Hearts are Broken

Last night a husband, father of six, Orthodox priest,
and one of the greatest theological minds of our time
died in a car accident on snowy roads.

His wife is left with her six children
and the grief that she is experiencing after
the loss of a baby at 17 weeks only a few weeks ago.  Fr Matthew

So many of my friends, including my husband, were friends with him
and are friends with his wife.  This is a terrible tragedy.

A fundraising site has been set up for Pres. Katie and her six children.
Please give.
Give a little or a lot, but no matter what you can give,
please give.

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St Cuthbert’s Cross Printable

ColorStCuthbertsCrossSt Cuthbert’s Day is February 28th.  He is called the wonderworker of Britain and was born in Northumbria around 634.  While we do not know much about his life, we do know a remarkable story from his childhood:

As a child, Cuthbert enjoyed games and playing with other children. He could beat anyone his own age, and even some who were older, at running, jumping, wrestling, and other exercises. One day he and some other boys were amusing themselves by standing on their heads with their feet up in the air. A little boy who was about three years old chided Cuthbert for his inappropriate behavior. “Be sensible,” he said, “and give up these foolish pranks.”

Cuthbert and the others ignored him, but the boy began to weep so piteously that it was impossible to quiet him. When they asked him what the matter was, he shouted, “O holy bishop and priest Cuthbert, these unseemly stunts in order to show off your athletic ability do not become you or the dignity of your office.” Cuthbert immediately stopped what he was doing and attempted to comfort the boy.

On the way home, he pondered the meaning of those strange words. From that time forward, Cuthbert became more thoughtful and serious.This incident reveals St Cuthbert as God’s chosen vessel (2 Tim. 2:20-21), just like Samuel, David, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and others who, from an early age, were destined to serve the Lord.  (read more here)

I made a printable that you can use in your home this Lent:

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I’m Bored Jar *Printable*

I'm Bored jar

There are many different “I’m Bored Jars” all over the internet, especially on pinterest, but I wanted one that I could use specifically for Lent.

While there are many ideas that work all year long, I added a few to help with my children’s spiritual development as well.

You can print out a copy of the pdf ( ImBoredJarforLent ).

Feel free to tailor it to your needs.  Enjoy!I'm Bored jar
I'm Bored jar

On Love

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“If we want, Christian, to have our heart
filled with divine love we must first
empty them of the love of this world,
its frivolous and sinful customs
and then turn our hearts
to the one God, our only good
and happiness and eternal beatitude.”

— St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, “True Christianity”

Preparing for Lent

This past week, while we were snowed in and fighting colds,
Lenten preparations began in our home.
In the Orthodox Church, Lent begins tomorrow,
and Pascha is on April 12th, one week after Western Easter.

I’ve already shared some Lenten Activities for Kids,
but it is important for parents to find something for themselves to do during Lent.

I was very excited to see that Sylvia at Adventures of an Orthodox Mom
created a Orthodox Lenten Study.
Lenten study

A friend and I are going to do this together for Lent.
She also has a lot of children and similar struggles,
so we decided to hold each other accountable
and to give each other grace when we, inevitably, fail along the way.

If you are like me and struggle with consistency,
find someone to do this with:
a spouse, a sibling, a friend, your godparent.

I hope you have a blessed Lent!

I’ll be off social media more than usual during this Lent.
I cannot completely stay away because of Common Care
and the groups and pages I admin, but I am limiting my time there.  
I will, however, continue to write on here. 

Ice & Snow

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Ice & Snow
by Helen Windass

People never tell of ice
Or the snow that glitters nice
Or of the icy crunchy snow
Of that most people do not know
The crunch that sounds beneath your feet
As your sole and ice compete
When in the morning as you wake
You see a single white snow flake
You look out of the iced window
The look out seems so very low
Because the snow fell all night
It has left behind its sheet of white

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Lenten Activities for Kids

I’ve put together a list of activities that you can use in your home during Lent.  
Just click on the photo for the link to the activity.

First, some Lenten Crafts from Be As A Light:
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Laura of Many Mercies has so many wonderful *free* printables on her blog!

Lenten Calendar Printable:

http://manymercies.blogspot.com/2014/02/orthodox-lenten-calendar-printable.html

This year we are using this Memory Verse Garden:

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We use this one in our homeschool:

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Learning about “Lord Have Mercy”:

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Printable Pascha Cards and Basket Cover:

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We made this little Resurrection Garden last year:
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Matushka Emily made this lovely calendar, which we used last year:

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Bingo from Orthodox Education Blog

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Here is my Orthodox Children’s Prayer Book:

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You can use my Weekly Planner to help organize your activities:
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Have fun teaching your children during Lent this year!