It is rare, dear friends, that I have time to sit and read a book for my own leisure these days. With trying to manage homeschool, the household and my own education, I have sadly neglected the little (well -- large!) "To Be Read" pile in various places about the house, concentrating solely on things that I need to read to get through lessons, plan lessons or finish my own homework. That is not to say that I'm not reading other practical books -- such as gardening, as I am not well versed in that subject. But reading solely for the pleasure of reading is a past-time I've had to set aside in this particular busy season. It has saddened me, as I've not often had long spells of time without some sort of book to look forward to. However, I felt myself coming down with a slight cold, which usually accompanies that womanly cycle every month. This month it was extremely difficult, having my darling Mati so fresh in my thoughts. And so when I realized that I was actually getting a more developed cold than usual, I went immediately to the library to borrow two books that I've anticipated reading for a while now, as there has been no extra money for book purchases in the last few months.
The first book was titled "The Centurion's Wife" and is a collaborated effort by Janette Oke, who has written scores of lovely Christian fiction books, and Davis Bunn, an author with whom I was not familiar -- but whose works I will be looking up the next time I take a trip to the library. This was a lovely story set in the days between Jesus' Resurrection and the first Pentecost. The two main characters, centurion Alban and his betrothed, Leah, are each searching for the truth about what happened after the crucifixion -- Had Jesus been dead when He was laid in the tomb? What really happened to His body? Their search leads them both toward the same wonderful conclusion -- Jesus is alive! This book is the first in a series and I anxiously await the second book.
The other book I read is one of the loveliest autobiographies I've had the honor to devour - as I completed the book in a day. Written by Maria Augusta Trapp herself, "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers" paints the most wonderful picture of a family who walked out their faith daily through the joys and sorrows of life. I felt as though I were Mrs. Trapp's confidante as I read through the pages of this heartwarming and somewhat familiar story. The beauty of the family mottoes, which seemed to be "God's Will Be Done" and "God's Will has no why", is thoughtfully told. I enjoyed the picture of this Catholic family's faith put into practice, walking out not only their trust in Him but also their service toward others. It serves as a good example to Christians of all denominations -- we all need to embrace His ways even more closely than we have and aspire to show His love to others in ways that we may have shied from previously because of embarassment, fear or apathy. This book has inspired me to find more ways to teach and inspire my own children to follow God with all their hearts and to show God's love to others in practical and simple ways. I especially enjoyed the close of the book, where Mrs. Trapp includes a quote from one of my favorite stories, Henry Van Dyke's "The Other Wise Man", which you may recall our family read aloud this past Christmas day.
These stories have touched me lately like no others and I am thankful that I took ill enough to slow the normal busy pace of my family and take a moment to return to the joy of reading. These books were edifying and made me aspire to walk even closer with my Lord. I hope you will take the time to read these, or other books, that inspire you as well!