Lent 2012

29 February 12

Here we are again. Lots I could post about, most of which I can not.. I will ask or prayers though for my younger sister Shayne Alexandra. A LOT of drama, but we are trying our best to manage and muddle through. I just worry for my mother…

I am still working on my Montessori degree, although the house has taken priority for the past few weeks and I really need to get back on track. That is what this weekend is for, for at least part of the day.. when I am not packing up the condo..

A little closer on the house. The loan goes to title today/tomorrow and then we are just waiting on the appraisal fixes and a re-inspection. This all needs to be done by 16 March at the latest, but my lender and real estate agent want to get paid so we are hoping it goes faster. Money is a great motivator.

Please pray for my mother Barbara.

Lord have mercy!


9 July 11

I live in the desert. Isn’t it time that I took that seriously?

Easier than Expected

28 August 10

It’s funny when you wonder something for a long time and you fear asking the questions because of the answers your will receive.  If one chooses to live in fear when all that is required is faith and obedience.

When one realizes that these to gifts are at their disposal, it truly makes the more difficult decisions in life so much easier.

I realise that some things in life are given to us for our benefit.  The same can be said of the things in life that God chooses to not grace us with. I received one of these today.  It was not really a shock,  but at the same time it was a harsh reality of who I am and what I am called to.

I must continue to persevere in my salvation without worrying about this unattainable aspect of my life.  It does not defined me.  I am more than this and in a sense i have been called to greater things.

When I started this journey it was because I was seeking something greater than myself.  I was granted that grace and that must be sufficient for me.  I am happy with this decision.  It was feeding to know that I was not shackled with not knowing and now that I know I can focus on living with the grace I have been granted and not worry about anything else.

Glory to God for all things!

At the Gates of Repentance

17 January 10

Well, apparently we are there again. Zaccheus Sunday a.k.a. The gates of Repentance a.k.a. the pre-beginnings of Lent.

I did not figure it would come up so quick. Talk about totally unprepared.

About Pride

2 January 10

Pride goes before disaster,and a haughty spiritbefore a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Of all that exists on the four corners of the earth, what, O mortal man, can make us proud except stupidities and demonic illusions. Did we not enter into the world naked and wretched and are we not going to depart this world in the same manner? Everything that we have, did we not borrow it; and by our death, are we not going to return everything? Oh, how many times has this been said and overheard? The wise apostle says, “For we have brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it” (I Timothy 6:7). And, when we offer sacrifice to God of ordinary bread and wine, we say, “Thine own of Thine own, we offer unto Thee” (Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom). For nothing that we have in this world is ours: not even a crumb of bread nor a drop of wine; nothing that is not of God. In truth, pride is the daughter of stupidity, the daughter of a darkened mind, born of evil ties with the demons.

Pride is a broad window through which all of our merits and good works evaporate. Nothing makes us so empty before men and so unworthy before God as does pride. When the Lord is not proud, why should we be proud? Who has more reason to be proud than the Lord, Who created the world and Who sustains it by His power? And behold, He humbles himself as a servant, a servant to the whole world: a servant even to the death, to the death on the Cross!

O humble Lord, burn up within our hearts the devil’s sowing of pride with the fire of Your Holy Spirit, and plant within it the noble sowing of humility and meekness.

2010: Where We Go From Here

1 January 10

I am back. I considered starting another blog for the new year, but sadly, we can not start life over as the years go by, so why do that with a blog. The new year will bring for me many new things. In many ways, the new year has already started. I am a year older as of September, my Talia is now 2 years old as of December 30th. I can not believe it. My baby is 2! Wow!

In the past year so many wonderful, amazing, and absolutely wonderful people have come into our lives as a family, and into my life as a person. It has been a great year and I hope that this trend continues. Even more than that I can only hope and pray that I can be that type of person for them as well. We will see. The Johnsons… what can i say, they are amazing. They have become like family for us and there is no way we could ask for anything more than the love and acceptance that they offer to us without any reciprocation, as much as we try to be that for them as well. Our Church family is amazing as well. We love them and hate to miss them for our weekly visits, otherwise known as Liturgy. Choir practice, the visit of the bishop this past November (which I purposely refrained from blogging about, sorry.), Nativity was a true blessing. Just a great year over all.

