How to have peace? Live peace? I am constantly striving to this, clumsily.
I just recently read “Stepping Heavenward,” by Mrs. E. Prentiss
“Stepping Heavenward is an intimate journal of a young woman who struggles with ordinary daily life just as we do. Her life is a constant endeavor to “step heavenward” as she deals with disappointment, heartache, and tragedy. You’ll find it hard to believe that this journal has not been written with your own pen! This treasure of womanly wisdom is crucial for any woman with a heart’s desire to know God.”
Mrs. Prentice, the wife of a pastor, knew heartache. She lost, within a period of three months, her second and third children; one was a newborn, and one was four years of age. In addition, she struggled with health problems that were chronic.
You can feel in the lines she wrote that she was intimately acquainted with sadness and loss.
I love the book’s onward and upward personal journey in Christ through many of the things we all struggle with in our daily life.
The steps below are woven in her story.
4 Steps That Lead To Peace:
(These were originally written by Thomas a Kempis in “Imitation of Christ.”)
I didn’t say it would be easy….
- “Be desirous of doing the will of another, rather than your own.’
- “Choose always to have less, rather than more.’
- “Seek always to the lowest place, and to be inferior to every one.’
- “Wish always, and pray, that the will of God may be wholly fulfilled in you.’
In light of these steps in a micro view of the day to day, I want to encourage my kids to give each other the biggest piece of cake or to strive to do what the other wants to do in play. Selflessness is under rated. Selflessness is catching and inspiring between children. Adults too. I want to be mindful of this and practice these steps daily with my husband and kids.
In a macro view, these steps are a process; a life time of practicing changing our attitudes out and up– With loved ones or difficult people.
Elizabeth died in 1878, at 60. Her hymn “More Love to Thee” was sung at her funeral.
(Pause music at top right)
Her husband, George Prentiss published The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss (1882) and wrote in the book’s preface a quote from his wife, “Much of my experience of life has cost me a great price and I wish to use it for strengthening and comforting other souls.”
“But you will imagine that it is best that He should at once enable you to see clearly. If it is, you may be sure He will do it. He never makes mistakes. But He often deals far differently with His disciples. He lets them grope their way in the dark until they fully learn how blind they are, how helpless, how absolutely in need of Him. What His methods will be with you I cannot foretell. But you may be sure that He never works in an arbitrary way. He has a reason for everything He does. You may not understand why He leads you now in this way and now in that, but you may, nay, you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act.” ― Elizabeth Payson Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward