In Our Time of Trouble

In these days of self-isolation we work to reach out to one another in different ways. Reaching for consolation and advise from Elizabeth is probably one that we have all experienced.

She herself lived through the great flu pandemic of 1918, which killed more people than the horrendous world war they had just gone through, and was a contributing factor to Elizabeth’s spinsterhood.

So what would Elizabeth recommend that I read, I reached out and pulled The Rosemary Tree from the shelf. Not one of my favourite of her books, Daphne annoys me. I went to put it back and then remembered the themes that this work explores; confinement, isolation, imprisonment, illness, and the ultimate journey of death.

Perhaps it has something to say to me after all. Let Elizabeth keep you company and offer consolation for an evening or two, I don’t think the conversation will disappoint.


  1. I always turn to Elizabeth during difficult times. Not sure what she’d make of a mouthy punky Druid but I’ve loved her all my life and always will. Currently I’m off again with Marianne and Marguerite and William in Green Dolphin Country….

    • What a grand addition to my day this has been. All Goudge on the bookshelf just down the hall and a treat for tonight. Scent of Water always on my bedside table.

    • A wonderful book, profoundly moving and positive. I love it when Samuel tells William that when human endeavour is stretched to its utmost it divine energy and the two together are invariably sufficient for salvation; and when Margierite says near the end that when a proud person humbles herself it’s like jumping off the cathedral tower.

  2. I’m thinking of pulling The Castle on the Hill as it also explores issues of isolation and difficult times, and reminds us there is hope even when it seems like hope is lost.

  3. Thank you for your post. I was thinking about Elizabeth just the other day, and wondering as you did which of her books would speak to me now.

    I appreciate your recommendation and am headed for her bookcase now.

    By the way, Daphne annoys the heck out of me, too.

    Thank you for keeping this site alive and well!

  4. Elizabeth Goudge is both comforting and a voice of strength in a time like this, as she walked through so much herself, as you say. On Instagram, we have gathered 1600 Goudge readers and are gaining new Goudge fans everyday. We read Gentian Hill together in March, and it’s themes of endurance and conquering fear were so timely. Many people have drawn comfort also from The Castle on the Hill about the endurance through the Blitz. I will recommend RT as well! Thank you for this post, Deborah. ❤️

  5. I just finished the Pilgrim Inn trilogy. Those three books have always given me solace it times of crisis.

    • The Pilgrim’s Inn trilogy is my favorite of hers. Her deep faith shines through all of her books. Thanks for the reminders of the rich experience of picking up a Goudge book; it’s like a visit with a close friend!

    • Those are my favorites as well. My copy of Pilgrim’s Inn is falling apart, but I can’t get another. Once I found a hardback copy and was overjoyed. But I was distracted by the words being g on the “wrong” side of the page. I gave the book to my boss who loved it and read it aloud with her mother. I will just keep taping my old copy as long as I can.

  6. Lovely to read these posts. Haven’t read one of Elizabeth’s books for some time. Maybe it is time I did!

  7. yep, I always go to Elizabeth Goudge when I need courage. The goodness and faithfulness which is found in her books sustain me, and yet in no way does she shy away from human anguish or suffering or evil. Perhaps the thing she expresses most beautifully is that suffering, when it is offered to God, will be fruitful. Just knowing the books are on my shelf comforts me!

    • I agree with all you say. I have just read Gentian Hill again. I was born and live in Torquay so the story raises lots of happy memories for me

  8. These posts are so welcome. Sometimes I forget how many of us find a home in Elizabeth’s books. And it’s lovely to picture all the bookshelves in distant places that are devoted to her works.

    • Pam, I just loved your image of “all the bookshelves in distant places” that hold her dear books. That would make a fabulous post here, wouldn’t it? If we sent in photos of our Goudge book shelves? Thanks for your post.

