I read Stepping Heavenward last month, copying the page numbers of quotes I wanted to remember as I went along. I read this book once before, years ago, but somehow I identified with Katherine (the "author" of this fictional diary) more this time around. Much of what she experiences and writes about can apply to any Christian woman (the process of sanctification, etc) but I think I read this book in a new light as a wife and mom.
Here are some of the lines I wanted to remember:
On God's dealings with His children:
"What His methods will be with you I cannot foretell. But you may be sure that He never works in an arbitrary way. He has a reason for everything He does. You may not understand why He leads you now in this way and no in that, but you may, nay, you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act." (pg 86)
"What is married life? ...is it the sacred union of the twain who walk together side by side, knowing each other's joys and sorrows and going Heavenward hand in hand?" (pg 134)
On the blessing of children: ( I read this passage late at night while nursing my little one. Emotional breakdown! )
"...She says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to show, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing.
Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me.
Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blessed!" (pg 228-229)
On keeping an eternal perspective:
" [This fallen world] must not be a real heaven lest we should love the land we journey through so well as to want to pitch our tents in it forever and cease to look and long for the home whither we are bound." (pg 279)
Some good mothering advice:
" ' What are you made of that you can turn from one thing to another like lightening? Talking one moment as if life depended on your every word and then frisking about with those wild boys as if you were a child yourself?'... I replied, 'I have always aimed at this flexibility. I think a mother, especially, ought to learn to enter into the gayer moods of her children at the very moment when her own heart is sad. And it may be as religious an act for her to romp with them at one time as to pray with them at another.' " (pg 292-293)
On valuing simple things:
"I have learned, at last, not to despise the day of small things" (pg 337)