I wasn't so sure about this one and it took me a few days worth of reading the first few pages of this one to really get into it for some reason.
Daughter of Joy by Kathleen Morgan
This book is set in the plains east of Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1895. It's not difficult to imagine what life was like in the West 125 years ago because of the way Kathleen Morgan describes daily life for Abigail Stanton. Abigail Stanton lost her husband in a railroad accident and then a year after that lost her 5 year old son to diphtheria. In an effort to get away from it all, she traveled hours away from her home town to accept a job on a ranch to be a housemaid to Connor MacKay and a teacher to his young daughter, Beth.
Beth and Connor are not very pleased with the fact that Abby is an outspoken and devoted Christian who takes the time to tell people that God loves them and says Grace before eating her meals. They have a very rocky start and Abby believes God has called her to Culdee Creek for a reason, even if she hasn't discovered what that reason may be. Abby continues to try to break through to the MacKays the best she knows how, and tries to abide by her faith and teachings to do what is right.
This book touched my heart in a special way because each chapter began with scripture. So many of these verses just pulled on my heart strings and went along with each chapter so perfectly.
Some of my favorites:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it. Song of Solomon 8:7
And then there were a few passages that really stood out to me:
We should love our fellow man. And that is why we must, out of love for God, love and help our neighbor. And when he has done wrong to us, we must forgive him and not render evil for evil. p.88
Everything that happened in life-whether for good or bad, joyous or tragic reasons-held the potential to sanctify and bring one closer to the Lord. Even, Abby realized, the personal pain and horror of loss. In life's catastrophic upheavals, i the self-fragmentation, confusion, and spirit-shattering grief, there was always the hope of rebirth to a new and even better life-a life not of this world but of the Spirit. p.110
Despair, if tasted too often and deeply, could do that to anyone. It was a drug that slowly but surely numbed the heart, and weakened the spirit, until one finally lost all will to go on. If not for her love for the Lord, Abby feared she would have succumbed long ago. p.122
I have learned so much in this past year and a half- about myself, others, and how to come through the greatest tragedy of my life. Even more importantly, I've learned so much about my relationship with the Lord. I've learned that, though everything is ultimately transient, His love is steadfast and eternal. I've learned to daily cherish His gifts and graces, all the while remembering that they are His and not mine to depend upon or cling to Most of all, my faith and trust in Him have grown. I place everything in His hands now, where it was always meant to be. Who else, indeed, can take better care? p.326
I would recommend this book to a friend :)