The Time has Come!

I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown! We are already at Holy Week!

It was just yesterday, I feel that it was Christmas!

So, if you are like me, you are preparing things last minute at home and church. Shopping list for Feast food (yum!). Easter gifts. Church celebrations. Dinner invitations and menu planning.

The one thing that was quickly overlooked was my personal spiritual time. And my children’s too! So, I hope to focus on a plan for myself this week. I pray you do the same. I am not sure what my focus will be but I will definitely spend some extra quiet moments to connect with my Savior. Lately, I am focused on reading Proverbs and Psalms (loving Proverbs chapter 10 on controlling my lips as a sign of wisdom & Psalm 18 for Christ’s encouragement, strength, and mercy!).

And also I will focus on making the most of Holy Week for my children. I feel that I have slipped a little bit in this area of focusing on spiritual time with my kids. We have gotten a little bit lazy and busy in our Bible reading and our weekly Orthodox Homeschool. So, I don’t want to let this Holy Week pass by without sharing the true meaning of the Resurrection and benefitting from this holy time.

I have updated my Orthodox Homeschool page to include some more Holy Week resources. Please check it out here and scroll down to the Holy Week subtitle. If you have any new ideas, please share! We will do the Holy Week passport this year (per Josiah’s request). But to make it a bit more challenging, I added questions in between the days and I have added some meditations at the end. Maybe even stamping the pages at the end of each day can be fun too. We will print it for all the children of the church as well.

I pray you have a blessed and fruitful Holy Week. May the power of the cross be with you to overcome death and sin so that you may enjoy the glorious Resurrection and new life in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” -Isaiah 53:5

Let’s Chat: What are your plans for Holy Week for you and your children?

She Came with the Spices

Last year, I was introduced for the first time to a song that is absolutely beautiful! During the Holy 50 Days of the Resurrection, I played it repeatedly over and over and over again. And again some more! I sang it all day. I sang it to the kids before they slept. Needless to say, I loved it. The words really came alive to me.

This year, sadly I forgot about that song until my husband was listening to Resurrection hymns and came across it. I remembered how much I loved it.

In my blog post last week, I described my feelings of living and serving without any hope. Full of discouragement. Discontentment.

This song perfectly describes how we often lose hope. For a number of reasons. As women and even mothers, we lose hope. We carry guilt. We set high expectations that we try to meet without the Grace of Christ. We strive and preserve. Only to get disappointed when we fail.

Just like that early Sunday morning walk. When women full of heartache and pain made their way to the tomb. Expecting death. Failure.

The first part of the song describes those exact feelings of hopelessness and discouragement and guilt.

She came void of all hope; She came expecting death; Forgetting the Life-giver Who is the living breath.

Yet, when they left the tomb, it was hope. Life. Maybe they even danced!

That is why by the end of the song a different way of life is described. One of Hope. Joy. Resurrection. Perseverance.

I come now with joy; I come expecting life; Knowing that through Thee I can endure all strife.

It is time to have hope. Time to rejoice. Not to give up.

Christ our King has defeated sin. Defeated death. For Victory. For us to live.

“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” . . . But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55, 57

I won’t write much else because I would like the song to speak for itself. There are many wonderful versions of this song but here is one version sung by one of my friends who is beautiful both inside and out!

 

Let’s Chat: What things are really touching you during this Resurrection Time?

Trust Me. . . I’m a Lawyer

Did you know that I was a lawyer? After my three years of law school, debts, studying, writing, researching, and coffee drinking, I achieved a lot. If you went to law school or had friends that did, you would know that I was successful by “making journal,” becoming a Publications Editor on that journal, joining clinic and so much more. I landed an amazing summer internship and then was hired as an Associate in the same prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm practicing Intellectual Property Law. I received a ten-thousand-dollar increase to my salary in the first week.

By all the world’s standards, life was good.

I lived in our Nation’s Capital. I went to the best events. Ate at the top restaurants. Met some high-powered, world changers.

Until God decided to change my world.

That is when my husband and I heard our call to leave our lives and become missionaries in Africa.

“Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

Our families were shocked and said to us, we left Africa to give you a better life and now you are returning to Africa!

