Saturday, April 19, 2014

Self care con't

It was a hard choice and an easy choice: I have overdone it in my "getting back in the swing of things" and so I must pay attention to my screaming body and go to bed. I will miss the best service of the year.

Accepting my limitations is a new concept for me. Giving myself permission to "not" is uncomfortable, yet I must.

And I am.
Tonight, and any lingering guilt will just have to chalk itself up to my old perfectionist nature. The "playing god" defect in me. I am not God. And I am still recovering from surgery and must, must lesrn to listen to my body's signals and respect them. And stop trying to be superwoman and amazing.
I'm just me and this is as good as I get this go around.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Great and Holy Friday

Outside of Pascha/Easter night, this service is my favorite of the liturgical year. Solemn, but with a rising, steady undercurrent of transcending joy and victory. Words like, "Do not lament me, O Mother, seeing me in the tomb..." and "The noble Joseph to Pilate...'give me this stranger'..." and words from the prophet Ezekiel,  "Prophecy over these dry bones..."
The procession by candlelight through the graveyard next door: we sing to these our friends and buried ancestors,  reminding them as they lay at rest, that God the Son also rested in the tomb, and that, like Him, one day they, and we, will arise, like those from sleep.
The service goes on for nearly two hours, but it is a gentle service. It is a mirror of how we treat our beloved ones when they die: we pray, we sing, we stand watch,  we wait. An active peace.
Only here, in the folds of Orthodox Christianity,  have I experienced anything like this way of treating and honoring those who pass away before us. Christ gave us His example of what to do in and with death.
And so tonight we take turns holding vigil, for the Word, the Creator of heaven and earth. Tomorrow,  he rests. It is the blessed Sabbath. And then, watch out Death,  for you have swallowed more than you can handle and you will be overthrown.
Ah! What a time to remember and be an active part in. Today, I kissed His feet and said thank you for doing what needed to be done.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quiet moments

We need quiet.
A daily time to let thoughts sift.
Years ago, I used to sit in the dark, late at night, startling Hubbs when he'd walk by and find me there.

Now, it is by candlelight, in the tub.
There is a ritual to it that is more self-caring: Accepting of myself and my physical imperfections and letting the dust and worry and grime of the day gently slip away. To truly relax. Unwind.  Breathe slow. Hubbs will often follow afterwards and clean and relaxed, we both sleep easier. We have no problem doing this with and for our infants and toddlers: we know how calming and sleep-inducing it is for them. Somehow, we have forgotten or don't realize how much we can benefit from this act of quiet as adults.

Warmth and water and light, softly glimmering. When you get a moment, consider taking one yourself.  The dishes can wait.

Photo: Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains, NOV2013, taken by me. ♥