Tag Archive | Sally Anne

Little Isabel’s Christmas Joy – Part 5

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Eugene sat in the front of the sleigh beside Mama to make room for Sally Anne.

“Is everyone nice and warm back there?” Mama turned and smiled as Isabel and Maggie held up their fur muffs, feeling the softness against their cheek. “Tuck in those blankets, Curtis. It’s beginning to snow again.”

It wasn’t long until the horses stopped in front of the first house. Everyone bounced out of the sleigh, singing Jingle Bells before reaching the house.

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the Little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head…” Mama pushed Maggie forward as the neighbor opened the door. Soon the entire household stood on the porch, joining the serenade. Maggie timidly offered a package containing cookies and was rewarded with a hug from the lady of the house.

“Oh, that was wonderful!” the woman said and motioned to the door. “Won’t you all come in for some hot cider?”

“Thank you, no.” Mama said with a smile. “We have several more stops to make.”

“Merry Christmas!”

Each household was as friendly as the first. Isabel was beginning to get cold and buried her head in the soft furry muff to warm her frozen nose. Finally, there were only two packages in the sleigh. One contained a basket of food for an unfriendly neighbor who had been battling influenza.

“Now children, Mrs. Barker has been ill so I will take the basket to her door. She may not be up to our serenade tonight,” Mama said softly, “We will go back to Sally Anne’s home and pick up little Sylvia.”

“Papa, do we have to stop at widow Barker’s house?” Eugene asked as they turned and headed the back way to the Albright home, passing by a dark, unkempt small house.”

“Oh Eugene, I’m surprised at you!” Mama said softly. “Mrs. Barker has been ill. She needs this visit more than anyone – don’t you think?”

“But Mama, everybody knows she hates boys! She makes us walk on the other side of the street when she sees us going and coming home from school,” Eugene said.

“She’s not very nice!” Curtis agreed.

“It isn’t nice to speak unkindly of our neighbors, boys.” Papa said and coughed towards Mama.  “They’re right.”

Mama stepped out of the sleigh and reached for the basket on the floor. “I will be right back,” she said and walked gingerly over the icy sidewalk and up one step to the small porch. The door opened slightly and Mama passed the basket to her through the door. “Hope you have a Merry Christmas, Mrs. Barker and I’m praying you will feel better soon.”

“Thank you, Miz Greene, and the same to you.” Without acknowledging the family in the sleigh, she quickly closed the door, leaving Mama to find her way over the ice back to the sleigh.

Papa helped Mama back into the safety of the sleigh and covered her with a fur rug. “Good thing that was the last house,” Papa said, “Feels like that snow is turning to sleet. Getting colder by the minute.

  By the time they reached the Albright house, Isabel’s teeth were chattering. The three girls snuggled closer together under the thick blanket and started singing Away in the Manger.

“Look at that!” Sally Anne exclaimed as she pointed to the sky. “Do you think that’s the Bethlehem star?”

“Nah,” Eugene said with confidence. “That star is all the way in Bethlehem!”

Soon the laughing group pulled into the Albright drive. Mr. Albright met them with a bucket of oats for the horse.

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“Go on inside for hot cocoa and cookies,” he said as he lifted the girls one at a time from the red sleigh.

 Isabel picked up  Sally Anne’s gift and quietly handed it to her friend.

“It’s not as nice as the muff but I helped Mama make it.”  Sally Anne squealed as she tore away the brown paper to reveal a cloth doll with yarn hair. “Oh, I love her. Thank you, Isabel!”

By the time the children warmed by the kitchen stove with two cookies and a cup of hot chocolate, Isabel felt her eyes drooping. When she awakened, she was in her own yard and Papa was unhitching the horse.

“Alright children,” Mama said as she hung up coats on hooks in the screened- in- back porch. “you may place your gifts from your friends under the tree and then hurry up to bed.”

Excitement filled Isabel as she ran into the parlor, lit by the fire in the fireplace. There on the table holding the stable were three new carved items. A man, a woman and a donkey.

“Look!” Curtis said, “It’s Mary, Joseph and the donkey she rode on to Bethlehem!”

Isabel slowly walked to the stable and traced the figures with her fingers. “Where did they come from? How did they get here?”

“The donkey brought them, silly!” Eugene said with a smile before mussing her hair.

“It’s bedtime children,” Mama said, “hang your sock on the mantle and then go on to bed. Morning will be here before you know it.”

“But Mama,” Maggie said with a tear in her eyes. “Baby Jesus isn’t here. The manger is empty! Did Mary and Joseph forget the baby?”

“No, dear. They are still waiting for the baby to be born.”

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Little Isabel’s First Tea Party ~ Part 3 ~ Tea Time

d6c6dd47d61dc74cc91a4279eea2befb.jpgIsabel stood in awe at the large brick home with white pillars, shutters and trees in urns on either side of the door.

“Can you reach the doorbell, dear?” Mama asked and reached for the round knob beside the door and twisted until lovely music drifted from inside.

“That’s the doorbell, Isabel.” Mama said with a smile. “It rings inside the house to let them know we are here.”

Isabel felt butterflies as she waited. She heard quick footsteps and then the door was opened by a trim young woman in a black dress and white apron.

“Good afternoon,” she said as she presented a small silver tray. “Please come in. If you give me your card, Madame, I will let Mrs. Albright know you are here.”

“My card? I don’t have a card but Mrs. Albright is expecting us,” Mama said softly as her cheeks flamed red. Suddenly, a warm friendly voice drifted to the door. “Angela, please invite Mrs. Greene and the girls in. They don’t need a card; they are close friends.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Angela curtsied and opened the door and motioned for them to come inside.

“That will be all, Angela.” Mrs. Albright said as Sally Anne ran into the foyer to greet Isabel.

“I’m so sorry, Lizzy.” Mrs. Greene said as she ushered them into the parlor. “I should have told her you were coming. You know how society is today. If one doesn’t have a card, one isn’t invited in. A ridiculous tradition if you ask me.”

Mama smiled politely. “Your home is lovely, Lillian. Just the way I remember it from our childhood.”

Sally Anne ushered Isabel into a room with two tables draped in fine linen and china. One large table and one just the right size for little girls.

“Isabel, I’m so glad you came! This is my first tea party and you are my first guest!. We will have so much fun!  Mama and Cookie thought it was going to rain so they set the tables inside but now that the sun is out, the maids are moving everything outside. We may have our tea party in the flower garden!”

Isabel smiled and looked around. “There are pretty flowers everywhere.”

“You should see the treats Cookie made. Even the cake has flowers on it.” Sally Anne ushered Isabel into the kitchen but was shooed out.

“I’m sorry, Miss Sally Anne. You know your grandfather doesn’t want you to come into the kitchen and he is arriving this afternoon. If he sees you in here, I will lose my job for sure.” Mrs. Cook said as she lifted a pain of cookies out of the oven. “Why Miss. Isabel. You look so grown up today! I haven’t seen you since you were knee-high to a grasshopper! Miss Sally Anne, why don’t you show Miss Isabel your room while we finish the preparations?”

Isabel followed Sally Anne up a large, winding staircase. At the top of the stairs, Isabel looked down and felt a little dizzy until she focused on the beautifully carved banister. “Do you ever slide down the banister?”

“Yes,” Sally Anne whispered, “but only when Mother, Father and Grandfather are away and Cookie is busy in the kitchen. You’ll have to try it later when everyone it sometime,” she added with a smile.  She opened the first door on the right of the long hallway and invited Isabel in.

“Wow!” Isabel exclaimed as she looked around the room twice. “It looks like a toy store!” There were dolls of all shapes and sizes on a high shelf on one wall. A cradle contained toy animals of all sizes and her bed overflowed with both under a beautiful canopy. “It’s okay,” Sally Anne said as she looked out the large bay window. “Oh-oh, the other girls are coming in their fancy car. Father asked Mother to invite them. I just wanted you to come but he said that it would be good for business if Mother invited the mothers and daughters of his employees.”

Isabel didn’t know what an employee was but she could see the girls in fancy hats and dresses looking up at the window.” Sometimes they are nice,” Sally Anne said and then rolled her eyes. We won’t let them spoil our party will we Isabel?”

Isabel shook her head and followed down the flight of stairs and stood just to the side as Sally Anne greeted her other guests.

“Isabel, I would like you to meet Arlene and Mary Polly. Girls, I would like you to meet my best friend, Isabel”

“Hello,” the girls acknowledged the introduction and then started chattering without including Isabel in the conversation.  Isabel looked across the hall into the parlor where Mama held baby Maggie as two other women gushed about Mrs. Albright’s outfit.

“Tea is served in the dining room,” the maid said as she led the girls and their mothers through French doors into a beautifully decorated room. “Ladies please be seated,” she indicated the large, beautifully decorated table and then directed the little girls to a smaller table set with a small tea set and dishes with a bowl of flowers in the center along with the petite tea set.

Each little girl gasped as they sat down at their table already occupied by toy bunny rabbits!

 

Sally Anne tiptoed to the large table against the wall laden with many treats. “Sally Anne, you should sit down with your guests now. Angela will serve you.

“Yes ma’am,” Sally Anne said softly. “May I serve the tea? Cookie showed me how.”

“Yes, you may. Do you need any help?”

“No thank you,” Sally Anne said with a smile and ran back to the little table set just for her and her little friends.

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After the girls were seated, with Sally Anne at the head of the table, Miss Angela rolled a tea cart to the small table. Sally Anne stood by the tea cart and asked Little Isabel to ask the blessing. After the prayer was said, Sally Anne became very prim and proper. She picked up the creamer and poured until each cup was more than half filled. Next, she laid a pretty strainer and poured the weak tea into each cup. She grasped the silver tongs and picked up a lump of sugar. “Do you want one lump or two?”

“One lump is quite enough Dear,” Mrs. Albright said and then turned back to Mama and the other ladies.

Isabel, Arlene and Mary Polly put their gloved hands over their mouth to stifle giggles as Sally Anne added to more lumps into each cup.

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Each girl chose a sandwich in the shape of a heart and two cookies each. Isabel picked up the soft white napkin and placed it in her lap and then raised her tiny teaspoon with a floral design on the handle and gently stirred her tea; being careful not to spill it on the lovely tablecloth. The clink, clink, clink of spoons against china tea cups almost sounded like music to Isabel.

Found on supergoldenbakes.blogspot.co.uk Earl Grey Tea Cake

After the last sip of tea, the last treat eaten, and the giggling had ceased, Sally Anne stood and smiled at her friends.

“Thank you, Isabel, Arlene and Mary Polly for coming to my tea party! To thank you for coming, we have something special outside for everyone.

“Oh boy!” the girls said in unison as they slid their chairs back. Isabel squeezed the toy rabbit that had occupied the seat with her.

“Be sure to bring your rabbit,” Sally Anne said with a smile, “it’s for you! I have one for little Maggie too.” Sally Anne crossed the room with a small, soft rabbit and presented it to Maggie who was enjoying a cookie in a high chair near Mama.

Mrs. Albright placed her cloth napkin on the table. “Let’s all go into the garden,” she said with a smile.

View More: http://annenunnphotography.passgallery.com/event/wTMDM133297There was a table outside by the hydrangea bush loaded with gifts. Each child had brought a birthday gift for their hostess, Sally Anne which were wrapped in pretty paper, tied with bright satin ribbons. There were also baskets filled with toys and six buckets containing carrots and a book.

“These are for you,” Sally Anne said. My favorite book is The Tale of Peter Rabbit and I thought you would like it too.”

“Are the carrots for feeding the toy rabbits?” Isabel asked softly.

Sally Anne smiled and pointed to the back of the lawn. “Father gave me a Peter Rabbit of my own. I thought we would have fun feeding him!”

Little Isabel smiled as she eyed the soft, brown bunny with a fluffy white tail. She watched her friend give the critter a carrot but what really had Isabel’s attention was the way his nose wiggled and twitched. Soon, all of the girls started laughing as Isabel tried to wiggle her nose and they all joined in.

