Saturday, October 31, 2009

St. John of Rila and St. John of Kronstadt

This is my icon of St. John of Kronstadt.
share the same feast day.
Old calendar this feast starts today and is all day tomorrow,
a Sunday.
This is a great blessing!
St. John of Kronstadt is named after St. John of Rila.
We have icons of both Saints in our church
they are very beloved by us.
We can learn much of God's love and of how to pray
from both of these Saint Johns.
Happy Feast Day!

Still Looking

The Apartment I was going to see what taken before I even saw it.
Well. I will keep looking.
This is a real learning process for me.
And a hard one to balance what I want and what I can get.
I believe that the Lord will have mercy...
I am re-looking at a place tomorrow.
Laundromat down the road.
I can walk to church.
I think this point wins out
and I can be tough and can get a good bag with wheels...
and maybe learn to wash somethings by hand...

The Last Day of October

It has been raining and raining here.
I finished reading The Man in the Queue
I wish she had written more.
This has to be one of the best mystery books of 1929...
What was it about this time period that produced so many mysteries
that are well done and well written?
Today I see the apartment that I like more than the others.
I have seen so many I do not want.
I am praying for God's mercy.
I have never hunted so long for an apartment without finding one.
Of course I have never had more than a week before to find one,
so that may be part of it as well.
Today is good; God is in it.
Vespers tonight.
I need to decide what soup to make for next week's eating.
The rain is not said to stop until Wednesday and to resume again
May we strive to think of God through the plodding days of rain.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Summer is such a funny season.

Summer often feels surprisingly, in my life,

like winter, as in a time where it seems that nothing is happening

instead of the huge blossoms summer brings.

Yet, I have to trust it is for a reason,

these times where everything either seems not to move forward

or to filled with loss.

This picture is from the monastery.
I hope to go back again over the Christmas holidays.
Christmas is the winter Pascha and is as I think of summer...
I am seeing an apartment tomorrow that has everything I am looking for.
Location, laundry, wood floors.
Please pray for me!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Other Things

Of course I am doing more than just apartment searching.

My parents had a wedding anniversary.

I mailed a gift a day late... a prodigal gift I guess...

in terms of lateness...

I read a well written mystery book,

not for the faint of heart or those who do not want to read a book that

has all of the messiness of life, misery and wrongful things.

It was well written though and set in New York.

I am a sucker for all things New York City and got a good sense of the city

as seen through the author,

Irene Marcuse

I am thinking about a couple who are about to have

their first child.

What a mystery childbirth and life is.

To be at the very edge of this life change makes me breathless

thinking about it.

I love so many people here.
Life is messy and full of complications.
I struggle at times to not feel alone;
looking for a place to live is so strange;
reading Irene's book during this time was quite something.
She is very aware of apartment dwelling New York
and the life of those in a city.
I never knew I would live in a city,
but here I am...


I agree
with those who gave their opinion
about the laundry question.
I too would rather have it in the building.
There is one place I am seeing this weekend that
has everything I am looking for.
However, that is without knowing the full details.
How I am praying that I can have this apartment, if has been
accurately represented...

What to Choose

Various options:
1. One has laundry on site - an apartment building.
2. One appears to have the dimensions I want space wise but laundry mat two blocks away
3. One has space for washer (have to see it to know if I can get one used
or need to buy an apartment sized one that is more costly).
My goodness, the choices!
What would you choose?

Still Looking / My Eyes Have Seen Salvation...

I am listening to Beethoven right now.

I forgot how much I love his work;

the quietness of parts

and louder sections are so expressive.

I need, at times, the more explosive music of Beethoven;

it helps me process things.

Bach's music too can help me inwardly progress through things.

A time for sound and a time for silence...

I am seeking to keep the basics:

morning prayers, a Saint's reading, the Scripture readings

from my Church Calendar.

I have looked at various apartments now.

Some good, some not so good, some down right bad.

I look at two more today,

possibly one tomorrow,

one on Saturday.

