Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday: a cold but sunny day

Asking the Mother of God for her intercessions;

for Noah, for Mara, for those in Egypt,

for us all.

Looking for help from God and

through the intercessions of the Saints,

including Saint Menas!


I am hoping for a goodnight sleep and a

good interview tomorrow.


My first night of my new French class was

pretty good,

even though I was a bit lost at times.

I am happy to be starting this again!

My special patron Saint ...
I ask her prayers especially for peace,
which is what Irene means.
(My name's saint is St. Elizabeth Mother of the St. John the Baptist
and St. Herman's icon is next to my icon of St. Irene
so I believe I have more than one patron!)
If only I would remember more to just trust in God's care
and in the care of the Saints...
May we all be comforted and sense God's care this evening
and coming day.

Noah Needs Prayer Now

Please Pray.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Path From Here is Changing

This week's line up:
Interview Prep
French class
Interview Day
First three days of new contract
Second French class evening of first day of contract.
Waiting to hear results of interviews.
Studying French and working as a librarian.
My dishes are done.
Liturgy this morning was wonderful.
I want to be present to God through this week of changes.
May God ever be my Path.
Thank you so much for prayers for my friend Mara.
I can't tell you how much they are needed.
May God protect and save us.

Prayers on a Sunday

Still praying for my dear friend.

For privacy purposes, I will call her Mara,

from Naomi in Ruth 1.20

where she says her way has become bitter, broken, confused.


Mara and I have been dear friends for over ten years.


She is struggling against a very big battle right now.


Please pray for her and her parents and siblings

as they try to support her through this.


I am many many miles away

and so ask your prayers.

You will never meet a sweeter Christian woman

than Mara,

let us pray that her way returns to that of Naomi,

that which is pleasant and good.


God is with us

and I look to him for mercy;

to the Theotokos and her veil for protection

and the Angels to keep Mara in their care.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Prayer for Another

(Icon of St. Seraphim from Kiev).
A friend called me in the middle of the night.
Really struggling.
She is a God-believing protestant.
As I have experienced the difference that being
an Orthodox Christian in an Orthodox Church,
not to mention
Orthodox monasteries,
I can only say I wish so much that she had what
the Orthodox church offers.
Please say a prayer for my dear friend.
I am miles from her and wish I could be with her
during this time of trial.
If you are Orthodox do not forsake what you have received!
It is such a temptation for us to not
be present to the Church that is for our salvation,
for our repentance and hope;
may God help us.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wow! A Short term contract!

(Flowers my Dad got me when I was home in August.)
I got the contract!
It is not quite full time hours but it will be enough
to pay the rent, my bills and I think save a little bit.
The timing of this feels like a miracle to me!
I had just gotten back from the bank
to get laundry money
and realized that by the time my expenses were
paid for February
I would have very little left...
I don't know any details yet about the contract,
just that I will be there at 9 AM on Wednesday
and I already know some of the things they will want me to work on.
The person is also going to forward my name to two other
places that may need an information specialist
(another word for librarian :) )
as well!
I feel like my long job search is finally bearing some fruit.
And I can stay in Ottawa.
As you know I interviewed for positions outside of this area,
and I was willing to go where God led;
but I knew very much that the level of stress
would be a lot higher
by moving (i.e. starting over with everything,
knowing no one, new place, city, apartment)
and starting a new job at the same time.
I know a lot of people have to move for work,
but I am glad if I don't have to.
It is not easy to do and living alone with only Cleo,
I was really not looking forward to losing the community
I am in. It takes years to rebuild community...
I am so thankful that it appears that I am getting some work here.
I just want to resume
my working life and go from there...
THANK YOU for your prayers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday - Warmer with unexpected interview

I was studying for my Tuesday interview
when I got an email for an interview
tomorrow at 9 AM
for a short term library contract
(to end of March).
This news came very soon after looking at
my beleaguering bank statement;
this contract could be a huge God-send
while I wait to see about the other interviews...

I know I must keep seeking to trust God

for all my needs.

