Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday in Late June

Orthoman and I found this sign to be funny :)
Vespers - so good to be there.
And to go to confession.
Sometimes it seems that I am indeed one
of the most blessed person's in the world
having a the Orthodox church and
the sacrament of confession.
I am doing moving research.
The wedding invites are in transit.
Travel plans have been decided on.
Lots of details yet to do.
Working only 3 days a week now
as I have so much to finish before I move.
I was telling my friends my plans
to move before the wedding
and she commented that basically in a month
I will have moved.
Hard to imagine.
I already gave my two month's notice
on my apartment.
God is merciful.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Good Ol' Ottawa

Saw this sign on walk home from work.
Too funny
but a little sad too.
Said goodbye today to the last long time
library employee.
It is the end of an era and I felt it.
Did some errands.
Talked to a good friend.
Talked to my Orthoman.
I have lots to do.
The first night back in Ottawa
I had a troubled dream about moving
suddenly and wanting to go back to my apartment
for treasures I was worried that I left there.
The long time library employee and I talked about
grieving the loss but
also seeing what there is to be gained
in what comes next.
There is loss in this transition in my life
but also gain.
New life, new ways to serve, people to love.
Another library colleague told me I am half
in my new location already.
This is true.
Ottawa is already becoming a place I am leaving
and not a place I am living or
preparing to stay and live in;
I am slowly letting go.
It is not easy
but it is good and right.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Very Good Weekend

Orthoman and I have gotten a lot done!
And my new church,
Orthoman's church,
gave us a lovely party to
celebrate our engagement.
It was wonderful
relaxed and full of great conversations.
Not to mention great food!

Even the kid's animals got food :)
And my Orthoman surprised me with
my first bouquet of red roses!
We put them in a vase that was our
first gift as a couple.
I go back to Ottawa on Wednesday.
Ottawa is a bit more stressful of a place
for me with all the job transition
at work and the need to purge and move my things.
Not to mention saying goodbye.
But, there are also many good things in Ottawa
for the remainder of my time there...
times with my church family,
time with my very dear friends and doing
some special things with them
before I marry and move.
I keep thinking of the prayer for
God to protect the joyous.
And that every hilltop has two valleys...
But Christ promises to never leave or abandon us
no matter what befalls us.
I am also thinking a lot about one of the nuns at
the Greek monastery I go to in Quebec
said to me months ago when I
was first getting to know my Orthoman -
she said that if it is from God it should come naturally
and freely and to not worry
as it would unfold easily.
I don't remember her exact phrasing but my memory
of it is about God's grace making everything
smooth and flowing like water...
when I remember that all can be seen as from God
and relax and be with God in today
then the worry drops low and I am free
to let things come as they come.
My Oma always told us
take it as it comes.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Reinstalled my picture software.
This journey I am on
to learn to sail
is something so deep
that I find I can't
give words to it
though I write many blog posts.
I am leaving so much behind;
this blog is one of the only
threads that is immediate
and continuing.
Blogged here with more
Today is my Mom's birthday;
she is traveling with
my Dad and a sister,
picking up another of her sisters
to go stay at her others sister's place
with all of the above.
My Mom is the youngest of 8
and it is wonderful to have such a family.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

prayer request

Picture program on my computer
has stopped working.
That is not the prayer request though! 
I am doing fine.
Can you pray for one of my good friend's fathers?
Surgery is hoped for but
yet unknown if it will happen
due to other health complications.
It is a real struggle for my friend
as she is overseas
far away from home.
Thank you.
My Mother's birthday is soon.
I am taking pictures
but have no idea when or if I can get
the program to work again;
the list of to be done is still
God is with us.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Pictures not working today.
Am in airport in Ottawa.
I got lots of errands done today
before the flight.
I know that I am in a happy part of my life
but wow, 
it is tiring.
God is with us,
through the valleys and brief hilltops. 
God can lead us safely home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yay! a two day work week!

