Saturday, December 29, 2007


i am 31... strange but true. i got two books of St. John C's homilies for my birthday!

i am going to a monastery tomorrow ... until tuesday.

this season with family is very busy.

wishing everyone God's blessings

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Prayers as I travel

i am going home.

i am currently quite exhausted. and not fully packed. and i am not going to leave my house clean like i had hoped.

will my house ever get vacuumed, i wonder.

however, my dishes are almost all washed, and my fridge is empty.

i will be gone two weeks.

i will be at the church i was chrismated in. i will see God willing, the new icon of Christ in the dome of my church.

my family is not orthodox; it is so hard to be a convert and not have your family understand why you want to go to vespers and liturgy!

one of my close friends is taking care of Cleo - she is going to visit Cleo while i am away.

i plan on driving while at home - i have not driven in winter (i.e. snow) and it has been quite the saga just convincing my family that at 30 years old i really can drive in winter.

i love my family very much.

and i get to see my Godmother.

i will be missing my spiritual father though, and my church.

i hope to be going to a monastery while i am home.

please, if you would, pray for me.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

one moment at a time

I read various blogs that I do not have on my blog roll; keeping up the 'look' of my blog is a very low priority. One of these blogs is RW's blog - - and I wrote a comment this morning that I think summarizes the state of things for me... (will put this comment on the end of this post).

I am currently enjoying my work; I have felt that I have not been crushed with unreasonable demands (and I do not work late, which is why I do not feel crushed). I am going home for Christmas, which I think is a good thing. Trying to keep up with my own life I find hard.

Like eating balanced meals, keeping a clean house, doing all things in an appropriate balance (i.e. prayer, social times, reading good books to learn or to gain a better sense of the English language, reading mystery books, time to call friends, church services, cooking, apartment upkeep). Really my life is one of the better ones, by which I mean I have: a job, an apartment, friends, family, a church home. it is not that my life has been smooth or straightforward. but right now, at this hour, in this moment, my life is okay.

I go home soon for Christmas. I have library books for the plane. I have dreams of my Mother's cooking. I am going DV to a monastery for a day or so. My sister's birthday is this week and mine is a bit after New Calendar Christmas. I am holding on to the individual moments of peace, anticipation and quiet. I live always knowing that these moments can be tragically changed in the next moment...

the summary is that I am grateful that my life right now can be summarized in this comment:

I hear you! I admit that my desk at work is often messy but the work is contained to one cubical, one computer. Home is not so contained, which is the challenge. Home has all different demands (and I only live with my Cat) - spiritual, physical, emotional needs of myself as a person is only one dimension; taking care of my apartment, another; keeping up with my family and friends another; it all gets melded together with the days that pass so quickly. You have 3 others in your house plus you and a house to keep up! Perhaps we should be encouraged for just showing up for the daily battle to keep our lives in a state of organizable chaos, with lots of God's grace asked for...

Monday, November 26, 2007

A brief blog hello

Life continues to be full – I celebrated American thanksgiving with a fellow American and Canadians – two of my close friends are moving away – we have a panakhyda soon for Nadia whose one year is this Friday – I have worked at my newest job 6 months now. I have only 6 months left in the position – I am praying for God’s will – it would be nice if the position was extended.

I am reading some Orthodox books on The Lord’s Prayer; Orthodox theology continues to blow my mind. When I started reading one of these books, which quoted from the church fathers – I was startled all over again! I sat in my chair and had the quick realization that I had when I began reading my first Orthodox book (courage to pray by met Anthony Bloom) that this is what I had been looking for all my life.

ALL MY LIFE and it is incredible to be a mere 30 (31 in a month) and have found what I was looking for all this time. And I am still young enough to have time to grow in it, Lord willing.

When I studied philosophy and English lit in my undergrad, the ideas made me feel alive; now I have that same awakening, but it is on a different level…

Monday, November 19, 2007

A question I have been thinking about

What is better, answers of no answers in the light of tragedy and human suffering?

I like answers that give freedom – like when I was in the throes of grief, years ago and someone told me that grief impacts everyone different and there is no ‘right way’ to grieve.

Or I like it when I am feeling sad and a good friend just sits with me and is quiet.

Or when someone says that the suffering is hard and thus acknowledges it as such.

I wonder if it is merely a misguided human inclination that wants to give another person answers when faced with another person’s suffering.

But yet again I have had words thoughtfully, prayerfully given that have brought comfort to me in sorrow; much comfort.

I talked to my spiritual father yesterday about suffering in the world, citing some examples that I have seen. He taught me about corruption that is in the world, that it comes on the good and bad alike, like rain. And he quoted a Romanian theologian who said that all of these answers are found in the Cross.

Years ago I was at my parent’s house and read an older essay by Philip Yancy. He was describing, if I remember correctly, prisoners in Africa. And there was a Crucifix or an icon of the Crucifixion there, which gave these men great comfort.

Perhaps there needs to be sensitivity to timing to when to speak, when to be silent. I read in Fr. John’s book, Christ is in our Midst, of a saint who commented that he never had to repent of silence.

Sometimes, when I am feeling okay and more peaceful or at least more happy, I feel bubbling with words; I have so much to learn about what it means to be still, peaceful and silent.

I have learned a little about this: it is not just the absence of sound that creates silence. It is learning to have interior silence that is needed. And I have read and seen that the Theotokos (the Birth-giver of God -- Christ, the Virgin Mary) is taught as our example of what it means to be a Christian, and what it means to have this silence.

How do I know? Simple. I am beginning to see what I do not yet have. How do I begin to learn to see what I do not yet have? By being in Church and struggling to attend to the prayers of the church and looking at icons in church. I tell you, though, that I know it because I am only beginning to wake up and see glimpses of my own inner poverty and all those things that want to be noise and crowd my life, my vision, my ability to hear and to attend.

In the end is the crucifixion, the resurrection, the promise in 2 Peter of Christ, the morning star, rising in our hearts.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

another month, going by

well. i am briefly online.

my job is in it's demanding season and involves working online, at my computer in my small grey cubical. so when i come home i am quite tired and often a bit peopled/computered out.

so sorry to those i have not commented on blogs. i still read them, as time allows. and i still care about each one i read! :)

i got a new prayer book recently, and am still reading and re-reading _Christ is in our midst_ by Fr. John, a Russian Monk, (st vlads seminary press; it is still in print). this has been very good for me.

i have tomorrow off for Remembrance Day. i am relieved. i need a day to just be home. my house needs some serious attention!

i found myself thinking about my university days recently; now that i am in the Orthodox church everything before seems surprisingly incomplete; like i am seeing things on a whole new level and what i am seeing - about God, the Church, the Scriptures, is a lot better than i ever dreamed possible.

learning to live out one's Christian life in the Orthodox church to me seems to be the singularity most difficult and most life-altering and full of hope; it is like i never understood Christ or Easter (what we call Pasca) before i was Orthodox.

at the same time i know i must continue to grow - i am seeing glimpses of how my life can be as a Christian, but i must daily be committed to God and to working out my salvation.

wishing everyone God's peace and hope.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

a post about a post i linked to in this post

this post was really lovely -

the more i learn about the Orthodox church i have joined, the more i see that it is true and that the world is NOT at ALL what most people see it as.

and also the more i am convinced that the Protestant Churches have deeply and dramatically lost a great deal - in their understanding of the world, in understanding of who God is, what worship is, what a human person is, to name a few great losses

i also really like the post i linked to above as it also talks about how our society is into speed and this speed keeps people from seeing what is real. and that repentance is a very slow process, the process of healing is slow. i need to often be reminded of this. i tend to be quite impatient...

i hope it will teach me humility though, because here i have been given this Church that has Saints, that has the means of healing, and a sense of the world like nothing else... and yet i am so broken and the process is so slow - i hope that this will show me how much i am in need of God and the Church. indeed in this case it is not that i am in a place (the Church) that cannot save me, but that i have so much that needs to be saved!

truly a case of falling down, getting up, falling down, asking my spiritual father another question, getting up, falling down, getting up, asking another question, falling down,

another example of being glad that God loves and has much patience...

i encourage you to read the post above; it is better than the one you just finished reading, if you have read this far.

Friday, October 19, 2007

today on the new calendar

is st. John of Kronstadt and St. John of Rila's days.

i have been happy all day.

happy blessed day!

see this link for a lovely icon and information about St. John of Kronstadt:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

story from my childhood

I have been thinking about this story from my childhood...

I grew up in a Protestant church; when I was a kid... under ten, but do not know what age, I heard a sermon about the last shall be first.

So that same day we had some sort of family gathering, with dessert. Well, thinking I was all smart, I told my Mom I would go last. Clearly my Mom, I reasoned, would of been listening to the same sermon. She would thus be so touched that I was listening too and was such a Good Angelic Girl that I would be able to go first. A Spiritual Goody-Goody I guess. WELL. My Mother had listened to that sermon. Her answer to my offer to go last - showing her great wisdom as a Mother and as My Mother:

"Okay, you can go last."

