Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn Grace #6: Beauty and Order Every Day (Links and Quotes)

Dear friends,

A quick post tonight! Without further ado, I present three links and three vintage quotes on cultivating beauty and order every day:

“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

"The question of life is not, How much time have we? -- for in each day each of us has exactly the same amount: we have "all there is." The question is, What shall we do with it? Shall we let this priceless gift slip away from us in haphazard deeds, or shall we adopt some plan of saving and of systematic doing in our lives? What shall this plan be? How shall we determine what things are worth giving time to? Let us think about this question. In our thoughts, let us not forget one point, -- time spent in being interrupted is not time lost. A strong thinker once said, "No one knocks at my door who is not sent by God." We are spending time well when we are paying it out to God, to buy the things he means our lives to own, whether he is putting before us a duty to be done, a friend to be won, a small service to be rendered, a child to be consoled, or a house to be set in order. There is time enough given us to do all that God means us to do each day and to do it gloriously!" Dr. Anna Robertson Brown in her 1893 book What Is Worth While? 

“Now these seasons of “house cleaning” are good in their place, and are duties which every skillful housekeeper deems indispensable. But my friends, now as Spring advances, let us not think only of our earthly dwellings, but turn an eye within and see if our souls are prepared. There are periods for moral “house cleaning.” The time of revival is the great cleaning, renewing time. Perhaps a long winter has supervened in which impurities have been accumulating. The furniture of the soul has become dusty; jars and discords may be found there, and spiritual sloth may have crept in. The harp may need to be taken from the willow and tuned anew. The darkness of winter has hindered us from seeing much of this disorder. But now the Lord begins to shine a light of greater brightness on the soul, and if we wish for clean hearts we must not quail beneath his searching rays. But working together with him as our helper and guide, we may become vessels unto honor meet and fit for the master's use.”  From 1857 book, Home Memories; or, Social Half-Hours With the Household, compiled by Mrs. Mary G. Clarke.

(Note: After I posted this, I read the last quote more closely. I wondered about the reference to the harp and the willow, so I looked it up. It is from Psalm 137, and I wrote a poem of response: The Harp in the Willow.)

For beauty and order,

Virginia Knowles

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