As I began to think about what to write about this week, Ι couldn’t let the week pass by without acknowledging the Sarakosti. Sarakosti or the Great Lent, is the 40 day Lenten period that starts with Clean Monday and ends on Holy Saturday night. I remember growing up and clean Monday was a big deal. My mom would make a lagana, we’d have tarama, and even though we were restricted in our eating, we made a party out of it. My husband, although not one to go to church, does usually fast before Easter and Christmas. This year he decided 50 days over the typical 40 days. It is a man’s prerogative to do as he likes. I have been trying to come up with some great Lenten recipes and came across something that I had personally never seen before, the Sarakosti poem. I think it will be a perfect way to begin to explain Lent to my almost three year old. As a former Sunday School teacher, I honestly can’t believe I didn’t come across this earlier in life as it would have been an amazing tool to use with the children. For my friends with little ones or those of you who are current Sunday School teachers, please check out the link here . A big thank you to our friends over at Orthodox Mom for bringing this great tradition to our attention.
As we embark on the Great Lent, prayers is also such an important part. Our nightly ritual is to kiss Panagia’s icon before making our way into my daughter’s room. Since she’s still young, all of the icons in her room are hung high up where she can’t reach. Over 15 years ago, during my Sunday School teaching days, we made this icon with our students. I still have it today and it is on a table as you enter our home. She must pass by it to reach her room so it has become the ritual to say thank you to Panagia, kiss the icon and off to bed we go. I was thinking how I could incorporate something more during Lent. I was able to find an easy toddler prayer on the website of the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Lowell, MA of all places, bringing it back to Massachusetts.
Praying With Toddlers: each them early to venerate icons and to Cross themselves. Explain simple concepts of God and Jesus. Pray with them by helping enumerate their blessings: Jesus loves my _______ . Thank you God, for _______ .
Child’s Prayer: Heavenly Father, bless my parents and all those who love and care for me. Help me in all ways to be respectful and obedient to them according to Your will. Send down upon me Your grace to perform all my duties carefully and faithfully, to avoid unacceptable company and influence and to resist all temptation that may come my way. Help me Lord to live a serious, good and godly life, praising You constantly and glorifying Your holy Name. Amen.
Your child is never too young or too old to begin to pray. They have a wonderful Orthodox Prayer Book, that you can find in full here. Thank you to the Transfiguration Community for this wonderful resource.
Kαλη σαρακοστή σε ολλους σας.
So lately the Drama Llamas have been out in full force. I don’t know if it has to do with it being winter and people are spending more time indoors or what it is, but I don’t have time for them in my life. All of the Drama Llama craziness has gotten me thinking about friendships versus acquaintances. When does someone change from being an acquaintance to a friend? Most of us are lucky if we can count our friends on one hand. Even luckier if we can use both.
As the saying goes there are friends who come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Obviously I’m grateful for those who I interact with and come into my life but am very selective about who I allow into my tribe. I joked with a friend that I’m too old to go through the work. At this point in my life if it isn’t easy to hang out with someone, or if it becomes too much work, I’m out. We all have lives, we all have our own problems, who wants to have to take on the problems of others? Obviously we do for our close friends and family but what about these acquaintances who try so hard to wiggle their way in? I think you have to stand your ground. It takes work to maintain a friendship, as I’ve mentioned before. You make time to see them, take time to text or FaceTime, maybe even write a handwritten note (although I know that ages me). If you have 20+ years going then this time can pass and you can pick up where you left off. But if it is a new friendship, in my opinion, the interaction needs to be there in order for the friendship to be sustainable.
Recently a mommy friend that I was once close with deleted me on social media. When I first found out I was curious as to why she would do this. Later, I found out she had done the same with another friend. It got me thinking that I hadn’t put any effort into continuing a relationship with this woman, and quite honestly neither had she, so I guess sooner or later it was bound to happen. But it also got me thinking, was she really a friend or was she an acquaintance? Were we ‘friends’ because of our similar circumstances (new moms) or would we have become close if that wasn’t the case?
So how long does it take you to let someone in? What is your guide to calling someone your friend? Would a few interactions count? Would it take more than that? Someone told me at a very young age that I was jaded. Interestingly enough that comment has stayed with me until today some 20+ years later, so I’d love to hear your take.
If you’re wondering I didn’t come up with the Drama Llama saying, I’m honestly sure who did but there are some cute Drama Llama tee Snorg Tees. Be sure to check them out.
Three years ago today I sat down for the first time in front of my computer to write. I had no idea what I would really write about or honestly if anyone would read my blog. All I knew is that I was pregnant, in my third trimester and had this crazy idea. My husband who is my biggest supporter purchased the domain name, my good friend who is my go to techie helped me set it all up and there was no turning back.
It is hard to believe that today is my three year anniversary of blogging because so much has changed. I went from a scared pregnant woman to a mom of a toddler. I went from questioning could I do this to being confident in my parenting choices and decisions. I went from doing what I wanted when I wanted, to being mindful of this little person that was now my responsibility and changing my life in ways I had no idea she would. I went from searching for a group of mommies who were in the same situation as I, to creating a group of mommy friends that I wouldn’t change for the world!
Life, regardless of the stage has ups and downs. I’m grateful to be in a place where I can sit behind a screen and write about mine. I’m grateful for my upbringing so that I can share those ideals with my little one. I’m grateful for you, each one of you taking the time to read, comment, send me a text or email letting me know that you got something out of my blog. And of course I’m grateful to my hubby and the kid. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have the content to keep doing what I’m doing.