Today, I'm reviewing the second book I finished in my book challenge. It's called Letters to Saint Lydia by Melinda Johnson. Okay, not going to lie... I read this book in 5.5, maybe 6, hours on the same day I finished The Holy Angels and LOVED every minute of it. Yes I was then up way too late and was very tire the next morning, but I still think it was worth it.
Twenty-one days in and I finished my first book of the year. I am so excited not just because I love reading but because my first book was great. I have so many books that I want to read I actually let John pick which one to start with. He chose The Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra, which I was very excited about since Ancient Faith announced it's publishing.
This morning as I was planting some seeds for the garden this year. You know January is a great time of year to start seeds, especially herbs, which I use a lot of both in cooking and in my soaps. Even though I enjoy winter, I know that spring is coming quick and snow, sun, or rain the more I get started now and growing well, the easier the transition will be.
In this exercise, I discovered how incredibly fun and enlightening it can be to read just snippets of the bible. Sometimes it is all really daunting to me and I have to put the good book to the side for a while. In just looking for one verse, I read from several books I have not made it to and in some cases read much more that just the intended verse, because I felt drawn in. It wasn't daunting, I knew I could stop at any time and I didn't have to read a whole book. It was so refreshing.
Mid prayer, I remember a saint that is talked about often in my Orthodox Mom's group, Saint Phanourios. While I have never studied this saint, I have read countless stories of moms, finding any thing from toddler shoes to keys to wallets and important documents. In the moment, I can't remember his name so I ask saint P, the finder of lost things to intercede for me and help me find the icons.
Today in the Orthodox Church we celebrate Job the long-suffering. For a long time I didn't understand why so many Christians talk about Job. I had heard brief summaries of his story, but had not read the Book of Job until last year. Going through some tough times, I thought I would find some sympathy, but instead I finally figured out why Job is so important to Christianity and life in general.
I grew up in a God-fearing family, though my parents did not attend church, I always considered us to be Christians. We had bibles and Grandma took us to church as long as we were willing to go. I often prayed in bed, out in an open field or walking in the woods. Group or family prayers were kind of a foreign thing other than Grandpa and Grandma's house. I was interested in several of my friends various churches, but never got involved in any.
Self-doubt is one of the biggest struggles for Ian and myself and we know from many of our friends and family members we are not alone, yet we are still hesitant to face our fears. Ian and I have been working on starting a business to sell natural soaps for nearly 3 years now, but have been terrified to put ourselves out there and actually launch.