Saturday, December 29, 2012

36th Birthday

I am so blessed that on my
36th Birthday
Mr. Husband is with me!
I am blessed with wonderful friends
and family
and I thank the Lord for His
many blessings!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas for many

Picture from two year ago.
I have been enjoying every one's
posts about Christmas.
Mr. Husband and I will have our first Christmas
in early January
and are looking forward to this!
I have been doing a huge computer over-haul
and am hoping for a much better
computer soon...
I stopped doing the daily Reverb
posts as it seemed to be often
to centered on one's self
and that did not seem overly helpful
in the long run
though I enjoyed doing some of the posts.
It can be a great tool for writing
and I appreciated this.
I may do some of them yet
but one thing at a time.
Hoping every one's Christmas now
and/or in January
is a blessed time.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 22 - gifts given, received and what is sought for

What was the greatest gift you received in 2012?
Marrying Mr. Husband; our wedding day.
 What was the greatest gift you gave?
I can't judge this fully
but being able to invite many to our wedding
was something that brought me great joy.
What do you intend to give yourself in 2013?
I find this to be a dangerous question
for as a Christian we know
that it is better to give than receive
and that focusing one's self is a hazardous to one's
spiritual life.
It is something I still have a lot to learn
and if anything the greatest gift
I could give would be to
learn to not do this!
This said,
I think one of the best things one can do
'for one self' is to go to a
good monastery to continue
seeking to begin on the endeavour to have
a spiritual life.
To seek growth in Christ and 
to seek out one's salvation is the most 
to seek the one thing needful. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 20 (lists, I love lists!)

What items did you tick off your dream list in 2012? What other, unexpected, dreams came to fruition?
~my spiritual father married me to my beloved Mr. Husband
~my wedding day was one of great joy and beauty
~I got to wear my Grandmother's dress and she was
alive to see it
~I married a man that is so much of what I wished for
that I could say he is the man of my dreams :)

What are the top three items on your dream list for 2013?

Keeping it simple, I can think of the following:

~continue building our routines as a new couple
~continue working towards our goals as a couple
(we are the nerdy planning type)
~bake more sour dough bread
~bake cookies for church (since I did not do my
St. Nicholas cookies as I wished)
~cook and bake for Mr. Husband
~have more dinner parties
~have a small garden this summer for Mr. Husband
who loves this sort of thing (just like my Dad and other family!)
~continue making new friends in my new life here
~continue building my friendships with my beloved friends
of old through emails, phone calls, snail mail and
visits when I can
~lots more phone calls with my Mom and Grandma
~get back to reading books, including one I have
been reading with a good friend
I got news that the way Mr. Husband used to commute
to work is working again!
It was a long haul after hurricane Sandy
and so much still needs to be done for so many people.
I am really hoping that as the New Year comes
that we can feel a bit more 'normal' and
get back into better rhythms.

Preparing for Christmas

Now that we have had
St. Nicholas Day
one of the most special days of the year
it seems that Christmas is
really coming upon us!
I have a lot to do to prepare for Christmas
as Mr. Husband and I gear up
for this joyous time of year.
I am hoping to continue at least some posting
but it will be lighter as I continue
to prepare, get our house in order
and make I hope
our homes and hearts
ready for Christ's coming.
As I continue to build my new life here
I am grateful for all of you
and your support and prayers.
I continue to be so thankful to God
for Mr. Husband and
that I am his Mrs. Wife.
in the mean time,
keep praying for Noah.
It seems to be getting harder and harder
for him and his family.
Lord have mercy on us this
Christmas time!
Come Christ and heal and salve our hearts!
Come and bring your light to our lives!
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

St. Nicholas Eve Meal for Mr. Husband

I made Mr. Husband and I salmon
the way I did first
years before
when my parents came to BC
for my undergraduate graduation.
Salt, Pepper, bit of garlic
onion and lemon slices on top of

We used our nicest China and silverware.
When I made this dish the first time
it was in about year 2002
so ten years ago!
I know a bit more about cooking now
then I did then
and the public librarian of our little
cute town's library
helped me out and wrote me the above recipe!
I, of course, did not use butter
as per the recipe since it is a fast time.
I fried up potatoes in oil
and we had a nice salad with the meal
and a small bit of good sprouted bread 
on the side.
For dessert we had a treat of a 
Lenten coconut sorbet with a triple berry sauce.
I love Mr. Husband very much
and am so glad that we had these days together
and that I am his one and only 
Mrs. Wife.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

