Mercy Amongst Bretheren

27 May 09

People sin. People Struggle. People Fall and hopefully when they do they will lift themselves up off the ground and shake off their sins and continue the struggle.

I pray that I can follow these directions within my own soul. God knows I struggle and I fail rather horribly. The hard part for me is enacting mercy amongst others who are in the same (general) boat of sinfulness as I. I understand that we are to forgive others 70 times 7 when they wrong us. That I am clear on. At the same time we have been instructed to deal differently with those who obstinately fight against the teachings of the Church. What do we do with this sort?

Add another area of struggle to the mix. What do you do when said struggle is between the Church and a 18 year old soul who is BRAND NEW to the life of the Church and they come ot Her with a great struggle of self Will and self image. They see themselves and recognize and refer to themselves by their illness, their sin, and as such, through their own choosing, their struggle is between themselves and their very nature attached to a world that tells them that his sin is natural. It IS who he is and there is nothing wrong with it and he SHOULD identify himself as such because it gives him power and authority.

He is 40 days within the walls of the Church and he is talking again (for the 4th time) of leaving the enclave of Salvation because he feels that he is not understood and the struggle is too hard and no one understands and noone supports him. How can we, as Orthodox Christians, believing what we believe to be the Truth of the Faith, say that these things are acceptable and tell him that no matter what he can live this life without consequence?

How do you tell someone that does not think that anyone understands his situation that there are those that do, and that they are willing to help him? How can you get past the wall of pride that is put up in defense of his sinful nature, saying that there is nothing wrong with it all? AND, how do you do it in a manner that does not cause him to run for the door? I realize that the Scriptures gis us a pretty clear distinction on how to handle these things..

“Confront them personally, then bring a witness, and then bring it to the Church. If they do not listen to the church, treat them as you would an unbeliever.”

The thing is, that, over the course of the past year, this has been time and time again and there is a paper trail to prove it (as if one were needed.)

How do you offer healing to a soul that does not think they are sick? You cannot force feed healing to a sick person. They have to see the state of their soul and WANT the healing of the Church. What if they are not at this point? What do you do with them? Do we place the salvation of the many against the struggles of the one? Which is more important? Does that even matter? What should be done if the words of the one could cause the others to stumble?

What a life, what a struggle. Fiat voluntas tua.

Memories Are Made of This

25 May 09

It is odd to me how sometimes there is a song or a show that can have such a great impact on you because it manages to evoke memories of the past. Maybe not directly, but then again, at times it is so close to reality that you can almost taste it.

“Glee” is a new series due to hit the FOX network this coming Fall and for some strange and still yet unknown reason they aired the pilot this past week. I caught it on Fancast the day after it aired and after about 10 mins. I was hooked.

The premise is a high school Spanish teacher tried to put the school’s once prestigious Glee club back on the musical map and the joys, sorrows and struggles of both he and the kids encounter and endure from the school’s elites. (Read: Jocks) There is more that can be sad as far as plot goes, but as they say, seeing is believing.

I was one of the off types in High School. I was into the music scene and loved choir, show choir, Spring musicals and all that went with it so this show sort of hit a spot with me that resonated through my entire being. I’ll write more as the season goes on (in the Fall, stupid teasers) about the parallels of the show and my experiences for sure.

All in all I think it is going ot be a great show. I was a bit worried when I saw that it was from the same guy that came up with Nip/Tuck… but how bad can they screw this up? (Please FOX, Don’t make me eat these words…)

Until next time.. fiat voluntas tua!

Back From The Dead

24 May 09

Man, thank God that is over. I have been sick for the past 2 days and let me tell you, it was not fun at all. I am not sure what it was, but it was bad. I was in and out of bed all day yesterday and then went to lay down yesterday afternoon about 4PM and woke up again at 3AM… and promptly returned to bed. I slept for most of today and after breaking about 3 fevers I think it is finally done with. Thank God. I missed Church today and that was a bummer.

The funny thing is that as much as I have slept over the past 48 hours I am still a bit tired. I found this video tonight posted by a friend of mine on Facebook, Abbot Tryphon. I think it is a really great video and I pray for the intercessions of Evgeny Rodionov daily, a modern day martyr for the Truth of Christ!

Cabin Fever

22 May 09

I has it. And with me not leaving the state of CA for another month I am not sure how I am going to manage. I still have no work and have not heard from any of the jobs I have previously applied for, in terms of a job I can do to tide me over til I get to AZ. It is very hard for me to stay here with nothing to show for it. No money, no job, nothing to do and in the end nothing to help me with my transition except for money that I have to borrow from the in-laws.

I have said many times that I am grateful for the help that they have given us while we were here in CA, but there comes a point where a man has to stand on his own two feet and be able to support his family without support from others. I am not saying that if we fall on hard times we are made to suffer, but there comes a point where a man has ot exist on his own or there is no point to existing. Not to mention it is not fair to my wife and daughter for us to have to live like this. If I can not provide for them then who am I?

I know it is only a matter of thirty days, but that is a long time when you have nothing to hold you over. I am trying to think of a way to make some money to hold me over, but it seems impossible to do from this state. It is just so hard to be on he brink of something great when you are forced to wait for the chips to fall into place. I’m trying to be patient, I really am, it’s just that I want my family to be supported and happy, that is my primary concern.

Well, I guess at this point, that is all I can do, wait and pray, Fiat Voluntas Tua.

Answers and Alternatives

21 May 09

Well, on one hand we are one step closer to a schedule for my departure and in the other hand we still gotta fill in some blanks on the how and when of this wondrous little riddle.

I got an email from Juli today after I emailed her about the possibility of working this summer and the response I got was not as promising as I had hoped. It seems they filled the needed positions for the first session of the program, but there might be positions open for the 2nd session. In July…

This would not be so much of a bummer, except it means we are a month behind on the relocation plans for me and a month later on the plans for Rach to move. The 2nd session starts the first week in July… which means I will miss Rach’s birthday (which I would have if I got into the first session, but I had hoped if I got the 2nd session it would not miss it. Grr..

I am also really looking forward to putting things together in Tempe and the longer I have to wait the more her parents have to pay for and at this point the price for all of this is going up more and more.

  • Rent for the months we remain in the apartment
  • Storage space for our stuff til Rach makes the move out to Tempe
  • U-haul with Hitch, mileage etc.
  • Bus ticket to Tempe July or Aug.

See, and yet again here we are in a place I do not want to be.  I am so tired of having other pay for me to exist. If I were to add all those expenses up it would be a few thousand dollars. This is not good. The hardest point in all of this for me is that there is nothing that I can do about it at this point. The job is the lifeline for me at this point and until that falls into place I’ve gotta stay here and do… something…

Oh well, we will see. Juli is on vacation til Tuesday (I forgot that Mon. was a holiday, bad me,)  and then hopefully Thursday she and Linda will call and then at least things as far as Fall will be solidified and she said that she will look at the 2nd Session roster and see if there is a need for more help and if there is I can slip into a position and then I will be moving in July.

The only thing that could save my life at this point is if I get a call from In-N-Out and they will hire me for a month. I feel bad going and taking a position for a month only to leave, but I need to start doing something before I die completely.

Oh well, tomorrow we are taking Gremlin to the zoo and so I shall have a more upbeat and happy blog for you all. Until then, fiat voluntas tua!

Orthodox Videos

20 May 09

There are many that pass judgment on the Orthodox Church knowing nothing of it, only knowing what they think they know about Catholicism and not liking that. This is a sad place to be, but people of this sort exist.

For those that would be serious inquirers or those who have a love for Orthodoxy I shall also post videos I have found on YouTube.

If you do not understand the language that is of no consequence. The images (or in most cases, translations I provide) will suit best.

The first is a video of a hymn to the Mother of God called “Rejoice Thou Unwedded Bride.” It is a prayer beloved by the Orthodox and is usually chanted daily, but is a special part of the Lenten preparations. I know we are not in Lent, but my love for this hymn and for this video force me to share it with you.

If you wish to see the text in English you can get a copy of it here. It is in Adoe PDF format, you can get Adobe Reader here for free if needed.

Patience is a…

20 May 09

Pain in the butt!

If there is one thing I need to work harder at in my spiritual walk, that thing would be patience. It is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. Some times are better than others, but all in all it is a very difficult battle. It seems even more apparent in this transition I am in.

Last week I sent a few emails to Juli about the job and then Friday I called her and she had said she would either email me or call me this week to chat with her and the teacher I would be working with. That was Friday. Today is Wednesday. The impatience is getting the better of me.

This is the last piece in the puzzle that is the relocation situation. We decided this is what we were going to do, we talked it over with the in laws, we even got out of our lease with the landlord.. the last part of this is figuring out when I am going to go out there and start working.

I just hate that at this point in the situation I am left to do little to nothing until I hear something since school is over and the in laws are still out of town and we are house sitting with not a lot of money to do anything so I sit at home with periods of mental freedom, but then I look at the clock and the mountains of questions and emotions boil to the surface.

I wish they would call so that I could focus my mind on the next phase which is the actual packing and planning stage. That is hard ot do when you don’t have a good or realistic time table.

