A selection from a letter by the beloved hymn writer, Elizabeth Prentiss, also author of the helpful book, Stepping Heavenward. Mrs. Prentiss wrote the letter to a friend a week after she celebrated her 50th birthday. Mrs. Prentiss was born October 26, 1818; the letter was written November 2, 1868.
You asked if I look over the past on my birthdays. I suppose I used to do it and feel dreadfully at the pitiful review, but since I have had the children’s to celebrate, I haven’t thought much of mine. But this time, being fifty years old, did set me upon thinking, and I had so many mercies to recount and to thank God for, that I hardly felt pangs of any sort. I suppose He controls our moods in such seasons, and I have done trying to force myself into this or that train of thought. I am sure that a good deal of what used to seem like repentance and sorrow for sin on such occasions, was really nothing but wounded pride that wished it could appear better in its own eyes. God has been so good to me! I wish I could begin to realise how on paper. Life seems teaching some new, or deepening the impression of some old, lesson, all the time.
More Love to Thee: The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss, George Lewis Prentiss, reprinted by Solid Ground Christian Books, p. 252.