Entering into Advent

In our home we celebrate by the Old Calendar and so aren’t quite in Advent season yet – but seeing so many of you begin the celebratory season of the Nativity Fast in posts and pictures I couldn’t resist getting in on the good cheer. We need some good cheer right now. I even heard from one of our young Old Calendar matushka’s that she’s put the Christmas tree already up though…

Bringing Prayer to Our Children – Part 2/3 – Praying for Our Children

Speak more to God about your children than to your children about God. – St. Epiphanios I remember the first time I read the above quote I was kind of blown away. I was already a mother and was putting my energy into trying to make sure my children felt surrounded by the church, by talk of God and by signs of faith. I must admit that I have such a terrible…

Bringing Prayer to Our Children – Part 1/3 – Our Own Prayer

We already have a sort of “rule” of prayer as a family in our house. We gather in the morning at our icon corner to say the Trisagion Prayers, the Lord’s Prayer or Creed and a Morning Prayer by St. Philaret. We have a small list of people we are currently praying for and we often read a quote from our Godfulness jar. We each eat a piece of holy bread and…

You are the light of the world!

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. + Matthew 5:14-16 Do you know that?  I had this moment of profound self-doubt…

The Importance of Silence

“Where shall I place, child of Jesus, the spiritual intuitions springing from silence! How the eyes of understanding are opened and see Jesus in sweetness greater than that of honey! What new wonder is worked from legitimate silence and attentive understanding! You know these things, therefore compel yourself. A little has been revealed to you; struggle and you will find yet greater. I have you in prayer just as I promised you;…

God forgives

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31 – 32 Forgiveness is such a fundamental requirement of our Christian faith and one of the most difficult things we are charged with. It is absolutely clear in scripture and in Jesus’ teaching that forgiveness…

True. Helpful. Kind.

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29 Over the past year I have run across these words, on a few separate occasions, as suggested guidance for how we think about what we are going to say before we say it. When you look them up there are all sorts of variations on…

Bozhenka – “Little God”

My mother grew up speaking Russian. Although she moved here at age 7 and speaks flawless English she still says some of her prayers in Russian. As with many other languages, Russian uses the diminutive a lot – an ending that makes the word “little” in an affectionate way. She has often shared how she grew up using the diminutive of God – Bozhenka (little God) – when addressing God in prayer.…

God is bigger…

This is the name of a very simple game that my daughter made up and loves to play. She just turned 4. It’s really an amazingly simple concept, but given that she asks to play it almost every day, and that my soon-to-be 6 year old enjoy it tremendously as well, there is clearly a power to it that is beyond my comprehension. Rather than try and explain it I’ll just give…

Little Lost Sheep

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. +…