I was able to be at my
good friend's baby's second communion
this Sunday.
It was beautiful.
I am done work for the week and
go down South tomorrow
to see my Orthoman :)
I am relieved.
I am also almost fully packed.
Said goodbye to two of my contract colleagues. 
I appreciated their kindness.
One when he heard that Cleo my Cat
is originally from the States
and is a traveling cat
he thought it was cute
as if Cleo would show her 'paw'
to get through customs.
It was a nice light moment in the midst of
lots of transition.
I am so excited to see my
beloved Orthoman soon!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday in mid-June

So survived another day of work.
Two of the other colleagues who are on
contract are finishing this week
and next week.
I fly down South this Wednesday
so I will not see them again.
They were kind presences
in the work place
and I will miss them.
And I will come back God willing next week Friday
(I work tomorrow) and will be at a small
retirement lunch for another
library staff who has been
there many years and
who is a joy to all.
These changes I know I am feeling
more acutely as I slowly
give away my some of my belongings
and prepare to marry my wonderful
Orthoman and start a new life in
a new city, state and country.
Today I replenished my supplies at a nearby
grocery and was chatting with the cashier about
my travels and she asked if I would
have culture shock leaving
and going to the States...
I got some faux pearl earrings there
that I hope will look nice
on me.
Sometimes it is simple little things...
I know that with all the travel I am doing,
work and transitions,
that my immunities are a bit down and
I have to watch out for burnout.
I am taking lots of vitamins
and got a new water bottle so I am sure to
stay hydrated.
Thank God I have friend and a great naturopath
to have advice about these things from.
I am still recovering from
giving away my IKEA dishes, silverware,
pots and pans...
I am getting new dishes and silverware from
my family for my wedding so it really
is no virtue of mine to give away
my other dishes
but wow,
what a change.
My dishes of 7 years are now in someone
elses' apartment...
It is good though and I am so glad
to be able to help my friend's
She gave me date squares as a thank you gift,
from Quebec.
They are the best I have had in a long time!
I brought them to work to share...
I managed to re-clean my apartment
since things got disheveled after giving away
my bookshelf last Friday
and wow,
it feels good to have a de-cluttered apartment,
once again...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

After Vespers

The prayers of the church
There's so much going on
that it is hard sometimes.
Life is like that.
But God is with us.

in-between and overwhelmed

I was not able to go the monastery
as the sense of feeling a getting a cold
and the baby is young and the
trip long and early.
I am feeling the stress of the transition,
with almost full time work + moving prep + wedding prep
and it's a bit overwhelming.
Asking for prayer...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Made it through my 4 day work week

Thank God!
I made it through today.
I rescheduled Cleo's vet visit
so that there is more time for furniture and
dishes pick up, etc.
I got boxes
and spent tonight packing up my
and dresser
while talking to loved ones on the phone.
It was a good evening.
While I was packing I turned around
and there was Cleo exploring
one of the empty dresser drawers!
That's my Cleo...
My nose dripped again today.
This is often the first sign
that I am getting a cold.
I took tons of vitamins
and am trying to drink a lot.
I just have so much going on right now...
A blessing that it is all good things
but still,
Thank God.
My new phrase that I was thinking of today is
a thankful heart is a light heart.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Many hours in a day

Long but good day.
Friend's niece is going to get furniture
this Friday -- and dishes.
Can you believe I am giving away my
IKEA dishes?
I am.
I am learning to de-clutter...
and Orthoman agreed that we can get new dishes
at some point
if the need is there...
I packed my special icon shelf of
treasures that will go in my carry-on suitcase
and some of my icons.
I am going to bring a few family pictures
as well my next trip.
I packed up half of my beloved
Orthodox book collection.
(The shelf unit is being handed over
this Friday).
I still need to empty my dresser and my desk.
Giving those away too.
It's actually WONDERFUL as now
I will have spaces for boxes to go because
the furniture will be gone.
I see this as a huge mercy of God.
Moving to this smaller space
and having, well, really...
too much stuff for this size apartment
was incredibly overwhelming,
to the point of feeling emotional pain.
So this is really good.
I am working day and night...
since I worked a full 8 hour day today at work
as well as packing and talking to my
beloved Orthoman.
The temps at work have been from hot to cold
in the building
and I feel again like I could be on the verge
of illness.
This often happens to me with weather changes.
The temp on Monday in that building
lead to over 500 complaints in one day.
So I am not exaggerating.
here's to hoping that I sleep well and don't get sick.
I fly this coming Wednesday early evening.
My weekend is overflowing with events.
Asking your prayers.
Thanking God for His mercy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Getting closer