They gave us a better life. For us to have that choice.

That was ten years ago.

I can’t believe we have been in Africa for ten years. And still God has so much work to do through us.

But what changed? Somewhere in that ten years, and I don’t know when exactly, but I lost hope.

We came at first to Africa on fire. Passionate to serve the community. Full of love. Hope.

Then, discouragement hits. Slow change around us. War room prayers set aside.

Judgment creeps in. Hypocrisy. Pride. Distractions. Disappointments.

Then, the roller coaster ride. Some days excited to serve the Lord. More days less excited.

Then, this Holy Week comes along in our church calendar. I wasn’t expecting much. With two little kids, it is hard.

But what changed this year? I regained my hope.

It wasn’t like I never missed any of the Holy Week services. Actually, it was the opposite. For the first three days of Holy Week, my son was really sick so I missed every morning and evening until Thursday! And when I was there, my three-year-old needed me to keep helping her put the arms of Mr. Potato Head in the right place (I thought iPad apps were supposed to keep them busy so that I could focus!). I also kept trying to make sure my spiritual children were meditating and reading during the long hymns or what we like to call “meditation and prayer time.”

But, God gives a special grace. It is what I like to call a special “Mommy Grace” reserved for Moms for the quality and not the quantity of time spent with Him. He blesses it. He fills it. He bursts my heart open. He warms me with His loving arms wrapped around me.

During the procession in our Resurrection Feast Liturgy, that is when I realized that Christ had done a work in me. Do you know how I responded? I danced. If you have been to Africa before, you would know that our services include a lot of traditional songs with dancing and praising Jesus. So, I danced with my church family.

Then, as I danced, it struck me. I don’t remember the last time I had danced.

Before that, and even during Holy Week, I had been praying for Christ to reinvigorate my heart for the people and His work He called us to do.

It wasn’t emotional. It was God deep in my heart answering my prayer. To enjoy the Resurrection. To know His Power is there. That our God is a great God. Able to rise up from the dead. And that Power lies within me.

“I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” Revelation 3:1

For far too long, I was alive on the outside. I am not alive from the outside only. But from the inside.

Thank you Jesus.

Pray for our mission here in Zambia. Pray for me.

I leave you with a beautiful meditation that a dear friend of mine shared on Facebook (there are spiritual treasures on Facebook!).

Devout and God-loving people, enjoy this kind and bright festival. Wise people, come and share joy with your Lord. You who have laboured in fasting, receive your deserved reward. You who have laboured from the first hour, come to the festival now!

You who came at the third hour, rejoice!
You who lingered until the sixth hour, celebrate!
You who came at the ninth hour, do not be sad!
You who managed to come only at the eleventh hour, do not be dismayed by your lateness. No one will be deprived of heavenly joy!

For our Lord is generous.
He welcomes those who come last in the same way as those who come first.
He is grateful to the first and rejoices in the last.
He consoles those who came at the last hour,
as if they had laboured from the first hour.
He gives to everyone:
those who laboured and those who wanted to labour. He receives the service and kisses the intention.
He values the deed and praises the desire.

All of you enter into the joy of the Lord:
First and last, receive the reward!
Wealthy and poor, rejoice with one another!
Diligent and lazy, celebrate the festival!
Those who have fasted and those who have not, be glad together. The feast is abundant, eat your fill!
All of you enjoy the wealthy banquet of the faith and mercy of God

Let no-one go away hungry or offended. Let no-one be sad about their poverty,
for the kingdom is now here for everyone. Let no-one weep over their sins, for forgiveness for all has burst with light from the grave. Let no-one be afraid of death,
for the death of Jesus has freed us all.

Embraced by death, He subdued death.
Having descended into hell, He took hell captive.
Isaiah prophesied: “Hell was troubled, having met You in the underworld!”
Hell was in mourning, for it was abolished!
Hell was distressed, for it was condemned!
Hell was impoverished, for it was deposed!
Hell was destroyed, for it was bound!
It took on a body, and touched God.
It took on the earth, and met heaven.
It took what it saw, and fell to where it did not expect!

