Backstory Saints Rest by Richard Baxter

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


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More of the Saga

Father living on crackers and stewed prunes – maybe they’re at least doing their job.

Katy met this dear doc the year she and her mom stayed at her aunt – her mom’s sister – ‘s house while she and hub went on a prescribed European trip – wouldn’t that be if docs would do that now? fascinating person, that aunt and Katy loved to visit with her; they stayed with their children while they went on this trip, actually not really sure she’d go to visit with aunt as much as see the children; came home to tell about it all at the dinner table – oops! no laugh, no response. mustn’t run on if father’s presence – he dreads levity – look it up – you get the idea. Oh, the vials of wrath! a foot square box – no harm – be glad to have hint how to appear very best before father and sister – oh my

interesting – seem to be hearing this a lot now – very best is real self

remember she’s not even 20 and sister is 40 but “mother” liked to have her “run on” – oh dear

now let’s go back; remember he never asked if she’d like him bringing father and sister there

but now maybe the real issue comes out – that she’d intended for her mom, who seemingly (I need to check this out a little more) doesn’t have any more children, so is by herself now, to live with them, but then she hadn’t asked him about that, either, so

he just took it for granted that she would welcome his father and sister but have to hand it to him; he did ask at that point if he should send them away ………’s her chance


long story – “Speaking beautifully is little to the purpose unless one lives beautifully”

How is it possible that Christian man and woman going through all this? hm…but

“try to bear with trouble father and sister make” hm….

but then she says she doesn’t mind – and then he’s called away  – all for nought

even letter from mom, who apparently, not sure where came from, had hoped to live her life out with them, begged her to be considerate and kind to father and sister, even though so indignant, but….

is this the issue – sister’s closeted with Katy’s husband, granted, it’s her brother, but still….in his office, never giving her any idea of what’s going on….hm….then, apparently she’s also been sticking her nose in the kitchen – no cook can serve 2 mistresses, especially when one’s a scrimp – remember I believe she’d asked Katy how she was along those lines, but now get this; she goes to her husband and his answer?…..

give it up and let sister do it; she’ll be happier and you won’t have to worry your pretty little head about it, hm….but rather than pour out her wrath again – since it didn’t do any good the last time she goes and tells the cook it will be that way – hm…

but she didn’t have to stay….so she didn’t, so guess sister got what she wanted, or maybe more, or maybe not, maybe they didn’t have a cook anyway, but beyond that, it began to seem as if he just began to want to escape his little lovely wife, but turns out something way more serious, but, first, ah, this older sister has, of course, always been looked up to and yet another area she decided to take over his accounts because, of course, why should his pretty little wife’s head be troubled about money matters? hm….oh, only a thousand reasons, right? but, fine, but to not even tell her what was going on

“ought not a wife share in all her husband’s cares?” – she asked – his answer? “no” – wow, but at least, at last, at long last, he proceeds to tell her what’s going on

turns out – well, not sure what exactly happened – but formerly prosperous businessman father winds up – well, see, doesn’t seem to mean as much now  –  well, or maybe it’s just the wording – losing everything except the home – now what everything was I don’t know either – and the home is mortgaged, now is still just a mortgage taken out to buy the home? believe was rather unusual back in that day – or, so, was a “mortgage” – a HELOC, no, don’t quite think would have had those back then, even under another name, but a Home Equity loan, refinanced the house? also, remember, when were the homestead laws put in place to protect the wife? or maybe other way around maybe they were in place even more so, that you didn’t even have to sign; anyway, never told his mom, but she – at least reason given, sufficient? – was in “delicate”  health so they never let her know a trouble could spare her – so, guess throw him a bone, he grew up like that, so why having/had to sell the home – now, don’t know what all this was about or why others were having to suffer from what happened to him or he did himself, somewhat seems like, since it seems to have thrown him into a nervous breakdown, as at least we might call it now or at least not long ago. But….either big difference in required or…..her hub, dear doc, dad’s son, has assumed his debts, and she still didn’t need to be troubled – oh, that’s right, anymore than his mom was by what had gone on with his dad – even though they were going to have to live economically until paid off, all while also supporting his dad and sister – well, explains where she was coming from to cook, who, no doubt was already not liking them being there anyway, being 2 more mouths to feed, but…

hm…was going to say Katy wasn’t brought up that way, but something’s not quite adding up here, but anyway she at least had gotten the idea he should have let her know right from the beginning and, of course, now he’s all sorry for not having done so, but she must have patience with her “stupid, blundering old husband” – hm….are you getting it yet?

but at least he does say they’ll start together once more, fair and square – we’ll see

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Some things never change

This is written mainly to my cohorts in a FB group I’m in from latest book reading/following along with the current Christian Classics – Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, one of those books written in journal form – making me want to get out mine and do better with it – making it one you can read throughout your life as yours corresponds to hers, so as I read it before as, well, not quite the teen-ager she starts off as; so much didn’t know about back then and, really, she’s been confronted with this situation at a much younger age; book is set, like so many, back in the 1800s, so did people not live as long? so did things that we consider elderly at much younger age? anyway, here goes

she has gotten married to the local doctor; have actually been married barely a month – can you imagine? when he had to go see to his mother because she, who’d been not well, had gotten worse, had become dangerously ill and then passed away.

