As the year grows closer to an end, it is time for me to pick a new devotional for next year. I was really excited to receive the opportunity to review Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another. I am a huge fan of inter-generational ministry, as described in Titus, so this devotional was right up my alley. I am also a firm believer that once can find mentors between the crisp pages of the written word.
It includes selections from Anne Dutton, Elizabeth Hasell, Frances Havergal, Harriet Newell, Isabell Graham, Katherine Parr, Mary Winslow, Ruth Bryan, Sarah Hawkes, Susan Huntington, Susannah Spurgeon, and Anne Steele. With a lineup of such godly women, it is sure to have something that resonates with just about every woman that picks through its pages.
The writings were selected and compiled by Donna Kelderman as daily readings. It is clearly evident that much attention and care given to the arrangement of the readings. As I thumbed through the pages, I found myself repeatedly drawn to the writing of Mary Winslow (1774-1854), who much to my embarrassment I had never even heard of. After reading her words on the April 11 devotion in Seasons of the Heart, which include, “What a mercy, dear friend, that all our strengh is in safe keeping; it is in Jesus and is given to us as we stand in need of it…Oh, what a Savior we have, if we did but believe all we profess to believe!” I was inspired to research her to learn more about her.
In a letter written to her family, found after her death, she penned, “O eternity, eternity can alone declare to you the prayers offered up, and the tears that have been shed by your anxious mother for your precious and immortal souls. Not a day passes but I bring you before the Lord. A soul lost, or a soul saved! A little while and I pass away. My time is shortening. You will not long have a praying mother: heaven is my home. Shall I meet you there? Will there be one missing? God forbid! Oh did you know how my soul yearns over you!”
Oh, what a joy it would have been to been in the company of such a woman, if only to glean from her faith for a moment. While I will not, on this side of eternity, ever sit to a cup of coffee with Ms. Winslow, it will be my greatest pleasure to have her as one of my mentors in the year to come!
The Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another devotional is available at christianbook.com, at barnesandnoble.com, and on Amazon. The list price is $20, though it’s cheaper on all three sites.
Who are your mentors?