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Selina of Sussex 1818-1886
by Leonard Holder
Family life in Sussex, southern England, seen through the eyes of Selina, the wife of Eli Page, farmer and Baptist minister
22.9 x 15.2 x 2.1 cm
Published by Xlibris
I really enjoyed the ride. It was good to get out of the house without the children and to jog gently along lanes lined with hawthorn hedges full of many blossoms and with the warmth of the sun on my head and the song of birds in my ears. Some of the fields were being cut for hay and the scent of cut grass drying in the sun was almost intoxicating. My natural reaction was to talk to God. To praise him for the wonder of his created world, to acknowledge my own littleness, and to commit myself and my family happily into his sovereign care.
I thought about the new baby I was now certain was developing inside me, and somehow being outside in the world of nature, vibrant with life, I was able to thank God for it. Life was God’s gift. I was seeing it and experiencing it in so many forms. The whole of nature seemed to be rejoicing in the sunshine. The birds were singing—yes, that was a skylark above the field, soaring high and singing its little heart out. Along the grass verges there seemed to be an unending choir of crickets, all chirping in chorus and competing in volume. And there in the background a louder and deeper croak which I could now identify as a corn crake in the hayfield. I reined in Charlotte, my pony, and stopped a moment to listen and watch. Because I was seated on the trap, I could see over the top of the hedge and so had a good view of the field. I now heard a new sound, a higher-pitched cheep cheep and then a long oo-oo-oo. A hen corn crake must be calling her chicks. I waited and watched, and then to my delight, I could see them—a brownish, moorhen-shaped bird feeding amongst the freshly cut grass stalks followed by a number of little black chicks. I was able to count ten babies! I was thrilled by the experience. This was God’s world, and Eli and I were part of it. The life growing in me was also his gift, and it was more precious than all I could see and sense around me because it was being endowed with the very image of God himself and would be capable of having a relationship with its Creator in a way that no animal or bird could ever have. I set Charlotte into a trot again with a singing heart. I, Selina Page, was part of God’s marvellous creation, and a new human person was coming into being within me. At that moment, I could see everything in a really positive light. God was at work. He called us simply to trust him, to be faithful to him, to accept his providence with joy, and work with him and for him. Trust and acceptance were the keys to peace and relaxation, and at that moment, I felt this peace in a remarkable way.
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