God is Above

Someone in Charge This is a phrase that my parish priest often reminds us of – “God is above.” Not in the sense that He is at all distant from us, but in the sense that He is in charge and He is watching over us. I find it a thought of immense comfort. Our children also find immense comfort in knowing they are being watched over by someone “in charge.” Despite…

Peacemaker

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God. – Matthew 5:9 Bickering Happens Children fight. Our children fight. We wish they didn’t. We try to make them not – but there seems to be some deep-set fallen instinct in children (and adults only better hidden sometimes) to bicker. I deeply love and admire the books of the late writer Richard Carlson who wrote the Don’t Sweat the…

Living the Seasons of Our Lives

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1 Image by https://www.pexels.com/@kasuma As I write this post it is summer. Ah, summer. A season of warm weather, vacations, ripe fruits and, for my family God willing, lots of swimming. It is not a time of schedules and routines. We have been in the midwest on a family holiday with sunset boat paddles…

A Practice: Gazing at our Children in Love

We love our children. At least most of us would say we do without any hesitation. But how often do we talk to them, or at them, in anger? How often do we lose patience with them or even want to be rid of them for a time? Likely we all had these moments. When you have a small baby it can be easier to feel pure uncomplicated love. Especially when you…

Bearing “Good” Fruit – Focusing on the things “of God”

Recognizing what is not “of God” I recently read a beautiful blog post at a site I just found called Worshipful Living that I stumbled across while doing a bit of research for another blog post. The post was this: A Black and White World. The author ended the post talking about how racism is “not of God” and it made me think that that phrase “not of God” and also “not…

Patience – Especially when it’s hard

We have a new baby in our house. What a blessing – Thank you Lord for Your many mercies! This child was much wanted and is much loved. We are in the throws of baby snuggling and little coos and kisses – and having a new baby also means an underslept mama which, in my house, is a set up for impatience and a short fuse. No matter where we are in…

“What a blessing!”

Okay. Is anyone tired yet of how I keep recommending being mindful of language and how we can enrich our speech spiritually? Maybe you guys all do this naturally, but I feel like where I live I am always surprised when God is mentioned or even people acknowledge the possible existence of a higher power so this is the kind of stuff I think about a lot. I am blessed, in my…

One Little Thing Each Day

I don’t know about you all, but I can so easily fall out of the rigor and enthusiasm of Great Lent and into the “business” of the everyday grind. In our home we continue the Paschal spirit, singing “Christ is Risen” before each meal, keeping our Paschal icon out and even continuing the prayer of St Ephraim for a while, but the daily anticipation and prayers and reflections have slipped away. As…

Bridegroom Matins – The oil in the lamp? – Our almsgiving

This post is a few days late for this year, but the message of the Bridegroom matins has been driven into us over these past days and, as such, is clearly a vital lesson for us to fully understand and to teach our children. The truth is that I have always struggled with the oil in the lamp. What does it represent and why wouldn’t the worthy virgins have shared some oil?…

Finding our Focus for Holy Week

I, for one, can’t believe it is near Holy Week already! Time in this pandemic seems surreal somehow – and I’m also home with a newborn so the days blur together a bit. I had planned to write a post on traditions – which I will still someday – when I read a beautiful post by Sarah Wright of the Orthodox Motherhood blog about simplifying our Holy Week and it made me…