Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Recognizing the beauty and bounty of small mercies!

There is very little, more beautiful than watching the important discoveries that little ones are making. Watching the light of knowledge and understanding turn on in the minds of our dear little ones is becoming diminished under the scrutiny of data. Isn't that the most important data there is? Documenting those first little steps of mind and feet and hands in our own hearts and prayers are a treasure chest of jewels shut up for us in earth and in heaven. Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal, we know. But, Earth has no greater treasure than the beauty of the children's growth.
I am so glad you have taught me that!
Keep filling your hope chest with the most important things first.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How do we speak to those we respect, but have not the responsibility of submission?

Women and men on the tennis court have different ways of evoking intimidation from an opponent. In law and in the workplace there are rules of interaction. If sexual harassment is a man's sensitivity, provocation and deliberate instigation, may be a woman's. Yet, on this situation there are few accusers of the women. Men suck it up and chalk it up to their own sensitivities. Men fire women for temperamental reasons sometimes. Men may change locations because of a quote, unquote Personality conflict, that may be the emotional tendency of a woman to cut him down to size on a regular basis. Some women do this to everyone, male and female and some take a peculiar delight, it seems to find the jugular of males that are their counterparts.
If we find ourselves in the cultural bent of the extremity of feministic expression, we must find a way to come back to the center of the court and become more civil in our verbal expressions to all in the work place. We mustn't let our intimidation or our cultural habits take authority. We must learn to utilize our femininity in other ways than to manipulate and subjugate our masculine counterparts. Perhaps, a pair of gloves could remind me to put on my femininity, were I in the situations of playing male tennis on a regular basis. Were I equal to them in ability, I would still wish to retain the femininity that God had blessed me with. I would not want to be the monster of a masculine expression of strength and ability. It would not give me any sense of accomplishment to win the match, should I lose my feminine identity.

I needn't apologize for needing to correct a peer. I needn't cowtow and genuflect to their masculinity. I need only use the correct inflections and cadence to accomplish the goal. My anger and my desire to fiercely defend my point and uncover the truth of an investigation must never ever forget the position and age and respectability of the target of that investigation. I have a different responsibility to my President in my tenor and tone than to my newsboy. We must never speak to an elder in the same tone as our babies. Sometimes the feminism of our age has erased the importance of polite society. The use of feminine intonations is not an expression of weakness, but an expression of the distinction of our point of view which is different from our masculine counterparts. If we want them to respect that difference and that vantage point, we must respect it and their vantage point, as well.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Time to put your head down and time to pick your head up?

Isn't "there a time for everything" and haven't you found that to be so?
Yesterday, your father and I walked around Bailey Rd. Park about a mile and I was happy that I could accomplish it. There was a short span of the walk that my eyes saw from a distance as being beyond me. It seemed straight up. I had said to myself, the old knees are not going to like that hill. I convinced myself that if I didn't look at it, the knees wouldn't know what hit them. That turned out to be the case. I put my head down and trudged on, just one step at a time. The knees ached, but I didn't give them any creedance. Your father's talk was at its height and so I didn't have time to say, owwwww.

I lived with my head down for years and years. Feelings of lesser than and humiliation from situations and grief. Perhaps those were also times of walking up a steep hill to "find the worth of my own soul". {A meditation from the Christmas Cantada- Oh Holy Night} "The soul found it's worth" When you find that Christ's birth and sacrifice was a loving gift there is awe and humility, but when you own His sacrifice you may grow to see that Christ's sacrifice is for the lifting of the head.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

It took me a couple of weeks to meditate on this personal perception of a people group.

