is this world dreary? Then think of the next.” - Charles Spurgeon

"Home . . . — that blessed word, which opens to the human heart the most perfect glimpse of Heaven, and helps to carry it thither, as on an angel’s wings. . . ." - Lydia Maria Child (1800's)

"Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be." - Thomas A. Kempis

"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." - John Bunyan

"Let us take our lot in life just as it comes, courageously, patiently, and faithfully, never wondering at anything the Master does." - Elizabeth Prentiss

"Believe God's word and power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences." - Samuel Rutherford

"He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day." - John Bunyan

"I know well that all souls are in fearful peril. . . Old or young, it matters not; All have a race to run, a battle to fight, a heart to mortify, a world to overcome, a body to keep under, a devil to resist." - J. C. Ryle

"Real holy living, in the Bible sense, consists in daily being set apart for God by confessing and forsaking sin, by feeding on the Word of God and by being led by the Spirit of God so that we can have daily strength and guidance and protection." - John R. Rice

"Cling to the whole Bible, not a part of it. A man is not going to do much with a broken sword."—D. L. Moody

"Christian, your whole life is to be one continuous following of the Lord." - Horatius Bonar

"Our Lord has many weak children in his family; many dull pupils in his school; many raw soldiers in his army; many lame sheep in his flock. Yet he bears with them all, and casts none away. Happy is that Christian who has learned to do likewise with his brethren."
- J. C. Ryle

"Fathers and mothers, do not forget that children learn more by the eye than they do by the ear... Imitation is a far stronger principle with children than memory. What they see has a much stronger effect on their minds than what they are told." - J. C. Ryle

“The Christian shoemaker does his duty, not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” ― Martin Luther

"An angelic life; spent between ascending in prayer to fetch blessings from above, and descending to scatter them among men." - Robert Leighton

Spoken About Billy Graham:

"I first heard Billy Graham as a teenager, and I thought to myself, “That man can preach the gospel!” During a time when the preaching had grown somewhat lifeless and stale, he was different. He spoke with enthusiasm and authority, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and was true to the Word of God. As a young man wanting to serve God, that inspired me profoundly." - Charles Stanley

"God’s work within me began in earnest with Billy [Graham]’s outreach. His care and his teachings were the real beginning of my faith walk—and the start of the end of my drinking. I couldn’t have given up alcohol on my own. But in 1986, at 40, I finally found the strength to quit." - George W. Bush

"There was a time when our relationship wasn’t so good, a time when I caused my mother and father quite a bit of anguish and heartache. During my teens and early 20s, I proved to be anything but what most people expected Billy Graham’s son to be. I’m so thankful he never gave up on me or quit loving me." - (his son) Franklin Graham

"On most Sundays for the past 20 years, I have driven an hour-and-a-half to have lunch and spend the afternoon with my father. I’ll forever cherish these special times we spent together." - (his son) Franklin Graham

"I don’t know what trials you may be facing right now, but God does, and He loves you and is with you by His Holy Spirit. Cultivate a spirit of thankfulness even in the midst of trials and heartaches." —Billy Graham

"Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened." - Billy Graham

"My home is in Heaven," (Billy) Graham habitually said. "I'm just traveling through this world."

"Our fair morning is at hand; the daystar is near the rising, and we are not many miles from home. What matter, then, of ill-entertainment in the smoky inns of this worthless world?
We are not to stay here, and we shall be dearly welcome to Him to whom we are going."
- Samuel Rutherford

"The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks." - Matthew Henry

"Live near to God, and so all things will appear to you little in comparison with eternal realities."
- Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“Conversion is a turning onto the right road. The next thing to do is to walk on it.” - Charles Spurgeon

"It is because of the hasty and superficial conversation with God that the sense of sin is so weak and that no motives have power to help you to hate and flee from sin as you should." - A. W. Tozer

“Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, Lord,” and life will become a romance.” -Oswald Chambers

"I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God; first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done." - Hudson Taylor

"Your Mother gave us no peace until we came for you." - Said the voice of an angel from Heaven to an elderly man, in an old movie.
Oh, that we mothers would storm the gates of heaven with our prayers for the souls of our children!

