Generation Cedar

I’ve always loved Gladys Hunt’s, Honey for a Child’s Heart, and her ability to bring life to the magic and importance of reading and what it can do for your relationships at home.

But this one excerpt….oh so important! And I fear we grow increasingly numb to its truth:

“We are inclined to make life heavy and see only what must be done, not what could be done. As more and more mothers join the work force outside the home, this burdened way of life will increase….

We let the evening news take away our delight in the beauty of a sunset. The ugly becomes more real than the good….Then we forget to notice and to share what is new and fresh and good about today.

Underlying all of this discussion is my thesis that parents who read widely together with their children are going to be those who most influence their children, who have the largest worldview, who have an uncommon delight in what is good and true and beautiful–and an uncommon commitment to it. Sharing and feeling and talking together will come naturally. Books shared with each other provide that kind of climate.” -Gladys Hunt (emphasis mine)

Do we see how easy it is to let the adult burdens of our world creep in and squash the innocent joy of childhood? And don’t we forget to let that childhood joy infiltrate our world to soften the burdens in it?

To me that’s why life without a variety of ages mingled in leaves us stifled and incomplete. I think it’s why God made families to naturally have children until the children begin to have children. They give us something that nothing else can replace!

Reading is more than reading; it’s living with and experiencing life together in a continual new discovery of what is good, with the advantage of a child’s and adult’s perspective intermingling.

We can all read….even on the worst days. Remember its weight!

(For some recommendations, my daughter has compiled a few book reviews to help parents make choices about literature.)


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7 Responses

  1. I so much appreciate your words of wisdom! The one part that really stuck to me was about having all different ages. Just the other day, I was really struggling with all the ages I have in my home (12 arrows from the ages of 19 months to 19 years) and I began to look at how most women my age now are starting to beable to go and do what they want when they want and I seem to STILL be at everyone’s beckoning call and sometimes I get weary. (Just being honest! Although not proud of it!) I began to wonder what it would be like to just leave the house on a whim without having to line up who is doing what and when I will return and always feeling in a hurry. The world seems to look at things from the perspective on how wonderful it will be when the kids are all grown and moved away and FINALLY you can back to ‘real’ life. I get sucked in to that sometimes. MOST days I would never want that, my children are a blessing day in and day out but sometimes it is HARD and so much of ‘self’ must be poured out. I needed your reminder that it is SO amazing having all ages in my home and how I too appreciate the simpleness small children bring to my life. A gift some people just don’t have the joy of having!I just wanted to say thank you! You maybe had no clue that one sentence would mean so much, but it did!

    Blessings to you!

    1. Heather,

      I’m so glad you wrote this–God’s timing is always perfect and I’m constantly aware of how important it is that we simply stay reminded…as you said, “we know”, we just forget.

  2. My parent’s were influenced by that book when raising me. I went through state education and was barely churched, but we were a reading and talking family and they shaped my worldview in spite of all the other influences in my life.

  3. I am such a believer in reading to kids. All ages. Even when I taught jr. high, I read aloud every day to my Bible classes (Christian biographies, “The Hiding Place” “Hind’s Feet on High Places”) and my English classes. The kids loved it. They put their heads down on their desks and just listened. It was never so quiet in my classroom as when I was reading aloud. My own childen love it. My oldest boy, who never sits still, is always still when I read, and would have me read until my voice gave out if he could.

  4. I also read to my children…we are working on the little house series, but have also read the strawberry girl, the all of a kind family, all the henry huggins and on and on…even narnia! They LOVE it, even when they are a bit too young for the stories…Often I read 5-6 chapters, and in our homeschool curriculum, it suggests reading like 2 chapters of a book and we often read 2 or 3 times that much!

  5. Amen! Reading aloud seems too simple to people…they think because it is delightful and natural it must not be academic! Oh, how wrong they are! I call reading aloud “Superfood” for the brain! It does wonders! And it bonds families.

    I have a long book list for all ages on my blog.

    Thanks for publishing that Gladys Hunt comment. I was transformed by that book early in my young motherhood even though I came from a reading family…I heard her on the radio again only two years ago and she was going strong! Bless her!

    Jill Farris

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