This job would really help me;

I ask your prayers.

I am back to using the pictures of summer...

Thought we all needed to see some flowers about now...

These flowers were from the Feast of the Dormition
at the monastery this past August.
Remembering God's mercies and care
that were so evident during this time...
Long time readers may remember all the adventures that started
while I was home in August this past year...
I got word of the all day interview in September
that I bought a great suit for
(which I keep using for all interviews now, keeps it simple!)
and ended up having about two or so interviews a
month of all different kinds...
Here's to hoping that this part will soon end,
at least for now!
God is with us!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A mercy of God

(This is my Mom's nice dish set; they were my
Grandmother's mother's dishes.)
I just wanted to note that I talked to my Grandma
tonight (not to be confused with my 102 year old Oma)
and it was such a blessing.
I reminded her of one of my Aunt's playing a joke on me
many Christmases ago;
we have name gift exchanges and my Aunt had my name...
I was about 18 or 19 at the time
and had asked for two possible gifts:
a popcorn popper
or a
devotional book.
I know... strange combination!
The gift I got from my Aunt's family was their
old beat up 1970's popcorn popper
in a box.
Later, after much laughter,
my Aunt gave me a new copy of
Joni Earekson Tada's recently published devotional,
diamonds in the dust
which I remember beginning to read in the new year...
I think I had just turned 19.
You know, her book had a huge impact on me;
I remember it so vividly;
she wrote on such simple topics;
including sin and frankly
it was some of the first movements in my more 'adult' life
(as opposed to a life of a young adult or child)
that moved me towards the life-giving gift of repentance
and hope.
I had given my Grandma an older copy of a Joni E Tada book
for Christmas that I had for years.
She is reading it now and enjoying it.
What a blessing it was to remember that Christmas past
and to talk with my Grandmother.
It is not easy to grow older
(she is 80 now but you would not know it);
one of her relatives through marriage
who she'd known for some years
died on Saturday; even though she had been ill
it was still a surprise.
She lost my Grandpa 6 years ago, she knows
how hard this is.
She is an example to me;
she prays for so many people,
is active in her church and still
has a volunteer job
3 times a week.
I hope when I am older
God willing
that I will be like her.
It is moments like this phone call
that remind me of God's love and how blessed I am
to have such a Grandmother.
Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, slight snow and completed applications

I made this chick pea potato curry this afternoon;

It is okay but was a bit too bland for me;

any suggestions on adding some 'bite' to it?

I am thinking fresh tomato/tomato paste,

more cumin, less garam marsala;

maybe some cayenne pepper?

I did add a bit of spinach for some added nutrients and colour...

Thoughts and suggestions more than welcome!

I finished two job applications today.

Now I am wanting a piece of this cake!

Still need the recipe...

boy was it good!

(picture of one of my Mom's sugar and creamers).
I am so blessed to have a family;
even though they are far from here, I can talk to my Mom
on the phone and that is a real blessing.
Tonight I will start preparing for my Tuesday interview.
I am really hoping that my waiting will soon be over
and that I will have a job.
Heard of more in Michigan and the surrounding areas
losing their jobs;
we have to take each day as they come
and keep trusting in God's mercy and care.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday - Cold, Snow and Cover Letters

I printed this icon of St. Menas.

I am going to put it in my new shelf Icon Corner.

One of my friends who grew up in an Orthodox country

related to me St. Menas was the first Saint she was really close to

as a young girl...

She told me that St. Menas never hesitates to help us

and quickly...


I posted a while back of finding the Akathist to St. Menas;

we are so blessed to have so many avenues and types

of prayer in the Orthodox church.


I remember a nun telling me how they pray to St. Menas

and that he never lets them down.

You cannot say it more simply than this!


I am looking for a job-finding miracle!

Finished two cover letters due tomorrow;

have to edit, finish the resumes.


Got news of an interview at a far off place

in North America via Skype.

Another reason I am so glad I have a new computer!


I fully admit that I desire to stay in Ottawa

but must seek God's will and hand.