St. Nicholas Day - Part 2

St. Nicholas Icon at my new church.
It was great to be at church.
It was great to be with
Mr. Husband.
Our first
old calendar
St. Nicholas Day.
I love my Mr. Husband!
So the office party.
Exceptional detail and creativity.
Beautiful venue.
First class for this.
But the crowds, the noise - the music was so loud.
I held my own
it was nice to meet a few people
that Mr. Husband knows.
But I am so glad to be home.
I am just not a big party type of person.
I am so glad that Mr. Husband and I
have each other.
I can't say how much
at this point
I am just glad to be at home.
Thanks to all who prayed
and who understand
the introvert side of things.

St. Nicholas Day 2012

This is the icon I used to see
every St. Nicholas Day
at my church in Ottawa.
This is my first St. Nicholas day in 7
years that I am not there.
I am glad to have Mr. Husband
but I miss my Ottawa too.
I had really hoped to do some baking
for St. Nicholas Day
for my new church,
actually I had dreamed of doing this
as a way to transition and
continue the traditions I had in Ottawa
but I just did not have the energy
But I did manage some things.
I made Mr. Husband and I a good meal.
A festive one.
These are the St. Nicholas Cakes
I made in 2010.
I really hope to get back to baking.
The hurricane we lived through
is not in the news anymore
but the results are still with us.
Mr. Husband and I walked by the
local community centre
the other day
and it is totally gutted and empty
because of the flood damage.
Including a preschool.
Mr. Husband and I talked to someone in the NYC
area who had tons of damage
and the person has not heard
from the government agency at all yet
though they applied
for the huge losses on their home.
We are thankful that we did not have much damage;
for those who did, wow, this is difficult.
Mr. Husband and I are still seeing the
impact in our own lives
in little ways;
we still feel that we are still trying to rebuild
routines and other things that
were jarred out of place
and this is difficult at times.
We really need St. Nicholas.
We need his prayers
his comfort
his saving help.
 I know I will be looking to St. Nicholas
today for help;
Mr. Husband's office party is tonight.
I don't know what I will be
feeling like but hope it is better than
wishing to leave!
I am really grateful for the prayers
and support I am given here.
As a mainly introvert and HSP
I get really tired by crowds and noise.
I am better with less people...
I know what to do though:
Remember that God has me
where He wants me for a reason.
Try to focus on others
and pray and love them.
Love Mr. Husband.
If I can get past myself
and do this
than it will go well.
Thank you all for your prayers!
May St. Nicholas bless us all this year
and bring comfort!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Tomorrow is St. Nicholas day.
Liturgy in morning
Christmas party in evening.
Since yesterday morning I have been
feeling increasingly like I am
falling ill with a cold again.
I had dreams of baking cookies for
St. Nicholas day
but I can tell now today
that it is not to be.
Sometimes we just have to accept how things are
and act accordingly.
So today I am trying to rest,
to be with God
be at peace....

This has been coming back to me since I read it last week

The quotation below is from here.


Georgiy, do you pray at night?”

“No, Father Abbot, at night I sleep, and that’s all!”

Fr. Gabriel looked at me disappointedly. “Too bad. You should pray at night as well.”

They say that nighttime prayer is the particular strength of a monk. One time Fr. John wanted to strengthen me in my calling to help me to see a little bit of just what the spiritual world really is, and so he blessed me to follow a particular rule of prayer – particularly at night. This time had been chosen by Fr. John so as to minimize any chance of distractions from the outside world. From two o’clock in the afternoon until ten o’clock at night I labored at my tasks, serving in the cattle yard in the cowshed; then all night long I was on night watch in the Dormition Square.

Fr. John blessed me to perform a particular rule of saying the Jesus Prayer in such a way as to let it fill my entire mind and heart and let go of all external thoughts and feelings – even the most correct and praiseworthy ones.

It is remarkable but true that if one secludes oneself in prayer and limits oneself in food, sleep, and interaction with people, while not allowing any idle thoughts to enter the mind, nor any passionate feelings to enter the heart, then very quickly one discovers a truth: besides oneself and other people in this world there is also Someone Else. And this Someone is patiently waiting to see whether we will pay attention to Him during our endless race through life. He is simply patiently waiting, because God never forces Himself on anyone. But if one continues to pray properly (here I must stress “properly”, in other words, without arrogance…), then before one’s spiritual gaze remarkable phenomena and images begin to appear.

