Hope that Follows Sorrow

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One thing I miss terribly about homeschooling is reading aloud to my kids. Last month I realized this really isn’t a difficult problem to solve, I simply need to carve out time to read before they leave for school. I always want to make the most of time spent reading aloud so I choose my books carefully. For the next many months, we’ll work our way through The Chronicles of Narnia. Thankfully, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a relatively short book, so we are brimming with success at having finished it last week.

If you haven’t read these books, don’t delay. I read them for the first time as a college student and couldn’t believe that I had missed them in my childhood. I have never liked fantasy, so I wasn’t drawn to them, but Russ persuaded me to give the series a try, and I’m so glad I did.

Earlier in the week we read the saddest section of the book, where Aslan dies at the hands of the White Witch. Susan and Lucy are weeping and Lewis writes, “It was all more lonely and hopeless and horrid than I know how to describe.”

A moment later, with the children listening closely, I came to this,

I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been — if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you — you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing was ever going to happen again.

My throat felt thick and tears were close, but I managed to read through it, knowing that this time of great sadness was only temporary because Aslan was soon going to rise again. Not only that, he was going to restore the the creatures the witch had turned to stone by breathing life back into them. The beautiful description of life returning gives me hope.

Last Friday marked three months since the accident and Kalkidan rushing into the arms of Jesus – where I believe she experienced a love so powerful and healing that we can’t quite imagine it.

Daffodils are blooming, warmth is slowly returning, and Easter is coming. Today, I feel hopeful.

[This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]

In the links above, I featured a particular edition of the books that I think is very beautiful. We own them in hardcover as well as in paperback – and if you want to know, my favorite is The Horse and His Boy, although I’m open to changing my opinion. Who knows what I’ll think as I read them again.

Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia? Have your children read them?

I hope your week is off to a good start, friends.

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

19 Comments

  1. Angela Arnett Stone
    March 30, 2015

    Oh we share the same favorite. I live the horse and his boy!

    Reply
  2. Emily sunflowers
    March 30, 2015

    Have I told you that Ben and I have been reading these out loud to each other? We started about a month into dating. We're reading them in the narnia chronological order, which is really fun. We're almost done with the silver chair- only the last battle left! I had only ever read the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe and I'm reall enjoying discovering the rest of them!!

    I love you. We'll think of you guys reading them as we do. Tell Ebs and gayu that Ben is really good at the different voices of the narnian creatures 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 30, 2015

      That's so fun, Emily. I've resisted reading them in chronological order…maybe I should try it sometime. I'd like to hear Ben read it!

      Reply
      1. Emily
        March 30, 2015

        Group skype reading?! I'm so not kidding! That would be fun.

        I wish I/we could come visit you soon. After the wedding for sure.

        Reply
      2. Rachel Davis
        March 31, 2015

        You should read them in chronological order! They are so much better that way!

        Reply
  3. Shari H.
    March 30, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your journey! It is only in Christ that we can have hope through the tears. This was beautifully written.

    Reply
  4. Leah Elizabeth Good
    March 30, 2015

    The Horse and His Boy is my favorite too.

    Reply
  5. Susie
    March 30, 2015

    While my father was dying of cancer and then after his death the Amy Grant song "Deep As It Is Wide" was a huge comfort to me. It is of course about the love God has for us that is as deep as it is wide and about the beautiful trip to Heaven. It's hard to describe but the imagery is beautiful. & hearing it again this week I couldn't help but think of Kalkidan after reading your beautiful pieces. It is on YouTube if you'd like to hear it.
    Susie

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 30, 2015

      Thank you, Susie. I will find it on YouTube.

      Reply
  6. Kirstine
    March 30, 2015

    The Horse and His Boy is my favorite too!! I'm patiently awaiting my children to get old enough to read them. I love the ending.
    I think the story of the magicians nephew is all the more touching if you know a bit about C S Lewis life. His mother too, was very sick when he was a boy. He prayed for God to heal her, but he lost her and was very disappointed with God. He found faith again later in life, and in this story the boy asks Aslan to heal his mother and He does. I guess that's why Lewis understands sorrow. And I guess sometimes when life does not go the way we planned we can find a bit of comfort in stories with happy endings. May they remind us that Lewis has been reunited with his mother.
    Thinking of you though we've never met.

    Reply
  7. Michele
    March 30, 2015

    I have loved this series of books since childhood and shared them with our oldest children when we homeschooled. I also miss reading aloud to my youngest who are all in school. This is a good reminder that I just need to carve out some time to share some great books with them.

    Reply
  8. Glenda
    March 30, 2015

    My eldest son and I just finished reading the series (he's 10), and it was such a thrill to see him making connections with Aslan and Jesus on his own! We read them in chronological order as well. Pretty sure that Silver Chair is my favorite for now. I've read the series three times and will likely read it again when my 5 year old is old enough. One of the many things I appreciate about CSLewis is that he knew and understood grief. And he had a tremendous gift for speaking to his readers at their level of understanding. So grateful for his writings! Praying for your family as you continue to heal, Lisa. May God richly bless you in the most unexpected ways.

    Reply
  9. Lori Glasscock
    March 30, 2015

    Without read alouds I might well have abandoned home schooling long ago. It's the highlight of my day. I'm so looking forward to reading through the richness of our library all over again with Gavin. I laugh as I remember starting each book with Faerynn and saying "this is the last time I will read this aloud". Little did I know…. For our Bible time Faerynn and I are reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible…maybe an odd choice for my high school junior, but it has been a refreshing Lenten read and every once in a while Gavin will sit still long enough to listen too.
    P.S. The Horse and His Boy is a favorite around here too. 🙂
    Loving you all from Oregon!!!!

    Reply
  10. Ann Hodgman
    March 30, 2015

    Love, love, love the Narnia books–just be careful to point out to your kids the occasional racism and sexism that crop up here and there. Racism's especially obvious in The Horse and His Boy, which is otherwise such a good book. The dark-skinned Calormenes are constantly being called filthy, swarthy, traitorous, etc.; the Narnians are cheerful, aboveboard, and fair of countenance. I never noticed this element as a child–that's how old I am! But I sure did when I read the books to my kids.

    Reply
  11. Melissa
    March 30, 2015

    What a beautiful passage you shared. The Chronicles of Narnia are my favorite books in the whole world. I read them for the first time in middle school, and I've read them many times since. In fact, we named our daughter Lucy after the character that I love so much… our prayer is that she would exhibit the same childlike faith and bravery of conviction. Our Lucy is 3 and a half months, and I remember reading about your Kalkidan right after Lucy was born. I have prayed for you many times since then, and will continue to do so.

    Reply
  12. Cherie Craig
    March 30, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. love and pain with us. I cannot imagine what you have, and are going through. You are loved by the Lord and those that know you.Soon, may peace settle upon you, as this is his will. He needed Kalkidan back, for whatever reason, and she is in the best arms. Also love the Narnia stories.

    Reply
  13. MommaFoster
    March 30, 2015

    I just finished reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to my daughter, and we are slowly working our way through The Horse and His Boy. She is only five, so we often have to pause for explanations, but we are both loving it. How neat we are doing it at the same time! I think of you often, and now I will also every time I'm reading with my daughter.

    Reply
  14. jomegs
    March 30, 2015

    i knew i liked you for more than one reason! The Horse and HIs Boy is my favorite of the Chronicles as well. it's quickly followed by The SIlver Chair.

    Reply
  15. furrcats
    March 31, 2015

    Outstanding books

    Reply

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