I was thinking, oh My Mother did not listen to that sermon. Clearly she would of let me go first, as the last go first and I offered to go last. HA. Silly Me!!!

Clearly I was just trying to go first and failed to receive the lesson or the point of this sermon. Thank God My Mother is wise.

and Thank God that He can teach me (even me) that I should go last and not because I want to go first. (Of course I am still learning this lesson).

Glory to God's long-suffering and His great mercy!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wow. the Weeks fly by

And again I do not write that consistently.

what to say? i have a sinus cold. i love my church. i love the Orthodox church. i made my spiritual father laugh last night when i asked him to "bless my head" as i could not kiss his hand and receive his blessing. (i was not about to risk giving him my cold any more than i did by talking with him).

life is full of ups and downs; at times devastation and at times a sense of joy; i seek to be in the centre of God's will and ask His mercy.

there is really not much else to say, currently... other than to affirm the need to say "Glory to God for all things."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Madeleine L' Engle - Memory Eternal

Just found out she has passed on.

Comforted to realize that, last night, as i looked at my icons, and at the books i have, including her last book of poems, i prayed for her.

This from the NY Times:

I have expected this news for a few year; we must pray for her now.

She knew what it was to love and to give love; when I heard her speak when I was 19 the love I felt coming from her was tangible; like a spiritual grandmother.

She helped me believe in miracles and was part of my path into the Orthodox church.

Memory Eternal, may all pain be washed away...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I do not think I have been tagged before

Well. How ‘bout that; Mimi gave me a Nice Matters Award; go to to see; it is lovely and pink!

It will take me a while to nominate 7 others, as like Mimi all the blogs I read I find to be Nice People. That Mimi gave me this award corresponds with what I have seen of her blogosphere character – always giving a kind comment, no matter if my day is going well or not so well. Thank you again Mimi.

I do not own a digital camera as of yet but someday I hope to have a picture of Cleo up so people can see the cute cat that is currently sitting on my 1970’s gold armchair, sleeping. She is sprawled out on the top of the chair-all quiet like-as one may say. Cleo is a non-pure breed Himalayan-so blond with the hints of a light brown, black feet, ears and nose and lovely pale blue eyes. She is such a pretty cat, I am still amazed I have her.

Tonight I had a purposely quiet night; I had been busy day and night for nearly a week and was getting quite frazzled; I have both introvert and extravert tendencies, though I am learning more about how to honour my introvert side, by being quiet more often. To this end I often do not have any music playing. After months of quiet I realize that a lot of today’s music, even my beloved Amy Grant who I listened to as a kid, upsets me internally. It is hard to explain, but now I wonder how many other people are living a frantic life and are constantly being bombarded by jarring sounds, sounds that most people accept as normal, part of everyday North American life.

It is wonderful, to not have much sound going. For me it means the songs of vespers and liturgy are often playing in my head. It is incredible how we have a memory for sound; when I lived in Sweden ten years ago at a Bible school, no music was aloud other than with headphones (which is another thing I find to be a social problem of today, but that is another topic). I vividly remember feeling slowly purged of sound and that songs I had not heard in years were surfacing, playing in my mind. I really think this was one of the steps towards the wholeness that I trust God will grant me a little each year, if I keep cooperating.

Back to tonight – I finally had my much-craved Dutch meal (or what I associate as being a Dutch meal). Mashed potatoes with milk and butter, boiled vegetables, and a slice of meatloaf (with mush room soup as the gravy); add some tea, a very small glass of red wine and two small milk chocolate pieces for dessert. It was heavenly. And I ate it using my nicer silverware, blue and white china and a nice white place mat.

I have washed up my dishes, read more of a new English mystery called Jigsaw and feel rested. Thank God for a quiet evening and that He gives the true silence that we all long for.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

four years ago, two years ago

four years ago i went to liturgy at St. Herman's for the second time and went to the picnic at Kurt (now Dn Kurt) and Victoria's house, with Phil and Shannon. That began it all and by early October, when i went home for my sister's wedding, i was full of stories about this new church i was going to...

two years ago i came the first time to Ottawa and asked the priest there if i should come to confession. and so i came, after vespers, and soon realized that i had met my spiritual father. and i love my church and the routine and that today, on this lovely two year anniversary, i could go to vespers again...

i thank God for St. Herman's for bring me to the church and that four years later i am still here, in the Orthodox church that is now my home.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Again, a while

Well. It seems I am a semi-regular blogger. Oh well! Life is like that. The (old calendar) Feast of the Dormition ends today. Of course I do not know if this means I can have fast-free food tonight or if I have to wait until Thursday.

Regardless, I have gotten on sale a carton of French Vanilla Ice Cream, have some left over Chocolate and Mint Chocolate Chip cake and am looking forward to both!

My Cat never fasts, however and asks for Cat Milk (her version of ice cream) on a daily basis. Of course I always given in and give her some… : )

But Cleo is the Cutest Cat in Canada (though other Canadian Cat Owners have politely disagreed!) and who can resist a Cute Cat? Not me, apparently.

I started reading Quentin Bell’s biography on Virginia Woolf; I am interested in seeing how and why the English (or a lot of them) lost their faith in God and what replaced this faith. I know that Virginia Woolf’s time period, writing and circle of other writers influenced a lot of what we know of culture today. Thus I am interested; I also have always cared about this writer and admire her writing.

Of course this is a fairly large idea, understanding this, and I have not a lot of time. So it may take years, but it is satisfying nonetheless.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

many thoughts, not many words

well. it's been a while again since i wrote here.

so what to say? emmm... not much. i have discovered a new mystery series i like by Jeanne M Dams about a woman who moves to England and is from the Midwest of the States. i appreciate these books very much, as i have moved from the midwest of the States and live in Canada.

sometimes i feel like no one recognizes that this is actually a cultural shift, to do this. esp. as i grew up in the country and now live in a city. and i don't know anyone here who grew up in my same North American Dutch CRC culture. not that i do not have lots of cultures here to enjoy, esp as i am Orthodox. i just do not have the one culture that i am most familiar with, which i was born in, and lived and breathed until i was around 16 or so (long story how i eventually left home and this culture).

sometimes i want my mother's Dutch soup and that is ALL i want.

so i was happy to discover these books because it reminded me of how i can feel and also reminded me that many have been through these same things.

i was also reminded of how much i have been given by leaving ... now my church was NEVER a hell-fire and brimstone church, but when i was reading one of the mysteries, titled _Killing Cassidy_ there is this CRAZY should-be-looked-up preachers who said from his pulpit something to the effect of "hell is within you" and i immediately thought, NO, that is totally wrong, as Christ said "the kingdom of God is within you" - such a difference. this is the best way i can summarize the change from my understanding of human beings that i grew up with (not that everyone was this bad, but the misunderstanding of humans was very rampant) and the understanding of humans that the Orthodox Church has maintained for hundreds of years...

well there you go. typical of me - say i do not have much to say and then say it all anyway. Lord have mercy!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

3 years ago

i was christmated 3 years ago today. so what do i have to say about this:

Glory to God for His long-suffering!

(and that i feel happy today)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


August 5 was my dad's 55th birthday.

August 6 was the 20 year anniversary of my friend Timothy's falling asleep in the Lord. We were 10 - i had a panahieda for him, gave roses, white orchids and a soft white mum in a heavy cut glass to the Theotokos and sweet bread for the panahedia itself. This was a very important happening - something i had been waiting for i think for 20 years. it is such a blessing to be able to pray for the dead. i had prayed for Tim every night for months (he had leukemia) and i was a little protestant 10 year old and all a sudden he was gone, and i did not know i could keep praying for him. the loss was intense. i had and still do love him very much.

i did not invite many people to this (so if you go to my church and are reading this, do not be offended). some things are so important to me, that i do not talk much about it. i am thanking God for His grace. He has comforted me so much this year as the 20 year anniversary came - realizing that Tim feel asleep on the new calendar Feast of the Transfiguration, having the panaheida, giving the bread to some of my closest friends and doing the flowers were all very important. it is like God gave me some answers and comfort, even though i had to wait 20 years.

the Feast of Transfiguration is also my feast - i was christmated three years ago tomorrow on August 8th. a very kind man gave me the icon of this feast for my chrismation.

thank God for His grace and that the death of His saints is precious in His sight.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Yea vacation!

well. i vacationed all while staying in my city and apartment.

but my friend came (my Cat Cleo's first owner) and she and i had a wonderful time. We browsed through fun bookshops, fancy home stores with all one could dream of for a kitchen, went to IKEA, had high tea, and wonderful meals and times at church and with close friends. we walked by the Parliament buildings and talked.

i love the ordinary days, with sunshine, my church, and everything being normal.

my friend took me shopping, put up my curtains and i put up my lampada that another dear friend of mine had given me for Christmas.

it was so special for me to show her my life, many of the people i love here, my church, those who comprise of my family here, the places i go to and the apartment i live in.

my apartment is almost done! it has taken nearly ten months but i am really getting there! this is the first place i have lived in as a working adult (instead of being a undergraduate and then graduate student).

i am so thankful to God for the many things He has blessed me with!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

putting off dishes

my friend is DV coming tomorrow!

one of my co-workers from my small group is leaving! we were shocked... change is always happening...

i bought books to learn French, including collins french grammar.

yep. nerd! :)

but i have to learn! i wanted to live in a bilingual city, so i have to seek to learn.

i joined orthodox circle - you know, i think it is really cool. i really appreciate that it seeks to be a family-friendly, Orthodox site, with specific guidelines.

even better is that i got a book on St. Seraphim of Sarov

will be reading this slowly - with thankfulness and with Lord Have Mercy prayers

i had a short dinner with a close friend, with my best veg. soup tonight and this weekend is DV to be full of things.

