Sunday, May 30
Friday, May 28
sweet sweet smiles when he is with his mommy!
You are growing so fast
Where does time go?
I watch you
And notice with each next time
How much you have changed.
It is unbelievable.
You are so loved
Your little eyes are always sparkling
You have your Auntie Ashley’s blue blue eyes
We laugh at that - at how you look so much like her in some pictures!
Funny how that works.
You are growing up
Beginning to show your emotions more
Your giggles come very easy
Especially when your daddy is kissing your little face
Your smile comes readily
when you are in your mommy’s arms
You hear a voice and turn
Your look acknowledges the person
I hope you never “make strange”
You love the camera too.
I don't think any baby has ever been so photographed!!
All the things that you learn in your first year of life
how you come from the womb
How fearfully and wonderfully your Creator has made you Little One.
And while we don’t want to rush you
We do imagine what you will sound like
“C’mon Poppa, C’mon Granny – read to me…
or “What are you doing Poppa?”
We imagine what it will feel like
as you toddle alongside
We imagine what it will feel like
or to tuck you into bed for a sleepover
So many things we are imagining!
But for now – we will keep thanking God for you Little One
And we will keep kissing your soft little cheeks
We will keep talking to you,
We love you so much!
So very very much!
Wednesday, May 19
The morning is still new. Birds are singing. It is still outside. The flag is barely moving.
It is a beautiful day! Today is also Leah's birthday.
Happy birthday dear daughter! (yes, I know she is my daughter-in-law)
As was stated at Ashley and Michael's wedding - each kid is loved like a true daughter or son... we don't classify them as "in-laws" as there is just something about that word that often people make fun of. (actually especially about mother-in-laws!)
Leah - what can I say about her?
I remember when Joshua came home from camp. Summer of 99 I believe it was. He was 17.
He showed us a video that was made at Senior Teen Camp at FBC. And he told us about a girl he met - and her name was Leah Hayes.
Well let me tell you - it did not take long to play the name game, and find out that Leah was no stranger, or should I say her parents were no strangers to me, back in the old camp and church and youth days.
Shortly thereafter we met Leah, when Josh brought her for some of out "Thomas Reunion" at FBC. And then it went from there - I think one of the first outings with the family was at the Beausejour Rodeo and Stampede! It seems like forever ago. So much has happened since he introduced us. I guess time has a way of passing...
I also know that "life" has a way of affecting/changing/molding/influencing us...And we know how hard life has been lately.
As a mom, I can honestly say that I love you so much Leah. You are truly the girl that God provided in response to our prayers on his behalf - when he was a tiny baby... You Leah, are a GIFT in the most purest/truest sense of that word. And how much we love you. Not sure you will ever know the depth of that... but we do.
I have watched you and Josh fall in love - and work through those early years of dating - and how you supported him in his year away at Fire College. You have walked through a lot of incredibly hard stuff in your young lives. I remember watching you as you walked through Josh's work related accident. How hard that was - I remember wanting to rush to his side and dad gently reminded me that YOU are the one who is right there to walk through the tragedy with him. You have encouraged him in all of his endeavours. You and Josh together are a strong force! Your strengths compliment one another.
And over the past years I have watched as you and Josh walked through the incredible joy of expecting Jay and the incredible sorrow and grief following his silent birth. It has been so hard as a parent, and I know your parents would say the same thing - to watch you in the depths of grief - the depths of despair, and not be able to do a thing for you to ease the pain. I have heard the wisdom come from your lips... I have heard as you wrestled through this pain, and continue to. This alone has made you and Josh older than your chronological years. We would have given anything if we could have taken away your pain.
Over the past 5 months since Everett's birth, I have watched you as a mom.... an amazing mom
I have watched as you patiently and persistently figure out your little man's schedule for sleep so that he gets the best quality sleep he can have! I love watching and hearing you as you unabashedly tell your little guy how much you love him, and how incredibly beautiful he is! How that delights my heart! Sometimes you second guess yourself - but I want to tell you that you are wise. You make good decisions. You are a wonderful mom!
