Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beautiful Lines~

To live content with small means;
To seek elegance rather than luxury;
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy not rich;
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly;
to listen to stars and birds, to sage and babes,
with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasion, hurry never;
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.

-William Henry Channing

\Anita gave this verse to her girls in the Christian Womanhood class one year. It's been in my Bible ever since, because I like it so much. In a beautiful way, it portrays what a good, happy life should be.

I'm still pondering on it though, and wrestling with the line: elegance versus luxury and wealth versus riches. The contrasts seem so similar and I don't grasp fully what it's supposed to mean.

Channing uses his words carefully and beautifully.

To let the spiritual,unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.


I try so hard unbidden and unconscious, and wish for the mountaintop experiences grow up through the common

That's just plain 'ole everyday life. No mountaintops there. Nothing sparkly or rose tinted.

Just the hum-drum of life. But it can be beautiful. And that makes me happy inside.



  1. Lovely! I shall ponder this now too! :)

  2. Oh, Vicki, I wish I could always remember this. Ordinary can be mundane, or it can be a precious gift! It's all in your perspective.
    I always think about this when I visit my grandma. She is 90, and still is able to take care of her needs. What always strikes me is her amazing joy. Every sentence Grandma says is punctuated by a laugh at the end! I think it's because she sees everything she receives as a gift, and is deeply grateful. Even if I just pop in for ten minutes, she thinks I am so generous to give her TEN MINUTES of my precious time. I shake my head, because she gives me much greater gifts than I could ever give her.
    People tell me we're alike... and it's an amazing honor. I know I need to grow in living out all Channing's words. My grandma is the essence of his symphony!