Practical Applications from Anne of Green Gables!

Over the past week my family and I watched the Anne of Green Gables series for my birthday, and I was once again moved, and inspired. As I promised, I have complied a short list of insights and observations from the movie. This time I focused on Life Disciplines, and Practical Applications from Anne's life. 

Determination:
The main theme I kept noticing throughout the movie, was Anne's determination to accomplish whatever she set out to do. Whether it was doing her best in school, or helping other people, or studying for a test, she did each task with relentless determination and persistence. She was determined to succeed in whatever she set out to do. Success is not determined by how much a person does, but by how much they determine to go through to succeed.


Loyalty: 
Another life discipline that stood out, was loyalty. Anne was loyal to Matthew & Marilla. Even though she wasn't even related to them, she treated them like parents, and respected their authority. Their desires, and requests came first, and she was willing to sacrifice her future in order to be loyal to them.
Like when she gives up the Avery scholarship in order to stay with Marilla after Matthew dies. Noticing the needs of others, and being loyal to family is far better than securing a successful future at the expense of others. 

Happiness: 
Anne was willing to be happy in all circumstances. She determined to see beyond the present, and see the possibilities for the future. Using her imagination, she developed a vibrant personality that allowed her to be able to be happy in the midst of great challenges. Even when she taught at the girl's school where most of the girls hated her and wished she wasn't there, she was able to see the potential of the situation, and ended up creating beauty out of chaos with a simple optimistic disposition that wouldn't allow her to see the obstacles in her path. 

Truthfulness: 
When Anne made plum pudding, and the mouse died in the sauce, she was truthful and spared Ms. Stacey from getting sick. When Diana came for tea, and drank the wine, she was truthful with Mrs. Berry, and even though it caused her friendship with Diana to be severed for a while, it turned out for good in the end. And when Marilla lost her broach, Anne was truthful, and spared herself from possibly having to go back to the orphanage. I love the scene when Ms. Stacey says to Anne "No matter what anyone accuses you of, The Truth Will Set you Free" How easy it is for us to be hasty, or slothful, and deny, or twist the truth, but how important and how freeing truthfulness is to all of life.

Prayer:
Marilla's emphasis on prayer is such a key to all of life. Not only does she teach Anne the importance of prayer, she views her faith in God as the most vital aspect of life. As she says "to despair is to turn you back on God" Prayer is the most important aspect of our relationship with God. For without prayer we wouldn't really be able to live. 

Being a Good Friend:
Throughout all of Anne's life, Anne displays characteristics of being a true friend. She makes friends with Diana Berry, (who becomes her best friend) Matthew & Marilla, Ms. Stacey, Gilbert Blythe, (who becomes her husband) Diana's Aunt, Rachel Lynn, Morgan Harris, Emeline Harris, Ms. Katherine Brooks, Jack Garrison, Fred Wright, & Dominique. Anne shows Genuine concern for the needs of people...gives them her undivided attention...is sensitive to people's hurts...and past problems... gives hope to people in doubt... is sincere about how she feels....and is grateful for people who invest in her life, and help her succeed. 
She shows a love for people not based upon what they can do for her, but what she can do for them. And that is the true spirit of a good friend. 

Humility:
I think I counted 6-7 times when Anne apologizes to various people. With her temperament it seems like she's always getting into some sort of mishap. I especially like the apologies she gives to Rachel Lynn. Although a couple times she is not sincere, and apologizes for good merit, rather than repentance. Anyhow, I think it is good to see how humility must come from a heart of repentance. A sincere apology not only is the source of forgiveness, but it also restores the wounded individual to your friendship, and love. This we see when Anne apologizes to Gilbert for not listening to him when he kept telling her to write stories about Avonlea. She said "I went looking for my ideals outside of myself, and discovered it's not about what the world holds for you. It's what you bring to it that matters." 

Gratefulness:
Throughout Anne's life, she shows gratefulness to many, many people. To Marilla & Matthew for taking her in and giving her love, and a family. To Diana for being her bosom friend. To Gilbert for believing in her, and encouraging her to write stories and do her best, and for in the end being her closest friend. To Ms. Stacy for inspiring her to be a good student, and for helping her out with the boarding school job. And to others in the movie which escape my memory at the moment. Anne realized an important lesson, that gratefulness is more meaningful than the success or fame that comes from pride, and self- esteem. She realized that life is made up of the people who invest in us. 

