Thursday, March 31, 2011

Going Forward

I worked late today.

Last day of a great two months of work.

Will have lots to do next week

as I look towards looking

for future work

while hoping for more contract work for where I just was.


God is with us.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Transition and Prayer

So many who I care for,

in person and in the blog world

are grieving the loss of a recently departed


suffering along side one who has cancer


other struggles.


I have candles lit right now for these.


A friend is unexpectedly in town

and I am sad that I can't spend more time with her;

this is my last week of work;

I have a huge report to finish by Thursday.

I skipped French class tonight

so that I can cook food for the week

and clean.

Tomorrow on my 'day off'

since I work three days a week for this contact

I will be editing the report I am writing


there just is not time to finish it unless I do this.

Needless to say, I am already tired.


And I don't know when or where I will have work again.


I may get more work where I was but

everything is quite uncertain;

and I live in Ottawa i.e. the nation's capital and our

Parliament was just dissolved which means a new


which could mean a new government

which means government budgets are impacted

which means...

it may be harder to get work.



I am seek to continue to put myself in God's hands.

I am already thinking of the next



That said, I am a bit overwhelmed.


But God is with us no matter what.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fun with my Cleo Cat

So furry;

I have a lint brush at work,

you can well imagine.

Cute and Sleepy.

It was sunny today.
I baked my vegan chocolate cake;
made a different frosting recipe;
will see tomorrow how it all is.
One more week of work;
still waiting to see if the contract
will be extended.
I have loved the work...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Little By Little

I forget where I heard Fredrica Matthewes-Green
talk about this before...
but in her most recent podcast she hits on it early on:
how our culture atomizes us,
encourages us to 'be a rebel', a 'true individual'
which only really speaks of greater loneliness
and isolation.
Little by little I am fitting pieces of what really goes on
in our world,
that no one (at least not the advertisers of the world)
wants to admit -
having one's own way,
being the rebel,
is incredibly harmful.
One of the gifts of the Orthodox church is a very simple one:
the Unity of the Saints.
The glorious beautiful shining of icons in our churches,
all together;
in a spiritual harmony that goes beyond the brokenness
of our world,
and the brokenness of the passions and how they separate
us from each other.
Fr. Thomas Hopko's book, Lenten Spring,
I am enjoying in part because he puts things so plainly;
his writings on self-love I find helpful and am
still pondering...
"To love oneself sinfully, and as the cause of all sin,
is to live exclusively for oneself, to follow one's
own thoughts and ideas, to peruse one's own purposes and aims."
I must beware of anything or anyone telling me
that I myself can change the world,
change myself,
set my own course or goals;
this can be more about self-love than about
service to Christ.
Beautifully and so refreshing is the explanation of repentance
as the source of hope and light, the opposite of despair:
Fr. Thomas Hopko quotes St. John Climacus:
"Repentance is the renewal of baptism and is a contract with God
for a fresh start in life. Repentance goes shopping for
humility and is ever distrustful of bodily comfort.
Repentance is critical awareness
and a sure watch over oneself. Repentance is the
daughter of hope and the refusal to despair."
Slowly I am seeing that the way of inward peace
is only found in this way;
Lent truly then is a gift to us...
Now then to learn to apply what I am learning!
Lord help us!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lent Week Three - Snow in Spring

First two weeks of lent - survived.
It is hard I find to keep my focus;
I have been reading some worthy lenten books
Return by Arch. Nektarios Antonopolous;
both are really great
and not hard to read or terribly long;
of course learning to apply what one reads,
at least for me that takes a longer time.
On a fun note,
I think Cleo looks pretty funny/cute when she is sleeping on
the chair - all that fuzz!

Welcome to Spring In Ottawa:

wet snow everywhere...

and to think yesterday I carried my boots

home from church

as things were finally dry and warmer!

Ottawa does this to us often

so I do not let it bother me overly much

as Spring will come.

However, maybe it could hurry up

just a little?! :)

The above picture is from today...

