|The copy I read has a different cover|
However, there were a couple new (to me) books I read during this time. I think I mentioned Henrietta's House by Elizabeth Goudge, which my dear fellow book-loving friend Kristi sent me (she was instrumental in my coming to love D. E. Stevenson books and encouraging my admiration of Goudge).
It is "kind of" a sequel to my beloved A City of Bells. The story of Henrietta, her friends and family, and eventually her house in the woods is one of those fantasy adventures that leaves one thinking that it could be real. At least to those of us who talk to our cats and look for fairies behind flower bushes. :)
It is a lovely story... less than a novel but more than a novella... that leaves you feeling good about the world and people and dreams. You may have to obtain it through inter-library loan but do try!
While Henrietta's House was a quick read, the other book I have had on my living room table has taken me longer to peruse... only because I want to hold onto what I'm reading on each page. It is called Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring by Andi Ashworth. What can I say about a book which quotes Edith Schaeffer and Elizabeth Goudge in the first couple of chapters?
Andi Ashworth is the wife of musician Charlie Peacock. In this book, she gives the testimony of how she and her husband came to follow Christ from what I would call a "hippy" lifestyle. The book is excellent just in the telling of that journey in the first chapter.
However, the reason I love this so much is the actual thesis of the book... how all aspects of caring for people is important in the work of the Gospel. The author reminds us that the ministry of caring is not only essential to the Church but to family and friends... even though in today's society it is not as respected as it once was.
Caring ranges from taking care of our family to showing love by offering hospitality to friends and strangers to helping the poorest among us. She reminds us that by serving others, we serve God.
Once of the reasons I also love this book is it reminds me of my own journey after hearing over and over the teaching of the feminists of my youth and then coming to realize that my enjoyment of taking care of people is worthwhile and God given.
Here is a quote from a section called A God of Beauty:
"Caring often means bringing beautiful things into people's lives-- cutting flowers for them, cleaning their house, taking them to see the ocean. Our desire for beauty is a reflection of a God who loves the beautiful.
God has set us down in a crazy, amazing world full of breathtaking sights and sounds and scents and textures, most of which seem to exist only for his pleasure and ours. When beauty is offered as a gift of love, what is seen or heard or tasted goes past the surface and into the heart.
But with such a high value placed on speed and getting things done in the quickest way possible, the creation of beauty is not "practical" to our culture today..."
You can see why I would enjoy reading this book! The author was mentored through books (and tapes) by Edith Schaeffer and other L'Abri people... just as I was.
I've also been perusing some inspiring magazines, such as the latest issue of Where Women Cook. I haven't seen an issue since the first once came out as the only store that carries it is Barnes & Noble in the next town over. It was a gift to myself with Christmas money. I truly enjoy reading it!
I am going to re-read The Dean's Watch next and then some books to enrich the spirit.
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