In just over a week
I will go down South again
to see my Orthoman.
Work keeps me busy.
I am slowly contacting movers about
cost of moving and
various possibilities.
I paid my library card fines
that I had not paid
in a long time
at my local
public library
I still remember when I was new
to Ottawa
almost 7 years ago
and got a card and checked out
cookbooks as mine were still packed
away with most of my belongings
in London Ontario.
I was in Ottawa to do co-op and
see if I liked the city
as I was looking to live in Canada long-term.
So I stayed 7 years this September.
And now I will be leaving
my beloved Ottawa
to be with my beloved Orthoman.
God's been super merciful to me
and this week I have been given a sense of peace
amidst the changes that I don't always have;
moving and traveling is draining
and I don't claim to be some
spiritual superhero who
never loses her inward peace.
Even that I have a bit right now is merely
both a calm before a storm of busyness
and because of the Lord Himself,
the prayers of the Saints and
the prayers of many others.
Thank God for this mercy.
We do not know what tomorrow holds
but as the protestant saying
that I and my family quote and love
we know who holds tomorrow.

Monday, June 11, 2012

first day of the fast

Today's happenings...

1. Office really warm today - A/C not being utilized
as much as we would like

2. Had a yummy shrimp, veggie and cashew meal
for dinner at my local down the street

3. moved Icon of Sts. Peter and Paul to buffet as
today is the beginning of the fast.

4. Without realizing it,
this morning I was so happy it was a fast;
feel that I need it.

5. my house is more orderly again.

6. HUGE accomplishment - actually booked the cater!!

7. Cleo misses me when I am gone.

I am thankful for all these things.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday of All Saints

The icon at the back of church
with all the Saints in white
was really beautiful.
Wonderful sermon about
forgiving quickly
going to confession
repenting regularly
fasting during the fasts.
God willing I hope to go to the
Greek monastery to be at a baptism of a
good friend's young baby boy.
A friend and I talked about the need
to have a heart of thanksgiving
no matter the circumstances.
It is so easy to get derailed by
life's unexpected happenings
and I see how much we are daily
needing God's mercy...
Soon I will be back visiting
my Orthoman.
Lots of decisions to be made about my move
down South and what to keep
how to move
and when to do it.
It will all work out,
just a question of which way it will work out.
Now I just have to get going on having
Cleo go to the vet ASAP
so that she is ready to come with me...

Saturday, June 09, 2012

enjoying the quiet

I find I crave a lot of silence
and quiet days or part of days.
Times of transitions do this to me.
I am reading the Psalms a lot this summer;
this has become my only reading
and it is a balm in the midst of all the
I am so happy that I can help out one of my
dear friend's sister's child;
moving to do more schooling in Ottawa;
I am giving her hopefully a lot of my
This makes my heart SO GLAD
that somehow in this crazy time
I am helping someone.
Sooner than I thought
I hope to say
that a lot of my furniture that I am not bringing with me
will be taken and used in a new home.
It is an odd feeling
giving away one's belongings
but it is also very good;
I have done it before
when I left BC years ago now
and I am glad that this will be working out.

Urgent: Noah needs our prayers

Noah's parents just learned that
Medicade has decided to take away
Noah's hospice care.
This includes the very bed he sleeps on,
the nursing help he gets daily.
Here is what Kate explains this means:
(from her blog post):
So what does this MEAN for Noah?

