Wholehearted Living~Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell would have been 195 years old today. Or we might have announced at the church social that she was “195 years young.”

Any recognition for Maria would most definitely have to have been at night, since that is when she did her best work.

Maria was the first professional woman astronomer. A rare accomplishment in Puritan Massachusetts.  Maria Mitchell was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1818. She was the third child of 10 born and she was taught at first by her father but then she intrinsically motivated herself with further studies. Google’s logo today honors her today.

Maria Mitchell at the telescope

There is a quote attributed to motivational speaker Les Brown that advises ““Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Maria did this very thing, a very rare thing for the times, and maybe even today too.

Using a telescope in 1847, she was the first to discover a comet, now known as known today as comet C/1847 T1.      She was also the first woman admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a faculty member at Vassar College, she taught astronomy. There is a crater on the moon named for her.

And she must have felt God’s grace. Like the stars, her life reflected praise.

She said, “Every formula which expresses a law of nature is a hymn of praise to God.”

When you look at the night sky tonight, remember to whisper a Happy Birthday wish to Maria Mitchell.


Read more about Maria Mitchell at the Writer’s Almanac

More stories of Whole-hearted living

Wholehearted Living: A Story from the Pavement

On some Thursdays, there are Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Stories:

Jennifer Dukes Lee at Monday's Boston Marathon

Jennifer Dukes Lee at Monday’s Boston Marathon  http://jenniferdukeslee.com/where-was-god-in-boston/

A  stirring perspective from the Boston Marathon by Jennifer Dukes Lee:

I stood shivering and bouncing among 8,000 runners that cool May morning when the gun shot off.

My dad stood at the starting line, pumping his fists in the air. And he would be there again, with my mom and sister, at mile four, and again at mile seven. I remember how proud they were for me, even though I scooted along at the back at the pack.

Bob, a pastor-friend, told me a few days before the race to pay attention while I was running because the half-marathon was more than a race. It was an opportunity to see God. 

And so I saw… Click here to read the rest of Jennifer’s story


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Whole-Hearted Living~November 29

On some Thursdays, there are Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Stories:

LLBean first boot design


It’s no surprise to readers of this blog that I love shoes. So I giggled with glee when I read about a story of success built upward, literally,  from the soles of the feet.

November is the birth month of Leon Leonwood Bean, American inventor, author and founder of the L.L. Bean. Garrison Keillor writes the story of his life which is worthwhile reading at this link.

Leon Bean’s story demonstrates whole-hearted living because:

  • He experienced loss at the early age of 12 years when both of his parents died
  • He experienced rejection in his job as a door-to-door salesman0 invented a boot to withstand the cold, snowy trails.
  • Although Bean’s first “Maine Hunting Shoe” was defective in design and 90% of the orders were returned, he kept improving on his model and did not give up.
  • Bean took his guarantee of quality and workmanship seriously, and although it cost almost all the money he had, he returned the money his customer’s spent and worked to improve the boot’s design. Because of this, Keillor writes, “He quickly garnered a reputation for his personal integrity and orders began to flow.”
  • He took advantage of the technology of the time. When, the U.S. Postal Service begun offering parcel delivery, he opened a factory directly above the post office in Freeport, Maine, where his brother served as the local postmaster.  This streamlined the distribution of his growing product line and also the hunting and fishing licenses he sold. Soon his business was open 24 hours a day in case a hunter or fisherman needed a license or supplies.
  • He did not outsource his R&D and as Bean’s product line grew, he tested every new item personally.

Bean insisted on this practice: “Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they will always come back for more.” Even during the Depression his stores made a profit.

  • He continued to write and edit his catalog until his death at age 94 years.

Staying with what he knew, designing to solve a problem and then consistently refining and improving this product has kept L.L. Bean a successful company for 100 years. Bean’s legacy outlived his life.

See the L.L. Bean Anniversary timeline at this link.
Read more about L.L. Bean’s life at this post

Read more Whole-hearted living stories by clicking here

Whole-hearted Living Thursdays~October 17~Felix Baumgardner

On some Thursdays, there are Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Stories:

Felix Baumgardner entered the edge of space on October 14, 2012, and then jumped! He made history as the first free-fall skydiver to break the speed of sound.  Just moments before Felix jumped from space, he spoke to the One who made this dream come true.

See also at this link: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0JM9MCNU
Music: Switchfoot, Dare You To Move

Sometimes stress is a blockade against Whole-hearted living. This post by Denise offers Ten Ways To Reduce Stress In Your Life
Life In Bloom


More Wholehearted Living Stories

Great flights and smart pilots and one especially thoughtful flight attendant. Today I am speaking on “Whole-hearted Living” for Judy Osborne’s LIFT group. LIFT stands for “Living Is For Today”. Whenever I think of Whole-hearted Living I think of Army Sergeant Cesar Sanchez. His amazing choices are reblogged here today on Whole-hearted Living Thursday.

Because Of Grace

February 23, 2012~`~Everyday at Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom theme park a ceremony occurs amid the rides, cartoon characters, shops, and cotton candy. In Towne Square, the Flag Retreat ceremony includes saying the Pledge of Alliance, flag salute, marching band performance, parade of active and retired armed forces members, singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and retiring the colors.

Part of the daily ceremony agenda includes honoring veterans, who carry the flag down Main Street USA after it has been taken down from the flag pole. In January, 2012, although still recovering from his injuries in Afghanistan, Army Sergeant Cesar Sanchez left his electric wheelchair to walk and carry the flag down Main Street.

Sergeant Sanchez said, “If it’s for the colors, I’ll walk.”

Disney cast members who assisted with the ceremony that day were stunned by his courage and resolve to honor the Stars and Stripes in this way. Many in attendance observed his fortitude…

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Wholehearted Living Thursdays~August 2

For awhile, some Thursdays will provide a Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Story

Here is an article spotlighting seven brief profiles of Team USA world-class athletes to share with your kids and youth group. All represent the United States and are great examples whether or not they win a gold, silver, or bronze medal from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Tervel Dlagnev, Arlington, Texas was influenced by Christian teammates on his high school and college wrestling teams
Maya Moore, signs her autographs with  Colossians 3:23
Reid Priddy, men’s volleyball said “the Bible is the most powerful book I’ve ever read in my life.”
Paige McPherson, aka McFierce, South Dakota-“I have trust in the Lord that whatever happens, happens”
Ryan Hall, See also The New York Times profile called “A Runner’s Belief: God Is His Coach.”
Lolo Jones, Women’s 100-meter Hurdles-“when I’m standing in a stadium packed with 80,000 screaming fans, I can’t just whip out my Bible before I run. That’s when I start praying!”
Hunter Kemper, running triathlons since he was 10 years-old said, “It felt so good, it felt so good for me just to realize that there’s something bigger that I need to be focusing on.”
Click here to read the entire article.

See also “Faithful champions: Olympic greats from the past who have put their trust in Christ,” by J.C. Derrick


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Wholehearted Living Thursdays~July 19

connieOn selected Thursdays,  there are Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Stories:

At 101 years old, Connie was still riding her horse every day. She taught over 36,000 girls to ride at a girls summer camp over a span of 70 years. She was a huge inspiration to many people. Her health was great and her mind was sharp.

When asked about her secret to longevity, she said, “Well Honey, you just don’t let that rocking chair take over…you get up and go even if you dont want to.”

Thanks, Connie for your whole-hearted living advice.


More Whole-hearted Living Stories

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