        • Due to the varying opinions expressed here about “The Rosemary Tree” I believe I’ll have to hunt down a copy of it and re-read it. And because at the moment here in Colorado we have a foot of snow and are expecting more in a few days I believe my “re-read choice” will be “The Joy of the Snow”–as a reminder of it’s grandeur! As suggested by Pam and Dana, I tried to post a photo of my “Goudge bookshelf” without success. Now I’ve decided the whole bookshelf could use some general re-organization/tidying up. Another good and unforeseen benefit of this Goudge posting! Take care, everyone!

    • As i am just gathering my old and newly purchased Goudge books onto a dedicated shelf, your comment was most meaningful.

  9. Thank you so much for posting, Deb. I don’t have “The Rosemary Tree”, as I recall I wasn’t fond of it either. Thus I’ll have to find an alternative Goudge reading selection (which will be a happy task). Take care, all of you dear Goudge fans, wherever you are.

  10. Dear All

    So lovely to read your thoughts and comments. I grew up under the shadow of Gentian Hill (Marldon, South Devon) and did a school project on Miss Goodge. She was really kind and answered my questions. She lived in a bungalow on the same lane as my grandmother and I used to walk past her gate regularly. I still strongly believe that Compton Castle is Moonacre Manor and Torbay is the basis for the bay in Little White Horse which is still my go to favourite. Keep reading and enjoying her works. Kind regards

  11. I love The Heart of the Family, with its theme of fortitude in suffering; I particularly love Hilary talking to Sebastian.

    And then there’s The Little White Horse, which my mother read to me as a bedtime story, and which I found absolutely magical.

  12. Through the ‘stay at home’ here in New Zealand I have read only Elizabeth Goudge! First ‘The Dean’s Watch’ and now ‘A City of Bells’ Her quietly lovely books of all sorts of beautiful and flawed characters, struggling away as we all do, are a comfort and an inspiration. Earlier this year I reread ‘The Child from the Sea’ and ‘The Little White Horse’ and found and bought a copy of -almost – every book she has written…what a pleasure to be amidst them now, heading into our Southern hemisphere winter… it’s lovely to be amongst fellow enjoyers here and thank you for this morning’s email!

    Rachel Quartermain

    • It was lovely to read a comment from a fellow New Zealander. I have read “The Scent of Water about 20 times. I think I’ll go back to “The Deans Watch” during lockdown.

  13. Thank you so much, Deborah, for this timely post on our dear Miss Goudge, the comfort and courage in her writings. The Rosemary Tree has always been one of my favorites, in part because of little Winkle. All the girls in the family remind me of some part of my growing-up self. Each of the characters give so much to the story.
    So perhaps The Rosemary Tree will make its way from the bookshelf to my nightstand soon.

  14. Thank you for your post, Deborah. It warms the heart to receive mails about Elizabeth especially now. I have just finished reading once more the Valley of Song which is my favourite in times of sorrow and problems. So much more in it than it seems at first sight, and so enchanting.Though I love all her books, another favourite is the Scent of Water.
    Josie from Belgium

    • It’s so wonderful to find someone else who has read Valley of Song. I’ve kept it close to me
      from one house to another throughout my life. As I write this I can reach out and put my hand on it. I agree that it’s a balm in these times.

      PAM from
      Bethlehem,PA ,USA

  15. I want to put a good word in for The Rosemary Tree. I love how the whole plot is undergirded by Harriet’s prayers.
    I love Mrs. Wentworth and the passing on of her heritage to the religious order.
    I love the parsonage family and John – the minister – who reminds me of my own father. Of his relationship with Margery. I love the children and the relationship between John and Margery.
    I notice repetition of the Goudge symbol of the pattern – and the gulls weaving a pattern. I love Michael the ex-prisoner’s coming in as part of that pattern.
    I empathize with Daphne’s clinging to the cleft in the rock.
    I love the entire novel.
    Thanks for this thread – I have picked up The Castle on the Hill and an re-reading it after 35 years, noticing things I have missed.

