Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Venti is Twenty

I don't just sit around watching You-t*be videos, really, but my husband forwarded this on yesterday - and I just couldn't stop laughing.  It reminded me of when W*ndy's changed their fries from small medium and large to "large, biggie and great-biggie sized".  I went in circles with a girl one time trying to order a medium.  She explained they didn't sell a medium fry.  I asked how many sizes they had, and she replied three.  I said well, then one is small, one is medium, and one is large, I don't care what you call them, I want the middle one!  Wish I had know this little fact as well, would have pointed that out to them at the time!  So, if you need a quick laugh to brighten your day, enjoy:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Back in Formation

We are back with Donna this weekend enjoying another session of CGS Level 3 Formation.  

While there are many areas that will need a lot of adaptation, it is nice to find those moments when the word of God speaks and we all hear the message as one.  Those moments often come in the exploration of the parables, and the Level 3 parables have been a beautiful experience.

We pondered the beauty and importance of forgiveness in the parable of the debtors, the incredible grace of God who offers the light to all and the responsibility we have in responding to that grace through the parables of the 10 Bridesmaids and the Wedding Feast,

and the glorious Paschal words of St. John Chrysostom came echoing in our hearts and minds as we read together the parable of the workers in the vineyard.  One last day and we will be headed home, but it is such a joyful time to spend immersed in learning and looking forward to bringing these presentations back home to our older children in the church.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

Our St. Lucia Tea

I already shared with you how last year our priest celebrated Divine Liturgy on December 13th and we had a small tea at church in honor of St. Lucia.  This year we did not have a liturgy, so a friend and I planned an intimate celebration at home for a handful of girls who celebrate Lucia as their patron, as well as a few who don't!

The lussekatter were made from a basic fasting bread dough recipe formed into the traditional shape and dotted with dried fruits.
 One of our Lucia's plays the Santa Lucia song on the piano
 Tea and fine china, always a fun way to make little girls feel special!
 The sweet Lucia doll can be found here, and the candle rings are here.
The girls enjoying a reading of Lucia, Saint of Light
It was lovely last year to celebrate in church, but I confess that this intimate little celebration at home had such a pleasant, relaxed feel to it that I think was a nice change of pace.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013: Open

I have not been terribly consistent with giving my years a name, but this year needs a word.


What do I mean by that?  Well, I guess open for me means letting go.  It means opening my arms, opening my hands, releasing all that I clutch to, in some misguided feeling of taking control.  I am a take charge personality.  I see a job that needs to be done, I tend to step in and make sure it gets done.  I am a classic first-born, which resulted in the belief that not only can I do anything, but that I know the best way to do it!  I also married a first-born - you can imagine those first few years of marriage - arguing over the best way to load the dishwasher, or fold the shirts, or anything else you can imagine.
I love to organize, though I often watch as things fall into chaos around me.  I try to grab the pieces and put them together, to make them fit the way I think they should.

Intellectually, I know I am not in control.  I am completely in God's hands.  But, there are times I forget that I am not running my life, that I haven't got it all figured out.  And those moments can be startling.  They can also be the best moments in life.  When we learn to embrace God's timing, not our own, we can learn to follow our Good Shepherd wherever he may lead.

So, I am seeking to OPEN my heart to God, to my family, to the beauty that daily surrounds me, and to gratefully accept the many beautiful gifts this new year offers.

Do not weary yourself with cares that consume you both day and night and give you not a moment of peace.  Such care is a sinful disease.  It shows that a man is relying upon himself and has forgotten God, that he has lost hope in God's Providence, that he wants to arrange everything for himself solely by his own efforts and to procure all that is necessary and preserve what he has procured by his own means.  He has become chained in his heart to his property, and thinks to rest upon it as though it were a solid foundation.  Love of possessions has bound him, and he thinks only of how to get more into his hands.  This mammon has replaced God for him.  By all means, work - but do not weary yourself with evil cares.  Expect every success from God and commit your lot into His hands.  Accept all that you obtain as a gift from the Lord's hand, and wait with the firm hope that He will continue his generous giving.  Know that if God so desires, a rich man can lose all that he has in one minute.  All is decay and dust.  Is it worthwhile wearying yourself for this?  So take no thought!

St. Theophan the Recluse

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

"O Lord our God, who hast established all seasons and times by Thine own authority, who art unoriginate and unending, who conceivest existing things beyond all time, who art Thyself without change or alteration yet art the fullness of times which have been, which are, and which are yet to be, who, with indescribable longsuffering, dost vouchsafe us to come to this new year:

Do Thou Thyself, O all-good Master, bless the beginning thereof by Thy divine grace. Grant gentle showers unto fruitfulness of the earth. Send healthful and seasonable weather for man and beast. Grant us to begin the new year in steadfast peace and harmony, crowned with the glory of earthly good things and, by the light of Thy commandments, to pass the days graciously with a seemly disposition, leading a virtuous life.

Preserve well our holy Church. Strengthen and confirm our nation by the might of Thy hand. Raise the infants, guide the young, support the aged, collect the scattered and unite them to Thy holy Church. May Thy kingdom come upon us, the kingdom of all the ages, the kingdom of goodness, righteousness, and peace."

- From The Doxology on the First Day of the New Year, offered at the Divine Liturgy on the morning of January 1.