Friday, January 31, 2020

Prayer Requests on the last day in January

Our dear elderly L from my local church is really suffering.
She may need to go back to the hospital.
Please pray for her.
And for our candledesk man who is older and just returned from hospital... 

Thoughts on one's personal creed

I've been thinking about what are the beliefs
that I live by and that I want to live by,
the ones that I have deep within,
that I find of great importance... 
Here are some of my initial thoughts on this...
1.  The Deep Mysterious Love and Patience of God.

2.  What my spiritual father of my Ottawa years told me about 14 years ago...
hold in perfect 50/50 balance that God loves you and that you are a sinner.

3. That within the Orthodox Church (that I joined 15 or so years ago) there is great 
freedom in two different ways.

1. There is freedom of difference, of expression, of various "small t traditions" that
form different Orthodox cultures and churches.  There is no 'one way' to do things
within Orthodoxy (i.e. in terms of liturgical, in ways of chanting, in even the way
services are run on some levels, not to mention differences in culture, food and 
family-cultures and church-family-cultures).  Just like there are many ways a
family has their own way of doing things, so there are many ways of doing lots within
Orthodox churches and Orthodox cultures. 

2.  There is freedom found in the "tools" that the Orthodox church offers.
Like fasting from meat and dairy (according to one's measure of health) or
going to confession regularly, going to church services, doing daily prayers, 
and other things. 
Freedom is not found in doing 'whatever I feel like "...this is just being a
slave to one's self and one's ideas.  Both lead to great pain.
Like when I was trapped and struggling with anxiety a few weeks ago,
that I wrote about here, that is not freedom; it's not what God wants for us.

3.  What God wants for us is both wonderful, marvelous and incredibly hard, yet mixed with 
great mercy, patience and unfailing love of God. 
God wants us to be saved by Christ, filled with His Holy Spirit.
Desiring to be saved can be hard (We have a prayer, "God save me whether I will it or not".)
Acquiring the Holy Spirit is our goal and is also very hard, but yet
God gives mercy to beginners and to those who seek the humility we see in Christ.
And when we are feeling that growing in one's Christian life is hard, 
as we face our glaring inward poverty and struggle, 
God reminds us of His unfathomable love for us.

4. Thanksgiving (perhaps the opposite of self-pity, despair?) can save us.

5.  We never need to despair. 
We must remember that with Christ is the only source of security, hope
and that Christ is the one we can always count on.
We never need to despair. 

(158) Yesterday's Blessings + Today's


I went to liturgy yesterday morning, forgot to take even one picture!
So the pictures begin with breakfast after I was back home from church. 
I love the ease of the fast-free days, which Thursday is one
(normally we fast from dairy and meat Wednesday and Friday, 
health permitting of course).
I had a bowl of the chicken soup that I made for L but, of course, 
made a huge batch of because I always do things 'big' in the kitchen! 
Yesterday I was able to pick up / tidy the house...
it always takes me about a week (or 5 days at least) to fully cleanup
from a big dinner party.
And I tackled Mt Laundry again.
I am slowly listening to Tolkien's Silmarillion via audible. 
I felt really wiped out from the business of this past week
and am just trying to pace myself.
Naps, staying hydrated (a constant struggle), eating well...
While I love my treats, I try to have them sparingly and 
have protein snacks, etc.  The one thing I am always needing more of is
vegetables.  But one thing at a time.  
Please pray for L. she is struggling still with her breathing
and may have to move from Rehab soon and it is all very concerning.
Please continue to pray for Australia; my friend S emailed me that there are
new fires and smoke is still an issue, beyond the fires. :(
Today is another cleaning day.
I need to do more laundry.
House blessing is this Sunday so trying to get
everything clean and ready!
Tomorrow I hope to make the chocolate torte for Sunday's meal.
Yesterday we replaced both light bulbs in +Patrick's lamp.
It is so beautiful.  
I was telling Mr Husband that we may have never realized that the bottom
globe has a light as well if it had not been working when we got it.
There is a lot of metaphor possibility in this thought.
How many times we may miss something so simple as knowing
where a light is to shine and make everything beautiful with its light....
Well, life just keeps hopping...I need to go back to NYC this coming Tuesday.
Life is full and good, but full of events and it is tiring.
But God is with us... 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

(157) The day of our Christmas Dinner

I wrote at length, earlier this week,
 about the preparation for the Christmas dinner we had last Sunday night. 
The one thing I want to note is two lovely Polish treats that our friends
brought from Poland to share at the meal.
Here are two pictures to show you the packaging:

I must mention that the one above was my favourite and 
everyone else's as well! 
It was a soft gingerbread chocolate covered cookie with jam 
inside.  Need I say more?! They were so good! 
You will see these dimly in a small bowl... 

The other ones by Milka were good, though
not as favoured, a chocolate with a type of 
marshmallow filling.  Still very fun though! 
They added a lot to the festivity of the meal! 
Below are the pictures I took of the day and of the dinner itself!

Tea at coffee hour after church liturgy was fancy and delicious! 

 It was such a beautiful sunny day!
I had to take this picture from the car on the drive
back to our home!
I wrote, as I mentioned, about the preparations I did for this meal 
already with lots of pictures. So if you missed it and want to know
what I did for this lovely special Christmas dinner, go here


(The two bowls on either end of the table have the Polish treats, they were so delicious!)

The Polish cookies everyone loved!

It was a really lovely meal.
One of the things I found most memorable was how
happy everyone was to be with us.
How they appreciated the meal and the set up.
Everything went really well and was a real
blessing to me and Mr Husband.
I am so thankful.
I am dreaming of doing more events in the future, but
not, of course, as involved as this one as I don't always have that
much time or energy! 
But Christmas is worth every ounce of my time and energy, as
long as God so grants both to me!