Sally Anne returned Peter Rabbit to his cage and led her friends in a race to the gift table. The girls stopped suddenly and their eyes grew large at two pink cakes, each containing four candles. “I believe we have two birthday girls here today,” Mrs. Cookie said with a smile.

“That’s right,” Mrs. Albright said as she lit the candles. “Let’s all wish Sally Anne and Isabel a happy birthday!”

Isabel looked at the cake and then at Mama who urged her to blow the candles. “When I say, ‘go’ blow them out together,” Mama said. It was then Isabel saw two piles of birthday gifts.  Mama had each girl sit in a decorated chair to open their gifts before having a piece of cake. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The girls slowly opened the gifts, exclaiming over each one and all five girls were given a basket of gifts, including a tin of Beatrix Potter Tea, cookies, paper dolls, a large coloring book and crayons. Isabel’s favorite was the Peter Rabbit tea set from Sally Anne.

 

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“Isabel,” Mama said softly. “Did you enjoy your first tea party?

“Oh yes! It is my favorite day of all!”

~*~

Photos used from Pinterest. Little Isabel photograph is used with permission.

Little Isabel’s First Tea Party ~ Part 2 ~ Anticipation

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Little Isabel awakened to the song of the rooster who delighted in crowing as soon as the sun peeped through the curtain of darkness. A shaft of light through the curtain cast a glow about the room. Isabel stretched and reached for her favorite item of the week – her first tea party invitation. She looked at the picture of  little girls on the card drinking tea and eating cake.

   ~*~

“Just one more sleep,” Mama said last night after bedtime prayers. Isabel tried to sleep but every time she closed her eyes, she thought about the upcoming tea party. .

“My eyes won’t stay closed. I want to go to the tea party now!”

“I’m sorry Dear but Sally Anne isn’t ready for your party yet.”

“How come?
“Well, Mama said softly as she pushed Isabel’s hair back, “there is much to prepare for a tea party – especially if it is also a birthday party.  Sally Anne’s mother and Mrs. Cookie will bake special treats, they will set a pretty table and Sally Anne will probably have a new dress to wear for her special occasion. So you see, they want everything to be perfect for the party.”

“Will they have cake?” Isabel licked her lips in anticipation. “Chocolate cake?”

“Perhaps.” Mama answered with a smile. “Is that the kind of cake you would like for your birthday?”

“Oh, yes Mama!” Isabel sat on her knees and clapped at the thought. “With candy flowers on it too! Will they have cookies?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Mama said as she eased the child back under the covers. “There may be finger sandwiches too.”

“Finger sandwiches?” Isabel popped up again but this time with trepidation as she looked down at her hands.”

” Finger sandwiches are very small sandwiches.  So small that you can pick them up with your fingers and eat daintily. Just like a lady or a princess.. Now go to sleep. The faster you go to sleep, the more quickly time will pass. Besides, we have a busy day tomorrow. Remember? We are going berry picking and then after dinner we will add hair to the dolly we made as Sally Anne’s gift. Then there will be one more sleep before the party.”

“Yes ma’am.” Isabel said as she pressed her invitation close to her face. “It smells sweet like peppermint.”

“Indeed.” Mama said as she kissed the child’s forehead and pulled the covers up to Isabel’s chin. “Sweet dreams, little ~*~

Isabel stretched again and slid her legs over the side of the bed. “Good Morning!” she called to her two older brothers on the other side of the curtain wall that separated their rooms. When no one responded, she called again. “It’s morning. Wake up Eugene. Wake up, Curtis!”

~*~

After breakfast, Isabel stood on a stool beside Mama at the sink. “I love washing dishes!”

“You are my good helper, Isabel!”

A bright smile lit her face at Mama’s compliment. At that very moment, baby Maggie banged on her high chair with her rattle.

“Baby Maggie wants to help too,” Mama said with a smile as she washed the dish cloth and dish towel and hung them on the rod by the stove to dry. She scooped up the baby and led Isabel back into her room. “While I’m changing baby Maggie, you may put on the clothes I laid out for you on your bed.”

Isabel ran into her room and returned to Mama with a pair of her brother’s old overalls. “Oh-oh Mama. You put Curtis’ clothes on my bed. I can’t find my dress.”

