Saturday, June 23, 2018

"Laura stopped, aghast.  Suddenly she had realized what she was doing.  Ma must have hidden this book.  Laura had no right to read it.  Quickly she shut her eyes, and then she shut the book.  It was almost more than she could do, not to read just one word more, just to the end of that one line.  But she knew that she must not yield one tiny bit of temptation."   ~Laura Ingalls Wilder, "Little Town on the Prairie"

Katherine and I are working our way through the Little House books at a snail's pace.  We took a break to enjoy Elizabeth Enright's Melendy Quartet, but now we back to loving Laura, Ma, and Pa.  Recently, we came across the chapter where Laura is helping pack up the house when she discovers a hidden book wrapped in winter clothes in a drawer.  I paused as I read aloud to Katherine and asked her if she knew why it was so important that Laura chose to not yield to temptation, even in something as minute as finishing a line of text in a book.

That ten-year-old of mine, she knew right away.  Knew that if you practice self control when you think it doesn't really matter, those "insignificant" choices build muscle memory just like practicing scales on the piano.  Then you are strong to make wise choices and exercise your self control later in life.  We moved on from the teachable moment, snuggled deeper into the chair, and finished the chapter, but reading together opened the door for that brief, meaningful conversation.  As if I needed one more reason to love books.

"The character of any person's life is not shaped by two or three grand, big moments of life.  A person's character is formed in ten thousand little mundane moments of everyday life.  It's the character that is formed in those little moments of life that determines how you think and respond in the few big moments of life that you encounter."   ~Paul David Trip, "New Morning Mercies"

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