Full Hearts

 But it takes the presence of children to help us to realise the idea of the Eternal Child.  The Dayspring is with the children, and we think their thoughts and are glad in their joy; and every mother knows out of her own heart's fulness what the Birth at Bethlehem means.    - Charlotte Mason
They are so joyful right now.  We decorated yesterday and they were so excited to put up their nativity sets and trim the tree.  Today a pair  walked down to Loopy's on the square to buy gifts. Everything is hurriedly wrapped and proudly placed under the tree.  And I love the questions about how we will navigate Christmas Day this year, as it falls on a Sunday.  This is good, they affirm, but then quietly ask when exactly will we open gifts?

May I share a few favorite reads with you?  For myself, I am enjoying Watch for the Light - Readings for Advent and Christmas.  Each reading stands alone and is rich and full. Packed with stupendous authors such as Kathleen Norris, Henri Nouwen, Madeleine L'Engle, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Annie Dillard, C.S. Lewis, John Donne and many more.

Elizabeth Yates warms hearts with On That Night, a Christmas parable.  It's a small book involving six people - a little girl, a thief, a harried woman, a jobless young man, a bride now a widow, and a blind man. It's written around the legend that on Christmas Eve, lost things are found. I  do so enjoy her writings! 

And this one surprised me.  Corrie ten Boom's four-chapter Corrie's Christmas Memories.  I thought it would be the usual, pull-from-all-her-works memoir on Christmas, but no, this is special.  I read it after our Scripture reading each day.  Chapter 1 is Corrie's retelling of the Christmas story.  Chapter 2 is the original "Father Martin" story (Martin the Cobbler) and includes the story of an apology  to the author, Ruben Saillenn, from Leo Tolstoy who admitted taking it, adapting it and being wrongly credited for it!  Chapter 3 is Father ten Boom's Christmas message to a Sunday School class when he was 18 and discovered by Corrie in 1976.  Chapter 4 is Corrie's personal memories of Christmas with Betsy and the family.  It ends, of course, with Luke 2:1-20.

It must be Christmas because as I did my gathering for this post, I found that Corrie's Christmas Memories is now online for free!  How sweet is that?  Just click on the book cover above and you can read it right now.

I hope you are enjoying the Advent season.

Admiration, Hope and Love,


  1. Thanks for this, Nancy! I love your beautiful blog!

  2. Have you read "The Cost of Discipleship" by Deitrich Bonhoeffer? It blessed me very much. Thanks for the book recommendations. I bookmarked Corrie's Christmas Memories to read to my kiddos over the next few weeks.

  3. Thank you for pointing us to the gift of the Corrie Ten Boom's book! I look forward to reading it during the holiday season! Many, many blessings on your wonderful family this year!

  4. @ Lisa - Thanks, Lisa. Where can I find out more about your upcoming book discussion?

    @ Michele - Yes, I have and it blessed me, too. Tremendously, in fact. Have you read the bio on him by Metaxas?

    @Jennifer - Happy St. Nicholas' Day to you today!

  5. Excellent thoughts. I will try to find those books through our library system. I am glad you are doing well and taking it in slowly; to savor. Charlotte always intrigues me with her thoughts on every thing that is dear to us. Take care..

  6. yay! I love your book recommendations ;)
    keep 'em coming... free. online. for download of course... not to limit you or anything ;)

    in my mind you are the go to person for book recommendations, as you probably actually own many of them!! heheh.