Oh, well, this too is a test from God ot strengthen me. I just hope I have not failed too miserably so far.

Remembering the Future

19 May 09

Picture 2I realized something today. We decided I was gonna skip jury duty last night in hopes that i get a phone call or email from Juli about the job and stuff. Well, that did not happen, but it was a good day none-the-less. We tried to think of fun stuff to do today too.

Anyways, back to my realization. We decided to go to the mall today and Picture 3have some fun. We wanted to go to a photo booth and get some pictures of the three of us taken since, in all likelihood I will not see Rach or Talia for 2-4 months after I leave. We got 2 sets of photos taken and I bought a photo wallet holder thingy to keep them in. I guess at that point things just really started to sink in for me.

Picture 4I am going to have to exist without them for 2-4 months. The last time this happened was before Talia was even born, Rach was house sitting for her parents when they went to Israel for 2 weeks… we lasted a week and then I took a greyhound bus out to be with her. The only issue is we do not have that luxury this time so I am going to have to deal with this and I am not suite sure how we are going to do this.

You realize how much the little things matter when you know that you are Picture 5not going to get to experience them for 4 months. Little things like hugs and kisses. Cuddling first thing in the morning. Baby words and baby fun. I miss this stuff for 4 months and so every second I can get it is like drops filling up a thermometer…

Picture 6At this point all I can think is to immerse myself in Church; in choir, in whatever I can do alongside school in order that the time passes quicker. I find it hard ot even write this or to think about it because this is one of those things I knew would have ot happen if we made this decision and even though I know that this is for the best it does not make the separation or the thought of separation any easier.

I am glad we took these pictures though. They are a constant reminder of myPicture 7 little family and why I am doing these things and what I am sacrificing for. I know I can do this, but it’s not til I am there and have something t occupy my mind will this all be bearable to me. I guess in the end all I can ask for is prayers.

Prayer Request

19 May 09

These are hard times. However, even with all the stuff I am going through and as hard as it is, it is more important to me to ask for prayers for my younger brother Noah as well as for my mother.

The Righteous Noah

My brother Noah is 12 years old. When he was born he had a heart defect where one of the valves of his heart did not grow correctly and therefore he needs to have a tube placed so that his heart will work properly. There is a slight problem with this though. As he grows the tube will have to be fitted because as he grows, his heart will grow and as that happens he will need surgeries to replace the tube. I believe, he has had at least 4 surgeries up to this point, and apparently it is time for it again.

My mother got a phone call yesterday from the doctor and after they had run some tests they decided it was that time again. He had a situation at the Special Olympics this past year and it was the signal that it was time to do this.

My mother called and she is worried, and rightly so. The last time Noah had surgery he almost died on the table. Granted, they will be even more careful, but there is always that fear that something will happen…

Holy Great Martyr BarbaraSo, I am writing this post with an implied prayer request. If you could sparethe time, even just 5 minutes, please pray for my mother and for Noah Christopher. That mymother will have the strength to handle this along with all of the rest of the drama in her life with her kids (more on this in time, trust me,) and that she will trust God in all things. Also, prayers for Noah. I know from what my mom has said tat he is scared of the surgery and is every time it happens. Prayers for strength and faith for Noah and in the end that God’s Will be done.

St. Luke pray to God for us!

St. Luke pray to God for us!

Saint Luke the Surgeon, Holy Saint Panteleimon, and Blessed Olga of Alaska, pray unto God for the salvation of my mother Barbara and my brother Noah Christopher, that in all things they may see God and that He may give to them peace and strength in their hour of need.

From Maybe to 21 Days

18 May 09

The whole idea of going back to AZ from CA came about sort of as an aside to the employment situation here in California for me over the past 3 months or so. I have been looking for work in all fields and in any form, but after 60+ applications and 20 or so resume drops in Craigslist I had heard nothing.

At one point through all of the drama I had the passing thought of, “I wonder in Montessori Academy is hiring?” I can’t really even call it a thought because for the longest time I did not act on it, but it returned a few times before I actually did.  I sorta dropped the hint to Rachel about the school thing and I think there was apart of her that feared this as a possibility and so she did not really say anything about it at first.

I continued to put in applications for anything and everything that was hiring. I went to two interviews, one with a call center in town that tried to talk me out of working for them, never had that happen before, and one with In-N-Out. Both of those failed. Well, I can’t really say that In-N-Out failed, they just aid that they were not doing 2nd interviews til the end of the month, and not doing any hiring (if they need to) til  the 3rd week into June. Through all of this time and for last month’s rent, Rach’s parents were paying almost everything for us. That in itself was the driving force in my needing ot do something, anything, so create some sort of positive reaction in this whole situation.