1. Loss of routine hospice nursing. His nurses do not do "private duty nursing" - they don't change him, give his meds, fix his meds, etc. We do all of that. They DO come at least 2 time every week to assess him, do vitals, draw labs, interface with specialists, and MUCH more. If we are concerned about anything any time of the day or night, we can call and a nurse will come out until we feel comfortable.

2. Loss of more extensive hospice nursing. When Noah is sick, it's not unusual for a nurse to sit here for hours on end constantly monitoring vitals, working with the doctor and infusion pharmacy to add or adjust meds, etc. The nurse might come every single morning for a long visit then pop in a couple more times during the day to check on him again and make needed suggestions or adjustments.

3. Loss of crisis care nursing. If at any time it looks like Noah is within 3 days of passing away, we'd have 24/7 hospice nursing in home.

Noah has come to love and trust all of his nurses (as do we). This will be such a massive loss for him even just in terms of relationships.

In contrast, Noah will go back to what is called "home health nursing." He gets a MAXIMUM of FIVE VISITS A MONTH. That is it. It doesn't matter how sick he is, how many labs need to be run, if he is suddenly critical and dying. 5 a month. If Noah were to suddenly take a major turn for the worse with an infection and there wasn't time to get hospice set back up, he could die here with just us with no nurses or anything.

Better yet, it is not looking likely that we can even FIND home health nursing for him. Our beloved home health nurse who cared for Noah most of his life is moving to manage a branch office in another county. She was the only pediatric nurse for their agency for this county. When I spoke to her today, she couldn't think of another agency in this county that took children or that would take children as incredibly fragile and complex as Noah.

Even if we do get home health nursing, it will be with a stranger who doesn't know Noah and who won't get to know him too terribly fast with just 5 visits a month. She won't be hospice trained. We couldn't call her at 11 PM if Noah was hurting and have her DO something about it.

Please pray.  I (Elizabeth) am at a loss of words.
Lord have mercy.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

articulation comes slowly

You know sometimes it seems
I am flying blind
and it is hard to process
that I am leaving everything familiar.
At work there may of been another contract for me.
They speak to me about it as one
of whom it will not appy.
They are good to me there
and hired me knowing I was moving and marrying.
At church I am going to be leaving my spiritual father of
almost 7 years,
7 years almost to the very day
by the time of my DV wedding.
I am leaving my sister-friend and family.
I am leaving a city I never wanted to leave.
I am leaving my favourite tree.
I am leaving my favourite country
where I did so much growing up and
it fit me so well and I loved it here.
I am leaving the streets I know well
and the stores,
the street people I see daily/weekly.
I am leaving my bank, my downtown Ottawa,
my blue roomed apartment.
I am leaving an adult goddaughter who stopped going to church
and who I have not seen in almost two years.
I still miss her and pray for her everyday.
I had gotten a small prayer rope from
the Greek monastery for her
and she left before I could give it to her
and now I wear it in prayer for her.
Leaving her without knowing how she is
is incredibly hard.
I am leaving my young godson
who thankfully I know is well cared for
but still
I am leaving him and he will not have his youngest years
near to me like his older brothers had.
How can I leave my munchkins?
The middle one often says 'pizza?' when I come
as once or twice I had pizza ready to go in the oven
when I came to them for dinner.
I am leaving very close friends
who have married and had children here in Ottawa
since I met them 7 years ago.
I am leaving familiar streets and old Parliament buildings.
What does it mean to leave?
How does one transition?
How does one grieve?
When I left my first church in BC
I barley talked for three days.
What I am leaving for of course is
I can't begin to tell anyone how beautiful
I find my Orthoman
or how I love being with him.
How I can't imagine anyone else or anyone better.
Oh yes,
as one in my church has said about his wife
I know when I have been blessed.
But I guess I feel the need to name what
I am leaving so that I can leave.
A wonderful monastic Mother who I speak with on occasion
said that my leaving everything is exactly
what the Gospel speaks of.
And so I will be leaving almost everything
to marry and pray to continue
to work out my salvation.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

God is with us

A rose from my parent's garden.
I think when I look back at
this summer I pray
it will be with joy
but I think it will also be
with the sense that everything is
one big blur of events.
Joyful but tiring.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Transitions, transitions, transitions

Beautiful sun-filled day today.
Back at work
found out that another long term employee
of the library I work in is retiring.
So big changes in the library I work at.
Wow, going back to work after a month
of travel and being away...
I was tired today,
to say the least.

