Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Stepping Heavenward

I have just finished reading this book for the first time, and found it to be wonderful! You can find it as a free ebook online, but I personally prefer curling up in a comfy chair with this type of book and so recommend looking for it at a library or ordering it online. This book is for all perfectionists, wives and mothers, and women who seek to please and know God even when it seems like we will never learn how. Below is a review by Elisabeth Elliot. Find additional reviews here and here.

Stepping Heavenward
Forward by Elizabeth Elliot (Feb. 1992)This charming journal of a nineteenth century girl takes us from her sixteenth birthday (“How dreadfully old I am getting!”) to her last entries when she was ill and in her forties, aware that she had very little time left. It is a story of the shaping of a soul - of her learning day by day, in the seemingly insignificant little events of an ordinary life, that deep happiness is found, nor in seeking fulfillment for oneself, but in a glad and free self-offering for the sake of others. We follow her maturing to womanhood, we learn of her narrow escape from commitment to the wrong man, and of her engagement and marriage to the right one. But there was not as much “honey” on the honeymoon as her dreams had predicted. She had had no practice in giving up her own preferences in a day-to-day relationship with a man. She says to herself, at one point in her journal, “I would like to know if there is any reason on earth why a woman should learn self-forgetfulness which does not also apply to a man?” When little Ernest is born she finds he has a passionate temper and a good deal of self-will, along with fine qualities. “I wish he had a better mother. I am so impatient with him when he is wayward and perverse!... Next to being a perfect wife I want to be a perfect mother. How mortifying, how dreadful in all things to come short of one’s standards!” Having in-laws living with the family is another opportunity to “step heavenward,” receiving grace to help as grace is continually needed. This book is a treasure of godly and womanly wisdom, told with disarming candor and humility, yet revealing a deep heart’s desire to know God. We need such intimate accounts, need them desperately when the word commitment is so little understood and so seldom practiced. We need to see that love for the Lord really does make a difference, not merely on Sunday, but from Monday through Saturday. We need to be able to enter this woman’s life, her home, her kitchen, and see, as she so generously and honestly lets us do, just what the crucial difference is. I have given a copy of Stepping Heavenward to my daughter and to a number of other young mothers. I do not hesitate to recommend it to men, who need to try to understand the wives they live with, and to any woman who wants to walk with God.
-Elizabeth Elliot - Magnolia, Mass.


Blogger Carrie said...

I'm a little late commenting on this, but just wanted to say that I love this book, too! It has been really encouraging to me in my Christian walk. z

3:48 PM, September 29, 2005  
Blogger Carrie said...

Oops, I accidentally hit a "z" at the end of that post--oh well, no way to delete it! :)

3:49 PM, September 29, 2005  

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