Saturday, May 6, 2017

In Which I Return From My Blogging Hiatus and Do a Tag

Hi everyone! My, it's been a while since I last posted something on here. I mean, I know I've never been the most regular blogger, but still, nearly a month and a half between posts is a long time even for me! However, I'll spare you from my boring reasons for my absence and just say that I've missed this lovely little blogging community, and it feels good to be back. :)

So as I'm sure you've guessed from the title of this post, I'm going to be filling out a tag today! I'm rather excited about it, too, because 1.) it's all about books and reading, which just happens to be right up my alley, and 2.) I've been a bit lacking in the blog-post-idea department as of late, so a tag definitely comes in handy! Thanks for tagging me, MovieCritic!

1.) What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Hmm...probably my copy of the "Meet Molly" American Girl book by Valerie Tripp. It's an autographed copy, too! When I was around seven or so, Valerie Tripp came to a local library, so my mom and I (along with my Molly doll!) went and met her, and I had her sign my book. :)

2.) What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next?

The last book I read was Emma by Jane Austen. It's been a few years since I first read it, and I had forgotten how funny and good it is! It's definitely one of my favorite JA novels.
Right now, I'm rereading Anne of Green Gables, and I'm falling in love with this sweet story all over again! I've been wanting to reread the series pretty much ever since I first read them last year, so I figured springtime would be the perfect time to do so! Because wouldn't you agree that the Anne books just have those spring-y vibes? ;) (Also, I don't think I'll ever get over L.M. Montgomery's writing style. Seriously, it's stunning.)
And so in continuation of my reread of the Anne series, the next book I'm going to read is Anne of Avonlea!

3.) What book did everyone like, but you hated?

One book that comes to mind is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Not that everyone likes it, but simply because it's considered a classic. And I wouldn't say that I hated it, because the language was very pretty, but I just found it kind of depressing and...meh.

4.) What book do you keep on telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

I keep on telling myself, "One of these days you need to read the Lord of the Rings series!" It's one of my dad's favorite book series, and I've heard so many good things about, so I figure it must be worth reading. For some reason, though, I just haven't gotten around to reading them yet! And I'm not sure when I ever will, haha.

5.) What book are you saving for retirement?

What an interesting question! I haven't really thought that far ahead yet. Hmm...probably some non-fiction books that just don't interest me all that much right now.

6.) Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?

I would say wait 'til the end, buuut I have skipped ahead before in books because sometimes I'm just really impatient and I must know that everything turns out alright! But whenever I do that, I usually end up getting mad at myself because I spoiled the ending for myself. So yeah, wait 'til the end. ;)

7.) Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Interesting aside, if it's a book that I really enjoyed.

8.) Which book character would you switch places with? 

Anne Shirley, because then I could live on beautiful Prince Edward Island and marry Gilbert Blythe. :P
9.) Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

Pride and Prejudice always reminds me of summertime, because that's when I first read it, and it's when I always feel the urge to read it again. And, like I mentioned earlier, the Anne of Green Gables series makes me think of springtime.

10.) Name a book that you have acquired in an interesting way.

I won these Letters from Pemberley books in a giveaway that Hamlette hosted during the "I Love Jane Austen Week," which was super cool! I haven't read them yet, but they look promising.
11.) Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

You know, I can't say that I ever have!

12.) Which book has been with you most places?

Ooh, this is tough! I'm the type of person who always carries a book with me in my bag no matter where I go. Like, always. So I can't think of a particular book that's been with me to the most places.

13.) Any "required reading" that you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?

I don't think so... That's one of the nice things about being homeschooled: I get to choose all of my reading material! ;)

14.) Used or brand new?

Well, I love how fresh and clean new books are, but old books are wonderful too because you can imagine who must have read it before you. My answer would have to be both. :)

15.) Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope, I haven't!

16.) Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book? 

I actually really liked the Ella Enchanted movie starring Anne Hathaway more than I did the book (mostly for nostalgic reasons!). Of course, I read the book long after I saw the movie, so maybe if I hadn't loved the film so much as a kid, I would have enjoyed the book more.

17.) Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder has soo many food descriptions in it that are simply scrumptious.

18.) Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

My dad's! We frequently share book recommendations with each other. :) I've actually gotten him to read Pride and Prejudice and Emma!

19.) Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g. out of your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

I normally don't read a ton of non-fiction or biographies, but I recently read The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines (the people from the show Fixer Upper), and it was very, very good! It read quickly, and it was so inspiring to see the many ways in which God has worked, and is continuing to work in their lives.

So the rules for this tag say to tag at least four other people, but I'm going to take the lazy route and say this: if you haven't yet done this tag but want to, then please go ahead and consider yourself tagged by yours truly! :)

Well, that's all! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Molly <3

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Daring Faith Like Rebekah's

Just a random picture I took last spring. :)

Hi everyone! My Sunday School class has recently started a new Bible study that discusses various women of the Bible, and for the past couple of Sundays we've been going over Rebekah. I just wanted to share something that really stood out to me about her story. :)

So Rebekah is first mentioned in Genesis 24, when Abraham has sent his servant back to his (Abraham's) own country, to find a wife for his son Isaac from among his family. When Abraham's servant arrives in Abraham's home country, he stops and prays to God, saying, "'Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, "Please let down your jar that I may drink," and who shall say, "Drink, and I will water your camels"--let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.'" (v.13-14)

Before Abraham's servant even finishes praying, Rebekah comes to the well and offers water both to the servant and his camels. (I just think it's so cool how God answers the servant's prayer immediately!) Once she is finished, the servant asks whose daughter she is and whether there is room in her family's house for him to spend the night. Rebekah replies that she is a member of Abraham's own family (which is just as Abraham wanted!), and that there is plenty of room for him. At this, the servant praises and thanks the Lord for prospering His way.

