One routine for which I am truly grateful is our evening story time. At about 8pm every evening, once the littlest two are in bed, we settle down in front of the log burner to soak ourselves into the world of this nineteenth century family, as they seek to survive during the coldest winter they had known.
I first read this book to our oldest two sons about eight years ago and it has found a firm place in our winter reading library. This year the story spoke to us, in our current situation, as we read of Pa, Ma, Laura, Mary, Carrie and little Grace, trapped in their homes, with school cancelled and little to do each day. Our grumblings are daily put in check as we read of frozen ceiling nails, needing to eat only twice a day due to lack of food and a lack of heat and light.
I have found myself wondering from time to time what Ma and Pa would make of our current situation. I have laughed as I have thought how ridiculous they would find smart phones and all day distractions from technology. Pa was quite sceptical of progress, he thought it made you dependent on others. He probably had a point. As our family seeks to be more self sufficient, we are daily reminded of how much we do not know and how many skills have been lost to ‘progress.’
We are trying to embrace the best of the new, with ground source heating, insulation, electric milker and washing machine, to name a few items which are hugely helpful. We are also seeking to rediscover some ‘old ways.’ We hope to find a slower pace of life, a life based around the rhythms of nature, seasons, sunrise and sunset. We have already begun this journey and already, we are feeling the benefits of this simpler life.
I recently had a Bible verse brought to mind, one that in many ways reminds us of what we are working towards. ‘This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ Jeremiah 6:16. We often find, in the busyness of our modern life, it is harder to find time to stop and hear God’s voice, but when we follow the ancient paths, the ways of our forefathers, we stop our rushing, we put down our technological distractions and we take time to listen to him.
Some days my soul does not feel at rest, some days are just hard. On those days, if I step outside and start to work with my hands, I feel my shoulders drop, my jaw release, my mind clear and I start to see why we must pursue this goal with ever greater zeal. As the world ‘progresses’ ever faster, we are seeking after the ‘ancient paths’, there we will find rest for our souls.
10 thoughts on “Cosy Winter Nights”
Jenny hopper says:
Will think of you at 8 pm round your cosy fire!
Jenny, I thought of you tonight, as we read by the fire. It felt lovely to know that we were being thought of too 😊. Many blessings x
I must order this book 😍
Ive just watched the programme with Kate – what a gorgeous home and smallholding you have Vicki. So lovely to see the home schooling you do as a Montessori teacher and someone currently exploring Forest school. I was particularly struck by the Autumn colours of your trees!
Pippa, thank you for posting a comment. We only heard tonight from a friend that the programme was on again. I’m so pleased you were able to find the blog following on from it. There will be an updated programme coming out in April/May time, which will fill you in on what we have been up to over the last year. Lovely to hear about your forest school plans, forest school sounds like a fantastic concept. I also love the Montessori method of learning. I used to look after a little boy who went to a Montessori school and did a bit of work experience there. I was amazed at how calm and focused the children were, something I could do with helping my brood with 😂.
Noleen Christina Jones says:
Hi All, what an absolute Joy to watch the programme tonight , and get to share a little bit of your beautiful new home and wonderful family. I’m so pleased to have discovered your blog and wish all of you good health, and every success for a bright future ❤️❤️
Noleen C Jones
Noleen thank you for commenting. Welcome to the blog! I see our blog as an extension of our kitchen table. Right now we are not allowed to have people in our home, so my heart for welcoming people in has looked for another way to reach out to people. Here on the blog I share what I would share with you if you were having a cuppa in our kitchen by the fire. Just my thoughts about life and what God is showing us each day. Great to hear from you and I hope you will pop by again to see what we are up. Do subscribe (if you haven’t already) if you want to receive regular email updates.
Martin Turner says:
Hi Vicki, we just came across the programme on C5. Wow your family are such an inspiration!
We would love to do something similar, currently living in hampshire and fed up with how busy it is!
How did you go about finding your church?
Any advice greatly appreciated!
Martin, Great to have you here! So, how did we go about finding a church, great question. We continually prayed for God’s wisdom, as we discerned whereabouts God wanted us to be. We narrowed our search down to Shropshire. Then we met a lady who was a vicar’s wife in the county, her husband’s church was evangelical and Bible based, which was what we were looking for. We tried his church one Sunday, on a weekend visit to the area. He then suggested we try another church as well, for their afternoon ‘Messy Church’ service. Both churches were great, but houses near to each of them weren’t forthcoming. We asked him if he could recommend any other churches and he suggested another, it was a Baptist Church, which was a new step for us, but as we do not follow any denomination, we follow Jesus, we were open to his suggestion. Shortly afterwards our current home popped up on Rightmove and from there the rest is history. Over the next year, whilst we waited to sell our house God confirmed in many miraculous ‘God incidences’ that we had found the right church and that was where he was calling us. I believe the key to our search was prayer and listening to the Lord’s leading. I pray he leads you to just the right place. Please do ask if you have anymore questions. Lovely to be touch, Phil & Vicki
Nicola Collins says:
I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, read all the books and watched the sugary series on the telly in the 80’s!!