The Week in Words


Welcome to The Week In Words, where we share quotes from the last week’s reading. If something you read this past week  inspired you, caused you to laugh, cry, think, dream, or just resonated with you in some way, please share it with us, attributing it to its source, which can be a book, newspaper, blog, Facebook — anything that you read. More information is here.

Before I share some of the quotes that I came across this week, I wanted to ask if those of you who pray might ask the Lord to heal my foot. A little raw place rubbed my new shoes somehow got infected and then developed cellulitis. We went to the ER Sat. night and I was given antibiotics and released to go home and keep my feet up. I’m supposed to go back to the ER if it gets worse, and they’ll start iv antibiotics. I’ve been debating all Sunday whether to go back or not, but I want to give the antibiotics I have a chance to kick in and work. I’d appreciate your prayers both for wisdom and healing.

Now, on to the quotes collected for this week:

From an Elisabeth Elliot e-mail devotional:

Because a thing is unpleasant, it is folly to conclude it ought not to be. There are powers to be born, creations to be perfected, sinners to be redeemed, through the ministry of pain, to be born, perfected, redeemed, in no other way. ~ George MacDonald, What’s Mine’s Mine

Seen at Quill Cottage:

The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination. ~ Terri Guillemets

I like that on a number of levels.

And I think I saw this on John Piper’s Twitter feed:

New laws don’t make new hearts.

Very true. Only God’s grace can cause a true change of heart. Laws are good and necessary, but in a sense they just point up the need for a change of heart. If hearts were right, we wouldn’t need laws.

You can share your family-friendly quotes in the comments below or write a post on your blog and then put the link to that post (not your general blog link) in Mr. Linky below.

I hope you’ll visit the other participants as well and glean some great thoughts to ponder. And I hope you’ll leave a comment here, even if you don’t have any quotes to share.

Waiting For Spring

Though cloudy skies, and northern blasts,
Retard the gentle spring awhile;
The sun will conqu’ror prove at last,
And nature wear a vernal smile.

The promise, which from age to age,
Has brought the changing seasons round;
Again shall calm the winter’s rage,
Perfume the air, and paint the ground.

The virtue of that first command,
I know still does, and will prevail;
That while the earth itself shall stand,
The spring and summer shall not fail.

Such changes are for us decreed;
Believers have their winters too;
But spring shall certainly succeed,
And all their former life renew.

Winter and spring have each their use,
And each, in turn, his people know;
One kills the weeds their hearts produce,
The other makes their graces grow.

Though like dead trees awhile they seem,
Yet having life within their root,
The welcome spring’s reviving beam
Draws forth their blossoms, leaves, and fruit.

But if the tree indeed be dead,
It feels no change, though spring return,
Its leafless naked, barren head,
Proclaims it only fit to burn.

Dear LORD, afford our souls a spring,
Thou know’st our winter has been long;
Shine forth, and warm our hearts to sing,
And thy rich grace shall be our song.

-John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 2, hymn 31


33% DONE. Install delayed….please wait. Installation failed. Please try again.

I saw this going around Facebook recently and thought many of you would get a kick out of it since many of you are experiencing back and forth weather like we are. Today is pretty springy, though — sunshiny and in the 60s. Let’s hope that spring installation completes and stays. 🙂

Help for the “winter blues”

I’ve mentioned and I’ve seen others mention having trouble with the “winter blues.” The excitement of Christmas is over and the landscape is drab and dreary for the next several weeks. What can we do to lessen “the blues” this time of year? Here are a few ideas:

  • Start a project — building, sewing, some type of craft.
  • Bake cookies.
  • Curl up with a good book and a cup of your favorite hot drink.
  • Plan what you’ll plant in the spring.
  • Write — a letter, a blog post, an article. Or start that novel you’ve been dreaming about.
  • Look up your family history.
  • Do something with all those old photos you took before you got your digital camera.
  • Volunteer — check with hospitals, nursing homes, crisis pregnancy centers, etc.
  • Meet a friend for lunch or invite them over.
  • Experiment with a new recipe.
  • Work through a DVD series of a favorite program or one you missed.
  • Do a Bible study on “cold” or “snow” or “winter” or some topic you’ve wanted to study out.
  • Write a letter to one of those people you only hear from at Christmas.
  • Go through that stack of old recipes.
  • Start organizing….whatever it is you need to get organized. Just choose one area lest you get overwhelmed.
  • Color in a coloring book. Incredibly relaxing.
  • Take an online course.
  • Play uplifting music.
  • Start a fitness program.
  • Buy fresh or artificial colorful flowers.
  • Hang a birdfeeder and watch its visitors.
  • Count your blessings. Literally.
  • Choose a composer or artist and look up their work as well as information about them.
  • Sing
  • Look for the beauty in winter. Janet shared once a poem from John Updike’s A Child’s Calendar whose lines have come back to me often this winter. This particular poem is “November,” yet everything except the “oldness of the year” applies to January:

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The loss of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
Displays a certain
Loveliness –

The beauty of the bone.

Remember the benefits of winter:

  • relief from the extreme heat and humidity of summer
  • rest from working outside (for most)
  • fewer bugs
  • fires in the fireplace
  • oven meals
  • winter sports
  • snow
  • some plants need the cold weather to develop in their life cycle
  • anticipation and greater appreciation of spring

Here are some quotes about winter:

The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter; the fleshy, in summer.  I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood. ~John Burroughs

Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.  ~Mignon McLaughlin

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home. ~Edith Sitwell

One kind word can warm three winter months. ~Japanese Proverb

Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter. Psalm 74:17.

Any other ideas for combatting winter “blues”? Any other benefits of winter you can think of?

This post will be linked to “Works For Me Wednesday,” where you can find a plethora of helpful hints each week at We Are THAT family on Wednesdays.

The Week In Words Melissa at Breath of Life hosts a weekly carnival called The Week In Words,which involves sharing something from your reading that inspires you, causes you to laugh, cry, or dream, or just resonates with you in some way.

I read these first few this week — in a file I had of spring quotes! I’m sorry I did not note where I first saw them. I’d like to know where the Dickens quote is from.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
– Charles Dickens

March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice.”
– Hal Borland

Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” — Unkown

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. ~Henry Van Dyke

This is an excerpt from the March 19 reading from the Our Daily Walk devotional by F. B. Meyer

“If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.”– Col 3:1 (R.V.).

If some one will say, “There’s the rub! I’m afraid that is not true of me; my life is sinful and sorrowful; there are no Easter chimes in my soul, no glad fellowship with the Risen Lord; no victory over dark and hostile powers.” But if you are Christ’s disciple, you may affirm that you are risen in Him! With Christ you lay in the grave, and with Christ you have gone forth, according to the thought and purpose of God, if not in your feelings and experience. This is distinctly taught in Eph 2:1-10 and Rom. 6. The whole Church (including all who believe in our Lord Jesus) has passed into the light of the Easter dawn; and the one thing for you and me, and all of us, is to begin from this moment to act as if it were a conscious experience, and as we dare to do so we shall have the experience.

Notice how the Apostle insists on this: “You died, you were raised with Christ, your life is hid with Christ.” Give yourself time to think about it and realize it.

The Cross of Jesus stands between you and the constant appeal of the world, as when the neighbours of Christian tried to induce him to return to the City of Destruction. This does not mean that we are to be indifferent to all that is fair and lovely in the life which God has given us, but that the Cross is to separate us from all that is selfish, sensual, and savouring of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1Jo 2:15-17).

There were three I kept aside from the e-mail Elisabeth Elliot devotionals as well — but, believe it or not, I really do try to keep these things from being too long! I encourage you to sign up for those.

I also marked a couple from Carry On, Jeeves, but I’ll share that when I review it, probably tomorrow.

Happy Monday!

Poetry Friday: September

Even though this poem by John Updike is titled “September,” the first line or so has been running through my mind the last few days. And the last four lines seem to describe the rainy week we’ve had.

The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.


An explanation of Poetry Friday is here. It’s being hosted today by Laura Salas.
Photo is from morgueFile.

Poetry Friday

An explanation of Poetry Friday is here. It’s being hosted today by Crossover.

Yesterday I was looking for a couple of poems that mention September when I came across this stanza that was unfamiliar to me:

The morrow was a bright September morn;
The earth was beautiful as if new-born;
There was that nameless splendor everywhere,
That wild exhilaration in the air,
Which makes the passers in the city street
Congratulate each other as they meet.