Today is your birthday. You are so loved! We thank God for you - and it is our prayer that this year will be one that continues to bring healing to your heart... a year that continues to bring great joy to your heart... a year that brings surprise and more than you could ever ask for, or imagine from the Lord. He is Sovereign, and yes, we do not always understand his ways... But He holds you tightly in the palm of his hand.
I want to have a bit of fun with your name - hopefully I can do it one just one cup of coffee!!
Let me count the ways you bring joy into our lives - we watch you laugh. You are hungry to learn new things, especially now in regards to parenting. You lean on the Lord for your strength. You love fully - your husband, your sons, and your family and friends. You are a lover of all things that bring joy to your life!
Embrace life! Throughout your life God has given you wonderful friends. You embrace each one, making them feel loved and special. That is a gift. You live life fully! Enjoy this day and the years to come Leah!
Always a thinker. I see that in you. Sometimes when we talk, I notice you quiet and then you speak. You want to find clarity in what is said. You sometimes worry about how what you do/think/say will affect others. You are a wise woman, a godly one, and one who is interested in growing more in wisdom and strength! Keep thinking Leah - and keep allowing yourself to pour into the lives of others whom you touch! You are also an amazing wife and an amazing mom!
Honest. Whether through your words or your actions - it is your desire to walk the talk, and life for Jesus. You care about that. What we see is what we get -- you are the authentic, genuine person God has created you to be. You are also hardworking, humble, honorable, humorous. I am sure there is much more!
Tuesday, May 18
I laid there for a while listening, trying to count the different songs that I heard.
With the window open, and the cool breeze of the early morning coming in ~ it was a beautiful sound.
I turned over in bed to see what the time was.
I got out of bed briefly. A quick look out the window showed signs of day breaking.
A new day.
A new chance at life ~ at living fully ~ at spending time with the Lord through out this day.
The birds were singing even before they knew what the day would hold.
Hmm.... 4:55 am and already God was giving me a teachable moment!
Sometimes I only sing when I have experienced something great...
I don't always choose to sing in the unknown parts of my life.
But here they were ~ the birds that the Lord had created each with a different look, and a different song, and
at 4:55 am ~ they were already singing their songs of praise!
Almost immediately, this song by Chris Tomlin came rushing into my mind, and my heart and has stayed with me since.
I hope it will remain in my heart all day.
May it be your song too!
Sing, Sing, Sing
We will sing, sing, sing
And make music with the heavens
We will sing, sing, sing
Grateful that You hear us
When we shout your praise
Lift high the name of Jesus
What's not to love about You?
Heaven and earth adore You
Kings and kingdoms bow down
Son of God, You are the One
You are the One we're living for
You are the love that frees us
You are the light that leads us
Like a fire burning
Son of God, You are the one
You are the one we're living for
Monday, May 17
Saturday, May 8
(my "baby") Ashley Marie & Michael John Thiessen
Friday, May 7
Last night, while at the Michael W. Smith concert, the one guy from the opening band DOWNHERE - spoke about a song he wrote and how his father encouraged him, and affirmed him. Then Michael W. Smith spoke about how his dad always affirms his music, and can never figure out how every song of his doesn't go #1. Both men - tied it to how much more their Father God loves them. This on top of the book I am reading by Brennan Manning. I can not help but say "O Father - how much you want me to experience your love and to realize my position as your daughter!"
Today I finished chapter 3 called "Abba's Child" and I want to share some of what I read. Some of what touched my heart profoundly.
Manning tells this story (page 64) "Years ago, I related a story about a priest from Detroit named Edward Farrell who went on his two-week summer vacation to Ireland. His one living uncle was about to celebrate his eightieth birthday. On the great day, the priest and his uncle got up before dawn and dressed in silence. They took a walk along the shores of Lake Killarney and stopped to watch the sunrise. Standing side by side with not a word exchanged and staring straight at the rising sun. Suddenly the uncle turned and went skipping down the road. He was radiant, beaming, smiling from ear to ear.