    • The Rosemary Tree is my favorite; the layers are complex,and the redemptions are beautiful. Daphne is meant to annoy us – and to perhaps see ourselves a bit more honestly, too. I find myself quoting bits of it even more than I do her other works!

  16. My heartfelt thanks to all those who posted reminding me of the joy in my life given by the writings of Elizabeth Goudge. Presently, I am away from my home and sheltering at a daughter’s and have no access to my books..but I do have some memory of each and can recall some of the magic I felt.

  17. Thank you all – I feel I have found a new sisterhood, I have two shelves of Elizabeth’s books at home but don’t know anyone else who reads her (unless I have forced a spare copy of the Dean’s Watch or the Little White Horse into their hands). It’s more of a secret fan club of one – until I arrived here! Elizabeth Goudge is not just a favourite author, she’s a spiritual teacher – most of the theology that made sense to me, I learned from her. My mother started me off early with Little White Horse and Linnets and Valerians, but her other books, gleaned from second-hand bookshops over the years, have seen me through some very dark times. Bless you all

    • Elin, Welcome kindred spirit! I wasn’t introduced to Elizabeth until I was in my 30s and wondered how I had missed her earlier. A dear friend, indeed!

    • Yes!! My feelings exactly.
      So exciting to read your words. EG has been my most profound spiritual teacher and trusted guide whose wisdom most matched my own experience of the divine. My mother’s copy of Pilgrim’s Inn opened such a magical and comforting world in my lonely young life, and when I discovered more of her books in my high school library, I hid them inside of textbooks to read during Study hall.
      I also have forced copies of her books on friends over the years, but it has remained a ‘secret fan club’ for me as well.
      Scent of Water and the Dean’s Watch are 2 of my favorites in these later decades, but I love them all. LInnets & Valerians much more than LIttle White Horse for me though.

      • I find The Little White Horse charming, but Linnets and Valerians is more than that – so much human nature and individual personalities (all four of the children are so very distinct) in the pages! I still remember when Nan discovered that the “education of the young was not just a burden to the young”. I still chuckle over that one!

        • I can’t help thinking that many, many more parents would agree with you, now they have coped with prolonged home schooling!!
          The ‘young’ can be delightful, or positively devilish! Never mind trying to persuade some learning into them.

      • Hey there kindred spirit! I think I still love the Little White Horse because I loved it when I was a little girl. I agree that Linnets & Valerians is more satisfying to an older reader. That glimpse of the slender unicorn at dawn though – that’s stayed with me. How JK Rowling loved that and then made unicorns into pedestrian creatures being killed for their silver blood as a potion ingredient is beyond me. A different sort of magic I suppose!

  18. I have been heart-warmed ,first by the posting and then by reading all the replies and enjoying the connection to others who love Elizabeth Goudge’s books. like Elin mine has been
    more of a personal fan club.and some unconvinced friends!

    Thank you all for the reminder of her help in times of trouble, I have decided to re read ‘The Deans Watch’ as it is a long time since I have – and I have been pondering over
    what it is that touches and helps one and has a universality in a different era and different beliefs, I am not a christian, – and I have just read these lines Miss Montague and the Dean
    have been talking about what has eternal value;- “Love. The only indestructible thing. The only wealth and the only reality. The only survival. At the end of it all there was nothing else.”
    Blessings x

    • The Dean’s Watch is my top pick of the Goudge books. Profound. Eternal. Thanks for these words from Miss Montague and the Dean.

  19. Dear Cathy,
    Thank you so much for your post. Just reading this quotation inspires me to read The Dean’s Watch, one of the few Goudge books I have not read. Love. So tender, fierce, and true. Her words continue to support, guide, uplift, comfort … and instruct. I hope she knows. I think she does. Blessings!

  20. I am thinking today of a lesson I learned from Elizabeth Goudge in 1976 – from _The Bird in the Tree_ – that love works from the outside in. When one ceases to feel love one ACTS like one loves and the actions then lead to the inner change. This applies not only to marriages but to church relationships and to discipline in every area of life.