"This life was not intended to be the place of our perfection, but the preparation for it." - Richard Baxter

"If I walk with the world, I can't walk with God."
- Dwight L. Moody

"I've never been hurt by anything I didn't say." - Calvin Coolidge

"Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him
father!" - Lydia M. Child, 1836

"A thrifty housewife is better than a great income. A good wife and health are a man's best wealth."
- Charles Spurgeon

"I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession, that was fully interesting and challenging as any honourable profession in the world, and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it." - Rose Kennedy

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."
- Washington Irving

“The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.”
― J.R. Miller, Home-Making

"I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians in England." - John Wesley

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength."
- Charles Spurgeon

"The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God.”
  - D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

"If humility and purity be not in the heart, they are not in the home; and if they are not in the home, they are not in the City."
- T.S. Eliot

“…the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by his letting us have our way in the end, but by his making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly pray what he taught his disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” - Elisabeth Elliot

“God...made childhood joyous, full of life, bubbling over with laughter, playful, bright and sunny. We should put into their childhood days just as much sunshine and gladness, just as much cheerful pleasure as possible.
Pour in the sunshine about them in youth. Let them be happy, encourage all innocent joy, provide pleasant games for them, romp and play with them; be a child again among them. Then God's blessing will come upon your home, and your children will grow up sunny-hearted, gentle, affectionate, joyous themselves and joy-bearers to the world.”
― J.R. Miller

"A man's greatest care should be for that place where he lives longest; therefore eternity should be his scope." - Thomas Manton

"In all states of dilemma or of difficulty... ...prayer is an available source. The ship of prayer may sail through all temptations, doubts and fears, straight up to the throne of God; and though she may be outward bound with only griefs, and groans and sighs, she shall return freighted with a wealth of blessings!"
~ Charles Spurgeon

"To trust God in the light is nothing. But trust Him in the dark - that is faith." C.H. Spurgeon

"The nearer we live to God while we live, the more ready we will be to dwell forever in His presence when we die." ~ J.C. Ryle

"When Christians find themselves exposed to temptation they should pray to God to uphold them, and when they are tempted they should not be discouraged. It is not a sin to be tempted; the sin is to fall into temptation."
- Dwight L. Moody

“Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is place in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into it’s soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,–she would see that in all God’s world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands the sacred and holy trust given to her.” -JR Miller



Quote from Sergeant Alvin C. York, 1922 -
"...Father built the log house at the spring and that's where most all of us were borned and growed up. The children kept coming right smart until there were eleven of us. Mother had to work from sunup often until ten o'clock at night to keep us clothed and fed...She milked the cows, made the butter; she looked after the hogs and chickens. She made the soap and the tallow candles and fixed the grease for the lamps. She carded the wool and spun and wove the cloth and made all our clothes. She was a good mother to us, and with Father she brought us all up and we are living today. We're all strong and healthy and well and she enjoyed every moment of it. She enjoyed life much more in those days, so she says, slaving and working for us, than she does today, Jes quietly living with us with not much to do or bother about.
She jes didn't have time to worry or be unhappy. Life tried to crowd in on her and bust her up right smart and she jes wouldn't let it nohow. She knowed what she wanted - she wanted her home, her husband, and her own children, and she knowed she would have to pay for those things with work and sacrifice, so she was willing. That's a mother for you! "


"There is no panic in Heaven. God has no problems, only plans." - Corrie ten Boom

"Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don't wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work - to wake people up." - Catherine Booth

"David Livingstone went into the heart of Africa as a lone missionary. After some time his missions committee wrote to him saying, "Some people would like to join you. What’s the easiest road to get where you are?" He replied, "If they’re looking for the easiest road, tell them to stay in England. I want people who will come, even if there’s no road at all!"