Um, but that does not mean inside I am thinking

no, no, no not moving, no...

But one thing at a time.

I am asking God to resolve this situation

and for me to obey!


I do have the interview next week for another Ottawa position...

It is cold here still.

I wore my snow pants to experiment

with walking to the store.

I stayed warm; my cheeks got very red with cold;

clearly the third top scarf is needed.

Style verses warmth = stay warm and forget 'style.'!


I love my scarves as my Oma knitted them

and I think of her when I wear them and how

her work is keeping me warm.


I got two loaves of thick wheat walnut raisin bread

for half off at the local bakery.


I am seeking to continue to take this one day at at time;

I have enough for now,

and must do what I can job-wise

every day.

I must not worry about the future but merely

trust that God will continue to provide for me.

My sister and brother in law arrived safely back in
It was such a good time this past Christmas.
I am so blessed.
which is hard to imagine.
Noah's mother's faith in Christ and determination
to focus on today and on thankfulness
is not only helping save her in the here and now
but is a real testimony to me.
Let's keep praying one for the other!
God is with us.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Quiet and Full

It has been really cold here in Ottawa;

-38 C yesterday walking to church!

I love it though and got to layer up with no less

than 4 scarves!

(It's about a 30 minute walk for me...)

My Christmas tree has been packed away

for another year.

Back to 'normal' as it were.

Last Sunday celebrating Theophany...

Such a beautiful feast!

I finally got some new icons put up on my wall.

St. Spyridon;

and St. John of Suceava


Such a blessing.


I've been working on a cover letter

and job research.

Of course it always takes longer than you hope for.


Am trying to stay at peace during this process.


Am going to my friend's for dinner and

will enjoy the company of her two small boys

one of which I will read stories to.


Am a bit overwhelmed with all I need to do this week.

But God is with us.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Make my days happy as they were sad

When I was at the monastery over the New Years
one of the line of a prayer that was prayed
every day was to this effect:
Lord, make my days happy as they were sad.
I am not sure what part of a service or Psalm
this prayer is from,
but it has stayed with me.
I know at least in part that the goal of our lives is
not to be happy.
Shocking, I know, since
the pursuit of happiness
has become a constitutional right!
But happiness is found in giving of one's self
not in self-love,
not in looking for self-fulfillment.
Yet this prayer is real too;
after days and years of sorrow
though I have so much compared to most,
like the country of Haiti or
the poor and homeless in Ottawa;
yet I hope that new things can happen in my life,
starting with employment...

It is a beautiful day here.

My new computer is pretty much set up.

Just need some CDs to burn music from my old

computer before it dies

(it's my Slavonic music that a friend gave me;

I lost the CD of it and only have it on my computer).

A friend is coming soon for tea.

I have been cleaning house;

where does all the paper come from

that I am constantly recycling!

This picture is for Marfa who asked if

I have gone skating on the Rideau Canal;

Here is a picture I promised!

I have not skated since I was a kid but every winter

Ottawa lowers the water for the canal and

many go skating,

many even skate all the way to work or school!

Beauty and hospitality is so important.
Heard an astounding sermon this week;
Theophany as the revelation of God
in the Trinity
as a deep reciprocal intimate love shared with
the Father and the Son
through the Holy Spirit;
this is my beloved Son, of Whom I am well pleased.
That the Baptism of the Lord is an invitation of God
to us to see who God is the Trinity;
a Divine Thrice Unity of intense love.
The Trinity Icon is also called the Hospitality of Abraham;
the Trinity is the pinnacle of unity love and hospitality
shared in perfect relationship.
May we learn to seek this God and share in this beautiful

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday - Cold, Sunny and Unexpected

Longer time readers will recognize this


it is in my former more spacious apartment

(which actually I don't really miss that much,



My computer pictured above started showing signs of

monitor failure back in August;

pink screen when turning on...

I was told it was only a matter of time and

to keep everything backed up.


Thankfully I have a great external hard drive

that I got a few years ago.


Today my monitor started the white

flash/fast flicker

and I knew this was another sign

warning me of eventual computer failure

via monitor.


