Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Pilgrimage

Tomorrow morning I'll be taking my girls and a friend of our families daughter and we are headed to St. John the Forerunner Monastery for 5 days!!! It is our first pilgrimage together like this and I am really excited and feel really blessed that we have this opportunity. My mother-in-law is coming today to stay with the boys all week (all three boys), bless her!
Please pray for our safe travels over the water, over the mountain passes and through the woods. With ferry (and potty breaks) it's about 5 hours.
See you Friday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Today's reading from Isaiah

I found today's reading fascinating. And with reading the footnotes in the Orthodox Study Bible I learned some new things.

In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up. The house was full of His glory. Around Him stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory." The lintel was lifted up by the voice of those who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said, "Woe is me, because I am pierced to the heart, for being a man and having unclean lips, I dwell in the midst of a people with unclean lips; for I saw the King, the Lord of hosts, with my eyes!" Then one of the seraphim was sent to me. he had a live coal in his hand, which he took with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth, and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips. Your lawlessness is taken away, and your sin is cleansed." Isaiah 6:1-7 (today's reading was actually through verse 12)

Footnote: Isaiah's vision has strongly influenced the development of Orthodox Christian worship. For the Church, like heaven, has an altar, a throne, smoke from the incense, and believers singing "Holy, holy, holy," the thrice Holy hymn.
Footnote: A live coal touching the mouth: Isaiah experiences a symbol of the Eucharist, which is taken from the altar to be served to the faithful. In fact, after an Orthodox priest receives communion, he quietly quotes the seraphim's proclamation.(v.7)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Back to the grind...

Not what you may think but a different kind of "grind".
The grind of managing my household without any other help from another adult like person. For the past 6 weeks I've had either my mother here or James. While he was in Uganda my mom was here to help out with managing household duties. Then she went home and James had 2 weeks off before having to head back to work. He helped out with the kids tremendously. But now here I am, today the first day in 6 weeks.
I am reminded about how "managing my household" is an ongoing struggle for me. Reading through my archives it is quite unbelievable how often I posted about needing a schedule/routine and about household duties and failing at it all. Always seeming to be the biggest hurdle of my life.
So, I've come to a is not just a matter of "managing my household" but a deeper matter of the heart.
I shall pray.

From the Wisdom of Sirach:
Like the sun rising in the Lord's heaven
Is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of her house.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wisdom of Sirach

I've been reading our new Orthodox Study Bible and a friend directed me to the great Wisdom of Sirach. I have been thoroughly enjoying it. There are some great snippets throughout and I thought that I would start sharing them here.

One of my favorite James blogged but here it is again and I'll continue with it.

Do not hate hard work, especially farming, which was created by the Most High.
Wisdom of Sirach 7:15

Later in the chapter it goes on to say...
Do you have cattle? Take care of them; and if they are profitable to you, keep them.
Do you have children? Correct them, and make them obey from their youth.
Do you have daughters? Watch carefully over their chastity, and do not be too easy on them.
Give a daughter in marriage and you will have completed a great work; but give her to a man of understanding.
Wisdom of Sirach 7:22-25

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Joseph lost a tooth!

I think it has been nearly 2 weeks now, but I couldn't get a picture on here. Right before daddy returned from Uganda Joseph lost his first tooth. We kept hushed about it until he got home and Joseph went running out to greet daddy with a huge smile on his face to see if daddy would notice. It was really fun!!
The best part of this picture though, is not the missing tooth but those big beautiful blue eyes! I just love them!

Monday, March 10, 2008


As we enter into this Great and Holy Lent I bow before you and ask forgiveness of any offense, in knowledge or in ignorance. May God forgive us all.

I leave you with this from the service of Forgiveness...

Your grace has shown forth, O Lord:
the grace that illumines our soul.
This is the acceptable time!
This is the time of repentance!
Let us lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light,
that passing through the Fast, as through a great sea,
we may reach the Resurrection on the third day//
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of our souls!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

For Joy and Gladness

Met. Kallistos Ware mentioned the reading from this past Friday being in Zechariah and some quote about fasting. I didn't catch it all just made note to read it. So Friday came and found myself reading this verse in Zechariah. I thought it was a great passage to share as we step forward into Great Lent.

Thus says the Lord Almighty: 'The fourth-month fast, and the fifth-month fast, and the seventh-month fast, and the tenth-month fast shall be for joy and gladness and in good feasts to the house of Judah. And you will rejoice, and you will love truth and peace.' Zechariah 8:19 (emphasis in bold added)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Met. Kallistos Ware on "What is Lent"

We were blessed last night to attend a pre-Lenten talk in Seattle with guest speaker Met. Kallistos Ware. I've never heard him speak. He talked about Lent and I took notes. I thought I would write out my notes on here to share with all. I really enjoyed his talk and hope that I can take it to heart and use it to make this Lent a wonderful growing time.
Remember these are my notes. They weren't written in full sentences, or word for word. These are tidbits that grabbed my attention.

What is Lent really about?
"Lent" mean springtime and linked to "long and lengthening".

The Life-giving triad of Lent:
1. Fasting--
*it brings the body into the domain of the spiritual life
*it is spiritual as well as physical
*fast from not only food but from sin---all fleshly members of the body need to participate

2. Prayer
*goes hand and hand with fasting, cannot do one without the other

3. Action-Almsgiving-Acts of mercy, Love and Compassion

Story of a nun that helped the Jews hide in Europe and gave her life to save another. She was known to say "When we face judgment, we will not be asked how strictly we fasted, or how diligently we prayed but we WILL be asked if we fed the hungry or if we clothed the naked or gave to the poor."

All three of these are about personal relationships.
1. Relationship to self
2. Relationship to God
3. Relationship to others

Quoted and talked about the Gospel from Meatfare which I noted to self to reread.

Lent is the season of repentance.
Repentance is "reverse perspective", a different way to look at self and others.
Using the story of prodigal son we see three stages of repentance.
1st Stage:
Prodigal son comes to self.
*a great understanding
*waking up from a dream
*waking up from an illusion
*seeing "where I am"

2nd Stage:
Prodigal son realizes he can go home.
*new hope
*true repentance is daughter of hope and denial of despair
*we must also forgive ourselves

3rd Stage:
Prodigal son went home.
*true repentance is doing something yesterday, not tomorrow, today!

If you go regularly, during this Great Lent do so with extra special preparations. If not in the custom of going regularly..GO. We must prepare!
Share your thoughts and struggles with your father confessor. By holding them in, concealing them, they will only multiply.

I hope and pray that at least something out of this will grab your attention and you may be blessed by the words of Met. Kallistos Ware as I felt I was.

As we approach Great Lent I pray you all will grow in the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

He's Home!!!

Happy Dance!
Happy Dance!
Happy Dance!

He's already tucked in bed, sound asleep, after traveling for 24 hours with a couple 2 hour naps being it for sleep in that time. He was plum tuckered out.

Be we are all rejoicing that daddy is home!!!!
Thank you for your prayers!