Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 13 & 14

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Continuing our reading…

Anne’s enthusiasm for life is so contagious. I love how excited she is about ice cream, picnics, and every little thing. Something to keep in mind as we go through our days, plodding along. There is so much around us to be grateful for no matter how hard our circumstances might be. I love the names Idewild and Willowmere. I’ve stolen the first for my deck’s name with its tangle of morning glories. I’m sure I will think of something to use Willowmere for…Anne uses it in reference to a pool, but hmmm….

I agree that this is one of the best gifts from children, imagine having never had the pleasure, poor Marilla!

Getting through with her “ohs’ Anne cast herself into Marilla’s arms and rapturously kissed her sallow cheek. It was the first time in her whole life that childish lips had voluntarily touched Marilla’s face. Again that sudden sensation of starling sweetness thrilled her. She was secretly vastly pleased at Anne’s impulsive caress,… p. 91

And this:

“You set your heart too much on things, Anne,” said Marilla with a sigh. “I’m afraid there’ll be a great many disappointments in store for you through life.”

“Oh, Marilla, looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them,’ exclaimed Anne. “You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them. Mrs. Lynde says, ‘Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disppointed.’ But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappinted.” p. 94

The debacle with Marilla’s broach is so sad and humorous at the same time.

Such a lovely couple of chapters!

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Amy Carmichael

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“TEACH ME TO DO THY WILL”

Psalm 143:10

NEARLY 400 years ago Vaughan wrote:

“I would I were some bird or star

Fluttering in woods or lifted far

Above this inn

And road of sin.

Then either star or bird should be

Shining or singing still to Thee.”

But he had to live the common life in a difficult world, and so have we. I have often noticed that just when we feel most like saying, “I would I were”, our God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, meets us with some plain command which pulls us up sharply, and makes us face this eternal truth: We are not here to wish to be somewhere or something we are not, but to do the thing that pleases Him exactly where we are, and as we are.

So out “I would I were” becomes Cause me to hear…; cause me to know…; teach me to do Thy will. And should the heart within us fear as we face that way again, instantly the blessed word revives us, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee”. “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

Psalm 143:10. Isa. 41:10. Phil. 2.13.

Thou Givest, They Gather

Amy Carmichael

p. 87

bold emphasis mine

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Monday Ponderings {January 2nd}

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Reminding myself…

Events moved rapidly in the Mason household, as they always do when the children reach womanhood and manhood. It is the young themselves who welcome the changes. Only the parents reach out impotent hands that would fain hold the little ones back from their journeying. One day all seems shouting and confusion and hurrying of little feet to and fro. Almost the next there is silence and peace – a silence that is stifling, a peace that is painful. It is an age-old tragedy – the Passing of the Children. 

Mother Mason, Bess Streeter Aldrich, 247

Anne of Green Gables: Chapter 4

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Continuing our reading…

Anne awakes to a mixture of “delightful thrill” and “horrible remembrance” because she is NOT to stay at Green Gables because she is NOT a boy. pg 30

Montgomery’s shines here…

“Below the garden a green field lush with clover sloped down to the hollow where the brook ran and scores of white birches grew, upspringing airily out of an undergrowth suggestive of delightful possibilities in ferns and mosses and woodsy things generally. Beyond it was a hill, green and feathery with spruce and fir; there was a gap in it where the gray gable end of the little house she had seen from the other side of the Lake of Shining Waters was visible.” pg 31

“Anne’s beauty-loving eyes lingered on it all, taking everything greedily in; she had looked on so many unlovely places in her life, poor child; but this was as lovely as anything she had ever dreamed.” pg 31

I love this thought. How our souls, in their own way, need feeding. They can be starved in a sense. Something as simple as a flower in a vase or a beautiful sunset can feed that inner need. I believe that in some small way beauty points us unconsciously to our Lord Jesus.

The anthropomorphism of nature is so charming and contributes to a sense of delight and mystery. Brooks laughing and trees dancing…Montgomery is so good at drawing us into the feeling of nature.

Anne’s optimism is just so refreshing and contagious!

“Isn’t it a splendid thing that there are mornings?” pg 32

“But I’m glad it’s not rainy today because it’s easier to be cheerful and bear up under affliction on a sunshiny day. I feel that I have a good deal to bear up under. It’s all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically, but it’s not so nice when you really come to have them, is it?”  pg 33

I love that…”bear up under affliction”! 🙂 Again, I love how reading has helped her put things into perspective here. Her life hasn’t been easy, but reading heroic deeds has helped her cope in some ways, and given her courage.

Poor Marilla is confused and befuddled by Anne.

“…she had an uncomfortable feeling that while this odd child’s body might be there at the table her spirit was far away in some remote airy cloudland, borne aloft on the wings of imagination. Who would want such a child about the place?” pg 33

Anne on wanting to go outdoors and explore…

“If I can’t stay here there is no use in my loving Green Gables. And if I go out there and get acquainted with all those trees and flowers and the orchard and the brook, I’ll not be able to help loving it. It’s hard enough now, so I won’t make it any harder. I want to go out so much – everything seems to be calling to me, ‘Anne, Anne, come out to us. Anne, Anne we want a playmate’- but it’s better not. There is no use in loving things if you have to be torn from them, is there? and it’s so hard to keep from loving things, isn’t it? That was why I was so glad when I thought I was going to live here. I thought I’d have so many things to love and nothing to hinder me. But that brief dream  is over. I am resigned to my fate now, so I don’t think I’ll go out for fear I’ll get unresigned again.” pg 34

A cynical look at this might believe Anne is slightly manipulative, but knowing how Montgomery portrayed her character, I believe her to be totally sincere. I know she is impulsive and rash, yet her outbursts of emotion and love for beauty feel genuine to me. I really think that in some ways, her stark life made her all the more aware of and appreciative of beauty in its simplest forms. It makes me wonder that in my comfortable lifestyle and lavish American outlook, how many simple things of beauty I miss because I’m not purposefully looking for beauty or have too much STUFF or I’m just ungrateful in a small way. I also hope that I can keep wonder alive for myself and my children, where we want to be “acquainted” with nature and appreciate it. I feel this ties a little bit into media use. Too much media dulls our appreciation of nature, because who can complete with its drug-like effects? Anyway, 😉 I’m going off on a tangent here as I think on Anne’s comments in this chapter.

What stood out to you? 🙂

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