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Whether it's one of the stories about a courageous mom you just though you knew or one of the inspirational ...
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Whether it's one of the stories about a courageous mom you just though you knew or one of the inspirational messages you will read, you will find that this beautiful book will serve as a fresh breeze that will make the wings of your heart soar.
There were lots of different words folks used to describe "Little Al," ranging
from "retarded, addled, and troublesome" to "precocious, mischievous, and
curious." Because he was frail at birth, with an abnormally large head, some
feared he was deficient. But his mother, Nancy Elliot, a devout Presbyterian,
never gave up hope as she prayed for her seventh child.
It didn't take long for his mother to recognize there was nothing wrong with
Al's mind. In fact, he was a precocious and inquisitive child, asking endless
questions about everything. Once, his family became alarmed when they realized
he'd been gone for hours. After a frantic search, they found him in the barn,
calmly sitting on a makeshift nest in a straw box, trying to hatch eggs. "If the
hens and gooses can do it," he wanted to know, "why can't I?"
Other early experiments had some serious consequences, causing the neighbors to
label Al a troublemaker. At age six, he wanted to learn more about fire and
decided his dad's barn would be a good place to start. Unfortunately, it was a
breezy day and, in no time, Al's little fire became a roaring inferno, raging
out of control. He barely got out alive, and the barn burned to the ground.
But even that narrow escape wasn't about to stop this curious little guy's
voyage of discovery. He knew gas would inflate a balloon and decided he could do
the same thing with a person. So he gave several doses of Seidlitz powder(a
mild laxative) to a friend, believing it would generate enough gas to make him
float through the air. Instead, his friend got quite sick and Al learned that,
while Seidlitz powder didn't make people fly, it definitely put a ten-year-old
"scientist" in the hot seat.
A hands-on learner, Al was bored by classroom routine, doodling and daydreaming
to wile away the hours. After only three months in school, he came home in
tears, telling his mom that he'd overheard his teacher say his mind was "addled"
and that staying in school would be a waste of time. But his mother knew better
and went with Al to school the very next morning. Adamantly defending her bright
son, she made her opinion of the teacher and school abundantly clear.
Recognizing the potential of her son's vivid imagination, she primarily
home-schooled Al after that painful incident.
His mother saw books as the best way to nurture his passionate curiosity, and
she "implanted in his mind the love of learning." While Al never mastered
spelling or math, he became a voracious reader, and a book she gave him helped
him discover his passion for science.
Years later, Al reflected, "I was always a careless boy, and with a mother of
different mental caliber I should have probably turned out badly. But her
firmness, her sweetness, and her goodness were potent powers to keep me in the
As a teenager, Al became an entrepreneur, selling candy and produce and
publishing his own newspaper to help finance his experiments. No one wanted to
buy his first patent, which was for an electric vote-recording machine.
Al's first significant invention, an improved stock ticker machine, sold for
forty thousand dollars. His invention of the kinescope, a motion picture camera,
paved the way for the movie industry. Although virtually deaf from the age of
twelve, his favorite invention was the phonograph.
His mother, Nancy Elliot Edison, died before he reached the pinnacle of success.
Little did she realize that her son's lifelong drive to find solutions to
problems would usher in a new age of technology, with more than a thousand
patents issued in his name. But Thomas Alva Edison, better known as the creator
of the incandescent light bulb, never forgot her contributions to his many
achievements. "My mother was the making of me," he would say. "She understood
me; she let me follow my bent. She cast over me an influence which has lasted
all my life."
Chapter One: Nurturing Creativity
Two: Availing Prayer
Three: Loving Unconditionally
Five: Trusting God
Six: Instilling Commitment
Seven: Serving Joyfully