Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s Eve’

Orthodox New Year’s Resolutions

December 30, 2009

 New Year’s Day is almost here; the start of a new calendar year and a time when we all seem to give in to the cultural imperative to renew and remake ourselves.   Are you planning on losing 5 lbs?  Taking up an exercise program?  Stop (a) smoking (b) overeating or (c) overspending?  Why do we devote so much time and effort to reach our life goals, worthwhile as they may be, and fail to put the same effort into our “eternal” life goals?   By all means lose those 5 lbs, but while you’re at it, adopt some spiritual resolutions and give them the effort that our Lord and Savior asks of us – willingly, joyfully and with the assurance that this is what truly renews our lives.

  1. Attend Vespers and/or Divine Liturgy for all major Feasts.
  2. Attend Saturday night Vespers.
  3. Read the appointed scripture readings for each day.
  4. Say your morning and evening prayers faithfully.
  5. Commit to bringing your children to church school every Sunday.
  6. Pray the Hours during the day.
  7. Practice regular tithing.
  8. Pray the Jesus Prayer daily.
  9. Memorize one scripture verse a day.
  10. Phone or send a card to a parishioner you haven’t seen in a while and let them know you miss them and ask how they’re doing.
  11.  Talk to, not at, a young person in your parish.  Befriend them; learn about their interests, their life, their goals.
  12. Make a special intention to pray for the spiritual lives of our young parishioners.
  13. Volunteer for church activities; your time is a gift to God.
  14. Learn the lives of some less well-known saints.
  15. Make a point of greeting every visitor and new comer to your parish – answer their questions, invite them to coffee hour,  make them feel at home.
  16. Say a kind word to everyone you meet.
  17. Commit yourself to arriving at church before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy.
  18. Practice secret and spontaneous acts of charity.
  19. Be an evangelist; bring a friend to church, talk openly about your faith, be a witness to the truth of Orthodoxy.
  20. Pray, pray and pray some more.

This Is My Idea Of A Fresh Start For 2009

December 31, 2008


If there are any mothers out there who read this blog you can understand why I’m so happy right now.  My idea of a New Year’s celebration is not to go out dancing, tie one on or generally do anything more exciting than have my mom over and let the kids stay up as late as they want.   But, right at this very moment I have achieved a mothering milestone.  A pinnacle of parenthood.  A freakin’ fantastical feat of housewifery.

At 10:23 pm, Dec. 31, 2008, I finished all 2008 laundry.

If Sisyphus had been condemned to doing laundry for eternity in the Underworld instead of pushing that stupid boulder up a hill, I think he’d have been much less of a jerk while alive.    Meanwhile in present day LaLa Land, my kids and husband expect clothes to suddenly animate themselves like the Apprentice’s broom, magically washed and dried, then march up the stairs and obediently fling their cloth bodies around  coathangers, with lines of tighty whiteys and boxers queed up to hop into dresser drawers; matched socks bouncing two-by-two behind them.   (In all fairness, my 8 year old must hang up his clean clothes, but it is never done without grumbling and procrastination.)

So, before the stroke of midnight  I resolved to finish every bit of dirty laundry in this house.  I did not want to be looking at last year’s clothes baskets waiting for me in 2009, and with a little perseverence, everything is washed, folded, hung up and put away.  Woohoo!   I can finally see the bottom of all four laundry baskets.  What a feeling of accomplishment, even if I know it’s only going to last one day, two at the most.   

Get a life you say or aren’t you just the slightest bit envious?