Death! Where is your sting?
Hell! Where is your victory?
Christ is risen, and you are brought down.
Christ is risen, and the demons have fallen.
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life triumphs.
Christ is risen, and there are no dead in the grave. Christ has risen from the dead, become the firstborn of those who sleep and set into motion the resurrection of all.
To Him be glory now and forever.
Amen!

–St. John Chrysostom

 

Let’s Chat: Tell me about your Holy Week experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silence Kills


Like many of you, I have followed closely everyone’s blogs, statuses, pictures and news articles on the 21 Martyrs of Libya. So many wonderful lessons and meditations. All for these brave men that stood firm and refused to deny their faith until the very gruesome end. They have completed the race. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). They are Victorious. Gaining crowns of martyrdom.

While I could not muster enough courage to watch the video, I read many articles. One article describing the video, however, really struck me. It was the mention of the Coptic Orthodox Priest’s wife, Camilia Shehata. In their video, ISIS used her example and others like her. They said they wanted to “avenge” them. I vaguely remembered what happened to Camilia back in 2010 but as I researched more, it appeared to me that it was completely a marital dispute between her and her husband. I do not believe that she was trying to convert to Islam. What started as an ugly dispute between husband and wife ended up being an even uglier sectarian riots and violence between Christians and Muslims in Egypt.

I felt sadness at the stories of marriage problems between this Priest and his wife. So many problems that it was to drive the wife out of their home for many days. So much silence until they couldn’t even stand to be in the same house together. Godly men and women could not keep up the “picture” of a happy home.

Recently, I read a lovely blog on emotional stability and what “appears” to look like a family and a marriage put together. We all carry emotional hurts and baggage into our relationships. However, if we keep quiet and do not seek help and guidance, we will only suffer deeper and deeper. Our significant other, with his or her own limitations, cannot carry our baggage.

My fear is that in our church communities it is very taboo to show that we have any “problems” in our marriages. Especially if you are a servant or even a Priest. We keep silent about our issues. Silence drives us to isolation, resentment, and sadness. Silence kills. Slowly.

In our Orthodox families in Zambia, we are faced with numerous marriage problems. Damages that continue to emotionally and physically harm the younger generations. Recently, for Valentine’s Day weekend, we sponsored a lovely lunch for couples only. We focused our talk on the importance of spending time together with your spouse. No distractions. No children. No business. No running errands. Just enjoying each other. Laugh together. Have fun together.

There are a number of reasons why spending time together is important.

  1. Healthy marriage = Healthy children

We often think when we focus on our children more than our spouses; we will have healthier, less needy and demanding children. However, this is the opposite. When our marriage is healthy, our children feel secure and safe. Even our 5-year-old loves it when my husband gives me a hug. He gets excited and joins in the fun. He feels safe. Daddy loves Mommy. Mommy loves Daddy.

Therefore, when Daddy and Mommy spend time together, this strengthens the marriage.

  1. Spending time together dispels the bad thoughts.

We naturally have bad thoughts. We think the worst in others. We assume the worst. When we spend time together, those thoughts are buried or eliminated. This is important because our bad thoughts are dangerous.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

  1. Protects against extramarital affairs and divorce.

You may be thinking that this is extreme. And it won’t happen to me. Divorce does not happen overnight. It is a gradual distancing and separation between two people. Even extramarital affairs are not just physical but could be emotional cheating as well. When you compare your spouse to others or admire another husband more than yours (Exodus 20:17).

In Africa here, we are faced with many extramarital affairs from both men and women. There is a lot of research out there that sub-Saharan Africa ranks as one of the highest percentages for extramarital affairs.

For husbands, they feel a lack of respect from the wife, loss of playfulness and lack of flirtation.

For women, they lose the priority, admiration and care from the husband.

So gradually the two drift apart.

When you spend time with your spouse, you give those feelings back to each other that happen when people get too busy or distracted.

  1. Remember our Instructions from the Sacrament of Matrimony?

Here is a quick summary:

Husbands are to do all that is good to your wife; have compassion on her and always do that which will gladden her heart; take care of her as her parents did; look after her – and in doing all this – God will grant you blessed children. You receive blessing when you honor and love your wife.

Wives are to honor and respect him; obeying him because he is responsible for you instead of your parents; receive him with joy and cheer, not frowning in his face – then you will receive blessings.

