I’m going to be pretty honest with you guys right now. I have lost my blogging joy.
When I first started Orthodox Motherhood (then called The Orthodox Mama) three years ago, I was bursting with energy and filled with ideas. Which, come to think of it, is pretty astonishing considering that I had three small children (ages 1, 2, and 5) at that point.
And, while I still firmly believe in the mission of this blog–to help women live the ancient faith in the modern world–lately I have not felt as excited to write as I used to.
You see, I have been trying to follow all of the rules that the blogging experts give. And, I’m tired. While the rules may be wonderfully helpful for other people as they grow their blogs, I am not sure that they always translate into an Orthodox context. After all, is my goal really to build a larger audience? Or, is it to help people grow in their faith? To ultimately bring glory to God?
So, I am going to try something different. I will be sharing more personal posts over these next few months. Instead of being the “expert” that bloggers are supposed to be, I am going to share the things that I am learning, the ways that I am growing, and the times that I am falling short.
I am going to share my life in the hopes that it will encourage others. I will help other women live the ancient faith by showing the ways that I am attempting (oh, so imperfectly) to live out our beautiful faith.
With that said, here are some simple things that I have been loving this spring.
9 Things I’m Loving this Spring
1.Watching My Son as an Altar Server
These past couple of months, my oldest son, Andrew has started helping as an altar server in the chapel at Holy Cross Seminary. He doesn’t serve every week, but often enough that he is beginning to learn what to do and where to go. My eyes and my heart tear up when I see him solemnly carry a candle out with the procession or kiss Father’s hand as he passes the incense. What a blessing we have as Orthodox Christians to get to see our children so actively involved in Church!
2. Planting a Garden
One of my favorite parts of our new home in Boston (in the married student housing at Holy Cross Seminary), is the garden in our backyard. We have several raised beds near our townhouse, and we work with our neighbors to plant a variety of herbs and vegetables that we can all use over the summer. So far, just in our bed, we have planted: lettuce, arugula, sage, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, basil, mint, and lavender. It is so relaxing to work in the garden (or just to sit outside and look at it!) in these beautiful spring afternoons.
3. Walking through the Boston Public Gardens Each Day
I am so incredibly blessed to work at a lovely private Christian school in downtown Boston. Each day my two oldest (Andrew and Ella) and I take the train into the city. Then we have a ten minute walk to get to school–right through the Boston Public Gardens. Lately the Gardens have been overflowing with tulips! The swans are also nesting, and my kids have to check each day to see whether the eggs have hatched.
4. Being Goofy with My Kids
It may come as no surprise when I say that I like my schedules and routines. I haven’t met an article yet on time management that I haven’t wanted to read right away! While many good things come out of having routines in place (you can read more about how My Morning Routine Changed My Life), it also means that I am not spontaneous very often. I can get so focused on my to-do list that I don’t take the time to just play with my children. So, lately I have tried to say, “yes” when my children ask me to do something with them. The other day that meant that I took MANY photos of them being silly!
5. Going to Chapel
One of the blessings of living on a seminary and being married to a seminarian is that we have services twice a day nearly every day. Now, because I work outside the home, I don’t attend most of those services. However, the kids and I have been trying to go to at least the Paraklesis service each Friday, to Vespers on Saturday, and to Divine Liturgy on Sunday. We go more frequently when we can. But, I have to say that attending services multiple times a week has done wonders to my children’s ability to follow along with the services and to pay attention. (I wrote more about this in How I Get My Children to Behave in Church.)
This means that I have actually been able to pray in church again. Shocking, I know! For so many years my attention had to be on my children–chasing them around, handing them books to read, pointing out icons, rocking them to sleep, etc.–that having the ability to breathe and focus on God is quite amazing. Mamas of little ones, know that your time will come, too!
6. Doing the Whole 30 Again
I recently started my second Whole 30, and I am so glad that I did. Lately I have been stress-eating and making poor food choices. This has led to weight gain and general unhappiness about my body. But, with the Whole 30, I am forced to make good decisions when it comes to food. This then leads to more energy, better self-esteem, and overall better health. (Plus, I hope to lose a few pounds along the way.) If you’re interested in the Whole 30, I recommend reading the book and checking out the website.
7. Reading Each Night
Since I haven’t been blogging at night as much these past few months, I have spent my evenings reading some good books! I think there is no better way to wind down after a long day than curling up with a cup of tea and a good book. Books I have enjoyed include: The Little Prince, This is Where You Belong (a really interesting nonfiction read about how to connect to the place where you live), A Year of Every Tuesday, and Prairie Fires (a fascinating biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder).
8. Having Impromptu BBQs with Friends
Another benefit of living on campus: friends are all around! We have a grill in our backyard that has recently become a gathering place for a few of our neighbors. Just the other day we spontaneously decided to grill and eat together. We all shared meat and sides–the adults talking while the kids ran around playing. What a blessing!
9. Celebrating My Husband
Finally, I saved the best for last. My husband finished his dissertation! He defended a few weeks ago and is now officially Dr. Wright! I am so incredibly proud of his hard work and dedication over these past few years. He is truly the best man that I know, and I am proud to be his wife.
I would love to hear from you. What are you loving this spring?
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