His nephew said, "Uncle Seamus, you really look happy."
"I am, Lad."
"Want to tell me why?"
His eight-year-old uncle replied, "Yes, you see, my Abba is very fond of me."
Manning then (in his book) asks "do you honestly believe God likes you, not just loves you because theologically God has to love you? If you could answer with gut-level honest, "Oh, yes, my Abba is very fond of me," you would experience a serene compassion for yourself that approximates the meaning of tenderness."
Today I sit in that reality. That in spite of my stuff - in spite of my sometimes fickle approach to my walk with God - in spite of how I struggle to be more like Jesus in ways of forgiveness and extending grace... HE IS FOND OF ME!
In spite of it all. How amazing. God loves ME! He knows me intimately and STILL loves me.
He has forgiven me for everything - past, present and future and never lords my sin over me! Ever!! My name is written on the palm of his hand. The greatest expression of love - was Jesus going to the cross for my sin, and rising again for my guarantee for an eternity with him because I trust Him fully.
It is a lot to think of - how amazing this love is. I find it easier to imagine the love of my heavenly Father - because I know how my earthly father loved me. I also realize that what I may have experienced may or may not be the same as my siblings. I also realize that what I may have experienced may or may not be the same as other men and women - some who either didn't have a father, or didn't have a father who was a role model of love and acceptance to them. I do not take that for granted, believe me.
It is hard to put the love of our heavenly Father into words. It is hard to put into words the feeling that fills my soul because of knowing how "fond Abba is of me".... but I am wanting to bask in that today...
Later, I will go and stop in to see and hold my little grandson. I will watch as his parents dote on him, as they smile at his every squeal, and cuddle him close. I will smile as I watch his daddy smother him with kisses and make him smile in return. Everett KNOWS his Daddy... and he KNOWS his mommy. I hope that as he grows the love of his mommy and daddy will in turn help him to come to know and experience intimately the love of his Heavenly Father too.
That is my prayer for my grandson... for my family... for my friends... for those of you who read this but I may not know... and for me!
I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior's love for me!
He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.
When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.
So as I close for this blog post today - it is my prayer for you dear reader, that you would truly experience how fond the Father is of you, dear child! It is my prayer...
Thursday, May 6
So, this chapter has enveloped me in love again. I love the word "BELOVED" Just the sound of it brings a warmth to my soul. In the book, Manning has said some things that have just "whooshed" into my heart again, coming in with a freshness, and awareness of how great the Lord's love is for me! I needed that again - a reminder. Sometimes the "everydayness"of life causes me to forget this! And this morning, some of the things that spoke to my heart were quotes like the following (from Abba's Child):
"It is God who has called us by name! The God beside whose beauty the Grand Canyon is only a shadow has called us beloved. The God beside whose power the nuclear bomb is nothing has tender feelings for us." (page 59) (tender feelings for you and I!)
"...But when the night is bad and my nerves are shattered and Infinity speaks, when God Almighty shares through His Son the depth of His feelings for me, when His love flashes into my soul and when I am overtaken by Mystery, it is kairos - the decisive inbreak of God in this saving moment of my personal history. No one can speak for me. Alone, I face a momentous decision. Shivering in the rags of my sixty-plus years, either I escape into skepticism and intellectualism or with radical amazement I surrender in faith to the truth of my belovedness."
"Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion." (page 60)
I LOVE LOVE LOVE that line - and in the book I wrote, "I, Joy Klassen define myself radically as one beloved by God!!"
But I realize that I feel different - I feel that even though I have "jumped and I am free-falling" while God works out the details of life... that even in that, I feel this excitement - this anticipation - this tangible "electric" sense that is only God. I know that without a doubt. And there is this overwhelming contentment in my soul, and my whole being. That being said, I do believe that I know for sure that intimacy with the Lord only comes out of spending time in his presence... like a child with their parent which is an example I can relate to both with my parents and I, and my kids and I. I also believe that intimacy comes from a prayer life. For that reason alone, I am thankful for this time off that has truly been a gift to me. A gift from God, and a gift from my husband as he has blessed me in staying home. The struggle to enjoy, to recognize the gift - that was my struggle, and I thank God He has taught me through it!
