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Author Topic: Conversion causing contention between my wife and myself  (Read 5584 times) Average Rating: 0
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Maximum Bob
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« on: February 12, 2013, 02:55:06 AM »

As I mentioned in the prayer forum my wife, Angie, and myself,as it says in my recently restored faith statement have been: "More than an Inquirer less than a Catechuman" for a while now. Well, not so sure it applies to both of us.

Our priest spoke to me last September suggesting he would like to see us, my wife and myself and our two daughters, become Catechmen by Christmas time, but when he talked to my wife and I together she indicated she wasn't ready yet. He has recently asked to meet with us privately again and we will meet this coming Saturday. The problem is she's shown so little progress in the interim as to appear to even be moving backwards. This has been and periodically is a bone of contention between the two of us. For my part I see her making no effort to learn or overcome the difficulties she has with this (part of which is being a former Roman Catholic who converted to Protestantism and who sees Orthodoxy as reminding her too much of that), she sees my as being overly inpatient (I've been waiting about 30 months so far). Both, I think, are true.

I have been trying to be patient and will acknowledge that I fail. I'm trying to make this be something we can talk about rationally and calmly, even dug out my reflective listening skills, you know the "what I hear you saying is..." thing. I took notes to keep track of where the conversation is going etc., but I do feel resentful at times. Like "you know, it would have been nice for you to bring up your misgivings to me when I waited to make sure you were on board before we quit our old church and I resigned my ministerial license." Instead she repeated her support not only talking to our previous pastor and his wife but again when talking to the church board and again when friends urged us to try it out but not leave altogether in case we wanted to come back. I do feel a bit cheated when now, well over a year since that happened, she seems unwilling to even try to move forward. She's done no studying, or reading on her own during that time, but I'm supposed to just not bring it up at all and be patient. According to her I should just be happy where I am for awhile, and not ask how long awhile is. Angry

A little venting I guess, sorry. I do want us to convert as a family, and I know this can't be forced but it does get hard to wait.
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 03:29:42 AM »

I wish I had wise words to share... but...  angel  At the very least, don't lose heart!
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 10:28:29 AM »

I'm sure I don't have to mention that people both come to and experience faith and Orthodoxy in particular in different ways, as individuals. My husband was chrismated almost a year before I was, and I was the one doing the reading, studying, debating and (it must be confessed) dithering ("well, on the one hand this, but on the other hand, that...")

Not that I wasn't drawn to Orthodoxy or that I wasn't pretty much convinced of the Truth, but because it would mean leaving behind my whole life. That takes some getting used to!
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 10:40:28 AM »

No real advice other than hang in there and you're not alone.

I've been married for seven years.  I've been Orthodox for just over three.  Both my wife and I were raised Roman Catholic and practiced our faith together.  Shortly after we were married, she had a very bad experience with a priest and all but gave up going to church.  She would humor me every now and then but, for the most part, she stayed home.  The last time she came to church with me (aside from a few funerals here and there) was for Pascha in 2010.  She has no interest in returning that I can see.  I invite her and when she declines, I accept it.  That's all I can do.  It's exceptionally difficult for me as one of the things that attracted me to her was her piety.  As an aside, my father, who, for all his faults, is one of my spiritual role models, who taught me that one always goes to whatever services one's church offers if one can, has also stopped going to church because of the great difficulty he's had with dealing with my sister's recent mental illness.  Seeing them both "fall off the wagon," as it were, is incredibly disheartening.  But I know I must trudge on, carry this particular cross, and be patient.  It's frustrating, but God sees and blesses my struggle.

Now, I know my situation is different than yours, as you have children and were a minister in your former church.  To that I can just say, "Lord, have mercy."
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 11:44:37 AM »

God be with you and your family!

Some things just come in their own time and can't be forced--especially something like religious conversion. There have been times when, without any suggestions from others, people just make the decision themselves--like St. Elizabeth the New Martyr.
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 03:30:02 PM »

What would 'progress' look like?
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 05:10:39 PM »

i understand very well how this can be, and may be able to comment more if you want to send a personal message.
the most important thing is that you stay close to God, and grow in wisdom and love.
schultz, i pray for you too.
there are no easy answers, but the most beautiful growth comes when one accepts suffering and comes close to God everyday in honest prayer, heartache and love and keep going.
may God guide all of you who struggle in this area.
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 11:29:35 PM »

Thanks for your words of encouragement everyone. Schultz I pray the lord have mercy on you also.

Nicholas, what would progress look like? I think I should say that it would look like me being more patient. But, to answer the question you asked n the context you took it from, progress for my wife, I think, would be the willingness to talk about Orthodoxy between ourselves, and for her to again acknowledge the things she did in the beginning and to show some effort to read or study or talk to someone about the issues she's identified as being her sticking points. Like I said I know these things can not be forced, but it would be nice to see movement.
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 10:31:12 AM »

Is there anyone in the parish that seems approachable or friendly? Perhaps your wife would rather talk about these things with someone else, without the heavy burden of unspoken expectations? (or spoken, as the case may be... Smiley)

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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 11:15:53 AM »

Is there anyone in the parish that seems approachable or friendly? Perhaps your wife would rather talk about these things with someone else, without the heavy burden of unspoken expectations? (or spoken, as the case may be... Smiley)


Yes, she does have a "best friend" at the parish and at least one maybe two others she's relatively close to, or as close as you can be when you self-admit to being anti-social.  The fear of getting too close to people is an additional hurdle, I think.
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 02:11:04 PM »

One of the best way for a person to be more attracted to orthodoxy is to spend time  in a nice orthodox monastery. That's my experience. Maybe you and especially your wife could go with your children in a good orthodox monastery during holidays?
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2013, 02:11:22 AM »

Some good advice thank you all.  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 02:29:20 AM »

My wife is still Baptist and I suspect she will remain so for some time.  On occasion she surprises me and does Orthodox prayers with our children at night, although I think it is more for them.  At dinner, instead of asking of one of the children wish to bless the food, she asks me to do it knowing I will reach for my pocket prayer book.  The best thing I can do is be a better Orthodox Christian.  I know she is not as opposed to the idea as she first was, now seeing I have not become a cultist with goat heads in the closet.  We talk from time to time, the children ask me questions and I explain as best as I can the difference between the Orthodox and Baptist points of view.  Perhaps in time, but for now I do not push the issue.  My priest told me it would be a lifelong mistake to push too hard.  She will either choose to join or choose not to join, but it is her choice to make.

(If she did, my life direction would drastically be altered.  I can only hope!)
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 11:09:41 AM »

The best thing I can do is be a better Orthodox Christian.  

And there you have it!
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2013, 10:58:03 PM »

Update: My wife and I met with our priest who proposed letting the girls and I become catachumen sooner rather that later, while suggesting that this was all the further it would go for now and that we would wait for her to get on board before baptisms and Chrismations.

This did not make her happy, in fact angry would be a better word for her initial response after leaving the church, but she did calm down later and while still reluctant to consent she has not given a final answer and agreed that she likely will not until after this next week. In the meantime she has a dance rehearsal, a dance performance, dance classes for both the girls, parent/teacher conferences for both the girls and a two day retreat. I am in no way going to argue with her about sitting on that decision for a week and consider it to be a wise move on her part.

Now about the retreat I mentioned. With a little proding from myself and our daughters and a lot of proding from the women of the church she consented to go on the Church's women's retreat this weekend. The speaker is an Orthodox nun. She also seemed to be overcoming some of her fear of socializing during coffee hour today.

The bad news, so to speak, our priest asked her if we would want to get our house blessed a week from Thursday. This sent her into another freak out. I'm trying to encourage put off the decision until at least next Sunday, when this weeks frenzy will be behind her.
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« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 03:16:15 AM »

sounds hectic,
may God give u all peace.
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2013, 01:02:04 AM »

Don't push, you have your journey and she has hers. If she has social problems maybe it's anxiety.I do and I have to take medications. it was hard form me to socialize before and in old familiar places,people and things kept me from growing.    Pray Pray Pray.
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2013, 01:08:13 PM »

One tip re: house blessings. Don't wax the kitchen floor.

Our priest almost took a header when he slipped on our kitchen floor. To be fair, he was flinging quite a bit of water around. Wink
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2013, 02:04:59 PM »

I do feel resentful at times. Like "you know, it would have been nice for you to bring up your misgivings to me when I waited to make sure you were on board before we quit our old church and I resigned my ministerial license." Instead she repeated her support not only talking to our previous pastor and his wife but again when talking to the church board and again when friends urged us to try it out but not leave altogether in case we wanted to come back.

If you are tempted to feel resentful, it is because you are approaching the situation rationally and expecting Mrs. Bob to do the same...

...or as close as you can be when you self-admit to being anti-social.

Update: My wife and I met with our priest who proposed letting the girls and I become catachumen sooner rather that later, while suggesting that this was all the further it would go for now and that we would wait for her to get on board before baptisms and Chrismations.

This did not make her happy, in fact angry would be a better word for her initial response after leaving the church...

The bad news, so to speak, our priest asked her if we would want to get our house blessed a week from Thursday. This sent her into another freak out.

...while Mrs. Bob is approaching it emotionally, at least insofar as you describe her reactions.
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2013, 02:57:12 PM »

Did she say why she was angry? Your priest proposed what seems like a reasonable compromise (to me, and probably to him, also). After all, nothing will happen without her. Or is that what she was angry about - I wonder if it felt like a not-too-subtle pressure?
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2013, 03:31:25 PM »

Yeah, maybe she doesn't realize it's a practical step, not just another stop? As Catechumens you would be allowed an Orthodox funeral should (God forbid!) something happen, and if I remember right there are accompanying graces to being made Catechumens. If she, however, just thinks it's the next step without any real reason for it it might be perceived by her as pressure. The priest might very well just be thinking of protecting you in case of a tragedy.
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 12:11:01 AM »

Don't push, you have your journey and she has hers. If she has social problems maybe it's anxiety. I do and I have to take medications. it was hard form me to socialize before and in old familiar places, people and things kept me from growing.    Pray Pray Pray.
Yeah, trying not to push, sometimes more successfully, sometimes less. I really think the retreat this weekend will do her good socially and spiritually. But, to be fair some of her friends at church have pushed much harder, with regard to the retreat this weekend, than I have. Moreover, she's done similar things before in previous churches and come away loving them despite her initial reluctance. I know the fear of getting close to others is something real to her as are the difficulties of her past, so much so, that she's only gone up for a blessing once in the over a year we've been at our church. That was last Pascha, she really wanted that red egg.

Really trying to lay off the Catechumen and House blessing talk until at least after this weekend, though we do have to respond to Father at some point.

One tip re: house blessings. Don't wax the kitchen floor.

Our priest almost took a header when he slipped on our kitchen floor. To be fair, he was flinging quite a bit of water around. Wink
That is good advice. lol

Did she say why she was angry? Your priest proposed what seems like a reasonable compromise (to me, and probably to him, also). After all, nothing will happen without her. Or is that what she was angry about - I wonder if it felt like a not-too-subtle pressure?
Yeah, maybe she doesn't realize it's a practical step, not just another stop? As Catechumens you would be allowed an Orthodox funeral should (God forbid!) something happen, and if I remember right there are accompanying graces to being made Catechumens. If she, however, just thinks it's the next step without any real reason for it it might be perceived by her as pressure. The priest might very well just be thinking of protecting you in case of a tragedy.
Yes she did feel she was receiving too much pressure. Though our priest specifically brought up the protection part especially in reference to the children.

She did calm down later and hasn't said no or yes yet. As previously noted, I think it's better for me to restrain myself for now. For this moment I'm focusing on restraining my own passions and preparing myself for the Catechumate, whenever that happens.
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 12:18:45 AM »

She did calm down later and hasn't said no or yes yet. As previously noted, I think it's better for me to restrain myself for now. For this moment I'm focusing on restraining my own passions and preparing myself for the Catechumate, whenever that happens.

I'd be concerned about the other parishioners putting pressure on your wife.  If your wife doesn't have the capability to deal with them in an effective manner, the consequences will affect your family's journey to Orthodoxy.  As I read between the lines, your wife is attending this retreat against her will.  She's an inquirer; she shouldn't feel compelled to attend any event outside of the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2013, 08:56:48 PM »

Don't push, you have your journey and she has hers. If she has social problems maybe it's anxiety....

I can sympathize with you, Maximum Bob.  I have been attending Divine Liturgy at a local parish since August of last year.  My wife has gone with me a total of three times.  She too has social anxiety, but more than anything she states that the liturgy is boring.  She loves everything I tell her about Orthodoxy, but just doesn't find the liturgical style of worship to be something she can engage in (she grew up Baptist).

But, as others have said, she's on her journey and I'm on mine.  I have made it clear to her that I don't want to pressure her to join me unless she wants to be there, but I do enjoy her accompanying me.  My goal is to allow God to transform me through the wisdom and disciplines of the Orthodox Church, and hopefully she will follow (even if it takes a few years).
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« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2013, 03:32:13 AM »

She did calm down later and hasn't said no or yes yet. As previously noted, I think it's better for me to restrain myself for now. For this moment I'm focusing on restraining my own passions and preparing myself for the Catechumate, whenever that happens.

I'd be concerned about the other parishioners putting pressure on your wife.  If your wife doesn't have the capability to deal with them in an effective manner, the consequences will affect your family's journey to Orthodoxy.  As I read between the lines, your wife is attending this retreat against her will.  She's an inquirer; she shouldn't feel compelled to attend any event outside of the Divine Liturgy.
Well, I think the pinnacle of the pressure may have been when they told they could get gluten free pizza for her. Cheesy

I don't know and perhaps this is part of the reason I posted here too. I vacillate myself in my approach too these things. There is a part of me that says to back off and part of me that says to push on. I've seen her, as previously referenced, do similar things before where she was similarly reluctant (talking about the retreat here not the larger process of conversion) and come out of them so glad she went. It seems like some of the things she benefits from/enjoys most she needs a bit of a push to do. Some assistance, if you will, to get beyond her comfort zone.

Now as I said, this is about the retreat, but I ask myself if it applies on the small scale (to the retreat) does also it on the larger (to the conversion)?

So let me ask a question especially to some of you who have personal experience with anxiety, social or otherwise. Is there any legitimate point to be made for giving an extra push sometimes, but not always versus never? Further if there is sometimes, where is the boundary between giving someone help that they really need to get over the hump and going too far? For example my wife, like Gayle's, also claims the liturgy is boring. Too much repetition. Do I work on ways to help her see it with more purpose, from the Old Testament up to the New, or do I focus on myself and let God take care of it?  Or is it a mix of both?

Sigh, well I think that's getting closer to where my head and heart are at. I don't always understand myself how could I ever understand her. Lord help us.  Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2013, 11:04:53 AM »

some great questions.
not sure i have worked this one out yet, though!
(will keep u posted if i do; don't hold your breath!)
maybe someone else has some wisdom.

for boredom, i recommend taking a Bible and sitting and reading it during the 'boring' parts.
then, at least, there will be some spiritual benefit if someone is not able to concentrate.
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« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2013, 02:49:41 PM »

She did calm down later and hasn't said no or yes yet. As previously noted, I think it's better for me to restrain myself for now. For this moment I'm focusing on restraining my own passions and preparing myself for the Catechumate, whenever that happens.

I'd be concerned about the other parishioners putting pressure on your wife.  If your wife doesn't have the capability to deal with them in an effective manner, the consequences will affect your family's journey to Orthodoxy.  As I read between the lines, your wife is attending this retreat against her will.  She's an inquirer; she shouldn't feel compelled to attend any event outside of the Divine Liturgy.
Well, I think the pinnacle of the pressure may have been when they told they could get gluten free pizza for her. Cheesy

I don't know and perhaps this is part of the reason I posted here too. I vacillate myself in my approach too these things. There is a part of me that says to back off and part of me that says to push on. I've seen her, as previously referenced, do similar things before where she was similarly reluctant (talking about the retreat here not the larger process of conversion) and come out of them so glad she went. It seems like some of the things she benefits from/enjoys most she needs a bit of a push to do. Some assistance, if you will, to get beyond her comfort zone.

Now as I said, this is about the retreat, but I ask myself if it applies on the small scale (to the retreat) does also it on the larger (to the conversion)?

So let me ask a question especially to some of you who have personal experience with anxiety, social or otherwise. Is there any legitimate point to be made for giving an extra push sometimes, but not always versus never? Further if there is sometimes, where is the boundary between giving someone help that they really need to get over the hump and going too far? For example my wife, like Gayle's, also claims the liturgy is boring. Too much repetition. Do I work on ways to help her see it with more purpose, from the Old Testament up to the New, or do I focus on myself and let God take care of it?  Or is it a mix of both?

Sigh, well I think that's getting closer to where my head and heart are at. I don't always understand myself how could I ever understand her. Lord help us.  Smiley

You just have to accept your wife for where she is.  Maybe ask her, "where are you on this journey?" and "how can I help you?"
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« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2013, 03:01:59 PM »

So let me ask a question especially to some of you who have personal experience with anxiety, social or otherwise. Is there any legitimate point to be made for giving an extra push sometimes, but not always versus never? Further if there is sometimes, where is the boundary between giving someone help that they really need to get over the hump and going too far?

The difference lies in the goals and motives of the person who suffers from anxiety. If such a person truly wants to do something but cannot bring themselves to do it, a mutually agreed-upon little push might be beneficial. However, if the person really doesn't want to do that thing, then pushing is too far. The rule of thumb: Have they asked for help? Have they asked for a push? If not, back off.
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« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2013, 08:44:59 PM »

Lots of good advice...a very friendly forum indeed. One thing I would mention is that sometimes Liturgy is boring because it is not understandable to the individual.  It would be great to have an artilcle/book which explains the liturgy (in basic terms)...what each part signifies. That might help...but perhaps only mention it if/when she is up to it. As others say, don't over-push, just pray...
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« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2013, 01:50:14 AM »

Thanks again to everyone, it's good to know we are not alone in this walk of faith.

tuesday'schild, thanks for the rule of thumb it's a good one, pray for my patience, I need it anyway but especially for this.

Putnik, I agree with idea of reading up on the Liturgy, I've done so myself. The trick will subjecting it to the above rule of thumb. My wife doesn't have, as she puts it, the time to do this kind of reading herself so I do try to share what I've read when she asks. Which isn't nearly as often as I would like to talk about it,  Grin hence the above request for prayer for my patience.

Well we picked her up from the retreat. She learned some things made at least one new friend and got to know the ladies who stand on the over side of the church a lot better. Sounds like they really spoiled her with goodies catering to her dietary restrictions. On the down side she definitely felt a bit claustrophobic and crowded, and didn't sleep the best. So some ups some downs, I guess that's realistic. 

She's definitely still not up for the house blessing again this year from what she says. Still hasn't weighed in on our Priest's suggestion regarding the girls and myself. My task there will be to remind her that we do need to give him an answer at some point, without putting undue pressure on her as to what that answer will be. Sigh, pray for us.  Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2013, 02:19:30 AM »

Well we picked her up from the retreat. She learned some things made at least one new friend and got to know the ladies who stand on the over side of the church a lot better.

Since your wife has met a new friend, your wife can confide any doubts to her.

On the down side she definitely felt a bit claustrophobic and crowded, and didn't sleep the best. So some ups some downs, I guess that's realistic.