“Since we are going berry picking, I thought it would be better if you wear pants today. I don’t want the mosquitoes and chiggers to bite you.”

Isabel’s eyes grew large at the thought of bugs chowing down on her. “Mama, do I have’ta go?”

“Certainly. Berry picking is fun – especially if you dress properly. There’s no need to be afraid. I will be right there with you.”

“Mama, are you wearing overalls too?”

“Oh yes. I will wear a pair of Papa’s dungarees. We might look funny but we will be protected from the sun and insects. Besides, no one should see us.” Mama laughed as they changed into the “boys” clothes and checked out there image in the mirror.

“I look like a boy,” little Isabel said as she looked at herself in the mirror.”

“You could never look like a boy, dear. Come and sit down at the vanity and we fix your hair so that no one could mistake you for a boy. Okay?”

“Yes, Mama.” Isabel began to smile as Mama parted her hair, pulled up one side in one hand and wrapped twine around the little tail, tied it securely, and repeated the process with the other side. “They look like piggy tails,” Isabel squealed and shook her head, watching the pig tails bounce.

“Now,” Mama said as she securely pinned the coverall straps to prevent them from falling off Isabel’s tiny shoulders. “How’s that? Did you noticed I embroidered little hearts on your pants? No little boy would wear that!”

Isabel studied Mama’s handiwork  and twirled around. “They don’t swish like a dress,” Isabel said as she tried to get her pants to swish with her. She giggled as Mama cinched the belt to Papa’s dungarees and joined Isabel in twirling. “You’re right. They’re not as much fun to wear but we won’t get insect bites or scratches from briars. Now, off to the berry patch!”

Isabel and Mama rode in the buggy to the nearest berry patch. “Just think, Isabel. Soon we will have our own berry patch and not have to pay a penny to anyone to pick them.” Isabel grinned as Mama pulled baskets out of the back of the buggy. “We need as many berries as we can carry. We will have preserves and jam to last all winter! Just remember to put more berries in the baskets and less into your mouth. Okay?”

By the end of the day, Little Isabel had been washed, fed and into bed before sunset. When Mama checked on her an hour later, Isabel was still sleeping soundly with her doll on her arm and the invitation in her hand. Goodnight, little Isabel. Tomorrow you will attend your long awaited tea party!

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Photos used with permission.

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart ~ The Lesson

Summertime is a wonderful time for families to do activities together. One day, the Greene boys decided to give their dog, Sandy a bath while their younger sisters were hanging sheets on the line for Mama. The result was a lot of fun for the children but extra work for “Mama,” especially since the sheets were dragged through the mud twice! What would you do? Did she fret or did she use the opportunity turn the bad event into something wonderful?

I’ll let you decide. This is a repost of a blog I posted last year. Happy reading!

What would you do if your dog pulled a clean sheet off the clothes line and dragged it through the mud? Isabel’s Mama turned it into an opportunity to share the Gospel. Read part of a chapter from The Vision of a Mother’s Heart to see how Mama used a dirty sheet to share the Gospel.


