Thursday, February 28, 2013

February's End

Safe to say that
here in our house
we are all getting quite fatigued.

Years ago my spiritual father
talked about in a homily
how even just a very little bit
done during Lent
when it is all we can do
is enough.
That God will honour it.

Soup from a friend this past weekend
now heating on the stove.
I love this little pan.
It is from my parent's old set
and I've always favoured this one,
the smallest one.

I had to rip it (the dish cloth) out again;
here it is with another new beginning.
I realized what I did however.
I had half of it with what seemed to be
two extra rows.
I had put the needles down
and then started knitting on the wrong one
doubling a half-done row.

Learning anything new takes
a lot of time, vigilance and persistence.
How can it not be the same
in our spiritual lives,
in prayer?

My yarn and new needles are probably downstairs
right now;
I looked and saw online that they were out for
How strange that I will not be racing down
the stairs to get them;
yet how good it must be
as this must be where I am
Being careful.
Balancing and remembering what to do.
Seeking to rest.
Last summer
seems like so long ago.
I was given this hand lotion as part of
my friend's Ottawa bridal shower.
What a happy day that was.
Soon Mr. Husband and I will have been
married 6 months.
I told Mr. Husband yesterday
that sometimes we are just called
to struggle together
our faces looking to Christ.
I have another post I want to share,
about what I have learned
but in the same way still have to learn
about being with God today.
Cleo meanwhile is sitting by me
and my soup is cooled and ready to eat.

Night Watches, 1 week at home...

It's been a week strait
other than Sunday evening for a dinner
at a neighbour's
after the house blessing
since I've been out of the house.
I don't even go downstairs to get the mail.
The whole temptation to lift things
but frankly it's the
meds I'm one for one more day
making me needing to sit or lay down all day
that keep me up late at night.
Somehow does not seem like a good combination
with mono.
if anything this can be a personal lesson on
not getting what I want.
That will of mine,
it likes to take me places and instead
Christ in His mercy wants
me to be led.
May it be so.
St. John the Baptist prayed
let me decrease and Christ increase.
In today's culture
this seems like one of the most
revolutionary things to do:
let Christ envelope you.

I am praying
as I can
on the couch, in bed,
in the night watches
for those I love,
worry for
and feel their struggle;
know their struggle.
May the Lord help them quickly;
May the Mother of God protect them
and bring her loving presence to
the sufferings and struggles of their lives.

May St. Katherine's serenity
and Cross protect and be with us.
May Christ's light
seen shining in the darkness
give us the way unto we walk.
May we not fear the darkness
because God is still with us
right beside us
in it,
refusing to leave us,
promising never to abandon us.

From the Prologue of Ochrid for today New Calendar
on St. Seraphim and being at peace:

For every man, peace of soul is precious. With those who have attained peace of soul, the body can be in constant motion; in work, in pain, but their souls, affixed to God, always remain in unwavering peace. St. Seraphim of Sarov teaches: "It is necessary to concern oneself with all means in order to preserve peace of soul and not to be disturbed by the insults of others. That is why it is necessary, at all costs, to restrain yourself from anger with the help of vigilance over one's self, preserving the mind and heart from indecent movements. For preserving peace of soul, it is also necessary to avoid judging others. By not judging and by silence, peace of the soul is preserved. When a man is in such a state of mind, he receives divine revelations. In order for man to be preserved from judging others, he must be vigilant over himself; he must not receive from anyone non-spiritual thoughts and he should be dead toward everything worldly. We must tirelessly guard the heart from indecent thoughts and influences. `With closest custody, guard your heart for in it are the sources of life.'

(Proverbs 4:23). From perpetual vigilance over the heart, purity is born, in which the Lord is seen according to the words of eternal truth: `Blessed are the pure in heart:for they shall see God' "(St. Matthew 5:8).