"Because of the neglect of history in our educational system, most people have no idea how many of the great American fortunes were created by people who were born and raised in worse poverty than the average welfare-recipient today."
~Thomas Sowell

“When in doubt, don't.”
- Benjamin Franklin

"All places where women are excluded tend downward to barbarism; but the moment she is introduced, there come in with her courtesy, cleanliness, sobriety, and order."
- Harriet Beecher Stowe

"For a wife take the daughter of a good mother." - Thomas Fuller

"I have held many things and have lost them all.  But that which I have placed in God's hands I still retain." - Martin Luther

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else." - Charles Dickens

"We never know who they are that God will draw, and have nothing to do with it. Our duty is to invite all, and leave it to God to choose the vessels of mercy." - J.C. Ryle

"The riches of His free grace cause me daily to triumph over all the temptations of the wicked one, who is very vigilant, and seeks all occasions to disturb me." - George Whitefield

"We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come." - A. W. Tozer

"There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have and think they have enough—a cheap Christianity which offends nobody and requires no sacrifice, which costs nothing and is worth nothing."—J. C. Ryle

"You say, "Crime is excusable because somebody is poor." I was poor, too. My family was poor. I wore "hand-me-down" clothes. Eight of us lived in a four-room country house without plumbing, without electric lights, without running water; and we were decent and honest, and went to church, and paid our bills, and did right. Being poor doesn't give any excuse to break the laws of the land." - John R. Rice

"Most mothers would give up their life for their child. Why would a baby have to give up its life for its mother. I am against abortion." - unknown


Describing D. L. Moody:
"His preaching had all the effect of Luther's; he exulted in the free grace of God. His joy was contagious. Men leaped out of darkness into light and lived a Christian life afterward."
- Dr. W. R. Dale from the biography of D. L. Moody, 1900


"I will not ask "what if" about the future. I have never been promised tomorrow. The Lord has work for me to do today. I trust and depend upon Him for His will to be done, not for what "I" want."
- unknown

"It is the "in thing" to be a bad girl. Everyone else is doing it these days. But to be a good girl is such a rare and precious thing - a good girl, a sweet girl, a girl of honor and character and morals . . this type of girl is highly valued and worth much more." - unknown

"You can easily notice a Lady; not just by what she does, but by what she doesn't do." - unknown

"Go out more, keep cheerful as well as busy, for you are the sunshine-maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather."
- Louisa May Alcott

"Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy." - Robert Heinlein

"May God give you the grace, persistence, and faith to raise up your children to glorify HIM, not themselves, which is the way of the world." - Valerie Shepard (Daughter of Elisabeth Elliot)

"You can't just buy an apartment and furnish it and walk away. It's the flowers you choose, the music you play, the smile you have waiting. I want it to be cheerful, a haven in this troubled world. I don't want my husband and children to come home and find a rattled woman. Our era is already rattled enough, isn't it?”
― Audrey Hepburn

"I recommend a general and public return of praise and thanksgiving to Him from whose goodness these blessings descend. The most effectual means of securing the continuance of our civil and religious liberties is always to remember with reverence and gratitude the source from which they flow." - John Jay

"Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse.
Whoever makes the fewest people uneasy is the best bred in the room."
- Jonathan Swift

"You have work to do. And you’re going to have to do it amidst the noise of the spectators. This is life.  You cant escape them. You will be watched. There are far more viewers than doers."
- Seth Nichols

"All God's giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them." J. Hudson Taylor

"The highest and most profitable lesson is the true knowledge and lowly esteem of ourselves." - Thomas A` Kempis

"Keep us little and unknown, prized and loved by God alone."
- Charles Wesley

"You cannot put yourself in the place of God. . . Only our dear Lord can make what you do to prosper. Try, dear, not to have any will of your own. Try dear. I am an old woman, and have had many sorrows, and have done fighting against my Lord." - taken from "The Little Preacher" by Elizabeth Prentiss.

From Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss:
Katie - "I have a great many little trials, but they don't do me a bit of good. Or, at least, I don't see that they do."
Mrs. Campbell - "No, we never see plants growing."

