Thursday, March 30, 2006

Still Time

I received this message from John who received it from Fr. Wayne of St. Barnabas.
I just had to share it, I love it!

My dear spiritual sons and daughters:
I copied this from an Orthodox site, written by an
Russian Orthodox priest's wife.

Congratulating everyone on having reached the middle of the Fast.

There's still time, even if it is later than we thought. Time to start the
struggle. Time to increase prayers.

Time to refrain from things we haven't gotten around to refraining from.
Time to make a positive difference, to visit the sick, to give alms, to be
nice to strangers, to be patient with loved ones.
God still loves us. There is still time.

If you haven't been to PreSanctified Liturgy or to an Akathist yet, there is
still time.
If today's lunch wasn't fasting, tomorrow's still can be.

If you didn't say Morning Prayers, you can still say evening prayers.
If you quarreled with someone who still lives, you can still make peace.

If you haven't been to confession and Holy Communion yet, Sunday approaches.

There is time to purchase egg dye and almonds and raisins for the festal
There is time to save oatmeal boxes, coffee cans, onion skins.... and your

Not over yet, but still halfway over.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In my kitchen

Thank you, Arielle-Juliana, for inspiring me to try something new. I have never baked pita bread and you gave me the courage. Here are some pictures of the outcome. They don't look quite as good as Arielle's but it was so fun and yummy. And the best was entertaining for the children. They loved it.
Also, you will see my chopping helper hard at work. The girls take turns chopping the salad vegetables each evening.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


As I was searching the Orthodox areas of the internet on praying to the saints I ran across this little piece of information that made me stop in my tracks. I just had to read it again and again and ponder on what it is really saying. You can find the whole article here.

The purpose of prayer is to have communion with God and to be made capable of accomplishing his Will. Christians pray to enable themselves to know God and to do his commandments. Unless a person is willing to change himself and to conform himself to Christ in the fulfillment of his commandments, he has no reason or purpose to pray. According to the saints, it is even spiritually dangerous to pray to God without the intention of responding and moving along the path that prayer will take us.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Back in the real world...

Mary Dawn and I returned yesterday evening from a most fabulous time at St. John the Forerunner Monastery. It was very relaxing and inspiring. Everytime I go I gain a greater respect for my faith and especially the Eucharist. It inspires me to strive even harder on my path to God. I pray the effects last a life time.
Here are just a couple pictures but will post more on the photo blog.
On Sunday afternoon we received a beautiful layer of snow. We couldn't help but hike around in the snow and take pictures...those will be on the photo blog.

I came home to find a letter from St. John of San Francisco Monastery and learned that they are in escrow on a place outside of Redding. You can see it here, and WoW! Sooo, an english speaking monastery will be about 12 hours away, a little further than I'd hoped but it will be good to visit someday.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Off we go...

Mary (Dawn) and I are headed to Goldendale to the St. John the Forerunner Monastery for 2 nights. I'm really excited as this is my second pilgrimage, the first was one year ago on the same 1st weekend of Lent, and this is Mary's first pilgrimage to the monastery. (At the monastery you typically go by your patron saint name.)

Please pray for safe travel as we travel over 3 mountain passes.


Friday, March 10, 2006

"A Mother's Rule of Life" Part 3

Well, I'm on the last chapter of "A Mother's Rule of Life" by Holly Pierlot. I blogged about the beginnings of it here and here as you can see by the title. But I just could not leave it at that as I've come to a close on it.
This is by far one of the best books I've read on homemaking, mothering, and faith all wrapped into one and I've read a lot! As the whole purpose of this blog was started to find our for me what motherhood and homemaking were to be I've researched and read and prayed. God has definitely answered my prayers in this book! I am actually considering writing a letter to the author (she has a blog) to convey my gratefulness.
I cannot tell you enough how this book is (hopefully) opening my mind and clearing my senses on so much regarding prayer, marriage, mother, homemaking, etc. And to is very orthodox in it's thinking and is VERY faith based. Can you believe or imagine...I never dreamt I'd find something so close to my faith and on this topic! It is written by a catholic woman but I'd never know except for the mention of numerous western saints.