It is easy to forget that
peace is to be found like this.
But truly what 
I just quoted above is the way.
I loved also the following from the same date
on Christ's care and labour for us,
like a deeply loving Father,
like He is as our Saviour:
To contemplate the Lord Jesus as a Traveler:
1. How He is wearied by traveling, perspiring, hungry and thirsty for my salvation, for your salvation and for the salvation of all men;
2. How even at night, He labors for my salvation, for your salvation and for the salvation of all men;
3. How on every journey, He thinks, He worries and He desires salvation for me, for you and for all men.
More found here.
I am seeking to read this wonderful book
nightly before bed.
Mr. Husband happens to have a beautiful
book set of it.
It's one of our greatest treasures. 
I am also on the first bit of re-reading
the revised edition of 
 and it so good to read...
A blessing, 
knit, read, laugh at Cleo's antics,
rest again...
Now if only I could sleep this night...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What we must do

What we must do is very hard
and very easy.
Come to Christ.
Beg for Christ's help,
ask that He dwell in us more
than our self-absorbed selves.
It is easy and it is hard.
The victory is Christ's
and we are weak
and in great need of Him.
I am thinking about this a lot
as I seek to recover.
The fatigue has kept me sleeping or sitting
on the couch...
I spoke to my sister this morning.
She had mono years ago
and reminded me to rest and that
in rest I will recover sooner...
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it."
Isaiah 30:15 (NIV).
My spiritual father often would talk
about the gentleness of Christ
and that He would ask the blind, the sick,
what they wanted
before healing them.
That we have to want to be healed.
That we have to open our hearts.
How we want this and yet I find
at least how I often fight it,
if you know what I mean.
Either trying to do get the job done
on my own strength
or getting tangled in a web of distractions
and wrong thinking.

Oh to have the peace of Christ in our
hearts for then we can
be at rest
truly we can only be at rest with Christ.
Meanwhile, I am knitting...
So I ran out of yarn for my first dish cloth
when I was trying to bind it off.
Could not get more than 1/6 of way done.
There were many mistakes in it.
My first try.

So I did something that was
really hard for me to do.
I ripped it all out.
I have ordered more yarn and needles;
it is shipped and I hope will come by the weekend.
Meanwhile I don't have as much yarn to work with.
But I have some ideas for a small blanket
and I am going to use the newly re-wrapped
ball of blue yarn
to experiment with.
I am very tired and can't focus on
learning patterns
so I must deal with what I can do
and learn as I go.

Knitting realization:

I wrote this (about the above scarf) yesterday on the FB
that I can't seem to fully stay away from...
So... it's pretty strange, this too tired to bake bread...
so I am knitting; 
I am just beginning and 
I was doing pretty good on a simple knit stitch scarf
 but then it got funny and so I ripped it down 
until it was at a good place again and 
found strange amounts of yarn of no use of all 
that I will keep as scraps 
and meanwhile have a good ball of yarn to keep going with 
(first one all used up). 
Somehow this seems parallel often to one's journey
 to Christ through repentance
 - starting over, getting rid of needless junk
 and searching for the way to continue.

Light candles.

Look for God and His Mercy.
He loves us,
we are sinners.
Christ came born as a weak baby
crucified as a thief
killed death
and offering us His life and His Resurrection.
May God help us enter into His Life.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Today we are with God and are not abandoned

one of my good friend's sent me a
message saying that she
had mono some years back
and it took about a month before it showed up
in the blood tests.
That made it a lot more real for me.
My tests were already showing mono
though not 100%
but enough for my doctor to be sure I have it.
So we are doing a lot of learning around here.
I miss my not-that-long-ago busy days
of baking bread and making
yummy fried potatoes for our
Saturday breakfasts.
But I am trying not think too much about
that, but of all I do have and can do.
I am having chicken broth lots
made by a friend
lately, with
fresh ginger thrown in.

And tea,
mainly echinacea or
ginger and lemon now days.

With Holy Honey,
i.e. from a monastery not that far from here. :)

I had at the loving
advice of one of my best
Ottawa friends
emailed my Ottawa naturopath last weekend.
It's been so busy moving, marrying and adjusting,
with travel, hurricane sandy, a minor snow storm
and earlier sicknesses
to get a new naturopath lined up here.
So now I am on a battery of supplements
that Mr. Husband valiantly got for me.

Having lots of garlic and ginger.
Tea, water.
The dreaded medicine that is giving me
nightly insomnia now has
two more days.
So by Friday morning I will be free of it,
though the side-effects will take probably
another week to totally go away.
My swollen tonsil?
Still quite swollen.
White blotches all over.
The main improvement is that it
is not causing pain.
I think the supplements are in part
helping with this.

Grateful for my red kettle.
Missing making bread.
Trying to figure out ways for us to function with
Mr. Husband's busy schedule and
my inability to do much.
Like laundry.
I have been warned by various good friends
not to lift as
I could rupture my spleen.
Did I mention that before I was diagnosed
I was doing the lifting for the family
due to some upper-back pain of my beloved
Mr. Husband?
Sometimes it just seems a bit hard...
I am working on some ideas to help us...
I ordered two tall 16 oz mugs
that can be in the dishwasher
so that I will not need to use
 the tall clear glasses
that I refuse to have in the dish washer
due to this dish washer already
making scratches in my clear glass
drinking jug.
I do not like to ruin dishes.
This may seem trivial but we are trying to figure out
all ways to make it easier for housekeeping
and things keeping very sanitary.
The last thing we want is Mr. Husband to have mono too.
God forbid!
I ordered more yarn yesterday.
Today I ordered the cups and a good reading light.
Doing simple things like this
I find winds me and
I have to rest a lot.
I find that there is this strange heaviness
 on my chest often
and I just try to keep refocusing on Christ.
Knitting helps.
I have so many who I love who are
in various levels of heartbreak, panic,
uncertainty, job-loss/job-seeking,
health troubles of all sorts
and children and family struggles.
I just keep lighting candles.
Saying little prayers.
I have learned a little bit that
what is true is that God is still with us
in all the darkness,
all the exhaustion,
all the struggle and confusion.
And that some how we have enough
and that we can be with God today.
That He is here with us
and He cares
about our struggles.
My Ottawa spiritual father talks often of
how God is right there in the very
middle of our struggles
with us.
My dear friends:
God is with us and nothing, NOTHING, 
can separate God's love from us.
Let us pray for each other.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Knitting and a little place to rest (take 2, hopefully the pictures will stay this time)

I really wish the doctor had not told me
that she feels I have mono.
I've never had such a hard time resting!
This is where I sit, rest and knit.
New book of poetry
that I got from Mr. Husband
at the 8th Day Books book-stand
at the conference we went to last week.

The shelf with
many of Mr. Husband's books and a few of mine.
He's an Ortho-nerd like me and it
is so wonderful.
This small icon of the Mother of God was
given to Mr Husband.
It is from Rome.

A flower pot I got for my Mother
when I was a child
that used to be on a little kitchen window
shelf in my childhood
we-have-moved-since home
where my Mother would do dishes
with the window open to sunshine and
seeing us kids swing outside in the back yard.
The hair clip was a gift from a
beloved family member who
got it in Rome some years back.
The key is from my cousin and
says where
God closes one door another opens.

Also from my parent's home,
this has been with me for several years now.

St. Nectarios and St. Spyridon.
The flower in the frame
was a reminder that God has many gifts for us
and loves us... the flower was pressed in a book
over a summer years past and then
given to me as a reminder of God's mercy...

I don't remember where I got this one;
very possibly my Mother of the same cousin
who gave me that small key.

Holly Hobby.
Bought in Fort Langley BC
years ago at their antique mall.

For I know the plans for you plaque,
same cousin mentioned.
Rose water pot from my Aunt K. for my
Golden birthday years ago;
the man and women in glass was from my parent's house.
The wooden spoon still needs to be hung up
properly and is one of my very
treasured wedding gifts from Romania.

Swan from my Oma when I was a child.
Dutch dolls from a very special Ottawa friend;
little cookbook - maybe the same cousin...
small spoon and tea ball I've had for years.

Mr. Husband's spiritual father recommend this
book of icons for us.
It's very lovely.

and my ladybug pillow that my Oma made
years ago.

Icons all lit for house blessing!

This was Mr. Husband's basket
that he is letting me have for my knitting!
And above is my first dishcloth.
Bamboo needles and kitchen-cotton

Found this knitted bag that my Oma made
years ago. 

Quilt I use daily from a
friend I miss and love in Ottawa
whom made it for my wedding.

My beloved socks!
I wear them around the house as slippers daily...
Speaking of slippers
I found all my old slippers that I got over
many years from my Oma,
all of which need to be mended.
Anyone that would know,
what type of yarn would you use
for mending the bottoms of slippers?
Matching colours does not concern me for these...
I am loving knitting and the dreaming of all I want to make.
I found this blog through the
yarn along button that many of my blog friends use
and am really enjoying it.
Now I must sit and knit and rest...
But not before I leave with two prayer requests:

1. My friend Mara could really use continued prayers.
We've been exchanging phone calls and she is
really struggling.
All I can say is that it breaks my heart.
please pray for her, that God protect her
and save her.

