Today I want to share a book with you that had a huge impact on me as a new mother. “Susanna Mother of The Wesleys” by Rebecca Lamar Harmon. I can’t remember exactly where I got this book, I believe my dad ordered it for me when he owned a Christian book business. Many Christians are familiar with John and Charles Wesley, but few are as familiar with their amazing mother Susanna. This book explores Susanna’s life and the tremendous impact she had on her HUGE brood of children, most significantly on John and Charles who were so instrumental in the great revivals of England and colonial America. Harmon has used a lot of personal letters between Susanna and her famous sons to illustrate how influential she was in their walk with Christ. I was especially touched with how strong Susanna was in the face of tremendous tragedy throughout her life. A great lesson in being a “joyful mother of children.”
It is common knowledge to those who know me that I am a book worm. Unashamedly! In my younger days I thought reading period was virtuous, that there was not a better pass time and it didn’t matter what you were reading as long as you were reading. As a result I was not very discerning in some of the material I exposed myself to. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve come to understand how very influential the written word can be on our spirits. This works both positively and negatively. Obviously the word of God is the most influential of texts, but there is much to be said for other spiritual books that can help shed light on our Christian/human experince. I am a firm believer that good spiritual books and biographies of spiritual leaders should definitely be a part of our quiet devotion each day (secondary to the scriptures of course). So every so often I will be reviewing such a book here to share with you little literary treasures that have helped me on my spiritual journey and that could perhaps also be a blessing to you.
Today’s book is probably one of the first spiritual books I ever read as a young lady. My mother purchased it for me when I was 18 years old and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read it. “Stepping Heavenward” was written by Elizabeth Prentiss, a great Christian author of the 19th century. It’s a lovely, old fashioned book. It is fictional but heavily based on the author’s own experinces as a young woman, wife and mother. Written as journal entires spanning a woman’s life from her young unmarried days, through the early years of her marriage and even down the dark path of losing a child and growing older. It is more than just a diary though, it is a documentation of her spiritual journey through the years, and how the Lord changes us over time into more beautiful creatures. It is one of those books that every time you read it you will learn something new, and see yet more and more you can relate to. Definitely one of my favorites. This is a lovely book to read and meditate on during your quiet time with the Lord.