Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Grandfather

My Grandfather John may be dying. I am so blessed to have him in my life. The last thing he said to me, when I talked to him on the phone when he was in the hospital a month ago was that prayer was the best thing one can do. He is very special to me and it is going to be hard to lose him. And of course grief is always a bewildering thing. I remember Aunt Elaine (her title to all at the Bible camp where I worked years ago) saying that she did not know how people made it without God. She had cancer by then, and was greatly supported by God through her last year of earthly life. I am so glad that for all these things, God is there for me, and for all His children, being present in their sufferings and upholding them and saving them through it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

my sunday (after reading dave's version of his)

It is funny how we can share an experience but for each person it is different. For me going to the OCA Cathedral (still exhausted from a hard-hitting head cold), it was at times overwhelming. Beautiful, yes; and when all of the clergy would sing alone—wow—I do not know if I have ever heard live the deep richness of the male liturgical voice. But I confess that the liturgy was very tiring, with an ordination and lots of other stuff, not to mention a hierarchal liturgy. So I left afterwards for a good little while [maybe 20 minutes, hard to say] and went across the road to my little Carpatho-Russian Church, Christ the Saviour, and had a small lunch there with my church and sat and talked with my friend Terri. I do not think my beloved friends at the Cathedral even noticed (or they did not mention it). I just needed to see some familiar faces! And get my priest's blessing (finally I could again; as I was sure I was no longer infectious with a cold).

Then I went back, had some more food and then Fr. Lawrence came over and sat by me. That was a really wonderful thing. I felt more included than I had in a long time; my friends who are in regular contact with me know that I talk a lot (maybe too much? forgive me...) about being in 4 churches (as a member) in just over 2 years (I am going on year three now, unbelievable). It is natural (though upsetting at times) to lose contact with those one knew before, especially regarding one's first (Orthodox) church. So it was very wonderful to tell Fr. Lawrence about this, especially how hard my year in London doing the bulk of my MLIS degree and not having any one in my Church who was near my age. I think one of the best parts of it was how I felt listened to (I always did want attention, just ask my family!) and also how I still felt like Fr. Lawrence treated me like he always did--as a (spiritual) daughter, even though I left almost 2 years ago. He told me in an email after I left that now he was more like an Orthodox uncle, as I needed to take root where I was, and have the priest (at my 2nd church) be my new spiritual father. I, of course, protested...and he conceded that he could always have the title as my first spiritual father. So to see him again was a great gift.

On a similar topic, but on a different level, I am still waiting for my heart to learn more of God as my FATHER and to live present to His love.

I feel that as an Orthodox Christian I share in a great hope...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thoughts in the Quiet of Evening

It is later in the evening; I worked from home today. The head cold still insists in raging; another Kleenex box is gone. I had a very peaceful evening; I talked to my sister on the phone…I love it that my sister and I have gotten to the stage where we can talk for hours and about so many varied topics. Now the candles are lit in my place; no electric lights (save the computer screen) are on. Sigh. This is my favourite place to be; candles, icons and quiet.

I have emailed and talked to various friends today, asking them to pray for my Grandfather as he has pneumonia and is in the hospital (if you, reading this, will pray too, I would be very grateful). He was in the hospital about a month ago for the same reason, so I have reason to be concerned. I talked to him on the phone, then, briefly and after I told him I was praying for him, he said that “is the best thing one can do.” I am so blessed to have such good and godly grandparents who pray for all of their children, grandchildren and many others. I am very grateful to God for giving me such a good heritage.

It was hard today to focus on work sometimes, though, as my Grandfather has been on my mind; especially as I was researching for long term care journals (as in long term care as in nursing homes and palliative and end of life care). Talk about reminders of what will come to all of us. But… I seek to trust God and His time and His care of all those whom I love. And it is a comfort to me that my small Church had a prayer service for healing with anointing (for physical illness especially) and my Grandfather, whose name is John, was mentioned various times by name in the service. That my Orthodox churches, family, and friends pray for him is a very great, deep happening. And that the saints care as well, and that God is present in the midst of all of our human suffering—these are the deep pools of hope that we must always return to. I saw an icon of Christ’s decent into hell, and how He pulls Adam and Eve up. This picture is what my hope rests on: that “God hath delivered my soul from the place of hell, for he shall receive me” (Psalm 49:15).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Home on a rainy day, with a cold

I am very fortunate to have a supervisor who believes that those w. raging colds should be at home recovering. So here I am, at home on my laptop; the usual sinus cold--the Kleenex pile in the small trash can keeps growing, my nose I’m sure is getting red and naps, lots of tea and soup are part of the recovering process. I am really thankful that my work place has an unspoken policy (that my supervisor enforces!) that those with colds must stay home and get better faster because they are resting!

Well, other than that I do not really have much to say; having a cold seems to inhibit thinking….