2.  I have learned that an Romanian orphaned family
as in the parents died
and the oldest child takes care of the others
so 9 kids all together
had their home destroyed:
a fire took out the roof
and the house was spared but the water flooded everything.
It is winter there in Romania;
I know of them through my Ottawa church.
Please please pray for them.
If and how we may be able to help,
I will let you know as soon
as I know more.
I have a curable sickness that hopefully
will go away within 2-3 months,
with parents, husband and many who
love me and a nice house to live in and fun knitting projects.
These 9 are poor, orphaned and lost their home.
I know I am not supposed to compare
but please,
pray for these beloved ones
who have such heavy burdens and losses.
I will rest now...
Please pray for me.
I am so thankful
yet my heart breaks for others
and I am sick but have a hard time resting.
If I did not have my
thanksgiving journal
to keep my perspective in balance;
it would be a lot harder to deal with...
it's all we have left and God is the One who
can save us out of so many troubles.

First House Blessing as Mr. Husband and Mrs. Wife

Hi there.
It feels like forever since I have posted.
I am still sick.
I'm sure I should be taking a nap about now.
One of the many things I am doing
to fight this
most-likely-mono and for sure tonsillitis
is taking a medicine that not only
gives me insomnia at night
but keeps me wired during the day
so it's really hard for me to actually rest.
Which is my excuse for why
I was up and about yesterday cleaning for
our already-planned and postponed once
house blessing.
So here's some pictures

Cleo being loved on.

She was praying and watching!

Mr. Husband carrying the lit candle
into the kitchen. 

Cleo running away from being blessed!
I have a freshly blessed Cleo Cat!!!

One of my little small loves
is a clean soap dish
and fresh soap.
Olive oil soap in the kitchen...

Newly re-found Tea Tree Oil soup for the bathroom.
The bowls and soaps are from Ottawa.
This is the first time I've been
hugely other than a bad head-cold
sick since I left Ottawa.
So I am missing Ottawa right now.
That said my new friends and
church home here are
incredibly supportive
and my beloveds in Ottawa
are blessing me with prayers and love
and emails.
I am just once really blessed
albeit a bit sick

This towel was a gift from
my Aunt H. when I was a girl.
I saved it,
so soft, fluffy; I knew
I wanted to use it the first time
for something special.
And so I did:
as a new bride in my first home
I have been using and enjoying it! 

Icon corners lit and ready for the blessing!

The list of ill and those in need
that I and Mr. Husband ask
St. Nectarios' aid
is growing and growing...

Our wedding crowns
newly house blessed.
I went to sleep that night
with the sensation that I was sleeping
on brand new summer-washed sheets
and that all was new and clean again:
this is how I can best describe the blessing
that one gets when the priest comes;
all is new and young again...
Even when I wake up in the middle of the night
with an ear ache,
still all is blessed.
Cleo was quite curious about the whole event
and I am so happy to have her in my
new life with Mr. Husband.
Mr. Husband
is proving to be again and again the loving
doting husband that I always wished for.
Thank you all for your prayers.
I am still fatigued and quite congested but
I am also loved and
am grateful for this.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Still Sick... looks like I have mono from what I have been told

So talked to doctor today.
The tests are pointing towards mono.
I am really tired.
My throat hurts more than before.
Please pray that Mr. Husband does not get ill
at all, in any way...
Prayer requested. 

Cleo, Oatmeal, sickness and the best socks ever

I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast
due to my sore throat.
I was sitting on the couch knitting
when I heard something strange,
looked up and there was the
Cleo Cat,
edging off the table the emptied Oatmeal container.
She got it to land perfectly on the chair.

She is my funny one!
Later she got her head stuck in this container,
which I did not have time to
but it was amusing.
She freed herself of it
in short order...
One of my long time friends sent me
and Mr. Husband
the best socks ever. 
I wear them around the house non-stop since they arrived
earlier this week.
Handmade, knit, gloriously thick warm socks!
I am knitting a small blue dish/wash cloth
and still working on my small scarf.
My throat is just as swollen as ever.
I am praying that Mr. Husband does NOT
get whatever it is that I have....
Continued prayers requested.