“Bloom where you are planted” is a popular phrase that Isabella Alden took to heart. Many of her books—such as The King’s Daughter and Interrupted—feature characters who use small acts of kindness as a way to witness for Christ under trying circumstances.
A New Graft on the Family Tree is another example. In the book Louise Morgan and her new husband move in with his difficult parents, who do not hide their disappointment in their new daughter-in-law.
If you’ve read the book, you know how Louise responds. No matter how much her mother-in-law complains or gives her menial tasks to do, Louise does everything asked of her with a cheerful spirit, because she believes that in serving her mother-in-law, she is also serving the Lord.
What do you think of Louise’s method for dealing with her in-laws?
Have you ever had to deal with a difficult person? What method did you use?
In a February 1883 issue of The Pansy magazine, Isabella turned an average question—What shall we do with Christmas cards we receive?—into a lesson for children in being thoughtful of others.
What Shall We Do with Our Christmas Cards?
All those bright pretty affairs that came flying in from the postman’s fingers at Christmas time to make us so happy—why can’t we make them give happiness to someone else the whole year? Someone sick and suffering, with little to brighten and amuse? Why, they would be very messengers of sweet charity to such.
Here is work for you, dear little Pansies who belong to the “P. S. Society.” Make a scrap book of all those cards which you think it right to give away, saying your whisper motto, For Jesus’ Sake, as you tuck in the dainty bit of color, and the pretty verses, then send it all on loving wing to the Children’s Ward of the hospital of your city.
Think of the eyes that will rest on it when the pain makes the tears come; think of the little ones who must lie on their beds, weary day after weary day, when you are running, and skating, and sleigh-riding!
And best of all, think how the children will love the book, just because some other child made it for them.
How many members of the “P. S.” will do this? Who will be first, I wonder?
If you want to make a very pretty book, cut leaves of white, and pink, and light blue cambric or sateen; tie them together at back with ribbon or braid, putting strings of same on front.
Paste all dark pictures on the white cloth; all delicately tinted ones on the colored cloth. The effect will be very lovely—I know the “Children’s Ward” will think so.