So with a flurry of messages to blog and other friends,

laptop research and phone calls,

I wasted no time.


It may sound crazy given I have yet to secure employment

but I need a computer to job search;

so I went to Future Shop and got a new Gateway computer

(my old one is a Gateway too, lasted over 5 years)

for a good price,

all the 'zero down, pay later' details done

I am now using it for this blog post.


The nice thing other than faster speed

is more memory;

now I have all my pictures back on my hard drive!


I knew that the last thing I need is

computer failure

right before an interview

or application deadline.

(I have one of each in the next 1.5 weeks! for

Ottawa library work).

So I thought this post would be a retrospective

of older pictures.

This one is of the fancy tea party I had last summer;

was so much fun to do!

My favourite special walk in the summer time

near to my favourite tree...

And how can I not include
an icon of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ
who a friend and I did prayers to recently;
she is good for prayers for employment,
for protection of families,
for birth of children
and for what begins the home
a spouse.
Her icon is the first mounted icon I ever purchased
and she remains very special to me
in my life and in many others.
Today feels like a 'calm before the storm' day;
I did not job search but computer searched;
trusting God for all things;
job; provision; wisdom.
God is good to us and will not abandon us in our search.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday - a very good day - cold and sunny

I believe I interviewed well today.
I am thankful to God.
Got word of the other interview that I was promised!
Will be early afternoon Feb 1st.
So I have time to prepare.
I will not hear back from the interview I had today
until after this time
so that is good.

I had one of my dear friends over for a special

post-Theophany Feast.

(Notice that Cleo the Cat joined us!)

On the menu:

slow cooker beef roast with carrots, 1 small onion,

1 can of cream of mushroom soup,

1 can water (did not need so much water)

garlic slices in pierced meat with oil salt and pepper

good douse of Worcestershire sauce.

It made a great gravy...

(Thanks to Sarah for her suggestions on preparing this!)

Also on tonight's menu:

baked potato, bread

good deep red wine, water and

a chocolate chai decaf tea for dessert

with grapes to nibble on

and a lovely toffee chocolate bar that we never

got around to eating

for virtue of being full from the dinner!

The table cloth is from my Grandmother
who found it at a mission thrift shop where she
(at 80 years old no less!)
The dishes are also from my Grandmother.
I thank God for this day
and that I have another interivew for an Ottawa job
and that I had one also today!
Thank you all for your prayers!
They were really helpful!
Thank God!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Just catching up on blog feeds.
Wanted to mention that Noah was readmitted to hospital.
I am so glad we can pray one for another,
esp. for the children like this lovely young boy.

Wednesday, Theophany, Abundance and Interview Prep

My Holy Water glass containers are brimming full

of new Holy Water.

I love very much that we can bless our homes with it

and drink of it.


The blessings of the Waters

was last night on Theophany Eve

at my Ottawa parish.


It was so joyful.

I was bursting over with happiness;

how much I wish to stay right here in Ottawa.

Learning continually to seek to say

"Whatever You want God"

and to remain peaceful in the process.

Not easy but that seems to be the noticeable

goal of my current life situation.

I was given the grapes

and, through provision of a belated St. Nicholas gift

the other food;

having simple staples like onion and garlic

(the garlic cloves are in the basket on top)

as well as bread and wonderful things in the freezer

feels like a very significant blessing.


I got a large beef roast for half off at the grocery store;

made it into three sections;

froze two and put the third in my slow cooker

to make tomorrow.


A belated feast for today's feast day!

