Category Archives: Royalty

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American Girl Rooting for the Queen

Queen Elizabeth has always been there. Growing up, it was as simple as the sky is blue. My mom explained how she was a figurehead when I asked the power of the Queen. I’d see the Queen on TV from time to time. It was the 90s—not the happiest decade for royals. Every morning in sixth grade, my class would watch some of the daily news. “Have you noticed Queen Elizabeth never smiles?” asked my teacher.

Huh. I thought she did but since I didn’t see her too often I repeated that comment at home. My mom said, “What? I’ve seen her smile!”

Shame on me. I should have known that! Yes, I too have seen her smile—quite a bit actually. In the last five years of my life, I’ve studied intensely the lives of royals. Elizabeth wears a variety of expressions. Whatever expression on her face, she seems to be pondering something. While researching her past or current events, it’s quite difficult to paint an exact portrait of the Queen. When I see her, I think of how she’s proven so many people wrong.

The American Girl Collection books make me proud to be an American girl and draw close to history. Without American Girl, I wouldn’t be as patriotic as I am today or passed the A.P. U.S. history exam. Anyway, I also wouldn’t have loved the Queen so much. We can thank Happy Birthday, Molly, by Valerie Tripp, for that.

Molly, who grows up during World War II,  makes friends with an English girl, Emily, who’s come to America for safety. Emily, shows her pictures of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret as little girls and then as young women contributing to the war effort. Like Molly, this reader is in awe. A little girl grows up to be something spectacular thanks to hard work. She’s awesome! I mean who would have predicted  Elizabeth to reign for at least 63 years?

However long the Queen reigns, we won’t know fully her impact until years later. Perhaps many generations down the road.

 

Feautured Image: Stamp of Elizabeth’s Coronation by Edmund Dulac. June 3, 1953

Source:
Happy Birthday, Molly by Valerie Tripp

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Michal: Michal In the Movies

Since we’re on the subject of Michal’s appearance and that she’s due to be in three screen  productions this year, I thought I’d briefly talk about her appearance on screen as a young woman. The three actresses differ in physical appearance (in 2015), most notably their coloring—light, olive, and dark. Lovely, diverse, and twenty-first century.

Go back to 1960’s David and Goliath. Michal is played by Guila Rubini, an Italian actress with light skin, dark hair, and resembles legendary beauty Elizabeth Taylor. Interesting that Elizabeth Taylor, appeared on screen in 1963 as Cleopatra just with more makeup and skin showing. Their style is similar.

According to the Internet Movie Database, there are more than twenty actresses who portrayed Michal. That’s not including the modern retellings and characters she’s inspired (such as Snow White/Mary Margaret in ABCs Once Upon a Time).

If producers want the Michal character want to be pretty, it depends on times and audience.

Sources:
imdb.com:
Cleopatra movie 
Michal’s character page  

Image of Hollywood from https://commons.wikimedia.org

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Michal: Her Physical Appearance

According to Jewish tradition and texts like the Talmlud, Michal was so beautiful, married men would be tempted to leave their wives for her.I can’t say what Michal looked liked for sure. No one can. So people dive into the cliche question–was she pretty or ugly? I can’t answer that  fully either.

But I have formed some theories about her looks and attractiveness by going back to the Bible.

The Unique Look of Benjaminites
During the reign of the judges, the tribe of Benjamin nearly became extinct due to the vicious fights with the other tribes of Israel.  None of the other tribes wanted their daughters to marry into the tribe, So the Benjaminites married local maidens of Shiloh. Thus, the tiniest tribe had a makeover.Their new look would have set them apart from the other Israelites.

Immediate Family
The King James Version of the Bible describes Saul as: “a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.” (1 Samuel 9:2)

Other versions like the New International Version replaces some words and reads “as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.”

Though different versions and translations of the Bible use different word choice, the meaning is same.

Simply put, Saul was the tallest and best looking man in Israel.

Did Michal inherit her father’s good looks and height? We don’t get any description of her mother, but because Saul was the tallest man in Israel, she probably was on the taller side. She definitely wasn’t ugly.

