Saturday, November 8, 2008

On my heart....

"Yes, I am in earnest. I want to see little children adorning every home as flowers adorn every meadow and every wayside. I want to see them welcomed to the homes they enter, to see their parents grow less and less selfish and more and more loving because they have come. I want to see God's precious gifts accepted, not frowned upon and refused."
This is just one little paragraph from one of my favorite books "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss. This one paragraph has had me reflecting for days. Reflecting on my own life as the mother of five "flowers". I am sure, at first glance, that nobody would ever accuse me of not living this way....but when I look into my own heart I am convicted of not opening my heart completely. There are days when I let circumstances control my attitude toward my children. Seeing this, others would probably say "Well everybody has bad days". But is that good enough? Is it good enough to live that way and write the bad days off as just normal? Is normal what we are called to be? I want to be able to believe in these beautiful words when nobody has their shoes on and church starts in 30 minutes, or when I have not had a break in days and I just want to take a bath by myself. I want my children to be able to see a loving attitude when we are in those situations, not just when everything is going my way, because isn't that ugly attitude making them feel "frowned upon and refused"? And if I am not growing "more and more loving" I am probably not growing "less and less selfish"either. I know this will be a life-long project, I will not be able to conquer this next week, but it will be something to strive for and to be aware of on this journey Heavenward.
The book "Stepping Heavenward" is Elizabeth Prentiss' journal that she started when she turned 16 on January 15, 1831. She wrote of her walk with God and and her struggles through to motherhood. It is a beautiful testimony to her life of Godly womanhood. I love this book so much that I have finally purchased it in hard back which leaves me with an extra. I would love to give my extra copy to another woman who could learn from her beautiful walk with God. If you would like it just let me know and I will pass it on.

Edited to add: I have been told that that this story isn't true, but loosely based on the author's aunt. Just thught I would let you know too. :)

31 comments:

seemommysew said...

I LOVE that book! I should probably re-read it! :) And that dress is adorable! I can't want for the pattern.

Tyler and Brenda Foss said...

Thank you for sharing so transparently. I have not read that book, but will add it to my lits for this year. The new dress pattern you have listed below looks so pretty, I can hardly wait for it.

Blessings,
Brenda

jenn said...

This book sounds lovely, I am going to go look it up! I can relate to what your saying, I know I face the same struggle some days when I am tired and running low on patience. That is something I truly do not care for... I am surely a work in progess!
jenn

cjoy said...

That sounds like a very encouraging book. How often I hear that frustration in my voice - a few minutes ago? - and need to speak more lovingly. This has been on my heart recently. Thank you for sharing; I too believe I want to read it.

ps...the dress is absolutely beautifl!!

Jean said...

That sounds like a book I would like to read, so if no one else has a crying need for it, I'll get on the list. :)

--dangermom in CA

Familia Stilwell said...

Amen, sister! Thanks for the challenging and encouraging words!

Rebecca said...

thanks - I needed to read this post today. I'll be looking for a copy of that book too.

michelle p. from wa said...

It is amazing how God really reveals who we are through our journey with our children. I believe that each day is a gift to be the best us that we were created to be and with God's help and encouragement, we can get closer to who we were designed to be. With each "icky" attitude it allows us to grow and keeps us humble knowing we can't do it without God. I'd love to read that book, so if passing it on is in your heart, I'd love to receive it and then pass it on to another mom when I am finished. God Bless your journey and your family!

Katie said...

I would love to read this book, especially as a new mama!

Tiny House said...

Thank you for your words! I needed to hear them today, so thank you again.

Marlya said...

I have never heard of that book before-- I think I'll look it up!

mrsrachel said...

That's one of my favorite books, too! Its so convicting and uplifting to read. One of my favorite quotes is:
"Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest caresses, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blessed!”

sammon said...

I'll see if I can find it in the library. Thanks for sharing

Erin said...

Sounds like a great book. The dress in the photo is beautiful, too. Did you use a pattern (assuming you made it)?

