Sunday, August 29, 2010

Flora of Thailand

We have had such a great time on our nature hikes lately. We are studying from Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. It has been so fun and interesting for the children. We are going to put just a few pictures of our flowers along with their scientific names, just for your information :).

This is a beautiful flowering bush/tree that grows all around our little neighborhood, as do the others we photographed. This is one of many of the mangrove plant species recorded in Thailand. There is a total of 87 true species. This is called RED TERUNTUM (Lumnitzera littorea), it grows about 3 metres tall, while the ones that bloom white grow around 6 m. There is no fragrance, so the children have concluded that the bees and butterflies are attracted for the bright red color. Madaline seems to think it could be related to honeysuckle...kind of taste like it. Guess we need to find that out next.

This is FRANGIPANE or PLUMERIA (Nerium oleander). There are many colors, mostly we see white or pink, this is a mix. Is the fragrance from this flower the essence of the Bath and Body 'Plumeria' series, I would bet that it is. The fragrance is wonderful and is stronger at night. This is used mostly in Buddhist temples for worship. The tree can grow up to 8 metres. It is pollinated by the Sphinx moth. The bees, butterflies, etc...definitely come for the fragrance and probably the color as well.
This is called Cassia fistula, The GOLDEN SHOWER TREE, or THAIS, it is the national tree and its flower is the national flower. It blooms in summer. This flower has a subtle fragrance, so the children decided that bees and butterflies come for the color and the fragrance.

A little glimpse into our hiking lately. It has really been a blast and something we look forward to all week.

Hope you all have a blessed week! Happy Learning!!

It's all for HIM!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

'...He Will Uphold the Cause of His Servant...'

A dear friend read the verses of 1 Kings 8:56-61 to me this week as we were skyping, as something that the Lord had given her to encourage her, and then in return shared it with me to encourage and strengthen me. At the time she asked of my thoughts, but, with children ready for bed and the grumpiness that sometimes goes along with that, I was unable to even process the verses at the time. So, here are my thoughts and feelings...

'And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day's need.'
1 Kings 8:59

I have been so encouraged and strengthened with these verses! Then, we went to church today, and the service in Thai, was adding to these verses. The feelings are so good, I can truly tell that people have been praying for me. Thank you all for your prayers! God is so good and I know that the prayers we all have prayed are near to our God day and night!!! He is upholding the cause of this servant and meeting each day's need! Praise the Lord!

Of course, we all have a cause, purpose, and destiny. Some days we may not feel that we are doing anything to fulfill our destinies. Let us have faith for only each day's needs. 'Lord, I need strength today to homeschool my children with a GREAT attitude!! I need strength today, to get out of bed and meditate on Your words. I need strength today to get out of bed...period! I need strength fill in the blank!

Lord, help us to only focus on each day...not to get carried away with our entire situation! We have a cause! We have a destiny!! Let us walk in it with our heads held high, our feet upon the Rock, unwavering, steadfast, joyful, abundant! We will fulfill the destiny the Lord has for us if we only remain in Him!

Thank you Father!

Much Love!!

**this is a painting by Carl Larsson**

'He will uphold the cause of His servant'

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Furlough...when is that again?

Today, I just really need to sit down and write. So, my online is my world. I have had such a wonderful, happy summer break from homeschooling. Especially after Lake's accident and seeing the progress he has made. God is so good! We have been here, going on three years now, or about four. I have this longing still, is it going to stay here forever? Is it the longing for my family and friends? Yes, I do long to see the Thai people serving our God and loving Him with all that is within them. Is it the longing to feel connected to those around me? I am just not content and when I finally feel like I am about to 'get' it, then, I suddenly feel it again. Life is good here, the family's needs are being met, John and I are doing good, but something just isn't right. I would love to talk to some veteran missionaries, you know, 20-30 years on the field. I think I will when the opportunity arises. In the meantime, does one who moves to a foreign land ever feel REALLY at home? And yes, I know, some have said, 'don't put yourself in a bubble'. I am not! I DON'T speak Thai fluently, nor do I feel like it is my calling at this point--to leave the home and study full-time. I enjoy speaking the language and would love to know every nook and cranny of Thai, down to the humor, but right now I don't and it really isn't an option for me. I have four beautiful children and a house and homeschool to that will have to wait until I am an empty nester.
Honestly, I really, really, miss my close family and friends. The ones that share the same vision as you, the ones that share your heart, the ones that love to sit and talk about the marvelous works of our Creator, the ones that just tug on your heart strings, the ones that challenge you, the ones that encourage you, the ones that will correct you, the ones that will listen, hug, and cry with you. Do you know what I mean? Can you relate to that at all? Can you relate to being tired of feeling like a movie star every where you go? People watching your every move, people watching the salad dressing dripping from the sides of your mouth? People just saying 'Hi' all the time, day in/day out...but, never really getting to KNOW anyone. Okay, well...I am ready for the people to come and know Christ already, where I can have some more friends. I have a handful here and I do thank the Lord for them, they are wonderful and truly a blessing to my life. I hope I don't sound like I am complaining? I don't want to complain, I am a little forlorn today.
Overall, life is sooooo wonderful!!!! My husband is AMAZING and my children are such a blessing to us both!! We are, as a family, so happy!!! Being missionaries on the other side of the world, just isn't easy!


I love you all!