 

One of a Kind
The Benjaminish woman was somewhat of a novelty item in Israel. It all started the moment Jacob saw Rachel (mother of Benjamin). Benjaminite women were rare during the reigns of the judges, Saul, and David,. Many, many centuries later, the king chose Esther as queen out of multiple maidens.

Rachel, the Shiloh women, and Esther were all specially  handpicked to be wives. I believe Michal was as well.

David would have found Michal appealing.

Imagine. A shepherd from the tribe of Judah marrying a woman from the tribe of Benjamin. A poor boy marrying a princess. Absurd!

David liked the impossible—and obtaining Michal was impossible.

Sources:
Photo from pixabay.

On-line Tanach Class: Michal taught by Mordechai Torczyner
(http://ohave.tripod.com/chumash/michal.htm)

King James and New International Version of the Bible: Judges 21, 2 Samuel 9: 2, Book of Esther.

800px-The_British_royal_family_on_the_balcony_of_Buckingham_Palace  own work by Carfax2

Michal: A Family Reference Guide

Hopefully this will help when I refer to certain people in Michal’s life.

The Royal and Loyal Family of Saul

Parents

  • Father: Saul
  • Mother: Ahinoam

Brothers

  • Jonathan
  • Abinadab
  • Malchishua
  • Ish-bosbeth

Sister

  • Merab

Notes: Though Michal is younger than Merab, Michal may or may not be the youngest of Saul and Ahinoam’s children. Sons are usually listed first in the Bible. Merab and Michal could have been sandwiched in between the brothers. Jonathan is most likely the oldest because of his early military victories and giving David  special military armor that probably symbolized being next in line for the throne.

Other Notable Relations:

  • Abner (first cousin once removed)
  • Shimei
  • Rizpah (Father’s concubine)
  • Armoni (Half-brother; Rizaph’s son)
  • Mephibosheth (Half-brother; Rizpah’s son)

Nephews

  • Mephibosheth (Jonathan’s son)
  • Five others (Merab’s sons)

Spouses:

  • David
  • Phalti

Children:

  • None (disputed)

 

 

 

Sources:

  • Image: The British royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, June 2013–author: Carfax2
  • The Royal and Loyal Family: 1 Samuel 14:49-50, 1 Samuel 18: 4
  • Notable relations: 1 Samuel 14:50; 2 Samuel 16:3; 2 Samuel 21:7-8; 1 Samuel 25:44)
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Michal: Why Michal Didn’t Run Away and Why David Didn’t Rescue Her

Some  say David betrayed Michal by leaving her behind, and others say Michal was okay with marrying Phalti. Some of the latter go beyond that and say she could have escaped.

I found more fault with David because he saved two other wives on the run (1 Samuel 30) Why couldn’t he save her? But Michal had proved herself clever in the past. So why didn’t she find a way out?

I’m excited to say I found the answer—it was too unsafe.

Just how unsafe would be a rescue mission? The answers are found in the short verses that give Phalti a description—and some follow up examination.

 

“But Saul had given Michal, his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.” (1 Samuel 25:44)

In order to make Michal disappear from David’s life, Saul gave his daughter to someone in a geographic area he could trust.

Let’s examine this “Phalti son of Laish, which was of Gallim.”

Michal was given to man loyal to Saul. His name and the locations point toward him being a Benjaminate since he resided in Benjaminite territory.

Laish is the name of land that the prophet, Isaiah, associated with Gallim(Isaiah 10:30). “Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish.”

Phalti was either native to the land of Laish or his father shared or gave his name to the territory. Gallim is thought to belong to the tribe of Benjamin and north of Jerusalem. (To see a map and more information take a look  at http://bibleatlas.org/laishah.htm)

 

“And her husband [Phalti] went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim.” (Samuel 3:15-16)

This description of Phalti occurs when Michal returns to David.

Though some of David’s mighty men hailed from Bahurim (2 Sam 23: 31), David preferred to stay alive. Any association with David, and your life was in danger.  A woman had to hide two of David’s messengers there. (2 Samuel 17:18)

The time David did venture into Bahurim was years later and he was now king of Israel. Still, he didn’t get respect.

“And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth and cursed still as he came.” (2 Samuel 16:5)

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Shimei throwing stones at King David in Bahurim.