Trust:
Throughout the movies Anne has times where she must trust that God knows best. When Matthew dies, and Marilla dies, when it looks like things are going wrong, and life will be completely miserable. She focuses on trust in God, and a knowledge that He will work all things out for His good. Although the movies don't show this as much as I would like, I found out through an online source that Anne's trust in God is exemplified quite well in the books. Like in the end of book one when she makes this statement. "God's in his heaven, all's right with the world," A simple childlike faith in God, and an unwavering belief that He knows what's best is the essence of trust. 


Patience:
Anne's example of patience is clearly seen several times in the movies, like when she waits for Diana's friendship with her to be restored, or when she patiently searches for Gilbert during the war, not giving up hope in his survival. But it is Gilbert who impressed me the most with his example of patience. He waits for Anne, for her heart, and for her love. Anne is quite different from the normal picture we see of girls who are star struck at the first thought of someone actually loving them enough to marry them. Anne forcibly refuses Gilbert almost from the first time she meets him. She despises his like for her, chooses to be upset with him at times, and at others makes him feel completely incompatible with her. Throughout all this, Gilbert remains faithful to her. Yes, he may have made friends with a few other girls in his life, and gotten engaged to Christine (I believe out of a desire to make Anne jealous:) but it was clear throughout all the movies, that Anne was his only true love. He patiently waits for her to be ready for him, saying "Well, I won't change. That's the least I can promise you." &  "I just wanted to show you how much I care. Now, maybe you don't think I'm good enough for you now, but I will be someday."


Patience waits. Wether it's for a dream you've longed to fulfill, a spouse, or a desired future, patience waits. And whether it's five years (like Gilbert had to wait for Anne,) or five days, or five decades, waiting is so much better than rushing ahead, and taking matters into your own hands,  just because you can't see another way out of the storm you're in. Patience waits, but it doesn't just wait, it is active while it is waiting, moving ahead with boldness and confidence, doing the next right thing, trusting that God will finish what He's begun. 

Anne of Green Gables is in the end a novel, and as such it cannot be treated as truth, (although some events, and characters did exist) nevertheless, it provokes one to think in many ways about the life we live, and how we will affect the future. What kind of a legacy we will leave for future generations to follow? How would our lives look if they were written in a book? What would be said about us? What would be the proof of our faith in God? What would be the impact of our life on those around us? 

The truth is life is a book, and God is writing it every day with His hand. Sometimes we see it, and sometimes we don't, but nevertheless He is writing it, and so are we through every little thing we do.
What's your book going to be? An adventure, a classic, a novel, a mystery, or a little bit of everything? You decide....with every move you make. 

Psalm 139:16 "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy
book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when 
as yet there was none of them."

Isaiah 34:16a "Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read:"

Malachi 3:16 "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD
hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them
 that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name."











5 comments:

  1. Whoa, whoa, whoa... wait a minute... Marilla dies? Gilbert goes to war? That's not in the book... Methinks I must watch this show.

    I really like what you said about being active while you wait. I know I certainly struggle with feeling like I'm not able to do anything right now, and that I'm just waiting around until...something, ( I'm not exactly sure. Maybe my licence, a part time job, or further schooling?)BUT, God has me exactly where He wants me to be, and I should use this time to serve Him by serving my family. :)

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    1. Yes you must watch it:) I haven't read the books so I don't know if the movie is accurate or not.

      I'm glad you were encouraged by my words, but somehow I seem to be right there with you struggling with the everyday battles. God is good to never give up on us.

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  2. Yeah, the book is a lot better than the movie in my opinion. But I do love the movies!!! The war part is just sooo long. In the books Anne's kids have to go to war though. :(

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    1. Wow! Maybe I will have to read the book. I never knew about Anne having kids (other than Dominique. I agree with you about the war part. I kind of wish they would have ended the last movie differently as well.

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  3. I've never seen any but the first movie, which from what I've heard was the most close to the book. But you have some very good insights- I enjoyed this post!

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