So it was decided, by his father? to give up their home and scatter the family? who all? not sure, doesn’t really say, at least not yet, but must not be all because there are other married sons and daughters for them to be scattered about, but the point being their share is to be his father and unmarried sister. Good thing – or is it? – they at least have their own home, and large enough to accommodate them, for he asks her to have 2 rooms ready for them at once. So she even rolls in?  the stuffed chair she’d had in her? room – have heard things about the habits of couples in the 1800s but not sure what is meant here or not – and put the large print (not sure even knew they had those back then) Bible on the little table in there. Did learn tea – and I think these are Americans – was at 7. Breakfast was at 7:30, at least in their house; however, like so many country people, his father got up earlier than that and, at least according to daughter, would need his breakfast at once. Reminds me of my dad, breakfast pretty much at 6:00 am sharp. So she said she would see that he had it; now, something don’t understand; sister said something about not expecting much from young housekeepers – sound familiar? – but she had a cook. “need not trouble yourself. will speak to brother” oh, doesn’t that sound like something a sister would say….”he has nothing to do with it” duh – speechless, looong silence, shaking of head “Did you make the bread?” says doesn’t know how with smile at look of horror “not know how!” oh, now how mischievous she gets – “why, can you?”  like asking – at least back in that day – if know the 10 Commandments – an unmarried farm woman not know how to make bread! but they lived in the city now, but at least she was immediately ashamed – can anybody say that now? – and sorry – sorry? is anybody ever now? guests – but are they, if they’ve come to live there? – due courtesy, especially just a week after mother has died. so then she rushes across the room, seizes her hand, begging eagerly her forgiveness, but with sister amazed, but blank, not conscious of anything to forgive – not even having gotten the remark, but now just startled at what she’s done, telling she thought she’d suddenly gone crazy – oh, great, now what….but definitely crestfallen – when’s the last time seen/heard that word – may go back to my trusty Merriam-Webster’s but not right now – all while father just sitting there grim and grave without a word.

But, now, another nod to the times – asked about family worship – oh, how different doctoring was back in the day – not sure if he brought family in, so was just getting back himself from having been gone, but either way, surely in today’s time would have waited till next day to get report of patients from covering doctor while he was gone, but, no, not then, so proceeds to tell dad hope won’t feel obligated to wait up for him for never know when be in, but hasn’t mattered because what had been their family worship – remember, they’d only been married a month –  was still an intimate couple thing but of course had been a long time, if ever, since had been that way for Father, but does this say something about how we’ve got from there to here? oh, no, Father would do his duty, whatever the cost – well, ok, then. But son’s not going to be expecting that and, sure enough, when comes in, quite surprised to find everybody still up! So had least had prayers and then, at least escorted them to their rooms; otherwise, would they have gone even then? Then finally they’re alone, but is this what you’d want to hear from your new, just barely a month husband, especially when pretty much half of that, practically ever since you got back from your honeymoon, which part of that was spent meeting the family, since hadn’t been done before, is “you must love me more than ever, now, for have lost my best friend” – really? hm….I mean, I know you apparently were close to your mother, but thought I was supposed to be your best friend now. But she agreed, with the idea that no way, in the sense no way could she love him anymore, but could she love him less…..

when, even as they were talking, she was hearing the greatest racket – he didn’t hear it? didn’t seem to notice it….so the next morning she finds they had totally rearranged everything in their rooms – now why? but doesn’t that sound familiar? but did it really make them look like? a fright – or did it, was it just because wasn’t the way she’d had things arranged, or….did it?
stay tuned – possibly, we’ll see

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


not about a book this time, but a mag; been cleaning out many but still subscribe to a few old faithfuls, like my Reader’s Digest, with last month’s Genius issue, being a fave, maybe because me, hub, and son have all been called that at various times, so maybe they should lock us all in the silent world of the dictionary makers (or maybe just me since I’m the one who took linguistics and wondered where English majors worked, like she mentioned, hadn’t thought enough about how dictionaries are actually made, had just thought in terms of book publishing) – and, yes, we even have 2 of those Merriam-Webster tomes, but apparently haven’t been doing enough reading because in the article on the making of such – maybe this was to see if anybody would actually use one – they used the word “minyan”, as in they have a minyan of English and linguistics majors on staff – hm….a “minyan” of them – is that like a gaggle of geese or a flock of flamingos – oh, what the hey, finally time to dig that tome out and look it up, expecting some such definition but, what? you’d at least expect spellcheck to recognize it but I see it’s redlining it everywhere I use it, but anyway….here it is, official M-W definition

quorum of 10 adult Jews required for communal worship

hm…wow – interesting –

so did she just make it up to use in this article or was she bucking tradition, starting a trend….

but beyond that, had never heard that requirement anyway – hm….