 

David kept his peace and pardoned Shimei (then) for downright treason. Shimei threw stones and made piecing remarks at David’s dysfunctional family.  David was lucky enough not to be assassinated. He probably would have been killed by Saul’s men when Saul was king, and  he wouldn’t have been able to reach Michal.

 

Conclusion

David wanted to please the Lord and fulfill his calling by becoming king of Israel. Sadly, that prevented him her from rescuing Michal. Michal might have realized this, but she still had to stay alive in order for David to fulfill his calling—a huge act of faith on her part.

Michal probably experienced more pain than the reader can imagine when she found about David rescuing his two other wives. But living in such a guarded place prevented her from running away. Maybe she tried, but it wouldn’t have worked. It would have been hard to make allies in a land so loyal to Saul. It’s very likely Saul had spies. He surely received reports of events.

David would have been committing suicide if he went as a fugitive to rescue his wife. It’s possible he sent some men there. If that happened, though, they would have been killed. Even after Saul died, there was a war between the houses of David and Saul. David and Michal were powerless to reunite with each other.  Michal and David were united as soon as it was possible.

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Notes:

Bible: King James Version.
For the summary of Michal’s storyline, click here.

Image:
Woodcut for “Die Bibel in Bildern”, 1860. By Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld .

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Michal: Early Life and Traditions

The younger daughter of King Saul and his wife, Ahinoam, was born during a time of war and political change. They named their daughter Michal.

There’s a debate of what the name “Michal” means.

  • The first possible meaning is “Who is like God.” If this is the case, her name would be a feminine form of the boy name “Michael” and a possible variant of her name would be “Michelle.”
  • The other possible meaning is “little stream. ” This is also spiritual in nature as the Bible connects streams to God’s creations and powers. The name “Michal” is one of the most popular baby names for girls in Israel today.Huge picWilliam-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_At_the_Edge_of_the_Brook_(1875)While we don’t know much about her childhood, there are definite things she would have learned from a young age.

Michal’s Education

  • Virtuous, Israelite Woman: A woman in Israel would know the importance of loving and obeying God. Michal was fortunate that she and her family had close connections to the prophet Samuel. She would have learned to be a dutiful wife who was expected to give her husband children.
  • Benjaminite: The small tribe of Benjamin had an interesting reputation among the other tribes of Israel .They were loyal and fierce fighters to the very end despite being small in numbers. The tribe had close calls when it came to being extinct but they would make a comeback. Benjaminite parents taught their children to be proud of their heritage.
  • Princess: The public would expect the best from the royal family. Michal would have been taught how to deal with crowds—how to charm them and when to ignore people. Her father had been especially good at that in his early days as king. At the end of one of his speeches, Samuel backed him up. The people shouted “God save the king.” There were those, though, who doubted Saul’s ability to protect them, but Saul, “held his peace”. He went on to defeat enemies, and more people accepted him gladly as king.

It’s important to remember that Saul’s early glory days were admirable. Very soon after we’re introduced to Saul, we know Saul was the most righteous man in Israel and a die-hard Benjaminite.Right after Samuel anointed Saul as the Lord’s chosen one, he gave further instructions for Saul to go to Rachel’s sepulcher. That was Saul’s first stop on a literal journey to gain followers that led to national victories.

Rachel’s sepulcher held significance to Israel, but it was most sentimental to the tribe of Benjamin. It illustrates the bravery the tribe of Benjamin value and a good role model—especially for Michal.

The Story of Rachel and Jacob

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Jacob (later called Israel) had traveled far. As he came to the well, he asked the men if they knew Laban, whom he was seeking. The men said yes and pointed out Laban’s beautiful daughter, Rachel, approaching the well with the sheep. Rejuvenated, Jacob opened the mouth of the well and watered the sheep under Rachel’s care. It seemed as if it was love at first sight. He kissed her and the shepherdess went running to her father.

After discussion, a deal was struck. After Jacob labored for seven years under Laban, he would marry Rachel. Jacob said, “I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.”  Laban agreed and said, “It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man.” For Jacob seven years felt like “a few days, for the love he had for her.”