In the opinion of Pickering, the Siamese are undoubtedly Malay; but a majority of the intelligent Europeans who have lived long among them regard the native population as mainly Mongolian. They are generally of medium stature, the face broad, the forehead low, the eyes black, the cheekbones prominent, the chin retreating, the mouth large, the lips thick, and the beard scanty. In common with most of the Asiatic races, they are apt to be indolent, improvident, greedy, intemperate, servile, cruel, vain, inquisitive, superstitious, and cowardly; but individual variations from the more repulsive types are happily not rare. In public they are scrupulously polite and decorous according to their own notions of good manners, respectful to the aged, affectionate to their kindred, and bountiful to their priests, of whom more than twenty thousand are supported by voluntary contributions in Bangkok alone. Marriage is contracted at sixteen for males, and fourteen for females, and polygamy is the common practice, without limit to the number of wives except such as may be imposed by the humble estate or poverty of the husband; the women are generally treated with consideration. from Anna's Book that Elyse and I are reading
This is Pickering's perception, but the fact that she felt obliged to give the reader this generalization is curious to me. She had the emotional crushing experiencing of having been taken advantage and used in her service, with no real protection over her. I cannot imagine the vulnerability that she experienced, but I am very sensitive to the European need to categorize people groups in terms of their standards, especially in those days. This is not a Gospel aimed observation, but it did become an evangelical purpose eventually. Can we evangelize minus our ethnic sensitivities? Maybe we can now, but the 1800's were another time and circumstance.

When I got to these observations in BB Warfield's writings, it turned me off to doctrine altogether for a time. How could someone of such high mental acumen in doctrinal terms have such a negative view of the service of another human race? How could he not have seen the dehumanization of his practice and perspective? Well, it didn't daunt my pursuit of truth, altogether; though it did make me despise a certain time period of readings. Now Anna became BB to me and I had to change my perception of her reason for writing and for going to Siam. I overcame my antipathy and read on to find the real woman that everyone else saw and reasoned to myself that I am just like that when I am angry at my circumstance. My anger then turned to myself for my prejudices and misperceptions of peoples because I don't know them individually yet. Praise God that He overlooks such prejudices in our hearts and answers our prayers on peoples behalf anyway.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

This is Day 2 after Emma's passing!

The pungent and sour odor that was our consistent experience these past few weeks, is just starting to dissipate. Her sad whines and cries are becoming a faint memory for the sound of silent sighs of each of us as we pass the bathroom that had become her ICU room. Her male nurses have gone back to being my sons and husband. She really had their hearts for those weeks. I couldn't really sympathize, myself. I thought that we should have ended it awhile ago. I said, she is a dog. I loved her, but she is not my child or a human.

Emily and I were in agreement about this. Day after day, I looked in on her, but I didn't go in and I didn't do much, except bring her water from time to time on a flat plate so she didn't have to lift her head too high.

She was on a plastic pallet, with pillows and blanket comforting her, in the end. She had to be cleaned a couple of times a day, for the stench of her excrement. That dulled the odor a bit, but it was putrid. We will be doing the cleaning regularly to completely clear it out.

On the last day, I felt it, but I wanted to feel that feeling each day of the ordeal. I looked in and we looked eye to eye, but I didn't say anything and neither did she. I felt bad about that later in the day, when I heard that she had been completely alone, when it happened. I felt angry that my boy had to be the one to find her. Is that his preparation for adulthood, Lord? What does that mean about this poor boy's experience to be 14 and seeing the dog die in our bathroom? I would have spared him that. This thought quickly faded into the guilt of not even saying goodbye to her and the thought that I couldn't have been there to direct the final process. That faded into relief that they were grown enough to complete that task without my intervention, even in the least. I have become the final clean up person. After they do their best to clean up the mess, I am the sterilizer. I pour the last bottle of bleach on the situation and hope that there is nothing else to pick up from there. Oh, what a beautiful teamwork to observe of my men, doing their thing. That made me glad.

Emily and I did our usual grousing and grumping on the way home. That has become our female bonding and commiserating that our female sensitivities had been taken to their limit on this situation. We were ready to take her to the vet weeks ago and we were no longer sympathetic to the loss as we would have been, had the whole house not wreaked.

