Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Priscilla Mullins Alden

"Prithee John, why do you not speak for yourself?"

~ Priscilla Mullins

Who is Priscilla (Mullins) Alden?

Priscilla Alden was one of the few "teenage" maidens aboard the Mayflower heading towards the New World leaving behind her homeland of England. Being that she was one of the youngest to be married in Plymouth, she could probably be considered one of the main matriarch's of the Christian women in New England because she started her family fresh in America.

Interesting facts about her life:
  • She was seventeen years old when she boarded the Mayflower, enduring all the hardships of sailing at sea in that time.
  • She lost both her parents and brother in the first winter in Plymouth (one of each siblings remained in England) leaving her the only one of her family in the "New World".
  • She spun wool, flax, taught the children and helped to cook for the colony.
  • Her courtship story is probably one of the most romantacized in U.S. History, especially after the poem written about it in the writings of Longfellow (her descendent) titled "The Courtship of Miles Standish". It was said that the recently widowed, Captain Miles Standish, implored the young John Alden to ask for her hand on his behalf (which was normal of the time). When John finished declaring his intentions, young Priscilla responded to him, "Prithee John, why do you not speak for yourself?" He apparently bowed and went on his way that day. But shortly after, John Alden and Priscilla were married.
  • John and Priscilla were probably the third "Christian" marriage in Plymouth colony.
  • They had ten (possibly eleven) children with most of them having at least six children of their own and according to the records, they all seemed to be sincere Christians as well. 
  • Some of their decendents include the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
Web Source 1, Source 2

What is truly special about the memory of Priscilla Mullins Alden is what she is remembered for. She wasn't a writer, a poetess, or a painter but was well known for simply being a virtuous woman.  What an excellent example to maidens as she endured many hardships at a young age and yet she continued to serve the Living God. She is also famous for being the mother of many and her claim to fame is all the descendants that came through her family tree. Priscilla was one of the women who was responsible for creating a country that documented the worthy words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.How many women can boast that kind of fame in today's society? 


A Light Kindled ~ The Story of Priscilla Mullins by Tracy M Leininger (For ages 6 - 10 years)

Priscilla by George H. Boughton

Coloring Page of John and Priscilla Alden for Younger Maidens

Monday, November 21, 2011

Give Thanks

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth by Jennie Brownscombe

"In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

The journey of the pilgrims consisted of storms in the sea, lack of fresh food, seasickness and buckets for the use of everything else I dare not mention (which meant a lack of hygiene and a sanitary environment in which to live). These people were also among passengers who taunted them for their faith on this historical journey to the "New World". Notwithstanding all these torments was the grief in their hearts from their final good-byes to loved ones and the great detachment from the civilized world as they knew it. They would most likely never see that world and those left behind loved ones again…

When they finally arrived at their destination, their troubles were not over! They lost one half of their people to starvation, disease and cold in the first winter. This was a journey led by God? Surely they must have felt forsaken? They had every opportunity to lose hope and faith. But, what did they do when given the opportunity?

They thanked God for everything He had done for them!

Truly there is much to learn from a people like this! In these uncertain times, it is so easy to lose heart but when looking back to the journey of the pilgrims, we can see the grace that has been shown to us in our present circumstances. May their example stand out like a beam of light in dark moments for what was the source of their strength?

The Living God and the encouraging words of the Scriptures!

This is the faith that we must hold on to in our own lives when our journey seems to go down a thorny path of sorrows and pain…

This is the faith that will sustain you in all circumstances so that when your life reaches some pinnacle point, you know that you are safely in the place God has chosen for you…

"In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

And thanks MUST be given
for the Lord has laid down His life for YOU…
JOHN 3:16

Other paintings we viewed by Jennie Brownscombe in addition to this page:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thoughts Concerning the King

Image from the cover of Thoughts Concerning the King  by Elizabeth Prentiss (1890)

"It sweetens every bit of work to think that I am doing it in humble,
far-off, yet real imitation of Jesus."

"God never places us in any position in which we cannot grow.
We may imagine that He does.
We may fear we are so impeded by fretting petty cares that we are gaining nothing;
but when we are not  sending any branches upward,
we may be sending roots downward.
Perhaps in the time of our humiliation,
when everything seems a failure,
we are making the best kind of progress.
Look on and look up.
Lay hold on Christ with both your poor, empty hands.
Let Him do with you what seems good to Him.
Though He slay you, still trust in Him,
and I dare in His name to promise you a sweeter,
better life than you could have ever known,
had He left you to drink of the full dangerous cups of unmingled prosperity."

"Not till I was shut up to prayer and to the study of God's word by the loss of earthly joys
sickness destroying the flavor of them all —
did I begin to penetrate the mystery that is learned under the cross.
And wondrous as it is, how simple is this mystery!
To love Christ, and to know that I love Him — this is all."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Geography Lesson – Monsieur Gaudry And His Daughter

The Geography Lesson – Monsieur Gaudry And His Daughter 
by Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845)

I appreciate this painting by the French artist, Louis-Leopold Boilly since it portrays such a peaceful and endearing relationship between the father and daughter. He is apparently giving her a "geography lesson". How are your skills in the subject?

Questions for the Mothers and Maidens:
  • Based on what they are wearing, when do you think this painting took place?
  • What do you think her father did for a living?
  • Did you notice the nice collection of books in the room? That is where I would peruse if I was a guest in that house!