God will bring me to a good place,

just as he cares for the small birds,

the squirrels in the city...

Christ has come,
I have been baptised as an infant,
chrismated as an adult.
Confession, my spiritual father quickly reminded me,
is a renewal of baptism.
I have been baptised
and thus scorn the devil and all his works.
Christ has put his covering protection over me
a sinner
and in the end Christ is my Joy, my Delight, my Home
my Ever-Present Help in sadness, darkness and
He will have mercy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On the Journey to Understand the Church

I was talking to a close Protestant friend the other day;
it was clear that she did not understand the purpose of Confession,
and I was not sure how to explain it to her
right then and there.
Coupled with the fact that I am unworthy of such a topic,
I have yet still been thinking on it.
One cannot understand what going to Confession is and does
unless they understand and have a sacramental view of the world.
In Protestant churches there are often only two sacraments -
and their use of the word "grace" or "grace alone"
has the feel of these sacraments representing the salvation Christ gives,
as they articulate it,
to mean that there is no saving reality in the actual act of Baptism,
and the Eucharist is called "the Lord's Supper" because they,
believe that having Communion
is only an act of remembrance.
Communion then is remembering the Lord's Supper
that He had with His 12 disciples.
They obey Christ's command to continue having communion as
being something they are commanded to commemorate,
not something that literally happens again.
To be blunt,
they believe that Christ is in their midst,
but not in the Cup nor in the Bread.
Likewise baptism is often seen as the parent's committing their child to God
or as an obedience to Christ's command,
but not that baptism is an act that brings salvation to the child or adult.
Baptism is not, in their understanding,
linked to the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
This is the difference.
Orthodox view these sacraments as a mystery,
that Christ is present in them,
that they are fully real,
not merely something real that is now only being remembered.
That the Eucharist is really partaking of Christ's Body and Blood;
that when Christ said
This is my Body, Broken for you
He actually meant it literally.
That John Chapter 6 is to be taken also literally,
that we are partaking of Christ's body
and that without it, we have not life in us.
Likewise Baptism is real and is directly linked to being a Christian
and receiving the Holy Spirit.
That, as we sing in the Orthodox service of baptism,
"For as many of you as were baptized in to Christ have put on Christ"
(Galatians 3:27 NKJV).
Baptism is really putting on Christ, putting away the old man,
with all our passions and duplicity,
and taking on the new man;
becoming a new person, a Child of God.
I feel that it is only when one begins to realize that God is mystically
present in these sacraments,
that many Protestant Christians will know why one would go to
Confession is one of the sacraments of the Church.
Confession is a mystery linked to Christ's giving authority to the Apostles
to bind and loose on earth.
The Apostles ordained others as Bishops, priests and deacons.
Confession is done within the Church as part of a real
tangible working out of our salvation.
We confess our sins to Christ (this is why we do not face the priest but
the Gospel Book, the Cross and / or an Icon of Christ
when we confess).
The priest is used by God to hear our confession,
to give us practical advice on how to repent of these sins,
repentance being more than verbally saying what our sins are
but an effort to stop sinning.
The priest gives (and has the authority to give) absolution (forgiveness) of sin
as he is partaking directly in Christ's priesthood.
Confession is a holy mystery.
I am aware that my explanation is incomplete and
that I myself have much to learn.
Also, the concept of salvation itself and what that is,
needs to be understood,
as well as understanding how the reality of God is in everything
done in the Church,
including Icons, which are two topics often misunderstood
by very godly and sincere Protestants.
Also, I am slowly learning, through being taught in the Church
that there is a different understanding of time
and this also causes misunderstandings
when it comes to the Church and the reality of the sacraments.
If my Orthodox friends have any comments or resources
about these things,
I would love to hear.
I have often recommended the series from
Our Life in Christ,
which can be found on Ancient Faith Radio
or on their website directly,
their archives being the quickest way to link
into the topics you can listen to.
I have yet to read Fr. Thomas Hopko's books
but understand them to be very good introductory material.
Also Fr. Stephen Freeman's blog Glory to God for All Things
has helped many.
Ah, it seems that I should add that when I am speaking of Protestants,
I am not referring to Anglicans or others with traditions that
believe in the Eucharist.
Rather, the tradition I was from, within the multiplicity of Protestant traditions,
is as I explained above.
Just so you know where I am coming from...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Being Thankful In the Midst of It All

It is beautiful where I live.

I am going to be looking at some places that are near by.

I am really tired still, from not knowing where I will live,

but I am trying to be thankful

and do what I can each day.

I am thankful that I can walk with my two feet

and wear my favourite Birkenstock Clogs.

For the first month or so after I was walking again,

after breaking my foot the summer before this past,

I could not wear my clogs.

So it is nice to have this back;

I really love wearing them and keep them in good shape.

I am trying to remember that God
is taking care of me,
has been taking care of me all along,
and to not be afraid.
God is good to us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not much new

My Mother gently reminded me to trust God.
I have been confused.
The apartment I saw. Lovely. Not downtown.
Conflicted about it. Concerned.
Am waiting to see a similar place that is downtown;
so far the differences are the place I saw has hardwood and storage;
the place I have yet to see is downtown.
Trust God that it will fall into place,
my Mother encouraged me.
I am going to seek to do this.
Meanwhile, I have packed 7 boxes of books!
It is a beautiful sunshine filled day.
I am going to a friends place for her birthday.
I was at Liturgy.
I am so very blessed.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

All in time...

I am realizing it takes me time to know
what I want.
I am thinking that perhaps I want to live downtown
and not have to bus to Church, etc.
I need time and quietness and wisdom
to know what I need.
May the Lord have mercy on us all.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Possible Opportunity

I heard through word of mouth
of a possible receptionist
part-time position.
A good friend thought this would be good for me
as I could study my French there.
I am going to inquire in person tomorrow morning.
My friend helped me realize that a part-time job (1 or 2 days a week)
while I learn French
would not only bring in some income,
but help settle me in many ways.
Please pray for me
it could be that the job was misunderstood
as word of mouth things can be.
May God bring me what I need.
I am so grateful to God for His mercy and for so many prayers
said on my behalf.
Thanks be to God!

Now To Wait

I handed in my application.
I will not know if I was the first applicant qualifying for the apartment
or not.
I felt peaceful.
But I am very tired.
I have been struggling with insomnia again these days.
It is unsettling to know one has to move in a month's time
and not know where they are moving to.
My current apartment is already rented.
I pray for the Lord to have mercy.

Quiet Within

I saw an apartment.
When I first saw it, I felt so disoriented, I was stalling for time
for a good friend, who is like deep family here,
to come see it with me.
It is a good apartment.
I could make it home. It is not downtown,
but is more affordable while still being really good.
I realize that I want this apartment
and that it is a much better choice than the last place
Now I am asking God that this new apartment
will be my next home.
If it will be so,
I will write more about it.
I feel at peace, which I am slowly learning,
is a good indication when deciding what to do.
Please pray for God's mercy for me in this.
I would like to have the apartment and to know it is mine
before the week is over.
I called and am meeting the rental agent late this morning
to give her the rental application and deposit.
I still feel good about this.
Thank you for all prayers.
I hope to know soon....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Sorry that I had to take this down for a short while. I am back now.

Saw an apartment. Will make a decision tomorrow.

The Lord is good to us.

For now

I realized that I need to take this blog down for a time. It has nothing to do with anyone but a situation I realized today.

I will miss it but have to make it private starting now.

My love to all.

I will be making this unseen in a few hours and go from there.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Better Now ...

Well. After all that excitement,

I realized that I must not take the apartment.

I felt really bummed.

But you know? I woke up this morning quite concerned

worried and conflicted...

Now I feel peaceful.

I am at it again.
I still need to find an apartment.
Will make more phone calls tomorrow,
and I need to reneg on the apartment application.
Thank you so very much for your encouragement; it is such a roller coaster
ride for me right now.
The Lord loves us though.
He will not abandon us,
His children.


All I can say is that I do not know if
I should take this apartment after all.
I saw it again today.
There is a 1 bedroom not in a basement
that is going to be available sometime soon.
PLEASE do not give any comments with opinions.
I have heard so many of my very beloved friends
opinions about the apartment,
all conflictual and
it is not necessarily helping me.
Thank you for your kindness and prayers.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Apartment Found!

I went to the Apartment Open House.

It was a beautiful crisp sunny day.

A two bedroom basement apartment.

It has low ceilings.

Not many cupboards (though the ones they do have are cute)

Two small closets.

Half size windows.

But the sun in the afternoon shone into the apartment.

There was light there.

And two rooms plus a long big room

and a kitchen and bathroom.

Price: just over half of what I would of been paying here.

Hello New Home to Cleo, Me and My furniture!

Hello place to be lighted with candles

and lamps.

Hello, new place I hope to pray in

put icons in

and seek God.

It has a mocha brown paint job with white trim.
I will miss my green walls.
I will miss my view, my balcony.
I hope my new neighbours will be good.
Um, the fire station is near by.
So that may be a bit loud.
I can walk to church in 15 minutes,
grocery store in about 25 minutes,
buses nearby.
And I am going to make it cute and am already
planning on trying to find some furniture
to make up for the diminished cupboard space...
It is not a perfect place; some infestation issues;
they had a crazy tenant, who is no longer there.
But it felt good to myself and the friends with me,
and the friends with me have good heads on their shoulders.
I took it for November and will have time to clean
prepare and move in slowly.
Thank God for His mercy.
Thank you for your prayers!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pray Not Panic

This is a picture in the Church of St. George in Halifax

where I went a year ago to my good friend's


Christ is over all and I must remember this.

I have to trust God for a new home for me

Cleo and my belongings.

I called about a lovely looking place today,
not downtown,
but in reasonable bus-ride distance.
No Dice.
No Full Time Job, No Lease.
So: Pray, Not Panic.
God is bigger than all of this.
I was reminded again at Church how God often builds our faith
by coming through at the 11th hour.
Well. Tomorrow I am going to an open house with a friend after church
to see another apartment building.
Pray, Not Panic.
The Lord knows...

Celebrating Autumn

Autumn Leaves

Today is quiet.

Cleaning, breakfast, blogging, praying.

Vespers tonight.

Oh the relief -


Tomorrow I go to an open house

good price,

location not as trendy but doable.

I don't need trendy, but I do need good.

Saw some beautiful houses.

I wish I could live in one.

Meanwhile I am loving the autumn leaves.

Fall Flowers

I found these flowers fascinating to photograph.
Twin flowers, half eaten.

These flowers have a very present and waiting look to them.

I love the shape of the petals and how similar but yet individual
the flowers are.
It was sunny when taking these pictures;
yet you can feel from them that it is now autumn,
and that summer has fled away
so quickly.

Cake and the secret to baking one from a mix

Canadian Thanksgiving was this past Monday.

This is the Marble Cake I made,

to many people's delight.

With the homemade frosting.

Packed and Ready To Go;
I walked to my dinner a lovely 20 minute walk.
The secret I discovered when baking a cake for my house blessing over two years ago:
When using a cake mix, do not follow their instructions,
to put the eggs, oil and water in all at once and mix.
Instead put the eggs in and blend;
put the oil in and blend again;
put the water in and blend again.
This makes an incredibly light and airy cake.
I found that the frosting to be too hard for the cake;
it was so thick that it was ripping the top of the very soft cake
when spreading it on.
I should of made the margarine a tad softer for a better frosting.
That said, people really liked the cake and frosting!
Here is the recipe for frosting (given to me by a very lovely friend):
*About 50 g or 1/2 cup of margarine - softened
*2 cups powdered sugar
*3 tbs of cocoa
2 tbs milk (or water to make it vegan)
Put in bowl and mix together.
The trick is to get the margarine soft enough to made a light spreadable frosting;
not to melt it or have it too hard and thus not as spreadable.
I get cake mixes on sale for a dollar or so. By making it as explained above,
these cakes taste like fancy made from scratch cakes.
Ask the Lord to bless your cake and all is done!