Have been doing interview prep today;
interview tomorrow slightly after the noon hour.
I feel good about the it;
a 1 year contract.
Have not heard back from the other place
that promised me an interview.
Praying for God's will
and being honest with how much I want to stay
in Ottawa.
I was given the Icon of the Annunciation
where the Theotokos accepts God's will for her
in bearing Christ;
may it be as you said.
God is good to us all the time;
all the time God is good.
Thank you all again for your prayers and encouragement!
You are blessings of God to me!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quick Turn Around

I applied for a 1 year contract yesterday.
Was called today.
Interview Thursday early afternoon.
Prayers Requested.
(It is in Ottawa).
Got meds but thankfully
I am not on the highest dose and
it will be less than a month
of taking them.
Still, even at the lowest dose,
I had insomnia.
I start tomorrow morning on this.
Seeking to trust God in all things
and focus on my Thursday interview.
Cancelled some things but am still going to church.
Yay for Theophany Eve today!
Blessed Feast to all those on the old calendar!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tuesday's word: sudden focus

In December I got an unexpected
when home in Michigan.
I got word today that I will be getting a call soon
for a second interview.
I am going to work very hard from now
until the interview
(that may be by the end of this month)
to prepare for it.
I suddenly have a new focus.
Will need wisdom for what else to apply for given my situation.
If I am not online as much,
you'll know why!
I really would like this job.
In other news, I see my dermatologist again tomorrow.
The rash is spreading.
I am more at peace, even if I have to go back
on very unwanted meds.
I am at peace when I remember to merely accept all
of the day's happenings as God's will for me
for this day,
this time.
May God be with us and help us.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday - Cold and Sun Bright

My Cat Cleo is cute cute cute.

And nice to me - I put her back on the window sill just

to take the picture.

I guess I am spoiled too!

It was so good to be in liturgy and pray.

I am hoping to be on the upward swing

with the anxiety issues.

I know in part they are from insomnia

[had it this week again :( ]

and other factors;

it is strange when one knows that the anxiety

is in part from things outside of one's control.

I am however hoping to

deepen my repentance about the

do not worry that Christ tells us to do.

It took me years to realize that such verses of comfort

were actually meant to be obeyed

i.e. really to not worry.

We praise Christ for His long suffering for a reason

during Lent!!

God is so patient with me!

I know, I know,

I do think a lot of Cleo and her cuteness.

Will end this post with a prayer request:
remember that rash I had in November
that I had to go on heavy meds for?
I have one spot of it again;
I'd been ignoring it as it was not spreading and
not really growing.
I showed it to my spiritual father (who is also my priest)
and he told me I must tell my doctors about this
as it is such an early recurrence.
I will. If Father tells me to do it then
I best do so.
So please pray for me;
the X-Ray was clear;
the blood work still has to be rechecked
and the last thing I want is to
have to go on the heavy meds again.
They made my anxiety skyrocket, my insomnia
became insomnia-with-sleeping-pills
and I felt really shaky and had to eat constantly.
Thanks for your prayers.
Most of all I have to remember what a holy monastic said to me
in the last while:
Glory to God for everything
which includes all of my troubles.
I am so glad for a new week
and for two extra (Theophany)
church services
and a friend coming over mid-week
and other things.
Meanwhile, I best work on a cover letter due tomorrow
in case the doctor's appointment
leads me to go back to the
Please also keep my friends I mentioned yesterday in prayer;
prayer is much needed for both of them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Cold and White

Today I cleaned.

After I submitted another cover letter and resume


I did laundry; I dry laundry all by hand.

Now laundry and dishes are done.


Every morning lately I wake up

like I have gotten a cold;

using Kleenex, coughing, congestion;

within a few hours I feel fine again.

In case it is allergies,

I swept all dust bunnies away.


A friend told me that it could be nerves

and that he gets that sometimes.



I could not help though

thinking that even though I really needed to clean

that it meant I was not job searching at the same time.

Yet the cleaning was needed.


I am seeking to trust God for what I need.

I am struggling with anxiety;

due to circumstances outside of our control,

there could be no confessions tonight.


Monastics have told me about submitting everything

to God and trusting God to do in a day

what is needed;

so I seek to learn this in all things.


I want to learn this;

to be at peace;

not obey Christ and not worry.

Today it snowed and snowed.

It was cloudy all day with snow - a type of 'snow-fog.'


I am glad for a clean house.


I am really looking forward God-willing

to liturgy tomorrow.

