Friday, February 23, 2018

More on yesterday and today: first Friday of Great Lent

Above is sections of the last part of the Canon of St Andrew of Crete that I 
really loved.

This treasure came yesterday! 
It is published by Holy Dormition Monastery and is all the Old Testament 
readings (liturgically speaking) for the year!
It's lovely, well bound, good paper and 2 colour (red, black) printing.
I already used it last night, the print is nice and big, clear and the translation
is beautiful! 

I am all packed for my trip tomorrow... 
by mid-afternoon I hope to be in Michigan! 
Will be there DV for the week.

Praying for many things...

Saw this on social media and thought it was really dear.

This is from yesterday, not the best video,
as I missed the beginning of this song/prayer 
but it's lovely and one of my favourite prayers that is only prayed
a few times in services, being part of Great Compline.
Well... I have to get ready for dinner now,
my Husband is going to meet me at the diner for dinner
God willing!
May God bless, help and protect us all!

Thursday first week of Great Lent

I love this image, found on the internet.
Well, I made it to NYC and to church.
I am feeling a bit heart-weary.
I am glad that Christ is our Good Shepherd 
and that 
He will pull us up.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

First Wednesday of Great Lent: +Billy Graham, St Paisios, St Andrew's Canon

I liked the above page for 2 reasons, first it shows (yellow tab) how 
being a Christian and becoming an Orthodox Christian takes a lot of time.
I find that encouraging.
I also took the picture because it mentioned physics and I have friends
with physics husbands who may get a kick out of it. :)

The above picture also mentions the many years of struggle needed be be
"an Orthodox Christian in reality, in his heart" 
and to me this is encouraging as it shows how long it takes to get to the 
journey's destination for those of us who are by birth/inheritance
 and those of us who have chosen to become
Orthodox Christians...
I have started an essay on the topic of spiritual journey,
and about what began my journey and what I have learned so 
far in it...

My Husband asked me to make him ginger tea bags for work.
We both love a good strong ginger tea!

+Billy Graham died today! Memory Eternal!
I have read much of this article about him,
I have always respected Billy Graham and his impact
is very vast and significant. 
I remembered him at church tonight.
His influence in my life in my 20s and of those I was close to
is very strong and his wife Ruth Bell Graham is one that I also
admire deeply.

On an more Ortho-note, I listened to the second CD of this set today,
that just came yesterday; it is of St Paisios chanting! In Greek of course. 
Very special! 

Tracy sent me this tea some time ago and today I had a nice pot of it.
I was really tired today and this tea was really refreshing! :) 
Thanks again Tracy! 

The above is a video I made tonight
to record the song about God being with us
that I dearly love.
I hope you enjoy it too! 

It was wonderful to be in church tonight!
Our unbloggable struggle is still on going.
Last month was pretty good but this month,
that is almost done now, has been difficult.
I have found various times when my 
smart phone alarm goes off 
(either as a morning alarm, or to remind me of something,
or to wake from a nap) that I feel like I am hearing it for the first time
(I have various alarm tunes) and they all sound beautiful
and sad to me... The unbloggable struggle has been going on 
for over a year and we are just really weary.
And of course my Aunt's health is on my mind.
I am doing my best to take care of myself during this time,
the first week of Lent is really busy.
This first week is always more tiring to me,
so I am not overly worried about the fact that I am tired.
I am trying to take lots of vitamins and get rest as much as I can. 
I have to go to NYC tomorrow but am going to rest in the morning
and take cabs as much as I need.  And I plan on taking myself out
to eat while I am there :)
Friday I will be home and resting as much as I can,
while making sure I am packed for my flight home Saturday.
I am looking forward to being home, I have a few
Lenten books I am going to take that are light weight 
and will just be glad to be home, DV, with my parents,
though I will be really missing my beloved Mr Husband.
We will talk everyday of course and I often send him pictures when 
he is at work of what I am up to, so we will be connected
and up to date, as they say. :)
Wishing each of you a joyful end of this first week of Great Lent! 
May God have mercy on us!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

First Tuesday of Lent, Reading, Cleaning, book buying + unpacking, Canon of St Andrew

Did I mention that I got this book recently?
It's been really informative; I did not get the link
between dogma and how it translates into lived experience; 
how right dogma (doctrine/ideas about God) creates right culture/living.
Makes perfect sense, I just did not frame the idea in this way,
thought I have been pondering this topic 
(of how we are where we are today/in history) for years.
This book is a bunch of things on many topics, including kids/child-rearing.
I love books like that, wide-ranging.
I've been thinking over and over today
dogma = right living and such thoughts.  Ortho-nerdy fun at it's best ;)
I got to do more reading today. 
It was SO NICE.
Uninterrupted quiet reading on the futon in our library/chapel with
time to make notes, look over past notes (I write a lot of quotes from books
I am reading esp that I want to write about) and making notes for DV
future essays that I want to write. 
I have not had a lot of chance for such a time and I really deeply 
appreciated having it today.