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Monday, November 07, 2005

reality of the graduates

A blog I read, and really admire, is The Kept Up Librarian. I am really curious to learn how he keeps up with so many of the trends in academia (my guess is that he has a routine for his day, quick observational ability and a lot of great blog feeds and other news sources that he regularly uses). One of the interesting things about this blog is that it also gives a lot of cultural information, especially about people who are in the general age bracket of 18-30 because he focuses on post-secondary education. I think his brief words on being "thirty and broke" gives a lot of us an explanation for what many of us find as our reality.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

...holiness and questions

I was reading and in it Mother Gabriella speaks of holiness and that one of the things need is to not draw attention to one's self. It makes me wonder what I am to do in situations like when one creates (or falls into) minor self injury, like I did and of course, knowing me, I told the world all about it, often laughing about it, but still, I called attention to it. I wonder if part of becoming holy is learning to not do this, to focus on others, like Mother Gabriella says. I think holiness is in part this, which means I have a long way to go.

I think the real question then, for me, is when can I talk about myself or what situations call for it or when do others benefit from it and what is right or best to do in life....

Thank God for His grace and patience. Please pray for me and let me know if I can pray for you.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

thank God for family

though i am living a few 100s of miles from my immediate family, i am so thankful they love me; sometimes, like tonight, i feel tired and kind of bummed. you know...when stuff is not going exactly right [for me, my neck and right side of me hurts from dramatically kissing the sidewalk by the 'smashing' trip i had yesterday] [sorry, phil must be rubbing off on me from afar, his puns are far superior to mine] :) ...

i am so blessed to have a family that cares about me so much and even my Grandmother was asking about me, since my brother told her that i took a tumble yesterday.

i am so thankful ... now all i want is a good night sleep and maybe to wake up feeling a bit better than how i felt when i woke up this morning! ouch!

i hope everyone who may read this is doing well and are at peace. goodnight!

oh: and tons of blessings and prayer for Biss' sister who appears to be having her child soon...! i will says prayers for her, etc.

friends coming to visit!

yea! two good friends, C and S, it appears, may be coming to visit me; one from the west and one from the east! it looks like the later part of November is going to be full... how wonderful.

i am feeling so thankful for my friends; i am also thankful that i can laugh at myself; i wiped out on a sidewalk, nose first, yesterday and though i am quite sore at times because of it, when i tell my friends on the phone i can't help but laugh... and say 'well, when i do something, i always do it really well!!'

my friend Nadia told me i should write a manifesto on not falling on sidewalks ever again... here it is:

i, Elizabeth, will seek to never fall nose-first on a cement sidewalk again. it is a very bad idea, causes pain, general confusion and the need for ibprophen, pillows and hot hot epsom salt baths. therefore, i here by command everyone to look where they step and i suggest that the city and university of Ottawa fix their vastly uneven sidewalks, thus assisting others from possible injury. moreover, i Elizabeth commit to scrupulous attention whenever i am walking on the campus of the University of Ottawa. there ends my manifesto on the ceasing of all side-walk falls.

have a great day everyone, and no tripping on sidewalks!

Friday, November 04, 2005


through the collective blog that i have so graciously been invited to, i am hearing of and from people i have not talked to nearly 2 years....and even seeing pictures of people as well... i feel very blessed and like God is working within me through this....

may all who read this be in His peace.

what do you know about Google?

this is a post from Librarian in Black (As in I did not write the below)

All Your Base Are Belong to ... Google?
Google Base is coming. Are you afraid yet? To quote Yoda, "You will be." According to Google's press releases on the subject:
Google Base is Google's database into which you can add all types of content. We'll host your content and make it searchable online for free.
And you thought it was impossible to turn over control of any more of the Internet over to Google. Silly human. Free hosting is good right? Well, based on the terms in Google's past user and privacy contracts, Google will also own whatever it is that it's, in short, it will own the Internet. Or a lot of it, at any rate. Afraid now?



Today started a bit after 3 AM; I woke up, my mind was racing. One of the things I am working on, with the help of my priest-confessor, is learning not to worry. Orthodoxy, in my experience, is something I find actually challenges people not only to growth, but growth in things that one may think is virtually impossible to do.

For me one of these things is learning to live a peace – really to practice a detachment for the passions.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Lord have mercy on us

I found out today that one of my library school friends boyfriend’s mother died while vacationing in Asia. I had talked to this friend about the mother’s illness just a few days before she passed away. Lord have mercy on my friend and the family who lost their mother and on the mother.

a thought

Thought for the evening: I was talking with my friend Cheryl tonight about the fact that it is very important to belong to one church (Cheryl and I both belonging to the Eastern Orthodox Church) but that it is also quite important to be able to go to other Orthodox Churches and be comfortable in them, knowing that the differences and the varied (small t) traditions are to be loved.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

You are welcome here

Welcome to my blog. Actually, this is my second blog. My first one, which I will be keeping up as well, is a blog about being in library school (as in a Masters of Library and Information Science) and living in Canada and being Orthodox. It is more of a library-student-soon-to-be-librarian blog and, though I wanted it to combine both aspects of my life, I am finding that it cannot. Thus and therefore, this is going to be my more personal blog and is going to focus more on my growth and journey into the Orthodox Church.

I find that my life is quite full right now, so I am not sure how much I will be able to post within this blog. Also, as Jim Forest (of Orthodox Peace Fellowship, who resides in Holland) reminds us all in the blog, The Orthodox Way, Press's Conciliar presses’ blog, that no activity, including blogging, must take away from our needed time in prayer.