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another Florence Nightingale

new story on Christian Classics – of Gladys Aylward – Never Say Die – this one written by Cyril Davey – just knew he had to be related to the founder of the radio network that plays these – BBN – Lowell Davey – but, no….

but learned he wrote a whole set of books/biographies of famous people – missionaries, etc.

one of which was of Florence Nightingale – going to check them out

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another Voyage of Discovery – is that what shofar blowing does?

Can you tell that’s the book by Francine Rivers I’m reading so now I’m what, almost a week late for her birthday but I wished her a happy one, but it was especially somewhat fitting to “discover” she shared it with Florence Nightingale; and now why is that, because it fit right in with the revelation, if you will, of Julian of Norwich, who I’d never heard of, not even really sure now how; she just somehow came up on here somewhere and apparently right when I was talking to the leader of the book club I’m in (and that’s interesting in itself because I only talk to her when having trouble with my email, which had been giving me fits) – a Christian book club and we’d read a book somewhat like this before so thought, even though I was somewhat leery, they might be interested and they were, even though I couldn’t be there the day we picked out our next 6 mos., at least, seems like maybe more this last time, set of books to read so we can have plenty of time to get them, thought doesn’t always help me, was somewhat surprised about this one, since she got this back in the 1300s, would have thought been easily accessible online – for free – like others we’ve read have been, but no..apparently these have taken 2nd wind and been at least re – no, they wouldn’t have had copyright back in the day – copyrighted but then possible apparent mix-up and everybody else got the only, but relatively new biography, such as it is, since very little is actually known about her, even her name is taken from the name of the convent? where she eventually – or at least according to this “biography” but just where did this info come from; even one of the book club people feels she just made a lot of this up but seemingly she at least did take it from the customs of the time – went to live when she was around 50 – being in mine I can almost understand but I found a cute – love the cover, probably need to try to post it here – little book of excerpts of her revelation – which, btw, is the first book written by a woman in the English language – found that intriguing – lot of speculation re her even being able to do that re education of women at that time but think a lot of that depends on who’s doing the writing – no, they may not have been allowed to go to the same schools and have the same public education as men but they had their ways – plus being educated in that time meant Latin, not English, so just glad she wasn’t then and wrote in the language the ordinary people speak, since that’s who it was for, both, I feel, in receiving, since I feel it was to then be given to the ordinary – doesn’t even the Bible’s own words say that’s who it’s for….anyway, like this new takealong history lesson book just learned about – so is this little devotional for next to nothing, which is what really wanted, even though she wrote much more, but took while to find it so didn’t have it with me, while thinking everybody else had gotten the big one, but no….so feel probably changed the whole tenor of the discussion; however, found it interesting that we actually had it right about the time she received it; meant to ask about that, was it planned or just serendipity, if you will, but got lost in the other, but I at least feel it was planned, just maybe not by them especially since I just, in spite of all the research I’d already done, had not run across that tidbit until that morning but what found even more serendipitous that not only finding out about Florence Nightingale’s birthday being almost at the same time but finding out the 2nd wind of this revelation isn’t so new, new enough, yes, but not so new but what it was available to Miss Nightingale and known and apparently so highly thought of she took it with her when she went to the Crimean War – for herself? for the patients? other nurses? for whoever, but I like to feel it was a help to those who found themselves in what, back in that time, would have been considered practically the other side of the world and certainly she was groundbreaking especially for a woman of her station in life – you just didn’t do that – was she influenced by her to begin with? did she have a part to play in her going? and, further, nursing was nothing like now – no pristine hospital did she go to? no, what was her first order of business – somewhat reminds me of our Lord – no, she first – and, she, oh, she may have had help, but she didn’t just order it done – no, she – got down and scrubbed the floor -as well as everything else – but the floor – of what passed for a hospital – remind you of anyone? then to bring this full circle –

I’d been intending to make this post for this past week to make it closer to the dates but just couldn’t bring myself to, until, tonight, with my reading of Ms. Birthday Rivers’ Shofar book –
Mr. little Lord comes in and after the grand cantata – with refreshments, no less – and deaconesses – now what are they supposed to do – well, at least they’re cleaning the kitchen – but what does that mean? know what it meant when my dad had me do it on the one night a week my mom got to go somewhere and left me with him and he made it my job; it wasn’t done until it was all done – know what that means? yes, the floor, too – so now why wasn’t it that way with the deaconesses – no, why was it the pastor’s wife, who’d just spent months orchestrating this cantata and was totally exhausted – expected to clean the floor? I don’t know but it at least was just about the last straw and I can understand that but that’s what got me here to post, fwiw

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What a Week

not that this is the one I had the root canal or that this is the one that we finally got the septic done

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment