We have so many metaphors in our lives involving doors. Who can’t name a lifetime of lessons learned by doors that open and doors that close? Dreams and opportunities lie behind the first door, the one with the shiny new coat of paint in a color that pops. The smooth-turning handle that glides under a gentle touch of the hand. The door that seems to just open by itself.
Disappointment and rejection lie behind the second door. The one with the ghastly chipped paint and the hinges that groan as it slams in your face. A ring full of keys and not one opens the tight, rusty lock.
Most doors in life seem to be revolving, though. Not 1920’s style, cool brass, swish-swishing revolving doors. Rather, the modern revolving door, often seen at hospitals or other highly trafficked establishments. The ones that are supposed to “help” you by constantly revolving by themselves. Approaching this door is a smartly choreographed performance. A moment of hesitation to catch the rhythm. A two-step to jump in as an opening passes. And that moment of claustrophobic panic as the door halts; trapped in a glass cage because you didn’t walk at just the right speed in front of just the right sensor. The door that opens and closes and opens and closes. Effortless gliding and jilting slamming in the face all in one. The joys of modern convenience.
Open to me the doors of repentance, O Life-giver…
As the Church prepares to enter Great Lent, we begin to hear a song about a metaphor. A metaphor of repentance. The words of this song have been haunting me every day. Not haunt in a mournful, disruptive way, but a swish-swish of rhythm with a bright pop of color. What do the doors of repentance look like? Fine grade hardware and solid strength…or simple, aged details with a well-worn patina? I don’t know what the door looks like, and if I ever hope to get through it, I never will. The doors of repentance aren’t decorative or utilitarian or convenient. The door of repentance is a passageway in my heart that can only be crossed on my knees. Eyes and head down. Crawling through the muck of my own sins. I don’t see the door for the sake of it’s beauty, though I know it is a lovely thing to look at. I don’t need to see the door for the sake of my own knowledge, for I believe in the One Who opens it.
Lead me on the paths of salvation, O Mother of God,
For I have profaned my soul with shameful sins
And have wasted my life in laziness.
But, by your intercessions,
Deliver me from all impurity…
Christ tells us that He is the door. Lord, I’m approaching the door of repentance. All I see is the dust around my feet and the cracks in the floor. I can’t even lift my eyes to see where I’m going. But I’ll crawl; I’ll pull; I’ll drag myself through that door. My sins separate us. They press me further and further back in the crowd. You are the door. The open door. It is repentance that leads me through to you. Open to me the doors of repentance, Father. Show me where I’m proud. Show me where I’m lazy. Show me where I’m anything You are not.
Have mercy on me, O God,
Have mercy on me, O God,
Have mercy on me, O God,
According to Your great mercy.
There is a little spot of our dining room, near the icon corner, that has become a display area for Hilary’s festal crafts. It seems to be a natural place for things to remain throughout a season, as a visual reminder of the focus of the time.
I began preparing this area for Lent today by decking it with doors.
I’m on a bit of a texture kick lately, so this project has as many textures as possible included. The fabric is all discontinued home decor samples from the fabric store. Lots of different patterns and texture at super cheap. I sewed the main pieces of the fabric base together, but the rest is just done with glue. Ribbon trim along with a crocheted trim that I made to match. The fabric doors are embellished with buttons and beads. The center door holds an old key, reminding me that prayer is the key to unlocking the repentance within me.
I have a long list of projects that will be added to this area in my home. This is just the beginning. Some I’ll make. Some the kids will make. I’ll be sharing about all of them.
I can’t believe it’s been a year since I wrote in this blog. A whole year. I don’t like it when people, especially me, make excuses, so I won’t. It just hasn’t been the time for blogging, but I think it is again. Shall we start over?
I know that so many of my dear customers and friends are missing Orthodox Chrisitan Craft Supply. I miss being a part of your families and parishes as well. Shall we start over there, too?
I don’t think I can return to selling craft kits at this time, but I’d still like to share ideas with you for instructing our children in the Orthodox Faith and making an Orthodox home. I’ll be sharing lots of ideas here on the blog. Projects for Lent include a Sundays of Lent quilt, a unit study of the Presanctified Liturgy, and many more.
Also, I’m revising the written materials I sold through Orthodox Christian Craft Supply to be sold as e-books. To start, I’m selling my Lenten Study Guide.
This study guide was originally sold with a kit to make a Lenten Calendar. It contains 50 daily readings, tracing the life of Christ in the Gospels. Each week has a theme, including “Christ the Teacher”, “Christ the Storyteller”, and “Christ the Good Shepherd”.
The study guide includes ideas for making your own Lenten Calendar to count down the days from Clean Monday to Pascha. You can make a magnetic calendar of paper doors as pictured above. Don’t want to get that fancy? No problem. The Lenten Study Guide includes a printable calendar coloring sheet. All you need is a kid and a crayon.
Each day of the Fast, read the Scripture with your family and go through another door on the journey to Pascha. The visual calendar provides a tangible reminder for little ones (and adults, too!) of where we’ve been and where we’re going. You can use this study guide and calendar year after year.
Great Lent starts Monday! You can download your Lenten Calendar e-book for $3.95.
Can you help me spread the word? I’d love to hear what kind of educational resources people would like to see and requests for projects. Let me know what you need!
God be with us as we prepare for the beginning of Lent. May we all have a blessed Fast!