Christmas Eve Reflection from Thessaloniki

Every year I write a Christmas Eve Reflection. Usually it's in a fully decorated home with Christmas music playing in the background. It's written in the midst of the frenzied joy of Christmas in the West and I usually have presents to wrap and stockings to fill. This year I write it from the sunshine … Continue reading Christmas Eve Reflection from Thessaloniki

The Resilient Orthodox – “Axios”

"Axios!" The Bishop proclaims in a strong, authoritative voice. "Axios!" We respond in loud unison. "Worthy!" He proclaims and again we repeat after him - this time the word in English "Worthy!" We are witnessing our friend John's ordination as a Deacon of the Bulgarian Diocese in the Orthodox Church. It has been a beautiful … Continue reading The Resilient Orthodox – “Axios”

I’ve Lost My Longings

I’ve Lost my Longings! by Robynn Several years ago I accidentally attended an eight day Ignatian silent retreat. (Robynn? Quiet for Eight Days? That doesn’t happen on purpose!) At the start of the retreat, before we slipped into our silences, the director had us go round the circle and name our longings. What were we … Continue reading I’ve Lost My Longings

Endurance….A long walk in a dark tunnel

Endurance….A long walk in a dark tunnel by Robynn. Follow Robynn on Twitter @RobynnBliss 2014 has been a long year. We returned from an extended trip to India on January 4th. It took me two weeks to regain my equilibrium (meaning---to remember how to do laundry, make lunches and cook supper!) Toward the end of … Continue reading Endurance….A long walk in a dark tunnel

The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 24 “On Pascha, Sophia Maria & Isaac”

  The Orthodox hymn gets in your brain and you find yourself wanting to belt it out in loud measure everywhere you go. Christ is risen from the dead,  trampling down death by death. And upon those in the tombs  bestowing life!    Pascha in the Orthodox Church begins with a darkened sanctuary. The light … Continue reading The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 24 “On Pascha, Sophia Maria & Isaac”

Grief Quotes During Holy Week

Grief Quotes by Robynn -  Grief quotes: Even when grieving someone has to do the laundry... Hard to get it dry when the tears keep coming. Grief quotes: I'm a pretty smart person. .. how come i can't figure out death? My father in law died suddenly in a freak farm accident early Saturday evening. He was out … Continue reading Grief Quotes During Holy Week

The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 10 “On Bread & Wine”

I'll admit it - I felt irritated, angry even. The little kid who had wandered through the service all morning had his hands full of blessed bread. He was enjoying every morsel - while I stood on the outside of the circle, not allowed in. Of all the things that have made me reluctant to … Continue reading The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 10 “On Bread & Wine”

The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 8: The Sign of the Cross”

This is the first thing I notice as I begin my journey into Orthodoxy. The sign of the Cross. I shake my head because I can't figure out when they do the sign. When I'm about to make the sign of the cross, it seems no one else is. When I am least prepared, everyone … Continue reading The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 8: The Sign of the Cross”

The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 7 “From Mary in the Blue Dress to Most Holy Theotokos”

The image comes from my Sunday School days of long ago. Mary is pale and pure, always in blue, probably to match her distinctively blue eyes. Her head is draped with a white cloth, somewhat like the dupattas I'm so familiar with. She is sweet, submissive, and not a little frail. She looks a bit … Continue reading The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 7 “From Mary in the Blue Dress to Most Holy Theotokos”

The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 4 “On Fasting”

It's when I taste the bitter coffee that I'm most aware I'm heading into a Fast Day, for I like my coffee rich, sweet, and creamy. I get lost in my one-time-a-day, o-so-sweet, pleasure coffee. My strong as death, sweet as love, black as hell coffee. It is with this small sacrifice that I bow … Continue reading The Reluctant Orthodox – Volume 4 “On Fasting”

A View and a Door

I never realized how empty and quiet a coffee table could look. I've written before about our love for books and how dull women have immaculate coffee tables. Our coffee table always has a minimum of 20 books (usually more like 40) on it. It's square and sturdy, a well-lived and loved table. What I didn't … Continue reading A View and a Door

The Christ Candle

The Christ Candle by Robynn Advent is the season of waiting for the Christ. It’s typically celebrated during the month of December as the church collective waits, again, with eager expectation for the arrival of Jesus—joining in the ancient longing for His first coming and looking forward to His second arrival. Often a special wreathe … Continue reading The Christ Candle

Pink Punch and Lemon Squares

They served pink punch at the funeral. Pink punch with sherbet in it. And lemon squares and those little finger sandwiches stuffed with different fillings: egg salad, ham, salmon salad, tuna. There were vegetables cut up neatly, in bite-size pieces. And there was dip for the vegetables and more sweets - chewy blonde brownies, Rice Krispies … Continue reading Pink Punch and Lemon Squares

The Victory That is Easter – A Guest Post

On this day Christians across the world are using a greeting that began over two thousand years ago - greeting each other with the words "He is Risen" and responding in turn: "He is Risen Indeed!" They are words that I have heard since I was a child, and in my faith tradition they are … Continue reading The Victory That is Easter – A Guest Post

When the Lights Go Out and Jesus Isn’t Enough

I was tucking him in tight, sheets pulled up to his chin, blanket over the sheet, pillow fluffed. His attic bedroom was a chilly room and his toddler body was curled up tight. I had read.  We had done the "Great green room" and  "a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of a … Continue reading When the Lights Go Out and Jesus Isn’t Enough

Guest Post: “Longing for the Other Place”

Today's post came by way of a comment on the post Saudade. It resonated deeply with me and I asked permission to share as a blog post. It is written by Anne Alexander, a fellow TCK. You can take a look at the end for a short bio. I hope you enjoy this post and … Continue reading Guest Post: “Longing for the Other Place”

Captured By No Cliché

‎instead of sending us some tired cliché, God sent Christ. The Word, John called Him. He had hands and feet, dust-covered from all that walking... In 1996 every Christian cliché we had ever heard, every Christian promise we had ever read and every thing we had ever believed was called into question. We left Cairo, … Continue reading Captured By No Cliché

Fractions of Understanding

Every once in a while I am given the gift of understanding a fraction more about the incarnation and incarnational living. Over this past holiday I experienced one of these fraction gifts. Prior to going to Cairo we were asked many times "Is it safe?" "Are you sure you should go?" The queries grew more … Continue reading Fractions of Understanding