Such it is, that as I first sat down here at the Bean... I pulled out my bible/journal and went to Philippians 4. After reading it - I penned some thoughts. Here they are - word for word from my journal - for what they're worth!!
This is my reality - I am feeling content
Paul says he's learned the secret
that in every circumstance - whether in want or in need
the answer is Jesus
When I think of word pictures
I "see" a cat laying in the sun
the sun warming her fur
the slight breeze rushing past her whiskers
but a soundness of heart that allows her to lay flat out..
enjoying a few moments peace
enjoying the warmth of the sun.
sitting in a coffee shop
surrounded by people
Feeling a peace -
that covers my soul, my heart, my mind
Unexplainable other than ... JESUS.
My heart bristles at that word
But it breathes deeply of contentment and peace
Peace that can not be counterfeited
Peace that can't be described other than that..
it seeps into every nook and cranny
every corner and crease of my being
top to bottom
head to toes
fingertip to fingertip
Fix your thoughts on what is true
You are all these and more
on my own, I am nothing
in YOU - I can do anything
Because you fill me with strength.
Contentment in and thru any circumstance
knowing that no matter what -
You will supply my needs
Not because you have to,
but because you want to and
You know all about me
You know about my needs
You know my heart
You love to hear me come to you -
with cares, concerns.
with praise and adoration
You Lord, love to have conversation with me - and I am so thankful.
"...all glory to You God - my Father - forever and ever. Amen." Phil. 4: 20
I encourage you this morning - whether it is 5 minutes or 50... spend some intentional time - QT as I call it (quiet time) with the Lord. Honestly - you will never regret the time you take OUT of your day to SIT with the Almighty. Yes, He is with us wherever we go, and we can talk with him regardless. But as you love to sit with a good friend - so He delights to sit with us. You will only desire to spend more and more time... trust me, I can vouch for that!
Wednesday, May 5
The robins are enjoying this weather ~ as it helps in the worm finding! Our neighbors ducks were enjoying the high ditch on the other side of the road from where they actually should be. It was a funny sight, two big white ducks swimming around. (that was at 6:30 am when Alvin needed to be dropped off at Josh and Leah's so they could head out to work at the beach). I wondered how they got to the other side, and we figure they must have been swept through the culvert with the rushing water! Regardless, they were enjoying it!
Today is a lazy day... I have been procrastinating on a couple things (one being my run!) but will get there shortly! But I wanted to "quickly" check my emails (okay, honestly there is nothing quick about dial up even when you WANT to be quick!). And I get an automatic email from a website http://www.mollypiper.com/ (Leah told me about Molly, shortly after our little Jay's birth)
This morning's email had the link to her post called brokenhearted-love-give-it-live-it and it was so good to read. It is quite something to read that other people who have experienced such broken-heartedness over loss of a child feel/experience things said/done that are similar to our experiences. There was a comfort, almost a healing salve when I read her blog. She is responding to people who are not the ones who have lost a child but want to know HOW TO RESPOND to those who have, and Molly says "Ask God to give you brokenhearted love".
Tuesday, May 4
Today’s chapter was called THE IMPOSTER and is all about our “false self”. The imposter/false self that is preoccupied with acceptance and approval. The self that needs to please others, having a hard time to “say no with the same confidence with which they say yes.” Manning says on page 34 “And so they overextend themselves in people, projects, and causes, motivated not by personal commitment but by the fear of not living up to others’ expectations.” (ouch!)
Manning talks about a few things… about our narcissism, about self-importance, about needing to be noticed. He talks about how often “appearance is everything” and living life of pretense.
He quotes Augustine, who said “There can only be two basic loves ~ the love of God unto the forgetfulness of self, or the love of self unto the forgetfulness and denial of God.”
