Sunday, May 11, 2008


I can hardly believe that I went the whole of Lent without posting! Lent was amazing. I kept the fast for the most part which is nothing less than the grace of God. I loved the focus that Lent provided my ADD brain and not just for myself but for the whole church. Its wonderful to know that everyone else is struggling and praying and working toward the same thing you are. I tried to go to at least one weekday service each week during Lent and that helped a lot. And by the end of Lent I was noticing that my joints/fibromyalgia hurt much less too. After Pascha and the return to "normal" food I have discovered that I am allergic (or at least sensitive to) dairy products. Enough so that I am going to continue fasting from them just because I feel terrible when I eat them now.

Pascha was incredible. Daughter #2 went with me which was great. What a party! I've never been a part of such a celebration before!

Today is the Sunday of the Myrhh Bearing Women and is the liturgical anniversary of my first Divine Liturgy. I was remembering today how lost and overwhelmed I felt at first. So much has changed. I no longer feel lost but cradled.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Lent Approaches

Its been awhile since I posted. Bad blogger. No real reason for not posting other than life.
Lent is fast approaching ("fast" approaching, get it? ha ha) first Lent as an Orthodox Christian. I want to make this time as spiritually fruitful as I can so I will be trying hard to observe the fast and increase my prayer and Bible reading. I will be writing about my efforts during the next few weeks. The fast will be particularly challenging for me so I plan to write out a menu each week and will post it here. There will likely be a lot of fast-related posts not because I think the fast is more important than the other Lenten observances but because I want to grow in this area and the whole subject of food is difficult for me.
Ready or not, here I go......

Friday, November 16, 2007

My First Prosphora

This Sunday I will be offering the Holy Bread in honor of my daughter Rachel and in memory of my mother Virginia both of whom were born on Nov. 17.

This is my first solo attempt at baking the bread. Our priest's wife Khouria Claudia, gave a group of us, mostly converts, a workshop in bread baking a few weeks ago. I made a practice batch last weekend and it was awful! A woman at my church had also loaned me a DVD on holy bread making which I watched this morning to refresh my memory. I think this batch was much better. I could at least see the seals this time! (just not very well in this picture!)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fasting Food

In anticipation of the Nativity fast, I ordered this cookbook. I think its going to be very helpful. In the same order I also got a prosphora seal. Our priest's wife gave some of us new converts a holy breadmaking class. (yeah, yeah was the bread that was holy NOT the class!) The bread we made was used the next day in Divine Liturgy which was very cool. I want to make a "practice" batch at home though before I sign up for "real".
I also realized today that Thanksgiving falls during the Nativity fast which means no turkey :( I don't know why this hadn't occured to me before now but there it is.

In other news....I finally got my invite to Ravelry, a very cool new site for knitters and other yarn-y types. You can see what everyone else is working on, catalog your yarn and knitting books and lots of other fun stuff. My screen name is AuntMartha if you ever want to look me up there.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

We are not alone

One of the first things I noticed about Orthodoxy was the feeling of being surrounded and supported. This feeling has intensified since my chrismation so much so that I find myself pitying other Christians who don't have it, my past self included. The tragedy of sola fide and sola scriptura is the "sola" part. Sola means alone. It leads to this "just me and God" mentality. The idea that all one needs is Scripture or "asking Jesus into my heart" seems such a lonely proposition. From the Orthodox perspective healing and salvation occur in the context of the Church. And what is the Church but relationships! Relationships with each other and with God and with the faithful souls who have gone before us.

One of the things I learned through several years of therapy, is that it is in our relationships that we are revealed to ourselves. When I'm alone I tend to think I'm pretty great but when other people are added to the equation, I begin to see how selfish I am and how far I have to go. In healthy relationships where forgiveness and mercy exist, healing then occurs.

I saw a bumper sticker this evening that reminded me of this truth. It was in the shape of a band-aid with the words "God can fix it". In many Protestant evangelical circles, translated, this means God will fix my problem and all that is necessary is for me to believe and ask. No others need to be involved. As a result so many good Christians are alone and isolated and barely hanging onto their faith. God created us to be in relationship. At Adam's creation He said, "it is not good for man to be alone". Through Christ he gave us a relationship with Himself and from that a relationship with his Church. Now and ever and unto ages of ages.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Yesterday I was received into Holy Orthodoxy by chrismation. My heart is full of such humble gratitude for this gift. I will write more later but I just wanted to say "thank you" to all of you who have helped me on this journey.