What’s on Your ‘List’?

This is not a blog exclusively for single girls or even young women specifically. However, I’ve noticed an area of life that we don’t write much about in the Orthodox world is dating and relationships. And I may have promised some young ladies in my world that eventually we’d talk about those things here. So today’s the first post in a short series on just that topic. Married ladies, I hope you comment…

A Hospitable Heart

Last time, I shared with you a little about the virtue of hospitality and how the openness we can show others can be our invitation for Christ to enter. It was an appeal to our Martha side, an attempt to bring our busyness into humble service to God. Well, here’s the Mary side to hospitality. In much the same way in which we open our homes to those in need of love and comfort,…

Little Bits of Virtue: An Open Door and a Cup of Tea

My husband likes to tell the story of one of the first times he visited a women’s monastery, and one of the nuns offered to make him and his friends something to eat. Politely, they declined. She offered again, and again they politely declined. Probably knowing that there was no way a group of college boys could possible not be hungry, the nun insisted saying, “Listen. I’m not a very good nun. I’m not…

Open Wounds

Well, hello, Lent. Our journey to the resurrection has begun. We’ve asked for the doors of repentance to open to us and are once again intensifying our focus on trusting in the Lord and not on our own strength. It’s not easy work, dear ones. Especially if you’re like me, and you tend to run on your own steam and effort a lot of the time. In fact, our Lenten disciplines can be…

Your Personality Is Not a Sin

I just returned a few weeks ago from Orthodox Christian Fellowship‘s College Conference West where I serve as an advisor to the students there. Every year, there are always a few demons I find lurking around the conference disturbing these incredible young adults. This year, one that I heard and saw was Overbearing Guilt. This guy, like all the demons, tries to take something good and holy (that twinge in your heart that…

Being Yourself Before God

I once heard humility defined as being yourself before God. I mentioned it last week in the context of holiness, and I’ve been thinking more this week about what it means in the context of sin. These days, authenticity is arguably the highest cultural value we hold. There is a general expectation that we are free to be who-we-really-are without hesitation and without apology. We are so averse to phonies and charlatans that it’s hardly…

Holiness Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

I’ve never really understood the concept of one-size-fits-all clothing. I mean, unless it’s a scarf, I don’t think it’s possible to legitimately make an article of clothing that fits anyone no matter their body type. Somehow, though, I had myself convinced for a long time that holiness was like one of those stretchy shirts from the nineties intended to fit every woman. Sure, you might look better or worse in it depending…

Are You the Lord’s Handmaiden?

When the angel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she was the bear the Son of God, Mary, a young girl perhaps no more than sixteen, was drawing water from a well. It was during this mundane act in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Nazareth that the most profound decision was ever made: a woman accepted to have God dwell in her. With complete trust and courageous strength,…