The revered prelate St. Ignatius Brianchaninov writes: Use your time and energy to truly grasp your prayer as it acts in a holy way upon your inner body. There, deep inside you, prayer will open up new visions that will capture all your attention and bring you knowledge that the outer world cannot grasp, concepts of whose existence the outer world lacks even the slightest inkling.

There in the very depths of your heart you will see the fall of man, you will see your soul murdered by sin, and you will see many other mysteries that are hidden from the world and from the children of this world. But once this vision opens up to you, then look inwards even more intensely with all your might; look inwards, and follow where that look inside leads, and you will grow cold to all that is transitory and subject to decay, and to all that you used to feel before.

Book: “Everyday Saints”  


 H/T - Christ is in our midst

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 16 - inspiration

Who inspired you in 2012? And why?

What gifts did they give you? And how will you carry these forward in to 2013?
Mr. Husband inspires me.
His love.
How can I carry this forward to the new year?
Only with the help and mercy of God.

Day 15 (backtracking again)

What was the most extraordinary dish you sampled in 2012? What made it so magical?

It needn't be the most extravagant dish, just the one that knocked your socks off with its flavour, texture, aroma, freshness, colour, significance, timing… whatever. Relive the magic and help us savour it with you here.
Mr. Husband and I honeymooned in
Quebec City.
It was beautiful and we have lots of
different meals
that were quite good.
One fancy meal, one yummy fish meal,
some great vegetarian meals and
one good breakfast
but the one that I think stands out for both of us
is the crepes.
Breton style crepes.
We joked about the word crepes and liked them so much
that we went back a second time!
I especially loved the dessert crepe
with french vanilla ice cream
and strawberries.

We loved them so much
that I told one of my new church friends about it
and was suprised with
my very own crepe pan and mix
to continue our honeymoon :)
I blogged about the first time
I made crepes at home
near our one month anniversary;
now we are past the three month anniversary;
Mr. Husband and I have had many
adventures together and I know
we will look back at these early married
times with a lot of joy and fondness
one day...
I am looking forward God willing to
the Christmas season in January
at home and
making lots of yummy festive food;
I think I should make crepes as well!
I know we are really blessed!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Blessings

Feeling better
and encouraged
about the future Christmas party.
Thank you all for the love!
Mr. Husband and I are finishing up our
Christmas cards.
Today was my Ottawa parish's St. Nicholas
I miss them but am very happy to be
with Mr. Husband
and building a life with him.
I felt close to everyone near and far
and can tell that I am being prayed for.
Thank you very much.
This is a very lovely story -
do read it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

poetry says it best

Just got info on Mr. Husband's
Christmas Party.
I think I will need prayer for this one.
I know what to do to survive;
focus on others and pray.
And be present to the beauty and take pictures.
This will make it good, even very good.
And it's on St. Nicholas Day night and
we can eat fish.
It's the crowds and noise that worry me most.
I will have to fight back that worry
and be thankful.
Reminds me of this poem by Jane Kenyon.
May 1987
After the dinner party
by Jane Kenyon

A late-blooming burgundy hollyhock sways
across the kitchen window in a light breeze
as I draw a tumbler of well-water at the sink.
We’re face to face, as in St. Paul’s Epistles
or the later novels of Henry James.

The cold rains of autumn have begun.
Driving to Hanover I must have seen
a thousand frogs in the headlights
crossing the gleaming road. Like sheep urged
by a crouching dog they converged
and flowed. They do it every fall.
I couldn’t help hitting some.

At dinner I laughed with the rest,
but in truth I prefer the sound
of pages turning, and coals shifting
abruptly in the stove. I left before ten
pleading a long drive home.

The smell of woodsmoke hung
over small villages along the way.

I passed the huge cold gray stone
buildings left by the chaste Shakers.
Any window will still open with one finger. ...

Friday, December 14, 2012


Please pray for Noah
Latest Facebook post:
Dr. B's office just called. Noah's CT showed extremely serious changes

in his bladder and a very serious bladder infection around the bladder
wall (I think OUTside the bladder wall, but not sure if I have the
details right). He is being admitted to Columbia via 911 ambulance in
a little while. I am beyond heartsick and ready to cry . . . after all
of this on-again, off-again drama, I can not believe that we have
something this serious going on.

Day 14 - the path that brought me here

what was the most important thing you learned in 2012?
Well, this past year was a huge
whirlwind of change, excitement, transition and joy.
Lots happened and here I am
with just over 3 months of marriage.
I went from looking for work while
dating Mr. Husband,
finding an engagement ring
and telling you about it
getting full time work for all of Lent and into the summer
traveling almost every month
being engaged at Pascha
getting married on September 9, 2012
moving to NJ
and starting a new life.
So how to summarize one thing that I learned?
I think it would be to be patient with myself
and our process and building a new life together
as Mr. Husband and I have just
gone through lots of changes
even joyful change
is still change.
I am really hoping to start well in January
after our Christmas time and
continue to build my life here
with my beloved
Mr. Husband.

Meal for St. Andrew's Day

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Andrew.
Mr. Husband brought me flowers!
And I made a nice meal for dinner.

Curry spices, coconut milk,
spinach, tomatoes and shrimp.
With Basmati Rice.
From a wonderful Indian Cookbook
that we were given for our wedding.
It is a joy to cook for Mr. Husband!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 13 and self-esteem

Please post your favourite picture of yourself from 2012, self-portrait or otherwise!
Now we know that I have a fairly unstated rule
of not putting pictures of anyone on
my blog,
including myself.
So my favourite pictures will not be here.
I can name them though.
Pictures of myself at my Ottawa and Michigan Bridal showers.
Picture of my Father and I in church
when I came in as Mr. Husband's Bride.
Picture of Mr. Husband and I processing our with our icons.
Other wedding pictures.
The picture given is Mr. Husband and I on
our couple photo shoot with
our excellent photographers
when I mentioned
how happy I was with my wedding shoes.
Mr. Husband knows I find it funny
to go a bit against
set traditions
but it was also just being myself;
if Birkenstock made boots
I would be set for life...
I still have to do the post about
my wedding photographers;
I can tell you for sure
that I choose
and they could not of been better.
I knew it!
Planning one's wedding
can be stressful
but at the same time
I love planning
and being creative.
Reading an essay in the Elizabeth Elliot book
about self-esteem;
it is pretty much spot on
save that I would of used the word pride
for what she is calling self-esteem.
Pride is tricky.
I do think it was in someways a misleading
term to call pride self-esteem.
It is actually not nuanced enough,
I think,
the word self-esteem
and too overused.
Pride is a huge word
and is also overused, misused and well,
let's say trying to be used
for sad destructive events.
Here is the deal:
sometimes you can be so battered in that
one needs to be re-inflated a bit
not one's ego
but when one is shattered
one is shattered.
I've been there.
Whew, that one year when everything
was going wrong
and I lost my job, there was others so sick
in my life, and loss, loss, loss everywhere.
I was in my most beautiful apartment
and surrounded by loss, threatened loss,
anticipated loss, past, present and future loss.
It was hard.
A dear woman worked with me all that summer
to help me deal with the loss
including of my confidence.
Life can swing us for a real loop
and want to squeeze and push and leave
a half-alive Elizabeth on the ground
But you know
that was the year my blog really came alive
in so many ways,
it was when many of you came into my life
I came back to myself, slowly, surely
but with many bumps, bruises and
But I came back.
I learned to fight.
There is a difference between inflated-ego and deflated-ego.
Actually both are linked to pride.
I am better than all of you pride
and the
 I am worse than all of you and can't be saved pride.
The latter is also called despair.
Somewhere in the middle
one can begin
if one wants
to desire humility.
Humility saves.
Humility is self-knowledge
knowing strengths, weaknesses
it actually helps
once one is in a place of balance
not of despair of self
or in-love with one self
that perhaps it sounds ironic
but self-condemnation is needed;
in the Orthodox Christian sense
and it comes as a breath of life to a soul
it comes
as in wow
that person is better than me
oh, wait, hmmm, that was stupid of me
to be so insensitive and here
I was thinking that other person was
I can't say I have humility
but I have seen it and
one can fumble trying for it.
All I can say from practical experience
is that it is to try to not judge others
and to judge one's self
as in to remember one is a sinner.
Helps diffuse a lot of disagreements
right off the bat;
i.e. if I remember that I mess-up a million times a day
than if a close friend messes up
or what I think is a mess up
it will not distract me from the fact that
I am a sinner.
Another way to look at it
my spiritual father talked about this
to me and a lot of what I am writing is based
on what he taught me
and one of the early books he lovingly suggested I read;
anyway it goes like this:
keep the fact that you are a sinner
that you are loved by God
equally in mind.
this is why I think Elizabeth Elliot's use of the word
self-esteem is not nuanced enough
and that the word pride
is going to stand better in what she is describing
and she does it well.

Reflections on writers, truth and stories

playing with rug.
So I read this troubling essay written a few years ago
about Madeleine L'Engle.
Troubling in part because while cleverly written
for a news article
it was not loving towards her.
And it said that Crosswicks was in New Jersey.
Now L'Engle may
by her own admission
merged fiction and non-fiction
but everyone knows it was in Connecticut.
A most blatant error that really bothers me.
I don't know much about New Jersey yet
but I do know that it is not at all like Connecticut
and I lived in Connecticut for many summers
in my twenties.
I heard Madeleine L'Engle speak once at Calvin
years ago with Luci Shaw.
And the love that radiated from Madeleine was palpable.
Very much a deep Grandmotherly love.
She is a contradictory writer
at once talking about the Holy Trinity
but yet alludes to other non-Christian writers/things.
I get that and can understand why
many would not want to read her.
Though it may be surprising for many to read
I would advise to read her with care
as sometimes she fudges
as one of my close friends has said
and not everything she writes should be believed
on the line of Theology
and some of her books if taken the line of thought
in one's life
will not lead to good places.
If one reads her more widely
one has to read carefully
and know more than one of her books
to see how she has changed and the various things
she has thought.
She is a jewel for many
especially the types like myself that are more
willing to be alone and to write.
Mr. Husband recently found three books in one by her
based on Genesis
and I read some of it over American Thanksgiving.
She is dealing with very different audiences
a conservative evangelical audience
that often scorned her
and a more secular audience
that today seems to be not only misunderstanding her
commitment to the Anglican church
but thinking her rootedness in any Christian tradition
to be merely weird or worse.
(Of course I left the Anglican church for many good reasons
and being Orthodox has opened many doors to me
that I wish L'Engle had opened for her,
she in many ways would of been quite at home here).
the book I started reading shows her struggling
with the way Anglicanism was going
more and more liberal
changing words
challenging gender roles;
I find her writing during this time
as compared to her earlier more firm stance
found in her book
walking on water:
reflections on faith and writing
on language and gender.
In this book she is trying to hold on to what she wrote
in walking on water but on the same time
trying to agree/grapple with the culture around her.
In my view she stumbles a bit and is quite
conflicted if you read carefully.
She is not someone to read blindly
but with full awareness and with love;
love as in charity.
As in seeing her writing as a process and
that she is trying to make sense of a
ever-changing world
and at times makes some wrong steps.
But one has to read her with charity
and then the goodness of her writing
can also surface
and there is still a lot of goodness and light.
Elizabeth Goudge is another one of my most favourite writers
and in many ways her writing is deeper than
Madeleine L'Engles and closer to the truth.
But Elizabeth Goudge is not always fully
as seen in her autobiography
fully correct.
But she can be loved.
L'Engle is needed for a lot of readers today.
I find it sad that current media/culture is totally
misunderstanding a lot of her love of church, language
and Christianity.
L'Engle can teach you a lot about forgiveness within
I once told a friend that once the teen years are done
the journey of forgiveness must begin;
 trying to make sense of our bringing up years
no matter how good our parents are
and let me tell you I have good ones
one needs to go through a process of forgiveness,
of making sense of one's early years
for the world does not deal lightly with any of us.
It is not simple to be an
Orthodox Christian in North America.
How to live,
what to read
what to listen to
everyone makes different decisions
and what we read
what we take in
can be a lot of who and how we become.
So we must walk
in charity
in carefulness
and in my mind
with continuing to read Psalms and the Scripture readings
as much as one can
and read the Saint stories.
They will help us understand things in our culture
and see things more clearly.
I am in the middle of reading a longer version of the story of
St. John the Compassionate
and am just loving the stories.
There is so much life in these stories.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cleo, her rug, a wonderful Saint and prayer requests

Cleo sitting in my morning breakfast seat
hoping for my food!