I thought I was going to get to say goodbye. And I was nearly crying about that, but I didn't let on. That disappointment hit me, as we pulled into the driveway. I couldn't let on, the depth of my disappointment because the boys and Ben had had the brunt of the responsibility. My eyes looked to the sky, as it often does as I agonize my knees out of the vehicle and I saw a cloud that looked like a dog's head, right above me. There is her goodbye, I said to myself relieved that God didn't leave me to feel so incomplete in this part of the relationship. I offered a little prayer to be able to keep my composure and at least show my strong side, in this funeral like moment.

I wasn't ready for my room to become the wake for the dog. But it did. We shared our good memories of her. Ethan shed his very well hidden tears in a moment of reminiscing, but very maturely. Hand over the face and not even a whimper. They are learning that our griefs have gradations. Our dog touched us deeply, but nothing like the sympathy that we feel for humans in their suffering. That is a wonderful lesson for children and I am sorry that I didn't know that as a lesson for my children earlier.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

My Heart is in my mouth as I imagine the fear and lonely anticipation of this self-indulged situation. from 1/17/18

"The situation was as Oriental as the scene,—heartless arbitrary insolence on the part of my employers; homelessness, forlornness, helplessness, mortification, indignation, on mine. Fears and misgivings crowded and stunned me. My tears fell thick and fast, and, weary and despairing, I closed my eyes, and tried to shut out heaven and earth; but the reflection would return to mock and goad me, that by my own act, and against the advice of my friends, I had placed myself in this position."


Isn't this how we feel, when hopes are dashed on the rocks of reality? She didn't question God's direction, but her emotional questioning was enormous. The high hopes of living as an instructor in a royal court and as uncivilized as her heart and mind may have imagined, her heart hadn't imagined the helplessness of not having a place to lay her head?

Was she not experiencing the griefs of her Savior in this situation? Was she not learning how God's mercy bestowed upon her was being shared, even this far from her home?

I hope that you are learning, as I am from her testimony to temper expectations and to cast all my cares, hopeful ones and disappointing ones, upon God who alone can carry our souls to their true and happy end in heaven.

Why entitled the chapter, On the Threshold? my interpretation{How God acted as husband in my farthest extremity}

"If I make my bed in hell, thou art there" says scripture
I was appalled at the treatment of this dear and devoted academic in her chosen field of care and instruction of these people. Any man would have gone right back to India or England after such an initial snub, to sleep the first night in the open air of the boat. Her heart was intended to their care, in spite of their care of her!

I say Anna, who carried you over the threshold of this God-honoring calling and challenge? I hear her answer, you know it wasn't Supreme King of Siam. Only God undertakes to His own in their dire distresses. Her trust wasn't and could never have been in her position or her gifts. It had to be in God's heart of winning these people's souls for His Kingdom and winning their minds into growth. She would grow to love them intensely, but now was the time where she had imaginations of anything but what her situation had played out.

The movie has her singing "Getting to Know You" and "whistling a happy tune", singing a song in her fearfulness. The truth is more convicting.
Cast your care on the Lord and He will sustain you!
Did she not find this to be her experience? Or we wouldn't be talking about her this 155 years later.
Her heart of prayer is far more evident than whistling a happy tune in her distress. I recall the overwhelming feeling of motherhood and wifing. I sang to you, getting to know you songs and I imagine that this is something that you have taken to heart in that this woman's story has stuck in your soul all these 31 years.
I love you for making me see her parallel with wifing and mothering.
Was this the story of her marriage to the children of Siam or to the God whose heart was pleasantly entreated on their behalf? I see her testimony of parallel to her own marriage, which she was grieving. Here she was on the threshold and her body and soul was given and her heart had been disappointed and her only hope was that there would be a representation from the hand of God that would fulfill her soul at this blind hope. This is the realization of every woman after her commitment in marriage, whether it be to a man or to a calling. There is fruition and disappointment. The longer you wait, as you have, or traveled as she did, the more room for higher expectations of fulfillment in the expected end. If your hope is in anything but the God of all grace, you are setting yourself up for a tremendous downfall. "Some trust in chariots..." You know the rest. If your hope is not fully in the God of all grace to use your commitment in marriage and motherhood to His Glory, your sleeping on the boat for the night will be the rest of your life. There are tremendous glimmers of fulfillment in marriage, but they are no greater than the fulfillment glimmers in singlehood. The reality is that God is using you in each circumstance to shine for him. I hope that your expectations are fulfilled, for my own selfish desires also.
And if not?
we will not bow!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Letter Number 2 from the Sovereign Commander of Siam! the letter from 7 years later

