There are few books on my bookcase that can still yield new gems of wisdom after years of mining. My well-worn copy of Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss is one of those few. From the time I first read it at 13, throughout my teens, and now into adulthood, a re-reading of it has always been a refreshing delight!
Stepping Heavenward is the “diary” of Katherine Mortimer, beginning in the 1830’s and chronicling her triumphs, tragedies, and struggles, both physical and spiritual. The gradual work of Sanctification is beautifully portrayed over the course of her life, from an impetuous young girl receiving mentorship to taking on the role of mentor herself later in life. Girlhood, Womanhood, Daughterhood, Wifehood, and Motherhood with their joys and trials are written in a wonderfully realistic and relate-able manner.
Because of the time span the book covers, I find myself relating to a different section of her journey each time I read it. However, I’ve always loved the various mentors that pop up throughout her life: Mother, Dr. and Mrs. Cabot, Auntie, Mrs. Campbell, and her Father-in-law. They all have different styles, but there are valuable lessons to be learned from each of them! Equally instructive in a different way are those whose failings and hang ups require Katie (as she prefers to be called) to grow: Amanda, Charley, Lucy, and Martha particularly come to mind.
I highly recommend this book to girls and women, young and old, as a timeless friend, guide, and encouragement!
Almost as delightful as the book it’s self is the Study Guide by Carson Kistner! If you get the book, the Bible studies and extra context make it well worth your while to get the guide as well!
*Note*: Unless you are already very familiar with the book, you will want to get the edition of the book specifically designed to go with the study guide, as the guide only references that edition’s page numbers rather then the diary entry dates.
You can get that edition here:
And the Study Guide here:
An old edition of Stepping Heavenward is also available for Free Download here: