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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

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While picking berries, we found this red mushroom.  I have no idea what kind of mushroom it is, but it reminded me to take time to find the hidden beauties in everyday life.  

It also reminded me of all the stories I have hear of the power of mushrooms to change things, like the little cap ones, that break through sidewalks and crack foundations.  Something so seemingly frail, and yet…  there is power.  It reminds me of prayer.  There is a true power in prayer, despite the fact that you can’t see it or feel it.

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To

AMERICAN MOTHERS,

on

WHOSE INTELLIGENCE AND DISCRETION

the

Safety and Prosperity

of our

REPUBLIC SO MUCH DEPEND,

This Volume

is

Respectfully Inscribed.

 

This little volume was given to me one summer, by my cousin, when she worked at the Moose Historical Center.  She gave it to me, knowing my love of old books.  However, apart from its historical value, I have found it to be a true treasure. 

The author, Mrs. Child, writes for a middle class audience, assuming the reader have a domestic or two, and a home to keep her busy, plus the care of her children.  She discusses everything from the mother’s attitude, domestic violence, the child’s attitude, discipline for different ages, entertainment and education.  She gives extra advice, concerning the education of daughters; books, including a book list, and ‘views of matrimony;’ but instead of rambling on, I will let the book speak for itself:

“Few people think the management of very young babes has anything to do with their future dispositions and characters; yet I believe it has more influence than can easily be calculated.  One writer on education even ventures to say that the heaviness of the Dutch and Vivacity of the French are owing to the different manner in which infants are treated in those two countries.

The Dutch keep their children in a state of repose, always rocking, or jogging them; the French are perpetually tossing them about, and showing them lively tricks.  I think a medium between these two extremes would be the most favorable to a child;s health and faculties.” (opening paragraph, p. 1)

“It is important that children, even when babes, should never be spectators of anger, or evil passion.  They come to us from heaven, with their little souls full of innocence and peace; and, as far as possible, a mother’s influence should not interfere with the influence of angels.

The first and most important thing, in order to effect this is, that the mother keep her own spirit in tranquillity and purity; for it is beyond all doubt that the state of a mother affects her child…

Effects on the bodily constitution will be more readily believed than effects on the mind, because the most thoughtless can see the one, and they cannot see the other.  Children have died in convulsions, in consequence of nursing a mother, while under the influence of violent passion or emotion; and who can tell how much of moral evil may be traced to the states of mind indulged by a mother, while tending the precious little being, who receives everything from her?

Therefore the first rule, and the most important of all, in education, is, that a mother govern her own feelings, and keep her heart and conscience pure.

The next most important thing appears to me to be, that a mother, as far as other duties will permit, take the entire care of her own child…

Do you say it is impossible always to govern one’s feelings?  There is one method, a never-failing one–prayer.  I consoles and strengthens the wounded heart, and tranquilizes the most stormy passions.  You will say, perhaps, that you have not leisure to pray every time your temper is provoked, or your heart is grieved.–It requires no time–the inward ejaculation of ‘Lord, help me to overcome this temptation,’ may be made in any place and amid any employments; and if uttered in humble sincerity, the voice that said to the raging waters, ‘Peace!  Be still!’ will restore quiet to your troubled soul.”  (portions of p. 3-5)

For inquiring minds:

  • This book The Mother’s Book, by Mrs. Child can be found for sale here.
  • The quilt was hand stitched by my Great Aunt Betty, using scraps my Grandmother had left over from years of making her own and her children’s clothing.

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knitting

While finishing my son’s second sock, I began this little sweater. 

I had picked up the pattern this spring, but could never find the right yarn; it is not sold anywhere in this state, or the neighboring one.  (I had checked the companies on-line directory, and called every shop within 100 miles, just to double-check.) Finally, I when to a local shop that carries luxury yarns, for help.  They looked, and I looked, for something that would work; then we compared notes, and decided that this alpaca was the best bet.  Funny, it came in the same colour as the cover photo…which just happened to be the colour I wanted.

Working up my swatches, to check gage and tension, I realized that this project was hopeless.  No matter how I knit, it was not going to match the instructions.  I began rewriting them, to suit my knitting, but not knowing how the pattern really went together, I was unsure of how to proceed.  Where to make changes?  So finally I prayed.  (Why does it take me soooo long to act on the simplest things?  Hey now, be nice.  No one answer that.)  I simply asked God, creator of heaven and earth, alpaca and human creativity, for help.  Immediately, I felt his answer.  “Just knit it.”  So I began, casting on for the size I wanted to make, and hoping praying for the best.

When the first section was done, I measured it, and *Hurray!* it had turned our just right.  No better than just right.  It was perfect.  The measurements were exactly the same as the diagram.

This little sweater is teaching me so much, or, should I say, God is teaching me so much through the knitting of this sweater?  Yes, that is it.  God is teaching me.  He is teaching me orderliness, and forethought.  He is teaching me rhythm.  He is teaching me care.  He is teaching me to set my mind, and not to be swayed by every passing emotion.

I have been rising early in the morning, before the children are awake, to knit, and contemplate the day. To bring all of my plans before God, in prayer.  He is steadily guiding me, just as He did, to begin this project.  He has been speaking to me about where to start, where to continue, and where to make changes in my life.

Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to matter much, how we go about life; like the socks I just completed, in which, my stitches were consistent and even, regardless of how I knit:  If I was in a hurry, and held the yarn tight, it looked the same as when I was relaxed, and laughing with the kids.  With other things tho, it is obvious, that only a certain way will bring the right results.  As with this yarn; it matters how I knit.  Every stitch must be taken with care.

As I knitted this morning, I was reminded of a book I read once, a how-to guide for the weaving of Navajo Rugs.  In the book, the author spoke of the importance rug weaving had in the Navajo woman’s life, and how her rugs where a reflection of not only her life, but also her thoughts.  She told of the importance of keeping the loom area clean, and hence the whole house, because any hair or grass would be woven in.  Likewise, the mind and heart needed to be kept clean and whole.  This easily could apply to so many areas of life… but… for now, I am going to focus on the slow, easy rhythms of life that chain one stitch to the next.  The changing seasons, and the work to be done.  The growing children, and their inquisitive minds.  The joy of every day…

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