If you’ve been following, you know we’ve been doing the book Stepping Heavenward -and we left off with them saying they were going to make a new start, so let’s see how that’s gone – and things did seem to be going well – until the butter incident – now, remember sister Martha has been allowed to assume the household responsibilities – we won’t get into what Katy’s then been doing, but let it suffice that that’s been okay, until now – so can guess where this is going – sister Martha’s way is always better, meaning things where she came from are always better, so you know this was in the days before the supermarkets, although things seem to be turning a circle of ordering from the people you know, which is what she did – she ordered the butter from “her own village” but we all know products, and butter would be one in particular, since it’s something that’s made so it’s quality depends on the skill and knowledge of the maker, besides the quality of what it’s made from, so….Katy could? not eat it and furthermore was ashamed – before who? for she was the only one who’d never had it – to have it on her table and said as much, which you know how sister Martha reacted – of the very first quality, which we’d expect Father to agree, but husband/brother? here we go again, oh, no, Katy’s just hard to please – hm, well….so, finally? husband/brother Ernest deigns to say this was a failed batch – really? did he really believe that? or finally just decide to try to smooth Katy’s feathers? would it work at this point? or too little too late? Was the butter rancid? and did it matter? as her mother, who did have occasion to show up, told her
“don’t make yourself miserable about ‘such a trifle'”, a lesson for us all – but, still….now, silly me, how did I miss all mother’s admonitions about Katy’s health and not getting up on ladders and chairs, which I could see later, but “sewing too much”, hm…and then the hot weather making her so languid – I can see that anyway – but to go back, she finally begins to get a glimpse that she’s not really going to be able to get along with Father and sister on her own, wondering why she hadn’t realized it before, especially in light of a letter her pastor?! can you imagine? of course, in response to a request for directions – now who does that anymore either? now, having said all that, this letter she’d gotten some few years before, actually after a year in which – some things never change, or maybe they do a whole lot, but you still hear this being decried against, in some circles, anyway – she’d resolved not to read a novel for a year, since she was sitting up late reading them – sound familiar? so much so that even on Saturday then she’d be too sleepy to go to church the next morning – not good, but also, she began to not like any other kind of book – now, I know it always seems ironic to read of such – in a novel – but there are different kinds, but I somewhat feel I’ve spent a year of such – the book club I’m part of – irl, not the FB one – we’ve hardly read any novels and even those we have have been historical, based on real life, fiction, so still hardly felt like a novel, but I feel I’ve been stretched, so anyway she began to read devotional books, like the one we were supposed to read written by Julianne of Norwich, but it got mixed up somehow and everybody ended up reading her biography, instead, such as they could find since there wasn’t really much written about, maybe because there wasn’t much to write, since she was a cloistered nun, but, as such, she seemed to get quite a bit given to her in the way of devotional writing, which I was able to obtain a small little book just, say, pocketsize, to carry around and also as a plug here, since I wrote about Francine Rivers, she has some out as well, so he touched on that in his letter to her, advising her that, instead of trying to read the proliferation, which, contrary to the way we think now, there must have been in her time as well, it’s better to settle down on a few favorite authors and read their works over and over and over until you’ve digested, not just tasted, their thoughts and made them your own – advice I’d find still useful today, instead of some of this I see of people reading, it seems, 100s of books; I even made some such comment on one of the reading groups I’m in, saying I feel I’ve become much more selective in my reading, hence….
she began to read Taylor’s _Holy Living and Dying_, which I haven’t studied yet, because of mother’s advice, which I also find good with devotionals, not to read them straight through, like a novel? but to mingle a passage now and then with chapters from other books, as in reading them as devotions, which is how I prefer myself to do, which means you are allowed to read other books, such as novels – in moderation, as with everything? However, she also suggested beginning on Baxter’s _Saints Rest_, which, in taking her advice there, at least, if not the other, because otherwise how had she read every word and planned to read it again, as pastor advised, till fully caught its spirit, and at least at that point meant to never read “worldly” books again.
Still before get there, which will probably put at the top anyway, one thing in particular she got out of Baxter was it took away her fear of death, which, as some nonChristians don’t understand, anyway, is why, as she also says she got out of this book, making heaven wonderfully attractive, if so, they have it anyway, which, as some say, is it death or dying that’s the real fear.
So with that recommendation I did endeavor to look up that book and also see what I could find out about Baxter and this is what I found out that led to this serendipity of yet another Voyage of Discovery
His name was Richard Baxter, spending time in prison for – and in light of the upcoming Thanksgiving season, I find appropriate to be posting this at this time – his view that you have to repent and be faithful. But before that, he was a chaplain to the garrison, preaching sermons to the soldiers, during which time he also wrote another book, but before it was published he took ill and during that time is when he wrote his Saint’s Rest book
so now, for now, anyway, without getting into other serendipities, I found this oh so interesting, that even though I was going back and picking up earlier threads of Katy’s life, even as she was herself, such that this is not when the reading of her reading was, it’s happened on what “just happens” to be Mr. Richard Baxter’s birthday – yes, today, November 12