Moab UT

Moab UT

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh, what a great day!

For the last two weeks we (our parish) have been painting, scrubbing, fluffing and doing all the stuff that we should have been doing all along, to get ready for a special guest here at our parish. Metropolitan Jonah came for a visit yesterday and oh my what visit it was. We celebrated the Divine Liturgy, had an amazing potluck meal and then Fr. Justin and I had the great blessing of sitting around afterward with Vladyka Jonah and Fr. Gregory to talk.

We are so very blessed to have this man as our Metropolitan. He is everything a Metropolitan should be-by the grace of God. Please pray for Vladyka Jonah and Fr. Gregory, as their schedule and responsibilities are many.

During coffee hour, Fr. Justin had a Q. and A. with Vladyka Jonah (questions put together by our parishioners) and I found both the questions and answers to be very good. If you have a chance and the desire, go to our parish website where you hear hear both Vladyka's sermon and his talk afterward. Go to, click on Parish Ministries and then Sermons and Talks. Enjoy!

Eis polla eti despota!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bathtub talk

Thea: "Oh yeah! Well, when I grow up I'm going to be a guitar cowgirl!!!" "And this is my song:

"Christos anesti ek nekron, thanato thanaton patisas, ke tis en tis mnimasin, zoin charisamenos!"
(Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs He has given life!")

I'm just so glad she didn't sing it with a twang. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Great Canyon

Katherine: "Mommy, are we going to the Great Canyon?"

Me: We've talked in the past about going to the Grand Canyon on vacation some year. So, I answered that we would have to talk with Papa about vacation after Pascha.

K: "Ok, we can talk to Papa about vacation, but can we go to the Great Canyon tonight?"

Me: "Well, it's actually called the Grand Canyon, not the Great Canyon, and it's a long way from here. So, no, we can't go tonight."

K: "Well, the last time we went we just walked downstairs and went with everyone else. Can't Papa just do it again?"

Me: Finally realizing what she was talking about laughed and said, "Oh, you mean the Great Canon!" No, that's over. It only lasts a week.

Whew! I'm so glad we're all on the same page...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Educational material

A friend told me about this site. I've yet to be able to spend much time there, but it looks like it could be a wonderful supplement to home education or church school. Check it out!

Friday, February 12, 2010


So, many of you have asked about the state of our old/new house down the street. I haven't written about the progress as much as I thought I would for many reasons. I must confess, the reason I've written so little about it because I've been a bit pressed for nice things to say as of late (about the house, that is).

The house has been a huge undertaking for us. We knew we were going to be putting much into this home, but I don't think we really knew how much it would take to live there. This is, after all, the first home we've remodeled, in fact, it's the first home we've ever owned.

So, all the times I've wanted to write, I've ended up having thoughts about the things that were keeping me up at night. I would think about the hole that seems to have found it's way into our bank account. About the fire in the rental property, the plumbing, I go again.

Every time I had a sarcastic e-mail to write about our new little place I would get to the end of the e-mail and hit delete. I simply couldn't post it. Now, don't get me wrong. Those of you who know me personally have probably heard all that you want to hear about this place-and then some.

The fact is I am so very grateful for the house that we bought. While it has been a source of stress for us, it has also been a blessing. I have had ample opportunity to analyze myself in the face of all sorts of situations-good and bad. And I'll say this, almost 90% of the time I wished that I had responded or thought differently or had simply prayed. I wish that I had given thanks to God for every situation that has come our way. But I haven't. I've worried, fretted, lost sleep, doubted...


I read a book the other night about a Catholic priest who was in prison for many years in Russia after being falsely charge of espionage. His living conditions were horrible and he was starved, beaten and mentally abused severely for years and years. While he was enduring daily psychological and physical torture, he was praying for God to give him strength, wisdom, direction, to deliver him, anything! Nothing. He felt nothing. He never felt abandoned by God, but the things he asked for didn't come-for years. Finally, when he was completely broken, and had totally given up after agreeing to charges that were brought against him, he was racked with shame.

"Slowly, reluctantly, under the gentle proddings of grace, I faced the truth that was at the root of my problem and my shame. The answer was a single word: I. I was ashamed because I knew in my heart that I had tried to do too much on my own, and I had failed. I felt guilty because I realized, finally, that I had asked for God's help but had really believed in my own ability to avoid evil and to meet every challenge. I had spent much time in prayer over the years, I had come to appreciate and thank God for his providence and care of me and of all men, but I had never really abandoned myself to it..." Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.

Now, I am in no way comparing my own personal challenges to this man's. Or to all the other people who suffer. But I do believe that God works with us within our own lives and situations and that each of our suffering, however great or small, is still suffering. Each of us is called to abandon ourselves to Christ-in every single area of our lives, every single day, every single moment. This book reminded me of this calling and how I had, once again, missed the mark.

I will speak frankly here now and say that I simply don't know how people live without the fullness of the Christian faith. I don't know how people live without fasting, prayer, almsgiving. Without the Jesus prayer. Without the mysteries. Without prostrations. Without participating in the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. Without all the services the church has to offer. (As my husband always reminds me, "You don't need to know. Just pray.")

It's definitely Lent. It is most assuredly time to bow before the people I know and love and ask forgiveness. It is definitely time for me to cry out to God that I have been faithless and not submitted myself to Him...that I have sinned immensly. I thank God for this opportunity. I doubt very seriously that I would ever humble myself in this way without the church walking me through it all.

So, a blessed Lent to you all. May God grant us strength, humility and forgiveness and the ability to submit ourselves wholly to Him at every second of our day!

Please forgive me a sinner!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Confessions of a five year old.

Thea at the dinner table tonight, very secretively said: "You wanna' know something?"

Everyone at the table looking at Thea realizing that a "yes" might bring some very interesting conversation, said "Yes!"

Thea: "One time at a party, I ate ketchup and carrots."

Zoe: "mmmmmmmmm!"

Katherine: "That's disgusting Thea!"

Father Justin and me: ......................

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Moving along

Hi all. Things are moving along down this way. We are busy trying to finish up the house we started working on four months ago. We are also attending to a fire that caused damage to our little rental house behind the main house.

The fire has thrown us a curve ball for sure, but we press on...

With God's help, we shall be moving in to our home right after Pascha. We have a lovely couple with a new baby from our parish that is moving into the little house out back. This has been an answer to prayer since we have been a bit concerned about who will live in our back yard.

We ask for your prayers since this whole process has been a bit stressful, very demanding of time and very exhausting for my husband. We think we see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's either that or a mirage.

I'll leave you with a picture of my cowgirl, Katherine. We recently celebrated her 8th birthday. Grandma and Grandpa Ocean paid her a surprise visit from WA state and gave her some serious cowgirl paraphernalia. I found Katherine's new cowboy boots at the thrift store for three dollars! They were brand new, never worn!

A blessed week to you all!