It is important to spend time together to fulfill the instructions given to us in the Church.

  1. Husbands and Wives are ONE.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

There is a cultural saying among Africans here that the wife can leave you but your children will never leave you, as they are part of your flesh. They use this saying to justify why your wife does not have to be a priority. However, the Biblical teachings are very different. It says that the two are one.

Therefore, your spouse comes before all other things in your life – before children, work, friends, and service.

What Works for Us

When we were first married, we were advised by our Father of Confession to do this “Quality Time” together once a week. Even after 9 years of marriage, we have continued to keep this tradition alive. We need it.

If you can’t manage, once a week, do it once a month or whatever you can do. (And not just on your wedding anniversaries and birthdays.) Be intentional! It doesn’t just happen. Our lives are busy. Our time is stretched in so many different ways.

Finances a problem? There are 100s of free date ideas. Just Google it! Be creative! Don’t have a babysitter? Find a couple that will be willing to watch the kids. Then when they want to do their date, you can watch their kids.

For us, I make sure the kids are in bed and if we have no babysitter, we have a great “date” just from our living room. Our date usually starts off with a Bible study together and prayer. Then, we have fun, which could be a number of things like popcorn and a movie, board game, read a book together, or chatting with a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows!

The key is to be consistent! We each take turns planning our date and stick to it. Lots of things come up but we protect it. Consistency is key to spending time together. It makes a statement that we matter to each other.

Now, I don’t want you to carry guilt if you are in a season of your marriage where you can’t do this. When we go through those seasons, we even spend 15-20 minutes every evening just chatting together. TV off. No Facebook or email. Kids in bed. And chat.

We never want the other to feel that we are just taking each other for granted.

With the demands of a priest’s schedule, I feel for priest’s wives like Camilia. I pray they are doing fine in their marriage now. And I pray most importantly that we do not keep silent. That we speak to our spouses, our Fathers of Confession, our spiritual mentors. Whoever it may be. But that we do so in Wisdom (James 1:5). And in Truth.

Husbands, put aside your busy lives and make your wife feel like a priority. Precious. Admire her. Love her.

Wives, set aside your children’s wants and meet your husbands needs. Respect him. Care for him. Give to him. Do we desperately want to win the “Mom of the Year” award that we forget to try and win the “Wife of the Year” award?

Pray for my marriage. Your marriage is in my prayers.

Let’s Chat: How do you make spending time with your spouse a priority?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still Friends

My strong-minded 5-year-old likes to have his way. He will stubbornly do what it takes to get it. He will even give others an ultimatum. A threat. Whatever it takes. After all, he is named after a King in the Bible!

Even God is not spared from my son’s “demands.” Recently, in our nightly prayers, Josiah has been giving God an ultimatum. “If you don’t make me sick, I will be Your friend. But, if you make me sick, I won’t be Your friend.”

I explained to my 5-year-old that we should love Jesus no matter what. Whether we get sick or not. Not giving Him conditions. And accept what God gives us.

He said the same prayer for about a week.

Then, one night his prayer was different. He began the same words: “God, if you don’t make me sick, I will be Your friend. But, even if I get sick, I will still be Your friend.” I took a moment and paused as I let his words sink in. I will still be Your friend. Why did his prayer catch me off guard? Didn’t I “teach” him that this was the correct way to pray?

Then I realized as he finished his prayer what made me pause. Because I “understand” what I was teaching my son, but I rarely live it or practice it. I won’t think the words. Or say it. Never pray it.

Even if I get sick, I will still be Your friend.

Isn’t that Faith? Faith like a child.

Didn’t Christ understand this Faith? “But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 19:14

Can I trust God even when things are tough? Can I put Him in full control?

“Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Even if there is a trial, a sickness, a challenge – I can Trust Him. I will not deny Him. I will still be His friend. Because I know He is in control. He is teaching. Guiding. Growing me.

There are times in my life where I like to sit in the Throne that belongs to Christ Himself. Where I sit and am in control. Where I tell Him, I can handle this issue. I know what is best for my husband. My children. No, thank you. You are not my friend. I do not trust You.