  21. What an excellent reminder! Especially in our days when we are supposed to “feel” everything and act on these feelings alone. Sometimes we simply don’t feel loving and it’s hard, but it’s good to be reminded that we can still act in a loving way. Thanks.

  22. What a pleasure and a joy to read all your warm comments and relive your memories of favourite Elizabeth Goudge novels. On these dark days it is so good to be amongst gentle, loving minds, united and uplifted by a love of Elizabeth’s stories.
    My own favourite is The Dean’s Watch, but it is a close run thing among so many delights.
    I first came to Elizabeth as a desperately miserable 12 year old, alone at a new school where I didn’t seem to fit in. I found the book in the school library and so important did it become to me, that I never did return it, but renewed it endlessly until I left in the sixth form.
    I have it still, with its enchanting illustrations and I know that it got me through those early dark days.
    Since then I have managed to own and read most of them and though I can read less easily now, the stories are cherished in my minds eye.

  23. Sandy, just reading your post uplifted my heart today! I especially love, ” On these dark days it is so good to be amongst gentle, loving minds, united and uplifted by a love of Elizabeth’s stories.” So true, so true.

    I wonder if your local library would have any of Ms. Goudge’s books as audio books? I love having someone read aloud to me.

    • Thank you, Jana. Yes, I too love audio books and usually have one playing me to sleep most nights as well as proper listening sessions where possible each day.
      However, Elizabeth Goudge audio books are in a similar group to the little white horse (the unicorn) in the beloved book of the same name. I mean that they exist only in my dreams!!
      Probably due to J.K. Rowling’s choice of The Little White Horse as her favourite book, that has been recorded, but there is no trace of any other ever being made. Apart, that is, of a legend of a cassette copy of The Rosemary Tree, once located in an Australian library.
      Who would be your choice to read them, do you think, if we were ever lucky enough to have some made?

      • I like the voice of Amanda Burton, British actress. I think she would do a good job. Her voice isn’t immediately recognizable (like, for instance, Julie Andrews) and so there wouldn’t be that as a possible distraction. Julia Sawalha might add a bit more warmth. I like her voice, too.

      • Hello Sandy,

        I have two cassette titles of Elizabeth Goudge- The City of Bells 8 cassettes unabridged collectors edition read by Donada Peters, copyright 1988. And The Blue Hills/Henrietta’s House, 7 cassettes read by Donada
        Peters copyright 1986.
        I purchased them years ago but not as far back as when they first appeared. It may have been from Barnes & Noble USA I live in UK. I hope this information will help to track them down somewhere. I recall The Child from the Sea was also recorded.

        Kind wishes from Marion in England

        • Hello Marion
          Thank you so much for your reply. It is exciting news and I shall see if I can find out any more. How wonderful it would be to obtain copies of those. In these times, the comfort of listening to them would be immeasurable!
          I was beginning to wonder about raising money to ask Penny Wilton to read a few of them, whilst the lockdown is keeping theatre and television at a standstill.
          Thank you again

          • Welcome Sandy,
            I hope you are successful, A City of Bells and Sister of the Angels are great favourites of mine. And The Eliots of Damerosehay, set in the county where I live.
            Penny Wilton, I thought first of Penelope Wilton she has a lovely speaking voice too. I was lisening recently to The Enchanted April- on youtube with Libravox the reader’s name is Helen Taylor, very good. I loved Gwen Watford reading books back in the day, still have some.
            Best wishes in these times we are all experiencing.

  24. I’m pretty sure that I wrote some years ago that “The Dean’s Watch” more or less saved my life. I was in a terrible situation, ill and feeling very alone in a foreign country when I discovered this book and reading it brought me back to life. Its beauty and goodness infused me with hope and, needless to say, I went on to read most of Elizabeth’s other books, but this one for obvious reasons sticks in my mind the most.

