This week I came home to find a beautiful letter from Sister Nectaria and all the girls at the orphanage wishing me and my husband “every happiness in life” for our marriage. It warms my heart to think that these beautiful souls, my little sisters, took the time to make this. Their wishes mean the world to us! I will be mounting and framing this to keep and treasure forever.
When I was young, I vividly remember my mother showing me a picture of a young boy whom I didn’t know and saying, “This is your brother, Andreo. He is very poor and needs our help and prayers so that he can go to school.” Coming from a family of all girls, I was very curious about this new “brother.” Each year, we’d receive hand-written letters from Andreo about his everyday life that I’d devour. I needed to know who he was. I needed to help him. I wrote him letters and cared deeply for his well-being. With every prayer we said, we’d never forgot to include Andreo.
I didn’t know at the time that my mother set us up as monthly financial sponsors for a child through Children’s International. I also didn’t realize until last year when I discovered the box of Andreos letters that not only was he from India but from Kolkata, the city that has grown dear to my heart, the city of the Theotokos Girl’s Orphanage. Coincidence?
Andreo was my first memory on poverty and giving back. I am now working on a new project, and I would love your input:
- How do you, as parents or teachers, teach your children about poverty and giving back. Any resources, books or experiences you can share?
- If you don’t yet have children like me, how did you learn about it?
Your story and experience will help me shape my project tremendously! If you don’t wish to comment here, I’d love to hear by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now you know that I love a film about a nun helping children, so when a friend sent me a link to a Kickstarter campaign where a group of filmmakers in Greece were fundraising to produce a movie about six nuns who opened an orphanage in Greece, I got excited. MANA tells the story of six women who boldly left their home to become nuns yet were arrested after their parents told officials that they were not allowed to leave for the monastery. These women persisted and finally succeeded. Slowly, they built a home in Greece for young children in need, and their model is very similar to to orphanage in India: There is no cut-off point for when the children need to leave the home. I believe in this model, and I strongly believe in the importance of film as a way to raise awareness and resources for causes like this.
The filmmakers have some great footage of the orphanage, and it seems like a pretty dynamic group of ladies running the home! I can’t wait to see the finished product of the film and learn more ways on how we can help this home in the future! For recent updates, you can follow their Facebook page. Here’s a little clip of their project.
This morning I woke up feeling blessed rather than empty. I jumped onto Facebook and saw pictures of my friends’ mothers and grandmothers, new moms and my friends who are incredible mothers. How beautiful these people are! My mother’s life was short, but if you knew her, you would know that she was a force. She was the first person to speak up for something she believed in, the first to empathize with others, the first to help a person in need, the first to tell it like it is and the first to dance.
I feel blessed because I believe God knew she may not be here long, so He made her spirit extra lively, her words extra influential, her love for others magnified and her faith contagious . People take workshops and read books on how to attain boldness and initiative at her level. Me? I just wish to have an ounce of her bravery and compassion!
Happy Mother’s Day to those brave mothers. Even if your kids may think your ways are crazy, I assure you that your boldness WILL be appreciated. And for those who lost your mothers, may you find peace today and remember all that is good!
This week is referred to as Bright Week, which is the week following Orthodox Easter. Easter is my favorite holiday of the year because we spiritually prepare ourselves in so many ways. So this week, I had a lot to be happy about. The warmth of these candles from midnight service that we always sneak into our homes to bring in the light. A quick shopping stop to pick up a breezy jacket and colorful hair-ties. Receiving a god-mother’s day package that so perfectly matched the flowers I captured. After Lenten fasting, most people crave lamb. I prefer eggs. Oh, and bacon. That feeling you get when you’re about to select your next read.
Yesterday I received something beautiful in the mail. It was a Mother’s Day card and picture collage of my adorable god-daughter. I have never received anything around this day (not yet having kids), and usually it is a time where I feel the absence of my mother. This package allowed me to think of all the god-children and mother figures I am blessed with, not to mention THE most amazing god-mother! So I put together a collection of gift ideas for those mother figures out there whether related by blood or just love!
- Mismatched eco-friendly napkins for the cooking type.
- Hand-painted silk scarves in pink and purple for the classy type.
- Letterpress Greek island maps by Cartoules Press for the Greeky type.
- Persian carpet themed bookmark for the bookworm type.
- Monogram stationery for the writing type.
- Handmade floral leather glasses case because reading glass cases need to be this cute.
- Double print tassel clutch for the type that will let you borrow it.
- Rose gold offset long cross for the spiritual and hip type.
- Gold plated evil eye bracelet for the superstitious type.
When I was in college, I loved making happy lists. It’s a simple list of things that make me happy. You know those little things, right?