SUsanna Wesley motherhood

Legacy of Motherhood: The Life of Susanna Wesley

My Mother and the first three kids.
Mom with my brother, sister, and me

For as long as I can remember, my greatest desire was to be a mother. And why not? God blessed me with the greatest examples of motherhood that a girl could have. My own mother was a portrait of motherhood. She had 6 children and countless foster kids. And she loved them all well. She told us often how wonderful it was to have children. Unlike many women today, she dreaded the end of summer and sending her children off to school. She wanted them around her feet, pulling on her skirt tails. There was never any doubt that she was proud to be a momma.

Godly Grandmothers

And then there were my godly grandmothers. Oh my goodness, if I could live up to their lives I would be so proud, but that would just pull me down from the heights of glory because they were all of the humble kind.

One thing my Grandma Dawson was proud of was that I was her namesake. And once I learned what that meant, I was proud of it too.
If you look at my father, uncles, and aunt you know that she was a great example of motherhood. She was a servant of God and man. At her funeral, my Uncle said, “You could always find her on her knees, either in prayer or serving others.

"You could always find her on her knees, either in prayer or service to others." #motherhood #grandmother #legacy Click To Tweet

Grandma Dawson (Amanda Leona) was also named for her Grandmother Amanda Hukill. Though I never knew her, she left a legacy of perseverance and faith enough for all of us. I can look to her whenever I think I have had my share of trials because she dealt with more than I ever have.

I look to her whenever I think I have had more than my fair share of trials. #leavingalegacy Click To Tweet

So Many More Legacy Builders

So you can see that it was easy for me to want to be a momma myself. It seemed the greatest accomplishment to me, it still does. Early on, I began reading about others that have set an example that has passed the test of time. Jackie Green’s book Only One Life speaks of many women who have left a legacy for us. There are two Susanna’s that have stood out for me as perfect examples of motherhood (physically and spiritually), Susie Spurgeon, whom I have already written about and Susannah Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley.

#Motherhood The greatest accomplishment. #lleavingalegacy Click To Tweet
Susanna motherhood

Susanna Wesley, Wife of a Minister

Susanna, wife of Rev. Samuel Wesley, Sr. and educated herself stayed right up with her husband (and later, her sons) in theological studies, reading anything and everything in her husband’s library. Her husband traveled often to schools and preaching, leaving her to hold down everything at home. They report that while he was away if the substitute priest was not “up to par”, she would have Bible lessons that evening in her home. This grew quickly from just her small brood to include many of the church members.

Mother of Nineteen

Susanna Wesley had nineteen children but only 10 of them reached adulthood (two of which were John and Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism). It was important to her that her children, girls included, would be given an education and she did it. All of them began their formal education at home and the girls completed their education under her teaching. She determined to have a dedicated period of study time set aside for each child, individually, each week. (When I think about this now, and factor in that she was likely pregnant or nursing the entire time, I am amazed. Yikes!)

Susanna's unwavering discipline
photo credit: Holinesstoday.org

Legacy of Discipline & Resilience

Susanna managed the gardening, cooking, and housekeeping along with the children’s studies. She kept a regular time set apart for meditation and self-examination before God, keeping of a spiritual journal and strict adherence to the Sabbath. Susanna, known as a great prayer warrior, with a houseful of activity, would pull her apron up over her head to pray; the signal for no interruptions. She expected the same devotion by her children.. to spend an allocated amount of time in Bible study and prayer. She wrote in a letter for her son Samuel:

I will tell you what rule I observed when I was young, and too much addicted to childish diversions, was this — never spend more time in mere recreation in one day than I spent in private religious devotions.

Eliza Clarke, Susanna Wesley (London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1886), 68

I have often read the writings of young people from earlier centuries and marveled at the depth of thought in young minds. Susanna’s practices, which came from the Puritan heritage, are how such depth of thought can be found. We all might take heed and learn from them.

SUsannah's Devotion to God
www.holinesstoday.org

“Mother of Methodism”

Susanna Wesley, mother of Methodism. Not only because she was the Mother of the founding men, John & Charles, but because she kept up with her husband and sons in their studies. She remained deeply involved with them in establishing the Methodist Church. As I type this, I am realizing that her disciplines stated above were carried into the new Methodist movement. The worship style of Methodism is just that. Methodical and with reason. I also wonder if it wasn’t her Sunday afternoon lessons, that sparked the idea of Sunday School classes for better learning and further teaching. can teach

Susanna Wesley a Legacy of Discipline, Faith & Prayer #leavingalegacy Click To Tweet

Large Shoes to Fill

The Life and Legacy of Susanna Wesley leave much for us to learn and follow. I encourage you to do some research on your own and perhaps take one area to use as an example to follow. There are many sources available for purchase; however, most of what I write today comes from the magazine Holiness Today, September/October 2018 issue which can be read online.

www.holinesstoday.org

What an excellent legacy to follow.

I pray that I do.

Mandy Farmer
summer of legacy

Legacy Link-ups are now Open

Click on the link of the month below.

Each month a different theme

  • May ~ Women
  • June ~ Men
  • July – Leaving a Legacy Through Blended Families (his/hers/ours/theirs or interracial families
  • August ~ Leaving a Legacy Through Adoption (from all viewpoints)

See you next week!

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8 thoughts on “Legacy of Motherhood: The Life of Susanna Wesley

  1. April Schwarz says:

    I have 4 children and I honestly think about the legacy I will leave them ALL the time. I have women who came before me that I have such love & respect for and I want to live my life in a way that my kids will hopefully add my name to that list. Blessing to you sister. 😊

    • Mandy Farmer says:

      Amen, April. That is so much my goal. I have two boys that I gained through marriage. I’m so proud that they speak of me as their mother and love me so much. IT’s a great blessing. I’ll be sharing more about that in July during our Blended Families LInk-up. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. BettieG says:

    I have always loved hearing the stories of Susannah Wesley, especially her call to prayer by covering her face with her apron. What a precious example to her children! I pray that I will continue to point my family to Jesus, even as the next generation is watching this Grandma now! I’m looking forward to your series here, Mandy and Michele!

    • Mandy Farmer says:

      Yes, Bettie! I want my grandchildren to think of me as the godly grandmother with the apron over her head and her Bible in her lap. My greatest desire!

  3. Shelby says:

    This was great! I love love love personal stories like these and look forward to reading more!

  4. April J Harris says:

    Susanna Wesley truly was an amazing woman, and it’s incredible to think of the impact she had on the way we practice our Christian faith. I really enjoyed reading this post, as I learned a lot more about her. As you say, we all need to think about the legacies we leave our children as it can have an impact not just on them but also on generations to come. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party, Mandy.
    April J Harris recently posted…Rhubarb and Ginger Drizzle CakeMy Profile

    • Mandy Farmer says:

      I’ve just recently found your linkup and enjoying it. We are starting a Link-up this summer, actually next week! on LEgacies. Hope you can join us.

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