    • My favourite, too. Such warmth and redemption are a constant comfort.
      I love Jana’s idea of Amanda Burton or Julia Sawalia reading it, or maybe Felicity Kendall?
      Polly’s practical remedy of a pot of tea, “‘Ot,” is still my go to for a bad day! It always makes me smile.
      Issac and later Henrietta in Sister to the Angels, taught me a fascinated appreciation of intricate clocks and ‘Jacks’ the figure, too.

  25. That is quite a testimony to the power of Elizabeth’s writing, Gabrielle. Thank you for sharing. So many here have mentioned this particular book and it is one of the only Goudge books I have not read. I can see it is time for my own infusion of goodness and hope.

  26. And mine. Although that’s a bit like choosing among your children. Each holds a special place in my heart. I find that they are a bulwark against the crassness and selfishness that litters the news media-at least in the US.

    • I found Henrietta’s House on Abe’s Books last year. It smelled musty, so I wrapped it in newspapers for a few months, and now it’s fresh smelling and clean! It came from a library in Glasgow, and is a lovely hard cover copy. I’ve had Smoky House in paperback for a long time, but I have never even so much as caught a glimpse of Valley of Song! I think I may have to order it here; thanks, Julie!

    • Thank you Julie, not only for the heads-up about reprints of these books but also including the link to this fascinating “Girls Gone By” website. Kerry

  27. Than you, Julie. I have all but The Valley of Song, which seems so hard to find, usually. I must put down for a copy without delay.
    How exciting!
    For anyone wondering if they will order, Henrietta’s House and Smokey House are both absolutely charming and conjure up the magic and peace of deep countryside villages and small towns in times gone by. The detail and working out of story-line threads is really enjoyable. A real treat!

    • Henrietta’s House! I got it out of our school library many decades ago and loved it. A City of Bells – the first book about Henrietta, more an adult book, is also delightful.

    • The Valley of Song was one of the three books Elizabeth loved. That’s what she said in her autobiography though she called it a quickly vanishing failure. She wrote it after her mother’s death.
      I have had it in French for a lot of years, often reread it and used to tell it to my children in the car when we went on holiday. After my father’s death it gave me comfort.
      I was lucky to find a first edition on abebooks.
      As you may guess I love this book too. I think the story is enchanting and very profound. I’m happy to hear it’ll be reprint.

  28. I’m so pleased that Elizabeth is being re-issued, for years I scoured the second-hand bookshops and then Abe books to find her writing. It was about as unfashionable as it was possible to be in these post-modern times. So glad that her quality is still being recognized.
    Valley of Song was one of her own favourites, but I have to say I found it hard going – the beginning and end are beguiling like her regular writing for children, but in the middle she goes right into twee and for me turgid fantasy. Perhaps she really enjoyed writing it, but I remember finding it hard to stick with – be interested to see your comments. In fact, it’s years since I read it, I’ll go back and give it another try.

    • Hi Elin,
      I just received my paperback copy of The Valley of Song from Girls Gone By Publishers.

      It opens with about 6 pages on Buckler’s Hard – the place that served as the setting for her story. It has B&W photos. Then comes a couple of pages on the publishing history of the book itself.

      I read it once several years ago and appreciated the way she wove the fantasy into the story (I think it appealed to the child in me). Looking forward to taking it all in a second time.

      • OO, photos! How exciting! Do you know what, I’ve been looking for my copy of Valley and can’t find it anywhere…I don’t believe I’d get rid of anything that Elizabeth wrote, but as I can’t find it I may just have to grab one of these new copies!! Thanks for letting me know.

  29. How interesting to read the above comments. I’ve collected many of this great author’s books; many were found in a used book store in Pella, Iowa, and one from as far away as Alaska.
    But I am curious – has anyone else been disappointed in how often beauty is emphasized in the Eliot Trilogy – that of Lucilla and Nadine? What was the point?

