Well, we set a date for joining the Church. In other words, baptism and chrismation. It will be June 26th. I'm really happy and looking forward to it. The godparents have been selected, patron saints chosen, and a few close friends and family have promised to attend. It will be one year almost to the day since DH and I separated, and I will be just finishing my second semester, so the feelings are very mixed but mostly of joy and freedom. Our lives are moving forward, solidifying, taking root. And it just so happens that our First Communion that weekend will be at a special open air service with another Orthodox church from the area. That will be very nice.
One of the things I have wondered most about is the sacrament of confession. My thoughts on that right now are that while God certainly does not need a priest to stand in for Him when we ask forgiveness for our trespasses, yet the church needs to know that we acknowledge and are working to overcome our faults. I see confession as a way of maintaining some standard of sincerity and purity in what is defined as "Christian." God looks on the heart, but the Church must rely on our outward expressions.
The Orthodox Church has many traditions, but few doctrines. I feel that is as it should be. I don't consider traditions to be idolatry, or vain repetitions. I consider them simply a form of worship. The ultimate goal is to serve God, and that can only be achieved in your own heart. Spend your time policing how others do it, and you will fail to do it yourself.
I had the very painful task today of informing DH that we will not be seeing him any more unless he goes back to an inpatient rehab facility. I'm pretty certain he will not. He didn't take me seriously as far as I could tell. He's taking benzocaines again, supposedly prescribed but I could care less at this point. He is dangerously crazy on those medications and visits are like Russian roulette. I won't do it any more. He became furious and threatening with his mom last week for not allowing him into a room in the home they were cleaning that contained valuables. She stuck to her guns and called his stepfather when she felt unsafe, and DH left her apartment again. This time she says he's not coming back unless he goes to inpatient rehab. She never should have let him back the first time, but like me she had to reach her own breaking point and find out for herself what he was really up to.
The really painful talk will be when the boys start to ask questions, though. I'm so glad that summer is coming with all the bustle we have lined up. They will be in summer camps and also attending a week of VBS at our new church, in addition to the baptism and the meetings leading up to it. Plus I am budgeting a day at the Pirate Festival next month out of my leftover Student Financial Aid. There is no spending money in the cash assistance every month, only gas, bills, and diapers; so I rely on that extra few hundred every 8 weeks for the extras we need, since the KEYS program pays for my textbooks. Like shoes for Little Bear. I just bought him a new pair from the consignment shop that looked like top quality, but I guess I was wrong. They tore after three weeks. Now he's going to school with boots until I get another pair. Grr....
I have wanted to take the boys to the Strawberry Festival every year, but it has never worked out. This year I was counting on my back tax returns to pay for it. But the IRS is a master at withholding information, so because of more paperwork they wanted me to sign (but of course didn't mention until I started raising a fuss) I will not be getting that money until mid-August. It was supposed to be here around now. Bummer. I guess the Strawberry Festival will wait until next year.
I am soooo looking forward to this summer. I'm building relationships with people I want to be around, making memories with my children, and gaining the skills I need to hopefully be independent someday. I start ASL this coming semester, and I can't wait. I've gotten two prizes for attendance and promptness from the KEYS program, and will be getting another soon for my grades, which are near perfect and should qualify me for several scholarships when I transfer. It's going to be a good summer.