Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Little Prayer Book

I've been so thrilled to finally pull this together! I posted the following on my photography blog yesterday:

For over a year now, I’ve been working on a project close to heart, an illustrated prayer book. Natural Elements Photography is founded upon scenic images of West Virginia and beyond and it seemed only natural to accompany the grace of prayer with the loveliness of creation.

I am delighted to tell you the book is nearly here! Because I'll only be ordering these in limited quantities, I’ll be taking pre-orders through the end of August.

The book has 26 pages, sized at 8x6” for an easy travel companion, soft-cover with a full page photo to accompany each prayer. The spiral binding is intentional, as I wanted to have a book that would lay open easily on a desk-top or prayer corner. The last page contains brief notes about a selection of the prayer authors. The photos include some of the most popular from my Images of WV Collection and several new photos made in the mountains of North Carolina.

Some prayers and meditations are probably very familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23 and the Beatitudes while others may be less recognized, such as the prayers of the saints from the ancient church of the 3rd and 4th century. There are morning prayers, prayers for traveling, prayers for children & forgiveness and prayers before going to sleep.

Since I’ve been a guest speaker to a variety of groups about prayer and find it an essential part of spiritual health, I wanted to create a way to enrich and encourage the daily prayer life of others and possibly introduce some to the thought-provoking and powerful prayers of ancient Christian saints.

View of back cover

small text reads, "A book of devotion with prayers form the ancient faith.

Glory to God for all things! †

God has blessed my life & business and it has been a joy to put together images of His creation with prayers from the ancient faith.

The book will retail @ $22; wholesale pricing is available upon request. If you would like to pre-order, visit my online store. Shipping is expecting at the beginning of September 2011.

Thank you for your interest and God Bless †

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Music of Marium Bria

Let me share with you my multi-talented friend, Marium Bria. She is a photographer, a painter, a writer, and well as a wife and mother of three. She's told me on occasion that her talents are a curse because they're always pulling her in different directions, but from my view all I see is pure gifts and perseverance. I first mentioned Marium's talents on this blog in 2007; I am so delighted that she's recorded her first CD, simply titled, "Marium Bria".

The cd contains 10 tracks, all written by Marium; all vocals and instrumentation by her as well. Her sound is soft and evocative, her lyrics often reminiscent of days gone by and the innocence of love. My favorite is "Great Big World". I can't help but compare her sound to one of my other favorites, Norah Jones. Marium may get tired of hearing that, but I can't think of a higher compliment. Her family is blessed to hear such music at home, now the rest of the world can enjoy it, too. I'm so proud of you, girl!

Check out her website, where you can read her bio, hear some of the tracks and purchase the cd: Marium Bria

Glory to God for all things †

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Follow Up to Women's Health Series

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am not attempting to give medical advice. I am only sharing my experience and some things I’ve learned about my own health with hope it may benefit another.

My Sweet Rose, by John William Waterhouse

As much as I want to tell you that I found a magic bullet (as with Zoloft!) with the Women to Women (W2W) program, I didn’t. I continue to believe W2W is a great resource for educating yourself about hormonal changes, dietary considerations, and phytotherapy (the use of plants for healing purposes), but the vitamin/supplement regimen didn’t work 100% for me. This is because between the 60 and 90 day mark, I began to have intestinal ills that I attribute to the regimen.

I had halted the regimen all together when I came down with what the rest of the family had during the winter, some type of flu. We were sick with fever, fatigue, intestinal ills, headache and loss of appetite. After two weeks of this, when our vigor was finally restored, I eased back into the routine of vitamins and the Herbal Equilibrium. It was at this point that I could not get my intestinal health back on track. I tried altering the schedule, one packet instead of two, vitamins and no herbal supplement, and vice-versa , and then taking only the calcium/fish oil in the combination seemed to work. From reading on the W2W website, I knew if I called for a consult, they would probably recommend a probiotic. Well, with already taking 5 to 10 tabs a day, I did not want to add something else to the mix. So I stopped all of it. And within another week, the intestinal ills went away entirely.

The good news is that this was also the time of emerging from a very cold/dark winter into one of the most delightful springs I can remember. With the advent of sunshine, warm days and outdoor activity, nearly all of my symptoms (fatigue, fuzzy thinking, depression, irritability, mood swings) disappeared. I also began a new part-time job that, serendipitously, led to a new focus and decreased stress.

I’m aware of the damage stress can do to a body and so, it is with caution that I attribute the episode of intestinal ills to the W2W program. I am only self-diagnosing; since I live with chronic stress, I cannot be certain of the cause-effect relationship since I did take the vitamin/supplement regimen without problem for 60 days.

With certainty I can attest to these things that made me feel better:


-getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night

-drinking LOTS of water (8 to 10 glasses per day)

-stress management, such as yoga, meditation, spending time with friends

-strenuous outdoor exercise (not just a walk through the park, but cardio such as climbing hills and stairs)

-limiting caffeine and sweets

The advent of spring and the internal changes it wrought made me consider seasonal affective disorder (SAD) to which some have recommended light therapy. I don’t know. I probably won’t go out and invest in a special light to use through the darkness of winter, but I may consider increasing my intake of Vitamin D through those months. Also, when it comes time for shorter days, colder temps and gray skies, I’ll be sure and keep up the outdoor exercise -- I think it’s an ace.

In the meantime, I go soon for a complete physical and will hopefully have the opportunity to discuss much of this with my new MD. Hormonal imbalances are not fun and for me, at least, I’ve found no quick & easy method for dealing with it. I continue to approach my health in a holistic way, believing that being created in the image of God constitutes three parts, mind, body and spirit - all of which need to be nurtured to create a healthy whole.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Three Thoughts

Three thoughts for my dear readers --

1) Thanks for continuing to check in, even during my absences! Knowing that you visit encourages future posts.

2) A blog worth your time: Holy Protection

In my time in the blogosphere, I realize I've been mostly drawn to read the blogs of other Orthodox moms & dads, the insightful words of priests and khourias, but not so much the writings of our younger generation. No reason for that really... but I see I've been missing out.
How refreshing to see the creativity, the zeal and faithfulness of young Orthodox Christians. This blog has 9 contributors and offers thought-provoking content, not the least of which has been a view of christian activity on college campuses. Please check them out & keep them in your prayers †

3) Last, but certainly not least, I hear you friends. My next entry will be to finish my series on Women's Health. Thank you for the mail and concern...I'm with you, ladies.

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