Saturday, September 19, 2015

Just Be Held

I heard this song on the radio this morning, and I wanted to write about it on my blog.  It's a beautiful song by Casting Crowns called "Just Be Held."  The lyrics remind the listener that no matter what life throws your way, don't worry, because the Lord is holding you.  So, just rest in His loving arms.

I know the times in my life where I have been overwhelmed by what is going on around me, and I want to ask God why.  Why me Lord?  But I love the words in this song--"Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place."  God knew what was going on in my life even if I didn't understand it, and it's true--my life was falling into place.  My life was being weaved into a beautiful story that only God can create.  A life that I could never fathom, and I can honestly say a better life than I ever imagined.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you're tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There's freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You'll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You'll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you'll understand
I'm painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you'll find Me
And where you are, I'll hold your heart
I'll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won't let go

So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Here is the music video clip for this song: 

Friday, September 18, 2015

An Excerpt from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

"Jane," he (Mr. Rochester) recommenced, as we entered the laurel walk, and slowly
strayed down in the direction of the sunk fence and the horse-
chestnut, "Thornfield is a pleasant place in summer, is it not?"

"Yes, sir."
"You must have become in some degree attached to the house,--you,
who have an eye for natural beauties, and a good deal of the organ
of Adhesiveness?"

"I am attached to it, indeed."
"And though I don't comprehend how it is, I perceive you have
acquired a degree of regard for that foolish little child Adele,
too; and even for simple dame Fairfax?"

"Yes, sir; in different ways, I have an affection for both."
"And would be sorry to part with them?"
"Pity!" he said, and sighed and paused.  "It is always the way of
events in this life," he continued presently:  "no sooner have you
got settled in a pleasant resting-place, than a voice calls out to
you to rise and move on, for the hour of repose is expired."

"Must I move on, sir?" I asked.  "Must I leave Thornfield?"
"I believe you must, Jane.  I am sorry, Janet, but I believe indeed
you must."

This was a blow:  but I did not let it prostrate me.
"Well, sir, I shall be ready when the order to march comes."
"It is come now--I must give it to-night."
"Then you ARE going to be married, sir?"
"Ex-act-ly--pre-cise-ly:  with your usual acuteness, you have hit
the nail straight on the head."

"Soon, sir?"
"Very soon, my--that is, Miss Eyre:  and you'll remember, Jane, the
first time I, or Rumour, plainly intimated to you that it was my
intention to put my old bachelor's neck into the sacred noose, to
enter into the holy estate of matrimony--to take Miss Ingram to my
bosom, in short (she's an extensive armful:  but that's not to the
point--one can't have too much of such a very excellent thing as my
beautiful Blanche):  well, as I was saying--listen to me, Jane!
You're not turning your head to look after more moths, are you?
That was only a lady-clock, child, 'flying away home.'  I wish to
remind you that it was you who first said to me, with that
discretion I respect in you--with that foresight, prudence, and
humility which befit your responsible and dependent position--that
in case I married Miss Ingram, both you and little Adele had better
trot forthwith.  I pass over the sort of slur conveyed in this
suggestion on the character of my beloved; indeed, when you are far
away, Janet, I'll try to forget it:  I shall notice only its wisdom;
which is such that I have made it my law of action.  Adele must go
to school; and you, Miss Eyre, must get a new situation."

"Yes, sir, I will advertise immediately:  and meantime, I suppose--"
I was going to say, "I suppose I may stay here, till I find another
shelter to betake myself to:" but I stopped, feeling it would not do
to risk a long sentence, for my voice was not quite under command.

"In about a month I hope to be a bridegroom," continued Mr.
Rochester; "and in the interim, I shall myself look out for
employment and an asylum for you."

"Thank you, sir; I am sorry to give--"
"Oh, no need to apologise!  I consider that when a dependent does
her duty as well as you have done yours, she has a sort of claim
upon her employer for any little assistance he can conveniently
render her; indeed I have already, through my future mother-in-law,
heard of a place that I think will suit:  it is to undertake the
education of the five daughters of Mrs. Dionysius O'Gall of
Bitternutt Lodge, Connaught, Ireland.  You'll like Ireland, I think:
they're such warm-hearted people there, they say."

"It is a long way off, sir."
"No matter--a girl of your sense will not object to the voyage or
the distance."

"Not the voyage, but the distance:  and then the sea is a barrier--"
"From what, Jane?"
"From England and from Thornfield:  and--"
"From YOU, sir."
I said this almost involuntarily, and, with as little sanction of
free will, my tears gushed out.  I did not cry so as to be heard,
however; I avoided sobbing.  The thought of Mrs. O'Gall and
Bitternutt Lodge struck cold to my heart; and colder the thought of
all the brine and foam, destined, as it seemed, to rush between me
and the master at whose side I now walked, and coldest the
remembrance of the wider ocean--wealth, caste, custom intervened
between me and what I naturally and inevitably loved.

"It is a long way," I again said.
"It is, to be sure; and when you get to Bitternutt Lodge, Connaught, Ireland, I shall never see you again, Jane:  that's morally certain.
I never go over to Ireland, not having myself much of a fancy for
the country.  We have been good friends, Jane; have we not?"

