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.
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.
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 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!)
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.
“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 teachSusanna 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.
See you next week!
Pastor’s Wife (retired) & Chronic Pain Warrior blogs about how to make it through anything by relating her own life experiences to her writing. She is passionate about her love for the Lord and desires to spread that passion to others. She has a great desire to encourage women who are following behind her.