The Children's Book Quote of the Day

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Running to Somewhere February 27, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books — Shanna @ 8:54 pm

Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away.  That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back.  She didn’t like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insects and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes.  Therefore, she decided that her leaving home would not be just running from somewhere but would be running to somewhere.  To a large place, a comfortable place, an indoor place, and preferably a beautiful place. (from From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Klonigsburg)

I can’t help but agree with dear Claudia on this point.  Simply running away from something just isn’t the right answer.  It’s a much better idea to run to somewhere, to know just where you’re going.  Otherwise, how do you know what to pack?  Or how do you keep from getting caught?  Or hurt?  Or just downright disheartened?  The whole point of running away is really not just to avoid the problems at home but to find someplace that’s entirely better.

As I read this quote this morning, one that always makes me smile and which I’ve intended to use for sometime, I thought about something I hadn’t thought of before.  I think that we all have a tendency to want to run away from our problems from time to time, when they get to be too much.  Only, when grown-ups run away, it usually comes more in the form of sin and vice–alcoholism, drugs, gambling, infidelity, and the list could go on.  But people don’t really plan to end up there; it’s just where they find themselves once they’re on the run.  And it’s not comfortable or safe or happy.  And it’s not a kind of running that people can pull off successfully.

Wouldn’t it be better to plan ahead?  To run to somewhere instead of from somewhere?  Someplace large, comfortable, and beautiful.  Someplace like the presence of God, my refuge, my hiding place.  Yes, I think Claudia has the right idea about running.

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A great sisterhood

Filed under: Classics,Young Adult — Kristi @ 2:55 am
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Mothers were the same all through the centuries…a great sisterhood of love and service…the remembered and the unremembered alike. (from Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery)

 Benjamin and I were in Walmart yesterday on a quick errand to get more clothes hangers and safety pins for the semi-annual children’s consignment sale, Dittos for Kiddos when a lady stopped me to tell me to be thankful for my baby. She said to remember how blessed I am to have him, to enjoy the moments when he’s all mine. She said before I know it, he’ll be sixteen. She said to show him grace. And she said to learn from my mistakes. Then she said, “I know what I’m talking about, girl, ’cause I’m a mama too.”

She was a little under twice my age, a different race than I am, probably at Walmart for a different reason than I was. But we were the same in so many ways, part of the great sisterhood of love and service. Mothers.

 

Say it! February 25, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 3:00 pm
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“When something’s important, that’s when you’ve got to say it!” my grandmother said. (from The Most Beautiful Place in the World by Ann Cameron)

 

The still greater mystery February 24, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books,Classics — Kristi @ 4:27 pm

It is sometimes the mystery of death that brings one to a consciousness of the still greater mystery of life. (from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin)

I normally try not to post quotes from books I haven’t read yet, but I liked this so much I decided to break my own rule (that being a chief advantage of making my own rules).

Death is a very great and terrible mystery and today we are joining many in prayer for the Ross/Bizaillion families as they mourn the loss of one so precious and so young. When I was reading an update on a website about this young mother who passed away this week, I saw a comment from a person about a family who has lost an eleven-month-old to SIDS this week as well.  It seems many are struggling this week with the great mystery of death.

All the more reason for us to celebrate and embrace the still greater mystery of life. I read a quote years ago from Saint Augustine that has stayed with me as a powerful reminder of the wonder of human life: “Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.” (Saint Augustine ) Look at your hands and marvel at the things you can do with them, at the architecture of your feet, the elasticity of your skin. When you hold your babies, listen to their hearts beat and marvel at how quickly they came together so perfectly within the womb. When you go out with friends, watch the power a smile has to transform a face. We eat and breath and blink and dream and itch and think nothing at all about the fact that we are LIVING. Today, just today, take a minute for the wonder of the great mystery of life.

 

Too much order February 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 7:40 pm

Without a doubt, there is such a thing as too much order. (from “The Crocodile in the Bedroom” Fables by Arnold Lobel)

 I like this thought because we hear so much about the importance of order, boundaries, discipline, etc. andnot enough about adventure, discovery, and good old fashioned mischief. I am a person who loves order. I feel secure when things are neat and in order. I saw the value of boundaries in discipline as a teacher. But I also saw how occasionally “letting go” leads to exciting discoveries, lasting friendships, and the release that onlylaughter can bring.

My aunt Connie is an extraordinary teacher and her first grade class was a wonderful learning environment–for me, an adult sitting in on lessons. I’m pretty sure the kids learned a lot too, but this blog is about wisdom for adults. 🙂 In Connie’s classroom routine was very important and she stayed organized to maintain a productive schedule (so important, I think, for diverse learners) but I will never forget the day I was testing a student in the hallway and suddenly heard peals of hysterical laughter coming from her room all the way down the hall. Imagine the sound of twenty seven-year-olds and one pretty loud fifty-year-old laughing just as hard as they can. When I poked my head in a few minutes later, the students were working quietly and diligently with smiles on their faces. Connie said, “Our math lesson was getting pretty intense so we had to take a one-minute laugh break!”

What if, when things get a little too intense, you just decide to take a one-minute laugh break? With your spouse or children? When you get in your car after a long work day? When you are stuck in traffic? In your classroom? In the insanely long line at Hobby Lobby (love their stuff but I think they’re trying to be the last retailer in the world to go to a barcode system!)?

When would you like to take a laugh break? Or when do you think someone else needs one?

 

Teach us Delight February 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 8:49 pm

Teach us Delight in simple things, And Mirth that has no bitter springs. (from “Children’s Song,” The Puck of Pook’s Hill by Rudyard Kipling)

 

The Great Bridge Builder February 21, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books,Classics — Shanna @ 9:10 pm
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“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy.  “Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?”

“I shall be telling you all the time,” said Aslan.  “But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river.  But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder.” (from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis