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!)