How to Live in the Jordan

In a house full of children, a mother has to wake up early to hear the silence. An hour before sunrise, an alarm set quiet wakes me from sleep. That’s when I open my eyes and I listen. I make sure no one’s stirring, make certain this house lies covered in a blanket of hush. And knowing the smallest sound, the slightest stir, will raise it from sleep, I pull a book of prayer off my nightstand, bury myself under blankets and feign sleep.

In the silence of that morning hour I whisper words to Him in the dark. From my bed, I listen.

Whilst I remembered Thee in my bed, in the mornings I have meditated upon Thee.

This is a mother’s rule of prayer – pretending sleep and stealing quiet. And I’m quite certain, God gives mothers the gift of creativity to find ways to find Him. Trading sleep for the quiet of morning, I search.

It’s when the sun begins to rise, that’s when the silence breaks. I hear children stir and know there’s no more use pretending. I rise from my bed, set my feet upon the ground and I approach the Jordan.

O God, my God, unto Thee do I rise up early; for Thee my soul hast thirsted.

The first steps I take each morning, they’re the ones directed towards the still waters. The Jordan River flows through my home and its source is Theophany.

prayer times

The day when God manifested Himself and He entered the streams, that’s when the Jordan began to flow. When the river turned back and all things turned new. The Holy Spirit moving on the face of the waters and He entered them, sanctifying their nature. That festal morning when a priest poured waters into a vessel, plunged a Cross into its depths. Waters blessed, the Jordan revealed and I partake. The creative God, always finding ways to find us.

When I filled a small glass bottle with its streams and captured grace, that’s when the Jordan began flowing through my home. The waters run.

It’s that small bottle sitting on a table that I walk towards each morning, the current of my steps directed towards its streams. I pour its contents into a small glass and the Jordan flows. No other food or drink touching my lips until first I enter the river and receive the blessing. It’s how I begin each day, how I live Theophany through the year.

It’s how I live in the Jordan.

prayer times

They do well who daily, before eating any kind of food, drink a little Holy Water.
It strengthens the powers of the soul.

-St. John Maximovitch

Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network.  You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.


Katherine Johnson

My name is Katherine and I never go by Kathy, but you can call me Mary. That's my church name. Either way, you see, I'm one of those converts to Orthodoxy who finds herself called by two names. I like to think of it as binomial nomenclature, Byzantine style.

A little confusion is a small price to pay for such an amazing Faith.

And me? Well, after graduating from university, I turned down an opportunity to study law. Decided that a family suited me just fine. My husband, Doug, and I are blessed with seven children, infant to teen.

I specialize in finding God in the most unexpected places, like the kitchen sink or the laundry room. Or sometimes when I'm curled up on the couch surrounded by children and a good book. (Did I mention we homeschool?)

So after full days of keeping home and caring for my family, I stay up way too late and write about the blessings of my life. Those reflections on finding grace in the profoundly ordinary? I've made it a habit to share them on my blog, seamless.

I look forward to meeting you here again and again.


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