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Praise God For New Beginnings

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As we begin 2015, Molly compares two events in recent history to show how fruitless it is to worry about the future.

On New Year’s Eve of 1999, I was a brand new mother feeling a tad on edge about all the impending catastrophes that might take place when the clock struck midnight. Computers everywhere, we were cautioned by the media, could simultaneously crash en masse causing power outages, planes to fall from the sky, financial ruin, chaos, confusion and looting…do not forget the looting.

At 10:00 pm, nursing my newborn on the couch in our teensy one-bedroom Chicago…

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The Hidden Garden

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Molly expresses appreciation for The Hidden Garden, a new children's book by Jane G. Meyer. It's a great tool to explain the Orthodox view of salvation to your children!

So here’s how I understood things as a kid.

My heart was black with sin Until the Savior came in. His precious red blood, I know, Has washed me white as snow.And in God’s word, I’m told, I’ll walk the streets of gold. To grow in Christ each day, I read my Bible and pray.

I liked my salvation plan succinct, neat and tidy, guaranteed. As a child, it was comforting…

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I Choose Joy

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In this episode, Molly says "For joy to be miraculous and healing to others, and ourselves, it must be irrational – independent of our circumstances, and fierce in its determination to combat darkness and despair with intentional hopefulness and light."

I spent the weekend in Portland, Oregon where I was treated ever so kindly by the warm and hospitable ladies of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Have you ever been to Portland before? I hadn’t. If you’re into awesomeness, you’d love it. I felt healthier just looking at all the bike trails, walking trails, vegetarian restaurants and organic grocery stores lining its scenic landscape. I’d like to go back someday and take my time exploring more of…

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Naming the Child

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Molly is prompted to write a letter to the baby she miscarried 9 years ago after reading the newly released book by Matushka Jenny Schroedel entitled "Naming the Child."

Molly is prompted to write a letter to the baby she miscarried 9 years ago after reading the newly released book by Matushka Jenny Schroedel entitled Naming the Child.

My Dearest Little One,

I’m trying to wrap my mind around you all these years later and that too brief encounter in which we were present together in the same place and at the same time. “Name your child”, insisted our doctor at that…

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Not the Righteous

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Each of us struggle with our own deficiencies, but God is merciful.

In the mid ‘80s, I attended my fair share of birthday parties at ShowBiz. Before all the fanciness of fancy rooms at children’s museums or movie theaters and extravagant goody bags for guests, celebrating one’s birth before the age of 13 involved smoky arcades with larger-than-life-size animatronic robot bands and sub-par pizza. What I liked most about ShowBiz was skee-ball, of course, my next favorite game being Whack-a-Mole.

The game of…

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Good Will Toward Men

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During this Nativity season, Molly reflects on what it means to love our Neighbor - even if they have different beliefs, moral standards, or no belief at all.

I can tell by the way her eyes bore into my own, she is seeking my approval. My daughter believes earnestly that her suspicion of the kids in her school who worship other gods, or no god, or our God but in a different way than we do, is what I desire of her because she dwells in that grayless, adolescent realm of black and white. “He’s nice and all,” she says to me about a classmate, “but I don’t think he’s a Christian,” she…

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For They Shall Be Comforted

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Blessed are they who throw off all inhibitions, forging bloodstained through the crowd, for the unbiased hem of Christ's garment.

This essay was featured in the Summer, 2009 issue of The Handmaiden.

When he walked through our Church’s entrance, I gripped my kids a little tighter. Glen did not hang back like the others, waiting for the liturgy’s conclusion to ask for a dollar, a bus pass, or the canned food and bottled water kept next door for distributing to those in need. “Again?” I thought, cringing, as he made a beeline toward the front and center of the sanctuary, hoarsely whispering random greetings along the way. Not…

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On the Necessity of Beauty

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Why all the fuss about pageantry and beauty in Orthodoxy? Molly contends it is not God who needs it but us!

I’ve been taking a lot of pictures lately. If you have known me for awhile, you might think this odd, seeing as for decades I was the girl who was forever cutting off heads, with a poorly aimed disposable Kodak, at weddings and parties, and whose in-laws provided her with doubles of their own photos lest those first important milestones of her babies’ lives remain undocumented. Out of guilt, a couple of years ago, I borrowed my dad’s digital camera…

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Enlightenment

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"Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others," says the morning prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow. So, does that include our children? Molly catches herself forgetting that fact.

“DID YOU HEAR ME?” I yell up the stairs, my voice tight with annoyance. “Wha-a-at?” comes the maddening reply from my kids, whose response time has been slowed down considerably this morning by sleepiness and a general slow-pokiness you’d think by now I’d have grown accustomed to but, judging by my high frustration level, apparently not.

“GET DOWN HERE FOR PRAYERS!” I repeat for the third time. “RIGHT THIS…

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Simplicity

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Life for many of us has degenerated into an endless series of self-evaluations and pretense which only serve to complicate the simple fact that we are all imperfect human beings in need of forgiveness.

Back in my Bible college days it wasn’t unusual to, while grabbing a third helping of Apple Jacks from the student cafeteria cereal bar, be confronted out of nowhere by classmates and professors with invasive inquiries such as, “So, how is your walk?”  Meaning my Christian walk. How was I doing in terms of growing and maturing spiritually?  One hundred percent of the time my answer was, “Fine.”  Never mind that I’d…

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