If He allows something in my life, I must admit He is my friend. I put Him back in the Throne. Where He belongs. I tell Him you are my King. My Friend. I trust in You. Even if I should get sick. Even if I don’t “like” that I am sick.

My life, like many of yours, is full of challenges. Trials. Sicknesses. Hardships. “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10) Both are designed for a purpose. Some trials have brought me down on my knees into repentance. Some have renewed my focus on Him. Some have led me to growth in a virtue.  Some have opened my eyes to Truths.

There are certain areas in my life that I have Faith. Other areas I cannot trust Him. My prayer for us all is to examine these areas in our lives. Be it health, parenting, marriage, finances, studies, service. We must Trust in Him in every area. That whatever happens, we trust Him.

Even if I get sick, I will still be Your friend.

Let’s Chat: How have you grown your Trust in Christ?

Lessons from a Child

“The soul is healed by being with children.” – English Proverb

First Lesson: On Giving the Best

“Nothing that you have not given away will ever truly be yours.” – C.S. Lewis

There is a lot we can learn from a child. If we allow ourselves to listen. To learn.

Because this is the Season of Giving, we decided to take our children, the children of the missionaries and other expatriate families living in Zambia, to visit the slums. The poorest of the poor.

The children were excited. At their homes, they gathered food, toys, clothing, books, Bibles and anything they wanted to give away. I asked my 5-year old son to choose the toys he wanted to give away to a little child that has no toys. I “naturally” thought he would choose the toys he doesn’t play with anymore. Isn’t that what we always do? Give away what we don’t want anymore or don’t need. I found him doing the opposite. He was putting his favorite toys inside the bag. When I made sure he understood that he was not going to see these toys again, he told me in a serious way, “Mommy, it’s okay, they also don’t have a Mickey Mouse.” He gave away his very best toys. His favorite cars. His favorite things. To give a child that has nothing.

What a lesson he gave me that day. On giving my very best. On offering my best. Not what is left over of my abundance. Not what I don’t want anymore.

Not only did my son want to give toys, but he said every child must also have a Bible. They must know the stories of the Bible. I sighed. He was right. What good do we give if we do not give the Word of God. He tried to give his sister’s Bible away, but I definitely stopped him on this one :). (He ended up choosing from his own!).

I pray that in this season of giving, we can teach our children to give. To love. To offer their best. That we do the same. What am I willing to offer my Christ this year? In the coming New Year? God offered His Only Son. His Best. Himself.

“I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

Second Lesson: On Stepping out of our Comfort Zones

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

After our visitations with the children, we had a debriefing. The children came back full of joy. They talked about how much they loved the visitations. Seeing the poor children smile when they gave them gifts. Sharing the Word of God. Singing songs with them. It was beautiful. Fulfilling. Heavenly.

In an excited state, I asked who would love to go again. Out of 25 kids, only 2 raised their hands! I was shocked. I thought they loved giving. Sharing the Word of God. Bringing toys for the orphaned children. I asked them why they wouldn’t go again. They were honest. They said the slums were too smelly. Too many flies. Walked too much. Got thirsty. Hungry. Uncomfortable. Rather play games. Have fun. Bored.

We shared the message of when Christ said “. . . inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40). They slowly began to understand. They are serving Christ Himself when they give to these forgotten ones. It is no coincidence that our Church is literally in between the rich shopping mall and the poor slums. God has placed us here to serve. To give. A chance to see Him.

As much as we hate to admit it, the children are right. We like to be comfortable. Stepping out of our comfort zones is hard. It is not relaxing. It is not entertaining or fun. We are going to do visitations again. We are going to keep doing it. This is good training for them. For me. I’m happy we took our children. I pray they learned and I pray it changes the way they live forever. We can’t live just by being entertained and comfortable, even for our children.

It is OK to be uncomfortable. It is OK to do something hard. And that is how we grow. Even as a missionary in Africa, I find myself going into “comfort mode.” I hide from the hard services. The challenging. The heart breaking. I was reminded by the children that I must intentionally go out of my comfort zone. To allow God to work. To rely on Him. Not myself. It is a training that we should practice as well as teach our young ones. It is never too early to start this training.

