Monday, January 26, 2015

Amy Carmichael-How I Got Rid of the Governess

By Mary Vee
Year: December 16, 1877-1879 
Amy Carmichael: 10-12 year old

From Amy's Journal

Photo Courtesy -
Katie Nana from Mary Poppins
My two younger brothers, Ernest and Alfred, always looked to me for creative fun. I'm not exactly sure how or why the ideas popped in my head. This I do know, I never considered the punishment Mother and Father would give, we just did it.

Let me first say, I hadn't asked Jesus into my heart yet and as a result, I wasn't always sorry for what I did wrong. My poor parents.

Mother announced she had hired a governess to teach us our school lessons. This woman fit every undesirable description I could think of. She was fat, didn't know how to smile or laugh, and definitely didn't know how to have any fun.

I talked my brothers into helping me put earwigs in her tea and toads in her bed. It didn't take long before she packed her bags and refused to stay. Mother took me to the sewing room. I knew I did wrong, but wasn't sorry. The governess was unreasonable. Mother said I could have told her about the problem and she would have listened. What she really wanted me to do was to be sorry. I wasn't. When mother stopped trying to convince me I had done wrong, she said she was leaving on an errand. Tears dripped down her face and her eyes were really sad. 

I didn't want to hurt her. I love my mother very much. "I'm sorry," I cried wrapping my arms around her. "Please forgive me, Mother." 

During the next two years, my brothers and I had several governesses, but none left because of our behavior. One day, Miss Milne came to be our governess. I loved her very much. She laughed. Told us stories. Took us outside and taught us about animals, flowers, and trees. She was so much fun.

Before you think this wonderful governess kept me from getting into trouble, stop the thought. On her day off, my brothers and I still needed to have fun. 

I had always wanted to climb through the skylight in the bathroom and onto the roof. We waited for my parents to go on an errand then piled up a few objects to stand on, pushed the skylight out of the way and climbed onto the roof. We worked together then carefully walked to the edge of the roof where the gutter hung. Guess who happened to be on the front walk just as we looked over. Yep, Mother and Father. They weren't very happy.

And there was the time I wanted to know how long it would take to die if we ate the poisonous berries from the tree out front. My brothers and I had horrible stomach aches and mother made us take the nastiest tasting medicine. We lived, even after the punishment.

At age twelve, I thought of the brilliant idea to have my brothers help me row our little boat out farther than Father said we could. What would really happen in the deeper waters? What was hiding out there? So we did. We rowed beyond the point Father allowed and found a swift current that carried us away from shore and toward a dangerous sand bar that could break up our boat. 

In a panic, I ordered my brothers to row hard toward shore and I held the rudder with all my strength. It didn't help. The waters continued to move us away from the safety of the shore.

My brother Ernest yelled, "Sing, Amy!"

The song we sang for family worship last night came to mind. "He leadeth me," I sung all the words to the first verse.

The waves grew stronger and continued to carry us farther. "Sing more," Ernest yelled.

I did. By the end of the second verse Alfred yelled over the sound of the water, "Look! The coastguard is coming." 

They came and rescued us. Well, they rescued us from being killed by the current and the sand bar and drowning. Not from the punishment by our parents. 

Resources used for this series:
Benge, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 1998. Print.
Davis, Rebecca Henry. With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones UP, 1987. Print.
Dick, Lois Hoadley. Amy Carmichael: Let the Children Come. Chicago: Moody, 1984. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Amy Carmichael: Rescuing the Children. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 2002. Print.
Wellman, Sam. Amy Carmichael: A Life Abandoned to God. Uhrichville, OH: Barbour Pub., 1998. Print.

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