Elizabeth Prentiss: If only I could follow her example

Elizabeth Prentiss (1818 - 1878) was a frail woman who suffered intensely from chronic insomnia all her life. Few knew this. Despite her misery and suffering, the world saw a radiant face. She was described as a bright-eyed woman with a keen sense of humour. 

One of the darkest days of her life was on January 16, 1852 when her son Eddy died. The five-year-old had broken into a rash and fever. Elizabeth did the little that the doctors could suggest in an attempt to save his life. After Eddy died she recognized that going to Jesus was a great blessing for him, however much pain it cost her; and she wrote lines in which she urged him, "O, hasten hence! to His [Christ's] embraces, hasten!"*

We all could learn a thing or two from ladies such as Elizabeth Prentiss. A woman rarely free of pain and suffering, almost an invalid, could still put on a cheerful smile and radiant face. No matter what is thrown your way or what the Lord asks you to do - whether that be a SAHM or a woman who goes off to work, put on that radiant face and march onwards. Don't let others pull you down or find fault in what you have been asked to do - do all things for the glory of God, with joy etched into your face. 

Its one of those valuable lessons we need to teach our sons and daughters. They don't know what their future situation might be, but whatever God asks them to do, do it with a joyful heart. I don't think my aunt expected to remain a spinster all her life, regardless, she always had a smile on her face, so willing to help others and she lived life to its fullest and served God until the end of her days. 

Isn't it strange, but it is often the most able-bodied, the healthiest that grumble the most about the lack of energy, lack of time and the need for a sit down. However the most frail among us tend to have the most life, the most desire to be joyful. Perhaps knowing that one doesn't live forever pushes them on to make the most of every day, whilst the rest of us, a little more sure of our situation, more complacent, tend to take it all from granted. 

O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever. 
Psalm 107:1

* Source: Christianity.com



  1. Thanks Jo for posting this. I love E.P. I still glean so much with every reading of Stepping Heavenward. I think because for her, "To live is Christ." Loves,

    1. These women of the past still have so much to offer us modern women:))

  2. 26 October 1818 – 13 August 1878. You have 1978! ;o)

    1. All fixed - thankyou for pointing out the incorrect date:)

  3. This is something people always commented about my mother - they would say that even when she was very ill, she was usually able to summon up a smile and cheerful countenance.

    It is definitely something to aspire to, especially in light of the Word of God and exhortations to rejoice and be joyful and be thankful - it's hard to be truly thankful if you don't feel some kind of joy. :)

    1. I notice it more and more - those who are really sick seem to have to the most joy as they want to grasp every last moment from life.

      Have a lovely day. The sun is shining here and I can even hear the birds singing. Yesterday I sat in the sun and read, it was so lovely and peaceful.

  4. My brother and I usually moan about fit and healthy people moaning hehe! No, we really do. We are both cripples and we both laugh everyday and thank God what we have and don't get angered by the hand we are dealt. There is no point in lying down and surrendering, we have to wake up each day and be thankful that we have woken up xx

    1. Bless you Emma as i wish we all had your spirit of living. We just take each day for granted and don't thank the Lord for being able to get up. Sadly one day we will get old and be in poor health and realise how much of our lives we have wasted by grumbling or being miserable.

      Have a lovely Easter weekend. :))

  5. Dear Jo, I once again was behind a few post, I did read each one and wanted to tell you Happy Easter, Yes, He has risen...
    Hubby did a great job helping you pick out the perfect shoes. The new idea for posting something that inspired you will be a winner. The sweet kind lady Elizabeth did look frail, but her strength is in Him. I have a bit of complaining myself, and I feel like maybe I am starting to shine like a diamond, as the pressure has been a bit much. But I am trusting in Jesus and waiting and praying... Missed you! Thanks for being my blogging friend, YOU always leave me kind comments.
    Sometimes I just hope blogging is using my time wisely? And that what I write inspires and blesses others! Hugs, Roxy


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I wear skirts and dresses

Art Friday: Washing Day

The power of our homes

Modern modesty

Art Friday: Views from a window

True restfulness