Thank you Jesus for the lessons learned from these pure and innocent children.

During this Nativity, I pray for you and your family that you are filled with the blessings and joy of the season. Through the intercessions of the generous saint of the season, St. Nicholas, may we always guide our children to give and serve Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And may we also live by example.

Let’s Chat: Recently, what lessons have you learned from our small ones?

My Outdoor Sanctuary

Sunday church family

It is another Sunday morning. I cringe. I wake up and put my head back under my blanket. I don’t know what mood the kids will be in when they wake up. Will I stay calm this time? This Sunday, they wake up screaming and shouting. Again. I groan. I shake my head. I sigh. I can no longer hide under the blankets. It starts off with various demands. Complaints.

I’m hungry. Sorry, we are fasting for communion.

I don’t want to wear this. Then choose something else.

Help me get ready. You are a big boy now.

I don’t want to go to Church today. We are all going.

I’m tired. I understand.

But, Mommy!

Even my 1.5 year old has started deciding that she doesn’t want to wear a specific pair of shoes. Or throws the clothes I choose for her away. And when she wakes up she throws a tantrum if she doesn’t get what she wants. Right NOW!

I’m a single mother on Sunday morning. We struggle. We fight. We are NOT walking to the House of the Lord in all Joy!

“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1

And then when we arrive to Church, I enjoy the service . . . from outside the doors of the Church. My toddler wants to scream for everything as soon as we enter the church doors. Therefore, we remain outside so as not to disturb others. In my Outdoor Sanctuary, as I like to call it.

Why do we go through this struggle? Wouldn’t it be easier if we all just did what we do on Saturday? Relax in our pajamas, have breakfast, do our Quiet Time. All from the comforts of our home. I know I could do a lot of things differently on Sundays. Wake up earlier instead of stay in bed enjoying the peaceful moments before THEY wake up. We could choose our clothes from the night before. Discuss expectations beforehand.

But, still why? Couldn’t we just relax? Couldn’t I just go alone and call the nanny to come? I don’t want the kids to feel pressure. Hate the church because they were “forced” to go. But then why do I “force” them to school but then leave it optional for church? Maybe I can wait until they get older so they can sit still? But, at a young age, I know they are learning the hymns and their Spirit is getting filled whether we see it or not.

One early morning weekday Liturgy, I went alone. Needless to say, it was so peaceful. Joyous. I prayed. I praised. I relaxed. I didn’t have to take anyone to the bathroom. I didn’t have to stop a tantrum. I didn’t have any interruptions. It was….heavenly.

However, something was missing. What could it be? My kids! My kids? Why? Because, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a chance to establish a foundation in my children. To love the Church. To love the Body of Christ. To love God.

One day they will be out of my care. My husband and I met an American Missionary couple living in Zambia. Their last born child recently traveled to the States to attend college. The father told us the night before she traveled he thought to himself, “If only I had one more day with her.” One more day.

When my kids grow up and move away. And it will happen before I know it. Will I say the same thing? If only I had one more day. If only I had one more chance to teach them. To pray with them. To explain the Liturgy. To learn the hymns. To be part of a Body of Christ. To serve others in Liturgy. To teach them how to receive the blessed Sacrament of Communion. One more day.

As I pray in my Outdoor Sanctuary, I will remember the words of a saintly nun that lived here in Zambia. She told me when I carry my pure child, just remember that the child is not a distraction, but that I am carrying Christ. Carrying Christ. Just like St. Mary.

“Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, You have ordained strength” Psalm 8:2

I recommend that you do have a Liturgy to yourself if you can manage. Once a week. Once a month. Whatever it takes. Time for yourself in communion with God.

Maybe you have a similar experience on Sundays? It is hard not to make excuses on Sunday morning. I know some days you want to throw in the towel, like me. But, I want to encourage you today that no matter how hard the struggle is. No matter how frustrated you are. No matter how dry. It is worth it. It IS worth it!

Your child will thank you for it. Will say thank you for enduring. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for praying in the Outdoor Sanctuary. Because you love God and love me.

Let’s chat: How do you cope on Sundays with young children? How do you balance your personal time for Liturgy vs. family Liturgy Sundays?