    • This is such an interesting question! My take on it is that Elizabeth was very aware of the way that physical beauty affects a person’s experience of life. She often drew a distinction between Lucilla’s sense of entitlement versus, say, Margaret’s assumption that her role was to serve her mother. Life is so unfair… Yet Nadine’s great physical beauty leads her into a place of great desolation until she gets to a place of humility and brokenness. Yet she also manages to draw out the inner freedom which can be present in those who have few natural advantages. She honours the weak and the meek and the often invisible people.

      • Absolutely! I just commented before I saw this. It’s another great strength of her writing, the many dimensions she works with – inner/outer, spiritual/physical 🙂

        • And one can’t diminish the sadness and grief Lucille experienced earlier in her life.
          I like to think her family appreciated her beauty but loved her for her spirit.

  30. I appreciate the topic! Below are random musings:
    I remember David as he looks over his home at the start of _The Bird in the Tree_ and wonders if Margaret is not the finest of them all in her plain tweeds. The observation is made that the tweeds suit her in a way the gown she must wear for dinner does not – the artificiality of the ritual of dressing for dinner seems odd. Yet the dressing for dinner is imposing some order on the chaos of the world at war around them. To me, Nadine’s beauty shows standards of the outer world – outer society – not inner. Perhaps Lucilla understands Nadine and can present the challenge of deciding to sacrifice as authentic love does because Lucilla and Nadine mirror each other in their fitting in to “beauty.”
    I am also thinking of David’s “golden beauty” as a little boy that carries over into his acting career. Surely that stands for something else.

  31. I wasn’t disappointed – it led me to wonder if Elizabeth had felt herself to be plain beside her beautiful, and rather domineering mother (a possible model for Lucilla). I think she explores the theme with David, Nadine and Lucilla – they all benefit from their physical beauty, but we see, in contrast to Hilary and Margaret and even George (the plain Elliots), how self-centered and egotistical they are. They take a lot for granted, until life (or God) forces them to start growing and changing. I don’t think she presents beauty as a virtue, until, like Lucilla toward the end of her life, it is worn very lightly and largely as a gift to others.
    Interesting topic – thanks!
    All the best to you all


    • Yes, Elin! She shows that beauty has to be overcome, whether by age or a deliberate act of will. It’s a wordly advantage, but it can be a serious hindrance to spiritual growth. Lucilla, Nadine, and especially David, have much more to get rid of than those who aren’t beautiful.

    • Just a small correction: the staid and unimaginative George, is in fact ‘one of the beautiful Eliots’!

      It is made clear that beauty is a serious barrier to truth, peace and self-knowledge when joined with vanity; something Lucilla has come to realise in her old age – though she still struggles with her own vanity, one of the things which gives her such charm. Someone like Sally, who is beautiful but doesn’t know it, doesn’t have that hurdle to climb. The plain Hilary and Margaret shine with inner beauty. One of the most moving scenes in The Heart of the Family is when Lucilla tells Margaret that though she has always believed she loved Maurice and David best, she now realises that ‘when I am on my deathbed I believe I shall think only of you.’ Margaret clasps her bony hands together and is speechless. Wonderful. A superb book.

  32. I am so thrilled to find this webpage! I have been an Elizabeth Goudge fan for so many years, and had only met one other person who understood and admired her works. Amazing to find this!

    • Welcome, Marcia! This group is just delightful and I’m glad you found it, too. Before this, I, too, only had one friend with whom I could discuss these dear books. Again, glad you are here.

    • So glad you found us. I had no one who had even heard of Miss Goudge which considering how much I’ve loved her since childhood (my first exposure was The Valley of Song), made it a lonely devotion. Of course, I had the best company of all in Elizabeth Goudge’s characters.

  33. I too only had one friend who knew of Elizabeth and had some of her books so it’s good to exchange thoughts with like-minded friends!

  34. and me…my great friend Becca is the one who understands about Elizabeth Goudge…it is a deep bond between us (really). If it wasn’t for her, no-one would get it!

  35. My dear friend, Jane, recommended Elizabeth Goudge to me many years ago. When I asked her what her writing was like she replied only, “It’s about living simply and deeply.”
    That fits, doesn’t it?