After three months I had had enough of this incessant applying with no responses whatsoever. i finally said to Rach, sort of in passing, "You know what is sad, “I bet that I could email Juli at Montessori Academy and I could probably get my job back.” At that point i resigned myself to write the email and at least see what the response was. In the midst of this we were struggling because school was over for me for the year and we were full swing into summer vacation which meant one thing for me with no job nor any prospects… boredom… I think hat that is what tipped the scales for me.

So I sent the email at about 10:28A on the 13th of May… Fast forward to 11:05A the same day… 37 mins later… I had a response from her saying that there was in fact an opening in Jr. Elementary. My position with them 2 yrs ago was in the Middle School, so this was only one step away from that. I could do that! Now, Rach’s parents were out of town for the past few days at this point on their cross country trip through the Midwest to see her dad’s family. This sort of made things odd for us cause they are cosigners on our lease and so any decisions we made we wanted them to be a part of. Kinda hard to do over the phone, but its better than being left in the dark, right?

Well, I wont go into specifics, but needless to say the initial conversations did not go anywhere near well. Emotions raised on all sides and in the end it was just a big explosion. It did, however, do one good thing. It blew open all of the oors of communication for Rach and I on this. I think for the better part of this whole thing we were tiptoeing around the ideas and issues and solutions ot the issues and so it was like we were both in our own little worlds not seing this from an open window sort of perspective. That all changed overnight.

I opened u and was blatantly honest with my thoughts, ideas, suggestions, solutions and she did the same with her fears, and feelings. Through all of this the email from Juli was in the back of my mind and I had not returned an email to her about whether or not I wanted to interview for the position. I sort of left that hanging for 2 days just to see how things went and if she or her parents warmed up to the idea of relocation. We called her parents after we had a few good talks and we basically laid out for them the options, 3 of them.

  1. Stay here, keep looking for work.
  2. I leave CA fr AZ, take this job and Rach follows later.
  3. We both leave at the same time and try and make it work.

They said that they would take 24 hours and pray about it and t hen get back tp us. I ended up sending the letter that day, just to have it in place. my fear was, if we wait too long we will be here but the job would not be there. They came back and said they thought options one or two were good, but did not like option three. I know that part if this is on account of Talia. There is family drama that exists in Rach’s brother’s family with him, his wife and their two kids and why they (wife and children mostly) do not see her parents. We won’t go into that here, not really any point nor is it the best place to do so.)

We talked more and eventually came to agreement that option 2 was really our only option so we began to slowly plan for that while coming to grips with the fact that we were leaving CA. This did not really hit me til this past Sunday @ Church, but we will get there.

I called Juli on Friday since I did not hear back from her in email. She said that things were super hectic since it was the end of the year and she would call me in the next week (this week) for a teleconference with herself and the teacher Linda. I am waiting as patiently as I can for this phone call.

In the meantime, we knew the next step was for us to sit down with the landlord and lay out the situation and see what options we had since we still have 8 months left on our lease here. We knew that we had the following options.

  1. Rach would stay in CA when I went to AZ and I would send money back for us to pay the lease over the next 8 months. After it was paid for she would come out to AZ.
  2. We ask her brother Gareth for the money needed to pay off the lease. With her parents being cosigners and with us trying to fix our credit  break and run was NOT an option.
  3. We sublet the apartment  and pray to God that whoever we get to sublet actually pays the rent. We were not sure if this was even an option since many places do not like subletting apartments.

We sat down with the landlord today and let me tell you it was the weirdest thing in the world. We told her the issues and the problems and about the job in AZ and the first thing out of her mouth was “When can I start showing the apartment?” Essentially what it comes down to is she is letting us out of the lease on account of the fact that there is a waiting list on the apartments and she has people lined up to take over. We did not even think there WAS an option 5 and so she knew we were a bit shocked at the news but we were also amazingly relieved.

Now we want for the teleconference. As son as I get that call I will know two things. First, I will know what I will be getting paid, the hours I will work and I will get to (verbally at least) meet Linda. Second, there is a summer session at the school that starts the first week in June. I am going to ask if I can work that for/with them in order to be able to start saving money over the summer. If this is the case I will be leaving in 3 weeks or so. If not, school itself does not actually start til the first week in August and so that gives me a bit more time to deal with all of this, day my goodbyes and put this all together mentally. Personally, I would prefer ption 1, but we will see what they offer me.

So, for now, that is where we stand. As soon as I have said teleconference I will write more regarding where we go from here. Until then, fiat voluntas tua!