Isabel followed Mama and the children outside, helped her dump muddy water, and refilled the tubs with clean water for washing as Eugene built a fire under the wash water.
“Now,” said Mama, “This dirty, filthy sheet reminds me of something.”
“Mama,” said Maggie softly, “I don’t think it’s just dirt and mud…this one stinks!”
“Oh, Sandy, sighed Mama as she picked up the corner of the sheet and held it up for the children to see. Do you know what this reminds me of?”
“Sandy? Curtis asked with a wide grin on his face.”
“Doing laundry?”
“Sin,” said Maggie.
“Yes, said Mama, It does remind me of sin, especially since we continue to sin again and again but Jesus has washed us clean in His precious blood so that all the Father sees when He looks at us is the precious blood of His son…and not our dirty, stinky sin. However, that is not the lesson I came outside to teach you today.”
“It isn’t?” The children asked in unison.
“No, it isn’t,” said Mama as she walked around, showing the sheet to each child, making sure they got a good whiff as she passed by, “this sheet reminds me of my good works.”
Isabel could hear a gasp, her own amongst them.
“Isabel,” said Mama, “I have heard you often say lately that you are ‘doing a good deed today’ and I want to make sure that my children are not counting on good deeds to go to heaven.” Mama stopped and looked seriously at each of her children before she finished her thought.
“You see,” continued Mama, “the Bible says that all our good works are as filthy rags to the Lord. There is absolutely nothing that we can do to earn our way to heaven. God is so Holy, so good, that in comparison the very best we can do is…well like this filthy sheet.”
“Ugh, that’s really bad!” Isabel turned to see which brother had spoken but could not see for the tears in her eyes. If Mama’s good works are as nasty as that sheet, what about mine? The thought cut to her heart, Everybody has always told me that I’m a good girl; certainly not a sinner. Of course, everyone is a sinner, Isabel admitted to herself. She quoted Romans 3:23 quietly to herself.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”that means me.
Isabel thought about the unkind words she had said about Sally Anne before she really knew her and suddenly, she remembered talking back to Papa in her heart and she thought of all the times her pride was hurt by the other girls at school and she knew without a doubt that Isabel Greene was indeed a sinner. Her heart pounded and her stomach churned as she remembered
Romans 6:23 which says that “the wages of sin is death”, and that means separation from God, we learned that in Sunday School. What was the rest of that verse? Oh yeah, “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Isabel returned her focus to Mama who was just about to dip the sheet in to the wash water, which Isabel knew contained Clorox bleach, for she had noticed Mama pouring liquid from the brown bottle into the water while the children were talking amongst themselves. Isabel listened carefully as Mama continued to speak.
“Our good works will not get us to heaven. We cannot work our way to heaven, or buy our way. There is nothing we can do. Going to church does not save us either, she said quietly. There is only one way to heaven. Jesus said:
‘I am the way, the truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by me.”
“ Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for our sin,” said Mama as she put the sheet into the soapy water, sloshing it around with her hands and rubbing it on the scrubbing board as she talked. “The Bible says
‘ Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool’,
When she pulled the sheet out of the water, it was clean, and white.
Mama whispered something to Eugene who disappeared and quickly returned carrying Mama’s goody tin. Mama opened tin as she spoke.
“Salvation is a gift. A gift is free, you cannot earn it or it would not be a gift; nor can you purchase it. Do you understand what I am saying?” Mama said.
Isabel looked around to see if everyone understood and was surprised to see Sally Anne and some neighborhood children sitting in the grass with them. Isabel smiled and returned her attention to Mama and the important gift of salvation.
“Good,” said Mama,“I’m glad you understand and accept the Truth of the Word of God but you have not yet received the free gift, have you? All that is left for you to do is to receive God’s gift of salvation, just as I have this little gift for you.” Mama reached into her tin and pulled out a peppermint stick and offered it to Sally Anne who reached out and took it with a polite
“Thank you.”
“Now,” said Mama, “that gift is yours to keep and no one can take it from you; it belongs to you.
“Salvation is just as simple. You trusted me to give you a good gift and opened your hand to receive it; we call this faith. Trusting The Lord Jesus Christ for salvation is faith. John 1:12 says: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:”
“ When you receive Christ as your savior, you become a brand new creation. This is part of His gift…new life!” Mama gave a “gift” to everyone before continuing. “Part of receiving the gift of salvation, my dear children, is repentance. This means to be truly sorry for your sin, ask Jesus to forgive you and leave that sin with Him. Some preachers say it this way: ‘take your sin to the cross, lay it at the feet of Jesus then turn and go the other way.’ In other words, don’t go back to your old sinful way; remember, Jesus washed your filthy sins away, see the dirty water?”
The children stood up, looked into the tub of muddy water, and nodded.
“Mama,” said Isabel, “I want my sins cleaned away so that I will be white as snow.”
“Me too,” said Maggie with tears running down her rosy cheeks.
“Let’s pray together,” said Mama as she hugged each daughter close to her heart, then directed them to the back porch steps where they tearfully laid their sinful self at the cross, asking and receiving the forgiveness that Jesus extended to us all on the cross of Calvary. They opened their eyes as new creations in Christ.

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart.