Books, Family, forgiveness, LDS, ldsmom, Monday's Posts, motherhood

Our Character House

Today my post will be short and sweet!  I’m trying to keep this week mostly free for my kids last week before school starts.  I am just going to share one of my favorite quotes from my favorite book Little Britches.  My husband’s family introduced me to this book and the others written by Ralph Moody.  Our kids ask for these to be read over and over as their nightly book choice.  My husband reads to our kids every night as they fall asleep.  They love it.  This book is about a rambunctious little boy who has some of the greatest adventures.  It also has some touching parts that bring you to tears.  The life lessons in these books are tremendous.  And here’s one:

Ralph had just done something he knew he shouldn’t have…

“It would be better to go right home and tell Mother I’d lied.  If she spanked me first, he{his father} probably wouldn’t give me another one right on top of that.

Mother didn’t spank me, though.  She gasped, and look at me as if I’d been a rattlesnake ready to strike.  Then she made me stand with my face in a corner.  I stood there while the rest of the youngsters had their supper and went to bed, and for at least an hour afterward while Mother sat at the table and read the Bible.  I knew what she was reading because I heard her take it down from the lamp shelf.  There wasn’t any clock in the kitchen, and the only sound was the thumping of my own heart.

At last I heard Father drive into the yard, and listened to every sound as he put the team away and came to the house.  He stood in the open doorway for a moment before he spoke.  When he did, his voice was very quiet.  “What happened, Mame?”

It was a full minute before Mother said anything.  And then her voice was as quiet as Father’s.  “Charles, the time has come when this boy must have a father’s firm hand.  I am appalled by the degeneracy he has shown since we left East Rochester.”

I had never heard Mother’s voice like that, and I had never heard her call Father “Charles.”  I thought my heart would pound itself to pieces while she was telling him what I had done.  Hard as Father could spank, he never hurt me so much with a stick as he did when Mother stopped talking.  He cleared his throat, and then he didn’t make a sound for at least two full minutes.

When he spoke, his voice was deep and dry, and I knew he must have been coughing a lot on the way home.  “Son, there is no question but what the thing you have done today deserves severe punishment.  You might have killed yourself or the horse, but much worse than that, you have injured your own characterA man’s character is like his house.  If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin.  If he tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldn’t do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin.  A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth.

He waited until his words had plenty of time to soak in, then he said, “I might give you a hard thrashing; if I did, you would possibly remember the thrashing longer than you would remember about the injury you have done yourself.  I am not going to do it.  There were eighteen crossties in the gulch yesterday, and the section foreman told me they were going to replace twenty  more. Until you have dragged every one of those ties home, you will wear your Buster Brown suit to school, and I will not take you anywhere with me.””

So Ralph had to get up early before his other farm chores and school plus work on this after school as well to get it done.  It took him 2 weeks.  Sometimes I think I wish I lived on a farm.  My kids don’t learn hard lessons like Ralph had to.  So I am grateful for stories to help teach my kids how good they have it.

I hope you will get this book.  It is so much fun for kids and adults.  Have a wonderful week and make time to spend with your kids making memories.

Life is Good.  Share the Good.


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