Once Abraham's servant explains to Rebekah's family why he has come, they understand that it is indeed the Lord's will for Rebekah to marry Isaac. They tell the servant to take Rebekah and go, but I don't think they were expecting that the servant would want to do so the very next day! Naturally, Rebekah's family isn't ready for her to leave so soon, saying, "'Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.'" (v. 55) However, the servant doesn't wish to be detained and is eager to head back to Abraham as soon as possible. So Rebekah's family calls to her and asks, "'Will you go with this man?'" (v. 58)

This is the part that I just found so inspiring. I mean, just imagine all that this simple question entails! By answering yes, Rebekah would be leaving all that she knew behind--her family, her home, her friends--to go to a faraway foreign land and marry someone that she had never met. To be honest, if I were in Rebekah's shoes, I'd be pretty nervous and afraid to say yes!

And yet, that's exactly how Rebekah responds. When her family asks whether she will go or not, she answers with, "'I will go.'" (v. 58) Whatever thoughts and worries might have been whirling through her mind as she was faced with this decision, ultimately she knew that it was God's plan for her to marry Isaac, and she fully, completely trusted in His plans for her life.

All I can think is just wow. What faith it must have taken for Rebekah to say that! That's the kind of faith that I want to have; the kind that's daring, bold, and courageous. I want to fully trust in God to the point where I will willingly go wherever He might lead me, just like Rebekah did. Because really, why shouldn't I? His plans truly are perfect and far greater than any I could ever come up with, just like it says in Jeremiah 29:11: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" What a beautiful promise that is! <3

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. Happy first day of spring!!

Friday, February 17, 2017

"The Best of Jane Austen Knits" - A Review

As part of Hamlette's "I Love Austen" week, I'm here today to share my review of "The Best of Jane Austen Knits," edited by Amy Clarke Moore.

This book is a lovely collection of 27 knitting patterns, all inspired by Regency-era fashions and designed with a certain Jane Austen character in mind. So as you can imagine, the projects are absolutely beautiful! They range in difficulty from beginner-level to very complicated, so there's something in here for every knitter, no matter how much experience.

And even if you aren't a knitter, I think you'll still enjoy taking a peek inside this book, as the photography is gorgeous! When I got this book a couple of Christmases ago, I hadn't a clue how to knit yet, but I still enjoyed flipping through it and admiring all of the delightful patterns. :)

See, even the table of contents is pretty! Most of the projects in the book are for women, but there are also a few for little girls, men, and even patterns for a book cover, a tea cozy, a pin ball, and a couple of bags. For this review, I'll just share some of my personal favorites from the book. :)

The first pattern in the book is for a very iconic clothing item from the Regency era: a spencer!

So for each project in the book, the author made sure to include all the information you'll need before beginning: a brief overview of the design and the inspiration behind it, a list of all the supplies you'll need, what the size of the finished project will be, and any other notes about the project. The pattern (instructions) are on the following pages.

This adorable little bag was inspired by Northanger Abbey! I love the description of it: "Could a reticule serve more than one purpose? Perhaps Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey carried such a bag--the heart-shaped vine entertwined with leaves and flowers carrying a subtle message of one looking for love. Who will notice? Certainly not someone as boorish as Mr. Thorpe, but perhaps the observant Mr. Tilney?" ;)

I'm actually working on this project right now! (However, being the inexperienced knitter that I am, I've had to restart over and over because I keep messing up!) This is called the Margaret Dashwood Shawl, and I just think it's so pretty. As for the pattern itself, the instructions are easy to read once you understand what all of the terms mean; thankfully there are a few pages at the back which explain them!

There are also a few interesting articles scattered throughout the book, such as this one, that talk about things like where Jane Austen lived, knitting in Regency-era England, and dressmaking during Jane Austen's lifetime.

How pretty is this cardigan? I love all of the pretty details to it, like the puffed sleeves. :)

A very fancy lace shawl named after Georgiana Darcy! Here's the description: "Georgiana Darcy of Pride and Prejudice was a lovely young woman just on the brink of adulthood--at an age when she should be preparing to attend her first ball. Along with a beautiful gown, what could be more appropriate than a demure lacy wrap edged with tiny pearls?" I just love how the descriptions help you picture Jane Austen's characters actually wearing the designs in this book!

This tea cozy is SO adorable!! 

Some lovely stockings with the cutest little details, inspired by Marianne Dashwood.

And because a knitting book inspired by Jane Austen's novels simply wouldn't be complete without it: a pattern for some lovely evening gloves!

Well, I really hope that you've enjoyed this peek inside The Best of Jane Austen Knits! This book truly is such a delight to flip through, and I'd highly recommend it. :)

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!