Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Retreat-Workshop with Mother Raphaela...

Here are my notes from the women's retreat with Mother Raphaela from Holy Myrrhbearer's monastery. (I took notes on Saturday, not on Friday night- I forgot my notebook).
  • Read the Bible- Get to know the Lord.
  • Monastery is not an escape, there are no escapes (this caused me to ask myself the following questions- what are my escapes? when do I escape?)
  • Follow a rule of morning and evening prayers even if it is just a simple "Hello, God"
  • Liturgy is about life
  • Hardship: we are carrying the burden of the cross- we are chosen to be a part of this burden. When "good" things happen and we have no hardship we are not worthy to carry the cross.
  • Learning to live with silence
  • The world would know God through us- we are Gods hands and feet to bring God to the world.
  • Meet everyone unconditionally as they are- our families first. Charity begins at home.
  • Do with me, God, as you know best
  • Loving, not judgmental- today, we have no sense of our own worth and we; can do no better.
  • Spirit of despair/hopelessness is the spirit of the world- people in the world do not know who they are.
  • Learn to overlok the bad, see the good. See Christ in one another. When we love people we can see the good/God will draw out the good.
  • We do not need to be looking for the devil in others.
  • where there's death, there is hope.
  • Society: Dr's consider it a failure when someone dies.
  • Our vision of heaven has been taken from us.
  • the martyrs died for that vision of heaven
  • we are in no way a Christian Society/Muslim Society, Hindu Society- We are a NOTHING Society.
  • Prayer is standing before God and giving Him your family, etc. I do not control them. God is in charge of the universe, not me.
  • Becoming transparent to the world (poise/dignity)- by following our prayer rule and fasting it changes us.
  • Take up our cross daily and follow me- Why are we surprised by hardship?
  • ascetic training prepares us to stand before the lions (the martyrs)
  • Be prepared- because we are surrounded by people who are tolerant of everyone but us.
  • Vision of heaven? Cultivate beauty in the world, in our parish, in our community.
  • Obedience= to listen up
  • Listen to one another- we are called to listen to each other and respond appropriately
  • Obedience is a dialogue
  • we set our children up for failure when we do not dialogue
  • Ask, "Is this for my salvation?"
  • God can forgive, we don't let Him.
  • To be perfect is to be merciful.

It was a lovely weekend, check out Mimi and Susan-Sophia for more tidbits from the retreat. And, consider joining us next year!

Two new blogs to check out! and Both blogs are by Mediterranean Kiwi who is from New Zealand and lives on Crete (I have been to Crete but it was many years ago). Check them out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Salt Shaker Philosophy

Last Thursday was a "bad" day... you know, one of those days where six different things happen and if each of those things had happened over a couple of weeks, I would have been able to "handle" it in a much better way. But, no, as my mom says (and the Morton Salt girl), "When it rains, it pours." That was one of those days. I am feeling better now (two of those things were taken care of over the weekend). One of those things I have to just accept. One was annoying. One is a wait and see. And one has no solution. That one is that my bike was stolen off our back porch. Yes, we have a fenced in backyard but I didn't lock my bike up. And the funny thing is that they didn't touch DH's bike or Big P's bike. Just mine. I am glad they didn't take DH's bike as he uses it to commute to work (but, as far as value goes, his is worth more than mine). It's just annoying that this has happened. I spent Thursday morning cleaning out our garden beds and filling our yard debris recyle bin. I needed a "healthy" outlet for my frustration at these circumstances. I think I did ok:)

Good things: I had a conference (yes, it's that time of year) with Big P's teacher. He is doing well. I started watching a baby girl last week (two days a week). We went to the pumpkin patch with yiayia on Saturday. Is it just me or are pumpkin patches (and Christmas Tree farms) becoming so gimmicky?

Picture: Little P painting.

Anyway, here is dinner from last night... it was yummy!
Beef Stefatho
2 lbs lean beef (I used a roast that I cut up into big pieces)
1 med. onion cut into big chunks
1/4 tsp. ground clove
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 bay leaves
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
4 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic

So I did this in the crock pot. The recipe calls for simmering it in a deep sauce pan for 2 hours but I just put everything, in order, in my crock pot and cooked it for 10 hours. Then, I served it over Gluten Free noodles (ancient harvest brand). Yummy!

Menu for this week:
Mon: beef stefatho
Tues: leftovers
wed: baked lentils and rice
Thurs: grilled cheese and tom. soup (we have swim lessons and I have a meeting at school)
Fri: veggie soup in crock pot
sat: salmon with red potatoes and salad

UPDATE: Me feeling sorry for myself is just plain dumb. There are others who have to work with bigger problems than I have... please keep my sister, Katherine, and her family in your prayers. They have a lot going on right now...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fundraiser for our school...

Big P goes to Agia Sophia Academy, an Orthodox Christian Classical school. We have a number of fundraiser throughout the year. Our current fundraiser happens to be through the Innisbrook catalog of wrapping paper, kitchen items, chocolates, etc. We have a web account so that anyone, across the country, can order and help support our school!!! If you are interested in purchasing anything through this website, please leave a comment with your email address (or email me at cdblankenstein[at]hotmail[dot]com) and I will send you our school number so our school will get credit (I'm not sure if I should publish that info. on the blog... it is so public... not sure of what might happen, but I'll just play it safe and have you contact me if you are interested!).

Thanks from all of us at ASA!