This is one of the common marks of all the elect of God, "They cry unto him day and night" (Luke 18:1) - J.C. Ryle

"The Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life… [T]he Bible… should be read in our schools in preference to all other books because it contains the greatest portion of that kind of knowledge which is calculated to produce private and public happiness." - Benjamin Rush

"Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him." Hudson Taylor

"A pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself." - A. W. Tozer

"The greater are our affections the deeper are our afflictions, and the more we love the more we have to weep." - J. C. Ryle

"God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible--what a pity that we plan only the things that we can do by ourselves." - A. W. Tozer

"Praying and sinning will never live together in the same heart.
Prayer will consume sin,
or sin will choke prayer." - J. C. Ryle, from "A Call to Prayer"

"Ours may be the first generation in civilized times that has not raised its young on proverbs. From the beginning of recorded history. . .concise sayings which describe the benefit of good conduct or the harm of bad have been used to teach children how to behave." - David Hubbard

"For what is our conversion but a turning of our back upon the world
and bidding farewell to all that the heart had hitherto been entwined around?
It is then that like Abraham we forsake all and go out not knowing whither."
- Horatius Bonar

"Benjamin Franklin was a newspaper columnist at age 16; He founded the first library in America at age 25; He started the first fire department at age 31;Designed a heating stove at age 36; Invented the lightning rod at age 43; Invented bifocals at age 79; He was a framer of the U.S. Constitution at age 81; He could speak and write in five different languages. In his lifetime he had only 2 years of formal education." ( This information was found in a book of interesting facts and quotes by Charles Swindoll)

What’s Your Excuse?
Before that evangelical awakening of two hundred years ago the churches were as empty as they are today, perhaps even more so, and they coul...d not get the people to come to listen to the preaching of the gospel. Why? Because they were interested in other things. “But”, says someone, “they had not got televisions!” I know. But they greatly enjoyed cock fighting and card playing; they greatly enjoyed gambling and they greatly enjoyed drinking. The world has never been at a loss to find an excuse not to go to Church to listen to the preaching of the gospel.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Revival)

"I am as sure as I am of the fact of Christ's reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief and of antisocial nihilistic ethics, social and political, which this sin- rent- world has ever seen."- A.A. Hodge

"To have no regard for the fact that their children are receiving a godless education is a mark of apostasy."- R.J. Rushdoony

"I can see little consistency in a type of Christian activity which preaches the gospel on the street corners and at the ends of earth, but neglects the children of the covenant by abandoning them to a cold and unbelieving secularism." - J. Gresham Machen

"I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth." - Martin Luther

"A good example is like a bell that calls many to church." - unknown

"I have noticed that in old age and senility the personality seems to crystallize. The basically self-centered become more so, and the selfless become gentler and humbler in their weakness." - Patricia St. John

"He was too feeble to do much. . . He spent hours in his chair, with his Bible in his lap. He read the Bible over and over again." - Mary Lloys Himes, speaking about her late husband, shortly before his death.

"The soul that in this world had only a little spark of divine love in it, in heaven shall be, as it were, turned into a bright and ardent flame, like the sun in its fullest brightness, when it has no spot upon it." - Jonathan Edwards, 1700's, from "Heaven, A World of Love."

"Work as if everything depended on you and pray as if everything depended on God." D. L. Moody

"I find nothing in the Bible but holiness, and nothing in the world but worldliness. Therefore, if I live in the world, I will become worldly; on the other hand, if I live in the Bible, I will become holy...."
- S. Wigglesworth

"Some people think God does not like to be troubled with our constant coming and asking. The way to trouble God is not to come at all."
--D. L. Moody

From Yale College (1745) "All Scholars Shall Live Religious, Godly and Blameless Lives according to the Rules of God[']s Word, diligently Reading the holy Scriptures the Fountain of Light and Truth; and constan[t]ly attend upon all the Duties of Religion both in Publick and Secret. "

"A child will love what his parents love when he feels no competition for their affection." - Evengelist, Will Rice IV

"I have no faith in that woman who talks of grace and glory abroad, and uses no soap and water at home. Let the buttons be on the shirts, let the children's socks be mended, let the roast mutton be done to a turn, let the house be as neat as a new pin, and the home be as happy as home can be." - Charles Spurgeon

"We don't just bake cookies, Howard. . . It's not like they come in a little package and we cut them up and put them in the oven!"
- Mrs. Cunningham - "Happy Days" 1950's.

