Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Current Considerations and Random Thoughts Otherwise

I have been thinking about this lent recently and how it is always different somehow, no matter how a person prepares. My goal this lent was to focus on those things that I ought to be doing, which would naturally replace some of the habits that I could do without. While my plan never took flight the way I imagined, I have still been able to find purpose. I am grateful for all of what these past couple of weeks have brought, the good, the bad and the ugly.

A long time family friend (my folks' good friend, the father of my friend) is now gone after a tragic accident, so I am making it a point to read a Kathisma every day for him. We read one psalm each in the morning and at night, I am reading them consecutively. Katherine came over to the bed one night when I was coming in and she laid her head upon my chest and she asked me to read them aloud to her, as she is a HUGE fan. I explained to her that we read the Psalms for those who have passed away when they are and are not Orthodox (and those who are when their body awaits the funeral rites) and I heard myself tell her that there is always at least one person who dies every day and that we ought to read these daily. For those we know and those we do not, their soul can be comforted by the counsels of the Bible. Hmm, I hadn't really processed a lot of this yet, but in time I am sure it will settle a little more. I do, however, hope to keep this habit in the future.

We have made it through the Jigcracker show, which went well and I am so happy we got to see family and friends. It has been a crazy couple of weeks with preparation and everything that goes into a show. I have considered lately that this beginning of lent parallels my life in some ways. I have spent early days of my life occupying my time and thoughts with a worldly existence, though necessary to life, I have allowed the all consuming daily randomness to be my company. I am now only a few days past and I am grounded further into what I ought to do and ought not to do. It was as though I had been waiting for lent to come upon me, with very little effort, besides regular church attendance, on my part. While I was awaiting some sort of transformation, directed at my inner core, where I am most certainly comfortable, it is without myself that this lesson is creeping into my soul. As I sit and expect to see the form of what I know, I am approached by something far from it. Bit by bit I am reminded of how God has given me each and every person in my life for a perfectly wonderful and meaningful reason. I am continually humbled by everyone being so willing and loving towards us and me. People's understanding and vulnerability are far more humbling than any direct lesson that I may have ever hoped to glean from anything. If I had only the prayers to speak, that God might also comfort and aid all people in the mercy He has given us always. Even in our darkest hour, we have never been forgotten.

I am learning to use my time more wisely, though it could always be improved, as with most aspects of my life. I have cut out the material for the pattern I am sewing for my bro-in-law's wedding for Katherine. It is brightly pink, yellow, white, blue, etc. colored in an overlapping butterfly print. This is the practice dress so I have some experience with the pattern and can adjust as needed for the final one, which will be vibrant yellow-gold with super tiny vines all over it. She is excited for the dress(es) and to go to the wedding, but has expressed her disappointment at not being at her home church for Pascha, as it is her MOST favorite of all feasts. In order of importance, she lists Pascha (easter), Nativity and St. Nicholas day as her favorite days in the year. I always hoped that she would, with God's help, understand the magnificence of the Resurrection, but it is only now that she is articulating what it means to her. It reminds me that one of the greatest jobs we have as Christian parents is to bring our children to the feasts of the Church and God will likely do the rest. If our hearts are open as parents, their hearts will also be willing, that God freely keeps company with them all the days of their lives. While it is hard for me to try to explain some things to her about having to be away from our home church for Pascha, I can be grateful that she finds such a closeness with what we have given her thus far. One of the nice things is that we will get to see some longtime family friends who are at the church in Corvallis, where we will be. We will be spending Good Friday through Pascha there, with the wedding at 5pm on Great Saturday and, with's God's help and Mercy, we hope to manage it all without too many pains.

I want to make it to the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy in the morning, but Katherine is still a bit sick and I don't know how she will do tomorrow, but we are going to try if she seems improved. We don't always have the luxury of these liturgies during lent, so when they come along, I do try to make it, but we'll see.

Last, but not least, I have been working out regularly and that has been going well. I have yet to gain any weight, but the muscles are certainly getting in line and benefitting. I have been wanting to drop in on a class sometime, but it hasn't been possible lately because they are usually right during dinner time at the one at the nearest location. I suppose if I want it enough, I will make it happen. I have been listening to a new podcast by Fr. George Morelli called 'Healing, Orthodox Spirituality and Psychology' and I like it so far. He discusses a lot of pertinent information for us as parents and spouses and includes a lot of writings from Holy Fathers and scripture as well.

Well, I think that is all for now, I have to think about dinner, sewing, knitting, Katherine's cold, reading aloud, etc. Love to you all.


Mimi said...

Nice update, I hope K. feels better so you can go!

Xen Xen said...

I hope so too, but we shall see in the morning. Poor little thing has a dry cough and some stuffiness that is just lingering.