    • Your friend Jane captured perfectly the essence of Elizabeth’s writings.

      I’ve been reading (off and on) Beyond the Snow by Christine Rawlins (a gift from the friend who introduced me to Elizabeth).

      Reading about her life has had me wondering if living “simply and deeply” wasn’t what she longed for all along, what she was best suited for at heart. I like to think that finally coming to live in her cottage gave her the setting in which to live simply and deeply — a homecoming of sorts.

      Being at home with a little dog companion (my 8 lbs. of love, named Penny Elizabeth) for the past five months has given me more access than ever before to living simply and deeply. In spite of the hardships, I am appreciative for that. The turning inward has held great gifts.

  36. It is, maybe that’s why her writing doesn’t suit everyone. I have just this minute had a chat with a friend about why the current ‘return to normal’ in the UK has not got either of us jumping for joy… there is so much stress and busy-ness involved in our society’s ‘normal’ these days. Mind you, we are both getting on a bit!
    It’s why, when yet another attempt at living more simply and slowly has not quite worked out, it is such a blessed relief to plunge into one of her books. I am so grateful to her.

  37. On a connected, yet slightly different theme, I wonder if my friends on this forum can advise and comfort me with suggestions as to where to find Elizabeth’s words of wisdom on disappointment and rejection.
    My dear parents moved near me some ten years ago. Within two years my poor mum started developing dementia and after becoming increasingly withdrawn and sad, died when an operation went wrong. My poor, heartbroken dad managed bravely with increasing support, but five years ago he began a long and extreme path of dementia and total decline, requiring 24 hour care. I ran his home, as he wanted to stay there, and all the finances, as well as my life nearby with my husband and sorted our carers and in the final 2 years, 24 hour nursing. My sister visited about every 2 or 4 months and occasionally rang him. I was there 2 or 3 times a day.
    When he died, my husband and I sorted, cleared and sold my parents home, placing everything according to their wishes and also organised the funeral, notifications and probate etc. We had the minimum legal help.
    It was an enormous task and at the end, when what was left was to be split between us two, according to their will, I asked my sister if we could round down our amounts and donate the odd pounds to my favourite charity as a reward for our efforts.
    She has refused and I am devastated at her lack of support and appreciation for my efforts on everyone’s part.
    Surely Elizabeth wrote some words of advice on how to cope with this level of rejection?

  38. I recommend to you Chapter XI of Elizabeth’s autobiography _The Joy of the Snow_. The chapter is entitled “Pain and the Love of God.”

  39. I hope she did although at the moment I couldn’t say where.
    But I do feel for you and hope you will find consolation. Your parents were blessed to have you. Sadly, regarding your sister we can’t always influence other people’s decisions.
    I hope you will regain a sense of peace.

  40. Dear Sandy,
    I’m not familiar with words from Elizabeth specifically on rejection, but this prayer from The Scent of Water has stood me in good stead on many occasions. Perhaps they will speak to you now.

    “Lord have mercy.
    Thee I adore.
    Into Thy hands.”

    (There was a post here about this book and prayer sometime in the past year.)

    Peace from my heart to yours,

  41. I say that prayer often, and shared it with my daughter who suffers from clinical depression and anxiety. I hope someday she will use it. She does say it is easy to remember, and that she has tried to pray it, but that “it doesn’t work”. Someday.
    Meanwhile, I keep praying.

  42. From my own experience of depression and using that very same prayer I’d say it doesn’t seem to work. Not at the time of saying, not in one’s own darkened consciousness. But I do believe the mighty effort involved contributes over time to the eventual breaking up of that crushing darkness. And that if you keep reaching out, eventually something breaks back through to you.
    There’s usually still long cycles ahead even so. I found GM Hopkins and St John of the Cross helpful too, anyone who had ‘been through it’ and yet retained their spirituality…one of the reasons I love Elizabeth so much. As you say, ‘Someday.’ I’ll be praying for you and your daughter.

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