God has been so good to me, and i deserve none of it.

so i must learn to say thank you more every day...

Monday, July 30, 2007

general happiness

general happiness i find to be almost wearying because when i am conscious of it, i almost want to hold it up more; like somehow dwell in the sunny happiness instead of letting it pass into a more peaceful relaxed state. given that i get excited about small-ish things, i have a lot to learn about this.

the happy things of the day:

1. my IKEA shelves came. one is finished. the tall 7 foot one, the very top shelf was about 2 inches too short. so they have to come back once the right shelf is shipped out. so this may get done by Mid-August if i am lucky.

but STILL. i have my shelves. my kitchen shelf is all full (which is why i bought it, so my crockpots, juice jars, cookbooks, tea plates and cups had a more proper home).

2. i bought 12 books for 11.00 at the used bookstore in the library downtown. including two by Louise Erdrich and various mysteries; and the biography of V Woolf by Quinten Bell.

3. i got both pairs (black clogs and dark brown shoes) of my Birkenstocks fixed! my shoes i have had since 1994, so while they have lots of used-for-over-10-years wrinkles, they are still passable in my book.

4. i mailed my mom my copy of Harry Potter # 7

5. i had an ice cream cone.

6. i got an A Christie DVD from the library and cleaned more of my house

Clearly these are happiness things. notice i say happiness and not joy; they are quite different, as i think joy is deeper and often comes along side of or from, pain...

but it was nice to have a day off today and my cat is adjusting to new furniture in my house. that and she discovered my bag of mint (i cant remember what recipe i was going to make with it!) and half tore it to bits.

tomorrow: back to grey cubical land. but at least today i was able to be downtown and enjoy the day!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Apparently my internet is back

these last two weeks have felt so busy, it is a bit overwheming.

my IKEA shelves are currently sitting in 2 long boxes in my kicthen, to be installed on Monday. which means i have today and Monday off.

i am reading the last Harry Potter book.

i saw a friend and her child yesterday for the first time in nearly 4 years.

another friend is coming up to see me next weekend, and i am really looking forward to this.

i have been exhausted and am glad for the time to rest.

well. as i am in recovery-from-exhaustion mode, i really can't think of much else to say.

other than that i still believe that weakness can be humans' (only) glory - as humility (which is my goal to have someday) is the crowning glory and shows why the Cross is power to those who are being saved; why the meek will inherit the earth... the voices still crying out, Glory to You, O God!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

little details of life

NOTE: i cannot tell if this posted. my blog on my computer does not show it, but it came up in my bloglines list. so i am re-posting something that may be on my blog, but i cannot see.

i really think my internet is doing poorly; everything is really slow right now. anyway here is what i tried to post i think on friday:

my internet is not doing too well, Ancient Faith Radio is merely flickering and my other websites are taking a long time to come up.

why is it that my blog shows one comment when there is two but if i check it at work, i see two?well. IKEA called again.

my shelves will be delivered a week late. so much for my friend who is coming in two weeks seeing the shelves.but i am trying not to let small details frustrate me - what is the use.

besides i am to learn patience, and this is a practical way to do so - good since i have so much to learn.

hard though;

i heard a priest say this on Tuesday; i think i have read it before, but it really struck me:

everyone is fighting unseen battles, so we must be kind to everyone

Saturday, July 21, 2007

little details of life

my internet is not doing too well, Ancient Faith Radio is merely flickering and my other websites are taking a long time to come up.

why is it that my blog shows one comment when there is two but if i check it at work, i see two?

well. IKEA called again. my shelves will be delivered a week late.

so much for my friend who is coming in two weeks seeing the shelves.

but i am trying not to let small details frustrate me - what is the use. besides i am to learn patience, and this is a practical way to do so - good since i have so much to learn.

hard though;

i heard a priest say this on Tuesday; i think i have read it before, but it really struck me:

everyone is fighting unseen battles, so we must be kind to everyone

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


well... my IKEA order, of course, was not done right ...but at least they called me and now it is okay, i hope...

did i mention that i had dropped my cordless phone in my DISH WATER. yep. and i took it out right away, much to my friend's concern. what was i supposed to do though? let it stay in the water? i would of had to drain the water sometime. this does make me wonder though at what one needs to do if they drop something totally plugged in the water. hmmmm.

well i am okay and my phone recovered too!

i guess this is rather the quote trivial day to day things - well - in my life anyway. i am someone who is talented enough to fall of buses and find it funny. (though it was not fun at the time).

i actually like the blogs that deal with the normal things of day to day life, but i am wondering...

the Church teaches us to avoid idle talk. i am wondering what this means.

i love calling my Mom and saying hi - but we usually talk about our day - is this idle talk?

well. i have so much to learn.

i have other questions too - such as:

1. what should our relationship to things within this world be? i bought clothes at Smart Set this week on sale - 75% off i think - but i did not NEED them. how does one discern what is right in regards to buying things?


2. i love my apartment, esp. as i am getting more of it set up (or so i am hoping). how much love of things and of earthly place is okay?

when the world is not to be our home and we are to think of our death and of eternity daily, what is good to do?

i read gilead, as i mentioned in an earlier post. i liked the book very much - was well written. but it is leaving me an unsure taste in my mouth, as it were. the book talks so much about loving life here on earth, and all the beauty of it; all while the character is preparing to die. he regrets having to leave such a earth, where he finds things so startlingly beautiful.

CS Lewis in his book screwtape letters suggests to get Christians to fall, to have them love the ordinary world and the ordinary details, to distract them from our final destination and from being a slave to God instead of a slave to this world.

so what does this mean? are we to take joy in things? the book of Ecclesiastes suggests this; some Psalms and Proverbs do as well, from what i can see.

but Christ also said follow me and to forsake all else.

would love any thoughts about this - what does it mean to be North American, a female, in the luxury of middle class, with laptop, cell phone and my own apartment - and trying to seek the kingdom of God before my own kingdom.

what does this mean? how are we to live? i think i need to read St. John Chrysostom and some others about this....

Monday, July 16, 2007

look, a title!

okay. so i am not really sure how to title this. or even what to write. one of my good friends commented, laughing at me a little i think, that i am always in inward challenges. that is true i think.

wow, the battles we need to wage within ourselves! Lord have mercy!

well. my apartment is slowly being finished. i ordered two Antique stain bookshelves from IKEA; i have various things to be put up and installed. i have lived in my apartment 9 months now; it is time to finish my little nest - shelves, curtains, the last of the paper icons on my bedroom wall.

i think one of the hardest things of July is that so many of my friends are on vacation. i long to call them and, well they are in Europe, or like my sister, following waterfalls with her husband.

i have moved a lot in my life - in the last 4 years i have moved from BC to the States (home), to London Ontario and then to Ottawa, then back to London and then back again to here. it is a challenge to re-establish a life, a community; even just to re-establish a life within myself that is settled again, is a challenge.

i feel like i am just starting to seek rest and to feel more settled. once and a while i think of last summer, and how hard it was for me. thanks be to God that He gave me the last 2 jobs i have had (one i am in now) and that i was able to return, and seek to be rooted again.

Lord have mercy...

Monday, July 09, 2007

this post will not let me put a title in the title box. oh well.

i am reading a lot and learning a lot, but i am the type that needs a long time before i can post about it.

suffice to say that i feel challenged and loved at the same time.

the spiritual life is not for the faint hearted, yet i am this and God comes and does not snuff out the smoldering wick.

glory to Your longsuffering, O Lord!

I seek and wish to seek to prepare my heart even now for the Bridegroom and to say, I come Lord, I come.

Lord have mercy...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

today i feel...

when i was a kid, i had a cute kids Protestant devotional called _today i feel like a warm fuzzy_ (i think that was the title; i still have it in MI) and it always started with "today i feel...(sad, happy, tired)"

well. today i feel hopeful.

not much else to say, other than Thank God.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


i got new glass lens today (kept my same frame) and wow. i can see more individual tree leaves; i forget every time what it is like to get new glasses and how there is greater definition to my vision.

i was talking to a cousin of mine today about M. L'Engle's statement that we humans have viewS and God has VIEW. and how we all have so many eyes and see different parts, but with varying vision...

and my cousin commented, it would be like trying to explain to an atom, or a quark what a human body is like...

makes me wonder how much i yet cannot see; and somehow this has to be tied with the humility i know i need, but do not have.