We got another rug
for our prayer area.
Cleo loves rugs.

That's my beautiful Cleo!

St. Spyridon.
A wonderful story of his help
to a small child here.
Do read it,
as it is such a beautiful story!

I am praying especially to him
for my friend Mara.
Sometimes another person's struggle
makes one's heart break.

This Akathist is not online
but the picture above shows you
where it was published, etc.
I am a bit behind on housework,
not to mention emails
as I am trying to get Christmas cards and such
out and you would not believe the huge stack
of them I have yet to start.
Mr. Husband and I are so excited to send out
our first Christmas card together!
Please pray for Noah as he is struggling again...
Lord have mercy,
the Christmas holidays can be hard for so many!

Day 12 - emotion

Picture by our wonderful wedding photographers.
Day 12
A question of intense emotion
What made you dance in 2012? What made you weep?
Intense joy and happiness - Mr. Husband and I's wedding day.
Cry tears - watching the beginning of my wedding on video.

(back tracking day 2)

(earlier picture of our wedding crowns)
Day 2
 What was your most significant expenditure in 2012?
It doesn't have to be necessarily the biggest expenditure, just the one with the most impact.
What difference has it made to your life?
That is quite a question.
A misleading question actually
if you think of it in dollar amounts.
I can tell you this right now
the biggest expenses are
what is called
blood, sweat and tears.
The biggest impact first is seen in Christ
who died to save us.
The second is the blood of the Martyrs
who I am reading of often and
the horrific ways they died
continue to startle and convict.
Being a Christian is
if anything
not for sissies.
These stories and Saints are vitally important to us.
Do we realize that we we take for granted
as Christians?
are we ready to give like they and not deny?
For me
it the biggest expenditure is time and energy directed
towards people and learning to love.
My Grandma has said many times
God promises strength for the day
and we must trust that God will get us through
today and that we must pour ourselves out
and not worry
but at the same time understanding our
strength and when to rest and when to run.

Turn always to prayer...

My dear friend Mara
who lives many many miles from me
is really struggling.
It deeply saddens me.
I can tell by emails that there is
a profound loneliness and some painful confusion.
Please pray.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sunny but cold - what are we seeking?

So I went out.
Took light rail this time.
I find it is always so much
to take in
going to a new place...
It is going to take me a while
to understand what things are and
what the places mean.
I encountered a huge mall.
Familiar US stores
big - not much more to say about that.
On the way back I got a bit confused
as I did not realize that the train I took
would mean I would have to transfer
and I am going to have to
map out going and coming back
as it seems that when I don't do the way back
it is never as simple as I would of thought.

But meanwhile,
there's NYC on the other side of the water.
Crazy hey?
I stayed NJ side this trip.

One of the bigger grocery stores
in my little town
is still out of commission.
That hurricane and the flooding;
it is going to take time to get everything back.
The library is back and
I must visit it soon...
Thinking about possessions and that
we can take nothing with us
and if I could only live with very little of what
I now have
what would I keep?
And do I have inside of me
the prayer and anticipation for Christ's coming?
First and second coming?
Lord have mercy on us and help us seek
your Son this Christmas.

Day 11 - music

 What was music to your ears in 2012, literally or metaphorically?
Pascha -
The beginning with the song
the light of Christ.
Mr. Husband asking me to marry him.


Cleo was meowing
quite a lot this morning.
Silly cat.
I am off to go exploring this morning!
Mr. Husband is back at work...
He is on the mend,
which is great.
Still reading this book by Elizabeth Elliot
and finding it a very good read;
words of trusting God,
of contentment...
I continue to be grateful for my blog community
and the many friendships found therein.
Wishing you all a day of God's blessings and peace.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Photograph again
from our wonderful wedding photographers.
Considering the idea that nothing lasts forever: what was the most important relationship that you fostered in 2012?
when I first told my Deacon in Ottawa about
the man who is now Mr. Husband
he commented on marriage being an eternal bond.
I firmly believe that at least two things last forever:
God and our souls
(and our souls later to be reunited with we pray a new body).
After God,
Mr. Husband is my top priority.
How will you continue to nurture it in 2013?
With prayer, with care, cooking, communication
and a focused effort
to keep building our life together.