The imposter loves to draw their identify from personal achievements, but also from interpersonal relationships with others – wanting to stand well with prominent people because it raises their “status” or their “resume” and for sure their “self-worth”. In my years of working – in both the secular and in the ministry, I have seen this, and also have allowed my imposter to do this as well. I think more so in ministry I saw it, when people sided up to the “rich and famous” in order to also get in on some of the fringe benefits. Somehow I didn’t get into those circles…. I think it was because I was called into the ministry without a degree or without seminary, and so I automatically was not included into those networks. (even though I didn't get the invites, I struggled with that...I have to say I struggled A LOT with this – with feeling “less than” others who ministered with a degree. I felt an insecurity. I felt rejection. (whether just perceived or actually happening, it none the less felt very real to me!) While this feeling got less over time, it was still there every time I got up to preach. I think it was God’s way of keeping me humble.
Manning talks about when he was in retreat in the Colorado Rockies and heard a message from God. It went like this: “Brennan, you bring your full presence and attention to certain members of the community but offer a diminished presence to others. Those who have stature, wealth, and charisma, those you find interesting or charming or pretty or famous command your undivided attention, but people you consider plain or dowdy, those of lesser rank performing menial tasks, the unsung and uncelebrated are not treated with the same regard. This is not a minor matter to me, Brennan. The way you are with others every day, regardless of their status, is the true test of faith.” (chapter 2, page 38, Abba’s Child)
The way I am with others every day is the true test of my faith!! Isn’t this part of the greatest commandment – that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, our mind and our strength AND to love our neighbor as our self! (to which was asked, WHO is our neighbor!) I think our “neighbor” is every person we encounter through each part of our day… day in and day out.
I think of the times that I have been speechless (if you can believe it!) and have acted powerless or assumed a passive role – was often out of fear of rejection (or feeling rejected) and therefore not responding authentically. Oh God, forgive me for those times when I have let the imposter/false self rule in my life! There have been times that I have chosen NOT to act… Lord, forgive me for those times too.
I have come to see over and over again, that the more intimate our walk with the Lord gets, the smaller the imposter within us becomes. Our walk with the Lord means that we come humbly, honestly before the throne, knowing that in order to live fully, we must die to self. I think I will always struggle with self-confidence and self-worth. But I also know that it is not man/woman that gives this to me – but my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Jesus shows us over and over again throughout the gospels (in the Bible, the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) how to love-on and act toward ALL people. ALL!
Getting rid of the imposter is also about loving ourselves the way God loves us, and wants us to love ourselves. The imposter is all about self-hatred! And self-hatred usually comes out in the form of a behaviour that is destructive! (hmmm, my struggle with food perhaps?)
Carl Jung in his book, Modern Man in Search of a Soul (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World Harvest Books, 1933) page 235 wrote:
“The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ – all these things are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most imprudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself – that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness – that I myself am the enemy who must be loved – what then? As a rule, the christian’s attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering: we say to the brother within us “Raca,” and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.”
Hmmm. Wow…talk about not just "food for thought" but a “smorgasbord” of thought in that paragraph quote itself. I need to get into the word – into the gospels to not only see how Jesus walked among, ministered with and to, healed, preached to, touched, lived with, blessed and loved the people! Because there – in the gospels… I see ME!
At the end of the chapter – Manning says that on the 20th day of his stay in the retreat in the Rockies – he wrote a letter to “the imposter”… and at the end of this letter he writes
“On this last day in the Rockies my gift is to take you where, unknowingly, you have longed to be – into the presence of Jesus. Your days of running riot are history. From now on, you slow down, slow very down.
