Monday, December 1, 2014

The Struggle is Real

*I know posts without pictures are no fun, but this millennial can't figure out how to upload pictures from her iPad to this blog post*

Ever since deciding that I was going to be a present mother to my son I have found myself struggling with how to be a present mother. There are days when I feel like I was dropped off in the middle of the ocean and told "alright, now swim back to shore!" except I don't know where shore is. I remember once back in my not-impressive-at-all surfing days I was completely taken down by a wave and I was being tossed around under the water like a rag doll, I had no idea which way was up. I told myself, "don't freak out, don't freak out, just stay calm", thankfully, in a moment of clarity I thought "hey, just follow your leash, your surfboard is up above." I think I probably need to keep that on repeat in my head ever day - "don't freak out, don't freak out, just stay calm", thankfully Orthodoxy has just the prayer to pray for those days (let's be honest, everyday) I feel so overwhelmed by my role as a mother "Lord Jesus Christ, son of God have mercy upon me a sinner". What other prayer is there really besides the prayer for mercy? It's still a struggle, I am not sure how many times per day I can listen to my nearly three year old say "play with me!" before I want to go hide in the closet but this prayer gives me hope, Lord have mercy.

Monday, November 10, 2014

One Year

Today marks the one year anniversary that I went with my husband to the Orthodox Church. The church I said I was never going to go to. The church that has changed me (and continues to change me) from the inside out. The church that has given me a peace unexplained. The church that has since become my home.

Pascha 2014 embroidery project
My pride is what kept me from going for so long. My assurance that I was right and the church must be wrong. Well, pride goeth before the fall they say and I fell hard. And what a beautiful fall it was - right into the arms of the church.

"I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, I shall take the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." - Ezekiel 36:26

Monday, October 6, 2014

On Motherhood

Let me begin this post by first mentioning that I am not eloquent nor especially articulate, but here I go anyway.

Today I made a decision that I should have made three years ago, I decided to be a mom. Since I have in fact been a mama for nearly three years, what exactly does this pronouncement mean? I have slowly changed over this past year into something I never would have foreseen, but I am eternally grateful that this is what I am becoming. Orthodox Christianity is changing me from the inside out and I am beginning to feel human for the first time. My frantic heart and racing mind are being tempered as the weight of inexplicable peace is taking hold of me. 

In order to "make a difference" in this world, I was under the erroneous assumption that I had to do something "big", become something "great", and heavens that could never mean "just being a mom" because that simply wasn't enough in my book. I spent the last three years of my life fighting my most influential role of all - being a mother. I was not willing to be affected by motherhood, I would not acknowledge that I had been forever changed by this small little boy. I tried to do all the things I did before, but just with a tagalong (i.e. my child) and I would get increasingly frustrated when I saw that it wasn't working. Why couldn't I be the person I was before I had a child? Why did I feel like my life as I knew it was over? I was dissatisfied in so many areas of my life and I was overflowing with discontentment. Enter Orthodoxy, the other thing I spent too much time fighting (my apologies to my long suffering husband)- perhaps that is a story for another time.

Orthodox Christianity is exactly what my heart was looking for, in the place that I least expected it.  Slowly I am starting to see the beauty in the small things, the significance in the seemingly insignificant - in the things that our culture on the whole says doesn't matter. I, for the first time, want to be a mother.  Today I made the decision to withdraw from college to be with my son; to finally, intentionally be a mother. I know that staying at home will not suddenly be full of rainbows but most likely filled with moments of weakness where I will find myself uttering the Jesus Prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy upon me a sinner" - and continuously being showered with his mercy and only just beginning to see how merciful he has been to me all along. I feel as though I can see for the first time, but this time I am seeing the world with my heart. 

1st, 2nd and 4th photos by the bakers photography