Communing Out Loud and Other Thoughts on Prayer

A Mother and Children By a Window at Dusk  Viggo Pedersen (1854-1926)

Is it possible that the mother could, when alone with her children, occasionally hold this communing out loud, so that the children might grow up in the sense of the presence of God? It would probably be difficult for many mothers to break down the barrier of spiritual reserve in the presence of even their own children. But, could it be done, would it not lead to glad and natural living in the recognised presence of God? 
-Charlotte Mason, Vol. 2, p. 55

Prayer and housekeeping - they go together.  They have always gone together. We simply know our daily round is how we live. When we clean and order our homes, we are somehow also cleaning and ordering ourselves.
-Gunilla Norris

Pray without ceasing.  I Thessalonians 5:17

Grace by Erik Enstrom (1875-1968)
A copy of this ubiquitous colored photograph (I always thought it was a painting!) was hanging in my Grandparents' house on Hobby Horse Lane in Mentor, Ohio some 45 years ago.  I have always loved it.  Our local antiques store has at least 25 copies in various frames stacked against the wall.  I had no idea that it was the Minnesota State Photograph. Nor did I realize the charming story behind it. 

In 1918,  photographer Erik Enstrom took this photo of an old peddler that stopped by his shop in the mining town of Bovey, Minnesota.  He thought of a simple composition that would help people remember to be thankful in the midst of World War I.  It's a good reminder today, too.

our copy on top of a bookshelf

Finally, a note about where we might meet over the next month or so.  The intimate Homewoods Gathering will by May 15th and 16 in Little Flock (not Rock!) Arkansas. Contact cindyvasquez@cox.net for the flyer. On May 29th will be our bi-annual Awakening session at Shalom Hill Farm in Windom, MN.  There are a few spots still available for that.The Farm in spring is a thing of beauty.  And don't forget the Charlotte Mason Institute Conference at Asbury Seminary on June 17th-20th.



  1. my grandparents had that painting too!! i have always loved it. thanks for telling the story. :)

  2. That photograph never ceases to create such a simple and humble feeling in my spirit.
    The painting by V. Pederson tells a story too. This would be an excellent painting to write what you imagine is happening in the painting.
    Blessings to you Nancy!

  3. I had no idea it was a photo! It was in my grandparent's home as well. Looking forward to CMI!


  4. p.s. i came back just now to remember what i commented... and, oh dear, why am i so silly sometimes?
    of course i MEANT to type photo. i did actually read, was surprised by what you wrote and still i typed painting. ;)

    1. I do that constantly, too! (Can't wait to see you soon!)