Saturday, March 28, 2009

We Are One

Tonight was quite a night. At Vespers this evening, our church had its annual visit from a group of Methodists, who bring their confirmation class to see an Orthodox church. I always enjoy this visit, because after the service our priest (my Dad), allows them to ask questions about the church, our faith, or even about the "weird" pictures we have at the front of our church! I always learn something new by listening in. Someone always asks the question, "What's the difference between your church (Antiochian) and Russian or Greek Orthodox churches?" My father always explains that except for language or minute cultural differences, we are all the same. We are all one. We are all Orthodox. I always feel so proud, and truly do feel like all of "us Orthodox" are one family.

This hit home two-fold tonight. We have had storms the last few days, but during Vespers the weather took a turn, and I noticed several people, including my mother, glance down and then walk briskly into the Narthex with cell phones. I found out that three tornadoes had been sighted a little south of the church (where my house is!) and were headed towards us. The service kept going, but I could see nervous faces, especially the faces of the mothers who were there with young children. During the petitions, we responded "Lord have mercy" more firmly, and with a sense of urgency. Eventually the weather calmed, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately we found out that during Vespers our sister church a little west of us was hit and the roof collapsed right onto the altar! No one was hurt, but I was filled with such a sense of grief for my brothers and sisters in Christ. We truly are a family. Please pray for the parishioners of St. Elizabeth in Murfreesboro, TN. God grant them peace, and a quick recovery from the damage.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

God Will Bless Your Efforts!

It was about 5pm, and my family was enjoying an awesome tofu burrito at our local M*e's. We had just finished eating, and were about to head over to the shop next door for my husband and son to get haircuts. My husband's cell phone rang, and it was my Mom on the other end. "Are you planning on being at Liturgy?" GASP!!! I had totally forgotten that we had liturgy tonight for the Annunciation! I looked around at my family in our shorts and at the kids' messy faces, thought about my 2 year-old's recent "anti-church" behavior, and couldn't fathom how we could make it to church in an hour! I will admit that my husband and I had some not-so-nice words about what to do, but within 20 minutes or so, we had decided to just rush home, change as fast as we could, and get there. After all, the main reason I'm homeschooling is so that the life of the Church can come first!

Even though we were frazzled and stressed, we made it to church pretty much on time. I have to say, it was the calmest, easiest liturgy I have attended in months, maybe even a year!! My two older children didn't fight, they participated, and my toddler didn't scream the entire service! It was actually enjoyable!

I truly feel like God blessed our effort tonight, and that is what I have to continue to remember. No matter how tough it is to get everyone out the door, no matter how many times I chase a toddler up and down the aisle, God will bless our efforts. It is easy to find an excuse to not attend the services, or to keep the fast, and the evil one will never attack those that aren't trying. If we can just push through the temptations, it's always worth it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Confused about Compost!

This is a post directed at all of you composters out there! I just finished chopping up a ton of veggies for our dinner tonight. I was also left with a ton of scraps. As I dumped them into the sink to be put into the garbage disposal, it dawned on me that I've been doing that a lot lately! Since we have been fasting 7 days a week, we've upped our vegetable and fruit intake and have produced a lot of waste!

I have been interested in composting for a while, but don't know where to start. I am going to start a small raised-bed garden this spring, and I know the compost would benefit our Tennessee clay-ridden soil!

So help me out! I don't have a very large yard, so I won't have that much space for the pile. What do I need? How do I maintain it?

Any help is appreciated!