Friday, March 25, 2005


As many of you know from reading Paradosis, last weekend (March 18-20) I visited the St. John the Forerunner Monastery at Goldendale. I really wanted to talk to the Abbess about some of my frustrations in regards to my family, how could I handle the ever-increasing load of responsibility that seemed to face me on a daily basis, so I requested to do so. As I sat Saturday morning very nervous about the impending meeting I thought I’d write some thoughts down on paper. But what came out seemed so trivial… and as I wrote it became ever so clearer that I already knew the answer to all these trivial matters and complaints. PRAYER

No matter the complaint, frustration, problem or job we can go to God for strength, for answers, for support, for direction. Or to take our focus off of our own pitiful self and back on God where it belongs…only through prayer can we do that.

Lord, be merciful to me sinner.

But as Gerontissa pointed out to me, prayer can be or NEEDS(for some such as I) to be as simple as using the Jesus Prayer throughout the day while working. She told me not to be so anxious but concentrate on the Jesus Prayer.

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Fruits of my labor

Some days, or even weeks, I feel like everything I've done is completely fruitless, for nothing! It can be so disheartening sometimes. But I see the fruits of my labor! God is good! He knows just when I need a boost in my confidence!
We went to a house blessing of some dear friends/family (I consider them more family because they are the godparents of 2 of my children and we love them dearly.) today and were there right up until Great Vespers. We typically don't go to Great Vespers with ALL the children because of the timing...bedtime is 730pm/8pm and Vespers isn't over until 715pm-730pm. BUT I have been wanting to really start going because Lent is fast approaching and I want to take my children to at least a few of the PreSanctified Liturgies (they are one of my favorite services!). Anyway...of course my kids groaned and groaned and fought and groaned some more. I was soooo close to giving up, but was determined they weren't going to win this one! (Where do they get their stubbornness?)
I am sooo glad that we went! First pat on the back from God came when we were singing a very beautiful part of the service and Kelsey (8) looked up at me, paused her beautiful voice, and said "I want to come every Saturday". I think she was reminded how much she loved some of the hymns on Saturday. Ten minutes later, she looked up again and said, "I want to come Wednesday's too because that's in the middle of the week."
Pat # 2: We sat listening to Fr. James read about the Saint commemorated tomorrow and Nicholas (4) was sitting on my lap and his brother Joseph (2 1/2) next to us. They first started fighting over my lap but suddenly stopped and were holding hands and smiling at one another. Joseph whispered (imagine that..a whisper...i was shocked at that alone) "I wike you gecho." Nicho whispered to me "Mom, he likes me." and turned to his brother and said, "I love you Joe." "I love you 'gicholas'," Joseph said in return. My heart melted!
Pat #3 came while we were driving home, the 3 youngest in the back seat jabbering and I barely hear Kelsey say "OH I love the Lord! I just really love the Lord." She went on and on about how she is ready for confession, she just knows she is ready. She wants to go to confession once a month so that she doesn't forget her sins. If you only go twice a year that's too long and your list will be too long and she doesn't want to have a 2-page list of sins to confess. Then we got home and she lined up the prayer book, the bible and said she was going to pray. "I just love to pray. I'm going to pray for a long time." We read the gospel together for tomorrow and read Path to Confession. She loves that book!
And last but not least, Pat #4 came from Charissa (5 1/2). We had just, together, broken a bell she made at school and she was pretty upset. I told her it wasn't her fault, but she wouldn't hear it. It was and she tearfully said, "I didn't listen to my heart, I should have listened to my heart because it can be so helpful."

Thank you most Precious Lord, for Your grace, Your faithfulness and Your LOVE!!!!!