Lord have mercy! and may i add, i am still so happy with the fact that i am a sinner and God loves me.

we often have lots of ups and downs in life, but i feel the best when i can know those two things... (now if i could only remember them more often...)

Monday, June 25, 2007

This just in

A few weeks ago I bought a printer/scanner/copier. Today I installed it! This is very exciting. I have been writing a journal for three years and it is almost at 50,000 words now and I FINALLY get to edit it. This is very exciting. The journal is in no way fit to be published, or even seen by others, but I love to write and still have dreams of being a writer, so this is a very significant step for me.

It feels like Christmas, seeing the pages print so easily, on a ‘fast’ printing setting.

For some reason I have to print the pages in backwards order to get them in 1-88 page order – i.e. I have to tell it to print pages 65-45 for it to end with 65 and begin with 45. odd, but at least I figured this out.

My kitchen is now officially my well as my living and dining room :) I am thankful…

I am printing out the last of it now – for those who do not know, 50,000 words in Garamond equals almost 88 single spaced pages of words! I love words… :)

I think the most complicated part now about the fact that I get to edit is that a lot of the pages were written in this past year or so, the most recent written this morning. So the older things I am guessing will be easier to edit than the newer entries, as I have more distance from them.

Either way, this is part of a dream coming true for me… I have not had a printer in nearly 2 years.

Now the greatest challenge, I realise is this: how to edit out idle words, at that how do I edit them out of my daily life…

It feels like saying again “Lord, teach me to pray.”

Thursday, June 21, 2007

varied details of my life

1. i found out that AGAIN the pipe(s) under my sink is (are) leaking. took out all plastic containers with baking and cooking, all cans, bottles of various vinegars and oils. will have to call landlord tomorrow...

2. made a really yummy new meal:

simple version:

Rice - make.

fry together:

Shrimp precooked and thawed
mix veg with beans, peas and red peppers (frozen bag, made in Canada)
sweet and sour sauce

slightly more complex version:

as above, adding to stir fry portion:

a small spoonful of plum sauce,
a little apple cider vinegar,
a little lite salt soy sauce
some red pepper flakes

tasted great!

and fast-friendly

i go to an Old Calendar Church (it was not on purpose, but i am used to it now and find it has it advantages, like having 2 Christmases) and the fast is LONGER than new calendar... ends July 11th...

3. i really need to eat more meals like the one above. really helps my energy levels.

4. my computer at work DIED this morning. and it was brand new! so work was a bit unusual today, as almost everything i do is on my computer...

5. heard pod cast with Fr. Thomas Hopko on Ancient Faith Radio on their pod cast page. really challenging.

i suddenly saw how even the saints greatest feats are NOTHING if hostility, hatred, condemnation of others, judgement are still being done; 1st Cor 13 - if one does not have love, they have nothing.


it was like seeing another layer of how the Orthodox church understands Scripture and handles it so wisely; i am still seeing how the Church i have joined is, well, The Church.

i have a long way to go on this, but...

my spiritual father said two things are good to know:

1. that i am a sinner
2. that God loves me

personally i find this to be quite profound. and a huge relief...

Lord have mercy!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Ruth Bell Graham - Memory Eternal

Just found out through my feed to Get Religion that Ruth Bell Graham died; i have her book (something to do with pack rat on the front, i love that book and have read it more than once, though not in the last few years, as most of my books are still in Michigan).

here is the link i found out about her falling asleep:

She has been an inspiration to many many women. may we now honour her in prayers for the newly departed.

Memory eternal; may you dwell in peace in the mansions of the righteous.

this day and a question about God's kingdom

I wrote a post, and then took it off (some may have noticed as it would of come up in blog feeds). I liked what I wrote, but feel that I need to re-write it, based on various factors. Of course I don’t have the time currently.

I am listening to Ancient Faith Radio and in two hours I will be DV walking to church to see a baptism of a beautiful baby girl; she is akin to sunshine to me; whenever I think of her, I think of her bathed in light, held by her mother.

I am having a much needed day of quiet; I have not talked to anyone, have been processing things and doing laundry, cleaning house. I have my A/C hooked up and am so glad for this. My apartment gets hot, and now it is much better. I still struggle with the questions of ecological and environmental implications of A/C but I also know that these machines are made better and more efficient now. I have a small one and from what I know it did not take tons more hydro last year. And it is so nice to dwell in coolness instead of sweltering and feeling like a limp flower, languishing in my own apartment.

I am looking forward to Canada Day, which equals a Day Off from work… two more weeks to go for this. Wow is summer flying by.

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to pursue God’s kingdom; I was struck last week that I know how to build my own kingdom – i.e. job, making my apartment as I want it, doing social things, learning French – but how do I seek GOD and His Kingdom over myself and my little temporal earthly kingdom – this is something I have to learn. Must learn, for my salvation.

Meanwhile, I am grateful to God for my new job (am still adjusting but am getting use to it) and that God has provided for me the means to continue supporting myself and even (I hope) getting the final things this summer for my apartment. It is my first apartment that I have had as a non-student and that I hope to live in for more than one year…

Btw, would LOVE some thoughts (i.e. comments) about how you, reading this, are seeking God’s kingdom – what does this mean for you? In your life where God has put you, how do you see yourself seeking His kingdom over your own?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Nothing Really New to Report

i am doing well -- for the most part quite happy - more than i have been in a while. i've been cooking again and wanting to cook (this had been diminishing steadily before; a sign of not doing as well). i am so happy that i have lived in my place for over 8 months -it has been 2 years since i have lived somewhere for a year; i have not lived somewhere for over 2 years without a break of at least 2 months for 14 years (i started working at camps for whole summers at age 16).

i am enjoying the mixture of new job and same apartment.

and that i am still here and still going to my church is the biggest thing of all.

i read a quote from _Christ in our midst, letters from a Russian monk_ by fr. john (SVP published it a while ago) about not being afraid of the future and not to think that bad things will happen (i am paraphrasing a bit). this is one of my challenges (of course i have others but i agree with Stacy, a blog is not akin to confession!) right now - to live in the present. to not worry about the future. to trust God.

i am so thankful; i think of a prayer i read years ago - about God protecting the joyful - i am surprised to realize i need this prayer. ... at the same time i know life can change in an instant.

Readings for this week emphasized the Lord's will - (at least the old calendar readings; they can be different it seems). to this end i feel i am still to do what i was learning before: to wait on God and to submit to His will in all things.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

New job, day three

New jobs sure are tiring! I get tons of training – a new thing for me – I am still in the nervous stage. You know the ‘is my skirt on strait, did I spill on myself?’ and ‘can I really do this job?!’ questions.

I am still taking it all in; the one year position that I have is a position that one usually needs at least 3 to 5 years to have; and believe me, I am really not a super-star librarian at all. GOD is the only reason for this – His provision, His grace, His enabling. (Also, related to God is the prayers of many who love me and the prayers of the Saints, esp. St. Nicholas and St. Xenia and St. Herman).

I feel like professionally this job is going to ‘grow me up’ as it were. I have to learn a lot and become independent professionally in ways I have not learned as of yet. The learning opportunities in this is great – I am really grateful for it, and a bit intimidated.

I guess I am becoming an adult in new ways – today I got life insurance (through work!) and put my mother down as my beneficiary; I learned about pensions and the like. I never thought I would ever have such a job – with benefits. As my parents still do not have such a job, I am astounded.

I feel like this is all such a surprising gift that I struggle not to feel conspicuous or guilty for it. Yet I walk forward in it all, thinking it must be okay, as no one but God could of arranged this…

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

15 days

i found out that i have 15 (working) days of vacation! 3 weeks! wow.

one of the weeks i will take off is Holy Week, so that leaves 2 more weeks, plus a week for Christmas that i can have off, provided i make up the time later...

in my family, as my dad was and is self-employed, there never were paid vacations; no pension, no benefits. for me, then, to have all these things in the job is so incredible to me, i am overwhelmed by it.

my first day of work went well. i was tired - lots to take in - but by God's grace i was able to keep my wits about me...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tomorrow: the beginning of the next page of my career as a librarian

I start my job tomorrow! Would love prayers – Tuesday 8 am I will be handing in my letter of offer and tax information and then it will begin.

I am excited but a bit nervous too – I feel like a schoolgirl who just changed schools and is meeting new people, going to be learning new tasks. I got a haircut, some new clothes and sandals; I told my spiritual father that I start tomorrow; told others; my family knows.

