One Word for 2022 – Faith

For we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 Christ is born! One thing I love about following the Julian Calendar is that my family gets to begin each new year with the birth of Christ – one more reminder of God’s goodness and care after the hum of holiday festivities and the promise of a New Year have died down and just before we hunker down for the…

Practice: A Prayer Formula

It is sometimes well during prayer to say a few words of our own, breathing fervent faith and love to the Lord… Moreover, we grow too accustomed to the words of others and grow cold in prayer. And how pleasing to the Lord this lisping of our own is, coming directly from a believing, loving, and thankful heart. It is impossible to explain this: it is only needful to say that when…

Activity – Saints Guessing Game

We are off to a slow start with our November Saints’ project, but we are off – thanks be to God. The most fun activity so far has been the Saints’ guessing game we played. We used the resource I mentioned last time from Orthodox Pebbles – the “All About Saints.” I recommend reading this beforehand on your own and then having a conversation with your kids about the details that seem…

For November – (Finally) Starting with the Saints

I have avoided diving to deep into saints with my children for so long. I know why! I am completely awed and intimidated and sometimes – Lord forgive me – disquieted by them. I feel completely and utterly inadequate in my faith when compared with any of them. This is especially true of those who were tortured. I just can’t imagine having to live (and die) th rough what so many of…

Rise and Shine & Give God the Glory!

My kids LOVE to sing. Likely this is because my husband and I LOVE to sing and we always have music on in our home – except when we are trying to be intentional about silence. My children (and likely yours) know well the tunes of the various prayers from church and we enjoy singing many of our prayers especially prayers to the Theotokos like “To thee the champion leader” (which my…

Where else God is? A little children’s rhyme

In my last post I shared how my 3 year old son started asking me a lot – “Is God over us?” He seemed to be constantly wanting to be reassured or reminded that this was true. A few days after my post he asked me “Mommy who is below us?” And rather than read too deeply into questions of hell or an “underworld” I imagined his concrete understanding really wanting to…

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…