Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Being Real

I was making a keepsake book week before last, which took me on a quest for quotes to put in it. I found all kinds of neat sayings and quotes in various places in my house and ran across the following excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit, which you probably know is a beloved children's classic. I found this on a page of various quotations about marriage, believe it or not, and when I think about it, it does apply. But then I believe that it would also apply to parenthood and friendship. See what you think. This was a conversation which took place in the nursery between Rabbit and Skin Horse. You may know that Skin Horse was the oldest resident in the nursery and his age and experience had made him very wise. I once heard a pastor read this same excerpt during a sermon to mothers, and when he finished, my eyes were dripping with tears. The pastor himself was choking back tears as he read it to the moms in his congregation.

"What is Real? asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day.

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
-The Velveteen Rabbit by Marjorie Williams

Please read this precious little story to your children and grandchildren. And remember: be real.

17 comments:

Jodi said...

Maxine ~ I just love this post. I linked to your post ... it just ties in perfectly with what I posted today.

The Velveteen Rabbit *always* makes me cry. I agree, it is a precious story.

Maxine said...

I know, Jodi. And now that I've gotten older, it hits me all the more. I'll come to your blog later today. I don't allow myself the special "treat" of visiting others until I get my goals for the day accomplished. :-)

Kathy at Sumballo said...

I love this book. Thanks for the reminder to read it again. We get so fixated on the shell when what's important is deep inside. Hopefully we're on our way to becoming Real!

Beka said...

I just realized today that it's been way too long since I've visited you over here! I see I've missed some wonderful posts. But this one especially touched my heart today. I haven't read The Velveteen Rabbit in years, and now I know I need to find myself a copy! Anyway, this passage you shared is really something! Something to think about and mull over.
Hope you have a good day.

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

"Does it hurt?" Classic. Aren't children's stories wonderful? I can't wait to get back to writing them myself. All in God's timing. Thank you for the reminder, dear Maxine, to be real, even if it hurts sometimes.

Mimi said...

Maxine,
I loved the story of the Velveteen Rabbit...and such a great reminder for us all to be real and we will be loved for ourselves because we ARE real...your post and Jodi's tied in beautifully today... they say great minds run in the same channels...

Beverly said...

I love this story -- always makes me cry too. I remember how "real" some of the things I had were, and how "real" Lena's favorites are getting. I hope to be as REAL as I can be!

Cami said...

Oh, yes, I've read this before...but it ministered to me fresh just now. "...once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Rita L. Betti said...

I love this. It's such a reminder that we are loved by God into being real, not beaten! Praise the Lord.

Sylvia said...

Hi Maxine

Came across your blog "by chance" in the UK (I was looking at your comment on someone else's blog) Really appreciated the quote from the Velveteen Rabbit - second quote I have seen recently so think I must get a copy.
I'm a Christian wife, mum and granny living in Stratford on Avon, UK and just wanted to hi and thanks.

Sylvia

Maxine said...

And all you moms, remember what it means to be loved so much that it sometimes hurts. Sometimes we can't be picture perfect because our children's needs are more important than our own. There are a lot of sacrifices required for being Real, aren't there?

And the same applies to being a good wife too!

Nice meeting you Sylvia. Hope you come back to visit often. I went to your profile but it was unavailable, so I can't pay you a visit!

Sylvia said...

Hi Maxine No I haven't got a blog - not really so popular in UK I don't think. Can certainly fill you in with some details so you know I am genuinely interested in what you say! Been amazed how huge the blogging "family" is in U.S. Good to read yours anyway.

Sylvia

Maxine said...

Yes, we do have a huge blogging family here. Come visit when you can and feel free to email if you ever what to chat. My email is on my profile. Blessings and thanks for coming, Sylvia!

Mishel said...

I remember my second grade teacher reading this story to our class--and it was one of my husband's favorite stories as well. In fact, his copy of the book (which we have) is the same one as the picture you posted. : )

sparrow's song said...

I love that story!!

you shared from the book,
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

What a tender message of real love. Only an understanding heart could know.

...your hair has been loved off...

I've proclaim I'm going to kiss the fur right off'n my dog's face because I kiss her cheek so often. She's such a snuggle puppy and I bless God for her super affectionate nature. Some might consider it yuck to kiss your dog except to people who understand. She's not just a dog or a pet. She's a member of our family pack. She's our baby and she knows it.

Vicki said...

I have my very own copy of The Velveteen Rabbit, for all the reasons you shared here:-) Such a beautiful story, rich with meaning.

Blessings,
Vicki (who feels a little loose in the joints & sorta shabby today:-)

love you, Maxine!

Diane @ A Watered Garden said...

What a neat excerpt from the Velveteen Rabbit. Thanks for this post-Fun read!