…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. … And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4: 8 -9
What is my only comfort in life and in death? That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.
~ T.S. Eliot
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To live is so startling, it leaves little room for other occupations.
I believe in God as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
~ C. S. Lewis
Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people withdraw from God.
Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.
~ Mary Oliver
The seed is in the ground. Now may we rest in hope while darkness does its work.
~ Wendell Berry
Nothing will sustain you more potently than the power to recognize in your humdrum routine the true poetry of life.~ Sir William Osler
But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts, and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
~George Eliot’s final sentence in Middlemarch
If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
~ E.B. White
Geese appear high over us, pass, and the sky closes. Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds them to their way, clear, in the ancient faith: what we need is here. And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye clear. What we need is here.~~ “The Wild Geese” Wendell Berry
Let it come, as it will, and don’t be afraid. God does not leave us comfortless, so let evening come.
~ Jane Kenyon from “Let Evening Come”
You can only come to the morning through the shadows.~ J.R.R. Tolkien
If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for. ~ Thomas Merton
This life therefore is not righteousness,
but growth in righteousness,
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not yet
what we shall be,
but we are growing toward it.
The process is not finished
but it is going on.
This is not the end
but it is the road.
Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.
~ Mary Oliver
It is not your love that sustains the marriage —
but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
She has done what she could…
What do you mean? Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good on this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?~ J. R. R. Tolkien from The Hobbit
5 thoughts on “Through the Knothole”
Our dining room table is the first piece of furniture that my grandparents bought 2nd hand when they first married in 1927. I love the idea of eating on the same table where my grandparents ate dinner as newlyweds, where my grandmother rolled her pie crusts, where my mother sat eating a biscuit when she came home from school, where farmhands ate their noonday meal at harvest time, where as a child my family ate dinner every night, and now where our children & grandchildren gather, our elbows resting in the same spots where so many others long gone rested theirs. Old things handed down have a personal history, a patina of shared experience that goes beyond mere function.
Thank you for your beautiful reflections.
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Same here, Gale.
I love wood. My favorite hobby is to work on a piece of aged
furniture that I find occasionally at Salvation Army and other
thrift shops. It, too, has its cherished memories and needs to be
restored and returned to a second (or) third life.
Once cleaned, lightly sanded a little,
and an appropriate stain applied (if necessary), finished, ready for its 2nd or 3rd
new life, by adding a
clear coat to protect from future dings and stains. Care and future use
will bring a new patina – a second life to treasure for another future
Wood’s various grains, knotholes, and even scent, tell a story.
That, alone, is one of the things that plastic can never do…..
And we must not forget the love, forgiveness, and salvation selflessly given
to us by our innocent Savior’s ‘gift of Eternal Life with Him millennia ago by way
of the bloody, pain-filled Cross..
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You suggest, dear Emily, that your words will never be ‘famous.’ Not so!
Perhaps they may not appear in impressive bound anthologies or be
spoken from noted speakers’ platforms – or be lauded in the way that the ‘world’ measures its criteria for
‘famous.’ But the Lord for whom you speak and spread His message as we all are
instructed to do, will recognize what is ‘famous’ and to whose
consistent efforts apply as they reach out to ‘share His Good News that He spent His entire
brief earthly existence doing in response to the will of His Loving Father.
Your ‘words’ appearing every day on a printed page and sent into cyberspace are your ‘weapons,’ (as well as your ‘warnings’) to give us hope and steadiness as they remind and encourage us through His Word that serves to shield us from a God-less world that seems to go berserk, erupting in hatred, disobedience, and madness much too often..
As just one of your thousands of blog subscribers I am grateful and blessed that you continue in your devoted discipleship.
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Ah, sweet Alice! I’m as famous as I ever need to be when you say such things!
You definitely share wonderful fruit from your desk, Emily. God bless you.
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