taste and see

(c) Littlehampton Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Littlehampton Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

last night we celebrated the first presanctified liturgy of the lenten season. our little church was quite full (glory to God) and a majority of it’s occupants were young children.

presanctified liturgy (or really any evening service) requires a bit of faith to attend as a parent. it is right around the famous “witching hour” when children often inexplicably become fitful and misbehave. for wee babes it cuts it awfully close to bedtime- and if nap time that afternoon went badly, well, there is certainly apprehension in a parent’s mind.

last night was no exception to this. i don’t say this to try and point out the behavior of other parishioners’ children, but to paint a picture. several little ones were noisy, or continually moving, wanting up and down repeatedly (this would be my child). i am always trying my hardest to turn my snap judgement of others’ and their children into a prayer for them but i found it particularly difficult to do so last night (this is of course a fault of mine, not those around me).

as we finally reached the time to partake of the eucharist, i went up with my nephew and my little girl, and made it back to a pew to sit with them. the congregation was singing repeatedly this communion hymn:

“O taste and see, o taste and see, that the Lord is good, that the Lord is good.”

in my heart it was clear to me why this struggle of coming to the services is so completely worth it for us as parents of little ones. the Lord is good. 

your child can have a million meltdowns, scream and cry in the middle of the floor, make silly noises in the middle of the service, yell out “no!” unexplicably or any other number of things, but God is still good. nothing that happens will ever change that. we are bringing our children, even when it is difficult, so that they might “taste and see” that God is good. if this is the only theme they take away from the service then our struggle has not been in vain.

keep on keepin’ on, mamas and papas- you are introducing your children to the goodness of God.

the merits of an empty fridge

homemaking quote2lent is here for us orthodox and i think this is the perfect time to start this blog with a new focus. i’ve been itching for a change for months now. my old blog was born out of a necessity to put my thoughts into words as a lost and confused college student,  and it felt wrong to continue writing there.

my life has completely changed since I started notes from a handmaiden. i find myself focusing on much smaller parts of life that somehow always come back to larger themes and this new, fresh space feels like just the place for these realizations as a wife and mother trying to bring Christ into my daily being- in the monotony of homemaking.

recently, i opened my fridge for the monthly task of cleaning out all the expired condiments and tupperware containers of leftovers that were past their prime. the task can take a good hour sometimes. i have to clean the containers for recycling, wash the tupperware thoroughly, and throw away slimy vegetables i forgot about in the bottom of the crisper drawer.

when i was done i felt such a sense of relief, looking into my clean, empty, and neatly organized refrigerator. immediately following that feeling however, i was overwhelmed with the need to fill it back up with new, yummy groceries. our mindset as americans is often that your pantry can never be too full, your freezer can never be too stocked. we live in the land of abundance so we should take advantage of it right?

what about those around the world who literally don’t know where their next meal is coming from? they starve while we fill our fridge to the brim with food that will probably go bad before we can eat it.

this lent i am making it one of my goals and new practices to keep my fridge as empty as possible. to finish what is in it before i buy more, to be frugal with what i have. i want to learn to be content with eating simply what is in front of me. instead of opening the fridge or pantry only to say, “there’s nothing good to eat” i will try to say “look at all there is to eat!”

may we find contentment and simplicity in not only fasting this lent, but in a fridge that stays “empty” by our culture’s standards.