"The Shaping of a Christian Family"

A title of a book caught my wandering eye, as I fingered my wood-case violin idly, not all too excited about taking on those spiccato drills my teacher had given me. I slid the violin into the box, and  tucked the loosened bow into its little place, careful not to tear any hairs from the bow, before reaching a hand toward the book resting in the shelf among dozens of other treasure books. "Hmm," I thought, "I haven't read that book in a long time!" I recalled Sarah telling me that that was a great book to recommend to a friend, and my eyes sparkled as I held the bound volume in my hand. A little guiltily (I was thinking, "Oh dear, I really must do those painful drills"), I perched myself on the edge of the chair and leafed through the first few pages.

Now, I did do my painful spiccato drills :), but I was blessed by browsing through the book again. The book is by Elisabeth Elliot, "The Shaping of a Christian Family: How my Parents Nurtured my Faith" where she describes her Christian upbringing and reflects on the training her parents gave her and her siblings, bringing her up in the fear of the Lord.
Well, here is just a quote that Elizabeth Eliot quoted in the book that I really loved. I thought I'd like to share it.

"Self-preoccupation, self-broodings, self-interest, self-love--these are the reasons we jar each other. Turn your eyes off yourself; look up and out! There are your brothers and sisters; they have needs that you can aid. Listen for their confidences; keep your heart wide open to their calls, and your hands alert for their service. Learn to give and not to take; to drown your own hungry wants in the happiness of lending yourself to fulfill the interests of those nearest or dearest; Look up and out, from this narrow, cabined self of yours... you will find to your own glad surprise the secret of the meekness and gentleness of Jesus, and the fruits of the Spirit will bud and blossom from out of your life."
Joy and Strength, p. 160


  1. Dear Joy,
    Oh how beautiful! :) the Lord has truly been teaching me and my sister a lot on that lately. Reaching out to others instead of thinking of the feelings in our own hearts.

    May the Lord continue to teach and convict me. Thank you for sharing what the Lord put on your heart.
    Love Carra

  2. Dear Carra,
    Yes, it has been the same with me too and my sisters and family. How we need to look beyond ourselves to the needs of others, to their hopes, pains, dreams, and suffering and "wash one another's feet" as Jesus commanded. I was truly blessed by this book as it spoke a lot to me about the beauty of a family who truly lived the Christian life, "in the kitchen and in the bedroom".

    Thank you, Carra, for sharing. I pray that the Lord will continue to teach and lead you in the way, and may His love and joy overflow into your heart. I am very blessed by your life, Carra.
    your loving but unworthy sister,

  3. Dearest Joy,
    Thank you for sharing this. It convicts me. I need the Lord to teach me to look up beyond my self and my own needs and worries and reach out to my parents, sisters, and all those around me. May He give me that grace always.

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Dear Sarah,
    The Lord has been convicting me too, of the same thing! I pray that the Lord gives us this grace. I love you so much!
    In Him,

  5. Dear Joy,

    It was good to read this today, thanks. The Lord has been showing me this, too, particularly with my brothers. It is true - no good fruit can come from a heart that is fixed self-ward. But when we turn our eyes upon Jesus, His fruit blossoms!

    Love, Maddy

  6. Hello Maddy,
    I didn't realize that I hadn't commented back yet to your comment until today!

    I definitely know and understand what you mean... when we are all self-centered and let the shadows, doubts and worries in our own hearts reflect on others, we cannot produce that fruit of love and compassion for others, and watching out for the needs of others. It is so with me often, when all I am concerned with is my own problems and not the struggles of my sisters. But it is as you said, when we look to Him and abide in Him, the Vine, that the fruit blossoms!

    Love you!
    your sister,


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