I briefly touched on this in a comment on one of the earlier posts but want to expand on it.
The Mother's Rule is based on the 5-P's of the married vocation that a priest told her about early in her marriage. I'll name them and then tell you at least one thing that really caught my attention about each. (Sorry this might get long as these have been so eye opening to me...I can't help it.) These are in order of the priority we should keep them at.

Theology professor Fr. Tom Daley once said, "We must realize that law precedes love. The laws that God imposes on us from the outside are meant to discipline us, to help our hearts grow into the laws of love which motivate us from within." ...So I was to obey... So our Christian calling wasn't only about avoiding sin, but about taking positive steps forward to complete the mission God has entrusted to us. My Mother's Rule of Life, then, was obedience to God's will by using my freedom to work toward my vocation, my mission on earth.

Second P= PERSON (This entire chapter is quite profound.)
Our spiritual health directly affects our personal health...
That problem was a nasty little personal motto that had followed me all my life: "But I don't want to!" Of all the difficulties I had encountered in my search for personal wholeness, perhaps my greatest enemy was my interior spirit of rebillion. My reluctance to let go of my own will and my resistance to doing what I was supposed to do instead of what I wanted to do were preventing me from moving closer to God and to happiness. Fr. Tom Daly says, "Freedom is taking responisibilty for who you are to become." Now that was not a familiar concept. Our society's idea of freedom, and the one I had functioned with for so long, meant the "right" to do whatever I wanted, free from external restraints. True freedom, then, Christian freedom, is when we willingly take the steps needed to return ourselves to the internal order God intended... Thus, there has to com a time when we begin consciously to act in conformity with what we know to be good. This means engaging the will. I reached a point where I realized I had to stop so much reading and beging DOING. To make a straight path to God in my heart, I had to train myself to do what is right.

And as with Holy Orders, we need to realize that the sacrament of Marriage is meant to enable us to fulfill a mission--in this instance, a mission of service and love toward our spouse.

It took a long time for me to realize I had been chosen by God to be a mother and that I myself had chosen to be a mother. It took a while to see that, yes, my talents and interests and training were all important things, but my family duties would override any calling outside for a good long while. And I'd come to learn, slowly, that the seemingly mundane and unimportant work of a mother--loving God, living a holy marriage, and raising happy, balanced, holy children--was in the grand scheme of God's plan more important than the many projects and ambitions I had in other areas. I had to learn, over the course of years, that relationships were more important than tasks, that being was more important than doing.
"What can I do that will really make a difference in society?" Raising my children with a Christian worldview was the biggest contribution to society that I could possibly make; giving to the world healthy, holy citizens who would spread their influence in an exponential way...My work with my children was the very core of societal change. I had discovered the mission of motherhood!

Many times, our responsibilities in this area can overtake some of the higher priorities of family life because our home duties and money concerns are so varied and often time-consuming. Here we want to examine our provider role as God intended it, devote to it the necessary dignity it deserves, yet simultaneously streamline our efforts so that it assumes its rightful place in the five P's of our vocation. Above all, we need to understand that all our work in the home is good and ordained by God.

This book is better than I ever imagined and I pray that God will open my mind and heart to all that I have learned as I try to grasp the understand of my vocation here in my it is ordained by God.

A blessed Lent to you all.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete--Kontakion for Monday

Kontakion, tone 6:

My soul, my soul, arise! Why are you sleeping? The end is drawing near, and you will be confounded. Awake, then, and be watchful, that Christ our God may spare you, Who is everywhere present and fills all things.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Please forgive me

Sunday, March 5, 2006
Sunday of Cheesefare (Forgiveness Sunday)

The Lord said, "If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men and their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

We begin Great Lent, our journey to Pascha(the Resurrection of our Lord) with Forgiveness Sunday. We are to "forgive men their trespasses" and as Alexander Schmemann says in Great Lent
The triumph of sin, the main sign of its rule over the world is division, opposition, separation, hatred. Therefore the first break through this fortress of sin is forgiveness: the return to unity, solidarity, love. To forgive is to put between me and my "enemy" the radiant forgiveness of God Himself. To forgive is to reject the hopeless "dead-ends" of human relations and to refer them to Christ. Forgiveness is truly a "breakthrough" of the Kingdom into this sinful and fallen world.

So as we start Great Lent I would like to ask forgiveness to you, my blogger friends, my family and those dear to me. Please forgive me.

God forgives all.