See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

Ryan and friend

Ryan and friend
Mommy, Daddy, I'm saying Hi to Grandma?

This one is for you, Grandma!


soccer with determination and no airplane distractions

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Can you Imagine a world without Hope?

Can you imagine what state of mind most of us would be in if we knew what the future holds for us? When I was a little girl, I recall going to the beach, in the amusement section, inserting a coin in the slot of a shed-like glass box, which housed a lady with a Crystal ball, wearing a turbine, and after having told your fortune, a rolled paper, personalized just for you, came down the shoot with what your future holds on it, based on your birthday. It was all in fun, and we all agreed that whatever it said, was not to be taken seriously. Yet, for many, fortune-telling rakes in big bucks, for the gullible, and that's no joke.

Last night, we had bible class and if you are a person that reads the scripture, you will know that the way time was interpreted, many years ago, was somewhat different than today. Yet, we try to understand time, as if it could be understood. God is the author of time, and it is said, that one day is but a thousand years to Him. Are you confused yet? Join the crowd. The fact is, that the past and present, are still the same, without calculation of man-made time. There is no future, as it is not here yet. So why be concerned about something that does not exist?  You cannot live in tomorrow, today.  How can one see what does not exist. It is a scam. Most of us want everything, yesterday. The reality of it is, that there is only "now". When we wake up in the morning, (which would be our tomorrow), we will call it today.

In my mind, when we want to avoid doing something today, we put it off to tomorrow. Sometimes, we end up not doing it at all. "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today," That was a famous saying of the past, (yest-er years). Did you ever notice that some days seem to fly by yet, others drag on. There is no accounting for time. Lack of time is eternity, or when time ceases to exist.  

Tomorrow is a great mystery, it is filled with imagination, and possibilities, restoration, newness and "hope". We can only guess what the future holds by recalling our past history. Thinking about it, or worrying about something we don't have control of is a waste of time-- just like reverting to the past, which we can do nothing about. Move on...But today, we have something we can work with. Make this and everyday count. Let this be your best day yet.

Could you imagine living in a world without time? It would be in many ways "complete madness". Today, we have one word that describes tomorrow and that is "hope." When growing up I used to sing this song that my mother taught me, with my sister Ruth. It seemed to say it all for all time. Do you remember this one?

Soft as the voice of an angel, breathing a lesson unheard
Hope with its gentle persuasion whispers her comforting word
Wait till the darkness is over, wait till the tempest is gone
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, after the shower is gone

Whispering hope, oh, how welcome thy voice
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice

Hope for all time is what we do have.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Health through Peace

Yesterday, a group of friends gathered to share around the table, sipping their coffee. Someone point blank had a question for me, which surprised me a little. It had to do with health issues. How had I come from having been ill to the present? The answer didn't take long, and I found myself thinking, there is no wellness outside of the love and peace of Christ. If you want to attain a healthy state you must put on Christ. Christ Jesus will supply all your need according to His plan and purpose for your life. What you need to do is give it over to Him. Are you ready?

How do I put it in simple words. Did you ever experience a person that is all keyed up, that person was speaking through tight lips? Maybe, even loud and angry? They don't even realize it, sometimes. Many are the signs of physical anxiety. If they continue, their health becomes downgraded. Relaxation is part of every ones way of gaining a healthy disposition. But how can you relax when there is something pressuring you? Perhaps, it is an unhealthy relationship, and unruly child, elderly demanding type person or a state of poverty which causes you to worry constantly. These all reflect on your state of mind and health, as does any difficult job or task, or environmental condition. Prayer is the only answer in learning how to unload. It begins with forgiveness. Maybe to unstress you will need to dig deeper...What is keeping you from the love of Christ? You may even need the help of your priest or someone professional, along with your physician. Something may even be bothering you as far back as your childhood, which you are unaware of.  

To feel the peace that is available to all, you need to experience a "change of heart". That is, at times-- acceptance and move on. Move on to a place, where there is no more bitterness, tears, or sorrow. Acquire a state peace that is through Christ Jesus. In that place, there is forgiveness toward is a requirement to be able to go there. As well, you must see Christ in all of your relationships, as Christ loves and died for all mankind. It may not take your cross away, but He helps you to carry it by coping-- giving your problem over to Christ, says you no longer carry the burden alone. "I can do all things through Christ who strengeth me." Wellness is a decision. We are much more than physical beings, we are also spiritual. You have to work at it, body, mind, and spiritually.

He is always ready to take on your concerns when you are ready to ask Him. Experiencing life with the "peace of mind" which brings about your happiness and health, is acquired through the love Christ. He will provide, sustain and strengthen you throughout your journey each and everyday of your life, if you let Him. Do you? Like your cars, we all need a little oil now and then, why not begin your renewal today--a Springtime overhaul to leave the darkness of Winter behind.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Adam and Eve and, What happened in the garden.

