I’m really excited about this month’s story. Isabella Alden was a pastor’s wife and prolific writer in the 19th century. When I was about 13, one of her books inspired my older sister to help me learn to believe that I could stand before God with peace depending on what Jesus did for me instead of coming sometimes boldly and sometimes fearfully based on my how good I’d been. It inspires me to think that almost 200 years after she wrote, my life is impacted by her words and begs the question: “What am I doing right now that can make an impact in 200 years?” More recently, I had been praying about how to increase the amount of purposeful media in my life that points my eyes towards Christ, and started listening to her books when I would drive to work or school (now work is on hold and I am doing school from home 🙂 ). I have been encouraged by the works of Isabella Alden, aka Pansy, to be willing to stand alone in my pursuit of Christ because He is real and worth it. I am challenged by how her books point to a faithful Christian life, reading the word of God and gathering with other believers in Jesus as the foundation of living a fruitful life of service to God. I am challenged to think about how the little things in my life, such as the clothes I wear or my facial expressions could impact others and push them closer to or further from Christ. Her depictions of people’s lives being shaped by others’ everyday little actions, mirrored moments that I was inspired by people in my community and helped me to see how God could use my small actions to bless others.
- Why did Isabella Alden write?
- What makes a story fun for you to read?
- What can you think of that you could do now that could impact not just your children or grandchildren, but your great-grandchildren?
- How can you use your words to encourage someone today?
- What is an important message you want to share?
- Why is it important to talk to people in your family about Jesus?
- What are some ways that you can follow Jesus daily?
Deeper discussion questions related to the theme of following Jesus and using unique God-given talents to make Him known:
- What are some of the unique skills God has given you?
- What are some of the things you really enjoy doing or are that you are very good at doing?
- What is something you are almost good at and could work to become better at?
- What is one thing that you have noticed a sibling or friend is good at?
- How can you encourage them in that?
- What are some things you know God wants you to be faithful in doing?
- What are some specific ways that you can follow Jesus right now?
- How can you change your habits to be more in line with what God has called you to do?
Here is a worksheet for thinking of everyday little things we can do to encourage others.
The books that I reference are “Tip Lewis and His Lamp”, Interrupted”, “Four Girls at Chautauqua”, and “Ester Reid’s Awakening.” This is the website where I accessed Pansy’s books http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/4482 you can also find some of them as free audiobooks read by volunteers here https://librivox.org/author/157?primary_key=157&search_category=author&search_page=1&search_form=get_results I have not yet listened to all of them :-)Also here is a fun activity, not exactly related to the story, that I thought you might enjoy: https://iheartcraftythings.com/simple-color-scavenger-hunt-kids.html
Here is the link to the ministry I referenced again in case it is unusable in the PDF, https://lamplighter.net/c/. Here are several of the websites that I found information about Isabella Alden on: https://www.isabellamacdonaldalden.com/the-pansy-name.html, https://isabellaalden.com/isabella-alden-home-page/about/, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Isabella-Macdonald-Alden, the Bible verses are from the New Living Translation, the joke was taken from the comments on https://margaretfeinberg.com/23-of-the-best-bible-jokes-riddles/