Today I am going to clean my house and try to figure out what to cook for the week. So much to do… but it is a quiet morning and the sky is a deep blue and the sun is strong and white.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wait no longer: the job has been offered

I wrote the post I just posted this morning. When I went online I had an email waiting for me regarding my references. An hour later I got a call, offering me the one year position!

To summarize: the permanent position I was not feeling at peace with. (I have not to this day heard back from them). I was concerned that this job would be a prolonged stress to me and the other job is the one I felt myself wanting. I even wrote in my journal to that effect this morning. So I talked with my sister, my Matuska, my Grandmother and my Mother.

By the time I talked with my Mother it was to tell her I was going to accept the job. I have since accepted the job on voice mail and email. I have to sign the letter of offer and they hope I will be able to start on this coming Tuesday, May 29th!

We are all relieved. I for one feel tired actually. Relieved and tired. No cloud nine, no euphoria, just thankful, relieved and tired.

Glory to God for His abundant mercy and goodness that He keeps pouring down in and on my life...


God, as always, is wise in His timing. We are awaiting Pentecost. One of my good friends told me of a priest’s sermon she heard while on vacation. She said it was about three lines. About not using the Pascal greeting, not using the Christ in our midst greeting (I am guessing this priest was referring to using the Ascension greeting, which I believe the reply is something to the effect of “Christ ascended into glory”; my Matuska referred to it last Thursday in the church kitchen). Then, if we do not use the two greetings, this priest said, what do we do? His answer: we wait.

Wait and watch for Pentecost.

My Grandmother loves the verses about waiting on the Lord; my Grandfather use to sing in churches – he had a lovely voice and he was more good-looking than Elvis – I’ve seen pictures. Anyway my Grandfather used to sing a song about waiting on the Lord.

I miss my Grandfather. I never did have any one on one conversations with him, like I should have, though I did have some special ones with both of my Grandparents. But I am still learning about him and I really need to make continued work of finding out more while my Grandmother is still in good health.

I know my Grandfather, who many prayed for over a year ago when he died, had a heart for God and for spreading His Gospel. My priest once told me, when I was worrying over my relatives who know nothing of the Orthodox church, that God does not hold people responsible for what they did not know. Well, my Grandfather is a testimony to me still. His last words to me, over the phone, were that prayer is the best thing. This was after telling him that all my churches were praying for him (I have been part of 4 orthodox churches). Of course he also got what they call “a kick” out of this fact; Elizabeth being enthusiastically loving to the end of his earthly life.

I am so glad I am Orthodox, and know that I can pray still for my Grandfather; and I hear him prayed for every Saturday at vespers. I am so blessed and I love my church here.

So I am waiting. Drinking hot camomile lemon Tetley tea in a heavy blue and white teacup and waiting. I keep thinking of the prayer glory to You for Your longsuffering that we sang during the Bridegroom Matins. I must become like Christ through waiting.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Classic Elizabeth (or at least Sheepish Elizabeth)

I can still take the cake but I sure am missing the ice cream. So no news on the job front. I called a friend out West for moral support. forgetting that TODAY is her Birthday. Yes, and we have known each other for nearly TEN years. Matter-a-fact years ago when I was in Michigan I called her on her birthday, not realizing it was her birthday. SIGH. and she always remembers my birthday.

sheepish for sure. Thank God that I have been given patient friends who excel in being gracious.

well, if you would pass me that shovel over there, I will try to start digging myself out... while trying not to dirty my semi-clean wool...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

quiet happiness

i had the honour and extreme privilege of seeing John Samuel be baptised!

Later, when i was in my church, i had the images of the baptism coming in and out of my vision during liturgy. Of course i told everyone (okay not everyone but those who know me and also the parents) about the baptism. i was full of joy...

i am aware of a contentment that comes from being in my liturgical routine, and knowing that there is a various church things to go to this week.

so i am thankful - for the normal routine things of life and for a church to work out salvation in...

Many many Years to newly baptised and illumined John Samuel!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Discovering a blog and discussing the self


I have just discovered this:

And the blog it is from -

What should I say? I am relieved to find a blog that not only acknowledges literature and the importance of words (I was an English major) but that speaks to the concerns I am seeing. Concerns that are only growing in me; I have been wondering how to explain my thoughts on why social justice is NOT enough and is NOT to be the main focus of a Christian’s life but is to be a normal part of it.

I have studied a lot of things over the years. I find myself still thinking of it. I have gone, in the last 13 years from diving into liberal thought (through feminism), back to a more conservative stance, only to dive back into it, but not to the same extreme, and then: I read Kathleen Norris’ Cloister Walk. Though this, and the prayers of my roommate-at-the-time I started journeying out of feminism and into a deeper understanding of the world, of tradition, of what it is like to live as a free person. I have a lot of hope now, because of Norris’ struggle and study; I was introduced to many saints and began to understand the greater complexity and depth of the past and of tradition. At the same time I began realizing how feminist theory was way too simple and failed to do what it thought it was setting out to accomplish.

Now I can see – feminist and other gender theory was and is destroying the understanding of a human person, not to mention destroying the understanding of what it is to be a man or to be a woman. Some theory, from what I remember of it, even doubted the ability to communicate at all, using language. Ironic, isn’t it, that they could use language to say this. Hmmm. OF COURSE I would need to re-study this to remember exactly what was going on. However my memory is not fully faulty!

There is a lot, within what is called gender theory, that says that there is no human self, that all of gender and self-understanding and personhood is constructed, has not essentialness, no grounding in reality. They doubt the conception of reality and saying that all of reality, as we see it, is from a constructed framework, put on us instead of being within us.

This denies so many things. It denies:

*the Holy Spirit
*the soul
*God as the Creator
*the world being inside of the Church, not the other way around
*Christ as in the Incarnation – Human and Divine – Christ did not become a person that was constructed by His surroundings! He was Himself all the way through, consistently, faithfully, without wavering
*the resurrection of the dead and the final judgement
*human agency and responsibility (and it denies that it denies this point)

It denies this:

24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28' For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.’

Acts 17: 24-28 NKJV

Friday, May 18, 2007

I am reading...

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

It is safe to say that this is going to be one of the best new books I have read this year.

Elizabeth Goudge, who is one of my favourites, is of course near the top of my list... but this newer author is quite something!

Matter-a-fact I think she ranks up there with Walker Percy, who I really need to read more of someday. Not to mention that Annie Dillard is supposed to have a new book out soon...

Other authors I am currently reading or reading about:

*biography of Dorothy Sayers
*Agatha Christie
*May Sarton
*Rod Dreher
*DE Stevenson (Mrs Tim gets a job; England, war time; a happy book)
*a Miss Read book
*got three Elizabeth Goudge books I have not read yet (figured I needed the encouragement)
*Marilynne Robinson (have 3 of her 4 books at home currently)
*Lee Smith
*Josephine Tey

(also Raymond Chandler's letters, and an early book by Anne Marrow Lindbergh, but I own these books and so find I take longer to read them!...just picked them up again)

light fun fiction:

*Laura Childs
*second newest from Mary Higgins Clark

The public library is a great service!

I really do recommend the book Gilead by M Robinson - I find it incredibly well-written and insightful. And wonderfully humbling because the writing is so well-crafted, as if carved slowly out of choice wood, that it puts all that I have written to shame.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Happy Feast Day!

I am off to church for morning liturgy. This is the good part of being unemployed!

God is good and His mercy endures forever...

The Joy of the Feast!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

in two hours...

the installation of my internet was finished--20 minutes on phone to install the router here i am at home, with internet.

sadly no news of job yet. nothing. not one peep. the waiting...

i cannot complain though. i get a break from work and that has been great. i have not had days to rest like this in a long time - i had some days last summer - but they were never fully calm days, as i was in the midst of an intense last term of my librarian degree and was looking to move back to ottawa.

i am still hoping i will get one of the jobs i interviewed for.

meanwhile, my house is getting clean and my errands are still just beginning.

i better get moving on this!

Friday, May 11, 2007

nothing yet

Well. I was supposed to work on getting internet today, but I did not. (am at the public library). My job is done now and I am waiting to hear about the 2 interviews. the one year Mat Leave position did call my boss for a reference.

It is the waiting and not being able to plan for my summer that is hard.

but God has been very good to me and it is upon Him that i wait...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

age and needing God's mercy

i was a volunteer this morning and was asked:

1. are you a student volunteer (no i am a real librarian!)
2. upon writing a list - are you writing your Christmas list? (no, i am writing a list of what i want for my apartment, a list i write when ever i am bored)


sigh. clearly i have much work to do. i should not mind so much to be assumed to be young, but i still do. and being asked about what i am writing, was strange.

lots to learn in how to love - how to be patient, generous, long-suffering, to live in humility.

well. that's how it is for now.

i still do not know about job future; my job is done this thursday.

i am relieved that God is full of long-suffering and mercy; i need both...

Friday, May 04, 2007

still waiting

i made it through another interview! and i think that one was the best one yet. have no idea at the outcome, but was thinking of Psalm 16 and how God can bring us to the right, even pleasant, place...

i am so tired now - the test and interview last week and then another interview this week.

this weekend i am going to be quiet, stay home (other than sat and sun church), watch movies that i like (yea public library!), clean and seek the stillness that is of God.

(FYI: i still do not have internet at home, so i am not able to comment much (am writing this during my lunch hour) ... i hope to be rectifying this situation in the next few weeks) ... i am still reading various blogs, but do not have time to comment.)

Monday, April 30, 2007


i am very encouraged by all the prayers that many have prayed for me RE: job finding. i think the Friday interview went well. i am supposed to find out by mid-week. i have another interview this Friday at 8:30 AM and am hoping to cancel it because i was offered the other job... but God knows and i am seeking His mercy.

FYI - my Internet at home has been down so my blog-reading is behind... sigh.

wishing good things for all reading this...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

oh to learn peace!

this week has been a battle to stay at peace - job interview friday - another thing today - my job ending in 2 weeks - the unknown.

yet to God all is known and i need to rest in this and in the truth of God's care for me.

i am glad to be in the church; i can see that acquiring peace is something one must battle for, and perhaps for a very long time. but at least i am in a place where i know i am safe to battle within...

Monday, April 23, 2007


i am dwelling in quietness this evening. preparing slowly for the interview but trying to be really careful to not do too much and get my nerves up. i have been re-reading an Anne George mystery about two older Southern sisters. ah. i LOVE mysteries. my Cat wanted to eat my Popcorn. yep. so i gave her cat treats, which she devoured. then she looked and looked at me. ah that silent begging. i told her no popcorn. she seems content.

the line from the Protestant hymn came to mind: praise God from whom all blessings flow...


Saturday, April 21, 2007

this is one of the best posts i have read regarding V-Tech

thank you Fr. John.


i strive to be thankful while being overwhelmed. i struggle to not be afraid and then i read how Christ tells His disciples not to fear and brings their boat into the harbour they were heading towards.

in my small but astoundingly loved by God life, i have been granted the friday interview (in a week) for a job i would love. i found out last night i also have a test to see if i will get an interview for another job that i may love too. (though my vote is with the first one). this test is thursday afternoon, my interview friday afternoon. two weeks ago was holy week. one week ago i had a raging head cold. domestically my house is in chaos.

but God is good and abundantly merciful. i am very grateful to those who are praying for me. i know i would of never gotten as far as i have without the prayers of many.

Thanks be to God...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

trust you understand...

i read all these great blog posts today, as a break in between resume and cover letter editing. i did not have time to comment on them, so please take this as the comment (if i comment on your blog in general then i have read your latest post, thanks to bloglines).

God is blessing me so much with support from my family and friends - a church family local and universal. May God be praised for His abundant goodness.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

the job saga begins - updated!

thanks for the prayers thus far; very appreciated; i called the would-be-new-boss and got some more information (and of course thought of another question to ask after the fact). the interviews are going to start before the deadline! i hope to get my resume and cover letter in by tomorrow if i can -

need prayers for this for sure - so i can at least get an interview...

hope everyone is doing well. it is sunny today in Ottawa!


received this email tonight:

Please advise if you are interested and available for a job interview next Thursday, April 26 or Friday, April 27 and what time(s). I am interviewing some local applicants...

So i apparently i have an interview! i have not even submitted my resume yet! (she knows my boss...)


also significantly: i held a child in my arms tonight. Young John Samuel. i was so blessed tonight. deeply, richly blessed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


okay. i hung out with Cleo my Cat. i had my ice cream. i read my blogs. commented. now i have to work on my resume!

there is a job i would REALLY REALLY like that's application is due May 2nd. Prayers welcome... esp. as my job ends May 10th.

okay... no more blogs elizabeth, work on your resume!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


this (i think i read it in CS Lewis' work) has been in my mind this week, hard as it is for me to do:

possess my soul in patience.

once again, a life time project, this.

Friday, April 13, 2007

all i can say is

that I am striving to be and am thankful. thankful that I tried to learn the French word for Kleenex today - mouchoirs (I forget how to pronounce it already!) - I said it to everyone at work, holding my Kleenex box - I literally went through oh, a box within 3 hours or so. when I do anything, I like to do it well! :)

I am surprisingly happy - happy that my parents are alive (not that they were in danger) - happy that Cleo my Cat is running around - happy that I know how to have a cold in style as it were (think mint tea, nutrigrain bars, the best Kleenex can offer me, no-name VICKS). its great! I even got an Agatha Christie book I may not have read before from the library... and new socks. (handy, having stores on my walk home).

I talked for a good while with my friend Asheya out West and heard her son in the background - a beautiful 15 month old boy!

and I head Pascha songs via ancient faith radio at work.

I am very grateful for a good day, even though, as Madeleine L 'Engle wrote in one of her books, my cold "flourishes".

I am grateful for the time to be quiet and to have to deliberately have to rest. God is good and I so undeserving but yet seeing His mercy.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Staying In

Today I decided to stay home and rest. I have no sick days at my work, so it was not a light decision – as I will lose money and only have till May 10 of work at this point. And yesterday I went to work – nose dripping and other head cold things – I was so tired it was hard to concentrate. So today I decided, in the early morning hours, to stay home. I called in sick and went back to bed. Years ago Cheryl told me how taking a nap can be an act of faith, when in school and overburdened with work. I guess I view this day like this as well.

So I am being quiet, drinking juice (almost out of it though), tea (I have tons of tea) and cold and flu drink (have to take some yet today). The cold is in my ears now but I am thankful for a day to rest.

I love my apartment, I love seeing the wet snow falling outside my window and having Cleo my cat near by. (We’ll just ignore the fact that there should not be wet snow in mid-April!).

I also love that I have many of my favourite books with me, and that things are momentarily okay. Life has lots of challenges, and is full of grief, but God’s love keeps pouring down, slowly breaking into my awareness; this gives me hope.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

After Pascha Cold Is Nothing...

The cold hit me last night; used a box of Kleenex already. But I am trying to take it in good humour – too bad my Cat Cleo will not help out around the house while I drink tea and read books (the sure cure). : )

One of my friends who I do not know well, but met at my London Orthodox Church, emailed me the other day to tell me that her father had died unexpectedly. Please pray for her, her family and father.

And so I am grateful for all I have – head cold – big deal! That I can call home and talking my parents – what a gift.

Hope everyone is recovering peacefully from Pascha.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Lent's End

Brings me back to the beginning...

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner,
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner,

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Save Rosia Montana – Now!

found this through one of Mama Monk's blog links (

All I know of the Romanian people and their saints I love - I cannot imagine (okay sadly I can a bit) that some Canadians want to destroy this area -- Lord have mercy on us...

from :

What’s behind Gabriel Resources Rosia Montana mine proposal? The large scale open cast cyanide gold mine proposal at Rosia Montana is about preparing the grounds for an ecologic time bomb. Its preparation entails the destruction of: 5 Mountains, a unique cultural patrimony, 10 Churches, 12 Cemeteries and 958 farms. Locals refusing to make to the mining project are threatened with expropriation. Click here to learn more.

Friday, March 23, 2007


So it is the end of the fiscal year at work next week; my boss walks quickly past my office door and back again (oddly enough I have an office, rare for my level of librarianship actually). Our monthly meeting was postponed a week; our acquisitions people have been pulling their hair out. Yet do I realize why I have been feeling so STIR CRAZY for all of February and March, to various degrees of intensity?

Nope. It takes talking with the Head of Reference, who has a lot more experience and insight than I, to say the pressure around here has been intense to a ridiculous degree. Then I realized, and she affirmed, that I was absorbing the atmosphere into myself, and it was making me feel like a mouse in a wheel, running everywhere and getting no where (and thus running all the more frantically).

Now I understand. What to do about it I am not sure, but I am feeling a bit better just realizing. I am always disappointed that I miss obvious things like this. Oh well. good thing God loves me anyway.

Here I thought it was just living in a city (just read E post on missing living in the country).

God have mercy on us all!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oh hi, is that myself I see in the mirror?

One of my good, treasured literature, art, and word loving friends tamie added me to her blog and I have gone to friends blogs through her blog… it is incredible how technology brings people in full circles; back but not back; and then I think of my blog, here, and well am sometimes not sure if I should groan, blush or just shyly say “hi” that is me here in this blog, though I often feel it is a very little sliver of me, but what is to be expected…

And perhaps the me always changes; currently me in the mirror means I am probably talking to my cat to be precise; I have this tall thin IKEA mirror and usually if I look in it I am either looking around the corner at my cat or am holding her and saying “look at my glory cat” because her eyes have two shades of blue, if the lighting is right, so that it is a darker and then lighter blue as you go in toward the iris. My church (this really does correspond, really) has more than life-size panel of the Resurrection of Christ and the darker to lighter blue is radiating from Christ, who is a blaze of white as He rescues Adam and Eve in Hades; blue-showing His glory. So Cleo reminds me of this every time I look at her, my glory cat.