If your wife didn't come back angry, that is a small victory.   Smiley


She's definitely still not up for the house blessing again this year from what she says.

Is that required for inquirers?  Your Priest ought to understand that not every inquirer's house needs to be blessed, at least not right away.


Still hasn't weighed in on our Priest's suggestion regarding the girls and myself. My task there will be to remind her that we do need to give him an answer at some point, without putting undue pressure on her as to what that answer will be. Sigh, pray for us.  Smiley

I wonder if you've attended churches in other Orthodox Jurisdictions?  If your wife finds the Antiochian church disconcerting, there's always the OCA.   Huh
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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2013, 07:04:26 AM »

It would be great to have an artilcle/book which explains the liturgy (in basic terms)...what each part signifies. That might help...but perhaps only mention it if/when she is up to it.

Such books and articles are very freely available, both in print and as online documents. Also, any priest worth his salt should be able to inform and guide an inquirer or catechumen in what the parts of the Liturgy represent.

Example: The Divine Liturgy Explained, compiled by Fr Nicholas Elias (known in many circles as "the little black book") was first published in 1966, and, AFAIK, has not been out of print in that close to 50-year period. It's a small book, and its price is well within the means of most people in the western world.
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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2013, 12:13:29 PM »

please see also this thread:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,50288.0.html

may God give u patience. remember the house is blessed when you pray there, as God meets with you personally.
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« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2013, 01:58:08 AM »

Well we picked her up from the retreat. She learned some things made at least one new friend and got to know the ladies who stand on the over side of the church a lot better.
Since your wife has met a new friend, your wife can confide any doubts to her.
Yes that make about four decent friends at church now. More on that in a minute

On the down side she definitely felt a bit claustrophobic and crowded, and didn't sleep the best. So some ups some downs, I guess that's realistic.
If your wife didn't come back angry, that is a small victory.   Smiley
Indeed but again I'll come back to this in a minute too.

She's definitely still not up for the house blessing again this year from what she says.
Is that required for inquirers?  Your Priest ought to understand that not every inquirer's house needs to be blessed, at least not right away.
No requirement just an offer on his part, we live an hour away from church and he was going to be nearby doing another blessing.

Still hasn't weighed in on our Priest's suggestion regarding the girls and myself. My task there will be to remind her that we do need to give him an answer at some point, without putting undue pressure on her as to what that answer will be. Sigh, pray for us.  Smiley
I wonder if you've attended churches in other Orthodox Jurisdictions?  If your wife finds the Antiochian church disconcerting, there's always the OCA.   Huh
Yeah we've been to more than one Orthodox Church and I have an Uncle who's a retired OCA priest. Ultimately we love our priests ad like our church the things she's been struggling with are pretty universal in Orthodoxy.

Thanks Putnik for the suggestions

mabsoota good point in the other thread.

Okay back to the rest or as Paul Harvey used to say "now for the rest of the story."

On the ride up to church this AM my wife, by that time, more rested continued to remember more stuff she learned and to dwell more on the positives. That I anticipated based on past experience, the next part I did not. One of the things she talked about was that she'd had conversations with a couple women, one a Matushka, about the idea of having her name day be Nov. 8th the Synaxis of the Archangels. As she put it there are several of them that have been making themselves known to her and her name is Angela.
From there I brought up the part about needing to give Father an answer and regarding the girls and myself taking the next step first. Her response was that she would prefer to take the next step together and to tell Father that she wanted to spend Lent really praying about and looking into things and we would see where we were after that. This is the first time she's given any sort of time line to any part of the process. Next I shared how I was leaning toward Saint Innocent of Alaska as a Patron Saint and in another positive move she then turned the topic to Patron Saints for our two daughters and suggested we spend Lent looking at that too.

But it gets better yet. After church on the way home she shared that she had felt very impressed just this morning that we should consider one particular family as sponsors for our family. As it happens that same thought had occurred to me for the first time this morning as well. This kind of floored both of us, in a good way.

