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Nativity

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October

poetry · Uncategorized

Whole Food

What do you eat
One apple cut two
Drink a half glass
Of grandpa’s home brew
Legs and thighs
Pieces and parts
Chopped and diced
Arranged a la carte
Parsing and plating
Never reach full
Make me a salad
A bowl full of cruel
We slice at the heart
We carve at the bone
Wheat never looked
So horrifically calzoned
I dream of no knife
Or division asunder
Whole food at the altar
Man’s sweet Newton Wonder
 

baby · faith · family · homemaking · kids · motherhood · parenting · saints · Uncategorized

What I want my daughters to know about the 2016 US Election

(I wrote this three days before the election.)

A certain Hillary Clinton campaign add depicts small children innocently watching the television as Donald Trump makes fun of the disabled, offering up one calloused and derogatory remark after another to the massive crowds at his rallies. The television add ends with this epitaph, “Our children are watching.”

Epitaph, you say?  Yes, in an horrifyingly ironic way Hillary’s tag line is like an inscription on the tombstone of the unborn.  Our children are watching-in memory of the children who are not watching the television, the children who are not our choice.

Dear daughters, labor to discern the times and ponder what is good and true and beautiful.

We live in a world where it is not okay to make fun of the disabled and yet it is perfectly okay to abort a disabled child.  Understand the times. Ponder how evil is always rooted in some convoluted lie-some twisting and confusion of the truth.

Mother Angelica said, “I do not vote for candidates, I vote for life.”  And this is where I stand.  All other issues flow from this one issue…life.

Hold your ground as a woman.  Do not be deceived by women who tell convoluted lies.  For woman is created to be a child-bearer, physically and/or spiritually.  And bearing children is hard and you will suffer.  As long as I am alive I will help you bear this burden.  As a woman I will try my best to support you.

And do not hate men.  Come alongside them and bear their weaknesses.  Do not be deceived by women who tell convoluted lies.  For woman is created to be a help meet, physically and/or spiritually. This is hard and you will suffer.  As long as I am alive I will help you bear this burden.  As a woman I will try my best to support you.

Hillary Clinton does not represent me as a woman, nor does any other woman who shares her ideology.  She represents all I am trying to repent of, sin that is rooted in a strong-willed desire to rule.

Stay veiled- stay hidden- stay quiet in spirit- stay repentant.
Look to the Theotokos, pray, and remember the icon of motherhood.
Do not be deceived by convoluted lies.
Remember the woman who ran for President of the United States of America in 2016- remember her in your prayers.
If she wins-keep praying.

To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you. Genesis 3:16

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Homeschooling – just keep practicing.

Reposting…because I need it.

A Chime of Hearts

This is the time of year that I reflect on our home school journey… I evaluate, I ponder, and I make decisions.  I think it is better to do this now… at the end of the school year… rather than wait until fall when I will be hopelessly idealistic….right now I am a realist.  The end of a school year makes realists of most homeschool families.  This year we welcomed a new little fella into our lives, and man did I have a time trying to manage all of the schoolwork, housework, and activities with the joys and concerns of an infant. However, we did manage…we made it, and it was a great year! We are very blessed.

Homeschooling is a never-ending learning experience on so many levels.  It really is a lifestyle.  That is why home school articles are so peculiar.  Among articles detailing curriculum, schedules, and methods an…

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faith · Uncategorized

How to be free of a good reputation…

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I remember the first time I experienced the fear of my own goodness.  Her name was Lynn, and she was an eccentric woman.  She was heavy-set, very tall, and her brunette hair was wild and wiry.  She talked loud, had an appetite like a truck driver, and she could weave a great story.  Her stories were about her, her life- her crazy life before she was saved. She went to our a Pentecostal Church, where words from God were as common as they were bizarre.  But we didn’t know it.  It was considered a good Sunday when the Spirit got to movin’ and the preacher had to skip the sermon in favor of the praise and worship.  It was in this atmosphere that we might see and hear something other worldly.  And we did.  We saw things, and we heard things.  It was spectacular for sure.

