The candle flickers its light and casts a shadow on the living room wall in the evening darkness. My dad moves the match across the mantle of our fireplace to our small family censer and ignites the charcoal cradled in its basin sending momentary sparks into the air. Soon after placing the incense on top of the burning hot charcoal, the sweet fragrance wafts through the room and an instant sense of peaces washes over me. My parents gathered all of us every evening for family prayer time before crawling into our beds for the night. This memory from my childhood, along with countless others, are the foundation of my fervor for my faith today.
Do you have similar fond memories from your childhood? Maybe yes, maybe no. All of our stories are unique as each of us is on a different journey in life. Where do you find the knowledge or the inspiration to teach your children to pray at home or to celebrate the feast days throughout the year if this was not something you grew up with in your own family? What if you’re just looking for a pick-me-up to ignite your own fervor once again? Thankfully, we have many resources to refer to: such as an archdiocese or metropolis website or outreach program, Orthodox companies selling anything from books to icons, individual families blogging about their Orthodox life throughout the year – to so much more! Over time, I’ve gathered links to many of these resources, with the help of others, and provided a hub for finding them on a single website. You can browse these resources at Illumination Learning (www.illumination-learning.com) at any time – and don’t forget to contribute additional resources as well for the benefit of all!
I’ve found my own flame dimming from time to time and needing rejuvenation. Our lives are busy, even hectic, and I find myself yearning for a moment of inspiration as I start to drag in the weight of my everyday happenings. There are a few Orthodox blogs I frequent for just such a boost. In an age of technology, I think we have a rare opportunity in history to help each other. It’s easy to get caught up in our children’s extracurricular activities, schoolwork, and our own jobs, let alone all the other stuff that goes with our everyday lives. Taking a few moments to read an article or post from a fellow Orthodox Christian can sometimes help us on our journey to Christ.
Looking for that little inspiration? On February 9-11, 2012, Illumination Learning will be hosting an Orthodox Education Webinar (www.orthodoxconference.com) showcasing some of the resources available to us as Orthodox Christians. We have gathered together many fantastic Orthodox speakers for you to listen to and watch during this three-day event. Virtual tickets will go on sale January 13, 2012. Information about the speakers and their topics are being updated on the website daily in addition to ticket and door prize information. Join us for what promises to be another phenomenal event!
Jennifer Hock is married with four kids ages 17 – 6 with one on the way. She enjoys writing for her blogs, writing curriculum, and organizing events. She has been homeschooling her four children for many years now and hopes to continue to do so in the years to come.