Friday, July 31, 2009

Another Day

I applied for another position.

Reread a cover letter for networking - need to send it next week.


Should one apply for jobs that they are not sure

they want?

Would love to hear people's experiences on this one.

I am beginning to talk out loud about the fact that
my lease is up in three months.
(Two months notice needed in Ontario, meaning I would move
December 1st).
When do I stop looking at jobs mainly in Ottawa?
This is no simple matter.
More prayer needed and restful thoughts.
Uncertainty is hard
but God is in it with me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thoughts of God can show us how to live

I have been thinking a lot about the concepts of

self-worth / self-esteem / self confidence


God / humility / the image of God in us.

I have not yet come to a conclusive answer;

however, here are my thoughts thus far.

God made us and

everything that is good come from God (as St. James says).

God gave us abilities; we are not to deny them.

Despair tells us we are no good, that there is no hope, no future, nothing for us.

So humility cannot mean the denial of hope, future

or that we are somehow worthless,

no good nothings

as would be said in some unknown hillbilly type place.

How to learn to acknowledge that we have good in us and that the good is from God.

Sometimes I get tired of my North American culture

and how tied I am to this culture.

A culture that can be naval-gazing and tripped up on too much introspection.

But that is where I am and

this is where God has placed me to work out my salvation.

I know more of the answers that I need to incorporate into this situation.

The basics:

1. Memory of God.

Mindfulness of God. Remembering what God has done for us.

Remembering to Praise God.

Becoming Deeply Thankful.

2. Practice the virtues as you know them

as in where you are at.

Kill self-pity. Forsake pride.

Love as best you can

and ask for God's mercy and help.

And remember the Lilies of the field.
I think I was so surprised about others loving my pictures of flowers
because I know that I am merely showing the beauty
that is already there.
(I do acknowledge though that God has given me
what others call an eye for these things).
Do not worry, your Father Knows.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One Step, Another Step...

The doors of a small Catholic church

dedicated to St. Teresa.

I love seeing this Church - it is the one I photograph the most.

I was having fun taking pictures last night!
This one is of a street light and trees.
I applied to another position
this one is only a
"on call" position
but still:
I applied.
I am realizing I need to really try to eat better.
Vegetables I do not eat enough of
or other things for that matter.
All these things that are small matter.
I was really encouraged by my reading this morning:

No temptation has overtaken you
except such as is common to man;
God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,
but with the temptation will also make the way of escape,
that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (New King James Version)

It is storming again here in Ottawa.

But God is here in our midst.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our venerable mother Irene of Chrysovalantou

Today is St. Irene's Day!
She is my patron Saint.
I love her very much.
Irene means peace.
I could not of been given a better patron,
as one of the most important things I need to learn
is to dwell with God and in His peace.
Happy Feast Day everyone!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I feel suprisingly encouraged

So it has been a bit of a rough go.

Unemployment and unknown future -

they are hard for me to deal with at times.

Sometimes "at times" feels like "all the time."


I have learned something again today,

even in the past hour of today.

First, people care about me.

Just wanted to mention the obvious that I sometimes forget.

Thank you to those in the blog world

who also remind me of this

on a regular basis.

Second, I just did a cover letter and job application.

I submitted it.


And you know what?

I really learned a lot in my last job.
It was a rough go and losing it was really painful.
But as I was writing my experiences
for an online form,
I remembered what I did
and how I loved it.
Stressful sometimes, but on the other hand,
I really loved everything I did.
I love being a librarian.
I would really like to be a librarian again.

How to make decisions

A few months ago I was talking with a good friend

about how he is learning to make decisions.

It is hard, he said, but now he sees

that one has to sense if one has

peace about the decision

or the direction

to be taken.

I get a sense of peace and joy

from taking pictures.

And I have always loved flowers.

The Dutch do, you know, love flowers.

My heritage is fully Dutch

(And American, Canadian).

That said....

I must hereby acknowledge
that the idea of making cards
or trying to sell my pictures as art
is not what I need to do right now.
I felt only discord and overwhelment within myself.
BUT I am really grateful that it is now clear
that you all love my pictures.
I love them too.
I love taking them. I love sharing them.
And maybe someday there will be a time
for me to make cards.
For now, I am going to continue to blog,
continue taking pictures
and will seek to continue to love.
Again, my thanks to you all.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sometimes We Get Wet

Tears come and wet our face.

Our eyes and cheeks can be red from crying.

God sees our tears.

Sometimes we feel really fragile.

Sometimes things do not work out the way we wish

or we just want to start over, again.

Sometimes we even wonder: why does life have to be so hard.

Each life is individual.

Many colours, many kinds.

We all get wet sometimes,

by tears, by the rain.

Sometimes mud splatters on us when we are walking on a sidewalk

"Zoom!" goes the car or a loud thunderous "Swish!" from a truck

and we are wet.

Maybe we were even wearing our favourite clothes.

Or we drench our sandled feet

by stepping in a deep unseen rain puddle.

The sun does come again.
The floods,
they do not last forever,
God promised.
But sometimes it can seem like a lot of wet.
A lot of rain.
Sometimes rain can be the best most joyous thing in the world.
But sometimes when it floods,
and is grey for days and days,
we begin to lose heart.
But again at church today,
my spiritual father spoke of a God who loves us.
A God who is so gentle when He asks
do you want to be healed?
A God who is with us,
who waits for us,
who loves us.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

5 - for - 5

Five for Five Meme
Inspired from Mimi and also done by Alana
5 things I was doing five years ago
1. Shelving books at a public library
2. Preparing to do my Masters in Library and Information Science
3. Living at home in Michigan
4. I was chrismated almost 5 years ago exactly (August 8th)
5. I met many wonderful Orthodox friends - It broke my heart to leave BC
but God in His wisdom had me chrismated in the town where I grew up.
Now when ever I go home to family, I also go home to another church family
and my Godmother.
But it was not easy to leave BC and I barely talked for
the first 3 days after leaving.

5 things on my to do list:

1. apply for another job

2. go to church tomorrow (Thank God)

3. go to a friends house

4. wash my dishes, again

5. read another chapter in The Brothers Karamazov

5 things I would do with a million dollars:

1. I better remember to tithe

2. buy an apartment with a room for a library

3. invest for my future and for my family

4. pay off my school loans

5. get spiritual counsel for all of the above points

5 places I have lived:

1. West Michigan

2. Connecticut

3. Langley, Fort Langley and Walnut Grove (all in Beautiful BC)

4. London Ontario

5. Ottawa

5 things I want to be doing in 5 years:
1. Have a stable job that I enjoy
2. Um, still wish I could get married, like so many wish. But
God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
3. I hope Cleo will still be alive and well - she will be 11
4. Asking for God's mercy and going to an Orthodox Church
5. Visiting monasteries
I also hope to continue to blog in a meaningful way
and to continue taking pictures.
I feel so alive when I am taking pictures;
being in the rain on my balcony last night made me almost
dizzy with the joy of seeing the rain;
taking pictures for me is to live
within the beauty
found in the present moment.


Sometimes life seems a bit too much.

I have been feeling this way myself.

So we hide for a bit.

But then we come out again.
I really wish though
that I could of done full time French training
or that it was easier to get a job.
Thank God tonight is vespers.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Today In Pictures

I had a very cute two year old visit today.

The bear is hers, the bunnies happen to be mine.

They stay on a shelf, waiting for children to visit; it was fun to share them!

The sun and the rain - again.

It rained suddenly and furiously tonight.

I love rain at night when I am home.

I love watching the rain dance on the street

and how it looks in different kinds of light.

Taking these pictures filled me with joy;
this is why I take pictures.
For the love and beauty of what I see around me.
It is becoming an inner discipline,
to become aware of the beauty of the everyday.


I love the idea of being a local artisan.
I will research.
I will also continue job searching;
I have networking, informational interviews and more cover letters to write.
I am going to look for books on card making.
I am glad I am a librarian.
Flower and Card research - Fun.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


So Phillipa and Elizabeth


with an encouragement I really never thought of.

The specific suggestion was to frame

my photographs.

I have been told I have a good eye for pictures

(even my spiritual father thinks so, which makes me most happy)

but I never thought of them as wanted by another.

I still am not sure about the framing of them to sell
at craft sales
I used to use my pictures to make cards for people.
I have been taking pictures of flowers for years
it is just something I do,
especially this summer,
I find myself grabbing my small digital out of my bag
and taking pictures of flowers everywhere I go.
I just love the beauty of them. Beauty is part of who God is
and is so important for us.
So my question:
Do you think my pictures could be used and sold as cards?
Is Etsy calling my name?
What do you think?
Would you buy them?
Something to research.
I am a librarian. I love researching.
Regardless, I am really grateful for the prayers
and the appreciation of my pictures.

What Next?

I am back from the meeting.
She was a lovely person.
Unfortunately, she was quick to tell me
that I had been misled.
Apparently I cannot keep unemployment and learn French
(I was willing to pay for the courses)
even though the job postings for Ottawa
are 95% bilingual
(I saw another posting today, starting with,
if you are fully bilingual...).
So it looks like I cannot do the full time French classes that I wanted.
I am disappointed.
I may be able to do part time courses.
One day at a time.
Do not worry, your Father knows.
God is so good to us.
I must allow what God brings to me be for my salvation.
Lord have mercy on us - Amen.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Please say a prayer for me

I have another meeting about funding for French training
tomorrow morning.
Tonight's vespers was a blessing;
Thank God for His Church.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beauty in the City

The setting of the sun.