But that Laban was slick. Seven years later. When the time came for the marriage, he swapped Rachel for her elder sister Leah on the wedding night. When Jacob confronted his father-in-law the next morning, Laban said in his country it was tradition to marry the older women first. But Laban hastily added, Jacob could also marry Rachel the following week if he worked seven more additional years.

Jacob paid double the bride price, but “he loved Rachel more than Leah.”

In Old Testament stories that mention love between two people, only one individual is said to love the other. It’s not necessarily unrequited love.   In the case of Rachel and Jacob, we’re told how Jacob loved Rachel, but not if she loved him. But judging but her devotion to him, we can assume she did.  We know Leah pined for Jacob. After she gave Jacob his first son, she said, “Now therefore my husband will love me.”

Again we can assume that Leah also loved Jacob—and yet—there’s no direct mention of her actually loving Jacob.

Jacob cared and provided for his wives and children. Rachel, though, would always hold the most special place in his heart despite Leah giving him six sons and Rachel giving him two sons.

Rachel displayed bravery as she traveled pregnant and went into labor. It was a “hard labour.” The baby lived but she did not. In his grief, Jacob set up a pillar in tribute to Rachel and named the baby “Benjamin.”

Benjamin surviving was a miracle. His mother Rachel was a hero to his descendants. Though Michal probably liked this story, she couldn’t have expected just how much she would relate to the well-remembered matriarch.

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Sources:
1 Samuel 9-11, 14
Genesis 29, 35

http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Michal.html#.VZ_sUubJCUk

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/streams/

http://babynames.allparenting.com/babynames/Popular/Popular_baby_names_in_Israel/

Images:
At the Edge of the Brook by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
The Meeting of Jacob and Rachel by William Dyce

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Michal:Trail of Tears

The princess was going back to her beloved prince. It should have been a fairytale ending. But real stories with real princesses and princes seldom do.

In this case, the woman was being led back to her husband she was separated from for nearly two decades. In back of her, her other husband was “weeping”.

Finally the man leading the entourage addressed the weeping man. It’s a short passage:

“Go, return. And he returned.”

Michal couldn’t turn back though. She needed to go forward and gather more courage than ever.

She had experienced fearful situations. But was she fully prepared for the terrors that awaited her?

72px-Rose_of_sharon_Icon.svgNotes and Sources:
2 Samuel 3
Image: Abner sends Michal back to David from Maciejowski Bible (Morgan Bible)

 

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Summer’s Story: Princess Michal, Wife of King David and Daughter of King Saul

There’s David and Goliath. Then David became king. A huge thanks goes out to Michal, his first wife and daughter of King Saul.

So what’s the story of Michal? Here’s the basic rundown:

She married David, saved his life, and her father married her to another man faraway. Nearly twenty years later she came back to her first husband’s home.

While we don’t know exactly what happened to her during those two decades, we know what she came back to: her first husband, now king, plus his wives and kids. A very big blow.

Then her last appearance occurs when she and David have a public spat over his actions when he brought the sacred Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.

Commentators have taken different sides. Some have smeared her image and others elevate Michal. The princess had many enemies and allies during both her life and after her death.

This summer, I wish to share some of my findings about her. They include:

  • What the Bible says—and doesn’t say—about her.
  • Common princess problems.
  • Portrayals of her, including those on primetime TV.
  • Events in the past, her times, and future.
  • Possible psychological effects.

This summer, I hope you will get to know the real Michal.

Stay tune!

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Biblicial Heroines Vashti and Esther: Court Life Has Always Been Controversial and Cruel

Royals. Love them or hate them-they’re an enigma. Tons of debate about their behavior, clothes, and marital problems have been present in the tabloids for years. The Bible also includes royal gossip–and its damages. Here are some of my thoughts about the decisions of the biblical queens Vashti and Esther.

Vashti

Vashti Refuses the King's Summons, painting by Edwin Long

Vashti set a good example by not appearing to the king and his fellow drinking buddies

 

As a girl, I would have to squint my eyes a lot.
I still do.

I found myself squinting when hearing people tell the story of Esther:
“It starts out with a wicked queen.”