Earlier picture with Cleo enjoying the sun,
while perhaps not having her picture taken.
Too bad though, as she is not really the boss
here, though sometimes

I don't know if she got that particular
stating that I am the owner and therefore boss :)
March is quickly passing us by.
My contract is for two more weeks;
I may get more work there but am not sure yet.
I am trying meanwhile to be thankful and
look to God for wisdom and help.
This morning I actually remembered to think of
telling God 5 things I am thankful for,
like Abbot M. Webber recommends to his monks.
Thankfulness can bring out the sunshine inside of
one's self;
I need a good shot of it myself for
the wet post-winter days of soggy spring;
Thank God that with God we can
learn the deep art of thankfulness....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

When those we love are in grief

(Picture from recent panakhyda)
Second week of lent has seen much sorrow.
Grief on behalf of someone I love greatly
who lost his spiritual father.
One of my dearest friends and sisters in Ottawa -
it was just confirmed that her father has
wide spread cancer
and the prospects of recovery are very dim.
On Wednesday she found out about
the possibility;
Thursday we prayed together for;
Friday the news of cancer was finalized.
Whenever these times of sorrow come
and they come to us all
it makes me want to run to everyone
and proclaim
love your family! talk to them, call them, forgive them
love them
for someday the sorrow will come
and the time of reconciliation and love
on this side
will come to an end.
Thank God for the Orthodox Church.
Thank God that we grieve but not without hope.
Thank God we can pray for the departed.
Thank God that in the Holy Spirit we can ask God
to tell them of our love for them;
Thank God that the liturgy here on earth joins heaven
and that in the church we are never apart...
Lord help us in our times of sorrow,
so that we are not utterly crushed to the ground.
Two Akathists for sorrow:
I was given one that is for sorrow and depression;
I don't have a link for it but email me
if you need it
( roosjeblog @ yahoo . ca )
We must continually look the the Lord Christ and
His Holy Mother;
we are never without help.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lent, half way through week 2

(Christmas Eve Holy Supper)
No longer Christmas
but Lent.
The second week is incredibly painful for many of us;
I have been spared for the most part;
one of my friend's Dad's health maybe in grave jeopardy;
someone I love deeply lost their spiritual father;
blog friends are losing fathers and fathers-in-law, mother-in-law;
thinking about the grief is dizzying.
My friend Mara is out of the hospital;
I have yet to be able to speak to her, due to my schedule.
It is a family member's birthday;
At least four women I know are pregnant;
in the midst of death is life;
Lent is here and we must seek God's mercy
and His joy that is found even in the midst of great pain.
I think of the beatitude,
blessed are those who morn
for they shall be comforted.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Continuing in Lent

Week two of lent.
We must fight to keep the fast.
I recently got a chance to hear my spiritual father
talking about books that are good for the
spiritual life.

One of these authors is

Elder Aimilianos

Everything must be understood in the light

of God's kingdom and the Church.

Including marriage (not that I have anyone that I am

marrying at this point).

This article by Elder Aimilianos on marriage is from

his book, The Church at Prayer

and I highly recommend reading this

short article.

It not only touches on how to decided on who to marry

but what marriage should be

and a bit on raising children.


I am slowly realizing what a significant responsiblity

it is to raise a child

and to raise them to love God and to deny themselves.

Only with God's help can this be done.

Winter is slowly leaving us;

we must run to Christ as spring will come

upon us.

Lent is a beautiful gift to us.
Let us learn to have joy in our fast...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tuesday - Day Two of Lent

(Icon of the Extreme Humility)


Impressed upon me through my reading,

listening to sermons in church

and conversations

is the necessity

of seeking humility.

Again and again my spiritual father is counseling us

to seek humility, repentance...


Am reading Fr. Thomas Hopko's Lenten Spring for the first time.

His call for joy reminds me of Fr. Alexander Schmemann's

words in his book Great Lent which

call for us to live in the reality and power of Christ's resurrection.


