Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 6

"The word 'theophany' means 'the manifestation of God' or the 'showing forth of God'. The Orthodox Feast of Theophany is a remembrance of the Baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the waters of the Jordan river, (Mt.3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22), and, more generally, a celebration of the public manifestation of the Incarnate Word to the world."

We got back from our Christmas trek to Texas last night - late. I woke today to the gray cold mess that I know will last for many months; trying to recapture the thrill the cold air gave me as i decorated and baked cookies a few weeks ago. it's not that our trip wasn't great - it was - it's just that living 1136 miles away from my parents, sisters and brother is a really long way. I think often of something a blogger friend wrote a few months ago about living under one roof with all of those she loves - drinking coffee until 3:00 and switching to wine after that - it sounded glorious. My fantasy is more like the compound on Big Love (sans polygamy and ugly clothes). I would love to live across the street from my sisters and mom - sharing meals with ingredients we've grown in our own gardens - I'm even trying to talk my brother into becoming a farmer (he doesn't realize that he also has to move to Indiana and live next door to me).

But I'm back home now - and everything seems foreign and overwhelming. It's like this when I've come from my mom's - like I've completely forgotten how to do laundry and make food (fortunately my amazing in-laws took us out to lunch) - unpacking the car seems in the realm of running a marathon or passing the bar. Yet despite the Talking Heads song repeating itself in my head, this is my house, and around 4:00 this afternoon I force myself to unzip a suitcase.

I guess I just feel a bit down after Christmas. I love it so much and think I run a bit on adrenaline and coffee - only to realize after the fact that I should have taken several more naps along the way. It's also two days before Isabelle's 5th birthday. "Didn't we just get you a bunch of gifts?" doesn't really sit well with a 4 almost 5 year old who wants a legitimate birthday. I think of my two close friends whose birthdays are just before and after Christmas - and I resolve to "gear up" and make the day special for my precious daughter.

This morning our priest's homily referred to Christ's fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies not only by His birth but by His ministry. Christmas is just the beginning. As I started putting away t-shirts, swimsuits (yes it can get pretty warm in Tx) and other remnants of our trip a small feeling of determination began to take root. Our priest reminded us of the value of doing the Lord's work despite "rewards." "Get busy," he seemed to be saying - not in the frenzied, manic way I'd carried out some of my holiday preparations, but in a steady, real way - "keeping our eyes fixed on the prize."

Isabelle was born on january 6th; Theophany. The longer I'm Orthodox, the more I'm realizing just how special that is. Isabelle was born just a few months after my sister Tiffany died. Her birth was ray of hope for my family. We realized that life would and could go on. Theophany - the "showing forth of God." How amazing is that?


Molly Sabourin said...

Oh Paige, this was so nice to read before I attempt to dive back into school and our laundry and deadlines! Not manic! Just steady and focused on the prize ahead. Thanks!

Jenn said...


I find your honesty refreshing. I so admire the way that you committed to being exactly who you are, which is evidenced in this piece. It must be so hard to live so far away from your close knit family, I am sure it is so hard to leave all the fun and closeness!! I am thinking of you today and I am appreciating your perspective on life!
Much love,
p.s. Happy Birthday to Sweet Isabelle, what a wonderful birthday to have! Well, aside from sharing it with such a important holiday! I appreciate for Isabelle you going the extra mile and not making it Happy Birthday/Theophany! :)

Ellen Demers said...

Oh I wish we were all neighbors even if it were in Indiana! It was so wonderful having all down for Christmas! And sweet Isabelle almost 5 I cant even believe it. She really is such a blessing for our family. I love you all so much!