A bittersweet ending…

We finished the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle a few nights ago. It was very bittersweet. We have all really enjoyed the books. Even L3, whose favorite character of the entire series was the giant, Rumblebuffin,  hung with us until the end, comically mixing up plots and characters in her hilarious summery plots over dinner.

I felt the same sadness I’ve felt each time I’ve read the part about Susan “no longer being a friend of Narnia.” Of all the characters, hers is the one I most identify with, and her struggle in Prince Caspian echos my own daily struggle to not give in to fear and doubt. Anyway, it always pains me that she turns in the end to the things of the world for comfort and security. In describing her life back in England filled with the nagging quest for eternal beauty and social acceptance, her attempts at life without a belief in Aslan and all the adventures the children shared together in Narnia, even of her own crucial part in the story, is so sad.

Probably because it too echos my own life during those long stretches of time when pursueing God and the unseen and the eternal just gets lost. Waking each day with a long list of “To Dos,” a growing awareness of my age, fears about the economy, questions about whether or not I can cut the mustard with this homeschooling thing, heavy hearted about friends who are facing cancer, etc., turns into a cloud of fear, which spirals into a blanket of doubt, which sufficates any desire for prayer.

I would be totally and completely lost without a certain little book I keep on my night stand.  I read it every morning and every night. It is, A Diary of Private Prayer, by John Baillie. If you need a little pick me up in your prayer life, please buy this book. If you can’t think what to pray because there is just too much –  too, too much – get this book!

I often give it as a gift to friends, and I wish I could give each of you a copy. I promise it will be the best $10 you have spent in a long while.

Last but not least, any recommendations for what to read to the kids next? I mean, whatever comes next is going to have to be goooooood. I’m thinking The Hobbit, but I’m open. Any favorites you care to share?