Last night in Worcester, church members gathered to celebrate the restoration of Icons as part of the Orthodox Worship service, which previously, had been taken from the early church. It was not lawful to have or show Icons of any type on your person or in your home, and to do so was a crime punishable by death. Part of the ceremony last night included the carrying of Icons by a representative from each church present. As they did so, they sang the following (in part): "We Venerate Thy Sacred Icon O Good One". This implies that we hold dear and precious, "Icons," as we do the cross and bible. It is very much part of our Orthodox Worship. We reverence, and kiss Icons as part of what we do.

Last night, we were not in attendance, as John my husband, is very reactionary to the fast foods and was in distress. This happens to him each year as the adjustment is made, initially. Prefast is over, and we Orthodox are now in the "fast." The fast is not optional. Fasting can be taken under advisement of the parish priest, as circumstances arise.

Today, our priest spoke about last night briefly in his homily, saying in short, that it is too bad that more people can't take more time out of their busy lives and schedule to remember the importance of what our forefathers lost their lives for. They fought for the right to venerate the Icons that were part of the Christan faith from the beginning. It is so true...We need to understand the importance of   all that is given to us this time of the year; prayer--embrace the fast; attend the services; receive the Sacraments; and give alms, in order that we may draw near to Christ our Savior.

Today we find ourselves back in the garden, where all mankind became tarnished. The connection to Icons is Image. Man was created by God, unlike all other creations, we have been created in the image and likeness of God. 

We are to recall that in that garden, God specifically gave Adam and Eve the order "not to". Some say it was  the apple, or fruit from the tree of knowledge.  It sounds like the battle in heaven with the angels, one that pridefully challenged the authority of God... That fallen angel was ousted by St. Michael and his army of angels.

Adam and Eve, had "free will" they had to decide...they had a choice. That choice was whether they would or would not obey God when God said, Not To. Pridefully, they would decide to have it their own way. Rejecting God's authority and command, they did it anyway. Disobeying God has it's consequences.

Yes, we live in a fallen world. A world in which people of their own "free will" will have it their own way, because we all know what is best for us. The bible makes it "crystal clear" what God wants of us. Obviously, many do not care about what God wants.

This season of lent, we will feast on new words, some of our priest, who will instruct us on how to  learn how to "listen to what God wants of us. What does God want from us," His children? It is clearly found in His Word and in His Commandments.

Now you know most children are obstinate, and they want what they want-- and when, and if, they want it. We hear them question our authority. Can we have it both ways? We are to choose...Think wisely, it has it's reward or punishment.  Adam & Eve said "No" to God in the garden, and look where their disobedience got them--anything but paradise. We are all children, God's children...

God is speaking to you through His Word, the Liturgy, and all we hold as part of our Orthodox Worship, and teaching, which has not changed since the beginning of  Christian  Journey, for some two thousand years. On this Sunday of Orthodoxy, when "We Venerate Thy Sacred Icon, O Good One, " we need to listen ...Come and hear. And like the Icons of the past, let us be "restored" to our rightful place-- Paradise forevermore.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Beauty is in the mind of the beholder

Working together with two-year-old Ryan in his ABC book, we came to a picture of scissors and immediately, he told me that he didn't like them. Oh, I said, why not? The answer didn't take long, and it was something that we all know. Because mommy cuts my nails. Then, came the subject of hair cutting. Recently, he had a haircut which was, as his brother Nathan said, not something he liked, as he screamed and carried on....They did the best they could. After telling me about the ordeal, Ryan looked at me and as he smiled, he said as he touch his head, "beautiful." It was the first time I heard him say that word.

Then, he told me that he didn't like his mother going to work. I've heard that before, I told him, Nathan used to tell me the same thing.  I then said, Nathan used to play with grandma, now he goes to school on the bus. Now I play with Ryan. But what is grandma going to do when Ryan goes to school on the bus? Thinking and rather quickly, he got it. And, in a tone of understanding, he said, "you can cook for grampy."

Two is an age when you can begin to have a conversation. Yes, they understood before, but now they are learning to use their words. They are very smart and will surprise you at every turn, having observed each and every move. Later in the day, he wanted his Binky, and has a difficult time letting it go. The exception is at bedtime, and although it is difficult, I don't give in. So immediately, he wants his mommy. I took him outdoors, where he used his lawnmower on the pavement, then it was the wheel barrel. He loves outdoor work, and forgot all about the Binky. A change in scenery usually works. Sometimes, its a ride in grandma's car. Even though this was the first day of spring, it was cold. I let him sit in the front seat of my parked car. Of course, he was thrilled, saying "broom-broom." Then, he smiled at me, and asked me if I wanted music.

Yes, at two, he knows me quite well. And I know that they grow up so fast. I'm holding on to each and every beautiful word and moment that I spend with my family, and grandchildren. Spring is here, it won't be long before we're watering flowers, blowing bubbles, swinging in the back yard, having picnics and playing in the screen-covered sand box. And, of course, there is baseball, fireworks and the beach.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

He Does Not Know

I wonder does he know, know that he's two. Little Ryan refuses to wear a bib because he's too big. Yet at his house he place his doo-doo blanket on me saying it was my bib, and as he proceeded upstairs to his kitchen, he would return with soup he made, because it was good for me. I think sometimes he thinks he's older than me. His dad left me a note with instructions on what clicker to use for the television, in order to play a DVD for little Ryan. Before I could finish, Ryan was inserting the disc. He already knows how to run all the computers as well. I'm sure he's two but it's hard to understand how he could be so smart. He wants to do everything himself, as if he were taking care of me.

