It is hard to believe that it has been well over a month since our dear baby sister went to be with Jesus, but time marches on. You can read a little about Amy's amazing life here.
I've spent a lot of time the past 30+ days thinking and grieving and processing what happened and I know I am not finished yet. All of us were given great advice by our cousin, Ted, who preached her service, when he told us to grieve as long as we needed, but let grief lead to gratitude for the time we spent with her and acknowledgment of God's grace through it all.
Grief. Gratitude. Grace.
I've been experiencing large doses of all three. Brad has taken wonderful care of me and I've been nice to myself, too. I've eaten Comfort Food and read Comfort Books.
I've picked up and discarded many books during this season, trying to occupy my mind. Some of them I would have read all the way through previously, but now they just seem stupid.
Or too preachy.
Or taking an outraged stand against something that just isn't that important.
However, being an avid reader, I needed a book to read, so I turned to an old favorite, Anne of Green Gables. I have loved Anne ever since first reading and discussing the whole series with my grandma. That was when my boys were small and I needed an escape from their escapades! Granddad had recently passed away and Grandma needed an escape too.
I felt then and now that Anne and I were Kindred Spirits. She makes me smile.
Little did I know this time in my reading, I would discover the theology of Anne Shirley. And I like it! Her adorable ways of wording things were like little hugs for me.
Here are just a few of my favorite word hugs from book one as Anne begins to learn about her Heavenly Father:
Hug One-Her first prayer after being instructed by Marilla to thank God for her blessings and ask Him humbly for the things she wanted:
Gracious heavenly Father, I thank Thee for the White Way of Delight and the Lake of Shining Waters and Bonny and the Snow Queen. I'm really extremely grateful for them. And that's all the blessings I can think of just now to thank Thee for. As for the things I want, they're so numerous that it would take a great deal of time to name them all, so I will only mention the two most important. Please let me stay at Green Gables; and please let me be good-looking when I grow up. I remain, "Yours respectfully, "Anne Shirley.
Such a sweet trusting prayer from a little girl, don't you think?
Hug Two- Anne's declaration about Diana's mother after the unfortunate incident when Anne accidentally got Diana intoxicated and tried desperately to apologize for it.
There is nothing more to do except to pray and I haven't much hope that that'll do much good because, Marilla, I do not believe that God Himself can do very much with such an obstinate person as Mrs. Barry.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I have had similar feelings about people. True confession.
Hug Three-God really spoke to Anne through nature, just as He does to many of us.
Oh, Matthew,isn't it a wonderful morning? The world looks like something God had just imagined for His own pleasure, doesn't it? Those trees look as if I could blow them away with a breath-pouf! I'm so glad I live in a world where there are white frosts, aren't you?
Hug Four- Remember the night Anne saved Diana's little sister from croup? Diana's mom changed her opinion about Anne after that and decided the two girls could be friends again.
I assure you Marilla that I feel like praying tonight and I'm going to think out a special brand-new prayer in honor of the occasion.
Hug Five-Anne's take on the human condition....
There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne, it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting.
Hug Six-and on their new young minister....
I liked him because his sermon was interesting and he prayed as if he meant it and not just as if he did it because he was in the habit of it......Mrs. Lynde says that sound doctrine in the man and good housekeeping in the woman make an ideal combination for a minister's family.
I laughed out loud at that one!
I would love to have a conversation with the author, Lucy Maude Montgomery, who must have been quite an astute person-studier. She understood people from the inside out. I recognized parts of myself in many of the characters and my friends, family and neighbors in others.
What makes people tick never really changes. We are basically the same in our hearts whether we lived years ago or in the present technological age.
And that is why I enjoy reading.
I learn so much from observing the actions and words of others.
It makes me wonder the story my life is telling. Is it the story of a judgmental, self centered person or of a kind, warm-hearted person who brings out the best in others?
With God's help, I pray there is a little bit of Anne Shirley in even me!