Violets from Dover Victorian Clip Art
Reading by the Window Hastings
by Charles James Lewis
available at Lovely Whatevers
This is Lesson 6 from book three, of the 1964 publication called "The Christian Girl," by Mamie W. Hayhurst. It will give you an idea of the kinds of things that were taught to young women just 45 years ago; things that are still as valid as they were then. Times may have changed, with new things to make things work faster or better, but we still need the same teachings that guide our lives on the right paths. The old paths were created to undergird every century and every life, whether it was someone born back in 33 a.d. or someone born in 2000 a.d.
Some of the wording in this little volume, such as the word "charming" were common expressions that were understood a little differently than we perceive them today, but you can see by the context, what is actually meant by them.
The year 1964 was the last year these little pamphlets were published. At this time, a large effort by progressives was made to eliminate the teaching of Christian values to young girls, and gradually, such classes could no longer be found.
The Christian Girl and Contentment
Every Christian girl will now and then meet disappointments, for they are inherited by mortality. But if she would be charming she will take things calmly and endeavor to be content with her lot. She may at least add a little sunshine if she earnestly endeavors to dispel the clouds of discontent that may arise, and by so doing, enjoy the blessings that God gives.
Contentment must spring from the mind, and she who seeks happiness by changing anything but her own disposition, will waste her life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the things she wishes to remove.
If we are cheerful and contented, everything seems brighter to us; all nature is more beautiful. Contentment is happiness, but many girls who are surrounded with everything to make them happy, become discontented, because some other girls have something that they would like to have. Like the monkey, they try to imitate everything that is fashionable. They covet and wish and lose sight of the good things they have.
Discontentment takes away happiness. As stated in this parable, we are what God makes us, and should be content in doing the things that we are suited for.
A Parable of Contentment
from Gray and Adams Commentary
"A violet shed its modest beauties at the turfy root of an old oak. It lived there many days during the kind summer in obscurity. The winds and the rains came and fell, but did not hurt the violet. Storms often crashed around the boughs of the oak. One day the oak said, 'Are you not ashamed of yourself when you look up at me, you little thing down there, when you see how large I am, and how small a space you fill and how widely my branches are spread?' 'No,' said the violet, ' We are both where God has placed us; and God has given us both something. He has given you strength, and to me, sweetness, and I offer him back my fragrance, and I am thankful.' 'Sweetness is all nonsense,' said the oak, 'a few days--a month at most--here, and what will you be? You will die, and the place of your grave will not lift the ground more than a blade of grass. I hope to stand ages more in time, perhaps, and then when I am cut down, I shall be a ship to bear men over the sea, or a coffin to hold the dust of a prince.' 'But! Cheerfully breathed the violet back, 'We are both what God made us and we are both where he placed us. I suppose I shall die soon. I hope to die fragrantly. You must be cut down at last; it does not matter that I see a few days or a few ages;it comes to the same thing at last: we are where God placed us. God gave you strength; He gave me sweetness."
The Christian girl should be like the man who said his secret of contentment consisted in the right use of his eyes.
He said, "When I meet with any trial, I first of all look up to heaven, and I remember that my chief business in life is to get there. Then I look down upon the earth and I think how small a space I shall need when I die, and then, I look around and think how many people there are in the world who have more cause to be unhappy than I have. And so, I learn the Bible lesson: "Be content with such things as ye have."
Too many girls lose their charm by whining, fretting, and grumbling. A fretting, grumbling, discontent person is one of the most unlovable persons in the world. Someone has said that a wasp is a comfortable house-mate in comparison; it only stings when disturbed, but a habitual, discontented fretter stings with or without provocation.
Here are some of the questions at the end of this chapter:
What is better than great treasure? Proverbs 15:16
What did the apostle Paul say he had learned? Philippians 4:11
What is great gain? I Timothy 6:6
What must we be content with? Ist Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5
Of what are we not to be anxious? Matthew 6:31, 32
What may befall those who are not content with what money they have? Ist Timothy 6:9,10
What illustration did Jesus use to teach contentment? Luke 12:24-28
What promise leads to contentment? Genesis 8:22
Will a jealous person be content? Proverbs 6:34, 35
When a covetous person gets what he seeks, is he contented? Ecclesiastes 5:10
After each lesson in these books is a scrapbook assignment. They are to make a four page little scrapbook and fill it in the way that is instructed in the book, to illustrate the lesson.
I have another shaped card to post, and a project to share.
The painting of the girl at the window, which was done in the 1800's, was not all fantasy. In fact, many of did this as a favorite recreation, because it was at the window that we could get the best light, while reading.