"Ladies could be spotted a block away, by the presence of gloves." - from "Keeping Hearth and Home in Old Massachusetts."

"Papa has never turned anyone away from our table. . He just figures Mama has made enough to go around. And this was a burden I kept to myself. . I just never wanted my family to think we didn't have enough food for what we needed. . . . I mean, with all the other hardships a family goes through, they deserve, at the end of the day, to have a warm meal and a cheerful and happy mother to put it on the table."
- Connie Hultquist, from her book, "Dear Kitchen Saints."

"A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God." - Charles Finney


"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

- Colossians 3:1-3

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Domestic Tranquility - The Wife by Washington Irving

Butterfly and Lilacs at Mrs. White's Vermont home.

[Editor's note: The following is a short story written by Washington Irving in the 1800's. It describes how one couple had a happy marriage regardless of the loss of the husband's wealth and business. The description of how his wife continues to make a happy home even in her new found poverty is inspiring.]

          THE WIFE

     by Washington Irving, 1800's

  "I HAVE often had occasion to remark the fortitude with which women
sustain the most overwhelming reverses of fortune. Those disasters
which break down the spirit of a man, and prostrate him in the dust,
seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give such
intrepidity and elevation to their character, that at times it
approaches to sublimity. Nothing can be more touching than to behold a
soft and tender female, who had been all weakness and dependence,
and alive to every trivial roughness, while treading the prosperous
paths of life, suddenly rising in mental force to be the comforter and
support of her husband under misfortune, and abiding, with unshrinking
firmness, the bitterest blasts of adversity.

  As the vine, which has long twined its graceful foliage about the
oak, and been lifted by it into sunshine, will, when the hardy plant
is rifted by the thunderbolt, cling round it with its caressing
tendrils, and bind up its shattered boughs; so is it beautifully
ordered by Providence, that woman, who is the mere dependent and
ornament of man in his happier hours, should be his stay and solace
when smitten with sudden calamity; winding herself into the rugged
recesses of his nature, tenderly supporting the drooping head, and
binding up the broken heart.

  I was once congratulating a friend, who had around him a blooming
family, knit together in the strongest affection. "I can wish you no
better lot," said he, with enthusiasm, "than to have a wife and
children. If you are prosperous, there they are to share your
prosperity; if otherwise, there they are to comfort you." And, indeed,
I have observed that a married man falling into misfortune is more apt
to retrieve his situation in the world than a single one; partly
because he is more stimulated to exertion by the necessities of the
helpless and beloved beings who depend upon him for subsistence; but
chiefly because his spirits are soothed and relieved by domestic
endearments, and his self-respect kept alive by finding, that though
all abroad is darkness and humiliation, yet there is still a little
world of love at home, of which he is the monarch. Whereas a single
man is apt to run to waste and self-neglect; to fancy himself lonely
and abandoned, and his heart to fall to ruin like some deserted
mansion, for want of an inhabitant.

  These observations call to mind a little domestic story, of which
I was once a witness. My intimate friend, Leslie, had married a
beautiful and accomplished girl, who had been brought up in the
midst of fashionable life. She had, it is true, no fortune, but that
of my friend was ample; and he delighted in the anticipation of
indulging her in every elegant pursuit, and administering to those
delicate tastes and fancies that spread a kind of witchery about the
sex.- "Her life," said he, "shall be like a fairy tale."