That just seemed to capture how a fresh fall breeze makes me feel. I copied a line from the poem to search and see where it came from, and discovered it was from the longer poem“The Falcon of Ser Federigo” which is in turn from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s book of poems titled “Tales of a Wayside Inn.” The “Tales” are told by the landlord and patrons of the Wayside Inn, the first one being the famous Paul Revere’s Ride.

“The Falcon of Ser Federigo” is the tale of a knight who lost his beloved to a rival and now lives in poverty with his dearest treasure, his falcon. He is visited by a young boy who he recognizes immediately as the son of his former love, who is now widowed. One day…

The petted boy grew ill, and day by day
Pined with mysterious malady away.
The mother’s heart would not be comforted;
Her darling seemed to her already dead,
And often, sitting by the sufferer’s side,
“What can I do to comfort thee?” she cried.
At first the silent lips made no reply,
But moved at length by her importunate cry,
“Give me,” he answered, with imploring tone,
“Ser Federigo’s falcon for my own!”
No answer could the astonished mother make;
How could she ask, e’en for her darling’s sake,
Such favor at a luckless lover’s hand,
Well knowing that to ask was to command?
Well knowing, what all falconers confessed,
In all the land that falcon was the best,
The master’s pride and passion and delight,
And the sole pursuivant of this poor knight.
But yet, for her child’s sake, she could no less
Than give assent to soothe his restlessness,
So promised, and then promising to keep
Her promise sacred, saw him fall asleep.

I’ll let you read the rest of the story on your own. 🙂

It contains the line “All things come round to him who will but wait,” which is where I assume the line “Good things come to those who wait” came from.

This really piqued my interest. I haven’t read a lengthy poem in quite a while, but this flowed well and was easy to follow. I found numerous places online that have the full text, but I might see if my library has the book one day.

Poetry Friday: The Barefoot Boy

Poetry Friday is hosted at Critique de Mr. Chompchomp today.

I posted this a couple of years ago, but it’s once again “boyhood’s time of June,” and with three boys, I just couldn’t resist. I love this poem. These are only two of the five stanzas.


Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!
Prince thou art,—the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou hast more than he can buy
In the reach of ear and eye,—
Outward sunshine, inward joy:
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!

Oh for boyhood’s time of June,
Crowding years in one brief moon,
When all things I heard or saw,
Me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees,
Humming-birds and honey-bees;
For my sport the squirrel played,
Plied the snouted mole his spade;
For my taste the blackberry cone
Purpled over hedge and stone;
Laughed the brook for my delight
Through the day and through the night,
Whispering at the garden wall,
Talked with me from fall to fall;
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond,
Mine the walnut slopes beyond,
Mine, on bending orchard trees,
Apples of Hesperides!
Still as my horizon grew,
Larger grew my riches too;
All the world I saw or knew
Seemed a complex Chinese toy,
Fashioned for a barefoot boy!

From The Barefoot Boy by John Greenleaf Whittier (1855)

The picture is Boy and Dog in Nature by Eugene Iverd, from

Poetry Friday: October’s Party

I posted this a couple of years ago, and then didn’t post it last year because it seemed like it was everywhere. But I love it: it is one of my all-time favorite poems.


October’s Party
by George Cooper

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly “hands around.”

Poetry Friday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers today.

(Photo courtesy of stock.xchange)

Farewell, Summer, Fair But Faded Summer…

I mentioned earlier that I am a little more reluctant this year than usual to let go of summer, I think because our June was so busy that it didn’t seem like summer really began until a week or two into July. So I loved finding this poem here one Poetry Friday a few weeks ago. The whole poem is there, but these last two verses especially resonated with me as I say farewell to summer and hello to autumn.

Farewell To Summer

by George Arnold

The fitful breeze sweeps down the winding lane
With gold and crimson leaves before it flying;
Its gusty laughter has no sound of pain,
But in the lulls it sinks to gentle sighing,
And mourns the Summer’s early broken spell,—
“Farewell, sweet Summer,
Rosy, blooming Summer,
Sweet, farewell!”

So bird and bee and brook and breeze make moan,
With melancholy song their loss complaining.
I too must join them, as I walk alone
Among the sights and sounds of Summer’s waning.…
I too have loved the season passing well.…
So, farewell, Summer,
Fair but faded Summer,
Sweet, farewell.