Meet Myra Spafford … and a New Free Read!

3 Sep

This post is part of our blogiversary celebration! Leave a comment below or on Isabella’s Facebook page to be entered into Friday’s drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card!

Isabella Alden’s father Isaac Macdonald is often credited with instilling in her a love of writing. He gave her a journal when she was very young and—to teach her to pay attention in church—he encouraged her to take notes during Sunday sermons so they could discuss the minister’s message later in the day.

“A Writer” by William Adolphe Bouruereau, 1890.

But it was probably Isabella’s mother, Myra, who taught Isabella to be a great story-teller.

At a young age—even before she could write—Isabella’s mother encouraged her to make up little stories about things.

“Make a story out of it for mother,” she would say; and out of those beginnings, Isabella began to develop the writing skills that would serve her as an adult.

Myra was herself a story-teller, and often entertained her six children with stories of her own younger years.

Myra’s father was Horatio Gates Spafford, a well-respected author and New York newspaper editor, so she developed her own writing skills at a very early age.

Isabella credited her mother Myra with teaching her how to weave a story centered on a well-loved Bible verse. It was Myra’s habit to gather her children—and later, her grandchildren—around her in the evening to tell them stories that were entertaining and and helped make sense of a Bible verse or Sunday-school lesson.

Her stories always contained a practical lesson in walking daily with Christ—a theme Isabella adopted and perfected in her own stories.

When Isabella’s father Isaac Macdonald died in 1870 Isabella and her husband Ross made certain Myra came to live with them. Although Ross’s career as a Presbyterian minister caused them to move regularly from one town to another, Myra made her home with the Aldens for the next fifteen years.

Myra’s entry in the 1880 Cincinnati directory shows she resided with the “Rev. G. R. Alden’s.”

They were living in Carbondale, Pennsylvania when Myra died at home in 1885. Isabella was 43 years old when her mother passed away, and she missed her terribly.

At that time Isabella was editing The Pansy magazine; and since she and her family members—including Ross, her son Raymond, her sister Marcia, and Marcia’s husband Charles—were all contributing articles and stories to the magazine, Isabella and Marcia found a way to pay tribute to their mother in the pages of The Pansy.

The cover of an 1891 issue of The Pansy.

They began publishing short stories for children in The Pansy under the pseudonym “Myra Spafford.” The stories were reminiscent of the kind of stories Myra told her children and grandchildren.

In 1887 Isabella published Grandma’s Miracles; Stories Told at Six O’clock in the Evening. The book is a fictionalized account of those tender and loving evening story-times Myra had with her children and grandchildren.

You can read Grandma’s Miracles for free!

Click on the book cover to read this story on your phone, ipad, Kindle, or other electronic device.

Or you can read, print and share it as a PDF document on your computer. Just click on the book cover to start reading now.


10 Responses to “Meet Myra Spafford … and a New Free Read!”

  1. Ryana Lynn Miller September 3, 2018 at 5:07 am #

    I love this book so much! It’s one of our favorites!

    My mother has also inspired me as a writer and I probably wouldn’t be published now if it wasn’t for her!

    • Isabella Alden September 3, 2018 at 7:40 am #

      Mothers are their children’s best cheerleaders! Thank you for commenting,, Ryana. —Jenny

  2. Rebekah A. Morris September 3, 2018 at 6:01 am #

    I love this book and the rest of the “Golden Text” books. It was Isabella Alden’s influence in her writing of this series that inspired me to write stories based around Bible verses.

    • Isabella Alden September 3, 2018 at 7:48 am #

      I love knowing Isabella influenced you in such a special way, Rebekah! —Jenny

  3. Barbara September 3, 2018 at 7:12 am #

    What a lovely account about some very interesting people. I would never have known about Raymond without your blog and not much about Myra. So thankful for this information. Nicely told.

    • Isabella Alden September 3, 2018 at 7:52 am #

      I’m glad you liked the post, Barbara. We’ll have some new posts this months about members of Isabella’s family, so please check back often. —Jenny

  4. kristin September 3, 2018 at 7:24 am #

    It is a blessing to be raised by story tellers and writers.

  5. Elaine Mercer September 3, 2018 at 9:54 pm #

    Thank you so much for the new free read! I usually read very quickly, but I find I get more out of Isabella’s books by going slower and even re-reading a paragraph or two. Happy blogiversary and many more!

    • Isabella Alden September 4, 2018 at 6:07 am #

      I hope you enjoy the book, Elaine. Looking forward to another five years! —Jenny

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Writer Jenny Berlin

Faith, romance, and a place to belong

The Hall in the Grove

Author of Classic Christian Fiction

Isabella Alden

Author of Classic Christian Fiction

Britt Reads Fiction

Reviews and giveaways for Christian fiction and sweet, clean fiction. Bringing readers information on great stories and connecting authors with their readers.

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