Dawn said...

what a wonderful quote...and after a long weekend sandwiched in between two 7+ hour car drives with sometimes 2 screeming children under the age of 7, I'd say I need to work on some of them thar sentiments! the book sounds charming.

dailythread said...

Samantha, I so relate to this post, especially now during deer season when my hubby seems to be gone all the time. I feel stressed even when I know I should be cherishing this time with my (only 2) children. But I try to allow the conviction on my heart to reinvent my attitude! I'd love to read that book, and I'll look it up if you give it to someone else.

The new dress is beautiful!

Mustard Seeds Academy said...

I had not heard of this book, but it sounds truly inspiring. At the end of the day I am short on patience and say things that I instantaneously regret.
Sometimes we just need things to remind us how precious these little gifts from God are... and to handle them with care.

~LisaLou~ said...

Aren't children wonderful. I am so grateful to be a mother. How humbling and rewarding. Can you believe Heavenly Father trusts us with His sweet little spirits? Makes me want to cherish every (crazy) day!
My friend brought me this quote in a frame a few months ago. I keep it in my kitchen and it reminds me of my dreams for the future when I have those bad days.

A Mother's Prayer
Oh, give me patience when tiny hands tug at me with their small demands. And give me gentle and smiling eyes; keep my lips from sharp replies, and let no fatigue, confusion or noise obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys. So when, years later, my house is still no bitter memories its room may fill.

I love the new dress. Very cute.
Have a great week, Lisa

Gwen in SoCal said...

Sounds like a book that I could really use...for I long as you do to be calm and loving in all circumstances...and I do not think we can say that bad day is excused because it's "normal." I know the Lord will place on your heart who to give the book to...I just pray that it is me. :-)

Anonymous said...

hello, I too love that book so very much. I read it in college and it made such an impact on my life. My good friend loves E.Prentiss and has so many of her books, and a life and letters too. What encouragement it is to read her writings! I have been reading your blog just for a little while and love it! I started when I ordered my dress pattern, and found that on SouleMama's blog. I love that pattern! And that you had it in sz10. I have made a shirt with it too and it is so cute. ( And I love the little birds embroidery!)I am amazed at all you crafty girls out there that I read and get inspired by. Your blog is a joy to me!I have 5 children and I am encouraged by your sweet blog, I want to live out that quote, by God's good grace! Take care and thank you again, Kathleen Hogue

sheliafisher@verizon.net said...

Oh my ...it sounds wonderful.Something i would like to share with my daughter who is expecting our first grandchild this january. Its always so wonderful to read & be encouraged by what others who have walked before have said. THanks for telling me about it!

lissilulu said...

I would love a copy...I gave mine to a friend years ago because I felt she needed it and would benefit from the goodness within.

Grace said...

I have not read this book but it sounds so lovely! You are not the only mother that has this feeling and remember for all our shortcomings, we have the mercy and grace of God!

wondermommy said...

Those were very inspirational words. That sounds like a book that I need to pick up.

Angela said...

Wow what a quote! That is food for thought the rest of day. First time on your blog (came via your comment on Wee Wonderfuls). I will be back and your new dress pattern looks just lovely.

Stacey said...

this sounds like the perfect book for me right now...i just lost my mom to cancer and i've been questioning a lot of things and this might be jsut the thing to help me refocus!

Marlya said...

Please add me to the list for the book Samantha-- I just can't find a copy available anywhere!

Team Manager said...

I would love to read it:) I checked both local libraries and cannot get it. Please add me to the list:)

heartathome said...

I read "Stepping Heavenward" several years ago and LOVED it at the time. I need to read it again! Thanks for reminding me of it! Can you toss my name into the drawing, too, please? And perhaps I need to check Amazon for it! Blessings!

Kim said...

i just found your blog off of the elizabeth anne's website and i am so glad that i did! at first i was attracted to your wonderful creativity! you make/design the most adorable things! then as i started actually reading your posts i was touched by your heart. thank you for your encouraging words! i think that this is a battle that every mother faces, how to be loving always.

sheliafisher@verizon.net said...

sounds like a book i need to read!