Dear Madam, I have great pleasure in condescending to answer your sympathising letter of 25th November last wherein the sorrowful expressions of your heart in relation to my most beloved Sovereign Father in demise which is a venerated burden and I have left to this day and ever more shall bear this most unexpressable loss in mind, with the deepest respect and lamentation, and resignation to the will of divine Providence;—are very loyal to you too to ful, and share your grief in behalf the affection you have for your royal pupils, and the kind remembrances you have made of them in your letter, loves you too with that respect and love your are held in ther esteem, for such disinterestioness in imparting knowledge to them during your stay here with us. I have the pleasure also, to mention you that our Government in counsel has elected me to assume the reins of Government notwithstanding my juvenility; and I am pleased to see the love the people have for me, most undoubtedly arising from the respect and veneration they have had for my beloved royal Father and I hope to render them prosperity and peace, and equal measure, they have enjoyed since the last reign in return. May you and your beloved children be in the peace of the divine Providence. I beg to remain, Yours sincerely Somdetch Phra Chulalonkorn Klou Chow-yu Hua Supreme King of Siam on 114th day of reign
Here he seems to show unprecedented sympathy for her losses. I never thought him in sympathy of her. I say that he seems to want to comfort her sorrow with the children and tasks of his household. I didn't see that before. Sometimes common grief is a tool in God's hand into the souls of even the most hardened monarch and heathen. He actually showed emotion that he felt at the loss of his own father, but the hope that common mental ascents should act as a comfort. God had set the stage for the gospel message to come home into the souls that she was sent to. Amazing!

It is also a wonderful testimony that, even with all of this obvious blessing of God on her ambitions; she took the time to bathe such a spiritual expedition in prayer and resorted often to the "counsel of the EVER PRESENT FRIEND". Her expression of faith and who she had found God to be in her griefs. Doubly Amazing!

Amarinde Winschley Palace Bangkok March 6th 1869
this was the date of the letter. So perhaps this is the fruit of how God had blessed their relationship to have a fruit of transparency between them. She had obviously become a confidant.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Are we not the King of Siam in our request of our youthful scholars?

"To MRS. A. H. LEONOWENS:— "MADAM: We are in good pleasure, and satisfaction in heart, that you are in willingness to undertake the education of our beloved royal children. And we hope that in doing your education on us and on our children (whom English, call inhabitants of benighted land) you will do your best endeavor for knowledge of English language, science, and literature, and not for conversion to Christianity; as the followers of Buddha are mostly aware of the powerfulness of truth and virtue, as well as the followers of Christ, and are desirous to have facility of English language and literature, more than new religions. "We beg to invite you to our royal palace to do your best endeavorment upon us and our children. We shall expect to see you here on return of Siamese steamer Chow Phya. "We have written to Mr. William Adamson, and to our consul at Singapore, to authorize to do best arrangement for you and ourselves. "Believe me "Your faithfully, (Signed) "S. S. P. P. MAHA MONGKUT."
Do we not write such a letter to our children's teachers? You think us a benighted race and we want your knowledges bestowed upon us, but not your Jesus. We hope you find comfort and help to ignite our minds and not our spirits.

I know that I have thought myself the King of Siam in the rearing days of my children. Most unnegotiable about their behaviors, at least by them. I am in awe at how our written and oral language has deteriorated so much in the 155 years that we are observing. A commander and a man with the hearts of his children in his own heart. He wanted to see their minds and stations improved, but not their souls.

Is this not so of our generation?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

After Our delightful little chat...