I love this plant that a friend gave me this summer...

Books for church bookstore! New Rome Press! 
That was a heavy box to carry up 2 flights of stairs! 
I was out of breath, I admit!

And under 10 minutes of my opening the box of books,
there was Cleo exploring the newly emptied box!

These 2 new books are WONDERFUL, cool and the St Paisios book very BEAUTIFUL.
My godkids often get books from me and I was so excited to see these 2!!! 

Church tonight.
I was really glad to be there.
Was tired tonight so I sat some.
But that's cool. 
I have been learning to not push myself into sickness
and am trying my best there.
Speaking of that, I need to get on to sleep for the night! 
May God bless, protect and heal us all!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Clean Monday; Lentil Soup, Canon of St Andrew, Reading cherished letters by Elder Sophrony

 Lentil soup made.
I got to do some reading, which was such a blessing.
Husband was home today (US holiday) and it was so nice to have
an extra day together. 
We went to church tonight, the Canon of St Andrew of Crete is so beautiful 
and inspiring! 
If you want to use the Canon as your Lenten meditation, this book is really 
wonderful to use!
Lentil soup: My friend A. gave me her method, which I then did.
So I remember:
Saute onion and garlic in oil (I used sunflower oil this time).
Added cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper.
over 8 cups of *boiling* water (makes the soup really fast to make!)
over 3 cups (1 lb) of red lentils.
Puree in immersion blender. 
Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. 
Great with bread or rice! We had it with bread and a green salad!
And a fruit salad too! 
It's so nice to be reading more of 
Elder Sophrony's letters again.
I am so glad I re-found this book.
I am already packing for my trip to MI to see my family. 
I am being extra cautious and bought a good quality cotton
mask to wear on the plane + throat sprays + purell wipes (for the 
arm chair, light buttons, tray table on the plane), + white gloves to 
wear and then wash... maybe overkill, but I really don't want
to get sick and the flu is really bad this year... 
Lots of my family visited my Aunt this weekend in hospital.
They are hoping she can go back home this week but 
I have not heard the latest yet. 
God willing I will be able see her soon!
Also, God willing, I am able to stay one night over at my home
monastery and I am so excited for that.
I have not been home or to a monastery in 1 year 2 months about.
My beloved Mr Husband has to stay in NJ thought and we are already
talking about how we will miss each other! 
But thank God for text/chat/phone calls. 
A dear friend sent me this letter by Bishop Gregory 
and it included these lines:

"This solemn and reflective journey is not one of despair. This is not a time of inconsolable grief or deep anguish and anxiety. Holy and Great Lent is a time of spiritual renewal in which repentance finds forgiveness and grace, engenders hope, strengthens our faith and leads us to abundant and eternal life."
May God bring us safely through Great Lent and to His Holy Pascha (Easter)!
Thanks also everyone who has commented lately, I really appreciate it!

ps: Lisa: my Faith @ Home page is very if there is anything you 
are wondering about that I am mentioning, just say so! :)  

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cheesefare Sunday

Blessed beginning of Lent! 
Forgive me a sinner!
We had a nice day at our local church
and then resting at home and having a nice
festive dinner and then 
watching the Waltons :).
I am hoping to make lentil soup tomorrow
and getting some cards written!
Church at night! 
I often forget the sense of joy and anticipation that 
this special day, with forgiveness vespers, 
gives!  A joy that kindles love that makes one plunge 
forward, not matter what difficulties may await us. 
May God give us a Good Lent and carry us to His Pascha! 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday of Butter Week 2018

We had a peaceful Saturday.
Husband spoiled me with a lunch out!
We both had fish and I had lentil soup, 
with warm pita and other bread...
It was really a nice treat!
We went to vespers tonight and I am slowly getting things
put away, I think I only have 1 more Christmas thing to put away,
other than all the cards.
I am trying to think about, in terms of my Aunt K and going home to see her,
about not just the future grief but also the joy we have as Christians, 
and the reality of Pascha and that we grieve but with hope.
We had more of the cranberry sour cream coffee cake and I think as it 
has aged a bit, it actually tastes even better.
I am really pleased with it. 
It was so nice to have tea and cake today, 
hot tea is such a blessing.
My Husband and I enjoyed tea over breakfast and 
later over a tea and cake break in the later afternoon.
Well, I am trying to figure out my Lenten reading.
And that I am going to travel light to my parents home in a week.
I have so many choices and while that is a blessing,
it also can be more to pick from and more to figure out...
May God help us as we go towards Great Lent!

Forgive me a sinner for anything I may have done
or said here that was hurtful or harmful in an any way!

May God save us and give us a good Lent!