Yesterday I wrote an email to my closest friend and after reflecting on it for a day, I decided I should share it, because it is not only a good reflection on what is going in my life now as wife and mother, but also a good reflection of who I have been in the past. It may serve as a small inspiration to others who seek change for the better.
To start, I feel busy, but at peace with it. Our family has just begun to master a new routine and we are very happy about it. I still do not have time to do everything I want to do, but I am finding time for the important things.
Some important things that I am finding more time for are praying and working out. There is somewhat of an "etymology" here. Around the time that folks at my work decided to do a Biggest Loser style weight loss competition I had already decided to just give IT over to God. I had decided that I was not strong enough on my own. And that IT is the fact that I need to slim down to at least my pre-pregnancy weight (this slimming down is not for vanity's sake, but more so I can be strong, literally, for my family and strong for the next time I am pregnant. Fitness is important when pregnant). So, part of giving IT over to God is praying more. But, I don't pray about IT, because I gave IT to God. I sit (I am just waking up, so I am not cognizant enough to do anything else) and pray for about 20 minutes, formal daily prayers from the New Testament Orthodox Study Bible.
On Family Updates
The kids are doing well. Alexander got new shoes--again. He wears them out so quickly. We just bought him new shoes two months ago. He has been talking about them all week. They glow in the dark, the first night he had to sleep with them.
He has also been getting himself up in the morning. Up to this point waking him up was something Andrew, or I did every morning. We would carry a sleepy little man down stairs, get him some milk and help him start the day. Really, it has been a chore for me, because first I have to get Andrew up, which is quite a feat. This is all under the guise of I don’t have time to get Alexander ready anymore, so Andrew must help. But, I think I spend half that time trying to get Andrew out of bed. So now that Alexander gets himself up, and comes and finds me, I say, “Alexander, go wake up Daddy to take you down stairs.” This is very effective, because who can say no to, “Daddy, Yake up! Yake up, Daddy!”
I am at a point with Kristiana in which she wants to spend all her time with me, but I have no clue how to keep her entertained. I can tell she is pretty smart and she is very sweet. She flirts with her Daddy a lot. It’s fun to watch. (On a side note, my friend suggests I sing to her. If only I knew more songs. I have found letting her play with dinner leftovers is a lot of fun for her.)
Andrew has spent a lot of his time recently researching gold and silver. He wants to buy some so our family is prepared should hyperinflation hit, which it inevitably will considering that the U.S. just spent more in 6 months than we have spent in 6 years.
We have long wanted to establish family prayer time with the kids, but it is difficult to formalize a way to do it that is meaningful to both adults and children. Much of children’s prayers and songs are far too puerile for adults. I think the best thing we have done so far is singing Byzantine hymns to Alex right before he goes to sleep. We have tried praying Orthodox prayer with the kids, but they just bounce off the walls and interupt. But, we continue to attempt snippets of prayer with them. Andrew does not like to pray the evening prayers with me because I am ready to wind down hours before he is (he’s a night owl). So it is a struggle. One day, maybe when the kids are a little bigger we will discover a way to gather meaningfully. We are going to start by learning, by heart, more Byzantine hymns. Andrew found a website that has the music (I have really poor tonal memory).
On Loneliness – Where I have Been
I do truly empathize with loneliness. There was a time in my life in which I was extremely lonely, and it was agony. I was so depressed about it. Finally, I went to confession and confessed my loneliness as an evil vice. Being lonely certainly turned my thoughts inward and away from God. When I confessed and prayed my penance, though I was still alone, I was at peace.
Lonely times are often a time of tribulation (Agony in the garden), but that time as in anytime of tribulation is a time to become more holy, a time to find peace, joy and trust in the Lord. It can also be a time to enjoy the wonderful person that you are. It is a time to find who you are or remember who you are.
I once hated being alone, especially quiet and alone, but now I know I can cherish it as much as being surrounded by family and friends. And once you are at peace with who you are alone, you will also be free to be yourself and be charitable to others.