I attached a tweety bird link to the book. I have a million questions about chapter one for you. You are my "go to" person about such things Asian. I love that she doesn't spend alot of time introducing the characters. She just jumps into the experience for you. Isn't that how life happens. All of a sudden we are in the experience and here we are, like Daniel in a heathen court. God is everywhere!

If I make my bed in hell, scripture reminds us "Thou art there!"

The Church's One foundation! and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won,
May you continue to enjoy that sweet communion that happens when we respect our elders by reading their testimonies! Thank you for sharing.
Question Number One...

Elyse, in the letter from the King of Siam to Anna, was he saying he was sympathetic of her great loss and wished to replace her love for her husband and children with his own family? He was writing in much flowery language and it seems that he was trying to respect the providence that she was submissive to. He clearly wanted to show his acquaintance with her spiritual struggle of grief. It seems that he was saying that he wanted her to see how they engaged in family love and loss, as well as experience the beauty of her teaching. Let me know what you think?

Title- The Studious One!

Title-  The Studious One!
artwork by Elyse

Of biscuits and syrup

Of biscuits and syrup
tasty treats

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday!
a day at the Raptor Center.

Widdle Emmie in outer space school

Emmie jumped on the bus and off it flew out into the atmosphere. There was a set of clouds with turbulence right above the house and it took a few minutes for my Emmie to buckle her seatbelt. They hit the bump hard and it knocked my Emmie out of her seat and she bumped her head. The video camera came on and the monitor looked through and stated, Ms. Emmie, where are you? You are not in your seat. Where are you? I am alright I fell because I hadn’t buckled correctly. Well jump up Emmie we have a long way to go and you have to be buckled there is entirely too much turbulence in the stratosphere for you to unbuckle now. As soon as we are through this weather system there will be straight sailing but right now you must buckle. Emmie scrambled into the seat with intensity and purpose now. She watched every cloud pass her window and her nose was pressed to the window trying to see the top of the house as it drifted slowly out of sight. Soon they were not only out of sight of the house, the sun came out brightly and just as quickly they were putting on the atmospherical breathing apparatus and the outerspherical lights. The ABA and the OL. These precautions were to make them appear to be satellites to the radar as they were out in the ionosphere. Emmie knew all about this now. She had gone to the orientation and had a good breakfast and it took them 20 minutes for her to get out past the atmospherical pull and to feel the zero gravity. It would be 15 minutes before the gravity simulators would take effect, a glitch in the system which was being worked on. Until then, they enjoyed the couple of minutes of floatation, while being connected to the seats by belt. The first thing they saw everyday was the strataflotsam. The items which had been dumped into the atmosphere by earlier generations. What would their generation do about this ecological waste area that remained floating above their heads? This was a question for the generations. For now it was the area that they had to guide through on the way to school.

Midnight at the OASIS

Midnight at the OASIS
Sunset in Huntersville

My little Emmie

ran to the bus on the first day of the last year of school. 2 buns on the side of her head. She kissed me and ran at dawn to the bus. She was starting the adventure of a lifetime. I would never see that little girl again, she was going to woman school!

My Father and I 1989

My Father and I 1989

to the tune of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme


Are you going to Mary Immaculate?

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

Remember me to the one who lived there,

He once was a true love of mine,

Tell him to buy me an acre of land,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

Between the muddy Hudson in Jamaica Bay,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine,

Tell him to sow in it seeds of pure cream,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

And build Ice cream mountains and buildings of whipped cream,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine,

Tell him to reap them with sickles of M&M’s,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

And chew bubble gum and eat till we’re done,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine.

Tell him to run it off down the motor parkway,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

After your done 50 pushups

and jog down the West Side Highway,

Then he’ll be a true love of mine…

(Don’t wait for me today dad, The kids are sick again, My tummy’s bulging again, My heart is aching again, And now there’s no love there…)

He once was, a true love of mine….So, Girls, I do beg you don't miss your Daddy,Apricots, Chocolate cherries and Pie,You have one short chance to see him on this side, Go visit him and let your light shine.