(#7 - taking with me)

Photograph at our reception by our
stellar photographers
# 7 - 
What's the one thing you want to take with you into 2013?
Just one thing?
I am like the Catholic Saint
Little Flower
that Kathleen Norris writes about
when offered to take a ribbon from
several says
I choose all.
I am not much of just one thing
type of gal.
I want to be with God in 2013;
I want to take the love I have for Mr. Husband
and nourish it so that we can
continue to build a good foundation
for our marriage.
We were married 3 months
I want to take all the hope, all the beauty,
all the goodness, all the prayers
with me into 2013.
The laughter, the verve,
the daring and rejoicing
and visits with family and friends.
If I had to take one thing only
it would have to be the only thing I need.
God's mercy.

(backtracking, day 9)

Picture by our amazing wedding photographers.
Day 9
What was the best book you read in 2012, and why?
 Mr. Husband and I had each table at our reception named
 for a character or moment 
in CS Lewis' Narnia books 
after I talked with one of my book-loving friends 
while having great lavender tea late
 in the summer... 
As I was packing I re-read various Narnia book
s and both the magicians nephew and the last battle 
 reminded me and brought tears 
as I saw again the beauty and hope in the world in the long awaited ending 
when things are made right things 
are explained and the King of Glory comes
 Pascha but the greatest Pascha... 
 I gave a set of these to one of my dear friends in Ottawa
 later yet that summer and told her she must read them for beauty...
Everything in my life was shifting; 
I packed house moved prepared to become a wife 
did tons of wedding prep prayed 
had thoughtful parties
 and said many goodbyes
 without it meaning a last goodbye 
but knowing it was a goodbye 
I will only return for visits type of goodbye 
and reading these books reminded me of all that I have been given 
 and all that I will be given if I can stay strait on the road 
and look to Christ;
they also reminded me of the goodness in Mr. Husband 
who was then Orthoman 
as he loves these Narnian worlds as well.

Joining in...

For a few years
I've enjoyed the December reflections on the year
that I have read at RW's blog...
The prompts are from here.
I am in ways a pretty cautious blogger
in other ways not...
but here it goes...
Am starting on what is Day 10.
 What was the greatest risk you took in 2012?
What was the outcome?
what felt like one of the biggest risks of 2011
continued in 2012
and that was being vulnerable to another human being
and marrying the man I fell in love with
after 1000s of emails and phone calls and meetings
I knew within days and within months.
Shoot, I talked to my spiritual father about marrying him
in a year's time
when we started dating.
(we did just that by the way)
I was so in love.
But it is more than being in love
as I read enough books
to know that one surely must not do this based on
a fleeting feeling;
besides I and Mr. Husband are not fully that type;
more the dig deep, seek truth, weigh it and go with it
though in another way
it happened so fast that one could say
it was done winging it
but only with the prayers of many and visits to monasteries
and prayers and talks...
The biggest risk of 2012 began just over a year ago
when I told Mr. Husband that I would move
to New Jersey.
We knew Ottawa was out of the question
and after thought, prayer, and talking with some
close friends,
I told Mr. Husband before I went to NJ
the first time to see him
that I would come to him.
I am now living that risk.
Making a new life for myself
for us, together
and getting to know the area.
An additional risk to me personally
was leaving my church.
What is the outcome?
It is still ongoing and forthcoming.
Mr. Husband and I ordered swim caps yesterday
finally choose one and went for it.
I went to NYC
and was helped by St. Nicholas
I feel it warmly
in getting that outfit for Mr. Husband's
office Christmas party.
Sometimes I forget what I saw all at once
suddenly and yet over time
the beauty of coming here and
all that can be gained.
The hurricane
the shock of leaving Ottawa that I knew
well for 7 years and is and was in my bones
and then the sickness after
American Thanksgiving
weighed in at times
a bit heavy
and I know that there will always be
but right now I see again
in a rush
what I have been given
and remember that
it is good and
a risk well taken
with what is needed for such a risk
prayer, spiritual father's blessings, and the Saints.
So on one hand perhaps I took the risk
but on the other I pray it was God
leading me, going in front of me and
I feebly following
while being supported along the way.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Thank you, St. Katherine's Day, New Dish cooked and recipes found