The world talks of resolutions, and promises we will never ever keep, but that’s all good, because we have next year. For some reason, it has become increasingly apparent to me that we may not. I may not. This is not meant to alarm anyone, these are just empty words and even emptier speculations.. but there really is no guarantee that we will be awake in the morning. What if we are not? I don’t know, I think about these things at random times. We plan for things to always be the same. Money will come, we will use the money for a car, for a new apartment in July/August, we can do this, and we will do that. Will we? Who knows. God does, but He doesnt give us a calendar to work with. We forget this and we are pulled from this remembrance by the world.

The thought that is attached to this previous one is, how prepared am I for the first thought to come to fruition? At all? To any degree? Am I doing anything I am supposed to? Am I following the Gospel and the Great Commission? Am I living a life worthy of being called a Christian, let alone an Orthodox Christian. “To whom much is given, much is required.”

During Holy Week we sing a multitude of hymns to remind us of this truth. Here are a few:

Holy and Great Monday: Troparion, tone 8: Behold, the Bridegroom is coming in the middle of the night, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find awake and watching, but unworthy is he whom He shall find idle and careless. Beware, then, my soul, lest thou be weighed down with sleep, lest thou be given up to death and shut out of the Kingdom. But awake and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy, art Thou, O God: through the intercessions of the Bodiless Ones, save us.

Holy and Great Tuesday: Kontakion, tone 2: Realizing the hour of reckoning, O my soul, and fearing tlie cutting down of the fig tree, work diligently with the talent that has been given thee O wretched one. Watch and pray that we may not remain outside the bride chamber of Christ.

Holy and Great Wednesday: Kontakion, tone 4: I have sinned more than the harlot, O Good One, and I come to Thee with none of her showers of tears. But praying in silence, I fall down before Thee and lovingly embrace Thy immaculate feet, that as the Lord Thou mayest grant me forgiveness of sins as I cry to Thee, O Saviour: Deliver me from the mire of my evil deeds.

My soul responds to music. This is what drew me to the Truth of Orthodoxy. The same is the case for Holy Week as well as the Mysteries of the Faith. These hymns hold great meaning for me and at the same time they are a rude awakening to the sad reality of my state. I need to get back on track. Big time. I have let myself get so far from where I should be that the few times this thought has crossed my mind I have been dense enough to think that I am too far gone and what is the point of trying. How dumb I am.

I must continue to walk. I must walk forward. I must run faster and work harder in order to reach the goal with a lamp full of oil and a garment in order that I might enter into the marriage feast. If this is what I want, (and it is), then I must work at it and I must give it my all. If I lose this what is there left to gain in its place? Nothing worth it.



2 June 09

“Don’t stop believin’…..”

Sorry, at the moment I am listening to the tracks from the pilot of Glee. I love that show.

Well, things have been interesting. We went and handed in our 30 day notice with the apartment manager today and we also paid rent. We called a few more apartment complexes in AZ and got some info from them and some phone numbers for me to call when I get into town and it seems that I also have a date of arrival in AZ.

Next Wed.

I got hold of the director of the school and got a little info from her in email and we also set a time for a teleconference tomorrow… 1130AM… on the way to the ocean… wonderful. The downside is that the raise I was offered was only a way to keep me in AZ 2 yrs ago and is no longer on the table so I will be making $10/hr just as before.

The problem with this is that many of the apartments in the area want you to make at least 2x the rent and that is something I am just barely going to make with just one job. So, I am looking for another job and this is part of the reason I am going to be out in AZ earlier than expected. I have put in resumes and have gotten some responses, but not any offficial interviews. Yet.

I lave Wed morning for 13 hours on a bus. I am praying that I can manage to get a job quickly n order to start making money and saving for a place. We shall see. Things will hopefully work out when I am local.

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.