Guest Post: Gracie Carmichael of Austens & Alcotts

The following are excerpts from a wonderful blog (and Etsy shop) called Austens & Alcotts, a literary site run by artist Gracie Carmichael, that is especially perfect for Kindred Spirits who love classic literature. The article, “Gleaming Jewels of Alcott-ian Wisdom in The Little Women Devotional,” ran earlier this month. Here’s Gracie:

Dear kindred spirit,

I’m delighted you could join me today as we tread upon a new month, full of springtime hopes and heartfelt ideals for a new season of beauty and light ahead of us. The hope of spring to bring us out of winter’s clutches feels directly tied to all my anticipations for the joy to come, perhaps unknown just now, but always happily ahead of us. One of the most hopeful, life-giving joys I’ve been lately blessed with has come in the form of a beautiful, wisdom-filled book which I have the honor of sharing with you today…

The relationships I’ve made through this community of kindred spirits (whether here on the blog or over on “bookstagram”) have been one of the keenest blessings in my life—and a friendship with celebrated bestselling author, Rachel Dodge, has been one to truly touch my heart with her radiant, godly wisdom and admirably unflinching kindness. It was a joy to celebrate the release of her Anne of Green Gables Devotional in late 2020, and I’m thrilled today to be sharing the exciting news of her newest release: The Little Women Devotional: A Chapter-by-Chapter Companion to Louisa May Alcott’s Beloved Classic.

From my very first youthful read of Little Women, its wisdom and timeless worth stood out like gleaming jewels reaped with every chapter, and Rachel has managed to pull out and polish every one of those very jewels from the treasure trove, providing daily devotionals to correspond with every chapter of Alcott’s book, and tying them seamlessly with Scripture. For every daily devotional (one for all 47 chapters of Little Women), the devotionals are followed by a personal application for us to take with us through our day and to cherish in our hearts, which is then beautifully, thoughtfully closed with a correlating prayer.

The story of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy is one that has truly shaped the arc of my life profoundly, and simply the remembrance of the trials great and small that they faced with the loving, encouraging hand of Marmee to lead them on with wisdom and grace brings with it an incomparable flood of heartwarming comfort to me. And yet, in spite of how well and how dearly I have known and loved them after all this time, there is something new, something added to that comfort with every read. Its wisdom transcends age or familiarity, and it never ceases to teach my heart new ways to walk uprightly, honorably and kindly, keeping faith through the darkest of seasons and finding joy in the honest work which does such good for our weary hearts in times of trial.

The Little Women Devotional touched my heart with those very feelings of heartfelt comfort and hopeful, biblical-centered wisdom three-fold. I was genuinely moved to tears reading through the daily devotionals, and especially the personal applications in which we may apply the timeless lessons which the March girls learned, to our own lives in profound, meaningful ways that affect us, and the people around us, vividly and personally. Alcott’s wisdom absolutely exudes from the pages of Little Women, but Rachel uses this devotional to make that wisdom applicable to our daily lives in ways I’d never thought of for myself—and in doing so, has made the beloved story more precious and valuable to me than ever.

We are none of us exempt from facing the sorrows of this world, and we each of us have our own cross to bear, as did the March sisters. The bigger trials may stand out more clearly to us—from the death of sweet Beth to the period of mourning which Jo faced afterward, or the struggle Jo faces when Laurie confesses his feelings for her. Yet the smaller trials, too, carry much worth with them…

To continue reading Gracie’s article, CLICK HERE.

To shop Gracie’s Austens & Alcotts beautiful Etsy Shop CLICK HERE! Want to follow Gracie on Instagram? You can find her @austensandalcotts for mini blog-posts, a glimpse into her reading life, and giveaways for products from her shop. You can also subscribe to the Austens & Alcotts mailing list to receive Gracie’s twice-monthly newsletter direct to your inbox, where she shares personal encouragement for kindred spirits longing for a simpler, lovelier life, as well as news on shop releases, subscriber-only sales, and more!

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