  The very difference in their characters produced an harmonious
combination: he was of a romantic and somewhat serious cast; she was
all life and gladness. I have often noticed the mute rapture with
which he would gaze upon her in company, of which her sprightly powers
made her the delight; and how, in the midst of applause, her eye would
still turn to him, as if there alone she sought favor and
acceptance. When leaning on his arm, her slender form contrasted
finely with his tall manly person. The fond confiding air with which
she looked up to him seemed to call forth a flush of triumphant
pride and cherishing tenderness, as if he doted on his lovely burden
for its very helplessness. Never did a couple set forward on the
flowery path of early and well-suited marriage with a fairer
prospect of felicity.

  It was the misfortune of my friend, however, to have embarked his
property in large speculations; and he had not been married many
months, when, by a succession of sudden disasters, it was swept from
him, and he found himself reduced almost to penury. For a time he kept
his situation to himself, and went about with a haggard countenance,
and a breaking heart. His life was but a protracted agony; and what
rendered it more insupportable was the necessity of keeping up a smile
in the presence of his wife; for he could not bring himself to
overwhelm her with the news. She saw, however, with the quick eyes
of affection, that all was not well with him. She marked his altered
looks and stifled sighs, and was not to be deceived by his sickly
and vapid attempts at cheerfulness. She tasked all her sprightly
powers and tender blandishments to win him back to happiness; but
she only drove the arrow deeper into his soul. The more he saw cause
to love her, the more torturing was the thought that he was soon to
make her wretched. A little while, thought he, and the smile will
vanish from that cheek- the song will die away from those lips- the
lustre of those eyes will be quenched with sorrow; and the happy
heart, which now beats lightly in that bosom, will be weighed down
like mine, by the cares and miseries of the world.

  At length he came to me one day, and related his whole situation
in a tone of the deepest despair. When I heard him through I inquired,
"Does your wife know all this?"- At the question he burst into an
agony of tears. "For God's sake!" cried he, "if you have any pity on
me, don't mention my wife; it is the thought of her that drives me
almost to madness!"

  "And why not?" said I. "She must know it sooner or later: you cannot
keep it long from her, and the intelligence may break upon her in a
more startling manner, than if imparted by yourself; for the accents
of those we love soften the harshest tidings. Besides, you are
depriving yourself of the comforts of her sympathy; and not merely
that, but also endangering the only bond that can keep hearts
together- an unreserved community of thought and feeling. She will
soon perceive that something is secretly preying upon your mind; and
true love will not brook reserve; it feels undervalued and outraged,
when even the sorrows of those it loves are concealed from it."

  "Oh, but, my friend! to think what a blow I am to give to all her
future prospects- how I am to strike her very soul to the earth, by
telling her that her husband is a beggar! that she is to forego all
the elegancies of life- all the pleasures of society- to shrink with
me into indigence and obscurity! To tell her that I have dragged her
down from the sphere in which she might have continued to move in
constant brightness- the light of every eye- the admiration of every
heart!- How can she bear poverty? she has been brought up in all the
refinements of opulence. How can she bear neglect? she has been the
idol of society. Oh! it will break her heart- it will break her

  I saw his grief was eloquent, and I let it have its flow; for sorrow
relieves itself by words. When his paroxysm had subsided, and he had
relapsed into moody silence, I resumed the subject gently, and urged
him to break his situation at once to his wife. He shook his head
mournfully, but positively.

  "But how are you to keep it from her? It is necessary she should
know it, that you may take the steps proper to the alteration of
your circumstances. You must change your style of living- nay,"
observing a pang to pass across his countenance, "don't let that
afflict you. I am sure you have never placed your happiness in outward
show- you have yet friends, warm friends, who will not think the worse
of you for being less splendidly lodged: and surely it does not
require a palace to be happy with Mary-"

  "I could be happy with her," cried he, convulsively, "in a hovel!- I
could go down with her into poverty and the dust!- I could- I could-
God bless her!- God bless her!" cried he, bursting into a transport of
grief and tenderness.

