Kelly Ramke Lardin is the author of the children's books Josiah and Julia Go to Church, and Let's Count From 1 to 20 (bilingual counting books in French and Spanish). She holds degrees in French from The University of the South and Tulane University and studied translation at SUNY-Binghamton. She has always enjoyed writing and loves studying languages. She converted to Orthodoxy shortly after marrying her husband, who is also a convert to Orthodoxy. Her journey to the faith was fraught with struggle, but she wouldn't trade it for anything. Together she and her husband are raising their two daughters in the Orthodox faith. This continuing journey still has its moments of struggle but is also a joy. Visit her at kellylardin.com for more information on her books and to read short stories and other writings. She also blogs about her faith, family, and life in Chicago at A Day's Journey. She is available for speaking engagements through the Orthodox Speakers Bureau.
Summer is in full swing. That means trips to new, exotic places or maybe trips to visit friends in old familiar places. Either way, summer often means being away from home for some period of time, and that means not being home for Sunday liturgy. So, what do you do when you’re traveling on a Sunday?
When I didn’t have children, it was so much easier to find a parish to visit. My husband and I did this regularly just after we converted. If we visited my parents for Christmas, we would attend the Antiochian parish in Metairie, or maybe the Greek parish in New Orleans. It always meant a little extra driving, sometimes at odd hours, but it seemed like the natural thing to do.
After having children, we became less inspired to make the extra effort to drive 30 minutes out of our way to find a church on a Sunday or holiday. I admit it. We got lazy. Especially, when we had a 4-year-old and an infant, it was hard not to be lazy. Sometimes we would go with my parents to their Catholic church (I wanted to make some effort for God), sometimes we would skip altogether (I didn’t want to condone heretical views)…
We’ll be taking another trip later this summer to visit family in the South, and we’ll be there when it’s time for Sunday liturgy. I’ve been thinking about this and what to do. The children are older now and, for the most part, better behaved in church. It is a little easier to visit a new parish. On the other hand, I like to make the most of the time we spend with our families, so I hate to miss an entire morning away.
As school was ending last week, we heard quite a bit from teachers and CPS officials about not losing what the children learned during the school year. Read, Discover, Learn is the theme of our library summer reading program. Summer vacation is to be a homeschool extension of the school year. That reminds me: God doesn’t take a summer vacation… So, I probably shouldn’t forget Him on my summer vacation. He’ll be home in every parish, and any parish can be my home away from home.