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

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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 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


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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.


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Whole-Hearted Living Thursdays~May 31~Liz Murray

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

Liz Murray  was born seven years before my daughter. She is the founder and director of Manifest Living,  a company that provides a series of workshops that empower adults to create the extraordinary things in their lives.

Murray was born in the Bronx, New York on September 23, 1980 to poor, and drug-addicted parents who would later each contract HIV. She became homeless just after she turned 15, when her mother died of AIDS, and her father moved to a homeless shelter. Murray fought through some incredibly difficult circumstances and was finally able to turn her life around when she began attending the Humanities Preparatory Academy in Chelsea, Manhattan.

Though she started high school later than most students, and remained without a stable home while supporting herself and her sister, Murray graduated in only two years. She was awarded a New York Times scholarship for needy students and was accepted into Harvard University, matriculating in the fall semester of 2000. Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard is her memoir and she says, “my passion now is to help transform the lives of others.”

Liz Murray has broken the generational pattern of violence, of substance abuse and of homelessness.

And she is all of thirty now.

Your comments and thoughts always welcome~!

Previous Whole-hearted living stories

Whole-Hearted Living Thursdays~May 3~Inspiring Women

For awhile now, some Thursdays will provide a Because of Grace Wholehearted Living Stories:

Always keep learningI was delighted to see a digital anthology of Wholehearted Living stories carefully collected and archived at my friend, Garrett’s blog, Quit Taking It Personally   (which is also an awesome life affirmation too).

Click over to Quit Taking It Personally  and read about Rachel’s Daily Pep Talk from a Best Friend, Maria and her commitment to teach encourage girls to pursue math and science, Joanne’s change in perspective and several more inspiring stories. Real people living real, awareness-filled stories…just like you! Read these stories: they are short but packed with inspiration.

Your comments and thoughts always welcome~!

And a digital P.S.: I am very interested in your 10 Books to Pack for a Move from yesterday’s post


Previous Whole-hearted living stories

Wholehearted Living Thursdays~A Scottish Farmer

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

Paying It Forward Works!

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog.

There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

‘I want to repay you,’ said the nobleman. ‘You saved my son’s life.’

‘No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,’ the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel.

‘Is that your son?’ the nobleman asked.
‘Yes,’ the farmer replied proudly.

‘I’ll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.’ And that he did.

Farmer Fleming’s son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia.

What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill … His son’s name?

Sir Winston Churchill.
Keeping Springing Forward and Paying It Forward!

~~~ More Wholehearted Living Stories

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