Friday, October 16, 2009

What To Do?

I never thought it would be like this;

I have looked at apartments that are worse than I ever looked at before.

The only 1 bedroom I have found so far, for my reduced circumstances,

that would fit my furniture,

a good friend told me

never live there ever.

I was scared to realize I almost looked at apartments

in the most undesirable

unsafe part of downtown.

I live in the best part of town right now;

it is strange to realize I don't even want to spend money to live in areas

downtown, that I never would of considered before.

What should I do with my furniture?

it may be that I cannot find an apartment that I can afford

that will fit what I currently own.

Do I sell? Try to store at some one's house?

I need wisdom...

I have word that my apartment I am in right now is rented out.
Nice that I can have peace for the rest of my time
here; but where am I going to?
Where is this gold chair going to go next?
I am feeling really overwhelmed and unsure about doing French
and spending over half my savings.
I am striving to yet be thankful.
I need wisdom and guidance;
please pray for me that I will know what to do.
There have been lots of tears this week
in God do I look for salvation.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I am relieved to know that I did not get

the part time job.

If I am ever to learn French,

I feel I have to do it full time.

Part-time work and part-time French I would find difficult.

I must say I am feeling exhausted.

Have been here when my current apartment was being shown;

really strange to have my home looked at

and to know I am going to an apartment

that may be similar but smaller and in a different area.

I am looking at more apartments on Friday and Monday.

But it seems that I am learning a very important lesson:
we cannot know the outcome of our actions;
we can only do our best
with what we have now.
And I must seek to rejoice in God
in the midst of great uncertainty
and see that He alone is
my hope
my stability
my security
my joy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One Step, Another Step, and One Step...

First step: remember God.

Second step: seek to be quiet within one's soul

and seek to nourish inward thanksgiving

in the midst of life's trials.

Third step: rejoice at all the good things in the present moment.
The apartment I saw was Tres Horrible!
I am so thankful I had a dear friend with me when I saw it.
I am working on learning the present tense "er" endings.
I am still getting etre and avoir confused.
Je suis and J'ai
I understand - Je comprend.
It is the other 5 I get confused.
Lord help me.
My Dad has pneumonia -
thankfully caught in the first stage and he is on drugs and is resting.
Please pray for my Dad (would rather keep his name private,
God will know who "Elizabeth's Dad" is).
I am thankful for my Dad and love him very much;
he is a good Christian man and father.
Since seeing the Tres Horrible Apartment,
I am of a mind to quickly trust God for future job or money
than saving a bit on rent.
Whew, was that apartment bad.
I struggle to get everything I need to get done in a day;
there is a job add I need to apply to,
French to learn,
and apartment to find, boxes to procure, and the like.
But God is good and will help me do what I need to do.
I am volunteering at a Christian high school as a librarian
assisting the school librarian.
Tres Excited!
Hello Elizabeth the Librarian!!!
I thank God for His goodness and pray that my Dad will
begin to feel better soon, Amen.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What needs to be done

1. Remember God

2. Remember that Saints surround us, especially

Christ's Holy Mother who loves us.


Next - do whatever has to be done today.

I polished shoes today - cleaned, polished and waterproofed.

My brown Birkenstock shoes are full of wrinkles but well cared for.

I have had them since 1994 and for most of these years,

have worn them.

French is hard and I struggle to stay working at it.

I have a really big French day and then it wanes until I realized how lost I am in class

and resolve to try again.

My teacher reminded me that it is hard and that I,

unlike everyone else in my small class,

have the least experience in languages;

that I am starting from scratch.

I am waiting to hear if I get that part-time job.
Tomorrow I am going to see an apartment slightly
outside of the centre of downtown
that is the right price.
Please pray for me.
I thank God for His goodness.