Later, during the afternoon, Ryan wanted a favorite toy located on the top shelf, and no daddy couldn't get it,(he was working) and neither could I. Lo and behold out came the stool, the type that you place in front of the sink to brush your teeth. It held me, and reaching upward, I still couldn't reach. He then provided me with his fishing pole, and sure enough, I was able to bring it down with a tap. How does one reason all that at two years old? We had more fun trying to catch the butterflies with the nets as they were driven upward by a blower. He laughs so freely.

We spend the day, painting and reading and when I was driving him home to meet his brother who was coming home on the bus, he noticed we were using a different route. So when asked, I told him we were taking a short cut. Later in the day, he told me we took a short cut just like he understood perfectly. It's hard to believe that he is two.

I look forward to seeing him each week and each week we share new foods. Yesterday, I gave him carrot juice to try--it was picky that means he doesn't like it, but sweetly spares my feelings. I've never seen a two-year-old eat black olives the way he does. He likes syrup on most everything, and always wants to make eggs, beating them in the bowl while standing on a stool, which he provides.

Yesterday, he slept in a youth bed, as he was told he's not a baby but a big boy. He's growing so fast. Do I think for a moment that he thinks he's two? No way....

No matter what the age, we have become very good friends.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Say What

Great movies have come out throughout the years which are biblically based. Does that mean that they are accurate? I rather doubt it. Yet, they caputure diverse audiences of all ages. What does that say in my mind? It says that there is something in it for those who it captivates. Why else would you watch it...but to learn "what is in it for me?"

I have watched "The Bible" currently being featured on the History Channel. Why? Not to find Theological Value, but to be entertained. They are just stories, those I've heard before, with the author's twist or take on the subject. It is entertainment.

Stories of the bible never grow old because there is something greater in all of it than what can possibly be told by a television series, or movie. Yet, I've seen, in a time when faith seems to be at a standstill, much interest. How could that be?

It maybe that eveyone watching takes something away. Will it provoke you to the search for genuine and deep answers. Maybe, it will stir something deep within, or perhaps, result in an awakening.

What came across to me so far, is that the characters who appeared,  had a knowledge of who their God was, and I noticed they conversed with Him. They were not perfect, just like you and I, they were sinners. They had purpose, as we all do. Clearly, we saw the consequences of their actions, as we all have.

God does not call the those who are qualified to serve Him, rather, He qualifies the willing. How willing are we? Will we this time hear that small voice, the one we try to muffle by all our busyiness, and really take a good look at what the message is, that so many for so long, have tried to convey to us personally. Then what? Where do you go from here?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday of Souls Day

Today we will pray for our dead family, friends and relatives. Those who have died in Christ. It is always good to remember them and all they meant to each and everyone of us. But, praying for their souls is a different matter, as we believe that it will help them in some way, unknown to us.

Many people share the view that people go straight up to heaven-- not so. It will be only after the final judgement when Christ will come again, that He will seperate the sheep from the goats.

Today is important, yet, not many will attend this Liturgy. During this time of prayer we will say the Troparion and Kontakion for the dead. It says that there is neither sickness nor sorrow, and no more sighing--but life everlasting. This is the message-- that with the saints, we pray that Christ will give rest to the souls of His servants. As He, and only He can.

And, it is up to us to ask. If you have love for those who have gone on before you, please take the time to remember them at this important Liturgy for the dead and by your prayers. That's the least you can do for those who did so much for you.

Friday, March 8, 2013

St. Anthony, for That which is lost

Did you ever lose something of value to you. Well I did yesterday. It was something that my husband gave to me, so it had become special in that way. I wore them all the time, as they seem to be the perfect size and went with everything. To say the least, I looked high and low, even used a flashlight under the couch, bed, everywhere I went. When he got home last night I told him that one of the earings that he had given me was lost and I felt horrible about not locating it. I first noticed it after my morning shower, fearing that it may have gone done the drain. Hoops normally would not fit. Then, perhaps it went down the drain of the sink while I was brushing my teeth. But that too was hardly likely.

Most of the time, I would just say a quick prayer to St. Anthony, as my mother taught me as a young child. Which, by the way always worked.

My husband, being always the eternal optimist, said not to worry, it will turn up. Apparently, we prayed to St. Anthony at the same time, as he related after, because I suddenly ran into the bathroom, stuck my hand in the pocket of my robe, felt something in the lower seam, and struggling to pull it out, found the missing earing.

In all of a matter of seconds, there it was. I don't how St. Anthony is able to answer prayers so quickly. It has always amazed me. This was not a case of forgetting where something was placed and forgotten. It was lost.

Thanks St. Anthony for being there for me, always.