Okay…so I looked it up. The Bible doesn’t refer to Queen Vashti as wicked. This is what happened…

There’s a party, and Queen Vashti doesn’t come before her husband when he orders her. His male guests have been drunk for “many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.”  Plus some scholars think that the king just wanted her to come with nothing but her crown on.

So Vashti doesn’t come. A dangerous thing to do, but think about it. What perverted thing was likely to happen if she had come—appearing undressed—to a party full of drunk men?

Enter villains: The king (a quasi-villain and weak character) with his advisers—the( not-so) “wise men.”

According to them:

“Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all princes and to all the people that are in the provinces of the King Ahasuerus.

For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes…likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king’s princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.”

Faced with an unfair request, Vashti had to chose between losing her dignity or losing her life.

Faced with an unfair request, Vashti had to chose between losing her dignity or losing her life.

The men felt threatened by women. They felt that Vashti set an example for women—women could stand up to their husbands. Vashti was deposed as queen; Rabbi David Eldensohn believes she was killed.

It didn’t matter what Vashti did. I don’t mean for the following comment to be irreverent but whatever decision Vashti made, she was—in one way or another—going to get screwed.

Showing up (possibly with no clothes) in front of men who were drunk for  months—something was bound to happen. No parent would want their child to go to a party like that.

( Please watch Pastor Mark Driscoll’s heartwarming take on Vashti’s decision.  :) )

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Esther

Queen Esther by Edwin Long

Esther mustered up the courage to do things she was inclined, yet scared to do.

The advisers told the king to gather virgins throughout the land and add them to his harem. The king was “pleased” with this idea. (Perverted.)

So Esther now is chosen as Queen. When I first started noticing Vashti’s situation, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed with Esther. In the Old Testament, time and time again, they stress the importance of Israelites marrying in the Covenant. Esther did not. She married a man who didn’t even share her same standards.

I had a change of heart, however, when driving home one night. My mind wandered about the queens and princesses blog posts. I thought of how long I procrastinated bringing up Vashti and Esther. I thought of Catherine of Braganza and a comment by her biographer, Lillias Campbell Davidson, who said Catherine “lived in her husband’s court as Lot lived in Sodom.”  I to thought myself, “No, Catherine lived in here husband’s court as Esther lived in her husband’s court.”

Queen Esther and Queen Catherine of Braganza both had similar, selfless agendas

Like Queen Esther,  Queen Catherine of Braganza also had an  agenda to save lives

Two religious queens living in an immoral court for the sake of protecting their nations. It’s not totally right, but in a way it is noble.

The Jews were relying on Esther to stay queen so they could survive. But she had to find ways to survive if she was going to save their lives.

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What would you do if your nation was in danger? If marriage was an option over bloodshed, would you marry even a fool?

Fortunately for Esther, she wasn’t ordered to appear in front of people indecent, and remembered her faith

The other woman in the story, Vashti, was asked to do something where her actions would most likely lead to death or sexual assault.

Examining their specific circumstances, we see both women were put in unfair situations. Their behavior was examined during their lifetimes and continues thousands of years later. Read the Book of Esther and see if you don’t agree with me. Keep in mind the queens’ specific situations and outcomes. Both queens were faced with decisions that no one should ever have to make. If you were in either of their place, what would you have done?

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Sources:
The Book of Esther

Persian Queen Vashti is Killed 2500 years ago – The first feminism? (video)

Vashti made a noble, courageous, brave, moral decision (video)

http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/2381/

Images:
Queen Vashti Deposed by Ernest Normand
Vashti refuses the King’s Summons by Edwin Long
Queen Esther by Edwin Long
Catherine of Braganza by Jacob Huysman

 

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Twenty-nine. Such an Awkward Number.

The eve of my birthday, I received a comforting e-card from an eleven-year-old friend who said,

I heard that you are turning twenty-nine. That seems like such an awkward number, doesn’t it? But I’m sure you’ll pull it off beautifully.”

It was even more reassuring than the other insightful articles about people who also freaked out when they turned twenty-nine. Some articles were silly, serious, and a combo.  I came across memorable quotes. Actress Helen Mirren wrote some gems:

“The hardest period in life is one’s twenties. It’s a shame because you’re your most gorgeous, and you’re physically in peak condition. But it’s actually when you’re most insecure and full of self-doubt. When you don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s frightening.”