    Geography Journaling for Maidens (or Mothers!):

    Would you like to travel the globe without leaving the love and safety of your own home? A fun project would be to travel the world through literature and make a "Geography Journal". Read books that take place in other lands and record your "visit" by marking the country on a world map or print out a blank world map and color each country you "toured" and create a notebook of sorts. It might be fun to include the date you finished your "tour" as well to bring in more detail. When you are finished reading the books, perhaps you would like to read some non-fiction sources, biographies or look up some of the famous places from that country on the Internet and do an "online tour". 
    Buy at
    You can make this a scrapbook project and record the books you read, what you liked or disliked about them, interesting places or people they mentioned in the literature and so forth. Place information into a scrapbook, notebook or journal. You can give each country its own page and paste pictures of famous places or people from that land making sure to include the title of your book as well. If you enjoy cooking, create a meal based on the country and print out a menu for your scrapbook. Invite your family to "dine" in that land for the night. Make it a challenge by trying to read some quality literature that takes place in every country! Ideas to follow in the future...

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Heirloom Gifts for Girls

    With all the cheap, plastic, technological and trendy items, our young ladies are missing out on special gifts that they can use and hand down as heirlooms to their daughters. Here are some suggestions of some beautiful and timeless treasures for the maidens in your life:

    A special Bible with all the family history dates recorded inside... Perhaps you as parents can write something special inside to dedicate the Scriptures to your daughter. You can include verses which have been a blessing to you.

    Cedar Hope Chest

    You may also be interested in the article, What to put in a Hope Chest?

    A Music Box

    Bible Framed Art of the Proverbs 31 Virtuous Woman

    Keepsake Books (Here is a List)

    My Personal Favorite

    Pasting on a bookplate with a special thought hand written by you will make this extra special. It will also be wonderful to have your own handwriting and words available for the next generation to enjoy and benefit from. I value anything with my grandmother's handwriting since she passed away at a young age. It makes her memory more personal to me. Here is something to inspire you to write from the heart:

    "If instead of a gem, or even a flower,
    we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend,
    that would be giving as the angels give."
    ~ George MacDonald

    But most importantly, we must remember what means the most to any maiden:

    "The greatest gift is a portion of thyself."
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    More Love to Thee

    1. More Love to Thee ~ A Hymn

    2. More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
      Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee;
      This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
      More love to Thee, more love to Thee!
    3. Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;
      Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best;
      This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
      More love to Thee, more love to Thee!
    4. Let sorrow do its work, come grief or pain;
      Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
      When they can sing with me: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
      More love to Thee, more love to Thee!
    5. Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;
      This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
      This still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
      More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Magnanimous Music

    Girl with Guitar by Jennie Brownscombe

    "Music is a gift from God and has an enormous power that can help lead us to virtue.
    But in this fallen world, music- produced by sinners-
    is often chaotic, menacing, or flippant, and can lead us to our own destruction.
    You see children, music shapes us in its image."

    Music is a powerful tool for the follower of God but is just as powerful for the opposition... just like a knife can be used to prepare a nourishing salad or to harm a human. We need to be careful how we utilize the instrument.

    Scripture gives us guidance in what kind of music to delight in…

    "...but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God."
    ~ Ephesians 5:18-21
    "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
    ~ Colossians 3:16
    We are to enjoy the music that glorifies God. It breaks my heart to get into a car with "believers" and then to hear them listening to music made by unbelievers. Do you think there is anything in secular music created to bring you closer to God? Music is the mind of man that has been packaged into a group of notes. If anything, the unbelievers music brings you into their world… "and friendship with the world means enmity against God" (James 4:4).

    The kind of music you listen to is just as important as the shows you watch, the books you read and the people you keep company with. Music has a power that is all its own. Its influence can persuade people to do ungodly things that they otherwise would not do because of the mood it puts you in. It can almost clear the conscience and drown out the warnings of the holy spirit by the loudness of the disturbing lyrics, beats and tainting tunes. There are many studies about the influence of music that establishes this point.

    Lucifer (Satan) was the musician in the heavens once upon a time…

    You were in Eden, the garden of God; 
    Every precious stone was your covering: 
    The sardius, topaz, and diamond, 
    Beryl, onyx, and jasper, 
    Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. 
    The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes 
    Was prepared for you on the day you were created. 
    ~ Ezekiel 28:13

    Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, 
    And the sound of your stringed instruments
    The maggot is spread under you, 
    And worms cover you.’
    ~ Isaiah 14:11

    Satan once used his talent to glorify God. Now, how do you suppose he is using that same talent in his new mission? Are you enjoying his latest tunes?

    As a "Heroine of the Faith", who has the attention of your ears? Who is guiding what you hear? Is it placing you in the right direction towards your loving Saviour? For when you listen to godly music...

     Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,

          “This is the way, walk in it,”
          Whenever you turn to the right hand
          Or whenever you turn to the left."
    ~ Isaiah 30:21

    Whose voice are you listening to?

    Other paintings we viewed by Jennie Brownscombe in addition to this page:

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Ready for the Oven ~ Preparing Pies

    Ready for the Oven by Jennie Brownscombe

    “Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”

    ~ Jane Austen

    Doesn't this painting put you in the pie baking mood? It suddenly seems relaxing. The last time we viewed a painting by Jennie Brownscombe was in Autumn Foliage. I love the red tone and woodwork on the hutch in her kitchen along with the pot of roses that greet her every morning in the window. 

    Autumn Activity for Mothers and Maidens:

    Fall is full of inspiration for projects of days gone by. Apple pies and pumpkin pies truly enhance the season with their aroma from the kitchen. What memories that scent will embed in the hearts of your loved ones! Why not bless your family with some fresh from the oven? Be a provident woman and make a large batch... some to freeze for the future and some to give to those in need (Proverbs 31:20).  If you are a mother, now is the perfect time to teach these skills (even a two year old loves to roll out the scrap dough) and if you are a maiden, now is the time to perfect them. I posted an "easy as pie", printable pie crust recipe on my sister site if you would like to try your hand at making four crusts at once.

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