"Yes, sir."
"And when friends are on the eve of separation, they like to spend
the little time that remains to them close to each other.  Come!
we'll talk over the voyage and the parting quietly half-an-hour or
so, while the stars enter into their shining life up in heaven
yonder:  here is the chestnut tree:  here is the bench at its old
roots.  Come, we will sit there in peace to-night, though we should
never more be destined to sit there together."  He seated me and

"It is a long way to Ireland, Janet, and I am sorry to send my
little friend on such weary travels:  but if I can't do better, how
is it to be helped?  Are you anything akin to me, do you think,

I could risk no sort of answer by this time:  my heart was still.
"Because," he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to
you--especially when you are near me, as now:  it is as if I had a
string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably
knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of
your little frame.  And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred
miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of
communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should
take to bleeding inwardly.  As for you,--you'd forget me."

"That I NEVER should, sir:  you know--"  Impossible to proceed.
"Jane, do you hear that nightingale singing in the wood?  Listen!"
In listening, I sobbed convulsively; for I could repress what I
endured no longer; I was obliged to yield, and I was shaken from
head to foot with acute distress.  When I did speak, it was only to
express an impetuous wish that I had never been born, or never come
to Thornfield.

"Because you are sorry to leave it?"
The vehemence of emotion, stirred by grief and love within me, was
claiming mastery, and struggling for full sway, and asserting a
right to predominate, to overcome, to live, rise, and reign at last:
yes,--and to speak.

"I grieve to leave Thornfield:  I love Thornfield:- I love it,
because I have lived in it a full and delightful life,--momentarily
at least.  I have not been trampled on.  I have not been petrified.
I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every
glimpse of communion with what is bright and energetic and high.  I
have talked, face to face, with what I reverence, with what I
delight in,--with an original, a vigorous, an expanded mind.  I have
known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish
to feel I absolutely must be torn from you for ever.  I see the
necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of

"Where do you see the necessity?" he asked suddenly.
"Where?  You, sir, have placed it before me."
"In what shape?"
"In the shape of Miss Ingram; a noble and beautiful woman,--your

"My bride!  What bride?  I have no bride!"
"But you will have."
"Yes;--I will!--I will!"  He set his teeth.
"Then I must go:- you have said it yourself."
"No:  you must stay!  I swear it--and the oath shall be kept."
"I tell you I must go!" I retorted, roused to something like
passion.  "Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you?  Do you
think I am an automaton?--a machine without feelings? and can bear
to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of
living water dashed from my cup?  Do you think, because I am poor,
obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?  You think
wrong!--I have as much soul as you,--and full as much heart!  And if
God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have
made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave
you.  I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom,
conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh;--it is my spirit that
addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave,
and we stood at God's feet, equal,--as we are!"

"As we are!" repeated Mr. Rochester--"so," he added, enclosing me in
his arms.  Gathering me to his breast, pressing his lips on my lips:
"so, Jane!"

"Yes, so, sir," I rejoined:  "and yet not so; for you are a married
man--or as good as a married man, and wed to one inferior to you--to
one with whom you have no sympathy--whom I do not believe you truly
love; for I have seen and heard you sneer at her.  I would scorn
such a union:  therefore I am better than you--let me go!"

"Where, Jane?  To Ireland?"
"Yes--to Ireland.  I have spoken my mind, and can go anywhere now."
"Jane, be still; don't struggle so, like a wild frantic bird that is
rending its own plumage in its desperation."

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with
an independent will, which I now exert to leave you."

Another effort set me at liberty, and I stood erect before him.
"And your will shall decide your destiny," he said:  "I offer you my
hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions."

"You play a farce, which I merely laugh at."
"I ask you to pass through life at my side--to be my second self,
and best earthly companion."

"For that fate you have already made your choice, and must abide by

"Jane, be still a few moments:  you are over-excited:  I will be
still too."

A waft of wind came sweeping down the laurel-walk, and trembled
through the boughs of the chestnut:  it wandered away--away--to an
indefinite distance--it died.  The nightingale's song was then the
only voice of the hour:  in listening to it, I again wept.  Mr.
Rochester sat quiet, looking at me gently and seriously.  Some time
passed before he spoke; he at last said -

"Come to my side, Jane, and let us explain and understand one

"I will never again come to your side:  I am torn away now, and
cannot return."

"But, Jane, I summon you as my wife:  it is you only I intend to

I was silent:  I thought he mocked me.
"Come, Jane--come hither."
"Your bride stands between us."
He rose, and with a stride reached me.
"My bride is here," he said, again drawing me to him, "because my
equal is here, and my likeness.  Jane, will you marry me?"

Still I did not answer, and still I writhed myself from his grasp:
for I was still incredulous.

"Do you doubt me, Jane?"
"You have no faith in me?"
"Not a whit."
"Am I a liar in your eyes?" he asked passionately.  "Little sceptic,
you SHALL be convinced.  What love have I for Miss Ingram?  None:
and that you know.  What love has she for me?  None:  as I have
taken pains to prove:  I caused a rumour to reach her that my
fortune was not a third of what was supposed, and after that I
presented myself to see the result; it was coldness both from her
and her mother.  I would not--I could not--marry Miss Ingram.  You--
you strange, you almost unearthly thing!--I love as my own flesh.
You--poor and obscure, and small and plain as you are--I entreat to
accept me as a husband."

 Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester - This is by far my favorite version of ...

Here is a short film clip for this scene: 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Poem of the Week

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Friday, September 4, 2015


Here is a lovely poem from one of my favorite authors, Shakespeare.  You might remember Marianne Dashwood quoting it from the 1995 release of Sense and Sensibility. 


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.