I remember realizing that the life that Fr. Schmemann described

was not one I was really living.


The life we are supposed to be living is so vividly alive

that Lent is given to us as a gift

so that we can begin to see how we live in ashes

and seek the living water of Christ

and for oil to keep our flickering lights lit.


Please God, may this be.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Almost There

Lent is almost upon us.

We need the Saint's protection

and God's mercy.


With taking French twice a week and work
and looking for more work
I find that I don't have as much time to blog
or read others' blogs.

Please know that it is not that I have lost
interest in any of your blogs,
but just that I am trying to keep my head
and maybe my shoulders
above water.


Lent will be even more busy,
so I don't know how much I will be blogging
for this reason alone.


I still am struggling with anxiety about my
unknown after this month of March
job situation.
It is more the being alone with nothing but job searching
and a lack of daily structure
that scare me than money at this point.


The rash that I had in November and that came back in January
may be returning again;
I seem to have a questionable spot again on my face.
I ask your prayers.
I really did not want to go on the strong medicine for
a third time.


If however there is something one of you
my beloved blog friends
esp. need me to know
please email me at roosjeblog @ yahoo . ca



Here's some great resources for lent:

Fr. Thomas Hopko's podcasts here and lots of podcasts

with a lenten focus here


The first thing though is the services;



Life instead of death is what lent is all about.

May Christ have mercy on us.


Forgive me for anything I may have written that

in anyway hurt or wounded.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Asking continued prayers for my friend Mara

I talked to Mara's parents today;

she is still in the hospital.


I tried calling her but was not able to get through.


Mara's father was able to talk to her today

and it sounds like she is struggling.


Please, I ask your prayers for her.

She is a very beautiful Christian woman

who has prayed for me so much

over the ten plus years

I've been privileged to know her.

Tuesday Sunshine

Sunshine today.

Laundry done.

Borscht made. Fried onions and mushrooms in butter. Yum.

I am reading an older edition of

Blessed John the Wonderworker

(my copy I loaned to a friend)

so I am reading my church library's copy.

It's fun!

I love reading about St. John of Shanghai and San Fransisco.

I find that reading stories about the Saints helps

one feel closer to them.

Also going to monasteries helps with this;

I remember when I first read Saint stories,

I was still pretty new to Orthodoxy and I found them

overwhelming, esp. the martyred Saints.

These things take a while to get used to but now

I would not trade the stories for anything!


Part of what I did this year for Lent is to

make two new icons.

I will have to do close ups of them sometime,


However, I did get two bloggable pictures so far.

One icon is of Christ on the Cross,

a print I got at the Greek monastery this past summer.

The other is of St. Ephraim the Syrian,

whose Lenten prayer we pray daily

during Lent.

I thought St. Ephraim would be a good choice to help me

as we journey through Lent...


I also took out my smaller prints

from the same monastery

of Christ the Bridegroom

and Christ Resurrected

as it is these two events we are about to fully prepare for.

I love my buffet and all the icons.

I find this to be very comforting,

having so many reminders of God's kingdom.

I kept my what I call my 'Christmas Icon'

up as well.

I got this icon just after new calendar Christmas

at Holy Dormition monastery

and find it,

with all the Angels,

to be very Christmas-like.

Christ's Holy Face is an icon that took me a while to get used to

but now my love for it is growing...


Have you read St. Ephraim's Spiritual Psalter?

Ancient Faith Radio has often

read prayers for this book,

compiled by St. Theophan.

It is lovely and I was reading from it a few weeks ago and realized

how much St. Ephraim can help us

move towards repentance

and realized that it was time to make this icon

(from an old church calendar that I have had since 2005).

Cleo loved having me home today.

I love Tuesdays;

I am working but yet have Tuesdays free;

my church has noon prayer and I go there;

it was sunny;

I found the material for my icons,

the anticipation of lent is in the air.


Tomorrow: work.

I am behind on my cover letter goal.

I think I need a real push to get this done.

Am struggling with this one.


God is with us.