It is a time of much challenge to those that are Christians throughout the

world. 

 We  must nourish our minds and souls with the words of our Lord and our Church Fathers.  For in this nourishment we will find strength, courage and wisdom.

 Please allow me share to with you some words that I find nourishing to my mind from the sources that I thrive upon - The Holy Bible, books and sources on the saints and church fathers, and various other books and sources related to my Orthodox Faith.  I hope you will gain from these peaceful reflections as I do.   May God be with you.

 

Recently, I have once again read The Ascetic Lives of Mothers: A Prayer Book for Orthodox Moms by Annalisa Boyd.  Why I don't carry this book around me daily is beyond me.  If you are an Orthodox Mom and you don't have this book, get it now.  Her words are so true to heart and the pages are filled with quotes of the church fathers and prayers to suit every need.  I wanted to share some today.

 

Those times I have stepped back and taken a moment in silence, I have found many of the issues I thought were so pressing actually fall away to reveal heart issues- issues I need to bring before the Lord in continual prayers.  Of course this doesn't mean discipline may not be in order, but I will not be sinning in my anger if I take a moment to reflect , pray for my child, and address him in love. What impact might I have on my children's souls if I consistently approached them in this manner?  ~  Annalisa Boyd

 

Prayer -  Complaining

Lord Jesus Christ, let every word that comes from my mouth be acceptable in Your sight and full of Your praises.  Remind me when I feel like complaining that our Lord Jesus Christ endured the very Cross without a single complaint.  Let my mouth speak of Your goodness, and may I tell the world of my great joy because of Your finished work on the Cross.  When the worm of complaint tries to penetrate my heart and mind, let it be a reminder to me to pray for my family and those in need.  Amen.

 

Prayer - Greed/Selfishness

Grant, O Lord, Your wisdom to teach my children to be lovers of God rather than lovers of the world.  In their innocence let me not neglect these great lessons necessary for their souls.  If my heart has forgotten these lessons, or wasn't properly taught, forgive me and help me to learn in all humility.  Help us to accept the gifts you provide for us, but let us also be eager to give whatever we have to those in need.  Remind us always that this world is our temporary home, a mere shadow of the glories to come.  In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

How do you refrain from complaining in your life?  How do you teach your children to be lovers of God rather than lovers of the world?

 

5

Today was a long day. At least it seems that way. I'm not exactly sure why other than waking up at 5:00 am....not my idea of a good wake up time. I do that occasionally...just wake up early and can't get back to sleep. So this was about 1 1/2 hours early. I like to wake by 6:30 (well, like isn't exactly the word) because it allows me to get some things done and do some of my scripture reading for the day done before I actually have to get my toddler out of bed and really start the day. But at 5 AM, I'm not ready to do ANYTHING.

After breakfast, completing a writing lesson with my oldest son and giving instructions for lunch,
I went shopping and wasted a lot of time, in my opinion, because I didn't find much of anything I was looking for. Then I went grocery shopping which I loathe. I came home hungry and tired and needed to make dinner. During this process, the men came by to install our new oven. (I don't even want to go into how much it cost to replace our wall oven in time for my husband to do his annual Pascha Bread for Pascha in a couple weeks....there's no way the bread would have turned out well with the one we had...) It looked for a bit like they weren't going to be able to get it to fit in. With the help of our neighbor who specializes in cabintry though, we finally had success!

And then I completed dinner. Vegetarian Black Bean Chili.....It is soooooooo gooooood!It is my favorite lenten meal (followed closely by my clam chowder). I like cooking. I enjoy it. I just loathe the process of planning menus, planning grocery lists, grocery shopping, being in charge of every meal nearly every day and the clean up process. Luckily my kids (the older ones of course, not the toddler) are old enough and take turns cleaning up after dinner. But I still prepare breakfast, clean up, prepare lunch, clean up and prepare dinner and, because I'm just that way, clean up a lot of that as I go. Which means I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and sometimes I get very resentful of that. I wish there was a way I could find to simplify all of this and still have home-cooked, made from scratch meals for my family. But alas, there doesn't seem to be.

I know some people who make really large batches of whatever they cook and that's what they eat for the next 2-3 days or more. That just doesn't fly in my household. I guess I've spoiled them. But even I wouldn't want to eat the same thing for more than two days in a row.....and yet I would...at least occasionally.

I'm not even sure why I'm complaining about this today since today was probably one of my easier days in the kitchen. I guess I've just been irritated by it other days recently plus my grocery shopping trip. I usually have the older kids do the grocery shopping with me. Three people in a grocery store take up a lot LESS time than one! And the cooking from scratch is worth it. That's another story for another day.... which I do hope to write about one of these days....our family story will probably take up several posts to complete. But still, I wish I could have days off, you know? Where I wasn't in the kitchen and I wasn't the one doing all the food prep....so I'd have time to really get some other things done or just RELAX..... with a good book....or pencil and paper? Someday I'll get back to all that....but this (blog) is a start.