In His presence, I notice that you have already begun to shrink. Wanna know somethin’, little guy? You’re much more attractive that way. I am nicknaming you “Pee-Wee.” Naturally, you are not going to roll over suddenly and die. I know you will get disgruntled at times and start to act out, but the longer you spend time in the presence of Jesus, the more accustomed you grow to His face, the less adulation you will need because you will have discovered for yourself that HE is ENOUGH. And in the Presence, you will delight in the discovery of what it means to live by grace and not by performance. Your Friend, Brennan”
To which I could also could write and sign off ~ Your Friend, Joy
Oh Lord – please help me give up my struggle with self - my insecurities, my feelings of low self-worth and rejection - to give it all to you! Help me to live IN you today – to experience your Presence in a tangible way. To see you in those around me, and that others who I encounter will see YOU through my actions and that I will have the fragrance of yourself! Lord, forgive me for allowing the imposter to rule at times! Help me to make you Lord over all I do, I think, and I say. You O Lord, are Sovereign! Jesus, be the center! Amen and amen.
Monday, May 3
Monday - it has been good because I had an impromptu coffee with my friend B. I have to tell you about her (perhaps have blogged about her in the past). Her and her husband have become very very good friends... like family! And often on a Monday - it starts out talking impromptu on Facebook, and then leads into the occasional impromptu coffee at _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
I opened the window because I could hear the bluejays... once you know what a jay sounds like - you can identify them even with the windows shut! Just outside of the kitchen window - in the back yard is a french lilac tree. I had a bird feeder in there until the big fat squirrels found them again!! So, a couple weeks ago, I found something else - a little "cage" thingey that hangs and in it you drop a block of suet/birdseed. The one I put in was especially for the jays and woodpeckers... although they all seem to love it. I heard the jays, and looked, and there was one again - in the tree - hopping from branch to branch and up onto the cage and started chowing down on the suet block. It is actually quite beautiful to see them. He is a big bird, and the jays are actually a bit of a rascal bird... chases away everything else, including his cousin the redheaded woodpecker. This is the same tree that a week or so ago, I saw THREE blue jays in it at the same time.
Luke 12:6-8 (New International Version)
6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies[a]? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
8"I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.
and Luke 12:6-8 (New Living Translation)
6 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins[a]? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
8 “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man[b] will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels.
Imagine how precious we are in the eyes of the Almighty!
Now that just makes my Monday complete!
Sunday, May 2
Author: Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915
Musician: William H. Doane, 1832-1915
To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the lifegate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro' Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To ev'ry believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing thro' Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.
To God be the glory, the vict'ry is won;
Our praise to the Saviour has only begun;
In heav'n's radiant splendor we'll join with the throng
And praise Him forever in jubilant song.
Frances Jane Crosby (March 24 1820 – February 12 1915) usually known as Fanny Crosby, but sometimes as Frances van Alstyne, was an American lyricist best known for her Protestant Christian hymns. A lifelong Methodist, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 despite being blind since infancy. Also known for her public speaking, during her lifetime Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the United States.
To this day, the vast majority of American hymnals contain her work. Some of her best known songs include "Blessed Assurance", "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home", "Praise Him, Praise Him", and "To God Be the Glory". Because some publishers were hesitant to have so many hymns by one person in their hymnals, Crosby used nearly 100 different pseudonyms during her career.
Early life and career
Fanny Crosby was born in Southeast, Putnam County, New York to poor parents, John and Mercy Crosby. At six weeks old, she caught a cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. The family physician was not available, and a quack who came in his place recommended mustard plasters as treatment. The botched procedure blinded her.
Her father died when she was one year old, so she was raised by her mother and grandmother. These women grounded Crosby in Protestant Christian principles, helping her, for example, memorize long passages from the Bible. Crosby became an active member of the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City.
At age 15, Crosby enrolled at the New York Institute for the Blind (now the New York Institute for Special Education). She remained there for seven years. During that time she learned to play the piano and guitar and to sing. In 1843, she joined a group of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. arguing for support of education for the blind. From 1847 to 1858, Crosby joined the faculty at the New York school, teaching English and history. She married Alexander Van Alstyne, a blind musician and fellow teacher, in 1858. At his insistence, she kept her maiden name. They had one daughter, Francis, who died while a baby. Alexander died on July 19, 1902.