What do you see in your mirror?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Quick Amazement

So I was walking home from the grocery store last night and a woman ran up to me, asking if I could talk to her for a minute. She asked if my name was Elizabeth and then introduced herself. She is one of my best friends from 10 years ago. I was astounded. We knew each other when we were in the beginning of university and were both in the States. Now we live 2 blocks from each other.

God is so merciful to me, and how much I need His mercy.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What Life is Really About

The quote below is from the P. Lavra in Kiev. It is a good reminder about what our life is really to be about:

But building and restoration of churches does not mean only construction of churches and cathedrals, it means building temples of the Living God in human souls of those who come to our worldly churches searching for God, healing and salvation.

Friday, March 09, 2007

God’s Faithfulness

I thought today that I would write either one post or perhaps a series of posts reflecting on God’s love, grace and faithfulness that He has lavished my life with, His mercy following me all of my days.

The time that I am currently thinking of was the summer in-between my first and second time (known time that is, I was at St. Herman’s a few years before but my friend thought it was Catholic and I did too) at St. Herman’s. (St. Herman’s being my first Orthodox church).

I had just graduated from university, had figured out that I wanted to stay in BC Canada and was in the process of getting duel citizenship (US and Canada). Most of my friends had left for the summer and I no longer had a ride to the Anglican mission I had been attending. I had no idea how hard it would be to find a job after graduation and my parents helped me buy groceries from afar-paying for my VISA bills which I used for groceries. I had just been getting to know my friend KT better, my beloved friend churchmouse was getting married at the end of the summer. I became received my Canadian citizenship on June 13 that summer, if I remember correctly. I did not have anyone to celebrate this with who I knew well, and so it was a lonely time. But my one of my librarian friends from my university gave me a gift for this event and she and I are still in contact through email and pray often for each other. She is also the one who told me about the MLIS (library school) program that I got my degree from.

I was working on learning how to do resumes, interviews, and cover letters at a community centre and my landlords, who are Christians, were patient with me and encouraging. I met my friend Melody that summer. Though there were few friends and I have a lot of evenings and days alone, not even going to church much, as I did not have a ride, the friends I did have and meet that summer are still my friends today.

I must especially remember this: when I was in the midst of job searching and running out of money (I was doing ESL tutoring that summer through the writing centre, which is where I first met Biss) and did not know how I was going to pay rent for the coming month. During this time, I got a phone call from Student Ministries at my Christian University saying they had something for me to pick up. It was an envelope and it had either 200.00 or 250.00 dollars in it! It was the exact amount I needed to pay that coming months rent.

I must remember all of these above said events and thank and praise God for His faithfulness and remember to trust Him with my future.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Enjoying small (yet not small) things

I know that the times when one is happy with one’s lot – esp. for me – I tend to be a bit like Eeyore (of Winnie the Pooh world) are momentary. So I am enjoying that fact that I walked to church this weekend, had two meals (because of lent) with my church family and watched thick snow swirl down from my window on Saturday, with my Cat Cleo on my lap. And various people at my various churches are all having babies. An all around happy weekend, just waiting now for Churchmouse’s baby to emerge…

Saturday, March 03, 2007

CS Lewis – Letters (and my reflections, memories)

“It is right and inevitable that we should be much concerned about the salvation of those we love. But we must be careful not to expect or demand that their salvation should conform to some ready-made pattern of our own. Some Protestant sects have gone very wrong about this. They have a whole programme of conversion etc. marked out, the same for everyone, and will not believe that anyone can be saved who doesn’t go through it “just so.” But (see my last chapter in Problem of Pain) God has His own way with each soul. There is no evidence that St. John underwent the same kind of “conversion” as St. Paul.” Page 446, Letter to “Mrs Ashton” 2 February 1955 CS Lewis

“Well, let’s go on disagreeing but don’t let us judge. What doesn’t suit us may suit possible converts of a different type.

My model here is the behaviour of the congregation at a “Russian Orthodox” service, where some sit, some lie on their faces, some stand, some kneel, some walk about and no one takes the slightest notice of what anyone else is doing. That is good sense, good manners, and good Christianity. “Mind one’s own business” is a good rule in religion as in other things…” page 454, Letter to “Mrs. Ashton” 13 March 1955 CS Lewis

These quotations were like the honey I returned to this week, nourishing me. Of course, about the latter quotation, as I am Orthodox I know that unfortunately we are not always that good in church. Converts and cradles (those who grew up in the Orthodox church) are different and I find, as a convert, that there are expectations by those who are ethnically Orthodox that are cultural. When I started wearing (it took me a good while to feel comfortable in my own skin at my current church, which is my home, is becoming my blood and that is one of the largest centres of my life) my head covering (one is from k. francis; she gave me one of the greatest treasures of my life; the other is from my friend Amy and it is white, a chrismation gift) a lovely older member of the parish asked me who had died. I had not idea that in some places one wears this to symbolize/show grief. A small example; yet it is very freeing to be in a church where one is not judged by what they wear (head covering is fully a personal choice, which I also firmly believe in—I would NEVER expect it of another) and is loved.

I often, it seems, forget that I am loved, or rather that I am loveable. My church is good for me that way-they love but without overwhelming or seeking to make someone to be identical to themselves.

I think it can be a danger of any person, include those of us who are orthodox, to make expectations of another. The great thing though is that everyone is different. Even those who convert to the Orthodox Church – their reasons for coming to the church and for converting are unique. We were laughing at my “reason” for first coming to St. Herman’s. Why did I go those first two times? Simple! I did not have a ride to my church. Yep. No inward searching, no looking for something better (though I should have been looking, but I did not know there was anything to find), no discovering Orthodoxy first through literature. God even kept it from me that some of my closest friends were looking into the Orthodox Church. So there I was-I came in Lent and was overwhelmed but curious-the liturgy made a big impact on me. And then I came again on Labour Day and watched and read the first page of courage to pray. I was at a Labour Day gathering at Kurt and Victoria’s – I came with Phil and Shannon—and I read that first page on their couch and realized, right then and there that I had found the book I was looking for all my life.

And so it began. By October 4 of that year I was telling my cousin Bryan all about it as I was in Michigan for my wonderful beautiful most loved sister’s wedding. And I was made a catechumen late that following February and was chrismated, at my Antiochian church in Michigan in early August, almost a year since that Labour Day weekend. (I have moved a lot as I was a student and have belonged to 4 churches).

It was three years ago last Friday that I became a catechumen at St. Herman’s! It was one of the happiest days of my life – I remember Seraphim noting how big my smile was and I remember RW telling me how I appeared, rushing in the doors because I was late for becoming a catechumen, as there was miscommunication with my ride!

Glory to God!

Friday, March 02, 2007

New thoughts but not much time to write on them

I had this conversation with a colleague the other day. I had noticed her as someone who is very much herself and comfortable with this. She talked all about the importance of being oneself and that it is a waste of time and effort to being anything but yourself.

Very simple, and I think that we have all heard it before. But you know I found myself really thinking about it afterwards. Even wrote down the details of the conversation in my paper journal… I am also growing in my awareness that I am not always that self-aware and, moreover, do not know how I appear to others.

This colleague said I am quite different – unique – she was about to try to describe me, but stopped!!! I actually was disappointed; I hope I was disappointed not due to vanity but because I have no idea of how I am in the world. Like I live with myself ALL THE TIME (it does get annoying at times, let me tell you) so I am not that aware of how I appear to others. Okay so I know I do something eccentrically, like eat my lunches with a real plate and cutlery, but I heard that plastic can seep through and infect food, and who wants that?! Besides, I like to feel civilized a little bit; I also take a suitcase with me a lot!!! So it’s a bit easier than bearing it all on my back. What can I say, other than that I inwardly cheer when I see another woman walking to work dragging a small suitcase too : )

The only other thing can think of right now is that I don’t listen to much music, other than ancient faith radio and at home the news in French (I am trying to learn it, sigh.) well and I do not have a TV and have not seen a movie in a theatre since well, since the Twin Towers came out – so a few years. And I don’t drink anything caffeinated, and have never had coffee. Basically perhaps I don’t quite live in the era I am living in, perhaps. But WHY do something like that!!

On other news – read prince Caspian again last night and started on the horse and his boy. I had to tear myself away from it this morning. And all to walk to work in the midst of what was 40 Km gusts of wind and ice pellets. My friend at work said I would be like a feather in the wind! (I am not the thin-ish side). She said it in French though, so I need to learn this expression too…

vishing-beware of it!

i had not heard of this as of yet. so i am letting others know so we can all avoid it. appears to be a new way scam artists are doing fraud. using VOIP they appear on caller ID to be a legit business and then ask for personal information that they use for their own benefit. high tech swindlers. go here for more info:

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


did you ever feel like if u ever do one more serious or intense thing you will explode?

well that is me currently; so today i took a different route home from work (i walk daily) and tonight i am going out DV w. a friend for a walk and maybe a tea...

and this weekend i hope to go DV thrift store shopping (w. church before this and after it!) on Sat.

well, i better go make dinner and then study French. i am trying to learn French as an adult and, since i grew up in the States, i am starting from point zero. i"d say i am at 0.5 now!

i did not sleep well last night so i think i was up by 4 am or so - crazy. but i prayed and lit candles and this was wonderful...

