Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gardening and comfort

I started reading Les Miserables a week or two ago as part of an unofficial AO book discussion.  I've highlighted many quotes from the first 8 chapters, and a couple ended up in my commonplace.

Sometimes he dug in his garden; again, he read or wrote.  He had but one word for both these kinds of toil; he called them gardening.  "The mind is a garden," said he.
Just like a garden needs to be planted and tended, so do our minds.  They need to be filled with thought-provoking words through wonderful books, and nourished through reflection.  The latter is part of the reason why I so enjoy blogging.

Here's another one:
"The most beautiful of altars," he said, "is the soul of an unhappy creature consoled and thanking God."
God is the source of our strength, peace, contentment, happiness.  Without Him we are broken and unhappy; stumbling in the heap of our sins.  It reminds me of what James wrote:
Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep!  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  (James 4:8,9)
Oh, how our sins fill us with shame and make us grieve.  But...
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you...Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.  (James 4:8,10) 
It is pure beauty and love that God, in the midst of our sinfulness and unworthiness, will lift us out of that gloom and comfort us and love us unconditionally.

We must be willing to let Him.

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  1. The mind is a less messy garden at least. I love that :)

    1. Haha, true. Just as much work, though, but not as physically tiring :)

  2. Love the connections that you have drawn here. That first quote from Les Mis particularly strikes me. "He had but one word for both of these kinds toil" << Hugo probably put it this way for poetic purposes, but I get a lot of inspiration from thinking that all the toils of my day-to-day life are part of the same work, oriented toward the same goal. It's a lovely thought. (And your beautiful handwriting! <3)

    1. Oh, yes, couldn't agree more! There is but one ultimate purpose, in my humble opinion. And your comment about my's funny because I haven't written in cursive in forever, but recently began "practicing" and boy was it atrocious! I had been doing some sort of cross between cursive and print for years, but figured I needed to learn the appropriate way since I'll be teaching my kiddos in a couple of years :)

  3. "The most beautiful of altars..." Love that quote.

  4. These are both quotes that I really loved too. I keep ending up being late for WWW, but I'm thinking next week I'll probably have some lines from Les Mis as well. :)

  5. Beautiful analogy of the mind being like a garden.