Those who read all my posts are probably tired of hearing about Patricia St. John.
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I think she is my most favorite children’s author. We have read several of her books for our family devotions as the truths that she can portray in a fictional story is amazing! I have cried reading some of her books, and sometimes I have stopped reading one and said to my children, “Did you hear that? Let me read that again!” Even if you are not a religious person, you will appreciate her gift of story-telling and writing that a child can relate to as well as books that are great read-aloud books.
My third daughter bought me her autobiography for my birthday. I started reading it to myself; and as I read it, I thought, “I need to read this to my kids!” So we are now reading it for family devotions. Here are some of the golden nuggets from the book that I have read so far:
Talking about her mom:
My mother believed strongly in early conversions and, like those mothers of long ago, she ‘brought her little children to Jesus’. In the busy home and far away in strange lands, my parents prayed for us, and one of my very earliest memories is of waking up late one night and seeing my mother kneeling in the dark beside Hazel’s bed. I watched, surprised, for she had already prayed with us before tucking us up, but after a time she rose and knelt again by Farnham’s bed. It seemed to be a long time before she came and knelt by me and I pretended to be asleep because I wanted to see this through. Sure she would not bother about the baby; he was far too little to understand. Yet, sure enough, she moved on to the cot. I never forgot that night but I cannot explain why; perhaps I drifted off to sleep with an added sense of security; perhaps I glimpsed dimly that night the truth of the words that I discovered years later – that the angels of God’s little ones do always behold the face of the Father in Heaven.
This was a rebuke to me as a mom. How often do I pray for my kids much less actually kneeling by their bed and praying over them? What a great example. All of the children in this family grew up to be Christian servants of the Lord.
I also learned much from her simpleness and willingness and to obey God. God did great things through her even though she thought she was ordinary. I want my children to learn this. With so much emphasis today on giftedness and success, children can feel like they are failures if they are “normal.” Yet, God does not care if we are gifted or successful if we are not obedient and willing to serve.
Patricia tells how she writes her first book for some children that were in her house boarding for school. Her sister talked her into submitting it for a competition, and she was surprised when it won second place. She started to receive letters from children and parents who loved the book. She says that,
. . . it slowly dawned on me that here was something that I could do for God and the thought thrilled me, because I had always been such an ordinary sort of girl.
God can use anyone — even ordinary people in the world’s eyes — if he/she is obedient and willing to be used.
As far as I can tell so far, my children are not gifted. They are smart, normal children. They are a lot like their mom — so far. And that’s okay! Someone needs to be able to wash dishes and make a meal for a person in need. Someone needs to be able to just lend a helping hand. God can use us for His glory!
She shows her willingness to do God’s will by just being obedient. I felt this also was such a great lesson for my children. As children grow, they often wonder how they will know God’s will for their lives. Patricia says that she had never received a special call, that “as far as I could see, I had simply done the obvious next thing. I had prayed about it and truly desired to do God’s will, but there had been no special confirmation and the thought nagged me.” Then she describes a circumstance where God did seem to show her that she should go in one direction. When that circumstance happened, she realized that:
He (God) never promised us a voice when the path lay clear and straight ahead. He gives us common sense and normal human indications and the quiet sense of His guidance. But when we come to the fork in the rode, then the promise rings true: ‘Thine ears shall hear a voice behind thee saying, “this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand or to the left'”. At the turning He will speak so clear and we wonder and hesitate. Then surely it is safe to go ahead with the prayer of faith: ‘I want to do Your will and I think that this is right. If I am making a mistake, please put out Your hand and stop me.’
What a great reminder for me and a truth that I want my kids to learn: Just keep following God’s path one step at a time (which we will know if we are in God’s Word and are seeking to obey Him.) He will direct us. If we wonder if it is the right decision, seek God’s face and ask for His guidance and for Him to stop us if it is not right for us.
Here are some other posts where I mention some of Patricia St. John’s books:
Here were some great Father’s Day posts that were linked up last week. I am so thankful for my dad and for my husband who is a great dad to our five children!
- Value of a Godly Father !! from Mary and Martha’s House
- 5 Reasons my Husband is a Great Father from Simply Wright
- My Father And Me from LiveLaughLovePost — I am also so thankful for my heavenly Father!
- What Great Dads Are Made Of from BPatty
- 6 Ways to Help Your Husband Be a Better Father from Encouraged At Home
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