  "And believe me, my friend," said I, stepping up, and grasping him
warmly by the hand, "believe me she can be the same with you. Ay,
more: it will be a source of pride and triumph to her- it will call
forth all the latent energies and fervent sympathies of her nature;
for she will rejoice to prove that she loves you for yourself. There
is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies
dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and
beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. No man knows what
the wife of his bosom is- no man knows what a ministering angel she
is- until he has gone with her through the fiery trials of this

  There was something in the earnestness of my manner, and the
figurative style of my language, that caught the excited imagination
of Leslie. I knew the auditor I had to deal with; and following up the
impression I had made, I finished by persuading him to go home and
unburden his sad heart to his wife.

  I must confess, notwithstanding all I had said, I felt some little
solicitude for the result. Who can calculate on the fortitude of one
whose life has been a round of pleasures? Her gay spirits might revolt
at the dark downward path of low humility suddenly pointed out
before her, and might cling to the sunny regions in which they had
hitherto revelled. Besides, ruin in fashionable life is accompanied by
so many galling mortifications, to which in other ranks it is a
stranger.- In short, I could not meet Leslie the next morning
without trepidation. He had made the disclosure.

  "And how did she bear it?"

  "Like an angel! It seemed rather to be a relief to her mind, for she
threw her arms round my neck, and asked if this was all that had
lately made me unhappy.- But, poor girl," added he, "she cannot
realize the change we must undergo. She has no idea of poverty but
in the abstract; she has only read of it in poetry, where it is allied
to love. She feels as yet no privation; she suffers no loss of
accustomed conveniences nor elegancies. When we come practically to
experience its sordid cares, its paltry wants, its petty humiliations-
then will be the real trial."

  "But," said I, "now that you have got over the severest task, that
of breaking it to her, the sooner you let the world into the secret
the better. The disclosure may be mortifying; but then it is a
single misery, and soon over: whereas you otherwise suffer it, in
anticipation, every hour in the day. It is not poverty so much as
pretence, that harasses a ruined man- the struggle between a proud
mind and an empty purse- the keeping up a hollow show that must soon
come to an end. Have the courage to appear poor and you disarm poverty
of its sharpest sting." On this point I found Leslie perfectly
prepared. He had no false pride himself, and as to his wife, she was
only anxious to conform to their altered fortunes.

  Some days afterwards he called upon me in the evening. He had
disposed of his dwelling house, and taken a small cottage in the
country, a few miles from town. He had been busied all day in
sending out furniture. The new establishment required few articles,
and those of the simplest kind. All the splendid furniture of his late
residence had been sold, excepting his wife's harp. That, he said, was
too closely associated with the idea of herself; it belonged to the
little story of their loves; for some of the sweetest moments of their
courtship were those when he had leaned over that instrument, and
listened to the melting tones of her voice. I could not but smile at
this instance of romantic gallantry in a doting husband.

  He was now going out to the cottage, where his wife had been all day
superintending its arrangement. My feelings had become strongly
interested in the progress of this family story, and, as it was a fine
evening, I offered to accompany him.

  He was wearied with the fatigues of the day, and, as he walked
out, fell into a fit of gloomy musing.

  "Poor Mary!" at length broke, with a heavy sigh, from his lips.

  "And what of her?" asked I: "has anything happened to her?"

  "What," said he, darting an impatient glance, "is it nothing to be
reduced to this paltry situation- to be caged in a miserable
cottage- to be obliged to toil almost in the menial concerns of her
wretched habitation?"

  "Has she then repined at the change?"

  "Repined! she has been nothing but sweetness and good humor. Indeed,
she seems in better spirits than I have ever known her; she has been
to me all love, and tenderness, and comfort!"

  "Admirable girl!" exclaimed I. "You call yourself poor, my friend;
you never were so rich- you never knew the boundless treasures of
excellence you possess in that woman."

  "Oh! but, my friend, if this first meeting at the cottage were over,
I think I could then be comfortable. But this is her first day of real
experience; she has been introduced into a humble dwelling- she has
been employed all day in arranging its miserable equipments- she
has, for the first time, known the fatigues of domestic employment-
she has, for the first time, looked round her on a home destitute of
every thing elegant,- almost of every thing convenient; and may now be
sitting down, exhausted and spiritless, brooding over a prospect of
future poverty."

