We just finished reading aloud The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was my third time to travel through this never-ending wintertime with Laura. This book always makes me thankful for food and for a warm home. It always renews my respect for the brave pioneers who confronted an untamed land and brought it to its knees for the next generation. We, all of us, live in comfort today because of their toil yesterday. I pause to ask myself, what am I leaving the coming generation? Good books, well, sometimes even bad books, can often force you to think!

Laura never disappoints in the description department. She makes you smell the grass, the dirt, and even the sunshine. She takes you back, so effortlessly, to another century. She lets you feel the sweat and calluses. She allows you to taste homemade bread and a green pumpkin pie. I could feel the snow in my face, and the cold winds taking away my Β breath! I love traveling back in time with Mrs. Wilder through her books. I feel she is a close friend.

As this book came to a close, I was moved (once again) by the song at the end, “For Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way”. I’d like to share it with you. Perhaps you’ll want to meet Laura yourself, if you haven’t already.

This life is a difficult riddle,

For how many people we see

With faces as long as a fiddle

That ought to me shining with glee.

I’m sure in this world there are plenty

Of good things enough for us all,

And yet there’s not one out of twenty

But thinks that his share is too small.

Then what is the use of repining,

For where there’s a will, there’s a way,

And tomorrow the sun may be shining,

Although it is cloudy today.

Do you think that by sitting and sighing

You’ll ever obtain all you want?

It’s Β cowards alone that are crying

And foolishly saying, ‘I can’t!’

It is only by plodding and striving

And laboring up the steep hill

Of life, that you’ll ever be thriving,

Which you’ll do if you’ve only the will.

This little poem convicted me, for I’m often one with a face “as long as a fiddle”, when I ought to be “shining with glee”. Every Christian should shine with glee, for no matter how difficult this life is – and it is so often difficult – we know that one day, we’ll be in Heaven! We know Christ, and through Him, we can keep climbing the hills joyfully.

So much success can be had by “plodding and striving”. Keep going, keep looking up, and keep a song in your heart.

With love,


13 thoughts on “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

  1. I always enjoy your book reviews! I was telling Robert a week or so ago about how they twisted hay ALL DAY LONG to keep the fire going.


    1. Yes! And grinding wheat in a coffee mill all day!


  2. Elsa Tesfam says:

    I love the Little House books. I just bought the whole series this past summer at a garage sale πŸ™‚ Have you read the Anne of Green Gables books? Those are wonderful children’s {and adults! :D} books too.

    I love your reviews too. You give good general thoughts on the books without spoiling the read for others.


    1. Thanks, Elsa! Yes, I’ve read all the Anne books, too! Love them! πŸ™‚


  3. Carolyn Courtney says:

    Laura Ingalls Wilder was a gifted writer, and your post makes me want to read her books again. Did she write the song? I’m so glad you read to your children. Those are precious times.
    I love you.


    1. The song was one that Pa learned while he was helping to dig out the railroad during one of the blizzards. I love reading to them, and they like it, but they like it when you read to them even more! They are still talking about Flat Stanley! πŸ™‚


  4. Kristy Jo says:

    We started reading that book about a week ago (because of you lol) but, with sickness and such we haven’t got very far. I hope to have it finished before the winter ends but, if winter ends tomorrow and we have to read it while it is nice out I won’t mind πŸ™‚


    1. It took us a long time to finish it, too. Winter technically ends in March, so you still have some time. πŸ˜‰


      1. Kristy Jo says:

        yes! That is true. I do have time.. but, in March we start having some nice days and we get out and about a LOT more .. SO looking forward do that!


  5. Mary H says:

    I am reading the series through to my boys for their first time. Mrs. Wilder has been one of my long time friends. Little House and Anne of Green Gables are probably the books that most influenced my childhood. Anne is my nursing companion right now! Thank you for sharing. That was an excellent summary of her style and message πŸ˜€


    1. Thank you, Mary! It’s great to know another “kindred spirit”. πŸ™‚


  6. When I was young my mom would read the Little House series to us every fall and winter. I think the tradition continued for about 10 years. I have the series now and hope to restart this tradition in a few years. I’m so thankful for our modern conveniences, but as a child it seemed like it would be fun to live as Laura did. πŸ™‚


    1. I agree, she makes it sound very fun! Of course, I would probably want to jump right back into my modern life after trying her ways for a while! πŸ˜€


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