The Out of Print Collection: Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

My newest Out of Print title, Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss.

“She says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing. Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!”

Stepping Heavenward is the sweetest book, one that all mothers and daughters should read. It tells the story of one woman’s journey to Godliness, through young adulthood and the throes of young love, to early motherhood and the agony of loss. I am so excited to offer this out of print title in my bookstore.

Elizabeth Payson Prentiss (1818-1878) was daughter of Congregationalist pastor, Edward Payson. In 1945 she married a pastor, Edward Prentiss, and submitted herself to a life of housewifery, motherhood, and devotion to God. Along with taking care of the home, she was a published author and penned many works, including the popular hymn “More Love to Thee, O Christ”. Stepping Heavenward, first published in 1869, was Elizabeth’s most popular novel, selling over 300,000 copies worldwide. It became a staple in Sunday school libraries. Elizabeth, who had undergone intense suffering in her life, wrote the story of Kate as a way to show the reader how to build a personal relationship with God even in the midst of bodily and emotional suffering. Of the book, Elizabeth said,  “Every word of that book was a prayer, and seemed to come of itself.” This book was popular upon its first publication and surged in popularity again in the 20th century, but has fallen out of popularity and is no longer widely published.

From the back:

This is the testimony of all the good books, sermons, hymns, and memoirs I read–that God’s ways are infinitely perfect; that we are to love Him for what He is and therefore equally as much when He afflicts as when He prospers us; that there is no real happiness but in doing and suffering His will; and that this life is but a scene of probation through which we pass to the real life above.

 

This is the diary of Kate and her quest to live a better life. Spanning from her teenage years to young motherhood to seasoned motherhood, Stepping Heavenward is a reflection on eternal matters and a celebration of the joys and trials of raising children. In this novel, Prentiss shows us how to build a personal relationship with God, and how to accept suffering as a way to glorify Him. 

 

Stepping Heavenward, published in 1869, was wildly popular at the time, selling over 300,000 copies worldwide and becoming a staple in Sunday school libraries. However, the book is no longer widely published. This formerly out of print title is now available with beautiful cover art by Haleigh DeRocher, found exclusively at sweetsequels.com.

This title will be available on September 1st.

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