I just finished the book.....then I watched the movie last night. For all who do not already know, the movie significantly pales in comparison to the book; it was such a disappointment. So, for all fans of the movie who haven't read the book.....READ THE BOOK!! Lizzy and Jane made me long for the companionship of a sister, the savvy Mr. Wickham gave me urgency to rise up and want to defend only to eventually give me cause for detesting him completely, Mr. Collins offered moments of great laughter as he reminded me of one or two of my own family members, and Mr. Darcy swept me away. The fact that Mr. Darcy realized he was eaten up with tremendous pride just when Lizzy became convicted about her prejudices against him left me with a buzz of happiness that lasted two or three hours at least. (I have already opened "Sense and Sensibility".....and even plan to complete all of Jane Austen's books within the next several weeks.)
I did not gain a love for books until I was 22. My reading obsession actually began with Frank Peretti's book: "This Present Darkness" (Best Christian Novel of all time); until that point in time, I read out of obedience to a school curriculum. This may sound surprising to some, but for the last almost 20 years, I have read ONLY Christian/Spiritual authors---fiction and non-fiction (usually taking turn-about with the two). Out of a loyal sense of obligation to my faith that I didn't fully realize was there, it recently occurred to me, I have never given myself permission to take time to enjoy classic novels, other than when I would read "Where the Red Fern Grows", "Moby Dick", "Anne of Green Gables", etc. aloud to the children during Homeschooling. This year, however, I have released the "Classic Monster" that has been chained inside of me for so long. I will read the classics and relish getting lost in the romance, intrigue, mystery and thrills they provide. Since I typically complete a book every two weeks, I am already counting the stories I will discover, the places I will visit, and the characters I will meet.
The question probably on your minds: With 5 children, two of which are special needs children, where do I find the time for reading? Considering I have a housekeeper, live-in nanny, and cook.....you can probably figure out I have plenty of time to lounge around on the sofa with a blanket and my books. NOT!!! Ha! Ha! Don't worry, like most of you, I am the housekeeper, nanny, and cook.
I have mentioned this before, hopefully a few readers can relate, there appears to be something inside of me that is yearning to quit rushing around. Instead, I find I desire to enjoy the simple pleasures life affords: taking time to dig through interesting recipes, cooking different types of meals for my family, not allowing myself to get too anxious over a pile of laundry our dog continually gets lost in and putting "house cleaning" on a schedule (taking two rooms a day instead of the whole house in one day), planting a garden in the spring, playing board games with the kids, writing songs with Lydia, cheering wildly for Caleb while he plays sports, teaching Natalie to crochet and sew, being goofy on the floor with Hope and Charlie, getting dressed up to go on "once-a-week dates" with my hubby, and making more time to read. When I rush around on a schedule filled with meeting people at one place and then another, I find time flies. I don't want time to fly.
A few good friends, a garden to tend, good food to share, precious time enjoying my family.....and a few good books: really, does it get any better than this??? In a time where we have been unknowingly conditioned to believe busy is better, where we remain distracted with all types of electronic devices, and where the current influence of media results in 50% of all marriages ending in divorce and leads 80% of current college graduates to seriously question the viability of the existence of God (most leaving their faith), we all need a good reminder to stop and enjoy the simple things God meant for us to enjoy.
A slower pace is such a treasured trait to work toward....I know, because I had to work for it. I would be too ashamed to list the things I used to juggle and be involved in. My parents often cautioned that I needed to slow down or life would pass me by, but thinking I knew more than them, I refused to listen.....on September 14, 2005, Hopey came along and brought an abrupt stop to everything in my life. With her diagnoses of Down Syndrome and a serious heart defect, I gained eyes that saw life from a brand new perspective. Thank you Hopey, thank you to my parents (who have proven to be wiser than I originally thought), and most of all, thank you God for giving me everything You knew I needed!
(For anyone who might have a brief moment of worry that I am giving up Christian books for the year, be reminded, I have not given up God's Word! Nightly, as a family, we come together for our family meeting, Bible Study, and prayer..another one of those treasured times! Note, this one hour a night spent together in our Great Room as a family has drawn us closer together than anything else we have ever done.)