Just as a tie to the above the wife of the family mentioned is one of the friends referenced above, and coincidentally she's also one of the ladies who was pushing the most for my wife to go to the retreat this weekend. Well that's all for now. Keep us in your prayers but include some thanks for answered prayer this time.  Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2013, 02:26:16 AM »

^ Lord have mercy.  May the Lord continue to guide your family on your journey to Orthodoxy.

Forgive me if I have come across as pushy.  I've never been a convert and I would react with anger if I felt people were pressuring me to do something that I wasn't completely ready to accept.   angel
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« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2013, 02:45:41 PM »

may God guide u and give u continued peace.
keep up the good work!
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« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2013, 03:24:02 PM »

If you think it would help, I've seen an article that gives Biblical references for all the parts of the Divine Liturgy. I can look for it, if you want.
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« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2013, 03:28:27 PM »

Maximum Bob, thank you for sharing your story and providing the updates.  Glory to God for the positive developments, and may the Lord continue to strengthen you with patience!  I very much sympathize, as I waited about 9 yrs for my wife to warm up to Orthodoxy prior to our conversion as a family.  She went from being angry every time I went to an Orthodox service, saying that I am wasting my time because we were never going to become Orthodox; to then agreeing to attend services, then desiring baptism, and then thanking God every day for our Orthodox faith.  

With regard to my wife and my family (parents, sister), it seems that their progress towards Orthodoxy was directly proportional to the degree to which I just let go and relied on prayer rather than on arguments and debates.  I could debate, talk, lecture, and argue all day without fruit.  Only when I gave up and depended on God to resolve the matter was it resolved.  Now, not only are my wife and children Orthodox, but my older sister, my only sibling, converted just last year.  I am glad to say that I had very little to do with my sister's conversion, and for that I give much thanks to God.
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2013, 03:33:40 PM »

glory to God!
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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2013, 06:45:09 PM »

What would 'progress' look like?

Like the 'Pilgrims' maybe??

Oh nice sig by the way, I heard that a few days ago and I was LMAO (for real) listening to it.
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« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2013, 11:21:16 PM »

Yes.  Glory to God!  I've been watching this thread carefully and I'm so happy for you all!!
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« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2013, 02:05:45 AM »

^ Lord have mercy.  May the Lord continue to guide your family on your journey to Orthodoxy.

Forgive me if I have come across as pushy.  I've never been a convert and I would react with anger if I felt people were pressuring me to do something that I wasn't completely ready to accept.   angel
Think nothing of it. My wife has put out some mixed messages from time to time, not just about this but it was a source of some of my frustration about this. She had after all said yes, sort of, before she said no. But she is now a lot further than she's been before.

Katherine that would be wonderful if you can find it I know I would like it and I believe my wife would too.

jah777 and thank you for sharing your story too. In fact thank you to everyone who has shared their stories here. This is such a wonderful community. Your so right about when we let go and let God, I could tell some stories about that. Makes me wonder sometimes why I can't be more consistent than I am. Thank you Lord for your mercy.

Very good kshaft, lol.

Thank you masoota, leap of faith.
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Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
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« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2013, 11:27:03 AM »

This was a good article: Understanding the Orthodox Liturgy http://www.najim.net/liturgyvid.pdf
This has the actual Biblical references for each part of the Liturgy: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2808696/posts
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« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2013, 02:28:29 PM »

Thanks, Katherine.
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Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
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« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2013, 01:37:27 AM »

Another update as posted in the prayer forum also.

For the second week in a row my wife has joined my daughters and I in going up for the blessing from our priest after service. This is twice in the service last week, and once each in two services this week. In the year and 1/2 we've been going to our church the only other time she's done this was last year at Pascha (she really wanted that red egg) and even then she required a bit of persuasion. These times she did it completely on her own. She did confide after last week she was still struggling with it but, to me at least, seemed more comfortable this week.

She's also gotten to the point with icons where she will kiss her fingers and touch them, but is not yet comfortable being over and kissing the icons directly with her lips.
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Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
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