Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mother's Words

"Mother keeps saying I spend too much time in brooding over my sorrow. As for her, she seems to live in heaven. Not that she has long prosy talks about it, but little words that she lets drop now and then show where her thoughts are and where she would like to be. She seems to think everybody is as eager to go there as she is. For my part, I am not eager at all. I can't make myself feel that it will be nice to sit in rows, all the time singing, fond as I am of music. And when I say to myself, 'Of course we shall not always sit in rows singing,' then I fancy a multitude of shadowy, phantomlike beings, dressed in white, moving to and fro in golden streets, doing nothing in particular, and having a dreary time, without anything to look forward to.

"I told Mother so. She said earnestly and yet in her sweetest, tenderest way, 'Oh, my darling Katy! What you need is such a living, personal love of Christ to make the thought of being where He is so delightful as to fill your mind with the single thought!"

"What is 'personal love of Christ?'"

~Katy's entry for December 14, 1831~Stepping Heavenward, Elizabeth Prentiss

I have to tell you that Katy's mother is one of my favorite literary characters. I first read the book many years ago, but this particular entry really struck me at the time, and has been a favorite since. I wish I would respond to my daughters the way that this woman, who "seemed to live in heaven," normally did to hers. And note, these words "personal love of Christ" came back to Katy to grab her heart as she neared what was no doubt the latter part of her life, as she lay on her sick bed. I wonder what words will we speak that will be embraced by our children in their later years. I wonder will we speak words that will be with them in times of trial when we're no longer with them in the flesh.


Beverly said...

Amen! And take it from me ... you are very much like Katy's mother!!

Mishel said...

Hi Maxine! Thanks for visiting my blog a few days ago. : )

"Stepping Heavenward" is probably my all-time favorite book. Oh, how I have wished too, to be more like Katy's mother! Thanks for a lovely post and I think I may have to read the book again soon. : )

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing a special thought - and the photo is beautiful, too. This is a wonderful reminder that the words we speak to our children can change their lives. What a privilege (and a responsibility)!

Cami said...

I think of this, too. I have no idea what in particular my kids will draw out in their own minds and hearts of all I have shared with them. But I remember a Norwegian lady, an author, that I heard speak many years ago. She said that her mother's parting wisdom to her children was, "An ungrateful heart will lead to all forms of sin." I've thought of this often since, it sums it up so well.

chrisd said...

I loved that precious little book. I read it during our vacation at Cedar Lake Indiana. No tv, phone or computer.

Fantastic-can't wait to go again in a couple of weeks!

Thank you for reminding me of that little book.