New Free Read: “Scattered Verses”

This month’s Free Read is “Scattered Verses,” a short story Isabella Alden wrote in 1892.

In “Scattered Verses” Isabella illustrates the sacrifices mothers often make for their families, which makes this a perfect story for Mothers’ Day! Here’s a brief description:

“Such a chance! I never had any such chances, you know. They didn’t study the Bible much when I was a girl, not in this way!”

So says Mrs. Halstead when she, her husband and daughter, take a cottage for the summer at a famous Sunday-school assembly. But those Bible classes, as precious as they are, occupy a good deal of time—time she used to spend caring for her family; and while she may be learning a lot about Paul’s letters to the early churches, her little rented cottage is in chaos from kitchen to bedroom! Before long Mrs. Halstead is faced with a difficult decision: should her devotion to studying the Bible be stronger than her devotion to her family?

You can read “Scattered Verses” for free!

Click here or on the book cover above and choose the reading option you like best:

  • You can read the story on your computer, phone, iPad, Kindle, or other electronic device. Just choose your preferred format from
  • Or you can choose the “My Computer” option to read a PDF version, which you can also print and share with friends.

A Mother’s Day Free Read

This month’s free read is a lovely short story written by Isabella’s sister Marcia Macdonald Livingston.

When Miss Esther Harlowe decides to visit the residents of a nearby Old Ladies’ Home, she only wants to bring a little bit of cheer to the residents’ lives. But when she meets Katherine Lyman, she feels a instant bond with the elderly Christian woman. Soon, Esther looks forward to their visits just as much Katherine does, and Esther quickly discovers her life will never be the same again!

You can read “My Aunt Katherine” on your smart phone, iPad, Kindle, computer, or other electronic device. Just click on the book cover to choose your preferred e-book format from and download the story for free!



The Prettiest Thing I Ever Saw …

In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, here’s a poem that appeared in The Pansy magazine in 1866:


Mother’s Face

Three little boys talked together
….One sunny summer day,
And I leaned out of the window
….To hear what they had to say.

“The prettiest thing I ever saw,”
….One of the little boys said,
“Was a bird in grandpa’s garden,
….All black and white and red.”

“The prettiest thing I ever saw,”
….Said the second little lad,
“Was a pony at the circus;
….I wanted him awful bad.”

“I think,” said the third little fellow,
….With a grave and gentle grace,
“That the prettiest thing in all the world
….Is just my mother’s face.”

—Eben E. Rexford, in Good Cheer magazine, 1886



A Mothers’ Day Thought


Frances Brundage_Mother holding child and candle 1902God gives us but one mother. Remember, she has borne for you that which no other human being has or can.

Remember that in the natural course of events the grave will in a few years, at most, close over her, leaving you behind.

Remember that when she is gone, you will think of her faults and her failings with pitiful tenderness, and want to cover them from all human eyes.

And remember, also, that the deepest sting which sorrow has for us is hidden in those soul-harrowing words, “if I only had!” or “had not!”

It would be blessed to live, no matter what the provocation, so that, standing beside an open grave, those words could have no sting for us.

Isabella Alden

Visit Isabella on Pinterest to see more Mother’s Day images.