 Thank you everyone for
your prayers for Mr. Husband.
We are hoping and praying
that the medicine
from the doctor will do the trick...
So today I made
a stir fry:
green pepper
small tomatoes
fried with coconut oil
Basmati Rice.
Mr. Husband liked it!
Found this recipe for a possible
after the fast cake
white pepper ginger lemon cake!
A good blog friend wrote me a recipe
for a walnut cookie ...(thank you!!)
I am thinking also of a chocolate cherry one
that another friend had sent me...
I must get baking soon...
Maybe tomorrow - we shall see - I had promised
some sugar cookies to a parishioner who
cannot get out much...
All cookie recipes for fasting days still invited!
Come one, come all... :)
I can't tell you how much
your comments encourage and uplift me.
 Thank you so very much.
my email is
in the blog world
roosjeblog @ yahoo . ca
 in case it is needed.
May God bless all those named after St. Katherine!
I light candles especially by her icon today! :)
Last night Mr. Husband and I booked a plane ticket
for me to visit my Ottawa church family and friends
for Theophany!
I am looking forward to St. Nicholas Day...
I still have to wrap
Mr. Husband's present :)
May God bless and keep us all.
Thank you again for prayers;
Mr. Husband and I are both
quite ready to be well again...

Prayer Request for Mr Husband

Mr. Husband is still feeling poorly.
And his cough was worrying him
amongst other things
so he went to the doctor this morning.
The doctor does not believe
he has pneumonia
but is treating him like he does.
He is to return to the doctor on Monday.
He is coughing a lot
throughout the night and
is really worn down.
We ask your prayers.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Prayer Request

One of the orphans
that my sister knows in Romania
may have lost the job
he just most recently got.
Please pray for this young man!
To be trying to look for work
is so hard
and to be an orphan also very hard.
A lot of the orphans also do not know
Christ and a hard knock like this
can really discourage them...
Please pray!
Thank you!!

New Calendar St. Nicholas Day - with a kind window's tale

I went to New York City
again today.
it was a really good day.
Thankfully I did not have to go
 walking about the city much.
That did help.
The goal
other than to have a quick lunch with
the gallant Mr. Husband,
was to find something nice
pretty and modest
for my first Christmas party
with Mr. Husband for his work.
So I went into a store that was recommend to me
and found the 4th floor dresses.
The first and second floor I was greeted by sales staff
but by the 4th it seemed no one was there.
It took a bit of time
but I finally found what I deemed some good options.
But not before I felt a bit utterly forlorn,
tired, hot and a bit frustrated.
But then I remembered that it was
new calendar
St. Nicholas Day
so I asked for help.
Admitted that I needed a nice outfit for
Mr. Husband's Christmas party
and that though it was not a
dire request at any rate
I could really use the help.
I was missing friends and family who often
would help me look
or even a sales clerk!
But after I prayed I felt encouraged
and then found the better options
and tried the first one on.
I really liked it.
And then the story got sweeter.
I was trying to get to a proper mirror to see
if the clothes fit properly on me.
When an older women
with a kind face and a proper nice NYC
type haircut and makeup
came up to me and said
she never usually talks to others
but really liked the outfit I was trying on.
Said it fit me well and
that I would get lots of compliments.
She asked what it was for
and so I said it was for my
husband's Christmas party
and she said,
oh, I used to go to these when my husband was alive
and wear outfits like this,
those were such nice times.
And then she advised me on jewelry and
it was so nice and kind
and reminded me of what a blessing I have
in Mr. Husband.
So I felt like St. Nicholas not only helped me
find an outfit
a very small thing
but even more brought someone kind to help me
and reassure me without me even asking
that what I had found was good.
So in the middle of NYC
I was blessed with the kindness of a stranger!
Here's pictures of what I found,
for those who are interested in these sorts of things...

The black skirt is ankle length
and fits me wonderfully.
The red shirt is really nice and modest
and still pretty.

With shiny flower buttons :)

That match my necklace

and earrings
that I bought years ago in Ottawa
for special events...

So that was great.
I felt relieved, happy and blessed!
Then I had time to browse in stores.

Here's the 12 Days of Christmas
China dish set
in one of the stores.
Lovely hey?!

I love seeing pretty dishes!

And little English Christmas party treats...

Also found some of my favourite drink
in NYC... it's made in Taiwan and
has Aloe in it...
Mr. Husband and I took the bus home
and I am thankful for this day.
I am also thankful for the friends
that I texted while going to and in NYC.
Blessed St. Nicholas day to everyone
celebrating this wonderful day today!