The colours change and deepen so quickly.

Our lives too, change, at a blink of an eye.

I love in the canon of repentance,

that we can ask for

the grace to truely repent

before we die.

I love the vastness of the sky.
And that we,
small as we are,
under such a sky,
are loved.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Strength for Today

In a phone call to my Grandmother,
she reminded me that
God only promises strength for today.
I must rest in this and do what I can within this day.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Seeking Thankfulness

I have been learning to take more walks;

I take pictures along the way.

Stepping into the edges of flowerbeds

and big flower pots,

favoured by apartment buildings.

This is a view from nearby to my apartment building.
I believe it is these bells I hear at 4 pm;
they ring beautifully.
I wish, however, that Church Bells
would ring in the times and the days.
However, I am thankful for where I live
and for what I can receive in these moments, in this summer.
Things progress slowly,
or what feels slowly. But things are progressing.
I feel like this is a summer of healing for me.
This past year was full of challenges -
breaking my foot last summer
and a difficult job experience.
I am beginning to see more of the good
in this past year however,
and in my life.
God is so merciful to us;
my spiritual father continues to tell us,
again and again in Church,
of how gentle God is.
How spiritual healing comes from God when we are open to it.
I pray that we may live in God's mercy
and be thankful in God's goodness
and gentleness.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Outward Progression

My Georgia O'Keeffe poster, after 14 years waiting,

is framed and hung in my living room.

The two black and white prints

were done by my brother

some years prior.

I finally saw more trees and water.

By happy happenstance,

I was at a wonderful two year old's birthday celebration;

birds, water and water slides.

It was a perfect evening
after a beautiful day of sunshine.
I am thankful.
On another note,
I have another meeting about French training
and am working on a few different cover letters.
I am praying that the sense of renewed hope,
that is slowly growing in me,
will stay awhile.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Comfort and Courage

I have been thinking about book VI of

The Brothers Karamazov

and how Elder Zossima speaks of praying for everyone.

It is encouraging to remember that we can be of help

to the lonely, the ill, the abandoned,

by prayer.

Some days I wish I could give everyone who is alone

or distressed

a cup of tea and comfort.

But at least, since I cannot help everyone in this precise manner,

I can pray, as meager as my prayers are.

This is a comforting realization.

I am aware also,

through reading about Elder Zossima,

about how what we do, and what is in our hearts, effects others.

God cares for us, each one

He knows the number of hairs on our head,

He knows our names.

Our small lives can be an encouragement to others.

By struggling for our salvation

by doing the little we can

each day

we can help others to struggle as well.

Madeleine L' Engle speaks, in her book,

A Circle of Quiet,

of the courage of a Magnolia Tree to bloom each year.

We must have courage.

I sat by the canal yesterday,
nearby to this tree.
Many people went by,
running and biking mostly,
and I sat and watched the water.
I thought, as I saw the current in the water stirring to the surface,
of God as the being that which is under a whirling surface,
hidden underneath
perfectly still.
God is with us, here, now.
Oh that we can have courage and comfort to know
that God is with us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Through storm clouds and sunshine

The sunshine came out when I walked to vespers last Saturday.

The rain came again after vespers, but could not hide the sun.
I am aware of my faintness of heart,
how often I do not choose to love.
I finished book VI of the Brothers Karamazov
and am reminded again
of the life of God, the Church, the Saints;
the call to love, to humility.
Oh that I would remember God's mercy in the rain
and that the sun is always on the other side of the clouds.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Note to Self

When the newly washed blender parts are dry,
put the ring, then the blade and then screw the back in.
I often get this wrong, and do not understand how the blade will not fall out.
Simple to fix, simple to do. It is all about remembering the proper order.
I so often forget the ordering of the world.
I still find the world as we know it to be in part, irrational,
but God is still in charge of the world.
This is the proper ordering of a world that is so disordered.
God. God's love. The call towards humility.
The help of the Saints.
The faith to believe that, in spite of tragedy, or even,
within tragedy,
is God and His love, the Saints and their support.
That somehow it is all going to be okay.
Note to my soul: remember this.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The hard rain cannot obscure the sight of the Cross.

I hope it is not like this when I walk to church.
My entire being needs vespers desperately.
I will be wearing my black rain jacket over my skirt.
I am trying to work on cover letters and the whole business
makes me feel really weary.
I fell asleep on the couch and Cleo tried to steal food off the table.
Cleo and I are listening to the rain and Eva Cassidy