Lynn was one of those ladies in our church that had a prophetic gift. She heard things, and she spoke them.  But it was her real life stories I remember.  I cannot retell one prophetic thing she ever said in church, but I do remember a million details from her stories.  They are little treasures that I find here and there as I go about piecing together my own story.

On one occasion Lynn told me a horrific tale about her days of living with the mob.  She was in her twenties and her man of the hour was a bad dude…a mobster that had many enemies.  You can imagine me, a 12 year old school girl, from a small town, raised on a farm, barely had TV,  and the awe with which I might listen to a story like this. And I did.  Lynn fascinated me.  She was kind and real and happy and awesome…and I loved her.  Outside of my mother, she was my first spiritual mentor.  When she told me that another mobster crashed into their bedroom late on night and shot her lover, while she laid right there in his warm blood, I was not surprised. I was fascinated.  Her story of redemption was so real to me.  Here was a lady that was truly saved from something.  Jesus had transformed her.  I envied her eccentricities, her side-ways looking at things, her ability to identify with pain and shame, her way with the unlovelies.

It would seem like a woman like this would be too much for a twelve year old.  But I had known her since I was very young.  She was my grandmother’s best friend.  She was a part of our family. I am so very thankful my mother didn’t shelter me from Lynn and her stories.  I am so very thankful for the opportunity to know a woman like her at a young age.

On another occasion Lynn told me that she worried for the good people in the Church.  She worried that good people would never know God’s love, His infinite mercy, His healing power.  At twelve I am sure that I did not understand the full implications of her words.  All I know is that as a young woman I was keenly aware that I was one of the good people she was referring to, and it scared me for some reason.

I am grown up now, and I have stories to tell of my own- mistakes I have made, people I have hurt, moral failures, religious failures, parenting failures.  But somehow these failures never seem to live up to the life Lynn lived, and I wonder if what she said is true.  Do good people ever really get saved?  Do good people ever know the real Christ?

I am not convinced that we do.

Is there hope for all us who believe we are morally gifted? I sure hope there is.  I am still trying to find my way.  One thing I do know is that we do not have to sin to know God’s mercy, but we do have to work hard at being real.  We do have to work at embracing the Lynns of the world.  Those whose reputations bring reproach, admitting that we are not separate from those we are tempted to judge.  Lynn never really escaped her past.  And what was great about Lynn is that she didn’t care to..she lived real.  Her life was not a before and after photo shoot…she made sure of that by telling her stories in her eccentric way.  A way that helped this good girl be afraid of her good reputation. A way that made me question what good is, and made me admit that I am not really good.  There is none good but God.

In her own way Lynn was like Saint Mary of Egypt.

In her own way Lynn preached the Gospel.

 

 

books · faith · homeschooling · Uncategorized

Orthodox Education

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An excerpt from the description of Sakharov‘s  I Love, Therefore I Am: The Theological Legacy of Archimandrite Sophrony.

Because Fr Sophrony traversed the major religious and intellectual movements of our time, his spiritual make-up is enriched by various currents of thought. Notwithstanding this diversity, never does his theology transcend the boundaries set out by the Orthodox tradition. The patristic heritage has for him indubitable authority. He absorbed the legacy of the Fathers in its living depth. This came not by way of an academic research, but through his ascetic strivings on Mount Athos. His wide spiritual and intellectual background elevates the Orthodox tradition to an authentic level where it opens up to universal dimensions.

This came not by way of academic research…
What came?
The patristic heritage.
What is the patristic heritage?
It is The Way.
It is Christ as ultimate reality.
But through his ascetic strivings…
To follow The Way we must abandon ideas and pray.

Orthodox education is at it’s best when prayer is at the center.  If we as educators labor, let us labor to pray.  Let us strive to unite the mind in the heart.  Let this be the heritage we seek.  And trust that Christ is ultimate reality, and all good things come from Him.