Friday, April 15, 2011

On My Heart ~ A re-post

I originally wrote this post on Saturday, November 8, 2008 and I somehow stumbled upon it last night. Oh these words couldn't have come back to me at a better time! With the added resposibilities of having a new baby, and the lack of sleep, I've had to work on this extra hard lately with my older kids. I'm sure most mamas can relate! It's good for me to have a little reminder from time to time....
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 thought I would let you know too. :) I think I've probably read or listened to this book at least four more times since this post. I've also discovered it free to read HERE online, and free to listen to HERE online.

8 comments:

gmaofthree said...

Samantha, you picked a quote from one of my favorite books of all time! I love this book so much I should order it by the case! Have you read the biography of Mrs. Prentiss- More Love to Thee? She was sick much of her life and endured the loss of children. Thank you for the very apt quote and reminder to check my heart!

Posie Patchwork said...

This is so gorgeous & all so true, i agree, you don't want those moments of wanting to scream "just get your shoes on, how hard is that" & just have children do what you ask, to feel normal but disappointing, something you can fix, so it doesn't happen next time. As your children get older, they change, it's not so much about them doing things, having to be asked/ told/ demanded to be ready but it's more mental & unspoken. I figutre, i put the hard yards in now, be happy & productive, they can follow my example, THEN when they hit their teens, they'll want some space but be capable of getting dressed, organised & ready on time, then before i know it, they'll be leaving home & i'll miss them to pieces. Now my 4th is 7 years old, i am very much atuned to how things change, the next stages, what to work on & with 6 hours a day home alone, i embrace the end of the school day, it's such a short amount of time i have with them but all quality (oh & homework). Love Posie

Laurie said...

It sounds like it would be a wonderful book to read, even if you don't have children.

Growing less selfish and more and more loving is something you need to be with aging parents, struggling spouses (mines a college student - finals week), and the "way word" others in your life.

This is the second time this week that this thought has been brought to my attention. Hmmm....

Jeannie B. said...

Sam, you are so right in all your words. I read that book over and over because it is so encouraging to me. I love the way she doesn't see herself grow in Godliness but we can see it. We are all too ready to accept less of ourselves than God wants us to be and our kind friends help us do that with excuses.

andreak said...

I love Ms Prentiss! I have so many of her books. I love Urbane & his Friends and Flower of the Family and my sweet hubby bought an original copy of Aunt Jane's Hero for my birthday several years ago. She just writes such meaningful material and it is all applicable to me!

Attilio said...

my goodness, that is so much how i feel and i only have two "flowers"...but i ask myself: do i want them to remember the times i am screaming like a loonie to get dressed or clear up their toys and like or do i want them to remember us as happy as pie? then its my choice to change, something easier said than done.
thanks for introducing me to Mrs Prentiss. am sure i will enjoy her writing. becky

Aimee said...

Thank you so much for this lovely post. I can't tell you how much it helps me today. I've never heard of Elizabeth Prentiss before, but am going to look her up right now. I can't wait to read this book. Thank you!

DanainDFW said...

It's been one of "those" mornings... getting the boys ready for school, etc. I sure need to read this today. Thanks for having this post ready and waiting for me.