I see where’s she coming from.

I haven’t completed the duties one has do before they reach thirty. Like travel. Do something incredibly crazy. Have a successful career Get married. Have a family.

This year might be the most frightening of all. And it’s not just about the pressures to fulfill all twenties expectations. It’s to see if I can survive. The type of attitude winning survivors put on. Some of these survivors are found on this very website.   Some who didn’t live up to their culture’s ideals while they lived their terrifying twenties. Yet, they would shine later on…

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bride-groom-new-testament_1154694_inl by Lyle Beddes

The pressure to produce posterity was perhaps greater for Jewish women in biblical times.

Elisabeth, mother of John the Baptist, had been expected to have children by her twenties. Did others think she did something wrong? But the Bible assures us she and her husband “were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” I’d imagine that she had to make the decision if she was going to be faithful young. She had made the choice to keep all the commandments and people looked up to her. She was a sort of mentor when the young Mary stayed with her for three months.

Mary visiting Elisabeth, who was someone she could turn for guidance.

Mary visiting Elisabeth, who was someone she could turn for guidance.

Elisabeth’s life became more eventful as she and her son were on the run during the Massacres of the Innocents. (Luke 1:6-7, 56;Luke 11:51; Matthew 2:16)

 

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rtiist: After Dirk Stoop

At 23, the little Portuguese princess didn’t know the humiliations and scandals that awaited her in England.

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She expressed a desire to go home from early on, Perhaps it was the realization of protecting Portugal that motivated her to stay in England and dodge lurking dangers.

While in her twenties, Catherine of Braganza became queen of England. Despite striving to do the right thing, she never did produce an heir. She became a forty-seven-year old widow but had learned to survive–and she eventually thrived. During the last twenty years of her life, she accumulated more money, returned to Portugal as a hero, ruled as regent, and was a mentor and maternal figure to her nephew who later became king of Portugal.

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Catherine gave herself a new life at 47. She died at 67 and every inch a queen.

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Let’s recall the Barrett sisters, Elizabeth and Henrietta. By the time they were in their twenties, they lost siblings and their mother. How were they supposed to look at the world? They might have  struggled to answer. Elizabeth became a successful poet early on but still faced serious illnesses. Henrietta had loved once, but experienced heartbreak. Such losses and experiences, however, would lead to a more accomplished life.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The possibilities of getting a new last name looked slim, but they wouldn't be Barretts forever!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The possibilities of getting a new last name looked slim, but she and Henrietta wouldn’t be  Moulton-Barretts forever!

We wouldn’t have gotten Elizabeth’s most famous poem “How Do I Love Thee” without the hardships of the Barrett family. She wrote that sonnet among other classics in her late thirties during her courtship to Robert Browning. By age forty, she eloped with him to Italy. She became active in politics and had a child at forty-three.

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Elizabeth with her son Pen whom she gave birth to when she was 43. Henrietta had her last child at 47.

Henrietta, didn’t give up on love either. She married at age forty-one. Between ages forty-two and forty-seven, she gave birth to three children.

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These numbers and accomplishments I’m spurting out motivate me!  I’m less afraid of what I haven’t done and more excited for the future. As C.S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

I admit I’m still  frightened. My sister pointed out:

“ We are constantly evolving and ever changing. I don’t think a decade defines us. We can always become something new. The gospel is one of progression, so that means we are always working toward something-not limited to our past.”

Dramatic or not, I’m thrilled to adapt plans I’m working on. I’ve decided not only to accept what I haven’t done, but also to celebrate it! Go forward with faith. Not all the best things in life have to be compacted in the twenties package.

I’ll get through twenty-nine.

And I’ll do it beautifully.

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Pictures
Painting of Bride and Groom by Lyle Beddes from lds.org New Testament Student Manuel

La Visitatio by Niolas Labbe 

Catherine of Braganza paintings:
Dirk Stoop
Peter Lely
Benedettp Gennari

Images of Elizabeth Barrett Browning are also public domain.