  There was a degree of probability in this picture that I could not
gainsay, so we walked on in silence.

  After turning from the main road up a narrow lane, so thickly shaded
with forest trees as to give it a complete air of seclusion, we came
in sight of the cottage. It was humble enough in its appearance for
the most pastoral poet; and yet it had a pleasing rural look. A wild
vine had overrun one end with a profusion of foliage; a few trees
threw their branches gracefully over it; and I observed several pots
of flowers tastefully disposed about the door, and on the grass-plot
in front. A small wicket gate opened upon a footpath that wound
through some shrubbery to the door. Just as we approached, we heard
the sound of music- Leslie grasped my arm; we paused and listened.
It was Mary's voice singing, in a style of the most touching
simplicity, a little air of which her husband was peculiarly fond.

  I felt Leslie's hand tremble on my arm. He stepped forward to hear
more distinctly. His step made a noise on the gravel walk. A bright
beautiful face glanced out at the window and vanished- a light
footstep was heard and Mary came tripping forth to meet us: she was in
a pretty rural dress of white; a few wild flowers were twisted in
her fine hair; a fresh bloom was on her cheek; her whole countenance
beamed with smiles- I had never seen her look so lovely.

  "My dear George," cried she, "I am so glad you are come! I have been
watching and watching for you; and running down the lane, and
looking out for you. I've set out a table under a beautiful tree
behind the cottage; and I've been gathering some of the most delicious
strawberries, for I know you are fond of them- and we have such
excellent cream- and every thing is so sweet and still here- Oh!" said
she, putting her arm within his, and looking up brightly in his
face, "Oh, we shall be so happy!"

  Poor Leslie was overcome. He caught her to his bosom- he folded
his arms round her- he kissed her again and again- he could not speak,
but the tears gushed into his eyes; and he has often assured me,
that though the world has since gone prosperously with him, and his
life has, indeed, been a happy one, yet never has he experienced a
moment of more exquisite felicity."

                        THE END


Thank you for reading! 

Be sure to visit our book page to find some inspiration for homemaking!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Inspiration for Writers

View of Massachusetts bay on a summer visit by Mrs. White

I came across a few blogs that have some inspiring words for writers. I will share them today. Then as I find more that inspire me, I will add them to this post.  Here they are:

1. Brenda, from "It's a Beautiful Life" shares some great thoughts on writing thoughtful blog comments. This is important because, sometimes, we want to share an encouraging word but we may not have time, or we may not know where to begin.  Her thoughts on this are excellent.

It is called, "Yes, Your Blog Comments Matter."

2.  Susan Branch, the illustrator, has shared a post about her visit to Jane Austen's Home in England.  It is full of pictures of Austen's home, the gift shop, and is just lovely! Her description, as she visits the museum, is also inspiring.

It is called, "Jane Austen."

I will add more as I come across them. Be sure to check back for updates.


Thank you for reading! 

Be sure to visit our book page to find some inspiration for homemaking!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Dear Christmas Mothers Book Giveaway

Dear Christmas Mothers by Mrs. Connie Hultquist

We are giving away copies of Mrs. Connie Hultquist's book, Dear Christmas Mothers.  To find the main post for entry, please visit:

An Old Time Christmas Book Giveaway at Mrs. White's Blog, The Legacy of Home.

You will find four other bloggers linked there.  This will give you more chances to win a copy of the book.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Blogger Christmas Promotion

We are setting up a Christmas promotion and are looking for help from active bloggers.

Would you like to be a part of our team?

Read all about it on our information page:

"Dear Christmas Mothers Giveaway Team"

Edited update: This promotion is now closed.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Our Newest Title

Yesterday, we were delighted to release our newest title, "Dear Kitchen Saints:  Letters from an Iowa Housewife."  This was written by Connie Hultquist, whose incredible marriage testimony was published in Above Rubies Magazine.

We know this book will be a blessing to many wives and mothers.