A lot of good things today though,
fast free week :)
Orthoman and I's rings are coming soon
(i.e. done being engraved)
and our apartment is really taking shape.
I go to see it in a couple of weeks.
I had a wonderful phone conversation
with my Grandma
and yesterday with a long-time friend
so these are also blessings.
Poor Cleo is a bit confused about all
of my routine and schedule changes.
She needs some extra TLC...
Praying for so many;
we all go through such trials in this life.
God is with us
in the midst of them.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Onward it goes

A good friend came
today to help me organize and
clean my house;
preparing for packing.
I work again the rest of this week
if all goes well.
Soon I will be seeing
my Orthoman
Transitions can be hard
and all change has joy and pain.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Ongoing Transitions

(picture from my parent's garden)
I am slowly making dates with dear
friends who I do not see in person as much
but care deeply about.
It is hard to say goodbye
but the growing confidence in God's hand
and that He places us where He will
is a great comfort.

Friday, June 01, 2012


Prayer is manna in the desert.
-saying saw at Holy Dormition Monastery.

My Grandmother

I am thinking a lot of my Grandmother.
We've had such great talks.
I miss her already.
Over the last year whenever I am home
I try to take a day with her
and we go over old photographs
and I write down who they are
and she tells me stories of her past.
She is such a pure soul.
I marvel at her life and her heritage
that I have inherited.
One of her Grandfathers
was a real man of the Bible.
He read the Bible very often,
was what my Grandma called
a great scholar of the Bible,
was consulted by Elders in his church
(Protestants have elders and deacons, very
different than in Orthodoxy)
for advice 
and he taught Bible class for 40 years.
He was gentle, kind, never a harsh word spoken.
He would play with his Grandkids
and the stories of his love of the Bible
inspired me when I was a child
and my Grandma would tell me about her
My Grandma's Father was also a
real man of the Bible
and loved God very much.
My Grandma's parents were on the school board
for the first Christian school in Grand Rapids
and my Grandma's two sisters
went to Calvin College
and all of them through Christian education through
high school.
My Grandma knew she was called to marry
my Grandfather and so she did
after one semester at Calvin.
She knew who she was and what was her calling.
It was different in those days
and she made a home for her husband,
my Grandpa and their children.
My Grandma and Grandpa served the church
all their lives and my Grandma
still teaches Bible study at her church,
which I think she has done for 40 years or so.
She has done evangelistic things for decades
and is always looking for ways she can serve God.
My Grandfather had many struggles
especially with his health in later years
and I never saw him get bitter by it.
My Grandma is adjusting to a quieter life
since she fell back in January.
She may never regain the strength and stamina
she had before.
We grow old, all of us.
I read recently in a book by Elder Paisos about needing
to grow so that when we are old,
we are a strong tree providing shade
 for those who are younger.
My Grandma prayers for all of us daily
and I pray she keeps her strength to see me married
(even though she most likely cannot come to my wedding
itself) and to do the reception in MI at Christmas time
at her community hall.
I can't tell you how much I miss my Grandma and
wish for more time with her.
Her sister my Great Aunt is struggling as is one of my Uncles.
I put them all on the monastery prayer lists.
I am comforted to know that so many pray for her.
One thing that continues to strike me is how
thankful to God she is for her life
and for being put in a godly Christian home
with such loving parents and
then a good husband and now
children who love and help her
in her old age.
It is people like her who
keep families together and
quietly serve God where they are placed
and live a life of service and thankfulness to God.
I could not be more blessed by such a Grandmother.