I thought a cute and kind a funny picture of Cleo
was needed about now.
Twice this week she has decided to hide
in this blue pillow
that is on my IKEA arm-less arm chair.
So cute.
I have other friends that are also struggling
right now -
for reasons of privacy I can't way their names
but can you pray for two of my friends today?
They are in great need.

Praying again for Noah

He is in the hospital again with an infection;
this could be quite serious for him.
Lord have mercy!
Christ save and protect!
*(Noah was born in 2006 sick and has mito disease)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Starting Again Tomorrow...

Tonight I began again

Elizabeth Goudge's

Scent of Water.


This is my most special book.


My neighbor was just moving things in her apartment,

wow, was that loud.

Thin walls here.

But at least my walls are blue and cream


I start again tomorrow.

Must clean off my cluttered table.

Goal is to finish one application and have a

first draft for another, with resume.


I am going to have to continue to apply

for non-librarian jobs;

maybe try retail;

I have never tried and am a bit at a loss

to what to do.

I plan on going in to see my job person about this.

I was ready to go in this direction last November but got sick,

as long time readers remember.

So now I am better from that sickness

and must try again.


Of course I hope for a better job;

I had to explain again to one of my most very beloved

academic friends

that I can't just get a quote

'lower level job'

and work it part time while I look for other work.


Really these jobs only pay, if I am lucky,

about 12 an hour

and I have to work full time at this salary

to make basic ends meet.


One day at a time.

God has provided for me always

and I must continue to remember this.

My favourite tree in the sunshine today.
Praying that God will bring sunshine in our hearts,
that we will be open to Christ
and seeking to abide in Him.

Another week draws to a close - A Cold Sunny Friday

I wish I could say I was somehow suprisingly perfect
or even that I could maintain a sense of peace
for a day.
I am working on seeking God's peace
but fail from the moment I open my eyes in the morning...
I looked at the wave of self-pity
and was sucked in for a bit today.
Thank God that He forgives
and that next week will at least be better
socially, which was one of the difficulties this week.
When I realize I have seen one person
who is an actual friend
all week
the self-pity swamp wants to mire me in for good.
Silly me,
just because I was not able to see my friends much in person this week
does not mean I don't have them!
It was sunny today.
I took a walk
and rephotographed some sites
to capture them in the sun.

Do you see the sun on the street?


I am still looking into seeing if there is a French course

I can take;

most of them seem to be too late;

too late too late

which means more of trusting God for His timing

in my life.


I am thinking perhaps that I should try for a French Conversation class

as my spoken French is really poor at this point.


The other option is trying to see if I am ready to take a

French class for the government tests.

The school is run on a shoe string and was

not able to give me any advice on what class I should do.

This is what 'affordable options' often look like.

Well at least it may be an option!


I am listening to French on my computer meanwhile...

Madeleine L' Engle writes

in one of her journals

how lonely she was before she married;

I think life just has a lot of this.


Part of it is just not being spiritual strong enough

to live in faith in the reality of Christ

and that He can fill the loneliness that is aching for Him.

A picture of my favourite tree.

I tried to capture a bit of how tall it is

and the looking into the heavens while standing on the ground.


Crazy that I have been so high in the sky

as they say

when flying in a plane.


I applied for a job today

that I am unsure about but submitted an application.


Another to work on over the weekend.


It feels painfully slow

this waiting

and I often feel that I am very inept at all this

job seeking.

Give us our daily bread.
How is it that I forget this prayer so soon?
I must say emotionally I am struggling a bit.
So glad that tomorrow
God willing
will be vespers and confession.
The battle in the mind
for peace
for faith
for humility
for letting the Holy Spirit inside
is the most worthy battle
but often a difficult one for us.
Let us not give up,
Let us cry for Christ to help us,
He promises to never leave us
and to intercede for us,
that He experienced every temptation and weakness...
As hard as Lent is,
yet I wish for it to come;
how much we need to fast
to try to give up our self will
to let God be in control
to learn to be humble.
Come Lord Jesus Come
and Save us.