Glory to God in all things. i am truly greatly blessed...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Stacy Asked

Okay. Why is this book with me so much right now and how is it impacting me?

This book, for those who do not know, is a series of letters CS Lewis wrote to an American Lady from (I do not have the book with me) the 1950s till 1963, when he fell asleep in the Lord.

CS Lewis was a committed Christian by then and often gives this woman encouragement, prays for her daily and shares of his current life and spiritual advice as well. I am struck again and again by his patience and love for this woman, and that it was a special friendship, though I sense that he had many friendships. His wife Joy wrote one of the letters to her, when he was esp. busy and this letter is very warm and powerful. Joy had already almost died from cancer and writes identifying with the woman’s suffering and not at all considering hers more than or above her own.

I see a lot of patience, humility and Christian charity in these letters.

When I was young, and CS Lewis was my Dad’s favourite author, I knew he was a professor, and I did not know he had died in ’63 so I thought when I grew up I would have him as my professor; I imagined him to be like the professor uncle in Narnia.

I guess now I would say that not only did he teach me how to think when I was young – I waded through his book Mere Christianity when I was in middle school – but now he is teaching me how to live.

His advice on being meek and patient with oneself, on enduring suffering by taking it literally one day at a time, looking to God in the present hour, has impacted me as he was writing this advice in the midst of personal suffering.

He often writes of Confession and of prayer – and gives a picture of growing old that gives one hope, in the midst of it all.

And it is a series of letters (I am not at the end, rather read this morning over breakfast of his wife’s death; I almost started crying; it was a short 5 line letter, but the ramifications behind it were strong and I could feel it) is honest and not at all pretending that life as a Christian excludes suffering. Instead he writes of how Joy, dying, was stronger than he, and was supporting himself as well, and in some letters reminds this woman that the nightmare (current life) will soon be over…

I feel that in reading this short book I have entered into his life and understand things much more – even that when a wife dies the husband may not only feel her loss but the loss of her support – a double loss at it were. I had never thought of that angle before.

As I was reading, I kept thinking, I need to read this again, when I am older and suffering more than I am now. I do not live (or try not to) in the illusion that youth and good health, or even relative good health, will always be with me, or that life will get easier, though I do keep hoping.

In the end, I feel like I am being given also spiritual counsel that corresponds with my present life in ways that startled and challenged me.

If only I remember this gift and how unworthy I am to receive it…

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

single awareness day

no one where i work (in Canada) had heard this phrase. maybe it is American?!?

culturally i do not know if i will ever figure life out - i m a dutch-american-canadian orthodox christian. what that means, well. At least God knows.

i am procrastinating on both dinner and writing out a job app. for which i am missing vespers at my very good friends' church, so i better get cracking...

happy St. V. day to all... :) better than using the short version SAD :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

My friends, they are smarter than I!

One of my friends made a very appropriate comment, when we were talking on the phone. We are both converts to Orthodoxy and she reminded me that we are in a way in two things. We are not new to Christianity, both of us being Christians all of our lives; but we are new to Orthodoxy. This was a good reminder for me. Yes, I am such a baby when it comes to Orthodoxy, and the more I go into it, gloriously, the more I realize I do not know. Yet I have walked (or stumbled at least) with God for as long as I can remember; and it is in God’s great compassion and mercy that He has brought me to a church and provided me with a spiritual father who can guide me as I learn to walk, yet already walking.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Better, I think

My cat Cleo is looking at my laptop; I am sitting in my kitchen on my old ‘70s gold armchair, listening to French radio while I cook my dinner. I love moments like this.

I am rereading Agatha Christie’s murder on the orient express. Of course I remember it already, but still enjoy reading it; I find her books comforting and relaxing.

I am librarian and though libraries are generally quiet, we sure do a lot of work in them! My workdays go fast and are full of various things; I enjoy it, but it is good to be home too…

Lent is going to make my weeks quite full; I will only have 2 or so nights at home per week; of course this is my choice and I make it freely. It makes nights at home very savoured; and with lots of phone calls at times too… I like to keep up with my friends who are scattered over North America…

For now, I am off to attend to my dinner, which is cooking on the stove.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Did you ever have times when all of a sudden you are either restless or in someway at a saturation point?

This is how I have felt in the last day or so; like I have been walking and walking on a long arduous road and now…

I want to go drive my car that was sold years ago in Michigan on the summer country roads at 65 mph listening to the radio… on the back roads of Caledonia and the rest of Kent county.

Knowing me, it will take a long time (potentially) to figure out WHAT this means.

You know, I do not think this is what I am supposed to feel right before Lent. When I am supposed to go even harder, as it were.

It seems that as usual things are a bit jumbled for me; sometimes I think I have lived my life in upside down decades, old when I was to be young, and young now that I am well… getting older, what ever that means…

If I remember right, in medieval times, 32 was the age of maturity, of becoming an adult. I have under 2 years now.

I have been praying that I will know what it means to be an adult, to be come innocent as a dove, but wise as a snake.

Juxtapose this with the necessity for humility, and wisdom takes on many new levels…

I hope I am at least learning something, since I am learning that I have never really known who I am on many levels; it is surprising to realize that I have to figure this out yet.

Well… back to the internal challenging process of life and pursuing salvation… (and here I wanted to drive a car!)

Monday, January 29, 2007


i have been able to change to the new blogger system now.

God has been merciful and my contract has been extended until May 10. Now i need to keep trusting Him that i will have employment after this.

today i have a day off, a break in between service. i am thankful.

Friday, January 26, 2007


I am sitting in quiet in my house, with candles.

This computer is warm on my lap; it is cold outside.

I was hoping to switch over the new blogger, and the option (I had seen it before) was not there at all.

I am grateful to be able to pray for those I love... or some of those I love...

Often, now, I am seeing things it seems, almost for the first time; even seeing glimpses of myself that I did not fully know where there; these things I think show me more of God, somehow...

That God alone can search the ground of one's heart.

Oh that I would learn to love Him more.

Friday, January 19, 2007

loving beyond or after the death of one you love

To love someone is to wish them to live forever; Madeleine L’ Engle quoted someone who said something similar; but more startlingly beautiful; I think it may have even been someone like one of the Orthodox saints who said this…

It is so hard to let those you love go; I do not know what I would do if I did not have the church and being able to pray for those who have died. My friends who are protestant, bless them, say things like ‘well we know that person does not need prayer anymore’ or ‘glad to know they are in heaven now’; it seems so empty and sad. A shut door, an END instead of a continuation of life in God and to continue to pray for a person as they continue the completion of a life loving and seeking God.

I do like the concept of a persons life on earth being in the final completion at the point of death; that then it is all summed up, suddenly complete, finished; but not finished; nothing not being annihilation but something different; more than saying good bye to a decade of life; more like saying hello to a new life, yet a continued life.

Life after death—indescribable, not well known to us who are still on this side of death; yet real.

I think it is harder when someone you love dies and you did not know them to be sick, did not get to say goodbye; however temporary the goodbye.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

may God bless

All those who go before us, leaving us bereft of their presence, if only for a short time.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The latest lovely things

Another list. I read somewhere, probably in one of my recently read mystery books, that woman love list making… I for one do...

1. I got to be ALONE all day. Wow. I have been longing for this! A long weekend and I did not have boxes to unpack! The only people I talked to today were my parents, for a bit, on the phone.
2. Cleo my Cat. Still cute. Today she tried to open a cupboard door with her paw and she threw up in the bathtub. Well, that is a lot better than the carpet, so I did not mind too much. I am not the squeamish type when it comes to things like this.
3. My over a year long fast from most music is, apparently, over. I am listening to Eva Cassidy right now.
4. I read, for the first time, in ten years, Elizabeth Goudge’s The Scent of Water. This book transformed my life when I read it at 19 – the colours out my window were deeper, brighter after I read it. I have never been the same. She led me all the way to the Orthodox Church, even though she I believe was High Anglican her whole life. She understands the love of the Mother of God, and many other deep sweet things.
5. I have had tea out of my teacup I got when I was 20, living in Sweden. A small round cup and saucer, with pink, blue, yellow and green. I also used a clear glass cup and plate that my Mom picked up for me years ago. Mind you, I own many teacups – over 30 without exaggerating. I come from generations of dish-loving women and am happy to continue this tradition.
6. I have been living in candlelight a lot these past nights; there is nothing like it.
7. I have not felt this consciously happy in a long time. I love the days when all is quiet, within me and also externally. If I could learn how to keep this stillness in my daily life, I would of gained more than half the world.