Today, I received a lovely Christmas letter via snail mail from a friend that I met last summer at a conference in North Carolina. Her name is Jeannette and she is from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. Isn’t that the coolest name for a town? But that’s not really what this is about. It’s about connections made by students day-in and day-out. It’s about the great ideas found in literature and how they come out of the students when you least expect it. It’s another reason I love homeschooling my kids. And books. Did I mention I love books?
Back to the letter. After reading it, sighing and stating that it was such a refreshingly honest, albeit late, Christmas letter, Marit, my 12 year old, asked if she could read it herself. I said she could.
When she was through, Marit said, “Mom, she signed it as a “kindred spirit”. I guess she must be of the race that knows Joseph.”
Blink. “What are you talking about, Marit?”
“You know, that Anne of Green Gables stuff.”
I said, “Maybe you should look that one up, ’cause you are not making any sense to me.”
Awhile later, she returned with Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montogmery.
“See – right here, ” she said as she pointed out the passage. “It just means she knows God, too.”
Wow. So, I googled it. Turns out a gal at the blog A Common Life had this great explanation:
The Race That Knows Joseph
The story of Anne of Green Gables has a strong emphasis on friendship, especially in Anne’s younger days. She calls her friends “kindred spirits”. In a later book, Anne meets an older woman who uses the term, “race that knows Joseph”. That thought always intrigued me and several years after reading that for the first time, I came across the biblical reference where she got the phrase. Exodus 1:8 gives the moment in time that Israel ceased its period of comfort in Egypt, while under Joseph’s rule with the Pharaoh. “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” So, the reverse being that those who were believers in God, who followed Him, were of the group that “know Joseph”.
All that to say this — One of the most amazing earthly gifts that God has given us is fellowship with other believers. What joy they bring with their “kindred spirits” — we’re one in the body of Christ! Our fellowship with believers at its best encourages us, strengthens us, and shows love to us. Of course, it’s the Holy Spirit living within us as believers that gives us the ability to do all of those things. When we accept Christ as the living Savior of our lives, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within our hearts, and we begin to show fruit of that — love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. What better qualities could you ask for in a friend?
Yes, Marit, Jeannette is of the race that knows Joseph. Thanks for the wonderful letter, Jeannette!
Mr. D says
My daughter, Debbie, included a link to your wonderful site on Facebook this morning. We are a family who does indeed know Joseph, as you obviously are. I teach public school- fourth grade- and used to be so frustrated by the system that I would frequently threaten to take my daughters out of school and give them a decent education. Blessings to you!
Amy in Peru says
oh my. this is beautiful. I'm so glad you made the connection for me! I have many kindred spirits and I say it! I love this.
And I am SO happy your 12yo discovered it!! It makes me happy for her own success and that we are sure to make similar discoveries here too!
amy in peru
andrea k. says
one of my kindred spirits and i use that phrase all the time. 🙂
That is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us!
Megan Hoyt says
How beautiful, Nancy. I love those precious moments. I remember when my children were much younger and we read aloud Carolyn Haywood's Betsy's Winterhouse. Since we read the book during the summer, we had a little attic room off the girls bedroom that quickly became known as The Summerhouse, where loads of imaginary play took place. The connections kids make to books are key to their spiritual and emotional growth, don't you think? Just one more reason we're so careful to place living books in front of them. Thanks for the reminder!
Marit is 12. And don't be embarrassed by your last post. If we start editing and judging each other's blogs, we might as well quit now!
Just wondering how old Marit is! What a clear and detailed mind she has!
We just watched this last night, as my Holly had a friend over and they needed something to do. We girls all sat on my bed squished up with me, and watched Anne in her young years.
Interesting about that Joseph comment! P.s. I am embarrassed that my last post was so disorderly. I typed fast and ran to get groceries, then came back and saw all the mistakes. Thanks for not noticing much. 🙂
remnant reminscences says
The Anne books rank among my favorite of all time. The are timeless. I had forgotten about that "Joseph" reference. There is so much beauty in L.M. Montogmery's books. They are like a well that keeps pouring water into a already full bucket.